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The medical device industry and the role of CDRH

A current pacemaker. Future devices are getting smaller and more complex.

A current pacemaker. Future devices are getting smaller and more complex.

The public trust manufacturers of medical products to develop and commercialize devices that are safe for humans. There are many types of medical devices varying in complexity, some as simple as contact lenses and others, life saving devices such as a pacemaker. In many cases these medical products perform as expected and last for the duration of the recipient’s lifetime or expected life of the device. Other times they fail and possible reasons for failure include, improper manufacturing, malfunction, breakage or erosion, all possibly resulting in serious injury to the device recipient. Implanted devices are being used for longer periods of time and in younger populations, presenting unique challenges as current devices may not have been designed for such a life span. This makes it difficult for Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) to communicate risk/benefit to multiple audiences in a way that is timely and balanced.

FDA’s CDRH has a mandate to ensure that new medical devices are safe and effective before they are marketed and monitor devices throughout the product life cycle, including a nationwide postmarket surveillance system. CDRH also has to assure that radiation-emitting products, such as microwave ovens, TV sets, cell phones, and laser products meet radiation safety standards. This mandate is an awesome responsibility presenting many challenges to CDRH who approves or clears a product after reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness has been scientifically demonstrated.

Advances in medical device technology have presented many challenges to CDRH. Adverse events are widely under-reported by users and numerous reports are made with inadequate information about how the device was used (condition/circumstance) and what may have caused the problem. This means that there is an inherent difficulty in identifying the specific device involved. Part of the problem is further compounded by the miniaturization of medical devices which are designed smaller and vary in complexity. This means that there are fewer margins for error. From surgical sutures and contact lenses to prosthetic heart valves and diagnostic imaging systems, these require that attention of qualified reviewers for an ever increasing pre-marketing submission environment.

The medical device market can be characterized as an industry where innovation, advancement, rapid growth and the complexity of devices are increasing. Many of these devices presented to CDRH are the first of their kind, such as a robotic arm that can operate a variety of surgical tools with tremendous precision. Other high-tech devices are designed to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer, heart disease, impaired vision and hearing, and other health problems. Current devices lack unique and universal identifiers and healthcare providers generally do not document device use in patient records. Manufacturers are continually producing modified versions of their products which mean that multiple versions may exist.

In the current economic climate, many firms are facing increasing competition and realizing that new FDA guidances and regulations are increasing operating costs. This has resulted in device firms being acquired by other companies in an attempt to gain economies of scale and solidify core competencies. There are cases of devices being used “off-label,” used by non-professionals and a shift to medical devices for home use, such as diagnostic tools. These changing realities present CDRH which more challenges in terms of post-market surveillance and with a limited field of resources; the agency is clearly unable to deliver on all fronts.

SUMMARY Government Accountability Office (GAO)
REPORT LINK: GAO-09-190 January 15, 2009

Medical Devices: FDA Should Take Steps to Ensure That High-Risk Device Types Are Approved through the Most Stringent Premarket Review Process

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for oversight of medical devices sold in the United States. Regulations place devices into three classes, with class III including those with the greatest risk to patients. Unless exempt by regulation, new devices must clear FDA premarket review via either the 510(k) premarket notification process, which determines if a new device is substantially equivalent to another legally marketed device, or the more stringent premarket approval (PMA) process, which requires the manufacturer to supply evidence providing reasonable assurance that the device is safe and effective. Class III devices must generally obtain an approved PMA, but until FDA issues regulations requiring submission of PMAs, certain types of class III devices may be cleared via the 510(k) process. The FDA Amendments Act of 2007 mandated that GAO study the 510(k) process. GAO examined which premarket review process–510(k) or PMA–FDA used to review selected types of device submissions in fiscal years 2003 through 2007. GAO reviewed FDA data and regulations, and interviewed FDA officials.
In fiscal years 2003 through 2007, as part of its premarket review to determine whether devices should be permitted to be marketed in the United States, FDA:

(1) Reviewed 13,199 submissions for class I and II devices via the 510(k) process, clearing 11,935 (90 percent) of these submissions;

(2) Reviewed 342 submissions for class III devices through the 510(k) process, clearing 228 (67 percent) of these submissions; and

(3) Reviewed 217 original and 784 supplemental PMA submissions for class III devices and approved 78 percent and 85 percent, respectively, of these submissions.

Although Congress envisioned that class III devices would be approved through the more stringent PMA process, and the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990 required that FDA either reclassify or establish a schedule for requiring PMAs for class III device types, this process remains incomplete. GAO found that in fiscal years 2003 through 2007 FDA cleared submissions for 24 types of class III devices through the 510(k) process. As of October 2008, 4 of these device types had been reclassified to class II, but 20 device types could still be cleared through the 510(k) process. FDA officials said that the agency is committed to issuing regulations either reclassifying or requiring PMAs for the class III devices currently allowed to receive clearance for marketing via the 510(k) process, but did not provide a time frame for doing so.

Regulatory Overlord

Produce Shows Sales Gains

WASHINGTON —  Fresh fruit and vegetables both posted sales gains the first quarter of this year over the same period a year earlier, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts for Retail, a quarterly research report from The United Fresh Foundation.

Produce departments as a whole experienced a  2% increase in volume sales, and 7% increase in average dollar sales, spurref by a 4.9% increase in retail prices.


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By volume sold, vegetables beat fruit, with a 2.1% increase, while fruit posted an increase of 1.4% over the same quarter in 2012.

In dollar sales, fruit outdid vegetables, increasing nearly 8% over the first quarter last year, with vegetable dollar growth coming in at 5.7%.

The report also includes these stand-out findings:

Nine out of 10 of the top 10 selling fruits posted dollar gains over first quarter 2012, with citrus, melon, specialty fruit and apples chalking up double-digit gains, mostly related to price increases, the research showed, and half of the top 10 vegetable categories gained both in dollar and volume sales.

Read more: Whole Foods Imagines Produce Department Without Bees

The report also showed sales gains for organic and value-added fruits and vegetables. Organic fruits increased 24.4% in dollar sales, and organic vegetables showed an increase of 14.9%.

Value-added fruits increased in dollar and volume sales by 10.7% and 2.9%, respectively.

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Wakefern to Unveil Data Quality Scorecard for Vendors

KEASBEY, N.J. — Wakefern Food Corp. is “close to” rolling out a Vendor Data Quality Scorecard that it began piloting earlier this year, said Michael Durning, manager of data integrity for Wakefern here.

The scorecard is designed to measure the performance of suppliers in regard to data accuracy for new and existing items, and to provide them with feedback on key indicators. Wakefern is a wholesale cooperative led by the owners of ShopRite stores in the Northeast.


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Durning discussed the need for product data accuracy and Wakefern’s use of the Global Data Synchronization Network during a presentation last month at the GS1 Connect conference in San Antonio, hosted by standards group GS1 US, Lawrencevile, N.J.

Some CPG manufacturers are failing to consistently follow industry standards set by GS1 US to ensure the accurate use of product data, such as the GTIN allocation rules and package measurement guidelines, with adverse consequences for retail operations and consumer trust. “Not everyone is playing by the same rules,” Durning said.  But to do business with Wakefern, “you must follow GS1 standards,” he told the suppliers at the conference.

While Durning described the percentage of manufacturers in violation of the rules as a “minority,” he added that “this minority can affect a large number of [products].” The impact can extend from the supply chain (warehousing and transportation) to the retail point-of-sale (scanning, shelf labels, replenishment, nutritional data) to ecommerce (product images, information on nutrition, allergens and ingredients).

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Unified completes credit refinancing

Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, said Friday it has completed a refinancing of its credit facilities with an agreement that runs through June 2018.

It said it expects the refinancing will provide more flexibility and capacity to finance its growth plans.


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According to the company, the refinancing included paying off its John Hancock notes and financing all real estate holdings on a term loan with its bank group. The company also said it paid a make-whole amount of approximately $ 3 million, which it said it expects to be largely offset by reduced interest costs in the next year.

Bob Ling, president and CEO of the member-owned cooperative, said, “We are confident this refinancing will provide the foundation to execute our ambitious growth plans for the years ahead.”

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Wegmans, Hy-Vee promote cheese plates

To assist customers entertaining over the holidays, retailers are advertising cheeses, cheese kits and cheese boards.

The latest issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine, also available online, gives suggestions for building a cheese tray using one soft ripened cheese, one hard cheese, one washed cheese and one blue cheese, along with pairings like almonds, sausage bites and wine.

Time-crunched customers can also order cheese trays from the retailer. The Holiday Cheese Quartet includes two new French cheeses — the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne — from Wegmans’ cheese caves and an Organic Fourme d’Ambert and Organic Gouda.

Hy-Vee is promoting topped Brie kits in its weekly ad.

Haggen Northwest Fresh has packaged cheese boards that also include extras like nuts, spreads and fruit. The boards come in three themes: Brie Lover’s Dream, Cheddar Flavor Flight and Savory & Sweet.

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Supermarket News

Wegmans, Hy-Vee promote cheese plates

To assist customers entertaining over the holidays, retailers are advertising cheeses, cheese kits and cheese boards.

The latest issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine, also available online, gives suggestions for building a cheese tray using one soft ripened cheese, one hard cheese, one washed cheese and one blue cheese, along with pairings like almonds, sausage bites and wine.

Time-crunched customers can also order cheese trays from the retailer. The Holiday Cheese Quartet includes two new French cheeses — the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne — from Wegmans’ cheese caves and an Organic Fourme d’Ambert and Organic Gouda.

Hy-Vee is promoting topped Brie kits in its weekly ad.

Haggen Northwest Fresh has packaged cheese boards that also include extras like nuts, spreads and fruit. The boards come in three themes: Brie Lover’s Dream, Cheddar Flavor Flight and Savory & Sweet.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Wegmans, Hy-Vee promote cheese plates

To assist customers entertaining over the holidays, retailers are advertising cheeses, cheese kits and cheese boards.

The latest issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine, also available online, gives suggestions for building a cheese tray using one soft ripened cheese, one hard cheese, one washed cheese and one blue cheese, along with pairings like almonds, sausage bites and wine.

Time-crunched customers can also order cheese trays from the retailer. The Holiday Cheese Quartet includes two new French cheeses — the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne — from Wegmans’ cheese caves and an Organic Fourme d’Ambert and Organic Gouda.

Hy-Vee is promoting topped Brie kits in its weekly ad.

Haggen Northwest Fresh has packaged cheese boards that also include extras like nuts, spreads and fruit. The boards come in three themes: Brie Lover’s Dream, Cheddar Flavor Flight and Savory & Sweet.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Wegmans, Hy-Vee promote cheese plates

To assist customers entertaining over the holidays, retailers are advertising cheeses, cheese kits and cheese boards.

The latest issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine, also available online, gives suggestions for building a cheese tray using one soft ripened cheese, one hard cheese, one washed cheese and one blue cheese, along with pairings like almonds, sausage bites and wine.

Time-crunched customers can also order cheese trays from the retailer. The Holiday Cheese Quartet includes two new French cheeses — the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne — from Wegmans’ cheese caves and an Organic Fourme d’Ambert and Organic Gouda.

Hy-Vee is promoting topped Brie kits in its weekly ad.

Haggen Northwest Fresh has packaged cheese boards that also include extras like nuts, spreads and fruit. The boards come in three themes: Brie Lover’s Dream, Cheddar Flavor Flight and Savory & Sweet.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Wegmans, Hy-Vee promote cheese plates

To assist customers entertaining over the holidays, retailers are advertising cheeses, cheese kits and cheese boards.

The latest issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine, also available online, gives suggestions for building a cheese tray using one soft ripened cheese, one hard cheese, one washed cheese and one blue cheese, along with pairings like almonds, sausage bites and wine.

Time-crunched customers can also order cheese trays from the retailer. The Holiday Cheese Quartet includes two new French cheeses — the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne — from Wegmans’ cheese caves and an Organic Fourme d’Ambert and Organic Gouda.

Hy-Vee is promoting topped Brie kits in its weekly ad.

Haggen Northwest Fresh has packaged cheese boards that also include extras like nuts, spreads and fruit. The boards come in three themes: Brie Lover’s Dream, Cheddar Flavor Flight and Savory & Sweet.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Wegmans, Hy-Vee promote cheese plates

To assist customers entertaining over the holidays, retailers are advertising cheeses, cheese kits and cheese boards.

The latest issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine, also available online, gives suggestions for building a cheese tray using one soft ripened cheese, one hard cheese, one washed cheese and one blue cheese, along with pairings like almonds, sausage bites and wine.

Time-crunched customers can also order cheese trays from the retailer. The Holiday Cheese Quartet includes two new French cheeses — the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne — from Wegmans’ cheese caves and an Organic Fourme d’Ambert and Organic Gouda.

Hy-Vee is promoting topped Brie kits in its weekly ad.

Haggen Northwest Fresh has packaged cheese boards that also include extras like nuts, spreads and fruit. The boards come in three themes: Brie Lover’s Dream, Cheddar Flavor Flight and Savory & Sweet.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

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Passion changes everything

As a health and wellness consultant I have had the honor to work with thousands of people over the years. Many of them are leading incredibly busy lives juggling a family while working one or two jobs, taking care of a home, pets and if there is time at the end of the day, taking care of themselves.

After getting to know personalities, seeing negative work environments, noticing extremely hectic schedules, and even witnessing tears (much more often than you would think), I conclude many aren’t overwhelmingly happy. In fact they are downright stressed, which leads to unhappiness.

When trying to live a healthy lifestyle, most people focus on diet and exercise, but rarely take into account the destructive forces of stress and unhappiness.

“Be aware when you are doing something you love. It is biochemically impossible to be stressed and feel grateful at the same time.” Dr. Libby Weaver, PhD.

I am eternally grateful for my career and the opportunities that I have been given. I truly LOVE what I do for a living, which is to educate, inspire, and empower people to lead a healthy lifestyle. It rarely feels like “work.” It’s incredibly rewarding to help people help themselves, one baby step or one giant step at a time. Lives transform before me. For that, I am grateful everyday. It makes me a better mother, wife and person.

But, it wasn’t always this way. I remember crying in the shower on the rock bottom day of my previous career. That day, my sadness was very real physical pain. I paused and asked myself “Why are you doing this to yourself? STOP!” The pain and stress to compensation ratio was not worth it. Then I asked myself, “What am I passionate about?” Answer: Living a healthy lifestyle.

That changed everything.

My passion is my “Why.” It is the driving force behind all that I do. It fuels my fire. I don’t wish hitting “rock bottom” on anyone but sometimes it is a necessary wake up call. Tough love.

Are you passionate about what you do? Does if feel more like work or fun? Does it keep you up at night? If not, maybe it’s time for positive change in a new direction. Your health just may depend on it.

Supermarket News

Nutrition, safety key to consumer acceptance of nanotech, genetic modification in foods

New research from North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota shows that the majority of consumers will accept the presence of nanotechnology or genetic modification (GM) technology in foods — but only if the technology enhances the nutrition or improves the safety of the food.

“In general, people are willing to pay more to avoid GM or nanotech in foods, and people were more averse to GM tech than to nanotech,” says Dr. Jennifer Kuzma, senior author of a paper on the research and co-director of the Genetic Engineering in Society Center at NC State. “However, it’s not really that simple. There were some qualifiers, indicating that many people would be willing to buy GM or nanotech in foods if there were health or safety benefits.”

The researchers conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,117 U.S. consumers. Participants were asked to answer an array of questions that explored their willingness to purchase foods that contained GM tech and foods that contained nanotech. The questions also explored the price of the various foods and whether participants would buy foods that contained nanotech or GM tech if the foods had enhanced nutrition, improved taste, improved food safety, or if the production of the food had environmental benefits.

The researchers found that survey participants could be broken into four groups.

Eighteen percent of participants belonged to a group labeled the “new technology rejecters,” which would not by GM or nanotech foods under any circumstances. Nineteen percent of participants belonged to a group labeled the “technology averse,” which would buy GM or nanotech foods only if those products conveyed food safety benefits. Twenty-three percent of participants were “price oriented,” basing their shopping decisions primarily on the cost of the food — regardless of the presence of GM or nanotech. And 40 percent of participants were “benefit oriented,” meaning they would buy GM or nanotech foods if the foods had enhanced nutrition or food safety.

“This tells us that GM or nanotech food products have greater potential to be viable in the marketplace if companies focus on developing products that have safety and nutrition benefits — because a majority of consumers would be willing to buy those products,” Kuzma says.

“From a policy standpoint, it also argues that GM and nanotech foods should be labeled, so that the technology rejecters can avoid them,” Kuzma adds.

The paper, “Heterogeneous Consumer Preferences for Nanotechnology and Genetic-modification Technology in Food Products,” is published online in the Journal of Agricultural Economics. Lead author of the paper is Dr. Chengyuan Yue of the University of Minnesota. The paper was co-authored by Shuoli Zhao, a graduate student at UM. The research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Crabgrass’ secret: The despised weed makes herbicide to kill neighboring plants

June 26, 2013 — Contrary to popular belief, crabgrass does not thrive in lawns, gardens and farm fields by simply crowding out other plants. A new study in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that the much-despised weed actually produces its own herbicides that kill nearby plants.

Chui-Hua Kong and colleagues point out that crabgrass is not only a headache for lawns and home gardens, but also a major cause of crop loss on farms. Scientists long suspected, but had a hard time proving, that the weed thrived by allelopathy. From the Greek “allelo-,” meaning “other,” and “-pathy,” meaning “suffering,” allelopathy occurs when one plant restricts the growth of another by releasing toxins. They set out to determine if crabgrass has this oppressive ability.

Kong’s team isolated three chemicals from crabgrass that affect the microbial communities in nearby soil and did indeed inhibit the growth of staple crops wheat, corn and soybeans. “The chemical-specific changes in [the] soil microbial community generated a negative feedback on crop growth,” the scientists said, noting that the chemicals also would have a direct toxic effect on other plants.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bin Zhou, Chui-Hua Kong, Yong-Hua Li, Peng Wang, Xiao-Hua Xu. Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) Allelochemicals That Interfere with Crop Growth and the Soil Microbial Community. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013; 61 (22): 5310 DOI: 10.1021/jf401605g

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

The Friday Five: New school vs. old school

Here are the top articles from around the web that you may have missed this week. In this edition, we look at a few ways retailers are testing the boundaries of the traditional supermarket and a couple of arguments for keeping the food shopping experience old school.

1. UK supermarket trialing checkout-less shopping
Gizmag details an app from Sainsbury’s in the U.K. that will allow users to do everything from create a grocery list to find items in store to check out from their phones.

2. Loblaw tests new grocery stores offering ‘hard discounts’
Loblaw expanded a test of its “hard discount” stores it calls the Box, which feature a limited assortment of mostly private label products, Global News reports.

3. Area Food Lion stores tout recent upgrades
Food Lion’s second round of store upgrades, in North Carolina, focused on streamlining the checkout process and grouping products by consumer usage, according to the Carteret County News-Times.

4. Why Peapod should be concerned about the state of grocery shopping
The Chicago Business Journal highlights a Technomic study that found consumers rate brick-and-mortar stores higher than online food outlets — including when it comes to convenience.

5. What mom-and-pop stores can teach grocery chains
Strategy + business contends food retailers need to go really old school — as in become more like the general stores that existed before supermarkets — to make customer service a differentiator.

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Key Food taking Urban Market to Queens

A second location of Key Food’s Urban Market concept is set to open Friday in the New York City borough of Queens, the cooperative said.

The 8,000-square-foot store, located in Long Island City, will feature a large produce department offering equal selections of organic and regular products; an extensive cheese selection; and a gourmet deli with catering services.

Key Food debuted the Urban Market concept in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood a year ago.

“As the Urban Market banner continues to grow, we are ecstatic to become a member of the Long Island City community,” said John 
Durante, Key Food Stores Co-operative’s VP of business development. “The storeowner, Sam Mujalli, strives to offer customers the highest quality of fresh, organic produce and prepared foods along with the best possible shopping experience.”


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The store will serve a growing community of high-rise developments on the East River waterfront. It will compete with a nearby Foodcellar & Co. that opened in 2008.

“As we become a new member of the Long Island City community, I look forward to offering customers not only the best selection, but also the best customer service experience around,” Mujalli said. “I’m confident customers will love this store’s classic, old school themed décor and the unique shopping environment that we have to offer.”



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Readers weigh in on e-grocery’s obstacles

This week, IdeaXchange Xpert Neil Stern offered his take on a very hot topic in the grocery space in a post titled “Online shopping barriers slowly dissolve.” Neil pointed to Waitrose’s home barcode scanner, Instacart’s aggressive growth, Walmart’s pick-up service and the East Coast expansion of AmazonFresh as examples of how e-grocery is moving into the mainstream.

Several of our readers responded with some ideas of their own. Let’s look at a couple of those ideas in more depth.

Commenter PJ Stafford of the Honest Green Division of UNFI pointed out that Instacart marks up the prices on groceries, so the retailer actually charges more than $ 3.99 for a delivery.

While that may be the case, a recent report from BI Intelligence shows that may not matter much to consumers. The E-Commerce Grocery Report found that 25% of Millennials would be willing to pay a premium for same-day delivery. One fifth of urban consumers said the same.

In another comment to Neil’s post, Brian Numainville of Retail Feedback Group suggested that there are other competitors that retailers need to watch out for:

Finally, other models like NatureBox.com and Plated or Blue Apron are also akin to “category killers” and are filtering off sales that formerly came from others.

Similarly, Search Engine Journal recently delved into a few examples of online grocery and related ventures in Europe. Though the author’s analysis is a bit technical, the basic premise is that based on how consumers search for food delivery, e-grocery retailers are likely competing with many types of online businesses, from those that provide meal preparation kits to aggregators of restaurant delivery services.

Brick-and-mortar supermarkets have dealt with their fair share of non-traditional competitors in recent years so it’s no surprise that online grocers face similar challenges.

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Genome sequencing of the jujube tree completed

BGI Tech and Hebei Agricultural University jointly announced the complete, high quality sequencing of the Jujube genome. Jujube is the most economically important member of the Rhamnaceae family, and the Jujube genome is particularly difficult to sequence due the high level of heterozygosity and other complicating factors. It is the first time that a genome in the Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn) family has been sequenced.

This study has been recently published in Nature Communications.

Jujube is a major commercial fruit with up to 30 million acres under cultivation — close to that of apple and citrus — and China accounts for 99% of the 6 million tons of dried fruit produced annually. Jujube has a much higher vitamin C content than other well-known vitamin C-rich fruits such as orange and kiwi fruit, and also high levels of nucleotides, polysaccharides and other important functional components. Furthermore, the jujube tree is highly resistant to salinity and drought, and grows well in sandy, alkaline and arid areas. Therefor, decoding the genome of the jujube tree will have great implications to exploit those important traits.

The Jujube genome has the highest degree of heterozygosity (1.9%) of plants sequenced to date using next generation sequencing (NGS). In addition, the very high density of simple sequence repeats and low GC content make the Jujube genome particularly challenging for whole genome sequencing and assembly. By using a combination of BAC-to-BAC sequencing and PCR-free whole genome sequencing, the researchers were able to successfully complete the high quality de novo sequencing of 98.6% of the estimated Jujube genome, identifying 32,808 genes.

“This study has accelerated the functional genomics research of the Jujube tree, and will facilitate the genetic improvement and selective breeding of Buckthorn fruit trees,” said Professor Mengjun Liu, head of the research team, for Hebei Agricultural Unviersity. “This research not only shows the expertise of the team and the power of sequencing technology, but we also expect its future applications in bring more value and benefits in healthy food production.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BGI Shenzhen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Arturi joins Allegiance in dairy role

Allegiance Retail Services on Tuesday said it has appointed Jaclyn “Jackie” Arturi as category manager — dairy.

Jaclyn "Jackie" ArturiArturi’s 20-year career in the supermarket industry began in 1994 when she joined Stop & Shop as a cashier. Over the next 13 years, she held positions in customer service, file maintenance and opened the bakery departments at the Stop & Shop’s Aberdeen and Secaucus stores.

In 2008, Arturi joined C&S Wholesale Grocers, where she spent more than two years as a grocery buyer, prior to becoming GM/HBC alternate source buyer in 2011. Most recently, she was a frozen buyer for White Rose Food.

Steve Hungerbuhler, VP — dairy/deli/frozen for Allegiance, said, “I am proud to welcome Jackie to Allegiance. Her past experience and knowledge will enhance the dairy merchandising we provide to our stores.”

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Arturi joins Allegiance in dairy role

Allegiance Retail Services on Tuesday said it has appointed Jaclyn “Jackie” Arturi as category manager — dairy.

Jaclyn "Jackie" ArturiArturi’s 20-year career in the supermarket industry began in 1994 when she joined Stop & Shop as a cashier. Over the next 13 years, she held positions in customer service, file maintenance and opened the bakery departments at the Stop & Shop’s Aberdeen and Secaucus stores.

In 2008, Arturi joined C&S Wholesale Grocers, where she spent more than two years as a grocery buyer, prior to becoming GM/HBC alternate source buyer in 2011. Most recently, she was a frozen buyer for White Rose Food.

Steve Hungerbuhler, VP — dairy/deli/frozen for Allegiance, said, “I am proud to welcome Jackie to Allegiance. Her past experience and knowledge will enhance the dairy merchandising we provide to our stores.”

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PMA 2014: Brave new produce world

It’s not everyday you hear a reference to Waterworld at a food industry conference.

“At out technology event in May in San Diego, Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, gave what I found a fascinating presentation on his organization’s plans to create floating cities that would be self sufficient in food production,” said PMA CEO Bryan Silbermann at the Fresh Summit state of the industry address in Anaheim, Calif.

“Think about that for a second, and if your mind works anything like mine, this might conjure up images of Kevin Costner in the movie Waterworld.”

In the floating island’s case, the project has financial backing from a founder of Paypal, according to Silbermann.

While Silbermann was using Waterworld to point out that these floating cities may seen farfetched at first glance, I would argue that Waterworld is an interesting metaphor for those grappling with scarcity. As Silbermann and Burns said, we do indeed have less water available in some parts of the world and limited resources on things like land.

“Shrinking natural resources are changing the business model for growing produce. We’re mostly talking about greens, tomatoes, berries, herbs and the like, but when you combine the demand that the consumer will have for food and the challenge of high cost refrigerated transportation, you can really understand why there is additional investment going on in protected agriculture,” said PMA president Kathy Burns.

During the state of the industry address, the PMA leaders urged the industry to adapt a change of perspective and to utilize Jack Uldridge’s concept of “unlearning” what they know in order to consider new changes in technology.  Silbermann and Burns told the produce industry to be open to adopting technology used in other industries. The use of drones on farm fields is one example Burns gave of an innovative adoption by the produce industry of existing technology.

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