Did you know? — Cow’s milk allergies

This infographic comes from Neogen’s Allergen Insider newsletter, a resource for the latest developments and news in allergen testing and related technology. See here to read the rest of the latest issue of Allergen Insider.

There are many kinds of milk allergies, and lactose intolerance also affects a great many people around the world. Milk is really one of the most complicated food allergens out there. Learn more about milk allergies below.

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Chlorine dioxide vs. chlorine bleach: A battle of misconceptions

Chlorine bleach: It’s convenient to purchase. It’s cheap. It’s a well-known household cleaner and disinfectant. But is it best to use as a water sanitizer in the poultry house?

Treating with chlorine is a common method to sanitize poultry drinking water and reduce concentrations of waterborne pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, molds and protozoans.

“The effectiveness of chlorine is dependent on water quality and pH of the water,” said Neogen poultry expert Lindsay Good. “Chlorine tends to bind itself to any organic material in the water, reducing its potency. Chlorine is also less effective if the water pH is higher than 7.0.”

The use of chlorine is not limited to only water line treatments, though. Because of its effectiveness in cleaning and disinfection, chlorine bleach is often used in many household and industry settings. This overuse has led to a rise in chlorine-resistant pathogens (Table 1) that can cause issues in a flock of birds. [ More … ]

Hurricane Michael agriculture damage expected to top $1.3 billion

Last week, the category 4 Hurricane Michael stormed across the Southeast U.S., hitting the coastal state of Georgia particularly hard. Of the $1.3 billion in damages to the agricultural industry that has been predicted, $1.2 billion is linked to Georgia alone.

“Michael’s impact has been the most widespread and devastating hurricane in recollection to impact Georgia’s agricultural industry,” Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said in a statement. “Crops, animals and infrastructure have all taken a substantial loss.”

In Georgia and nearby Florida and Alabama, cotton, peanut and pecan crops are most predominant and suffered the worst damage. [ More … ]

What’s hiding in the water lines: Terminal water line cleaning in the poultry house

Picture a standpipe at the end of the water lines in a poultry house. Does it look clear? Is the pressure ball visible? Can the wall behind it be seen through the pipe? Or does it look cloudy, stained from years of use?

“Unfortunately, there are standpipes around the world in poultry houses that are opaque with years of buildup,” said Neogen poultry expert Lindsay Good. “If the water line was opened further down the line, a similar occurrence would be seen. Water on poultry farms can carry harmful pathogens, algae-forming organisms, and mineral sediments that cause buildup to form inside of water lines.” [ More … ]

Walmart to implement blockchain in the food supply chain

Blockchain: from the tech industry to the food industry, it seems like all anybody’s talking about anymore. The technology’s role in food supply chain traceability has been a hot topic for the past year or so, and now it’s starting to transition from the realm of discussion to reality.

Walmart has announced that by September 2019, it will require all suppliers of leafy greens to upload data about their products to the blockchain. This is part of a year-long project the mega-retailer has with computer company IBM, as well as food companies. The goal is to make it easier to read the history of leafy green products, stretching back to the farm and all the way to the supplier’s doorstep.

Walmart doesn’t expect the process to be an undue burden on suppliers. The technology is not complicated to use, it says.

“IBM will offer an onboarding system that orients users with the service easily,” said Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman. “Think about when you get a new iPhone — the instructions are easy to understand and you’re quickly up and running. That’s the aim here. Essentially, suppliers will need a smart device and Internet to participate.” [ More … ]

Monday Mycotoxin and Crop Report: October 15, 2018

This week, on our Monday Mycotoxin and Crop Report, we cover a new aflatoxin report in corn, a higher-than-average harvest rate and a sampling Tech Tip from Neogen’s Tony Lupo. Check it out here.

Neogen Corporation takes great care to ensure the integrity of the data we collect from many sources across the country. As these data can vary widely, they should NOT be considered typical of all grain harvested. The mycotoxin levels we report are intended to assist our industry partners in developing their risk assessment programs. Detecting problems before commingling or processing can help avoid quality issues and financial losses.

To subscribe to get these reports straight to your email inbox, click here.

Neogen at Supply Side West 2018

Neogen will be at Supply Side West November 8–9 at the famous Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada — check us out at booth 3429.

Make time to see Neogen at Supply Side West this year! Neogen will be exhibiting products including AccuPoint® Advanced for ATP environmental testing, Reveal® 3-D for allergens, and BioLumix® for rapid microbiology.

Neogen’s BioLumix system provides dietary supplement companies results in half the time of traditional methods, and the ability to do microbiological testing on-site. On-site testing often helps reduce time to results, and also provides better control over the results and materials.

Neogen’s line of allergen detection products allow manufacturers to screen raw materials, environmental surfaces, and finished products. Using a template outlined in our allergen control handbooks, manufacturers can compile an allergen control plan that reduces the likelihood of an allergen recall and facilitates regulatory compliance. [ More … ]

Science: Why are fruits so colorful?

From pink and green watermelons to the deep blues and purples of blueberries, fruits come in more shades and hues than any other food. Why is that?

Past theories have suggested that fruits as a whole developed in such a rainbow-esque way in order to attract the attention of animals, who spread their seeds by way of eating them. A bright red pop of a berry cluster is easier for a bird to see in a sea of green foliage, after all.

While a common theory, it’s been hard to back up with scientific evidence (especially when considering that animals perceive color differently from us).

“With the exception of a handful of other primates, no other animal on Earth sees color the way that we do,” said Duke University’s Kim Valenta, co-author on a recent study that examines the animal-attraction theory.

Valenta, along with colleagues from the U.S. and Germany, collected data on fruit and leaves from nearly 100 Ugandan and Madagascan plants. Their goal was to examine all the factors that might have influenced the color, from environmental factors like temperature, soil properties and even genetic considerations. Did berries only grow to be pink because their closest genetic relatives did? [ More … ]

Eliminating the hook effect in allergen testing

This article comes from Neogen’s Allergen Insider newsletter, a resource for the latest developments and news in allergen testing and related technology. See here to read the rest of the latest issue of Allergen Insider.

When testing for allergens with rapid methods, such as lateral flow test kits, there’s always a risk that a grossly contaminated sample will return a false negative result by overloading the test strip. Known as “the hook effect,” this occurs when the amount of target allergen exceeds the amount of color-labeled antibody material present in the strip’s reagent pad.

The mechanics of the hook effect are simple: Excess target allergen migrates across the membrane quicker than the color-labeled antibody-antigen complex and saturates the binding sites on the capture antibody at the test line. When the color-labeled complex arrives, it has no binding sites available, so it continues to travel up the membrane to the waste reservoir at the end of the device. Without binding sites available, the color-labeled antibody-antigen complex cannot create the colored test line indicative of a positive result. This presents the user with a false negative result, despite high levels of the target allergen.

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Genomics roundup: Understanding the science

In 2003, the Human Genome Project announced that it had officially completed its goal of sequencing the human genome. Since then, genomics has continued to explode in importance as a scientific subject, with potentially game-changing applications emerging in the medical field, agriculture, animal health, food safety and beyond.

The layman’s understanding of genomics, and how it impacts their own lives, has raced to keep up with the scientific advances of the past 15 years. We’ve tried to help. Here’s a roundup of the genomics topics we’ve provided primers on.

The basics

Genomics: What’s a SNP? — Genomics is the study of the genome, which is the entirety of a living thing’s DNA. And one of the key elements of genomics is the SNP, pronounced “snip.”

Genomics vs genetics: What’s the difference, and what do they mean for agriculture? — Do you understand the differences between genetics and genomics? Not everyone realizes the different goals and methods of these two different, yet often tied, fields. [ More … ]