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Features: Testing Olive Oil Authenticity

Notice was given in the April 28, 2010, Federal Register that on October 25, 2010, revised U.S. standards for grades of olive oil and olive-pomace oil will become effective, replacing the first edition of the U.S. grade standards, which have been in force since March 22, 1948.

Features: Seven Keys to an Effective Contract Lab

Selecting a third party analytical laboratory is difficult. The stakes are high when you rely on a third party for analytical results. Accordingly, this choice should be heavily supported by your organization. There are seven key factors to consider when selecting the appropriate third-party laboratory…

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...

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...

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...

Departments: Moisture Content Analysis

Like many products, nuts have a moisture content (MC) “sweet spot” where they’re dry enough to meet customer quality specs but not so dry that they break during shipment. To check quality reliably as the nuts are processed, shipped, stored, and used as ingredients, manufacturers need a moisture method that is…

Departments: Smaller, Stronger, Faster Labs

In these non-Dickensian times, the availability of food is not as much of an issue as concerns about food safety. Food is pouring in from all over the world, but ensuring its safety is a complex task. Food safety is inherently bound up in issues related to time, such as how long it takes to detect a problem or contaminant. And because time is money, there’s money to be made—or granted—in exploring the future of rapid detection.

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