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Articles from 2006 In December

Delicious Living

January 1, 2007

Omega-3s may help ward off Alzheimer's, study shows

Alzheimer's patients with very mild cognitive impairment may benefit from supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Archives of Neurology (2006, vol. 63, no. 10).

Researchers at Sweden's Karolinska University Hospital treated 174 Alzheimer's patients with omega-3 supplements (1,720 mg DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, and 600 mg EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid) or a placebo for six months. After evaluation, both treatment groups received the omega-3 supplement for an additional six months.

Researchers evaluated cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the cognitive portion of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale. Although scores indicated that omega-3 supplementation had no significant effect on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, a subgroup of 32 patients with very mild cognitive dysfunction did show a significant reduction in MMSE decline rate when compared with placebo. Results indicate that omega-3 supplementation may be most beneficial in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's, or for those who are at risk for the disease.

Previous studies have linked diets rich in fish (a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids) with a reduced risk for Alzheimer's, a disease that affects 4.5 million Americans at an annual cost of at least $100 billion. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a six-year grant to the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a federally established consortium conducting clinical trials on Alzheimer's disease. Among other things, the new trials will investigate DHA's effect on cognitive function.

Crackdown continues on kids' foods and ads

The movement to more strictly regulate what foods can be sold to children and how they are marketed gained momentum as 2006 drew to a close with a spate of regulation changes. The strongest action occurred in the UK, where junk-food ads have been banned during any TV programmes that appeal to an audience under the age of 16. Only foods that meet strict restrictions on fat, sugar and salt levels will be allowed to advertise during such broadcasts.

The unexpected decision, taken by the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, caused an uproar within the indu stry, which claimed it would be ineffective in changing children's eating patterns and therefore do little to curb youth obesity. The industry complained it would drive advertising to the Internet; crimp product development; and restrict advertising for foods few would consider as unhealthy for children — cheese, Greek yoghurt, porridge, some bran cereals and sultanas — but which may exceed what the food industry is calling unrealistic limits on fat, salt and sugar.

Changes in UK regulations are causing an uproar within the food industry, but others think they don't go far enough
A spokesperson said the UK Food and Drink Federation was shocked by the severity of the restrictions, but consumer watchdog Which? said they did not go far enough and called for a watershed ban on all foods that fail the nutrient-profile criteria. Ofcom said the regulations would spur food companies to develop products with healthier nutrient profiles that could be advertised to children.

Further east, Latvia became the first European Union member state to ban junk foods in school vending machines. The ban includes confectionery; chewing gum; potato crisps; and all foods and drinks containing artificial additives, including colourings, flavourings, preservatives, caffeine and amino acids.

In the US, 10 major food companies, including PepsiCo and Kraft, have established the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a voluntary programme whose intent is to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles and more strictly self-regulate children's television advertising. Ten companies account for more than two thirds of these ads. But the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) condemned self-regulation as a "proven flop" while applauding the UK action.

Healthy oils: beyond trans fats

Healthy oils: beyond trans fats

The link between trans fatty-acid consumption and increased risk of cardiovascular disease has changed the oil industry irrevocably. Mark J Tallon, PhD, investigates the current — and next — trans fatty-acid replacements

Trans fatty acids (TFAs) arise as a result of the hydrogenation processes. Early concerns that high intakes of TFA may increase the risk of coronary heart disease have been strengthened by recent studies.1 Further, there is evidence beyond that of cardiovascular dangers extending to foetal and neonatal growth and development.2 Given these adverse consequences, it is shameful that government organisations, such as the Food Standard Agency (FSA) in the UK, have not changed their labelling guidelines to come into line with those highlighting TFA content in foods, such as the FDA in the US.3

The attention on TFA negatives is leading consumers to healthier alternatives. In 2006, we had a whole host of health-promoting oils that provided food technologists with oil characteristics to blend into almost any food. The following studies provide a brief overview of healthy TFA replacements.

Cardio-protective oils
Obtained from a tropical plant, palm oil (Elaesis guineensis) is a form of edible vegetable oil and the second most widely produced edible oil, after soybean oil.4 In recent times there has been a growing research interest in palm oil, one of the major edible plant oils in tropical countries, because of the link between dietary fats and coronary heart disease.5

The purpose of a recently published study was to test if replacing TFAs by palmitic acid in margarine results in unfavourable effects on blood lipids.6 In this study authors compared the effects of margarines with palm oil (PALM-margarine), based on partially hydrogenated soybean oil (TRANS-margarine), and a margarine with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA-margarine) in 27 young women for 17 days.

There were no significant differences in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and apoB between the TRANS- and the PALM-diet. However, HDL cholesterol and apoA-I were significantly higher on the PALM-diet compared to the TRANS-diet while the ratio of LDL- to HDL-cholesterol was lower, although not significantly on the PALM-diet.

The results from this suggest that, compared to partially hydrogenated soybean oil, dietary palm oil may have a more favourable effect on the fibrinolytic system, which breaks down cross-linked fibres to avoid excessive thrombosis/blood clots. From a nutritional point of view, palmitic acid from palm oil may be a reasonable alternative to trans fatty acids from partially hydrogenated soybean oil in margarine if the aim is to avoid TFAs.

Obesity and DAG
According to the American Obesity Association, approximately 127 million adults in the US are overweight, 60 million obese, and nine million severely obese.7 As such, the possibility of using a food-grade oil to ameliorate this social disease is intriguing.

In a recent study from the Department of Pediatrics at the Fussa Hospital, Japan, researchers investigated the effect of DAG oil as part of dietetic therapy in obese children.8 The participants were 11 male and female obese children who were under treatment at the outpatient clinic (four boys, seven girls, 7-17 years old). Daily-use cooking oil was changed to DAG oil, and the effects on abdominal fat areas, adipocytokines and serum lipids were investigated.

The total and subcutaneous fat areas significantly decreased following five months of DAG oil ingestion. Leptin was significantly lower than the initial level after ingestion of DAG oil. This study is one of the first to demonstrate that the ingestion of DAG oil decreased both the abdominal fat and leptin in obese children, suggesting that DAG oil prevents obesity in children as well as in adults.

Dual benefits of EPA
The control of energy in exercising and diabetic populations is of great importance in relation to physiological function. For those involved in competitive sports, particularly endurance sports, sparing muscle and liver glycogen (the body's glucose store) is vital to extending the capacity to keep exercising. In diabetics, the ability to transport blood glucose into tissues is also of great importance to avoid hyper- and hypoglycaemic responses.

For diabetics, treatment with EPA may aid in controlling blood-glucose levels

In a study carried out at Oslo University College, Norway, researchers investigated the chronic effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on fatty acid and glucose metabolism in human skeletal muscle cells. 9 In an in vitro study using cultured muscle cells, glucose transport and oxidation were shown to increase two-fold in EPA-treated muscle. Low concentrations of EPA also increased fatty acid and glucose uptake. Moreover, GLUT1 (the glucose transporter on muscle cells) expression was increased 2.5-fold by EPA. These data show that chronic exposure of muscle tissue to EPA promotes increased uptake and oxidation of glucose despite a markedly increased fatty acid uptake, and as such may provide benefits for diabetic populations.

The application of this message could be to enhance fuel utilisation from lipids during endurance sports, thereby sparing vital muscle-glycogen stores. For diabetics, treatment with EPA may aid in controlling blood-glucose levels, which may decrease the incidence of adverse consequences related to the diabetic condition.

Fighting deficiency: A global challenge
Vitamin A deficiency causes the drying out and scarring of the outer eye. Corneal scarring is the world's most common cause of childhood blindness. Almost 250,000 children have been blinded by vitamin A deficiency and a further 100 million are at risk.10 There are many solutions to this, but a cost-effective and natural remedy may come in the form of food oils.

Vitamin A (VA) deficiency is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and school-age children are a vulnerable group. In Burkina Faso, a nation within west Africa, the production and consumption of red palm oil (RPO) is being promoted as a food supplement for VA. A recent study assessed the impact on serum retinol by adding RPO to school lunch in two test zones of Burkina Faso.11 During one school year, 15ml RPO was added to individual meals three times a week across 24 schools and eight controls. Serum retinol was measured at baseline and 12 months later. The rate of low serum retinol went from 46.1 to 17.1 per cent in the VA capsule group and from 40.4 to 14.9 per cent in the RPO group.

In conclusion, the authors commented that RPO given regularly in small amounts appears highly effective in the reduction of VA deficiency. The largest effects are seen in those with the greatest deficiencies.

What next?
The market for 'trans-free oil' is now rapidly expanding and in some cases is outstripping demand. As such, US farmers are expected to plant some 750,000 acres of low-linolenic soybeans in 2007, as demand for the higher-stability, low-linolenic soybean oil outstrips supplies. As food manufacturers begin providing oils with a healthier nutritional profile, sources such as virgin oil, red palm seed oil, canola oil, tall oil and echium oil will proliferate the mainstream, making it just a little more difficult and competitive to keep a solid grip on these important oils.

Mark J Tallon, PhD, is chief science officer of OxygeniX, a London-based consultancy firm specialising in claims substantiation, product development and technical writing.
Dr Tallon is also co-founder of Cr-Technologies, a raw-ingredients supplier. Respond: [email protected]

1. Willett WC, et al. Intake of trans fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease among women. Lancet 1993;341(8845):581-5.
2. Jendryczko A, et al. Unsaturated fatty acids of trans isomers in plasma of pregnant women and birth weight. Ginekol Pol 1993;64(3):113-6.
3. Clarke R, Lewington S. Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease (Editorial). BMJ 2006;333:214.
4. Xu J, et al. Dietary fat intake and risk of coronary heart disease: the Strong Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84(4):894-902.
5. No Author. Malaysian Oil Palm Statistics 2005. Malaysian Palm Oil Board and Council.
6. Lichtenstein AH, et al. Novel soybean oils with different fatty acid profiles alter cardiovascular disease risk factors in moderately hyperlipidemic subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84(3):497-504.
7. CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Health, United States. 2002.
8. Matsuyama T, et al. Effects of diacylglycerol oil on adiposity in obese children: initial communication. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2006;19(6):795-804.
9. Aas V, et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 n-3) increases fatty acid and glucose uptake in cultured human skeletal muscle cells. J Lipid Res 2006;47(2):366-74.
10. UNICEF. The 2006 State of the World's Children: excluded and invisible. 2006.
11. Zeba AN, et al. The positive impact of red palm oil in school meals on vitamin A status: study in Burkina Faso. Nutr J 2006;5:17.

Time running out to prevent EU health-claim bans

Many health claims could be banned if companies don't act swiftly to meet tight deadlines established in the European Union health and nutrition regulation due to be enacted this month. European and international companies will have only a year to make health-claims submissions under the regulation. After this one-year window, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is commissioned to assess dossiers and publish a central registry of permitted health claims within the EU's 27 member states by January 1, 2010.

Those that don't make the central list cut-off date will have to go through a separate authorisation process that has been criticised for not being transparent enough. Many believe it will be both time-consuming and costly.

UK Health Food Manufacturers Association director, David Adams, said many UK businesses were largely ignorant of the regulation's implications, including the fact all foods and supplements manufacturers making claims for their products — be they labels or advertising (including websites) — "should know that the claims will have to obtain prior approval or be banned."

Adams said: "The most straightforward and least costly way of obtaining approval for health claims is via inclusion on a generic, or community, list, and this requires the national authority to compile and submit a national list for EU evaluation and decision."

In regard to the central registry, in some jurisdictions such as the UK, the submission timeframe is even tighter.

The UK Food Standards Agency, which receives the dossiers before forwarding them to the EFSA, has said it aims to have all submissions shipped to the EFSA by the end of September this year — a mere nine months away.

The EFSA said: "To be eligible for consideration, claims must be based on generally accepted science and relate to the role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions, or slimming and weight control."

Widespread concern
More than 200 European companies and associations expressed their concerns at an EFSA conference on the regulation at its Bologna headquarters in late November.

The European food and drink industry confederation, the CIAA, noted widely held concerns about the implications of nutrient-profiling guidelines that will restrict what can be said about foods that might broach thresholds in certain ingredients such as fat, sugar and salt.

"The problem with profiling is that it looks at foods in isolation," said Andreas Kadi, EU scientific and regulatory affairs director at Coca-Cola and chairman of the taskforce for new claims regulations, CIAA.

"You might have a problem with olive oil because it is 100 per cent fat but there are positive health elements of using olive oil. You have to see the whole picture. People don't drink olive oil by the glass. It has to be seen in context."

Kadi questioned how nutrition claims (ie, low in fat) would work in conjunction with health claims (ie, calcium helps build strong bones).

"A product could say it contains vitamins but at the same time it has a high fat content. What we are very concerned about is that such a nutrient profile really has a scientific basis because a lot of the discussion around profiling as the legislation was being proposed was highly political."

A flood of submissions?
How the EFSA will deal with the submissions from 27 member states when they come flooding in later this year has not been clarified.

How EFSA will deal with submissions from 27 member states when they come flooding in later this year isn't clear
But with a member state such as Finland revealing it has already received more than 600 product submissions, it is clearly going to be a busy time for the EFSA.

Liberals have been heartened by statements about the criteria the EFSA is likely to follow in assessing dossiers made in Bologna by a European Commission spokesperson.

Robert Vanhoorde, the head of the EC's science and stakeholder relations unit, said too-strict policing of scientific evidence could be detrimental to research and development efforts.

"If we only allowed claims that are based on strict evidence, we would not have allowed claims for the benefits of folate products in protecting the neural tubes of unborn babies 10 years ago," he told the conference. "It was not so proven then."

Cutting-edge Research

Hi-maize's benefits add up
Hi-maize, National Starch's fermented natural resistant starch derived from corn, is an important mechanism in weight management, with more impact on cellular metabolism and fat deposition than the other mechanisms of dietary fibre. This adds to energy dilution and bulking as fibre's dominant mechanisms.
Click here for article.

Cinnulin PF may ease metabolic syndrome
A daily dose of Cinnulin PF, a cinnamon extract from Integrity Nutraceuticals, may boost antioxidant defences and reduce oxidative stress connected to metabolic syndrome — the precursor condition to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Click here for pdf.

New lignan found
The dominant lignan in wheat, triticale, barley, corn, amaranth, millet and oat bran is 7-hydromatairesinol, according to research from HMRlignan, supplied by Linnea. Flax has its competition now.
Click here for pdf.

Cranberries for UTIs
PACran whole cranberry powder standardised to cranberry proanthocyanidins, from Decas Botanical Synergies, reduces the presence of E. coli and can be used to prevent urinary tract infections.
Click here for pdf.

Making meat analogues from soy

Using soy to mimic meat has made great strides in the last few years. From imitation chicken to beef, and even fish and shrimp, Cheryl Borders discusses the art of the possible for the 'great bean'

The soybean contains approximately 38 per cent protein, the quality of which compares favourably to beef, egg whites and casein when evaluated using the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). The soybean provides an excellent source of vegetable protein as it provides all the essential amino acids necessary for human health.

Soy-protein products are divided into three general categories based on their protein content: soy flour and grits (50 per cent protein on a moisture-free basis, mfb); soy protein concentrates (70 per cent protein, mfb); and isolated soy proteins (90 per cent protein, mfb).

The first step in processing is to crack the bean to facilitate hull removal. The cracked soybean pieces are then rolled into flakes to make oil extraction easier. The defatted soy flakes can be ground into flour, sized into grits or texturised through extrusion. Removing carbohydrates from the defatted flakes is the first step in making concentrates and isolates.

Soy concentrates are available in textured and powdered forms, which are considered traditional or functional. Traditional alcohol-washed concentrates can be used for protein fortification or the base material for making textured soy-protein concentrates. Functional concentrates exhibit water-holding capacity and emulsification capabilities, and form a gel when heated. Isolated soy proteins are available in a wide range of functionalities that are determined by temperature, pH and homogenisation during processing.

A wide variety of soy products can be used in meat analogues. The appropriate choice is determined by what type of meat product is being mimicked. Table 1, below, lists common forms of meat analogues.

Soy proteins are critical
When simulating coarse ground meat, manufacturers will typically use a combination of textured and nontextured soy proteins. The textured proteins include textured soy flours, textured soy concentrates, and textured combinations of vegetable proteins (eg, soy and wheat), all of which are available in a variety of sizes and colours. These proteins are used to provide texture and mouthfeel, contribute to appearance and bind water. They also are used for protein fortification and nutrition and as a source of insoluble fibre. Nontextured proteins can be used in conjunction and can include soy-protein concentrates and isolated soy proteins. These proteins are used to help with fat and water retention, emulsification (thereby contributing to mouthfeel and texture), protein fortification, and nutrition. In analogues simulating emulsified meats, such as hot dogs/bologna, functional soy concentrates and isolated soy proteins are often used for the same reasons.

In addition to the various soy proteins, other protein sources can be found in meat analogues. Wheat protein, such as gluten, can be incorporated to help with binding and texture. Egg whites are another protein that can contribute to binding as well as 'bite' during the eating experience, but they are not suitable for vegan applications.

Nutrition, texture, flavour
When beginning the development of a meat analogue, the developer must take several things into consideration.

After selecting the meat counterpart that the developer wants to simulate, it is important to identify the desired nutritional content of the finished product. Setting targets for nutrients, such as fat or sodium, early in the development process can reduce time-consuming reformulation later. The intended consumer market can influence what ingredients are acceptable from a labelling standpoint.

Another important point to remember is that all the inherent attributes found in a meat product — texture, flavour, fat, colour — must be added to the analogue by the product developer. Developing acceptable texture and flavour can often prove to be the biggest challenges. Table 2, below, lists common ingredients found in meat analogues and typical usage levels.

To improve on binding and develop meat-like texture, other nonprotein ingredients can be incorporated. Carrageenan, cellulose gums and starches are often found in ingredient declarations. Their water-holding abilities and gelling characteristics will affect the texture and mouthfeel of the finished product. The order in which ingredients are added can be important in developing desired attributes in the analogue. If using an isolated soy protein or functional soy concentrate in a veggie hot-dog formulation, for example, it is important to develop the functional properties of the soy proteins. Typically, this is accomplished by hydrating the protein with a sufficient amount of cold water and applying mechanical action. If a fat source is used in the formulation, it is added to the hydrated protein with mechanical action to form an emulsion. This is followed by the remaining ingredients: binding agents, flavours and colours.

As mentioned earlier, other ingredients such as starches and hydrocolloids may also require certain procedures to develop their functionality. Some analogues may only require blending of the dry ingredients followed by the addition of water to prepare for forming or cooking.

Flavour options
As the meat-analogue category has grown, flavour houses have responded with a wide range of flavours for the application, while protein suppliers have been able to offer ingredients with cleaner flavour profiles. Flavour suppliers can provide the characteristic meaty note to the analogue as well as important background notes such as fatty, serumy, roasted, etc. The various proteins that are found in the base matrix may have an inherent cereal note, and flavour suppliers have developed masking agents to reduce these notes. In addition, proteins have a tendency to bind with certain components in the flavour ingredients and this can have a negative impact on the overall flavour profile. It is important for the developer to consult the flavour supplier for ingredients that will work in their base matrix and comply with any other requirements, such as kosher status or use of artificial flavours.

High-moisture analogues
In the past few years, meat analogues that closely mimic the texture of whole muscle meat have been introduced into the marketplace. They are produced using high-moisture extrusion, a technology that has been available for about 25 years. These high-moisture analogues typically contain a combination of proteins such as soy, wheat and/or egg in conjunction with starches, vegetable oils, flavours and colours.

Containing a relatively high moisture level — 50-80 per cent — the blend is processed using twin-screw extrusion that yields a meat analogue with a tender, moist texture and meat-like fibres. (Traditional textured proteins are generally extruded at less than 35 per cent moisture and require prehydration prior to use.) The base products are mild tasting and can be easily flavoured prior to extrusion to resemble poultry and meat. The high-moisture content helps reduce the release of volatiles when the product exits the extruder.

Upon exiting the extruder, the analogue is sized and, if desired, the appearance can be enhanced with char-grilled marks or by searing for an oven-roasted look. Products are available in strips, shreds, dices and chunks, and can also be battered and breaded.

Reasons for purchasing analogues vary but consumers mention religious beliefs, animal rights and health benefits
Consumer attraction
Meat analogues are more frequently finding their way into convenient frozen entrées. The products range from sandwiches to lasagna and frozen dinners. Reasons for purchasing analogues vary but consumers often mention religious beliefs, environmental concerns, animal rights and health benefits. In fact, according to a 2006 United Soybean Board survey, 82 per cent of consumers perceive soy products as healthy and 31 per cent select products containing soy for their health benefits.

In the future, food manufacturers will need to continue to be innovative and offer meat analogues with health and nutritional benefits, convenience and improved flavour and texture. The soy-protein ingredients have become more versatile with cleaner flavour profiles due to improvements in processing, and the challenge of using soy proteins has been minimised.

Cheryl Borders is manager of soy-foods applications at ADM.
Respond: [email protected]

Table I: Common forms of meat analogues





Deli 'meats'

Taco fillings



Chili mixes

Batter/breaded nuggets


Sloppy Joe

Meat' balls

Recipe crumbles

Pizza toppings

Table 2: Typical ingredients used in meat analogue development



Typical Usage Level


Ingredient distribution, emulsification, juiciness, cost

50% - 80%

Textured vegetable proteins: textured soy flour, textured soy concentrate, textured wheat gluten, textured protein combinations

Bind water, texture/mouthfeel, appearance, protein fortification/nutrition, source of insoluble fibre

10% - 25%

Nontextured proteins: isolated soy proteins, functional soy concentrate, wheat gluten, egg whites, whey proteins

Bind water, emulsification, texture/mouthfeel, protein fortification/nutrition

4% - 20%

Flavour ingredients/spices

Flavour — savoury, meaty, roasted, fatty, serumy etc.; flavour enhancement (eg, salt); masks cereal notes

3% - 10%

Fat/liquid vegetable oil

Flavour, texture/mouthfeel, succulence, Maillard reaction/browning

0% - 15%

Binding agents: wheat gluten, egg whites, gums and hydrocolloids, enzymes starches

Texture / 'bite', binds water, may contribute to fibre content, may determine production processing conditions

1% - 5%

Colouring agents: caramel colours, malt extracts, beet powder, FD&Cs

Appearance/eye appeal, natural or artificial

0% - 0.5%

Supply Spotlight: DSM

Begun in 1902 in the Netherlands as a state-owned coal-mining operation, DSM has evolved countless times — as a producer of industrial chemicals, fertilizers and raw materials for fibres, products for the pharmaceutical and the food industries, and performance materials for the automotive and transport industry, and the electrics and electronics sector.

In 2003, DSM became the world's leading supplier to the life-sciences industry by doubling its Life Science Group with the acquisition of Roche's Vitamins & Fine Chemicals Division, which was subsequently renamed DSM Nutritional Products. DSM services the life-science industry through its Food Specialties and Nutritional Products divisions. Nutritional Products is a supplier of vitamins, carotenoids (pigments and antioxidants), omega-n-3 and n-6 long-chain fatty acids, and other biochemicals used in products for human and animal nutrition and health and in cosmetic products, such as UV filters.

Strategic acquisition
Food Specialties is a leading supplier of dairy, savoury and functional ingredients for baby food, food supplements and functional foods, such as enzymes, arachidonic acid, probiotics and peptides. The acquisition of the Roche properties greatly strengthened DSM's position vis ? vis functional ingredients, according to Lynda Doyle, director of new business development for the Nutritional Products division. The company still is in the process of determining the best way to create synergies between the two divisions, but it is clear that DSM already is situated to serve the growing demand for functional ingredients.

An example: DSM's omega-3 ingredient, Ropufa '10' N-3 Food Powder, is patented encapsulated beadlet technology that is being used in a variety of functional-foods applications. Customized market forms of EPA and DHA from marine sources are becoming more prevalent as both supplements and food manufacturers and marketers strive to include more of these long-chain omega-3 fatty acids into their products, according to Diane Hnat, senior marketing manager with DSM Nutritional Products. Ropufa 75EE omega-3 is preferred by a majority of surveyed consumers specifically for its lack of noticeable taste, Hnat says.

All-Q, a co-Q10 product utilising DSM's own highly stable, bioavailable Actilease beadlet technology, is suitable for food applications, and readily disperses in cold water. The company is suggesting it be added to juice, sports and energy drinks, yoghurts and other dairy products, as well as cereals and energy bars, according to Robert Berman, senior marketing manager, Nutritional Products.

The usual bitterness of the green tea tannins has been reduced in Teavigo
As research grows on the health benefits of green-tea catechins and EGCG ( Epigallocatechin gallate), Doyle is confident that DSM's Teavigo is positioned well. Purified from green-tea extract, Teavigo has been affirmed GRAS for a variety of food and beverage categories. The usual bitterness of the green-tea tannins has been reduced in Teavigo, making it more attractive for food applications. Currently, a variety of products has incorporated Teavigo, including Optihealth Beauty Formula, Betty Lou's Almond Butter Nut Balls and Daily Plus Green T+ with Teavigo.

Among the most recent DSM innovations is Hidrox, a combination of olive polyphenols, especially hydroxytyrosol. Derived from the juice of organically grown olives, hydorxytyrosol has anti-inflammatory properties that may support joint health.

Probiotics for the future
"Out of all nutritional categories," says Caroline Brons, senior marketing manager at DSM Nutritional Products, "we believe that probiotics is the category offering the most opportunity for growth at the moment. Consumer awareness is gaining ground, research is intensifying and new studies are substantiating what many people have already experienced: better health with probiotics."

DSM's Lafti range of probiotics includes various delivery forms suitable both for foods and dietary supplements. If they are to have a beneficial effect on health, probiotics must remain stable and alive throughout the harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. The company takes pride in studies showing that Lafti probiotics survive better than selected other strains on the market.

PeptoPro has made strong progress and several commercial products are now available, including the most recent launch, Rad, according to Reto Rieder, national accounts manager, Food Specialties.

Further strengthening its portfolio, in September DSM acquired Lipid Technologies Provider AB, a Swedish company with a technology platform based on formulated lipids. A key ingredient in this acquisition is Fabuless, a science-backed weight-management ingredient using the concept of satiety.

As for what lies ahead, Doyle thinks beverages are going to play a large role. "The beverage category has exploded as a tasty, convenient vehicle for a wide variety of nutraceutical ingredients, providing numerous health benefits," she says. "DSM is on the cutting edge in terms of innovation, product-form development, application technology and marrying science with consumer desires."

Dutch court supports use of soy-milk name

Soy milk's right to call itself soy milk may be closer to reality after a Dutch judge backed the term that has been banned from soy beverages in the European Union since 1987. The judge, whose verdict forced the Belgian-based soy giant Alpro to remove advertising that compared soy milk with dairy milk in the Netherlands, did not find fault with the term 'soya milk' despite the EU ban. In Europe, soy is known as soya.

Along with the Brussels-based European Natural Soyfood Manufacturers Association (ENSA), Alpro focused on this aspect of the ruling and hopes it will reinvigorate efforts to have the archaic law changed. The ENSA believes soy should be categorised with other 'milks' such as almond milk and coconut milk, which, while not "secreted by milk glands and obtained by milking" as the regulation demands, are exempt.

"The EU legislation has made a list with exceptions," the ENSA said. "The ENSA is convinced that 'soya milk' meets all the criteria to be put on this list of exceptions." It has made a formal request to the EU for this to happen.

"With regard to the use of the term 'soya milk', Alpro is pleased with the judge's position," Alpro said. "The term soya milk is an established concept in popular speech. The authoritative Dutch Van Dale dictionary also offers a definition of soya milk. The judge has now confirmed this and believes that this name establishes the necessary distinction between cow milk and soya milk."

Dominic Dyer, executive director of the UK Soy Protein Association, said: "Like any other industry, the soy industry wants to put out the best, most cutting-edge messages and it seems incongruous that a beverage that is commonly used as a milk and even more commonly called a milk by the public, cannot use that term in its marketing. There are many non-dairy milks on the market now so it may be time for the EU to revisit this regulation."

The banned adverts compared dairy milk with Alpro's Soya Natural Fresh and Yofu products, and bore the slogan: "Your milk with or without cholesterol?"

New political landscape could shake industry

The great paradox of the natural foods and dietary supplements industries is that they were founded and embraced by liberal consumers, yet the greatest looming threat comes from their political representatives, the Democrats.

So the November elections, which saw the Democratic Party win both houses of Congress from the free-market Republicans, has many industry observers fretting over the impending regulatory climate — not the least of which is the supplements market's great liberator, the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

In particular, in the US House of Representatives, long-time industry critics John Dingell of Michigan and Henry Waxman of California will ascend to committee chairs, which set the agenda for the coming two years.

Rep Dingell, for instance, had this saucy quote after the election victory: "There are questions relative to food and drug safety. But also food supplements, where people are being killed."

"These are very sharp words," said industry veteran Loren Israelsen, president of LDI Group consultancy. "But they are consistent with Congressman Dingell's prior public comments about the supplements industry."

Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), said the inflammatory language does not mean immediate action. "Dingell mentioned 23 subjects about which he had an interest. This was 17th on the list," McGuffin told FF&N. "Not that they're not going to come around to it, nor will it not be aggressive."

The adverse events bill was the final order of business for the lame-duck Congress
Most observers were surprised that one of the final actions of the lame-duck Congress was to pass the adverse events reporting bill (S. 3546). "Ultimately such a system will highlight the strong safety record of dietary supplements," said Steven Mister, President and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

There was great concern that, absent federal rules, individual states would step in.

"Instead of going to one system that we've been very attentive to assuring details are properly written, are we going to have to file numerous adverse events?" asked McGuffin. "If a manufacturer is in California and a retailer is in Florida and an Internet-site customer is in New York, does the consumer have to file three reports? That's the promise of letting this turn into state-by-state regulations — duplication, additional effort, lack of clarity, different rules."

Rep Waxman, meanwhile, is no friend of the industry. Regulatory expert Marc Ullman, in a blog posted at, said Rep Waxman "has regularly accused the supplements industry of being irresponsible, has called on the FDA to investigate 'safety issues'."

The adverse events reporting bill is hoped to stave off some of that effort. The law would require a phone number listed on labels, and for companies to report calls to FDA within 15 days.

Commented Israelsen, "Let us hope that with regard to our own industry issues we will rise to the moment and move toward a higher level of public confidence and credibility in our products. Great effort will now be spent working with both the majority and minority parties to move on a range of dietary-supplements issues that have stalled, such as GMP regulation, AER legislation and more aggressive but sensible regulation of the DSHEA. Time will tell how well we do."