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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.

Departments: Detect Pesticides With Mass Spec

More than once in my marriage—in fact, more than once in the last month—my significant other has presented me with a mysterious substance and asked, “Does this taste funny to you?” I generally decline these invitations to explore the unknown, not because I lack the courage, though that is true, but as someone with a science background, I feel I lack the proper instrumentation.

Departments: Routine, Reliable Mercury Screeing

Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in air, water and soil. It exists in three different forms, elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. Coal-burning power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions to the air caused by humans in the United States, accounting for more than 40% of all domestic anthropogenic mercury emissions.1 Additional mercury emission sources include the burning of hazardous waste, chlorine production, mercury product...

Departments: Accurate Testing of Complicated Food Matrices

Worldwide food safety concerns have risen dramatically as the number of food contamination incidents and product recalls has increased. Accurately monitoring contaminant levels in food and agricultural products is essential to assure the safety of the food supply and to manage human health risks.

Departments: Choose Your Toolbox

Numerous food contamination incidents in recent years have put food safety in the spotlight as never before. The obvious challenges of policing a global, interdependent food production network are prompting consumers to question food safety, governments to increase regulation, and food producers to search for new testing solutions. In light of public concern over food safety, heightened in particular by dioxins found in Irish pork and melamine found in infant formula made in China, government agencies and...

Features: Food Quality Jets Into the Future

Remember “The Jetsons?” The wildly popular animated series rocketed onto the primetime television scene on September 23, 1962. Set mainly in sky-high Orbit City, the captivating show featured George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, and Jane, his wife, living the life of an average family in the year 2062. Residing in Skypad Apartments and employing a lovable maid named Rosie the Robot, the Jetsons introduced impressionable Earthlings to a galaxy of futuristic flying space cars, instant...

Departments: LC/MS/MS Can Help Screen Cereal

Water-soluble vitamins, which are very polar, have poor retention on reverse phase columns. The presence of ion pair reagents such as heptafluorobutyric acid in the mobile phase has been shown to improve the separation and retention of these compounds. The drawback of using such ion pair reagents, however, is the high background levels generated inside the mass spectrometer (MS). Therefore, we have developed a rapid and sensitive method with ammonium formate in the mobile phase solvent using a column with...

Departments: Protein Determination in Cereals and Seeds

Cereals and seeds are significant components of the human diet and the principal part of feeding stock for domestic animals. One of the most important nutrients present in these is protein. Functioning as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, as well as transport and structural components, proteins are required for the body’s structure and proper function. In addition to its dietary importance, protein content has become a guideline for some cereal trade transactions as well as a means to assess...

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December/January 2015

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