Monthly Archives: November 2013

Pumpkin Spicing Up the Season

PumpkinAt some point while finishing up a pumpkin spice waffle and reaching for my cup of pumpkin spice coffee, I realized I had gone off the deep end.   Alas, based on some recent reports, it seems like I am not alone in my dependency on all things pumpkin. USA Today, The New York Times, and other media outlets have picked up on the pumpkinpalooza that can be found in coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, gas station kiosks, and beyond. From potato chips (yes, indeed) to vodka, Americans are engaged with the gourd…or are they?

Andrew Adam Newman of The New York Times manages to smash a few pumpkins of illusion with the following insight: “It may seem paradoxical, but pumpkin spice products often lack a pumpkin note, connoting instead spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove that are sold as the pumpkin pie blend in spice aisles.”

Pumpkin spice flavorings are available to food producers for their consideration so what “companies end up buying is not just a recipe, but a physical product as well.” So…it is up to us in the industry to see how far this goes. Anyone adventurous enough or misguided enough can become a potential pumpking product producer. Cheesemakers? Ready-made breakfast sandwich makers? Gum makers? Regardless of what is next, it is easy to see a growing dominance for pumpkin spice as the taste of the fall season.

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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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Fritz Buss presents Meritorious Achievement Award

Source: Cheese Reporter

Source: Cheese Reporter

Nelson-Jameson, Inc. Technical Director Fritz Buss recently awarded Les Lamb the Wisconsin Association for Food Protection (WAFP) Meritorious Achievement Award at a meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.

Buss is the current president of WAFP, while Lamb, a business and regulatory consultant in Madison, Wisconsin has served on the WAFP board of directors and is currently the secretary/treasurer.

For more information on WAFP, visit their website:

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What You Need to Know: References for Potential New Food Industry Operations

Are you one of our hobbyist customers that makes your own cheese, brews your own beer, etc. for non-retail use?   If you are one of these small operators/hobbyists and you have a passion for your product(s), it might be possible that you have thought about going into business for yourself. Going from personal use to public consumption does take a lot of effort.  It can be very easy to get overwhelmed by the number of rules and regulations that are out there at the federal, state, and local level.

This might seem like a lot to take on, but there numerous resources out there to assist in the process. For instance, there is a resource that gives an overview of federal regulatory requirements to keep in mind if you find yourself considering opening a food business. The FDA’s “How to Start a Food Business,” “provides concise information and directs readers to additional relevant information and publicly available resources.” You can check out information on documentation, inspections, registration, etc. To take a look at this brief overview and to find further information on the subject click here.

At the state and local level, it is important to find the regulations and standards that apply to you and your operation. Click here to track down the information that is pertinent to you.

Finally, remember that Nelson-Jameson’s food industry experts are there to help you get what you need to run an efficient and safe operation. Give us a call at 1-800-826-8302 today to get started.

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From the Learning Center: Proper Care & Cleaning Sani-Safe® Cutlery

23644Our line of Sani-Safe knives offer the weight and balance of wood-handled knives with the sanitary advantage of polypropylene. We recommend adherence to the following guidelines to maximize the performance of Sani-Safe® Cutlery.

  • Cutlery should be hand washed in mild to medium strength detergent and towel-dried.
  • Knives should NOT be placed in automatic dishwashers. The blade edges will be dulled from rubbing against each other, and caustic detergents will cause staining and pitting of the blade.
  • Cutlery should NOT be soaked for long periods or submerged for cleaning. If soaking cutlery in soap, bleach or chlorine, the soaking should be kept to a minimum, the products rinsed thoroughly and dried immediately.
  • Chlorine and bleach discolor and pit stain-free and high-carbon steel. If chlorine or bleach products come in contact with the blade, they must be thoroughly rinsed off immediately.
  • When cutlery is left to soak in aluminum pans or stainless steel sinks, galvanic action, the transfer of electrons from one metal to another may occur. Galvanic action may cause pitting on cutlery blades. To prevent it, avoid long periods of soaking and remove cutlery from condiments such as mayonnaise when they are kept in aluminum or stainless steel pans.

Only frequent and prompt cleaning of cutlery after each use with non-caustic solutions and prompt towel drying will ensure the performance and beauty of superior Sani-Safe® cutlery products.

For more information on Sani-Safe® Cutlery, click here.

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To make informed decisions in the food, dairy and beverage industries, you need to have in-depth product knowledge and a variety of educational resources. Our Learning Center is designed to help you with all that. Visit our Learning Center today!

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