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Veggie Booty, you
must be kidding?
Posted on September 4, 2007 by Salmonella Lawyer
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
Several weeks ago we filed a Complaint on behalf of little Sydney and
Cole Scheels who became ill with culture-positive Salmonella and were
tied specifically to the Veggie Booty Salmonella outbreak. A few days
ago we received the defendant Robert's American Gourmet Food Inc.'s response
(it's Answer) to poisoning my clients (and presumably all the other customers
sickened). It's Answer was in fact a blanket denial of everything (much
different than the public apologies). Most interesting were the "Affirmative
Defenses." Some of the more amusing are here:
AS AND FOR A THIRD AFFIRMATIVE
If, in fact, plaintiffs sustained injuries or damages as alleged in the
Verified Complaint, which damages and injuries are hereby expressly denied,
said injuries and damages occurred as a result of the plaintiffs¡¯ own
AS AND FOR A FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE
If, in fact, plaintiffs sustained damages as alleged in the Verified Complaint,
such damages were caused, in whole or in part, by the comparative negligence
of the plaintiffs and such damages, which are hereby denied, should be
diminished and reduced in the proportion to which the comparative negligence
attributable to the plaintiffs bear up on the culpability, if any, of
AS AND FOR A SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE
That in the event that any judgment or verdict is rendered in favor of
the plaintiffs, this answering defendant is entitled to have such judgment
or verdict reduced by the amount of any collateral payments made to the
plaintiffs for expenses and by the amount of all such payments plaintiffs
will receive in the future.
AS AND FOR A SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE
Plaintiffs¡¯ recovery should be barred or reduced by virtue of the adult
plaintiffs¡¯ having knowingly, voluntarily and unreasonably assumed the
risk of physical injury to the infant-plaintiff by not seeking immediate
and/or proper medical attention.
AS AND FOR A NINTH AFFIRMATIVE
At all times relevant herein, this defendant exercised reasonable care,
acted in accordance with or exceeded all applicable Municipal, City, State
and Federal statutory, regulatory and common law requirements, regulations,
codes and standards.
AS AND FOR A THIRTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE
The incident, the injuries, and the damages complained of were caused
by the unauthorized, unintended, improper and/or negligent use or abuse
of the product and plaintiffs¡¯ failure to exercise reasonable and ordinary
care, caution or vigilance.
AS AND FOR A FOURTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE
Defendants made no warranties to plaintiffs.
AS AND FOR A FIFTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE
To the extent warranties apply, defendant breached no warranties.
AS AND FOR A SIXTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE
To the extent the warranties apply, the incident and all injuries and
damages complained of occurred after all applicable warranties expired.
AS AND FOR A SEVENTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE
The product complained of was designed and manufactured in compliance
with all applicable design and manufacturing specifications.
AS AND FOR AN EIGHTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE
Plaintiffs¡¯ damages were the result of a preexisting condition and are
unrelated to any conduct of defendants.
AS AND FOR A TWENTY-THIRD AFFIRMATIVE
Plaintiffs¡¯ alleged damages are the result of idiosyncratic conditions
and are unrelated to any conduct of this answering defendant.
AS AND FOR A TWENTY-FOURTH
Plaintiffs¡¯ knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risks associated with
the activities in which they were engaged.
AS AND FOR A TWENTY-FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE
Plaintiffs¡¯ failed to mitigate their damages.
AS FOR A TWENTY-SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE
Plaintiffs¡¯ claims are barred by the applicable doctrines of Laches, unclean
hands, waiver and estoppel.
AS FOR A TWENTY-EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE
Plaintiffs¡¯ injuries, symptoms or problems, if any, are the result of
genetic, environmental and/or sociological factors over which defendant
had no control and had no duty to control.
AS AND FOR A THIRTY-FIRST AFFIRMATIVE
The product was substantially altered, modified and/or changed, after
it left the control of the defendants. Sometimes a Corporation and its
lawyers have no shame at all.
possible cause of lung disease
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml
9/04/2007-According to an AP report, a doctor at Denver's National Jewish
Medical and Research Center has written to federal regulators that they
may have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from
the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years. It was
just one case and the doctor cautioned that they cannot be sure that the
patient's exposure to butter-flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy
preparation has caused his lung disease. However, there is currently no
other plausible explanation, according to the doctor. The lung disease
was first noticed in workers who make flavorings or use them to produce
microwave popcorn. Production workers employed by flavoring manufacturers
(or those who use flavorings in the production process) often handle a
large number of chemicals, many of which can be highly irritating to breathe
in high concentrations. Diacetyl has been used as a butter flavor ingredient
for several years and is approved for this use by the Food and Drug Administration.
It has been the subject of lawsuits by workers at food factories exposed
to the flavoring.
Butter flavors used in microwave popcorn generally contain significantly
more diacetyl than other types of flavors because of consumer preference,
and microwave popcorn manufacturing and preparation processes.
The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association issued a statement Tuesday
recommending that its members reduce "to the extent possible"
the amount of diacetyl in butter flavorings they make.
See also CDC Information on the topic.: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/flavorings/
bacteria at plant
Listeria found at Gills before onion recall; state inspection finds 22
By Stephanie Hoops (Contact)
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.venturacountystar.com/
A month ago the official word coming from an onion processing plant in
Oxnard was that the company did not know how dangerous bacteria that prompted
a recall got into one bag of onions.
The California Department of Public Health also reported it did not know.
But the agency's records, obtained by The Star through a freedom of information
request, show the bacteria appeared at least five times at the plant in
the months leading up to the June 20 recall of 41,306 pounds of diced
yellow onions sold under the Gills Onions Brand and Sysco Natural Brand.
After the recall, the state health department conducted a two-day inspection
at the company's Oxnard plant that turned up 22 sanitation violations,
including: worn and dirty conveyor belts that exposed the onions to foreign
debris; used tissues strewn about the processing floor; dirty and damaged
holding bins; employees wearing their head covers incorrectly; and two
live birds and their feces on the walls in the "men's lunch area."
No one got sick from the bacteria Listeria found in the one bag of onions.
It was included in retail packages labeled with "Lot #2017-R"
and carried a "best if used by" date of June 16.
Given all the contamination scares that have arisen lately, compounded
by yet another spinach recall last week, consumers want answers, said
Judy Dugan, research director for the Foundation of Taxpayer and Consumer
Rights in Santa Monica.
"We want to know where this is coming from, why foods normally regarded
as simply safe and healthy are making people sick," she said. "And
what can be done to make the system far more safe?"
In July, Gills Onions' spokeswoman Nelia Alamo said the company was in
the dark about the origin of the bacteria Listeria.
"We don't have a smoking gun to say where it came from," she
said at the time.
Last week, she said the company has taken corrective measures and is waiting
for new quipment to complete their plan, which she said the state has
reviewed and is satisfied with. Alamo said the company follows "established
sanitation procedures and re-testing is done" when listeria is detected
in the environment.
"We have not had positive test on the finished product," she
wrote in a facsimile responding to several questions submitted to the
company by The Star.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause listeriosis, which sickens about
2,500 people a year in the U.S., killing about 500. Contaminated food
can cause serious infections and is particularly dangerous for pregnant
women and people with weakened immune systems.
Listeria appeared in private lab tests of the Gills' processing plant
in March and April in the inspection and peeling areas.
The state did not know about those positive findings, according to Lea
Brooks, spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health.
"Gills had not notified the CDPH and were not required under the
law to do so," she said in an e-mail message.
The state "generally inspects fresh produce processors annually depending
on compliance history and complaints received," she wrote. The inspections
are not announced in advance.
She was unavailable to further describe the reporting process as of press
On July 27, The Star asked the state for its reports from the inspections
conducted on June 19 and 20. The documents were provided 11 days after
the state re-inspected the plant on Aug. 13.
When the recall was announced in June, Gills' statement to the media was
that it involved about 30,000 pounds of onions.
State records, however, show the lot of onions had more than 45,000 pounds
Alamo said Friday that "41,306 was the total amount recalled.
"That amount was stated on all official paperwork with FDA and the
State of California Health and Human Services," she said in her fax.
Alamo said Gills is "committed to producing safe, fresh-cut onion
products and to constantly strive for a better food safety program based
on the best available information and science."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the federal agency charged with
making sure foods are safe, but has been criticized for being an underfunded
agency that is not doing enough to inspect domestic foods. Three phone
calls to the agency over three days seeking comment were not returned.
Penalties the state can levy against food processing facilities include
suspension or revocation of a firm's health permit, which would stop operations.
Brooks also said that "if the Food and Drug Branch determines that
an existing product is adulterated, staff can embargo the product to prevent
distribution into commerce."
Schwarzengrund Outbreak Investigation, August 2007 tied to dry pet food
Posted on September 5, 2007 by Salmonella Lawyer
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
CDC is collaborating with public
health officials in Pennsylvania and other state health departments and
the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate a multi-state outbreak
of Salmonella serotype Schwarzengrund infections in humans. These human
illnesses have been linked with dry pet food produced by Mars Petcare
US at a single manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. People who think
they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an
animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult their health-care providers.
As of September 4, 2007, 62
persons infected with the same strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund have
been reported to CDC from 18 states: Pennsylvania (26 cases), New York
(8 cases), Ohio (6 cases), Massachusetts (5 cases), Maine (2 cases), North
Dakota (2 cases), Virginia (2 cases), Alabama (1 case), California (1
case), Delaware (1 case), Illinois (1 case), Kentucky (1 case), Maryland
(1 case), Michigan (1 case), Minnesota (1 case), New Jersey (1 case),
North Carolina (1 case), and Wisconsin (1 case). Of the ill persons for
whom an age is available, 39% were one year of age or younger. Of ill
persons for whom clinical information is available, 32% developed bloody
diarrhea and 10 (25%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
#1 in Making People Sick
Editor: Edmund A. Normand
Firm: Wooten, Honeywell, Kimbrough, Gibson, Doherty and Normand, P.A.
September 04, 2007
By Ed Normand
Source of Article: http://orlando.injuryboard.com/
Florida leads the nation in something besides College Football and Basketball,
the state also has more people get sick eating out than any other state.
Food poisoning is a major cause of illness in this country. The main culprits,
you guessed it: seafood, ethnic food and the ubiquitous "all you
can eat buffet." This is not just a little throw up and diarrhea
problem. People die and get terminal disease from this bad food. In fact
the Center for Disease Control estimates that 5,000 people die from food
borne illnesses each year. Yep, that is in the thousands. Hepatitis, E.
Coli and salmonella can all be contracted from eating out and they can
kill or cause life long problems. Our firm has prosecuted death and injury
cases related to hepatitis, E. Coli and other serious injuries caused
by eating out. And some of these places were famous, national chains and
we are not just talking fast food. Take E. Coli for example. over 300
Floridians got sick from bacteria like E.Coli. Outbreaks often occur from
one night of service at a restaurant. In Orlando we had an outbreak of
food contamination that left a score of innocent diners with hepatitis
An outbreak (defined as 2 or more patrons that get sick from the same
items or same place) can result from the failure to do simple tasks like
hand washing, proper food storage and failure to cook food correctly.
Restaurants, especially the big chains, corporate restaurants and theme
parks will fight these claims vociferously. It is never their fault even
when a dozen diners get sick on the same day from the same food.
If you get sick from eating out get to a hospital ASAP. It may be a few
day illness or it may be deadly. Call the CDC at 1-800-311-3435. In Florida,
contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
at 850-4871395 to report an outbreak. It may not be just you and others
could be lot sicker or die from the same food borne illness and contamination.
Your report will help to link the illness to the correct source and keep
the dirty restaurant from shifting the blame. Also call us. We have pending
cases now of diseases contracted from eating out in Florida. Many times
we can use both negligence and product liability theories to successfully
pursue the case.
Before you eat out, look at the inspection reports of the restaurant before
you eat out to protect your family from Food poisoning cases. A good website
to check out is healthinspections.com
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section
on Defective and Dangerous Products.
prevalent in unpasteurized milk
By Scott Baltic
Source of Article: http://www.sciam.com/
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A survey of unpasteurized milk samples drawn
from dairy farms across Wisconsin found a significant presence of Coxiella
burnetii and Listeria monocytogenes, two different types of bacteria that
can cause serious infection and even death in some people.
These findings have particular relevance for consumers seeking raw milk
The study, reported at the annual International Conference on Diseases
in Nature Communicable to Man held last week in Madison, Wisconsin, was
based on a random sampling of milk from 901 Wisconsin dairy farms. The
farms were chosen to encompass small and large herds, producers of Grade
A and B milk, and all five of the state's geographic regions.
Approximately 76 percent of the samples had detectable C. burnetii DNA,
and 5 percent of the samples harbored L. monocytogenes.
Milk from larger herds and farms producing Grade A milk appeared to have
a larger risk of having detectable C. burnetii, but no clear risk factors
emerged to predict which farms were more likely to have L. monocytogenes
in their milk. Both bacteria were broadly distributed geographically.
Presenter Dr. Suzanne Gibbons-Burgener, from the University of Wisconsin
in Madison, noted that on-farm use of raw milk is legal and common, and
that the sale of unpasteurized milk is legal in 28 states, though California,
for example, requires a warning label. In some states that ban the sale
of raw milk, including Wisconsin, advocates of what they call Real Milk
have over the past 10 years organized "Cow-Share" programs.
Under these programs, consumers who want unpasteurized dairy products
circumvent such bans by buying shares in a cow or herd. A poster presentation
at the meeting by the Public Health Agency of Canada reported an outbreak
of Campylobacter infection in Ontario in June that was traced to cheese
made at a local farm from unpasteurized milk. About two dozen people became
ill and eight sought medical help. Gibbons-Burgener pointed out that raw
milk can also harbor and promote the growth of E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter
and Coxiella, and that Listeria thrives at refrigerator temperatures.
Although Coxiella probably doesn't survive the human digestive process,
and more than 50 percent of Coxiella seroconversions in humans are asymptomatic,
C. burnetii can, nonetheless, cause Q fever in humans. Dr. Gibbons-Burgener
noted that in 2004, an elderly Wisconsin dairy farmer developed acute
Q fever after assisting with calving.
"Both bacteria continue to pose a public health threat," she
told Reuters Health, and recommended that physicians warn their immunocompromised
patients about the risks of consuming raw milk.
The greater risk for raw milk drinkers is L. monocytogenes, she told Reuters,
but added that the occupational risk of Coxiella infection, especially
through possible aerosolization during milking, should be noted.
Q fever is characterized by the sudden onset of one or more of the following
symptoms: high fever, severe headache, general malaise, muscle soreness,
confusion, sore throat, chills, sweats, non-productive cough, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and chest pain, according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The fever usually lasts for 1 to 2 weeks, and weight loss may persist
for some time. Thirty to fifty percent of patients with symptomatic infection
will develop pneumonia, and some will develop hepatitis. Most patients
will recover to good health within several months without any treatment.
L. monocytogenes, has recently been recognized as an important public
health problem in the United States. It primarily affects pregnant women,
newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. A person with listeriosis
has fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such
as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms
such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions
can occur. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like
illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage
or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn.
Tom Harkin: Second Large-Scale
Spinach Recall Proves National Framework Needed
Mon, 09/03/2007 -
Senate Legislation in Works to Reduce Foodborne Illness Caused by Produce
Source of Article: http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/
Aug. 30, 2007 -- Washington, D.C. ? Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman
of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today
issued the following statement on the recall of 8,118 cases of bagged
spinach after they tested positive for Salmonella. The produce, distributed
by Metz Fresh LLC of King City, California, has not been linked to any
human cases of foodborne illness, yet comes almost one year after an outbreak
of E. coli O157:H7 in fresh, bagged spinach.
¡°With the memory of last summer¡¯s massive E. coli outbreak in spinach
still fresh in our minds, Americans are once again being hit by a large-scale
recall of bagged spinach,¡± said Harkin. ¡°This is a food safety concern
for consumers who wonder if it is okay to serve this produce to their
families and it is an agricultural concern for growers who face another
blow to sales of their product.
¡°For American consumers and producers, it is long-overdue for the FDA
to exercise more oversight of food safety practices both in the field
and in the processing of produce. Legislation I am working on in the Senate
aims to do just that.¡±
Harkin is preparing to reintroduce legislation he has previously proposed
to set up a national program that would require food safety practices
for growing and processing fresh produce at most risk of causing foodborne
Source: Senator Tom Harkin
Leafy Greens And E. Coli
Source of Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070902193834.htm
Science Daily The rise in year-round consumption of fresh leafy greens
such as lettuce and baby spinach is increasing the difficulty of keeping
produce free from contamination by food poisoning bacteria, according
"The only land suitable for supplying this abundance of year-round,
high quality, fresh leafy vegetables, which are eaten raw by large populations
in Europe and the United States, is in special geographic regions, with
ideal soil and climate conditions", says Robert Mandrell from the
US Department of Agriculture's Research Service in Albany, California.
This move to the year-round supply of leafy vegetables has required new
methods to clean, package and deliver rapidly these fragile food items
across large distances to consumers in many parts of the world. These
include harvesting mowers for some leafy greens, processing in water flumes
and triple washing, and modified atmosphere packaging for extended shelf-life.
Recent food scares and food poisoning outbreaks have led to intensive
investigations of farms and ranches. These have shown that at least some
food poisoning bacteria outbreaks have been due to field contamination
before the greens are even harvested. "This situation complicates
strategies for eliminating illnesses and outbreaks due to the complex
ecosystem of multiple potential sources, such as water, wildlife, and
nearby livestock, all of which could be sources of bacteria causing food
poisoning", says Robert Mandrell.
Following wide media coverage of outbreaks caused by E. coli in leafy
vegetables and Salmonella in tomatoes, the US fresh produce industry and
federal and state agencies are trying to address the microbial food safety
of leafy greens and other vegetables. Major US produce industry associations
have worked together to establish a marketing agreement, a set of food
safety guidelines (metrics) for growers to produce and harvest leafy greens,
and have increased funding for research.
Probably, a convergence of
unusual events is required for very large outbreaks to occur, a factor
everyone is hoping will not affect 2007 harvests. Logical theories about
pre-harvest contamination provide points for study, but no definitive
conclusions about the most recent outbreaks can be provided. Fresh, minimally
processed leafy greens are here to stay, if the industry continues to
work hard to re-establish consumer confidence.
Dr Mandrell is presenting the
paper 'Fresh leafy greens and Escherichia coli O157:H7: outbreaks, incidence
in the environment, source-tracking' at 0945 on Monday 03 September 2007
in the Microbial Infection Group session of the 161st Meeting of the Society
for General Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, 03 - 06 September
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Society
for General Microbiology.
Safety and Quality Related Job Openings
Quality Assurance Technician - Frozen Specialties,
Inc. ? West Haven, CT
Food Safety Sara Lee Downer¡¯s Grove, IL
Quality Assurance Supervisor (night shift) - The Honickman Group - Baltimore,
Food Safety Specialist - America's Second Harvest - Chicago, IL
Manager Public Health & Safety - Holland America Line Seattle, WA
Instrumentation Chemistry, Supervisor Northland Laboratories Northbrook,
QUALITY ASSURANCE Manager - Avendra, LLC - Dallas/Ft Worth or Houston,
Food Safety and Quality Related Job Openings
International Conference for Food Safety and Quality (Nov.
6-7, 2007), South San Francisco Convention Center
1st International Conference for Food Safety and Quality
(Nov. 7-8, 2006)
Major Topic: Current Detection Methods for Microbiological/Chemical Hazards
for Food Safety/Quality
Test For Dangerous Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Source of Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070905081546.htm
Science Daily ? Researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Surrey
have developed microchips capable of quickly and cheaply identifying dangerous
and drug resistant bacteria in clinical samples, scientists recently announced.*
For the first time doctors and veterinarians will be able to test clinical
samples from their patients for the presence of the genes for antibiotic
resistance in bacteria, getting the results within 24 hours instead of
having to wait for as much as a week.
"We have developed a test chip which can accurately identify 56 virulence
genes in the diarrhoea-causing Escherichia coli bacteria and 54 antimicrobial
resistance genes covering all the known families of gram-negative bacteria",
says Dr Muna Anjum from the UK¢®|s Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Addlestone,
The chip will speed up the process of diagnosis and treatment by giving
quicker results from clinical testing laboratories. The chip will also
make it possible to carry out routine surveillance studies to monitor
the way genes for virulence and antimicrobial resistance are spread in
the environment, food samples, or even in farm and wild animals.
"Our chips have already been used very successfully in a survey of
microbial resistance in human clinical isolates, foods, farm animals and
also in wild animals, where we were looking at them as possible reservoirs
of infection which can transmit disease back into farm animals",
says Dr Anjum.
The miniaturised microarray chips were developed by studying and identifying
the dangerous genes from samples of gut bacteria including the diarrhoea-causing
E. coli bacteria and the food poisoning bug Salmonella.
In a test of the new chip screening technique, the most common antibiotic
resistance gene was identified in 90% of E. coli and 56% of Salmonella
bacteria from a random group of animal and human clinical samples. The
tests even identified some unique and previously unknown combinations
of virulence genes, whose significance still needs to be determined.
"In the near future, we are planning to automate the method to enable
each sample to be tested for up to 600 genes and for 96 samples to be
processed in half a day", says Dr Muna Anjum. "This will allow
large scale monitoring of bacterial pathogens to see how they gain and
lose genes related to disease and its control".
This technology will also allow scientists to search for and identify
important genes from other pathogens and bacteria, for instance genes
which may be commercially important in industrial processes such as waste
handling, plastics production, manufacturing, food processing or pharmaceutical
*Dr Anjum is presenting the poster 'The diagnostic potential of miniaturised
DNA microarrays' on Wednesday 05 September 2007 in the Microbial Infection
Group session of the 161st Meeting of the Society for General Microbiology
at the University of Edinburgh.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Society
for General Microbiology.
Launches Enzyme to Reduce Acrylamide in Food
Source of Article: http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/
Sep 3,2007-Novozymes launches Acrylaway to reduce acrylamide which is
formed when starchy foods are baked, fried or toasted at high temperatures.
Acrylamide is under suspicion of causing cancer.
03/09/07 Researchers from Novozymes, the world leader in bio-innovations
and bio-solutions have found a solution to reduce the level of acrylamide
in food products such as cookies, crackers and snacks.
Novozymes launches Acrylaway to reduce acrylamide which is formed when
starchy foods are baked, fried or toasted at high temperatures. Acrylamide
is under suspicion of causing cancer.
In 2002, a study by the Swedish National Food Authorities discovered considerable
levels of acrylamide in food products such as French fries, biscuits,
snacks and crackers. The study raised awareness of acrylamide worldwide.
A new enzyme called Acrylaway addresses this problem.
Acrylaway can be applied to a wide range of products opening up for an
overall reduction of average daily intake of acrylamide for consumers
"It is a fundamental need for consumers and society that our food
is safe and healthy. With the enzyme solution from Novozymes, food manufacturers
can now offer end-consumers food products with reduced worries regarding
acrylamide" says Peder Holk Nielsen, Executive Vice President, Sales
& Marketing at Novozymes.
Acrylamide is reduced up to
Independent tests show that Acrylaway effectively reduces acrylamide levels
by 50% to 90% in a broad range of foods such as biscuits, crackers, crisp
bread and snacks.
"Many food manufacturers globally have already tested Acrylaway and
have shown interest in the product and its ability to substantially reduce
acrylamide without changing the taste and appearance of their food product,"
Peder Holk Nielsen says.
Fights E. Coli
August 31, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830164955.htm
Science Daily ? Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can kill bacteria
like the common pathogen E. coli by severely damaging their cell walls,
according to a recent report from Yale researchers in the American Chemical
Society (ACS) journal Langmuir.
E.coli incubated for one hour on support matrix in the absence of nanotubes
(top image) or in the presence of nanotubes (bottom image). E. coli are
visible in the left image, but gone from the right image. (Credit: Yale
"We began the study out of concerns for the possible toxicity of
nanotubes in aquatic environments and their presence in the food chain,"
said Menachem Elimelech, professor and chair of chemical and environmental
engineering at Yale and senior author on the paper. "While nanotubes
have great promise for medical and commercial applications there is little
understanding of how they interact with humans and the environment."
"The nanotubes are microscopic carbon cylinders, thousands of times
smaller than a human hair that can be easily taken up by human cells,"
said Elimelech. "We wanted to find out more about where and how they
This "nanoscience version of a David-and-Goliath story" was
hailed in an ACS preview of the work as the first direct evidence that
"carbon nanotubes have powerful antimicrobial activity, a discovery
that could help fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistant infections."
Using the simple E. coli as test cells, the researchers incubated cultures
of the bacteria in the presence of the nanotubes for up to an hour. The
microbes were killed outright -- but only when there was direct contact
with aggregates of the SWCNTs that touched the bacteria. Elimelech speculates
that the long, thin nanotubes puncture the cells and cause cellular damage.
The study ruled out metal toxicity as a source of the cell damage. To
avoid metal contaminants in commercial sources, the SWCNTs were rigorously
synthesized and purified in the laboratory of co-author Professor Lisa
"We're now studying the toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes
and our preliminary results show that they are less toxic than SWCNTs,"
Elimelech said. "We are also looking at the effects of SWCNTs on
a wide range of bacterial strains to better understand the mechanism of
Elimelech projects that SWCNTs could be used to create antimicrobial materials
and surface coatings to improve hygiene, while their toxicity could be
managed by embedding them to prevent their leaching into the environment.
Other authors on the paper are Seoktae Kang and Mathieu Pinault. The project
was funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation.
Citation: Langmuir 23(17): 8670-8673 (August 28, 2007).
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Yale University.
Ginger-carrot film is used to roll sushi at a research center in California.
By KIM SEVERSON
Published: August 29, 2007
New Brunswick, N.J.
Source of Article: http://www.nytimes.com/
ANTIMICROBIAL Tara McHugh, above, works with films made from pureed vegetables
at the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif.
LEAVE heirloom tomatoes to the organic farmers and pork belly to the chefs.
In the chemistry department at Rutgers University and other laboratories
like it, the real action is in less trendy ingredients like oregano, crab
shells and milk.
In a handful of food science
labs around the country, people who talk about food in terms of microbes
and polymers have been turning the natural pathogen fighters found in
everyday food into edible films and powders.
If their work pans out, thin films woven with a thyme derivative that
can kill E. coli could line bags of fresh spinach. The same material in
powder form might be sprinkled on packages of chicken to stop salmonella.
Strawberries could be dipped in a soup made from egg proteins and shrimp
shells. The resulting film invisible, edible and, ideally, flavorless
? would fight mold, kill pathogens and keep the fruit ripe longer.
For average eaters who are still scratching their heads over trans fat,
food coated with invisible films that lure bad microorganisms to their
death might as well be nuclear fusion. But food scientists believe the
potential for using these everyday ingredients to make a safer food supply
¡°These natural films are really a very hot topic these days,¡± said Michael
Chikindas, a food scientist working with the team at Rutgers. ¡°The range
of applications is endless, from very delicate foods to Army rations and
On the most basic level, the films are something like a plastic wrap made
of edible components that dissolves in water. The films can be infused
with molecules from cloves, thyme or other foods that can keep unhealthy
bacteria from growing. They can even be manipulated to carry flavor.
Of course, what works in the lab doesn¡¯t always translate to the production
line. As far as most of the scientists know, these new edible antimicrobial
films and powders have yet to coat any food on the market. But their time
is near, researchers say. Patents are pending and several large companies,
commodity groups and the federal government have invested money in the
In any food processing innovation, the timing has to be right for both
consumers and manufacturers, and this might be the moment. Reports of
food-borne sickness outbreaks have become part of the daily news. Just
last week, baby carrots infected with shigella, a bacteria, were recalled
in 12 states. In July, 86 brands of canned chili sauce and other meat
products were recalled in a botulism scare. In June consumers were advised
to throw away bags of the snack called Veggie Booty after salmonella in
it made people in 17 states sick.
As shoppers demand safer food, they¡¯re also demanding healthier food made
with ingredients they can pronounce.
¡°We¡¯re working on consumer-friendly antimicrobials, so people will read
the package label and not freak out,¡± said Mark Daeschel, a professor
of food science at Oregon State University.
Professor Daeschel teamed up with the food scientist Yanyun Zhao to engineer
an edible film made from a fiber found in crab and shrimp shells. They
mixed in lysozyme, a protein found in both eggs and human tears that has
proven effective against listeria and staphylococcus. ¡°It¡¯s why we don¡¯t
get eye infections,¡± he said.
The result is a film that could coat fruit or meat or even become an edible
Beyond concerns for safer food and more natural products, the researchers
are enjoying another bit of good timing: Consumers are becoming accustomed
to thinking about edible film as a product that can deliver mouthwash
and cough syrup. Why not food?
¡°One of the big breakthroughs were those Listerine strips,¡± said Tara
McHugh, a food researcher with the Department of Agriculture who makes
films from carrots and tomatoes. ¡°Consumers have just become more comfortable
Many people already eat more films and coatings than they realize. The
wax on apples and the coating on aspirin are examples of edible protective
layers used to battle oxygen, moisture and mishandling.
Most coatings are made from gluten, cellulose, starch and various proteins
approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe for consumption.
They line ice cream cones and coat battered frozen food. A layer of film
in some frozen pizzas keeps moisture from the sauce from seeping into
the crust. Fresh sliced apples and other produce get coatings of ascorbic
acid to keep them from turning brown.
Indeed, many shiny confections like chocolate-covered almonds and raisins
are coated with confectioner¡¯s glaze, a substance that might make some
snackers cringe. It is often made with the secretions of a mite-sized
beetle that lives in India and Thailand.
Making confectioner¡¯s glaze also requires ethanol, which is regulated
by the Environmental Protection Agency, said Dr. John Krochta, a food
scientist at the University of California at Davis. The new kinds of edible
coatings might eliminate the need for ethanol, he said.
In the mid-1990s, when work on edible films was beginning to take off,
Professor Krochta figured out how to turn whey into a film that would
be biodegradable. He was interested in the film, but also in finding a
way for cheesemakers to use the excess whey they produced. The California
government and that state¡¯s dairy industry helped pay for the research.
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