David J. McClements, food science, says recent studies show that “the bioavailability of certain nutraceuticals can be increased by consuming them with other foods.” The story says excipient foods show promise in increasing the bioavailability of functional nutrients. (Nutraingredients.com, 1/14/15)
News from the Media
In response to high demand for year-round local produce, University of New Hampshire researchers, in collaboration with UMass-Amherst Extension collegues, Amanda Brown and Ruth Hazzard, report they have successfully grown bulbing onions planted in fall for a spring harvest with the aid of inexpensive low tunnels.
The new research, funded by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES) and Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), may provide additional marketing opportunities for growers in cold climates. Some of these growers have been trying to meet the demands for fresh, year-round, locally grown produce. (Foster's Daily Democrat 1/13/15, HortTechnology 12/14)
Eric Decker, food science, comments in a story about how many foods contain fewer health nutrients than in the past. He says, for instance, that salmon is still one of the best sources of omega-3, but not as much as it contained a decade ago. He says the way to overcome this is to eat more salmon. (Shape magazine, 1/8/15)
It’s a new year – what issues are going to have an impact on your business in 2015? Clements remarked, " The top issue facing apple growers this year is the unknown challenges and the pitfalls of marketing a large apple crop. Consider the recent Seattle dockworkers strike, which has slowed exports in a year of a record-breaking apple crop in Washington state. The global economy has expanded the apple business dramatically, but volatility in that market and/or infrastructure issues could make a big impact on U.S orchardists. And of course China — is it possible we could get out of the apple growing business and let China supply all our apples? It has happened in the electronics industry." (Growing Produce 01/06/15)
Steven Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, comments in a story about efforts to prevent agroterrorism. Goodwin says public land-grant universities play an important role in insuring food security. He also says efforts to develop urban agricultural activities have begun to complement the wider efforts to promote food production. (University Business January 2015)
WORCESTER —Rolling out new versions of an existing product, a business strategy known as line extension, can be lucrative but also tricky, said Eric A. Decker, professor and head of the food science department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Seasonal seltzer flavors at Polar Beverages, a family-owned Worcester maker of bottled sodas and drinks, knows the power of adding special flavors in summer and winter. The company produces seltzer year-round in 18 core flavors, but twice a year it digs into food blogs, social media and its own executives' informal tastings to come up with limited-release seltzers. (12/16/14 Worcester Telegram)
In the last 40 years, Arctic temperatures have risen at over double the pace as for the whole planet. As a result, numerous species of whales, walruses, fish, bears and seals are beginning to migrate into new habitats. In these new habitats, they encounter similar species that have not co-existed for thousands of years and interbreeding occurs, reports Nautilus.
Hybrids that mate with each other form a hybrid swarm. So, the original species disappear. Basically you've swapped out the genome that has been fine-tuned by evolution for thousands of generations," said Andrew Whiteley, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (12/13/14 Design & Trend)
Patricia J. Vittum, Stockbridge School of Agriculture and interim director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, has been named the recipient of the 2015 United States Golf Association Green Section Award recognizing her distinguished service to the game of golf. Turfnet.com 12/9/14, USGA 12/8/14
The UMass Amherst Design Center in Court Square has had its lease cancelled by the City of Springfield to make way for new development. The Center is directed by MIchael DiPasquale, extension assistant professor in the University's Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. Channel 22/WWLP December 2, 2014.
Carolyn DeMoranville has been leading a team of scientists and researchers at the UMass Cranberry Station for the last 30 years. The goal here is to improve on anything and everything related to cranberry production.
“Anything that would be involved in producing the crop, from nutrient management to water management to pest management,” DeMoranville said.
DeMoranville cites the unique relationship between local growers and the scientists who work at the Station. (11/24/14 WCAI)