12 January - 20 June 2016

Food Safety and Other News

17 December 2014

Audits are no full defence for food firms at the centre of food safety incidents.

At a recent food and drink conference run by Eversheds, David Young, Partner and Head of its Health and Safety team warned that regular audits don’t protect food firms at the centre of food safety incidents from facing substantial damage.

Implications of food information regulation errors

The new EU Food information Regulation (FIR) came into force on 13th December 2014. It changed the existing legislation on labelling to include:

  • Mandatory nutrition information on processed foods
  • Mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry
  • Highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients;
  • Better legibility i.e. minimum size of text;
  • Requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.

RSSL offers analysis of food allergens.

Does fruit cake last forever? 

Food experts have advised that fruit cakes have a longer use-by-date than has been specified by their labelling guidelines.  Dr Ben Chapman, a food safety researcher at North Carolina State University claims that “due to the dried and candied ingredients, fruit cakes have low water activity – meaning there is very little moisture available for microorganisms to reproduce”.   

Though it may last longer; the taste may not be great as things like yeast causing some of the sugars to ferment can affect the taste of the fruitcake. Dry fruits are very safe and food contamination is a very low concern as mould does not like sugar. [Daily Mail] [The Grocer]

We have a skilled team of food technology specialists who can undertake all aspects of food product development; concept ideation, formulation optimisation, pilot trials and product evaluations through to commercialisation. 

European Commission’s food and diet priority areas 

Supporting the move towards individualised diets; four research areas were identified within the report titled “Tomorrow’s healthy society – research priorities for food and diets” prepared by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and funded by the Horizon 2020 project.  

The study specified that our future diet will be tailored to individual needs and research should focus on creating the necessary underpinning knowledge while defining the framework, risks and benefits of individualised dietary advice.  The European Commission showed the need for a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to make foods and diets healthier.  

It is advised that effective policies are identified as a major area where more research is need to support the development of future-proof food systems and science-based tools and methodologies are needed to translate scientific evidence into easy to understand dietary guidelines.  

The report was based on a study, which involved 40 experts and stakeholders with a broad range of backgrounds and focused on the provision and consumption of healthy diets before 2050. Four scenarios were developed to identify and priorities research. The findings included the need to:

  •  Support the move towards individualised diets
  •  Ensure the sustainability of the future food system
  •  Improving our understanding of links between food, nutrients and health 
  •  Focusing on integrated policy making.

2015 food trends

Market research firm Canadean has released their top five food trends which will influence consumer behaviour in 2015 and allow food manufacturers to utilise changing demands.

They suggest that food manufacturing will become more personalised as consumers will increasingly want to see products created on a smaller scale across the FMCG market to see the quality and the care in which it was formulated.

Canadean predicts that consumers will be increasingly concerned about unhealthy ingredients such as sugar following the introduction of stevia into many popular products through 2014.  An increased amount of ‘better-for-you’ offerings will emerge with healthier and natural alternatives. 

The trend for hot and spicier food will continue as manufacturers will look into replicating popular heat trends from the catering industry to satisfy growing consumer needs and spicier ingredients will be incorporated within meat, dairy and snacks.

Canadean claim consumers will also look for new and existing products which look to mix their favourite flavours to create new products such as amaretto cider and chocolate flavoured wine and manufacturers will continue to innovate with new ingredients.

Finally, the increased popularity of products means more manufacturers will have to create innovative packaging that draws consumers’ attention. Haptics will help enhance the sensory experience while matt finishing and the feel of the product will denote quality and superiority.  [Confectionery News] [Food Manufacture]

At RSSL, our highly experienced product and ingredient innovation team have the creativity, skills and specialist knowledge of ingredients and processes to help you formulate a winning product.


New MRSA killing peptide discovered

Biotechnology company, Nuritas has recently announced that it is has discovered an MRSA killing peptide which is anticipated to provide a natural, healthy innovation in the fight against antibiotic resistance infections in both humans and animals.Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium commonly found in the nose and/or skin of healthy persons and animals.

Strains of this bacterium that are resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics are called Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). If this bacterium penetrates the skin and enters the blood stream it can cause life-threatening infections due to its resistance to many of the currently used antibiotics.The inappropriate use of antibiotics in human treatments and animal production has contributed to antibiotic resistance, allowing bacterium such as Staphylococcus aureus to continue to evolve. 

Nuritas’ ground-breaking technology is capable of quickly and cost-effectively harvesting ingredients which then may be developed and safely supplied to humans and animals producers for many different applications from topical applications to effective cleaning biocides.  


Nanotechnology improves food safety and preparation

Research from Helmut Kaser Consultancy has found that the nanofood market has increased from a value of USD5.3bn in 2005 and is expected to soar to USD20.4bn in 2015.

The findings show that the application of nanotechnologies to standard ingredients such as salt, fat and biopolymers to produce foods should not pose any danger as it is thought that they will be broken down in the usual way. Kaser Consultancy suggests that this needs to be emphasised to the media and consumers so the development of new food benefiting from nanotechnologies can proceed. 

Carmen Moraru, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University claims that the ability to manipulate particles 100,000 times smaller than a strand of hair could improve the food safety and preparation and offer significant opportunities for developing pathogen-resistant surfaces that could reduce the transmission of food borne illness via packaging.


Preparing EFSA for the next generation of GMOs

The EFSA have released a report about the international scientific workshop in 2014 to discuss the potential risks associated with ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) – based genetically modified (GM) plants and to identify issues unique to their risk assessment. The workshop drew over 100 scientists and assessment experts from academia, risk assessment bodies, non-government organisations and the private sector with the hope to lead to the development of the next generation of GMO’s. 

Over the two days, specialists from four continents shared expertise and debated the latest science on RNAi in plants, mammals and invertebrates, explored current and future RNAi applications and evaluated risk assessment considerations in light of the development of the technique. RNAi represented an important biological mechanism that will be used to achieve pest resistance in next generation of genetically modified plants. 

We offer qualitative and real-time quantitative analytical services for GM soya and maize in raw materials and finished products.

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RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

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