“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"
Hippocrates,the father of medicine
Live to Eat....
.... Eat to Live

Food: One of the basic physiological needs, as outlined according to Maslow's theory of needs, that have to be satisfied before higher needs like social needs and esteem can be recognised.

Today, food has taken on a new image. People no longer consume foods to fufil their basic physiological needs...

Welcome to the world of Food Fads! Yes, fads that not only happen on the catwalk platform of fashion capitals like Milan, Paris and New York but on the plate and shelves around us today!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine flu in humans in the USA and Mexico

An advisory from Singapore's AVA

USA and Mexico had reported cases of flu in humans caused by a new Swine Influenza A/H1N1 virus that contains a reassortment of gene segments from different strains of avian, porcine (pig) and human flu viruses. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus characterised in this outbreak has not been previously recognised in the USA or elsewhere. The World Health Organization (WHO) also states that the virus has not been previously detected in pigs or humans.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) would like to assure the public that it is closely monitoring this developing situation, which started in the USA and Mexico, and is taking the necessary measures to safeguard the public health in Singapore.

Swine flu in pigs
In pigs, swine flu is a respiratory disease and the infection usually affects only the respiratory tract. The disease is commonly found in major pig-producing countries. However, most of the swine influenza virus strains are usually not transmissible to humans. The lungs are the major target organs in an infected animal. Swine flu virus particles are not found outside the respiratory tract and associated lymph nodes.

Virus spread by human-to-human contact
Previously, there had been reports of swine flu in humans which were spread in the following two ways:
•Through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine flu viruses.
•Through contact with a person with swine flu i.e. human-to-human spread

 In the current situation in the US, CDC has determined that the virus was spread through the human-to-human mode. The human cases in the US did not have contact with pigs and the US authorities have also not reported infection in pigs caused by the same viral strain.

No danger of contracting flu virus from imported pork
According to the US CDC and WHO, swine flu viruses are not spread by food. Humans cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe. Cooking will render the pork safer, as cooking would kill any flu viruses.

Singapore does not import pork from Mexico, as Mexico is not an approved country for exporting pork and pork products to Singapore. Singapore has imported 2,700 tons of frozen pork and other pork products from the USA since the beginning of 2009. There is no import of chilled pork from the USA. During the same period, Singapore only imported processed pork products from the affected US states of California, Texas and Kansas. Properly heat processed products do not pose a risk of swine flu virus. US pork constitutes about 10% of total imported pork and pork products to Singapore. There is also no import of pig lungs into Singapore from any country in the last three years.

Even though there is no danger of contracting swine flu from pork, AVA will test incoming pork imports from the US as well as other sources for flu virus as a precautionary measure.

Imported pigs
Singapore does not import pigs from the USA. Singapore only imports pigs from one AVA-accredited farm located on Pulau Bulan, Indonesia. There is no introduction of pigs from external sources into the farm and it maintains a high level of biosecurity, including strict access of people into the farm and implementing rigorous hygiene and sanitation practices. Pigs in the farm are also regularly vaccinated against swine influenza. AVA inspects the farm regularly to ensure that it implements its biosecurity measures and closely monitors the on-farm disease situation as well as the health of the pigs imported from the farm into Singapore.

The imported pigs are slaughtered in the single pig abattoir in Singapore. The abattoir is regulated by AVA, with inspectors checking on the health of the animals throughout its process, from pre-slaughter to cutting. Although pigs from the farm present a low risk of transmitting swine influenza to humans, AVA has also taken further precautionary measures by requiring abattoir workers and AVA staff, who have contact with pigs to don protective attire, such as face shield and protective clothes. As a standard operating procedure, all lungs are removed for destruction and do not enter the food supply.

AVA will also step up surveillance testing of the pigs from Pulau Bulan to ensure that they are not infected with the virus found in the current outbreaks.

Monitoring of situation
AVA is monitoring the Swine Influenza situation closely and will take all necessary measures, if there is clear evidence of involvement of pigs or pork in the transmission. AVA is already in contact with its counterparts in the US, and will also work closely with MOH and other authorities on this aspect.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Going Bananas?

In this interesting Japanese commercial, Dole Bananas just leaves you going bananas!

It just does not matter if you do not understand Japanese!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What are functional foods?

Ever wondered what functional foods are?

In this short video, registered dietitian Keri Glassman explains to Maggie Rodriguez how to get unusual nutritional supplements like Omega-3s and plant sterols in common foods such as cereal and juice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chinese firm recalls tainted luncheon meat

SHANGHAI, April 23, 2009 (AFP) - A major Chinese meat processor has recalled 100 boxes of luncheon meat containing a banned chemical, Chinese media reported Thursday.

China Yurun Food Group destroyed the products, made of unspecified minced meat from a Chinese slaughterhouse, the National Business Daily said, citing the provincial quality watchdog and an unnamed Yurun official.

An official with Yurun's public relations agency declined to comment when contacted by AFP, saying only that the Hong Kong-listed company would be issuing a statement.

The meat was contaminated with clenbuterol, a drug often given to people to treat asthma, but also commonly used to cut body fat.

Farmers in China have been known to feed pigs clenbuterol to reduce their fat, but it is banned as a food additive because it can be fatal to humans. State media reported in March that police in China arrested nine people for selling pigs that were fed the chemical, after at least 70 people fell ill.

One of the worst cases involving clenbuterol occurred in Shanghai in 2006 when 336 people were hospitalised after eating pig meat or organs contaminated with the drug, state media reports have said.

The reputation of China's poorly regulated and corruption-plagued food industry has taken repeated hits in recent years, with people dying from eating tainted products at home and contaminated exports being found overseas.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nutrient Specific Diet Related Health Claims to be allowed in Singapore for qualifed food products

Following the completion of a review by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), nutrient specific diet-related health claims will be allowed for qualified food products with immediate effect. The review was done in consultation with the Health Promotion Board (HPB), and the outcome is aligned with the guidelines of major developed countries.

Local food manufacturers and importers may now apply for the use of the following nutrient specific diet-related health claims on their products:

(i) A healthy diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, with regular exercise, helps to achieve strong bones and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. (Name of food) is a good source of/high in/enriched in/fortified with calcium.

(ii) A healthy diet low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. (Name of food) is sodium free/ low in/ very low/ reduced in sodium.

(iii) A healthy diet low in saturated fat and trans fat, may reduce the risk of heart disease. (Name of food) is free of/ low in saturated fats, trans fats.

(iv) A healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables that contain dietary fibre may reduce the risk of heart disease. (Name of food) is low/free of fat and high in dietary fibre.

(v) A healthy diet rich in fibre-containing foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancers. (Name of food) is free/ low in fat and high in dietary fibre.

Only food products that have been approved by HPB to carry the Healthier Choice Symbol may be considered for the use of the above health claims in their food labels.

The use of the approved health claims will help consumers make informed decisions when selecting food products with health benefits.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice is developed based on the Five Colour Principle described in TCM. The five colours (red, green, white, yellow and black) are said to affect the five important organs in the human constituent (heart, liver, lung, spleen and kidney). Therefore, eating food from various colours will provide one with a balanced diet and ample nutrients for one's needs. The Rainbow Rice developed uses multi-grains and is more tasty and fragrant than plain brown rice. It is rich in protein and dietary fibre but low in sodium, making it an ideal healthy food product for the health conscious individual of all ages. Rainbow rice is 100% natural, vegetarian and has no added preservatives. This product has won the Grand Award at the Singapore Food Manufacturer Association's Food Concept Competition in 2007 and has since been endorsed by HPB as a healthier food choice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Recall of tea leaves products from Myanmar

From: AVA

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has detected the presence of Auramine O in 20 types of tea leaves imported from Myanmar.

Auramine O is a yellow dye used as an industrial colouring agent for coloring
silk, cotton, paper and leather. It is not permitted to be used in food. All implicated products have been recalled and will be destroyed. All consignments of tea leaves from Myanmar will be subject to hold and test and will only be released for sale if test results show that they are free from Auramine O.

Details of the recalled products are as follows :
S/NO Product Description
1 Ah Yee Taung Pickled Tea Leaves
2 Ah Yee Taung Pickled Tea Leaves (Normal)
3 Ah Yee Taung Pickled Tea Leaves (Red)
4 Ah Yee Taung Pickled Tea Leaves (Sour & Spicy)
5 M&N Pickled Tea Leaves (Extra Spicy)
6 M&N Pickled Tea Leaves (Spicy)
7 M&N Than Lwin Fwn Food Products Lon May Pickled Tea Leaves
8 M&N Than Lwin Fwn Food Products Pickled Tea Leaves
9 Shwe Toak Pickled Tea Leaves with Mixed Nut
10 Soe Win Gold Label Tea Leaves, 70 g (Best before date Jul-09)
11 U Ka Kar Green Tea Leaves
12 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves (Blue) - "Girl"
13 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves (Red) - "Boy"
14 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves (White) - "Girl"
15 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves with Mixed Peas
16 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves
17 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves (Sour & Spicy)
18 Yuzana Pickled Tea Leaves with Peas
19 Yuzana Plantation Pickled Tea Leaves
20 Zayan Pickled Tea Leaves (Hot & Spicy)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Severe outbreak in Singapore

Woman dead after eating at Geylang Serai food stall
By Mustafa Shafawi, 938Live | Posted: 06 April 2009 1224 hrs

Preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency indicate that rojak from the stall was behind the food poisoning cases. The stall remains closed.

SINGAPORE : A woman died in hospital Monday morning after becoming ill from a meal consumed at a food stall in a Geylang Serai market.

57-year-old Madam Aminah Samijo died after suffering from severe food poisoning after having eaten at the Rojak Geylang Serai stall last Friday.

She later went into a coma, making her the worst hit among the more than 100 people who also sought treatment after eating at the stall.

The Health Ministry confirmed that Madam Aminah died at 6.50am at the Changi General Hospital on Monday.

Her body has been moved to the Singapore General Hospital for autopsy.

- 938Live/sf

1 woman died, more than 100 ill after eating Indian rojak from famous stall
Mon Apr 06 2009
Over 100 patrons of the Indian rojak stall went to hospital.

Singapore, April 6, 2009 - One woman has died after falling into a coma. She is among the more than 100 people who ate Indian rojak from a famous stall in Geylang Serai suffered food poisoning and went to hospital.

Woman in coma dies
Canteen assistant Aminah Samijo, 57, fell unconscious at home on Friday night. Earlier in the afternoon, she and her husband, Mr Ali had patronised the rojak stall. The couple vomitted and had diarrhoea that night night but Aminah's condition was worse - she fainted at 11pm.

Her family called an ambulance which sent here to Changi Hospital. While Mr Ali's condition was stabilised, his wife developed a fever on Saturday. Her condition got worsened and she died this morning at around 6.30am at Changi hospital.

Her body was moved to Singapore General Hospital for autopsy. Food poisoning could cause organ failure and death and eldely patients are more prone to that.

Madam Aminah had kidney problems and low blood pressure before the incident.

The rojak stall, operated by a father and son team, had been shut following the food poisoning incident which also saw one woman collapsing into a coma. Known as Rojak Geylang Serai, the stall had received recognition by famous food guide Makansutra.

Those who fell sick sought treatment at the six major hospitals in Singapore and had told the doctors they had eaten rojak from the Geylang Serai stall.

On Saturday by 5pm, 75 of the victims had sought treatment at Changi Hospital. Seventeen of them were warded.

Tan Tock Seng, KK and NUH hospitals received 10, seven and nine patients respectively. Seven at Tan Tock Seng had to be awarded while five had to remain at KK Hospital.

Singapore General and Alexandra hospitals had one patient each.

It is believed there were many more who had eaten rojak bought from the same stall.

The incident to be the worst mass food poisoning case to hit Singapore since 2007. That year, more than 150 got sick after eating Prima Deli products.

Lorry driver, 4 children warded

Another victim, lorry driver Mr Abdul, 44, and his family also ate at the same stall though at different times. He and his wife and four children also fell sick. All of them accompanied him to Changi hospital but as the children became ill, three of them were sent to KK Hospital because of their young age while one was admitted to Changi hospital.

Mr Abdul's wife, Rohanna, who still suffered the effects of food poisoning, had no choice but to shuttle between the two hospitals to see that her children and husband were all right.

Mr Abdul had patronised the rojak stall with a friend during lunch time on Friday. His wife took their kids to the stall later that afternoon. It was their favourite Indian rojak stall.

On Saturday the rojak stall had already prepared food for sale but had to dispose of them when NEA and Health ministry officers came to inspect the stall. Both authorities are investigating. The stallholder and a worker were told to go for screening at the Communicable Disease Centre.

One stallholder said NEA officers also inspected every stall.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two Ply Noodles

The unique and novel idea of SP noodle is the creation of the 2-ply or multi-ply noodle incorporating different flavour, aroma, texture and visual attraction to the consumer.

SP noodles are created for the joyous celebration of the Singapore Polytechnic 50th anniversary. Three types of SP noodles having the combination of Spinach / Paprika, Sesame / Pandan and Soy / Pumpkin were developed.

The SP noodles were created and perfected by our Food option final year students at the School of Chemical and Life Sciences.

The students assisted in the testing of different natural and extracts of vegetables. The concentration and delivery systems of the extracts were optimised based on the types and processes involved. Textural profile and colour stability tests were evaluated with the texture analyser and colourmeter respectively.

The ingredients used in the SP noodles come only from natural and extracts of vegetable origin. Spices are natural from selected sources and all other ingredients are permitted food additives. No artificial preservative and flavouring are used.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Yuki Senzai - Organic Dishwashing Liquid

This item is described as being an environmentally-friendly 100% organic dishwashing liquid containing wheat and rice protein that is derived from a by-product of the noodle production process. To use, the liquid is applied directly to a soft sponge and wiped over the dishes before being rinsed off with warm water. The artificial surfactant-free detergent produces no lather, and is also ideal for washing delicate china. It must be stored in the refrigerator and used within 1 month after opening the container.
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SG Food Fads focuses on current food trends and interesting food products available on the market. While reimbursements received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog, the owner of this blog provide straightforward and honest opinions on products, services, websites and various other topics. Such content may not always be identified.