USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has released a collection of briefs outlining recent research, including advancements in food safety and testing for TSE diseases similar to BSE. Following are some highlights.

  • ARS scientists have filed a patent on technology that can protect pasteurized liquid eggs from food safety threats. The technology, called "crossflow microfiltration membrane separation" is more effective than thermal pasteurization at removing pathogens from liquid egg products. The process works best when used as an accompaniment to pasteurization, rather than as a replacement, and combining the two processes significantly reduces the pathogen load.
  • Dietary curcumin could stall the spread of fat tissue by inhibiting new blood vessel growth, called angiogenesis, which is necessary to build the new tissue, according to a new ARS study. Curcumin is a bioactive component in curry and turmeric that has been consumed daily in Asian countries for centuries.
  • A new ARS-funded study suggests that reducing the acid load that accompanies the typical high protein diet may be important to maintaining bone health and muscle mass in older adults.
  • ARS scientists have developed the first way to test tissue samples that have been preserved in formalin for the presence of abnormal prions that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow disease."

The full briefs and links to further information are available on the ARS Web site.