Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A New Trump Card to Against 3 p.m. Slump - Have an Egg!

The other afternoon I hit a classic mid-afternoon slump. Sleepy and sluggish, I grabbed for a bit of chocolate. But I probably should have had egg whites or maybe a piece of steak. Because a recent study in mice has found that it's protein, not sugar, that provides the perk.

Brain cells called orexin cells secrete a stimulant that makes us energetic and tells the body to burn calories. If the cells' activity decreases, narcolepsy or sudden sleepiness, is the result. The work is published in the journal Neuron.
[Mahesh M. Karnani et al., "Activation of Central Orexin/Hypocretin Neurons by Dietary Amino Acids"]

Scientists marked orexin cells in mice brains so they would fluoresce. Then they tracked the cells’ activity after feeding the mice different kinds of food.

Turns out that glucose blocks the function of the orexin cells. This effect might be the main reason for the desired post-lunch siesta. But the researchers also found that amino acids stop the glucose action, keeping the cells active and the mice alert. So next time I get that 3 p.m. slow down, I'll have an egg. If I'm alert enough to remember.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables, If You want A Healthy-Looking

Owning a healthy skin is every girls' dream. Recent study found that a variety of  lotions contained chemical additives or take sunbath can not guarantee you have a healthy face, while eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to help you build a healthy looking.

Many people love what they consider a suntan's healthy glow. But the color you get from eating vegetables might be the most attractive glow of all. That’s according to research in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.

Researchers controlled the diet and evaluated the skin color of 82 participants for eight weeks. Those who ate more fruits and vegetables had a yellower hue to their skin. That tone comes from carotenoids in the fruit and veggies, which are linked to better immune defenses and reproductive health.

In related studies, the scientists recruited volunteers to look at photographs of 51 faces. They could manipulate the colors of the face to increase the darkness or the yellow tones. They were asked to adjust the colors until the faces looked to be what the subjects considered the most healthy. And the majority preferred a yellowish tone, like that produced by carotenoids. This held true for Caucasians in the U.K. and black Africans in South Africa.

The researchers say the preference could be a gauge of vigor - many animals let their health be known to potential mates through vibrant coloration. So eating more fruits and vegetables if you want your face to advertise your fitness.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A New Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) opened in UK

The University of Exeter opened its Center for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM), which features machines that can work with several materials to allow for a huge range of possibilities in potential products. The first facility of its kind in the UK, the Center offers the EOSINT P800 laser sintering system from EOS, which can build parts at temperatures up to 385°C and enables production using high-performance polymers, such as PEEK.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company N.V. (EADS) supports CALM, which is in part financed by the EU and the European Regional Development Fund under the competitiveness operating program (£1.5 million).

The partnership enables the University of Exeter to provide additive manufacturing facilities for the southwest of the UK, further helping to raise awareness for a technology that is currently shifting paradigms in design and manufacturing, says Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS. The company also looks forward to expanding the use of the PEEK material, which is being processed on the P800, in the aerospace, medical and motorsports arena.

High performance materials, including PEEK, are mechanically strong and wear-resistant in the toughest of operating environments. Parts made of PEEK are being developed as an alternative to metals for applications including aerospace parts and medical instruments. As a result, the manufacturing process for prototypes and products is being simplified.

Businesses that are producing prototypes and developing products can now benefit from this pioneering £2.6 million facility at the University of Exeter. The facility will enable businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to harness the potential of additive manufacturing. The centre is offering heavily subsidised rates to SMEs in Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Cornwall, giving smaller businesses access to world-class facilities at affordable prices.

With this EOS manufacturing technology, complex or bespoke parts and complete products can be created by building them up one layer at a time via laser sintering, thus significantly reducing the time it takes to get a product from the design stage into market. Businesses will also benefit from the technical expertise of CALM staff, gained through their experience in industry.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Monday, August 15, 2011

Harmful Food Additives Found at Snacks and Beverages in Taipei Teashops

Cue:Sometimes our vision clears only after our eyes are washed away with tears.

A random sampling revealed that some of the ingredients added to snacks and beverages sold at shops in Taipei failed a test for a problematic additive, Taipei City health officials told a press conference yesterday.

The city’s Department of Health randomly inspected 54 ingredients often added to drinks and sweets sold at teashops, and found three of them did not meet regulations, constituting a 5.6 percent failure rate.

The three items were found to contain high levels of sorbic acid, a type of food preservative that is unfit for consumption, Food and Drug Division Director Chen Li-chi said.

The ingredients found to be unsafe were marble-sized black tapioca balls, taro beads and konjac, a long strand of chewy jelly consumed throughout Asia.

Officials have ordered that sales of the three products cease and any stocks be destroyed. They also fined the suppliers of one of the products, who was registered in the city.

Since the other two manufacturers who provided the unsafe items are not located in Taipei, the city government has forwarded the case on to the appropriate jurisdictional authorities, Chen said.

The officials called for food manufacturers to regulate themselves according to the Act Governing Food Sanitation and reminded the public that violators face fines between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000.

Results of future food inspections will also be posted on the health agency’s Web site, the officials said.

Digression:Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Additives Make the Oil Changes Changing

Advances in oil and automotive technology mean the old oil change rule "you should change your car's oil every 3,000 miles" no longer applies.

The reason oil needs changed is because it gets dirty and the additives inside get used up, just as they're designed to do. But by the late 80's, big changes in car manufacturing made them much cleaner.

Now, drivers can go 5,000 to 7,000 miles between oil changes, and some models can go as long as 20,000 miles.

The reason oil needs changed is because it gets dirty, and the additives inside get used up, just as they're designed to do, but by the late 1980s, big changes in car manufacturing made them much cleaner.

"We were carbureted then, we're fuel injected now. The rings are better now. We have better engines, better metal, so we do not get the contaminants and the sludge in the oil like we used to," said Joe Smith, automotive instructor.

Some companies are introducing re-refined oil because oil never wears out. Re-refined oil is used oil that's cleaned with new additives added back in.

"All the oil manufacturers have to meet a standard for oil, but they can meet a minimum standard or, if their oil's more expensive, they could increase their additive package because that's the most expensive part of the oil," said Richard Augustus, fuel engineer.

In fact, the better the additive package in oil the longer you can go without a change.

In the long run, it could actually save you money.

Chemists inside the BG lab in Wichita, KA, work diligently to mix and test additives, constantly keeping up with newer and tougher regulations by the American Petroleum Institute.

"There are numerous additives that are formulated into the oil. Those include detergents; those include anti-wear additives, antioxidants and dispersants. These different additives all have different functions," said Dustin Willhite, BG director of technology.

These changes have brought about many different oil types, such as semi-synthetic or full-synthetic. The way you know what's best for your car is a combination of letters and numbers, which are clearly stated in all owners' manuals.

In the small print, some manufacturers require a specific brand of oil be used.

"Basically, you have to use that manufacturer's oil, or else they void your warranty," Smith said.

Let's talk price. Is it true that you get what you pay for? In most cases, yes.

“All the oil manufacturers have to meet a standard for oil but they can meet a minimum standard or, if their oil's more expensive, they could increase their additive package because that's the most expensive part of the oil,” said Fuel Engineer, Richard Augustus.

In fact, the better the additive package in oil the longer you can go without a change. So in the long run, it could actually save you money.

And the science behind these additives is nothing to sneeze at.

The best advice? Do your homework. Know what your car needs and be diligent with your maintenance. It's a small price to pay to keep your engine clean and your wallet full.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Monday, June 20, 2011

Experts Query Use of Rice Additives

In China, Some food safety experts have expressed doubts about the use of additives in rice, although officials said they are free from potential safety hazards.

In response to media reports questioning the revised National Standard for Food Additives, the Ministry of Health issued a statement on Saturday, saying two additives - sodium diacetate and chitosan - were permissible for rice, and that a thickening agent - sodium starch phosphate - can be used in some rice products, such as rice noodles.

In the statement, Wang Zhutian, deputy director of the Fortified Food Office (FFO) under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said sodium diacetate is a widely used preservative in grain, rice and pastry, and chitosan is a coating agent used in rice. Both can help retain freshness and prevent mildew.

The revised regulation, issued early this month, comes into force on June 20.

"The two additives were allowed in rice before 2007, and they passed the safety assessment," Chen Junshi, director of the office, told China Daily on Sunday.

However, some food experts warned that using additives in rice might put food safety at risk, Beijing News reported on Friday.

One expert who wished to remain anonymous was less convinced.

"Rice is a staple food in China as well as a major ingredient for other food products. We must treat the use of rice additives with great caution," the expert was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Other experts also questioned the need for additives in rice.

"According to the standards for using additives, a substance is used when it is technically indispensable. If rice is rot-resistant without additives, they should not be added," said Sang Liwei, a food-safety lawyer and the China representative of the NGO Global Food Safety Forum.

"I have worked in the grain industry for many years, but never heard of the practice of adding additives to rice during processing. There is no need," a technical veteran with the Food Research Institute of Guangdong province, surnamed Guo, was quoted on Saturday by Guangzhou-based Information Times as saying. According to Guo, there are two ways of packaging grain products in China to keep the rice fresh: vacuum packaging and aerating nitrogen into the packaging bags.

"It is easy, safe and inexpensive to retain the freshness of rice," Guo told the paper.

The revised national standard sought opinions from July to September last year, but officials said they did not receive any objections, so the additives were included on the final list.

"According to the procedure, if someone files an objection, the health department will examine and decide whether to exclude the additive," Chen said.

The standards can also be changed at any time if there are objections from the industry.

"If any rice manufacturer objected to the use of the additives, the health authority will take advice from other businesses and the industry, and make changes in the standard accordingly," Chen said.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bloody Mary Preparation Recipe Open to The Public

[Guide] Bloody Mary is a low alcohol wine among cocktail, its bright red color together with a touch of salt savors, that make people feel a taste of a bloody existence. The reason why this cocktail is become so popular today, it is because in the West, Bloody Mary is a psychic game that very popular in young people, while in China, people usually go to bars, but very few people will try this cocktail.

2011 is the International Year of Chemistry. So scientists at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim raised a glass. (Or a beaker.) And they celebrated as only chemists can—by carefully analyzing its contents. [Neil Da Costa, "Flavor chemistry of the "Bloody Mary" cocktail"

The drink they dissected was the Bloody Mary, perhaps the world’s most chemically complex cocktail. A mix of tomato juice and vodka, along with lemon or lime, horseradish, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, black pepper and celery salt, the Bloody Mary packs a punch. And it lights up nearly our entire range of taste receptors, giving us sweet, salty, sour and savory.

To find out the Bloody Mary’s secret, researchers shared one with a chromatograph, which identified the various compounds that contribute to the drink’s flavor and bouquet. The scientists turned up plenty of antioxidants, as well as a few bartending tips.

First, make it fresh. The acids in tomato juice can degrade the drink’s other ingredients. Also, make it cold—ice slows the degradation. Use the best tomato juice --- the major source of flavor. But feel free to cheap out on the vodka. Its taste gets lost in the complex mix. In other words, chemists say to save the Grey Goose for other experiments.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Monday, April 18, 2011

Diesel Price Raise Link to 5% Bio-Additive

Last week, fuel and diesel prices on the European stock markets were relatively stable. Fuel prices increased to USD 1,115 (LVL 540) per ton, while diesel dropped to USD 1,050 (LVL 510) per ton, informs LETA.

But fuel stations have started to sell summer diesel, however, its price could grow due to the obligatory 5% bio-additive, which costs 43% more than fossil diesel, the Statoil Latvija spokesman, Kaspars Skrabans, informed the business information portal Nozare.lv.

The bio-additive currently costs slightly more than USD 1,500 (LVL 739).

Fuel and diesel prices are still affected by the political instability in Libya, the positive macroeconomic data in China and the United States as well as Russia's announcement that it could increase the export tax on oil products.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Friday, March 18, 2011

China's Largest Meat Processor Shuanghui Group Apologized Over Additive Scandal

China's largest meat processor Shuanghui Group apologized Wednesday after an illegal additive was allegedly found in meat products in an affiliate of the company.

Jiyuan Shuanghui, China's largest meat processor Shuanghui Group apologized Wednesday after an illegal additive was allegedly found in meat products in Jiyuan Shuanghui, a subsidiary company of Shuanghui Group in Jiyuan, central China's Henan Province. The group ordered Jiyuan Shuanghui to halt operations and sent a deputy general manager to the company to impose corrective measures.

Nineteen pigs in central China's Henan Province have tested positive to having a banned additive in their urine, the city government said Thursday. Out of 689 pigs awaiting slaughter and processing by Jiyuan Shuanghui Food Co., Ltd, 19 tested positive to having Clenbuterol, an illegal additive poisonous to humans, according to a Jiyuan city government statement.

The Ministry of Agriculture sent a team to Henan Province on Tuesday to investigate, and the provincial government ordered 16 pig farms to halt pig and pork sales and sealed feedstuff suspected to contain the additive.

The city government is also investigating more than 1,300 pig farms and 130 feed and vet drug stores, said the statement. No results have been disclosed yet.

Li Changqing, general manager of Xinda Husbandry Company based in Henan, said the case would severely damage the whole industry.

"The Clenbuterol case would definitely affect consumers' confidence in purchasing meat products," Li said. "Corrective measures should be introduced immediately to avoid consequences like those that damaged the dairy industry following the melamine scandal."

In Nanjing City, capital of nearby Jiangsu Province, the local government suspended operations Thursday of Xingwang Slaughter House after pigs believed to be from Henan tested positive to Clenbuterol.

Authorities also tested pigs in 35 other slaughter plants and 38 pig farms in Nanjing but no tests results were positive.

The tests came after media reports alleging that Jiyuan Shuanghui Food Co., Ltd., purchased pig fed containing Clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol is a chemical that can be fed to pigs to prevent them from accumulating fat. It is banned as an additive in pig feed in China because it can end up in the flesh of pigs and is poisonous to humans if ingested.

According to biological experts, humans can suffer from nausea, headaches, limb tremors and even cancer after eating food containing Clenbuterol.

The Clenbuterol pork meat scandal has caused consumers all over China to express concern and disappointment in the processor giant.

"I always bought Shuanghui's ham sausages thinking the brand was the most reliable in China, but now, I don't know which brand I should trust," said a 28-year-old woman in Beijing.

Jiyuan Shuanghui is under Shuanghui Group, China's largest meat processor with total assets of over 10 billion yuan (1.52 billion U.S. dollars). The Henan-based group has factories in 12 provinces throughout China, producing cooked meat products such as sausage, and also has branches in Japan, Singapore, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, according to its website.

Tags: China, meat additive, Shuanghui Group, additive scandal, food additive, pork meat scandal,Clenbuterol pork

Originally Posted: About Additive

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

High Blood Pressure due to HFCS, a Commonly-found Food Additive

A University of Colorado study found that even people who eat a healthy, low-sodium diet may be at risk of high blood pressure due to a commonly-found food additive. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is found in almost all processed, prepared, or packaged foods, was shown to increase blood pressure by up to 32%.

According to the study, HFCS causes inflammation in the bloodstream which causes the blood vessel walls to tighten, resulting in blood pressure increases. Even people who ate a healthy diet with periodic ingestion of HFCS experienced the blood pressure increase.

While HFCS can be listed as corn syrup, fructose, high fructose sweetener, natural sweetener, or other type of sweetener on the label of foods, it is still the same health-damaging sweetener. Even foods that claim to be “natural” can include HFCS. Only fresh whole foods or foods that are labeled “100% organic” are devoid of HFCS.

It can be found in almost any foods but is common in most types of soda, and processed foods labeled “low-fat” or “non-fat”. Most food manufacturers add high-fructose corn syrup to add flavor when they make fat-reduced foods and HFCS happens to be extremely cheap.

Some surprising sources of HFCS include:

- Yogurt

- Baby Food

- Granola and Granola Bars

- Cereal (even so-called healthy cereals or cereals intended for children)

- Salad dressing

- Condiments

- Crackers

There’s another problem with HFCS: most corn and corn-derived foods on the market are made with genetically-modified (GM) corn. While there still isn’t much testing on the effects of consuming GM-foods (and certainly no long-term tests), early tests show many negative health consequences.

While high-fructose corn-syrup contains fructose, there’s no reason to be concerned about eating fructose as it is found in fresh fruits. Research shows that consuming fruit does not negatively impact blood pressure, and may even improve it.

Originally Posted: About Additive

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Eat Healthier? Let's talk about Food Additive too

Guide: Oxidation (b) benzoyl, with an appearance of white or light yellow and shaped in thin cone, as well as tastes slightly bitter just like bitter almond. Oxidation (b) benzoyl is a strong oxidizer, unstable, combustible. Oxidation (b) benzoyl can play the role of bleaching and antiseptic on flour. And at the same time, calcium peroxide (a type of food additive) can also be used as a preservative.

The Ministry of Health is asking public opinion on a proposed ban on two flour whitening agents.

There has been public concern over the safety of the two food additives: benzoyl peroxide and calcium peroxide.

The ministry will seek public input until Dec 30. But an ongoing online poll by sina.com has shown that more than 90 percent of the 31 thousand respondents supported the ban.

Zhu Yi, associate professor at the Nutrition Engineering Institute at China Agricultural University says the two bleaching agents may pose health risks.

"Benzoyl peroxide and calcium peroxide are the main components of the bleaching agents. Benzoyl peroxide can create sodium benzoate during manufacturing process. This is an antiseptic and is confirmed to harmful to the liver. Plus, benzoyl peroxide is a medicine to treat skin disease. According to related laws, medicine is not allowed in food. In this aspect, it's inappropriate to use the additives. The oxidants could also damage flour's nutrients, such as beta-carotene."

Zhu Yi says, in some developed countries, food additives like benzoyl peroxide and calcium peroxide are allowed within limits.

"Benzoyl peroxide is banned in EU countries. But the US haven't put limits on using it. In Canada, there is a limit, about 150 milligram per kilogram. In China, the limit is 60 milligram per kilogram, lower than the standard. However, it's hard to make the dose equally distributed in products especially for some small- and medium-sized flour companies in rural areas. Those companies may easily overuse this additive. So, banning it is a reasonable choice."

Zhu Yi adds if more consumers prefer choosing the foods' original color and flavor, rather than buying something that looks neat and pretty, the food enterprises will have less incentive to use food additives.

Originally Posted: About Additive