Food safety begins with shopping

food safety

Food safety begins with shopping

It is important to instil in your kids the rules of food safety right from the start, and this doesn’t have to be boring. A trip to buy food can be made into an adventure. Get your kids excited by choosing the recipe together and then making a special shopping list where kids can include their favourite foods. After the list is done, it’s a good time to let your children know about a few food safety rules that will make shopping go more smoothly: Continue reading “Food safety begins with shopping”

Insects as an alternative food protein source

insects

Insects as an alternative food protein source

In 2013 the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization stressed that a new approach to food production was crucial if we are to avoid future shortages. Their suggestion was edible insects. It is their sustainability credentials that has lead the UN to highlight insects as the potential future of food, requiring minimal resources to farm and producing substantially less waste than conventional livestock. “A protein shortage is expected in 2050, and we need to find alternative protein sources,” said Catriona Lakemond, associate professor Food Quality and Design Group, Wageningen University.

Around 2 billion people around the world already consume insects as part of their regular diet due to their high nutritional value, versatility and flavor. “In Zimbabwe, over 80% of the population eats insects,” said Lakemond. “Why? Because they like the taste and the nutritional properties.” Insects are a sustainable source of nutrition. “The protein content of the yellow mealworm is comparable to meat and fish.” Eric Michels, Project lead Insects, Vivara/CJ Wildbird Foods ltd. Agrees: “In addition, insects are ver efficient, with 10kg of feed, we can produce 9kg of locusts, compared to 1 kg of beef. Insects produce less waste, less manure and less greenhouse gas.” Continue reading “Insects as an alternative food protein source”

Photonics can improve food safety of fried foods

photonics

Photonics can improve food safety of fried foods

In recent months, several warnings have been published about the potential risk of fried food for the health of millions of consumers. “Deep fried foods produce acrylamide,” said Lien Smeesters, post-doctoral researcher, B-PHOT Brussels Photonics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Acrylamide has been found to increase the risk of several types of cancer when given to lab animals (rats and mice) in their drinking water. The doses of acrylamide given in these studies have been as much as 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels people might be exposed to in foods. It’s not clear if these results would apply to people as well, but in general it makes sense to limit human exposure to substances that cause cancer in animals.

Acrylamide

Acrylamide doesn’t appear to be in raw foods themselves. It’s formed when certain starchy foods, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee, are cooked at high temperatures (above about 120°C). Cooking at high temperatures causes a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) in the food, which forms acrylamide. Cooking methods such as frying, baking, broiling, or roasting are more likely to create acrylamide, while boiling, steaming, and microwaving appear less likely to do so. Longer cooking times and cooking at higher temperatures can increase the amount of acrylamide in foods further. Continue reading “Photonics can improve food safety of fried foods”

Exploring and prototyping alternative methods for food production in cities

Growroom

Exploring and prototyping alternative methods for food production in cities

The rapid urbanization of recent decades is just the beginning of an ever-steeper growth curve. By 2050, the proportion of people living in urban areas will have surged to 70 percent. Over the last decade, we have seen shifts in the global economic power balance from West to East, as well as growing middle classes in emerging economies where standards of living and purchasing power are improving. In 2030, there will be nearly 8.3 billion people in the world. Combined with the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class, the demand for resources will grow substantially. The world will need 50 percent more energy, 40 percent more clean water and 35 percent more food. “Food is going to be the biggest challenge,” said Steffannia Russo, project lead, SPACE10/IKEA. “There will be a major lack of resources. The UN estimates we will need 70% more food within the next 35 years.” Continue reading “Exploring and prototyping alternative methods for food production in cities”

Tasting tomorrow’s food at Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo

Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo

Tasting tomorrow’s food at Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo

At Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo, everything is about healthy food. Here, innovators from SMEs, startups, scientists and students work together on innovations in the field of healthy nutrition, cultivation, alternative raw materials and nutritional resources. “No wonder,” said Saskia Goetluck, CEO Brightland Campus Greenport Venlo, during the Healthy Nutrition Conference. “Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is located in a region where the agrifood business is one of the most productive, sustainable and profitable in theworld.”

Greenport Venlo has both the ambition and potential to occupy a top position as a center for agro-food business and agri-logistics. The agro-food business in Northern and Central Limburg is one of the most productive, sustainable and profitable in the world. “The region is the Netherlands’ second largest horticultural area, said Goetluck. “On the campsite, the strength of the region is bundled, strengthened and further expanded by the development of state of the art facilities for business development, fundamental and applied research, education and meeting.” Continue reading “Tasting tomorrow’s food at Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo”

Insect Valley Europe, as the beating heart of the European Insect Cultivation – Interview with Eric Michels, CJ Wildbird Foods

Eric Michels

Insect Valley Europe, as the beating heart of the European Insect Cultivation – Interview with Eric Michels, CJ Wildbird Foods/ Vivara

This will be presented by Eric Michels, CJ Wildbird Foods Ltd. / Vivara at the Healthy Nutrition Conference, which takes place on June 29th, 2017, at Villa Flora, Venlo, Netherlands.

Eric Michels studied Agricultural Engineering and has a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He worked as a General Manager in the feed mill industry. Nowadays he works as a Business Developer in the Insect Business.

There are very concrete and advanced plans to realize an ‘Insect Valley Europe’ at Greenport Venlo. This is an open and innovative collaboration platform between various triple helix partners (governments, businesses and research and education institutions). Will this be the future beating heart of European insect cultivation to start up the flywheel and boost the insect industry? CJ Wildbird Foods Ltd. / Vivara has become a leading specialist in the development and sale of products for small wildlife (mostly wild birds). The main USP is the exclusive relationship, with many nature conservation associations at home and abroad, which millions of members represent. They are mainly active in the European market (10 countries) which grows autonomously annually. The relationships with green partners, product diversity and infrastructure in B2B and B2C markets give CJ Wildbird Foods Ltd. / Vivara a strong position in this niche market. Continue reading “Insect Valley Europe, as the beating heart of the European Insect Cultivation – Interview with Eric Michels, CJ Wildbird Foods”

Health claims on foods – when can you use them? – Interview with Alie de Boer, Maastricht University

interview alie de boer

Health claims on foods – when can you use them? – Interview Alie de Boer, Maastricht University, Campus Venlo

This will be presented by Alie de Boer from Maastricht University, Campus Venlo at the Healthy Nutrition Conference which takes place on June 29th, 2017, at Villa Flora, Venlo, Netherlands. Continue reading “Health claims on foods – when can you use them? – Interview with Alie de Boer, Maastricht University”

Insects as a sustainable food source – Presented by Catriona Lakemond, Wageningen University

Catriona Lakemond

Insects as a sustainable food source – Presented by Catriona Lakemond, Wageningen University at the Healthy Nutrition Conference which takes place on June 29, 2017, at Villa Flora, Venlo, The Netherlands.

About Catriona Lakemond
Catriona Lakemond is an Assistant professor in the goup “Food Quality and Design” of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research focusses on insect as a food source. She studies processing of insects to make them suitable for human consumption. This includes biofractionation of insect species with a focus on the protein fraction.

About Wageningen University
Wageningen UR is a research institution that focuses on the domain ‘healthy food and living conditions’ to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. We do fundamental research all over the world. We also train professionals who, in the near and distant future, will discover breakthroughs in science and technology. Continue reading “Insects as a sustainable food source – Presented by Catriona Lakemond, Wageningen University”

Light technology improving food safety – Presented by Lien Smeesters, B-PHOT Brussels Photonics – VUB

lien smeesters

Light technology improving food safety – Presented by Lien Smeesters, B-PHOT Brussels Photonics – Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) at the Healthy Nutrition Conference which takes place on June 29, 2017, at Villa Flora, Venlo, The Netherlands.

Food safety and quality has become increasingly important in our society. Agriculture industries can benefit from photonics technologies to reduce the presence of contaminants in the food chain, protect personal health and limit food waste. We developed real-time, accurate and non-destructive sensing technologies that are indispensable for the detection of carcinogens in food. As an example, we illustrate the use of optical spectroscopy to monitor the acrylamide formation in potatoes, enabling the exclusion of potatoes unsuited for French fries production. Finally, we demonstrate the integration of optical sensing technologies into laser-based scanning systems, paving the way to an industrial implementation.

About Lien Smeesters
Lien Smeesters is a post-doctoral researcher at the B-PHOT Brussels Photonics Team, at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her main research is situated in the field of optical spectroscopy, and the use of optical sensing techniques for the detection of carcinogens. She is actively involved in applied-oriented research projects in collaboration with industry. Continue reading “Light technology improving food safety – Presented by Lien Smeesters, B-PHOT Brussels Photonics – VUB”

Sensor solution chips could help to prevent toxic substances entering the food chain

Sensor solution chips

Sensor solution chips could help to prevent toxic substances entering the food chain.

Earlier this year the Food Standards Agency launched a campaign called “Go for Gold”, designed to alert consumers to the dangers of a carcinogenic substance called acrylamide. This can be formed when starchy foods such as potatoes and bread are cooked at high temperatures.

Now a new technique, developed by Lien Smeesters, a researcher in the B-PHOT Brussels Photonics Team at the University of Brussels, alongside Tomra Sorting Solutions, has been designed to spot potatoes that will go on to form high levels of acrylamide, before they are cooked.

A similar sensor can also detect other carcinogenic contaminants – mycotoxins – which can be found in food stuffs including cereals, nuts and dried fruits.

Existing chemical analysis techniques used to spot harmful substances are typically slow and destructive, meaning the product cannot be used once it has been tested. Continue reading “Sensor solution chips could help to prevent toxic substances entering the food chain”