Low carb potato variety wins New Zealand Food Award

Image result for LotatoesT&G’s Lotatoes has won The Ministry for Primary Industries Primary Sector Products Award at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards. The category promotes, recognizes and showcases innovations in primary sector products, processing and packaging methods. Lotatoes came out on top with the judges being particularly impressed with the process used to naturally breed and sustainably grow the lower carbohydrate and fewer calorie potato that’s taken New Zealand by storm. “Lotatoes is a high-quality and delicious potato, sustainably grown right here in New Zealand by passionate farmers loved by kiwi consumers. We’re extremely proud of Lotatoes win at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards,” says Andrew Keaney, executive general manager, T&G who accepted the top award. This potato, with 40% less carbs and fewer calories than other potato varieties, was developed by cross-breeding different varieties of potato seeds together. More

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and chips made from GE potatoes

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and hot chips made from GE potatoes, with little idea of the added health risks from genetic engineering. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which has just approved six new lines of GE potatoes for human consumption, has breached its duty of care to consumers, says the Soil & Health Association. Last week the Trans-Tasman food regulator released its decision approving the sale of food derived from potatoes that have been genetically engineered for disease resistance to foliar late blight, reduced blackspot bruising and reduced acrylamide potential. The potatoes are aimed at fast food outlets and the frozen chip and crisps market. “FSANZ has a legal requirement to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of a safe food supply,” says Soil & Health chair Graham Clark. “By approving these potato lines without sufficient evidence to prove that they are safe to eat, FSANZ has effectively breached this legal requirement.” More

Experts reveal how you can survive a one-year potato diet

One year on, he still likes potatoes.Last year, Andrew Taylor ate nothing but potatoes. The Victorian man in Australia told news.com.au in December he embarked on the extreme diet to combat his addiction to food, and he lost 50kg over 12 months. When he started, he weighed 151.7kg, and he spent his days eating deep-fried food, ice cream, cake, chocolate and pizza. “I had a realisation I was a food addict and it got me thinking about how if you’re an alcoholic you quit alcohol, or a drug addict you quit drugs,” he said. “You can’t quit food, but I wanted to get as close as possible and wondered if there was one particular food I could eat and potatoes came up best.“ No competent doctor in the world would prescribe such a restricted eating plan — Australian health guidelines promote eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit, dairy and fats — but experts say the plan actually isn’t all bad. “For the money and your blood pressure, you can’t beat a traditional baked spud,” says Joan Salge Blake, a clinical nutrition professor at Boston University. More

Research: Whole food, purple potatoes may help prevent colon cancer

IMAGE

Eating purple potatoes could reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, according to a new study. Pigs fed the vegetables found levels of a damaging protein that fuels tumours and other inflammatory bowel diseases were reduced by six times. Researchers say other colorful fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli and red grapes, could bring the same beneficial effects. The study in pigs by an international team of researchers found purple fleshed potatoes suppressed the spread of colon cancer stem cells – even as part of a high calorie diet. Both uncooked and baked potatoes had similar effects. According to Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences, Penn State, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant compounds. More

Taiwanese french fry suppliers to be checked amid food concerns

Taiwan’s health authorities will conduct stringent checks of potato suppliers after reports that French fries served at fast food restaurants were found with green patches. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Cheng Wei-chih said that potatoes can turn green due to exposure to enough light. However, consuming a large amount of green potato can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as it often contains a toxic chemical called solanine. No regulations regarding the maximum level of solanine are imposed yet, Cheng added. The scoop of green-tinted potatoes was first posted online by a user of PTT, the largest terminal-based bulletin board system (BBS) in Taiwan. He wrote that his tongue felt weird when he was eating potato wedges at McDonald’s and he found there was a green tint in the food. McDonald’s later responded that the company has adopted strict control measures requiring suppliers and workers to remove green potatoes. More

French fries – Friend or foe?

That strip of golden goodness, that salty and crisp fried chip of a potato that makes burgers better, steaks superb and, generally, a meal magnificent. That’s what many of us think and feel about the French fry, frites or Belgian frieten, writes Andre Erasmus. But is it so, particularly the ’golden goodness’ part? Not according to the European Union and many food scientists. Acrylamide, says the EU, is ‘a carcinogenic substance that forms from naturally present free asparagine (amino acid) and sugars during high temperature processing, such as frying, particularly in potato-based products’. And this, obviously, would be bad news for the global potato industry, affecting both growers and processors. This follows some research in 2002 which showed a disposition towards cancer after consuming fried potato products. But Emma Shields, at charity Cancer Research UK, says: “Although evidence from animal studies has shown that acrylamide in food could be linked to cancer, this link isn’t clear and consistent in humans.” More

UK: Potato growers to be targeted by Health and Safety Executive inspections

Norfolk-grown potatoes. Picture: Ian BurtEast Anglia’s potato growers have been urged to step up their accident prevention measures this harvest season – and to expect visits from safety inspectors. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding producers of the importance of managing risks to workers during the potato harvest as it launches its latest inspection initiative. Inspectors will be making unannounced visits to farms that grow, pick and process potatoes during the next few months to ensure risks during the harvesting season are being controlled and measures are in place to protect farmers and their workers. The announcement follows the release of HSE statistics showing there have been 30 deaths on British farms in the last 12 months, with recurring causes of serious injuries during the potato harvesting season including entanglement with dangerous parts of machines, being struck or run over by vehicles and falls from height. More

US: More than 500 potato growers and retailers unite on sustainability initiative

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced today their mutual membership and partnership with the Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) to align metrics in measuring sustainability issues in the potato supply chain. TSC and PSI will work together to align sustainability metrics for over 500 potato growers and key retail partners. This partnership will also help streamline reporting by potato growers to retailers by working together to align metrics between PSI and TSC. PSI will join several agriculture initiatives currently TSC has in place to align metrics from farms to manufacturers to retailers. Dr. Christy Melhart Slay, director of research at TSC said, “TSC is very pleased to announce our partnership with PSI. Potato growers have been some of the first to create and adopt sustainability metrics. We look forward to learning from this progressive initiative.”  Continue reading

British scientists and supermarkets working together to tackle potato greening problems

UK supermarkets and scientists are working together to find ways of reducing potato greening which costs the industry and retailers almost £100 million every year. Researchers at the James Hutton Institute have identified a genetic element to the problem which can mean a seven or eight fold variation in the amount of post-harvest greening. Tuber greening is directly linked to 116,000 tonnes of household potato waste and is estimated to cost UK retailers £60 million per annum.  Continue reading

Potato bound polyphenols: A novel delivery method for gut health?

© iStock/ Frans RomboutThe ability of polyphenols to bind with different types of potato cells may provide a new means of delivering them to the gut, say researchers. When potato cells were treated with solutions of phenolic compounds, binding occurred between them, revealed researchers from Queensland University and the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, Valencia. A vast increase in the binding interaction between the polysaccharides in the potatoes and three different polyphenols was seen when using cooked potato cells. However, significant binding also occurred in raw cells. The findings, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, could enable a novel method of delivering a combination of polyphenols and dietary fibre to the large intestine. Both types of compounds have been shown to exert beneficial effects on the human microbiota. “The obtained results suggest, for the first time, the potential of potato cells as encapsulation vehicles for phenolic compounds,” concluded the team. Full article on Nutraingredients.com

Acrylamide: Save our fries! Belgians say EU spares national dish

Image result for Save our fries! Belgians say EU spares national dishAccording to a Reuters report, Belgium’s national dish, the deep fried potato sticks that much of the English-speaking world gallingly calls “French fries“, has been saved. So, at least, the national government said last week as the European Union agreed to amend food safety rules aimed at curbing cancer. Belgium’s farm minister claimed the EU will now spare the nation’s “friteries” from having to change traditional preparation methods. “The Belgian fry is saved! Europe has listened to Belgium,” Agriculture Minister Willy Borsus said in a statement. In a statement issued in Brussels, the European Commission said EU governments had agreed to its proposals to force cafes and restaurants to apply measures aimed at reducing the presence of carcinogenic acrylamide in food. Frying, baking and roasting produce the substance out of natural acids and sugars. Some argue that Belgium’s traditional method of frying potatoes twice to get crunchy chips creates more acrylamide. Reuters report

Canadian officials approve Simplot’s second generation GMO potatoes

Genetically Engineered Potatoes CanadaAssociated Press reports that three types of potatoes genetically engineered by J.R. Simplot to resist late blight are deemed safe for the environment and safe to eat, according to Canadian officials – who confirmed the approval of these potatoes on Thursday. The official approval by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency means the Simplot potatoes can be imported, planted and sold in Canada. The company said it received approval letters from Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in the last several days. Health Canada spokeswoman Renelle Briand confirmed the approvals to The Associated Press on Thursday. “We have no objection to the sale of food derived from J.R. Simplot Company’s” potatoes for human consumption, Karen McIntyre, director general of Health Canada, said in a letter sent on July 28 to the company. Canadian officials in two other letters sent on Monday approved the environmental release of planting the potatoes and using the potatoes for livestock feed. The three varieties of potato — the Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic — were approved by U.S. regulatory agencies in February. The company said the potatoes contain only potato genes and that the resistance to late blight comes from an Argentine variety of potato that naturally produced a defense.

Continue reading

L’UE règlemente la cuisson des frites

Les représentants des 28 États membres ont voté le 19 juillet en faveur d’une proposition de la Commission européenne pour réduire la présence dans les aliments de l’acrylamide, une substance cancérigène bien connue, présente dans les frites, les chips, le pain, les biscuits ou le café. Une fois appliquée, la nouvelle réglementation exigera des producteurs alimentaires, des chaines de fast-food et des restaurants qu’ils prennent des mesures pour s’assurer que les niveaux d’acrylamide dans leurs produits restent en-dessous des valeurs de référence. Ces mesures resteront « proportionnées à la taille et à la nature de leur établissement », a déclaré la Commission européenne dans un communiqué. Rapport

Europa raadt aan om frietjes te blancheren voor ze gebakken worden

Moeten frietjes nu voortaan best eerst geblancheerd worden of niet? Als het van de Europese Commissie afhangt, wel. De meerderheid van de lidstaten heeft voor de aanbeveling over acrylamide gestemd, de kankerverwekkende stof die in sommige aardappelen zit. De gevreesde verplichting komt er niet, tot grote opluchting van de Belgische frituristen. Er heerste ongerustheid bij de Belgische frituristen, omdat er gevreesd werd dat de Europese Commissie zou verplichten om frietjes te blancheren voor ze gebakken worden. De Belgen waren niet tuk op het idee dat hun frietcultuur aangetast zou kunnen worden. Die verplichting komt er gelukkig niet, het blijft bij een aanbeveling. Met die aanbeveling wil Europa acrylamide in ons voedsel terugdringen. Frieten zouden beter eerst geblancheerd worden voor ze in vet of olie gebakken worden. De meeste lidstaten hebben de ontwerptekst vandaag goedgekeurd. Meer

This is the little-known ingredient which makes McDonald’s fries so delicious

 The fries contain an unusual ingredient which gives them an extra kick of flavourThere’s been some recent confusion over what it is which makes McDonald’s fries so special. It turns out that some branches of McDonald’s are serving up fries with a little-known ingredient added to the mix: “natural beef flavouring”. The beefy addition gives the fries an extra kick of flavour, but it means that they aren’t vegan, since the flavouring is actually made from milk. However, you won’t find this extra ingredient in every branch – and you certainly won’t find it in any UK stores. That’s because Maccies uses different recipes in different countries, with the extra flavouring added in US and Canadian McDonald’s stores. In British branches, the fries are milk free, and don’t contain the beef flavouring which has surprised some American customers. More