It’s hard to watch TV without seeing an ad for a product claiming to help people lose weight. But when you see one of those ads, you may wonder – how solid is the science behind these claims? To gain some understanding, I asked our nutrition scientists at Biofortis, Mérieux NutriSciences’ clinical research facility, if weight loss and weight maintenance claims, like the ones seen on TV, can be proven by clinical research. The short answer is yes; there are tried and true protocols used by leading commercial weight loss companies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products in situations that mirror real-world scenarios. Continue Reading

Whether you’re buying a bag of chips from a vending machine or reaching for an apple from the fruit bowl, everyone enjoys snacking. In fact, I’m thinking about having a snack right now! But what if your snack could actually work to your body’s favor, in addition to being a treat you look forward to? Our Biofortis scientists explored this concept in recent studies and presented their findings with posters at the Experimental Biology conference last month in Chicago. Continue Reading

I once jokingly said during a presentation that there were at least 10 ways to sabotage your food pathogen testing program. While no conscientious food safety leader would set out to negatively impact their own program, the high attention to detail and constant organizational discipline required for an effective testing program leave some room for error. If any small step is not well designed and expertly executed, then your entire program may be worthless – or worse – may cost you millions due to a recall or human illnesses. One factor in particular that manufacturers need to focus their attention on is the reliability of their pathogen sampling and compositing (pooling) strategy, as well as the applicability of their pathogen method. Specifically, what test portion should be taken to ensure accurate results, and what method should be used when testing for the presence of pathogens? Continue Reading

Back in 1984, as a very young scientist, I attended my first meeting of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), now AOAC INTERNATIONAL. Established over a century ago, the association is dedicated to ensuring analytical methods address the needs of stakeholders in several industries, including the food industry.

Through its work, AOAC helps companies state the nutritional value of products with added confidence while minimizing health risks associated with microbiological and chemical contaminants. AOAC INTERNATIONAL conducts Expert Review Panels, publishes Official Methods of Analysis, and sets standards for analytical performance for methods. Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), AOAC is now addressing a broader scope of complex food safety issues than back in 1984. As a leader in the food safety industry, Mérieux NutriSciences scientists have been heavily involved in the association over the past three decades. Continue Reading

Over the summer, Biofortis nutrition science experts authored four articles detailing how specific ingredients and foods impact health. Cranberries, corn starch fiber and partially hydrogenated oils were featured prominently in our contributions to industry publications over the past few months as part of a larger examination of how food affects health.

Beyond the primary foods featured in these studies, the methods used to study them also offer useful insight. These studies use three different tools: meta-analysis, randomized clinical trials and evidence mapping. Continue Reading

While some dive headfirst into summer vacation, research scientists from the Silliker Food Science Center (FSC) dove headfirst into the “show season” by bringing their expertise to the 2016 meetings of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

Our multi-tasking research scientists manned our exhibition booths, met with customers, attended sessions on industry trends, reviewed advances in diagnostic equipment and presented results from scientific projects, many of which were conducted in collaboration with industry leading companies. Continue Reading