12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • Nuts for nuts? The benefits of integrated nuts in a daily food diet
  • Does zinc have a major micronutrient role in autism?
  • Food Standards Scotland launches a consultation on proposals to improve food eaten outside of the home
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages may be addictive
  • Sugary supplement sometimes used to treat UTI may help fight cancer
  • PHE survey finds public support for sugar and calorie reduction
  • New meat tax should be introduced in the UK according to scientists
  • A low gluten and high fibre diet found to be beneficial to intestinal discomfort
  • Sainsbury’s to sell mushrooms high in vitamin D and vitamin B12 and edible insects
  • Sugar tax raises £154 million since April when it was introduced

Nuts for nuts? The benefits of integrated nuts in a daily food diet
Two separate studies on the health benefits of eating nuts were presented at the American Heart Association’s (Chicago 2018). The finding of eating a daily serving size of nuts (30 g) was associated with a lower risk of gain weight or obesity over the four years interval covered by the first study.  The researchers note that “adding one ounce of nuts to your diet in place of less healthy food – such as red processed meat, French fries or sugary snack – may help prevent that slow gradual weight gain after you enter adulthood and reduce the risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases.“ In the second study, the researchers report that consuming Brazil nuts increased sense of fullness and lower level of glucose / inulin in blood.  Xiaoran Liu, the first author of the first study states that  "People often see nuts as food items high in fat and calories, so they hesitate to consider them as healthy snacks, but they are in fact associated with less weight gain and wellness.”

Does zinc have a major micronutrient role in autism?
The emergence of autism in children has been linked to genes encoding synaptic proteins but also environmental stress such as zinc deficiency. Although the role of zinc deficiency is unclear in autism, a new study published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience has demonstrated through an elegant series of experiments the role of zinc in the complex production of synaptic proteins. Though zinc, and only zinc, has the essential activity to develop synaptic proteins in neurons, direct zinc supplementation to prevent autism has not yet been demonstrated and the researchers report that zinc excess may impact copper absorption and lead to anaemia or weakening bones. Nevertheless, the understanding of the mechanism could lead to diagnose, treatment or prevent autism.

RSSL’s Metals Laboratory is equipped with AAS and ICP-MS to analyse for a wide range of concentrations of metals in foods, drinks and dietary supplements. Zinc can be determined down to a level of 50 ppb. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Food Standards Scotland launches a consultation on proposals to improve food eaten outside of the home
FSS has launched a consultation on proposals to improve food eaten outside of the home in Scotland. They report that foods eaten outside of home are skewed towards less healthy options, which are often high in calories. Proposed measures focus on calorie reduction across the sector with the aim of maintaining choice and availability of favourite foods. Proposals include smaller portion sizes, an increase in fruit and vegetables, provision of calorie and nutrition information for consumers, shifting the focus of deals and promotions from unhealthy to healthier options and the role of the public sector as the exemplar. The consultation responses will be used to provide recommendations to Ministers for an Out of Home strategy for Scotland. The consultation will be open till 29 February 2019.

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

Sugar-sweetened beverages may be addictive
A small study published in the journal Appetite has concluded that sugar-sweetened beverages may be addictive and can be harmful to health including increasing the risk of diabetes.    The study which involved 25 teenagers, who regularly consumed at least three sugar sweetened beverages, explored the effect of sugar-sweetened drinks on teenagers’ health.  The participants reported increased headaches, decreased contentment and ability to concentrate after a three day period of cessation.  All the participants were overweight. The teenagers were tested for caffeine intake as this could affect the findings.  The majority of the participants were not high caffeine consumers before the study, so the effect seen from withdrawal of the beverages was not from caffeine and could be therefore from reduced sugar intake.

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

Sugary supplement sometimes used to treat UTI may help fight cancer
A mouse study published in Nature is reporting that mannose, which is a sugary supplement sometimes used to treat urinary tract infections and also found in fruit such as cranberries, may slow the development of certain cancers and enhance the effects of treatment.  However the BBC are reporting that “patients are being told not to start supplementing with mannose because of the risk of side-effects.” Mice with pancreatic, lung or skin cancer were given mannose.  Lead author Prof Kevin Ryan, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute states that it was found to “block enough glucose to slow tumour growth in mice but not so much that normal tissues were affected". The team report that this is early research, but they hope to try this treatment on humans, and note that in the future mannose could be given to cancer patients to enhance chemotherapy without damaging their overall health.

RSSL can analyse food products for polyphenolic components. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

PHE survey finds public support for sugar and calorie reduction
According to the findings of a survey from Public Health England, around 9 in 10 people support the government’s action to make everyday foods and drink healthier.  In a press release PHE state that the “NHS was named as one of the main reasons for people supporting this work.”  The survey was designed to investigate the public’s perception of obesity, and PHE’s reduction programmes that have challenged the food industry to reduce sugar and calories by 20% in everyday foods such as breakfast cereals, yoghurts and pizzas, as well as ready meals. Other findings include:

  • over 9 in 10 respondents think obesity is a problem in the UK, and 79% believe it has a negative impact on the NHS
  • only cancer (47% of respondents) and mental health (43%) are seen as bigger health concerns for the UK population than obesity (39%)
  • people believe the greatest responsibility for tackling obesity lies with individuals and families (90%), the food industry (80%) and the government (72%), underlining a belief in a collective responsibility
  • there was support from 87% of people to replace unhealthy products near supermarket tills and checkouts, with healthier ones

According to Sky news, PHE has said that “it could publically name companies that have missed sugar and calories reduction targets for common foods like breakfast cereals, yogurts, pizzas and ready meals.”

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable expertise in the selection of sweeteners (both carbohydrate and high potency) to optimise sweetness profiles to cost requirements in a broad range of product categories.  Evaluation of new sweeteners for their market potential is also available.  To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

New meat tax should be introduced in the UK according to scientists
New research from Scientists at the University of Oxford claim that a tax should be introduced to raise the price of meat in the UK to reduce consumption which could save numerous lives as well as more than 700 million pounds in UK healthcare costs. Consuming less meat such as pork, beef and lamb decreases the risk of serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke as well as obesity. Additionally, processed meat has also been linked to cancer. Therefore making meat more expensive to buy could help to reduce the amount consumed by the population and so reduce the risk of these illnesses and healthcare costs involved which would have a positive impact on the economy. Another factor to be considered is that lower red meat consumption would have a positive effect on the environment and climate change by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by over one hundred million tonnes mainly by reduction in beef farming. The suggested tax would be about 14% on red meat and 79% on processed meat, but there are concerns that this would raise the cost of living in the UK and negatively affect those on lower incomes.

A low gluten and high fibre diet found to be beneficial to intestinal discomfort
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen are reporting in the journal Nature Communications, that consuming a diet low in gluten (2 g gluten per day) and rich in fibre compared to a high-gluten diet (18 g per day), can cause less intestinal discomfort including less bloating.  The team recruited 60 middle aged healthy Danish adults and compared the effect of two eight-week intervention diets.  Both interventions provided the same number of calories and nutrients, however the composition of fibres differed.   The low gluten diet had reduced fibres from wheat and rye. These were replaced with fibres from vegetables, brown rice, corn, oat and quinoa.  The scientists state “we demonstrate that, in comparison with a high gluten diet, a low-gluten fibre rich diet induces changes in the structure and function of the complex intestinal ecosystem of bacteria, reduce hydrogen exhalation, and leads to improvements in self-reported bloating.  Moreover, we observed a modest weight loss, likely due to increase body combustion triggered by altered gut bacterial function.”

RSSL can provide you with a complete food allergen management solution. We provide a comprehensive range of analysistraining and food allergen consultancy services to help you control and manage allergens within food manufacturing and retailing. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Sainsbury’s to sell mushrooms high in vitamin D and vitamin B12 and edible insects
Sainsbury’s have official launched a new “super mushroom” high in vitamin D and vitamin B12.  The mushrooms which will be sold in cardboard trays come in two forms: Closed Cup White (300g) or Chestnut (250g).  It is reported that a third of a pack of each provide 60% of daily required vitamin D intake and 100% of RDI B12. It is thought that the mushroom will be suitable for vegan and vegetarian who are often deficient in Vitamin B12.  Hannah Cakebread, Product Developer at Sainsbury’s, commented saying: “We know some of our customers can find it tricky to get enough of certain key vitamins in their diets, particularly those that are predominantly found in meat and dairy products.”

From 25 November, 250 stores of Sainsbury’s will be selling startup Eat Grub smoky BBQ flavoured roasted crickets, at a price of £1.50 per bag.  According to an article on edie.net, “ Sainsbury’s claims that the move will make it the first UK supermarket to stock edible insects, amid growing concerns around the sustainability of producing traditional protein such as beef, eggs, pork and poultry.”  Dried crickets have been found to contain more protein than beef, chicken and pork, containing 68g per 100g of product.

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.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Sugar tax raises £154 million since April when it was introduced
According to the BBC, the new sugar tax has raised £153.8 million from April to the end of October.  It is estimated by the end of the years it will have raised £240 million.  However health official are reporting that “more action could be taken against the food industry unless it cuts sugar further.”  In 2016 when the tax was announced it was expected to raise around £520 million however manufacturers have reduced the amount of sugar to avoid the levy.  According to The Financial Times, HM Revenue & Customs are reporting that 457 traders had registered to pay the levy, which imposed an additional tax of 18p a litre on drinks that contain 5g of sugar per 100ml; and 24p a litre on drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml.

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