12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • Scientists piece together genome of most common bread wheat
  • London buses to be powered by biofuel created with coffee waste
  • Project granted funding to recycle polystyrene fish boxes into yoghurt pots
  • Eating food too quickly can lead to metabolic syndrome
  • Mushrooms are an excellent dietary antioxidant source
  • Waitrose trend predictions for 2018 include Indian street food, and demand for plant protein
  • Drinking coffee may be associated with decreased risk of heart failure and stroke
  • Eggs enriched with omega-3 may offer consumers an alternative to eating oily fish

Scientists piece together genome of most common bread wheat
Using two gene technologies, high throughput and nanopore sequencing, Johns Hopkins scientists have pieced together the genome of the most cultivated species of wheat, Triticum aestivum, used to make bread.  The findings published in Nature, may help biologists develop a wheat that is hardier, and more pest- and drought-resistant. The scientists report that bread wheat contains an estimated 16 billion base pairs of DNA and six copies of seven chromosomes. They compare this to the human genome which is about five times smaller, with about three billion base pairs and two copies of 23 chromosomes. (Eurekalert)

London buses to be powered by biofuel created with coffee waste
A biofuel produced from waste coffee grounds is being used to power some of London’s buses.  The oil extracted from the coffee waste is being blended with diesel.  The company who created the fuel, Bio-bean, has produced enough to power one bus for a year.  Biofuel made from other waste products, such as cooking oil and tallow from meat processing, is already being used to power buses. The coffee grounds are being supplied by coffee shops and instant coffee factories.  The fuel can be used without any modifications to the buses.  The UK consumes around 55 million cups of coffee per day, with Bio-bean reporting that Londoners create 200,000 tonnes of coffee waste a year. According to the company it takes over 2.55 million cups of coffee to create enough biofuel to run a London bus for a year once the oil has been blended with diesel. (BBC)

Project granted funding to recycle polystyrene fish boxes into yoghurt pots
A project to recycle polystyrene fish boxes into yoghurt pots has been granted EU funding.  The project is a collaboration between five Spanish organisations.  Polystyrene fish boxes are used to transport and store fresh fish, however they often end up in landfills.  The project hopes to reduce waste by 80%.  The project, EPS SURE, was developed at a plant owned by Total Petrochemicals Iberica.  Total Petrochemicals Iberica will be joined by Cicloplast, the Asociación Nacional de Poliestireno Expandido (the National Association of Expanded Polystyrene, or ANAPE), El Corte Ingles and Coexpan. (New food Magazine)

Eating food too quickly can lead to metabolic syndrome
Research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017 by researchers  from Hiroshima University, Japan, suggests that those who eat their food slowly are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome or become obese. According to the press release, metabolic syndrome is when any three risk factors occur from a number including abdominal obesity, high fasting blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol. Yamaji et al. evaluated 642 men and 441 women with an average age of 51.2 years, all of whom did not have metabolic syndrome at baseline. After five years, they found that eating faster was associated with “more weight gain, higher blood glucose and larger waistline”.   They found that 11.6% of faster eaters developed metabolic syndrome compared to 6.5% and 2.3% for normal and slow eaters respectively. Lead author Takayuki Yamaji is quoted as saying that “Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome. When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat. Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance”.

Mushrooms are an excellent dietary antioxidant source
Penn State researchers have found that mushrooms contain high amounts of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, which have been suggested to help fight ageing.  Levels of the antioxidants vary between mushroom species, with porcini species, a wild variety, containing the highest amount of the two compounds among the 13 species tested.  The study published in Food Chemistry by Beelman et al. found that cooking mushrooms does not seem to significantly affect the compounds, reporting that ergothioneine was found to be heat stable.  Beelman et al. discuss “the free radical theory of ageing” stating in a press releases “There's a theory - the free radical theory of aging -- that's been around for a long time that says when we oxidize our food to produce energy there's a number of free radicals that are produced that are side products of that action and many of these are quite toxic. The body has mechanisms to control most of them, including ergothioneine and glutathione, but eventually enough accrue to cause damage, which has been associated with many of the diseases of aging, like cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's."

RSSL can test the antioxidant capacity of foods.  To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com 

Waitrose trend predictions for 2018 include Indian street food, and demand for plant protein
In its annual report, Waitrose has predicted what the five biggest food trends of 2018 will be.  The predictions are based on results from a survey of 2,000 consumers, sales statistics and predictions of in-house experts who analysed shopping and cooking habits.  The first prediction is an increase in Indian street food. The report states “Forget heavy sauces and chicken tikka masala, this trend is about smoked, grilled or seared delicacies, such as scallops in pickled ginger.  Food trucks selling puris stuffed with zingy vegetables and drizzled in chutney could become a common sight.”  The second prediction entitled “Japanese Dude Food” focuses on turning to the indulgent side of Japanese cuisine noting that “whether it’s yakitori skewered chicken or deep-fried tofu in broth, the trend will combine the hearty ‘dude food’ of the southern US states with the unctuous, rich and surprising flavours of after-hours Tokyo”.  The report predicts a shift from weekly “trolley dash” shopping to daily shopping. It discusses “the fourth meal” suggest that busy lifestyles, mean that eating schedules need to be adapted, stating  that people are moving away from breakfast, lunch and dinner and  if dinner is eaten earlier or we are going to the gym, a fourth meal “whether it’s a healthy snack or an indulgent treat” may be wanted.  The report suggests that there is a demand for high protein foods and a “buzz around new plant-based protein.” It therefore predicts that companies will be “looking for clever ways to add a protein punch.” 

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable experience in developing or re-formulating products. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com 

Drinking coffee may be associated with decreased risk of heart failure and stroke
Research presented at the American Heart Association’s AHA) Scientific Sessions 2017, held in Anaheim, CA, is indicating that drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events.  The research by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora used machine learning alongside traditional data analysis techniques and found an inverse relationship between how much coffee is consumed per week and exposure to heart failure and stroke. Stevens et al. report that an extra cup of coffee every week is associated with a 7 percent lower risk of heart failure and an 8 percent lower risk of stroke. 

Eggs enriched with omega-3 may offer consumers an alternative to eating oily fish
A six-month clinical trial by Professor Alice Stanton, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has reported that eggs enriched with omega-3 offer consumers an alternative to eating oily fish or to the lifelong taking of omega-3 supplements.  The scientist notes that consumption of oily fish is association with a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer.  Consumption has also been associated with improved brain health, vision, muscle and joint health.  Guidelines suggest that oily fish should be consumed at least once a week. However less than 20% of the world's population have optimal omega-3 PUFA levels, with many not consuming any fish.  Professor Stanton recruited 161 participants, who consumed at least 3 portions of chicken and eggs per week that had been enriched naturally with omega-3.   Findings from the study, presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Conference, “saw an increase in omega-3-PUFA levels in blood and a positive shift in what is described as the 'omega-3 Index' - a test that measures the amount of the omega-3 fatty acids, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in red blood cell membranes, which reflects the levels in your heart and other tissues. A low omega-3 Index (<4%) indicates a heightened risk of heart and brain disease. The study showed that consuming omega-3 enriched chicken and eggs resulted in a halving of the number of subjects with such a high-risk omega-3 Index.” (Devenish Nutrition

RSSL has expertise in all aspects of fat analysis and fatty acid profiling, including the determination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com 

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