Scientists Will Investigate Microbes in Fermented Fruits and Vegetables
It’s not always easy to find silver linings during the COVID-19 pandemic, but here’s one that food scientists at the University of California, Davis, have discovered: More people are exploring the ancient art of fermented foods.
“My mom made her first batch of sauerkraut this summer,” said Maria Marco, a microbiologist and food science professor with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “With so many of us sheltering-in-place, fermented foods are more popular than ever.”
Distinguished food science and technology alumna Margaret Lawson (’77, M.S.’79) recently made an estate commitment to her alma mater that will make a profound difference in the development of future food scientists at UC Davis.
Not Properly Stored, It’s a Source of Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes
Raw or unpasteurized cows’ milk from U.S. retail stores can hold a huge amount of antimicrobial-resistant genes if left at room temperature, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis. The study also found bacteria that harbored antimicrobial-resistant genes can transfer them to other bacteria, potentially spreading resistance if consumed.
A team of scientists affiliated with the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute and entomology professor Bruce Hammock are among the recipients of the 2020 Chancellor’s Innovation Awards, which recognize faculty, project teams and community partners for their work, dedication and success in improving the lives of others and addressing the needs of society.
Food Scientist Says Standards Needed to Protect Consumers and Industry
Consumer demand is rising for all things avocado, including oil made from the fruit. Avocado oil is a great source of vitamins, minerals and the type of fats associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. But according to new research from food science experts at the University of California, Davis, the vast majority of avocado oil sold in the U.S. is of poor quality, mislabeled or adulterated with other oils.
There are good and bad fats, nutritionists say. But not all polyunsaturated fats, the so-called good fats, are created equal. CA&ES food chemist Ameer Taha is exploring whether eating too much linoleic acid—a type of polyunsaturated fat found mainly in vegetable oils and processed foods—can cause chronic inflammation, migraine headaches and other health problems.
Do you know why it’s called iceberg lettuce? In 1926, Bruce Church—University of California graduate, farmer and founder of Fresh Express—developed a way to get his head lettuce from Salinas to the East Coast by loading the freshly-harvested crop in train cars and covering it with ice. As the lettuce-laden cars rolled into stations, folks would call out, “The icebergs are coming, the icebergs are coming.”