Each year, ACS hosts the foremost educational conference and world-renowned cheese competition in North America. Nearly 1,200 professionals, purchasers, and influencers from throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe attend to network, sample products, and learn from industry experts. The Conference culminates in the Festival of Cheese, where competition cheeses are available for sampling alongside craft beer, wine, cider, and specialty foods.
For more information: http://www.cheesesociety.org/conference/cheese-in-the-heartland/
Source: Dr. Yvonne Kapila
Is cheese the answer to a longer life? Well, it appears that it just might brie, er, be. Recent research from the University of Michigan has revealed that nisin, a naturally-occurring food preservative that commonly grows in cheese and other dairy products, kills both cancer cells and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA.
Now, before you start “working on your night cheese” à la Liz Lemon, you should know that this was a small-scale study conducted on mice dosed with large, concentrated amounts of nisin—a “nisin milkshake”, to be exact. If humans were fed the same “milkshake” it would contain nisin amounts 20 times what’s typically found in a serving of cheese. Still, the results are promising—70-80% of the rodents’ cancerous head and neck tumor cells died after nine weeks, considerably extending the animals’ survival.
Although less is understood about Nisin’s lethal relationship with cancer, past research has determined that its role as a superbug assassin is two-fold. First, it quickly binds to bacteria, allowing it to work before the bacteria have an opportunity to develop potentially antibiotic-resistant properties. Next, nisin also kills bacterial “biofilms”, which are colonies of bacteria that join together to thwart antibiotics. As researcher Dr. Yvonne Kapila highlighted in her study findings, no one has yet discovered a bacterium in humans or animals that is resistant to nisin, making it stand the test of time as a treatment. “Mother Nature has done a lot of the research for us; it’s been tested for thousands of years,” said Kapila.
More research is needed to determine exactly if and how nisin can best be used in human medical applications to fight disease, but the research done so far on the biomedical use of nisin is promising. Regardless, this is the kind of gouda news that makes just about everyone feel a whole lot cheddar.
Six years ago, I had the honor of going back to school. Before you start envisioning a Rodney Dangerfield ‘80’s movie, I can assure you that it wasn’t that kind of school. Yes, it took place at the renowned party academic institution of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but this was cheese school. The Wisconsin Cheese Tech Short Course, to be exact. I had just joined Nelson-Jameson, Inc. after working in the retail and merchandising industry for a decade, and I needed to learn about the core business of my new employer. So, like many of my colleagues before me, I was sent to Madison for a week of immersive classes provided by the UW’s Center for Dairy Research, one of the world’s premier dairy research institutions with which Nelson-Jameson has always held a close relationship.
Taught over the course of a week, the Cheese Tech Short Course covers cheese making production principles and technology and includes an optional cheese making lab that offers hands-on experience in cheese production. When the CDR describes the course as “intensive”, they aren’t kidding. I used every bit of my high school and college knowledge of chemistry, biology and algebra to comprehend the over two dozen lectures that included topics such as “Secondary Microflora”, “Pasteurization” and “Starter Cultures”. Even seemingly easy-sounding subjects (“Shredding and Slicing”, I’m looking at you), proved to be much more complicated than one would think. I took comfort in the fact that I wasn’t the only novice in our class whose previous experience with cheese mostly revolved around consumption. My classmates ranged from Marketing Directors for Fortune 500 food companies to novice Cheesemakers to QA Managers at local dairies to R&D Executives from foreign countries. To someone new to the food processing world, the diversity of our group clearly demonstrated the importance of the cheese and dairy category in the global food industry and solidified my choice to join a company that contributed so greatly to what was clearly a dynamic and important part of the food production world.
It was a fascinating week that I’ve never forgotten, and the information that I learned served me well in my early days in sales. Now, as a marketer, it’s provided an intellectual foundation for my creative process in communication and promotions. And, as I grow with Nelson-Jameson, the knowledge taken from the Wisconsin Cheese Tech Short Course will surely supplement any role that I may undertake. Turns out that not only does the cheese stand alone, it also stands out.
Nelson-Jameson, Inc. and DSM are proud to announce a new Delvotest® Antibiotic Residue Tests website! Geared towards meeting the needs of dairy farmers, dairy labs, and artisan/farmstead operations, the site features information on an array of kits, troubleshooting tips, and order links.
As part of our mutual commitment to food safety, Nelson-Jameson, Inc. and DSM sought to create a site where users in the Americas could learn more about the dangers of antibiotic residues in milk and how to most effectively select and utilize Delvotest® products to both protect the public health and the economic vitality of their dairy/cheese operations.
To check out the Delvotest® site you can click here, enter “nelsonjameson.com/delvotest” into your web browser, or find the page under “Our Specialties” on our main page at here.
There is no such thing as a “good” bag or “bad” bag. In cheese packaging, what matters is whether the bag works for your particular application.
- Prior to using a particular cheese bag on a regular basis, you should “qualify” the bag for your process. That means running a small number of bags on machinery under standard conditions. Ideally, technical experts from your bag vendor should be present during the trial run.
- Examine the package for an adequate, leak-proof seal. Put it through your standard storage and distribution process. Only then can you be confident that this particular bag works with your manufacturing process.
- If anything in your process changes, you should re-qualify your packaging material. In order to keep your cost as low as possible, packaging materials are usually designed with a very small margin of error. Even something as simple as a new sealing bar can be reason for re-qualifying your packaging material. This gives you the best guarantee that the manufacturer will stand behind the bag in the event of a failure. Getting the manufacturer’s agreement in advance that their bags are qualified for use in your process will protect you and reduce the possibility of disputes later on.
For more information about packaging, click here.
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