Friday, June 29, 2012

According to the American Medical Association " ... there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods"

The following Policy Statement was approved on June 20, 2012 by the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association.
Bioengineered Foods
(1) Our AMA recognizes the continuing validity of the three major conclusions contained in the 1987 National Academy of Sciences white paper "Introduction of Recombinant DNA-Engineered Organisms into the Environment." [The three major conclusions are: (a)There is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of rDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms; (b) The risks associated with the introduction of rDNA-engineered organisms are the same in kind as those associated with the introduction of unmodified organisms and organisms modified by other methods; (c) Assessment of the risk of introducing rDNA-engineered organisms into the environment should be based on the nature of the organism and the environment into which it is introduced, not on the method by which it was produced.)
(2) That federal regulatory oversight of agricultural biotechnology should continue to be science-based and guided by the characteristics of the plant or animal, its intended use, and the environment into which it is to be introduced, not by the method used to produce it, in order to facilitate comprehensive, efficient regulatory review of new bioengineered crops and foods.
(3) Our AMA believes that as June 2012, there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education.
(4) Our AMA supports mandatory pre-market systematic safety assessments of bioengineered foods and encourages: (a) development and validation of additional techniques for the detection and/or assessment of unintended effects; (b) continued use of methods to detect substantive changes in nutrient or toxicant levels in bioengineered foods as part of a substantial equivalence evaluation; (c) development and use of alternative transformation technologies to avoid utilization of antibiotic resistance markers that code for clinically relevant antibiotics, where feasible; and (d) that priority should be given to basic research in food allergenicity to support the development of improved methods for identifying potential allergens. The FDA is urged to remain alert to new data on the health consequences of bioengineered foods and update its regulatory policies accordingly.
(5) Our AMA supports continued research into the potential consequences to the environment of bioengineered crops including the: (a) assessment of the impacts of pest-protected crops on nontarget organisms compared to impacts of standard agricultural methods, through rigorous field evaluations; (b) assessment of gene flow and its potential consequences including key factors that regulate weed populations; rates at which pest resistance genes from the crop would be likely to spread among weed and wild populations; and the impact of novel resistance traits on weed abundance; (c) implementation of resistance management practices and continued monitoring of their effectiveness; (d) development of monitoring programs to assess ecological impacts of pest-protected crops that may not be apparent from the results of field tests; and (e) assessment of the agricultural impact of bioengineered foods, including the impact on farmers.
(6) Our AMA recognizes the many potential benefits offered by bioengineered crops and foods, does not support a moratorium on planting bioengineered crops, and encourages ongoing research developments in food biotechnology.
(7) Our AMA urges government, industry, consumer advocacy groups, and the scientific and medical communities to educate the public and improve the availability of unbiased information and research activities on bioengineered foods. 

FREE Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS)

News and Notes for Friday June 29, 2012

Soy and cognitive function: Latest results
the ePerspective--Recently, a study published in Neurology suggested that soy protein may not preserve overall thinking abilities in women over the age of 45, but may improve memory related to facial recognition. In addition, results from a Hawaiian population study published in 2000 linked soy consumption with greater risk of cognitive impairment.  Read more.

Omega-3 lowers inflammation in overweight older adults research shows that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower inflammation in healthy, but overweight, middle-aged and older adults, suggesting that regular use of these supplements could help protect against and treat certain illnesses. Read more.

High-fat/calorie diet accelerates development of pancreatic cancer Study results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held here June 18-21, strongly suggest that a diet high in fat and calories can hasten the development of pancreatic cancer in humans. Read more.

India soybean struggles to retain gains; soyoil down
Reuters--Indian soybean futures pared some of the gains after hitting a record high on Thursday, as profit-taking driven by hopes that farmers will raise acreage under the crop weighed on sentiment. Read more.

Milking Oil From Algae? Craig Venter Makes Progress In Exxon-Backed Venture
Forbes--ExxonMobil and Craig Venter made a big splash back in 2009 when they announced a research alliance to explore the potential for milking oil out of algae. Exxon said that if Venter’s Synthetic Genomics Inc. managed to isolate an algae strain that produced enough oil, it would be willing to invest $600 million in commercializing the technology. Read more.

Carbon is key for getting algae to pump out more oil
Phys.Org--Brookhaven researchers Jilian Fan, Changcheng Xu, and Chengshi Yan with cultures of algae that were shown to increase oil production in response to excess carbon. Read more.

Nanodiamonds could enhance washing detergent efficiency pieces of diamond could be used to help improve the effectiveness of washing detergents at lower temperatures, according to new research. Read more.

First dairying in green Saharan Africa in the fifth millennium bc
Nature--Rock-art scenes depicting domesticated cattle — some of them even including scenes of milking — are widely distributed in the Tadrart Acacus Mountains of the Libyan Sahara, suggesting that cattle played a big part in the lives of ancient humans in the 'Green' Sahara during the Holocene. Read more.

Abstract Alerts

Changes in the anti-inflammatory activity of soy isoflavonoidgenistein versus genistein incorporated in two types of cyclodextrin derivatives
Danciu C, Soica C, Csanyi E, Ambrus R, Feflea S, Peev C, Dehelean C
Chemistry Central Journal 2012, 6:58 (20 June 2012). Read the abstract.


ACS presents “Chemistry & the Economy: Mid-year Review” A short presentation followed by Q&A with speakers Paul Hodges, Chairman of International eChem and Dr. William Carroll, Jr., Vice President, Industry Issues for Occidental Chemical Corporation.

What You Will Learn
  • China’s slowing economy and the repercussions on the chemical industry
  • How the European economy is affecting the market
  • Shale gas industry’s expansion and its effect on the market
  • How a shift in demographics is affecting demands
  • And much more…
Webinar Details
Date: Thursday, July 12, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Fee: Free

Find out more about this ACS Webinar.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Big Food: The Food Industry Is Ripe for Scrutiny

This article is part of the the PLoS Medicine series on Big Food.  

Today we launch a major new series on “Big Food” in the PLoS Medicine Magazine. Over three weeks beginning 19 June 2012 we will publish seven articles that examine the activities and influence of the food and beverage industry in the health arena. These articles were commissioned by the senior Magazine editor (JC) under the guidance of our series guest editors Marion Nestle of New York University and David Stuckler of Cambridge University, and together they represent a multidisciplinary approach to exploring the role in health of Big Food, which we define as the multinational food and beverage industry with huge and concentrated market power [1].

Industry in health has long fascinated PLoS Medicine but our focus on Big Food is new. Food, unlike tobacco and drugs, is necessary to live and is central to health and disease. And yet the big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat, resulting in a stark and sick irony: one billion people on the planet are hungry while two billion are obese or overweight [2].

The time is ripe for PLoS Medicine to shine a light on Big Food. Foremost, large food and beverage companies now have an undeniably influential presence on the global health stage. Whether it's food company executives providing expertise at major conferences and high-level UN meetings (e.g., [3]) or major global health funders lecturing on what nongovernmental organizations can learn from Coca-Cola [4], the perspectives and experiences of Big Food are shaping the field of global health. At the same time that their expertise is elevated in global health debates, food companies are rebranding themselves as “nutrition companies,” offering business acumen and knowledge in food science and distribution, and asserting authority over solutions to problems not just of food production but of malnutrition, obesity, and even poverty. The legitimization of food companies as global health experts is further fueled by the growing number of private-public partnerships with public health organizations [5], ostensibly designed to foster collaborative action to improve people's health and wellbeing. And yet food companies' primary obligation is to drive profit by selling food. Why does the global health community find this acceptable and how do these conflicts of interest play out?

Indeed, while problems of obesity and associated disease are dominating discussions and debates in health around the world, there's a concomitant gulf of critical perspectives on the food industry's role and competing interests. Despite PLoS Medicine's longstanding interest in the tobacco, pharmaceutical, and other industries in health, for example, we have paid relatively little attention to the activities and influence of food and beverage companies: just two articles in 2007 [6],[7] and a recent editorial on the alcohol industry [8]. Searching PubMed, only an additional seven articles examining any aspect of the food industry have been published in the major general medical journals over the past 10 years.

According to Marion Nestle, these issues have been known and discussed (though not always acted upon) within the nutrition community for decades, which makes the lack of attention in the medical literature even more disappointing. In fact, Nestle's 2002 book Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health is prescient in documenting a laundry list of Big Food misdeeds that are only receiving more widespread attention now: aggressive lobbying of regulators and governments, co-opting domestic and international nutrition experts, deceptive and illegal marketing to children, tactical targeting of minorities and emerging economies, and undisclosed conflicts of interest, among others, resulting in her conclusion 10 years ago that the food industry “plays politics better than anyone” [9]. More recent evidence confirms that Big Food and Big Alcohol are mimicking (and learning from) the tactics of Big Tobacco [8],[10]–[13]. In recognition, a bold move by Journal of Public Health Policy discourages studies of individual eating and activity [14],[15] because, as the editors state, they “have come to believe that research studies concentrating on personal behavior and responsibility as causes of the obesity epidemic do little but offer cover to an industry seeking to downplay its own responsibility.”

The PLoS Medicine series on Big Food is a “sampler,” offering perspectives on select topics relevant to how the food industry operates in health. In this first week the guest editors lay out a background and three competing views of how public health professionals can respond [1], and Lori Dorfman and her colleagues [16] compare soda companies' corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns with those of the tobacco industry, demonstrating how CSR deftly shifts responsibility for overconsumption from corporations to individuals, forestalls regulation, and promotes brand loyalty and sales. In subsequent weeks we will publish analyses of the rapid rise of Big Food sales in developing countries, an essay on food sovereignty and who holds power over food, and two perspectives from South America and Africa on the displacement of traditional diets by the incursion of multinational food companies. We decided not to provide a forum for the industry to offer a perspective on their role in global health, since this point of view has been covered many times before [17]–[20] and fails to acknowledge their role in subverting the public health agenda, thus ignoring the deeper issues that this series aims to uncover.

While our series does include perspectives from several countries around the world (including Brazil, South Africa, the UK, and the US), our series is not as regionally diverse as would be ideal. When commissioning we had a difficult time finding authors in the developing world who had not already established links with food companies (thus disqualifying them from contributing to the series, per our Magazine competing interests policy), which might be more evidence for concerns about co-opting of international nutrition experts.

The series is not comprehensive in highlighting all the relevant issues but should signal to readers our interest in considering further original research and commentary on additional areas to do with the food industry in health, including marketing to children, litigation, regulatory efforts, the impact of agriculture systems, solutions to obesity and noncommunicable diseases, and the growth and spread of markets in emerging economies. Clearly issues of nutrition and diet are key to human health and to the health of the planet. We look forward to continuing to be part of the dialogue and invite readers to join the debate via twitter (hashtag #plosmedbigfood) and to comment on the articles, which will be published over three weeks and collected at

Author Contributions 

Wrote the first draft of the manuscript: JC. Contributed to the writing of the manuscript: VB JC EV. ICMJE criteria for authorship read and met: VB JC EV. Agree with manuscript results and conclusions: VB JC EV.
  1. Stuckler D, Nestle M (2012) Big Food, Food Systems, and Global Health. PLoS Med 9: e1242. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001242
  2. Patel R (2008) Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Melville House. 448 p.
  3. Cohen D (2011) Will Industry Influence Derail the UN Summit? BMJ 343: d5328.​.full.
  4. TEDxChange (September 2010) Melinda French Gates: What Nonprofits Can Learn from Coca-Cola. Available:​gates_what_nonprofits_can_learn_from_coc​a_cola.html. Accessed 14 May 2012.
  5. Freedhoff Y, Hebert PC (2011) Partnerships between Health Organizations and the Food Industry Risk Derailing Public Health Nutrition. CMAJ. 183. : 291–292. doi:10.1503/cmaj.110085.
  6. Lesser L, Ebbeling CB, Goozner M, Wypij D, Ludwig DS (2007) Relationship between Funding Source and Conclusion among Nutrition-Related Scientific Articles. PLoS Med 4: e5. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040005.
  7. Katan MB (2007) Does Industry Sponsorship Undermine the Integrity of Nutrition Research? PLoS Med 4: e6. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040006.
  8. The PLoS Medicine Editors (2011) Let's Be Straight Up about the Alcohol Industry. PLoS Med 8: e1001041. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001041.
  9. Nestle M (2002) Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  10. Brownell K, Warner KE (2009) The Perils of Ignoring History: Big Tobacco Played Dirty and Millions Died. How Similar Is Big Food? Milbank Quarterly 87: 259–294. Find this article online
  11. Chopra M, Darnton-Hill I (2004) Tobacco and Obesity Epidemics: Not So Different After All? BMJ 328: 1558–1560. Find this article online
  12. Ludwig D, Nestle M (2008) Can the Food Industry Play a Constructive Role in the Obesity Epidemic? JAMA 300: 1808–1811. Find this article online
  13. Wiist W (2011) The Corporate Playbook, Health, and Democracy: The Snack Food and Beverage Industry Industry's Tactics in Context. In: Stuckler D, Siegel, K, editors. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  14. Robbins A, Nestle M (2011) Obesity as Collateral Damage: A Call for Papers on the Obesity Epidemic. J Public Health Policy 32: 143–145. Find this article online
  15. Journal of Public Health Policy (2011) Special Issue Section: Food and Obesity Collection. Available:​llections/​ml. Accessed 14 May 2012.
  16. Dorfman L, Cheyne A, Friedman LC, Wadud A, Gottlieb M (2012) Soda and Tobacco Industry Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns: How Do They Compare? PLoS Med 9: e1241. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001241.
  17. Yach D, Feldman ZA, Bradley DG, Khan M (2010) Can the Food Industry Help Tackle the Growing Burden of Undernutrition? Am J Public Health 100: 974–980. Find this article online
  18. Alexander E, Yach D, Mensah GA (2011) Major Multinational Food and Beverage Companies and Informal Sector Contributions to Global Food Consumption: Implications for Nutrition Policy. Global Health 7(26). doi:10.1186/1744-8603-7-26.
  19. Yach D (2011) Nutritional Change Is Not a Simple Answer to Non-Communicable diseases. BMJ. 343. doi:10.1136/bmj.d5097.
  20. Acharya T, Fuller AC, Mensah GA, Yach D (2011) The Current and Future Role of the Food Industry in the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases: The Case of PepsiCo. In: Stuckler D, Siegel, K, editors. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
Find Out More

PLoS Medicine Series on Big Food: The Food Industry Is Ripe for Scrutiny
The PLoS Medicine Editors
PLoS Medicine: Published 19 Jun 2012 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001246
Big Food, Food Systems, and Global Health
David Stuckler, Marion Nestle
PLoS Medicine: Published 19 Jun 2012 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001242 
Food Sovereignty: Power, Gender, and the Right to Food
Rajeev C. Patel
PLoS Medicine:Published 26 Jun 2012 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001223
Policy Forums 
Soda and Tobacco Industry Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns: How Do They Compare?
Lori Dorfman, Andrew Cheyne, Lissy C. Friedman, Asiya Wadud, Mark Gottlieb
PLoS Medicine:Published 19 Jun 2012 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001241 
Manufacturing Epidemics: The Role of Global Producers in Increased Consumption of Unhealthy Commodities Including Processed Foods, Alcohol, and Tobacco
David Stuckler, Martin McKee, Shah Ebrahim, Sanjay Basu
PLoS Medicine:Published 26 Jun 2012 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001235

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

News and Notes from the IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo

Patrick Donnelly, AOCS Chief Executive Officer, is currently attending the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting + Food Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

He was thrilled to report that yesterday, during the opening session, Casimir Akoh, Distinguished Professor , University of Georgia and AOCS past president 2008-2009, was awarded the Nicholas Appert Award, IFT’s highest honor recognizing preeminence in and contributions to the field of food technology. 

At the 2012 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, Dr. Akoh received the Supelco/Nicholas Pelick- AOCS Research Award for outstanding original research. 

Dr. Akoh recently published the paper “Production of Human Milk Fat Analogue Containing Docosahexaenoic and Arachidonic Acids “ in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (abstract here). Congratulations Cas and thank you for the great work!

Pat also tipped us to the IFT ‘Food Geek’ YouTube channel.

My favorite: ‘IFT Geeks in History’

We hope everyone is enjoying IFT this year!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Call for ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Participants

Would you like the opportunity to influence international trade regulations?

In an effort to increase ISO’s U.S. participation of enthusiastic, fully-engaged experts and subject area leaders, we need your action!

ISO/TC 34 covers a variety of different areas of food standards. AOCS administers the following U.S. activities or TAGs:

   1. ISO/TC 34 Food products and ISO/TC 34/SC 17 Management systems for food safety,
   2. ISO/TC 34/SC 2  Oleaginous seeds and fruits and oilseed meals and ISO/TC 34/SC 11 Animal and vegetable fats and oils, and
   3. ISO/TC 34/SC 16 Horizontal methods for molecular biomarker analysis.

If you are interested, please complete the 2012 ISO Participation Form no later than September 14, 2012.

As noted above, AOCS administers U.S. TAGs; thus, we will only be able to accept participants with U.S. addresses or representing U.S. employers. Others may apply to be observers.

ISO is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. It is composed of a network of national standards institutes in 163 countries, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, which coordinates the system. In the United States, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) acts as the national standards institute. The many areas of standards development are covered by dedicated Technical Committees (TC), Subcommittees (SC) and Working Groups (WG), each requiring the formation of distinct Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs).

ISO forms a bridge between the public and private sectors, which enables consensus on solutions that meet both the broader needs of society and the market-driven requirements of business through the voluntary involvement of all interested parties.

For more information, please view the ISO/TC34 Food Products Manual containing detailed information on the benefits of participation, functions/responsibilities of a U.S. TAG, membership, funding, common ISO abbreviations, the standards development process, and general data (contacts, scope, liaisons, SC/WG, and a meeting calendar).

If you have further questions, please contact the AOCS Technical Department.

News and Notes for Monday June 25, 2012

Wild Almond Tree Oil May Combat Obesity, Diabetes
ScienceDail--A future weapon in the battle against obesity and diabetes could come in the form of an oil derived from the seeds of wild almond trees, according to researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Read more.

Genetically modified cows produce Omega-3 rich, low-lactose milk scientists say they have created a genetically modified cow whose milk is healthier because it is low in lactose. The scientists have also developed a cow that produces milk rich in health promoting omega-3 fatty acids. Read more.

US Senate to vote on amendments cutting US biofuels funding
Washington (Platts)--The US Senate plans to vote this week on three amendments to block US Agriculture Department support for renewable energy and biofuels production, but not on a Republican proposal to exempt some energy companies from new rules governing commodities swaps. Read more.

Protests set for Food Prize events Des Moines (DSM) has scheduled a news conference for June 21, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa announcing an "Occupy the World Food Price Campaign" to "... influence the World Food Prize committee to move away from honoring Pro GMO corporate farming advocates to awarding Pro local base, sustainable agriculture advocates".  Read more.

DuPont launches natural antioxidant blend Nutrition & Health has followed the launch of natural metal chelator Guardian Chelox L in the US with a version containing rosemary extract, an antioxidant, tailored to European markets. Read more.

BASF collaborates with BioTork for bio-based chemicals
Canadian Plastics--Global chemical supplier BASF has entered into a development deal with American biotechnology firm BioTork to develop microbial strains for the industrial production of bio-based polymers and green chemicals. Read more.

Abstract Alerts

Novel carbon-nanotube-based organogels as candidates for oil recovery. 
Pourjavadi, A., Doulabi, M. and Soleyman, R. (2012), Polym. Int.. doi: 10.1002/pi.4274. Read the abstract.

Water Solubilization Using Nonionic Surfactants from Renewable Sources in Microemulsion Systems 
Patrycja Szumała and Halina Szeląg. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents. Volume 15, Number 4 (2012), 485-494, DOI: 10.1007/s11743-011-1323-y. Read the abstract.

Upcoming Events June 25-July 2, 2012
See the AOCS Events Calendar.

25-29 Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Expo
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

27-28 Separation Science 2012
New Horizons in Separation and Detection Systems
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

27-29 HEART UK 26th Annual Conference 2012: Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity and Pre-Diabetes
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

28-29 1st Annual Biofuels Conference 2012: Tackling Fragmentation in the International Biofuels Sector
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

29-30 2012 3rd International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering - ICCCE 2012
Jeju Island, South Korea

Friday, June 22, 2012

News and Notes for Friday June 22, 2012

New website helps consumers understand natural trans fats (News release)--The new website, located at, is designed to help consumers navigate questions regarding fats. It will also grow to include special sections for scientists, educators, nutritionists and health professionals. Read the news release.

Panel says vitamin D, calcium won’t prevent fractures: Did we hear that correctly? Vitamin D Council provides areview of the US Preventive Services Task Force that has statements  that postmenopausal women do not need to supplement with vitamin D and calcium. Read more.

Packaging under the Unilever 'Plan'
Greener Package--Unilever Senior Vice-President, Sustainability, Gavin Neath provides details on the company’s goals for packaging. Read more.

NatureWorks Partners with Plasticity Rio ’12 Amidst United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit Event
Packaging Europe--NatureWorks, a  leading supplier of biopolymers joins Plasticity Rio ’12 with some of the world’s leading decision makers and innovators to put bioplastics on the UN agenda. Plasticity Rio ’12 is the only event at, or alongside, the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit to focus entirely on plastic. Read more.

Ethanol loses favor, drags corn with it
MarketWatch--As demand growth for the fuel stalls and corn production increases...Read more.

Study: No-Fat, Low-Fat Dressings Don't Get Most Nutrients out of Salads
ScienceDaily--The vegetables in salads are chock-full of important vitamins and nutrients, but you won't get much benefit without the right type and amount of salad dressing, a Purdue University study shows. Read more.

"The Kitchen As Laboratory": Measuring the Texture of Egg Yolks
Popular Science--A collection of essays about every aspect of culinary science shows how much more there is to understand about even the most familiar items. Read more.

USDA Announces Benchmarks on Meeting Energy and Sustainability GoalsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its fiscal year 2011 scorecard on sustainability and energy performance. Read more.

Abstract Alerts

An approach for jatropha improvement using pleiotropic QTLs regulating plant growth and seed yield
Fei Sun, Peng Liu, Jian Ye, Loongchuan Lo, Suying Cao, Lei Li, Genhua Yue and Chunming Wang  Biotechnology for Biofuels 2012, 5:42 doi:10.1186/1754-6834-5-42. Published: 15 June 2012. Read the abstract.

Repeated injection of PEGylated solid lipid nanoparticles induces accelerated blood clearance in mice and beagles
Zhao Y, Wang L, Yan M, Ma Y, Zang G, She Z, Deng Y. International Journal of Nanomedicine. Published Date June 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 2891 - 2900. DOI: Read the abstract.

Surface Activities, Foam Properties, HLB, and Krafft Point of Some n-Alkanesulfonates (C14–C18) with Different Isomeric Distributions
Latifa Fekarcha and Amel Tazerouti. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents. Volume 15, Number 4 (2012), 419-431, DOI: 10.1007/s11743-012-1335-2. Read the abstract.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Call for Posters - World Conference on Fabric and Home Care

The fabric and home care industry is advancing quickly and technology is moving fast… so fast that the industry needs, and has requested, to come together every two years in order to be competitive, stay abreast of new technologies, and discuss important issues that affect the way the industry conducts business. Learn more about the World Conference on Fabric and Home Care.

Abstracts for poster presentations are being accepted for review.

Showcase your latest research results, innovative work-in-progress, or on-going research project that might not yet be complete, but demonstrates compelling preliminary results.

Submit your abstract by 1 August 2012.

View guidelines and submit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New and Notes for Wednesday June 20, 2012

Disney to ban junk food adverts
NHS Choices --Disney plans to ban junk food ads on its TV, radio and online programs. The Disney corporation has announced that by 2015 it will phase out adverts for products that do not conform to its nutritional guidelines, and will also aim to promote healthier foods such as fruit. Read more.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Not Offer Touted Brain Benefits After All
ABC News--A new review of previous studies suggests that taking omega-3 supplements may not offer any brain benefits at all.  Researchers led by Emma Sydenham at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed data from studies that evaluated the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on cognitive function. Read more.

Identifying, avoiding scams in large biodiesel project funding
Biodiesel Magazine--Financing large projects that include biodiesel processors, crushers and support equipment has become complex, attracting  fraudulently divert investment revenue schemes. Read more.

Food Chain Contaminants/ EFSA Meeting
The Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has scheduled its 54th Plenary Meeting for July 11 and 12, 2012.Agenda items include the Role of EFSA as a Scientific Advisory Body; EFSA risk assessment and communication activities; Work program for 2012-2014; Role of the EFSA Dietary and Chemical Monitoring Unit (DCM); working group reports on Alkaloids, Aspergillus toxins, Brominated Flame Retardants, Dioxins in food for children, Fusarium toxins, Meat inspection contaminants, chromium and nickel in food, Previous cargoes – re-evaluation, Reference points for action, and Mercury in food. The meeting agenda is posted at Information about the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain is posted at

Genetically-Enhanced Soybeans Approved for Commercial Use in Mexico
The Government of Mexico (GOM) announced that it had approved genetically-enhanced (GE) soybeans for commercial use in Mexico for up to 253,500 hectares (ha). GE soybeans had only previously been planted under the experimental and pilot stages in Mexico (since 1995). The approval of GE soybeans for commercial use comes at a politically-sensitive time with upcoming presidential elections and at a time that anti-biotech groups have ramped up media attacks to block progress on this front. The June 8, 2012 USDA FAS GAIN Report is posted here. Information about the USDA FAS USDA'S Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) is available at

Abstract Alerts

Formulation and evaluation of chitosan solid lipid nanoparticles of carbamazepine
Rahul N Nair, Ashok C.K Kumar, Prasanna Y. Raju, Vishnu K Priya and Chakrapani M Yadav. Lipids in Health and Disease 2012, 11:72 doi:10.1186/1476-511X-11-72. Published: 13 June 2012. Read the abstract.

A Search for Ecofriendly Detergent/Dispersant Additives for Vegetable-Oil Based Lubricants
Arun K. Singh and Raj K. Singh. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 2012, Volume 15, Number 4, Pages 399-409. Read the abstract.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

China Releases Food Safety Improvement Plan

China released a five-year plan on Friday to upgrade its food safety regulations in the country's latest efforts to address food safety concerns.

The government will improve national food safety standards by revamping outdated standards, reviewing and abolishing any contradicting or overlapping standards and working out new regulations, according to a plan posted on the website of the Ministry of Health.

China has more than 2,000 national food regulations and more than 2,900 industry-based regulations.
Many of the regulations are overlapping or contradict each other, since multiple government agencies were given the responsibility of compiling their own standards years ago.

According to the plan, 14 government departments, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture, will coordinate to finish revamping the existing standards by 2015.

China is still suffering from the absence of several major food safety regulations, the plan said.
The government will prioritize safety standards for dairy products, infant food, meat, alcohol, vegetable oil, seasoning, health products and food additives so as to specify limits for dangerous ingredients in these foods, according to the plan.

Moreover, the government will make special efforts to set standards for testing various contaminants, food additives, microorganisms, pesticide and animal drug residue in food production by 2015, according to the plan.

Food safety became a nationwide concern in China after a spate of food safety incidents, such as food contamination and the illegal use of prohibited ingredients and additives in food production.
The most recent scandal involved an "unusual amount" of mercury found in baby formula produced by Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., one of China's biggest dairy companies.
Yili started to recall the defective products on Wednesday.

Find Out More

The Institute of Medicine (IoM) of the National Academies is seeking the nomination of additional individuals to serve on its standing committee on childhood obesity prevention

The Institute of Medicine (IoM) of the National Academies is seeking the nomination of additional individuals to serve on its standing committee on childhood obesity prevention. This ongoing standing committee guides the planning and program development of IOM's obesity prevention activities, including activities undertaken by separately appointed ad hoc committees. The committee's work emphasizes the urgency of accelerated progress in obesity prevention and seeks ways to sustain progress that is made.

Specifically, the committee:

(1) serves as a focal point for discussions on policy-relevant priorities in childhood obesity prevention;

(2) identifies and refines focused topics to be examined through workshops, public briefings, and publications; and

(3) provides strategic guidance on emerging issues, research, and activities.

 Expertise Needed:
  • Agriculture Policy
  • Biology/Physiology of Obesity
  • Corporate Sector/Business
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Health Law
  • Media and Marketing/Communications
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity and Diabetes
  • Obesity Prevention and Behavioral Research
  • Pediatrics and Child Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy/Government
  • Systems Research in Obesity
  • Youth Organizations

Self-nominations are welcome. Service on the standing committee is also open to scientists and other experts working for a government agency as well as individuals employed by the private sector. Contact information and comments regarding qualifications of nominees are greatly appreciated. Please fill out the this form to submit information about your nominee(s) by Friday, June 22, and return it to Emily Ann Miller, Associate Program Officer, at

And the winner is….

Bill Morphew, a project engineer from Andover, Minnesota, won inform magazine’s crossword puzzle drawing, which could be entered only by visiting the digital edition of the May 2012 issue featuring chocolate science. As the winner, Morphew will receive a box of Belgian chocolates and AOCS’ newly released cocoa butter book "Cocoa Butter and Related Compounds".

Saralyn, from Singapore, won the AOCS Media Lounger for her comment on "100th Post Celebration and GIVEAWAY! ".

Congratulations to all winners!

Monday, June 18, 2012

OSHA Adopts Globally Harmonized System – Now What?

In March 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS, HazCom) to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) is calling the revised standard HazCom 2012. One hopes all affected manufacturers, distributors, and employers are aware by now that a change has taken place and have assigned personnel to manage their transitions to HazCom 2012.

To comply, manufacturers and distributors must reclassify their chemical and provide GHS-formatted safety data sheets and labels to downstream users. Employers must train their employees on GHS and make any necessary update to their hazards programs and workplace labeling strategies. Bottom line: Manufacturers, distributors, and employers have work ahead of them to bring their organizations into compliance with the revised standard. But where should companies start?

(This article originally appeared in the June issue of Occupational Health & Safety magazine , vol 81, No. 6).

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100th Post Celebration and GIVEAWAY!

It's here....our 100th blog post.

To celebrate we will giveaway an AOCS media lounger.
Be the first to comment on this post to win!

AOCS Media Lounger! Phone not included.

As we continue to blog we would love to have additional contributors...
If you have a story you would like to share with our readers or would like to tip us on news please email

We are currently looking for:
  • Guest bloggers
  • Columnists
  • News tips
  • Upcoming event tips
  • and???? Let us know!  

Legislating Health?

Last week it was announced that the Governor of California ( Edmund G. Brown, Jr.) launched the "Let's Get Healthy, California" Task Force. Childhood obesity is on the agenda so it is likely that all snack foods/ processed foods as well as the fat content of foods will come under review.
"The Task Force and the Expert Advisors will work together to gather, evaluate and prioritize the best ideas and practices and organize them into a 10-year plan to improve quality, control costs, promote personal responsibility for individual health, and advance health equity. The report will establish baselines for key health indicators, identify obstacles, inventory best practices, provide fiscally prudent recommendations..."
This follows the headlines in New York where Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposes to ban the sale of large sodas in New York City restaurants, theaters, stadiums and street carts. Mayor Bloomberg believes the ban on soda will prevent or ameliorate obesity.

Thus far it seems many of these decisions are being made without input from food companies. In fact, many of the participants have long history in activism on these topics

Should we be legislating health? If so who should provide input?

News and Notes for Monday June 18, 2012

The Case of the Vegetarian Jet Engine: How GE Jet Engines Running on Vegetable Oil Mix Broke the Sound Barrier jet engines now burn biofuel blends from plants like Jatropha, wood chips, and algae. Price remains a sticking point but the fuel could dramatically improve their greenhouse gas footprint and innovative refinery companies are also jumping in to bring fuel costs down. Read more.

Western Diet Changes Gut Bacteria and Triggers Colitis in Those at Risk
Newswise --Certain saturated fats that are common in the modern Western diet can initiate a chain of events leading to complex immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in people with a genetic predisposition, according to a study to be published early online in the journal Nature.  Read more.

High levels of omega-3 fatty acids in breast milk of Amerindian women
UCSB (News release)--The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is vital for cognitive and visual development in infants. Researchers have discovered that Amerindian women have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their breast milk than women in the United States. Read the release.

European Union plans to let traces of unapproved GMOs in food
Reuters - -Tiny amounts of unapproved genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will be permitted in food imports to the European Union under draft rules due to be proposed shortly. Read more.

China launches campaign to rebuild food safety ‘integrity’ has launched a week-long campaign to promote honesty in the food industry in an effort to strengthen food safety and rebuild the “integrity” of the sector. Read more.

Quality drop, ironically, supports United State's soybean use
A relatively low level of protein in US soybeans may be underpinning demand for it, by forcing feed groups to use more of the oilseed to support the quality of their products. Read more.

Abstract Alerts

Application of Oxidized Cornstarch as a Nonphosphoric Detergent Builder
Ye Sheng, Xuechun Xu, Wenyong Jiang, Yanhua Song and Shucai Gan, et al. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 2012, Volume 15, Number 4, Pages 393-398. Read the abstract.

Modulating the physical properties of sunflower oil and sorbitan monopalmitate-based organogels.
Behera, B., Sagiri, S. S., Pal, K. and Srivastava, A. (2012),  J. Appl. Polym. Sci.. doi: 10.1002/app.37506. Read the abstract.

Upcoming Events June 18-25, 2012
See the AOCS Events Calendar.

18-20 16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering
Washington, DC, USA

18-21 BIO [Biotechnology Industry Organization] International Convention
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

18-22 20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
Milan, Italy

18-22 ACHEMA
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

20-21 International Dairy Foods Association 2012 Washington Conference
Washington, D.C., USA

20-22 15th Workshop on Vitamin D
Houston, Texas, USA

21-22 Science and Technology of Food Emulsions
London, United Kingdom

25-29 Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Expo
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Guess what?! This is our 100th blog post. In celebration we will be giving away  prizes for our blog readers. Check back at 12:00 CST today for details!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

AOCS Newsletter Highlights -June 2012

The monthly AOCS email newsletter just went out. If you would like to receive it you may opt-in here.

AOCS to Meet in Singapore and Nagasaki

AOCS is extending its reach to the Asian market, hosting Singapore 2012: World Conference on Fabric and Home Care in October while also serving as a joint sponsor of the World Congress on Oleo Science in Nagasaki, Japan, the previous month.

inform FREE Features

This month’s free articles look at the outside (personal care) and inside (dietary fat). First, find out how hydrocolloids are being used in personal care products as manufacturers search for new ways to provide “all-natural” labels. Next, read about a prospective, preliminary study linking sperm quality and production in humans to dietary fat intake.

3-MCPD News

An RSS feed is now available for the AOCS Process Contaminants / 3-MCPD resources web page. Participants will be notified when new information is posted, allowing them to stay current on the most recent news. Subscribe to the feed.

Book of the Month and a Free eChapter!

Save $100 on Basics of Edible Oil Processing and Refining Short Course DVD and you will also receive by email — FREE — the eChapter, "Cleaning Edible Oil Processing Equipment,” from the AOCS/SFA Edible Oils Manual, 2nd Edition. 
Use coupon code BOM0612 to receive the discount.


Laboratory Proficiency Program Approved Chemist application deadline
Applications are due June 15 for the Laboratory Proficiency Program Approved Chemist program. Download the application (.pdf)

AOCS Nominations and Elections Committee Seeks Candidates for 2013-2014 Governing Board
Self nominations are welcomed and encouraged. To be considered, you must complete an AOCS Prospective Board Member Questionnaire.

Friday, June 15, 2012

U.S. Recommendation for Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation is Too Low

Vitamin D seems to be making headlines this week (see Cancer survival disparities and vitamin D).  The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service recently released "Government Gets it Wrong Again:
U.S. Recommendation for Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation is Too Low". Read the full article below courtesy of OMNS.

Government Gets it Wrong Again:
U.S. Recommendation for Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation is Too Low

by William B. Grant, Ph.D.
(OMNS June 14, 2012) The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reviewed the evidence regarding vitamin D and calcium supplementation for preventing cancer and osteoporotic fractures in adults and concluded that there is insufficient evidence to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of vitamin D with or without calcium for the primary prevention of cancer [1]. This finding is based on reviewing the evidence from two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of vitamin D plus calcium supplementation and two reviews of the literature.
There are several problems with their review and recommendation. First, they accepted the most critical interpretations of the two RCTs, which essentially stated there was no benefit. The first study [2] claimed that since cancer was not the primary focus of the study, incidence may not have been correctly analyzed. However, a careful comparison of the incidence rate for women in the control group with incidence rates for women living in or near Nebraska at that time and with that age distribution finds excellent agreement with the expected rate. There is no indication that those who took supplements were treated for medical conditions differently from those who didn't take supplements.
In the second study [3], no statistically significant correlation was found between vitamin D plus calcium supplementation and cancer incidence rates for the entire group. However, a reanalysis of the results of that study found [4]:
In 15,646 women (43%) who were not taking personal calcium or vitamin D supplements at randomization, CaD significantly decreased the risk of total, breast, and invasive breast cancers by 14-20% and nonsignificantly reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 17%. In women taking personal calcium or vitamin D supplements, CaD did not alter cancer risk (HR: 1.06-1.26).
This implies that those who were taking supplements at the start of the study already had received the benefit, so that additional calcium and vitamin D had less of an effect. In addition, the USPSTF overlooked a recent paper in which men with low-grade biopsy-verified prostate cancer were given 4000 IU/d vitamin D3 for a year and had a 55% rate of tumor regression compared to 20% in historical controls [5]. Apparently, an adequate dose of vitamin D can greatly lower risk. For those who don't receive an adequate dose of summer mid-day sun, supplements can make a big difference.
This brings us to the second major point. The USPSTF treats vitamin D like a drug. Pharmaceutical drugs must be tested in medical trials since they are, by definition, artificial, and must be evaluated for efficacy and harm. Solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) is the primary source of vitamin D for most people, and has been an important contributor to optimal health since before man walked on earth. It is not a drug, but is synthesized in the skin from sunlight! Skin pigmentation has adapted to where people live, dark enough to reduce risk of skin cancer, yet light enough to permit adequate vitamin D production [6]. Thus, evidence from geographical and observational studies should also be used to evaluate the role of vitamin D in reducing risk of cancer.
The evidence from geographical studies clearly shows that those living where solar UVB doses are higher have lower cancer incidence and/or mortality rates. A recent review concluded [7]:
This review consistently found strong inverse correlations with solar UVB for 15 types of cancer: bladder, breast, cervical, colon, endometrial, esophageal, gastric, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, rectal, renal, and vulvar cancer; and Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Weaker evidence exists for nine other types of cancer: brain, gallbladder, laryngeal, oral/pharyngeal, prostate, and thyroid cancer; leukemia; melanoma; and multiple myeloma.
Observational studies based on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] at or before the time of cancer diagnosis are also useful. Case-control studies, in which serum 25(OH)D concentrations are determined at time of diagnosis have found the strongest inverse correlations between serum 25(OH)D concentration and cancer incidence rates. Based on five such studies for breast cancer including the most recent one from Mexico [6], those with 155 nmol/l (62 ng/ml) had a 70% lower incidence of breast cancer than women with 25 nmol/l (10 ng/ml) [Grant, submitted].
Nested case-control studies from cohort studies are also useful but are more difficult to interpret since they generally report a single serum 25(OH)D concentration at the time of enrollment, then follow people for up to 28 years. During the follow-up time, serum 25(OH)D concentrations typically vary, thereby reducing the observed effect [8].
As to the oft-repeated refrain that findings from geographical and observational studies need to be verified through RCTs, good luck. It is very difficult to conduct RCTs for vitamin D properly for a number of reasons. For one, there are several sources of vitamin D, so it is difficult to isolate the effects of the supplement [4]. For another, there are large individual variations in serum 25(OH)D concentration for a given oral intake [9]. Also, it is important to use available information to estimate the serum 25(OH)D-health outcome relation. And it's important to enroll people with serum 25(OH)D concentrations in a range where additional vitamin D from supplements will have a measureable effect on health outcome. Further, it's important to measure serum 25(OH)D concentrations at least every year or two during the study [10]. The Women's Health Initiative RCT study [3] didn't follow these guidelines and, as a result, hardly found any positive results.
Based on the best information available to date from geographical and observational studies and RCTs, serum 25(OH)D concentrations should be above 100 nmol/l (40 ng/ml) for optimum health. To achieve this concentration could take 1000-5000 IU/d. It is also recommended that serum 25(OH)D concentrations be measured before starting a vitamin D supplementation program, then again after supplementing for a few months.


The author receives funding from the UV Foundation (McLean, VA), Bio-Tech Pharmacal (Fayetteville, AR), the Vitamin D Council (San Luis Obispo, CA), the Vitamin D Society (Canada), and the Sunlight Research Forum (Veldhoven).


1. Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Cancer and Osteoporotic Fractures in Adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. June 12, 2012.
2.Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:1586-91.
3. Wactawski-Wende J, Kotchen JM, Anderson GL, Assaf AR, Brunner RL, O'Sullivan MJ, et al. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med 2006;354:684-96.
4. Bolland MJ, Grey A, Gamble GD, Reid IR. Calcium and vitamin D supplements and health outcomes: a reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) limited-access data set. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;94:1144-9.
5. Marshall DE, Savage SJ, Garrett-Mayer E, Keane TE, Hollis BW, Host RL, et al. Vitamin D3 supplementation at 4000 international units per day for one year results in a decrease of positive cores at repeat biopsy in subjects with low-risk prostate cancer under active surveillance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. April 16, 2012 jc.2012-1451 epub.
6. Grant WB. Ecological studies of the UVB-vitamin D-cancer hypothesis; review. Anticancer Res. 2012;32:223-36.
7. Fedirko V, Torres-Mej¡a G, Ortega-Olvera C, Biessy C, Angeles-Llerenas A, Lazcano-Ponce E, et al. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of breast cancer: results of a large population-based case-control study in Mexican women. Cancer Causes Control. 2012;23:1149-62.
8. Grant WB. Effect of interval between serum draw and follow-up period on relative risk of cancer incidence with respect to 25-hydroxyvitamin D level; implications for meta-analyses and setting vitamin D guidelines, Dermatoendocrinol. 2011;3:3:199-204.
9. Garland CF, French CB, Baggerly LL, Heaney RP. Vitamin D supplement doses and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the range associated with cancer prevention. Anticancer Res 2011;31:617-22.
10. Lappe JM, Heaney RP. Why randomized controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D sometimes fail. Dermatoendocrin. 2012;4(2) epub 
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