Black rice shows health potential
Nutritionists have touted brown rice as a much healthier alternative to white rice due to brown rice’s higher content of antioxidants and other nutrients. But black rice has potential to overtake brown rice as a nutritional powerhouse, reported scientists at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The researchers found that not only did black rice bran contain the same lipid-soluble antioxidants such as gamma-tocotrienol and gammaoryzanol as brown rice, but it contained much higher levels of water-soluble anthocyanin antioxidants than brown rice. They also noted that black rice had more anthocyanin antioxidants than some types of berries like blueberries and blackberries.

“Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants,” said Zhimin Xu, Associate Professor in the Dept. of Food Science at Louisiana State University, Professional Member of IFT, and one of the researchers. “If berries are used to boost health, why not black rice and black rice bran?” Black rice bran or the bran extracts could be included in many different food products as a cost-effective way to help consumers increase their consumption of antioxidants, added Xu.

Another finding on experiments conducted on black rice and black rice bran the researchers noted is that black rice bran extracts produce a range of different colors, from pink to black, that may function as naturally derived colorings for different food and beverage applications.

Improving food safety
Developing new methods to improve food safety is the goal of scientists at Purdue University.

Lisa Mauer, a Purdue associate professor of food science and a Member of IFT, used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to detect Escherichia coli in ground beef, taking only one hour to do so. This is less than the 48 hours required for conventional plating technology. Not only does the method detect E. coli, but it can differentiate between strains of E. coli O157:H7 and it can differentiate between living and dead E. coli cells. Read more about the study, “Detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from Ground Beef Using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy and Chemometrics,” in the August 2010 issue of Journal of Food Science.

Keepings eggs safe is the goal of a rapid egg cooling system developed by Kevin Keener, an associate professor of food science at Purdue and a Professional Member of IFT. Industry procedures to cool eggs to 45°F after they are laid can take as long as 6 days. The method Keener developed, which uses circulated carbon dioxide to create a thin layer of ice inside an egg’s shell to cool the inside of the egg, can take two to five minutes. Eggs are cooled to 45°F because that is the temperature at which Salmonella can no longer grow. Keener has a prototype of the system in his laboratory and is working to optimize the technology.

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Edible nanostructures
Most of the nanostructures called metal-organic framework (MOF) compounds are porous crystals made from nonrenewable petrochemical feedstocks and transition metals and are not for use in food products. But scientists have created new edible MOF compounds from food-grade ingredients that could be used in the food industry.

They linked γ-cyclodextrin—an oligosaccharide produced from starch—with potassium chloride, which is used to replace salt in food, grain alcohol, and other alkali ions to form the edible MOF compounds.

The inherent asymmetry of many nontoxic, biorenewable materials makes it difficult to synthesize porous crystals, but the scientists reported that the key to achieving porous crystals made from these materials is the structure of γ-cyclodextrin itself. The structure is a symmetrical cyclic arrangement with eight asymmetric α-1,4–linked D-glucopyranosyl residues.

The study, “Metal-Organic Frameworks from Edible Natural Products,” appeared online early in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.201002343.

Program highlights flavor research
Applications are being accepted for a flavor research program to help promote flavor research and aid Ph.D. students in Europe in preparation for work in the flavor industry.

The program is organized by Giract and sponsored by an industry consortium of nine companies, including DSM Food Specialties, Frutarom, Givaudan, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Kerry Ingredients & Flavors, Kikkoman, Lesaffre International, Nestlé, and Unilever.

For more information, visit

Ice cream sales are hot
Sales of ice cream show no sign of cooling off and are expected to reach $6.8 billion in 2010 in the United States, according to Mintel Global Market Navigator from market research firm Mintel. The report also showed that ice cream sales in the top five European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK) are £4.6 billion, up from £4.1 billion in 2008. Residents of Germany spend about £19 per person on ice cream products a year.

The Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD) examined the categories of new global ice cream product launches since spring 2010 and found that sales of premium ice cream lines were 9% of total intros and economy lines were 4% of total intros. Of all the global ice cream product launches, 13% made a “no additives/preservatives” claim. This marks a change from past “healthier” ice cream products in which fat, sugar, or calories were reduced.

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Ice cream manufacturers are using more eco-friendly or recyclable materials with 13% of ice cream products making an environmentally friendly packaging claim, a 6% increase from 2009, according to GNPD.

What are the most popular flavors in the United States and the five European countries? If you guessed vanilla and chocolate, you are correct. Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in the U.S., with 11% of ice cream product launches in 2009. Chocolate is second with 8%. And chocolate is the most popular ice cream flavor in the five European countries analyzed in the GNPD.

Safe, acceptable beef patties
Foodservice operators can improve food safety of ground beef patties and still serve products that are acceptable to consumers. Surface cooking the patties, cooking them in a marinade, and then holding them in the same heated marinade allowed the patties to reach a safe internal temperature without overcooking them, according to researchers at Utah State University.

They grilled the patties using high heat to develop browning and then finished cooking them to an internal temperature of 69°C in a water-based marinade that contained 0.75% (w/v) of salt and 0.3% (w/v) of powdered caramel color concentrate. They kept the patties submerged in the same marinade maintained at 61°C–62°C for up to four hours with minimal loss of quality. The researchers experimented with different cooking methods and hold times, and this was the most successful approach.

The study, “Process Optimization and Consumer Acceptability of Salted Ground Beef Patties Cooked and Held Hot in Flavored Marinade,” appeared online early in Journal of Food Science, doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01728.x.

Reducing Salmonella in peanut butter
Peanut butter is widely consumed in the United States and is used as an ingredient in foods such as confections, bakery, and ice cream. In recent years, there have been multi-state outbreaks of Salmonella serotypes Typhimurium and Tennessee linked to the consumption of peanut butter and foods made from peanut butter. These outbreaks linked to such a popular food are prompting researchers to investigate methods to reduce Salmonella.

One method is electron beam (e-beam) irradiation. While populations of Salmonella serotypes Typhimurium and Tennessee in peanut butter were significantly reduced after exposure to e-beam irradiation, remaining cells that were not injured as a result of the irradiation were able to survive, according to researchers at West Virginia University. They inoculated peanut butter with the Salmonella serotypes and exposed the peanut butter to e-beam doses that ranged from 0 to 3.1 kGy.

The study, “Recovery of Salmonella enterica Serovars Typhimurium and Tennessee in Peanut Butter after Electron Beam Exposure,” appeared online early in Journal of Food Science, doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01729.x.

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What’s new with food companies
AB Enzymes has named The Ingredients Co. the sole distributor in the U.S. and Canadian markets for Veron® baking enzymes.

Ajinomoto’s AjiGRAS-Leucine has received Food and Drug Administration GRAS status.

Choice Organic Teas has earned non-GMOProject Verification.

Comax Flavors has enhanced its website to support its recent branding renovation at

CP Kelco plans to expand its pectin facility in Lille Skensved, Denmark.

• For the fifth year in a row, the National Association for Business Resources has named FONA International one of “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.”

Ocean Nutrition Canada will supply its MEG-3® omega-3 ingredients for exclusive use in Oxford Nutrascience’s confectionery chews sold in the European Union.

PureCircle has begun processing stevia leaves sourced from Kenya and Paraguay.

R&F Laboratories has received ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation through the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation.

SensoryEffects has acquired the liquid vitamin ingredient business for the fortification of dairy products from Cargill Inc.

Stratum Nutrition’s parent company, Novus International Inc., has acquired IQF Group.

by Karen Nachay,
Associate Editor
[email protected]