Color article beautifully done
Thank you so much for including blueberries in Donald Pszczola’s stunning piece on color in foods, “Portraits in Color” (January 2004, p. 42). It was totally fascinating and so beautifully done. I read a whole lot of stuff about the food world, and this piece is in a class by itself. Not only informative, not only innovative, not only ingeniously organized and presented, but a joy to behold as well. And we are so grateful for his deft and comprehensive handling of the blue-berry information [sent on behalf of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council]. We very much appreciate this amazing coverage.

—Jeannette Ferrary, Thomas J. Payne Market Development, San Francisco, Calif.

I enjoyed Don Pszczola’s Ingredients feature article, “Portraits in Color.” The article was well researched and gave an excellent snapshot of the coloring industry today. The art museum concept worked exceptionally well. I’m glad he was able to make use of the colorful photos we sent on behalf of D.D. Williamson and colorMaker. Thanks again for your consideration of our clients. Keep up the good work.

—Kerry DeMuth, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Schneider DeMuth Advertising, Inc., Louisville, Ky.

Editor’s note: Credit also goes to James J. Baran, Food Technology’s Design & Production Manager, for the overall design of the article.

Food Technology’s

Lignins and lignans
In the Nutraceuticals & Functional Foods section on pp. 71–75 of the February 2004 issue, Linda Milo Ohr mentioned flaxseed and our product LinumLife as a high source of lignins, particularly SDG. However, the natural compounds lignins and lignans should not be mixed up, although both compounds are formed by similar biosynthetic pathways in plants.

Lignans are chemically defined as a group of polyphenolic compounds formed by the union of two cinnamic acid residues. These compounds are widely distributed in the plant kingdom, and therefore we see them as common compounds in our diet. In the human body these plant lignans are converted into metabolites that can bind to specific receptors modifiying specific physiological processes as described in the article.

Lignins, however, are also very common compounds in plants and therefore in our diets. They are often regarded as a source of undigestible fiber. Lignins are highly polymeric structures, composed of a large variety of polyphenols. In the human body these fibers have shown to be rather inert, until recently. Lignins are suspected to function as a source of lignans for the human body (Gegum et al., 2004, J. Nutr. 134: 120-127).

LinumLife is a rich source of lignans, especially SDG, and we market it for its high concentration of lignan ingredients and not for its fiber function or activity.

—Petra de Wit, Marketing Communications Manager, Acatris Holding B.V., Giessen, The Netherlands

Incorrect Web site for recipes
I was most interested in the article on the 22nd annual Midwest Food Processing Conference, “Conference addresses product development, includes Culinary Challenge” (January 2004, p. 71), as that is my area of research. On p. 72, the article listed a Web site for downloading the recipes, results, etc., from this conference. However, the Web site given is for a Presbyterian Church in Ireland. I really would like to get the information from the conference, do you have other information or a different Web site? Thanks again for a great article.

 —Janice Boyce, International Center for Food Industry Excellence and Restaurant Hospitality and Institutional Management, Texas Tech University.

Editor’s note: The correct Web site is

Photos show improper sanitation
I couldn’t help but notice that not one of the people in the photos of the MFPC Culinary Challenge (January 2004, pp. 72–73) is wearing any head covering. I hope they washed their hands!

—A. Philip Handel, Associate Professor, Dept. of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.