The term “dioxins” refers to a group of toxic compounds formed as a result of human activity, such as waste incineration, backyard burning and industrial processes involving chlorine. Once produced, they continue to linger in the environment due to their strong chemical structure that is resistant to breakdown. Over time, they make their way into our rivers, lakes and soil, eventually landing up in our food supply. But should you be worried about dioxins in your supply chain?  And if these toxic compounds could be present in your supply chain, what actions should you take? Ask yourself the following three key questions to help manage potential dioxin contamination. Continue Reading

The use of glyphosate, one of the most popular herbicides for agriculture, has become a hot topic in the press in both the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) over the past few years. Legislators, advocacy groups, food producers and scientists have been debating about the safety of glyphosate and on its usage on grain farms, in storage areas and even in our homes. To help food manufacturers understand how this affects their companies, we’ve answered five key questions about glyphosate below: Continue Reading

The infant formula market is growing rapidly as consumers decide to use powdered formulas as a supplement to, or in place of, breastfeeding. Formula typically serves as an infant’s sole source of nutrition, which poses unique challenges to infant food manufacturers. Because it serves as one of the only foods an infant consumes, it is vital to safeguard and protect infant formula against potential adulteration issues, whether that be physical, chemical or microbiological. Infant formula also contains more nutritional components than traditional foods, so the supply chain tends to be longer and more global than other commodities due to the procurement of many ingredients. Continue Reading

The nutrients found in foods provide our bodies with energy for growth and repair, as they are composed of carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals and vitamins. Carbohydrates make up a group of organic compounds that include sugars and starches, while proteins are important for growth and repair, and fats or lipids can supply more than twice the amount of energy as carbohydrates or proteins. The amount of a given nutrient found in a food item can be determined using analytical chemistry tests. Continue Reading

Remember in school when the math teacher gave you a problem to solve, and how you felt when your answer matched the one in the back of the textbook? Didn’t it feel great knowing you solved the problem correctly?

Validating the answer to grade school math problems carries the same concept as validating analytical methods. When scientists validate an analytical method, they need to show that it correctly measures the metric they’re testing for. To effectively do so, first they need to identify a product with existing results for the test they’re running as a control. Then, once the results from the test come in, they can verify that their results match the known answer, just like in school when you could check if your answer matched the one in the back of the textbook. Continue Reading

The use of veterinary drugs in the food industry is a hot topic with both consumers and regulatory agencies. The public is becoming increasingly concerned with the routine use of antibiotics, hormones, beta agonists and many more compounds in food production due to the potential effects on human health. Foods that are most commonly affected by these drugs are foods that most of us eat on a weekly basis and include: meat, milk and eggs. Check out our “fun” facts below to learn more about veterinary drugs and the food industry. Continue Reading

Due to decades of chemistry-related advancements in consumer and industrial goods, we are continually finding new discoveries about the various groups of anthropogenic compounds with which we unfortunately share our planet. A quick scan of recent stories in the media indicates frequent public outcry about what’s released into our environment and how it affects us. Continue Reading

Toxic chemical compounds called dioxins have been the subject of concern in two media stories recently. In one instance, residents of Saginaw, Michigan are battling Dow Chemical Company over dioxin pollution that began in the 1980s. The issue was brought to light in 2002 when environmental regulators in Michigan reported on the effects of dioxin contamination on the soil along the river. Over 40 residents have brought charges against the chemical giant. Since the lawsuit began nearly fifteen years ago, Dow has removed portions of sediment deemed contaminated and pledged to reduce contamination in the future. Continue Reading