Written by Cliff on Monday 30 May 2011 at 2:18 pm

[graphic – image – needles – microscopic analysis]
Please tell your ‘brothaas’ and ‘sistaas’ not to reuse needles, as doing so will increase the chance of infection due to unclean lacerations and body fluid transfer.

Death by the numbers

Written by Cliff on Tuesday 16 November 2010 at 10:25 pm

wonderful wallpaper

PRC supermarkets ‘prohibit’ farm chemicals and pesticides

Written by Cliff on Friday 8 October 2010 at 12:28 pm

According to the prospectus of Springland International Holdings (1700.HK), “As freshness and food safety are our primary concerns, farm chemicals or pesticides are prohibited in the vegetable production process at the vegetable production site”.

Exercise: visit their ‘vegetable production site’ in Yixin, China and observe whether farm chemicals are used and the quality of the soil. Afterwards, visit Nutrilite’s organic farm in Lakeview, LA, USA and compare the two.

Olive Oil

Written by Cliff on Monday 21 June 2010 at 12:51 pm

An excerpt from the Judgment of Judge Logan, Federal Court of Australia:

The key components of an olive from the perspective of olive oil production are the solid, water and oil contents.

Oil yields from olives can vary greatly depending on factors such as olive variety, irrigation and climatic conditions. Generally though, oil producers expect to extract between 80% and 90% of total available oil in an olive.

There are 3 key measures of olive oil quality:

  • Low FFA (free fatty acid) levels
    This is relevant to the grade of the oil. To qualify as oil of the highest grade, known as extra virgin olive oil, the FFA level must be less than 0.8%. As soon as an olive is harvested, its oil quality starts to deteriorate, largely due to an increase in FFA.
  • Peroxide levels
    The lower the peroxide level, the longer the life expectancy of the oil. Unlike some wines, olive oil deteriorates with age.
  • Polyphenol content
    This is a key determinant of flavour and antioxidant properties. In general , the higher the polyphenol content, the more flavoursome the olive oil.

An extraction plant in itself cannot improve oil quality. Rather, apart from pre-processing factors such as harvesting techniques, storage conditions and time taken to commence processing, the extent to which the oil quality deteriorates depends on an operator’s choice of the main processing parameters. These are:

  • Temperature
    Lower is better, hence the term (cold pressed);
  • Amount of added water
    Less is better;
  • Malaxing time
    Shorter malaxing time is better.

The adoption of low temperatures, less added water and shorter malaxing time heavily reduces oil yield, with a resultant increase in oil quality. The converse is true – increased temperature, water addition and malaxing time in processing will increase oil yield but reduce its quality. Usually, a balancing exercise is involved, but principled producers will continue to produce the best cold pressed, extra virgin oils made from organically grown olives. These oils are of top grade and price.

Consumer Alert: Coway Water Filters

Written by Cliff on Wednesday 22 July 2009 at 7:41 pm

Recently, Coway Water Filters have found their way into the Facebook advertising system. The filters promote ‘safe’ water through their system of 6 filters. However it is not certified by any independent third party, let alone any reputable third party. Consumers are warned because filters that do not fully and properly treat water often end up making the water worse. It is doubted that Coway can live up to its claims.

RDA, ODA, Swine Flu

Written by Cliff on Friday 1 May 2009 at 10:53 pm

090502-swinefluDue to the urgency of the matter (Swine Flu hits HK), I’ve decided to push forward the publication date of this article which describes the difference between the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), and the Optimal Daily Allowance (ODA) of nutrients such as vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals.

The RDA has its historical origin in the USA, where in 1948 just after the Second World War, they began formulating a series of minimum values of vitamins and minerals with the aim to secure that larger populations should not suffer from serious diseases because of deficiency. In other words, the RDA provides ……

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