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Blog

2013: Reflections and the Year in Review

With 2013 coming to a close and 2014 nearly upon us, it’s exciting to look back at what the team at The NFL was able to accomplish for our staff and all of our valued clients.  I’d like to share some of our initiatives and accomplishments for 2013 with all of you: We were very […]

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Why Change Your Pesticides Screens?

  The pesticide list – the MRA (Multi-Residue Analysis) screen of The National Food Laboratory (The NFL) – has remained the same for decades. The list has worked and been very well received by the industry and the companies we work with. Yet in late 2011 and throughout early 2012, we rolled out a new […]

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2012: Reflections and the Year in Review

  I’m now a firm believer in what I heard growing up – that time seems to accelerate as one gets older.  It’s amazing that 2012 is behind us and another year has begun.  Where does the time go? Reflecting for a moment, 2012 was a year of growth, change and investment for The National […]

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See One. Do One. Teach One.

As scientists, we’ve long embraced the idea of collaboration and lifelong learning. One of the ways we exhibit this at The NFL, is by hiring summer interns. We learn a lot from them, and we give them a glimpse of the good, challenging work we do here. This summer, we had the good fortune to […]

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White Paper Library

  ‘It’s a Nice Day for a White Paper’ Taking some creative liberty from a song by the 80’s punk rocker Billy Idol, we’ve enjoyed the progress we’ve made on a goal we set for 2012 at The National Food Lab – specifically, the creation of a white paper library. The National Food Laboratory has […]

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The IFT Experience

For those of us like me who have been around the food industry for several (many, maybe!) years, IFT is an annual event that I really look forward to.  And, it’s that time of year again.  As I look through the list of attendees, I’m struck by how many names are familiar – ex-colleagues, clients, […]

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Responding to a constant stream of questions… like “Why is spinach healthy?”

  I have a four year old daughter, so I spend a significant portion of most days responding to a constant stream of questions. “Why is spinach healthy?” “How does water come out of the faucet?” “What do zebras eat?” I love her curiosity and I especially enjoy watching when she’s had an ‘aha’ moment […]

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Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco

January is a great time for inspiration here at The NFL. We love attending the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco to get our creative juices flowing! This year was no exception. As we walked the aisles, our mouths were watering just looking at the luscious chocolates that were seemingly everywhere. Besides chocolates, there […]

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Spice Up The Big Game

Are you planning a Super Bowl Party and don’t know what to serve? Need to bring something to a party for the big game? Or maybe you’re just on the hunt for TV munchies that the entire family can enjoy. The NFL’s Culinary Center is the perfect play space for me to develop recipes. I […]

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Focusing Your Product Reformulation for Success

Packaged Goods companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars testing their products with consumer audiences. It’s often one of the, if not the, largest proportional budget spend line-items. These product tests converge around a variety of objectives pertaining to overall liking of, acceptance of, or preference for a product, and it’s generally pretty intuitive to […]

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The Package is the Product**

When you were growing up, did your mother ever tell you not to ‘judge a book by its cover?’ Whatever the situation, chances are she (or someone else) did. It might have pertained to meeting a new kid on the block, or forming an opinion based on what the new kid in school was wearing. […]

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Changes in international regulations for manufacturers

As you may know, significant changes have occurred in regulations pertaining to companies doing business internationally. It’s not always easy to keep abreast of the changes. I’ve outlined two key changes that will likely require you to revisit your food contaminant program. The EU has redefined MRLs to be uniform.Until this regulation was in place, […]

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Bringing Italy Home

It was few years back when I traveled for the first time to Italy. My husband and I focused our adventure on Rome. As a chef, I was mesmerized by the sights and smells of the colorful foods I discovered in Italy. The dish my husband and I fell in love with is the national […]

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A Perspective from the Street

  After 20 years of “air and asphalt” miles pedaling food ingredients to the food industry, it’s great it is to be selling The NFL’s services to familiar companies. We, at The NFL, have so many different services which most food companies can use at any given moment based on their workload and priorities. Clients […]

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Real Food

As I look out at my fading garden under the late summer sun, I have consumers’ words ringing in my ears. More and more, here at The NFL, we’ve heard consumers talking about “real” food.

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The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting

If you have never been to this conference or have missed attending in the past couple of years, get it back on your schedule! IAFP is committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide.

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It’s The People, Stupid

I’ve been intrigued by the lengthening string/threaded discussion on one of the popular professional social network sites about why such a large percentage of new products fail. The question initiating the discussion, which at the time of writing this had already elicited several hundred replies, states that 80% of new products ‘fail’ and asks the […]

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A perspective: E-Coli, Pesticides & Other Spectacular Food News!

As I was making my usual Monday morning run south from home on the North Coast to work in the East Bay, I couldn’t help but marvel at how many drivers are so out-of-touch with their environment. On southbound 101, a vehicle is driving 50 mph in the left lane. This driver was on a […]

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Guaranteeing a ‘Guarantee’ (or Optimizing a ‘Guarantee’)

Is it just me, or have others noticed the frequency of ‘guarantee’ now being touted as part of a brand’s messaging?  Brand names aside, in just the last week and across different media formats, I’ve seen this claim used on products that span many areas in a typical grocery store – instant coffee, paper towels, […]

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Kitchen Stadium in Reality

My three daughters and I are moving in with my long-time boyfriend, an event that trumps the royal wedding in our minds.  As we jockey for “share” in the kitchen, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the different perspectives each person has on brand usage, product quality, nutrition, product “must haves” and product “must not […]

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The Art and Science of Play

While I walked through a neighborhood toy store yesterday, I was reminded of how my young children learn about their world through playing.  What looks like playing is actually a continuous process of creating and testing. Here at The NFL, we are in the fortunate position to “play” like this as grown-ups.  Not only do […]

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Thoughts from IFT

From our vantage point on the main aisle at IFT 2011, we met with many of our wonderful, loyal clients and also cultivated new relationships.  I thought I’d share some of my observations with you: Having more seating in our booth this year allowed people to come “sit a spell”! Many people coming by seemed […]

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Welcome to our new site

With the launch of our new website, The National Food Lab will now be blogging. This will allow several of our food design and food integrity experts to share their opinions and news on everything from trends we’ve seen in restaurants to musings on equipment and testing. We intend to write about anything that is […]

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