Tag Archives: Food

Research for More Sustainable Food Production

46The Meat Site – Safer food, less waste, more efficient food production and better use of natural resources are just some of the goals inspiring the work of a new research group at the University of Lincoln in the UK.

The Agri-Food Technology Research Group aims to develop new technological solutions for all stages of food production including cultivation, harvest, processing and packaging.

Agri-food is the largest industry in Lincolnshire and food security is also one of the major challenges identified by the UK Research Councils.

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Is Income Set to Become Dominant Driver of Global Food System?

4The Fish Site – Per capita income is set to eclipse population growth as the dominant driver of change in the global food system, says a Purdue researcher noted for his work on the economic impacts of global trade and environmental policies.
Thomas Hertel said that while population and income will remain the two most influential factors in determining global food demand and cropland expansion, their relative importance will be altered.
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Understanding Food Production to Address Malnutrition

253_FoodThe Poultry Site – The FAO ahead of World Food Day announced that the diversity of food and food production methods is the answer to the under nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies affecting the world’s populations,
The report shows that the cost of malnutrition, through lost productivity and healthcare, could be as high as five per cent of global income.
Other revealing figures are laid out in the group’s World Food Day paper which communicates a simple ethos: Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems.
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World Food Day Shows Importance of Food Diversity

253_FoodThe Pig Site – The FAO believes that understanding more about food production can address the current challenges that beset policy makers as 2 billion people in the world go malnourished and 1.4 billion are classed as overweight. The costs of malnutrition, through lost productivity and healthcare, could be as high as five per cent of global income, the FAO has revealed. Other revealing figures are laid out in the group’s World Food Day paper which communicates a simple ethos: Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems. The report explains the importance of eating a ‘variety of foods’ and that this involves a balance of quality and quantity to provide a full range of nutrients… Continue Reading

Source ant Photo: The Pig Site, October 18th, 2013
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Brazilian group maps algal diversity in the state of São Paulo

24By Karina Toledo

Agência FAPESP – With the help of molecular techniques such as gene sequencing and DNA barcoding, scientists at the University of São Paulo (USP) are completing the most complete survey conducted to date regarding the biodiversity of red macroalgae in the state of São Paulo.

The study is being conducted under the scope of a Thematic Project led by Mariana Cabral de Oliveira of the USP Biosciences Institute.

Some of the findings were presented September 26 during FAPESP Week London. The event was held by FAPESP with support from the British Council and the Royal Society.

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Fake food: the tech companies working to revolutionise how we eat protein

Beyond meat chicken forkBy Elisabeth Braw
The Guardian - Ethan Brown likes the taste and texture of meat. He just doesn’t like the morals of it. Until now, that left him with the choice of eating an animal and feeling guilty, or going vegetarian and missing out on the juicy taste of grilled chicken. Fungi-based substitutes such as Quorn don’t tend to cut it with those who miss real meat.

But Brown, a former clean-energy executive, belongs to a new generation of tech entrepreneurs who are taking a new approach to protein. “Look at the impact of meat on the climate”, he says. “Look at its impact on human health, the vast resources meat production consumes and how factory farming affects animal welfare. It’s all pointing in the direction of a major change.” Brown’s solution is making plants taste like poultry. His Los Angeles-based company, Beyond Meat, produces protein that looks, tastes and feels like chicken – but is made entirely from plants.

Click here to access the complete article
Source and Photo: The Guardian, 16th Sepetember, 2013
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Nanotechnological coating particles can preserve food

NanoBy Gilberto Silber Schmidt

Embrapa– The research developed by Embrapa Instrumentation in São Carlos (SP), have had promising results in the study of nanotechnology for agribusiness. The substitution of plastics by edible and invisible films to the involvement and protection of food is one of these technologies that can reduce the need for processing of forced ripening of fruits and vegetables and at the same time improve the quality and extend the foods’ shelf life.

“The new film can reduce up to 40% of the food waste after harvest and add value to Brazilian export of fruits and vegetables ,” said Dr. Bernard Rubens Filho,  the research Coordinator.

With the coating, fruits and vegetables can take up 20 days after harvest to begin the process of degradation, which on average takes four days under normal storage conditions. For apple using film can extend up to 10 days storage at ambient temperature, extending the marketing period, thereby reducing post-harvest losses.

The later fruit harvest and the slowing aging process allows to provide the consumer with a higher quality product, avoiding the use of chemical processes, often chemical ripening. Besides apple, research has been conducted with mango, pear, banana, nuts and vegetables. The edible films are produced according to each food type, and may use corn starch or soy proteins as a raw material.

The foods are coated by immersion in liquid solution and dried naturally. An invisible film forms on the surface protecting the food, decreasing the gas exchanges and creating a physical barrier to water loss. The coating does not replace the need to use package protection, such as boxes, to prevent the fruit from spoiling during transportation and storage.

The antifungal effect and the inhibition of bacteria growth is one of the features added to the process. Moreover, studies indicate that the film can stimulate consumption. “We identified in laboratory tests that rats consumed 20% more food coated.” The technology, made ​​possible by the nanometric size of the particles that make up the film. It has yet not expectation to hit the market.

 Source and Photo: Avicultura Industrial
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Who’ll be eating bugs for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

24By Axelle du Crest and Valerie Parent
MSN News – French start-up company Ynsect has identified a cheap, nourishing and locally sourced alternative to soybeans as a vital source of protein in animal feed. The clue is in its name.
Ynsect is not alone in looking to invertebrates to meet a jump in demand for meat and fish, and so for feed, in coming decades.
Black soldier flies, common housefly larvae, silkworms and yellow mealworms were named as among the most promising species for industrial feed output in a report last month by the FAO, the United Nations food agency.
“Given insects’ natural role as food for a number of farmed livestock species, it is worth reconsidering their role as feed for specific poultry and fish species,” the Food and Agriculture Organization’s report said.
Jean-Gabriel Levon, co-founder of Ynsect, said new protein sources were essential in a market where costs are set to climb.
“Insects are an interesting source which can be bred locally,” Levon said. “We are in the same situation as oil, with resources getting scarcer and more expensive.”
According to the FAO, protein such as meat meal, fishmeal and soymeal make up 60 to 70 percent of the price of feed.
Soybean prices have more than doubled over the past decade due to soaring demand and fishmeal prices have also jumped.
The 2-year old company has been developing an insect-based meal that could make up 5-30 percent of feed products, Levon said.
Ynsect, which has around 10 rivals globally, is now raising funds to build the first European insect meal production unit by 2014-2015. One well-heated part of the plant would breed insects and the other would crush them into powder.
It aims to focus on using flies and beetles and Levon says a great advantage is that they can eat just about anything — for example human food leftovers such as potato peelings.
Once crushed, co-products such as shells can be used in the pharmaceutical sector, for cosmetics and wastewater treatments.

GREAT FERTILIZER
What is more, insect droppings make great fertilizer.
“Insects drink very little water. Their droppings are very dry. They’re like sand and have all the qualities needed for a classic fertilizers,” Levon said.
Stephane Radet, who heads France’s animal feed industry lobby (SNIA) said he was cautious as the protein product would have to prove itself to feed makers and win public acceptance.
“For new material to enter the manufacturing chain, it has to meet four major criteria: Safety, quality, competitiveness and acceptability in the food sector, processors and at the bottom of the chain, the consumer,” Radet said.
While another pioneering company, South Africa’s AgriProtein Technologies, is rearing house flies and using insect flour for cattle feed, this is not allowed in the European Union where the “mad cow” disease crisis of the late 1990s has led to caution over the use of processed animal proteins (PAPs).
PAPs, particularly when cattle were given bovine protein, were blamed for the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak.
The European Commission has approved the use of PAPs to feed fish from June 1, which includes insect meal. It may allow their use in pig and poultry feed from 2014, lifting a ban on animal by-products imposed during the BSE outbreak.
The EU imports about 70 percent of its protein-rich material for animal feed. According to European Feed Manufacturer’s Federation Fefac, Europe’s market for processed animal feed is worth around 45 billion euros ($60 billion) a year.
Ynsect aims to start with fish feed, where insect-based meal could replace increasingly scarce fishmeal and fish oil.
According to the FAO, fish farming is the fastest-growing animal food producing sector and will need to expand sustainably to keep up with increasing demand.
Trials on certain fish species showed that diets where up to 50 percent of fishmeal was replaced with grasshopper meal produced equally good results as fishmeal only, the FAO added.
A further step one day might be to rear insects for direct human consumption — the FAO said insects already feed more than 2 billion humans in Africa, Asia and South America.
But EU regulations do not allow this, more research is needed on issues such as allergies, and only a few daring restaurants in Europe are experimenting for curious clients.
“As for targetting the human food market, that is for some other time. Eating insects is a laugh, people may be curious, but as far as we are concerned that won’t be happening for the time being,” Levon said.

Source and Photo: MSN News, 21st June, 2012
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Food Waste Has Environmental Downside

20The Poultry Site – Far too much of the food we produce goes to waste. This is not just a waste of resources – it is also something that has a needless detrimental effect on the environment. It is particularly the consumer who is responsible, but waste is also an issue in other parts of the food chain.

In the EU, the consumption of food and drink is responsible for 20-30 per cent of the overall environmental impact and more than 50 per cent of eutrophication. Continue reading

Organic sales slip again amid economic gloom

Stacks of vegetablesBy Rebecca Smithers
The Guardian - Sales of organic products in the UK have fallen by 1.5% over the past year, continuing their downward slide in the face of ongoing tough economic conditions.

Supermarkets are blamed in a new report for cutting back their ranges and shelf space, leading to a 2.4% slump in organic sales across the multiple retailers. But at the same time a “Jamie [Oliver] generation” of ethically aware shoppers aged under-35 is driving growth through other outlets, accounting for 16% of all sales, and significantly increasing their spending on organic food, drink and other products.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
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