For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. Despite the numerous pesticides that have been developed to combat pests and pathogens, they somehow adapt and become immune. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.
Aspergillus fungi are a group of molds that can wreak havoc in a variety of environments, including agriculture. Interested in finding ways to prevent Aspergillus from reproducing in clinical settings, scientists at the University of Bath conducted a study on Aspergillus nidulans, a food mold that closely mimics an Aspergillus species that is problematic to immunocompromised individuals. The researchers determined that the mechanisms through which Aspergillus nidulans reproduces—G-protein coupled receptors—require specific conditions to allow reproduction and toxin production: food and lighting. In essence, without sugar and darkness, the G-protein coupled receptors of Aspergillus nidulans refuse to reproduce sexually.
Aspergillus fungi reproduce sexually by producing spores and exchanging them with each other, creating hearty, genetically diverse offspring that have a much better chance of acclimating to new environments and evolving to resist antifungal efforts. Aspergillus fungi can also produce asexually, but asexually produced spores are not as successful at adapting to antifungal methods.
The study’s scientists believe their findings will have positive implications for improving crop development and agricultural antifungal compounds as well as clinical research.
The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.
A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).
British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.
In the food industry, botulinum toxin is associated with a severe form of food poisoning caused by improperly preserved food. Researchers have developed a technology that addresses the role of botulinum toxin in both food and cosmetic applications.
The column addresses the evolving understanding of COVID-19, risky food consumption behaviors, preventive measures, pursuit of potential treatment, and foodborne viruses.
Researchers at Alabama A&M, IIT, UGA, and other colleges and universities are modifying their research and teaching methods to conform to the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A round-up of equipment and instrumentation to address food safety and quality issues.
Public investment in support of basic and applied research is falling short. IFT has identified research gaps and called for a paradigm shift to drive innovation and value creation, feed the talent pipeline, and maintain global competitiveness.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a new report warns that further outbreaks will emerge unless governments take active measures to prevent other zoonotic diseases from crossing into the human population and sets out recommendations to prevent future pandemics.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the publication of the manuscript “Allergen Removal and Transfer with Wiping and Cleaning Methods Used in Retail and Food Service Establishments.”
The FDA, along with the CDC and state and local partners, continue to investigate a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections potentially linked to Aldi, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco grocery store brand “garden salads” containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots.
Eighty-five million U.S. consumers managing food allergies spend more than $19 billion annually on specialty food products to avoid allergic reactions or other health consequences—paying 5% more per month than the average consumer—according to new research released from FARE.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced improvements to the functionality and appearance of two types of export certificates issued for human food products exported from the United States.