Safe & Healthy: Mexican Vanilla

On occasion I will be asked about the safety of vanilla purchased by someone while on vacation in Mexico. Tourists tempted to pick up bargains south of the border or from Mexican food-stores in the United States, should beware of one bargain that isn’t a good buy—a so-called “vanilla” flavoring or extract that isn’t vanilla […]

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Safe & Healthy: Allergies to Gluten-Free Ingredient

A Kansas State University food safety specialist is quoted in Stone Hearth Newsletters as noting that a popular new ingredient in gluten-free products could be allergenic. Lupin, a legume belonging to the same plant family as peanuts, is showing up as a wheat replacement in an increasing number of gluten-free products. The U.S. Food and […]

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Safe Preserving: Do I have to add salt?

One of the most frequent questions that I am asked is whether salt has to be added to recipes for home canning. Some people may be on a diet which restricts intake of sodium chloride (salt), others may wish to reduce salt intake for taste or preference. Regardless, we are in luck when home canning […]

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Safe & Healthy: Sulfites in Food

Why are sulfites used in some food products? Sulfiting agents are food additives permitted for use in some foods. Sulfites are inorganic salts that have antioxidant and preservative properties. Many compounds capable of producing sulfite, called sulfiting agents, have been used as food additives since antiquity to help preserve foods by preventing browning of light-colored […]

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