12 January - 20 June 2016

Food Safety and Other News

7 October 2015

Organic protein powder developed from sacha inchi

Sacha inchi is a traditional South American food plant from which Axiom Foods have developed a protein powder called Incatein. Incatein is produced when sacha inchi is treated through a solvent-free, mechanical, cold-press process to remove the oil and leave up to 10% of fat in the protein. The protein is then grounded to make it easier to digest.

Incatein contains essential nutrients for electrolyte balance, dietary fibre for digestive health and is an easily digestible protein. The protein has the potential for application in raw foods such as quinoa or chia, sprinkled onto yoghurt and cereal or even added to cosmetics.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warn of the harms of untreated fresh juice

The US FDA has issued a warning about the harms of drinking untreated fruit juices that have not been processed to kill harmful bacteria and has advised that these products should carry a warning on the label or should be kept refrigerated. This comes as some health food and grocery stores, farmers markets as well as juice bars have been found to sell untreated fruit juices.

The FDA has advised that warning labels are not required on juices that is freshly-squeezed and is sold by the glass including juice bars, farmers market and roadside stands.

New EU project to reduce food waste begins

The Institute of Food Rearch (IFR) is involved in a new EU funded multinational research project with the aim to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025.

Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain (REFRESH) will run from 2015 to 2019 to identify ways of adding value to food waste by turning them into other products. The project will evaluate economic viability, environmental stability and technological feasibility through four European pilot countries and China.

Seven new maize varieties developed by researchers

Researchers from the Ghana Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have developed seven new varieties of maize. They are named "Crops-Afriyie", "Crops-Obotantim", "Crops-Dzifoo", "Crops-Ahoofe", "Crops-Emmre dane", "Crops-Ahoodzin" and "Crops-Nkunim".

Eggshell membrane can slow arthritis

Researchers from the Traditional & Biomedical Research Centre at Daejeon University in Korea have investigated the anti-arthritis effect of natural eggshell membrane (NEM). Three doses of NEM were evaluated.

NEM was found to reduce Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMPs) – circulating cartilage degrading enzymes- as well as serum levels of the cartilage degradation biomarker CTX-II. The NEM contained hyaluronic acid, glycosaminoglycans (GAGS), collagen and other beneficial proteins. It is hoped that the results may see the development of a new raw material for a new health food to slow arthritis.

EFSA findings show that normal food could be just as effective as sports food

The European Commission has asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for scientific and technical assistance in the area of nutrition and health claims and Dietary Reference Values (DRV’s) that is relevant to sportspeople. EFSA completed the task of establishing Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for vitamins and minerals developed by the Scientific Committee of Food (SCF) and provided advice on the safety of caffeine before physical exercise. 

The research concluded that athletes’ protein requirements could be achieved by established dietary guidelines and that no particular protein sources or protein components would have a beneficial effect for athletes. The EU Food for Specific Groups (FSG) regulation; which is due to begin in July 2016 will replace existing PARNUTS (Food for Particular Nutritional Purposes) regulations and national rules.

Research finds arsenic in many American red wines, but health risks depend on total diet

A study conducted by the University of Washington has tabulated arsenic levels in wine. Following the test of 65 wines from the US top wine-producing states, all of the wines but one had arsenic levels that exceeded what is allowed within drinking water. The wine samples ranged from 10 to 76 parts per billion (water levels cannot exceed 10 parts per billion according to the US Environmental Protection Agency).

The study found that health risk from the arsenic depend on how much other food and beverages known to be high in arsenic is consumed including apple juice, cereal bars and rice. Eating such food high in arsenic could increase the level of arsenic beyond that considered safe.

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