Copper Nanoparticles Could Protect Food from Bacteria

His innovation relies on copper, an element valued for centuries for its antibiotic properties. Drelich, a professor of materials science and engineering, has discovered how to embed nanoparticles of the red metal into vermiculite, an inexpensive, inert compound sometimes used in potting soil. In preliminary tests on local lake water, it killed 100 percent of E. colibacteria in the sample. Drelich also found that it was effective in killing Staphylococcus aureus, the common staph bacteria.

Other studies have shown that copper is toxic to Listeria,Salmonella and even the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA.

Bacteria aren’t the only microorganisms that copper can kill. It is also toxic to viruses and fungi. If it were incorporated into food packaging materials, it could help prevent a variety of foodborne diseases, Drelich says.

The copper-vermiculite material mixes well with many other materials, like cardboard and plastic, so it could be used in packing beads, boxes, even cellulose-based egg cartons.

And because the cost is so low — 25 cents per pound at most — it would be an inexpensive, effective way to improve the safety of the food supply, especially fruits and vegetables. Drelich is working with the Michigan Tech SmartZone to commercialize the product through his business, Micro Techno Solutions, the recipient of the 2012 Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest Food Safety Innovation Award. He expects to further test the material and eventually license it to companies that pack fresh food.

The material could have many other applications as well. It could be used to treat drinking water, industrial effluent, even sewage. “I’ve had inquiries from companies interested in purifying water,” Drelich says.

And it could be embedded in products used in public places where disease transmission is a concern: toilet seats, showerheads, even paper toweling.

“When you make a discovery like this, it’s hard to envision all the potential applications,” he says. It could even be mixed into that wad of dollar bills in your wallet. “Money is the most contaminated product on the market.”

Drelich’s initial research on the copper-vermiculite materials is described in the article “Vermiculite Decorated with Copper Nanoparticles: Novel Antibacterial Hybrid Material,” published in 2011 in Applied Surface Science.

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The History of Ice Cream

BerkeyicecreamNo specific person has officially been credited with inventing ice cream. Its origins date back as far as 200 B.C., when people in China created a dish of rice mixed with milk that was then frozen by being packed in snow. The Chinese King Tang of Shang is thought to have had over ninety “ice men” who mixed flour, camphor, and buffalo milk with ice. The Chinese are also credited with inventing the first “ice cream machine.” They had pots they filled with a syrupy mixture, which they then packed into a mixture of snow and salt. [More]

Learn more about ice cream manufacturing at the Penn State Creamery web site.

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Food Safety Inspection and Enforcement Information

Welcome to our Web site. Here you’ll find inspection reports and enforcement histories for restaurants, delicatessens, cafeterias, convenience stores and other types of retail food establishments inspected by the Public Health Inspection Division of the Department of Environmental Health.

This information is made available to help you to consider where to dine in Denver. This information has always been available to the public, but until now has not been convenient to review. You can view inspection and enforcement information beginning with inspection activity as of June 1, 2000. History prior to June 1, 2000 cannot be shown on the site due to improvements made to the inspection form and the database, effective June 1. Eventually a complete three-year history will be available on this Web site.

You should bear in mind that any inspection report is a “snapshot” of the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have more or fewer violations than noted here. An inspection conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term cleanliness of an establishment. Also, at the time of the inspection violations are recorded but are often corrected on-the-spot prior to the inspector leaving the establishment.

INSPECTION PROCESS

  • Inspection Frequency: Restaurant inspections are normally conducted one, two or three times per year, depending on the complexity of the menu and number of meals served at the restaurant. Risk of food-borne illness can increase with the number of times that a food product is handled during preparation. (For example: restaurants that handle food more frequently are inspected more frequently than a convenience store that serves mostly pre-packaged foods.)
  • Violations (Two types of violations may be cited):
    • Type 1 Violations: Violations which may not necessarily cause, but are likely to cause food-borne illness. Examples of Type 1 violations include poor temperature control of food; improper cooking, cooling, refrigeration or reheating temperatures. Such problems can create environments that cause bacteria to grow and thrive, which puts the consumer at risk for food-borne illness.
    • Type 2 Violations: Violations not directly related to the cause of food-borne illness, but if uncorrected, could impede the operation of the restaurant. The likelihood of food-borne illness in these cases is very low. Type 2 violations, if left uncorrected, could lead to Type 1 violations. Examples of Type 2 violations include a lack of facility cleanliness and maintenance or improper cleaning of equipment and utensils.
  • Types of Inspections
    • Regular or Full Inspection: This is a scheduled inspection, unannounced to the restaurant. An inspector will conduct a complete inspection covering all items on the inspection form for compliance.
    • Limited Inspection: This is a follow-up inspection for the specific purpose of re-inspecting items that were not in compliance at the time of the regular or full inspection.

ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

The division imposes the following types of enforcement actions:

  • Closure for imminent health hazard: A directive is given to cease and desist using unsafe portions of the facility or the entire facility to ensure public health.Grounds for closure due to imminent public health risks may include but are not limited to:
    No hot water
    Sewage problems
    No utilities
    Fire
    Pest infestation
    Contaminated food
    Food-borne illness outbreak
    Extreme uncleanliness
    Inadequate refrigeration

     

  • Closure for Cleaning: Restaurant is closed until a reinspection is made to assure that maintenance or repairs have been made. There is no imminent health hazard.
  • Civil Penalty: The department is authorized to levy civil penalties of up to $2,000 for a violation of an order to correct Type 1 and Type 2 violations.
  • Summons: An order to appear in court for alleged violations of failure to comply with applicable laws .
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REDUCING FOOD WASTAGE-A NEW JAPANESE INITIATIVE

waste food
Food waste is a topic of intense interest because many critics feel that if such wasted foods are saved it could feed millions of hungry people across the world. Organizations with noble intentions are indeed making voluntary efforts to redeem such foods where ever possible by organizing safe collection, storage and delivery system providing socour  to many needy people but the scale of operation is not very high because of many logistical problems encountered by them. “Expiry Date” or “Best Before Date” printed on the label of every packed food item is by far the most causative factor for food waste as consumers consider it as unfit for consumption once the product is past the declared date. Similarly consumer has always a tendency to avoid buying food products nearing the best before date and invariably such edible foods are destined for the landfills! In to day’s well organized marketing system manufacturer, wholesale distributor and the retailer have a well established understanding regarding the time each one takes for delivering the finished product to the next player in the chain. Here is an example of a market in one of the rich countries in Asia, Japan where the present system is sought to be changed for reducing food waste.
“Japan’s food industry currently follows a self-imposed “one-third rule” concerning products.
For example, under the rule, producers and wholesalers must throw out products made on Jan. 1 that have a best-before date of March 31 if they cannot deliver those goods to retailers by Jan. 31–the first one-third of the period before the expiration date. Even if the wholesalers deliver the products in time, retailers discard the food items if they remain unsold until Feb. 28, which ends the second third of the expiry date. During the experiment, the companies will adopt a “one-half rule.” That means the distribution of products made on Jan. 1 would be allowed until mid February, and retailers can sell the food even during March. The success of the experiment depends on whether Japanese consumers, who are known to be picky, are willing to buy the older products. The companies involved in the trial run include snack and beverage manufactures, such as Meiji Co. and Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., as well as Mitsubishi Shokuhin Co., Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and Aeon Retail Co”.
It is not realized that best before date is only an indicative date beyond which the product may not have 100% eating quality in comparison to its freshly manufactured counterpart. But it does not mean that such products are unsafe measured by any yardstick. Food industry and the food authorities in many countries are forced to declare such expiry dates to ensure citizens get the best quality foods with minimum safety risks. Unfortunately no manufacturer will take legal responsibility if some thing happens to the consumer after consuming date expired food products. Probably there may be a need to revisit the provision of printing expiry date if a real attempt is to be made to reduce food waste through this route. Is it possible that the industry prints only dates beyond which the food may be unsafe? If this is practical the extent of food discarded can be significantly reduced. It may be worth looking at this option with all its attendant consequences.
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Food industry data reveals billions of pounds of food wasted

While agricultural producers are searching for ways to feed a growing world population, a key number to consider is the amount of food that goes to waste, 4.1 billion pounds by food manufacturers according to one study.

Trash canThe study from the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association is the first comprehensive assessment of food waste data provided by the food industry.

A review of 2011 numbers shows companies disposed of 4.1 billion pounds of food, about 20 pounds of food per person each month for a whole year. The total is divided among the manufacturing sector (2.4 billion pounds wasted) and retail and wholesale sectors (1.7 pounds wasted). Those numbers don’t account for the amount of food thrown out by consumers.

Acknowledging the food waste, Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report says everyone plays a role in reducing the waste.

“Everyone in the food chain from growers and manufacturers to retailers and consumers have to figure out how to decrease the waste and get these staggering numbers down.”

The release notes the 4.1 billion pound total may be a bit misleading, of the food waste measured, 73 percent was converted to animal feed and another 20 percent was used as fertilizer.

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Govt approves Rs 740 cr for Food Processing Min scheme

india_food_prices

The government today approved Rs 740 crore fund for the 12th Plan period for Food Processing Ministry’s scheme to facilitate the setting up of units and technology upgradation. “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for continuing the scheme of technology upgradation/establishment of Food Processing Industries during the 12th Plan (2012-17) for an amount of Rs 740 crore,” an official statement said.

the proposal has been approved to meet the committed or spillover liabilities of the proposals received by the Ministry during the 11th Plan up to March 31, 2012 it added. The Food Processing Ministry has proposed for continuing the scheme as it received a large number of applications during the 11th plan (2007-12), which could not be accommodated within the allocated budget. The scheme envisages back ended subsidy by way of grant- in-aid. Now, it has been included in the newly launched Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) in the 12th Plan, for implementation through state governments, the statement added.

The cases which were received during the 11th plan and are pending, would be considered for sanctioning the financial assistance by the respective State Governments in the 12th plan. Lack of decision making affecting telecom sector: Khullar Telecom industry is under stress financially because of falling margins and lack of foreign investments due to lack of confidence in public decision making, Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar said today.

“Industry is in financial duress. Indebtness is huge… There is literally no flow of foreign investment…except for those companies which are foreign held. And they may need to infuse some capital to meet the new FDI caps. Otherwise there are no foreign investors banging down your doors trying to enter the telecom sector,” Khullar said, while addressing the National Telecom Summit organised by CII.

He said the real problem for this situation has been the loss of confidence in public decision making. “The real problem has been the loss of confidence in public decision making… The process is under doubt, the outcome is under doubt, everything is subject to increasing doubt and scrutiny; and that loss of confidence has spawned irrational fears and led to a situation,” he added. Khullar said that in the last few years everybody in the country just got carried away. “I am not talking about one individual, I am talking about the medium, I am talking about the judiciary, I am talking about Parliament…all of us, we just simply got carried away and everyone was willing to believe the worst.”

Hinting at the CAG figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss on issuance of new 2G licenses in 2008, he said the presumptive loss figure has led to a substantial real loss that has affected the sector. “…this presumptive loss business has led to a substantial real loss because what it has actually amounted to is almost a complete standstill in decision making…and that is something which has really affected the sector for the last four years,” Khullar added.

Talking about the measures that need to be taken to bring the sector on track, he said that firstly, licence issues should be resolved immediately. Secondly, there should be clarity on merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines, he added. “Consolidation is the name of the game. But our M&A guidelines are simply not in place. Trading of spectrum for some reason has been treated as a holy cow. Everybody is buying spectrum on auction, why do you don’t let them trade.

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Food microbiology

Food microbiology at Leatherhead provides a broad range of microbiological food analyses food-safety-petri-dishcovering food spoilage and pathogenic micro-organisms for our customers.

UPDATE FLASH – see the video on our expert food preservation services

We are able to determine the levels of micro-organisms in foods, predict their ability to grow/survive in your products and verify their behaviour through real-time analysis. Leatherhead can evaluate and confirm the shelf life of your products, and advise you on the necessary recipe alterations, packaging and process conditions that will help you achieve a safe shelf life or even allow you to extend your product’s shelf life.

Using our expertise in microbial recovery from complex matrices, we are able to help you validate your heat processand provide you with data on microbial susceptibility to the application of that heat.

If you are looking to reduce the level of heat applied to your products, make energy savings and/or enhance the sensorycharacteristics of your products, we are able to advise you on the use of alternative preservation technologies that will ensure the safety of your products.

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