Thought for Food Blog

Water - much more than H2O

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Aug-2016 16:15:36

These days, most people carry a drink with them wherever they go. Every food shop, however small, has a fridge packed with bottled beverages. Some people drink large quantities of sugary soft drinks, others can’t get through the day without copious quantities of coffee, and tea drinkers are happy to respond to recent experimental evidence that suggests tea is a healthy source of liquid sustenance for the human body. However, for purposes of hydration, the most popular choice is water.

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Topics: water, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, calcium, salt, contaminants, pathogens, fluoride, central nervous system, retail and marketing, magnesium, bone health, packaging, bacteria, food quality, cognitive function

The Hidden Threat in Plant Foods

Posted by Naomi McGrath

16-Feb-2015 13:42:00

Fresh fruit and vegetables form an essential part of a healthy diet. However, while they are undeniably good for us, their consumption may, on occasion, pose a risk to our health. The contamination of plant foods by bacteria tends to be less well known about than that of animal-derived foods, but is, nevertheless, a matter of great importance for food safety.

Bacterial contamination can affect a wide range of fruits, vegetables and other plant-derived foods, and several different species of bacteria may be responsible. Food recalls due to potential bacterial contamination have been issued for several different plant foods over the last few years, including watercress, freeze-dried sliced fruit and even a variety of herbs and spices, with Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella being some of the main culprits.

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Topics: food safety, bacteria, fruit, pathogens, vegetables, contaminants, food processing, packaging

NASA, Food Safety, and Air Purification

Posted by Dave Howard

02-Sep-2013 17:13:00

NASA’s impact on food safety doesn’t just involve HACCP; the agency has also developed air purification methods to make food safer.

The 1995 space shuttle Columbia mission included an experiment to demonstrate how food could be grown in greenhouses by astronaut pioneers on the moon.

This experiment consisted of a small greenhouse fitted with a special device to reduce the amount of ethylene build-up. Comprising of carbon and hydrogen, this gas is produced naturally by plants and helps them ripen. In the sealed environment of a space greenhouse, ethylene gas can build up, making food plants ripen too quickly and begin to spoil. In order to increase the lifespan of crops grown in space, the ethylene has to be removed.

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Topics: food safety, pathogens, agriculture, contaminants

NASA, Space, and Food Safety

Posted by Dave Howard

29-Aug-2013 09:52:00

In his January 1961 farewell address to the nation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower worried about the tradition of ‘the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop [being] overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields.’

NASA has certainly employed large teams of scientists and engineers to manage its complex missions; however the agency has also encouraged originality and the spark of genius that comes from passionate, individual inventors.

Both methods have resulted in remarkable technical innovations that have served to advance progress in aeronautics research, space science, space exploration and… food safety.

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Topics: food safety, pathogens, toxins, contaminants

Evaluating How Nutrition Can Optimise Immune Function

Posted by Dave Howard

27-Aug-2013 10:04:00

An optimal immune system is crucial to human health. After vaccination, nutrition is one of the major factors which modulates immune function.

Currently, there is uncertainty within the scientific community regarding what markers are available to reliably measure the impact of diet on the different aspects of immune function. In an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition, ILSI Europe's experts evaluated and prioritised more than 75 key immune markers.

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Topics: antioxidants, nutrition, allergies and allergens, healthy eating, nutrients, pathogens, immune system

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