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thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Could Simple pH Test Detect Foodborne Pathogens?

News: Could Simple pH Test Detect Foodborne Pathogens?

Could that omnipresent tool of high school chemistry labs—litmus paper, which indicates if a liquid solution is acidic or basic—be harnessed as perhaps the simplest assay yet for foodborne pathogens? Researchers were able to correlate levels of E. coli bacteria with pH values represented by the changing color of the litmus paper.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Pathogens in Pet Foods Indicate Need for More Rigorous Testing

News: Pathogens in Pet Foods Indicate Need for More Rigorous Testing

A scoop of raw dog or cat food may also come with a serving of pathogens, posing potential risk to both pets and their human caretakers. Recent research investigated samples of raw dog and cat foods, exotic animal food, and jerky-type treats for presence of food safety pathogens.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: National Efforts Focus on Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

News: National Efforts Focus on Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

Growing concerns about antibiotic-resistant bacteria are outlined in a recent report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, in a White House National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic Bacteria, and in a Presidential Executive Order. All aim at directing national and international attention toward correction action, including changes in antibiotic use in food production.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: No Differences in Livestock Eating GMO Food, Review Finds

News: No Differences in Livestock Eating GMO Food, Review Finds

Livestock raised on feed that contains genetically modified ingredients—in other words, approximately 95 percent of the food-producing animals in the U.S. today—show no signs of differences in performance or health, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California-Davis. They also found no differences in the nutritional makeup of the food products derived from these animals.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Revisions to FSMA Proposals Add Flexibility

News: FDA Revisions to FSMA Proposals Add Flexibility

Proposed revisions to four rules in the FDA FSMA are intended to make the original proposals more flexible and practical. The revisions are based on comments received from farmers and others directly affected by the original proposals, and the revisions are now open to public comment.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Food Safety Contest Offering $500,000 Prize Pool

News: Food Safety Contest Offering $500,000 Prize Pool

The FDA is hoping that the prospect of $500,000 in prizes will spur the development of “potential breakthrough ideas” in foodborne pathogen detection—specifically, detecting Salmonella in fresh produce.

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

News: 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

News: 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

News: 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

News: 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?

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October/November 2014

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