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10 April 13

**UK supermarkets introduce cap on baby milk powder
**Could rosemary aroma improve memory
**Flavonoids in black tea may have blood pressure benefits
**Microalgae can produce many types of renewable oils
**New breakfast drink claims to contain more fibre than a portion of bran flakes
**Organic labels influence people’s perception of a food’s qualities
**Consuming walnuts may lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women
**Canola and high oleic canola oil found to lower abdominal fat
**One way to fight inflammation is with food
**FSA updates results of UK-wide survey of beef products
**Current cholesterol calculation used by doctors may underestimate heart disease danger

**UK supermarkets introduce cap on baby milk powder
According to the popular press, a restriction of two cans of certain brands of baby milk powder per person is being introduced into supermarkets in an attempt to prevent some individuals from bulk-buying it for unofficial exports to China.  Danone, the manufacturer of Aptamil and Cow and Gate baby milk powder, and Nestle’s SMA milk powder have been capped.  The BBC quotes Danone as saying: “We understand that the increased demand is being fuelled by unofficial exports to China to satisfy the needs of parents who want Western brands for their babies.  We would like to apologise to parents for any inconvenience caused by this limit. We know that most parents only buy one pack at a time, so we hope that the impact of this limit on UK parents will be minimal.” Danone have also stated that they are increasing their production and supplies of its brands already available in China.  The British Retail Consortium added that this restriction has been put in place to ensure stocks continue to be available to everyone wanting baby milk.  Nestle insisted there were no shortages of its formula milk available to retailers, saying: “We do not have any evidence of bulk purchase of SMA for export, and we are in the process of contacting all our retail customers to confirm this, and to notify them that we do not have - and do not anticipate - any stock issues for powdered infant milks.”

**Could rosemary aroma improve memory
A study presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Harrogate, has indicated that the aroma of rosemary could improve memory in healthy adults.   The study by Moss et al. from the University of Northumbria, gave 66 people memory tests either in a rosemary scented room or a room with no scent.  Tests included finding hidden objects and passing objects to researchers at a particular time. Blood samples were analysed for concentrations of 1,8-cineole.  1,8 cineole is found in many plants including rosemary and has been reported in previous studies to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down an important neurotransmitter in the nervous system that is related to memory and cognition.  It enters the bloodstream through mucosal linings in the nose or lungs.  The scientists found that the participants performed better on the prospective memory tasks in the rosemary scented room than in the room with no smell. Higher scores correlated to higher concentrations of 1,8-cineole circulating in participants' blood.  (Medical Daily)

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can analyse for marker components in dietary and herbal supplements. Analytical services for vitamins and minerals are also available. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com  

**Flavonoids in black tea may have blood pressure benefits
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has investigated the effects of black tea consumption on blood pressure.  The researchers randomly split 111 men and women with systolic blood pressure of between 155 and 150 mmHg into two groups.  One group consumed three cups of black tea per day and the other 3 cups of a flavonoid free, caffeine matched drink for six months.  Blood pressure was measured at baseline, day 1, and at 3 and 6 months.  Hodgson el al. found that compared to the control, those consuming the black tea had lower rates of systolic and diastolic blood pressure variation by 10% during night time.  There was no difference in blood pressure between the two groups during daytime (0800-2000).  The scientists report that the flavonoids in the black tea could be responsible for “improved vascular health via effects on nitric oxide status, endothelial function and arterial stiffness.“

RSSL’S Functional Ingredients Laboratory has a validated ORAC method which can be used to test the antioxidant capacity of foods.  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com 

**Microalgae can produce many types of renewable oils
A study presented at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is reporting how microalgae can produce many types of renewable oils for fuels, chemicals, food and personal-care products.  The presentation by Dr Walter Rakitsky who works at Solazyme Inc., South San Francisco, Calif discusses how Solazyme's technology platform has enabled the company to produce multiple oils from heart-healthy high-oleic oils for food, to tailored oils which have specific performance and functionality benefits in industry such as safer dielectric fluids and oils for advanced fuels. The microalgae are grown in a type of fermentation vat which is used to produce vinegar and medicine amongst others.  The algae are grown in total darkness and therefore uses energy from low cost, plant-based sugars. (Science Daily)

**New breakfast drink claims to contain more fibre than a portion of bran flakes
The Daily Mail is reporting that a new shake, which has gone on sale in supermarket cereal aisles, claims to contain more fibre than a 30g portion of bran flakes.   It also contains more protein than eggs.  However the article states that the milk based drink, called Liquid Fuel, contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  The drink which is pasteurised, and is sold in a carton, is being aimed at those who don’t have time to eat breakfast.  The drink is made up of 50% milk, and contains soya protein, thickeners, vitamins, dried glucose syrup and natural flavourings, amongst others.  The drink, which costs between £1.49 and £1.89, has been developed by a former Innocent employee, Barney Maulevere.

**Organic labels influence people’s perception of a food’s qualities
A US study by researchers from Cornell University and published in the journal Food Quality and Preference has indicated that an organic label influences people’s perception of a food’s qualities. Over a two day period, in a New York shopping centre, 115 people evaluated three paired food samples consisting of two cookies, two portions of crisps and two cups of yogurt.  The food pairs were identical, both organically produced, however one was labelled as organic and the other one falsely labelled as regular.  The order and the way the foods were presented varied for each participant.  The participants complete a questionnaire, rating the foods for taste, nutritional attributes, overall calories, and recording what they were willing to pay for each food.  The researchers found that people perceived the organic labelled food as being lower in calories, lower in fat, higher in fibre, and worth paying more for than the regular labelled food. 

**Consuming walnuts may lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, has investigated the association between walnut intake, which are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and incident type 2 diabetes using 137,893 female nurses, ages 35–77 involved in 2 cohort studies.  The participants were followed up for 10 years.  At baseline the women were free from diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer.  Every four years the scientists used a food frequency questionnaire to assess the participants’ intake of walnuts and other nuts.  During follow up there were 5930 incidents of type 2 diabetes.  After taking into account factors such as body fat and weight, the researchers found eating walnuts one to three times a month (28 g totalled one serving) curbed the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 4%, once a week by 13%, and at least twice a week by 24%. The researchers concluded: “Our results suggest that higher walnut consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.”

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory, part of the Investigative Analysis Team has expertise in all aspects of fat analysis and fatty acid profiling. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com 

**Canola and high oleic canola oil found to lower abdominal fat
According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s EPI/NPAM 2013 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans on March 21, canola and high oleic canola oil can lower abdominal fat in adults.  The study involved 121 American and Canadian adults who were at risk of metabolic syndrome.  All participants were given a weight maintenance heart healthy diet, with a daily smoothie containing one of five study oils for four weeks (flax/safflower oil blend, corn/safflower oil blend, high-oleic canola oil enriched with an algal source of the omega-3 DHA, canola and high-oleic canola oils).  The participants repeated the process using the remaining oils.  When the participants consumed either canola or high-oleic canola oils daily for four week their belly fat was reduced by 1.6%, whereas the other oils had no effect.   Kris-Etherton et al. suggest that the monounsaturated fats could be responsible for these benefits, noting that the flax/safflower and corn/safflower oil blends were low in monounsaturated fat.  (PRNewsWire)

**One way to fight inflammation is with food
In a press release published on Science Daily, a University of Alabama expert is reporting that one way to fight inflammation is with food.  Dr Lauren Whitt states: "The inflammation process has one goal: to respond immediately to detect and destroy the toxic material in damaged tissues before it can spread throughout the body. The trouble is inflammation occurs when the defence system gets out-of-control and begins to destroy healthy tissue, causing more damage than the original tissue." Whitt notes that obesity causes inflammation which leads to cardiovascular and metabolic disease, weight loss reduces inflammation and states that eating the right anti-inflammatory foods is the answer.  She indicates that whole foods and those high in fibre are important, and suggests a number of anti-inflammatory foods to try including citrus fruits (vitamin C and vitamin E are essential antioxidants), dark, leafy greens, high in vitamin K, tomatoes as they contain lycopene, and wild-caught salmon which contains a rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.  In addition, Whitt recommends consuming more foods straight from the farm, as well as fewer processed and fried foods, noting that doing so might reduce the need for some medications.

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets.  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 

**FSA updates results of UK-wide survey of beef products
Further test results from the first two phases of the Food Standards Agency’s UK-wide sampling programme of beef products have now been confirmed. The results show 352 out of 362 samples were negative for the presence of both horse and pig DNA.  Of the remaining 10 samples, three were confirmed as containing pig DNA at or above the 1% threshold. The three products were ASDA Spaghetti and Meatballs; ASDA Beef Cannelloni; and Apetito Beef Lasagne.  A further two, a Whitbread burger and IKEA meatballs, have now been confirmed as containing horse DNA at or above the 1% threshold. Both of these products have been previously reported by the food industry’s own results and are already included in the table on the FSA’s website. The results of the last five samples are being challenged and awaiting the outcome of further independent tests. If the products are found to be positive for contamination above the 1% threshold, the results will be reported on the FSA website. (quoted directly)

RSSL’s DNA and Protein Laboratory can analyse products for the presence of horse/donkey meat using both ELISA and DNA methods. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Current cholesterol calculation used by doctors may underestimate heart disease danger
Findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology are indicating that the standard formula used to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels could be inaccurate.  The scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine state that the formula, called Friedewald equation, underestimates LDL.   Martin et al. compared lipid profiles analysed using the Friedewald equation, with a direct calculation of LDL using ultracentrifugation.  They found that “in nearly one out of four samples in the 'desirable' range for people with a higher heart disease risk, the Friedewald equation had it wrong.  As a result, many patients may think they achieved their LDL cholesterol target when, in fact, they may need more aggressive treatment to reduce their heart disease risk."  The scientists suggest that an alternative and more accurate way to calculate risk is to examine non-HDL, by subtracting HDL from total cholesterol.  The authors state that: "Non-HDL cholesterol is a much better target for quantifying risk of plaques in coronary arteries.  Looking at non-HDL cholesterol would make it simpler and more consistent, and would enable us to provide our patients with a better assessment.”

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