12 January - 20 June 2016

More Food News from Food E-News

12 Mar 14

Fruit juice and five a day

Susan Jebb - Professor of Diet and Population Health at Oxford University, Head of Diet and Obesity Research at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit, and government adviser regarding diet and obesity - has warned that fruit juices contain as much sugar as unhealthy soft drinks, and should not be regarded as a healthy substitute for such drinks.

The Guardian reports that Jebb supports removing fruit juice from the recommended list of five-a-day portions, as it is "just isn't the same as intact fruit." She also recommends drinking juice diluted in order to reduce the sugar being consumed. [Sunday Times] [Grocer]

Consumer perception of reduced sugar and fat in biscuits

Researchers at the Centre des Sciences du Gout et de l'Alimentation tested the effects of reduced fat and sugar content on consumers' perception of these qualities, and their liking of the product.

It was found that reduced sugar content was noticed by consumers even at low levels of reduction, whereas decreased fat content was only perceived at higher levels. Reducing the fat content also in some cases led participants to report decreased sweetness.

These results were in general mirrored in how much the participants liked the different varieties of biscuit - that is, standard biscuits were preferred to both fat-reduced and sugar-reduced varieties, but this preference was stronger with differences in sugar than fat content. Furthermore, for most of the biscuit varieties the preference for standard rather than fat-reduced only became significant at high levels of fat-reduction (over 25% decrease compared to 15%, where there was no significant effect). In contrast, for two out of the three biscuit varieties tested with reduced sugar, a reduction of 16-17% led a preference to emerge.

Previous studies in this area had focused on laboratory-made biscuits, whereas this research used commercially manufactured products in order to investigate whether results would be similar. Despite the differences between the two types of products - more complex recipes; use of emulsifiers, fibres and bulking agents; and more time passing between creation and consumption in the commercially manufactured biscuits - results from this study were in agreement with the literature on laboratory-made biscuit studies. This suggests that differences in sensory characteristics between the two types may not be significant in perception of sugar and fat reduction.

Anthocyanins and antioxidant profiles in red cabbage varieties

Researchers in Poland have studied a range of red cabbage varieties and discovered that their anthocyanin profiles and antioxidant capacities are dependent both on the variety and on its time to maturity. There was also a positive, significant correlation demonstrated between anthocyanin content and antioxidant capacity.

These particular features of the cabbage varieties were studied due to their potential interest to the functional food industry. Anthocyanins are natural colour compounds - and thus of interest as natural pigments - and various health claims have been made about them, including that they display antioxidant properties.

The study found wide variation in the anthocyanin profile of five different varieties of red cabbage, suggesting that if cabbage is to be used in foodstuffs because of its anthocyanin content care must be taken to choose the most appropriate variety. It was also shown that the anthocyanin profile altered with its time to maturity, with decreased quantities of nonacylated components in varieties with a longer maturation time.

A use for spent coffee grounds

Researchers at the Università di Torino and Tecnogranda SpA investigated the chemical and microbiological stability of wet spent coffee grounds from espresso capsules, looking in particular at how phenolic content, antioxidant capacity and quantities of bioactive compounds changed over time.

High quantities of solid coffee ground waste are produced across the world as a by-product of coffee consumption, and it has been suggested that compounds within this waste - such as caffeine, chlorogenic acids and melanoidins (all organic bioactive antioxidant compounds) - could be recovered and reused.

In this study the researchers found that stability of all the substances in question was good up to one month, when stored at room temperature in an open container. This is an encouraging result, as it suggests there is a reasonable time window in which the grounds could potentially be collected and useful compounds recovered from them.

Effects of fish in the diet on "good cholesterol"

In a study recently published in PLOS ONE, Finnish and British researchers demonstrated that a diet rich in wholegrain, polyphenol rich bilberries and especially fatty fish may cause positive changes in the distribution on high density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood. The study sample consisted of 106 people (average age 58 ± 7 years, average BMI 31.2 ± 3.5 kg/m2) with a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity known as metabolic syndrome.

Participants were randomly divided into three groups following different diets:

  • Wholegrain and low insulin response grain products, fatty fish 3 times/week and 300g/day of bilberries(the HealthyDiet group)
  • Wholegrain and low insulin response grain products(the Wholegrain-Enriched Diet (WGED) group)
  • Refined wheat bread as cereal products (the Control group)

After 12 weeks of dietary intervention there were significant differences in lipid metabolites between the Control and the Healthy Diet groups. HealthyDiet participants showed increased plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), and an increase of fish intake particularly was strongly correlated with the increased concentration of large HDL, average diameter of HDL particles and increased concentration of large HDL lipid components. This is significant as large HDL particles are believed to protect against cardiovascular disease. The authors note that whilst there is much evidence for the beneficial health effects of fish oil, this has usually come from experimental studies that used supplemental fish oil or single n-3 PUFA rather than changing the whole dietary pattern. [Eurekalert], [ScienceDaily]

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