S.J. Millar - Articles and news items
Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is widely used in the global agri-food industry for the non-destructive assessment of both the compositional and physical characteristics of a wide range of raw materials and finished products. This is particularly so in the cereals and related industries where, following the commercial development of suitable NIR instrumentation in the 1970s, the technique rapidly became the main means of determining a range of compositional properties which form the basis of trading operations worldwide.
Chocolate is widely appreciated globally as a luxury food. Although its introduction to Europe and the rest of the world occurred some 500 years ago, the cocoa bean had been recognised as a highly significant plant in South America for thousands of years prior to that – having been cultivated by the Aztecs.
So prized was their drink (chocolatl, derived from the bean) that it was referred to as ‘the food of the gods’ in their mythology. In turn, this was clearly an influence many years later when the genus, of which the cacao species is a part, was named Theobroma – a derivation of the Greek words for God (Theos) and food (broma) (Russell Cook, 1963).
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