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New in the Grocery Store – Cassava

Last week as I was doing my grocery shopping, I happened upon a new kind of pasta.  Several companies have launched cassava-based pasta, and it is becoming common on grocery shelves.  Cassava is a starchy root vegetable commonly consumed in many developing countries as a primary carbohydrate source.  It should never be eaten raw as […]

Friday’s Feature 15 January 2021

“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” ~~~Guy Finley~~~   Posted on 15 January 2021

Inflammatory Compounds in Cooked Meat Linked to Childhood Respiratory Issues

Inflammatory compounds known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) found in cooked, roasted, grilled, and fried meats have been linked to a heightened risk of childhood wheezing.  This research was recently published by the Thorax which is an international peer-reviewed medical journal focused on respiratory concerns.  AGEs lock on to danger signal cells in the […]

UK Meat Sector Granted Third Country Status

The continued export of meat, fish, and dairy from the UK into the rest of Europe has been confirmed, but many details are yet to be addressed which is a hindrance to Brexit preparations. In late December, the UK secured ‘national listed status’, and it was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural […]

U.S. Announces New Tariff on Imported Cognac and Certain Wines

On December 30, the United States announced that it would impose a 25% tariff on certain cognac, other grape brandies, and non-sparkling wines imported from France and Germany.  According to the Federal Register notice, the tariff will be imposed only on these products not holding over 4 liters valued at over $38 per proof liter.  […]

The Golden Goose, A Timeless Moneymaker

Another extreme case of spice fraud uncovered: Grimm’s Fairy Tale got it right after all: The “Golden Donkey” (German expression for “Golden Goose”) does indeed exist. In India, officials shut down a factory producing fake turmeric, chili powder and other spices and condiments. Authorities confiscated mostly inedible and hazardous ingredients which included man-made pigments and […]

France Launches Plant Protein Strategy

In late 2020, France unveiled a national plant protein strategy that aims to increase production of vegetable proteins for food and feed.  The strategy is designed to improve nutrition, support sustainability, reduce dependency on imported products, and promote agri-food sovereignty.  A budget of 100 million euros has been allocated for this strategy, and strong improvements […]

Takeout Cocktails May Stick Around in the US

Currently, more than 30 U.S. states have allowed bars and restaurants to sell alcohol to go during the pandemic.  In June of last year, Iowa became the first state to pass a bill that permanently permits takeout drinks with Ohio and Oregon following later last year.  Ohio also approved home delivery measures.  Other states including […]

EU to Recognize UK Organic Certification Temporarily

In December, the European Commission stated that it would recognize the six organic certification schemes currently operating in the UK for one calendar year after Brexit.  This approach averts potential issues for British organic exporters if a permanent trade agreement is not reached soon.  EU and UK organic equivalency ended with the UK’s departure from […]

Friday’s Feature 8 January 2021

“I would quit all of my bad habits for the new year, but then I remember that nobody likes a quitter.” ~~~ Unknown~~~   Posted on 8 January 2021

Food Authenticity – 2020 in Review

It is fair to say that 2020 was a challenging year with wide-ranging effects, including significant effects on our ongoing efforts to ensure food integrity and prevent fraud in the food system. COVID-19 caused major supply chain disruptions for foods and many other consumer products. It also highlighted challenges in effective tracking and standardization of […]

Genetically modified pork declared safe by FDA

The second approved GMO animal after salmon, genetically modified pig was approved by the FDA for human food, and in addition for medical use. However, raising these pigs does not happen on a large enough scale for meat consumption yet. The meat may be interesting for people allergic to alpha-gal, a sugar in red meat […]

Exemption of Hand Sanitizer Fees for Distillers

On January 5, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed that it has created a long-term solution to exclude craft distilleries and other small manufacturers from the onerous FDA fees imposed on manufacturers of hand sanitizer during the pandemic.  The American Craft Spirits Association (ASCA) led discussions with HHS leadership to align on […]

China Promulgates 2021 Tariff Plan

On December 28, China Ministry of Finance published the 2021 Tariff Adjustment Plan which adjusts provisional and conventional tariff rates for 880+ products.  The provisional tariff rate is the rate applied to partial import products for a certain period and is usually most favored nation (MFN) tariff which is applies to import products from WTO […]

Belgium Declared Free of African Swine Fever

On December 21, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) issued the self-declaration submitted from Belgium in late October declaring disease free status for African Swine Fever (ASF).  The disease-free status applies to boars and pigs, both wild and in captivity.  After the European Commission lifted the restricted zones, Belgium regained free status at the […]

Honey Detectives in Action

Honey authenticity can be tested by isotopic analysis. Honey is still on the list of the most adulterated foods. Adulteration can be done by mislabeling the geographical origin, by direct addition of sugars to honey, and feeding bees sugar syrup. Fortunately, a number of methods to detect fraudulent honey is available on the market. A […]

Database of Food Contact Chemicals

DESCRIPTION The peer reviewed journal, Environment International, published an article on 30 November 2020 which discusses a database of over 12,000 food contact chemicals which were reviewed by researchers. According to their findings, 608 of these chemicals were found to be “most hazardous.” These 608 materials were prioritized to be high-priority candidates for substitution. According […]

Friday’s Feature 1 January 2021

“Twenty Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~~~Mark Twain~~~   We are wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New […]

Labelling Guidance for Potassium Chloride as Salt Substitute

On December 17, 2020, FDA issued final guidance titled “Use of an Alternate Name for Potassium Chloride in Food Labeling” to advise food manufacturers of its intent to exercise enforcement discretion around the name “potassium salt” to better inform consumers that it is a salt substitute.  The enforcement discretion may result in manufacturers using potassium […]

Hazardous Chemicals Associated with Food Packaging Found in the Body

Press Release: Hazardous Chemicals Associated with Food Packaging Found in the Body – New Research Across Europe Calls for a Strong Legislative Response. DESCRIPTION A non-governmental organisation, Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) released a report on hazardous chemicals that are considered to be coming from food packaging, mainly plastics. The press release stated “Hazardous chemicals associated […]

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