Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is now advocated, and implemented, in many countries as a measure to reduce the purchase and consumption of sugar to tackle obesity. To date, there has been little consideration of the potential impact that such a measure could have if extended to other sweet foods, such as confectionery, cakes and biscuits that contribute more sugar to the diet than SSBs. The objective of this study is to compare changes in the demand for sweet snacks and SSBs arising from potential price increases.
Bacterial cross-contamination from surfaces to food can contribute to foodborne disease. The cross-contamination rate of Enterobacter aerogenes was evaluated on household surfaces using scenarios that differed by surface type, food type, contact time (<1, 5, 30 and 300 s), and inoculum matrix (tryptic soy broth or peptone buffer). The surfaces used were stainless steel, tile, wood and carpet. The food types were watermelon, bread, bread with butter and gummy candy. Surfaces (25 cm(2)) were spot inoculated with 1 ml of inoculum and allowed to dry for 5 h, yielding an approximate concentration of 10(7) CFU/surface. Foods (with 16 cm(2) contact area) were dropped on the surfaces from a height of 12.5 cm and left to rest as appropriate. Post transfer surfaces and foods were placed in sterile filter bags and homogenized or massaged, diluted and plated on tryptic soy agar. The transfer rate was quantified as the log % transfer from the surface to the food. Contact time, food and surface type all had a highly significant effect (P<0.000001) on log % transfer of bacteria. The inoculum matrix (TSB or peptone buffer) also had a significant effect on transfer (P = 0.013), and most interaction terms were significant. More bacteria transferred to watermelon (∼0.2-97%) relative to other foods, while fewer bacteria transferred to gummy candy (∼0.1-62%). Transfer of bacteria to bread (∼0.02-94%) and bread with butter (∼0.02-82%) were similar, and transfer rates under a given set of condition were more variable compared with watermelon and gummy candy.
Grain foods may play an important role in delivering nutrients to the diet of children and adolescents. The present study determined grain food sources of energy/nutrients in U.S. children and adolescents using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012. Analyses of grain food sources were conducted using a 24-h recall in participants 2-18 years old (N = 6109). Sources of nutrients contained in grain foods were determined using U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient composition databases and excluded mixed dishes. Mean energy and nutrient intakes from the total diet and from various grain foods were adjusted for the sample design using appropriate weights. All grains provided 14% ± 0.2% kcal/day (263 ± 5 kcal/day), 22.5% ± 0.3% (3 ± 0.1 g/day) dietary fiber, 39.3% ± 0.5% (238 ± 7 dietary folate equivalents (DFE)/day) folate and 34.9% ± 0.5% (5.6 ± 0.1 mg/day) iron in the total diet in children and adolescents. The current analyses showed that certain grain foods, in particular breads, rolls and tortillas, ready-to-eat cereals and quick breads and bread products, are meaningful contributors of folate, iron, thiamin, niacin and dietary fiber, a nutrient of public health concern as outlined by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Thus, specific grain foods contribute to nutrient density and have the potential to increase the consumption of several under-consumed nutrients in children and adolescents.
Bread is consumed daily by billions of people, yet evidence regarding its clinical effects is contradicting. Here, we performed a randomized crossover trial of two 1-week-long dietary interventions comprising consumption of either traditionally made sourdough-leavened whole-grain bread or industrially made white bread. We found no significant differential effects of bread type on multiple clinical parameters. The gut microbiota composition remained person specific throughout this trial and was generally resilient to the intervention. We demonstrate statistically significant interpersonal variability in the glycemic response to different bread types, suggesting that the lack of phenotypic difference between the bread types stems from a person-specific effect. We further show that the type of bread that induces the lower glycemic response in each person can be predicted based solely on microbiome data prior to the intervention. Together, we present marked personalization in both bread metabolism and the gut microbiome, suggesting that understanding dietary effects requires integration of person-specific factors.
The recent rise in obesity is widely attributed to changes in the dietary environment (e.g., increased availability of energy-dense foods and larger portion sizes). However, a critical feature of our “obesogenic environment” may have been overlooked - the dramatic increase in “dietary variability” (the tendency for specific mass-produced foods to be available in numerous varieties that differ in energy content). In this study we tested the hypothesis that dietary variability compromises the control of food intake in humans. Specifically, we examined the effects of dietary variability in pepperoni pizza on two key outcome variables; i) compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) expectations about the satiating properties of pepperoni pizza (expected satiation). We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food. An internet-based questionnaire was completed by 199 adults. This revealed substantial variation in exposure to different varieties of pepperoni pizza. In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza. Furthermore, the effect of uncertainty on caloric compensation was moderated by individual differences in decision making (loss aversion). For the first time, these findings highlight a process by which dietary variability may compromise food-intake control in humans. This is important because it exposes a new feature of Western diets (processed foods in particular) that might contribute to overeating and obesity.
The growing human population and a changing environment have raised significant concern for global food security, with the current improvement rate of several important crops inadequate to meet future demand 1 . This slow improvement rate is attributed partly to the long generation times of crop plants. Here, we present a method called ‘speed breeding’, which greatly shortens generation time and accelerates breeding and research programmes. Speed breeding can be used to achieve up to 6 generations per year for spring wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (T. durum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and pea (Pisum sativum), and 4 generations for canola (Brassica napus), instead of 2-3 under normal glasshouse conditions. We demonstrate that speed breeding in fully enclosed, controlled-environment growth chambers can accelerate plant development for research purposes, including phenotyping of adult plant traits, mutant studies and transformation. The use of supplemental lighting in a glasshouse environment allows rapid generation cycling through single seed descent (SSD) and potential for adaptation to larger-scale crop improvement programs. Cost saving through light-emitting diode (LED) supplemental lighting is also outlined. We envisage great potential for integrating speed breeding with other modern crop breeding technologies, including high-throughput genotyping, genome editing and genomic selection, accelerating the rate of crop improvement.
Dietary guidelines suggest consuming a mixed-protein diet, consisting of high-quality animal, dairy, and plant-based foods. However, current data on the distribution and the food sources of protein intake in a free-living, representative sample of US adults are not available. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2010, were used in these analyses (n = 10,977, age ≥ 19 years). Several US Department of Agriculture (USDA) databases were used to partition the composition of foods consumed into animal, dairy, or plant components. Mean ± SE animal, dairy, and plant protein intakes were determined and deciles of usual intakes were estimated. The percentages of total protein intake derived from animal, dairy, and plant protein were 46%, 16%, and 30%, respectively; 8% of intake could not be classified. Chicken and beef were the primary food sources of animal protein intake. Cheese, reduced-fat milk, and ice cream/dairy desserts were primary sources of dairy protein intake. Yeast breads, rolls/buns, and nuts/seeds were primary sources of plant protein intake. This study provides baseline data for assessing the effectiveness of public health interventions designed to alter the composition of protein foods consumed by the American public.
Despite tremendous growth in the consumption of gluten-free (GF) foods, there is a lack of evaluation of their nutritional profile and how they compare with non-GF foods. The present study evaluated the nutritional quality of GF and non-GF foods in core food groups, and a wide range of discretionary products in Australian supermarkets. Nutritional information on the Nutrition Information Panel was systematically obtained from all packaged foods at four large supermarkets in Sydney, Australia in 2013. Food products were classified as GF if a GF declaration appeared anywhere on the product packaging, or non-GF if they contained gluten, wheat, rye, triticale, barley, oats or spelt. The primary outcome was the ‘Health Star Rating’ (HSR: lowest score 0·5; optimal score 5), a nutrient profiling scheme endorsed by the Australian Government. Differences in the content of individual nutrients were explored in secondary analyses. A total of 3213 food products across ten food categories were included. On average, GF plain dry pasta scored nearly 0·5 stars less (P< 0·001) compared with non-GF products; however, there were no significant differences in the mean HSR for breads or ready-to-eat breakfast cereals (P≥ 0·42 for both). Relative to non-GF foods, GF products had consistently lower average protein content across all the three core food groups, in particular for pasta and breads (52 and 32 % less, P< 0·001 for both). A substantial proportion of foods in discretionary categories carried GF labels (e.g. 87 % of processed meats), and the average HSR of GF discretionary foods were not systematically superior to those of non-GF products. The consumption of GF products is unlikely to confer health benefits, unless there is clear evidence of gluten intolerance.
Starch in white wheat bread (WB) induces high postprandial glucose and insulin responses. For rye bread (RB), the glucose response is similar, whereas the insulin response is lower. In vitro studies suggest that polyphenol-rich berries may reduce digestion and absorption of starch and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia, but the evidence in humans is limited. We investigated the effects of berries consumed with WB or RB on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Healthy females (n = 13-20) participated in 3 randomized, controlled, crossover, 2-h meal studies. They consumed WB or RB, both equal to 50 g available starch, with 150 g whole-berry purée or the same amount of bread without berries as reference. In study 1, WB was served with strawberries, bilberries, or lingonberries and in study 2 with raspberries, cloudberries, or chokeberries. In study 3, WB or RB was served with a mixture of berries consisting of equal amounts of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackcurrants. Strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries consumed with WB and the berry mixture consumed with WB or RB significantly reduced the postprandial insulin response. Only strawberries (36%) and the berry mixture (with WB, 38%; with RB, 19%) significantly improved the glycemic profile of the breads. These results suggest than when WB is consumed with berries, less insulin is needed for maintenance of normal or slightly improved postprandial glucose metabolism. The lower insulin response to RB compared with WB can also be further reduced by berries.
The quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) for making bread is largely due to the strength and extensibility of wheat dough, which in turn is due to the properties of polymeric glutenin. Polymeric glutenin consists of high- and low-molecular-weight glutenin protein subunits linked by disulphide bonds between cysteine residues. Glutenin subunits differ in their effects on dough mixing properties. The research presented here investigated the effect of a specific, recently discovered, glutenin subunit on dough mixing properties. This subunit, Bx7.1, is unusual in that it has a cysteine in its repetitive domain. With site-directed mutagenesis of the gene encoding Bx7.1, a guanine in the repetitive domain was replaced by an adenine, to provide a mutant gene encoding a subunit (MutBx7.1) in which the repetitive-domain cysteine was replaced by a tyrosine residue. Bx7.1, MutBx7.1 and other Bx-type glutenin subunits were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. This made it possible to incorporate each individual subunit into wheat flour and evaluate the effect of the cysteine residue on dough properties. The Bx7.1 subunit affected dough mixing properties differently from the other subunits. These differences are due to the extra cysteine residue, which may interfere with glutenin polymerisation through cross-linkage within the Bx7.1 subunit, causing this subunit to act as a chain terminator.