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thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Could ‘Smart Chopsticks’ Warn of Food Contamination?

Sep 23, 2014

Could ‘Smart Chopsticks’ Warn of Food Contamination?

It sounds tantalizing, a utensil that alerts you if something’s wrong with the food you’re about to eat. That’s the pitch made by Chinese search engine company Baidu—that nation’s equivalent of Google—about its new prototype “smart chopsticks.” Named “Kuaisou,” the prototype version of the chopsticks can allegedly identify the quality of cooking oil, a big issue in China, where smaller restaurants often use cheaper oil dredged from sewers and...

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Promising Step Toward Curtailing Pest Infestations in Tree Nut Orchards

Sep 23, 2014

Promising Step Toward Curtailing Pest Infestations in Tree Nut Orchards

Investigators at the Agricultural Research Service and almond industry in California have developed a new attractant to help almond growers monitor populations of the navel orangeworm moth. The attractant can be used to determine moth numbers during orchard treatments that are intended to disrupt the mating cycle of the moth or used as a monitoring tool during normal orchard operations.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Internal Review: Update ‘Redbook’ to Reflect Current Science

Sep 16, 2014

FDA Internal Review: Update ‘Redbook’ to Reflect Current Science

The FDA has completed a chemical safety assessment review focusing on the scientific capacity, efficiency, and management of its chemical safety resources. As a result of the review within CFSAN and the Center for Veterinary Medicine, the agency will update the FDA’s Toxicological Principles for the Safety Assessment of Food Ingredients (the so-called “Redbook”), the guidance document used primarily by CFSAN for evaluation of human food products.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: NMR ‘Fingerprint’ Could Detect Organic Food Fraud

Sep 16, 2014

NMR ‘Fingerprint’ Could Detect Organic Food Fraud

All it takes is a quick trip down the nearest grocery store produce aisle to know that organic food comes at a significant markup over nonorganic versions of the same products. The global organic food market is a $62 billion business. But are consumers forking over an extra couple of dollars (or more) per pound for those organic apples or peaches getting what they’re paying for?

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: SPECIAL FEATURE: Changing Methods for the Measurement of Dietary Fiber

Sep 16, 2014

SPECIAL FEATURE: Changing Methods for the Measurement of Dietary Fiber

In its simplest terms, dietary fiber content in a sample is measured in the laboratory by what is called an enzymatic-gravimetric method. After defatting, a food sample is treated with enzymes that mimic the digestive process in the human small intestine. Digestible carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and removed from the sample by precipitation using ethanol followed by filtration.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Food Safety Courses Begin for Edible Marijuana Makers, Vendors

Sep 09, 2014

Food Safety Courses Begin for Edible Marijuana Makers, Vendors

Food safety violations have been reported at edible marijuana manufacturers and vendors in Denver this year, with the city’s department of environmental health inspections finding more than 200 critical violations at over 100 facilities. In response, the National Cannabis Industry Association has launched food safety and handling courses specifically designed for people working in this new market.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Guidance on Allergen Controls for Retail Coming Soon

Sep 09, 2014

Guidance on Allergen Controls for Retail Coming Soon

AFDO will finalize the ad-hoc committee charged with developing the document within the next several weeks. It will include 26 representatives from federal, state, and local governments, as well as the retail industry, the Food Marketing Institute, and Food Allergy Research and Education.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: EVENT PREVIEW: Focusing on Food Safety at PACK EXPO

Sep 09, 2014

EVENT PREVIEW: Focusing on Food Safety at PACK EXPO

While food safety programs and zoning principles are key tools in maintaining a contamination-free facility, it is equally important to take a close look at where most of the direct food contact in a manufacturing facility takes place—the processing and packaging equipment itself.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Fluctuating Trends Found in Antimicrobial Resistance

Aug 26, 2014

Fluctuating Trends Found in Antimicrobial Resistance

The NARMS 2011 Executive Report summarizes data previously released by FDA, the CDC, and USDA, and focuses on resistance to antibiotics important in human medicine and multidrug resistance. Among the positive trends is a decline in the five-drug resistance pattern called ACSSuT in Salmonella Typhimurium.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: U.S. Ranks Among Top 10 Safety Violators; But What’s the Context?

Aug 26, 2014

U.S. Ranks Among Top 10 Safety Violators; But What’s the Context?

A report released in early August by the global food safety monitoring firm Food Sentry puts the U.S. among the top 10 countries exporting “violative” food items—that is, items found to be in violation of the inspecting country’s regulatory scheme, whether due to pesticide contamination, pathogens, unsanitary conditions, or other problems.

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