Agricultural and Forestry Science

Abertay researchers in clover to unearth destructive bug

Scots scientists are playing a key role in a major new research effort which could save Britain’s farmers millions of pounds a year through reductions in fertiliser and pesticide use.

Biotechnology experts at the University of Abertay Dundee, in partnership with two organisations in England, have been awarded £471,000 by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) for a three-year study into the relationship between white clover and a tiny insect.

White clove

Largemouth Bass Virus Infecting Fish In 17 States

Officials of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources went fishing last August to collect samples. They caught largemouth bass at four lakes and two fish hatcheries, but shared no smiles. The bass in all six locations, says a University of Illinois scientist, were infected with a virus they were seeking but didn’t expect to find. The virus — now confirmed in 17 states — is called the largemouth bass virus (LMBV) because only this species is dying from it. That no fish kills

Preservation of fresh-cut vegetables; a producer’s and consumer’s sake

In recent years, new food packaging concepts have been developed to respond on consumption trends towards mildly preserved, fresh convenient food products. Fresh-cut vegetables are an example of fresh-like, healthy convenience foods, developed in the ‘80s in the UK. Their market is yearly increasing with 25% in West Europe.

Packaging fresh-cut vegetables under an Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere (EMA) is one of the new applied food packaging technologies offering a prolonged shelf-life of re

Green tomatoes’ future foretold

Fruit’s hidden colour reveals whether it will ripen.

Some green tomatoes have a rosy future; others do not. A sensor that picks up subtle differences in the light the fruits reflect could sort future salads from greens.

Many tomatoes are picked green and bathed in ripening gas ethylene. Fruit picked too early will never ripen. Discerning consumers avoid them and growers lose out.

A scanner that analyses the wavelengths green tomatoes bounce back can predict th

Greenhouse Gas Ban Could Push Up Food Prices

Food quality will fall, food costs will rise and stored food will be damaged. Historical relics may be lost to insect attack, rodent and insect infestations on public transport will swell, and fungal contamination of stored food will increase. According to a recent meeting of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Pest Management Group, these may be the consequences of a worldwide phasing out of the crop protectant methyl bromide (MB).

The SCI Pest Management Group invited acclaimed speaker

Functional Foods: Development and Marketing

These days our supermarket shelves are filled with more and more so-called “functional foods” foods with special health-promoting properties. These products often represent a “high-tech” product line, in the twilight zone between food and medicine. Agricultural researcher Cecilia Mark-Herbert from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, has now studied the market for these products. Her doctoral dissertation shows that developing these foods requires not only new products, but also new

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