Cover story
Tori Morgan of the NFU identifies the potential benefits that could arise from the use of New Breeding Techniques for crops in the UK. It is widely accepted that by 2050 we will need to feed 9 billion hungry mouths and food production will have to increase. It will not be possible to bring much more land into production and resources are already stretched.
News
Containing norovirus

The FSA has published a report, ‘Food handlers and Norovirus transmission (FS101143)’, on research carried out by Ipsos MORI [5]. The study aimed to help stop the 'winter vomiting bug' norovirus from spreading by understanding and improving food handler behaviours.

A literature review identified five strategies for controlling norovirus:

1. Personal hygiene

2. Food handling

3. Washing and cooking food

4. Surface and uniform cleaning

5. Fitness to work

Fresh fruit?

A new coated fabric strip that can test the ripeness of fruit has been developed by scientists at Florida International University[2]. The fabric strip can soak up the chemical compounds in the juice of an orange that indicate the ripeness or freshness of the fruit. Researchers isolated three main compounds within the fruit that are markers for freshness. Over a two-month period, they found these chemicals lost their intensity, indicating the ability to track the degradation of the fruit.

Food regulation is changing

The FSA Chairman, Heather Hancock, has published new plans to change food regulation[1].

The document, ‘Regulating Our Future – Why food regulation needs to change and how we are going to do it’, sets out proposals to transform the way food businesses are regulated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The changes are being introduced because the FSA believes that the existing approach to regulating the food industry is outdated and becoming increasingly unsustainable.

Features

Sensors break out of the lab

Isabel Hoffman, Mark Bloore, Behafarid Darvish and Zoltan Kovacs of Canada and UK-based Tellspec describe a new, miniaturised food sensor able to detect compounds in food at a molecular level. They explain the potential of the sensor for detecting melamine adulteration of foods. Spectral analysis

Food labelling beyond EU borders

Sarah Howarth looks at the contribution of UK food and drink products to overseas trade. She considers some of the export challenges facing the UK after Brexit with a focus on the CODEX food labelling standards. Food and drink exports and imports In the wake of Brexit, many more businesses are seeking export opportunities to grow beyond EU borders. Currently the UK is a net importer of food and drink, estimated to be just under 80% selfsufficient.

Safer sweets

Michael Walker and Kirstin Gray of LGC discuss choking risks from jelly confectionery and technical appeals to the Government Chemist in this area. Introduction



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