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Food Genomes & Food Safety
What We're Reading

Food Genomes & Food Safety

In more than two-thirds of cases arising from food-borne illnesses, the cause of the illness is never identified. However, the Food and Drug Administration has recently been using whole genome sequencing to track down the pathogens responsible for tainted foods in an effort to thwart outbreaks. Researchers at IBM Research and Mars Incorporated are also undergoing a project to … Continue reading

Legendary Coconuts & Hydration Myths
What We're Reading

Legendary Coconuts & Hydration Myths

Thenghu chathikkilla is an old adage in Malayalam which translates to, “a coconut tree won’t let you down.” Well, meet the double coconut tree (Lodoicea maldivica), which bears the largest seed known to science (25 kg), can live up to 1000 years, and (according to legend) can confer immunity against poisons. The problem is, there’s only one double coconut tree … Continue reading

Microbes & the Future
What We're Reading

Microbes & the Future

The vanillin (major flavor compound in vanilla beans) found in most food products on the market is derived from a three-step synthetic process that converts the molecule guaiacol to vanillin. Both natural and chemical methods for this conversion has shown to be expensive and environmentally burdensome, but biotech company Gen9 is providing a more promising route to synthesize vanillin that … Continue reading

Pistachio
Flavor of the Month

Pistachio

They’re green, nutty, and floral, the perfect summer combination. Pistachios are used in many summertime favorites around the world, from can’t-get-enough-of-‘em Turkish delights to the Indian Subcontinent ice cream kulfi to the Italian frozen dessert spumone. They’re even perfect for cracking open for snacking while watching the ballgame. If pistachios aren’t the quintessential summer flavor, … Continue reading