As part of a bipartisan budget deal, the US Food and Drug Administration must spend $3 million to educate the public on "the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts" of genetically modified crops. The effort, to be developed with the Department of Agriculture, will involve creating and distributing "science-based educational information."
The public health lobby group Action on Sugar is asking the UK to tax chocolate and other sweets as it does soft drinks. The Food and Drink Federation is opposed to the measure, saying companies like Mars and Nestle are already reformulating products to reduce portion sizes and sugar content.
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Milk, yogurt and cheese do not increase the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke, and limiting consumption can actually cause harm, especially in pregnant women, a meta-analysis of 29 studies has found. "There's been a lot of publicity over the last five to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they don't," said researcher Ian Givens.
Women who don't consume enough omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly those with a higher omega-6/omega-3 ratio, may be at greater risk for pre- and post-natal depression, but omega-3 supplementation may be an effective treatment, according to a meta-analysis of 12 studies. "Anthropological and epidemiological studies suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFAs of about 1:1, and modern diets have a ratio of 10-20:1, indicating that modern diets are in a profound imbalance in PUFA composition," the researchers wrote.
BASF, Givaudan and Vantage Specialty Ingredients are among the firms developing cosmetic ingredients focused on the human microbiome and overall skin health. Such work includes developing "skin care products that contain live bacteria, bacteria extracts, or ingredients meant to enhance skin microbe activity," Marc Reisch writes.
Scientists discover how fabric softener really works
Scientists working for the Kao Corp. have earned the American Cleaning Institute's Distinguished Paper Award for their research into the mechanisms underlying fabric softeners. "We proposed the new theory that the softening effect of fabric softener was considered to be mainly caused by the inhibition of the formation of the hydrogen-bonding-based cross-linkage by non-frozen bound water between single fibers," said study co-author Takako Igarashi. Read more.
JAOCS article of the month: Thermo-oxidative degradation of phytosterol esters
Phytosterol esters are attracting interest as functional food additives due to their health-promoting properties. "Factors influencing phytosterol ester degradation, and the implications of degradation products on human nutrition and metabolism, are important research areas," says JAOCS Editor-in-Chief James Kenar. In Kenar's selection for the JAOCS article of the month, "Effect of Fatty Acid Unsaturation on Phytosteryl Ester Degradation," Magdalena Rudzinska at Poznan University and coworkers examined the thermo-oxidative degradation of stigmasterol fatty acid esters at 60 degrees C and 180 degrees C and identified and quantified different sterol oxidation products. They found that in addition to time and temperature, the degree of unsaturation present in the fatty acid ester chain influenced stigmasterol ester degradation. The sterol and fatty acid moieties within the molecules degraded at different rates, and a higher degree of unsaturation in the fatty acid moiety promoted sterol degradation. This article is available for free download.
View recent patents relating to fats and oils
The AOCS Lipid Library now includes listings curated by a registered US patent agent, Scott Bloomer. The patents cover a wide range of topics, including bio-based lubricants, pasteurization, lipid-based waxes, protein-based products, separation methods, and more. View and bookmark this extensive and uniquely focused site today.
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