Benefits of Good Indoor Air Quality
Even if you enjoy the outdoors, we spend most of our time indoors. You need a cool, comfortable place to take your rest and for that, you need clean air. Here, we’ll discuss the five most important benefits of having good indoor air quality..
1. Breathe Easier
Breathing well is something we tend to take for granted- until we get into trouble. The more contaminated the air we breathe is, the more quickly we succumb to illnesses and allergies. Even a subtle amount of indoor pollutants can raise our stress levels, and inhibit good health.
2. Sleep Better
Of course, cleaner air means we will have the ability to rest easier and are less likely to get sick. This reduction in our stress levels makes sleep come more readily.
3. Remove Allergens & Pollutants
Most people have or will develop some kind of inhalant allergy in time. When we are allergic to something, that’s our bodies telling us that we cannot tolerate that thing. That means, the more you are exposed to airborne allergens, the more likely you will be to become ill. Having good clean indoor air gives the body time to recover, letting you be at your best when you head back outdoors.
4. Eliminate Odors
Having a better indoor environment makes it harder for mould to bloom and for germs to develop. A quality air filtration system also contributes to the elimination of odours by preventing many germs, moulds, and pollutants from entering your home.
5. Lower Utility Bills
A properly ventilated house will reduce not only your electricity bills but also your medical bills.
Here at Fogiene Sciences, we know what it takes to deliver high-quality indoor air quality solutions. Call us for a free consultation.
Ever wonder what folks are staring at when they are in the grocery store and reading the nutrition facts label on a can of beans or a loaf of bread? Are you unsure what it all means when you look at a food label? Nutrition labels can be a great tool for managing a heart healthy diet, which makes it very important that you understand what you’re looking at when you read a label.
Nutrition labels are based on a daily 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your age, gender and activity level, you may need to consume more or less than 2,000 calories per day, so keep this in mind when viewing each label.
Now let’s take a look at the parts of the nutrition facts label and break it all down.
Parts of a Nutrition Facts Label
This is where you find out how much is considered a single serving of the product. Key changes to the updated nutrition facts label are increased serving sizes to reflect what we actually eat today. However, it is still not the whole pint of ice cream like you were hoping! If you are looking for heart healthy snacks, this measurement can help you to pre-prep snack bags to take to work or keep on hand in your car or purse for quick healthy food options.
This number ties right in to the serving size. The calories listed here are what one single serving holds. If you plan on eating more than a single serving, you have to multiply the total calories by the actual number of servings you consume.
Foods high in cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.. So, look for foods low in cholesterol, such as those found in a plant-based diet.
Fats – Saturated and Trans
If the label indicates that the food is high in saturated fat (no more than 20 grams total for the day), then it is not an ideal food for a heart healthy diet. Saturated fats can raise your low density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol”, which can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Trans fats should be avoided altogether, as they have been connected with an increased risk not only of heart disease and stroke, but also Type II diabetes.
For a heart healthy diet, you should always try to keep your sodium intake to about 2300 mg per day. A sodium level of 140 mg or less on the nutrition facts label is considered low sodium. This is an essential number to look for when reading the label.
Total Carbohydrates – Fibre and Sugar
Foods high in fibre can be beneficial to a healthy diet, as fibre helps manage blood sugar levels and can lower cholesterol.
However, if the product contains a large amount of sugar, even if it’s rich in fibre, put the product back on the shelf. Simple sugars can give you that quick burst of energy, but they are not heart smart as they can raise triglyceride levels, which play a role in heart disease and diabetes. Added sugars in grams is now required on the nutrition facts label. It is recommended that you consume no more than ten percent of your total daily calories from added sugar.
Protein is part of an overall healthy diet, but beware of adding unnecessary fats from fatty meats and processed foods.
Vitamins and Other Nutrients
Nutrients like calcium, iron and vitamins play an important role in a healthy diet! This section provides great information to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need. The daily values for nutrients have been updated on the revised nutrition facts label to reflect new scientific evidence.
In addition to being on the back of your favourite products, nutrition information can be found in more places than usually expected. Restaurants have started to provide full nutrition data as part of their online menus. This is a huge help for those who are looking for healthier dine-out options. Many of your favourite recipe blogs and websites have also started posting labels to accompany the recipes, so the home cook can benefit as well. It is valuable to take your time to care for yourself and read the nutrition facts label to help manage your heart health.
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.
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).
- 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.
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? 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.