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Features: Organic Foods Travel a Rocky Road

Organic foods have moved from the margins of the U.S. food industry to the mainstream. Nearly 90% of all retail food stores now sell organically produced items. Natural food retailers, such as Whole Foods Market, with 270 stores nationwide, have proliferated since the first Whole Foods opened in Austin, Texas, in 1980. Organic food is a big business, with sales expected to reach $27 billion this year. While still small compared to the overall $670 billion market, organic food has been the fastest-growing...

News: Study: Consumers Seek Food Safety Certification

A new study by Michigan State University’s Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources tracks emerging concerns about food safety among consumers. For the study, “Food Safety Certification: A Study of Food Safety in the U.S. Supply Chain,” more than 400 consumers and 75 food companies were surveyed. DNV, a provider of food safety certification services, sponsored the study.

News: U.S. Trade Partners Improving Produce Safety Standards

Five of the countries from which the U.S. receives the lion’s share of its produce imports have taken significant steps to modernize their food safety systems over the past several years, according to a report released in late September by the Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

News: Yogurt = Mayonnaise = $$$

Like turning lead into gold, making mayonnaise out of yogurt has presented scientists with some challenges. But unlike alchemists of old who failed to achieve transmutation, Utah State University doctoral candidates Subash Shrestha and Ranjeeta Wadhwani prevailed in their quest to produce a tasty, dairy-based sandwich spread. Their achievement netted them a $10,000 prize in the New Product Development Competition at the Idaho Milk Processors Association’s annual conference, held August 11-13 in Sun...

Features: Pest Control: Past and Present

In today’s climate of heightened food safety scrutiny, it is hard to believe that not so long ago, attitudes about what constituted a hygienic processing environment were very different. This is especially true for pest management practices. Only a little more than 70 years have passed since Congress enacted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FD&C Act), and a little more than 100 years ago, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle opened America’s eyes to what was happening in meat...

Features: Sustainability for the Long Haul

Sustainable manufacturing and processing, which reduces raw materials waste and minimizes refuse, is more than a passing trend for companies both large and small during this economic recession. As companies using such practices see it, sustainability attracts consumers. But more fundamentally, it is good for a business’s bottom line.

News: Developing Food for Earth and Space

Novel processes utilized in food safety programs at both the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Advanced Food Technology Project were discussed at the July 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago. Presented at the same symposium, two commonalities emerged for these seemingly disparate environments: The loss of personnel to foodborne illness may jeopardize a mission, and food...

News: Initial Reportable Food Registry Numbers Released

The initial findings of the Reportable Food Registry, presented via teleconference in late July, revealed 125 primary reports regarding incidents affecting food safety. “We’re putting out this report [now] so that the public can know what we’re learning,” said Michael R. Taylor, JD, Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Over time, we hope that this will build a body of information that can be useful for tracking trends and understanding...

News: Antibacterial Paper Could Extend Shelf Life

A new paper that inhibits the growth of bacteria in food products could extend product shelf life and protect consumers from bacteria-causing foodborne illnesses. Overcoming the concerns associated with earlier antibacterial materials, this paper is nontoxic, environmentally friendly, and low in cost. The relatively simple processing of this antibacterial material suggests it may be commercially viable for food packaging methods in the near future.

Features: Food Science Focus Evolves as Enrollment Thrives

In the 1980s, the microwave oven prompted the creation of new food products, and in the 1990s and early 2000s, consumers’ desire to prepare their food in seconds prompted the creation of off-the-shelf, ready-to-eat products. These trends demonstrate how food science has been influenced by the times.

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December/January 2015

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