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Period: January 29, 2011 to February 5, 2011
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Companies, Organizations  

Regulation Of Apolipoprotein Is Key to Cardiovascular Benefits Of Cocoa

The positive effects of adding cocoa to the diet have been generating increasing interest recently, with studies showing potential benefits for heart, skin and brain health. With respect to cocoa and cardiovascular health, Japanese scientists believe they have uncovered the mechanism: cocoa’s ability to boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—or good cholesterol—by increasing levels of apolipoprotein A1 (Apo-A1), a compound the human body needs in order to manufacture HDL. Cacao liquor—high in antioxidant-rich polyphenols, and a main ingredient in both cocoa powder and chocolate—is the agent responsible. Evidence suggests that adding dark chocolate to a diet increases HDL and slows or prevents LDL oxidation in healthy subjects. Further, this study found that, in healthy subjects, daily intake of cocoa powder increased HDL levels and decreased levels of LDL.

"Cacao Polyphenols Influence the Regulation of Apolipoprotein in HepG2 and Caco2 Cells", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 12, 2011

Sales Of Certified Eco-Friendly Chocolate Are On The Rise

Demand for certified environmentally-friendly chocolate is increasing. Consumers are more conscious about how and where their chocolate is grown, and are willing to pay a premium for it—and cocoa and chocolate producers are responding: Pastry chef François Payard imports about four tons of certified cocoa—20 percent of his total inventory—each year for his chocolate shops, and by 2020, Mars, Inc. plans to certify its entire supply of cocoa. Despite the economic downturn, certifiers saw ‘exponential growth’ over the last few years: According to the New York-based certification organization Rainforest Alliance, from 2007-2009, sales of certified cocoa more than doubled. Another certifier, Fair Trade USA, saw certified imports into the United States grow by 70 million pounds from 2006-2009.

"Selling Candy With a Conscience", The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2010

Rural market share to rise in HUL topline

Times of India, February 03, 2011


Nestlé Subsidiary Acquires U.K. Medical Food Company

Nestlé Health Science has completed the acquisition of CM&D Pharma Ltd. (CM&D), a British company that develops medical foods and other products targeting patients with kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer. CM&D is a portfolio company of venture capital fund Inventages Group. CM&D’s leading product, Fostrap, is a chewing gum for kidney patients with elevated levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia), which contributes to vascular calcification and an increased risk of cardiac mortality, as well as mineral and bone disorders. Clinical trials of Fostrap are ongoing, though preliminary data are promising, according to Nestlé.

"Nestlé Health Science to develop dietary solution for kidney patients – CM&D acquisition", Nestle press release, February 02, 2011

China's Fast-Paced Market Puzzles, Rewards Both Local And Multinational Competitors

Following a three-year gap working in the US , PepsiCo chief marketing officer for Greater China, returned to the country to find it greatly changed, and with change accelerating. In addition to spreading urbanization Lee sees a greatly expanded digital footprint with activity extending far beyond tier 1 cities, creating anomalies with people without basic plumbing knowing English soccer stars. In this fast changing environment Lee sees local competitors as more effective than multinationals that rely on approaches that are outdated and not relevant for China; local competitors, he says, are fresher, faster moving and more innovative in their marketing.

"At Pepsi, Old Rules of Marketing Don't Apply", AdAgeChina.com, January 26, 2011

Study Of Foods Targeting Children Finds Most Of Them Are Not “Better For You”

A report from the Prevention Institute shows that, despite label claims on prepared foods and meals, snacks, breakfast cereals and beverages, 84 percent of child-targeted products examined did not meet basic nutritional standards. The study looked at the front-of-package labeling on fifty-eight “Better-for-You” children’s products: those that manufacturers tout as their most nutritious. The nutritional content was compared against criteria from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the National Academies of Science. Study findings revealed that 57 percent of the products studied qualified as high sugar (95 percent contained added sugar); 53 percent were low in fiber; 53 percent did not contain any fruits or vegetables; 24 percent of prepared foods were high in saturated fats; and 36 percent of prepared foods and meals were high in sodium.

"Claiming Health: Front-of-Package Labeling of Children’s Food", Report, Prevention Institute, January 17, 2011

Press Release  

Silver Spoon, Cargill To Jointly Market And Distribute Truvia Sweetener In The UK

Silver Spoon has partnered with Cargill to jointly market and distribute Truvia, the stevia-based, no-calorie sweetener in the UK. In the U.S. Truvia became the leading stevia-based sweetener just two years after being launched, helping the retail sweetener category grow 18 percent. It has become the third best-selling non-sugar sweetener; a market valued at $685 million in the U.S. Currently the U.K. low calorie sweetener market is valued at £50 million.

"Silver Spoon and Cargill announce exclusive partnership to bring Truvia™ zero calorie stevia-based sweetener to the UK", Cargill, January 27, 2011

Unilever And Paques Build Bio-Digester At Ben & Jerry's Factory In The Netherlands

Unilever and Paques began building a bio-digester at the former's Ben & Jerry ice cream factory in Hellendoorn, the Netherlands. Paques' BIOPAQ AFR bio-digester purifies wastewater and converts waste products, such as from milk and syrup production, into biogas in one step.  Unilever made the investment as part of its Sustainable Living Plan and it is one of the first companies to use this bio-digester that applies an innovative approach of treating wastewater streams that contain fat and oil together with degradable particles all in one reactor. The process relies on over 24 billiard (24*10^15) micro-organisms to digest the waste and the plant will begin operating mid-2011 and supply up to 40 percent of the factory's green energy requirements.

"Unilever's ice cream factory in Holland to derive green energy from wastewater", Paques press release, January 14, 2011

Products & Brands  

Almost Half Of U.K. Consumers Want Nutrigenomics-Based Foods And Beverages

A study by Datamonitor reveals that almost half (47 percent) of consumers in the U.K. want to use their genetic information to personalize their food and beverage choices. Underlying the market potential of personalized foods, Datamonitor also found that 42% of consumers would view more favorably a 'customized/personalized' grocery product. A possible impediment is that proliferation of products is leading to ‘choice paralysis’ (over half of U.K. consumers agree there is too much grocery product choice) that leaves consumers unresponsive to new products and causes them to instead turn to known brands. Products with specific benefits and highly targeted markets look set to do well in the early stages of market development, like MANFLU that delivers a shot of cough and cold remedy and Custom Choice that allows celiac suffers to create their own gluten free breakfast cereal.

"U.K. trends indicate a greater consumer interest in specialized foods", Nutraceutical World, January 27, 2011

Consumption Of Plant Polysaccharides May Boost Healthy Immune Systems

Scientists have found that adding soluble plant fibers to a diet may enhance the immune system response in healthy individuals. Fibers from plants such as fungi, lichens and algae can positively impact key cellular functions, including changes in protein glycosylation. Glycosylation is an enzyme-directed process where a glycan (a type of polysaccharide, or carbohydrate chain) attaches to a protein, fat or other organic molecule. Glycans play various roles, including proper protein folding and cell-cell adhesion, which is used by immune system cells to help keep the body healthy. According to this study, supplementing the diet of healthy individuals with plant polysaccharides increased the subjects’ levels of fully-processed glycans, resulting in a potential boost in their immune responses.

"An open-label dosing study to evaluate the safety and effects of a dietary plant-derived polysaccharide supplement on the N-glycosylation status of serum glycoproteins in healthy subjects", European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 12, 2011

CPW opens new Innovation Centre in Switzerland

Nestle press release, February 01, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Consuming Inorganic Nitrate Improves Muscle Performance

Inorganic nitrates—found in many fruits and vegetables (leafy greens in particular)—were long thought to be nutritionally useless, and even toxic. However, scientists now recognize their role in regulating processes such as blood flow and blood pressure, and they have just discovered another: dietary nitrate increases muscle endurance. In a study involving healthy subjects, those who consumed a small amount of inorganic nitrate for three days used less oxygen while exercising than those who did not. Though the mechanism behind this is not clear, scientists believe that the nitrates enhance mitochondrial efficiency. Mitochondria—the cell’s engines—lose energy in the form of heat; nitrates stop this loss and make the cell, and thus the muscle, perform more efficiently.

"Dietary Inorganic Nitrate Improves Mitochondrial Efficiency in Humans", Cell Metabolism, February 02, 2011

Consumption Of Salty Snacks Puts Children At Higher Asthma Risk

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveals that children who consume salty snacks at least three times a week are 4.8 times more at risk of having asthma symptoms than children who never or rarely do so. This association is more pronounced in children who watch television or play video games for at least 2 hours per day. Researchers hope the study, which covered 700 children in Athens, ages 10 to 12 years, will encourage public-health officials to focus future interventions and messages on modifying these behaviors as early as possible.

"Salty-Snack Eating, Television or Video-Game Viewing, and Asthma Symptoms among 10- to 12-Year-Old Children: The PANACEA Study", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, January 27, 2011

Study Suggests Trans-Fats Increase Depression Risk While Some Other Fats May Lower It

The impact of various fatty acids (particularly trans fats) on cardiovascular health has been well-established, but scientists in Spain are exploring them from another angle: the effect of fatty acids on depression. Researchers followed a group of more than 12,000 people for six years—all initially depression-free. By the end of the study, those who ate the most trans fats showed a depression risk 48 percent higher than those who did not. Their findings also suggest that consumption of olive oil, poly-and monounsaturated fats reduces the risk of depression, though they caution that further study is needed to validate this.

" Dietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN Project", PlosOne, January 26, 2011

Higher Intake Of Calcium, Vitamin D At Breakfast Oxidizes Fat, Reduces Appetite

Australian researchers who compared the effects of low- and high-calcium meals on calorie intake and appetite among 11 middle-aged men found that higher levels of the mineral and vitamin at breakfast increased fat oxidation and energy burning rates over 24 hours, and increased feelings of satiety. Breakfasts that contained more than 500 mg of calcium and 8.7 micrograms of vitamin D were associated with significantly increased fat and energy burning during the rest of the day, compared to breakfasts that contained 250 mg of calcium 0.3 micrograms of vitamin D. According to the researchers, the participants ate less at a subsequent buffet meal, “the buffet to dinner interval was prolonged, and reported 24-hour energy intake following this trial was significantly reduced.”

"Diet induced thermogenesis, fat oxidation and food intake following sequential meals: Influence of calcium and vitamin D", Clinical Nutrition, January 26, 2011

Antibacterial Paper Coated With Silver Nanoparticles Shows Potential As Food Packaging

Russian and Israeli scientists have developed and successfully lab-tested an antibacterial "killer paper" coated with silver nanoparticles that could be used as food packaging material. The paper helps preserve foods by fighting the bacteria that cause spoilage. Silver is currently used as a bacteria fighter in some medicinal ointments, on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, and even odor-resistant socks. Silver nanoparticles – each 1/50,000 the width of a human hair – are being tested as germ-fighting coatings for plastics, fabrics, and metals because they have a longer-lasting effect than larger silver particles. The silver nanoparticles-coated paper showed potent antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus, two causes of bacterial food poisoning, killing all of the bacteria in just three hours.

"Sonochemical Coating of Paper by Microbiocidal Silver Nanoparticles", pubs.acs.org/Langmuir, January 18, 2011

Broccoli’s Anti-Cancer Effect Enhanced By Proper Cooking And By Eating With Sprouts

U.S. scientists have found that cooking broccoli properly, and eating it along with broccoli sprouts, doubles the vegetable’s potent anti-cancer effect. Over-cooking broccoli destroys the enzyme myrosinase, necessary for the formation of sulforaphane, a cancer-preventative and anti-inflammatory compound. Broccoli powder supplements do not contain myrosinase at all. The researchers conducted a small study involving four healthy men who ate meals with myrosinase-rich broccoli sprouts alone, broccoli powder alone, or a combination of the two. Levels of sulforaphane metabolites in the blood and urine were measured after eating. Three hours later, a twofold increase in sulforaphane absorption was detected when sprouts and powder were eaten together. As to cooking broccoli, the best method is steaming for two to four minutes to protect both the enzyme and the vegetable's nutrients, researchers said.

"Sulforaphane Absorption and Excretion Following Ingestion of a Semi-Purified Broccoli Powder Rich in Glucoraphanin and Broccoli Sprouts in Healthy Men ", Nutrition and Cancer, January 13, 2011

Micronutrients Found To Enhance Benefits Of Probiotics

Indian researchers have found that consuming probiotics supplemented with the micronutrients quercetin and gallic acid may double the beneficial effect to the intestinal tract by improving zinc and iron status and by enhancing the balance of microbes in the colon. The authors reported that quercetin and zinc sulphate positively affected Lactobacillus acidophilus and a “consortium probiotic” containing six lactobacilli and two bifidobacterial cultures. Slight or no effect on growth was found for other tested probiotics. The researchers said their findings may encourage experimentation with various ingredient formulas to develop supplements comprising symbiotic probiotics and micronutrients.

"Effect of supplementation of micronutrients and phytochemicals to fructooligosaccharides on growth response of probiotics and E. coli", BioFactors, January 13, 2011

Scientists Uncover The Mechanism Behind Broccoli’s Ability To Prevent Cancer

In past research, scientists discovered that certain vegetables—broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, and their relatives—appeared to halt the growth of cancer; now, they think they know why. Substances called isothiocyanates (ITCs) found within those vegetables target and effectively block the action of a defective gene that occurs in half of all human cancers. When functioning properly, the gene in question—p53—keeps cells healthy and suppresses the growth of tumors. However, it does not do so when mutated. ITCs selectively target and remove mutated p53 protein, leaving normal ones unaffected. Scientists believe that ITC-based drugs could lead to more effective cancer treatment and prevention.

"Selective Depletion of Mutant p53 by Cancer Chemopreventive Isothiocyanates and Their Structure−Activity Relationships", Journal of MedicinalChemistry, January 11, 2011

Carb Loading With Omega 3 Chia Seeds Does Not Enhance Vigorous Athletic Performance

Scientists who tested two high-carbohydrate formulas found that a drink containing chia seeds and Gatorade had the benefit of using less sugar, but otherwise offered no performance advantage to highly-trained athletes undergoing rigorous exercise. The study compared a traditional carb-loading formula – 100 percent Gatorade – against a formula consisting of half Greens Plus Omega 3 Chia seeds and half Gatorade. Six highly-trained males did a one-hour run on a treadmill followed by a 10 k time trial run on a track. The researchers concluded that the Omega 3 Chia formula was a “viable option” for lower-sugar carb loading prior to vigorous exercise of more than 90 minutes, but offered no measurable performance advantage over plain Gatorade.

"Omega 3 Chia Seed Loading as a Means of Carbohydrate Loading", Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, January 01, 2011

Caffeinated Coffee Reduces Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes In Women

A study by U.S. researchers has found that caffeinated coffee increases plasma levels of a protein called sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) that regulates the biological activity of sex hormones associated with development of type 2 diabetes. For the study, the researchers identified 359 new diabetes cases matched by age and race with 359 apparently healthy controls from 40,000 women enrolled in a large-scale cardiovascular trial. Researchers found that women who drink at least four cups of coffee a day cut their risk of diabetes to less than half that of non-coffee drinkers. Women who also carried the protective copy of the SHBG gene benefited the most from coffee consumption. The protective effect was not found among decaf coffee drinkers.

"Coffee and Caffeine Consumption in Relation to Sex Hormone–Binding Globulin and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women", Diabetes, January 01, 2011

Research Finds Ancient Whole Grains Fight Chronic Disease Better Than Modern Grains

The high level of antioxidants found in whole grains is thought to be key to their ability to decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases. Researchers tested the impact of different grains - Kamut® khorasan bread (an ancient grain) and modern durum wheat bread – on the oxidative state (a measure of the antioxidant protection) of rats. For the wholegrain Kamut® bread, they also compared bread made from baker’s yeast to that made from sourdough. The researchers found that total antioxidant levels were higher in both types of Kamut® bread—and highest in the sourdough bread—than in durum wheat bread, and that rats who ate the ancient grains were better able to overcome oxidative stress (known to damage cells and lead to disease).

"Role of cereal type and processing in whole grain in vivo protection from oxidative stress", Frontiers in Bioscience, January 01, 2011

Sequencing Of Cacao Tree DNA May Lead To More Sustainable Chocolate Production

An international group of scientists has sequenced the DNA of the Criollo tree, a variety of Theobroma cacao used in producing some of the world’s best chocolate. In doing so, they identified genes coding for or leading to chocolate quality, production of flavonoids, potential pest and disease resistance, and production of cocoa butter—a substance valuable in both confections and cosmetics. Low productivity and vulnerability to disease currently limit high-quality cocoa production to less than five percent of worldwide production, though market interest in superior, environmentally-friendly chocolate continues to increase. The results of this work should allow scientists to develop disease-resistant trees that produce more, better, and healthier chocolate—ultimately leading to sustainable cocoa production that benefits both the land the trees are grown on and the farmers who grow them.

"The genome of Theobroma cacao", Nature Genetics, December 26, 2010

Intake Of Natural Antioxidants – Not Supplements – Reduces Risk Of Male Urinary Infections

Antioxidants consumed from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables reduce by as much as 50 percent the risk of developing lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men, according to new U.S. research. High-dose supplemental antioxidants, however, actually increase the risk of LUTS, researchers found, perhaps because of increased urinary acidity caused by the supplements. In a study of 1,466 men, the higher the natural intake of lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin A (4,780 micrograms a day), the greater the reduction of LUTS risk – as much as 40 to 50 percent – compared to low average intake (775 micrograms a day). Regarding antioxidant supplements, the researchers concluded that “for some men, LUTS could be ameliorated by changing urine composition through modification of high-dose supplement use.”

"Dietary, but Not Supplemental, Intakes of Carotenoids and Vitamin C Are Associated with Decreased Odds of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Men", Journal of Nutrition, December 22, 2010

Salty taste in dairy foods: Can we reduce the salt?

The Journal of Dairy Science , February 01, 2011

Chemistry behind Vegetarianism

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 04, 2011


ConAgra Foods, TheMotherhood.com Launch Online Cooking School

ConAgra Foods, in partnership with the online community TheMotherhood.com, has launched the blogger-hosted online cooking school, ‘Cooking Connections’. The series of cooking lessons will run on TheMotherhood.com, and be posted on Twitter and Facebook, from January 28 through March 16, and parents will be able to share cooking experiences with the community using Flickr and the social networking sites. ConAgra said the move reflects that the Web has become the main source for recipes and is increasingly used by moms for recipes and food information. 

"ConAgra Launches Online Cooking School", Marketing Daily, January 28, 2011

“Tidal Wave” Of Latino Consumers Presents Marketing Opportunities For Dietary Supplement Makers

Marketers of organic, natural and healthy products should view the “tidal wave” of Latino consumers in the U.S. as a golden opportunity, according to Los Angeles family physician Luis Pacheco, M.D., himself a creator of a supplement brand. The 50 million Hispanics will impact health and wellness in the U.S., primarily because of their attitudes toward physicians, prescription drugs, and preventative care generally. Beset by obesity and diabetes, Hispanics generally do not visit the doctor until there is something wrong, and even then delay treatment because they cannot afford it, often lacking health insurance. Mistrusting prescription medications, Latinos prefer herbal products and other supplements. The opportunity for supplement makers is there, Pacheco says, as long as marketing and labeling are culturally relevant.

"Do Hispanics represent the future of wellness or sickness in America?", NewHope360, January 24, 2011

Hungry? Your Stomach Really Does Have a Mind of Its Own

Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2011

Talkin' Functional Foods

Nutraceutical World, January 24, 2011

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