12 January - 20 June 2016

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  • Eating one egg a day may reduce the risk of stroke 
  • Natural pigments from autumn leaves could be used in various industries
  • Environmental Impact of Food - league table created
  • Vegetable yogurt predicted to be one of 2017 foods of choice
  • Salt in Irish diet still high
  • Diet can affect migraines 
  • Children born to mothers with low vitamin B12 levels may have increased diabetes risk
  • Consuming cranberry capsules found to have no effect on urinary tract infection bacteria
  • Consuming canola oil in a healthy diet may reduce abdominal fat
  • Can eating dairy cheese protect against sodium-related health risks?

Eating one egg a day may reduce the risk of stroke
A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies by researchers from the EpidStat Institute in Michigan and DLW Consulting Services in Utah, and funded by the Egg Nutrition Center has investigated egg consumption and heart disease and stroke. The study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition identified prospective studies published up to August 2015, which investigated adult egg consumption and either heart disease or stroke.  They found seven studies including 308,000 people. After numerous statistical analyses the scientists report that people whose egg consumption was high were no more or less likely to get heart disease compared with those whose egg consumption was low. However, people who ate an egg per day were 12% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate less than two eggs per week. 

Natural pigments from autumn leaves could be used in various industries
Researchers from VVT Technical Research Centre of Finland are developing a process to extract natural pigments from autumn leaves for use in various industries.  The colour of autumn leaves are due to their orange and yellow carotenoids and red anthocyanins.  The leaves may also contain beneficial compounds including phenols, lignin, carbohydrates and proteins with the composition varying largely between different tree species.  The researchers report that the compounds obtained from the leaves may be suitable for use as food colouring and preservatives, and as nutritional supplements.  The waste can also be further processed to extract compounds that inhibit the growth of harmful microbes, thus being suitable e.g. for cosmetic and hygiene products.  The scientists report that carbohydrates from the extraction residue could be used to produce protein-rich feed for livestock and protein supplements for people.  (Phys.org)

RSSL’s can offer anthocyanin analysis by colorimetric methods or HPLC in a range of foods and beverages. For more information, please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Environmental Impact of Food - league table created
Scientists from Lancaster University and RMIT, Melbourne have developed a “Carbon footprint” league table to help consumers and caterers calculate the environmental impact of the foods they prepare. The league table comes from the researcher’s paper which is a review of greenhouse gas emission for foods drawn from 369 studies and published in Journal of Cleaner Production. The scientists found that fruit and vegetables have the smallest environmental impact, beef and lamb the highest with nuts, pulses, chicken and fish in-between and have published a small list to indicate what 1kg of greenhouse gas emissions could ‘buy’ to allow possible substitution of ingredients to those with a lower impact. This list includes 5.8 kg of onions, 3.5 kg of apples, 2.6 kg oats, 1 kg lentils, 0.8 litres milk, 290 g salmon, 270 g chicken, 160 g UK pork and 40 g UK beef or lamb. One of the lead researchers, Dr Stephen Clune, is quoted in a press release as saying that “You would have a hard time arguing that you can replace beef with onions as they serve very different culinary and dietary requirements. However, it is possible to substitute red meat (beef and lamb) with other meats, or plant-based protein sources such as lentils and nuts that have a lower impact.” Clune added that “Our results could be used with confidence to plan menus for individuals and catering companies who want to reduce their carbon footprint, by selecting foods from different categories." (Science Daily)

Vegetable yogurt predicted to be one of 2017 foods of choice
Waitrose have predicted in its annual food and drink trends that vegetable yogurt, as well as Polynesian food, foodie meal kits and perfume inspired cocktails will become the new foods of choice next year.  In the US, vegetable yogurt varieties such as carrot, beetroot and sweet potato, have already hit the shelves. The report notes that 2016 has already seen the success of seaweed, cactus water and bao buns, and indicates that people are perceiving healthy food as tasty and tasty food as healthy.  A survey carried out for the report found that 30% of people consciously count calories when trying to lose weight.   The report also discovered that people care about the presentation of food, noting that one in five have posted a photo of food on social media in the last month.  39% of people take greater care over how they present food on their plate than they did 5 years ago.  The report also analysed data on shopping habits, stating that Londoners tend to buy online, and East Anglian residents shop once a week in one large supermarket.  Those in the Midlands were most likely to buy organic foods. 

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 +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Salt in Irish diet still high
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published an update of its annual salt monitoring programme. As part of this ongoing programme of monitoring which has been in place since 2003, the FSAI examined 530 samples of processed food in 2015 across four food product categories including: processed meats, breads, breakfast cereals and spreadable fats. Significant reductions in salt content was observed across a variety of products, but most notably in processed meats such as rashers, cooked ham and sausages. According to Dr Wayne Anderson, Director of Food Science and Standards, FSAI “While levels of salt have decreased in processed foods, the average dietary salt intakes in Irish adults continue to exceed the recommended daily intake of 5g salt per day. The estimated average daily salt intake in Irish adults is currently 11.1g salt per/day in men and 8.5g salt per/day in women. We would ask consumers to read product labels for information on salt content and reduce the amount of salt they add themselves in cooking and at the table.”

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 +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Diet can affect migraines
According to a study published in The Journal of Head and Face Pain, consuming too many foods high in nitrates or monosodium glutamate (MSG) and consuming too much alcohol are potential headache triggers for those who suffer with migraines.   The authors note two approaches to prevent headaches from diet: elimination of foods that trigger migraines or follow a comprehensive diet whose very composition may prevent headaches.  The review of over 180 research studies, also note that the withdrawal of caffeine is one of the most important triggers for headaches. One cup of coffee is probably the maximum for migraine patients and large amount of caffeine can cause anxiety and depressive symptoms.  According to the scientists there have been three comprehensive diets whose very composition may prevent headaches such as low fat and low carbohydrate diets as well as those that increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease the amount of omega-6 fatty acids.

RSSL can determine nitrates in food products. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Children born to mothers with low vitamin B12 levels may have increased diabetes risk
Children are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases if they were born to mothers who had vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy according to a study by University of Warwick researchers, presenting at Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference.  Saravanan et al. investigated whether vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy altered offspring’s leptin levels, a hormone which is involved in satiety.  The scientists analysed 91 blood samples for vitamin B12 levels, taken from mothers and their offspring at birth.  In addition they also analysis 83 placental tissue samples, and 42 maternal and neonate fat tissue samples.  Mothers with vitamin B12 levels of less than 150 picomoles per litre were more likely to have children with higher than normal leptin levels.  Leptin tells the body when to stop eating.  The authors state: “The nutritional environment provided by the mother can permanently program the baby’s health.  We know that children born to under or over-nourished mothers are at an increased risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, and also that that maternal B12 deficiency may affect fat metabolism and contribute to this risk.”   The authors, note that although the exact mechanism as to why maternal vitamin B12 deficiency increases leptin levels is not known, they speculate that “either low B12 drive fat accumulation in the foetus, and this leads to increased leptin, or the low B12 actually causes chemical changes in the placental genes that produces leptin, making more of the hormone.”  (EurekaAlert)

RSSL’s provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Consuming cranberry capsules found to have no effect on urinary tract infection bacteria
It is common belief that drinking cranberry juice may protect against urinary tract infections (UTI).  However a study published in JAMA has found that compared to a placebo, administration of cranberry capsules to elderly patients in a nursing home, resulted in no significant difference in presence of bacteriuria plus pyuria, a sign of UTI, or in the number of episodes of UTIs over 1 year. The scientists recruited 185 women, with or without bacteriuria plus pyuria at baseline, from nursing homes, to daily consume either a placebo or two oral cranberry capsules, each capsule containing 36 mg proanthocyanidins.  They found that of the 147 who completed the study, there was no significant difference in the presence of bacteriuria plus pyuria between the treatment group vs the control group and no significant difference in the number of symptomatic UTIs, rates of death, hospitalisation, antibiotics administered for suspected UTIs, or total antimicrobial utilisation. However according to NutraIngredients, the food industry has responded to the results of the study saying that the research is misleading and suffering with fatal flaws.

RSSL can analyse food products for polyphenolic components. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Consuming canola oil in a healthy diet may reduce abdominal fat
At The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting Kris-Etherton et al. have reported that adhering to a diet that included canola oil for 4 weeks has been found to reduce belly fat by around a quarter pound.  Belly fat increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and is associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The scientists came to their findings after they tested the effect of five different vegetable oil blends in 101 participants’ diets. The participants, who had abdominal obesity, or increased waist circumference and were at risk of metabolic disease, were randomly assigned to consume each oil diet for four weeks with a four week wash out period between each diet.  The oil was consumed twice daily in a smoothie.  The amount of oil used was calculated based on the participant’s energy levels.  The researchers state that the “monounsaturated fatty acids seem to specially target abdominal fat.” They note that canola oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to have beneficial effects on body composition, especially in people with obesity. (Eurekalert)

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory can determine the fatty acid profile of all dietary fats and oils. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Can eating dairy cheese protect against sodium-related health risks?
According to Penn State researchers, consuming dairy cheese may protect against some of sodium’s effects on the cardiovascular system.  The team report in the British Journal of Nutrition, that the antioxidant properties of diary proteins in cheese are responsible for this protective effect although it is not known if this is a long-term effect.  Fourteen participants consumed on five visits, either 85 g dairy cheese (560 mg Na), 85 g soya cheese (560 mg Na), 65 g pretzels (560 mg Na), 170 g dairy cheese (1120 mg Na) or 130 g pretzels (1120 mg Na). Using a laser-Doppler, which shines a weak laser light onto the skin, the scientists compared the effect of each food on the cardiovascular system.  The scientists used the light to examine the red blood cells that flow through vessels, and measured how much the blood vessels dilated in response to skin warming.  The scientists note that the dilatation is due to the production of nitric oxide, a gas that’s naturally produced in the body to deliver messages between cells.  "We found that when our subjects ate a lot of sodium in cheese, they had better blood vessel function—more blood flow—compared to when they ate an equal amount of sodium from non-dairy sources—in this case, pretzels and soy cheese," said Anna Stanhewicz, co-investigator and postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Aging. "We know that more red blood cells means more blood flow and more dilation. We observed that subjects had more nitric oxide-moderated dilation after eating dairy cheese, compared to after eating pretzels or soy cheese."

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