Matching Items (4)

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Chemical Cuisine: An Eater's Guide to Common Food Additives

Description

In the last five decades, the prevalence of chemicals added to food to enhance its color, texture, flavor, and freshness has increased. These chemicals, known as food additives, are synthetically

In the last five decades, the prevalence of chemicals added to food to enhance its color, texture, flavor, and freshness has increased. These chemicals, known as food additives, are synthetically derived or chemically altered substances that are added to food during processing to achieve a specialized effect. Additives are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and while many are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), some emerging research suggests that their safety rulings need to be reexamined.

Considering food additives in one’s diet is of the utmost importance for health, though it can be problematic for those with limited knowledge of additives or nutrition. Common opinion is that good nutrition involves only what is or is not being consumed—calories, fat, etc. But the realm of nutrition depends on quality of food—whole, minimally processed food that subsequently lacks additives—as much as it does the composition of food.
This paper reviews eight of the most common and often problematic food additives in America: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium nitrate/ sodium nitrite, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans fat), monosodium glutamate (MSG), benzoate preservatives (BHA and BHT), potassium bromate, and caramel coloring. It is important to note that this list is far from comprehensive; these additives receive much attention in America making them some of the most talked about and most easily recognized additives.

This paper aims to present sound depictions of existing research that most often refutes the validity of the “generally recognized as safe” claim currently standing for these food additives, providing consumers with reliable information with which they can make educated decisions when purchasing food and eating healthfully.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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An Image Analysis Environment for Species Identification of Food Contaminating Beetles

Description

Food safety is vital to the well-being of society; therefore, it is important to inspect food products to ensure minimal health risks are present. A crucial phase of food inspection

Food safety is vital to the well-being of society; therefore, it is important to inspect food products to ensure minimal health risks are present. A crucial phase of food inspection is the identification of foreign particles found in the sample, such as insect body parts. The presence of certain species of insects, especially storage beetles, is a reliable indicator of possible contamination during storage and food processing. However, the current approach to identifying species is visual examination by human analysts; this method is rather subjective and time-consuming. Furthermore, confident identification requires extensive experience and training. To aid this inspection process, we have developed in collaboration with FDA analysts some image analysis-based machine intelligence to achieve species identification with up to 90% accuracy. The current project is a continuation of this development effort. Here we present an image analysis environment that allows practical deployment of the machine intelligence on computers with limited processing power and memory. Using this environment, users can prepare input sets by selecting images for analysis, and inspect these images through the integrated pan, zoom, and color analysis capabilities. After species analysis, the results panel allows the user to compare the analyzed images with referenced images of the proposed species. Further additions to this environment should include a log of previously analyzed images, and eventually extend to interaction with a central cloud repository of images through a web-based interface. Additional issues to address include standardization of image layout, extension of the feature-extraction algorithm, and utilizing image classification to build a central search engine for widespread usage.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The effect of a basic food safety intervention on food safety knowledge in U.S. young adults: an intervention trial

Description

The true number of food borne illness occurrences that stem from the home is largely unknown, but researchers believe the number is much greater than represented in national data. The

The true number of food borne illness occurrences that stem from the home is largely unknown, but researchers believe the number is much greater than represented in national data. The focus on food safety has generally been directed at food service establishments, which have made great strides at improving the methods of how their food is prepared. However, that same drive for proper food safety education is lacking in home kitchens, where the majority of food is prepared. Young adults are among some of the riskiest food preparers, and limited research and education methods have been tested on this vulnerable population. This study examined the effect of a basic food safety intervention on consumer food safety knowledge in young adults in the United States (U.S.) over a week period. The study had a pre/post survey design, where participants answered a survey, watched a short 10-minute video, and then recompleted the same survey a week later. Ninety-one participants age 18-29 years completed the initial food safety knowledge questionnaire. Twenty-six of those participants completed both the pre- and post-intervention food safety knowledge questionnaires. A paired t-test was used to analyze changes in questionnaire scores pre/post intervention. The majority of participants were female (78.9%), Arizona State University (ASU) students (78.0%), did not have any formal food safety education (58.2%), prepared a minimum of one meal per week from home (96.7%), and had completed 0-1 college nutrition courses (64.8%). The average overall score for all participants who completed the initial questionnaire was 62.6%. For those that took both the initial questionnaire and the follow up questionnaire (n=26), their scores shifted from 66.8% to 65.5% after the intervention. Scores increased significantly only for one question post-intervention: 38.5% (n=10) to 53.8% (n=14) for the safest method for cooling a large pot of hot soup (p = 0.050). This was the first study of its kind to test a video intervention in attempts to increase food safety knowledge in young adults, and additional studies must be done to solidify the results of this study. Other means of education should be explored as well to determine the best way of reaching this population and others.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Innovative insurance products in food safety: pricing revenue insurance in the fresh spinach industry

Description

The lack of food safety in a grower's produce presents the grower with two risks; (1) that an item will need to be recalled from the market, incurring substantial costs

The lack of food safety in a grower's produce presents the grower with two risks; (1) that an item will need to be recalled from the market, incurring substantial costs and damaging brand equity and (2) that the entire market for the commodity becomes impaired as consumers associate all produce as being risky to eat. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the leafy green industry, where recalls are relatively frequent and there has been one massive E. coli outbreak that rocked the industry in 2006. The purpose of this thesis is to examine insurance policies that protect growers from these risks. In doing this, a discussion of current recall insurance policies is presented. Further, actuarially fair premiums for catastrophic revenue insurance policies are priced through a contingent claims framework. The results suggest that spinach industry revenue can be insured for $0.02 per carton. Given the current costs of leafy green industry food safety initiatives, growers may be willing to pay for such an insurance policy.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013