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U.S. Baked Goods Sales Rise In 2012, But Will Stagnate In Near Future

May 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The trend toward healthier breads – whole wheat, multigrain, and gluten-free – helped fuel a three percent growth in baked goods sales in the U.S. (to $48.6 billion in 2012), according to a new Euromonitor report. Introduction of numerous gluten-free baked goods, however, may be unable to stop the effect of what Euromonitor calls “the large migration of consumers from bread to rice-based or other gluten-free products”. One portentous note: the value share of most major bread brands dropped in 2012 as artisanal and private label breads “continued to win out”. Euromonitor expects retail constant value sales of baked goods to stagnate over the next four years, while retail volume sales will slip five percent.
Alex De Angelis, "Doughnuts dominate the US baked goods market", News release, Companies and Markets, May 01, 2013, © Vertical Edge Limited
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“Health Casual” Restaurant Chains Signal A Burgeoning Trend

May 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
According to food industry experts, the dining-out standards of American consumers have risen in recent years. Restaurant goers are looking for eateries that offer fast food that is also fresh, healthy and suitable for all kinds of diets, including vegan and gluten-free. Some fast casual restaurant chains are ahead of the curve. Freshii, for example, focuses on what it calls “health casual” in its 75 locations in eight countries; vegetarian and falafel-centered Maoz has restaurants in six U.S. cities and several in Europe; salad-focused Chop't operates in New York City and Washington D.C., and Native Foods Cafe is rapidly opening stores on the West Coast.
Megan Durisin, "Here's Why Healthy Dining Will Be The Next Big Thing In Fast Food", Business Insider, May 01, 2013, © Business Insider, Inc.
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Bakers Develop Lower Calorie Yeast Rolls To Meet School Nutrition Guidelines

May 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
New school lunch nutritional requirements are forcing baked goods companies to reformulate some tried-and-true products. Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, for example, recently sent a couple of its bakers to a Norfolk, Virginia, school to develop a low-calorie version of a ”cafeteria classic”: scratch-made yeast rolls, normally 210 calories apiece. Using a combination of science and trial-and-error, the bakers came up with a formula that reduced the fat and cut sugar by about 25 percent, while possibly improving the taste. The new roll weighed in at 169 calories – about 20 percent less than the original version. According to the company’s nutrition director, the new version was “wonderful”, possibly better than the original.
Sarah Hutchins, "Norfolk schools aim for a healthier roll", The Virginian-Pilot, May 01, 2013, © The Virginian-Pilot
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Natural Food Company Launches Sprouted Grain Pizzas

April 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The growing interest among health enthusiasts in sprouted grains has not escaped the attention of natural food companies. Better For You Foods LLC, for example, has launched two varieties of all-natural sprouted grain pizzas: Better4U Bruschetta and Old World Veggie.  Both contain 39 grams of whole grains per serving. The pizzas are high in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and lower in calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium than competing brands, according to the company. Better For You is also developing a sprouted grain pizza that will be a dairy-free vegetarian version, appropriate for people who eat vegan. 
"Better4U Foods Launches All Natural Sprouted Grain Pizzas ", News release, Better4U Foods, April 29, 2013, © Better4U Foods
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Mangos Help Control Blood Sugar Levels Among Obese People, Study Shows

April 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Mangos have properties that can help regulate blood sugar levels among obese people, according to the study presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Conducted by a research team led by Edralin Lucas, the study studied the effects of eating mangos everyday on 20 obese adult people. At the end of the 12-week study period, during which participants ate 10 grams of freeze-dried mango daily, the researchers found that the blood sugar levels of the participants declined from levels recorded at the start of the study.
Joseph Nordqvist, "Mangos Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels Among Obese People", Medical News Today, April 28, 2013, © Medical News Today
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Coffee Helps Lower Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence, Sweden Study Suggests

April 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Drinking coffee could help lower the risk of breast cancer recurring in patients who are taking the drug Tamoxifen, according to a study at the Lund University in Sweden. Results of the study, which focused on more than 600 breast cancer patients for five years, revealed patients who took the pill and drank two or more cups of coffee daily reported less than 50 percent of the cancer recurrence rate reported by Tamoxifen-taking patients who drank only one cup or less. Researchers are now evaluating the theory that coffee makes Tamoxifen more efficient, according to oncology doctoral student Maria Simonsson. Lund University scientists have previously linked coffee consumption to lower risk of developing certain types of breast cancer.
"Coffee May Help Prevent Breast Cancer Returning, Study Finds", Nutrition Horizon , April 26, 2013, © CNS Media BV
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Clinical Study Finds Indian Plant Effective As Appetite Suppressant

April 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian study has found evidence that an extract of an edible succulent plant native to India aids in reducing waist size in overweight and obese people by suppressing appetite. Researchers tested the effect of 500 mg of Caralluma fimbriata extract on 33 overweight men and women. After 12 weeks, those who had taken the supplement has lost an average of 2.6 inches from their waist, compared to one inch among the control group. The active ingredients in Caralluma fimbriata – pregnane glycosides – have been shown in other human trials to inhibit appetite. Caralluma fimbriata is available through the ingredient Slimaluma, developed by Gencor, which provided the extract for the Australian study.
Engredea News & Analysis , "Indian herb may whittle waistlines", Newhope 360, April 26, 2013, © Penton Media, Inc
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Protein Consumption Is Important To Weight Loss, Survey Of Women Finds

April 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A survey of 1,824 middle-aged women found that 43 percent believe eating more protein prevents weight gain, and eating protein helped in their own efforts to lose weight. Most of the women surveyed correctly identified good protein sources, and a majority knew the daily percent of dietary energy recommended from protein. According to the researchers, because the majority of Americans are overweight, education regarding dietary protein requirements may enhance the use of protein in the diet as a weight loss strategy. Women may need more information regarding protein energy content and choosing protein sources to enhance protein intake as a weight management strategy, they said.
Noel D. Aldrich et al., "Perceived Importance of Dietary Protein to Prevent Weight Gain: A National Survey among Midlife Women", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, April 26, 2013, © Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior
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“Stealth Health” Restaurants Quietly Offer Delicious – And Healthy – Meals

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A new California fast-casual restaurant chain – LYFE Kitchen – uses little salt, and no butter, cream, white flour, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, additives or preservatives. But it still manages to churn out delicious low-calorie foods made with organic and local ingredients, without any preaching. It seems to be the opposite of healthy food – “tofu, brown rice, low-fat anything” – which has a reputation for being “the opposite of delicious”. In the restaurant industry, the kinds of meals LYFE Kitchen is serving is part of the “stealth health” trend: good tasting foods that are also healthy and nutritious, if a little pricey. An ironic twist on the story: LYFE was founded by former McDonald’s executives.
Jane Black, "Casual restaurants try selling ‘stealth health’", The Washington Post, April 23, 2013, © The Washington Post
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Breakfast Cereal Companies Need To Grapple With Some Key Factors Dampening Their Sales

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Rabobank says five key factors are contributing to the nationwide slide in breakfast cereal consumption. At the top of the list is the trend toward eating breakfast out, followed closely by the trend toward snacking – “snackfast – as Americans seek convenience and portability. Other factors contributing to the problem: the growing popularity of protein-packed yogurt; the perception among nutrition-conscious consumers that cereals contain added sugars and are heavily marketed to children; and the realization that a declining birth rate is eroding a key market demographic: kids. Cereal companies need to pursue new strategies to keep up, Rabobank says: focus on innovation and spend more money on healthy ingredients.
"Rabobank Report: Cereal Killers – Five Trends Revolutionizing American Breakfast", News release, Rabobank, April 23, 2013, © Rabobank
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Three Studies Provide Evidence That Tree Nuts Are A Very Healthy Addition To The Diet

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers recently presented three studies associating tree nuts with a better nutrient profile, better diet quality, lower body weight, lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, and a decrease in cardiovascular risk factors. Nuts included in the studies were almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. One study involving 803 adults found that eating one ounce (one serving) of tree nuts weekly was associated with a seven percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome. Another study showed that nut consumption was associated with a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL or "bad" cholesterol, blood pressure, and coronary heart disease risk.
"New Findings on Tree Nuts and Health Presented", Nutrition Horizon, April 23, 2013, © CNS Media BV
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Low-Carb Veggie-Based Breads Can Help With Weight Loss

April 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A former U.K. stock trader has turned from making commissions to making and selling sandwiches – 300 a day – that are not only tasty they are extremely low-calorie and nutritious. The key ingredient? Broccoli. His secret formula for broccoli bread contains mostly broccoli, some oregano and other spices, some dairy products and egg white, and “a few mystery ingredients”.  A food blogger, meanwhile, extols the virtues and versatility of cauliflower when prepared properly with the right flavorings. A trendy example: “cauliflower pizza”. A major benefit of these vegetable-based breads, snacks  and entrees: they are so low in carbs and calories that they can form the nutritious core of a weight-loss diet.
Victoria Stewart , "War on carbs: broccoli and cauliflower are on the offensive", London Evening Standard , April 22, 2013, © Evening Standard Limited
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Benefits Of Fiber-Enhancing Food Products Using Inulin And Oligofructose

April 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The market for fiber-enhanced food products is likely to continue to grow, thanks to increased consumer awareness of the important role that digestive health plays in overall health. According to the author, a spokesman for a food fortification company, inulin and oligofructose (OF) are the perfect ingredients to use when formulating with fiber. They occur naturally in several plants, fruits and vegetables and provide a variety of functional and nutritional benefits. They function as prebiotics, contributing to healthy gut flora. Because they are soluble, inulin and OF can be utilized in a variety of products: bars, beverages, cereals, baked goods, confections and dairy products, reducing sugar, fat and calorie content. 
Patrick Morris, "Formulating With Fiber", Nutraceuticals World, April 22, 2013, © Rodman Media
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Sprouted Whole Grains May Be The Next Big Food Trend

April 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Though there aren’t a lot of sprouted grain products on the market yet, there is growing interest, according to the Whole Grains Council, and food manufacturers are responding. In what some predict will be one of the next big trends in the food industry, store shelves are gradually being filled with hot and cold sprouted whole-grain cereals, flours, pastas, pizzas, bread sticks and tortilla chips. Also available are nuts, legumes and seeds – technically not grains – that can be sprouted. Why sprouted whole grains? According to one devotee in the Rochester, N.Y., area, “they are sprouted like a vegetable” so “your body digests them like a vegetable” and they are kinder to the digestive system.
Karen Miltner, "Going with the (sprouted) grains", Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (New York), April 19, 2013, © Gannett/www.democratandchronicle.com
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Frozen Food Makers Hope To Change The Public Image Of Their Products

April 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Frozen food manufacturers worried about consumer perceptions of fresh foods versus frozen want to set the record straight about their products. So several big companies – General Mills, Heinz, ConAgra, etc. – have banded together into the Frozen Food Roundtable to get their message about the benefits of frozen foods out to the public “in a comprehensive fashion”. They have allocated $50 million to hire two ad agencies to change how consumers think about frozen foods “by promoting positive messaging”. Frozen vegetables don’t seem to be in that much trouble, sales-wise. Revenues last year were $5.7 billion, up about one percent. Frozen fruit sales totaled $422 million, up 8 percent. Frozen entrees haven’t fared as well, as consumers continue to worry about nutrition.
Nancy Shute, "Frozen Food Gets Ready For Its Image Upgrade", Report, NPR, April 19, 2013, © NPR
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Mother’s Solution To Child’s Allergy Problem Spawns A Growing Whole-Grain Tortilla Business

April 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
An Arizona mother of a child with allergies to processed foods decided to put the whole family on a strict preservative-free whole grain diet. She also decided that if she wanted whole-grain tortillas she’d have to make them herself. Reworking an old family recipe, she came up with a whole-grain tortilla. Her son’s migraines and seizures ended. And when her husband lost his job in 2009, she decided to turn her creation into a business. The family now makes their tortillas – 2,000 dozen a week – in a small commercial-grade kitchen in Tucson and sells them a local food co-op and farmers markets. Shoppers will soon be able to find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and at Tucson Medical Center.
Ernesto Portillo Jr. , "Neto's Tucson: Neto's Tucson: Family tortilla makers go whole grain", Arizona Daily Star, April 14, 2013, via Associated Press, © The Associated Press
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Researchers Search For Mechanism In Brain That Encourages Snacking To Excess

April 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Can’t stop eating those potato chips once you get started? Blame it on “hedonic hyperphagia,” a scientific term for recreational eating that goes well beyond the need to satisfy hunger. Turns out, hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from it, though it keeps the snack food and confectionery industries in the black. German scientists who have been studying the phenomenon in rats using magnetic resonance imaging report that the reward and addiction centers in the brain record the most activity when the animals eat chips or chow. But the food intake, sleep, activity and motion areas are stimulated significantly differently when the rats eat potato chips. The next step is to find the ingredient in snacks that stimulates the brain.
"Revealing the scientific secrets of why people can’t stop after eating one potato chip", News release, National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, April 11, 2013, © American Chemical Society
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Meat Substitute Made From Wheat Gluten Is A Vegan Hit In New York City

April 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
It sounds oxymoronic, but a “vegetarian butcher shop” in Brooklyn, N.Y., is having great success supplying a flour-based meat substitute known as seitan – an alternative to tofu, tempei, etc. – to local home cooks, restaurants and retail stores. Seitan is made from gluten, the main protein of wheat, by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves. The gluten is then mixed with flavor and texture ingredients, shaped into dough, and cooked for use in vegetarian stir-fry, sandwiches, salads, soups, omelettes etc. The owners of Monk’s Meats – who started their business when they realized that fresh seitan was not available in grocery stores – produce 100 to 150 pounds of seitan daily. It is then hand-delivered to customers.
Liza de Guia, "Monk's Meats: A Vegetarian Butcher Makes a Case for Wheat Meat", The Huffington Post, April 10, 2013, © TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
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New Book Paints A Disturbing Picture Of The Food Processing Industry

April 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The global obesity epidemic proceeds apace, as people continue to consume salty, fatty and sugary processed foods. This is occurring despite the recent efforts of food writers doggedly exposing the truth about big food companies and the products they sell. The latest to weigh in on the subject is former New York Times reporter Melanie Warner, who describes in “Pandora’s Lunchbox” how food is manipulated along with credulous consumers. Reviewer Mark Bittman says the manipulation is “downright absurd”. Breakfast cereal, for example – touted as a “wholesome, nutritious way to start the day” – has to be enhanced with vitamins and minerals because the extrusion and toasting process "destroys many nutrients, as well as fiber”.
Mark Bittman, "Lost in the Supermarket", The New York Times, April 09, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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Food-Grade Sorghum Makes A Good Substitute For Wheat In Gluten-Free Breads - Study

April 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A recently published Italian study found no chemical reason why the cereal grain sorghum should not be eaten by people with celiac disease. The researchers said the absence of gliadin-like peptides in sorghum makes it a viable alternative to wheat, rye and barley for people with celiac disease, a severe allergic reaction to gluten. The researchers cautioned, however, that the sorghum used for human consumption should be the food-grade cultivars that they tested. Food-grade sorghum does not contain condensed tannins like regular sorghum used as animal feed that can reduce the digestibility of dietary proteins. Food-grade sorghum is inexpensive and highly nutritional, making it suitable for gluten-free breads.
Kacey Culliney, "Sorghum is celiac-safe: Study", Bakery and Snacks, April 04, 2013, © William Reed Business Media
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New Cookbook Capitalizes On Two Current Trends: Cannabis And Cupcakes

April 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
It wasn’t that long ago that someone stoned on marijuana was referred to, among other things, as “baked”. It seems an appropriate term in light of a newly published cookbook called “Cannabis Cupcakes,” which manages to catch two trends by the tail: legalization of marijuana and a madness for cupcakes. Baking cannabis into sweet treats is nothing new. (Remember the friend who brought “hash brownies” and “space cakes” to parties?) In the new book, author Chris Stone, who publishes frequently on marijuana topics, has teamed up with a cupcake baker to provide recipes for “edibles” that rely heavily on butter and safflower oil enhanced with cannabis, which is more potent when dissolved in fats.
Jenn Garbee, "'Cannabis Cupcakes': The Latest Cupcake Trend Promises A 'More Intense' High", Huffington Post, April 04, 2013, © TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
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Tighter Budgets Mean More Eating At Home, Kids Exerting Greater Control Over Meals

April 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Less dining out because of tighter budgets means more kids are eating at home, and they are exerting increasing over breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, according to The NPD Group. Thirty-one percent of kids (ages 2 to 17) influence what they have for breakfast, 24 percent control lunch and three percent influence dinner. Forty-six percent of kids choose their own snacks. Stay-at-home dinners are also on the rise, thanks to budget constraints. The market researchers says these trends open up some marketing opportunities for food and beverage makers.
"A Third of Kids Decide What to Eat for Breakfast But Few Kids Control Dinner Decisions, Reports NPD ", Report, NPD, April 03, 2013, © The NPD Group, Inc
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Why Is Congress Protecting Big (Genetic Engineering) Business, Ignoring Consumer Concerns?

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Despite the fact that transgenic (or genetic) engineering in agriculture has proven disappointing, writes N.Y. Times blogger Mark Bittman, big corporations like Monsanto have gotten Congress to protect the use of the technology – most recently in the funding bill that President Obama signed. A “disgraceful” rider in the huge piece of legislation bars the USDA from stopping production of any GE crop once it’s been planted, even if evidence suggests it could be harmful. With so many questions about the usefulness and potential dangers of GE in farming, Bittman wonders, why is Congress protecting big corporations instead of the public interest?
"Why Do G.M.O.’s Need Protection?", The New York Times, April 02, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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BHJ Unveils Functional Chicken Protein For Use In Poultry Processing

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Danish protein manufacturer BHJ Ingredients has developed what it calls “the world’s first functional chicken protein” for use in chicken applications such as colds meats, marinated chicken, nuggets, burgers and meat balls. SCANPRO FACP 75/SF offers poultry and chicken meat processors the benefit of improved texture, firmness and succulence, the company says. BHJ expects the product to sell well because of the strong worldwide demand for functional chicken protein, and processors can boost value, save on recipe costs and maintain quality and flavor.
"BHJ launches world's first functional chicken protein", BHJ, April 02, 2013, © BHJ A/S
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It’s A Grind, But Some Purists Love Making The Flour They Use For Whole Grain Breads

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The trend away from eating processed foods is getting even more basic as foodies, locavores, gourmets and others have discovered the benefits of not only making and baking their own whole grain bread, but milling the wheat to make the flour. California food writer Jennifer Graue describes how one couple grows wheat in a 12-by-30-foot “field” in the backyard, harvests the wheat berries – about 10 pounds annually – removes the chaff using a leaf blower, then mills the wheat into flour. They use an electric grain mill that simplifies the job. Graue notes that it is not really necessary to cultivate your own wheat to gain the benefits of homemade whole grain bread. Plenty of stores sell the ingredients necessary to get the job done.
Jennifer Graue, "DIY flour? Stone-ground whole grains are on the rise", San Jose Mercury News, April 02, 2013, © San Jose Mercury News
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Pretzel Bread Continues To Make Inroads In The Fast Food Business

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Pretzel bread is the fastest growing – up 36 percent from 2011 to 2012 – restaurant sandwich bread in the U.S., according to market researcher Dataessential. It’s no surprise, then, that Blimpie has added the product as a permanent option to its menu. Blimpie, started serving pretzel bread in 2009, and now joins Wendy’s Subway, Red Robin, and others in adding the “classic taste steeped in American tradition” as mainstays to their menus. QSRweb, which monitors fast-food restaurants, says one of the big culinary trends to emerge in 2013 is new styles of bread.
"Blimpie to add pretzel bread as permanent option", News release, Blimpie , April 02, 2013, © Kahala Corp
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Large Food, Beverage Makers Need To Boost Availability Of Nutritious Products Globally

April 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A report from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition urgesmultinational food and beverage makers to do more to increase access to nutritious products and use their influence to improve consumer food and beverage choices and behaviors. The Global Access to Nutrition Index ranks the nutrition-related commitments, performance and disclosure practices of 25 big food and beverage makes according to international guidelines, norms and accepted best practices. Danone, Unilever and Nestlé were ranked the highest in the report, receiving the highest scores on both the obesity and under-nutrition criteria.
"The Access to Nutrition Index – Global Index 2013", Report, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition , April 01, 2013, © GAIN - Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
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American Consumers Are Worried About Sodium Intake, But Confused About How To Cut Back

March 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Mintel reports that 58 percent of Americans say they monitor their salt intake at home, but are not necessarily buying less processed food or eating out less often – where the real salt threats lie. Seventy-two percent of consumers limiting their sodium intake say they cook with less salt and 64 percent say they add less salt to their meals. The researcher says these patterns show that Americans are confused about how to reduce sodium intake. Most of the sodium people consume comes from packaged foods and restaurant fare, “not what they are preparing at home”. Mintel advises restaurants and packaged food makers to enhance the flavor of low-sodium foods by using herbs and spices.
"Don’t put down the salt shaker yet; American consumers confused on how to best reduce sodium intake", Mintel Oxygen Reports, March 31, 2013, © Mintel Group Ltd
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Americans See Nutrients As Important To Their Food Choices

March 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Statistics from a variety of market researchers show that Americans are paying closer attention to the nutrient ingredients of the foods they purchase. The Food Marketing Institute says 33 percent more shoppers are buying foods and beverages because of their healthy components. A Gallup nutrition study finds that 86 percent of adults in 2012 “made a strong effort” to eat more nutrients, including vitamins, specialty ingredients, herbs and botanicals, and minerals. HealthFocus reports that 90 percent of adults say it is important to get nutrients naturally from foods. Nutrients now important to Americans: calcium, vitamin D, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, choline, prebiotics, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols/cocoa flavanols, and protein.
A. Elizabeth Sloan , "Hot Nutritional Ingredients for 2013", Institute of Food Technologists, March 31, 2013, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Canola Oils Found To Reduce Abdominal Fat, Lower Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome

March 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The monounsaturated fats in canola oil and high-oleic canola oils appear to reduce abdominal fat, in turn reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, U.S. researchers have found. For the randomized, controlled trial, 121 participants at risk for metabolic syndrome consumed a smoothie containing 40 grams (1.42 oz.) of one of five oils as part of a weight maintenance, heart-healthy, 2000-calorie per day diet. Results showed that those who consumed canola or high-oleic canola oils every day for four weeks lowered their belly fat by 1.6 percent compared to those who consumed a flax/safflower oil blend.
Kris-Etherton et al., "Monounsaturated Fats Reduce Metabolic Syndrome Risk", News release, presentation at the American Heart Association's EPI/NPAM scientific sessions, March 29, 2013, © Kris-Etherton et al.
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In-Store Bakeries Can Offer More Sugar-Free Products, Thanks To Improved Ingredients

March 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Though in-store bakeries say sales of no-sugar baked goods are rising steadily, the revenue is small compared to other bakery items. Most stores don’t really pay much attention to the category. But one store in Wooster, Ohio, says it is responding to the increased demand for sugar-free baked goods among health-conscious shoppers. Buehler Food Markets offers a variety of sugar-free products beyond cookies and pies. Pound cakes are the best seller at the store because they come in a variety of flavors. A key reason for increased sales is improved taste, thanks to better quality ingredients. Manufacturers are using natural sweeteners, and combinations of sweeteners and starches, that have improved taste, crumb, texture and mouth-feel.
Edward M. Lee , "Make no-sugar bakery sales successful", Modern Baking, March 27, 2013, © Penton Media, Inc
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Compound Derived From Cod Inhibits The Spread Of Cancer In Lab Study

March 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Following the trend of researching natural dietary products that could have anti-tumor potential, a U.S. study in lab animals has found that a peptide (protein) found in Pacific cod seems to inhibit the metastasis of prostate cancer. Polar fish, such as northern cod, express glycoproteins rich in an antigen that protects them from freezing. Using a special form of the antigen purified from Pacific cod, the researchers observed that it  prevents cancer cells from attaching to vessel walls – inhibiting spreading – and suppresses T-cell death, boosting the immune response. They said an understanding of how the antigens work could lead to development of foods that act as cancer therapeutics and agents for immunotherapy.
Prasun Guha et al., "Cod glycopeptide with picomolar affinity to galectin-3 suppresses T-cell apoptosis and prostate cancer metastasis", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 26, 2013, © AAAS
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Genetically Engineered Tomatoes Produce A Compound That Reduces Harmful Inflammation

March 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists have genetically engineered tomatoes to produce a compound that provides the same health benefits as high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good cholesterol”. The engineered tomatoes produce 6F, a small peptide that mimics the action of apoA-1, the chief protein in HDL. Mice in the study lacked the ability to remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) from their blood and ate a high-fat “Western-style” diet. Those that ate the peptide-enhanced tomatoes had significantly lower levels of inflammation; those not fed the tomatoes developed inflammation and atherosclerosis. The researchers said human consumption of genetically modified foods containing apoA-1-related peptides could someday help improve chronic conditions associated with harmful inflammation.
A. Chattopadhyay et al., "A Novel Approach to Oral ApoA-I Mimetic Therapy", The Journal of Lipid Research, March 23, 2013, © American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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Book Details The Food Industry’s Role In Burgeoning Obesity Epidemic

March 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Food companies have long been aware of people’s ingrained hankering for salt, sugar and fat, and have long profited from their awareness. Many of their unhealthiest products are crafted to appeal to those hankerings, and they are marketed – often to the most vulnerable audiences like children and the poor – without concern for their harmful effects, according to investigative report Michael Moss. His book “Salt Sugar Fat” describes the food industry’s deliberate development and marketing of “craveable” foods loaded with fat and sugar. “If you had any doubt as to the food industry’s complicity in our obesity epidemic,” says Washington Post reviewer Hannah Wallace, “it will evaporate when you read this book.”
Hannah Wallace, "‘Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us’ by Michael Moss", The Washington Post, March 22, 2013, © The Washington Post
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Toddlers’ Meals, Snacks Found To Be Loaded With Sodium

March 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. Centers for Disease Control scientists who tested 1,115 packaged meals and snacks for babies and toddlers found that almost three fourths of toddler foods had more than 210 mg of sodium per serving. Toddler meals tended to have much more salt per serving than baby foods: some had as much as 630 mg of sodium per serving. That’s about 40 percent of the daily amount recommended by the American Heart Association. The researchers said the less salt in a baby’s or toddler’s diet, the less they are likely to want in their foods as they grow older. Studies have shown that consuming excessive amounts of sodium is associated with the development of high blood pressure.
Joyce Maalouf et al., "Most Pre-Packaged Meals Snacks for Toddlers Contain Too Much Salt", News release, presentation at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 scientific sessions, March 21, 2013, © American Heart Association
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Whole Grains Can Easily Be Incorporated Into The American Diet

March 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The Newton (Iowa) Daily News elaborates on suggestions from the Whole Grain Council on how Americans can easily boost whole grain content – to the recommended three to five servings daily – in their diet. Breakfast, for example, could include whole grain versions of waffles, pancakes, cereals, burritos, or even French toast. Whole grain snacks can include cereal mixes, popcorn or whole wheat tortillas with sliced fruit and peanut butter. A third of the flour in a recipe could be replaced with quick oats or old-fashioned oats; uncooked oats can replace bread crumbs in  meatballs, burgers and meatloaf. Last, and maybe easiest, try whole grain pastas and whole grain breads.
"Finding whole grains in everyday foods", Newton Daily News, March 21, 2013, © Newton Daily News
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Way Too Much Salt In The Diet Of The World’s Population, Study Finds

March 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 1,500 mg of salt per day; the World Health Organization recommends 2,000 mg. But a new U.S. study finds that 75 percent of the world population consumes an average of 4,000 mg of sodium daily through commercially prepared foods, table salt, and salt and soy sauce added during cooking. The researchers said they hope the findings will encourage national governments around the globe to “develop public health interventions to lower sodium”. Excess sodium intake raises blood pressure and can lead to cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in the world.
Saman Fahimi et al., "Adults Worldwide Eat Almost Double Daily Recommended Amount of Sodium", News release, research presented at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2013 scientific sessions, March 21, 2013, © American Heart Association
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Natural Product Destroys Salmonella During Processing Of Ground Meat, Poultry

March 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Despite recent recalls of fresh ground turkey and chicken due to salmonella contamination, demand for poultry products as a cheaper alterative to beef continues to grow. To provide an effective answer to the threat, Intralytix has developed SalmoFresh, a product whose active ingredients seek out and kill Salmonella, including the Heidelberg, Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Newport, Hadar, Kentucky and Thompson strains. Intralytix, which specializes in natural products that kill foodborne pathogens, says SalmoFresh works well on ground red meat and poultry. The meats are sprayed before grinding, resulting in significantly reduced Salmonella contamination. The FDA has granted SalmoFresh the status of GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).
Cookson Beecher , "New Spray Product Takes Aim at Salmonella on Poultry", Food Safety News, March 20, 2013, © Food Safety News
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“Clean” Diet Gaining Popularity In U.S.

March 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The heart-healthy “Mediterranean” diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, and wine, gained a scientific endorsement and made headlines recently. A close relative of the Mediterranean diet in the U.S. is the “clean” diet with its  foundation in whole foods – unprocessed, junkless, and sugarless, with less reliance on meat and dairy. The clean diet advises shoppers to stay away from the middle of grocery stores, where all the colorful boxes, bottles, bags and cans lurk, and spend more time and money in the produce section. Ivy Larson, author of Clean Cuisine, urges people to “eat nutrient-rich, unrefined foods”: non-animal, non-invented-in-a-lab foods is the surest way to a satisfying, healthy diet. She also advises people to get back in the kitchen and cook.
Douglas Brown, "Clean eating trend and Mediterranean diet popular in Colorado", The Denver Post, March 20, 2013, © The Denver Post
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Dairy Company Unveils Individual-Serving Milk Boxes

March 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dairy foods maker WhiteWave Foods has introduced single serve (8-oz.)  milk boxes under the TruMoo milk brand. The Broomfield, Colo.-based company that makes Silk,Horizon Organic, International Delight, and LAND O LAKES said the shelf-stable milk boxes are ideal for school lunches and snacks. They are available in plain, vanilla and chocolate one percent lowfat varieties. The single serve milk boxes are sold individually and in 6- and 12-count packages in grocery stores nationwide. The suggested retail price is $1.00 for a single milk box, $5.79 for a 6-pack and $9.99 for a 12-pack.
"WhiteWave Foods Launches New TruMoo Single Serve Milk Boxes", Grocery Headquarters , March 20, 2013, © Macfadden Communications Group
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Pediatrician Author Argues That Sugar –- Not Fat –- Is Making The World Obese

March 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The real villain in the global obesity epidemic is not fat, but sugar, in all its forms, according to pediatrician Dr. Robert Lustig, whose book “Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar”, has caused a stir in the U.S. Lustig has spent 16 years studying the effects of sugar consumption on the central nervous system, metabolism and disease. The oceans of sugary soft drinks that children and adults consume are as complicit as the mountains of burgers – made from corn-fed beef – in the obesity problem. Lustig says cheap sugar is difficult to avoid: it’s found in all kinds of foods. Why? Years ago food manufacturers, under attack for fat content in their products, replaced fat with sugar to make products more palatable.
Sarah Boseley, health editor, "Sugar, not fat, exposed as deadly villain in obesity epidemic", The Guardian, March 20, 2013, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Lower Income People Can Stretch Their Food Dollars By Simply Eating Healthier Foods

March 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A 34-week U.S. study finds that nutritious foods that roughly follow the Mediterranean diet are not only healthier for lower income families, they are significantly more economical. Sixty-three people from emergency food pantries and low-income housing sites attended six weeks of cooking classes, where instructors prepared quick and easy plant-based recipes based on olive oil, whole grain pasta, brown rice and fruits and vegetables. Changing the focus to fruits, vegetables, and healthy starches, and eliminating expensive items –  meats, snacks, desserts and carbonated drinks – was far more cost-effective for families on limited budgets. Participants not only cut their food spending by more than half, about half lost weight.
Mary M. Flynn et al., "A Six-Week Cooking Program of Plant-Based Recipes Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients", Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, March 20, 2013, © Informa UK Limited
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Vitamin D Deficiency Leads To Muscle Problems At The Cellular Level

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A British study has found that low levels of the "sunshine vitamin" -- vitamin D -- affect muscle efficiency at the cellular level, explaining why people with low levels often experience fatigue. Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health problem because it not only impacts bone health, it also creates problems in the cell “power stations” known as mitochondria. The problems center on the use and recovery of the muscle-related compound phosphocreatine, a measure of mitochondrial efficiency. In the study, phosphocreatine recovery significantly improved after the patients took a vitamin D supplement for 10-12 weeks. All patients reported an improvement in symptoms of fatigue following supplementation.
"Vitamin D Replacement Improves Muscle Efficiency", Nutrition Horizon , March 18, 2013, © CNS Media BV
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European Margarine Makers Continue To Cut Trans Fat Levels In Their Products

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The organization that represents margarine manufacturers in Europe says it has strengthened its Code of Practice for the third time in 18 years, limiting unhealthy trans fatty acid content in business-to-business (B2B) and retail margarines and vegetable fat spreads to two percent. Margarines used as ingredients in food products (B2B) cut their average trans fat levels by 76 percent from 2004 to 2012, from 7.1 percent to 1.7 percent. This level is actually below the level of butter, which can go up to six percent trans fat content. IMACE said its members comply with the code voluntarily.
"The European margarine sector strengthens its commitment to healthy products", International Margarine Association of the Countries of Europe, March 18, 2013, © International Margarine Association of the Countries of Europe
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FDA Needs To Keep Public Better Informed Of Health Problems Associated With Dietary Supplements

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA could do a better job of telling the public when dietary supplements cause health problems, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the FDA’s handling of adverse event reports (AERs). About 71 percent of the 6,307 dietary supplement AERs between 2008 and 2011 were submitted by industry and focused on supplements containing mixed ingredients, like vitamins and minerals. But GAO said the FDA is probably not receiving all of the adverse information it needs, largely because consumers report health problems not to the FDA but to poison centers. The GAO said FDA could improve its monitoring of the industry by finding ways to get useful poison center data and to get the word out to the public about dietary supplement AERs.
"FDA May Have Opportunities to Expand Its Use of Reported Health Problems to Oversee Products", Report, U.S. Government Accountability Office, March 18, 2013, © U.S. Government Accountability Office
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Aromatic Compounds In Olive Oil Contribute To Sensation Of Fullness

March 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A German study involving 500 participants found that natural oils and fats do a good job of regulating how full a person feels after eating. Olive oil in particular contributes to the sensation of fullness, primarily because of  aroma compounds. In one part of the study a group was given yogurt with olive oil aroma extracts, while a control group was given plain yogurt. The olive oil group’s calorie intake remained the same, but the control group had been consuming an extra 176 kilocalories per day. The control group had less of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood, researchers said. Aroma compounds could pave the way for the development of more effective reduced-fat – and satiating – food products.
"Olive oil makes you feel full", Technische Universität München, March 14, 2013, © Technische Universität München
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Big Food Companies Serve The Breakfast-On-The-Go Market With “Healthier” Beverages

March 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg and General Mills recently introduced breakfast beverages (Breakfast to Go and BFAST shakes, respectively) for the eat-on-the-run crowd, but perhaps more interesting was the news from PepsiCo. Last month the company introduced a caffeine-packed breakfast drink – Mountain Dew Kickstart –  that got a lot of people wondering whether it was a soft drink, an energy drink, or a replacement for orange juice or coffee. It contains some fruit juice (five percent), 92 mg of caffeine and high fructose corn syrup. Unlike the Kellogg and General Mills offerings, Kickstart contains no fiber or protein, but does include vitamin C, niacin and vitamin B6. The beverage is targeted at young buyers of soda and energy drinks.
Joanna Cosgrove, "The New Breed of Drinkable Breakfasts", Nutraceuticals World, March 14, 2013, © Rodman Media
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Smoothies Containing Prebiotic Compounds Boost Calcium Absorption In Young Girls

March 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists from Purdue University and Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina have found in a study of 31 healthy adolescent girls that smoothies containing prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) changed the gut microflora, increasing bifidobacteria and significantly improving calcium absorption. The increase in calcium absorption was not linked to the level of GOS in the smoothies because calcium absorption improved whether the smoothies contained 2.5 g or 5 g of GOS. The girls drank the smoothies  twice a day for periods of three weeks. Increased calcium absorption may help reduce the incidence of osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women.
Corrie M. et al., "Galacto-oligosaccharides increase calcium absorption and gut bifidobacteria in young girls: a double-blind cross-over trial", British Journal of Nutrition, March 14, 2013, © Cambridge University Press
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Healthier School Lunches Required By State Law Make A Positive Difference

March 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
New USDA National School Lunch Program rules require schools to provide healthier lunch options. U.S. researchers wondered if such state mandates make a difference to student eating patterns. In a study using data from the two states (at the time) that mandated a minimum number of servings of fruits and vegetables for high school students, researchers found that kids do eat at least a little healthier. The requirements had the most impact on students who had little or no access to fruits and vegetables at home. At the time the data were collected, the only states in the study that required minimum servings of fruits and vegetables were California and Mississippi.
Daniel R. Taber et al., "State Laws Governing School Meals and Disparities in Fruit/Vegetable Intake ", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, March 12, 2013, © American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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Sports Nutrition Emerges As Major Growth Category In Retail Food

March 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Sports nutrition has emerged from the shadows of bodybuilding, steroids, banned substances, etc., into mainstream retail, according to researcher Euromonitor. The impact of this transformation on the category has been significant – growth is expected to approach 40 percent by 2017. Producers are developing products that appeal to non-traditional users with worry-free formulations, third-party certifications of safety and purity, convenient formats, emphasis on general fitness, and greater accessibility in supermarkets and other retail channels. Retailers have embraced sports nutrition by creating their own brands. Key example: Walgreen, whose larger stores now feature separate sports nutrition sections in the supplement aisles, offering for example two separate lines of protein powders, one of which is a store brand.
Chris Schmidt, "Retailers Look to Capitalize on Protein Supplements and Sports Nutrition", Euromonitor International, March 08, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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