Processed Foods

As low supply, high demand from China push corn prices up, Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride, which together process 3.7 billion chickens yearly, add wheat to chicken feed

By Carolyn Cui

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-08-09

Fuel refinery in Washington is one of world's leading providers of tarry residue used in making aluminum soda cans, suggesting that weaning from fossil fuels is complicated

By Geoff Dembicki

CorpWatch; The Tyee 2011-07-11

Rising costs of flour, sugar oil, plus growing popularity of processed items in China, India boost appeal of powdered wood pulp, gums that add fiber, feel creamy, create gels

By Sarah Nassauer

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-05-04

Fragrance confectionery maker says new candy causes skin to emit rose oil components from geraniol; test markets set in Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Hungary

By Helen Glaberson 2011-04-26

Areas of brain that interpret sense of taste may also provide representation of oral textures in mouth; study could open field for design of foods that mimic mouthfeel of fat

By Nathan Gray /Decision News Media 2011-05-02

Attempt to cut levels of acrylamide in foods has limited impact; carcinogen formed by heat reaction between sugar, asparagine and known as Maillard reaction is responsible for browning, flavor

By Rory Harrington

Food Production Daily 2011-04-22

As subsidies rise for alternative fuels, fry-oil scavengers resort to frequent dining, cash payment, good tips at restaurants to ensure steady supply of free biodiesel for vehicle fillups

By Jeffrey Ball

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-02-15

USDA OKs ethanol-only biotech corn; food industry giants warn of crumbly corn chips, soggy cereal, soupy-centered bread if it enters food chain but Syngenta touts water, energy, chemical savings

By Andrew Pollack

The New York Times 2011-02-11

3D food printer under development at Cornell takes food inks and squirts out something edible; team experimenting with mixing foods with substances that form gels with water

By Lakshmi Sandhana

BBC 2010-12-24

Swedish city, epicenter of farming and food processing, dispenses with fossil fuels, generating energy from potato peels, manure, used cooking oil, stale cookies, pig guts

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2010-12-11

Researchers create "perfumery radar" that plots eight scent families and essential oils of orange, lemon, jasmine and thyme; they see potential in creating "wine radar" as well

The Economist 2010-12-09

Butters in Dallas supermarket contaminated with flame retardants; researchers say either electronic devices in butter processing plant or packaging likely culprit but call for stricter scrutiny

By Rory Harrington

Food Production Daily 2010-12-07

Former Microsoft exec nears publication of "Modernist Cuisine," which he describes as "an encyclopedic treatment of modern cooking" - "The Joy of Cooking" for Ferran Adrià set

By Betty Hallock

Los Angeles Times 2010-09-23

Increasing fears over obesity links to high-fructose corn syrup drive sales down; manufacturers respond by petitioning to change name of product to corn sugar

By Emily Fredrix

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-09-15

Serving of American McNuggets contains petroleum byproduc tertiary butylhydroquinone and dimethylpolysiloxane, also used in Silly Putty

By Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

CNN 2010-06-25

As processed food firms ratchet up lab-generated umami - savory experience of protein-heavy foods - natural tastes could pale for extreme flavor junkies

By Miriam Gottfried

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-05-26

High-fructose corn syrup linked to significant weight gain, abnormal increases in body fat (especially in abdomen), triglycerides rise in rat study

By Hilary Parker

Princeton University 2010-03-22

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, subject of recall over salmonella taint, is used in thousands of processed foods as flavor enhancer

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-03-06

Newly patented sugar-derived epoxy lining could replace bisphenol A in can linings

By Rory Harrington News Media 2010-03-04

Secrecy, scarcity of research on food-related nanotech worries UK science panel

By Kate Kelland

Reuters 2010-01-07

NY high-schoolers using DNA analysis learn that labels of 11 of 66 food products tested misrepresented contents

Science Daily 2009-12-28

Study links can-lining chemical BPA to male sexual dysfunction

High exposure to BPA, a synthetic estrogen commonly used in linings of food, beverage cans, appears to cause erectile dysfunction, other sexual problems in men, study shows. Findings raise questions about whether exposure at lesser levels can affect sexual function, researcher says. FDA has maintained chemical is safe, but research links BPA in lab animals to infertility, weight gain, behavioral changes, early-onset puberty, cancer, diabetes. And: 2 billion pounds of BPA manufactured each year, and endocrine disruptor is in 92 percent of us (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-11-11

See also 

Opinon: BPA, canned food, plastic containers - and case of the willies

Evidence of harmful effects of BPA (bisphenol A), a synthetic estrogen, isn't conclusive, but justifies precautions. Chemical, found by Consumer Reports in almost all the brand-name canned foods tested, linked to miscarriage, heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities. We're cutting down on use of plastic containers to store or microwave food, and I'm drinking water out of a metal bottle. In my reporting, I've come to terms with threats from warlords, bandits and tarantulas. But endocrine disrupting chemicals -- they give me the willies. And: Testimony to Congress on BPA vs phthalates (click 'See also').

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2009-11-08

See also 

Study links depression to diet heavy in processed foods

People with diet heavy in processed foods more vulnerable to depression than those with highest intake of whole foods, limited British study indicates. Researchers say that food should play greater role in preventing depressive disorders. Beneficial effect could be from cumulative effect of several nutrients - folate, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants; depression link could be caused by heart disease, inflammation, both aggravated by highly processed diet.

By Jess Halliday News Media 2009-11-02

Cocoa Krispies 'child's immunity' support claims challenged

San Francisco city attorney demands substantiation from Kellogg for claim on boxes of Cocoa Krispies that cereal 'now helps support your child's immunity.' And: Growing number of health and nutrition experts, fed up with misleading marketing ploys, say health claims on foods should be banned (click 'See also').

By Heather Knight

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-10-28

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Making the (flu) medicine go down

With liquid children's version of anti-flu drug Tamiflu in short supply during H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, pharmacists are making their own version by mixing specified cherry syrup with contents of Tamiflu capsules. Business at cherry syrup company is brisk. Drug label says that parents, if directed by physician, can make single doses of liquid Tamiflu by mixing drug with sweet liquid such as chocolate syrup.

By Andrew Pollack

The New York Times 2009-10-03

Processed food makers advertise their products as 'smart choices'

Sugar-laden cereals, heavily salted packaged meals among hundreds of processed items now advertised as 'Smart Choice' by nation's largest food manufacturers and overseen by Tufts University dean. Campaign prompts letter of potential concern from FDA. 'You could start out with some sawdust, add calcium or Vitamin A and meet the criteria,' says critic. 'Horrible choices,' says another. And: Heart association recommends sugar limits (click 'See also').

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2009-09-05

See also 

Food processors' waste taints water, environment

In west Michigan, untreated wastewater from processors has tainted drinking water, streams, killing aquatic life and nearby trees. State officials have known of polluting for 10 years; residents say they're bearing costs - stench, orange fingernails, useless gardens, failed businesses, ruined plumbing, fear of eventual ills from tap water. Officials say there's no acute health threat. Review found probes have dragged out for years. Companies denied responsibility, failed to meet cleanup deadlines, violated law with leaks, spills, illegal dumping of fruit waste. Agriculture made more than $63 billion last year; food processing firms employ thousands. (Click 'See also' for part 2.)

By Tina Lam

Detroit Free Press 2009-08-09

See also 

Investors say BPA risks food firms' value; feds mum on chemical's use

Investors representing $26 billion tell FDA that continued use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage can linings could threaten companies' value. Group says FDA assessment of safety, lack of federal regulation discourage search for alternatives. And: Consultants use Big Tobacco tactics to protect BPA market from regulation; EPA has no real program to regulate industrial chemicals, says environmental health specialist at Pew Charitable Trusts (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington Decision News Media 2009-06-24

See also 

Nanoetech spurs dreams of food scientists, concerns of environmentalists

Interest grows in food nanotechnology - manipulating matter at a scale one-1,000th the width of a human hair. Grocery trade group says likely first applications for food ingredients will be technologies that add nutrients, antioxidants, or even flavors. But others want more environmental health, safety studies. And: Nanoparticles could risk water, soil ecosystems, studies show (click 'See also').

By Carolyn Y. Johnson

Boston Globe 2009-07-27

See also 

BPA-free canned beans, but tomatoes lagging at Eden Foods

Michigan-based Eden Foods made costly switch to bisphenol-A-free can linings for its beans in 1999. The Ball Corporation uses enamel made from vegetable resins. 'I didn't want BPA in food I was serving to my kids, my grandkids or my customers,' says Mike Potter, founder and president. Eden's tomato products still packaged in BPA-containing cans.

By Nena Baker

Environmental Working Group/enviroblog 2009-07-14

E.coli found in Nestlé cookie dough

E. coli found in Nestlé refrigerated Toll House cookie dough from Virginia plant, federal investigators say. Interviews with patients - most of whom are teenage and preteen girls - showed high percentage of them ate raw Nestlé's cookie dough before becoming sick, CDC says. Refrigerated dough has rarely been associated with any food-borne illness outbreaks; at least 69 illnesses have been linked to pathogen.

By Jane Zhang

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-06-29

BPA causes reproductive ills in rats at 'harmless' exposure, study shows

Exposure to levels of BPA, a chemical found in baby bottles, food can linings, that U.S. deems harmless over course of lifetime triggers reproductive problems in female rats, study shows. Chemical trade group says study is irrelevant because chemical was injected, not swallowed. And: EPA hearing will examine whether BPA should be added to California's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (click 'See also').

By Rory Harrington, Decision News Media 2009-06-19

See also 

Opinion: Beyond salmonella crisis to safer food system

Enhancing quality, safety of industrially produced food means building on success of existing programs; developing rapid detection methods for pathogens; eliminating unnecessary antibiotics; improving food preparation practices in all settings; strengthening capacities of health departments; and irradiating high-risk foods. CDC says irradiation could prevent up to 1 million cases of food-borne disease annually.

By Dennis G. Maki, M.D.

The New England Journal of Medicine 2009-02-11

Military consults food scientists on exploding marmalade

Military consults food scientists on exploding marmalade

BBC/Good Food

Army-funded rocket scientists ask food counterparts for help making rocket fuel. Gel fuel - think orange marmalade without rind - not as leak-prone as liquids. Food processing, agriculture experts understand how gels - marmalade, jam - behave when pumped through sophisticated machines. And: Good marmalade retains true flavor of fruit, says food judge (click 'See also').

By Lewis Page

The Register (UK) 2009-01-22

See also 

Recalled peanut products stretch across industrial food system

Volume, wide distribution, complicated supply chain and long shelf life complicate recall efforts on peanut butter, peanut paste, and processed food products made with them. Consider: peanut paste to peanut butter cup to peanut butter cup ice cream to private-label sales. More salmonella cases expected; military has instructed personnel to inspect care packages. Recalls list includes 130 products.

By Kim Severson

The New York Times 2009-01-23

Melamine joins BPA in toxins list for baby formula can linings

'Trace' amounts of melamine, used in plastics and fertilizers, found in one of 77 U.S. baby formula samples tested, but it's allowed in can liners and manufacturing, says FDA. And: BPA, a leaching toxin thought to be found only in metal food can linings and hard, clear plastic, also is present in frozen food trays, microwaveable soup containers, plastic baby food packaging and in recyclable containers with numbers 1, 2, 5 and 7 (click 'See also').

By Justin Blum 2008-11-25

See also 

Food firms turn to lab to woo health-conscious shoppers

Food processing firms plug one food into another, claim health benefits of both. But new 'functional foods' don't have rigorous studies behind them, unlike those that added vitamin B to flour (reduced rates of pellagra), added vitamin D to milk (eliminated rickets). Benefit to eating fish might not be omega-3 fatty acids, but that you're eating less steak, says nutritionist.

By Julia Moskin

The New York Times 2008-09-16

Potato chip makers agree to reduce carcinogen in products

Potato chip producers agree to reduce carcinogen - acrylamide - in their chips over three years and pay penalties to settle California lawsuit. Accord means a 20 percent cut for Frito-Lay products, 87 percent cut for Kettle Chips, and warning label on Cape Cod Robust Russets. And: FDA tells home cooks to reduce chemical by not over-browning potatoes (click 'See also').

By Bob Egelko

San Francisco Chronicle 2008-08-02

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Tracking problems to source

Grocer group's team of forensic scientists specializes in fishing clues from fillets and prying confessions from tomato cans, and determining whether the 1,000 cases of foreign items in food each year are prank, error or sabotage. Lab is vestige of early 1900s, when canning was less reliable and botulism was more frequent.

By Annys Shin

The Washington Post 2008-05-20

Feeling your way

Weight and feel of product containers can affect some diners' opinion of contents, Michigan-Rutgers study shows. But others who have need to touch things - those who are haptically oriented - can discern when touch is actually related to product quality and are less likely to be misled by packaging. Research could influence shape, design of products, as well as packaging.

By Bernie DeGroat

University of Michigan 2008-03-18

One leaf, or two?

Battle for our non-sugar sweet tooth moves into plant-based products as health experts consider link of diet-related disease to sugar substitutes. Coca-Cola has applied for 24 patents using the super-sweet herb stevia; other market newcomers include sugar alcohol, fruit extract from China and chicory root fiber.

By Marilynn Marter

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2008-02-14

Keeping cool

One day, we'll say goodbye to gritty ice cream; food chemist creates edible "antifreeze" with extract of papaya and gelatin. Also at work: Unilever, with its patented yeast genetically modified to make antifreeze from Arctic fish blood, and Canadian researchers, working with one from winter wheat.

By Tom Simonite

New Scientist 2008-01-11

Calculating flavor

Nestle scientist uses quantum mechanical theory to create mathematical model that describes fats-water interactions that create texture, flavor and nutrition the body can use. The challenge will be applying the knowledge to foods on an industrial scale.

By Stephen Daniells

Physical Review Letters, Food Navigator 2007-11-12

In a word

With their share of the fast-growing $13 billion market for "natural" foods and drinks at stake, producers swipe at each other and public interest group wants to know: Is saltwater plumping up a chicken "natural?" How about the corn-based flavoring and preservative, sodium lactate, in sliced roast beef? What of high-fructose corn syrup?

By Andrew Bridges

The Associated Press 2007-11-07

Shock and foie gras

Xanthan gum and agar-agar, usually low on the list of ingredients in processed foods and often at home in petri dishes, has nudged flour and cornstarch aside in a few intrepid chefs' kitchens. Chemistry, they say, as they tie foie gras into a knot, is another word for recipe.

By Kenneth Chang

The New York Times 2007-11-06

Flavor fakers

In search of chemical substitutes for natural flavors, the flavor scientists are homing in on the precise combination of chemicals, genetics and brain structures that create the experience of taste. One goal: creating a connection between consumers and their food as strong as that between a child and his mom's cooking.

Tamara Holt

Popular Science 2007-10-29

Halloween high?

Experts question whether the legendary "sugar high," bane of parents at Halloween, really exists. The body's natural glucose control mechanisms minimize the effect in healthy children who eat well, but parents are the ultimate judges.

By Karen Ravn

Los Angeles Times 2007-10-29

Home in space

When Ko San, Korea's first astronaut, blasts off into space on Russian rocket in April, he likely will be feasting on traditional foods - kimchi, instant noodles, hot pepper paste and soy bean paste, rice, red ginseng and green tea.

The Chosun Ilbo (Korea) 2007-10-25

Cause and effect:

In 2005 paper, scientists link increased consumption of fast food and sweetened sodas to obesity, which promotes insulin resistance, which facilitates further weight gain.

By Elvira Isganaitis and Robert H. Lustig

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (American Heart Association) 2005-09-15

Modified sugar:

Genetically modified sugar beet seed designed to resist Monsanto herbicide is gaining popularity among growers and processors, including American Crystal Sugar Co.; Wyoming Sugar Co., and Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative; farmers must pay $60 premium per acre, and GMO sugar won't carry special label.

Associated Press; CNN 2007-08-22

One bug or two?

One bug or two?

Seeking sales, food processors add crushed insects to yogurt and grapefruit juice, titanium dioxide to Betty Crocker's white frosting, and dye to fish and chicken feed, but FDA rules are lax on ingredients disclosure, so labels might read 'artificial color.'

By Pallavi Gogoi

Business Week Online 2006-10-01


In "Twinkie, Deconstructed," Steve Ettlinger describes the work of making unnecessarily complicated snacks; the book is the polar opposite (complete with smiley face) of "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Michael Pollan's frowny faced take on simplifying food.

By Chelsea Martinez

Los Angeles Times

Saving water

Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Läckeby Water Group join other food, drink producers in UN agreement to use water more efficiently; lack of access to clean water and sanitation undermines humanitarian, social, environmental, and economic goals.

By Ahmed ElAmin

Food/Farm bill:

It's a $70 billion annual bill, and before, only agribusiness cared, but a tsunami of activists now believes that its subsidies for corn and soy encourage diet-related disease and climate change; instead, they advocate money for sustainable and organic food production, agricultural conservation and for a priority on fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

By Carol Ness

San Francisco Chronicle

Supplement setback:

Cargill's attempt to add Regenasure, a vegetarian version of shellfish-derived glucosamine, to European list of food products for addition in mostly beverages and fermented milk products, hits snag with questions of safety for diabetics.

By Alex McNally