Quick cooling improves eggs
A rapid-cooling process for eggs developed by a Purdue University researcher can strengthen proteins and increase shelf life of the eggs.
Developed by Kevin Keener, a professor of food science at the university, the cooling process uses circulated carbon dioxide to stabilize the proteins in egg whites and create a thin layer of ice inside the egg’s shell to cool it from the inside within minutes. Since the proteins have been stabilized by the process, the eggs can be rated AA—the highest grade for eggs—for 12 weeks. Eggs cooled using current processes can be rated AA for only about 6 weeks, said Keener.
Eggs are placed in a cooling chamber where carbon dioxide gas at about -110°F is pumped. As the gas circulates around the eggs in the chamber, it helps to form a thin layer of ice inside the eggshells. After the treatment concludes, the ice layer melts and rapidly cools the egg’s internal temperature to less than 45°F so salmonella can no longer grow. The traditional method of cooling eggs involves putting the eggs at more than 100°F into cartons and then placing the cartons in refrigerated coolers. It can take almost six days to cool the eggs to 45°F, reported Keener.
The study, “Maximizing Carbon Dioxide Content of Shell Eggs by Rapid Cooling Treatment and Its Effect on Shell Egg Quality,” appeared in the June 2012 issue of Poultry Science.
Disney issues food advertising standards
The Walt Disney Co. has introduced new standards for food advertising targeted to children, becoming the first major media company to do this.
The company detailed the specifics of the plan at a June 2012 news conference with First Lady Michelle Obama, who has taken the lead in the current administration to encourage children and adults to eat healthfully and exercise more. She called the company’s plan “a game changer for the health of our children.”
The new standards stipulate that all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney’s television channels, radio stations, and websites will be required by 2015 to meet the company’s nutrition guidelines that are aligned to the federal standards of promoting fruit and vegetable consumption, limiting calories, and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. Disney will continue its efforts to offer more nutritious food and beverage options for children and to reduce the amount of sodium in children’s meals served at its U.S. parks and resorts, as well as continue to reduce sugar and sodium in its U.S. licensed foods.
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Seed may affect glucose tolerance
The seeds of the wild almond tree may hold the key to helping improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, reported researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.
The compound, sterculic oil, increased sensitivity to insulin and affected levels of Actinobacteria, Bacilli, and Erysipelotrichia, which live in the gut. A diet supplemented by sterculic oil correlated with lower levels of these microorganisms, and the researchers said that more research is needed to determine whether the lower levels of these microorganisms led to the improvement of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
The study, “Response of Gut Microbiota to Sterculic Oil Supplemented Diet in Lean and Obese Mice,” was presented at the 2012 American Society for Microbiology’s general meeting in June.
FDA enhances food registry
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently improved the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Rational Questionnaire by adding new data elements to help improve its ability to track patterns of adulteration in human food and animal feed.
The food industry must, and public health officials may, report to the electronic portal when they have information about a reportable food (food and feed for which there is a probability that the use of or exposure to these will cause serious adverse health conditions or death). Some of the additional information that can now be submitted includes the reason the food has been determined to be reportable and a description of what caused this; what the food or feed is and the dates on which it was manufactured; how it was determined that the food or feed was affected; if the food or feed has been removed from commerce; the steps being taken to ensure there is not a repeat offense; and more.
Currently, reporting the additional information is voluntary; it will become mandatory later this year. For more information, visit www.SafetyReporting.hhs.gov.
Milk ingredient boosts metabolism
An ingredient in milk may help to fight the “battle of the bulge” by targeting genes that benefit metabolism and longevity and the cofactor, NAD+, according to research published in Cell Metabolism.
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Nicotinamide riboside is naturally found in milk, and it functions as a NAD+ precursor to increase NAD+ levels. The researchers showed that the increased levels of NAD+ activated the genes SIRT1 and SIRT3, leading to enhanced oxidative metabolism and protection against the negative metabolic effects of high-fat feeding. They also found that nicotinamide riboside improved mitochondrial function and endurance performance. The researchers said that nicotinamide riboside as a supplement product may be most beneficial.
The study, “The NAD Precursor Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Oxidative Metabolism and Protects against High-fat Diet Induced Obesity,” appeared in the June 2012 issue of Cell Metabolism.
Nanoparticles aid film strength
Films made from cellulose nanocrystals have improved mechanical properties and water stability compared to traditional starch-based films, according to a study published in Journal of Food Science.
Starch-based plastics can be used in biodegradable packaging, but their low mechanical properties and inherent water sensitivity make these plastics challenging to use, especially in moist environments. They are also brittle. Scientists have incorporated inorganic nanoparticles to help improve the physical–mechanical properties, but this will not lead to a biodegradable material.
For this study, the researchers produced bionanocomposite films from cassava starch plasticized with sucrose and inverted sugar and then reinforced by cellulose nanocrystals at concentrations 0.1–5 wt%. Some of the results show that the addition of cellulose nanocrystals to the film decreases water activity linearly, achieving values less than 0.5 for cellulose nanocrystal concentrations more than 4 wt%. Concentrations of cellulose nanocrystals at 0.1–0.3 wt% increased the maximum tensile strength (more than 90%) and elastic modulus (more than 400%).
The study, “Cassava Starchbased Films Plasticized with Sucrose and Inverted Sugar and Reinforced with Cellulose Nanocrystals,” appeared in the June 2012 issue of Journal of Food Science.
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• AACC International has launched a redesigned website at www.aaccnet.org.
• Artiste is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
• Blue Marble Biomaterials’ flavor and fragrance facility in Missoula, Mont., is now kosher certified and food-grade compliant.
• Clif Bar & Co.’s headquarters in Emeryville, Calif., has been awarded LEED® Platinum certification.
• DuPont will invest more than $3 million over the next three years to help farmers in Ethiopia achieve food security.
• Fuchs North America has signed a multi-year agreement with The Nielsen Co. that gives it access to consumer buying market information from all scanned consumer packaged food categories.
• InstantLabs’ Salmonella Species Food Safety Test Kit has received Performance-tested Methods certification from AOAC Research Institute.
• Mérieux NutriSciences has launched a new corporate website at www.merieuxnutrisciences.com.
• NSF International and Carbonfund.org Foundation have partnered to offer CarbonFree® product certification and logos.
• Odem has completed the sale of its Tennessee Pride Sausage to ConAgra Foods.
• Pall Corp.’s GeneDisc® assays for Listeria have received Performance Tested Methods certification from the AOAC Research Institute.
• Q Laboratories has opened a new microbiology research and development lab facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.
• Robertet Flavors’ flavor manufacturing facility in Piscataway, N.J., has achieved Safe Quality Food 2000 Certification.
• Silliker Inc.’s microbiology laboratory in Lakeland, Fla., has received ISO 17025 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation.
• SunFed will use YottaMark’s HarvestMark traceability on its line of organic melons.
• TruSweets’ TruJoy Sweets™ brand has achieved Non-GMO Project verification.
• World Food Processing has acquired a soy protein isolate manufacturing plant from Kerry Flavors and Ingredients.