Tag Archives: health

Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference & Expo (WSC)

WSC_logo_4c-greenJoin the Wisconsin Safety Council for the state’s premier safety and health conference. Wisconsin’s leading safety, health, and environmental professionals gather in Wisconsin Dells to find the latest and greatest products and services they need to strengthen their safety and health programs. The hundreds of attendees also share best practices, learn from educational programs, and network with their peers throughout the conference.

Wisconsin Safety and Health Conference and Expo will feature renowned speakers, educators and professionals, and will celebrate the strength of industry in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is known for our rich workforce history and strong work ethic

For more information: https://www.wmc.org/programs/wisconsin-safety-council/conferences/annual-safety-conference/

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The Big C(heese)

Nisin-treated biofilm Source: Dr. Yvonne Kapila

Nisin-treated biofilm
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.

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Don’t Have a Cow

FAO-Infographic-milk-facts-en

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Nelson-Jameson, Inc. began as a dairy-centric business almost 70 years ago and, while we’ve since branched into all sectors of the food and beverage processing industries, we still consider ourselves experts in all-things-dairy.

Global dairy consumption is expected to grow by 36% in the next decade, largely driven by emerging markets. To satisfy this demand and other culturally-based needs, consumers and processors are looking beyond the traditional dairy cow to other milk-producing animals such as camels, goats, sheep and buffaloes.

Hump Day Every Day
Camel milk has long been a staple in arid regions in the Middle East, Asia and Africa where bovine farming is considered too water-intensive. It has more fat and protein than cow’s milk, and is lower in cholesterol than cow or goat milk. Proponents of Camel milk assert that the milk’s naturally anti-inflammatory properties can improve brain function for those that suffer from Autism and ADHD, and that it may promote the healing of diabetic wounds. You’ll pay a premium for these benefits, however—camel milk is currently being sold in select Whole Foods and other supermarkets for $18/16oz.

Get Your Goat (and Sheep)
Although goat cheese and sheep’s milk cheese have been regularly consumed in the United States for quite some time, their fluid milk is only now beginning to gain popularity with Americans. Globally, their milk has been consumed for thousands of years, as both sheep and goats were among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. Goat’s milk has more calcium, potassium and vitamin A than cow’s milk, and is also easier to digest because of its lower level of lactose. Sheep’s milk is similar to the mineral and vitamin content in goat’s milk, but also has more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than both cow’s and goat’s milk. CLA has been shown to help reduce cancerous tumors, lower blood pressure and reduce body fat.

Buffalo Swills
Water, Swamp and River Buffaloes are responsible for a significant amount of the world’s milk production, second only to dairy cattle. Although buffaloes have a significantly longer production life than cows, they also have longer “dry” periods, produce less milk and are more sensitive to the milking process. 95% of the dairy buffalo population is located in Asia, and the largest buffalo milk producers are in India and Pakistan. Although buffalo milk is often made into cheese, ghee or yogurt, its use as a beverage has recently gained popularity outside of Asia. Buffalo milk is lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk, and is thicker and creamier due to a higher fat and calorie content. Also, because of its high peroxidase activity, buffalo milk can be preserved naturally for a longer period than cow’s milk.

A Moo Frontier
While camels, goats, sheep and buffaloes are the more common animal-based sources of milk outside of cows, other animals like donkeys, horses, reindeer, and yaks are farmed for milk as well. Donkey milk in particular has been enjoying a newfound popularity, partially due to mainstream news articles touting it as “the elixer of life” and “the next big thing”, as well as Pope Francis giving it his holy stamp of approval.  Hey, if it’s good enough for the pope, I guess we could give alternative animal milk a try too.

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That’s That For Trans Fat

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

Source: US Food and Drug Administration

If you haven’t noticed, trans fats have become a prominent public health enemy, with “No Trans Fat!” and other related sayings gracing the cover of many food products out there. The reason? A trendy health fad? Not quite.

The AP reports: “Trans fats are widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fats, which also can contribute to heart disease. Trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavor of foods.”

The growing concern about trans-fats has recently been addressed by the FDA. According to the BBC, “The FDA is opening a 60-day consultation period on the plan, which would gradually phase out trans fats” qualifying that: “The ruling does not affect foods with naturally occurring trans fats, which are present in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products.”

The change is a potential final nail in the coffin of artificial trans fats: one that has been pursued vigorously by the medical community, nutrition groups, and others. What does this mean to consumers and producers? The FDA hopes to create a transition that hopefully does not negatively and overtly impact the market. The 60-day consultation period is aimed at collecting “additional data and to gain input on the time potentially needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fat should this determination be finalized.” In fact, many companies have phased out these partially hydrogenated oils in the last several years. Still, trans fats do show up in numerous food products on the market, including margarine and microwave popcorn, amongst others.

So what does the forecast look like to you? Will the industry be able to adapt quickly? Food processors, how will it affect your production? To make your voice heard check out this link where you can submit comments during the 60-day consultation period. This consultation period concludes on January 7, 2014.

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Proteins!: Listen, Amino Offense…

CB068343In the food industry, we have heard many voices demanding, “Protein!” Protein definitely is an important topic when it comes to nutrition. Proteins are a necessary and important part in the functioning and repair of the body. In addition, protein has received a lot of attention in the diet world. Protein-rich diets are popular with consumers that may be looking to lose or maintain their weights, as protein can make you feel full longer throughout the day.

With such benefits, it can be easy to see why consumers are enamored with this powerful, potent “P.”  Still, there are some important qualifiers that need to be taken into account when focusing on protein in the diet.

First, generally, protein intake is far from being in want by most Americans.  As the CDC states, “most of us eat more protein than we need.” The quality of proteins consumed can make a big difference though when it comes to making the most out of our diets.

This is because all proteins are not made alike.  Consider the following: “Proteins are made up of amino acids. Think of amino acids as the building blocks.”  We can obtain amino acids in several kinds of food in our diets.

“Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, and must be supplied by food. They do not need to be eaten at one meal. The balance over the whole day is more important.” Essential amino acids can be found in “complete” protein sources like cheese, milk, milk, fish, poultry, etc When searching for these complete protein sources, the American Heart Association recommends that consumers look for low-fat options, like low-fat dairy products.

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