Archived Posts

News Flash: April 23, 2015


Asian grain mills stick with containers despite higher cost

According to traders, the use of containers to ship grains and oilseeds to Southeast Asia may decrease this year due to decreased bulk freight rates, while smaller mills will continue to use containers. About a decade ago, Asian millers began to use shipping containers to import grain versus traditional bulk cargo vessels. About 20-percent of Southeast Asia’s oilseed shipments were shipped in containers in 2014, according to grain traders, while 10-15 percent in 2013. Reuters


Scientists harvest polluted algal blooms for biofuel production

A team of Scientists at Western Michigan University, led by chemist John Miller, are giving nutrient scrubbers to farmers to stem runoff in order to stop the formation of harmful algal blooms. The scrubber screens are used to trap growing algae that can then be used for biofuel production. The team is using 3D printers to design the screens which encourage algae growth in lab studies. Field implementation may also be possible in the near future. Science Line


The Goods: Canola oil is a heart-healthy oil

The chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida, Judith Rodriguez, discusses myths and tips about canola oil and its presence in a healthy diet. Canola oil is an important heart-healthy oil to include in the diet in appropriate proportions in collaboration with total caloric intake and needs.  Rodriguez outlines myths and facts throughout the article including harmful fats, strong flavor, bans in Europe, cooking with canola and GMOs. Florida Times-Union


U.S. Forced to Import Corn as Shoppers Demand Organic

A surge in imports from other nations is apparent due to the growing demand for organics and U.S. farmer’s dependence on genetically modified corn and soybeans. The nation’s crops outside of the U.S. are largely free of bioengineering. The U.S. trade data analysis, released on Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association and Pennsylvania State University, gives examples of thriving imports including corn from Romania and soybeans from India. The data shows a potential market for U.S. growers willing to avoid the use of artificial chemicals and genetically modified seeds, said Laura Batcha, chief executive officer of the association, which includes Whole Foods Market Inc., Whitewave Foods Co. and Earthbound Farm LLC. Yahoo News 


Palm oil to power Malaysia’s biochemical push

Malaysia is on its way to becoming a pioneer in the production of high value oleo derivatives including specialty chemical, olefins, saturated methylester and methyl ester sulfonate from palm oil. Bio-based technology that could be used in the production of plastic and nylon products would be developed through the Integrated Bio-refinery Complex, located in Lahad Datu, Sabah, at the Palm Oil Industry Cluster. According to Minister Datuk Dr. Ewon Ebin, the project has been approved by the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme Steering Committee.  “A total of RM2 billion will be invested for the project… and in terms of technology we are the first and leading country in the biorefinery,” he said at the BioBorneo 2015 opening ceremony by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Husin. The Rakyat Post


Ukroliyaprom seeks state support to stimulate soybean, rapeseed processing

The Director General of the Ukroliyaprom association, Stephan Kapshuk, says that Ukrainian vegetable oil refining companies have the possibility of refining the majority of the Ukrainian oilseed harvest. The most promising crops for refining companies are soybeans and rapeseeds, even with the majority of their harvest being exported from Ukraine, says Kapshuk. According to the association, last year the oilseed harvest was around 16 million tonnes: 10.1 million tonnes of sunflower, 3.8 million tonnes of soybeans and 2 million tonnes of rapeseeds. In early 2015, the refining capacities totaled 15 million tonnes a year. Interfax-Ukraine

Animal study shows why long-time consumption of soy foods reduces breast cancer recurrence

Women diagnosed with breast cancer are often told to stay away from foods containing soy or soy-based supplements because they may interfere with anti-estrogen treatment. New research, which will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2015 Annual Meeting may eventually impact that advice, due to a history of animals eating soy foods leading to improvements in immune response against breast tumors, reducing cancer recurrence. This study was conducted at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. “I am concerned that some patients may start taking soy supplements when they shouldn’t and that others will stop eating soy foods when they could really benefit from them,” says the study’s lead investigator, Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi. Science Daily