12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • Daily fasting works for weight loss
  • More research needed on botanical ingredients and brain health
  • Sensory Based Food Education Encourages Children to eat Vegetables, Berries and Fruit
  • Broccoli Coffee – scientists create new way to eat more greens
  • BNF survey reveals 41% of adults find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets
  • Report on cancer prevention and recommendations
  • Gut bacteria linked to depression, and anxiety with obesity
  • A CO2 shortage threatens UK food and drink manufacturers
  • Which? calls for changes to food labelling
  • Food Standards Scotland launch new #NoToUpsizing campaign

Daily fasting works for weight loss
A study, which as examined the effect of time restricted eating, published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging has found that daily fasting is an effective tool to reduce weight and lower blood pressure.  The Chicago researchers, recruited 23 obese volunteers, with an average age of 45 and BMI of 35, of whom were instructed to eat, any type and quantity of food they desired,  between the hours of 10am till 6pm, however, before or after these times they could only consume water or calorie-free beverages. After intervention of 12 weeks, the team compared results to a matched historical control group from a previous weight loss trial on a different type of fasting, the researchers found that those who followed the time-restricted eating diet consumed fewer calories, lost weight and had improvements in blood pressure. On average, participants consumed about 350 fewer calories, lost about 3 percent of their body weight and saw their systolic blood pressure decreased by about 7 mm of mercury (mm Hg), the standard measure of blood pressure.

More research needed on botanical ingredients and brain health
An article published on IngredientNetwork.com website, has discussed botanical ingredients and brain health.  The article discusses how consumption of a Mediterranean diet has been found to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, and continues that “many studies have identified botanical extracts that could help maintain help maintain good brain health into old age.” These include Ginkgo biloba, resveratrol, Theobroma cacao, Bacopa monnieri, Crocus sativus, ashwagandha, rosemary, ginseng and curcumin, with many having antioxidant or anti-inflammatory effects. The article notes however that research is at an early stage, and quotes the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health as saying that “To date there is no convincing evidence from a large body of research that any dietary supplement can prevent worsening of cognitive impairment associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.” The article states “This is not to say that evidence is not forthcoming, but it may be some time before food, drink and supplement companies working with such ingredients can rest their claims on truly solid clinical results” and notes that the International Food Information Council says there are “hints in the literature” about potential links between brain health and certain foods.

RSSL can analyse for marker components in dietary and herbal supplements. Analytical services for vitamins and minerals are also available. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Sensory Based Food Education Encourages Children to eat Vegetables, Berries and Fruit
According to a study carried out by the University of Eastern Finland, a sensory based food education, referred to as the ‘Sapere food education method’, can be successful in encouraging children to eat healthy food from early on. It has been found that exposing children to fresh fruit and vegetables from the beginning can ‘program’ them to get used to this lifestyle and reach for these foods more often by their own accord. The method of ‘repeat exposure’ has been found effective as children may often dislike a food at first, but encouraging them to try it more than once and not give up on a food immediately can allow the taste to grow on them over time and eliminate the development of ‘picky eaters’. In the study, carried out on children aged 3 to 5 years, children exposed the food education programme were more likely to choose healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables when presented with the choice, than children who had not been exposed to this programme. This could be a huge step in the right direction to fighting the obesity crisis.

Broccoli Coffee – scientists create new way to eat more greens
Australian government science agency CSIRO and agriculture group Hort Innovation have been looking at how to deal with broccoli with an unsatisfactory appearance. By grinding up heads of broccoli they have created a powder which can be used in a variety of other food.  Broccoli is a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin E and manganese with one serving of broccoli equating to two tablespoons of the powder. The broccoli powder is made using whole broccoli and produced using a variety of pre-treatments and drying techniques.  The added treatments retain the nutritional benefits and natural colour of broccoli. As well as a range of snacks stemming from it, the powder is a part of a research project looking at how “ugly” produce can best be utilised if they’re not being sold on the shelves. Its potential applications include smoothies, baked goods and soups; one Melbourne café is already experimenting by putting it in their coffee. The research team are currently considering commercial applications of the powder hoping that it creates a different option for those who may not consume their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. (BBC, Guardian)

Do you need help to discover the potential applications for your novel and new ingredient or to take an existing ingredient into new markets? RSSL has extensive knowledge of a wide range of ingredients.  To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

BNF survey reveals 41% of adults find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets
According to research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), mixed messages from health and news sources are leaving UK adults confused about nutrition.  The survey of almost 500 adults, carried out as part of BNF Healthy Eating Week, discovered that 43% of adults surveyed admit that they find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets, with changing information, messages and advice from media and experts being the biggest causes for confusion (76% and 61% respectively).  Findings also revealed that social media platforms (37%) are the most common reported source for nutritional information for adults, whilst 30% of participants used the NHS website, a quarter visit other health website and 14% said that they gather nutritional information from a doctor, hospital or health clinic. 68% of respondents reported that they wanted to eat healthily with 61% checking nutrition labels on foods.  64% looked at calories in food, 68% looked at sugar and 60% looked at fat.

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. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Report on cancer prevention and recommendations
The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute of Cancer Research have published their third report in a series on cancer prevention and recommendations.  The new report, which follows the 2007 report, provides an updated review on diet, physical activity and cancer.  Whilst recommendations are similar to the 2007 report, the new report examines individual foods and nutrients, although WCRF highlight that it is likely that diet and lifestyle patterns, rather than any single factor, work together.  Since 2007, more studies have found a link between diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer, as well as more information available on the impact of diet and lifestyle across the life course on cancer risk. Recommendations from the report include being a healthy weight, physically active, eating a diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruit and beans, limiting the consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars, and limiting the consumption of red and processed meat, sugar sweetened drinks, and alcohol consumption, and aiming to meet nutritional needs through diet alone rather than through supplements, and that mothers should breastfeed babies.

Gut bacteria linked to depression, and anxiety with obesity
Findings from a paper published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry have found an association between gut bacteria, anxiety, and depression among people with obesity.  The mouse study by researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA found that animals fed a high-fat diet (HFD) exhibited increased signs of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-type behaviours when compared with animals fed a standard diet. Using antibiotics, the scientists changed the animals’ microbiota.  They found this reduced the signs of anxiety and depression, improved insulin signalling, and decreased brain inflammation. Levels of anxiety and depressed were assessed using four standard animal behaviour tests.  The team also report that higher blood glucose levels, marked glucose intolerance, and increased insulin resistance were also seen in the HFD-fed animals, and were reduced by treatment with antibiotics in the drinking water. Using biochemical analysis, the scientists analysed the hypothalamus region of the animal brains, and report that the HFD-fed mice exhibited insulin resistance in the brain, which could also be improved by antibiotic-induced changes in gut microbiota. Again antibiotics were able to reverse the effects of a HFD in a number of different metabolites and major neurotransmitters in relevant tissues, including blood, hypothalamus, and Nacc. Changes in levels of tryptophan, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), amino acids, and multiple acylcarnitines were evident, and, in particular, changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling in the Nacc, which has previously been linked with depression in humans.

A CO2 shortage threatens UK food and drink manufacturers
A high demand for fizzy drinks in the UK has led to a CO2 shortage. CO2 is used heavily in the manufacturing of food and drink products including beer and other carbonated drinks and in the packaging of meats and many other food products. Production of these products could be affected due to the lack of CO2 available for making and packaging of products if supplies reduce further. This recent surge in demand has been brought on by higher consumption of carbonated beverages due to increased temperatures in the UK as well as the start of the World Cup. Due to the severity of the shortage DEFRA has created an emergency committee to gain a better insight into its impact. They are working alongside product manufactures who have a low supply of CO2 and CO2 production companies to help prioritise the transportation of CO2 to those with the least supply. The shortage originated back in April due to closure of many ammonia factories for repairs, as CO2 used in the food industry is created as a bi-product in the production of ammonia. This has been further amplified by recent closure of some ammonia factories due to internal issues. A Government representative said, “The Government is aware that there are reports of a CO2 shortage affecting the food and drink sector, and that industry is working to find a solution.” (Telegraph)

Which? calls for changes to food labelling
Which? is calling for a change in food labelling regulations to make “traffic light” nutritional labelling compulsory as it is currently only voluntary due to EU laws. Which? state that the current standard for labelling products is “misleading” as consumers are given a “bewildering range of information” with many unable to understand current nutritional information. Which? indicate that although many supermarkets have adopted the traffic light system, many big brands are yet to include this on their packaging. They believe that consumers would more easily be able to identify and understand nutritional values if the system was implemented as law. Which? also want there to be a set portion size which would allow consumers to easily compare the nutritional values of a product. This current call is due to the “whopping” levels of sugar that are in some cereals. Some can contain up to 37g of sugar per 100g, well exceeding the NHS guidelines which suggest a maximum level of added sugar at 22.5g per 100g. Alex Neil from Which? is quoted as saying that “It is clear that the current, non-standardised food labelling system is at best confusing and at worst misleading" and that "Helping people to compare at a glance how much sugar, salt and fat a product contains has proven to be an effective way of helping them to make healthier food choices" (BBC)

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. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Food Standards Scotland launch new #NoToUpsizing campaign
Food Standards Scotland are launching a new healthy eating marketing campaign.  The marketing campaign, will encourage people in Scotland to ‘say no to upsizing’ more often.  Upsizing is going large, buying meal deals or adding sides and extras.  These can cause people to eat and drink unnecessary extra calories, sugar and fat. In a press release FSS, report that half of all Scots, who have ever upsized don’t think about the extra calories that result from this.  The campaign will run on TV, online and social media, to raise the public’s awareness of the impact of upsizing on their waistlines and their health and help encourage people to make healthier choices when out and about.

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