Posts from the "Research News" category


Shoppers in the Asia-Pacific have a taste for safe food.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods  released its report this month, revealing that food safety is one of the major influences for shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Fresh food contributes to more than 50% of food, grocery and personal care spending in most Asian countries.

“While modern trade fresh food shoppers are motivated by freshness and convenience, their view of these attributes are different than a traditional shopper,” said Peter Gale, managing director of Retailer Services, Nielsen Asia-Pacific and Middle East. “Freshness relates to cleanliness and food safety and the belief that they can trust the quality of the product. Convenience is about one-stop shopping rather than location.”
It is clear that food safety is at the front of the consumers mind when purchasing fresh produce, it is important to “Ensure high quality standards and effectively communicate the importance of food safety.” said Gale.

To read the full report click here.

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Irradiation of Tomatoes and Capsicums Approved by FSANZ.

Tomatoes and capsicums have recently been added to the list of produce permitted to receive irradiation as a phytosanitary measure by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
This change comes following application by DAFF Queensland, in association with the New Zealand Fresh Produce Importers Association (NZFPIA), who requested the variation be made to Standard 1.5.3.
In the past, chemicals such as dimethoate and/or fenthion have primarily been used as the phytosanitary measures however these chemicals have been restricted for this purpose and other options need to be considered. Permitting irradiation of tomatoes and capsicums will allow the increase of domestic and international trade due to the rigorous requirements in place for quarantine purposes against fruit fly.
FSANZ has reviewed the application and the scientific evidence on the safety of irradiated tomatoes and capsicums as well as the effect irradiation has on their nutritional composition. The approval has been submitted to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) and awaits their decision.
For more information about this approval, go to the FSANZ website.

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Ministry for Primary Industries, NZ, releases study on Residues on Fresh Produce

Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand, released the findings from the annual Food Residue Surveillance Program which targeted locally-produced and imported crops prone to exceeding the maximum residue limit (MRL) set for agricultural chemicals.
The study looked at chemical residues in fresh, unwashed produce and results indicated that most growers are using pesticides responsibly in the recommended manner with only a few exceptions. This year’s focus was on asparagus, eggplant, feijoas, hops, lemons, olive oil, persimmons, pumpkins, spring onion, sweet corn, tamarillos and walnuts.
Produce is sampled over the 12 month period so as to allow for seasonal variation in the food. The results are reported on after each quarter of testing. This differs from previous studies where sampling produce occurred twice over a short period of time.
Read the full article.
Find out more about the Food Residue Surveillance Program at the Ministry for Primary Industries | Manatu Ahu Matua, New Zealand.

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Water Sanitation and Validation: Workshop Summary and Presentations.

In January 2013 Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (HoD Plant and Food Sciences, University of Sydney) and Mr Michael Worthington (CEO of PMA A-NZ) attended the Wash Water Sanitation and Validation Workshop held at the Center for Produce Safety CPS) in conjunction with the Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology.
The workshop provided  an update on the latest research in wash water sanitation for all stakeholders, and drew attention on the participant’s experience to identify needs for research and training. Over 130 industry stakeholders from all parts of the supply chain attended, which indicates just how important this food safety topic is to the fresh produce industry.
Guest speakers included Bob Brackett, IIFSH, Devon Zagory, Zagory and Associates, Karan Khurana,  Pulse Instruments and Drew McDonald, Danaco Solutions.
Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (HoD Plant and Food Sciences, University of Sydney) has provided us with the key take home messages from the presentations.
Download Robyn’s key messages here.
Devon Zagary’s presentation addressed the quality of wash water, the role and choice of disinfectants, the variables to monitor, and definition of critical control point, validation and verification.
Download Devon’s presentation here.
Karan Khurana described some of the wash water systems that are available, ways in which to monitor and verify the system and variables that impact the system.
Download Karan’s presentation here.
Drew McDonald reminded the audience of the critical opportunities and challenges  they have encountered with wash water systems, and the critical questions the industry needs to address.
Download Drew’s presentation here.

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