Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OECD Guidance on Naming Oleochemicals Called Confusing if Used by Regulators

If adopted by regulators, guidance the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently issued on characterizing oleochemicals could result in US chemical manufacturers needing to obtain new names and identification numbers for chemicals they have made for decades, according to a regulatory affairs official from the American Cleaning Institute.

OECD's guidance on characterizing oleochemicals melds various long-standing chemical identification systems used by regulators in different countries and regions and could introduce confusion in global commerce, according to the institute. It could result in the same chemical having multiple names and identifications in different parts of the world, Kathleen Stanton, director of technical and regulatory affairs at the American Cleaning Institute, told Bloomberg BNA April 17.

Oleochemicals are among a group of chemicals classified as derived from “unknown or variable compositions, complex reaction products and biological materials,” or UVCBs. These chemicals cannot be represented by unique structures and molecular formulas, according to EPA guidance.

Chemicals in this group are derived from tallow, lard, sunflower and other fats and oils as well as petroleum. They are used in many industrial, consumer and medical products, including wire insulation, coolants, lubricants, soaps, detergents and personal care products.

The OECD Task Force on Hazard Assessment published its guidance April 11 detailing an approach to describing and naming oleochemical substances.

OECD's guidance would necessitate new names and possibly new Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers for many of these chemicals, Stanton said.

Chemical manufacturers then would have to submit chemicals that they have made for decades for review to regulatory authorities as if the chemicals were new compounds, she said.

Trade disruption and marketplace confusion could result if a chemical, long known by one name and CAS number, had to be sold under a new name and number, she said.

Adoption, Broader Implication?

Stanton said she doubted whether countries and regions with long-standing inventories, such as Canada, the European Union and the United States, would adopt the OECD's guidance. The approach might be used by a country forming a new chemical inventory, she said.

She urged chemical manufacturers to continue to track nomenclature issues addressing other types of UVCBs that will be considered by OECD's task force.

The OECD task force undertook the oleochemicals guidance as a pilot, Stanton said. The next groups of UVCBs the international organization will examine are renewable fuels and hydrocarbon solvents, she said.

The EPA used several approaches to identifying UVCBs when it developed its inventory of chemicals made and sold in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s as required by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Among the approaches used was a system the EPA developed with the American Cleaning Institute—then known as the Soap and Detergent Association or SDA.

The EPA said in the 1985 version of its TSCA inventory that, although the system had limits, the SDA substance names were “as precisely descriptive of the chemical composition of a substance as possible.” The agency's UVCB guidance requires chemicals be identified as precisely as possible.

By Pat Rizzuto

For more information
  • “OECD Guidance for Characterizing Oleochemical Substances for Assessment Purposes” is available at http://bit.ly/P2OZfH.

Reproduced with permission from Daily Environment Report, 77 DEN 1 (April 22, 2014).
Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)

Friday, April 18, 2014

AOCS Newsletter April 2014 Highlights

 105th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Resources
Newsletter Sponsored by 'Olive Oil Sensory Science'

Going to San Antonio? Check out the Delegate Resources (password provided with your registration confirmation).
♦ View the program and preview abstracts*
♦ Decide what sessions or presentations to attend, and create your own schedule by using the itinerary builder.
♦ See who else is coming! Download your copy of the registration list and start networking now

*In a responsible effort to encourage sustainability, all abstracts will be provided in electronic format only.

Annual Meeting Career Center
Connect with the brightest minds from around the globe and use our expanded career network to search for the perfect employee or career.

  • Utilize our Career Fair on Monday, May 5. Reserve a table to meet with interested candidates, free of charge. Tables must be reserved by April 25.
  • Display printed job openings in the AOCS Career Center. Free of charge for meeting attendees, and $35 per listing for those not attending.
Job Seekers:
  • Attend our Career Fair on Monday, May 5, to network and explore career opportunities. (1:00-2:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the Pavilion)
  • Display your resume or CV at the AOCS Career Center free of charge. Bring several copies with you to display in the supplied bins. You do not need to sign up to use this service.
To reserve a table, submit a job posting, or for further details on the Career Center, please contact Doreen Berning

Seeking Insight From Biobased Community Leaders (You!)

We are developing topics that will highlight the issues that matter the most to those in your area of expertise. These topics will be featured on inform|connect. We would love to include your expertise, thoughts and comments. To participate just click here to share.

1. What one thing should your industry accomplish in 2014?

2. Tell us about a problem or challenge that keeps you up at night. inform|connect wants to give you the chance to both ask questions of your peers and inspire their innovative thinking.

Inform Free Features

A wide range of products, including foods, nutraceuticals, personal and home care products, industrial lubricants, oilfield chemicals, and biofuels involve stable mixtures of liquids that ordinarily do not mix together. This first free article from the April issue of Inform explains the basic science of emulsions and how they are used in a variety of applications.

Industrial hemp is one step closer to returning to US farms. An amendment in the final US farm bill relaxed the longstanding restriction on the farming of industrial hemp for research purposes. This second free article considers the implications.

New Chemical Watch Postings!
Don't forget to check your AOCS Member page regularly to view new postings from Chemical Watch.

Newest articles include:
  • First substance evaluation decisions published under REACH
  • Japanese Parliament to consider changes to industrial safety law
Simply log in to your membership account to access the news stories.

Not yet an AOCS member? Join now!

Looking for Industry Collaborators

AOCS is looking for industry collaboration on methodology that would detect the approximate concentration of carotenoids present in food and nonfood grade crude corn oil.

If you are interested, please contact Gina Clapper.

Learn more about all of our upcoming meetings.

AOCS Meeting Updates
AM14_Logo_90x100105th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo | May 4–7, 2014 | San Antonio, Texas, USA
Online registration is open until April 18.

Make your hotel reservation today! Due to several events taking place in San Antonio this May, hotels are reaching capacity quickly.


Montreux14_97x120World Conference on Fabric and Home Care—Montreux 2014 | October 6–9, 2014 | Montreux, Switzerland
Online registration is open!

--> Register Nowbest rate offered through May 31.
--> Reserve Your Hotel
--> Interested in Exhibiting?


aocs_ccoa 2 AOCS-CCOA Joint Symposium on Functional Lipids | November 19–20, 2014 | China
Call for Papers!

The organizing committee welcomes you to submit an abstract. The symposium will focus on contaminants in fats and oils, oil quality and remediation, value-added minor components of cereals and oils, and oils from new crops. The technical program will feature invited presentations by leading experts, as well as volunteer oral and poster presentations. For abstract submission guidelines contact meetings@aocs.org. Submission deadline is June 1, 2014.
Upcoming Industry Meetings
IndustryEventBtn-eNewsILPS Lecithin Short Course 2014 | June 12–13, 2014 | Belgium
World-class experts will present papers on various lecithin sources, production and applications in the University Conference Building, Ghent University. Demonstrations of lecithin emulsion characterization and applications will be organized in the university laboratories.
If you would like to receive the AOCS Newsletter and read it in full you may opt-in here. 

Processing Contaminants in Edible Oils MCPD and Glycidyl Esters

AOCS Press Congratulates AOCS Member & Editor Shaun MacMahon

AOCS Press is proud to introduce its’ newest title, Processing Contaminants in Edible Oils: MCPD and Glycidyl Esters. This 230-page book sums up the current research regarding the potentially harmful contaminants formed during deodorization, and covers everything from mechanisms of formation, to precursor molecules, to mitigation to the analytical strategies for accurate detection and quantification.  Shaun MacMahon, US Food and Drug Administration, brought together experts from around the globe to contribute. Learn more about this topic and join in the discussion at the Tuesday morning, May 6, 2014, Analytical Session that is part of the AOCS Annual Meeting in San Antonio.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Google Doodle Celebrates Percy Julian's 115th Birthday

Today (April 11, 2014), the Google Doodle honors what would have been the 115th birthday of chemist Percy Julian. Julian is most known for synthesizing hormones from soybean oil and creating a synthetic substitute for cortisone.
Google Doodle April 11, 2014

In June 2008 Inform featured Percy Julian in the article "Giants of the Past: Percy Lavon Julian (1899–1975)" by Jim Kenar.
"Percy Lavon Julian was born April 11,1899, in Montgomery, Alabama, USA,to James Sumner Julian and his wife,Elizabeth Lena Adams. Percy was the oldest of six children and the grandson of a former slave. His father, James,was a federally employed railway mail clerk and, as such, their family was better off than most blacks of the day. Although, Julian had little formal school training, since limited public education was available for blacks at the time, he had a burning desire, encouraged by his family, to pursue higher education."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Leading experts from Informa Economics, others to address outlook for animal protein markets

A new full-day Animal Protein Seminar will be offered for the first time this year at the 9th annual Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit (Summit), which will be held October 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, La. This pre-conference seminar is fashioned after the popular Spring Livestock, Meat, Poultry and Dairy Conference previously organized by Informa Economics, and will provide attendees with an outlook, delivered by industry experts, for the cattle, hog, dairy, poultry, and egg sectors.

The seminar will be offered on Tuesday, October 7 and is open to all registrants of the Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit. Space in the seminar is limited, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

This new animal protein outlook event was born out of a recently established alliance between HighQuest Partners, host of the Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit, and Informa Economics that has Informa rolling their Spring Livestock and Fall Outlook conferences into the Summit.  As a result, the Summit, which annually convenes buyers, sellers, and global players in the oilseed, protein meal, vegetable oils and feed grains sector, will feature richer content and more diverse networking opportunities.

Senior commodity analysts from Informa and others will be on hand at the Animal Protein Seminar and Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit to provide their expertise and strategies for addressing the opportunities and challenges facing the livestock, poultry, oilseed, and grain sectors in the coming year. Particular focus will be placed on the impact that shifting global demand and higher price expectations will have on the livestock-derived product markets in late 2014 and beyond.

“The expectation for substantially increased prices—the biggest jump some of these markets have ever seen—is of particular concern to buyers,” said Informa Economics Senior Vice President Rob Murphy. “Through a historical review, assessment of the driving factors, and guidance provided for strategic plans, attendees at this seminar will gain the knowledge required to effectively navigate this high-price environment.”

Beyond key sessions on the global outlook for the cattle, hog, dairy, poultry and egg sectors, the seminar will provide critical insights into trends in the global downstream meat market and the implications of government policies on the animal protein production sector.

The Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit is the largest annual industry event of its kind. Attendees have the opportunity to share the latest information on trends and developments in the oilseed and feed grains markets while networking with their peers, and establishing relationships with new suppliers and clients in order to enhance their competitive edge. Attendees hail from around the world – the 2013 event in Minneapolis, Minn., included over 75 exhibitors and hosted nearly 650 attendees from more than 30 U.S. states and 25 countries.

To view the full agenda and speaker and registration information, visit www.oilseedandgrain.com.
HighQuest Partners, headquartered in Danvers, Mass., is a globally recognized strategic advisory and industry conference company serving the food, agriculture and biofuels markets. www.highquestpartners.com 
Informa Economics, Inc., a division of Informa plc, is a world leader in comprehensive agriculture, food industry, agribusiness and commodity research, information, analysis and consulting. www.informaecon.com


Thursday, April 3, 2014

FDA Issues Final Rule on Record Access Requirements for Food Firms and Announces Guidance for Industry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a final rule that affirms the interim final rule’s change to its regulations on record-keeping to be consistent with the expansion of FDA’s access to records as required by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule issued February 23, 2012.

The amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act made by FSMA allow FDA access to records beyond those relating to specific suspect food articles if the agency reasonably believes that other food articles are likely to be affected in a similar manner. In addition, the FSMA amendments permit FDA to access records relating to articles of food for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, the article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. FDA's records access and the record-keeping requirements were first established by amendments to the FD&C Act made by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

The expanded records-access authority is designed to improve FDA’s ability to respond to and contain safety problems with the food supply for humans and animals.

FDA is also making available a guidance document “FDA Records Access Authority under Sections 414 and 704 of the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act,” which updates with minor changes the draft guidance issued on February 23, 2012. Comments on the guidance are being accepted.

FDA also is making available a guidance document “Why You Need to Know About Establishment, Maintenance, and Availability of Records—Small Entity Compliance Guide,” which updates the small entity compliance guide issued in December 2004. Comments on the small entity compliance guide are being accepted.

Additional Information

Some personal thoughts on the demonization of saturated fat

If I were to step outside AOCS headquarters here in Urbana, Illinois, USA, and ask the next 20 persons I encountered to give me one word to describe saturated fat, I would wager that at least 19 of the 20 would use some variant of the word “bad.” Seldom has received wisdom – knowledge that people generally believe is true but often is not – been so close to unanimous on any facet of nutrition as is the case with the idea that “saturated fat is bad for you.” (A close second would be the blind acceptance of the cholesterol/lipid hypothesis and, third, that dietary fat in general is suspect . . . even the so-called “good fats.”)

How saturated fat became so universally feared is a long and complicated story that is part politics, part US dietary policy based on preliminary findings, and part bad science. At the root, however, is what I find to be a false premise – the idea that the immensely complicated human metabolic system (that is still further complicated by variations among individuals) can be reduced to its individual working parts and that scientific research can tease out truths about what is “good” and what is “bad” in dietary terms. A corollary to this premise is that the effect of a whole food is merely the sum of its individual components; there is no synergistic (or, alternatively, antagonistic) relationship among all the individual components (and an individual’s personal biology and microbiome).

If you are interested in an alternative view of saturated fat, then by all means read articles and/or books by the noted science writer Gary P. Taubes. His 2002 article for The New York Times, “What If It’s All Been a Big, Fat Lie?,” was one of the first widely disseminated salvos in the war to reclaim an honorable position for dietary fat in general and saturated fat in particular.

A new book by investigative journalist Nina Teicholz, The Big Fat Surprise, will be released on May 13 by Simon & Shuster. Teicholz says the book, which I have yet to read, “traces the origins of the bias against saturated fats and how overzealous researchers – through a combination of ego, bias, and premature institutional consensus – have allowed dangerous misrepresentations to become dietary dogma.”

Michael Pollan, an award-winning author and journalism teacher at the University of California, Berkeley, has written extensively about “nutritionism” and the damage done by a reductive approach to food and eating. (Remember the “French paradox” wherein scientists puzzle over the fact that the French – a culture well known for indulging in long, leisurely, and often fat- and cholesterol-laden meals – have a low incidence of heart disease?) To reductionism can be added the difficulty of accurately assessing an individual’s diet over time outside of a research setting where intake is strictly controlled. (If you have ever taken a food frequency questionnaire, then you know just how flawed those instruments are.) Why not toss another log on the fire and raise the problems inherent with meta-analyses (the grouping together and analysis of data from a number of studies) as well as the limitations of observational studies (research wherein groups of people are observed and outcomes are noted minus intervention by the researchers)? A point that the popular press and lay public often forget about observational studies is that they are not randomized and cannot point to cause and effect.

So, where are we today, on the first day of April 2014, as I write this blog post? Official dietary guidelines such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 (PDF) continue to call for reduced consumption: “Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.” Most if not all diabetes groups advise against consumption of saturated fat despite the wealth of research showing benefit to both serum glucose and triglyceride levels as well as lipid profiles for diabetics on ketogenic (fat-burning) diets that include copious amounts of saturated fat.

The latest in a continuing series of epidemiological meta-analyses finding no association between ingestion of saturated fat and coronary heart disease (CHD) was released on March 17, 2014, and the popular press has had a grand time acting as if this were a new finding. (See the June 2009 issue of Inform (PDF) , the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, or the British Medical Journal for proof that it is not a new idea.) However, having observed the fats and oils scene now for almost 15 years as associate editor of Inform, I think the current media brouhaha may signal that we are at a tipping point. Indeed, it is possible that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the dogmatic demonization of saturated fat.

The new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine went beyond previous meta-analyses that found no association between dietary saturated fat and incidence of CHD or stroke. It also questioned whether polyunsaturated oils from plants and fish are inherently more healthful than saturated fats from animal or dairy sources. “Current evidence does not clearly support guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats,” the authors write.

Critics quickly pointed out errors in the data and data collection; some called for the paper’s retraction. After the study’s authors corrected those errors, lead author Rajiv Chowdhury of the University of Cambridge in the UK told Science Magazine that he feels the paper’s conclusions are valid even after the corrections.

So, what is a person concerned about things dietary to do? Here are my thoughts . . . not that anyone has asked for them. To be clear: I speak only for myself and not for AOCS. First off, I would suggest being less concerned about each bite of food, because a puritanical focus on “good” and “bad” foods sucks all the pleasure out of what should be a communal celebration of life (taking us back to the French paradox). Assuming you are eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods that spent some time in the sun (including meat from grass-fed animals and fatty coldwater fish, if you are so inclined and able to afford them), you are likely to do well by yourself. (Michael Pollan’s pithy aphorism comes to mind: “Eat food. Not too much. Mainly plants.”)

Beyond that, here’s a thought: Don’t monitor reporting by the popular press on nutrition, which seldom puts incremental findings in context. Either read the papers yourself, which is why we have provided links in this post, or follow Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous advice: “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.”

Catherine Watkins, Inform associate editor