Researchers find lettuce from low-income communities to be contaminated

U.S – Researchers from the University of Houston have established that Houstonians living in low-income and urban neighborhoods are at a higher risk of contracting gastrointestinal illnesses, possibly linked to the lettuce they purchase from grocery stores in their community. The findings, published in the Journal of Food Protection, focus on loose-leaf romaine lettuce. According to the study, loose-leaf romaine lettuce, when purchased from supermarkets in low-income communities in Houston, was found to be contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms. Researchers said the discovery raises questions about quality and safety. “Looking at…

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Save Foods penetrates Turkish Market as it eyes European market

TURKEY – Save Foods, an agri-food tech company, has announced it has engaged a local commercial post-harvest expert in Turkey, who is well connected in the local produce market, to introduce the Company to local post-harvest operators with ties to the EU produce market. The company is focused on developing and selling eco-friendly products specifically designed to extend the shelf life and ensure the food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. According to the Union of Exporters of the Mediterranean Region, Turkey exported a record US$2.7 billion in fruits and…

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Best Sanitizers Inc’s Alpet D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer gets OMRI listed

U.S – Best Sanitizers, Inc., a premier manufacturer of innovative alcohol-based hand and surface sanitizers, has announced that Alpet D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer is now OMRI listed. Founded in 1997, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) provides organic certifiers, growers, manufacturers, and suppliers an independent review of the products intended for use in a certified organic facility. OMRI Listed Products are allowed for use in certified organic facilities under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program. Organic food processors and food handlers in need of a surface…

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UK to assent use of gene editing in agriculture following exit from EU

UK – The United Kingdom (UK) government is set to  greenlight the use of gene editing in agriculture which could see altered produce on the supermarket shelves in five years’ time. The move will mark the biggest divergence by the UK away from existing European laws since leaving the European Union (EU), which has banned the technique for years amid fears it is unsafe. Gene editing involves the technique of replacing genes that govern certain traits, such as water dependency, disease resistance and nutrition with better-functioning ones from the same…

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Gursoy leverages TOMRA’s latest sorting machine to increase hazelnut quality

TURKEY – Gürsoy, one of Turkey’s top 10 hazelnut exporters, has invested in the new TOMRA 5C optical sorter machine for processing hazelnuts, giving it a competitive advantage  targeting high quality export markets as it is the first company in the country to employ this technology. Gürsoy produces natural hazelnuts and various processed hazelnuts for industrial use, cream types with cocoa or milk, hazelnut spread, dragée, various packaged hazelnuts, sauces, and chocolate for the domestic and export retail industry. Gürsoy has been using TOMRA machines in its facilities since the…

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Biotech innovator AgBiome culminates funding round, raises US$116 million

U.S – AgBiome, a biotechnology company using new knowledge of the plant-associated microbiome to create innovative products for agriculture, has announced the completion of a US$116 million oversubscribed Series D funding round. The funding round was Co-led by alt protein impact investor Blue Horizon, as well as Novalis LifeSciences, to accelerate and expand AgBiome’s portfolio of microbial products and help establish a global presence. The new Series D funding will also allow the company to scale its scientific and commercial teams. Mission-driven investment disruptor Blue Horizon was drawn to AgBiome…

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FDA introduces new Office of Digital Transformation to back its public health mission

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the reorganization of the agency’s information technology (IT), data management and cybersecurity functions into the new Office of Digital Transformation (ODT), to better assure the safety of the nation’s food. The office has been realigned to report directly to the FDA commissioner, buoying up the office and its functions to agency-level. This reorganization will advance the agency’s information technology transformation with improved data and IT competencies that improve agency operations to support the public health mission. The restructuring is…

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Study finds more labeling information increases purchasing appeal of GM foods

CHINA – Chinese researchers have found that increasing the information in labels of Genetically Modified Foods (GMF) can increase the consumers’ willingness to buy them as they will be more informed about the benefits attributed to the GMFs. Most current studies have confirmed that the consumer attitudes and purchase intention toward GMFs are not good. The study was conducted to match the consumers’ different information processing mechanisms by adding marketing information clues and regulating their purchase intentions by contradictory attitudes towards GMFs. The marketing clue information was divided into two…

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National Farmers Union urges UK government to back British products

U.K – The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called on the government to introduce more precise labeling on country of origin and “Buy British” filters for online grocery shopping so as to support the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) farming industry. This is in a report where it urges the government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year – the first for more than a decade. The union also sets out how it believes the UK can reduce its reliance on imported food by harnessing the opportunities…

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NRA names John Zimmermann as 2021 Outstanding Food Safety Leader

U.S – The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has named John Zimmermann, Vice President of quality assurance and food safety at First Watch Restaurants, as the 2021 Outstanding Food Safety Leader. The award recognizes an individual’s dedication to food safety through personal and career accomplishments such as improving food safety systems or processes, introducing innovations to manage food supplies or foodservice operations, or mentoring other foodservice professionals. This year, the award also acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of food safety leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Restaurant Association is a restaurant…

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