SeaBOS Joins Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability to Encourage Traceability Uptake Effort

Cliff White wrote . . . . . . . . .

The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability, an international, business-to-business platform established to create and promote one unified framework for optimal traceability practices for the seafood industry, is teaming up with the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), the organizations announced at Seafood Expo North America on Sunday, 17 March.

The two pre-competitive initiatives are both dedicated to improving the sustainability of the seafood industry. SeaBOS was founded in 2016 with the objective of encouraging the world’s biggest seafood companies to engage in more collaborative, proactive corporate leadership in ocean stewardship. The Dialogue was created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) in 2015, after the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council recommended its creation to encourage the seafood industry to adopt full-chain and interoperable traceability systems and to smooth the pathway to widescale acceptance of those measures. Both organizations have as their primary motivators the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, an aspirational set of 17 goals for 2030 that include a range of objectives and issues, including environmental sustainability, social welfare, and more.

Today, SeaBOS and the Dialogue count seven of the world’s 10 largest seafood production companies – with combined sales of more than USD 35 billion (EUR 30.9 billion) annually – as participants and supporters. The Dialogue has 56 members total, representing a wider swathe of the global seafood industry. The two initiatives are seeking to develop a common set of specifications regarding what information should be catalogued in regard to seafood traceability initiatives, how it should be collected and used to create more efficient and consistent regulatory efforts for the seafood industry; how traceability can improve communication, efficiency, and sustainability across the supply chain; and how those efforts ultimately can be used to create a more equitable and planet-friendly global seafood supply chain.

“Global industry standards for seafood traceability are urgently needed to eliminate costly and unnecessary barriers between the dozens of incompatible, proprietary traceability systems that exist today, and to help guide governments towards the harmonization of standards affecting seafood trade,” the Dialogue said in a press release. “These unprecedented pre-competitive voluntary standards will equip the seafood sector for the 21st century’s globalized, information-based economy, and will help make digital seafood traceability a universal industry practice.”

Darian McBain, the global director for corporate affairs and sustainability for Bangkok, Thailand-based Thai Union – one of the largest seafood companies in the world – said her company backs both the SeaBOS and the GDST organizations and wants to see more widespread adoption of traceability of seafood products.

“As a leading member of both SeaBOS and GDST, Thai Union is committed to responsible seafood sourcing, and we are fully supportive of this initiative,” McBain said. “The widespread adoption of GDST traceability standards across seafood supply chains will benefit the industry globally.”

McBain discussed the new partnership during a panel focusing on SeaBOS on Sunday, 17 March at Seafood Expo North America, along with Wenche Gronbrekk of Cermaq, Jose Villalon of Nutreco, and Henrik Österblom of Stockholm University

McBain said the team-up was indicative of SeaBOS’ efforts to initiate positive change in the industry, and its willingness to step back and use tools already in existence, rather than create new ones.

David Schorr, the senior manager for transparent seas at WWF, spoke during the panel and thanked SeaBOS for joining the Global Dialogue in working toward greater traceability in the seafood industry.

“We have come together to try to lower the costs and improve the reliability of seafood traceability by establishing design standards by both identifying the types of data companies should be identifying and sharing, and figuring out how in technical IT terms how that data should be shared across platforms,” Schorr said. “We all know that seafood traceability is a high priority for many companies, but we also know that up until today, if you want to adopt a seafood traceability system, you sometimes have to choose the silo that you’re going to live in.”

Schorr said the Dialogue’s idea is to have industry-driven standards that are commercially applicable, which allow for seamless interoperability between all these systems.

“if you’re a producer – let’s say a small fishing company in The Philippines – and you’re selling to six or seven different end-users, they may all be asking you for different data in different formats,” Schorr said. “This has contributed to the creation of significant barriers to the adoption of seafood traceability.”

Schorr said several pilot projects are currently underway to test the standards the Dialogue has created.

“After two years of work, we have one more year to go to do it, but can now see this is really going to deliver,” he said. “With the power of SeaBOS and the power of the Global Dialogue, we have a chance to make these voluntary industry standards change the way seafood traceability is done.”

Skretting CEO Therese Log Bergjord said the effort was a necessary one, given how consumers and aquaculture companies are paying more attention to the origin of feed. Skretting is owned by Nutreco, which is a SeaBOS member.

“The globalized seafood industry needs globalized information,” Bergjord said. “We are finally getting close to the pre-competitive framework we need to share information rapidly, reliably, and securely across the planet.”

Adriano Cesar Marcon, the president and group leader of Cargill Aqua Nutrition – also a SeaBOS member – agreed.

“Transparency of the value chain is increasingly important in food and especially aquaculture,” Cesar Marcon said. “We have to be closer to our customers to support them in their markets, and this collaboration with GDST will enable us to align our approach.”

Source: Seafood Source

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Pan-fried Lobster and Scallop Ravioli

Ingredients

Pasta Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup free-range egg whites
3 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt

Filling

8 large scallops (white meat only)
1 lb cooked lobster
olive oil
salt
black pepper

Sauce

2 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of marjoram
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 dry sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), chopped
2 cups lobster stock
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
salt
black pepper

Garnish

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
marjoram leaves

Method

  1. First make the pasta dough. Put the flour in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and knead to make an elastic, but not sticky, dough. Leave the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, then roll it out on the ‘o’ setting on a pasta machine.
  2. Chop the scallops into 1/8-inch dice. Break up the lobster, cutting the tail into quarters for the garnish. Extract all the rest of the lobster meat and cut into 1/4-inch dice, then mix with the diced scallops and season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.
  3. The shape of the ravioli is up to you, but the simplest method is to cut the pasta dough into 24 rounds about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
  4. Divide the scallop and lobster filling among 12 of the rounds. Brush the borders with water to moisten, then top with the remaining rounds and press down well around the edges to seal.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the ravioli, and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Remove the ravioli and plunge them into iced water to stop the cooking, then carefully drain and dry on a cloth and lightly drizzle them with olive oil. Keep the ravioli refrigerated until needed.
  7. For the sauce, put the shallots, garlic, and marjoram in a pan with the white wine and boil until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and lobster stock, then bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve, then pour it back into the pan, season, and finish with the cold butter to thicken and shine. Keep The sauce warm while you finish the ravioli.
  9. Pan-fry the ravioli in a hot nonstick pan until golden on both sides and hot inside. Serve in warm bowls with the piping hot sauce and garnish with diced tomatoes and lobster claws and a few marjoram leaves.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen

Hong Kong Startup Develops Cultured Fish Maw

Reconstituted Dried Fish Maw

Catherine Lamb wrote . . . . . . . . .

Last week we wrote a think piece about how cultured meat — that is, meat grown outside the animal in a lab setting — will likely debut in Asia. Part of the reasoning behind this is because of all the innovative cellular agriculture startups popping up in the area, targeting local cultural demands and restrictions.

One of said innovative startups is Avant Meats, a new cell-based meat company operating out of Hong Kong. Avant Meats isn’t developing cultured burgers, sausages, steaks, or tuna — but fish maw.

Many Westerners (the author included) have never come across fish maw, or dried swim bladder. Upon first glance it might seem like an odd choice. But there are a few very good reasons why Avant Meats is starting with this particular food item:

First and foremost, it’s easy(er) to make. Unlike a cut of meat like steak, which requires muscle cells, fat cells, and connective tissue, fish maw is made up of only one cell type. That simplicity allows Avant Meats to grow a fish maw from scratch in as little as one and a half months. “The route to scaling up is much simpler,” Avant Meats CEO and co-founder Carrie Chan told me over the phone.

The choice of fish maw was also a strategic nod to Avant Meats’ target demographic: consumers in China and Hong Kong. “Our food culture is very different from the West,” said Chan. Dried fish swim bladder is considered a delicacy in traditional Chinese cuisine, prized for its texture and purported health benefits.

There’s also an environmental aspect at play. Fish maw is in such high demand in China that the two main fish species that are hunted for it — Bahaba and Totoba — are on the brink of extinction. There are even black markets dedicated to the bladders, which can fetch up to HK$1 million ($~127,000) per kilogram. “It’s similar to shark fin,” explained Chan.

Finally, there’s a health and safety consideration. China struggles with food traceability issues. In fact, last year a study from Food Control found that more than half of the fish fillets sold under commercial brands were mislabeled. By growing food in a lab — especially products as rare and coveted as fish maw — consumers can know exactly what they’re getting and where it came from.

As noted in the intro, Avant Meats isn’t the only cell-based meat company targeting Asia as their launch pad. JUST, who is aiming to be the first to bring cultured meat to market, announced recently that the product will likely debut in Asia. In Singapore, Shiok Meats is developing cell-based crustaceans. Part of the reason so many cultured meat companies are looking to Asia is because it has relatively looser regulatory standards, especially in Hong Kong.

Chan was hesitant to speak too much about the regulatory framework in Hong Kong, where Avant Meats is headquartered, but did admit that it’s an ideal place to launch a new food product. “It has a very robust market and lots of disposable income,” she told me.

Though they have a very developed strategy, Avant Meats is a very new startup — even in a field that’s quite new itself. Chan started the company in July of last year, and was recently joined by Dr. Mario Chin, her co-founder and the company’s CSO (and only other employee).

Considering their late start and lean team, Avant Meats likely won’t be part of the first wave of companies selling clean meat. Chan said that they expect to have a commercial product out in three to four years, though they’ll be doing taste tests of their fish maw in Q3 or Q4 of this year. But she believes their strategy to start with a simple, unique product will help them stand out. “We’re starting behind the other guys, so we better find something that’s commercially more pragmatic,” she explained.

Fish maw is just the first stepping stone for the company. Down the road, Avant Meats will expand their lineup, developing more complex seafood products. Chan told me that next they’ll look into making sea cucumber. Their end goal is to make an entire fish filet, likely using some scaffolding to help emulate the texture.

Chan didn’t specify what type of fish they would be tackling. There are a couple cellular aquaculture companies further along in the development process. Finless Foods is developing cell-based bluefin tuna, and Wild Type is growing salmon.

However, both these companies are based in the U.S. Avant Meats’ Hong Kong HQ and strategic product choice could help them stand out in a field that’s getting more exciting — and more crowded — by the day.

Source: The Spoon

Want to Stay Trim? Don’t Eat in the Evening, Study Finds

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . . . .

Maybe you rush around with work and activities during the day, then settle in for a large, relaxing meal in the evening. But new research says the later in the day you eat, the more weight you’re likely to pack on.

That’s the takeaway from a week-long study involving 31 overweight and obese patients, mostly women.

“We evaluated meal and sleep timing in patients with overweight/obesity at the beginning of a weight loss trial, before participants started the intervention,” said lead author Dr. Adnin Zaman, an endocrinology fellow at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Her team found that “eating later into the day was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) and greater body fat.” BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

For the study, participants were enrolled in a weight-loss trial comparing daily calorie limits to time-restricted feeding. In other words, once the trial launched, they could only eat during certain hours of the day.

Ninety percent of the participants were women. Their average age was 36.

A week before the study, they were outfitted with electronic devices to monitor their activity and sleep. They also were asked to snap cellphone photos of everything they ate. The photos were time-stamped using an app called MealLogger.

Zaman and colleagues did not define which hours would amount to “late-day eating” and did not track calories or nutritional values.

The team did note that participants who ate later in the day also went to bed later, though all averaged seven hours of sleep a night.

The participants’ food consumption spanned 11 hours a day, with the last nosh typically clocked around 8 p.m. Those who ate later tended to have a higher BMI and body fat, the study found.

Though most participants were women, Zaman said the findings may “also apply to men.”

But, she added, the study was purely observational and more research is needed to understand why late-day eating might lead to obesity.

Her team is already exploring whether eating earlier in the day, when people tend to be more active, might help prevent obesity.

“Future studies are also needed where these methods are applied to people with normal BMIs, and compared to a population with overweight/obesity,” Zaman said.

Lona Sandon is program director with the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She got a sneak peek of the findings and was not surprised.

Sandon has her own theories about why late-day eating might lead to weight gain.

“When you eat more of your food calories earlier in the day, they may be more likely used for energy and less likely stored as fat due to different levels of hormones,” she said. You may also feel more satisfied with fewer calories.

“Eating later in the day, more so at night, seems to be linked to storing more body fat due to hormone differences at this time of day,” Sandon added.

Her advice: Eat breakfast and enjoy a hearty lunch.

“If you are skipping breakfast, having a light lunch and finding yourself eating late into the night because you have barely eaten all day, simply cutting back at night is not going to work,” Sandon said. “Making the lunch meal the largest meal of the day, with at least a little something for breakfast, has worked for some of my clients to be able to cut back at night or be satisfied with a light dinner.”

The findings are slated for presentation on Saturday at a meeting of the Endocrine Society, in New Orleans. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: HealthDay

Less Invasive Fibroid Treatment May Work as Well as Surgery

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . . . . .

A minimally invasive procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) was as effective as the recommended surgery for treating fibroids in the uterus, a new study says.

In UFE, the fibroid growths’ blood supply is cut off using a small tube. The new research found that this approach also led to fewer complications compared to myomectomy, a surgery that removes individual fibroids from the uterus.

“The two treatments were comparably effective [and] UFE resulted in more favorable outcomes,” said study author Dr. Jemianne Bautista-Jia, said at a news conference. She is a radiology resident with Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

Bautista-Jia said that there was less pain and shorter recovery times for women who had UFE, as well as fewer blood transfusions. She added that women who had UFE reported greater improvement in heavy bleeding.

But she said, “patients are often not fully informed of their treatment options,” and she hopes her study will raise awareness of the procedure.

Uterine fibroids are muscular tumors that develop in the wall of the uterus, according to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health (OWH). They’re usually not cancerous and often don’t cause any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include heavy bleeding, frequent urination and pain during sex. Fibroids have also rarely been linked to infertility.

If a woman is having troubling fibroid symptoms and doesn’t plan to become pregnant in the future, a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) can cure fibroids, the OWH noted.

Women who don’t want to have a hysterectomy have several other treatment options, including UFE. UFE involves threading a thin tube into the blood vessel that supplies blood to the fibroid. Small plastic or gel particles are injected into the blood vessel to block it, which causes the fibroid to shrink, the OWH said.

Myomectomy is currently the procedure recommended for women who may want to have future children.

The study looked at data from 950 women, half of whom had UFE and the other half had myomectomy to treat fibroids. The women were followed for an average of seven years after their procedures.

The procedures appeared to be similarly effective at treating fibroids, the researchers found.

Women who had a myomectomy had higher rates of postsurgery complications, such as the need for a blood transfusion (2.9 percent for myomectomy group verse 1.1 for UFE group).

Bautista-Jia noted that UFE is therefore less costly than myomectomy overall.

Dr. Navid Mootabar, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., reviewed the study’s findings.

“Uterine artery embolization is an excellent alternative to surgical treatment that is possibly underutilized. This study reinforces what we’ve known for a while. The lower rate of complications is well-established,” he said.

Mootabar added, however, that UFE isn’t for every woman. “With embolization, you are leaving fibroids and the uterus behind. There are a small percentage of fibroids that could be cancerous. We have to ensure they’re not cancerous before recommending uterine artery embolization,” he explained.

So, a woman who has a rapidly growing fibroid may not be a good candidate, because there may be a higher risk of cancer. Mootabar also said he follows up with his UFE patients to be sure the procedure was effective.

He recommended that women bring up UFE when they’re having a discussion with their doctor about their treatment options.

Bautista-Jia presented the findings Monday at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual meeting, in Austin, Texas. Findings presented at meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: HealthDay


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