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ComBase Bioinformatic Tool Reduces Scourge of Foodborne Illness

For many, the science of food preservation is not terribly exciting, but each year researchers save thousands of lives and countless belly aches. Although the United States has one of the world’s safest food supplies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says foodborne illness affects about 48 million Americans each year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Food …

AFFI Commemorates World Food Safety Day with Expansion of Food Safety Zone

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) announced today the expansion of its Food Safety Zone to include a new Enteric Viruses Control Program(EVCP) aimed at preventing and controlling Norovirus and Hepatitis A throughout the global frozen fruit supply chain. Created for the international community of food safety professionals, the EVCP is a free interactive, online tool with downloadable resources for …

Protein Discovery Could Help Enable Eco-Friendly Fungicides

New research reveals an essential step in scientists’ quest to create targeted, more eco-friendly fungicides that protect food crops. Scientists have known for decades that biological cells manufacture tiny, round structures called extracellular vesicles. However, their pivotal roles in communication between invading microorganisms and their hosts were recognized only recently. UC Riverside geneticist Hailing Jin and her team found plants use these …

UC Davis Wants Samples of Your Fermented Foods for Science

It’s not always easy to find silver linings during the COVID-19 pandemic, but here’s one that food scientists at the University of California, Davis, have discovered: More people are exploring the ancient art of fermented foods. “My mom made her first batch of sauerkraut this summer,” said Maria Marco, a microbiologist and food science professor with the UC Davis College …

Insect-Deterring Sorghum Compounds May be Eco-Friendly Pesticide

Compounds produced by sorghum plants to defend against insect feeding could be isolated, synthesized and used as a targeted, nontoxic insect deterrent, according to researchers who studied plant-insect interactions that included field, greenhouse and laboratory components. The researchers examined the role of sorghum chemicals called flavonoids —specifically 3-deoxyflavonoid and 3-deoxyanthocyanidins — in providing resistance against the corn leaf aphid, a …

Improved Method to Test for Mycotoxin in Feed

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Center for Analytical Chemistry (CAC) scientists Bahar Nakhjavan, Nighat Sami Ahmed, and Maryam Khosravifard were recently published in an academic journal after developing an improved method to test for mycotoxin in feed. Their article, “Development of an Improved Method of Sample Extraction and Quantitation of Multi-Mycotoxin in Feed by LC-MS/MS,” details their research …

Organic Ag Takes on Climate Change

The threat that climate change poses to our world, our ecosystem and our health demands bold policy solutions, and, as the devastating impacts of a warming Earth mount, the push for the development of robust and comprehensive federal climate policy is gaining traction. Organic agriculture can be a part of the solution and help tackle climate change through its ability …

Irrigation Strategies to Avoid Heat Damage to Cool Season Vegetables

Currently, we are experiencing a prolonged heatwave on the central coast.  Heatwaves have become a recurring phenomenon in recent years, especially in late summer. With thousands of acres of cool season vegetables in the ground, irrigation will be critical for keeping crops cool and for supplying enough moisture to meet their water needs. Crops can be kept cool by maximizing evapotranspiration (ET).  …

New Targets for Huanglongbing Treatments

Scientists are closer to gaining the upper hand on a disease that has wiped out citrus orchards across the globe. New models of the bacterium linked to the disease reveal control methods that were previously unavailable. Metabolic models of organisms are like road maps of cities. “They show you all the biological processes, and how they work together,” said UC …

Barking Up the Right Tree: Canines Detect HLB

In September 2019, huanglongbing—also known as HLB or citrus greening—was detected in residential citrus trees located in Ventura County, in southern California (and just recently, the first HLB carrying Asian Citrus Psyllid was detected in a commercial CA citrus grove). The disease, which has no known cure, is caused by a bacterium that devastates citrus plants and is transmitted by …

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