Pulling the Plum on MicrobesA study on the effectiveness of dried plums as a food safety ingredient, conducted by Daniel Fung, Ph. D., has shown that dried plum puree can be used as an effective microbe inhibitor in ground meat products. Using a 3% level, by weight, of dried plum puree, Fung has registered up to a 99% kill rate against pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella in ground meats. The plums provide a natural means to control the growth of food pathogens.
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Measures Lots of LiquidsViscosity can be measured with an ultra-compact viscometer that can be used in clear, dark and opaque light-scattering liquids (ASTM D445 and ISP 12058). The Grabner Minivis II produces reliable data for a wide range of products, including flavors, beverages and other items. The applicable temperature range is between 32° and 212° F, and features a testing range of 0.2 to 1500 mPas (cSt). The machine is fully automatic, works quickly and requires a small sample of only 0.4 mL.
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A Whey Better StabilizerScientists at the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, have developed a whey protein-derived hydrocolloid, offering the functionality of other carbohydrate-based hydrocolloids. It was developed as an alternative to starches and gums. The recently patented whey protein polymer is dried into a powder form and instantly gels on contact with hot or cold liquids. It maintains its viscosity over time, within a broad pH range of four through eight, and a temperature range of 5° C to 90° C. The experimental project is funded by America's dairy farmers through Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).
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Software Simplifies Ingredient LabelsA new software that simplifies the creation of ingredient statements has been introduced. The Genesis R&D version 7.0, ESHA Research, incorporates the USDA Standard Release 14, as well as extensive information for manufacturers of food products and ingredients. This version also adds nutrient data for Folate-DFE, vitamin E-alpha tocopherol, and vitamin A-RAE. New labeling enhancements simplify the creation of an ingredient statement for a Nutrition Facts panel.
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Saving Precious SpaceAlfredo sauce is a versatile, cream-based product that can be used in many Italian dishes as well as in appetizers, soups, entrees and side dishes. It blends well with a variety of ingredients and can be further seasoned with strong or subtle flavors. Land O'Lakes has introduced its popular Alfredo Sauce in a 64 oz. shelf-stable pouch, allowing foodservice operators to save freezer space. The sauce has no aftertaste and does not break down, separate or curdle. Additionally, it is available in #10 cans.
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Choline Content ClaimsCholine has been linked to better memory, heart health, liver function, reproductive health and other health benefits. Lecithin, a preferred choline source, allows the body to effectively process lecithin. Choline is primarily derived from soy lecithin, found in soybeans. The FDA's recent decision to allow nutrient content claims for choline will spur new choline-containing products, which must have 55mg of choline per serving to qualify for the “good source of choline” label claim. At 110mg per serving, a product is allowed to make an “excellent source of choline” claim. Central Soya, Fort Wayne, Ind., a global manufacturer of specialty soy-based ingredients, has sponsored nutritional research on choline and human health
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Turkey TriviaThe National Turkey Federation is offering its Turkey Foodservice Manual as a resource for the latest insights into turkey processing, handling, and preparation, on its website, www.eatturkey.com. The site offers the latest information on subjects such as the variety of turkey products available, and creative ways to produce, process and prepare the bird. The online manual is largely funded by the North Dakota Turkey Federation, Washington, D.C., and includes eight major sections: purchasing, products and parts, storage and thawing, preparation, serving and presentation, promoting turkey, safe food handling and nutrition. Additionally, a glossary of terms is available.
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U.K. Withdraws Kava VoluntarilyAfter reports of people suffering liver failure and one death, in Europe, the FDA is investigating the possibility that kava-kava, a supplement believed to promote good sleep and offer stress relief, may damage the liver. The incidents were focused in Germany and Switzerland, but Britian's Medicines Control Agency negotiated with herbal food industry organizations for a voluntary kava withdrawal there last month. According to an article on the webmd.com site, the kava industry is worth $17 million in the U.S.
Falling DownA study suggests that too much vitamin A may increase the incidence of hip fractures in older women. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month, suggests that elevated levels of vitamin A compromise the role vitamin D plays in helping the body to absorb calcium. Further evidence indicates that vitamin A affects cells crucial to bone remodeling. The adverse reactions seem to be the result of excess retinol (a pure form of vitamin A), found in foods such as liver, fish, oils and supplements. Foods rich in beta carotene, found in dark, leafy vegetables, did not appear to be problematic, as the body converts beta carotene to vitamin A as needed. The study consisted of 70,000 postmenopausal women nurses, aged 34 to 77 years old. Researchers agree that more study is necessary.
A New GMO TestThe DNA analysis of genetically modified organisms is conducted in a few specialized labs, due to its cost and complexity. A superior GMO detection program, GMO Platinum Assay(TM), offered by Eurofins Scientific, allows processors to more reliably conclude whether food products and raw materials, such as corn, soya, starch, lecithin, rapeseed, and other items, contain GMOs. The assay is sensitive enough to find very low GMO DNA—single DNA copy numbers. The new technology will significantly reduce false positives, which can sometimes occur when analyzing plants containing genetic sequences similar to those of modified sequences. Additionally, it saves costs by being highly reliable and specific.
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The resources of TPC Labs, St. Paul, and Medallion Labs, Minneapolis providers of analytical services, have been combined as a result of General Mills' acquisition of The Pillsbury Company. TPC was previously owned by Pillsbury and will now be known as Medallion Laboratories. The new, larger Medallion Laboratories offers more experience in the areas of microscopy, package testing, special projects and problem solving, as well as improved capacity in chemistry, nutritional labeling and microbiology.
The Braes Group, London, a rapidly-growing natural food ingredients company, has acquired Overseal Foods, the U.K.'s leading supplier of natural colors for the food and beverage industry. The Braes Group has a range of natural and fruit vegetable powders, which include organics, pectins, top notes, yeasts and multifunctional synergists.
Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill., is continuing its commitment to economic and community development by formally initiating a companywide supplier diversity program. Participants in the program include minority-owned, women-owned, disabled veteran-owned and HUB Zone-located enterprises. The company hopes to establish a more diverse supplier base, and to enhance strategic partnerships with large customers who also support supplier diversity.
Paramount Farms, Los Angeles, a subsidiary of Roll International, has acquired HomaCompany, Parsippany, N.J, a leading processor and distributor of nuts and dried fruit, primarily pistachios. The largest processor of pistachios and almonds in the U.S., Paramount will continue to operate Homa's processing facilities in Cal. and N.J., as well as Homa's dried fruit business. Paramount markets many of its products under the Sunkist brand.
Givaudan SA, Vernier, has signed an agreement with Nestle SA, Vevey, to acquire its flavor activities, operating under the umbrella of Food Ingredients Specialties (FIS). This business represents a strategically important operational fit for Givaudan and combines its strength in sweet and concentrated flavors with FIS's expertise in savory flavors and base notes.
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