Highlights:

  • The FDA has found PFAS present at detectable levels in various foods supporting an EPA 2016 health advisory.
  • PFAS are listed as possible carcinogens and are linked to other health concerns.
  • Foods grown in contaminated soils, irrigated with contaminated water, or in contact with certain food wrappings may contain PFAS.
  • Media discussions on PFAS hazards have further raised consumer awareness.
  • Monitoring ingredients and packaging reduce contamination risk.

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While I think everyone would agree that Russian roulette is a risky endeavor, not everyone would concede that zip lining, rock climbing or skydiving are risky activities. The ambiguity of “risk” can be extended to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations, particularly the designation of “high-risk” foods and the mitigation of the intentional adulteration of foods.

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In September, I attended the Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although I have been involved with this organization for a few years, this was my first SSP annual meeting. While it has taken me some time to write this summary (cough, cough), it was a great experience and I wanted to share some of the most impactful takeaways for other sensory scientists who may be looking to attend in 2019. 

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Where have we been, and where are we headed?  

These are the two questions I ask myself every Friday evening before I close the lid of my laptop. Lately, I’ve had to sieve out a lot of foreign matter to get to the pure kernels of truth.

The food industry is just that – an industry. As such, there is an ongoing struggle between sticking to convention while also keeping pace with changes in resources, technology, perhaps most importantly, consumer trends. Yeah, easier said than done.

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