Excessive added sugar intakes, particularly of free sugars (all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices), are associated with obesity, chronic diseases, and poor oral health. Non-alcoholic beverages are often high in free sugars, making reformulation with low and no-calorie sweeteners a common choice. This study analysed labelling information from more than 1000 non-alcoholic beverages (juices, nectars, energy drinks, sports drinks, and soft drinks) in Slovenian grocery stores, and found low and no-calorie sweeteners in 13.2% and 15.5% of non-alcoholic beverages in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The most commonly used low and no-calorie sweeteners were acesulfame K, aspartame, cyclamates, and sucralose. As expected, the use of low and no-calorie sweeteners in beverages was associated with lower calorie and sugar contents. Increased low and no-calorie sweeteners use in Slovenia was expected but long-term benefits are not clear. Low and no-calorie sweeteners are just one option for sugar reduction and producers can reformulate products in other ways, also encouraging consumers to adapt to less sweetened beverages.
According to analysis of almost 80 000 recipes on allrecipes.com people worldwide looked at different recipes during COVID-19 lockdowns. Recipes with beans, peas, and lentils were more visited more often during lockdown than before. We also looked for more soup recipes, as well as recipes for comfort foods like cupcakes, pancakes, and stews.
Studying foods and nutrition across cultures remains a challenge. In part, because data are recorded using different terms and standards and, therefore, not comparable (e.g., 250 ml porridge compared with a cup of oatmeal). This heterogeneity is addressed by FoodViz, a new tool that makes links between different food terms, standards, and resources. FoodViz helps users become more familiar with food annotation, particularly the semantics of food and ingredient names, ensuring that research or dietary menu preparation is easier and more accurate.
Dietary recommendations are based on population averages, but many would like to know what we should eat individually. Complex interactions among genetics and environment make individualised advice difficult at least for the moment, … read more
Specific organoleptic characteristics of wine, beer or bread can come from the yeast communities used to produce them and, more precisely, environments where these yeasts grow. Scientists have used wasps to breed yeasts of biotechnological interest, like Saccharomyces cerevisiae (also known as brewer’s or baker’s yeast). By employing social insects to host yeasts in their gut, yeast survival and biodiversity can be enhanced naturally through formation of hybrid yeasts without the use of technology. In the future, the fermented beverages industry could benefit significantly from breeding insects and using them to produce new yeast varieties.
A seemingly simple food research question such as, ‘How does the sugar content of breakfast cereals differ among European countries?’ is not easy to answer. Analysing datasets from multiple sources that are increasingly diverse, heterogenous, fragmented, and/or have differences in syntax and semantics, make study of food systems difficult or impossible. Interoperable platforms that allow datasets to “communicate” and “work together” are needed to address questions that rely on diverse sources. Such platforms must use consistent file formats, terminology, and reporting systems, making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (i.e., FAIR). A step-by-step action plan for building FAIR data platforms is described and being tested with FNS-Cloud using typical food research questions. Platforms like this will allow (semi-)automated food nutrition security data integration needed to answer important research questions that involve multiple and diverse datasets: from food composition, authenticity, toxicity, and sustainability to food consumption, behaviour, and socioeconomic impacts and, finally, health biomarkers and disease outcomes.
Food Nutrition Security Cloud (FNS-Cloud) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (H2020-EU.184.108.40.206. – A sustainable and competitive agri-food industry) under Grant Agreement No. 863059. Information and views set out across this website are those of the Consortium and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of the European Union. Neither European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained herein.