Flour may not be the first product that comes to mind when you think foodborne illness, but the threat of flour contamination by pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella is real. Concerns about the presence of pathogens prompted a number of flour recalls in 2019, including recalls of products sold under such well-known labels as Pillsbury and King Arthur.
A Toronto-based company called Agri-Neo has announced the availability of an organic, nonthermal technology designed to achieve microbial reduction greater than 99.9% in flour. The novel new technology, which is called Neo-Temper, offers millers an alternative to heat treatment of flour. Heat treatment is not considered an optimal approach because of its cost and the fact that it adds extra steps to the milling process and can degrade the quality of flour.
With Neo-Temper, an organic liquid solution is mixed with water deployed during the tempering process of flour milling. This technique destroys pathogens on the surface of wheat kernels and in cracks and crevices that may harbor pathogens. Because the process does not use heat, it preserves flour’s nutritional content and functionality. In addition, the liquid solution later biodegrades, which means that it is considered a processing aid by regulators, and no product labeling is required.
“Flour is a top three food staple in our daily lives, yet to date the industry has not had a commercially viable solution to address the recurring number of flour recalls we are seeing due to E. coli and Salmonella contamination within this highly consumed ingredient,” says Rob Wong, president of Agri-Neo.
The company has completed four commercial validations of Neo-Temper in flour mills in the United States and Canada and reports that it has a waiting list of North American companies interested in utilizing the process.
A team of MIT researchers has come up with a new approach to fortifying foods by encapsulating micronutrients such as iron and vitamin A—a strategy that they hope will help fight malnutrition in the developing world.
Food scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have demonstrated that an easy-to-use mathematical model can help NASA (U.S. space agency) quickly measure the nutrient levels in foods prepared for astronauts.
A nonstick wrap that repels bacteria has potentially valuable food packaging applications, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Canada who developed it.
With concerns over contaminated seafood and the environmental cost of beef production, it is no wonder that startups are popping up with a slew of alternatives. However, until recently, innovation in the pork alternatives segment has lagged.
On January 17, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue proposed two rules that would further roll back the Obama administration’s school lunch reforms.
Research scientists at Texas A&M have discovered that insects wounds on the leaves of fruit and vegetable crops may create stress responses and cause the plant to produce more antioxidants prior to harvest.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating walnuts daily as part of a healthy diet may increase certain bacteria in the gut that can help promote health.
A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Care explores the associations of tea consumption with the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and all-cause mortality in more than 100,000 Chinese adults.