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Food Science

Friday, August 29, 2014

You're probably looking at some trans fat - FLICKR/STEPHANIE CHAPMAN
Despite legal bans and doctors’ warnings about trans fat, nearly one in 10 processed food products sold in the United States still contains it, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Yet most foods that contain trans fat don't list it on the label, so consumers are unwittingly eating it, according to the research.

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click image Pizza with mozzarella - MALCOLM BEDELL/FROMAWAY.COM
  • Malcolm Bedell/FromAway.com
  • Pizza with mozzarella
After performing exhaustive research (with lots of charts, graphs, diagrams, calculations and footnotes), scientists in New Zealand have determined that mozzarella is the best cheese for pizza.

Their findings, “Quantification of Pizza Baking Properties of Different Cheeses, and Their Correlation with Cheese Functionality,” were published in the Journal of Food Science on July 21.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

An article in Pacific Standard this week titled The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking Is Healthy, makes the claim that abstinence from alcohol is among the major risk factors for heart disease. The article criticizes U.S. health policy, which has neglected to report the benefits of drinking and in some cases has forbidden scientists from reporting these benefits in their study findings. 

The article claims that any time a health benefit from drinking is included in a study or official U.S. dietary guidelines, there is an uproar and move to suppress the information, whereas the opposite is true of information about the evils of drinking. It states the case for moderate drinking in no uncertain terms, saying:

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Xamaleon, pre-licked - FACEBOOK/ICEXPERIENCE
  • Facebook/IceXperience
  • Xamaleon, pre-licked
In a stroke of confectionary genius worthy of Willa Wonka, a Spanish scientist has come up with an ice cream that changes colors (but unfortunately not flavors) as you lick it. It’s already on the market in Spain, at an ice cream shop called IceXperience in Blanes, Girona, north of Barcelona.

The new ice cream, dubbed Xamaleon (Spanish for “chameleon”), was created by physicist Manuel Linares, according to Science World Daily. The tutti-frutti flavor – including ingredients such as strawberries, cocoa, almonds, banana, pistachio, vanilla, caramel and undisclosed “exotic fruits” — turns from periwinkle blue to swirls of purple and pink as it is licked. (See a video on IceXperience’s Facebook page.)

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Monday, July 28, 2014

a Gibralter, somewhere - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • a Gibralter, somewhere
new study suggests that coffee and other sources of caffeine might make hot flashes and night sweats worse in menopausal women. (Note: Do not email this story to your mom. Being told that she should give up her coffee or Diet Coke is the last thing a grouchy menopausal woman needs to hear.)

However, the study found that for women transitioning into menopause — perimenopausal women — caffeine improved mood, memory and concentration, “possibly because caffeine is known to enhance arousal, mood and attention,” according to the researchers.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

organic peaches - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • organic peaches
Organic fruits and vegetables contain as much as 70% more antioxidants than non-organic produce, according to a new study. Just eating organically provides amounts of antioxidants equivalent to one to two extra portions of fruits and vegetables a day, the researchers say.

The study will be published July 15 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

click image A cheeseburger of deadly deliciousness - MALCOLM BEDELL/FROMAWAY.COM
  • Malcolm Bedell/FromAway.com
  • A cheeseburger of deadly deliciousness
Put down that bacon double-cheeseburger, ladies. Just put it down.

A big new study has shown that women who ate the most red meat increased their chances of getting breast cancer by nearly 25 percent. The 20-year-long study tracked the eating habits of nearly 89,000 women.

On the plus side: Replacing a daily serving of red meat with a combination of fish, legumes, nuts, eggs and poultry as protein sources appeared to lower the risk of breast cancer by 14 percent, researchers said.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Food Science

Gluten Sensitivity May Not Exist

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Tue, May 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM
Gluten free croutons - FLICKR/CASSIDY
  • Flickr/Cassidy
  • Gluten free croutons
Gluten is a touchy subject. For people with celiac disease, it causes extreme intestinal discomfort that can lead to the brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs being deprived of vital nourishment. But beyond true celiac disease, more and more people now claim to suffer from gluten sensitivity. And now a new study, ironically out from one of the researchers who provided key evidence of the phenomenon of gluten sensitivity in the first place, shows that such sensitivity may not exist. 

The researcher is Peter Gibson at Monash University, and in a 2011 study, his research showed that diets containing gluten caused gastrointestinal distress in people without celiac disease. But the study was small, and Gibson decided to follow up with a larger and extremely scientifically rigorous study.

In this study, subjects with self-identified gluten sensitivity were given all their meals for the duration of the study, and potential dietary triggers for gastrointestinal symptoms were removed. Throughout the study, subjects were given high gluten, low gluten, and no gluten meals, without knowing what kinds of meals they were eating. 

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Food Science

Soy Sauce Ingredient Found to Fight HIV

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Tue, May 13, 2014 at 5:00 AM
click image Sushi in soy sauce - FLICKR/ISTOLETHETV
  • Flickr/istolethetv
  • Sushi in soy sauce
A compound found in soy sauce may be more potent than the current top antiviral therapy in fighting HIV, University of Missouri researchers have found. Seventy times stronger, in fact. 

The molecule was accidentally discovered by a Japanese soy sauce company in 2001 while trying to enhance the flavor of its product. The soy sauce molecule they isolated, EFdA, turns out to be part of the family of compounds called nucleoside analogues, which are very similar to existing drugs for the treatment of HIV and other viruses. EFdA samples were sent for further testing, which confirmed EFdA's potential usefulness against HIV and started more than a decade of research.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

click image Some energy drinks - FLICKR/PRIME PROVE
  • Flickr/prime prove
  • Some energy drinks
Teens who drink a lot of sports and energy drinks engage in more "undesirable behaviors," according to a shocking new study.

It's kind of a chicken-or-egg question, though: Does drinking Red Bull and Monster make adolescents act like punks, or are young douchebags-in-the-making the type who enjoy such beverages in the first place?

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