eNewsletter August 2016

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The Herd
Newsletter August 2016

AUGUST 1, 2016
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4 Beverages You Should Never Ever Drink Past The Expiration Date


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Food scientists say it’s not worth the risk to have any of these drinks past their prime.

We’ve all taken a swig out of a milk carton that’s a couple days past its expiration date, with little to no consequences. Which makes us wonder: Do these dates really mean anything? 

“Expiration dates are something people find confusing and with good reason,” says Don Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers University. “There are expiration dates, best-by dates, best-before dates—and there’s not really a lot of standardization around what those all mean.” 

In fact, Schaffner says expiration dates are mostly based on product quality, not contamination risk, and often they’re set by legislation that’s not always based on the best scientific evidence. 

For example, milk produced in Schaffner’s state of New Jersey has one expiration date if it’s sold within the state, but that same milk is stamped with a different expiration date if it’s sold just across the state line in New York.
Still, while there are some Expiration Dates You Can Totally Ignore, there are some drinks that food scientists just don't take chances with. 

Here’s what they say could turn potentially dangerous. 

Read More.


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Can Walmart's food labels make a dent in America's $29 billion food waste problem?


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If you’ve ever paused before tossing a can of food in the trash after seeing the date on the label, you’re not alone.

Whether it’s because of habit, cultural norms or a genuine fear of getting sick, most consumers err on the safe side and avoid foods that have passed the date stamped on their labels. As a result, an enormous amount of the food that goes uneaten around the world gets wasted at home. Confusion over labels leads Americans to throw away an estimated $29bn worth of still edible food each year.

Walmart, one of the nation’s largest food retailers, has been working on a fix. It requires suppliers of its private label Great Value line of products to use the same, standardized date label for its non-perishable foods: “Best if used by”.

The company, which asked its suppliers to start making the switch last year, is giving them until next month to comply. Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart, says when the company last checked, roughly 70% of suppliers had complied. While the company couldn’t say exactly how many products will change in total, it said the number is in the thousands.

Read more.

Weber Scientific is awarded the 2016 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award


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It was with great pleasure that Weber Scientific accepted one of the three Innovation Awards that were given at the IFT Annual Meeting in Chicago, July 16 – 19. This was for the 4 hr PCR yeast / mold test that Weber Scientific distributes in the US dairy industry on behalf of supplier, BIOTECON Diagnostics (Potsdam, Germany).

The test is a true 4 hr test, requiring no pre-enrichment and has been validated with more than 300 strains of yeast and molds, with 100% specificity. PCR results also show a high degree of correlation with standard plate counts making the test truly quantitative.

No matter how much is said about the benefits of the test by the vendor, to receive an independent peer-reviewed appreciation of the method says much about its value.

Judges’ comments included:
“Rapid detection of yeast and mold is a much needed analytical technique for the dairy industry. For yogurt type producers with a typical shelf-life of 60 days, having the ability to release product to market 4 days early will help with operational efficiency. More importantly, knowing early on any possibility of product spoilage will help deliver superior product to consumers.”

“A 4-hour test versus 5 days for spoilage micro-organisms is a major breakthrough.”

“A new rapid test that saves time and money.”

There were 46 submissions this year for the three awards, but given that the committee has also seen many other innovations over the years, it is very gratifying to receive this kind of recognition. 

Watch the Video.       More Information:



A pint of the unusual? The search for a zero-waste beer


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Making beer carries a fairly formidable environmental footprint, but craft brewers are taking up the challenge, using food waste and grey water to make sustainable ales

Have you ever pondered how sustainable your favorite beer is? In truth the act of transforming barley into fermented beer carries an environmental footprint of pretty epic proportions. 

To put it into perspective: average energy consumption is estimated to be about 0.2 kilowatt hours for each bottle of beer, enough energy to run a 40-inch TV for almost three-and-a-half hours. As for water, although it’s hard to quantify exactly how much is used to create beer – from the growing of hops and barley to the cleaning of brewing equipment – recent studies suggest it can take up to 300 liters of water to create just one liter of beer. Worse still, the majority of ingredients used to make beer are never actually consumed, with most leftover hops and malt earmarked for landfill.

The good news is that - thanks to their small size – craft brewers are far more likely to leave a smaller environmental footprint than their mega-brewery counterparts. 

Read more of this Guardian article on how craft brewers are on the forefront of sustainable brewing practices.

In this issue

FREE Surf's Up Beach Towel

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After a stressful week in the laboratory get away for some fun using our cuddly soft 100% cotton towel.

  • Large 60” x 30” size for an easy wrap.

FREE with every order of $250 or more. Hurry - while supplies last!

Click here for details!

Please include the Gift Code WS0816 when placing an order via website, phone or fax.
When ordering on the website place this Gift Code in the "Notes/Instruction" field at check out (and not in the "Promo Code" box).


The IAFP Fellow Award awarded to Fred Weber

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Fred Weber received the prestigious IAFP Fellow Award at their Annual Meeting in St. Louis. It was presented on July 31st. The Fellows Award honors and recognizes IAFP members who have contributed to the Association and its Affiliates with distinction over an extended period of time. The Award consists of a marble plaque and recognition as a Fellow of the Association.

Fred Weber’s Bio.



What’s the Difference Between a 'Good Source Of' and an 'Excellent Source Of' on Food Labels?

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Nutrient claims found on food labels are not marketing gimmicks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the standards that must be met before the label can state that any food is an excellent or good source of nutrients. Other product claims that you often see, such as “low-fat,” also have strict definitions so you can use them to guide your food choices.

Read More.


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Visit us at IAFP
IAFP Annual Meeting 

July 31 - August 3, 2016 
Booth #827 
America's Center, St. Louis, MO




Request a FREE 2016-17 Product Catalog

2016-17 COVER-NLT.jpgOur 2016-17 specialized 265-page Buyer's Guide is dedicated to dairy, food and water testing. Inside, you'll find many exclusive and hard-to-find items, not to mention other great reasons to go with Weber:

  • Heavily discounted prices without any of the hassle
  • Free freight upgrades and expedited service at our expense--not yours
  • No-nonsense 100% Satisfaction Guarantee so you can order with complete confidence

Request your 2016-17 catalog today!



Melissa Foster

Customer Service Representative

Weber Scientific can special order, promptly and at a competitive price, just about any item, large or small, that you might need for your laboratory.
Simply call (800) 328-8378 or

email info@weberscientific.com

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