Research on food

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hurly
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Research on food

Post by hurly » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:33 pm

How exactly does scientist find out what kind of food is eatable and how long a certain food last (expire dates etc)?

And what happens if you take vitamine pills that are out of date...? You can swallow it, but it has no effect, am I right?

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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:40 pm

For the first question: TESTING! Something is eatable if it does not contain toxins(you can find that out from a chemical analysis). The expiration date is determined experimentaly: they simply see when things start growing on it :wink: :wink:
Really depends on the vitamin. But i am guessing that since most vitamins have excipients like fructose and glucose bacteria can grow and them and that is not safe...

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mith
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Post by mith » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:56 pm

The expiration date is usually dependent the packaging. Tinned foods last 3-5 years. Honey lasts forever. For things such as fresh milk, I guess they'll have to experimentally determine it like MrMistery mentioned.
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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:21 pm

Oh yeah mithril is right. It depends on what you put in also. What i was saying was only if you sell it without rapping it :wink:

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canalon
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Post by canalon » Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:24 am

Can be more complicated, mostly when dealing with produce are highly susceptible of bacterial contamination. Experimenting is sure usefull, but sometimes things like predictive microbiology (modelling bacterial growth in order to determine statisically a safe limit for consumption...).

For chemicals like vitamins often sold as a powder, though, bacteria are not a problem if properly stored. They do not grow when there is not enough water, and sugar do not help since in solution the reduce the disponibility of water (that is why jam can be stored) and prevents bacterial and fungal growth. The limit is more the stability of the vitamin over time. Past expiration date either you have a dose of vitamin that is so much below the one presented that the produce is not worth taking anymore or it degrades in chemicals taht should not be ingested, hence you should not ingest it. I do not know what is happening for particular molecules, but you better trust the label for pharmaceuticals.

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hurly
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Post by hurly » Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:28 am

This came up in my mind:
Do they use some techniques/methods to speed things up?

I mean, it could be that some compounds need time before they start celldivision/growing.
I doubt that researchers wait years to see if anything grows on the product before they can commercialize it.

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victor
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Post by victor » Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:19 pm

I think, they also use the half-life of substances to determine the expire-time. am I right?
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mith
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Post by mith » Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:32 pm

half life is usually for atomic decay
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Post by victor » Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:37 pm

Oh, sorry...I mean like this..the researcher also determine the expire date by measuring the half-life of the food substances. Am I right?
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