A group of Oakland, California-based biohackers believe they can create “real vegan cheese.” Their goal - a cheese made with no animal products that fully evokes the real dairy deal The team will insert bovine DNA — which is chemically synthesized and does not come from an animal — into living baker's yeast cells, temporarily turning the yeast into a so-called "protein factory" that produces milk protein.
The biohackers then extract that protein from the yeast and combine it with water, vegetable butter, and vegan sugar (instead of lactose), to make a milk substitute. Finally, this vegan milk can be turned into Real Vegan Cheese in the same way that normal cheese is produced from cow milk. The final food product will be a semi-hard cheese like Gouda. It will be totally vegan — and lactose-free. [MORE]
Food scientists are working to block, mask and/or distract from bitter tastes in foods to make them more palatable to consumers, many of whom are genetically sensitive to bitter tastes, according to a new presentation at the 2014 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® in New Orleans.
"Many factors go into why we eat what we do," said John Hayes, PhD, assistant professor of food science and director of the Sensory Evaluation Center at Pennsylvania State University, with taste consistently ranking as number one. There's also "a huge variability in how much bitterness people taste. If something is bitter you like it less and you eat it less." [MORE]
Remove the lid from a cup of Chobani, and you may now be greeted by this printed tagline: "Nature got us to 100 calories, not scientists. #howmatters." This is an incredible work of PR, perhaps bested only by "a cup of yogurt won’t change the world, but how we make it might." The claim accomplishes the two-fold goal of being both demonstrably false and wildly offensive, to scientists, the IQ of consumers, and likely people working for Chobani. It is a minor miracle. Let us explore. [MORE]
... and the backpedaling
So Coke and Pepsi are rushing to remove (BVO) from their drinks in response to consumer pressure. Some of the campaigns are predictably in terms of the ingredient having non-food uses (a fire retardant) make it inappropriate to use in food. However CSPI and others point to reasonable toxicological concerns and it looks like BVO is on the way out.
What was BVO doing in drinks in the first place? Why would soda contain any vegetable oil and why would you brominate it? [MORE]
More on BVO from WebMD
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Antimicrobial agents incorporated into edible films applied to foods to seal in flavor, freshness and color can improve the microbiological safety of meats, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Using films made of pullulan -- an edible, mostly tasteless, transparent polymer produced by the fungus Aureobasidium pulluns -- researchers evaluated the effectiveness of films containing essential oils derived from rosemary, oregano and nanoparticles against foodborne pathogens associated with meat and poultry. [MORE]
In the absence of federal regulations for the safe production of food products that include marijuana, the state of Colorado is at the forefront of setting its own regulations. Colorado voters agreed to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2013, and now it falls to the state’s Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division to ensure that food made with this ingredient is safe for human consumption. [MORE]
Note from blog editor: Governement approval should be a breeze. It has already been designated as "GRAS" :-)
April 28, 2014. More on the topic: Marijuana Edibles: You May Not Be Getting What You Think. Potency is just one issue with marijuana products.“We’ve found E.coli, we’ve found Salmonella, we’ve found other gram negative bacteria, molds and mildews, pesticides.” [MORE]
Anyone who has ever drizzled, doused or — heck — drenched their food with Sriracha knows the hot sauce can make almost any dish taste better. But could these spicy condiments also make us a little happier? [MORE]
A tall glass of orange juice is the very image of refreshment, packed with vitamins and radiating with sunshine freshness. It’s part of a balanced breakfast, after all. But America’s classic morning drink is in trouble: sales of commercial orange juice are down to their lowest levels in the last 15 seasons, according to the WSJ and the Florida Department of Citrus. The industry is facing growing competition from exotic fruit and energy drinks while its “all-natural” claims are being called into serious question. Juice is, nutritionally, not much better than soda. How did U.S. consumers come to believe that oranges, in any form, were an important part of a healthy diet?[MORE]
Although the Steelers and Eagles didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, Pennsylvania and Penn State will still be represented on game day — on your plate. And more likely than not, Penn State experts have had a hand in developing, or evolving, many of the Keystone State’s famous finger foods.
While Nittany Lion alumni will represent Penn State Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium, Pennsylvania food industries’ wares will be served at Super Bowl parties nationwide. Companies from around the commonwealth — referred to as the snack food belt — supply many of the Sunday afternoon munchies enjoyed while calling plays from the couch.
If your potato chips are from Utz, Middleswarth, Martin’s, Snyder’s of Hanover or Snyder of Berlin — just to name a few — the snack came from some region of Pennsylvania. [MORE]