12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • No link between high cholesterol intake, eggs and memory disorders risk
  • Prickly Pear and Brown Seaweed may help fight neurodegenerative diseases
  • Horse, possum, camel and donkey meat may soon be available to purchase in South Australia
  • Exploring ways to improve the flavour of cheese and add value to dairy byproducts
  • Can consuming grilled, barbecued meats increase the risk of death for breast cancer survivors?
  • PHE develop new App to highlight how much sugar is in food
  • Consuming a high fibre diet may help gout suffers
  • Will people eat 3D printed foods?
  • Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of chronic headaches
  • Study suggests artificially sweetened beverages won’t help reduce obesity
  • Zinc eaten at levels found in biofortified crops reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA

No link between high cholesterol intake, eggs and memory disorders risk
Unlike previous research, scientists from the University of Eastern Finland are reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that a high intake dietary cholesterol or eating one egg every day, are not associated with increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  They also report that “no association was found in persons carrying the APOE4 gene variant that affects cholesterol metabolism and increases the risk of memory disorders.” The study came to these findings after recruiting 2497 men aged between 42 and 60 years of age, who at baseline had no diagnosis of memory disorders, and following them for 22 years. At the end of follow up, 337 men were diagnosed with a memory disorder and 266 of them with Alzheimer's disease. 32.5% of the study participants were carriers of APOE4. The team report that the consumption of eggs was actually associated with improved cognitive performance. The authors note that “the participants had an average daily dietary cholesterol intake of 520 mg and consumed an average of one egg per day, which means that the findings cannot be generalised beyond these levels.”

Prickly Pear and Brown Seaweed may help fight neurodegenerative diseases
A study by scientists from the University of Malta and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Bordeaux and published in Neuroscience Letters suggests that extracts from two common Mediterranean plants may help combat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are both known to feature protein clumps which damage the nervous system. The researchers of the current study discovered that when added to brewer’s yeast with beta-amyloid clumps, chemicals extracted from the prickly pear and brown seaweed both improved the health of yeast to the extent that they thought these worth trying on fruit flies genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms. When treated regularly with the brown seaweed extract or prickly pear extract, the lifespan of the flies was extended on average by two and four days respectively. It is estimated that one day in the life of these flies is equivalent to around a year in human terms. The researchers also note that fly mobility was improved by around 18% after treatment. The extracts were also found to prolong the life of flies with brains containing a protein, alpha-synuclein, thought to be responsible for Parkinson’s disease. Neville Vassallo, professor of molecular physiology at the University of Malta and co-author of the study is quoted in a press release as saying that “'we have long been screening plants scattered across the Mediterranean for small molecules that interfere with the build-up of toxic protein aggregates. The robust effects of chemicals derived from the prickly pear and brown seaweed confirm that our search has certainly not been in vain”. Lead author Ruben J. Cauch also noted that they “believe that the discovery of bioactive agents that target pathways that are hit by multiple neurodegenerative conditions is the most viable approach in our current fight against brain disorders”. (Science Daily)

Horse, possum, camel and donkey meat may soon be available to purchase in South Australia
According to a recent article in The Guardian, horse, possum, camel and donkey meat may be available to purchase in September in South Australia, if proposals are adopted.  It is noted that the proposed changes would “not change the laws around hunting or culling protected species.” The proposed SA regulations are open for public consultation until February.  The proposed change has been opposed by the Animal Justice Party.

RSSL can identify the presence of pork, beef, lamb, poultry and horse. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

Exploring ways to improve the flavour of cheese and add value to dairy byproducts
A Danish funded project aims to improve the flavour of cheeses and other dairy products by developing an improved lactic acid bacteria.  The project led by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, will also explore ways to add value to existing low value dairy by-products. The research group has already developed a large number of cell factories based on lactic acid bacteria, which can turn low value by-products from dairy production into valuable products.

Can consuming grilled, barbecued meats increase the risk of death for breast cancer survivors?
According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute eating high amounts of grilled, barbecued or smoked meat may reduce the lifespan of women who have survived breast cancer.  Parada et al. state that whilst many studies have found an association between meat cooked at high temperatures and higher risk of breast cancer, no studies have investigated whether consuming these meats may influence survival after breast cancer. The study interviewed a population-based cohort of 1508 women.  During the 17.6 year of follow up, 597 women died, of these 238 deaths were associated with breast cancer.  Parada et al. calculated that compared to those who consumed a low amount of grilled, barbecued or smoked meats, before breast cancer diagnosis, those who consumed a high intake were found to have a 23% greater risk of all-cause mortality.  Before breast cancer diagnosis, grilled, barbecued and smoked meat consumption was not linked to mortality.    It is believed that such cooking methods may produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines carcinogens that are reported to trigger changes to the DNA that increases cancer risk. 

PHE develop new App to highlight how much sugar is in food
According to Public Health England’s (PHE) Change4life campaign “children are consuming half the daily recommended sugar intake before the morning school bell.”  The survey by PHE found that parents are unsure what makes up a healthy breakfast for their children. It found that of those parents whose child was consuming the equivalent of 3 or more sugar cubes in their breakfast, over 8 in 10 parents (84%) considered their child’s breakfast as healthy.  In response to the survey’s findings, PHE have developed a new Be Food Smart app that highlights how much sugar, saturated fat and salt can be found in food and drink that children consume.  In a press release PHE state that “the free app helps and encourages families to choose healthier options and works by scanning the barcode of products allowing parents to compare brands, and features food detective activities for children and mini missions the whole family can enjoy.”

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

Consuming a high fibre diet may help gout suffers
Teixeira et al. are reporting in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology that a high fibre diet may inhibit gout-related inflammation caused by monosodium urate (MSU) crystals.  The high fibre diet was found in particular to cause gut microorganisms to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs).  These were found to induce neutrophil apoptosis and decrease inflammation.  The mouse study investigated the injection of MSU crystals in the mice knees after the consumption of a high-fibre diet and treatment with SCFAs.  The diet was also found to increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the knee joint, further preventing knee damage and dysfunction.

Will people eat 3D printed foods?
Researchers from the University of Canberra, Australia, have conducted a small survey of 30 people to examine whether people would actually consider adding some 3D printed foods to their regular diet.  The researchers report that surprisingly people had not heard of the technology being used for food and associated 3D printing with plastics and metals.  They found that people showed some reservation about eating foods that had been 3D printed.  The survey included a section with images of 3D printed foods such as printed candy, 3D printed pizza, and 3D printed carrots made from carrot puree.  Participants report that they would be willing to try the more conventional foods, rather than foods such as 3D printed insects.  When asked if they would eat the foods themselves, carrots, chocolate, pizza, and pasta were the only items to score over 50%. The candy, insects, and chicken and vegetables fared less well with 35%, 14%, and 43%, respectively. (Open Science Framework)

Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of chronic headaches
According to a study published in Scientific Reports vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of chronic headaches.  The study from the University of Eastern Finland, analysed serum vitamin D level and incidents of headaches in around 2600 men aged between 42 and 60.  Of these, 68% were found to be vitamin D deficient, having levels of vitamin D below 50 nmol/l.  250 men reported having a chronic headache on a weekly basis.  These men were found to have lower serum vitamin D levels compared to the other participants.  The scientists split the participants into four groups and found that the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels.

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

Study suggests artificially sweetened beverages won’t help reduce obesity
A review of evidence relating to the benefits of artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) by researchers from Brazil and the UK and recently published in Plos Medicine suggests there is little to support claims that ASBs can help reduce obesity and its related diseases. The study reviewed a number of randomised controlled trials looking at health benefits of ASBs and found inconclusive results. One of the researchers, Professor Christopher Millett, is quoted as saying that “A common perception, which may be influenced by industry marketing, is that because 'diet' drinks have no sugar, they must be healthier and aid weight loss when used as a substitute for full sugar versions. However, we found no solid evidence to support this". Co-author of the study, Dr Maria Carolina Borges suggested that the possibility of bias in studies funded by industry should be seriously considered. In conclusion the study notes that “The absence of evidence to support the role of ASBs in preventing weight gain and the lack of studies on other long-term effects on health strengthen the position that ASBs should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet.” Other scientists however have not seen eye-to-eye with the study. Oxford University nutritionist Prof Susan Jebb is noted by the Independent as saying that there was no reason to believe replacing sugar sweetened beverages with ASBs did any harm and ASBs were, “for people seeking to manage their weight” at least a “step in the right direction”. Chief nutritionist at Public Health England, Dr Alison Tedstone concurred with Prof Jebb saying that “Our extensive evidence review showed swapping to low or no sugar drinks goes some way to managing calorie intake and weight” but added that “maintaining a healthy weight takes more than just swapping one product for another. Calories consumed should match calories used, so looking at the whole diet is very important." (The Independent)

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

Study suggests zinc consumed at levels found in biofortified crops can reduce oxidative stress and damage to DNA
Researchers from the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Research Institute (CHORI) are reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that “a moderate 4-mg/d increase in dietary zinc, similar to that which would be expected from zinc-biofortified crops, improves zinc absorption but does not alter plasma zinc. The repair of DNA strand breaks improves, as do serum protein concentrations that are associated with the DNA repair process.“ King et al. recruited 18 men who consumed a low zinc, rice diet, containing 6 mg Zn/d for 2 weeks and followed by 10 mg Zn/d for 4 weeks. The randomised, controlled study measured the impact of zinc on human metabolism by counting DNA strand breaks before and after each dietary zinc increase. (Science Daily)

RSSL can analyse for a wide range of concentrations of metals in foods, drinks and dietary supplements. For more information, please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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