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Maintaining Flavor While Changing Food Formulas To Save Money Is Tricky, But Doable

October 19, 2009: 02:05 AM EST
Formulating existing or new food products to save money can be tricky, especially when trying to maintain flavor and functionality. This Food Product Design article explores a range of ideas for finding ingredient combinations and flavor substitutions that save money. For example, use a honey flavor rather than expensive honey; use dairy flavors to replace expensive ingredients like milk powder, buttermilk powder or sour-cream powder. Starches and gums add mouthfeel and texture when costly ingredients have been reduced. Other tips: consolidate ingredients and build volume with suppliers to boost savings, and use custom blends for production efficiency.
Cindy Hazen, "Ingredient Economics", Food Product Design, October 19, 2009, © Virgo Publishing, LLC.
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As Recession Grinds On, Food Marketers Should Emphasize Value, Innovation

October 19, 2009: 12:47 AM EST
The recession has spawned some interesting behavioral changes among U.S. food buyers, according to this Adweek overview of consumer research findings. Leading the list, of course, is the concern over the price of groceries: a Synovate survey found nearly two-thirds of respondents saying groceries were overpriced. Concerns about price pushed consumers toward private labels, cheaper frozen foods, and less healthy foods generally. Microwaving rather than cooking at home surged. Industry experts, seeing products like “better for you” foods rebounding after the recession, nevertheless urge marketers to forge an emotional bond with consumers, stress value and innovation.
Mark Dolliver , "A New World for Grocery Shoppers", Adweek, October 19, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media
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Labeling Of Food’s Health Benefits Found Important To Europeans

October 19, 2009: 02:23 AM EST
Health and wellness continue to be important to European consumers, according to research from Tate & Lyle, which also found that consumers are willing to spend more on foods whose health benefits are clearly described on product labels. A poll of 1,565 consumers in five countries found that 53 percent often check product nutritional information, while 57 percent look at the ingredient list on the package to determine whether a product is healthy. Reduced fat and sugar content were important to half of those polled, while 80 percent would pay more for products promising improved cardiovascular health or help controlling cholesterol.
"Tate & Lyle unveils latest European consumer research findings", Tate & Lyle, October 19, 2009, © Tate & Lyle
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Cutting 100 Calories A Day Has Many Benefits, ConAgra “Awareness” Campaign Pledges

October 18, 2009: 02:56 AM EST
ConAgra has launched an “awareness” campaign with the pledge that eating 100 fewer calories a day as part of a healthy lifestyle can improve health, improve productivity, and cut healthcare costs. Research sponsored by the company (published in the American Journal of Health Promotion) showed that a small reduction in calorie intake could reduce the number of cases of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases associated with obesity. The company suggested substituting one of its Healthy Choice meals for a take-out lunch, Egg Beaters for eggs, and SmartPop popcorn as a whole grain, calorie-controlled, sodium-controlled snack.
"Conagra Foods Introduces 100 Calories Less Pledge", ConAgra Foods, October 18, 2009, © ConAgra Foods, Inc.
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Low-Fat Yogurt Fortified With Protein And Fiber Reduces Appetite

October 17, 2009: 06:53 AM EST
A low-fat dairy product enriched with protein and fiber can significantly reduce short-term appetite, new French and British research has found. In controlled laboratory studies, healthy women were fed a mid-morning snack of either the control (regular yogurt) or a low-fat yogurt enriched with eight grams of protein and 2.9 grams of fiber. The scientists recorded subjective factors like hunger, fullness, desire to eat and prospective consumption throughout the morning. Two hours later, the researchers measured food intake at lunch. “The test product reduced subjective appetite compared to the control,” the scientists concluded. And the women ate less.
Anne Lluch, et al, "Short-term appetite-reducing effects of a low-fat dairy product enriched with protein and fibre", Food Quality and Preference, October 17, 2009, via Food Quality and Preference, © Elsevier B.V.
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ConAgra Says Cutting Salt Content Of Its Foods Is A “Serious” Goal

October 15, 2009: 11:03 PM EST
Responding to consumer demands for healthier foods, ConAgra Foods said it plans to eliminate eight million pounds of salt from its foods, which include the Healthy Choice frozen dinners, by 2015 – a total of 20 percent of the salt content. It has already cut salt by two million pounds since 2006, including 27 percent of the salt content of Kid Cuisine frozen meals. A 2008 market research survey found that 41 percent of shoppers said they are using low sodium products once a week or more. “We’re taking this very seriously and we’re acting upon it,” a ConAgra exec said.
Duane D. Stanford, "ConAgra Sets ‘Lead Dog’ Goal to Cut Food Salt by 20%", Bloomberg, October 15, 2009, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Functional Beverage Formulators Need To Partner With Savvy Ingredients Suppliers

October 16, 2009: 01:55 AM EST
With so many technical, sensorial, regulatory, health and other considerations involved in development of successful functional beverages, formulators need to partner with very well-informed ingredients suppliers, this Food Product Design article suggests. Ingredients must taste, smell, and look good, of course, but they also need to be verifiably beneficial to health, should meet dietary religious standards, have a satisfactory shelf life and mix well with other ingredients. Suppliers clued in to these challenges make the best partners, says Anthony Palmieri, a critical fact considering the projected 3.7 percent annual growth rate for the category.
Anthony Palmieri, "Formulating Functional Beverages", Food Product Design, October 16, 2009, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Scientists Find Small But Intriguing Link Between Soda Taxes And Weight Loss

October 16, 2009: 01:36 AM EST
In U.S. states where taxes averaging three percent have been placed on soft drinks, scientists have detected a slight but intriguing impact on consumption and, in turn, body mass index (BMI). According to a new study, which looked at data over 16 years, a one percent tax led to a drop in BMI of .003 points, or less than 1.6 oz. Though small, the impact warrants considering larger soda taxes, such as those placed on tobacco and alcohol, the researchers say. Sugary sodas have been linked to higher calorie intake in children and adults, and the consequent obesity epidemic.
"Current Soda Taxes Not High Enough to Curb Obesity, Study Finds", Yale School of Public Health, October 16, 2009, © Yale School of Public Health
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Connecticut Launches Probe Into The Selection Criteria Of Dubious “Smart Choice” Label

October 15, 2009: 11:34 AM EST
Connecticut’s attorney general has begun an investigation into the underlying standards of the “Smart Choice” nutritional food label, as well as the role of the food industry in developing the label. Richard Blumenthal asked how it was possible that sugary cereals like Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes are a smart choice food, while other nutritionally stronger breakfast cereals are not. Likewise, Lipton beverages are labeled a “smart choice” while other beverages are not. Concerned about “potentially misleading and deceptive labeling of nutritional value,” Blumenthal has asked for selection criteria information from the Smart Choices Program and from food manufacturers.
"Attorney General Investigates "Smart Choices" Food Labels That Endorse Mayonnaise and Sugary Cereals", Connecticut Attorney General's Office, October 15, 2009, © State of Connecticut
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Burcon Awarded U.S. Patent Allowances For Canola-Based Food Processing Ingredients

October 15, 2009: 09:27 AM EST
The U.S. Patent Office has awarded patent allowances for technologies related to the production of canola protein-based food ingredients from Canada’s Burcon NutraScience Corporation. Burcon’s Puratein is described as a cruciferin-rich canola protein isolate with emulsification and thickening properties useful in making dressings, sauces, meat substitutes, baked goods, and protein bars. Supertein is a napin-rich canola protein isolate made of albumin proteins whose solubility and foaming properties make it useful for beverages, candies, desserts, and protein bars. The company, which also makes a soy protein isolate, says securing the patent allowances is critical to its commercialization strategy.
"Burcon Receives three Notices of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office", Newswire, October 15, 2009, © CNW Group
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Compound Produced In Red Grape Skins May Have Positive Impact On Diabetes

October 15, 2009: 06:26 AM EST
When acting directly by injection on certain brain proteins called sirtuins, a polyphenol compound known as resveratrol may offer some protection against diabetes, new U.S. research in obese and diabetic mice has found. Insulin levels in placebo mice rose, while levels in mice given resveratrol, which is produced in red grape skins, dropped and were halfway to normal after the study period. All tested animals ate a high-fat diet. Researchers said findings support their theory that the brain plays a vital role in mediating the beneficial effects of resveratrol. In addition, sirtuins may have other beneficial outcomes.
Giorgio Ramadori, Laurent Gautron, et al., "Central Administration of Resveratrol Improves Diet-Induced Diabetes", Endocrinology, October 15, 2009, © The Endocrine Society
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Cognis CLA Product Wins Approval For Use In Chinese Market

October 14, 2009: 11:20 AM EST
German nutritional ingredients supplier Cognis said that China has okayed its safflower-derived conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) product Tonalin as a “novel food” for use in functional foods and beverages. Tonalin, also used in dietary supplements, has potential applications in milk and yogurt products, fruit juices, soy milk, and meal replacement beverages and bars, according to the company. Tonalin was tested in a skimmed milk product in a placebo-controlled trial in which “a significant reduction of body fat mass in overweight subjects” was found. The company said the results showed CLA has promise as a beneficial food supplement.
"Cognis first company to achieve Novel Food approval for CLA in China ", Cognis, October 14, 2009, © Cognis
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Australia Requires Iodine Fortification In Bread

October 9, 2009: 12:44 AM EST
With iodine intake found to be inadequate among 43 percent of Australians and New Zealanders, the Australian government has mandated iodine fortification in bread to ensure that the population is getting enough of the essential nutrient. Pregnant women who do not get enough dietary iodine risk reduced mental performance in their children. The government says the new requirement will reduce inadequate iodine consumption to less than 5 percent. The required increase is safe, and approximates the iodine level found in a large glass of milk. Australia also recently mandated fortification of bread with folic acid to prevent spina bifida.
"Essential nutrient iodine to be added to bread in Australia", FSANZ, October 09, 2009, © Food Standards Australia New Zealand
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Your Dad’s Meat-And-Potatoes Meal Has A Whole New Look These Days

October 9, 2009: 01:47 AM EST
Restaurant chefs have long known that coupling a great protein entrée with the right starchy side dish – rice, potatoes, or pasta – often boosts sales of the entrée. Consumers have caught onto the role of starchy side dishes as well, buying lots of long-storing frozen and quick-prep retail sides where excellent flavor is critically important. Starchy sides offer a perfectly satisfying balance of plate presentation, flavor delivery and mouth feel both in restaurant dishes and speed-scratch home foods. This Food Product Design article takes a close look at today’s innovative approaches to finding and preparing potatoes, grains, and pastas.
Keith Darling, "Starch on the Side", Food Product Design, October 09, 2009, © Virgo Publishing, LLC.
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As Vegan Recipes Get Tastier, The Vegan Diet Gains Devotees

October 8, 2009: 03:24 AM EST
Although the vegan diet – no animal products, including dairy and eggs – will probably always be a niche lifestyle, it is steadily gaining adherents, according to this Hartford Courant article. Thanks to the availability of good ingredients and meat substitutes, as well as an increasing number of vegetable-oriented cookbooks and recipes, the diet can be flavorful and nutritious, containing lots of protein, calcium and iron. Says one cookbook editor of the mushrooming veganism trend: “Consumers are interested in eating locally, eating seasonally and eating a diet that's good for them and good for their family, so they're open to new ideas."
Korky Vann, "Turn Over A New Leaf: Vegan Diets Are Moving More Solidly Into Mainstream ", The Hartford Courant, October 08, 2009, © The Hartford Courant
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Food Companies Explore Nanotechnologies For Advanced Nutrient Delivery, Bioavailability

October 8, 2009: 03:05 AM EST
The application of advanced nanotechnologies in the food processing industry is beginning to have an impact on raw material sourcing that could lead to major changes in how food products affect human physiology. Although nanotechnology is in its infancy, as this article points out, food companies are exploring its potential as a nutrient delivery option (nanoencapsulation) and for enhanced nutrient availability in the intestinal tract. For example, German chemical manufacturer BASF is making nano-scale synthetic lycopene as a food additive that is more easily absorbed by the body and has a longer shelf life.
"Tiny, invisible ingredients", Kantha Shelke, October 08, 2009, © Food Processing
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Candy Company Goes National With Naturally Sweetened Candies

October 8, 2009: 12:25 AM EST
Surf Sweets candies – sweetened without corn syrup – are now available in stores all over the U.S., the company announced recently. The candies, which include four vegan and five vegetarian options, are made with organic fruit juice and sweeteners. Each Surf Sweets 2.75-oz. bag of candies, which feature varieties like Fruity Bears, Gummy Swirls, Sour Berry Bears, etc., contains 120-140 calories per serving depending on the variety. Manufactured in the U.S., the candies are available online, and in grocery and natural foods stores and specialty retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
"Naturally Sweetened, Totally Delicious Surf Sweets Candy Now Available Nationally, and It's Corn Syrup-Free", PR Web, October 08, 2009, © TruSweets, LLC
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Yogurt Makers Group Sees Probiotics Rejections As Part Of A Learning Phase

October 7, 2009: 12:51 PM EST
A group representing the world’s biggest yogurt makers said the European Food Safety Authority’s recent rejection of health claims for probiotic ingredients represents only “technical obstacles” that can be overcome. The Authority completely rejected ten claims while ruling that another 170 simply could not be evaluated because of a lack of evidence. Noting that the rejections were part of a learning phase of a new evaluation system, the Yogurt and Live Fermented Milks Association said its members were working closely with the EFSA so that researchers could continue to assess the health benefits of probiotics yogurt.
Shane Starling, "Yoghurt group unfazed by mass probiotics rejection", Nutra ingrdients.com, October 07, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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Flavonoid Quercetin Fails To Convince Scientists Of Its Performance Enhancement Abilities

October 7, 2009: 05:47 AM EST
Once heralded as a potential miraculous – and legal – performance enhancer among athletes, thanks to early studies in mice, quercetin has proven to be a dud. Follow-on U.S. studies in humans found that the flavonoid, an antioxidant found in apple skins, berries, and red wine, does not enhance athletic performance any better than a placebo. The human studies failed to replicate animal study results where quercetin mice ran 37 percent longer than before and developed new energy-producing mitochondria in cells. “My conclusion is that [quercetin] just is not ergogenic in humans,” said one U.S. researcher. “It doesn’t improve performance.”
GRETCHEN REYNOLDS, "Phys Ed: Is Quercetin Really a Wonder Sports Supplement?", The New York Times, October 07, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Lactoferrin Supplement Reduces Risk Of Infections In Premature Infants

October 7, 2009: 03:06 AM EST
A protein found in human breast milk, but not often included in hospital neonatal diets, reduces the risk of deadly bacterial and fungal infections in low birth-weight infants, a study of 472 babies in Italy has found. Only 5.9 percent of premature infants given cow’s milk supplemented with lactoferrin alone, and 4.6 percent given lactoferrin and the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosis GG, developed infections. This compares to 17.3 percent of the placebo group. The study points out that lactoferrin, which is more expensive than other proteins, is not widely known: the worldwide market is only US$30 million.
Stephen Daniells, "Milk protein may protect premature babies from infection", Nutra Ingredients.com, October 07, 2009, © American Medical Association
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Health-Conscious Consumers Catching On To Euphemism For Margarine, Manufacturers Say

October 7, 2009: 10:02 AM EST
The word margarine has gone the way of words like prune, stewardess, and skim milk, according to a U.S. group representing margarine makers. In its place is the term “buttery spread,” which better represents lower-fat spreads made with plant oils. A national survey recently found 45 percent of consumers saying the spread they used most often at meals is a buttery or soft margarine spread. Only 24 percent preferred stick butter. Fifty-four percent believe buttery spreads and soft margarine spreads are heart-healthier than butter, which can have 7 grams of trans fat per serving. Buttery spreads have no trans fat.
"Buttery Spreads Become the Toast of the Town", Buttery Spreads.org, October 07, 2009, © National Association of Margarine Manufacturers
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Chemistry Group Highlights “Flaws” In Study Of BPA Impact On Unborn Children

October 7, 2009: 02:33 AM EST
The latest study to suggest significant health risks associated with exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to manufacture plastics, is flawed, according to the American Chemistry Council. The small-scale study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found a link between exposure to BPA by pregnant women and aggressive behavior in two-year-old girls. The ACA said the authors of the study acknowledged design flaws and noted that the flaws can only be rectified in a larger, “more robust study.” “Inherent in the design,” ACA said, “is the inability to establish cause-effect relationships.”
Mike Stones, "Latest BPA study “flawed” says American Chemistry Council", Food Production Daily.com, October 07, 2009, © American Chemistry Council, Inc.
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Bacteria Contamination Found In Nearly All Sectors Of The Food Supply

October 6, 2009: 05:42 AM EST
Thanks to recent news coverage, most people in the U.S. are aware of the dangers of eating bacteria-contaminated meat products such as beef and poultry. But fewer consumers are likely to know that other food products contaminated during the preparation process, including ice cream and berries, have made people sick. According to a Center for Science in the Public Interest report, leafy greens, eggs, and tuna are the riskiest foods after beef and poultry. Oysters, potatoes, and cheese are also on the list. “Unfortunately, the hazards now come from all areas of the food supply,” the CSPI says.
TARA PARKER-POPE, "Ten Common Food Poisoning Risks", The New York Times, October 06, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Inulin Fiber Offers Healthy, Savory Substitute For Fat In Snack Bars - Study

October 6, 2009: 03:54 AM EST
Researchers in Brazil have found that a flavoring mixture made with the prebiotic fiber inulin and oligofructose can satisfactorily replace fatty flavorings in snack bars. Scientists reporting in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology found that the replacement ingredients reduced the glycemic index of the snack bars by 25 percent and increased fiber content sevenfold, while eliminating trans fat from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. An added benefit: consumers liked the taste. In fact, 42 people gave the inulin-oligofructose bar an acceptability score of 6.6, compared to 7.4 for the fat flavored bar.
Stephen Daniells , "Fibre may replace trans-fats for snack formulations", Food Navigator.com, October 06, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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USDA’s Latest Nutrient Database Profiles 7,500 Foods

October 7, 2009: 02:42 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has added 200 entries to the newest version of its big nutrient database, the Standard Reference, Release 22, with information on more than 7,500 food items. Food profiles list as many as 140 components, including vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. For the first time, the database includes 3,000 values for vitamin D content of foods, including 20 species of fish and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, etc. Restaurant foods were added to the new version, with information on items at family-style restaurants, Latino restaurants and Chinese restaurants.
Rosalie Marion Bliss, "Latest Version of USDA's Premier Nutrient Database Released", Agricultural Research Service, USDA, October 07, 2009, © Agricultural Research Service
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Turmeric Extract Destroys Esophageal Cancer Cells In Lab Experiment

October 6, 2009: 01:44 AM EST
An extract of the yellow curry spice turmeric destroyed esophagus cancer cells in a laboratory, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Researchers examining curcumin’s effect on various types of cancer cells from the esophagus – which are often resistant to chemotherapy – induced a type of cell death called mitotic catastrophe. According to the study, cancer cells lost their viability 24 hours of incubation with curcumin. Higher doses of curcumin had a more powerful effect. The scientists said it’s still far too early to tell whether curcumin can be used as a cancer treatment.
G O'Sullivan-Coyne, G C O'Sullivan, et al., "Curcumin induces apoptosis-independent death in oesophageal cancer cells", British Journal of Cancer, October 06, 2009, © Cancer Research UK
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General Mills Helps Launch Healthy Weight Coalition To Focus On Reducing Obesity

October 6, 2009: 07:33 AM EST
General Mills recently joined retailers, non-government organizations and other food and beverage makers to launch the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), a multi-year U.S. effort to try to help reduce obesity – especially childhood obesity – by 2015. According to the company, the HWCF will promote ways to help people achieve a healthy weight by balancing calories consumed with calories expended through physical activity. Efforts will focus on three areas where people spend time: the marketplace, the workplace and schools. The company says its own health and wellness strategy targets weight management, heart health, and a healthy, active lifestyle.
"General Mills Joins Unprecedented Coalition to Help Reduce Obesity", WEBWIRE , October 06, 2009, © WebWire
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New York City’s Fast-Food Calorie Labeling Rule Has Little Impact On Low-Income Diners

October 6, 2009: 10:38 AM EST
New York City’s new anti-obesity rule requiring fast food restaurants to display calorie information about the meals they serve apparently had little impact on junk food consumption, especially among low income customers, according to research published in Health Affairs. The study conducted among 1,156 adults in low-income neighborhoods shortly after the rule went into effect in July 2008 found that about half were aware of the calorie labels, but only a quarter of those had changed their purchase patterns. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the study was conducted too soon after the rule was implemented.
"Calorie labeling doesn't curb NYC fast food habits", Reuters, October 06, 2009, © Project HOPE–The People-to-People Organization
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Federal Government Reaches Out To Produce Industry To Promote Food Safety

October 6, 2009: 06:55 AM EST
The Obama administration’s food processing watchdogs – the Food & Drug Administration and the Dept. of Agriculture – are not only working more closely together to ensure food safety, they are stepping up efforts to involve the produce industry itself, including small and organic farmers, and state and local food safety officials. To signal the importance of the issue as a national priority, the USDA recently sent a top produce marketing expert to the FDA for a six-month stint focusing on food safety. “We are pulling together all our best resources," said chief U.S. health official Kathleen Sebelius.
DAN FLYNN , "USDA Sends Produce Expert to FDA", Food Safety News, October 06, 2009, © Marler Clark
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Fiery Capsaicin Shows Beneficial Effect On Diabetes-Related Factors

October 5, 2009: 10:48 AM EST
A new study in mice has found that consumption of capsaicin, the ingredient that gives chili peppers their fiery personality, can reduce obesity factors associated with diabetes. The South Korean study found that capsaicin cut glucose, insulin, and leptin levels, “and markedly reduced the impairment of glucose tolerance.” The findings signal a potentially increased role for capsaicin in the $4 billion U.S. weight management market, though additional human studies will be necessary. Long used in folk medicine to treat rheumatism, capsaicin has recently been studied for its impact on pancreatic cancer cell growth and consumption of fat.
Stephen Daniells, "Chilli extract may prevent obesity complications: Study", Nutra Ingredients-USA, October 05, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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Survey Finds Britons Unaware Of Certain Foods Contributing Most Salt To Diet

October 5, 2009: 04:59 AM EST
People in the U.K. are increasingly aware of the connection between high levels of salt ingested and an increased risk of health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke and cardiovascular disease. But in a recent survey by the Food Standards Agency, 77 percent of respondents did not know that certain foods eaten every day, including bread and breakfast cereals, have very high salt content. Of more than 2,000 people asked their opinions and feelings about salt, only 13 percent picked bread as one of the top three of the 10 saltiest foods, while only 12 percent selected breakfast cereals.
"Survey reveals lack of salt source knowledge", Food Standards Agency, October 05, 2009, © Crown copyright
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Booming Beverage Market Shifting To Healthy, High Quality Niche Products

October 5, 2009: 05:01 AM EST
Beverage sales are booming as consumers buy into a couple of key trends: better-for-you and high quality ingredients and flavors, according to data from the US-based Center for Culinary Development. The better-for-you category includes functional, nutrition-boosting, and wellness beverages. The quality category encompasses organic, local, artisan-made, and retro/nostalgic beverages. One of the trendier beverages in the “Trend Mapping Report” is coconut water, which is rich in electrolytes, free of fat and cholesterol, and low in sugar. The markets for the new beverages – “with plenty of room for growth and innovation” – include Gen Y teens, with-it Gen X parents and health-conscious Boomers.
"Niche Products, Novel Benefits Propel Beverage Market", Marketwire, October 05, 2009, © Marketwire, Incorporated.
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U.S. Public Schools Gradually Clamping Down On Vending Machine Junk Food Access

October 5, 2009: 07:03 AM EST
Sixteen percent of children and teens are obese, thanks to junk food, and are at risk for many health problems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. America’s middle and high schools are doing a better job of restricting student access to vending machine junk food: a CDC survey of principals in 40 states found that the median number of schools limiting soft drinks was 63 percent, up from 38 percent in 2006. The CDC survey also found that some states are doing much better than others in controlling school junk food access.
Maggie Fox, "U.S. schools do a little better trimming junk food", Reuters, October 05, 2009, © Thomson Reuters
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Efforts Underway To Develop Novel Sources Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

October 3, 2009: 04:50 AM EST
Marine algal oils and fish oils are the main sources of long-chain omega-3s, which have been proven beneficial to heart and cardiovascular health. Now, applying genetic manipulation techniques, Australian researchers are using marine algae to develop land-based oilseed crop plants that synthesize omega-3 oils. The researchers expect to release the plants commercially within five or six years. In related research an Australian scientist is working on ways to boost the omega-3 oil content of lamb. "Lamb already contains varied levels of long-chain omega-3 which can be boosted using marine algae and fish oils in feeds," he says.
"New Sources Of Omega-3 From Grains And Lamb", CSIRO Australia, October 03, 2009, © MediLexicon International Ltd.
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New Lifestyle Program Advocates Balancing Omega 6 And Omega 3 Levels

October 2, 2009: 06:22 AM EST
The new Gene Smart diet and lifestyle program from a North Carolina company is based on the idea that increasing polyphenol antioxidants, fiber, and omega fats, reducing calories and exercising more will send healthy messages to our genes. These in turn will trigger weight loss, boosted energy, and reduced inflammation. The biggest key to success with the program, according to this Nutraceuticals World article, is getting just the right balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. For $149.95 you can buy a home blood test from Gene Smart Wellness that will measure your omega 3 levels.
Joanna Cosgrove, "The Gene Smart Program ", Nutraceuticals World, October 02, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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U.K. Scientists Find Correlation Between Daily Childhood Candy Eating And Violent Adult Behavior

October 2, 2009: 02:47 AM EST
Is there a connection between daily consumption of candy in childhood and violent behavior later in life? Scientists in the U.K. think it’s possible. In a four-decade study, researchers followed 17,000 children born in 1970, finding that 69 percent of adults who said they had acted violently also said they had eaten candy daily at age 10. Only 42 percent who did not commit violent acts said they had eaten candy daily. But some scientists were skeptical, saying the study did not control for other causative factors, such as a violent childhood home life or poor nutrition in general.
Jennifer Thomas, "Daily Candy in Childhood Linked to Violence in Adulthood", Health Day, October 02, 2009, © The Royal College of Psychiatrists
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Food Processors’ Big Challenge: Feeding America’s Sweet Tooth With Healthier Options

October 2, 2009: 09:34 AM EST
Makers of candies, cakes, ice creams, and other sweet treats are tackling a formidable challenge: finding healthier replacement ingredients for sugar and fat without sacrificing taste, texture, or consumer satisfaction. FoodProcessing.com interviewed food processors and ingredients suppliers to find out how they are handling the problem. Some ingredient solutions so far: probiotics in ice creams, whole grain cookie formulas, gum-based and other fat replacements, alternative sweeteners, and antioxidant fruits. Tricky problems linger, like “mouthfeel” and shelf life, when sugar and fat are reduced. “It remains very challenging to swap key ingredients for others with healthier benefits,” says one exec.
David Feder, "How to Build a Healthier Dessert", Food Processing.com, October 02, 2009, © Food Processing
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Trimming U.S. Healthcare Spending: Start By Tackling The Obesity Problem

October 2, 2009: 06:30 AM EST
America is spending $147 billion a year dealing with the medical impact of obesity, which is often the underlying cause of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and other health problems. A recent report found that more than 25 percent of adults in 31 states are obese. In fact, two-thirds of all adult Americans are obese or overweight, and that should be the starting point for healthcare cost cutting. How to tackle the problem? Experts in this article suggest increasing daily physical activity (not just purposeful exercise), designing communities to promote healthier lifestyles, and implementing policy initiatives like taxes on sugary beverages.
Joanna Cosgrove, "The Widening of America ", Nutraceuticals World, October 02, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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Joint Venture Firm Building Cereal Innovation Center In Switzerland

October 2, 2009: 03:52 AM EST
A joint venture between Swiss food maker Nestlé S.A. and General Mills Inc., has begun construction of an innovation center in Orbe, Switzerland, to develop breakfast cereals that feature better nutrition along with freshness, taste and texture. The joint venture, known as Cereal Partners Worldwide S.A., is the second largest cereal manufacturer in the world, with US$2.8 billion in 2008 sales and is strategically focused on nutrition, health, and wellness. The new center, slated to be completed in mid-2010, is being built with sustainability and low environmental impact in mind.
"New Innovation Centre to accelerate research on breakfast cereal solutions ", Nestle, October 02, 2009, © Nestle
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Isoflavone-Based Menopause Treatments Found Safe

October 2, 2009: 10:11 AM EST
An Austrian meta-analysis of 92 clinical trials involving nearly 10,000 menopausal women found no serious side effects from treatments using phytoestrogens such as soy and red clover isoflavones. Researchers stressed that the findings, published in the American Journal of medicine, did not address the issue of therapy effectiveness, only safety. Isoflavone supplements have been shown to provide symptom relief when taken instead of hormone replacement drugs. Concern was raised when mouse studies suggested that isoflavones stimulated breast cancer cells. But human population studies have found lower breast cancer rates in women who consumed large amounts of soy isoflavones.
Stephen Daniells , "Meta-analysis supports safety of soy, red clover", Food Navigator.com, October 02, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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Rosy Future Projected For Foods Enhanced With Prebiotics/Probiotics

October 2, 2009: 05:55 AM EST
New U.S. market research forecasts double-digit growth in the pre- and probiotic markets, thanks to improvements in formulation technology and more knowledgeable consumers. According to Packaged Facts, the pre- and probiotics market will grow by a compound annual rate of 12 percent to $22 billion by 2013. Two key factors fueling the growth: novel formulations increase the array of improvable foods; and consumers are more aware of the link between digestive health and wellness overall. The worldwide retail market for foods and beverages enhanced with pre- and probiotic ingredients was $15 billion in 2008, up 13 percent from 2007.
"Pre/Probiotic Market to Expand as Consumers Better Understand Link Between Digestive Health & Immunity", Nutraceuticals World, October 02, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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EU Food Authority Rejects Health Claims Of Probiotic Food Products

October 2, 2009: 06:28 AM EST
The UK’s £220 million-a-year probiotics industry was dealt a severe blow by the European Food Safety Authority when EFSA denied 180 health claims of yogurt products as unproven. The Authority completely rejected ten claims while ruling that another 170 simply could not be evaluated due to a lack of evidence. Because of the ruling – which did not apply to the UK’s top-selling yogurt products from Actimel and Yakult – probiotic supplement, yogurt, and drink producers will have to stop claiming health benefits for their products. Altogether, EFSA disallowed two-thirds of 523 claims because of a lack of evidence.
DAILY MAIL REPORTER, "Probiotic yogurt health claims cannot be proven, say EU scientists", DAILY MAIL, October 02, 2009, © Associated Newspapers Ltd.
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Food Safety Authority Approves 175 “General Function” Health Claims

October 1, 2009: 03:16 AM EST
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published favorable opinions on about a third of the 523 health claims submitted for 200 foods and food components. Favorable opinions are issued when there is enough scientific data to back up the claims. The foods and components include vitamins, minerals, fiber, fats, carbohydrates, probiotics, and botanicals. The EFSA said about half of the unfavorable evaluations lacked sufficient data about the claims made. The purpose of the opinions is to ensure that consumers have accurate and healthful dietary information prior to purchasing, the authority stressed.
"EFSA delivers its first series of opinions on ‘general function’ health claims", European Food and Safety Authority, October 01, 2009, © EFSA
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Spanish, French Firms Merge Their Ingredients Activities

October 1, 2009: 10:24 AM EST
Two large European natural ingredients companies have agreed to merge their product lines. Natraceuticals of Spain will become an operating unit of French food ingredients company Naturex. As part of the deal, Natraceuticals will gain a 39 percent stake in Naturex plus €38 million (US$57 million) for Natraceutical, debt or cash. According to a press release, after the merger is closed, Natraceutical Group will develop its nutritional supplements division in Europe, where products such as natural colors, fruit and vegetable powders, pectins, etc., are marketed exclusively in pharmacies under the Forté Pharma brand name.
"Naturex and Natraceutical Group sign their merge in ingredients", Naturex, October 01, 2009, © Naturex
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Research Confirms Omega-3 Fats From Fish Oil Are Effective For Heart Health

October 1, 2009: 08:54 AM EST
Research conducted around the world continues to find significant cardiac benefits from eating oily fish like salmon and taking fish oil supplements. They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are not produced by the human body but are good for the heart. A key benefit is their ability to reduce fatty particles in the blood called triglycerides. In fact, a 2008 study of 4,500 heart failure patients found that a daily fish oil supplement decreased the risk of dying by seven percent over four years, the Forbes article notes.
Cognis Nutrition and Health, "Forbes Magazine Names Omega-3 Fish Oil 'One Supplement That Works'", NPI Center, October 01, 2009, © NPI Center
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Cellulose Enzyme Product Deemed Safe For Use In Wine, Beer, Juices

October 1, 2009: 03:02 AM EST
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has informed biofuels manufacturer Dyadic International that a cellulose enzyme preparation derived from a genetically modified strain of its proprietary C1 organism is safe to use in producing wine, beer and fruit juices. The Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) designation basically means the FDA, at the recommendation of an expert panel, finds no reason to believe a product is unsafe. Dyadic said the new liquid enzyme product, dubbed CeluStar CL, will be marketed immediately. Without offering specifics, the company said the enzyme product “provides enhanced performance over a wide range of application conditions.”
"Dyadic International Completes FDA GRAS Notification Process for C1-Derived Cellulase Enzyme", Dyadic International, Inc., October 01, 2009, © Dyadic
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Baby Formulas Reconstituted With Low-Fluoride Water Are Within Tolerable Range

October 1, 2009: 06:14 AM EST
Scientists who compared fluoride levels of various infant formulas with the upper limits recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine found that fluoride content was generally low in both dry and liquid formulas themselves. Moreover, levels remained low (less than 1.0 part per million) if reconstituted with low-fluoride water. If reconstituted with water that contained greater than 1.0 ppm of fluoride, infants were likely to be at greater risk for exposure to intolerable fluoride levels as defined by the IOM. An anti-fluoride group issued a press release about the study saying babies don’t need fluoride, which can discolor young teeth.
Chakwan Siew, PhD, Sheila Strock, DMD, MPH, et al., "Assessing a Potential Risk Factor for Enamel Fluorosis", Journal of the American Dental Association, October 01, 2009, © American Dental Association
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Obese Dieters Benefit From Alternate-Day Fasting Program

September 30, 2009: 08:11 PM EST
A 10-week clinical trial involving 16 obese people found that a modified version of the “alternate-day fasting” plan was easy to endure and had substantial benefits for the cardiovascular system. The participants were all between the ages of 35 and 65 and weighed more than 210 pounds. The first two weeks they ate and exercised normally. The next four weeks they fasted on alternate days. They then, with counseling, chose their own meals in the last four weeks. Weight loss ranged from 10 to 30 pounds, while blood pressure, heart rate, total cholesterol and circulating fat levels were all lowered.
Krista A Varady, Surabhi Bhutani, et al., "Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 30, 2009, © American Society for Clinical Nutrition
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People Over 65 Could Prevent Falls By Taking High Doses Of Vitamin D

October 1, 2009: 12:54 AM EST
International researchers who looked at the results of eight fall prevention trials found that a daily supplemental dose of 700-1000 international units (IU) of vitamin D lowers the risk of falling among people over 65 by 19 percent, about as much as active vitamin D. A dose of less than 700 IU a day, however, had no effect at all. Higher doses may be even more effective in fall prevention, researchers suggested. With a third of people over 65 falling at least once – six percent result in a fracture – fall prevention has become a public health goal.
H A Bischoff-Ferrari, B Dawson-Hughes, H B Staehelin, J E Orav, A E Stuck, R Theiler, J B Wong, A Egli, D P Kiel,J Henschkowski, "Research - Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials", BMJ 2009, October 01, 2009, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
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French Grape Extract Improves Physical Performance In Study Of Top Athletes

October 1, 2009: 03:26 AM EST
A study of 20 top athletes in handball, basketball, sprinting, and volleyball found that a daily dose of Bordeaux grape extract improved antioxidant status and reduced oxidative stress. The study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine tested the impact of 400 mg of Powergrape, an extract supplied by the French company Naturex, taken every day for a month. During exercise the tested athletes experienced a drop in creatine phosphokinase (CpK) and a boost in hemoglobin concentrations in plasma, suggesting a decrease in cell damage in the muscle and plasma.
Guy Montague-Jones, "Naturex builds sports case for Powergrape", Nutra Ingredients.com, October 01, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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