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[email protected]: More evidence of curcumin’s cognitive benefits | Jicama, dragon fruit and more produce trends for the new year

Thinkstock/subodhsathe benefits of curcumin
Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Curcumin may reverse memory problems, improve mood

Researchers have long been interested in studying the neurological and psychological effects of curcumin, and the latest study shows that a daily dose of the compound could help prevent memory problems in older adults. For the study, published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 40 participants between the ages of 50 and 90 with mild memory problems took either two 90 mg doses of curcumin or placebo per day for 18 months. Every six months, a team of UCLA researchers tested their memory, cognition and mood and used PET scans to assess the levels of amyloid and tau in their brains. Participants who took the curcumin saw memory function improve by an average of 28 percent over the 18 months. Brain scans also revealed less plaque buildup in two parts of the curcumin group’s brains. Read more at Forbes…


Will 2018 be the year of the jicama?

More retailers than ever are offering fresh-cut jicama sticks in their produce department, according to supplier Frieda’s Specialty Produce. It’s a natural prebiotic, and Whole Foods included the crunchy veggie in its roundup of 2018 trends as a vegetable-based alternative to grain-based taco shells. Frieda’s also sees dragon fruit, jackfruit, purple potatoes and fresh turmeric as rising trends at retail. Read more at Fresh Plaza…


Should investors snack on packaged-food stocks?

Analysts expect food industry mergers and acquisitions to pick up even more this year. It’s a mature industry that has been more slow-growing, but as competition heats up and companies look for new ways to improve margins and returns, the deal landscape will remain interesting. Keep an especially close eye on the snack and organic categories. Read more at Morningstar…


Nature’s Bounty augments nutrition lineup with Best Bar Ever acquisition

Nature’s Bounty already owns sports and nutrition brands including Pure Protein and MET-Rx, and will build on that with the addition of The Best Bar Ever, which uses real food ingredients and no fillers or sugar alcohols. Read more at Drug Store News…


Finally, you can buy beer with a biodegradable six-pack ring

SaltWater Brewery is the first beer company to test a new biodegradable and compostable “eco six-pack ring” developed by a startup called E6PR. It’s made from wheat and barley, and the next iteration of the ring will utilize by-product of the beer brewing process. E6PR hopes to make similar rings for other packaged drinks. Read more at Fast Company….

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