Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Food science


Cooking at home is associated with better diet quality. This study examined the frequency of home-cooked dinners versus eating out in relation to the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), and food expenditures.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Food, Flavor, Food science, Cooking, Raw foodism, Home economics


The interactions between procyanidins and pectic compounds are of importance in food chemistry. Procyanidins with low (9) and high (30) average degrees of polymerization (DP9 and DP30) were extracted from two cider apple varieties. Commercial apple and citrus pectins as well as three pectin subfractions (homogalacturonans, partially methylated homogalacturonans with degree of methylation 30 and 70) (at 30 mM galacturonic acid equivalent) were titrated with the two procyanidin fractions (at 30 mM (-)-epicatechin equivalent) by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and UV-Vis Spectrophotometry. Slightly stronger affinities were recorded between commercial apple or citrus pectins and procyanidins of DP30 (Ka=1460 M-1 and 1225 M-1 respectively, expressed per monomer units) compared to procyanidins of DP9 (Ka=1240 M-1 and 1085 M-1 respectively) but stoichiometry and absorbance maxima differed between apple and citrus pectins. It was proposed that methylated homogalacturonans interacted with procyanidins DP30 mainly through hydrophobic interactions. The stronger association was obtained with the longer procyanidins molecules interacting with highly methylated pectins.

Concepts: Monomer, Pectin, Orange, Food science, Apple, Pomace, Cider, Apple cider


Both fresh and processed foods make up vital parts of the food supply. Processed food contributes to both food security (ensuring that sufficient food is available) and nutrition security (ensuring that food quality meets human nutrient needs). This ASN scientific statement focuses on one aspect of processed foods: their nutritional impacts. Specifically, this scientific statement 1) provides an introduction to how processed foods contribute to the health of populations, 2) analyzes the contribution of processed foods to “nutrients to encourage” and “constituents to limit” in the American diet as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 3) identifies the responsibilities of various stakeholders in improving the American diet, and 4) reviews emerging technologies and the research needed for a better understanding of the role of processed foods in a healthy diet. Analyses of the NHANES 2003-2008 show that processed foods provide both nutrients to encourage and constituents to limit as specified in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Of the nutrients to encourage, processed foods contributed 55% of dietary fiber, 48% of calcium, 43% of potassium, 34% of vitamin D, 64% of iron, 65% of folate, and 46% of vitamin B-12. Of the constituents to limit, processed foods contributed 57% of energy, 52% of saturated fat, 75% of added sugars, and 57% of sodium. Diets are more likely to meet food guidance recommendations if nutrient-dense foods, either processed or not, are selected. Nutrition and food science professionals, the food industry, and other stakeholders can help to improve the diets of Americans by providing a nutritious food supply that is safe, enjoyable, affordable, and sustainable by communicating effectively and accurately with each other and by working together to improve the overall knowledge of consumers.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Fat, Nutrient, Vitamin, Food, Food science, Food industry


In recent years, there has been increased interest in antioxidant-rich products by consumers wanting to enhance the health benefits of their diet. Chocolate has been identified as a natural source of antioxidant compounds, which resulted in the development of polyphenol-enriched chocolate products that are now available commercially. This study investigated the use of phenolic compounds extracted from peanut skins as a novel antioxidant source for the enrichment of milk chocolate. The extracts were encapsulated with maltodextrin to lessen their bitterness. Antioxidant potential of the encapsulated peanut skin extracts was evaluated by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazl radical quenching assay. Encapsulated peanut skins were found to have a corrected Trolox equivalency of 31.1 μmol/g of chocolate up to 0.8% (w/w). To produce a product with an antioxidant content similar to that of dark chocolate yet which maintained the milder flavor of milk chocolate, the best estimate threshold of encapsulated peanut skin extract in chocolate was 0.9 % (w/w) based on the standard method (American Society of Testing Materials; ASTM E-679). Consumer liking of milk chocolate enhanced by adding subthreshold (0.8 % (w/w)) inclusion levels of encapsulated peanut skin extract was found to be at parity with milk chocolate as a control.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Skin, Resveratrol, Food science, Extract, Chocolate, Types of chocolate


Cow’s milk and hen’s egg are ubiquitous in diets around the world and can be important sources of protein in young children. Unfortunately, milk and egg allergies are also some of the most common food allergies in childhood. Less allergenic forms of milk and egg due to heating and interactions with a food matrix, as in baked goods, are tolerated by a majority of milk- and egg-allergic patients. Adding baked milk and egg into the diets of milk- and egg-allergic children can broaden diets, increase nutrition, and improve quality of life. Most important, regular ingestion of baked milk and egg can help children outgrow their allergies to milk and egg. This article will review our current understanding of baked milk and egg tolerance and outline how these baked forms accelerates tolerance to regular milk and egg.

Concepts: Asthma, Milk, Allergy, Food, Food allergy, Eczema, Allergology, Food science


In the past 20 years, the scientific community has faced a great development in different fields due to the development of high-throughput, omics technologies. Starting from the four major types of omics measurements (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), a variety of omics subdisciplines (epigenomics, lipidomics, interactomics, metallomics, diseasomics, etc.) has emerged. Thanks to the omics approach, researchers are now facing the possibility of connecting food components, foods, the diet, the individual, the health, and the diseases, but this broad vision needs not only the application of advanced technologies, but mainly the ability of looking at the problem with a different approach, a “foodomics approach”. Foodomics is the comprehensive, high-throughput approach for the exploitation of food science in the light of an improvement of human nutrition. Foodomics is a new approach to food and nutrition that studies the food domain as a whole with the nutrition domain to reach the main objective, the optimization of human health and well-being.

Concepts: Genetics, Health, Nutrition, Food, Science, Functional genomics, Food science, Systems biology


Analytic advances are enabling more precise definitions of the molecular composition of key food staples incorporated into contemporary diets and how the nutrient landscapes of these staples vary as a function of cultivar and food processing methods. This knowledge, combined with insights about the interrelationship between consumer microbiota configurations and biotransformation of food ingredients, should have a number of effects on agriculture, food production, and strategies for improving the nutritional value of foods and health status. These effects include decision-making about which cultivars of current or future food staples to incorporate into existing and future food systems, and which components of waste streams from current or future food manufacturing processes have nutritional value that is worth capturing. They can also guide which technologies should be applied, or need to be developed, to produce foods that support efficient microbial biotransformation of their ingredients into metabolic products that sustain health.

Concepts: Health, Gut flora, Nutrition, Food, Food processing, Agricultural economics, Food science, Food industry


There is emerging evidence that children with egg and cow’s milk allergy who can tolerate these allergens cooked in baked goods are more likely to develop tolerance. As a result a hypothesis has arisen that exposure to egg and milk in baked goods may hasten tolerance development; however, it is unclear whether children who develop tolerance do so because they have ingested low levels of egg or milk in baked products. An alternative explanation for the improved prognosis in those who can tolerate food allergens in the baked form is that tolerance to egg and milk in baked goods is simply an indicator of a phenotype that is less likely to be persistent. We discuss the role that the baked egg or milk allergy phenotype plays on predicting tolerance development and suggest that it is the phenotype of the disease rather than exposure to altered allergens that is the strongest predictor of tolerance development.

Concepts: Scientific method, Milk, Food, Starch, Food allergy, Food science, Cooking, Baking


Having served as a symbolic fruit since ancient times, pomegranate (Punica granatum) has also gained considerable recognition as a functional food in the modern era. A large body of literature has linked pomegranate polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins (ATs) and hydrolyzable tannins (HTs), to the health-promoting activities of pomegranate juice and fruit extracts. However, it remains unclear as to how, and to what extent, the numerous phytochemicals in pomegranate may interact and exert cooperative activities in humans. In this review, we examine the structural and analytical information of the diverse phytochemicals that have been identified in different pomegranate tissues, to establish a knowledge base for characterization of metabolite profiles, discovery of novel phytochemicals, and investigation of phytochemical interactions in pomegranate. We also assess recent findings on the function and molecular mechanism of ATs as well as urolithins, the intestinal microbial derivatives of pomegranate HTs, on human nutrition and health. A better understanding of the structural diversity of pomegranate phytochemicals as well as their bioconversions and bioactivities in humans will facilitate the interrogation of their synergistic/antagonistic interactions and accelerate their applications in dietary-based cancer chemoprevention and treatment in the future.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Fruit, Tannin, Astringent, Food science, Ellagic acid, Pomegranate


Food allergy is a major health problem of increasing concern. The insufficiency of protein sources for human nutrition in a world with a growing population is also a significant problem. The introduction of new protein sources into the diet, such as newly developed innovative foods or foods produced using new technologies and production processes, insects, algae, duckweed, or agricultural products from third countries, creates the opportunity for development of new food allergies, and this in turn has driven the need to develop test methods capable of characterizing the allergenic potential of novel food proteins. There is no doubt that robust and reliable animal models for the identification and characterization of food allergens would be valuable tools for safety assessment. However, although various animal models have been proposed for this purpose, to date, none have been formally validated as predictive and none are currently suitable to test the allergenic potential of new foods. Here, the design of various animal models are reviewed, including among others considerations of species and strain, diet, route of administration, dose and formulation of the test protein, relevant controls and endpoints measured.

Concepts: Nutrition, Asthma, Allergy, Allergen, Food allergy, Eczema, Allergology, Food science