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 19 September 2014

Friday

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Farm to Fork Food Safety – a research oriented science concept  based on integration of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)  – is the basis for Safe and Healthy food.

This blog attempts to enrich the knowledge of various stake holders in Food chain with  emphasis on world class technologies

Food for thought

Thirukkural – திருக்குறள்

அதிகாரம்/Chapter/Adhigaram: செங்கோன்மை/The Right Sceptre/Sengonmai 55
இயல்/ChapterGroup/Iyal: அரசியல்/Royalty/Arasiyal 5
பால்/Section/Paal: பொருட்பால்/Wealth/Porutpaal 2
குறள் 543
அந்தணர் நூற்கும் அறத்திற்கும் ஆதியாய்
நின்றது மன்னவன் கோல்
விளக்கம்
ஓர் அரசின் செங்கோன்மைதான் அறவோர் நூல்களுக்கும் அறவழிச் செயல்களுக்கும் அடிப்படையாக அமையும்
Couplet 543
Learning and virtue of the sages spring,
From all-controlling sceptre of the king
Explanation
The sceptre of the king is the firm support of the Vedas of the Brahmin, and of all virtues therein described
Transliteration
Andhanar Noorkum Araththirkum Aadhiyaai
Nindradhu Mannavan Kol
 
 
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Pest Management Training

 
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Monitoring contaminants in the food chain in Europe

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in International Trade

 

Packed food labelling: Even educated not interested in knowing nutrient contents

HYDERABAD: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has introduced food labelling for packaged food products but not many seem to be interested in knowing the nutrients contents.

A survey taken up in Hyderabad and New Delhi showed that only 20 per cent of people from a sample at super markets went through the nutrients contents on the packaged food products.

The survey was taken up by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in Hyderabad. Considering the problems of overweight, obesity and other diseases, the FSSAI had felt making it mandatory for food labels to carry nutrient contents would help consumers make a choice. “More people were interested in looking at the expiring date of the product,” said SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu of NIN.

 

According to the findings of the survey, 92 per cent consumers reported that they read food labels. Of them, 40 per cent said they checked the food labels. It was found that 85 per cent of consumers checked the brand name and 80 per cent for expiry/ best before date. Only 20 per cent check for list of ingredients. The prepackaged foods that were brought were milk, biscuits, snacks and savories, beverages, oils, bakery foods, confectionary, cereal products, pulses, spices, jams/ jellies and marmalades.

“Nutrient information on labels was not often read because most consumers either lacked nutrition knowledge or found the information too technical to understand,” the scientists involved in the study said.

As mandated, food labels have to carry information on energy (kcal), carbohydrate (g), total sugars, added sugar, total fat, saturated fat, transfat and cholesterol. It was reported that women and girls concerned about ‘fat’ and ‘sugar’ intake read the nutrition facts panel.

In what reflects the changes in lifestyle, it was found that a higher proportion of men (58.7 per cent) shopped for pre-packaged foods than women (41.4 per cent). The majory of consumers (58.4 per cent) belonged to nuclear families. Almost all consumers were literature (99 per cent) and a majority (60.8 per cent) were graduates.

While taste was the major draw for most adolescents, some of the elderly expressed concerns about additives and chemical preservatives added in pre-packaged foods.

“Since a majority of people found it difficult to comprehend nutrition information, there is a need to take up educational activities or introduce new forms of labelling,” the scientists involved in the study advised.

TOI-170914

     
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    Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Food Labelling

     

    Food labelling requirements :9 – Identification of Lot/Code/Batch number

    A batch number or code number or lot number is a mark of identification by which the food can be traced in the manufacture and identified in the distribution, shall be given on the label.

    All the packages of food product having the same batch number or code number are considered to be having the same substance of the same nature, quality and same in all respect.

    In case there is any consumer complaint about any package of food product, then the first step of investigation is to find out the Batch no/ Lot no of that food package and the food packages having the same batch/lot no are examined with respect to the complaint.Either following the consumer complaint or otherwise,if the food business operator considers or has reasons to believe that a food which he has processed, manufactured or distributed is not in compliance with the FSS Act, or the rules or regulations, he shall immediately initiate procedures to withdraw the food in question from the market and consumers indicating reasons for its withdrawal and inform the concerned competent authorities .

    In case, if the regulator is suspicious about the quality of any packaged food ,then he takes the sample of the packaged food product of the particular Batch or Lot No. for its quality check.He takes the required number of the food packagings having the same batch/ lot number and sends it for analysis. In case of any violation in the sample of food packages the entire quantity of the same batch or lot is considered to be in violation of the food laws . The legal action may be initiated against the offenders and/ or the manufacturer or the processor may be directed that the entire quantity of the particular Batch or Lot No is traced and the food be recalled.

    “Recall” means action taken to remove a marketed food product from distribution, sale and consumption that may pose a safety hazard to consumers and the procedure followed for the same is called food recall procedure.

    When the circumstances require for Food Recall , it is the responsibility of every food business operator to inform the competent authorities of the action taken and to follow such conditions and guidelines relating to food recall procedures as the Food Authority may specify by regulations. In this regard the Food Authority has yet to notify the regulation, however draft regulation for Food

    Recall Procedure has appeared on the FSSAI website for public objections and suggestions.

    From the Food Business Operator point of view, it is better, if smaller quantity of the food product is processed in one lot.

    The Food Business Operator may note that the packages containing bread and milk including sterilised milk are not required to mention Batch/Code/Lot No.

    A food has to bear a label of lot/batch/code from the time of its raw shape like at farm level till it becomes a final product for sale. Information like date of harvest, farm identification and who handles the produce from grower to receiver, scanning a product at the point of picking or loading, the recognition through batch/code/lot number is required to be maintained to track the culprit in cases of complaints.

    Every food business operator has to define & mention Batch, Lot, Code number on all the containers of the product, to be referred under incidents of examination on suspicion by the regulatory body or on action upon consumer complaints.

    Dr.Pawan Vats

     

     
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    Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Food Labelling

     

    Dietary guidelines : 5 – For children and adolescents both in health and sickness

    Guideline 5

    Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents both in health and sickness

    Rationale:

    Well formulated balanced diets for children and adolescents help optimum growth and boosts their immunity

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    A nutritionally adequate and balanced diet is essential for optimal growth and development.
    Appropriate diet and physical activity during childhood is essential for optimum body composition, BMI and to reduce the risk of diet-related chronic diseases in later life and prevent vitamin deficiency.
    Common infections and malnutrition contribute significantly to child morbidity and mortality.
    A child needs to eat more during and after episodes of infections to maintain good nutritional status.

    POINTS TO PONDER

    Take extra care in feeding a young child and include soft cooked vegetables and seasonal fruits.
    Give plenty of milk and milk products to children and adolescents.
    Promote physical activity and appropriate lifestyle practices
    Discourage overeating as well as indiscriminate dieting.

    Healthy child pours milk from jug

    EAT CALCIUM-RICH FOODS

    Calcium is needed for growth and bone development.
    Children require more calcium.
    Calcium prevents osteoporosis (thinning of bones).
    Milk, curds and nuts are rich sources of bio-available calcium (Ragi and GLV are also good dietary sources of calcium).
    Regular exercise reduces calcium loss from bones.
    Exposure to sunlight maintains vitamin D status which helps in calcium absorption.

    DURING ILLNESS

    Never starve the child.
    Feed energy-rich cereals-pulse diet with milk and mashed vegetables.
    Feed small quantities at frequent intervals.
    Continue breast-feeding as long as possible.
    Give plenty of fluids during illness.
    Use oral rehydration solution to prevent and correct dehydration during diarrhea episodes.

    Source: NIN

     
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    Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Dietary guidelines for Indians

     

    6 Cancer-Causing Foods You Need to Stop Eating

    cancer--cooked foods cause cancer

    It can be challenging to eat all healthy foods 100 percent of the time, particularly when on vacation in places where nutritious fare is difficult to find. Sometimes, we may want to indulge in an occasional treat.

    However, there is a big difference between indulging in a snack that contains a little too much sugar and eating foods that contain dangerous carcinogens that can potentially cause long term damage.

    As we reported in an earlier article, one of the biggest culprits is fast food french fries. Starchy foods such as potatoes that are cooked above 245 degrees F release cancer-causing chemicals known as acrylamides. Animal studies have confirmed that acrylamides cause tumors to form.

    The National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider acrylamides to be a “probable human carcinogen,” based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamides in drinking water.

    If you’re concerned about your health, longevity, and even happiness, here are five more cancer-causing foods that should be avoided at all costs.

    Processed meats

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    Processed meat products, such as bologna and other lunch meats, bacon and hot dogs, are preserved using a process that contains chemical preservatives which are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.

    Most are produced using a carcinogenic known as sodium nitrite, which makes them appear fresh and appealing. Although, if you’re aware of what goes into some processed meats, particularly hot dogs, they’re anything but.

    Hot dogs are made up of meat scraps like organs, nerve tissue, bone pieces and other not-so-savory animal parts. Not only that, but the animals they come from are likely to have been fed grains packed with pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and even fecal matter.

    A 2005 study out of the University of Hawaii found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent, and the World Cancer Research Fund advised that consumers not eat any processed meat products whatsoever due to the increased risk of cancer.

    Instead, purchase and consume only uncured meat products that do not contain any nitrates, optimally derived only from grass-fed animals.

    Soda

    sodas1_5502528_lrg

    Beverages like soda that are high in refined sugars are also known to increase the risk of cancer. A 2010 study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that people who consume two or more servings of soda per week have an 87 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to those who don’t consume them.

    Other chemicals and artificial colors in the soda are known to acidify the body, feeding cancer cells. Caramel color, as well as its derivative, 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), have also been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

    Microwave popcorn

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    Remember the days when you could smell microwave popcorn in offices across the country? It seems that many people have become aware of the dangers, slowing this bad habit down, but with the product still found on store shelves, too many are obviously continuing to ignore the warnings.

    Chemicals in the lining of those little bags, including what’s known as perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA), are part of a class of compounds that may cause an increased risk of infertility. When tested, these chemicals have also been associated with liver, pancreatic and testicular cancer.

    Microwaving the popcorn is what causes these compounds to vaporize and get into the popcorn – and into your body. Manufacturers have planned to phase out the use of PFOAs by 2015, but as a chemical known as diacetyl is used in the popcorn itself, and is linked to lung damage as well as cancer, it’s best to stick to old fashioned popped corn.

    Non-organic, ‘dirty’ fruits and veggies

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    Every year, the Environmental Working Group puts together a list of the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables, based on analyzed pesticide residues. According to its 2014 survey, conventional apples were the worst, with pesticides showing up on 98 percent of the over 700 samples tested. Others among the top ten dirtiest include strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, pears, tangerines and carrots.

    Pesticides increase the risk of some cancers, and there has been some research linking maternal exposure to an increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and even lower IQ. Choose organic as often as possible to avoid these toxic chemicals – and always when it comes to the top ten dirtiest fruits and vegetables.

    Artificially sweetened foods and beverages

    images

    Diet soda and other so-called “diet foods” are even worse than those sweetened with conventional sugar. Aspartame, which is one of the most common artificial sweeteners, has been found in numerous studies to cause all types of health conditions, including cancer and birth defects.

    While everyone deserves a treat now and again, do your health and well-being a big favor by eliminating these harmful foods and beverages from your diet completely.

    -The Alternative Daily

     

     
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    Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Consumer Awareness

     

    Now, SMS food booking service for train travellers

    New Delhi:

    Travelling by train, hungry and net connection out of reach? Now, rail commuters can order food by just sending a message.

    Travelkhana.com, a service that allows railway commuters to enhance their travel experience by placing food orders with popular food joints on the go, has teamed up with txtWeb, an app store for text based applications.

    By making the application available on txtWeb, now users can book their meal through a simple SMS. To access the app, users need to SMS TravelKhana to 51115.

    Users need to share their PNR number over SMS, then place an order and enjoy the delivery right at their seat. 
     

    The choice of food joints includes almost all the popular restaurants of major stations. The facilities offered include cash on delivery as well as group bookings. Pre-bookings can also be made to ensure their journey is more comfortable.

    “We have always promised quality service at the simplest possible manner to our customers and with this partnership, we are looking to extend this offering to virtually anyone with just a mobile phone,” Pushpinder Singh, CEO and co-founder of Travel Khana, said in a statement.
     

    Manish Maheshwari, managing director, txtWeb, said that so far the railway commuter has been subjected to eating what is available in the railway pantry, but with the “launch of this app, he or she will have access to almost all the great food joints on the go”.

    IANS-160914
     
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    Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Consumer Awareness

     

    Why some people can t resist unhealthy food

    People’s choice of taking calorie-dense snacks involves the executive functions of the brain, says a recent research. File photo: K.K. Mustafah

    People’s choice of taking calorie-dense snacks involves the executive functions of the brain, says a recent research

    The reason why some people cannot resist calorie-dense snacks even at the risk of gaining extra weight may be due to decreased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is involved in the executive functions of the brain.

    Executive function refers to a set of cognitive functions that enable “top-down” control of action, emotion and thought.

    “Decreased DLPFC activity appeared to be associated with increased reward sensitivity — it made the participants more sensitive to the rewarding properties of palatable high caloric foods,” the researchers said.

    The results suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing or preserving DLPFC function may help to prevent obesity and related diseases.

    “These findings shed light on the role of the DLPFC in food cravings (specifically reward anticipation), the consumption of appealing high caloric foods and the relation between self-control and food consumption,” said senior study author Peter Hall from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

    The study included 21 healthy young women, selected because they reported strong and frequent cravings for chocolate and potato chips.

    The women were shown pictures of these foods to stimulate cravings.

    The researchers then applied a type of magnetic stimulation, called continuous theta-burst stimulation, to decrease activity in the DLPFC.

    After the theta-burst stimulation, the women reported stronger food cravings – specifically for milk chocolate and potato chips.

    The study appeared in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine

    TH-170914

     
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    Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Research

     
     
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