12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

23 Jan 13

**Lucozade and Ribena are to be reformulated to contain less sugar
**Ferulic acid effects aroma of whole wheat bread
**Does having higher carotenoids levels in the blood make you more optimistic?
**Transforming whey into valuable products
**Investigating the health benefits of polyphenols extracted from seaweed
**Drink goes on sale which claims to help early Alzheimer’s disease
**Horse DNA found in a number of beef burgers
**IMechE report – Waste not, Want not

**Lucozade and Ribena are to be reformulated to contain less sugar
As part of the responsibility deal, agreed between the government and food manufacturers, Health minister Anna Soubry has announced that Lucozade and Ribena are going to be reformulated to contain less sugar.  Luzcozade will reduce its sugar content by 8% and its calorie content by 9% and the reformulated Ribena will contain 10% less sugar.  However, Charlie Powell of the Children's Food Campaign is reported by the Guardian as saying that the reformulated drinks would still qualify for a red traffic light under Food Standards Agency guidance, as the sugar levels are above 6.3g per 100ml.   A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline the manufacturer of the drinks says: “we have a responsibility to help people make healthier choices. We are saying this is a first step. It is the start of a journey."  Other drinks producers such AG Barr will reduce the calorific content of their drinks including IrBru by 5% and J2O are to  launch two drinks containing 10% less calories than their 275ml bottle. Powell continues by stating: “Lots of companies making tokenistic commitments does not constitute effective action to tackle obesity – it is regrettable that the Department of Health is pushing a smoke-and-mirrors strategy which puts public health behind commercial interests.” An AG Barr spokesperson has responded by saying: “With IrnBru the programme continues to go well, however with such a unique product we'll only complete the process when we are 100% satisfied that the outcome is right and there is no compromise for our consumers. In the meantime there is a temporary declaration on packs giving consumers information about the issue."

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable experience in re-formulating products to provide more healthy options including low salt, low sugar versions and using pre- and probiotics.  Using RSSL can help speed up your development cycle considerably.  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Ferulic acid effects aroma of whole wheat bread
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has investigated the influence of wheat flour type on flavour and aromas of bread. Previous research has found that whole grain food in comparison to refined grain products has lower consumer acceptance levels, partly due to flavour and intensity, as well as colour and texture.  Whole wheat flour contains more fibre and phytochemicals than refined wheat flour and has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.  It contains all three layers of the wheat seed, the starchy endosperm, phenolic-rich bran and lipid-rich germ, whilst refined wheat flour mostly contains endosperm, these are thought to explain the variation in flavour and aroma differences between the two types of bread. Peterson et al. prepared bread samples using either refined wheat flour or whole wheat flour and analysed the compounds in the aroma.  They found that the bran of the whole wheat flour released ferulic acid which is linked to a reduction in flavour and aroma compounds during baking.   Adding ferulic aid to the refined grain flour confirmed their finding, with the aroma of the refined flour being similar to that of whole wheat bread.  Ferulic acid was found to reduce the development of the flavour compound called 2AP.

**Does having higher carotenoids levels in the blood make you more optimistic?
The Daily Mail is reporting on a study which has indicated that people who are more optimistic have higher levels of carotenoids in their blood.  The article cited a study published in the journal Psychometric Medicine.  The study, involving 982 men and women who participated in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, examined how levels of antioxidants relate to people’s feeling of optimism, which NHS choices states was used as an indicator of psychological wellbeing.  Participants had blood taken to measure nine antioxidants and had a psychological assessment, with optimism being measure using the Life Orientation Test.  Questions were also asked on lifestyle, diet and whether they used vitamin supplements.  The scientists found that an increase in optimism was associated with a 3% to 13% increase in the levels of different carotenoids and was also significantly associated with total carotenoid concentration. However, the strength of the relationship was reduced when controlling for the measured demographic characteristics and health factors and when taking into account fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking status.  The scientists concluded that optimism was associated with higher carotenoid concentrations, and this association was partially explained by diet and smoking status. However NHS choices note that it could be that optimistic people eat more fruit and vegetables so therefore have higher carotenoid levels in their blood. 

RSSL’s Functional Ingredients Laboratory offers a full vitamin analysis service and uses HPLC to analyse for carotenoids in supplements and foodstuffs. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Transforming whey into valuable products
Whey has a high nutrient content containing high serum protein which could be used commercially in food products, animal feed and biogas.  Small and medium diaries are spread out in regions such as the Basque Country of Spain, and technical knowledge and high cost of investment are needed to cope with this waste and many cannot successfully implement this process on their own.  An EU funded project called VALORLACT aims to demonstrate an innovative methodology for recovering and transforming whey into valuable products in a hygienic manner. 

**Investigating the health benefits of polyphenols extracted from seaweed
An EU funded SWAFAX project will investigate the health benefits of polyphenols extracted from seaweed. Seaweeds have become increasingly popular across the world as an exotic delicacy and could be beneficial for health prevention applications, due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics, ranging from anti-obesity to cancer protection. However until now very little of their activity has been proven.  The chemicals in seaweed that attract scientists are polyphenols, which have been thought to bring health benefits by their antioxidant activity, which counters the ill-effects of oxygen metabolism in cells such as damage to DNA.  Seaweed polyphenols are not only unique, but they are also found in high concentrations in certain brown seaweeds. This high concentration along with ease to culture, harvest and process could, according to project leader Ian Rowland, a professor of human nutrition at the University of Reading, UK, make them attractive as a cheaper source of nutritional supplements.  However experts report that polyphenols from seaweeds have been under-researched. "There are many indicative studies out there," notes Garry Duthie, a professor of nutritional science at the University of Aberdeen, UK, who heads the natural products group at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. "But I am not aware that any polyphenol from seaweed or otherwise has a proven health benefit in nutritionally relevant amounts." (Science Daily)

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can determine physiologically active compounds, including flavanols and other polyphenols and other phytochemicals in a range of fruits, vegetables, herbals and dietary supplements.  For more information contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Drink goes on sale which claims to help early Alzheimer’s disease
Nutricia have developed a milkshake called Souvenaid which it claims is “Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of early Alzheimer's disease.” The drink which is now available to purchase, claims to contain nutrients which are required in the process of making new connections in the brain called synapses. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids, uridine monophosphate and choline, which Nutricia claims together with several key vitamins, all work together to help this process.  The Daily Mail reports that the milkshake will be available over-the-counter in pharmacies and online at £3.49 for a daily dose.  Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology report that initial studies have found it can improve memory performance after six months in people with mild Alzheimer’s who are not taking drugs.

**Horse DNA found in a number of beef burgers
The Food Standards Agency is investigating how a number of beef products on sale in the UK and Republic of Ireland came to contain some traces of horse and pig DNA. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland reported on Tuesday, 15 January that an analysis they carried out into the authenticity, or labelling accuracy, of a number of burger products revealed that some contained horse and pig DNA.  The study discovered that of the 27 beef burgers analysed, 10 tested positive for horse DNA and 23 for pig DNA. Of the 31 beef meal products analysed 21 were found to contain pig DNA. Traces of horse DNA were also found in raw ingredients including some imported from The Netherlands and Spain.  The FSAI have reported that the beef burger products that tested positive for equine DNA are produced by two plants in Ireland (Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods) and one plant in the UK (Dalepak Hambleton). The products were on sale in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi, and Iceland.  On Friday 18 January the FSA published an update noting that the retailers and UK processor that were named in the investigation by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) into horse and pig DNA in beef products have provided additional information to the Food Standards Agency.  The FSA is stressing that, on the basis of the evidence, there is no food safety risk to consumers from these products. There is nothing about horse meat that makes it any less safe than other meat products. The retailers named by FSAI have confirmed that they have removed all relevant products from their shelves. Other major retailers have decided to remove products from sale from the suppliers named in the investigation.

RSSL' s DNA and Protein Laboratory uses PCR techniques to identify DNA from over 20 meat species including chicken, pork and beef in protein extracts and other complex ingredients as well as foodstuffs.   Routine meat speciation is also performed using ELISA techniques to detect pork, beef, lamb, poultry and horse (UKAS accredited).  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**IMechE report – Waste not, Want not
The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) have published a report highlighting that 30-50% of all food produced in the world never reaches a human stomach.  They state that the waste is caused by poor storage, strict sell-by dates, bulk offers and consumer fussiness.  However, according to the BBC, The British Retail Consortium has responded to the report saying that supermarkets have "adopted a range of approaches" to combat waste including lobbying the EU to relax laws stopping the sale of misshaped produce.   The report claims that 30% of the UK vegetable crop is never harvested because they don't meet the supermarket standards required. The BBC state that research, on which that claim is based, is from 2008 and only looks at potatoes. It concludes that 6% is lost at field level while 22% is either thrown away or diverted to other markets during processing.

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry