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Heavenly Octopops

In # 9: Molecular Gastronomy by MaeLeave a Comment

Go to a restaurant – look at the menu – and then eat it. Well, that’s just boring. Molecular Gastronomy is an innovative way of cooking that combines culinary arts with science. As food is prepared and combined – in what’s called a “colloidal system”; ingredients go through physical and chemical changes. Chefs utilizing Molecular Gastronomy, use their artistic and technical abilities to influence the food’s transformations. These techniques turn boring, traditional cuisine into a modern sensory experience. Growing up watching Masterchef, the competitive cooking reality show, I was introduced to all these well-known and successful chefs in the industry. One chef in particular caught my attention. He was Heston Blumenthal, a man who uses lots of science and technology to make his food such as chocolate water, bacon and egg ice cream, and dipping chicken liver parfait into mandarin jelly to make it look like an orange – meat fruit. I was so amazed at his ways and means of taking traditional cooking to the next level that made me want to know more; more of such gastronomic wizards. …

MaeHeavenly Octopops
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Pathogen-free Meat and Poultry ?

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by MaeLeave a Comment

The public often expects the government to ensure zero risk of meat-borne disease through inspection. For food to be entirely safe from the microbiological viewpoint, it would need to be free from all pathogenic organisms. It is widely recognised, however, that this is not a realistic goal for raw meat and poultry. There is still no economically viable means of eliminating foodborne pathogens in poultry-meat production, without the use of ionising radiation, which is presently unacceptable to many consumers. Therefore, some level of product contamination must be tolerated. Through the implementation of the HACCP system, companies can reduce microbiological hazards– it is the best approach currently available to ensure safe foods because it focuses on preventing contamination rather than detecting contamination once it has occurred. Besides, companies should maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness and, where appropriate, wear suitable protective clothing, head covering, and footwear.  Cuts and wounds should be covered by suitable waterproof dressings too, could stop bacteria from spreading. On the other hand, the disturbing but real fact that consumers fail to make a connection between their …

MaePathogen-free Meat and Poultry ?
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Never-ending Supply of Coffee – Well, Hopefully.

In # 6: Sustainability by Mae1 Comment

Recently, there was a spike in the awareness of the influence businesses can have on the environment. Businesses of various size and backgrounds have begun implementing environmental sustainability strategies. These corporations have proposed all sorts of recycling programs and aspire to reduce their carbon emissions as a way to reduce the harmful effects of their business processes. Despite that, these aren’t the only ways organizations can make a difference. Some are taking a big-picture approach by scrutinizing each and every step of their product lifecycle and utilizing green supply chain management practices throughout the board. Over the last 15 years, Starbucks and Conservation International have worked together to build a more sustainable coffee industry. Throughout the course of this work together, Starbucks has invested over $70 million to promote sound environmental coffee production practices that support growers, their communities and healthy coffee landscapes around the world. The C.A.F.E. Practices program which was established in 2004, is designed to drive the adoption of social, environmental and economic best practices among coffee growers and processors – there are specific regulations to comply with. In terms of social …

MaeNever-ending Supply of Coffee – Well, Hopefully.
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Associating Antibiotic Exposure in Early Life and Higher Food Allergy Risk

In # 4: Food allergens in the news by MaeLeave a Comment

Children often undergo antibiotic treatments to prevent fatal diseases within the first year of life. These treatments have their shortcomings; introduction of such treatments have been linked to the growth in risk of food allergies according to a recent research by the University of South Carolina. The study was published in the Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology Journal.  The team at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy retrieved statistics from South Carolina Medicaid in the year of 2007 to 2009, which indicated that 1,504 children had food allergy of at least one kind while there were also 5,995 other children who were healthy. The only variable separating these children were by the month and year they were born in, their gender and as well as their race and ethnicity. The researchers also revealed that a sum of 9,324 antibiotics were prescribed. Children under antibiotic prescription were 1.21 times more likely to have food allergy when associated with those who had received none. It was shocking to me when the team pulled out figures like children are 1.31 times more likely …

MaeAssociating Antibiotic Exposure in Early Life and Higher Food Allergy Risk
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Spicy Malaysians

In # 1: You are what you eat by Mae1 Comment

Hey Chipmunk Girl! Yes, that’s right. Growing up, my friends would call me the “Chipmunk Girl”. Some of you might be wondering why so? Was it the chubby cheeks? Or was I a big fan of seeds and nuts?  If that’s what you’re thinking I’m afraid you’re wrong. Well, has anyone realized that they sound like a chipmunk when your sinuses get budged up whenever you have a cold? I’m from Malaysia, a land with bipolar weather. One minute it might be scorching hot and the other it might be raining cats and dogs. The heat and humidity makes it easy to fall sick. I could recall that very day I came home from school completely drenched by the rain. As expected, the cold came after. That night, we were having Malay cuisine since my mother was craving for some beef rendang. I was served beef rendang with some steamed basmati rice while the rest of my family members had an extra side of sambal belacan. Sambal belacan is a traditional Malay sauce made from dried chilies and fermented prawn …

MaeSpicy Malaysians