Monthly Archives: June 2010

What else can I say – $45,000 for an X-Ray

29 June 2010 1:25
by Alex

Marilyn Monroe Chest X-Ray Sold for $45,000

Someone must’ve really liked Marilyn Monroe – either that or chest X-ray – because they’ve shelled out $45,000 for it:

A 1954 x-ray of the stunning starlet’s chest sold at auction in Las Vegas on Sunday for a sizable $45,000. This was well above the estimated $800 to $1,200 it was expected to fetch.

The bizarre medical photograph was one of several of Monroe’s belongings that were up for bid at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino via Julien’s Auctions over the weekend.

“[The x-ray] was taken around the time she was believed to be pregnant, and rumor has it that she had a miscarriage,” President/CEO Darren Julien told the Daily News back in April.

Link (Photo: Julien’s Auctions)

Medicine auction Marilyn Monroe x-ray

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from DIGIVU Environmental

Ugandan Study Of The Effect of Drying on Nutritional Content of Vegetables

This study in the African Journal of Nutrition, Agriculture and Development (AJFAND), clearly shows, as would be expected, the loss in Vitamin A and C was the highest, while the crude protein content measured by a Kjeldahl method fell more than the minerals and fibre which one would not expect to be directly effected by drying.


from: AJFAND
(click image for full story online)

I would have liked to have seen a bit more on the heat sensitive components of the three Amaranthus varieties used as feed and some mass balances to compare the degree of drying with the nutrient changes.

It is also interesting to note that AJFAND is a free online journal and that is edited by Professor Ruth Oniang’o. A few of the other articles that caught my eye were.

  • Use of dried kapenta (Limnothrissa miodon and Stolothrissa tanganicae) and other products based on wholde fish for complementing maize-based diets.
    Anna Haug et al.



Consumers Design Chip/Crisp Flavour

I bought this interesting packet of potato chips (crisps to others) a few days ago as I was interested to see the face of a white housewife seemingly advertising chips on the supermarket shelf.


photo by Dave Harcourt
(Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License)


However it turns out to be something quite different which seems to me to be an interesting take on product design.

Simba have set up a competition allowing consumers to design their own flavours and submit these for consideration. The competition brought in 180 000 suggestions which were reduced to 20 and eventually the 4 winners now appearing online ready for your vote.

Simba What_s Your Lekker Flavour - Home.jpg

(click the image to open website)

There was also competition on the supplier side with flavour houses being challenged to come up with flaours for the new products.

The winner will receive R 200 000 and 1% of all sales of the product for its life. The public voting for their preferred flavour can win weekly prizes of R 500 and two prizes from the final draw of R 50 000.

What do I think about it? – a brilliant marketing and product definition exercise but unfortunately although the Look up and Run Chicken had a new and interesting flavour, any taste of snoek or achaar were missing from Brendan Johnston’s chip!

By the way Walkie Talkie in this case refers to chicken heads and feet! which are also called Look Up and Runs. So a nice South African feel to the competition!

It will be interesting to see how it develops from here. Let me know what you think of this and watch this blog or subscribe to the RSS feed to hear how this develops.


IUFOST Congress in Cape Town in Two Months

The next big international event of 2010 in South Africa is the IUFOST Congress starting in Cape Town on 22 August.

UNREAD WEEK (4 messages, 3 unread).jpg

(click the image to open website)

The list of topics taken from the website indicate the breadth of the Congress.

  • Food Safety, Food Safety Assurance schemes & Risk Analysis (incl. Crisis Management)
  • Food Contaminants, Toxicology & Mycotoxins (incl. best approach/methods/models, communication to public)
  • Food Analysis (incl. new approaches/methods, rapidity and applicability i.e. simplicity, cost-effectiveness & qualitative vs quantitative)
  • Food Chemistry (incl. protein, lipids/fats/oils, carbohydrates & fibers, less known products, composition profiles, new insights into structure/behaviour)
  • Food Ingredients and Additives (incl. bakery, dairy, beverage, meat and confectionery, functionality and Clean Label)
  • Functional Foods (incl. nutrition profiles & labelling)
  • Food Flavours
  • Food, Nutrition, Diet and Health (incl. Products for patients with HIV/AIDS, combating obesity and other diseases of lifestyle)
  • Physical and Sensory Sciences – Sensory Perception and Analysis
  • Product Development/New Products (incl. post depression realities & real value delivery)
  • Global and Regional Consumer Trends and Behaviours – Marketing to Consumers
  • Food Information & Consumer Education
  • Food Processing, New Technologies & Process Optimisation
  • Fruits & Vegetable Processing, Fruit Juices & New Technologies
  • Meat & Poultry Processing, New Species, New Processing Technologies
  • Seafood, Fish and Fish processing, New Species, New Processing Technologies
  • Food Packaging (incl. functionality vs sustainability vs risk, carbon footprint, new materials, special environments, new simplicity pressures, cost/benefit data, food waste reduction)
  • Waste Management & Environmental Sustainability – (incl. water in food processing, carbon footprints/food miles, water availability, cost, closing the loop, waste reduction and handling, by-products, water related illness, energy issues, wastewater treatment and disposal)
  • Cereals, Legumes & Oil Seeds (incl. baking science, processing, chemistry and analysis)
  • Food Security Issues – Food Products in Situations of Critical Food Security – the real risks and best actions
  • Food Regulations (incl. harmonisation and approval of new technologies, e.g. GM, nanotechnology, food cloning. Science base, enforcement, resources, management and support)
  • Fermentation and Biotechnology (incl. optimisation, new unique products, new processes)
  • Food Engineering (incl. physical properties of foods, process design, process simulation)
  • Genetically Modified Foods (incl. facts, opportunities/risks, slaying the myths)
  • Ethnic Foods
  • Agricultural Production and Food Supply – Reducing Post-harvest Losses (incl. putting science based research to work in practice, technology transfer, influence of Global Warming and sustainability of agricultural production)
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Science and Technology Education Development (incl. harmonisation, curriculum development, student recruiting)
  • Other
  • Nanotechnology

Food Enterprise Podcasts

The BBC, well known for the quality of its material, broadcasts the Food Programme on Radio 5 once a week. BBC describe it as “making sense of food, from the kitchen and canteen, to the farm and factory”.

BBC - Podcasts - Food Programme-1.jpg

(click the image to open website)

If you are not aware of podcasts, this is one type and is essentially a recording of the Radio 5 programme, which is “published to” services such as iTunes, Zoon, Google Reader and RSS feeds. By accessing it through these services the item is either downloaded to you device (iPod, Zoon) for offline listening or streamed through your internet connection.

Each programme addresses a particular food topic (eg small scale dairies, marmalade, puddings) and normally considers processing, marketing, sales, legislative and consumer issues, presenting a understandable but knowledgeable view of the subject.

Most podcasts store all their episodes on the service, but BBC for “copyright” reasons allows only the current episode to be online at a time. This means that you need to go to the website to listed to episodes you missed. These are played on BBC’s custom player and can not be directly downloaded, but must be streamed. It is however worth it as there are some facinating episodes in the 188 that are archived.

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Food Programme - Episodes from 2009.jpg

Although I’ve only listed to 10 or so some of the podcasts that I found useful were:


Do You Remember Food Chain? – Its Being Relaunched & Is Looking For Informed Authors!


Professor Peter Fellows has been appointed Editor for the relaunch of Food Chain by Practical Action, previously ITDG. The journal is described as an international journal of small-scale food processing and food supply management.


Agroprocessing - Practical Action.jpg

from: Practical Action
(click image for full story online)


The first issue which will be an evaluation of the status of small scale food process from a worldwide perspective. The copy date for articles for this issue will be July 1. Should you wist to write something have a look at the suggestions for topics below and contact me by email so we can have a look at your idea and see how we can assist.
If you aren’t able to write this time please keep Food Chain, which will be a 6 monthly peer reviewed journal, in mind. Please contact me with any ideas or suggestions you might have
  • What are the recent developments in small-scale food processing?

  • Where is small-scale food processing heading (national or regional trends)

  • Raw material supplies

  • How to ensure consistent quality and reliable deliveries of raw materials.

  • Processing equipment/technology transfer

  • The relative cost/benefits of investment in new equipment or employing additional staff.

  • Is it better to have equipment made by local engineers or to import it?

  • Research and development of low-cost or appropriate processing equipment.

  • Achievements and obstacles to the transfer of novel processing technologies to small-scale producers.

  • Packaging supplies

  • What can be done to improve the variety of available packaging and reduce the costs? Experiences of new packaging that have assisted marketing and improved the sales of foods from small-scale processors.

  • Research and development into low-cost packaging, recycling and re-use of packaging, and/or biodegradable packaging.

  • Development of low-cost packaging machinery.

  • Quality assurance/food legislation

  • Research and development of simple, low-cost analytical methods.

  • Needs of small-scale processors for further research into food analysis and quality assurance methods.

  • Experiences of the application of quality assurance systems, including HACCP and ISO 9000 or 22 000, in small-scale food processing.

  • The effect of supermarket growth on quality standards required from small-scale producers.

  • How can small-scale producers meet national and international quality standards, and comply with food regulations or buyer standards for food quality and food safety?

  • Environmental impacts

  • Methods or experiences of re-using of waste materials, research and development in waste disposal to reduce environmental impacts.

  • Research and development into reducing energy consumption in food processing, alternative low-energy equipment, experiences of reducing the total energy load of small-scale businesses.

  • Distribution, sales and marketing

  • Research or experiences of novel methods to reach customers using printed materials, radio or TV media, the Internet, exhibitions and trade fairs.

  • Is it better to sell locally or to export? – experiences of sales to multi-national companies, fair trade organisations, food relief operations, local wholesalers or supermarkets, and directly to local consumers.

  • The effect of supermarkets on suppressing or stimulating local small-scale food processing.

  • Research and development or experiences of novel food distribution methods that reduce energy consumption, maintain food quality or better meet customers’ needs.

  • Getting involved in global value chains – is there a role for small-scale producers and what are the risks and benefits?

  • Financial and business management

  • Development of simple methods for financial management or business planning, and experiences of applying the methods.

  • The future role of banks and other lending agencies in financing small-scale food enterprises.

  • Training/staff development

  • Developments in food processing training – new methods and novel training materials.

  • Experiences of retaining staff, improving staff welfare and benefits.

  • The role of workers in achieving a successful small enterprise.

Poor Postharvest Practices Waste 15 000 tons of Maize in Kenya

In a time when severe food shortages are threatening sub saharan Africa, this is a read desperate story.


IRIN Africa | KENYA_ Warning over disposal of toxic maize | East Africa | Kenya | Early Warning Food Security | News Item-1.jpg

from: IRIN News
(click image for full story online)


Some 300 000 bags of aflatoxin contaminated maize are expected to be bought from farmers in Kenya. This is necessary to protect consumers from the short and longer term toxic effects of aflatoxin.

The contamination of the maize was apparently a result of insufficient drying along with poor harvesting and storage practices.

A pity that food has to go to waste when the technology to minimise the risk is simple, cheap and available, so long as on the field drying is not made impossible by the weather.


Watch Your Tyres!

If you are a heavy duty truck driver here is one to look out for!


photo by Dave Harcourt
(Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License)


Yes it is real – seen on the Nelspruit/Pretoria road around Belfast, near a truck stop area.


Candy Bars – Worldwatch Lifecycle Study

This is a nice “lifecycle Study” from the Worldwatch Institute that provides a bit of history, some process and market information aswell as an environmentalist’s view on issues for chocolate bars (what the American’s call candy bars).



from: Worldwatch Institute
(click image for full story online)


Just 5 or 600 words long these articles give a nice nugget of interesting information on a variety of products.