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Elsewhere in Ag Innovations

Blueberry Bones

A blueberry compound may help form strong, healthy bones. Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center researchers in Little Rock found that polyphenols, which give blueberries their blue, purple and red color, could aid bone development.

Laboratory rats fed rations with 10 percent freeze-dried blueberry powder had significantly more bone mass than those fed blueberry-free rations. The work paves the way for research to determine if blueberries could boost bone-mass development in humans and possibly help prevent osteoporosis.


June 21, 2011

Packed in plants

Canadian packaging developer Pakit and PepsiCo are working together to make molded packaging from plant materials. Recyclable and biodegradable food packaging, such as trays and clamshells, will be made from plant cellulose fibers.


August 1, 2011

Sugar plastic from Brazil

A large-scale bioplastics plant is being built in Brazil by Dow Chemical Company and Mitsui & Company of Japan. The companies’ $200 million joint venture will produce biopolymers from sugarcane-derived ethanol.

From: Kyodo News International, Inc

July 20, 2011

Dandy diapers

Soymeal-based absorbents could make diapers more eco-friendly. Diapers use hydrogels, or superabsorbent polymers (SAPs), that absorb hundreds of times their weight in liquid. Scientists at Battelle, an independent research organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, have converted soybean meal into SAPs. They could replace all or part of the acrylic-based absorbents in diapers.


July 27, 2011

Ethanol sunrise?

Desert plants used to make tequila could produce a next-generation biofuel. The agave plant, which grows in marginal or desert lands, produces a sugary nectar that is used in cooking and tequila distillation. It could also be used to produce ethanol in areas with little arable land, according to Oxford University researchers.


July 28, 2011

Broccoli takes aim

Broccoli apparently has cancer cells squarely in its crosshairs. Oregon State University scientists have discovered that chemicals in certain vegetables selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy and unaffected.

The tissue of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, contain high levels of glucosinates, which are metabolized by the body into chemicals found to be powerful anti-cancer agents.


June 15, 2011

Flipping their lid

Food giant Nestle is making the first-ever polyethylene milk jug caps derived entirely from sugar cane. Two dairy brands that the company markets in Brazil will use the bio-tops. Nestle teamed up with packaging company Tetra Pak to roll out the caps in August.


August 1, 2011

Onion power

Waste from industrially-processed onions could potentially be used as food ingredients. Autonomous University researchers in Madrid, Spain found the brown skin, top and bottom of an onion are rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants.


July 18, 2011

Corn, soy battle hunger

Instant Corn Soy Blend, a nutritious, shelf-stable meal supplement, has been for developed for emergency food aid by USDA-ARS scientists. The blend is cooked, extruded and milled into a powder, then reconstituted with potable water into porridge. It contains vitamins and minerals that young children, in particular, need to stay healthy.


August 4, 2011

More energy with less

Biodiesel’s energy balance may be better than first believed. Newly-published research from the University of Idaho and USDA shows that for every unit of fossil energy needed to produce biodiesel, the return is 5.54 units of renewable energy. Made primarily from U.S. soybean oil, biodiesel only showed a 3.2 to 1 energy balance in 1998, which increased to 4.56 to 1 in 2009. The research credits increases in processing efficiency, energy-saving farming practices and soybean yields for

the improvement.


July 28, 2011