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  • 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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When you take a look at a packaged food in the United States and compare it to one from Canada, it’s more than just the dual languages that are displayed that make the Canadian market unique from their southern friends.  Let’s discuss a few of these not so obvious differences that you need to consider when producing or marketing your product in Canada.

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Understanding the shelf life of your product plays a critical role in protecting your brand, but the way a food’s “best by” date is determined depends highly on the attributes of your individual product. When a food manufacturer contacts me about running a shelf life study, I typically ask a series of questions to help determine which methods are the most relevant – what is the pH and water activity? How is the product processed and packaged? Is it stored ambient, refrigerated or frozen? If you don’t have answers yet, don’t sweat it! We can walk you through what we need to know.

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