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Researchers with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service used soybean oil with 0.05% and 0.5% of an antioxidant called EPT-OILShield and untreated soybean oil (control) for intermittent batch frying of tortilla chips at 180°C for up to 65 hr. Each 50-g batch of tortilla chips was fried for 90 sec at 180°C ± 2°C in a 2-L capacity fryer containing 1,200 g of oil initially. Oil and chip samples were collected every 5 hr. Fresh make-up oil (60 g) was added every 5 hr after the oil and chip samples were collected. Then the chips were aged for up to 4 mo at 25°C and evaluated for rancid flavor by a 15-member, trained, experienced analytical sensory panel and for hexanal content as an indicator of oxidation.
The chips fried in the oil containing 0.05% of the antioxidant had significantly less free fatty acids and total polar compounds than chips fried in the control. The researchers also reported that in tortilla chips fried in oils used for 25, 45, or 65 hr, the intensity of rancid flavor was significantly lower in chips fried in oil with 0.05% of the antioxidant than in the control or the oil with 0.5% of the antioxidant.
The study, "High-Temperature Natural Antioxidant Improves Soy Oil for Frying," was published in the August 2009 issue of Journal of Food Science.
New ISU lab evaluates pathogens
Iowa State University has opened a new laboratory to provide quick identification of antimicrobial and prebiotic compounds for researchers working on preventing food spoilage, improving food quality, controlling foodborne pathogens, or enhancing growth of spoilage bacteria.
Dubbed the Discovery Lab, the facility operates two Bioscreen C Growth Curve units to perform automated growth curve determinations of aerobic or anaerobic microbes under a variety of conditions. Researchers can evaluate a variety of foodborne pathogens and bacteria as well as selected yeasts and molds.
The lab also includes a Bioscreen unit mounted in an anaerobic chamber that allows scientists to study anaerobes, including probiotics and ruminant bacteria.
"This is important from a food safety standpoint, because some anaerobic bacteria are responsible for outbreaks of food poisoning," said Bill Colonna, Assistant Scientist in the Discovery Lab. "It also allows for improved detection methods for organisms like Clostridium perfringens—an anaerobe that is a common cause of foodborne disease."
For more information, visit www.ccur.iastate.edu/facilities/discovery.html.
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Coating may upgrade fish fillets
A newly developed edible coating promises to make fish fillets longer-lasting and potentially even healthier.
Scientists at Oregon State University coated fish fillets with a liquid coating made from chitosan and fish oil and found that the coating tripled the omega-3 fatty acids in refrigerated and frozen samples of fish compared with fish that was not coated. In addition to this, the coating reduced lipid oxidation in the refrigerated and frozen samples, kept the fish moist as it thawed, delayed the growth of microorganisms in fresh fillets, prevented growth of microorganisms in frozen fillets, and did not affect the color of the fillets.
"With this coating, you can easily keep the fillets in the display case for two to three more days," said Yanyun Zhao, a professor at the university and the lead researcher in the study.
The researchers plan to conduct taste tests on the treated fillets. They received funding from the Oregon Innovation Council through the Community Seafood Initiative.
The study, "Quality Enhancement in Fresh and Frozen Lingcod (Ophiodon elongates) Fillets by Employment of Fish Oil Incorporated Chitosan Coatings," was published online early in Food Chemistry, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.06.055.
Batter decreases oil uptake
A rice batter product said to absorb up to 50% less cooking oil than traditional batters is now being marketed by a Maryland company under an exclusive license from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The batter, which is being sold by CrispTek LLC, Columbia, Md., was developed by ARS chemists Fred F. Shih and biochemist Kim W. Daigle.
Battered and fried foods are quite popular with consumers, but the high oil uptake from some batters is thought to contribute to health problems like overweight and obesity. The batter developed by ARS is made from long-grain rice flourb�14;which absorbs less oil than batters made with other types of floursb�14;and small amounts of other specially modified rice ingredients. It was found to absorb only about half as much oil during frying than wheat batters.
The dry batter, called ChoiceBatter, can be mixed with water and used to coat foods before frying. CrispTek received funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corp. The batter was developed as part of the ARS National Research Program, "Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products." The program covers a variety of projects, including ones to develop value-added food products and processes.
Hsieh to develop immunoassays
Food processors often rely on food-testing methods such as paper-strip field tests and laboratory assays to ensure food safety, among other things. Yun- Hwa Peggy Hsieh, a leading food science researcher, Distinguished Professor at Florida State University, and a Professional Member of IFT, has begun work to develop two improved immunoassays for commercial use on both raw and processed food products.
One test will be able to detect fish allergens, particularly mislabeled or undeclared fish byproducts, which is important because 6 million Americans are allergic to seafood, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. The other test will detect traces of pork fat. Billions of Muslims and millions of Jews who follow halal and kosher dietary laws are forbidden to consume pork.
"I previously developed a rapid pork immunoassay that can sensitively detect any pork muscle in food and feed mixtures regardless of their processing conditions," said Hsieh. "This assay was commercialized in 2000 and has been widely used internationally. However, detection of pork fat remains challenging due to the physiochemical nature of the fat. Currently available methods all require sophisticated instruments coupled with complex data analysis procedures for interpreting results. Rapid field tests of pork or any other fat are nonexistent."
Hsieh will complete these projects using $500,000 in grants from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and Tanaka Kikinzoku Group of Japan.
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Natural antimicrobials offer benefits
Many consumers are demanding foods made with naturally derived ingredients, and scientists are researching ways to develop the most effective of these ingredients.
Researchers at the University of Lleida in Spain conducted an extensive review of the effectiveness of naturally derived antimicrobials of animal, plant, and microbial origin that are directly or indirectly added to fresh-cut fruits and fruit juices. They found that the naturally derived antimicrobials can be quite successful at inhibiting pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, which is useful information for product developers looking to replace synthetic preservatives.
The researchers did note, however, that the extraction and purification of some naturally derived antimicrobials can be difficult and expensive and that adding these antimicrobials may adversely affect the sensory characteristics of the finished products to which they are added. Because of these limits to the usage of naturally derived antimicrobials, the researchers conclude that more research is needed, especially sensory evaluation.
The study, "Control of Pathogenic and Spoilage Microorganisms in Fresh-cut Fruits and Fruit Juices by Traditional and Alternative Natural Antimicrobials," was published in the July 2009 issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
• Cognitive Drug Research Ltd. and Provident Clinical Research & Consulting Inc. have partnered to provide clinical trial services to evaluate the cognitive effects of functional foods, food additives, consumer health products, and dietary supplements.
• Diehl Food Ingredients has acquired the emulsified powders and nondairy creamer business from ACH Food Companies.
• Frutarom Industries Ltd. has acquired the savory activity and assets of Chr. Hansen A/S.
• MGP Ingredients Inc.'s manufacturing site in Atchison, Kan., received International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 certifications.
• Monsanto Co. and Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. will collaborate to develop new vegetable products through plant breeding methods. The companies plan to improve the nutrition, flavor, color, texture, taste, and aroma of broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and spinach. Any new products developed as a result of this effort could be commercialized by Dole in North America.