12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

6 Nov 13

**Should levels of sugar in jam in England be reduced?
**Midlife diet and healthy ageing in women
**The effect of cranberry juice on risk factors of cardiovascular disease
**Glow in the dark ice cream
**Study reports that adding 20% tax to soft drink would help reduce obesity in Britain
**Developing a nutritionally balanced pizza
**Decoded kiwifruit genome
**Pregnancy weight gain and autism spectrum disorders
**Is cutting saturated fat levels in food just a drop in the ocean in the fight against obesity?
**In an attempt to reduce obesity, Sweden recommends low-carbohydrate high-fat diet
**Study to investigate whether vitamin D supplements can help those who at risk of type 2 diabetes

**Should levels of sugar in jam in England be reduced?
The BBC is reporting that ministers are intending to change regulations in England on the minimum level of sugar which a product calling itself jam or marmalade can contain.  However, MPs say this could lead to "the end of the British breakfast as we know it” resulting in   cheaper runnier spread with a shorter shelf life, but the government says this change will increase the British economy.   A Defra spokesman said: “Reducing the minimum sugar content in jam from 60% to 50% will help British producers - large and small - to trade more easily across the world, boosting our economy and allowing jam lovers everywhere to enjoy delicious British jam.”

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

**Midlife diet and healthy ageing in women
A study involving over 10000 women by Samieri et al and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has examined the association between dietary patterns in midlife and prevalence of healthy ageing.  The findings report that women who ate healthier not only lived longer but also were less likely to have any major chronic diseases and that theydid not have any impaired physical functioning, mental health or thinking skills.   The women, who participated in the Nurse’s Health study, were aged in their late 50’s or early 60s between 1984 and 1986.   The women provided information on their diet and health an average of 15 years later.  Samieri et al report that greater adherence to the Alternate Mediterranean diet was related to 46% greater odds of healthy ageing. When the 4 components of healthy ageing were analysed separately, comparing those in the upper vs. lower quintiles, the scientists report that the Alternate Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with a greater likelihood of no major limitations in physical function and mental health.  However Samieri said "only 11 percent of our participants were classified as healthy agers overall."

**The effect of cranberry juice on risk factors of cardiovascular disease
A double-blind, placebo controlled randomized clinical trial presented at the VI International Conference on Polyphenols and Health in Buenos Aires, Argentina has investigated the effect of daily consumption of a low calorie cranberry juice beverage on risk factors of cardiovascular disease.  The trial recruited 56 overweight adults aged 51-62 who consumed a low calorie cranberry juice beverage or a placebo beverage as part of a controlled diet for 8 weeks.  At baseline and after intervention blood samples were collected.  After 8 weeks of intervention the cranberry juice as compared to the placebo, was found to lower c-reactive protein, an important biomarker of inflammation and clinically relevant risk factor for several cardiovascular diseases Triglycerides were also significantly reduced compared to baseline.  The researchers conclude by saying this suggests that cranberry juice beverage could ameliorate an inflammation associated with risk for disease. (Food Product Design)

RSSL’s  Functional Ingredients Laboratory can analyse food products for polyphenolic components. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email  enquiries@rssl.com

**Glow in the dark ice cream
Francis, founder of the Lick Me I'm Delicious, an ice cream company, has developed a new ice cream which costs £140 a scoop: glow in the dark jellyfish ice cream.  Francis explains that the ice cream uses calcium activated proteins that react when they are agitated, or “put it a non-sciencey way, it glows when you lick it.”  The protein reacts to the pH of the tongue, which is neutral.  As the tongue warms up the protein, it raises the pH level causing it to  glow.  The inventor has also made a non-jellyfish version using quinine from tonic to make UV dark gin and tonic sorbet glow.(CBS News)

**Study reports that adding 20% tax to soft drink would help reduce obesity in Britain
A new modelling study, using household survey data, by researchers from Oxford University and the University of Reading, has reported that adding a 20% tax to soft drinks in Britain could reduce the number of obese adults by around 1.3%.  The study published in the British Medical Journal, modelsthe overall and income specific effect of a 20% tax on sugar sweetened drinks on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the UK.  The scientists carried out three modelling steps: estimating the effect that a tax increase would have on drink purchases, estimating the effect that changes in drink purchases would have on energy intake  and estimating the effect that changes in energy intake would have on BMI.  It reports that the greatest effects may occur in young people, with no significant differences between income groups.  An article in Business Week, which cites the study, quotes Tam Fray, a spokesman for the National Obesity Forum as saying that the 20% tax would be a hard sell and suggests an alternative would be to fine companies if they exceed a certain threshold for the amount of sugar allowable in food and drink. (NHS Choices)

**Developing a nutritionally balanced pizza
 A team of scientists, reporting in the journal Public Health Nutrition, have investigated the nutritional content and quality of contemporary pizzas, and demonstrated that pizza can be reformulated to make it the basis of a fully nutritionally-balanced meal.   Currently pizzas contain salt and saturated fat added to enhance shelf life.  They are perceived as being an unhealthy food.   The scientists analysed 25 Margarita pizzas, which varied in calorie content ranging from 200 to 562 kcal.    Only 6 of the 25 tested contained too much total fat (>35% total energy), with eight having too much saturated fat while only two boasting a desirable level (<11% total energy). Most of the fat in the pizzas came from the cheese and most sodium levels were substantially over the recommended limit with nine containing more than 1g per 600 kcal serving.   Vitamin and mineral content did not appear on the packaging and none of the pizzas met the recommended value for iron, vitamin C and vitamin A.  The team then set up to modified the pizza recipe so that it contained less salt, additionally contained whole-wheat flour, adding a small amount of Scottish seaweed to provide flavour, vitamin B12 and fibre, iron, vitamin A, and iodine and added red peppers to provide extra vitamin C.  The proportions of bread base to Mozzarella cheese was adjusted to correct the carbohydrate/fat/protein ratios and minimise saturated fat content. After cooking, it was finally analysed in the laboratory.   The taste of the pizza was also assessed by members of the public including children.  The pizzas were give the “thumbs up” for taste and are now being marketed by food company Eat Balanced.com, with three flavours being available to purchase from various UK supermarkets.

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

**Decoded kiwifruit genome
 Scientists from the United States and China have decoded the DNA sequence of the kiwifruit. The research published in Nature Communications is reporting that the kiwifruit has many genetic similarities between its 39,040 genes and other plant species, including potatoes and tomatoes. Fei et al note that "The genome sequence will serve as a valuable resource for kiwifruit research and may facilitate the breeding program for improved fruit quality and disease resistance.” Fei states "The kiwifruit genome has undergone two recent whole-genome duplication events."  When genes are duplicated, the extra genes can mutate to perform entirely new functions that were not previously present in the organism. This process, called neofunctionalisation, can occur with no adverse effects in plants and, in the case of kiwifruit, was quite beneficial. (Eurekalert)

**Pregnancy weight gain and autism spectrum disorders
Research from University of Utah scientists, published in the journal Pediatrics, has investigated pregnancy weight gain and autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  Previous studies have found a link between the two with an increase in risk.  Bilder et al. compared 128 eight year old children diagnosed with autism disorder with a control group of 10920 children of the same age and gender.  They also investigated another group of 288 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and compared their data with that of unaffected siblings.  Using birth certificate records the scientists report that weight gain patterns were identified as common factors in mothers who gave birth to children born with autism spectrum disorders, suggesting that these small changes in pregnancy weight gain and ASD may share the same underlying cause.  BMI before pregnancy was not associated with ASD in either group.

**Study to investigate whether vitamin D supplements can help those who at risk of type 2 diabetes
Tufts Medical Center has announced that it is receiving a grant of over $40 million over five years from the National Institute of Health to investigate whether taking vitamin D supplements can help prevent type 2 diabetes in those at increased risk.   The study will involved 2400 patients with pre-diabetes, aged over 30 years old, who will randomly receive vitamin D3 (4,000 international units) or a placebo.  Dr. Anastassios Pittas, the Tufts researchers heading the study states that early studies have had some disappointing results however they believe vitamin D may have some beneficial effects in terms of how the body’s cells respond to the hormone insulin.  Pittas et al states: “Early studies, by our team and others, suggest a strong link between vitamin D and reduction of diabetes risk, who has investigated the connection since 2002. While there is a lot of hype about vitamin D and its health benefits, including for diabetes, there is not yet enough evidence from clinical trials to support a recommendation of vitamin D supplementation for diabetes prevention. If the D2d study confirms our hypothesis, it could have a significant impact on the quality of life for millions of people and could potentially save the American health care system billions of dollars." (D2D Study)

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

**Is cutting saturated fat levels in food just a drop in the ocean in the fight against obesity?
The BBC is reporting that the Department of Health says reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet could save lives. Whilst food manufacturers, including Morrisons, Subway and Nestle are pledging to cut the amount of saturated fat levels, a health expert Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health is saying this is a “drop in the ocean” in the fight against obesity.  Ashton states that the responsibility deal, “lacked credibility” however the Department of Health (DoH)  said it would “make a huge difference”.  The BBC reports that the Public Health Minister Jane Ellison as  saying that more than 500 big companies have pledged their support and cutting the amount of saturated fat in people's diets by 15% could prevent around 2,600 premature deaths every year from conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi and Mondelez International are amongst other firms which are cutting saturated fat or have pledged to do so. ProfessorAshton said that, while it was "a good thing that some companies are making food that has less saturated fat than before", the pledge did not go far enough.  "We cannot rely on the voluntary approach of the responsibility deal to solve this problem.  It now lacks credibility and can be seen as a feeble attempt by the industry to save face."

**In an attempt to reduce obesity, Sweden recommends low-carbohydrate high-fat diet
Sweden has become the first western nation to recommend a lower-carbohydrate, higher fat diet in an effect to reduce obesity and diabetes and improve heart health.  The Sweden government advisers at the Council on Health Technology Assessment in September assessed 16700 studies on diet and obesity.  The review indicates that following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet will improve body weight, blood sugar and good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol without adverse effects on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Lowering carbohydrate intake to 20% of total calories would result in more benefits including improved blood sugar levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes and marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.  Food Product Design quote Jeff Volek, Ph.D., RD, Professor and Nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut as saying that "It will be interesting to see how quickly other countries follow suit, recognizing that managing carbohydrates is the key to handling certain health conditions.  Lower-fat varieties of foods are often higher in sugars and carbohydrates, which is simply counter-intuitive for people who need to control metabolism-related conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity, all of which are related to obesity."

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