Biodiesel Oxidation

Biodiesel OxidationThis particular attribute is important with respect to the shelf life of biodiesel.

Time, temperature, moisture, air and contaminants all contribute to accelerated oxidation. A rule of thumb for hot, humid regions like the Gulf Coast is that biodiesel shelf life is six months; in colder, dryer regions, it can be longer. But if you leave biodiesel in a tank, the oxidative stability score will go down. Additives raise the starting value on the oxidation stability test, part of U.S. and European quality specifications (three-hour Rancimat minimum in U.S., six-hour minimum for Europe), and they change the oxidation curve’s slope. Source Biodiesel Magazine, Keep Biodiesel Stable, Flowing & Growing, by Ron Koterba

Biodiesel OxidationExplained

Check out this video and see why it is so important to measure oxidation stability. If you are interested in learning more, talk to a Midwest Laboratories Representative today. Also, check out other biodiesel testing packages available to biodiesel producers.


Germs at Work

clean handsThis news story is very alarming!

If you are a germaphobic, you may not be able to stomach all of the places that germs reside at your office place. Remember, where moisture can reside, so can bacteria.

It is always a good idea to be conscious of the places you come in contact with and that people touch on a regular basis. Door handles, phone receivers, coffee cups, break room sinks and countertops.

Also, consider wiping down areas associated with high bacteria counts, areas like bathrooms and keyboards.

Check out this story and get a close view of where germs reside.

photo credit: Arlington County via photopin cc

Honey without Pollen?

Honey with No PollenI came across this article, “Shock finding: More than 75 percent of all ‘honey’ sold in grocery stores contains no honey at all, by definition” and was a bit surprised that ultrafiltration was removing so much pollen.

When honey is pasteurized it is heated to such high temperatures that it kills a majority of the beneficial nutrients. Honey that is sparkling clear and free from wax and other debris has usually been processed with excessive heat, which may have destroyed many of honey’s good enzymes and vitamins. Processed honey is not honey at all.

On the other hand, one ounce of raw honey contains approximately 20 vitamins, 18 amino acids, 16 minerals, and a ton of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Raw honey is an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal substance. It is also highly nutritious. It contains significant amounts of B2, B3, B5, B6, C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, and phosphate. Source: “Shock finding: More than 75 percent of all ‘honey’ sold in grocery stores contains no honey at all, by definition

I decided to check out a honey producer and see if this claim was true or not. Remember, there are FDA standards that indicate that pollen cannot be removed in the production of honey.

Check out Sue Be Honey’s Filtration statement:

Statement from William F. Huset, VP of R&D, Sioux Honey Association:

  1. Honey produced by Sioux Honey Association is not ultra-filtered.
  2. All raw honey purchased by Sioux Honey contains pollen and can be tested for country of origin by pollen analysis.
  3. The presence, or absence, of pollen in our honey products is not a food safety issue, nor is its presence required by the USDA, the FDA or American tradition.
  4. Sioux Honey filters honey to remove hive debris and prevent granulation, which incidentally removes some of the pollen.
  5. Sioux Honey filters honey according to USDA standards; the same way we have filtered honey since the 1950s. This filtration is macrofiltration, designed to remove visible particles, and much less aggressive than ultrafiltration.

This statement was dated November 22, 2011.

In 2011, the same information regarding pollen removal was identified. A that time, Sue Bee declined to comment. As you can see, Sue Bee listened to the concerns and addressed the concerns.

To, me this topic shows me that food labeling is still in its infancy and food production needs to be documented and reported with respect to its nutritional value.

A very interesting story.

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Ever considered a major in food science

Food Science LabAs I see more and more food samples being received at Midwest Laboratories, I see this whole industry of food science really growing exponentially. As I take different tour groups through the lab, many science students are looking at food as an exciting area of science to pursue.

Food is the one area that touches every person. We have to continue to grow our food supply and develop healthier food options in the future. Check out some of these videos from various colleges and see if food science might be an area you are interested in pursuing.

University of Georgia

University of Nebraska

Penn State University

photo credit: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS via photopin cc

Soil Sampling – Conquering Your Fears

MidwestLabsSamplingThe cold blast we experienced in November is gone and now many growers are going back to their land to pull samples for analysis.

If you need a gentle reminder of how important it is to understand the makeup of your soil, check out this article from HoosierAg that was released a few weeks ago, “Soil Sampling Can Help with 2015 Yields”  by Kayla McLeland,

I still think there is some fear and trepidation when it comes to soil sampling and soil testing. I believe most of this fear is experienced by not understanding the initial process of pulling a soil sample. There are many companies that can pull samples for you, but if you want to try it yourself, I would enourage you to read the following publication on soil sampling.

The second fear is understanding the report. I would suggest a couple of publications noted below. These, easy-to-read  manuals will help you understand the value that soil testing can bring to you.

Finally, if you want to see the process in action, check out this video from the University of Kentucky. It does a great job of explaining the whole process.

Calories on Menus

calories on menusThe FDA has released its final regulations which will be enforced December, 2015.

Here is a summary of some of the changes that this legislation covers and does not cover.:

Examples of restaurant-type foods that are covered when sold by a facility that is part of a chain with 20 or more locations include:

  • Meals from sit-down restaurants
  • Foods purchased at drive-through windows
  • Take-out food, such as pizza
  • Foods, such as made-to-order sandwiches, ordered from a menu or menu board at a grocery store or delicatessen
  • Foods you serve yourself from a salad or hot food bar
  • Muffins at a bakery or coffee shop
  • Popcorn purchased at a movie theater or amusement park
  • A scoop of ice cream, milk shake or sundae from an ice cream store
  • Hot dogs or frozen drinks prepared on site in a convenience or warehouse store
  • Certain alcoholic beverages

Foods not covered include:
Certain foods purchased in grocery stores or other similar retail food establishments that are typically intended for more than one person to eat and require additional preparation before consuming, such as pounds of deli meats, cheeses, or large-size deli salads.  Source: FDA -Overview of FDA Labeling Requirements for Restaurants, Similar Retail Food Establishments and Vending Machines

For more of an explanation, check out this news story and learn a little more about the legislation.

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