Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Food News Briefs

—Anna Soref

Fiber for breast cancer prevention
Fiber could reduce women's incidence of breast cancer by half, according to recent research. The U.K. Women's Cohort study followed the dietary intakes of more than 35,000 women for 7.5 years. The researchers found that premenopausal women with an average daily intake of more than 30 grams of fiber had a 52 percent lower risk of breast cancer than premenopausal women who consumed 20 grams of fiber or less. Fiber, though, did not protect postmenopausal women from breast cancer, regardless of intake levels. Researchers believe that the high level of antioxidants in fiber-rich foods may be one reason they appear to prevent breast cancer. Scientists also pointed to previous research indicating that fiber regulates estrogen, a hormone linked to cancer. Also worth noting: Fiber from fruits and cereals appears to give the most protection.

A cuppa cloudy a day
Bad news for kids—unfiltered apple juice does appear to be healthier. Recent research conducted at the Agricultural University of Wroclaw and the Medical University of Warsaw found that unfiltered, or cloudy, apple juice contains four times more polyphenols—plant chemicals high in antioxidants that are also found in chocolate, wine and berries—than its filtered cousin. The manufacturing process for clear juice requires the addition of an enzyme that removes the clouding pectin and starch or pulp, which could lower polyphenol content, the researchers speculate. The researchers, who conducted the tests on Champion and Idared apples, also reported that the Champion variety has higher levels of polyphenols. Traditionally, clear juice outsells cloudy because of the perception that it is more pure.

UglyRipe tomato gets beautiful news
If you've been frustrated that you can't get the distinctive UglyRipe tomato outside of Florida during the winter months, take heart. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has freed the heirloom beefsteak tomato variety from the shape restrictions imposed by the Florida Tomato Committee. For the past three years the FTC has restricted national sales of the thick-skinned, wrinkled tomato because of its size and shape, fearing it would damage the image of the Florida tomato. Now, the USDA has ordered the FTC to exempt the UglyRipe from its size and shape rules, as long as it is grown, packed and distributed under USDA's Identity Preservation Program. Marketed by Santa Sweets in Plant City, Fla., the UglyRipe was cultivated from French heirloom tomato seeds.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 3/p. 72

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