12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • White button mushrooms, as a prebiotic food, could be used in the future to manage diabetes
  • Fruit extract found to prevent obesity in mice fed a diet rich in sugar and fat
  • Could eating some strawberries a day keep inflammatory bowel disease away?
  • Effect of fish oil supplementation in pregnancy on bone, lean, and fat mass at six years
  • Roadmap aims to help supermarkets and manufacturers reduce food waste
  • Natural sweeteners found to be at least 25 times sweeter than sucrose
  • Can eating wholegrain prevent type 2 diabetes?
  • Food Industry Report suggest that vegan food market is just getting started
  • FSA publish result of food supplements consumer research
  • Do probiotics works?
  • A fifth of samples tested by FSA reveal unspecified animals' DNA
  • PHE and Drinkaware launch new campaign – ‘Drink Free Days’

White button mushrooms, as a prebiotic food, could be used in the future to manage diabetes
Consuming white button mushrooms may help regulate glucose production according to a mice study by researchers from Pennsylvania State University.  Using a mouse model the scientists investigated the prebiotics effect of Agaricus bisporus, button mushroom. The scientists mapped out how white button mushrooms modified the gut microbiota.  This led to improved glucose regulation, which has implications for diabetes as well as other metabolic diseases. Reporting in the Journal of Functional Food, the scientists used two types of mice.  The first type had a regular gut microbiome, whilst the other, the control group, lack a gut microbiome and were bred to be entirely germ free. Both groups receive a daily serving of button mushrooms, equivalent to 3oz per day for humans. After intervention, they found the consumption of button mushrooms had altered the gut microbiome. In particular, their guts produced more short-chain fatty acids, such as propionate synthesized from succinate.  The team report that the mushroom intake encourage the growth of the bacteria Prevotella, which lead to the increased production of propionate and succinate.  The findings suggest that white button mushrooms, as a prebiotic food, could be used in the future to manage diabetes, due to the role that they seem to play in glucogenesis.

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

Fruit extract found to prevent obesity in mice fed a diet rich in sugar and fat
Scientists are reporting that an extract of the Amazonian fruit camu camu, has been found to prevent obesity in mice fed a diet rich in sugar and fat.  The researchers report the fruit’s phytochemicals could be responsible for this property.  The researchers from the Université Laval and the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre state that the fruit contains 20 to 30 times more vitamin C than kiwis and 5 times more polyphenols than blackberries.  Reporting in the journal Gut, two groups of mice were fed a diet high in sugar and fat for eight week however one group also received an extract of camu camu each day.  After intervention the weight gain of mice that were fed the extract was 50% lower than that observed in the control mice.  The study notes that the weight gain was similar to the weight grain of mice consuming a low-sugar, low-fat diet.  The camu camu fruit was found to increase resting metabolism in the mice that consumed the extract, improve glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity and reduce the concentration of inflammation. The team now want to explore whether the same effects can be seen in humans.

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can assay a range of products for polyphenolic components. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable expertise in developing a wide range of food and drink products at a laboratory and pilot scale. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Could eating some strawberries a day keep inflammatory bowel disease away?
According to research presented at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), consuming strawberries could help improve gut health and reduce colonic inflammation.  Xiao et al. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst studied the effect of whole berries, so that they could test the benefit of all compounds found in berries including dietary fibre, and phenolic compounds. Using four groups of mice, the scientists, tested the benefits of strawberries.  One group of healthy mice consumed a regular diet, and three groups of mice with IBD consumed a regular diet, a diet with 2.5 percent whole strawberry powder or a diet with 5 percent whole strawberry powder. The study report that the mice were given the equivalent of a dose as low as three-quarters of a cup of strawberries per day in humans.  The consumption of the whole strawberries were found to significantly suppress symptoms like body weight loss and bloody diarrhoea in mice with IBD. Strawberry treatments also diminished inflammatory responses in the mice's colonic tissue. The consumption of strawberries also decrease unhealthy microbiota composition which is often present in those who suffer with IBD.

RSSL is happy to discuss with clients the analysis of phenolic components including procyanidins.  To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Effect of fish oil supplementation in pregnancy on bone, lean, and fat mass at six years
The BMJ have published the findings of a large randomised trial which has examined the effect of taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy on the growth and body composition of children later in life. The trial which involved 736 pregnant women, by Danish and UK researchers, reports that taking fish oil supplements in the later stages of pregnancy is associated with a higher weight (BMI) in children in the first six years of life, but not an increased risk of overweight or obesity by age 6. The women received either n-3 LCPUFA (fish oil) or a control (olive oil) daily from pregnancy week 24 until one week after birth. From birth until the age 6, height, weight, head and waist measurements were assessed 11 times and body composition was assessed at 3.5 and 6 years of age. At age 6, DXA scans showed children whose mothers had taken fish oil supplements while pregnant had a 395g higher total mass, 280.7g higher lean mass, 10.3g higher bone mineral content and 116.3g higher fat mass compared with children of mothers who took the control oil.

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory, part of the Investigative Analysis Team 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

Roadmap aims to help supermarkets and manufacturers reduce food waste
Supermarkets and manufacturers have signed up to a voluntary scheme which aims to halve the UK’s annual £20bn food waste bill from farm to fork by 2030.  This week, IGD and WRAP, the government’s waste reduction body, produced a roadmap which encompasses the entire supply chain from field to fork. It shows actions that large businesses will take to address food waste in their own operations, support their suppliers in taking action, and engage with consumers and innovate to reduce their food waste. WRAP will report on progress against the roadmap milestones in 2019 (autumn), 2022 and 2026, alongside reports on progress towards the Courtauld 2025 targets. There will be a final report in 2031. Reporting will be based on information provided to WRAP by businesses (including Courtauld 2025 signatories), trade bodies and any additional information in the public domain. WRAP will also carry out additional research necessary to assess progress (for example measurement of household food waste, a retailer survey to monitor changes to products, packaging and labelling, and analysis of national datasets such as those from the Environment Agency). (The Guardian)

Natural sweeteners found to be at least 25 times sweeter than sucrose
Research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry by Zhi Zhi Du et al. from the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has found that two type of plants in Yunnan,  contain highly sweet tasting compounds, that are twenty five times sweeter than sugar.  Twelve sweet compounds have been found in the root of the plant Myriopteron extensum.  Whilst the plant Derris eriocarpa, was found to contain four sweet-tasting compounds.  Two of these are reported to be 150 and 80 times sweeter than sucrose.  Both plants are used for both fruit and medicine.  The team identified the compounds by using spectroscopic technologies, as well as human sensory evaluation.

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

Can eating wholegrain prevent type 2 diabetes?
Previous research has reported the importance of whole grains for prevention of type 2 diabetes. New research published in The Journal of Nutrition by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center has investigated whether the type of wholegrain product or cereal can affect protection. The researchers used data from a prospective Danish cohort study on diet, cancer and health. It covered more than 55,000 participants, who were between 50-65 years old when the study started. During the study, the participants were asked about their eating habits. The researchers established the participants' total wholegrain intake per day, and the total number, and different types, of wholegrain products (in grams per day) -- rye bread, other wholegrain breads, oatmeal porridge and muesli. Participants were split into four groups based on the amount of wholegrain they reported to consume. Those in the highest group consumed at least 50 grams of wholegrain each day. The proportion who developed type 2 diabetes was lowest in the group which reported the highest wholegrain consumption, and increased for each group which had eaten less wholegrain. In the group with the highest wholegrain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 percent lower for men, and 22 percent lower for women, than in the group with the lowest wholegrain intake.

Food Industry Report suggest that vegan food market is just getting started
A report by Infiniti Research, on the vegan food market, has conclude that the “the continued proliferation of vegan food-related businesses during the past year demonstrates that this movement is just getting started.” The report, which was carried for a large online food distributor, reports that factors such as ecological footprint and abstinence from animal cruelty, are contributing to the rise of veganism.  According to Plant Based News, “the new report follows data from Nielson, commissioned by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) which showed the plant-based foods industry has experienced dollar sales growth of 20 percent over the last year with sales topping $3.3 billion.” The article quotes Michele Simon, Executive Director of PBFA as saying: "The plant-based foods industry has gone from being a relatively niche market to fully mainstream.  Plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are not just for vegetarians or vegans anymore; now even mainstream consumers are enjoying these delicious and innovative options in the market today.  The new data confirms what we are hearing and seeing every day from our members: sales are up, investment is increasing, and new jobs are being created in the plant-based foods industry."

Manufacturers need to support these new dietary choices by developing a range of great-tasting, certified, vegan and vegetarian products. RSSL’s expert technical team can help you successfully navigate every stage of product development in this exciting growth category; from ingredient analysis and texture optimisation, to claims substantiation and due diligence testing. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Join us on 19 October for a FREE seminar which will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about this specific food sector.  This is a must attend event for product development, quality and technical teams. Find out more and book your place

FSA publish results of food supplements consumer research
The Food Standards Agency has published consumer research which investigates consumers use of and attitudes towards food supplement consumption.  Findings are to be used in the development of policy in this area. In recent years there has been considerable growth in this area, with supplements being sold in more outlets including gyms and leisure centres.  In a press release the FSA note that “these business operators may not understand that the products they are selling are defined as 'food', and consequently are unaware of the legislative requirements for food supplements. Many may not consider themselves as food businesses in the traditional sense, and therefore are unlikely to be registered with or known by local authorities.” The research is broken down into 2 phases. Phase 1 was to inform the design of design and sample of phase two, as well as to provide some core insight around food supplement consumption.  Phase two was qualitative research, where participants were asked to complete an online activity, before being involved in a discussion group.  In brief the research found that

  • Consumers differentiate between food supplements for day-to-day health, and those for specific purposes (e.g. sports nutrition, weight loss) in terms of how they use them and how efficient they perceive them to be.
  • Most people say that they take day-to-day supplements (e.g. mainstream vitamins and oils) to maintain or improve their overall health and give them a ‘boost’, or to replace lost nutrients due to diet, age or a health condition
  • By taking supplements, consumers feel that they are taking control over their health and bodies by doing something proactive e.g. to combat the decline due to age.
  • Many consumers acknowledge that they take supplements as a force of habit and that they do not know if they are actually making any difference – but that because such products were viewed as being fairly benign, it was better to be safe than sorry.
  • Consumers do not perceive there to be any risks associated with food supplement apart from some niche products.
  • Most food supplements are brought from mainstream retailers
  • Recommendations and key drivers are used in the decision making process, with social media being used by younger consumer to influence choice.

RSSL can determine physiologically active compounds, including flavanols and other polyphenols and other phytochemicals in a range of fruits, vegetables, herbals and dietary supplements. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Do probiotics works?
A study by scientists from Israel, published in the journal Cell, has come to the conclusion that probiotics have little or no effect inside the body.  Using a probiotic cocktail containing 11 common good bacteria stains including strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, the team investigated the effect of the bacteria using 25 healthy volunteers. After a month, samples were surgically taken from multiple places in the stomach and small and large intestines. They found that in 50% of cases the good bacteria went in the mouth and straight out the other end whilst in the other the probiotics lingered before it was crowded out by our existing microbes. The authors notes that probiotics need to be tailored to the needs of individuals, noting that “just buying probiotics at the supermarket without any tailoring, without any adjustment to the host, at least in part of the population, is quite useless.” The team also investigated the effect of probiotics after a course of antibiotics, noting that the antibiotics wipe out both good and bad bacteria. (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

A fifth of samples tested by FSA reveal unspecified animals' DNA
A freedom of information request by the BBC to the FSA has discovered that of 665 samples collected from 487 food business in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 145 were partly or wholly made up of unspecified meat. It is reported that 73 contaminated sample came from retailers and 23 came from manufacturing or food processing plants. Some of the contaminated samples were found to contain DNA from as many as four different animals, whilst other contain none of the meat that was listed on the label.  Cow DNA was the most commonly-found contaminant, followed by pig, chicken, sheep and turkey. The BBC state that “Meat labelled as lamb was most likely to contain traces of other animals’ DNA, followed by beef and goat; cow DNA was the most commonly-found contaminant, followed by pig, chicken, sheep and turkey; the most commonly mis-labelled product was mince meat, while sausages, kebabs and restaurant curries also featured prominently; other products in the dataset include ready meals such as spaghetti bolognese and curries, pizzas and a portion of ostrich meat, which contained only beef.” BBC report, a spokesman for the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) as saying that were, “… very disappointed to hear about any deliberate inclusion of non-declared meat in any meat products and we strongly condemn this behaviour and consider it unacceptable.  We stress that these were targeted investigations, which means they were based on intelligence received by the FSA or local authorities and we are glad that the system works to identify these problems.  Many companies in the meat industry work hard to avoid this happening to their products by doing species testing on a risk basis on material they buy in and on product when production lines change from one species of meat to another.” (New Food)

RSSL's DNA and Protein Laboratory can perform meat speciation using UKAS accredited ELISA techniques to identify the presence of pork, beef, lamb, poultry and horse and many other species. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

PHE and Drinkaware launch new campaign – ‘Drink Free Days’
Public Health England and alcohol education charity Drinkaware are jointly launching a new campaign ‘Drink Free Days’ to help people cut down on the amount of alcohol they are regularly drinking. The campaign will be encouraging middle-aged drinkers to use the tactic of taking more days off from drinking as a way of reducing their health risks from alcohol. The more alcohol people drink , the greater their risk of developing a number of serious potentially life limiting health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as 7 types of cancer.

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