12 January - 20 June 2016

Food Safety and Other News

9 September 2015

Peaks and valleys in baby spinach leaves could be a key reason why there have been numerous bacterial outbreaks involving leafy green vegetables

Engineers at the University of California have discovered that small valleys and peaks in baby spinach leaves could be the reason for the numerous bacterial outbreaks in leafy green vegetables. 

The researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering found that due to the varied typography of the spinach leaf, 15% of the leaf surface may only attain disinfectant rinse levels 1000 times lower than the target value. After the leaves are rinsed, the bacteria may continue to spread, grow and contaminate other leaves within the processing facility. The research found that 90% of the adhered bacteria remained on the surface of the leaf.

Researchers investigate how barley could be used to provide high levels of Vitamin E and other antioxidants at harvest and after storage

Researchers from the University of Adelaide are exploring different varieties of barley to find ones with higher levels of antioxidants and Vitamin E during harvest and after storage.

They will be producing pita bread with varying combinations of malt, flour and wholegrain (from different barley varieties). It is being analysed to see if the vitamin remains after being cooked. Several variations are already showing promise and it is hoped the concept can be applied to a range of other food products.

Rice gel developed to enhance the texture of processed foods

Researchers from Japan’s National Food Research Institute (NFRI) have developed a new substance that can be used for processing in the food industry. The “rice gel”, a jelly like substance, can serve as an alternative to wheat and will help people with an allergy to wheat.

The “rice gel” is produced from high amylose rice (used as an animal feed). The rice is cooked and churned at a high speed in the machine and produces a material with no specific smell or taste that resembles milk pudding. The product can be stored for a long period without being spoiled and can be used in a broad range of processed foods including confectionery and bread.

RSSL’s Product and Ingredient Innovation Team has considerable expertise in developing a wide range of food and drink products at a laboratory and pilot stage. Find out how we can help you.

The importance of oysters in the persistence and transmission of human NoVs in the environment

Research published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology has recognized oysters as a reservoir for noroviruses (NoVs).

The investigators analysed all oyster-related sequences deposited into the National Center for Biotechnology’s GenBank and Noronet outbreak database between the years 1983 and 2014. Genotyping and phylogenic analysis of the norovirus’s geographic distribution and genetic diversity was conducted and mapped.

The results of the study indicated that a majority of oyster-related NoV sequences occurred in coastal regions and countries and the number was unevenly distributed. More than 80% human NoV genotypes were detected. Overall, the findings suggest that oysters serve as an important viral transmitter of human NoVs.

Researchers discover how to reduce salt in bread by half without compromising its taste or texture

Researchers from the University of Alberta have reduced the salt content in sourdough bread by half without compromising on the texture or taste. This has been developed by using strains of lactic acid bacteria which produce higher levels of glutamate, a taste enhancer, during normal sourdough fermentation. It is hoped that this discovery may lead to the production of other breads with low salt and sugar content.

South African scientists create new beta carotene-rich sweet potatoes which holds promise to overcome Vitamin A deficiency

Scientists at the University of the Free State, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and the Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute in South Africa have developed new varieties of sweet potatoes richer in beta carotene that could offer a solution to overcome Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem in South Africa as well as within several other parts of the world. 

Simple-sequence repeat analysis (SSR) was used for testing 12 varieties of sweet potatoes for beta carotene content, cultivation and taste qualities. The Implio and Purple Sunset varieties showed to hold the strongest potential.

A 4.4-ounce (124.7g) serving of the Implio sweet potato provided 113% of daily Vitamin A requirement for a 4-8 year old whereas the Purple Sunset provided 261%. Both of these sweet potato varieties produced an average dry mass and acceptable taste.

Scientists extend the shelf life of milk with silver nanoparticles

Agrindus (a Brazilian agribusiness) have increased the shelf life of their grade A pasteurised fresh whole milk to 15 days from 7 days. Silver-based nanoparticles with antimicrobial, self-sterilising and bactericidal properties were incorporated into the plastic bottles used as packaging for the milk. There is no risk of contamination of the milk and the material is being brought to market.

This was successfully produced by Nanox, from the Centre for Research and Development of Functional Materials. 

We provide stability and shelf-life testing for raw ingredients and finished food products under a range of conditions, ensuring that you have full understanding of product changes and behaviour over time.

Researchers develop slower melting ice cream

A natural occurring protein, known as BsIA, that can confer a higher melting point to ice cream has been developed by scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Dundee. 

The new ingredient can bind together the air, water and fat in ice-cream to keep it frozen for longer in high temperatures as well as preventing the formation of gritty ice crystals to maintain a smooth texture. The ice cream made with the ingredient could be available in the next three to five years.

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