Concept: Food industry
The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15-20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy.
L-Arabinose is a useful sugar in the food industry. We demonstrate here simple methods for refining arabinan polysaccharides by alcohol extraction from prune, Prunus domestica L., as a source of L-arabinose. Alcohol-soluble polysaccharides were purified from a solution of prune extracted by 80% ethanol. After fractionating the polysaccharides by ion-exchange chromatography, arabinans were identified as mainly constituted by (1→5)-linked arabinofuranosyl units.
The environmental footprint of animal food production is considered several-fold greater than that of crops cultivation. Therefore, the choice between animal and vegetarian diets may have a relevant environmental impact. In such comparisons however, an often neglected issue is the nutritional value of foods. Previous estimates of nutrients' environmental footprint had predominantly been based on either food raw weight or caloric content, not in respect to human requirements. Essential amino acids (EAAs) are key parameters in food quality assessment. We re-evaluated here the environmental footprint (expressed both as land use for production and as Green House Gas Emission (GHGE), of some animal and vegetal foods, titrated to provide EAAs amounts in respect to human requirements. Production of high-quality animal proteins, in amounts sufficient to match the Recommended Daily Allowances of all the EAAs, would require a land use and a GHGE approximately equal, greater o smaller (by only ±1-fold), than that necessary to produce vegetal proteins, except for soybeans, that exhibited the smallest footprint. This new analysis downsizes the common concept of a large advantage, in respect to environmental footprint, of crops vs. animal foods production, when human requirements of EAAs are used for reference.
Unhealthy environments and food advertisements are major determinants of childhood obesity. Recent regulation has banned unhealthy foods from schools in Mexico. However, currently there is no regulation limiting exposure to food marketing around schools. Thus, our objective was to analyze the characteristics of food advertising practices around 60 elementary schools in two cities and to evaluate compliance with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recommendations and the local food industry self-regulatory marketing code.
With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land.
The study provides a novel model and more comprehensive estimates of the burden of occupational morbidity and mortality in food-related industries, using a farm-to-table approach.
The global food industry is expected to increase more than US $ 7 trillion by 2014. This rise in processed food sector shows that more and more people are diverging towards modern processed foods. As modern diets are largely heat processed, they are more prone to contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are a group of complex and heterogeneous compounds which are known as brown and fluorescent cross-linking substances such as pentosidine, non-fluorescent cross-linking products such as methylglyoxal-lysine dimers (MOLD), or non-fluorescent, non-cross linking adducts such as carboxymethyllysine (CML) and pyrraline (a pyrrole aldehyde). The chemistry of the AGEs formation, absorption and bioavailability and their patho-biochemistry particularly in relation to different complications like diabetes and ageing discussed. The concept of AGEs receptor - RAGE is mentioned. AGEs contribute to a variety of microvascular and macrovascular complications through the formation of cross-links between molecules in the basement membrane of the extracellular matrix and by engaging the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Different methods of detection and quantification along with types of agents used for the treatment of AGEs are reviewed. Generally, ELISA or LC-MS methods are used for analysis of foods and body fluids, however lack of universally established method highlighted. The inhibitory effect of bioactive components on AGEs by trapping variety of chemical moieties discussed. The emerging evidence about the adverse effects of AGEs makes it necessary to investigate the different therapies to inhibit AGEs.
Steviol glycosides with an ent-kaurene core are being used in the Food Industry as non-caloric sweeteners. These compounds are chemically similar in terms of sugar types and sugar arrangements. In order to assign sugar positions, we describe herein, the dissociation pattern for steviol glycosides under varying collision energies.
This study is part of the research undertaken in the EU funded project CLYMBOL (“Role of health-related CLaims and sYMBOLs in consumer behaviour”). The first phase of this project consisted of mapping the prevalence of symbolic and non-symbolic nutrition and health-related claims (NHC) on foods and non-alcoholic beverages in five European countries. Pre-packaged foods and drinks were sampled based on a standardized sampling protocol, using store lists or a store floor plan. Data collection took place across five countries, in three types of stores. A total of 2034 foods and drinks were sampled and packaging information was analyzed. At least one claim was identified for 26% (95% CI (24.0%-27.9%)) of all foods and drinks sampled. Six percent of these claims were symbolic. The majority of the claims were nutrition claims (64%), followed by health claims (29%) and health-related ingredient claims (6%). The most common health claims were nutrient and other function claims (47% of all claims), followed by disease risk reduction claims (5%). Eight percent of the health claims were children’s development and health claims but these were only observed on less than 1% (0.4%-1.1%) of the foods. The category of foods for specific dietary use had the highest proportion of NHC (70% of foods carried a claim). The prevalence of symbolic and non-symbolic NHC varies across European countries and between different food categories. This study provides baseline data for policy makers and the food industry to monitor and evaluate the use of claims on food packaging.
Despite heated debates over the safety of genetically modified (GM) food, GM crops have been expanding rapidly. Much research has focused on the expansion of GM crops. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of non-genetically modified (non-GM) crops are not clear, although they may have significant environmental and agronomic impacts and important policy implications. To understand the dynamics of non-GM crops and to inform the debates among relevant stakeholders, we conducted spatiotemporal analyses of China’s major non-GM soybean production region, the Heilongjiang Province. Even though the total soybean planting area decreased from 2005 to 2010, surprisingly, there were hotspots of increase. The results also showed hotspots of loss as well as a large decline in the number and continuity of soybean plots. Since China is the largest non-GM soybean producer in the world, the decline of its major production region may signal the continual decline of global non-GM soybeans.