May 2017

  Monthly archive

Aptamers and their future impact on food analysis

The concept of aptamers has been around since the early 1990s and has since attracted a lot of attention of research groups globally.

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.

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.

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]. FoodNet, which collects data on 15% of the US population, reported that illnesses 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.

Food evolution – the movie

As part of the programme for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 75-year anniversary, IFT commissioned and funded Food Evolution, a documentary which addresses the use of sound science in our global food system, looking specifically at the polarised debate over genetically-modified foods.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated Scott Hamilton Kennedy and narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Food Evolution shows how easily fear and misinformation can overwhelm objective, evidence-based analysis.

Food donation service

TAAP, a supplier of mobile software applications for tablets and smartphones, has developed a Food Surplus Application to assist with the donation of surplus food in the retail sector to charities[4]. It is currently being deployed by Tesco in its UK stores and integrates with systems from Tesco partners – FoodCloud and FareShare.

Food research in South Korea

Campden BRI has been awarded a contract (>£0.5m) for a joint, three-year food research programme in South Korea with the Korea National Food Cluster (FOODPOLIS) and Dongguk University.

The contract, funded by the South Korean government, aims to enhance food safety,quality and product innovation.

Campden BRI will be working in three key areas: advanced analytical methods for non-targeted chemical screening, analytical methods for difficult to measure components and the commercial exploitation of insects as a source of high quality proteins.

Industry survey - Campden BRI

Campden BRI has carried out an industry survey to better understand industry’s attitudes to innovation[5]. The innovation survey received 126 responses from a wide range of sectors, including ambient groceries, baked products, beers, wines and spirits, prepared convenience foods and retailers. The responses represent a cross section of industry from multinationals (39%) and large companies (19%) to mediumsized companies (25%), small companies (17%) and start-ups (<1%). The key findings are:

New IFST President

David Gregory is the new President of the IFST. He was invested during IFST’s AGM on 14 March 2017.

Of his appointment, David said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to be elected President of the IFST. The Institute is the Voice of the Food Profession and provides the resources for our members to develop their professional careers in this exciting industry. I’m looking forward to working with the committed volunteers, staff and the whole IFST membership to further develop this important organisation.’

IFST Member Survey results out

In spring 2016, we carried out a Member Survey to ensure that we are able to continuously improve on IFST’s offering. This was an ideal opportunity for members to have their say about what we do and help us to continue to build on and deliver those services and resources that are of most benefit to members and the wider food science community.

New IFST information update

IFST has updated its Information Statements on Acrylamide in Food, Fresh Produce Safety and Cyclospora. IFST Information Statements summarise the authoritative and impartial science behind key food science issues and are peer-reviewed by IFST’s Scientific Committee.

IFST Young Ambassadors 2017

We are pleased to announce that Adalaide Barwood (Coventry University), Gaurav Pankaj Choraria (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Hristina Fileva Georgieva (Abertay University), Fern Lough (London Metropolitan University) and Nicola McNeice (Queens University Belfast) have been nominated as IFST Young Ambassadors 2017.

Every year, passionate food science and technology students across the UK are invited to become an IFST Young Ambassador for one year.



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