For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. Despite the numerous pesticides that have been developed to combat pests and pathogens, they somehow adapt and become immune. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.
Aspergillus fungi are a group of molds that can wreak havoc in a variety of environments, including agriculture. Interested in finding ways to prevent Aspergillus from reproducing in clinical settings, scientists at the University of Bath conducted a study on Aspergillus nidulans, a food mold that closely mimics an Aspergillus species that is problematic to immunocompromised individuals. The researchers determined that the mechanisms through which Aspergillus nidulans reproduces—G-protein coupled receptors—require specific conditions to allow reproduction and toxin production: food and lighting. In essence, without sugar and darkness, the G-protein coupled receptors of Aspergillus nidulans refuse to reproduce sexually.
Aspergillus fungi reproduce sexually by producing spores and exchanging them with each other, creating hearty, genetically diverse offspring that have a much better chance of acclimating to new environments and evolving to resist antifungal efforts. Aspergillus fungi can also produce asexually, but asexually produced spores are not as successful at adapting to antifungal methods.
The study’s scientists believe their findings will have positive implications for improving crop development and agricultural antifungal compounds as well as clinical research.
In this podcast, we discuss food safety culture, including how food safety culture is established, measured, and how they are expected to change in light of ongoing advancements in food science and policy. Our guests include Hugo Gutierrez, Global Food Safety and Quality Officer for Kerry, and Bob Gravani, Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Director Emeritus of the National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program at Cornell University.
Before the emergence of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, one of the biggest complaints of busy individuals was not having time to prepare and cook balanced meals. A new appliance shows promise in solving that problem—for those who can afford it.
The durian fruit stinks. Literally. The fruit from Southeast Asia is said to at best smell like rotten onions. Now, new research has found that an amino acid plays a role in giving the durian fruit its notorious smell.
For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.
IFT President Vickie Kloeris previews the 2022 IFT FIRST annual event and expo.
Meet six winners of the inaugural Seeding the Future Global Food System Challenge, a new initiative that invests in organizations that deliver creative, sustainable solutions with the potential to transform the global food system.
This column offers information about developing sustainable food packaging and food packaging challenges and research opportunities.
This column offers information about microbial safety research on preventing foodborne illness outbreaks associated with fresh produce, focusing on sanitation, plant-derived antimicrobial compounds, and the use of surrogate bacteria.
Olam International, in partnership with Agropolis Fondation, has launched the fourth biennial Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security, an award seeking ground-breaking scientific research that can deliver transformational impacts within global agriculture.
The FDA, along with the CDC and state and local partners, continue to investigate a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections potentially linked to Aldi, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco grocery store brand “garden salads” containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots.
According to the 2020 Organic Industry Survey released by the Organic Trade Association, U.S. organic food sales hit $50.1 billion, up 4.6% from the previous year.
In a study conducted by Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab, around half of UK children who received free school meal vouchers are reporting a significant drop in their intake of fruit and vegetables since schools closed in March.
A just-released report from the nonprofit group Forum for the Future highlights ways in which regenerative agriculture can help make the food system more resilient.