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Journal of Food Saety
Meat and milk from
animal clones are safe - Expert Q&A
University of Maryland, College Park
Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it
has approved consumption of meat and milk from some species of cloned,
food-producing animals. Here Dr. Gary Weaver, Director of the Program
on Agriculture and Animal Health Policy, Center for Food, Nutrition, and
Agriculture Policy (CFNAP) at the University of Maryland, answers questions
about the decision, about the safety of consuming meat and milk of cloned
animals and the science of cloning. A licensed veterinarian, Weaver has
been head of pathology at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, mycotoxin
researcher, practicing veterinarian, lawyer and legal consultant on animal
health issues. He has served as expert in bioterrorism and counterterrorism
for the FDA and the intelligence community. Dr. Weaver's comments may
be used by media.
What¡¯s your opinion of the FDA ruling?
Their conclusion that meat and milk from some species of animal clones
? so far cattle, swine, and goats ? and their non-cloned offspring are
safe to eat is a good one. FDA experts have carefully studied all available
scientific reports about animal cloning for more than five years.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of meat and milk from clones,
but the FDA reported in a new scientific publication that meat and milk
from cloned animals and their non-cloned offspring are indistinguishable
from those of traditional animals consumed by Americans every day. In
fact, the only way to positively identify a clone is to certify that it
has virtually the same genetic material as another animal that is not
its identical twin. The FDA therefore concluded that food products from
cloned cattle, swine, and goats are as safe for people to eat as those
from non-cloned animals.
How does cloning work?
In animal cloning, the genetic material from the male donor with the desirable
traits is not diluted as it is in natural reproduction, when all genetic
materials from donor and recipient are randomly mixed. Cells used in cloning
are typical animal cells consisting of the relatively small, dense nucleus
(containing virtually all of the cell¡¯s genetic material) residing with
other cell parts in the larger, surrounding cytoplasm ? all enclosed by
the cell membrane. The newest, most-promising cloning method first isolates
a donor animal cell nucleus, then places it into a recipient¡¯s egg with
its nucleus removed. The resulting embryo is transferred to a female to
carry to term.
How are cloned animals different from traditionally bred animals?
Adult cloned animals ? plus their non-cloned offspring ? are the same
as traditional, non-cloned animals born to other traditional, non-cloned
animals. Cloned animals used for meat and milk have only traditional animal
genes. They have a mother; they do not develop in a test tube or incubator.
In addition, clones are used to reproduce non-cloned offspring that also
have only traditional animal genes
Is a cloned animal the same as a genetically modified organism, or GMO?
There is nothing genetically modified because cloned animals contain only
their own species¡¯ traditional genetic material. There is nothing genetically
added or subtracted either. Cloned animals and their non-cloned offspring
are not genetically modified organisms because GMOs (aka, genetically
engineered organisms or transgenic organisms - here, transgenic animals)
all contain deliberately added foreign genes.
Why are people concerned about cloning?
The many reports of what may possibly go wrong with animal clones have
proved to be not much more than exciting scientific fiction when compared
to the rather dull findings that cloned animals are the ordinary animals
people have raised and consumed for millennia.
Also, some organizations claim that animal cloning is unnatural human
intervention, but that bridge was crossed many centuries ago. For millennia,
people have closely controlled domestic animal reproduction to develop
specific animal breeds for companionship, food, and work. Today, all breeds
of cattle, dogs, cats, pigs, horses, chickens, plus all other domestic
animals are the direct result of intensive, unending, human intervention
using selective animal breeding programs. None of today¡¯s domestic animal
breeds would ever have developed using only natural selection and random
breeding. There would be no Holstein cows for superior milk production
or Angus cattle for high-quality beef. There most certainly would be no
Siamese cats or Chihuahua dogs if humans had let ¡°nature take its course.¡±
Will successful animal cloning bring us closer to being able to clone
a human being?
Cattle cloning procedures do not necessarily work in other animal species.
Furthermore, the U.S. is only one small part of a growing global scientific
research effort to understand animal cloning. Sadly, some recent U.S.
public policies and opinionated activism threaten our scientific leadership
in this and other areas of research.
Are there any benefits to cloned animals over traditionally bred livestock?
Cloning allows livestock producers to reduce, by years, the decade or
so now required to get superior animals to market with the newly-identified,
superior genetic traits of male animals which are then placed in artificial
insemination breeding programs.
USDA prime beef ? currently about three percent of all beef steaks ? could
become our only grade of beef ? and at affordable prices! Also, fewer
superior dairy cows could produce the same quantity of milk while making
less animal waste.
It is noteworthy, however, that few cloned animals will actually be consumed
by Americans any time soon, because they are too expensive to eat. For
now, all cloned animals will likely be breeding stock that pass along
their superior traits to their non-cloned offspring, which will end up
on American dinner tables in time.
See the CFNAP report on Public Attitudes Towards Animal Cloning:
Topline Results from Recent Consumer Survey at http://agresearch.umd.edu/CFNAP/Topline_of_Animal_Cloning_121406.pdf
Dr. Weaver holds a Ph.D. in veterinary pathology (comparative pathology
program) from the University of Minnesota, a D.V.M. from the University
of Illinois, and a B.S. from Northern Illinois University. He also received
his J.D. from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He is a member of the Michigan
Bar Association, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, the
veterinary medicine honor society Phi Zeta, the agriculture honor society
Sigma Gamma Delta, and is a licensed veterinarian.
CFNAP has unrestricted gifts from both the Aurora Foundation and Viagen
to study cloned animals and their products. Weaver reviewed more than
200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers about cloning, published from 1952
to date. His conclusions about the food safety of cloned animal products
are based solely on the FDA recent peer-reviewed scientific paper.
FDA approval of cloned meat imminent, impact on beef industry minimal
Tom Johnston on 1/4/2007 for Meatingplace.com
The Food and Drug Administration will surely approve eating the meat of
the offspring of cloned cattle, sheep and hogs in the near future, but
the impact it would have on the beef industry would be minimal, according
to an online survey of Meatingplace.com readers.
Asked if they expect FDA to formally green-light the technology (see FDA:
Cloned animal products are edible, Meatingplace.com, Dec. 29, 2006), 75
percent of the survey respondents said yes and 25 percent said no. Results
were based on roughly 340 responses to a recent survey on Zoomerang.com.
The great unknown
While it is widely expected that FDA will give its blessing, it is also
unclear as to what will happen thereafter. After all, many experts say
it will be too costly to clone animals in any substantial quantity, and
most consumers say they wouldn't eat meat or drink milk derived from a
cloned animal if it were available at their local supermarket.
The responses by Meatingplace.com readers underscored the uncertainty
about the future of meat derived from cloned animals.
Fifty-eight percent of the respondents said commercial production of cloned
livestock would not significantly increase if FDA approves the measure,
while 42 percent said FDA approval would pave the way to increased clone
Opinions varied on what type of impact the potential increased production
of cloned animals would have on commercial livestock prices, with 51 percent
saying there would be no impact on prices; 30 percent saying it would
slightly decrease prices; 9 percent saying it would slightly increase
prices; 6 percent saying it would significantly decrease prices; and only
4 percent saying it would significantly increase prices.
"The expense of cloning will have to decrease significantly to have
an effect on the commercial meat business," a meatpacking plant executive
said in his response.
The bottom line
Readers' answers also varied widely when asked what impact cloned livestock
would have on their businesses in the foreseeable future.
Only 13 percent said it would have a significant impact; 22 percent said
it would have a moderate impact; 35 percent surmised that it would have
a slight impact; and 30 percent believe it will have no impact whatsoever.
Label it what you will
FDA scientists have not only concluded that milk and meat from cloned
livestock are safe to eat, but also are so much the conventional method's
equal that special labeling would not be required.
As if deeming the products safe wasn't heinous enough to food safety groups,
who argue FDA's preliminary approval is not backed by a sufficient amount
of research, the prospect of depriving consumers of the opportunity to
know what they'd be buying is downright reckless, critics charge.
The question of whether there has been sufficient scientific testing of
cloned animal foods to deem it safe is not so clear cut, as evidenced
by the responses of Meatingplace.com readers.
Although 31 percent of them are extremely confident of the meat's safety,
26 percent said they are extremely skeptical. Meanwhile, 18 percent said
they are somewhat confident; 16 percent said they were somewhat skeptical;
and 9 percent were neutral on the subject.
And on the matter of special labeling, Meatingplace.com readers are convinced
that consumers would want labeling, with 82 percent saying that consumers
will demand special labeling even if it weren't formally required by regulators.
"I think the last thing the industry needs is something consumer
activists can use," a beef company executive said in the survey.
"There is already enough bad press on natural labeling, using CO
(carbon monoxide) for processing, animal rights, so I don't really see
this as a positive. I can see the headlines now: 'Frankenstein Beef!'"
Even if it's creepy, cloned meat is safe and tasty, says the Food and
(Los Angeles Times, CA)
CLONED BEEF: It's what's for dinner. Or at least it will be, if the Food
and Drug Administration acts on its recommendation last week to allow
meat and milk from cloned animals to be sold without special labels ?
a position that has food-purity activists up in arms.
Cloned meat, genetically modified crops and hormone-injected milk cows
do not qualify as progress to the organic food crowd, which says such
advances will cause as-yet-unimaginable health and environmental damage.
It would be easier to take them seriously if scientists didn't dismiss
most of their concerns out of hand, after voluminous studies showing no
ill effects. Animal cloning appears to touch a particular nerve. A recent
survey by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology found that 64%
of Americans are uncomfortable with animal cloning. The numbers are probably
worse in much of Europe and Asia, where U.S. experiments with modified
crops cause widespread dismay and often lead to bans on U.S. farm exports.
There are legitimate ethical or religious objections to human tampering
with the natural reproductive process. And cloning can have ill effects
on animals, causing more mutations and early deaths. But the food purists
do their cause a disservice when they argue that cloned meat is somehow
unsafe or unhealthy.
To begin with, the clone genie is already out of the bottle. There is
a voluntary moratorium on the sale of cloned meat and dairy products,
but it is widely ignored. Some of the meat currently in the freezer of
your local supermarket may well be from the offspring of a cloned animal.
The second delusion is that non-cloned products now in stores are more
"natural." Cloning, which involves replacing an egg's nucleus
with DNA from a genetically desirable animal, is just the latest artificial
reproductive technology to come down the pike. Chances are, that T-bone
on your table came from a cow produced using artificial insemination,
in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer or some other method that didn't
involve a cow and a bull making beautiful music together. Finally, it's
delusional to think that special labels would make any difference. It's
impossible to distinguish at the molecular level or by taste meat from
a cloned animal from the meat of an animal born of two parents. So there
would be no way to determine whether meatpackers were complying with the
It isn't the FDA's job to rule on the morality of animal husbandry, nor
to placate nervous trading partners overseas. Its mandate is to ensure
the safety of the nation's food supply, and the verdict is in: Cloned
meat is safe.
Those who aren't convinced will have other options. Just as "organic"
farms and dairies across the country put special labels on their hormone-free
milk or pesticide-free produce, ranches will doubtless spring up to market
"non-cloned" meats. Those who want to pay more for lower-quality
food will no doubt be able to do so. 1-8-07
spark more safeguards for produce
of Article: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/
Many in industry step up measures after 2006 foodborne illnesses
(January 5, 2007) For anyone with a vested interest in seeing Americans
eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, 2006 was stitched with panic and
At the forefront was the E. coli outbreak linked to California spinach
that killed three people and sickened more than 200 nationwide in August
and September. Another high-profile E. coli outbreak in November and December
linked to Taco Bell restaurants in the Northeast brought green onions,
then lettuce, under scrutiny.
In other states, restaurant tomatoes have been named the carrier in a
"It's the year we'd like to forget," said Bill Pool, manager
of agricultural production and research at Wegmans Food Markets Inc.
Certainly this is not the first time that produce has been linked to outbreaks.
But the events from 2006 have had a galvanizing effect on the food industry,
government agencies and consumer awareness, causing grocery companies
such as Wegmans Food Markets Inc. to step up their already stringent safeguards.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne
illness is responsible for about 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations
and 76 million illnesses every year.
A 2004 report from the CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network
says the incidence of infection of the most common pathogens such as campylobacter,
cryptosporidium, E. coli, listeria and salmonella is on the decline.
But an updated report issued last month from the Center for Science in
the Public Interest demonstrates that produce beat out other food categories
? including seafood, poultry, beef and eggs ? in causing the highest number
of foodborne illnesses from 1990 to 2004. Seafood caused the largest number
"I don't think that foodborne illness outbreaks are on the rise,
but there is a higher awareness on the part of the public," said
Sue Grace, nutrition program leader and a food safety instructor at Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Monroe County.
Grace and other experts point to a number of factors responsible for this
year's attention to produce safety: a global food economy; improved tracking
and reporting among local, state and federal agencies; genetic fingerprinting
to better identify pathogens; and increased produce consumption.
Unlike meats, poultry and seafood, most fresh produce is eaten raw, eliminating
what industry experts refer to as the "kill step" that would
prevent illness from already contaminated but properly cooked foods.
"The stuff grows outdoors in the dirt. There is nothing you can do
that will make it 100 percent safe unless you cook it or irradiate it,"
said Wegmans' Pool.
Irradiation, a process already used for dried herbs and spices and ground
beef, is also being considered for pre-packed foods such as bagged salads
and spinach. But even if the FDA approves this usage (a petition is under
review), there are not enough facilities to handle the potential demand,
"Certainly these (2006) outbreaks have thrown things up in the air
considerably," said Robert Gravani, a Cornell University food science
professor and director of the National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
Program. The program offers research and education to growers, packers
and farm workers about reducing microbial risks in fruits and vegetables.
"We know where (these dangerous microbes) live, but how they are
getting from there to our fruits and vegetables is the huge question,"
Gravani said. "If this was an easy-to-solve problem, it would have
been solved already."
Gravani is seeing more retail food chains signing third-party auditors
to ensure growers and packing houses are following good agricultural practices.
While Wegmans has a long history of building relationships with its national
and international suppliers and encouraging them to use good agricultural
practices, it is asking them to use third-party audits both in the fields
and in the packing houses, said Pool.
The chain is also requiring the local growers it buys from to have a certified
GAPs program in place by 2008.
Tops Friendly Markets and Martin's Super Food Store also have started
using outside auditors to test products from its distribution centers,
said spokesman Denny Hopkins.
A Pittsford woman filed a lawsuit this fall against Natural Selection
Foods of California and Dole Food Co. after bagged spinach tainted with
E. coli sent her to the hospital. The woman purchased the spinach at Martin's
in Perinton in August.
Recent outbreaks have made Pittsford resident Robin Suwijn more wary than
"I have started to apply the same caution that I had when we have
been to Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Now it's becoming more
like that here," said the frequent traveler, whose husband was hospitalized
for a foodborne illness he contracted at a local restaurant a few years
In 2004, the Monroe County Health Department stepped up its requirements
for food safety training in food service establishments.
Now medium- and high-risk establishments (places where a lot of food preparation
and handling takes place, such as full-service restaurants) must have
a full-time food worker on staff with nationally accredited food worker
And all establishments, regardless of risk level, must have a staffer
with county-level training on the premises during all hours of operation.
A few steps
will keep veggies from turning you green
Kirkland Lake Northern News (ON)
Clare Howard, Copley News Service
Greg Wolf, manager of food and nutrition services at OSF Saint Francis
Medical Center in Peoria, Ill.and supervisor of a staff of 70, changed
already-rigorous procedures in the wake of the recent E. coli outbreak.
Now, even bagged and washed spinach is washed again. And again.
Wolf, who earned a bachelor's degree in biology, attends food safety workshops
and seminars, and has worked in the food industry for 30 years., was quoted
as saying, "Bacteria requires a food source, moisture and suitable
temperatures. But there is more to this than just cleaning produce."
Food sanitation authorities at Center for Science in the Public Interest,
Illinois Central College and OSF all offer similar guidelines for cleaning
fruits and vegetables. Some guidelines are well-known tips passed on from
our mothers, but several are bound to catch many cooks by surprise. There
are some sneaky ways E. coli invades our systems.
Every kitchen procedure starts with "proper" hand washing, which
means hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing is repeated
when switching tasks or touching something possibly contaminated, which
could be raw meat, unwashed dishes or "bare human body parts other
than clean hands and clean, exposed portions of the arms," according
to OSF guidelines. That means if you touch your face or a cabinet door
knob, wash again.
Wolf's procedure for cleaning spinach:
Wash your hands.
Empty spinach into a large colander.
Toss and rinse thoroughly under cool running water.
Place spinach in a large salad spinner and spin to dry.
Place in a container, cover, label and date.
Use cleaned spinach within five days.
Clean and sanitize salad spinner for next use.
The newest design for spinners has holes on the bottom so water drains
out and does not recontaminate the produce. Don't put produce in a sink
full of water and let it soak. It is the action of running water that
Wolf said staff sanitizes cleaned equipment with heat or chemicals. He
recommends home cooks use the dishwasher whenever possible. That means
putting kitchen sponges and vegetable scrub brushes through a cycle of
the dishwasher to halt cross- contamination.
For items that can't be run through the dishwasher, sanitize with a solution
of 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Even fruit that is peeled, such as oranges and melon, must be cleaned.
Contaminants on the outer skin can be introduced into the flesh with hands
Joy Ashwood, associate professor and chef instructor in the culinary arts
department at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, was cited as saying
that care needs to be taken when slicing onions, which grow in the soil.
outside toilet area
Times Colonist (Victoria)
Patrick MacKinnon of Victoria, B.C., writes that concurrent with the latest
worry about resistant bacteria, one of your readers has expressed misgivings
about opening the washroom door after washing for fear of renewed contamination.
Since handwashing does not require the privacy that a toilet does, this
and other problems could be resolved by placing washbasins along the wall
outside the public toilet.
This would also have other benefits: Persons exiting the toilet would
be more likely to handwash since they might be observed, they would take
more care to leave the basin in a clean condition, it would be easier
for maintenance staff to restock and to disinfect these basins and it
would ease congestion within the toilet area itself.
Considering the benefits, this requirement might find its way into future
building codes. Retrofitting existing installations also need not be too
expensive in many cases.
Safety Related JOB OPENINGS
Food Safety Related JOB
A cry over
Lancaster Sunday News (PA)
On the wall of his Country Side Dairy & Produce stand outside Strasburg
was a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture permit authorizing him to
sell the unpasteurized drink.
The friendly, black-bearded man, who asked to remain unidentified, was
quoted as saying, "I just felt it¡¯s safer having my milk tested.
The state¡¯s not hard to work with."
But, the story says not all producers feel the same way, and more than
a few local Amish and Mennonite farmers ? the exact number is hard to
pin down ? sell raw milk without a permit.
They tout the product as a wholesome natural elixir with many health benefits.
But critics see ¡°bootleg¡± milk as an outbreak of virulent E. coli and
other pathogens waiting to happen.
A Pennsylvania Region 6 milk inspector who spoke on condition of anonymity
was cited as saying sanitation practices vary widely from farm to farm,
adding, "What I see [in Lancaster and Lebanon counties] kind of sickens
The inspector claims that Harrisburg treats the Amish preferentially because
they are a tourism draw.
Bill Chirdon, who became the department¡¯s director of food safety three
months ago, was cited as saying plain sect farmers here have steadfastly
resisted permits more than milk producers elsewhere in the state, adding,
¡°There are people who want us to prosecute more.¡±
He said the department is indeed taking a firm line in the case of Levi
Miller, an unpermitted Amish raw-milk seller in Leacock Township who ¡°absolutely
refuses to go along with us.¡±
However, Chirdon said, legal battles ultimately give farmers and ag officials
a black eye. ¡°We¡¯d rather use education,¡± persuasion and negotiation to
resolve conflicts. To that end, he said, ag officials will discuss raw-milk
trends during a Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture conference
next month in State College.
Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a natural food
advocacy group in Washington, D.C., was quoted as saying, "Raw milk
is inherently safe because there are a lot of components in it that kill
products are not effective and may be harmful, research shows
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Tabitha Alterman, Mother Earth News
If you choose "antibacterial" products because you trust them
to kill germs, you might want to reconsider. According to recent studies,
antiseptic ingredients added to numerous products are not effective and
may actually be harmful.
In 2005, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel concluded that there
is "no added benefit" from using antimicrobial products versus
plain soap and water.
There's also toxicity to consider. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health discovered that one of the most popular antimicrobials,
the pesticide triclocarban (TCC), defies water-treatment methods after
we wash our hands of it.
Once it's flushed down drains, about 75 percent of TCC makes it through
treatments meant to break it down, and it ends up in our surface water
and in the biosolids known as municipal sludge. This sludge is regularly
applied to crop fields as fertilizer, so the chemical could potentially
accumulate in our food, too.
Rolf Halden, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health
Sciences at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study, estimates that
TCC contaminates 60 percent of the streams in this country. He says it
is known to cause cancer and reproductive problems in mammals, and blue-baby
syndrome in human infants.
Introducing an antimicrobial into the environment in this way also has
the unwanted effect of increasing pathogens' resistance to clinically
Know What They're Eating
If It¡¯s Cloned, Just Say So On The Label
(Mercury News, CA)
Got cloned milk
Not yet. But the FDA concluded last week that milk and meat from cloned
farm animals are safe to consume. Unfortunately, the agency has not taken
the additional step of requiring labels on these products.
The FDA's ruling on safety relied solely on scientific evidence, which
is its job. The conclusion of all reputable studies so far is that meat
and milk from cloned animals is indistinguishable from that of non-cloned
But because some consumers are concerned about cloning, like genetic engineering
in the food chain, labels are appropriate.
At least this time, the FDA ruling was not tainted by political influence.
The Bush administration has been known to insert its views into the FDA's
conclusions, most notably with Plan B, the emergency contraception pill.
Despite research showing it was safe, the administration needlessly delayed
over-the-counter sales for philosophical reasons.
But a finding of safety by the FDA should not preclude labeling -- and
not just because of the ``yuck'' factor. (Polls show more than 60 percent
of Americans are ``uncomfortable'' with the notion of cloning animals
for food.) Americans should be able to control what they and their families
eat. In other realms, public health officials are urging them to watch
what they purchase at the grocery store or restaurant.
Labels don't have to imply warnings, either. The organic label is a selling
point. If cloned cattle provide superior beef, the industry can make that
Label requirements may make cloned food more expensive and challenging
to produce. For example, it could mean keeping cloned animals separate
from others in the breeding chain. So be it. That's the price of the potential
benefits of advanced technology.
The idea of cloning still makes a majority of Americans queasy, with good
reason. Most oppose cloning humans; some feel animal cloning is wrong,
too. Society needs a broader debate of what is acceptable and unacceptable.
Legislation may be appropriate if a consensus on right and wrong is reached,
or if people believe things are moving too fast.
But decisions like that are not the FDA's job. Its purview is science.
And it clearly did its homework this time.
Besides considering every major independent study on the issue, the FDA
spent six years doing its own. The Agriculture Department raised more
than 400 animals for this purpose, and only one was considered ``abnormal''
and unfit for consumption. That's a number that could occur with normal
Cloned food won't be showing up anytime soon in supermarkets and restaurants.
It costs well over $10,000 to produce a cloned bull or cow. Of the 100
million cattle across the nation today, there are fewer than 1,000 clones.
But it's not too early to step up the debate over the ethics of cloning.
In the meantime, Americans should have no beef with the FDA for establishing
that cloned meat and milk are safe. 1-8-07
extract to stop acrylamide formation?
By Stephen Daniells
Source of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
04/01/2007 - Using an antioxidant-rich bamboo leaf extract could reduce
the formation of acrylamide in potato chips and French fries by about
75 per cent, according to a new study.
"This study could be regarded as a pioneer contribution on the reduction
of acrylamide in various foods by natural antioxidants," wrote lead
author Yu Zhang in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is created when starchy foods are baked,
roasted, fried or toasted. It first hit the headlines in 2002, when scientists
at the Swedish Food Administration first reported unexpectedly high levels
of acrylamide, found to cause cancer in laboratory rats, in carbohydrate-rich
Since the Swedish discovery a global effort has been underway to amass
data about this chemical. More than 200 research projects have been initiated
around the world, and their findings co-ordinated by national governments,
the EU and the United Nations.
The researchers, from Zhejiang Universitys Department of Food Science
and Nutrition, report that by immersing the potato crisps and French fries
in bamboo leaf extract so that the extract penetrated into the potato
matrix prior to the frying process, could reduce the formation of this
The extract, with the main components characterised as flavonoids, lactones
and phenolic acids, is listed as a food ingredient in China, and permitted
as an additive in a range of food products, including fish and meat products,
edible oils, and puffed food.
"Our results showed that nearly 74.1 per cent and 76.1 per cent of
acrylamide in potato crisps and French fries was reduced when the AOB
addition ratio was 0.1 per cent and 0.01 per cent (w/w), respectively,"
The researchers also investigated if the bamboo leaf extract affected
the sensory properties of the resultant potato products by recruiting
30 untrained volunteers to taste the products in a double blind manner.
They report that the crispness and flavour of both with the bamboo extract
were not significantly different to normal potato matrixes when the bamboo
lead extract addition ratio was less than 0.5 per cent.
The study, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation Council of
China, concluded: "This study could be regarded as a pioneer finding
of an effective, simple, and practical way to reduce acrylamide formation
in potato-based foods by natural antioxidants."
The researchers called for additional research to elucidate the mechanism
by which the extract inhibits acrylamide formation, and whether any new
intermediates are formed during the Maillard reaction. The effect of the
extract on acrylamide inhibition in other fried or baked foods also warrants
additional study, they said.
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Published on-line ahead of print; ASAP article, doi: 10.1021/jf062568i
"Addition of Antioxidant of Bamboo Leaves (AOB) Effectively Reduces
Acrylamide Formation in Potato Crisps and French Fries"
Authors: Y. Zhang, J. Chen, X. Zhang, X. Wu, and Y. Zhang
paper extends shelf life, claims manufacturer
By George Reynolds
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
08/01/2007 - MicrobeGuard today announced the launch of a lining paper
liner that will feature AgION antimicrobial technology.
Processors and producers are continuously looking for ways to help maintain
the quality and extend the shelf life of food products that they prepare
and hold. Microbial growth can affect food quality and safety and can
damage firms' reputation and profits following costly recalls.
Food Touch paper liners are specifically designed as a sanitary barrier
for holding and storing high-value, raw and cooked food items. Featuring
MicrobeGuard's Indenta deep textured design, which assists the cooling
process, tests shown the lining extends the shelf life of perishable food
products, the manufacturer claims.
MicrobeGauard claims AgION antimicrobial technology is one of the few
available that is safe enough for human and food contact and is proven
to be effective against a broad range of microorganisms, including bacteria,
algae, and fungus such as mold and yeast.
Tony Salemi, president of MicrobeGuard said: ¡°The feedback we have received
from our customers, which include many expert chefs, is that Food Touch
liners have helped to extend the shelf life of perishable food items by
up to 5 days.¡±
The AgION antimicrobial technology is incorporated into the Food Touch
liners continuously releases silver ions at the surface of the paper when
exposed to moisture. The silver disrupts microbe growth by interrupting
RNA (ribonucleic acid) replications needed for microorganisms growth,
The silver-based technology has been approved for food and water contact
by the Environmental Protection Agency and is listed as an indirect food
contact substance with the Food and Drug Administration. AgION is also
approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
approved for hide washing
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
04/01/2007 - A natural cleaning fluid made of live bacteria could help
meat processors get rid of pathogens from animal hides, a key source of
cross-contamination in the plant.
OmniLytics said this week that the product became available on the market
after the US Department of Agriculture gave approval for its bacteriophage
treatment for killing E coli O157:H7 on the hides of live animals just
before they are slaughtered.
OmniLytics' said its product can be applied as a mist, spray or wash.
Bacteriophages are the viral hit squads of the microscopic world. Bacteriophages
are viruses that target bacteria, rather than human, plant or animal cells.
For every bacteria, there is a phage that likes to latch on to them, take
over their life processes and multiply. The baby phages then burst out
to attack other nearby targets, killing the host cell.
OmniLytics said the its bacteriophage product for E. coli can also be
used to treat holding areas, transportation vehicles, containers and living
¡°The USDA's approval of the use of phages as a hide wash continues to
validate the broad uses of bacteriophage as a natural, safe and effective
bacterial treatment,¡± stated Justin Reber, the company's president and
chief executive officer. ¡°Bacteriophage are Mother Nature's way of fighting
bacteria with none of the harmful side effects of antibiotics and chemicals.¡±
Bacteriophage target individual strains and species of bacteria. Unlike
indiscriminant broad spectrum antibiotics, the specificity of bacteriophages
allows targeting of harmful bacteria without killing other beneficial
microflora or fauna, he said.
Identified in 1917, bacteriophage or ¡°bacteria eaters¡± are bacterial viruses
that are environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and one of many families
of viruses that have no effect on non-target organisms, plants, animals
OmniLytics received the first US registration for a bacteriophage product
for its AgriPhage product line in December of 2005. In August of 2006,
the FDA also approved the use of bacteriophage as a food additive for
the treatment of Lysteria in ready?to?eat meat and poultry products.
¡°Broad spectrum antibiotics, harsh chemicals and irradiation have created
super bugs, pollutants, harmed field workers and have even lowered the
quality of some food products without effectively controlling the harmful
bacteria," Reber stated. "We believe phages can succeed as a
long-term solution for controlling unwanted bacteria where these old methods
Contamination of hides with pathogens such as E. coli is a major problem
in slaughtering plants. Cattle can host E. coli without harm. Recent research
by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has shown that pathogens tend
to gather on cowhides, which causes problems if the meat becomes contaminated
during hide removal.
USDA researchers also discovered that killing pathogens in hides before
removal is an effective way of reducing the risk of carcass contamination.
Worldwide food and non-food industries spend about ¢æ5.6bn on toxic chemicals
that are only partially successful in blocking pathogens, according to
Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan forecast that US demand for
antimicrobials - chemicals used to wash equipment and foods to ensure
they are free of food borne pathogens - would reach $215.8m in 2012, from
$161.7m in 2005.
International Conference for Food Safety and Quality (Nov. 7-8, 2006)
Major Topic: Current Detection Methods for Microbiological/Chemical
Hazards for Food Safety/Quality
- Coming Soon !
2nd International Conference for Food Safety and Quality (Nov.
6-7, 2007), South San Francisco Convention Center