Cover story
Kaarin Goodburn, of the Chilled Food Association, and Edward Haynes, of Fera, look at the development of genome sequencing technologies and their potential uses in tracking food contamination micro-organisms. They consider technical, practical and policy issues to be resolved from a food perspective. Introduction Since the discoveries of the structure of DNA and the genetic code, the importance of understanding genetic variability and diversity in relation to the biological world has become clear.
News
Foodborne illness in the US

Campylobacter and Salmonella caused the most reported bacterial foodborne illnesses in the USA in 2016, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [2]. Numbers of reported illness associated with Campylobacter were 8,547 during the year, while for Salmonella there were 8,172. There were 24,029 reported foodborne infections, with 5,512 hospitalisations and 98 deaths.

Arsenic in baby foods

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have found that almost half of baby rice food products contain illegal levels of inorganic arsenic despite new regulations set by the EU[3].

In January 2016, the EU imposed a maximum limit of inorganic arsenic on manufacturers in a bid to mitigate associated health risks. Researchers at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s have found that despite the new law, 50% of baby rice food products still contain an illegal level of inorganic arsenic.

Decline in UK campylobacter cases

New figures from UK surveillance bodies show a 17% decline in the number of laboratory reports of human cases of campylobacter in 2016 [1]. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) estimates that there are 100,000 fewer human cases of campylobacter overall. Achieving this reduction is estimated to lead to a direct saving to the economy of over £13m in terms of fewer days off work and NHS costs.

Features

Protein & Amino Acid Claims: What's legal in the world of Food Law?

Protein is now the panacea for all health related foods. Yet despite its global growth showing no sign of a slow down and research publications up over 300%,[1] for those of us within the EU we have a number of limitations in what we can communicate to the consumer. This article written by Dr Mark Tallon provides an overview of what can be written about protein and its constituent amino acids on-pack following the repeal of PARNUTS. Market boom

Fuel cells power food operations

Sandra Curtin and Jennifer Gangi of the US Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association describe how fuel cells are providing power for a variety of food industry applications. Fuel cells produce energy through an electrochemical reaction that uses hydrogen. This combustion-free technology is available today to power a range of applications. With low-to-zero emissions, depending on fuel feedstock, and the additional benefits of high efficiency, reliability and scalability to any power need, fuel cells are now finding a niche powering various operations for food manufacturers.

Personalised nutrition

A collaborative European Union FP7 project, Food4Me, was one of the first to explore comprehensively the opportunities and challenges of personalised nutrition. Eileen Gibney and other project partners describe the key findings. Background



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