Do you have the Next Big Thing in kitchen appliances? Check out our FREE guide on how to prove your product is as great as you know it is.
We have all seen the comical Thanksgiving dinner portrayed in American movies and television. The family gathers. Grandma drinks too much. Everyone avoids talking about Uncle's unfortunate incarceration...You try and explain for the 40th time what you do for a living...This year, I am thankful that life does not always imitate art. Our Thanksgiving will be much more run-of-the-mill, but the questions of my job and my opinion on certain food topics will definitely be in play. Here is a sneak preview of what I'm expecting:
A: This has been a hell of a year for pets, but things are going to get better. There are new regulations that will be released soon. These regulations will increase the frequency of testing on our pet foods. These pet foods will be considered as safe as food for human consumption. Although most problems have come from imported product, we have also had issues with domestically produced pet food and treats. We routinely do testing on FDA detained treats, but I guarantee we would find the same issues in domestic product if asked to test it. Because of the Food Safety Modernization Act, all pet food will be scrutinized much more closely in the future. For now, I think the pets of the world would agree that a few table scraps during Thanksgiving would be just fine.
It has happened to all of us. Doctors are shown rashes and moles at parties. Investment managers get hit up for free advice at their children’s soccer games. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are subject to two additional captive audience moments: plane travel and Thanksgiving dinner. This article will be 1 of 2 addressing the crazy questions I get asked as a food scientist by strangers. Part 2 will be dedicated to on-going explanation of our careers to our family.
As the demand for organic produce continues to rise around the world, companies in the produce industry look to expand their organic offerings. To be recognized as “certified organic” by the USDA, products must meet the requirements of the National Organic Program (NOP). NOP includes a list of almost 190 pesticides prohibited by best practices for organic growing, and this list is the basis for the latest improvement to the ABC Research Laboratories pesticide residue screen.
“As an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, we want every process we offer to follow recognized best practices,” remarked ABC Research Chief Scientific Officer Gillian Dagan, PhD. “Adopting the NOP list as the basis for our pesticide residue screen means nothing but good things for any produce grower working with us, whether they are organic or not.”
If you import food into the United States, one of your biggest nightmares is a detention by the FDA. As regulations continue to tighten, the potential for a detention is higher than ever. What do you do when your company faces one? We know there are a lot of questions, and our FDA detention resolution experts Gillian Dagan, PhD and Annie Hughes are here to help. This webinar will discuss:
Working on a research project for a client? This presentation will show you the best practices from start to finish to make sure you get the absolute most out of your shelf life or challenge study.
At ABC Research Laboratories we love research so much we put it in the company title. Our team is no stranger to research projects, and we know that sometimes getting started can be the hardest part. Knowing that, our own Chief Scientific Officer, Gillian Folkes Dagan, PhD, put together this handy infographic to help researchers get the wheels turning when it comes to starting a research project. We hope it helps! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!
Everyone has a bad day at the office every once in a while. Teachers have students that act out athletes have games cancelled due to weather and restaurants find a piece of a rodent in their shrimp scampi.Ew, that’s right! I said a piece of a rodent in their shrimp scampi. That one caught your attention, didn’t it?I’ve also seen an acrylic nail in a hamburger, a lizard in croutons, rodent excreta (poop) in bologna and a diet pill in a rotisserie chicken. Life is never dull as a food testing expert. When approached by a client with an unknown ID issue, a number of questions must be asked to ascertain what, if anything, can be done to identify the object in question and determine if its presence in the food item was intentional or unintentional. Here are a few of the questions we use to start the investigation:
Is my car a certified pre-owned car? Is my medication FDA approved for my specific condition? Does the FDA approve the nutritional information on my granola bar? In a number of situations, we as consumers wonder what type of assurances there are to protect our purchase decisions. We want to know that someone vets a business, monitors their behavior and places a stamp of approval on that business. It makes us feel supported, safe and comfortable to trust that company with our needs. This is true across industries—food testing included. Specifically, in my world of food safety, quality, and nutritional labeling, clients will often ask, “Is ABC Research an FDA approved lab?” Great question! Let’s discuss that question, the answer, and the other questions to ask when you need to feel comfortable in choosing a food testing laboratory.
Although the FDA does approve some items like food additives, food colors, and new drugs, the FDA does not approve manufacturers, laboratories or companies in general. Some laboratories will register with the FDA so they can process pharmaceutical samples; however, traditional food testing labs like ABC Research do not test pharmaceutical samples and, therefore, do not register. In addition, a significant portion of our lab results are submitted to the FDA on behalf of our clients and we are still not governed by FDA. However, there are accrediting bodies that oversee all types of laboratories. So the question of “Is ABC Research a FDA approved lab?” should really be “How do I know ABC Research is a reputable lab?”
I am a results oriented individual who is always looking for a better/faster/more efficient way of doing things. Who isn’t? But most often, we end up paying the price when we cut too many corners. I’d like to dedicate this blog post to the discussion of various sampling plans and making the proper selection.
In my last post I discussed proper usage levels for phosphates and analytical methods for evaluating phosphate usage on seafood. In this post I will discuss cooking performance tests as an evaluation tool, non-phosphate blends, and avoiding over-soaked product in the marketplace. In discussing the analytical methods involved in evaluating seafood for treatment with phosphates, it is always fair to mention that sometimes tests can be inconclusive. Confusing results in testing can come from a couple of sources: either you don’t have a good baseline value for phosphates in a specific type of seafood, or you may have moisture retention agents present that are non-phosphate blends or a combination of phosphate and non-phosphate moisture retention agents. In any case, product integrity and the possibility of over-soaking of the product can still be evaluated by an experienced food scientist using a visual inspection of raw product and a cooking performance test.
During this evaluation, seafood is first examined raw for translucency in the tissue, a jelly-like appearance or consistency, or an exceptional amount of drip-loss upon thawing. Some or all of these traits are characteristic of over-soaked product. The product is then cooked: shrimp are boiled and fish, scallops, and other seafood are usually cooked on a flat top non-stick grill. If you working with shrimp, you then examine the cooked product for translucency in the tissue and the overall appearance of still being slightly raw. For all other seafood, observations are taken during cooking and on the finished product. Signs of over-soaked product include purge during cooking, foaming product, and translucency in the tissue of the cooked product. Although this sounds like an easy comparison to make, these odd events can range from being easily identifiable to being very slightly expressed. In all cases, a trained food scientist should be employed to make the call of whether product is over-soaked or properly treated with phosphates or other moisture retention agents.
© 2013 ABC Research Laboratories • 3437 SW 24th Ave. Gainesville, FL 32607 • T 352.372.0436 • F 352.378.6483