food histology

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From:"Smith, Allen" <>
To:'Simon Smith' <>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Robert Carroll at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in King-of-Prussia, PA, used
to do histological studies, mostly EM, on foods before and after processing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon Smith []
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2000 3:27 PM
To: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: RE: nutrients

My wife, (a lapsed food science graduate) has no recollection of seeing any
histology performed on food.  In terms of processing a substance such as
cake or bread I'm not sure how you could preserve a structure which is
essentially made from a series of gas bubbles surrounded by a
starch/protein/fat matrix without causing the structure to collapse, using
the usual histological methods. I'm thinking about what happens to a
yorkshire pudding when you pour gravy onto it.  (That's done it, I am now
officially hungry). I have seen photos of the structure of foams (they may
well have been the heads from different beers!) which had been frozen then
freeze-fractured and examined via the SEM. (Dammit now I'm really thirsty!)
I would guess they were sputter coated with something. The structure of the
foam would be important to a food scientist as it would impact on the
density and mouth feel of a food.  Maybe you could fume your piece of bread
or cake with a cyanoacrylate to reinforce it, or vapor fix with formaldehyde
before freeze drying/freeze substituting it.

Bob Francis (from the Royal London Hospital, UK) showed a slide once in a
lecture of an H&E on a piece of smoked english bacon (not the thin sliced
pig fat excuse for bacon found in the US).  The salting and smoking did a
pretty good job of preserving the structure of the muscle, though I wouldn't
like you to do it to a piece of me.  (Now I want a bacon sandwich!)

All of the information on the nutritional composition of foods stems from
chemical/biochemical analysis.  The reason we know the vitamin C content of
potatoes comes from just under the skin is because someone analysed the
peeled potato, then analysed the peelings.  (That's It! look out McDonalds,
here I come)


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey S Crews []
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: nutrients

Well, we did do an H&E on a "spicy smoked meat snack" in my lab after
hearing that it was a good bacteria control. Thank God I don't eat those.
Feh.   jc

On Wed, 05 Apr 2000 18:02:22 -0700 Don Hammer <>
>This sounds like it might develop into a very interesting thread.  I 
>never thought of Histology procedures being done on food.  This recent 
>leads me to wonder how cake might be processed.
>I hope there are people on here that work on nutrients and food.  The 
>route into this field would be interesting reading as well.  My 
>ends at cooking, enjoying, and I might add, to the chagrin of some, 
>retired, having more time to do so.  *happy grin*  (If you find 
>yourself in
>Seattle visiting, give me a call, I'll cook bring the 
>Don Hammer, Retired Guy (but really still interested in learning)
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Bro. Lauren Ball <>
>To: <>
>Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2000 8:19 AM
>Subject: Re: nutrients
>> I remember a special stain that differentiated between carbohydrate 
>> protein in cake.  It's been to many years to remember the exact 
>> I suspect that common methods could be modified to work.
>> Lauren
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Tora Bardal <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 1:55 AM
>> Subject: nutrients
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > Is there anyone out there working with histology of nutrients and 
>> > particles?
>> > Usually I`m working with fish larvae, but we might get a project
>> > nutrients, and I am at the moment just curious if Histonet could 
>be a
>> > source of information on this topic.
>> > ______________________________
>> >     .////.   .//
>> >   o:::::::::///
>> >  >::::::::::\\\
>> >     '\\\\\'   \\
>> >
>> > Tora Bardal tlf: + (47)73 59 09 38
>> > Department of Zoology, fax: + (47)73 59 63 11
>> > Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
>> > Brattoera Research Center
>> > N-7491 Trondheim
>> > Norway
>> >
>> >

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