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Chapter 12 : Not All Cigars and Caviar
This chapter talks about the12th European Congress on Biotechnology (ECB12) . Despite ECB12's overall theme of "Bringing Genomes to Life," many contributions expressed distinctive aspects of the geography, gastronomy, agriculture, health, or trade of the participating countries. Insights into the fermentation of Kentucky tobacco to make Toscano cigars in Italy were matched by news of improvements in the ripening of sugar-salted cod roe to produce caviar emulsion in Norway. Marianna Paulino of British American Tobacco in Naples, participated in the ECB12 and described the process in which dark fire-cured Kentucky tobacco, grown in Italy, is prepared to make Toscano cigars. This process was thus used to identify ingredients important for the distinctive flavor of Toscano cigars, as well as to investigate, and perhaps eliminate, potentially toxic components. Based on Western blotting, this new technique was highly accurate and did not show cross-reactions in patients with multiple intestinal parasites, such as Giardia lamblia. The Danish group found that asparaginase is an effective means, superior to other possible enzymatic treatments, of lowering the level of acrylamide in several different laboratory models of the foods in question. Finally, there was news of a novel use for a very familiar member of the gut flora to make a mussel protein that could find commercial applications as an adhesive under aqueous conditions and in medicine.