12 January - 20 June 2016

Food Safety and Other News

16 December 2015

EFSA gives go ahead for new applications for thaumatin

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has given a recent scientific opinion for thaumatin (a natural sweetener and flavour modifier) for a broader range of applications.

The opinion supports extending the categories in which thaumatin can be used to include salt substitutes, sauces and snacks, soups, food flavourings, breakfast cereal, jams and jellies, food substitutes and alcoholic beverages. The maximum use level has been increased from 0.5 mg per litre to 5mg per litre in flavoured drinks.

Future research on collagen and the prevention of age-related muscle wastage should focus on the ingredient in combination with whey

A paper from the Collagen Research Institute has specified that future research should focus on the ingredients of collagen in combination with whey when studying the prevention of age-related muscle wastage.

This follows research from the German Institute as well as the University of Freiburg and the University Hospital Freiburg from earlier in the year which suggested collagen peptides taken alongside resistant exercise could be used to increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass and age-related muscle loss in elderly men with sarcopenia.

Effects of pomegranate juice in circulating parameters, cytokines and oxidative stress markers in endurance-based athletes

A recent study published in the journal Nutrition has assessed the effects of pomegranate juice on the oxidative stress in blood of endurance-based athletes through a randomised, double-blind, multicentre trial.

The findings from the Spanish research showed that exercise can increase markers of oxidative stress like malondialdehyde (MDA) a reactive chemical compound. The consumption of 200ml per day of pomegranate juice not only prevented the levels of MDA but actually decreased the levels. They also found that the manufacturing process for the juice may play an important role in any potential outcomes.

A protein in the gut explains why some can't stomach gluten

A study from researchers at the University of Bologna, Italy suggests that gluten-sensitive individuals may contain high levels of zonulin that is linked to inflammation. The research showed that levels in the bloodstream of gluten-sensitive individuals matched those of celiacs.

Giovanni Barbara and a team of researchers measured blood levels of zonulin in four groups including those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) marked by diarrhoea, those with celiac disease, and those with self-diagnosed gluten sensitivity as well as healthy volunteers.

Both gluten-sensitives and celiacs had remarkable high levels of zonulin in their blood. Those with IBS had elevated levels but less than half of the gluten-sensitives and celiacs.

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