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Features: Soda Showdown

Caramel coloring is often used to darken food products such as carbonated beverages and soy sauces. Recently, two byproducts of its manufacture—2- and 4-methylimidazoles (2-MI and 4-MI)—have come under scrutiny. Studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and other researchers concluded that there is clear evidence of the carcinogenicity of both chemicals. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) listed 4-MI as a carcinogen in January with a calculated...

Features: Beyond Just Testing

As food manufacturers and retailers grapple with an ever-growing list of food safety and quality compliance demands, they are looking for ways to better utilize their contract laboratories to help manage these additional compliance requirements.

Departments: Food Microbiology: How to Become a Quality Control Freak

Quality control in the food industry has a multitude of meanings. But the basic principal—to ensure sufficient quality—always remains the same.

Features: Here, Now, and Soon to Be: A Suite of Food Lab Innovations

It’s often said that the future is now, which may explain why so many people are unprepared for it.

News: The Obama Administration and Food Safety

Two years into it term, the Obama administration gets a solid grade of B for overall food safety from a range of interest groups that includes consumer advocates, growers, processors, and manufacturers. But consensus is lacking on specific efforts, such as the conducting inspections, since different groups are impacted very differently by these activities. For instance, consumers applaud more frequent testing of fresh produce, but growers complain that the process takes too long and can hold up and even...

Departments: Is Food Nanotech Withering on the Vine?

As recently as 2005, food manufacturing giants like Kraft Foods and Nestlé were touting the food science breakthroughs they expected to make using nanotechnology. At the time, anticipated innovations included tiny chemical tongues and noses to sense spoilage, smart foods that could change composition to suit the consumer, and delicious junk foods with the nutritional profile of broccoli. Kraft even organized a consortium of government and academic institutions, called the Nanotek Consortium, to...

News: Customers Will Pay More for Local Food

Not only are restaurant patrons willing to pay more for meals prepared with produce and meat from local providers, the proportion of customers preferring local meals actually increases when the price increases, according to a team of international researchers.

News: Study Finds Many Foodborne Illnesses Not Reported

Food safety problems can arise at any of multiple stages of food production, and illnesses that result from them are frequently not detected or reported, according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology.

News: E. coli thrives near plant roots

Escherichia coli can live for weeks around the roots of produce plants and transfer to the edible portions, but the threat can be minimized if growers don’t harvest too soon, a Purdue University study shows.

News: Chemicals in Food Wrappers Likely Migrating to Humans

University of Toronto scientists have found that chemicals used to line fast-food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags are migrating into food and being ingested by people where they are contributing to chemical contamination observed in blood.

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April/May 2014

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