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Articles by Section - Feature: In the Lab
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Departments: Different Stationary Phases for PAH Analysis
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) comprise a large group of more than several hundred chemical compounds containing two or more fused aromatic rings. They are produced during incomplete combustion of organic compounds. Food can be naturally contaminated with PAHs by uptake from the environment, like mussels filtering surrounding water. The main contamination sources for food, however, are processing procedures in which PAHs are generated at significant levels, such as frying, drying, smoking,...
Departments: The Lab Revolution
Now, more than ever, food manufacturers are looking to lab science for safe and speedy answers, especially when it comes to allergens. Food allergies are a public health liability that affects both business and the consumer. More than 12 million Americans have food allergies, and many more are underdiagnosed or ignored.
Departments: The Power of Phages
The nature of food and foodborne illness has changed dramatically in the United States over the past century. While various technological advances such as pasteurization and proper canning have all but eliminated some diseases, new causes of foodborne illness are continually being identified.
Departments: Advances in LC/MS for Food Safety Testing
In recent years, the utilization of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) has grown rapidly and is now widely recognized as an ideal, highly specific, and extremely sensitive technique for testing food products with superior accuracy and higher throughput than other methods such as LC/ultraviolet, LC/fluorescence, or microbiological and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods.
Pesticides are intended for use on food crops to prevent, destroy, and control pests, which can be chemical, biological (such as a virus or bacterium), antimicrobial, or disinfectant. As a result, pesticide residues can be found in agricultural products like tea leaves and, due to their potential toxicity, can be harmful to human health. Pesticide consumption can cause a wide range of long-term health problems, including damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects, and, in some cases,...
Departments: Detecting Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Food
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history, has raised awareness of a food safety issue, namely contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In the future, analytical testing for PAHs in fish, crustaceans, and bivalves will undoubtedly become a routine procedure for many laboratories. PAH exposure, through either environmental pollution or contaminated foodstuffs, and its effects on human health have been the topic of many scientific studies. The recent oil spill again focuses...
Departments: ICP-MS for Detecting Heavy Metals in Foodstuffs
Heavy metals can be toxic for humans when they are not metabolized by the body and accumulate in the soft tissues. Depending on the heavy metal in question, toxicity can occur at levels just above naturally occurring background levels, meaning that consumption of food with a high heavy metal concentration can cause acute or chronic poisoning.
Departments: Sweet Science
Throughout history, people have used honey to sweeten and add flavor. Although its sweetness is similar to that of granulated sugar, honey has a distinctive flavor that is largely determined by the flower type from which the nectar is gathered.
Departments: Determination of Soluble Vitamins in Beverages
Functional beverages are vitamin-enhanced waters that are popular with consumers because of convenience, perceived health benefits, and improved flavor over tap water. These beverages, enriched with vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and vitamins A and E, are promoted as offering the benefits of increased energy from B vitamins and antioxidant value from vitamins A, C, and E. Sales of these beverages are expected to increase to 4.4 billion liters per year by 2011.
Departments: Detect Melamine With ELISA Assays
With common industrial uses, melamine is frequently mixed with formaldehyde to produce melamine-formaldehyde resin, a type of plastic known for its flame retardant properties. Used in the manufacture of countertops, dry-erase boards, laminates, glues, adhesives, paper and textiles, melamine has more recently been identified in some food products. Investigations have identified raw materials suppliers who have been illegally adding this nitrogen-rich chemical to food sources in order to increase its...