May 1, 2018
“Mintel announced the major flavor trends that are just emerging, are already hitting the mainstream and those that are set to shape the future of foodservice in 2018 and beyond.
Among the flavors already creating buzz in the US, Middle Eastern cuisine has become an inspiration for fusion flavors, ‘less sweet’ desserts featuring ingredients such as olive oil and vinegar are gaining popularity, and functional ingredients are adding color and flavor to food and drinks.
Meanwhile, Mintel predicts spice blends, sauces and condiments will introduce diners to emerging international cuisines, while new spins on seasonings and preparation methods will bring meaty flavors to both meat and vegetables alike.
Looking ahead, expect to see chefs and scientists push the limits of creativity to provide a sense of balance and harmony in foods through ‘kokumi,’ which adds complexity and depth to dishes.”
April 16, 2018
“To assess the impact of mono-unsaturated fatty acids consumption on death from cardiovascular disease and other causes, researchers from the used data from 63,412 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 29,966 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Both studies used detailed food-frequency questionnaires administered every four years to evaluate the composition of the participants’ diets.
During an average 22 years of follow-up, there were 20,672 deaths among participants, 4588 of which were from heart disease. The researchers found that participants with a higher intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from plants had a 16% lower risk of death from any cause compared to those with lower intakes. Those with a higher intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from animals had a 21% higher risk of death from any cause.
The researchers concluded that replacing saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, or trans fats with an equal number of calories (2–5% of the total) from mono-unsaturated fatty acids from plants might lower the risk of heart disease deaths and death from any cause between 10 and 15%.”
April 16, 2018
“A diet that is Mediterranean style, and rich in vegetables and fermented milk products such as yogurt, along with coffee, tea and chocolate, is associated with greater gut microbial diversity and a lower risk of hospitalization in patients with liver cirrhosis. The study, which enrolled almost 300 individuals in the USA and Turkey, showed that the entire Turkish cohort, including healthy individuals as well as those with compensated and decompensated cirrhosis, had a significantly higher microbial diversity than their counterparts in the USA.”
April 11, 2018
Fortuitously, or ironically, depending on the native relationship between your cheek and tongue, a review of the health effects of coffee was published in the widely circulated Today’s Dietitian almost exactly concurrent with the California verdict. This summary, citing the most significant of recent research publications, concludes that but for select populations such as pregnant women, there is a strong suggestion of net health benefit from routine coffee consumption. That benefit even extends to an apparent reduction in overall risk of cancer, potentially related to a synergistic effect between caffeine and antioxidant compounds, although the mechanisms are still speculative.
Here’s why the California judge’s ruling was a bad idea…
April 11, 2018
“Taking part in a hot chilli pepper eating contest might have some unexpected consequences, highlight doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports. Their warning comes after a young man ended up in emergency care with excruciatingly painful episodic headaches after eating a ‘Carolina Reaper,’ the world’s hottest chilli pepper. His symptoms started immediately after he had eaten the chilli, with dry heaves. But he then developed severe neck pain and crushingly painful headaches, each of which lasted just a few seconds, over the next several days.
His pain was so severe that he sought emergency care, and was tested for various neurological conditions, the results of which all came back negative. But a CT (computed tomography) scan showed that several arteries in his brain had constricted, prompting doctors to diagnose him with thunderclap headache secondary to reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS). RCVS is characterised by temporary artery narrowing often accompanied by thunderclap headache. It doesn’t always have an obvious cause, but can occur as a reaction to certain prescription meds, or after taking illegal drugs. The man’s symptoms cleared up by themselves. And a CT scan 5 weeks later showed that his affected arteries had returned to their normal width.”
April 4, 2018
Not a food related post but just generally interesting. You know that smell after a rain….it has a name….petrichor. Here’s a short video detailing the chemistry of petrichor….interesting.