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

Proposition 65 Update – Aspartame, Vinyl Acetate, Nitrite
An upcoming meeting of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will consider the carcinogenic risks of several food, pesticide and packaging chemicals, including aspartame. OEHHA, the agency responsible for maintaining the state’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, recently released hazard identification materials for several chemicals to facilitate public consultation. Under Proposition 65, products containing a listed chemical in excess of the regulatory threshold must display a warning label indicating the presence of a known carcinogen or toxin. Continue Reading

In preventing foodborne illnesses, several different factors play a pivotal role in safeguarding final products. Several recent recalls associated with Listeria monocytogenes are prompting food manufacturers to ensure their food safety management plans address all possible sources of in-plant contamination.

Listeria can be life-threatening to individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women or older adults. Dairy, prepared foods, produce and seafood were the matrices most commonly contaminated with Listeria over the past five years, according to data from the latest FDA Reportable Food Registry (RFR) report. 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

Regulations, Regulations
With food and beverage labeling regulations being passed down by FDA, many retailers, manufacturers and restaurants have to rethink their labeling strategy to comply with these new rules. Some of these new and updated regulations include nutrition facts labeling regulations and menu labeling regulations. In order to comply with these requirements, nutritional analysis may need to be performed. These nutritional results could be used for nutrition facts labels for US and Canadian food and beverage packaging, or calorie and nutrition information for menu labeling. Manufacturers, retailers and restaurants alike must factor in how they will update their nutrition and menu labels when planning their compliance strategies. Continue Reading

A majority of consumers find the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) debate complex and confusing, especially with regulations varying from country to country. With the growing push to eat more “all natural” and “organic” foods comes increased concerns about products that are manufactured with genetically modified ingredients, irregardless of concrete evidence that GMOs are either good or bad for human health.

After months of debate in Congress, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients on July 29th. To make more sense of the new law, below is a brief list of the main takeaways from the legislation: 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

All domestic and foreign food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or store food for sale in the United States must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to recent government data, approximately 114,000 foreign food facilities exporting to the U.S. are located in more than 200 countries, and 19% of the American food supply is now imported.

The growing number of foreign food facilities and expanding volume of imported food is fueling an increasingly complex U.S. food supply chain. Imported food has been linked to several high-profile food safety events in recent years and remains a significant concern. In fact, one of the core objectives of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was to ensure the safety of imported food. Continue Reading