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In this issue of Chef's Stirrings:
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The Editors, Chef Magazine
3M Food Safety announces the global launch of the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate, an indicator test that enables the detection of yeasts and molds in as little as 48 hours, faster than conventional agar methods. Expanding the 3M Petrifilm Plate technology that has become a worldwide standard for more than 25 years due to its reliability and simplicity, this new plate also offers food processors a simplified solution for inoculation along with an easy, consistent way to interpret and enumerate colonies.
Conventional agar testing methods for yeast and molds require a five to seven day incubation period, the longest waiting time of all microbial quality indicators. By incorporating a new innovative technology, the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate greatly reduces this delay, improving time-to-result, productivity gains, finished goods inventory and product shelf life.
“Yeast and mold indicator testing is extremely important for determining product freshness and quality, but the current testing process is so long that it can hold up a product’s release for several days,” said Mojdeh Poul, vice president and general manager, 3M Food Safety. “With the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate, we are changing all of that.”
The sample-ready system uses an easy three-step process: Inoculation, Incubation and Enumeration. With the reduced incubation time of as little as 48 hours along with the flexibility of incubation at 25° C or 28° C, food processors can benefit from an innovative solution that enables clearer, easier and faster than ever colony enumeration. The 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate results in blue-colored yeast and mold colonies and contains technological enhancements that prevent colonies from spreading or overlapping, providing superior interpretation.
“Being able to clearly enumerate the colonies when there are large, overlapping molds was another important customer need we kept hearing about,” said Eric Amann, global marketing manager at 3M Food Safety. “Our researchers were able to significantly improve this attribute in addition to providing faster time-to-result with the plate.”
The technology has been rigorously tested to perform well on both low and high water activity foods, and will be especially useful for processors of grain, fruit and dairy products where yeast and mold control is particularly important. In addition to foods, the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate can also be used for air, swab or surface contact environmental testing. Food processors can obtain a quantitative assessment of both yeast and molds together, or as a separate count by visually differentiating between the two forms of fungi.
For more information, please visit 3M.com/foodsafety/RapidYeastAndMold.
The National Restaurant Association is now accepting applications for the prestigious Kitchen Innovations Awards for 2014. Now celebrating its 10 year anniversary, the awards program recognizes and celebrates cutting-edge equipment and technology that specifically improve the back of the house and benefit foodservice operators. The most progressive, ground-breaking submissions will be featured in the popular Kitchen Innovations Pavilion at NRA Show 2014, to be held May 17-20 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
“We are seeking new kitchen equipment and technology innovations that deliver the most significant benefits to operators," said Dan Bendall, Principal, FoodStrategy, Inc. and Kitchen Innovations Awards judge. "Our panel of judges believes continuous innovation is the life-blood of our industry growth and profitability. It’s our mission to evaluate the latest innovations and select those which are major advances in kitchen efficiency, quality, safety, conservation, integration with front of the house, and of course improving the work environment."
Award recipients will have the exclusive benefit of exhibiting in the interactive, centrally located Kitchen Innovations Pavilion on the exhibit floor. Throughout the four-day event, there are countless opportunities to interact with dealers, distributors, chain, multi-unit and independent operators, corporate decision-makers, press and bloggers during one-on-one, interactive demonstrations.
All applications are judged by an independent panel of industry who’s who, including Dan Bendall (Principal, FoodStrategy, Inc.), Martin Cowley (Senior Manager Design and Standards, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), William Eaton (Chairman of the Board, Cini-Little International), Robert Forrester (Principal, Restaurant Industry Solutions), Foster F. Frable Jr. (Founding Partner, Clevenger Frable LaVallee), Jim Krueger, Jr. (Chief, Air Force F&B Research and Business Development), Aaron LaMotte (Director, Sodexo Performance Interiors), Robert Marshall (Vice President, U.S. Operations, McDonald's Corporation), and Kathleen H. Seelye (Managing Partner, Ricca Newmark Design).
The deadline to apply for the 2014 Kitchen Innovations Awards is December 6, 2013. To be considered, all equipment and technology innovations must be introduced within the 24 months prior to NRA Show 2014. Award recipients will be announced in February.
Visit Restaurant.org/Show/KI for more details on the KI program and to see a list of previous award recipients, or contact Eric Rude at 312-853-2525 or erude@restaurant.org.
Chilean Fruit Exporters Assesses Frost Impact 
Chile’s fresh fruit industry is currently assessing the impact of an unusual succession of frosts that has occurred in Chile, as well as other Southern Hemisphere countries since mid-September. Growers and technicians are urgently undertaking preliminary evaluations to assess the complete impact of the adverse climatic affects.
While occasional frosts are not uncommon, such a prolonged period of frost during such a concentrated time period is unprecedented in recent memory. Many fruit plantations, especially the early varieties, were in different early phonological stages, including the development of buds, flowers and new stems. It is expected that another 10-12 days of analysis will be required in order to arrive at an accurate assessment of the damage and reliable forecasts.
Chile’s fresh fruit growers and exporters are committed to providing the international fruit community with a clear and accurate perspective on the way the current fresh fruit season will progress. At this point, it is premature to offer an assessment of potential losses incurred by the industry, but it appears that the most affected crops are kiwifruit, plums, peaches, nectarines, almonds, nuts and cherries.
The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) has presented to the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Commission of the Senate a series of proposals for immediate actions to address this issue. The document proposes a series of concrete actions designed to alleviate the impact on the growing sector as much as possible.
As always, the industry is committed to protecting the interests of our growers and exporters, and to ensuring that Chile’s loyal customers around the world continue to receive the highest quality fresh fruit in the volumes they require.
SCS Global Services (SCS), a pioneer and industry leader in third-party auditing and certification of food quality and food safety claims, announced expanded laboratory capabilities and competitive pricing under its new testing arm, SCS Global Testing Services. The announcement was made at the 2013 Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Convention, taking place October 18-20 in New Orleans.
SCS has provided a wide range of testing and certification services for the food industry for three decades. With the launch of SCS Global Testing Services, SCS can offer even faster, more comprehensive laboratory services, all at competitive prices.
"Our seasoned professionals and chemists are well positioned to assist our customers based on decades of complex food testing experience, expert interpretation of results, and the design of custom research projects," said Dr. Stanley Rhodes, SCS president.
SCS Global Testing Services' full suite of food and agricultural product testing services help growers, packers, shippers, distributors and retailers achieve their product and process analytical and certification objectives. Lab testing and analytical services include:
  • Pesticide Residues 
  • Industrial Contaminants 
  • Microbiological Contaminants 
  • Nutrients and Antioxidants 
  • Facility/Environmental 
  • GMO 
  • Gluten Free 
  • Food Quality / Sensory Evaluations 
  • Additional Quality Related Services
"Analytical services are integral to our broad range of top-tier food safety and quality certifications," said Dr. Heidi Wright, SCS Manager of Food and Agriculture Testing Services. "With SCS Global Testing Services, our clients will now enjoy quicker turn-around times, lower pricing, and better service overall."
Among the certification programs that can take advantage of testing are:
  • Organic 
  • Pesticide Residue Free 
  • Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) compliance 
  • FDA Detention Clearance 
  • Nutrition Labeling 
  • FSMA Conformant 
  • Food Safety
Kaivac Receives Patent for OmniFlex Crossover Cleaning System
The OmniFlex system, which was introduced over two years ago and was one of the 2012 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients presented by the National Restaurant Association, allows users to customize a complete, cost-effective cleaning system to meet a variety of needs for virtually any task or surface in the building.
The foundation for the system is a trolley bucket that automatically dispenses fresh cleaning solution directly to floors as it is used. From here, other components can be added, turning the system into an AutoVac machine for floor care and a dispense-and-vac, spray-and-squeegee, or spray-and-vac system to clean several types of surfaces.
“The OmniFlex system is a very unique product and we knew that from the moment we developed it,” says Tom Morrison, vice president of marketing for Kaivac.
“Apparently the US Patent Office apparently agrees. We now look forward to developing new ways the system can be used to address even more end-customer [cleaning] needs.”
As might be expected by being a recipient of the National Restaurant Association’s Innovation Award, the OmniFlex system has found a niche in the foodservice and food service industries.
“A number of other industries and facility types are also starting to appreciate the features and benefits of this cleaning system,” concludes Morrison.
Visit Kaivac on Facebook HERE.
Chef Michel Richard Creates Garden Café Français 
Inspired by Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris, award-winning Chef Michel Richard is transforming the menu of the Gallery's Garden Café with classic French dishes. Chef Richard is chef and owner of Central Michel Richard in Washington, DC. The exhibition is on view in the West Building through January 5, 2014.
The new Garden Café Français menu, available October 21, is presented in partnership with Restaurant Associates and Executive Chef Pierre Cummings at the National Gallery of Art.
Chef Richard’s buffet incorporates a variety of traditional French dishes featuring hearty seasonal ingredients, including rustic baguette; a salad with Lola Rosa greens, toasted almonds, garlic croutons, and champagne vinaigrette; tomato quiche; duck confit with red beet potato puree; bouillabaisse; carrot ribbon salad; and rich chocolate mousse for dessert. Recipe cards for selected dishes are offered to guests free of charge. White, red, and sparkling wines from French vineyards, as well as beer from France, complement the menu. Non-alcoholic beverage offerings include juice, soda, bottled water, coffee, espresso, and tea.
For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, visit nga.gov/dining.