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20 Feb 13

**Prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome
**FSA publishes industry test results for horse DNA in beef products
**Is diet related to sleep patterns?
**The amount of vitamin D in supplements may not be the same as that listed on the label- US
**Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report calls for sugary drink to be taxed
**Study will investigate the impact of GM cereal and oilseed on the UK agricultural industry
**Study aims to convert crustacean shell waste into nylon or polyester
**Southern diet may be linked to a higher risk of stroke

**Prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome
Reporting in the Journal of Nutrition researchers from Reading University have found that daily supplements of a mixture of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides may aid gut health and immune function and help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.  In overweight adults the gut microbiota often has a less beneficial composition and can be accompanied by inflammation.  Vulevic et al. investigated the effects of a prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide mixture on markers of metabolic syndrome, gut microbiota, and immune function in forty five overweight participants who had at least 3 risk factors for metabolic syndrome.  The participants were randomly assigned to consume either 5.5 grams of a placebo daily or the same amount of a prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide for 12 weeks.  After a washout period of 4 weeks, the participants were given the other intervention for an additional 12 weeks.   Blood, saliva, faeces, and anthropometric measurements were taken at the beginning, week 6, and end of each 12 week intervention period. The scientists found that the prebiotic mixture branded under the name Bimuno from Clasado increased bifidobacteria bacteria populations, reduced markers of inflammation and cholesterol levels, and benefited the immune system.

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable experience in formulating products containing prebiotics and probiotics. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**FSA publishes industry test results for horse DNA in beef products
Since the last issue of FEN, there have been many updates on the horsemeat in food investigation.  Following the statement by Food Standards Agency Chief Executive Catherine Brown earlier in the month, where she announced that the food industry had been instructed to conduct authenticity tests on their composite beef products, the FSA published on the 15 February the first set of industry results from beef products. Tests were carried out on both raw ingredients and final products.  Of the 2501 tests nearly 99% were negative for the presence of horse DNA at or above the level of 1%.  29 samples, relating to seven products, were positive for the presence of undeclared horse meat at or above a level of 1% and at least 950 tests are still in progress.   The seven products which tested positive have already been reported and products have been removed from sale.  Where products have been found to contain horse DNA, they have been tested for the presence of veterinary drug phenylbutazone, known as bute. All of the tests for bute have come back negative. (FSA) This week the FSA has announced that it has expanded its meat testing survey to include an additional 514 products.  The sampling for the first two phases will be carried out by 28 local authorities and will include beef-based foods that are sold pre-packed, or 'loose' (for example, cafe sandwiches). Sampling for the third phase will be allocated to other local authorities across the UK and will include products marketed or labelled as containing beef as a major ingredient such as minced meat, meat products and meat preparations (such as kebabs with seasoning). Products such as gelatine, beef dripping, stock cubes, steak, stewing steak and ready meals which contain beef that is not minced, are included.  Results will be available at the end of February.

RSSL's DNA and Protein Laboratory can perform meat speciation using UKAS accredited ELISA techniques to identify the presence of pork, beef, lamb, poultry and horse. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Is diet related to sleep patterns?
A study by Grandner et al. from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the journal Appetite has indicated that certain nutrients are related to sleep patterns.  The scientists report that few scientific studies have investigated this association.  The study included participants involved in the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The scientists analysed data on how much sleep the participants received each night and split them into the groups based on their sleep patterns ( “Very Short'' (<5 h per night), ''Short'' (5-6 h per night), ''Standard' (7-8h per night), and ''Long'' (9 h or more per night)).  The participants recorded their full day’s dietary intake and this was compared to those who were in the standard 7-8 hour sleep group.  Other factors such as demographics, socioeconomics, physical activity and obesity were also recorded. Total calorific intake was found to vary across groups, with short sleepers consuming the most calories, followed by very short sleepers, followed by long sleepers.  Those who were normal sleepers had the greatest food variety, whereas those who were very short sleepers had the lowest food variety.  Very short sleepers were found to have a lower intake of tap water, lycopene (found in red- and orange-colored foods), and total carbohydrates, short sleep was associated with less vitamin C, tap water, selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables), and long sleep was associated with less intake of theobromine (found in chocolate and tea), dodecanoic acid (a saturated fat) choline (found in eggs and fatty meats), total carbohydrates, and more alcohol. However, Dr. Grandner states "What we still don't know is if people altered their diets, would they be able to change their overall sleep pattern? This will be an important area to explore going forward as we know that short sleep duration is associated with weight gain and obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can quantify lycopene in tomato-based products. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**The amount of vitamin D in supplements may not be the same as that listed on the label- US
A US research letter published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine is reporting that the amount of vitamin D found in over-the-counter and compounded supplements may differ from the amount on the label.  LeBlanc et al. report that the amount ranges from 9-146% of the amount on the label.  The researchers tested 55 bottles of over the counter supplements from 12 different manufacturers.  They found a variation amongst different brands, manufacturers and among different pills in the same bottle.  The paper notes that some manufacturers in the US participate in a voluntary quality verification program operated by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention that sets public standards for the quality of dietary supplements. The scientists included a USP Verified manufacturer which displayed a USP mark on their bottle in their sample, noting that pills from that bottle were more accurate than others tested.

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets, including the analysis for Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com 

**Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report calls for sugary drink to be taxed
In a call for action over obesity, a report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges is stating that unhealthy foods needs to be treated more like cigarettes.  The report indicates that sugary drinks should be taxed by at least 20%.  However, industry leaders state that the report adds little to the debate on obesity.  The BBC quotes Terry Jones of the Food and Drink Federation as saying that the report "seems to be a damp squib and to add little to an important debate. FDF had hoped that today's report would have looked seriously at how the food industry and the medical profession would have worked together to tackle obesity, and genuinely brought new insights to bear on how to empower healthier choices and change behaviour to deliver better long-term public health outcomes. This report fails to do that.  The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has presented as its recommendations, a collection of unbalanced ideas apparently heavily influenced by single issue pressure groups.”  The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report makes a number of other recommendations including that there should be a ban on advertising foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt before 9pm, a reduction in fast food outlets near schools and leisure centres, and a £100m budget for interventions such as weight-loss surgery. 

**Study will investigate the impact of GM cereal and oilseed on the UK agricultural industry
The Home-Grown Cereals Authority has commissioned a 6 month study which will examine the potential impacts on adopting genetically modified (GM) cereals and oilseeds, on the UK agricultural industry.  University of Reading scientists will investigate possible economic implications of using GM technologies using a number of scenarios.  Dr Vicky Foster, senior HGCA research and knowledge transfer manager, said: “With limited approval of this technology in Europe, there is little evidence available on what impact it could have for UK agriculture and nothing specifically for cereals and oilseeds. The topic of genetically modified food and feed continues to generate a high level of interest and debate. HGCA is reviewing the implications for UK growers, merchants and primary processors of adoption versus non-adoption of GM cereals and oilseeds in order to provide an evidence-based approach to the question of whether or not these technologies could be of benefit to the industry.” (Bakery Info)

RSSL's DNA and Protein Laboratory offers qualitative and real-time quantitative analytical services for GM soya, maize and rapeseed in raw materials and finished products. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com  

**Southern diet may be linked to a higher risk of stroke
A study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013 is indicating that eating Southern foods such as fried chicken, fried fish, fried potatoes, bacon, ham, liver and sugary drinks may be linked to a higher risk of stroke.    Judd et al. reports that the Southern style diet contains fatty foods which are high in cholesterol, sugary drinks which are linked to diabetes and salty foods which lead to high blood pressure and these factors are associated with cardiovascular disease.  The scientists compared the diets of 20,000 adults and found that stroke frequency was directly proportional to how much Southern food participants ate. People who ate Southern foods about six times a week had a 41 percent higher stroke risk compared to those who ate it about once a month. Eating a Southern diet accounted for 63 percent of the higher risk of stroke among African-Americans, above that of their white counterparts.  Those whose diets were highest in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains (eaten about five times a week) had a 29 percent lower stroke risk than those whose diets were the lowest in these foods (eaten about three times a week). (Science Daily)

**Study aims to convert crustacean shell waste into nylon or polyester
An EU funded research project led by Lars Wiemann, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, in Straubing, Germany aims to convert crustacean shell waste into basic building blocks, or monomers that would serve as precursors for plastics. The project called ChiBio will develop an integrated biorefinery for processing chitin rich biowaste to gain biobased monomers for the polymer industry.  The researchers believe the protocol could also be applied to other novel biogenic materials, such as insect carapaces or fungi.  The process will break down the chitin present in shells into its basic components, such as the sugar monomer glucosamine. These components can then be further processed, for example, into basic building blocks used in the synthesis of polymers such as nylon or polyester. (Alpha Galileo)

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