Dec. 3, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Food safety is near the top of most Floridians’ concerns, behind only the economy and health care, a survey released today by the University of Florida shows.
The survey covered several food-related issues, including public perceptions about food safety, food insecurity and genetically modified foods. It also found knowledge gaps among Floridians, especially in the area of food safety, and detected conflicted feelings among the public about genetically modified foods. (more …)
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Milk may be sold in supermarkets, but it comes from cows – that’s the lesson being offered this Saturday at Family Day at the Dairy Farm, a free open-house event at the University of Florida’s dairy farm in Hague, 20 minutes northwest of Gainesville.
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., dairy researchers and Extension specialists with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will showcase the farm’s operations and explain how their work helps commercial dairy producers. For directions, see http://tinyurl.com/d3a5626.
Visitors can watch cows being fed and milked, learn about cattle nutrition and health-care practices, pet live calves, tour barns, sample dairy products and make their own butter.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Last year’s open house at the University of Florida dairy farm was so successful that organizers were “moo-tivated” to repeat the event, which returns to Alachua County on Saturday, March 16.
Free and open to the public, Family Day at the Dairy Farm takes place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hague, 20 minutes northwest of Gainesville just off U.S. Highway 441. For directions, see http://tinyurl.com/d3a5626.
Visitors can watch cows being milked, pet calves, walk through free-stall barns, make butter, see farming equipment and learn how UF research helps keep dairy cows happy, healthy and productive. There will even be free samples of dairy products, a giant cow statue to admire, and a hayride to transport visitors to and from the parking area.
Local actor Houston Wells will reprise his role as President Abraham Lincoln, greeting visitors and posing for photos. It will be one of his final appearances commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, a bill Lincoln signed in 1862 to establish the land-grant university system. UF is the state’s flagship land-grant university.
Organizers hope to exceed last year’s attendance, which was about 800 people, said dairy Extension specialist Albert De Vries, an associate professor with UF’s animal sciences department.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Corn silage is an important dairy feed but it sometimes harbors an unwelcome addition – Southern corn rust, a fungal disease that thrives under hot, humid conditions.
The fungus responsible, Puccinia polysora, seems harmless to cattle. However, a Southern corn rust infection can severely reduce the yield and nutritional value of corn plants and inhibit their fermentation to silage.
Worse, it damages corn tissue, providing a gateway for opportunistic microbes such as Aspergillis. This genus of fungi includes species that produce a toxic compound called aflatoxin, which can harm or even kill cattle that eat contaminated silage. Aflatoxin can also be transmitted to the milk of cows that eat contaminated foods; in people aflatoxin can cause cancer, other diseases and death.
Now, researchers with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have found a way to control negative effects of Southern corn rust on silage and prevent aflatoxin accumulation, by inoculating the silage with beneficial bacteria.
The study was published in the September issue of Journal of Dairy Science.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Hunting can put meat on the family table, and a University of Florida workshop is helping area men and women learn the fine points of bringing that meat home safe and ready to cook or store.
It’s called Wild Game Processing: From Field to Table, a six-hour workshop held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at the UF animal sciences department, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“Proper handling and processing minimizes the risk of foodborne illness and improves the quality and storage life of wild game products for your family,” said Chad Carr, a UF meat science assistant professor. He organizes and leads the workshop, now in its second year.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference is a one-stop shop for anyone who has thought about starting a farm or supporting local foods.
The conference, now in its fourth year, is presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida A&M University. It will feature tours, vendor exhibits, lunch and nearly 30 presentations.
The conference will be held at the Osceola Heritage Park located at 1875 Silver Spur Lane in Kissimmee July 27-29.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Food-safety experts have long believed that Salmonella bacteria could only enter tomatoes through wounds in the stem or fruit — but a new University of Florida laboratory study shows it can also happen another way.
Plant pathologist Ariena van Bruggen, a professor in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, published a paper today in the online journal PLoS One, with research findings that show — for the first time — that Salmonella can enter tomato plants through intact leaves, travel through the plant and end up in the fruit itself. (more …)
Multimedia available: http://news.ufl.edu/2011/06/08/peanut-allergen-multimedia/
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida researcher has developed a new technique to make peanuts safer for people with peanut allergies.
Wade Yang, an assistant professor in UF’s food science and human nutrition department, used pulsed ultraviolet light, or PUV, to reduce the allergenic potential of peanuts by up to 90 percent. The study was published this week by the journal Food and Bioprocess Technology.
By releasing pulsed, or concentrated, bursts of light containing multiple wavelengths, PUV changes peanut allergens so that human antibodies can’t recognize them and cause the release of histamines, which are responsible for allergy symptoms such as itching, rashes and wheezing.
“We believe the allergen can be controlled at the processing stage, before the product even goes to the shelf,” Yang said.
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Multimedia available: http://news.ufl.edu/2010/09/21/salmonella-multimedia/
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have discovered that tomato variety and maturity influence the ways salmonella bacteria respond to the fruit.
The findings, published Aug. 31 by the online, open-access journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE, suggest researchers may be able to develop tomato cultivars more resistant to salmonella contamination.
Also, by monitoring tomato ripeness, it may be possible to reduce fruit’s susceptibility to contamination during and after harvest, said Max Teplitski, an associate professor in soil microbiology. (more …)
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Everyone knows that house flies aren’t welcome around food.
But University of Florida scientists have discovered five new reasons why.
Researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have documented five more bacteria species carried by house flies, and all of them cause illness in humans, ranging from food poisoning to respiratory infections.
In the current issue of Florida Entomologist, the researchers describe collecting house flies near rear entrances and trash bins at four restaurants in Gainesville. About 20 flies from each location were collected in sterile containers and returned to the campus laboratory.