Friday, September 28, 2012

Higher Education Challenge Grants Program

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is seeking applications from select U.S. public or private, nonprofit colleges/universities for its program intended
"... to increase the number and diversity of students who will pursue and complete a postsecondary degree in the food and agricultural sciences, and for FY 2013, encourage study in areas that contribute to any of the five NIFA Priority Areas [1. Food Security and Hunger; 2. Climate Change; 3. Sustainable Energy; 4. Childhood Obesity; 5. Food Safety]; and ... to enhance the quality of postsecondary instruction in order to help meet current and future national food and agricultural sciences workplace needs ..." 
NIFA anticipates having approximately $4,770,000 in total available grant funds for the program in Fiscal Year 2013 with an award ceiling of $750,000.

Applications Due By: February 8, 2013

Find Out More

Questions may be directed to Mr. P. Gregory Smith who is the National Education Program Leader of the Institute of Youth, Family and Community, a unit of the Division of Community and Education of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture at 202 720 1973; fax: 202 720 2030; e-mail:

Update - Volume of Biomass-Based Diesel that must be used in Transportation Fuel

Under the Clean Air Act Section 211(o), the Environmental Protection Agency is required to determine the applicable volume of biomass-based diesel to be used in setting annual percentage standards under the renewable fuel standard program for years after 2012. We proposed an applicable volume requirement for 2013 of 1.28 billion gallons on July 1, 2011. In order to sufficiently evaluate the many comments on the proposal from stakeholders as well as to gather additional information to enhance our analysis, we did not finalize this volume requirement in the January 9, 2012, rulemaking setting the 2012 percentage standards. In this action we are finalizing an applicable volume of 1.28 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel for calendar year 2013.

Summary of Today's Action
In today's action we are finalizing an applicable volume of 1.28 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel for 2013. This is the volume that was projected for 2013 in the March 26, 2010, RFS2 final rulemaking, and we are requiring it in 2013 based on consideration of the factors specified in the statute.

Today's final rule does not specify the percentage standard for biomass-based diesel in 2013, but only the applicable volume. The percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that will be applicable in 2013 are being proposed in a separate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Find Out More

Questions may be directed to:
Julia MacAllister who is with the Office of Transportation and Air Quality of the EPA Assessment and Standards Division in Ann Arbor, Michigan at 734 214 4131; fax: 734 214 4816; e-mail:
* The EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality public information line at 734 214 4333; e-mail address:

News and Notes for Friday September 28, 2012

India's Cooking-Oil Demand to Climb to 23 Million Tons by 2020
Rising Indian use of cooking oils may help Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's biggest palm oil producers, to reduce inventories, and potentially stem a decline in prices. India's imports are set to surpass 10 million tons for the first time next year. Read more from Bloomberg.

Amateur scientists build Lego-style synthetic BioBricks in public lab
Amateur biologists around the world have been setting-up makeshift biology labs in their homes, garages and community centres. Some of these "biohackers" or "DIY biologists" have political motivations to open up science for all, a few attempt to address an absence of research in rare genetic diseases, some are curious and have a desire to learn, while others are taking part just for the sheer fun of it all.  Read more from

Genetic mutation may have allowed early humans to migrate throughout Africa
Analysis of genetic sequence variation patterns in different populations around the world demonstrated that a critical genetic variant arose in a key gene cluster on chromosome 11, known as the fatty acid desaturase cluster or FADS, more than 85,000 years ago. Read more from Phys.Org.

Chemists develop reversible method of tagging proteins
Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have developed a method that provides scientists the ability to attach chemical probes onto proteins and subsequently remove them in a repeatable cycle. This will allow researchers to better understand the biochemistry of naturally formed proteins in order to create better antibiotics, anticancer drugs, biofuels, food crops, and other natural products. Read more at R & D Magazine.

Judge: No reasonable consumer would be misled by Benecol’s claims
A judge has dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit vs Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Nutritionals over the labeling and marketing of cholesterol-busting spread Benecol. Read more at FoodNavigator.

Value of Omega-3s: Not Up for Debate
A meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported no effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on cardiovascular event rates. Predictably, the study made headlines. It was welcomed by those inclined to disparage the touchy-feely world of alternative medical treatments and was lamented and rejected by advocates for the kinder, gentler remedies of nature. Which view is correct? Find out more on the U.S. News & World Report blog.

Testing device 'finds optimal growth conditions for oil algae'
Oil made from algae could reach near-commercial-scale production in four years thanks to a new testing device, researchers have claimed. Read more from The Engineer.


Abstract Alerts

Antibacterial Soybean-Oil-Based Cationic Polyurethane Coatings Prepared from Different Amino Polyols
Xia, Y., Zhang, Z., Kessler, M. R., Brehm-Stecher, B. and Larock, R. C. (2012), ChemSusChem. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201200352. Read the abstract.

Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture
Gurdev S Khush. Agriculture & Food Security 2012, 1:14 doi:10.1186/2048-7010-1-14. Published: 7 September 2012. Read the abstract.

Evaluation of antioxidant and cytoprotective activities of Arnica montana L. and Artemisia absinthium L. ethanolic extracts
Craciunescu O, Constantin D, Gaspar A, Toma L, Utoiu E, Moldovan L . Chemistry Central Journal 2012, 6:97 (9 September 2012). Read the abstract.

Improved ethanol yield and reduced minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) by modifying low severity dilute acid pretreatment with deacetylation and mechanical refining: 2) Techno-economic analysis
Tao L, Chen X, Kuhn E, Tucker M, Aden A, Elander RT, Himmel ME, Johnson DK, Franden MA, Zhang M, Dowe N. Biotechnology for Biofuels 2012, 5:69 (11 September 2012). Read the abstract.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Networking through stamp collecting

I was first introduced to Prof. Marcel Lie Ken Jie at the 97th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo (May 2005) when he received the Supelco/Nicholas Pelick–AOCS Research Award. I coordinate the AOCS awards program. Which are now open – student awards, scientific awards, and service awards.

Anyway, since then Prof. Lie Ken Jie and I have kept in contact, mainly by email messages. When my daughter was in her stamp collecting years, Marcel mentioned that his children also collected stamps.  He suggested a few tips on how to present the stamps for her 4H project.  A different kind of networking to be sure, but I mention this to highlight how our AOCS connections solve problems – for work or for home.

I’ve always admired how he has the “right” words at the “right” time. So this year I asked him to speak about his AOCS experience – what AOCS has offered him over the years.  He mentions how communication has changed, how the world connections are still so important to a researcher, and how he has always felt welcomed at AOCS. More importantly, he talks about the friendship he has made through AOCS.

In my opinion (not biased at all!), this is the friendliest community you will find in your field, with the most long-term benefits for your career. From graduate school to retirement, this community will support you. I hope you’ll continue to support us and either join or renew your dues.

Friday, September 21, 2012

News and Notes for Friday September 21, 2012

AB SCIEX and UOW Collaborate to Advance Lipid Analysis
At the 19th annual International Mass Spectrometry Conference (IMSC) a research partnership to develop lipid analysis capabilities, including the most definitive and comprehensive identification of double bond position in lipid was announced. The agreement provides AB SCIEX an exclusive license to UOW's "OzID" intellectual property, a patented technology which allows scientists to understand lipid structure faster and with better granularity than currently available alternatives. Read the news release at MarketWatch.

Argentina to put sliding-scale tax on biodiesel exports
Argentina will apply a sliding-scale tax to its multibillion- dollar biodiesel exports, modifying a recent tax hike that drew strong complaints from local producers. Read more at Reuters.

For good health, treat fats and oils with TLC
Nutrition columnist Carrie Dennett provides some tips on caring for your healthful oils. Read more from the Seattle Times.

Millions of Europeans still at heart disease risk from trans fat
Millions of Europeans are still at increased risk of heart disease due to consumption of artificial trans fatty acids, according to a new pan-European review published in BMJ Open. Read more from FoodNavigator.

New TV show to target ‘lies’ told by some food manufacturers
Major food manufacturers which tell marketing “lies” and are “only concerned with the bottom line” will be exposed in a new TV series, one of its presenters has vowed. Read more from FoodNavigator.

Support of a Prohibition of BASF GM Potato EH92-527-1 for Cultivation Purposes in Luxembourg
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms has examined a document submitted by Luxembourg to justify a prohibition and concluded that "... no grounds exist to date that would lead to reconsideration of its opinion on GM potato EH92-527-1 [as] Luxembourg did not provide any new or additional information made available since the date of consent for this GM event that would affect the environmental risk assessment or the reassessment of existing information on the basis of new or additional scientific knowledge. New data specific to the safety of the nptII gene have not been provided ..."  Read the EFSA Scientific Opinion (.pdf). Additional information about the EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is available at

Lab mishaps:Why Scary Lab Accidents Happen
Blogger Enrico Uvadiscusses lab accidents as well as offers advice on the best way to minimize risk. Read more from Science 2.0.


AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Call for Papers Opens
The meeting program will feature invited presentations, volunteer oral presentations, and volunteer poster presentations. Sessions fill early. Don’t miss the opportunity to present your research to colleagues. Preliminary Abstract and Forum Proposal Deadline: October 15. View the Annual Meeting website and submit your abstract.

Attending the 104th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo? Join the event on Facebook
Join the Annual Meeting event on Facebook in order to see who is attending as well as to be reminded of conference events and deadline. See the event page.

Texas A&M Hosts 32nd Annual Vegetable Oil Extraction Short Course

The Food Protein Research and Development Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, will present its 32nd annual Practical Short Course on Vegetable Oil Extraction November 4-8, 2012.

This four day course provides practical and theoretical training on commercial oilseed preparation and extraction for the production of vegetable oil and meal.  Demonstrations will also be held at the Food Protein pilot-scale oil mill.  Participants will receive information necessary to improve product quality, processing efficiency, and plant safety.

Course objectives:
  • To receive comprehensive training in oilseed crushing
  • To learn about emerging technologies and trends in the industry
  • Obtain latest safety and regulatory updates
Location: Texas A&M University
Hotel: A block of rooms has been reserved at the College Station Hilton & Conference Center at the rate of $99 per night; use code VEG12 979-693-7500.

For more information: contact Rich Clough, Program Head, Extraction and Protein Technologies; (979) 862-2262 or (979) 845-2741, or for program details and registration go to

Monday, September 17, 2012

News and Notes for Monday September 17, 2012

Uneasy Allies in the Grocery Aisle
Bioengineering companies like Monsanto and DuPont are fighting Proposition 37, a California ballot initiative aimed at requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods.  Companies behind some of the biggest organic brands in the country — Kashi, Cascadian Farm, Horizon Organic — also have joined the antilabeling effort. Read more from The New York Times.

Soft Drinks in New York City Restaurants to be limited to Sixteen Ounces
the New York City Board of Health approved a city ordinance which " ... puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other ... beverages ..." sold at most places selling prepared food; but, the restriction does not apply to beverages sold in supermarkets or most convenience stores. Read "'Supersized' drinks on the way out in NYC" by USA Today and "NYC bans big, sugary drinks at eateries, theaters" by Associated Press.

How to Teach Chemistry through Mac ‘n’ Cheese
You're a chemist any time you step foot into the kitchen, says Matthew R. Hartings, a professor who teaches the course “The Chemistry of Cooking.” In this C&EN video clip, Hartings makes macaroni and cheese and talks about his class, which is meant for undergraduates not majoring in science. He teaches the course with the goal of making chemistry more relevant and interesting to non-science majors. Watch the video.

Argentina to Export an Additional 2.75 Million Tons of Maize from its 2011/12 Crop
According to the FAO, the move is intended to help ease tight international markets after this summer's drought in the U.S. - the worst in over 50 years. Read the FAO news release or  Information about the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) .

Oil Crops Outlook 
The USDA Economic Research Service has released its latest monthly report which "... examines supply, use, prices, and trade for oil crops (primarily soybeans and products), including supply and demand prospects in major importing and exporting countries. Includes information on cottonseed, peanuts, sunflowerseed, tropical oils, corn oil, and animal fats ..." Read the report (.pdf)

Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States (FATUS)
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has issued its latest data set which "... summarizes USDA's monthly release of calendar year, fiscal year, year-to-date, and monthly value of U.S. agricultural exports, imports, and trade balance ..." The  update of the FATUS Data Set is available here. Questions and answers related to FATUS Data are available here. The U.S. Agricultural Trade topic page offers articles and general information about U.S. agricultural trade and links to other resources at

Upcoming Events September 2012
See the AOCS Events Calendar.

17-19 24th International Ion Chromatography Symposium
Berlin, Germany

17-19 International Conference on Obesity and Weight Management
San Antonio, Texas, USA

17-19 7th Annual Soy & Grain Trade Summit
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

18-19 World Biofuels Markets Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil

18-20 Science & Standards Symposium: Function of Foods and Dietary Supplements–Global Opportunities and Challenges
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

19-21 International Dairy Foods Association Policy & Politics Conference
Washington, D.C., USA

19-21 Biocatalysis in Lipid Modification
Greifswald, Germany

20-21 MPOB International Oil Palm Biomass Conference 2012
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

21-23 Globoil India 2012
Premier International Conference & Exhibition on Vegetable Oil, Feed & Feed Ingredients, Oilseeds & Related Industries
Mumbai, India

23-28 19th Annual Practical Short Course on Aquaculture Feed Extrusion, Nutrition, & Feed Management
College Station, Texas, USA

24-27 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry(SETAC) Asia/Pacific 2012 Annual Meeting
Kumamoto, Japan

24-27 2012 Algae Biomass Summit
Denver, Colorado, USA

25-27 Marine Fuels: Specifications, Testing, Purchase, and Use
ASTM International Training Course
San Francisco, California, USA

27-28 4th European Workshop on Lipid Mediators
Paris, France

27-29 21st South East Lipid Research Conference
Pine Mountain, Georgia, USA

30-Oct. 3 American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) International Annual Meeting
Hollywood, Florida, USA

30-Oct. 3 AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

30-Oct. 4 World Congress on Oleo Science & 29th ISF Congress
Arkas Sasebo, Nagasaki-Prefecture, Japan

30-Oct. 5 SciX - The Great SCIentific eXchange
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Friday, September 14, 2012

AOCS Newsletter Highlights -September 2012

AOCS Method Ea 6-51 Glycerol
At the Uniform Methods Committee meeting held in conjunction with the 103rd AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo in Long Beach, California, USA, the Committee, at the request of the biodiesel sector, voted to reinstate AOCS Method Ea 6-51 Glycerol while maintaining the preferred AOCS Method Ea 6-94 Determination of Crude Glycerin, Titrimetic Method.

If you have purchased electronic access to the AOCS Official Methods, you will find Method Ea 6-51 listed. Method Ea 6-51 can also be purchased through the AOCS Store. (search "MC-EA651")

inform Free Features
This month’s free articles from inform, the AOCS membership magazine, cover the No. 1 and No. 3 major oils (palm and canola/rapeseed, respectively). First up: a look at the newest generation of high-oleic canola oils for edible applications. Cargill’s Linsen Liu and Diliara Iassonova discuss the improved food functionality of such oils and say that demand is expected to reach about 590,000 metric tons in 2012.

In the second article, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board provides an update on changes and trends, production and exports, sustainable growth and competitiveness, key challenges and opportunities, the regulatory outlook, and the continuity of palm oil production.

Award Nominations Being Accepted
Do you know someone who should be recognized for their contributions to the fats, oils, and related materials industries? AOCS offers 20 awards for professionals and 15 awards exclusively for students.

Visit the Awards Program website for deadlines, nomination requirements, and applications. Don't delay — October 15 is the first nomination deadline.

JSD FREE through 11/30
Now through November 30, 2012, the AOCS publication Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD) is offering free access to its five most downloaded articles. Find the free articles on the Springer site.

Call for Forum Proposals
The 104th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo will continue The Forum on Emerging Technologies in 2013, which encompasses global discussions on matters that affect the future of our industries.
Proposals are now being reviewed through October 15. View submission guidelines

Looking for a job?
AOCS Career Services regularly posts some of the best career opportunities in the industry. Take a look below at a current listing, or get more information on the Career Center website.

 Learn more about all of our upcoming meetings.

AOCS Meeting Updates

104th AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo | April 28-May 1, 2013 | Montréal, Québec, Canada
Session organizers are now accepting submissions for oral and poster presentations. Sessions fill earlydon’t miss the opportunity to present your research to colleagues. Proposals for The Forum sessions are also requested. View submission guidelines.
Preliminary Abstract and Forum Proposal Deadline: October 15, 2012
Interested in sponsorship or exhibit opportunities? Learn more…

15LACbugXV Latin American Congress and Exhibition on Fats and Oils | August 20-23, 2013 | Santiago, Chile
CORCHIGA and AOCS are proud to organize the XV Latin American Congress and Exhibition on Fats and Oils in Santiago, Chile. The Congress will cover important and timely topics in the fats and oils industries to enhance attendees' business knowledge of today’s market. The Congress will also feature an outstanding exhibition and networking events.
Mark your calendar—Call for Papers will open in October.
Upcoming Industry Meetings
abs_logo6th Annual Algae Biomass Summit | September 24-27, 2012 | Denver, Colorado, USA
This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s algae utilization industries including, but not limited to, financing, algal ecology, genetic systems, carbon partitioning, engineering and analysis, biofuels, animal feeds, fertilizers, bioplastics, supplements, and foods.

CP2012_90X90Cleaning Products 2012: The Intersection of Innovation for Science Based Sustainability | October 3-5, 2012 | Baltimore, Maryland, USA
This event will bring together leading organizations to discuss unit dose, fragrance development strategies, green chemistry innovation, future prospects for the auto dishwashing detergent industry and much, much more. AOCS members can save $100 off the current conference registration price by using code AOCS100 when registering.

ISBAB 90x1108th International Symposium on Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology (ISBAB) | October 28-31, 2012 | Sonoma, California, USA
This by-invitation-only event will bring together key researchers and professionals from academia, government, and industry to share research results, insights, and perspectives in various facets of biocatalysis and biotechnology.

DeepFrying2013 27th International Symposium on Deep Frying | February 20-22, 2013 | San Francisco, California, USA
Optimum frying for safe and improved quality fried foods. Practical information for the foodservice and industrial frying professionals.

CPM Forms Crown Asia to Expand and Deliver Oilseed Solutions throughout the Asia Region

WUHAN, China — CPM, the world’s leading supplier of process engineering, process equipment and aftermarket parts for the oilseed, animal feed, biofuels and food processing industries, announces the formation of Crown Asia (Wuhan) Engineering Company (Crown Asia).  

The wholly-owned company is a result of CPM’s acquisition of its joint venture partner’s shares in Wuhan Crown Friendship Edible Oil Engineering Company (CFEC).  As Crown Asia, the new venture will build upon its leading market position in China and the greater Asia region in oilseed processing.

Beginning in 1991, CFEC served the Chinese oilseed market, designing the first commercial extraction unit in China. In 2001, CPM’s Crown Iron Works acquired a 60-percent stake in CFEC, combining the technological assets to better serve the expanding market. Since that time, the joint venture has established itself as the leading Chinese oilseed technology company with more than 300 processing installations. Now as Crown Asia, the company will expand its Wuhan operations to more fully serve the Asia region with a full complement of process solutions and equipment.

“The formation of Crown Asia fully aligns the ownership and management philosophies of the former company,” said Dan Anderson, managing director of Crown Asia. “The new company will be a great benefit to our customers and employees as we continue to develop leading process and equipment solutions throughout the world for preparation, extraction, oil refining and oleochemical systems.”

CPM business units include Crown, SKET, California Pellet Mill, Roskamp Champion, Beta Raven, Wolverine Proctor and Greenbank Technology.  CPM has more than 900 employees with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.  For more information, visit, or contact CPM at 800-366-2563.

News and Notes for Friday September 14, 2012

Omega-3s as Study Aid? DHA May Help Lowest-Scoring Readers Improve
In a four-month trial of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, some improvement was seen in children's reading scores and behavior, but only in the lowest performing students. Read more from TIME. 

Nanotechnology: Armed resistance
Nature assesses the aftermath of a series of nanotechnology-lab bombings in Mexico — and asks how the country became a target of eco-anarchists. Read more from Nature.

Researchers develop one-step algae harvesting, FAME conversion
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have developed a proof-of-concept design to harvest, dewater and convert the dried algae to biodiesel in a one-step process using resins. Read more from Biodiesel Magazine.

Biopolymers help green the event industry
Paper coated with a thin layer of BASF's biodegradable plastic ecovio FS Paper is being used at  sporting events around the world to reduce the amount of non-recyclable litter. Read more from Packaging Today.

Green Cleaning Products in the U.S.
A  detailed analysis of the U.S. market for green consumer household and laundry cleaner products. The report outlines key issues and trends affecting the overall market and analyzes all product segments. It also discusses major players and brands and analyzes their performance in terms of sales and market share. Market size data are provided for 2007–2011 and projections for 2012–2016. Find out more.

Dutch Vegetable-Oil Makers Claim Russia Is Breaching WTO Accords
Vegetable-oil makers in the Netherlands called on the country’s government to object to alleged Russian breaches of World Trade Organization tariff agreements for importing edible oils and fats. Read more from Bloomberg.

Exclusive: EU to limit use of crop-based biofuels - draft law
The European Union will impose a limit on the use of crop-based biofuels over fears they are less climate-friendly than initially thought and compete with food production. Read more from Reuters.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I really want (need) to know -

What if you had a chance to tell me anything about AOCS. Whether it is good, bad, or really ugly.
The membership survey gives you that opportunity. To directly communicate with the Governing Board, the CEO, and me on your AOCS experience. We really want to know what you want, need, and expect from AOCS.

The survey is segmented into 5 focus areas:

A. Membership  - This is the area that I deal with every day. Do my assumptions match the general membership’s actions? This is the section where I find out why you joined AOCS, why you’ll renew your membership, and if you won’t renew, then why.

B. AOCS Programs and Services – This section will inform us of what you value within AOCS. What are you looking to AOCS for (for content, networking, services, etc.)?  And what are we not providing for our members.

C. Communications - We recognize that our members have more and more choices about what information they receive and pay attention to. This section will help us communicate more effectively with you.

D. Publications and Media Use – It is all about web presence these days. So what do you think of the AOCS website? Can you access information, or more importantly, can you find the information you need?

E. Profile: About you – The questions in the section are used to cross tabulate the results. Very important to complete the full survey so we will know how each membership group values AOCS.

The survey is confidential and data is aggregated by the time I receive a copy of the data. I cannot and will not know how you replied personally. So when you say that “AOCS is great, outstanding, a truly exceptional organization”, well, I can’t respond with a “thank you” since I won’t know who to direct the message to. Same goes if you comment that you never received a response to a message (phone, email, etc). I won’t know who to contact. In that case, contact me directly!

I encourage you to participate in the membership survey by September 21. It takes 12-15 minutes to complete. I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. If not now, then you’ll have to wait until 2014. We only survey the full membership every 2 years.

PS note:  Already responded: “Thank you!”
Not a member: Please ignore the survey and consider joining AOCS.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Household Food Security in the U.S.

The text of the September 2012 ERS Report Summary follows:

What Is the Issue?

Most U.S. households have consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living-they are food secure. But a minority of American households experience food insecurity at times during the year, meaning that their access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources. Food and nutrition assistance programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) increase food security by providing low-income households access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education.

USDA also monitors the extent and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households through an annual, nationally representative survey sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service. Reliable monitoring of food security contributes to the effective operation of the Federal programs as well as private food assistance programs and other government initiatives aimed at reducing food insecurity. This report presents statistics from the survey covering households' food security, food expenditures, and use of food and nutrition assistance programs in 2011.

What Did the Study Find?

The percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure remained essentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, while the percentage with food insecurity in the severe range-described as very low food security-increased.

* In 2011, 85.1 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the year. The remaining 14.9 percent (17.9 million households) were food insecure. Food-insecure households (those with low and very low food security) had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. The change from the 2010 estimate (14.5 percent) was not statistically significant, meaning that the difference may be due to sampling variation.

* In 2011, 5.7 percent of U.S. households (6.8 million households and one-third of all food-insecure households) had very low food security. In these households, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources. The prevalence of very low food security returned to the level observed in 2008 and 2009, a statistically significant increase from the 5.4-percent level of 2010.

Increases in the prevalence of very low food security were greatest for women living alone, Black households, and households with annual incomes below 185 percent of the poverty line.

* Children were food insecure at times during the year in 10.0 percent of households with children (3.9 million households), essentially unchanged from 9.8 percent in 2010. These households were unable at times during the year to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children.

* While children are usually shielded from the disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake that characterize very low food security, both children and adults experienced instances of very low food security in 1.0 percent of households with children (374,000 households) in 2011, unchanged from 2010.

* For households with incomes near or below the Federal poverty line, households with children headed by single women or single men, and Black and Hispanic households, rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average. Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas and other outlying areas around large cities.

* Typically, households classified as having very low food security experienced the condition in 7 months of the year, for a few days in each of those months.

* The typical food-secure household spent 24 percent more for food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and composition, including food purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly called food stamps).

* Fifty-seven percent of food-insecure households in the survey reported that in the previous month, they had participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

How Was the Study Conducted?

Data for the ERS food security reports come from an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to the monthly Current Population Survey. USDA's Economic Research Service sponsors the annual survey and then compiles and analyzes the responses. The 2011 food security survey covered 43,770 households comprising a representative sample of the U.S. civilian population of 119 million households. The food security survey asked one adult respondent in each household a series of questions about experiences and behaviors that indicate food insecurity, such as being unable to afford balanced meals, cutting the size of meals because of too little money for food, or being hungry because of too little money for food. The food security status of the household was assigned based on the number of food-insecure conditions reported.

Find Out More

Contact: Questions may be directed to the following authors of the report who are with USDA ERS:
* Alisha Coleman-Jensen at 202 694 5456; e-mail:
* Mark Nord at 202 694 5433; e-mail:
* Margaret Andrews at 202 694 5441; e-mail:

News and Notes for Monday September 10, 2012

Dutch Vegetable-Oil Makers Claim Russia Is Breaching WTO Accords
Vegetable-oil makers in the Netherlands called on the country's government to object to alleged Russian breaches of World Trade Organization tariff agreements for importing edible oils and fats. Read more from Businessweek.

Regulation change could help turn bread into key source of vitamin D
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended food additive regulations to allow bakers to significantly increase levels of vitamin D in bread and make ‘High’, ‘Rich In’ or ‘Excellent Source Of’ claims if they use a vitamin D2 bakers’ yeast. Read more from Food Navigator.

ACI Launches Cleaning Product Ingredient Inventory

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) launched a detailed online inventory (900+ ingredients in laundry, dish care and surface cleaning products) of ingredients used in consumer cleaning products as part of ACI's Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Initiative.  Read the news release on MarketWatch or visit the ACI website.

Indian Government Gets Into the Olive Oil Business
Indian government’s wholly-owned company Mother Dairy has chalked up plans to promote olive oil in India. Its flagship edible oil brand ‘Dhara’ will soon start to feature refined olive oils from Italy and Spain. Read more from the Olive Oil Times.

American Olive Oil Producers Are About To Muscle Europeans Out Of The Market
The growing olive oil market in the US is poised to be a "battleground" between the historic European producers and their new challengers from California, Chile and Australia, according to agricultural analysts at Rabobank.  Read more from Business Insider.

Bio-Based Chemicals Market to Grow to $12.2 billion by 2021
Steady sales for lactic acid and biopolymers over the next decade will act as stable drivers for the bio-based chemicals market through to 2021. This research expects the bio-based chemicals market to grow to $12.2 billion by 2021, accounting for 25.4 billion pounds of bio-based chemical production at the end of the decade. Read the news release at MarketWatch.

Abstract Alerts

Synthesis of new polyester polyols from epoxidized vegetable oils and biobased acids
Caillol Sylvain, Desroches Myriam, Boutevin Gilles, Loubat Cédric, Auvergne Rémi, Boutevin Bernard. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology. 2012. DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201200199. Read the abstract.

Eating patterns and food systems: critical knowledge requirements for policy design and implementation
Guyomard H, Darcy-Vrillon B, Esnouf C, Marin M, Russel M, Guillou M. Agriculture & Food Security 2012, 1:13 (3 September 2012). Read the abstract.

Ultrahigh Pressure Liquid Chromatographic Determination of Tocopherols in B100 Biodiesel
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. Volume 89, Number 9 (2012), 1577-1584. Read the abstract.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Acacia (gum arabic) in Food

In a notice published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2011 (76 FR 78866), FDA announced that a food additive petition (FAP 1A4784) had been filed by Nexira, c/o Keller and Heckman LLP, 1001 G St. NW., Suite 500 West, Washington, DC 20001. The petition proposes to amend the food additive regulations in Sec. 172.780 Acacia (gum arabic) (21 CFR 172.780) to provide for the expanded safe use of acacia gum (gum arabic) in food.

Under 21 CFR 171.1(c)(H), either a claim of categorical exclusion under 21 CFR 25.30 or Sec. 25.32 (21 CFR 25.32) or an environmental assessment under 21 CFR 25.40 is required to be submitted in a food additive petition. A claim of categorical exclusion under Sec. 25.32(k) was submitted with the petition, which applies to substances added directly to food that are intended to remain in food through ingestion by consumers and that are not intended to replace macronutrients in food. The Agency reviewed the claim of categorical exclusion submitted by the petitioner and stated in the original filing notice its determination that, under Sec. 25.32(k), the proposed action was of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment, and therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

However, upon further review of the petition, the Agency has decided that the food additive may act to replace macronutrients in food and, therefore, the categorical exclusion in Sec. 25.32(k) is not applicable for the proposed action. The Agency informed the petitioner of this decision, who subsequently submitted an environmental assessment.

The potential environmental impact of this petition is being reviewed. To encourage public participation consistent with regulations issued under the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1501.4(b)), the Agency is placing the environmental assessment submitted with the petition that is the subject of this notice on public display at the Division of Dockets Management.

Comments are due by October 4, 2012.

Find Out More

Contact: Questions may be directed to Ellen Anderson who is with the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland at 240 402 1309; e-mail:

News and Notes for Friday September 7, 2012

China moves to curb soymeal and cooking-oil prices
Fearing inflation as its economy slows, China has stepped up measures to contain the prices of animal feed and cooking oil, selling state reserves of soybeans and corn and warning two dominant crushers against excessive market speculation. Read more at MarketWatch.

What Babies Eat After Birth Likely Determines Lifetime Risk of Metabolic Mischief and Obesity
Rats born to mothers fed high-fat diets but who get normal levels of fat in their diets right after birth avoid obesity and its related disorders as adults, according to new Johns Hopkins research. Meanwhile, rat babies exposed to a normal-fat diet in the womb but nursed by rat mothers on high-fat diets become obese by the time they are weaned. Read more from ScienceDaily.

Report Forecasts Olive Oil Prospects for Spain, Italy, Greece
Based mainly on statistical analysis and predictions about the progression of the oil industry compared to past trends, the report is concerned with the 'big three' of the olive oil sector; Spain, Italy and Greece. Read more from the Olive Oil Times.

Omega-3 Supplements Fail to Live Up To Label Claims
Many individuals consume omega-3 fatty acid supplements daily as a means to maintain a healthy immune system, however revealed 31 percent of supplements tested failed to live up to their label claims. Read more from Medical Daily.

A sub-study of the Outcome Reduction with an Initial Glargine Intervention (ORIGIN) trial, designed to investigate the effect of insulin glargine and omega-3 fatty acids on atherosclerosis progression, found that insulin glargine had a statistically non-significant reducing effect on the primary outcome of rate of change in maximum carotid intima media thickness (CIMT). There was no differences in either the primary or secondary outcomes between the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements and placebo groups. Read more at Science Daily.

Dietary Fats and Risk of Sudden cardiac Death in Women
A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that women eating too much saturated fatty acids may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Read more from Food Consumer.

Waste oil could be used as starting material in bioplastics, say researchers
Researchers have found waste cooking oil could be used as a starting material in the production of bioplastics to produce a higher yield at a cheaper price. Read more at

European green cleaning powerhouse Ecover buys U.S. rival Method

Method, a purveyor of nontoxic cleaners that double as 'stylish countertop accessories,' is acquired by Belgium-based Ecover in a move that will yield the world's largest green cleaning product company. Read more.

Call for ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Participants
ISO/Technical Committee (TC) 34 covers a variety of areas involving food standards. AOCS administers the following U.S. Technical Advisory Groups:
1. ISO/TC 34 Food products and ISO/TC 34/Subcommittee (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. More information is available here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lawsuit Targets FDA, OMB on Stalled Food Safety Act; Food Safety and Modernization Act rules unlawfully delayed as risks increase, public health threatened

Food Safety and Modernization Act rules unlawfully delayed as risks increase, public health threatened (August 30, 2012 CFS News Release)

The Center for Food Safety (“The Center”) today filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for their failure to implement several critical food safety regulations, as required by the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). Signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, the Act has been unlawfully delayed for more than a year and a half, leaving vital prevention remedies to substandard U.S. food safety rules unenforceable, and the nation’s public health in jeopardy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one in six Americans (48 million people) becomes ill from foodborne diseases each year. Approximately 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die based on exposure to pathogens present in the food supply. FSMA targets a range of necessary preventive measures that would immediately and aggressively work to reduce the impact of many illnesses caused by U.S. foodborne hazards.

“If the Obama Administration has lost the political will to make FSMA a reality, we’re here to help them find it,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “It’s a disgrace that a crucial, lifesaving law sits idle while the bureaucracies of FDA and OMB grind along without a hint of results. The American people shouldn’t have to wait another second for safer food policies that are already law.”

FSMA was established to upgrade U.S. food safety laws, mandating FDA to require preventive controls across the food supply, inspect food producers as an industry accountability measure and ensure imported foods meet U.S. consumer safety standards. Congress ordered specific implementation deadlines within the FSMA legislation that require FDA to complete various tasks by a certain date, including the release of regulations, completion of industry guidance documents and reports, implementation of enhanced food product tracking mechanisms and creation of a consumer website for recall information and foodborne illness outbreaks.

More than eighteen months after the law’s passage, and untold numbers of food safety illness episodes later – including last week’s salmonella outbreak from Indiana-based cantaloupe farms resulting in two deaths and 178 sickened people in 21 states – FDA has yet to enact any implementing of FSMA’s food safety regulations.

“Parents having to worry if feeding melon to their child will lead to hospitalization or even death is unconscionable,” said Michele Simon, policy consultant for the Center. “Congress and the President hammered out this law with the clear intent of protecting the nation’s food supply and preventing more outbreaks. Every day the Administration delays mean another day Americans are at risk.”
The lawsuit seeks a court order that requires FDA to enact the FSMA regulations by a court-imposed deadline and prevents OMB from delaying FDA’s compliance with that deadline.

“This unreasonable and dangerous political foot-dragging on FSMA has to stop now,” said Charles Margulis, Food Program Director at Center for Environmental Health, co-plaintiff in the lawsuit. “While illness outbreaks continue and Americans question the health and safety of their food supply, FDA issues excuses instead of new regulations. The time is now for modernizing our federal food safety laws.”

A copy of the joint filing by the Center and CEH can be found here

Find Out More

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD) FREE through 11/30

Now through November 30, 2012 the AOCS publication Journal of Surfactants and Detergents is offering free access to its five most downloaded articles. 

---> Read JSD for FREE  here.

About the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD)
Since 1998, JSD has remained dedicated to the practical and theoretical aspects of oleochemical and petrochemical surfactants, soaps and detergents. This growing bimonthly scientific journal publishes peer-reviewed research papers, and reviews related to surfactants and detergents technologies.

Did you know?
Member Subscription Also Includes:

→ Subscribe to JSD (AOCS members only) 
Not an AOCS member? Join today to receive discounted pricing on your JSD subscription.

Internships available with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)

Intern- Health and Nutrition Policy

"Intern, Health and Nutrition Policy"is sought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in Washington, D.C.

Day-to-day responsibilities may include:
 "... Attending conferences and meetings; Composing meeting/conference/webinar summaries; Supporting research and comment development; Facilitating GMA member communications; Analyzing relevant food and nutrition published research articles as they are released; Finding and summarizing relevant media articles ..." 
The GMA Job Summary is posted at

Intern- Science and Regulatory Affairs

"Intern, Science and Regulatory Affairs" is sought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in Washington, D.C.

Day-to-day activities may include:

"... Development of presentation material; Meeting preparation and logistics; Pracitcal experience working with SharePoint ... The internship will provide: Broad understanding of Food Safety Issues, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA); Basic understanding of Project Management ..." - GMA represents "... the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. We promote sound public policy, champion initiatives that increase productivity and growth and help to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence ..."

The  GMA Job Summary is posted at


For more information about GMA is available at

Contact: Questions about the position may be directed to the Human Resources department of the Grocery Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC by e-mail at

News and Notes for Wednesday September 5, 2012

Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery
An experimental biorefinery turns spent coffee grounds and old pastries from Starbucks into a building block for plastic. Using food waste as fuel might improve the sustainability of biobased chemical production. Read more from KQED.

GrainCorp to Buy Gardner Smith, Integro Foods for A$472 Million
Gardner Smith and Integro, Australia and New Zealand's largest refiner and packager of edible fats and oils, will be combined under one entity called GrainCorp Oils. Read more at Bloomberg.

ADM to market Pioneer’s new soybean oil
DuPont Pioneer and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), said Wednesday that ADM will contract for Pioneer’s Plenish high oleic soybeans in 2013 with the intention of marketing the high oleic soybean oil for use by the food industry in 2014. Pioneer has promoted Plenish as a zero trans fat soybean oil that will better withstand the heat of commercial fryers for longer periods. Read more.

Drought revives fuel-versus-food fight
Ranchers, governors want more corn for livestock, less for ethanol. This food versus fuel debate  raises questions about the economics and ethics of using diverting corn to the production of ethanol. Read more from MarketWatch.

Researchers explore a sustainable bio-based chemical economy 
With cyanobacteria, carbon dioxide and sunlight, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers aims to create a sustainable alternative source of commodity chemicals currently derived from an ever-decreasing supply of fossil fuels. Read more at:

First validated method for analyzing flavanols and procyanidins in cocoa product
Method could help scientists and the industry in standardized reporting. International laboratories collaborate to validate a method developed by Mars, Incorporated to quantify the much-studied cocoa flavanols. Read more.

  • CRN Expands Science/Regulatory Team; Seeks Vice President, Scientific and International Affairs" View the job posting.


Latin American Congress and Exhibition on Fats and Oils: Chile and a World of Oils
CORCHIGA and AOCS are proud to organize the XV Latin American Congress and Exhibition on Fats and Oils, 20-23 August 2013, Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Santiago, Chile.  View the website in English or Spanish.

Abstract Alerts

Effect of Temperature, Salts and Ureas on the Association Behavior of an Amphiphilic Phenothiazine Drug Promethazine Hydrochloride
Kabir-ud-Din, Malik Abdul Rub and Andleeb Z. Naqvi. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 2012, Volume 15, Number 5, Pages 541-550. Read the abstract.

Concentration of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) by Selective Alcoholysis Catalyzed by Lipases
L. Martín Valverde, P. A. González Moreno, A. Rodríguez Quevedo, E. Hita Peña, M. J. Jiménez Callejón, L. Esteban Cerdán, E. Molina Grima and A. Robles Medina. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. Volume 89, Number 9 (2012), 1633-1645. Read the abstract.