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Departments: Traceability as a Tool

In June 2002, national manufacturer ConAgra Beef Co. voluntarily recalled more than 354,000 pounds of ground beef – 177 tons – that may have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. Within 20 days, USDA requested that the company further expand its recall to include 19 million pounds of product. Since ConAgra could not readily trace and identify the stores that bought the meat or the brands under which it was sold, it took days to pull all of the recalled product. Public awareness quickly...

Departments: Conquering Compliance Management

It’s no secret that FDA regulated industries are motivated to find better ways to comply with ever-increasing government regulations and formative industry standards. GMP requirements, 21 CFR Part 11, Sarbanes-Oxley, HACCP and other regulations have made compliance- and risk-management a key concern for any regulated organization.

Departments: Express Evaluation

Classical methodologies used for enumerating Staphylococcus in food are time consuming taking up to 78 hours. The 3M Petrifilm Staph Express Count System (STX) is a rapid test that has recently been commercialized in order to shorten the time. When using STX, the population of S. aureus in food samples can be determined in as soon as 22 hours because the identification of S. aureus is not based on coagulase production.

Departments: Tasty Technology

For the past six years, Copenhagen, Denmark-based Chr. Hansen, a manufacturer of blended seasonings, has operated a plant in Elyria, Ohio. There, the company manufactures custom flavor blends for a variety of food manufacturers, including Tyson Foods, Frito-Lay, Shearer’s Chips and Freshmark.

Departments: Signs of the Times

Levels of raw grain testing are increasing as measurement science technology increases. According to Charles Hurburgh, professor-in-charge of the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, 1 a grain quality and research program at Iowa State University, there are a lot of new requirements on the food trait front, such as amino acid profiles and fatty acid profiles.

Departments: The Ionic Silver Lining

Bacterial contamination of plant surfaces is a constant concern for the food processing industry. One specific bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, accounts for 2,500 cases of illness and 500 deaths annually in the U.S., making it the bacteria of greatest concern for ready-to-eat (RTE) processors today. In 1998, one of the largest outbreaks of Listeria occurred with a large U.S. hot dog manufacturer and resulted in 15 adult deaths, six stillbirths and more than one million pounds of product recalled from the...

Departments: GMO Traceability–Making it Work

Mad cow disease hit the news again in June, fueling consumer fears about the safety of the food supply chain. Also, a recent report revealed that over a four-year period Swiss biotech firm Syngenta AG sold U.S. farmers an unapproved strain of genetically modified corn seed, which may have entered the food supply and international channels. These two incidents reveal how porous the U.S. agricultural supply system is to contamination. They also highlight the need for robust traceability technologies that...

Departments: Air Sampling 101

Proactive companies from all sectors; pharmaceutical, food and beverage, biotechnology, hospitals and environmental protection, are realizing the importance of an active air sampling program. There are several options in sampling methods, some more efficient than others.

Departments: Choosing a Laboratory Water System

Food analysis laboratory needs for purified water tend to be modest in quantity but demanding in quality. Food analytical methods call for two general water quality grades, pure and ultrapure. To meet purified water needs, cost-conscious laboratories consuming up to 15 liters of water per day must choose from among several options…

Departments: Machine Vision Sees Contaminants We Can’t

Scientists at the ARS Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., are developing "machine-vision" systems that can detect contamination the human eye often can't see called machine-vision systems. These are quicker and more accurate than the human eye and don't require anyone to handle the fruit or cut it up.

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June/July 2014

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