5 Reasons Why You Should Be Testing Your Tap Water

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Testing Your Tap Water

 

As a homeowner, whether you have municipally supplied water or a private well, it’s a highly recommended best practice to get your water tested. Doing so will help ensure that the water you’re using in your home is safe. Maybe you’re still wondering, “why should I test my water?” Here are 5 reasons why you should be testing the water in your home that will show you why it’s well worth your time.

1. You might think your water is fine but that may not be the case. Most pollutants have no obvious smell, taste or colour. They can be harmful and can only be found through laboratory testing.

2. Due to primary plumbing materials, lead and copper are commonly found in drinking water. Having exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems as serious as brain damage.

3. The statistics alone are a valid reason to get your water tested. 65% of Indians don’t have access to safe drinking water.

4. Getting your water tested frequently is also a good idea since you can keep the information for future reference. Any changes in the colour, odour or taste of your water can also be a good time to get it tested again and compare the results

5. A simple, yet important reason is to keep your mind at ease. It’s good to know that the water you’re using to drink, bathe, and wash with is pure, and that you and your family are safe from contaminates.

After getting your water tested, you may be interested in installing a water filtration system. A whole home water filtration system will help keep your water pure and contaminant free. The type of water filter you buy for your home depends on the test results of your water test.

Need water tested at your home or business? Call us for a free consultation.

Food Safety Vs Food Quality

Food Safety Vs Food Quality

 

The Difference between Food Safety and Food Quality Explained

Many people think Food Safety and Food Quality is the same thing. Although closely related, there is a difference between Food Safety and Food Quality requirements in a food-handling environment. The one keeps consumers safe and the other keep consumers happy. This sounds very simple, but there is a lot more to it.

It is important to understand these differences and be able to identify each in the workplace.

Definition of Food Safety

Food Safety refers to practices and conditions that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses during preparation, handling and storage. The correct Food Safety practices give assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use.

Examples of Food Safety procedures and policies:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Personal presentation and preparation
  • Pest control
  • Waste management
  • Cleaning and sanitising
  • Temperature control and measurement
  • Food Safety hazard identification

These are only a few examples of Food Safety procedures that should be in place in a food-handling environment. Food Safety procedures vary from company to company and industry to industry. It is important to know what your company’s Food Safety procedures and policies are.

Definition of Food Quality

Food Quality refers to the features and characteristics of a food product that is:

  • acceptable to consumers and meet their expectations;
  • value for money;
  • conforms to the required specifications, and
  • profitable to the company.

Examples of Food Quality Attributes:

  • External factors such as appearance (size, colour, shape and consistency).
  • Texture
  • Flavour (odour and taste)
  • Correct labelling with the ingredients, nutritional information and supplier/manufacturer details listed.
  • Products must be properly packaged and sealed.
  • Ingredient standards are maintained.
  • Food quality also deals with product traceability, should a recall of the food product be required.

Conclusion

Food Safety and Food Quality, two of the most important aspects of any food-handling environment. It is important to know the difference and have a proper Food Safety and Food Quality management system in place. It will keep your customers healthy and happy, and you out of trouble.

Fogiene Sciences are experts in Food Safety and Food Quality. Contact us for a free consultation

Is the milk you are having safe?

Is the milk you are having safe?

 

Is the milk you are having safe? Here’s what you need to know

Before you plan to gorge on mithai this festival season, consider a shocking fact. Two out of every three Indians drink milk adulterated with detergent, caustic soda, urea and paint. That’s what Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan had told the Lok Sabha in 2016. He was quoting a nationwide survey conducted by FSSAI, India’s food regulator. Recently, an Animal Welfare Board report revealed that 68.7 per cent of the milk production in the country, along with milk by-products, was found to be laced with polluted ingredients.

Why is so much milk adulterated?

Increased demand for milk products during the festival season leads to rampant adulteration. Since milk and milk products constitute such a huge market, adulteration is an easy way to make money for many people. It cuts production costs and boosts profit margins. Last month, the crime branch of the Pune police seized 4,852 kg of adulterated khoya, a dairy product used for making a variety of sweets, from a bus. While adulteration peaks during the festival season, the huge milk economy of India ensures that adulteration is an easy money-making opportunity round the year.

How is milk adulterated?

Though water remains the most common milk adulterant, increasingly detergent, caustic soda, glucose, white paint and refined oil are being used to adulterate milk. Water thins the milk but other adulterants make it appear thick. Adulterants like salt, detergents and glucose add to the thickness and viscosity of the diluted milk while starch prevents its curdling. So non-water adulterants make it difficult for a consumer to suspect that the milk is difficult for a consumer to suspect that the milk is diluted or adulterated.

Dangers of adulterated milk

Adulterated milk can impair the functioning of various organs of the body, causing heart problems, cancer, and in extreme cases, even death. According to a recent advisory issued by the World Health Organisation, if adulteration isn’t put to a stop, a large chunk of India’s population would be suffering from serious and fatal diseases like cancer by the end of 2025.

What to do?

It’s doesn’t take much to find out if your milk is adulterated. A few quick and easy tests can tell you if your milk is laced with any adulterant. There are also adulteration test kits available in the market today. Although a little pricey, these kits are helpful to use. These days premium and organic milk is also available. Many start-ups have appeared in big cities which provide such milk at nearly double the price of ordinary milk.

Fogiene Sciences ensures Dairy Food Security. Call us now for a free consultation.

10 Quick and Easy Food Quality Tests

10 Quick and Easy Food Quality Tests

 

There are many ways to check the quality of the food products we eat every day. However, most of them require the assistance of professionals or special equipment.

Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

Pay attention to the white stripes and thick layer of fat on chicken breasts. It means farmers injected growth hormones into the poultry, and the chickens gained weight way too fast. Such meat is not good for your health.
The colour is also a very important thing to pay attention to: if it’s yellowish, it’s not fresh. Raw chicken breasts should be pink and should not be too soft.

Cottage cheese

 

 

 

 

 

A drop of iodine will help you check if your cottage cheese contains starch. If it does, the stain will become deep blue, and if it doesn’t the colour will stay yellow or brown.
Leave some cottage cheese at room temperature. If it contains vegetable fats, it’ll go yellow. After this test, fresh cottage cheese may taste sour but won’t change colour.

Honey

 

 

 

 

 

Pour some honey onto a surface. Fake honey drips and immediately spreads on the surface. High-quality honey is quite thick, and it trickles in a thin stream.
If you taste caramel flavour, it means your honey has already been heated up. If you can taste excessive sweetness, it means this honey contains white sugar.

Sour cream

 

 

 

 

 

To check if sour cream contains vegetable fats, stir a spoonful of sour cream into a glass of hot water. A product of poor quality will produce white flakes. Real sour cream will become a homogeneous thick liquid.

Frozen veggies, berries, and fruits

 

 

 

 

Check if a package of frozen product has snow or pieces of ice in it. If it does, it hasn’t been stored properly. Choose products that have frost on them.

Fish

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh fish shouldn’t have cloudy eyes, and healthy gills are always a bright red colour. Its skin should have a naturally metallic glow, and scales must be tightly attached to the body.

Meat

 

 

 

 

When choosing meat, press it with your finger. Fresh meat should be resilient enough to make your fingerprint disappear.
Cut a big piece in half: if the meat is dark but has white contours, it means its shelf life was extended with additives. Pat it dry with a paper towel – fresh meat shouldn’t leave too much moisture and blood on the towel.

Herbs

 

 

 

 

Hold a bunch of dill, for example. If the leaves hang over the sides, it’s already wilted. Plus, if the colour is too dark and the stems are too long, it means it contains nitrates. Fresh herbs are always a natural green colour.

Cheese

 

 

 

You can easily spot cheese that contains vegetable fats. It’ll crumble when you cut it (not applicable to hard types of cheese like cheddar), and it’ll dry out and develop cracks when left without a package.
Leave some cheese at room temperature. A high-quality product will just become softer, but if it dries out and moisture appears on it, better let it go.

Ice cream

 

 

 

 

Leave your favorite ice cream at room temperature. If it contains vegetable fats, it’ll stay frozen for longer and eventually melt into a liquid.
Ice cream with good-quality ingredients will melt into a thick white creamy substance.

Calorie vs. Carb Counting: Pros and Cons

Calorie vs. Carb Counting: Pros and Cons

 

What are calorie counting and carb counting?

When you’re trying to lose weight, calorie counting and carbohydrate counting are two approaches you can take.

Calorie counting involves applying the principle of “calories in, calories out.” To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat.

Carbohydrate counting is an eating method that involves counting the number of carbohydrates you take in for your meals and snacks. Carbohydrates, such as starchy, sugary, and refined foods, can be common sources of fat and empty calories in a person’s diet. By emphasizing healthier, lower-carbohydrate choices, a person will ideally eat in a way that promotes weight loss.

Like calorie counting, the approach you take to carbohydrate counting depends on your daily carbohydrate goal. One example could be to get about 45 percent of your calorie intake each day from carbohydrates. If you eat 1,800 calories per day, this would be about 810 calories from carbohydrates or 202.5 grams per day. You would then portion these out by your daily meals and snacks.

A general example could be 45 grams of carbohydrates per three meals a day and 30 grams of carbohydrates per two snacks a day.

Each weight loss method has its own pros and cons, and one may appeal to you more than the other given your overall eating patterns. It’s possible to incorporate considerations from each approach for weight loss.

Reading food labels using both approaches

Reading food labels is an important part of either diet approach. When you are using a calorie counting approach, you are reading the calories per serving. The “per serving” portion is an important consideration. The food you are considering eating may contain more than one serving. You would need to take this into account.

Carbohydrates are also listed on a food label. Three listings are for carbohydrates:

  • Total carbohydrates means the total number of carbohydrates present in the food.
  • Dietary fibre is the amount of the food that contains dietary fibre and therefore isn’t digested. Fibre can add bulk to your stool and make you feel fuller, longer. Healthier foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, tend to be higher in fiber.
  • Sugars are monosaccharides and disaccharides (the smallest and simplest types of carbohydrates) that are found naturally or added to foods and beverages. While some foods like fruits naturally have sugars, others have sugars added to them. Because excess sugar can mean extra calories, a spike in blood sugar, and “empty” calories that don’t help you feel full, you usually want to avoid these foods.

Pros of calorie counting:

  • You can easily read a nutritional label and get a number to count toward your daily intake.
  • A low-calorie diet can benefit health conditions associated with obesity like high blood pressure and heart disease.

Cons of calorie counting:

  • Calorie counting doesn’t take into account your nutritional needs, only your intake of calories.
  • Cutting calories to an unhealthy level (usually less than 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day) can be a harmful way to lose weight.

Medical conditions for each approach

Doctors don’t usually recommend a low-calorie diet for any one particular medical condition. However, a low-calorie diet can benefit most health conditions associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

Carbohydrate counting is an approach those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes commonly use to maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day. Those with diabetes may need to take insulin so their bodies can use carbohydrates for energy. By using a carbohydrate counting approach, they are better able to predict how much insulin will be needed.

Pros of carbohydrate counting:

  • This approach can be beneficial for those who must watch their carbohydrate intake, like people with diabetes.
  • You can easily read a nutritional label and get a number to count toward your daily intake.

Cons of carbohydrate counting:

  • Not all foods contain carbohydrates. For example, a porterhouse steak doesn’t have carbohydrates, but is very high in fat and calories.
  • Watching carbohydrates alone doesn’t guarantee a healthy diet.

Takeaways for each approach

The decision to eat healthier is a positive one, whether that approach is via calorie or carbohydrate counting. Keep these thoughts in mind for each approach:

  • If you choose low-calorie, don’t let your calories go too low in an attempt to lose weight faster. This will make you feel weak. Additionally, your body has protective mechanisms that may actually keep you from losing weight if you eat too little.
  • If you choose carbohydrate counting, you’ll still need to establish an average daily calorie count and percentage of calories from carbohydrates.
  • Nutritionally “healthier” foods are the best choices in both approaches: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins are usually your best options.

Your nutritional needs may increase based on your height, weight, and daily exercise. Talk to a doctor or dietitian to first establish a healthy calorie and carbohydrate intake for your health.

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