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International Day of Women and Girls in Science Sunday 11th February marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This day celebrates the achievements and contributions of women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This day recognises the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the scientific community. Ahead of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we have interviewed Nicola Kane, the R&D Manager here at Biorex Food Diagnostics (BFD), to share her experiences in science.   Why did you pursue a career in STEM? From an early age I

Day 12: Tea and Coffee 12 Days of Food Safety After all the hustle and bustle of the festive season there is no better way of relaxing after a busy day than sitting down to a cup of tea or coffee. Some of the highest tea consumption per capita globally include Turkey, Ireland, UK, Pakistan and Iran (1).  While the Scandinavian nations, including Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden, opt for enjoying coffee during designated breaks. This is referred to as "kaffepause," and holds special significance (2). Where did Tea and Coffee originate from? Tea is believed to have originated in China. According to

Day 11: Cookies and Biscuits 12 Days of Food Safety During the festive season, many of us indulge in our beloved biscuits such as classic Christmas cookies, traditional shortbread, or even engaging in crafting intricate gingerbread houses with our family. While our recent focus on food safety has involved examining the typical ingredients present in these treats such as flour, sugar, and fats like butter or oil, we’ve specifically examined these components to identify potential risks associated with presence of toxins like pesticides and mycotoxins, exploring available technologies to detect and measure them accurately. Yet, when we combine the different elements of

Day 10: Stocking Fillers 12 Days of Food Safety   A stocking filler refers to a small gift or item that is traditionally placed inside a holiday stocking. It’s a small, often inexpensive, and thoughtful present that adds joy and surprise to the holiday tradition. Stocking fillers are delightful, especially when they include tasty treats. Here are some food-related ideas that are perfect for filling up the stockings: Chocolate: Small chocolate bars, truffles, chocolate-covered nuts, or festive-shaped chocolates are always a hit. Assorted nuts: Packs of mixed nuts, candied nuts, or flavoured nuts can be a savoury tradition. Dried fruits: Mini packs of

Day 9: Honey 12 Days of Food Safety   Honey is a versatile and popular ingredient in many festive meals. It adds a natural sweetness and depth of flavour to a variety of dishes, making it a common choice for holiday recipes. From delicately glazing roast meats like ham and turkey, to enhancing the flavour of side dishes such as parsnips and carrots, the magic of honey unveils itself in a caramelized exterior, bestowing a delightful blend of sweet and savoury notes to every dish. Yet, honey is more than just a culinary delight; it's a natural elixir with a multitude of health benefits. Ranging

Day 8: Cheese & Crackers 12 Days of Food Safety   There are countless cheeses globally, each with its own unique production methods and characteristics such as texture and flavour. During the holiday season, cheese boards are a popular choice for festive gatherings. The selection for these boards often includes a mix of classic and specialty cheeses served with a wide array of crackers and breads. Below are examples of a few cheeses from around the world that you may find present on your table this season. Cheddar: is one of the most popular and widely produced cheeses in the world. It originated in England

Day 7: Desserts 12 Days of Food Safety   Holiday desserts around the world encapsulate a rich tapestry of flavours, textures, and cultural significance, often showcasing an array of fruits, seeds, nuts and spices that infuse these sweet indulgences with their distinctive essence. From the opulent European and Chilean Christmas cakes embellished with dried fruits to the fragrant nutty pleasures of Middle Eastern burbara and the tropical fruit-infused Pavlova traditionally enjoyed during sunny Christmases in Australia and New Zealand, these treats epitomise a celebration of seasonal abundance and ancient culinary traditions. So far, in our series on food safety, we've delved into the various

Day 6: Side Dishes 12 Days of Food Safety It can be tradition to serve a choice of hearty meals during the holiday season, and having some tasty side dishes can play a crucial role in complementing these main courses. Here are some popular side dishes that are can be enjoyed over the festive period. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic side that complements many main dishes. Stuffing: Whether it's traditional bread stuffing or a variation with ingredients like sausage, apples, or chestnuts, stuffing is a holiday staple. Honey Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables:  A mix of root vegetables, such as carrots,

Day 5: Main Courses 12 Days of Food Safety From Germany's succulent goose to Cuba's tender suckling pig, the UK's classic roast turkey to Ethiopia's spicy beef stew, meat will be the focal point of many holiday feasts around the world. Yet, despite our love for these traditional main courses, there's a concerning question that many of us are asking: do we truly know what lurks within our favourite holiday meats? The global meat sector was assessed to be worth 897 billion U.S dollars in 2021, with a projected rise to 1354 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.1 Brazil, Australia, the USA, India, and

Day 4: Fish dishes 12 Day of Food Safety Fish dishes are popular choices for Festive meals, especially in cultures where seafood is a significant part of the holiday tradition. Below is a list of diverse fish dishes that may be served over this special period. Ceviche: In some Latin American cultures, ceviche—a dish of raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus juice, often with onions, cilantro, and chili peppers—is enjoyed during festive occasions. Smoked Salmon: Smoked salmon is a classic choice for festive occasions. It can be served as an appetizer on blinis or toast points, or incorporated into various dishes