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Newsletter - September 2009

This month, we feature new resources showcasing research on fish oil in functional food, including a unit plan for technology teachers, and a new theme on DNA barcoding. Also, you can read about the latest biotechnology developments in our news articles.

What's new on the Hub?

Barcoding life – Theme
Our latest theme explores DNA barcoding and its goal of identifying and distinguishing all living species on Earth. Learn more about the ideal barcoding gene and find out about barcoding projects in New Zealand, which are identifying everything from swamp hens to sharks.

Fish oil in functional food – Focus story
Our new focus story showcases research at the Riddet Institute in Palmerston North. Discover why food technologists are adding fish oil to food and how they do this without making the food smell or taste fishy. Ice cream enriched with fish oil is one of the prototype products they’ve developed and tested with consumers.

The benefits of fish oil – Information sheet
Discover the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and why most people don’t get enough in their diet.

Adding fish oil to food – Information sheet
Researchers at the Riddet Institute have developed a way of adding a daily dose of fish oil to a single serving of food. Find out how they protect the fish oil from breaking down so it can be added to foods without making it smell or taste fishy.

Prototypes of functional foods – Information sheet
Prototypes are an important part of developing the microencapsulation technology that allows fish oil to be added to food. Find out how the researchers decide what new food products to trial and why prototype development is on-going.

Microencapsulating fish oil – Animation
Watch an animation showing how the fish oil is microencapsulated to protect it from breaking down when it is added to food.

Fish oil in functional food video gallery – Video clips
Learn more about the research and development of this technology from Dr Harjinder Singh and Amit Taneja, the technologists involved in the research.

Teaching activities

Promote omega-3 enriched food – Unit plan
Get your students to consider the ethical issues of adding fish oil to food and to design an advertisement to promote an omega-3 enriched food. This technology unit plan is aimed at upper primary and lower secondary schools. It will help students understand the interaction between technology and society and how people’s acceptance of a technology can influence its development.

Latest biotech news

Keep up to date with the latest biotechnology news, events and radio broadcasts. We add more items regularly, so keep an eye out for these.

Peanut enzyme may solve soy problem – News item
Lactose intolerant people who find soy milk makes them flatulent may eventually have an alternative.

GM technology could reduce methane emissions – News item
Scientists have used genetic modification (GM) technology in forage crops to reduce methane emissions from livestock.

Regenerative medicine: a new generation therapeutic – Radio New Zealand audio
Regenerative medicine offers the potential to grow replacement skin, cartilage and bone. New Zealand-based regenerative medicine researchers are building links with researchers in the UK.
Audio duration: 13:23

More news and events

We welcome your ideas

We’re keen to hear from teachers using the resources. Email us at enquiries@biotechlearn.org.nz if you have any questions, comments or feedback about the Hub, or complete our online feedback form.

Best wishes,
Dr Diane Dinnis, Project Manager
New Zealand Biotechnology Learning Hub
www.biotechlearn.org.nz

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