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January 2010 - OurFood-news
29.01.2010: Acrylamide formation in foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates 
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Capuano and colleagues 2010 report that carbonyl compounds derived from lipid oxidation in high-fat and low water foodstuffs induce the formation of acrylamide even in sugar-free, where carbonyls come from lipids.
The authors found that lipid oxidation positively influenced the formation of acrylamide. Catechins Acrylamide formation is being reduced by catechins which trap carbohydrates and/or prevent lipid oxidation, say the authors. The Lipid oxidation theory is being backed by the fact that sunflower systems were more prone to produce acrylamide than model systems containing palm oil which is less susceptible to oxidation.
Higher water content of foods produced less acrylamide compared with dry foods. Evaporative cooling may increase the effect of catechin and lipid oxidation was retarded. The authors concluded that lipid oxidation is an important factor for acrylamide formation in low-carbohydrate dry foods.
 Capuano, E.; Oliviero, T.; Acar, O.C.; Gokmen, V.; Fogliano V.: Lipid oxidation promotes acrylamide formation in fat-rich model systems. Food Research International. Doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.01.013
28.01.2010: Safety of sucralose in bakery is being questioned 
Sucralose is a polychlorinated synthetic high-intensity sweetener, sold under the commercial name Splenda, is being increasingly used in baked products, where high temperatures are applied. Splenda contains 1.1% of the artificial sweetener sucralose and the fillers maltodextrin and glucose. The US FDA Acceptable Daily Intake for sucralose is 5 mg/kg.
Rahn and Yaylayan 2009 write that sucralose may degrade during baking of food products releasing hydrogen chloride which may chlorinate glycerol of fats and produce toxic chloropropanols. The authors report that thermal degradation of sucralose takes place at 250 °C . Together with glycerol and fats significant amounts of 3-monochloropropanediol and 1,2- and 1,3-dichloropropanols are formed.
According to a 2009 report from the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), high levels of 3-MCPD esters are being found in refined edible fats, such as margarine and oils, and in fat-containing foods including infant formula and human milk. The major chloropropanol is 3-chloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD), and is also formed when fat- and salt-containing foods are processed at high temperatures during production. 
The 3-MCPD esters are formed in all refined oils and fats during the refining, mainly during the desodoration procedure. Refined palm oil contains 4.5–13 mg/kg 3-MCPD esters, together with other thermally processed foods like French fries, toasted bread, bread crust, donuts, salty crackers, roasted coffee, roasted chicory (coffee surrogate), roasted barley, roasted dark malt and coffee creamer, and in fermented foods like pickled herring and sausage, whose levels of free 3-MCPD vary between 0.2 and 6.6 mg/kg. 
Soy sauce and soy-sauce based products are the main source of 3-MCPD. The European Commission, therefore, limited the maximum allowed content of 3-MCPD in hydrolysed vegetable protein and soy sauce to 20 microg/kg of product . Some other foods eaten in large quantities, such as bread and noodles, also contributed significantly to intake because of high consumption of these foods.
The authors recommend producers to develop strategies for minimising the amount of these compounds in fats and oils by optimising the processing, removing 3-MCPD esters from the product, or by avoiding relevant reactants in the raw material.
Splenda alters gut microflora and biovailiabiltiy of drugs 
Abou-Donia and colleagues 2008 report that Splenda dosages containing sucralose at 1.1-11 mg/kg, in the diet of rats, increased body weight, reduced the beneficial fecal microflora, increased fecal pH, and enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs.
Sucralose safety supporters
The safety of sucralose was supported in an article of Grotz and Munro 2009 , and in an expert panel report on a study of Splenda in male rats by Brusick and colleagues 2009. The article of Brusick stresses that extensive safety data of sucralose and maltodextrin demonstrates that Splenda, sucralose, and maltodextrin are safe for their intended uses. The authors state further, that the conclusions of the study of Abou-Donia and colleagues 2008 are not consistent with published literature and not supported by the data presented .
 Rahn, Anja; Yaylayan, Varoujan A.: Thermal degradation of sucralose and its potential in generating chloropropanols in the presence of glycerol. Food Chemistry 2010, Volume 118, Pages 56-61 Doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.04.133
 Larsen, John Christian: 3-MCPD Esters in Food Products. International Life Sciences Institute ILSI. October 2009.
 Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.
 Abou-Donia, Mohamed B. ; El-Masry, Eman M.; Abdel-Rahman Ali A.; McLendon, Roger E.; Schiffman. Susan S.: Splenda Alters Gut Microflora and Increases Intestinal P-Glycoprotein and Cytochrome P-450 in Male Rats . Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, Volume 71, Issue 21 January 2008 , pages 1415 – 1429. Doi:10.1080/15287390802328630
 Grotz, V. Lee; Munro, Ian C.: An overview of the safety of sucralose. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. Pages 1-5 . October 2009. Doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2009.05.011
 Brusick, David; Borzelleca, Joseph F.; Gallo, Michael; Williams, Gary; Kille,John;Hayes, A. Wallace; Pi-Sunyer, F. Xavier; Williams, Christine; Burks, Wesley: Expert Panel report on a study of Splenda in male rats. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.Pages 6-12 . October 2009. Doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2009.06.013
24.01.2010: Listeria in Cheese, German Supermarket LIDL started recall 
German supermarket chain LIDL recalls the cheese products "Reinhardshof, Harzer Kaese, 200g (Harz Cheese)" und "Reinhardshof, Bauernkaese mit Edelschimmel, 200g" (Farmer's Cheese with Edible Mould) highly contaminated with Listeria. The cheese was produced by the Austrian corporation Prolactal. Paralysis and drowsiness. At-risk groups are pregnant women, babies, elder persons and immuno-compromised groups.
These bacteria have caused deadly diseases during outbreaks in Europe and in Canada. Listeria monocytogenes does not alter taste or odour. Infectious products cannot be recognized as spoiled by the consumer. It may take one or even two month for the signs of the disease to be noted. It may take one or even two month to sings of the infection are noted. Symptoms are fever, severe headaches, stiffness, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal pain.
Another recall of cheese contaminated with Listeria monocitogenes in USA in January 2010 demonstrates the necessity of correct thermal treatment of milk and stringent sanitation of all equipment and piping systems. 
French Cheese under safety concern 
Various types of French cheese are prepared from raw milk. The definition of Camembert dated December 1986, says that temperatures not higher than 37°C may be used during production process and only milk from cattle
which tuberculosis and brucellosis free may be used. See Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), which translates as "controlled term of origin" is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products.
Safety concern which were nourished by a series of cheese poisoning by Listeria monocitogenes and salmonella made some producers like Lactalis to apply a mild heat of 60°C (thermised milk), which may inactivate these
pathogens. It is expected that official ruling will forbid the use of raw milk for cheese production in France.
The FDA recommends to make sure the dairy product such as Camembert or Brie is labelled as “pasteurised”. 
 Rückrufaktion: Lidl warnt vor Bakterien in Käse. Spiegel Online 23.01.2010.
 The Wisconsin Cheeseman Recalls Cheese Logs/Cheese Balls. FDA. January 21, 2010.
 AOC: D\'efinition du Camembert
 FDA: The dangers of raw milk.
23.01.2010: Employee of URENCO/Germany contaminated with Uranium hexafluorid 
An employee of the URENCO Enrichment Company (UEC) in Gronau/Germany was contaminated and injured at arms, legs and feet with Uranium hexafluorid. The employee tried to perform a pressurising test of a transport container considered empty and washed. An amount of the radioctive hexafluorid escaped and contaminated the employee which was medicated and transferred to an hospital on January 22, 2009.
The URENCO Enrichment Company is responsible for operating centrifuge enrichment plants and marketing the enriched uranium to nuclear utilities worldwide. URENCO supplies these customers from plants in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and has recently received the go-ahead for a fourth enrichment plant in New Mexico, the United States. Gronau is the site of URENCO’s uranium enrichment plant in Germany. Here uranium is enriched in centrifuge cascades to the U235 assays required by nuclear power plants. 
The German company Urenco shipped nuclear material to Siberia, where the highly toxic waste was stored in containers in the open air. After disagreements about safety concerns Urenco keeps now its waste in containers at their facilities. Urenco plans to convert the uranium hexafluorid in uranium oxide which is easier to store. Urenco has a capacity for 2,750 tons/year. Uranium oxide has a half-life of almost 4,5 billion years.
In legal terms, uranium hexafluoride isn't considered nuclear waste in Germany. It is used in the uranium enrichment process. When uranium 235 for use in nuclear power stations is concentrated in it, so-called depleted uranium is left over and stored as waste. Depleted uranium is also not being considered as nuclear waste. This makes storage easy. 
 Uranfabrik Gronau: Mitarbeiter nach Strahlenunfall wohlauf
 URENCO Germany
 Radioactive Waste: German Company Sent Nuclear Material for Open-Air Storage in Siberia. Spiegel Online. 19.10.2009.
20.01.2010: The role of vitamins, folate and vegetables in the prevention of gene promoter methylation of smoker's lung cancer 
Stidley and colleagues 2010 report that early detection of lung cancer is possible by monitoring gene promoter hypermethylation events in sputum. The authors found that available multivitamins, folate and green vegetables significantly protected against promoter methylation of lung cells of smokers, monitored in sputum. The authors call for more studies on the ability of diet and dietary supplements to affect reprogramming of the epigenome. to prevent lung cancer.
Diet and obstructive lung diseases 
Obstructive lung disease is a category of respiratory disease characterized by airway obstruction. It includes asthma, Bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis.
Romieu and Trenga, in a review of 2001, report that antioxidant vitamins, particularly vitamin C and, to a lesser extent, vitamin E are useful to reduce severity of the obstructive lung disease by decreasing oxidant stress to the lung. Antioxidant vitamins could also play an important role in childhood asthma and data also suggest that omega-3 fatty may protect against airway hyperreactivity and lung function decrements, and cigarette smokers, may be more likely to benefit from dietary supplementation
Daily intake of vitamin C at levels slightly exceeding the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (60 mg/day among nonsmokers and 100 mg/day among smokers) may have a protective effect, and should should be recommended for populations chronically exposed to photooxidant air pollutants (such as ozone), cigarette smoking, or vigorous exercise Over a long period of 20-30 years it may be significant in retarding lung decay. Bioavailability of vitamin C when given in a single dose is 200 mg. Guidelines from the US National Cancer Institute recommend consumption of five servings of fruit and vegetables daily, corresponding to a vitamin C intake exceeding 200 mg. The author stress that even a small increase in fruit servings could have a beneficial effect in children. Magnesium infusion may help in case of cute treatment of asthma, but is timely limited, say the authors.
The author gives suggestions for further studies on lung health and stresses the necessity to convince the population to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, to stop smoking cigarettes, and to minimize their environmental and occupational exposure to air pollutants.
Antioxidants to treat Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with a high incidence mortality and cigarette smoke speeds the progression of the disease.
Various antioxidants tried so far, thiol antioxidants, specific spin traps and mucolytic agents, and dietary polyphenols (curcumin, resveratrol, and green tea catechins/quercetin) are used to increase intracellular thiol status along with induction of GSH biosynthesis leading to detoxification of free radicals and oxidants as well as inhibition of ongoing inflammatory responses. The author concludes that therapeutic administration of multiple antioxidants and mucolytics will be effective in management of COPD, however, the choice of antioxidant therapy must be adapted for a particular clinical phenotype of the disease.
 Stidley CA, Picchi MA, Leng S, Willink R, Crowell RE, Flores KG, Kang H, Byers T, Gilliland FD, Belinsky SA: Multivitamins, folate, and green vegetables protect against gene promoter methylation in the aerodigestive tract of smokers. Cancer Res. 2010 Jan 15;70(2):568-74. Epub 2010 Jan 12.
 Romieu I, Trenga C: Diet and obstructive lung diseases. 2001;23(2):268-87.Epidemiol Rev.
 Rahman I.: Antioxidant therapeutic advances in COPD. Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2008 Dec;2(6):351-74.
Sphingadienes of soy may become a new therapy for colon cancer 
Dr. Julie Saba and colleagues 2009 found a class of substances called sphingadienes in the fruit fly. Sphingadienes are also present in soy. According to the authors sphingadienes are natural lipid molecules which promote the deaths of cancer cells. Sphingolipid metabolites regulate cell proliferation, migration, and stress responses and alterations of their metabolism may induce carcinogenesis, cancer progression, and drug resistance. Sphingadienes were found to block Akt translocation from the cytosol to the membrane causing the death of cancer cells. The authors conclude that these sphingadienes of soy may become a new therapeutic of cancer.
Sphingolipids comprise a complex group of lipids concentrated in membrane rafts. Their metabolites function as signaling molecules. Sphingolipids were found by Saba and colleagues in 2008 in the fruit fly Drosophila. They contained two double bonds in the long chain base of either 14 or 16 carbons with conjugated double bonds at C4,6. The Delta(4,6)-sphingadienes were found free , as phosphorylated , and as the sphingoid base in ceramides. The authors suggest that these lipids may contribute to the muscle degeneration in Drosophila Sply mutans. 
Schmelz 2004 report that sphingolipids are lipid messengers in the signaling pathways of growth factors, cytokines, cellular stresses and others and cell death. Schmelz assessed the mechanisms sphingolipids utilize in the prevention of cancer in early carcinogenesis.
Dietary factors and sphingomyelin
Sphingomyelin metabolism envolve anticancer signals such as ceramide and sphingosine. Ateration of this metabolism is linked to various forms of cancer, especially colon cancer. Duan 2004, therefore, describes the sphingomyelin metabolism pathway and their link to colon cancer and stresses the dietary factors that affect the metabolism of sphingomyelin and may protect from colon cancer. 
Sphingomyelin occurs in modest amounts in the diet, in sloughed mucosal cells, and in bile. It is digested by the mucosal enzymes alkaline sphingomyelinase and ceramidase. In humans, alkaline sphingomyelinase is also secreted in bile. The digestion of sphingomyelin is slow and incomplete, which has been linked to the inhibition of cholesterol absorption and colonic carcinogenesis. However, Fyrst and colleagues 2009 assessing diet containing milk sphingomyelin found that the increase in ileostomy content of ceramide plus sphingomyelin amounted to 19per cent of the fed dose of sphingomyelin. The authoirs concluded that more than 81 per cent of dietary sphingomyelin is digested and absorbed by humans, and the level of sphingolipid metabolites may be influenced by diet. 
 Henrik Fyrst, Babak Oskouian, Padmavathi Bandhuvula, Yaqiong Gong, Hoe Sup Byun, Robert Bittman, Andrew R. Lee, and Julie D. Saba: Natural Sphingadienes Inhibit Akt-Dependent Signaling and Prevent Intestinal Tumorigenesis. Cancer Res 2009 69: 9457-9464. Published Online First November 24, 2009. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2341
 Fyrst H, Zhang X, Herr DR, Byun HS, Bittman R, Phan VH, Harris GL, Saba JD.: Identification and characterization by electrospray mass spectrometry of endogenous Drosophila sphingadienes. J Lipid Res. 2008 Mar;49(3):597-606.
 Schmelz, E.M.: Sphingolipids in the chemoprevention of colon cancer. Front Biosci. 2004 Sep 1;9:2632-9.
 Duan RD.: Anticancer compounds and sphingolipid metabolism in the colon.In Vivo. 2005 Jan-Feb;19(1):293-300.
 Ohlsson L, Hertervig E, Jönsson BA, Duan RD, Nyberg L, Svernlöv R, Nilsson A.: Sphingolipids in human ileostomy content after meals containing milk sphingomyelin. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan 13.
19.01.2010: Dietary fiber from cerals prevent gain in body weight and waist circumference 
Huaidong Du and colleagues 2009 found that a 10-g/d higher total fiber intake correlated with -39 g/y for weight change and -0.08 cm/y for waist circumference change for 10-g/d higher total fibre, A 10-g/d higher fiber intake from cereals was associated with -77 g/y weight change and -0.10 cm/y waist circumference change for fibre from cereals, but no weight change with fruit and vegetable fiber, compared with total dietary fiber and cereal fibre. The authors stress that higher intake of fibre, particularly that of cereals may prevent body-weight and waist circumference gain.
 Du H, van der A DL, Boshuizen HC, Forouhi NG, Wareham NJ, Halkjær J, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Jakobsen MU, Boeing H, Buijsse B, Masala G, Palli D, Sørensen TI, Saris WH, Feskens EJ.: Dietary fiber and subsequent changes in body weight and waist circumference in European men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec 16.
19.01.2010: Prediction of the Spread of Colon Cancer 
Maode Lai and colleagues2010 identified two proteins (trefoil factor 3 and growth/differentiation factor 15) that occurred at significantly higher levels in the metastatic cells than in the primary colon cancer cells. This study may lead to a prediction of the spread of cancer cells after surgery. An earlier allowing treatment may be possible with this biomarkers blood test.
 Xue H, Lü B, Zhang J, Wu M, Huang Q, Wu Q, Sheng H, Wu D, Hu J, Lai M.: Identification of Serum Biomarkers for Colorectal Cancer Metastasis Using a Differential Secretome Approach. Journal of Proteome Research, 2010; 9 (1): 545 DOI: 10.1021/pr9008817
19.01.2010: Heart drugs to fight colon cancer 
Cardiac glycosides, a family of naturally-derived drugs used to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, were found useful in the treatment of colon cancer by Jenny Felth and colleagues 2009. The authors say that digitoxin in combionation with oxaliplatin exhibited synergism in treating the disease.
 Felth J, Rickardson L, Rosén J, Wickström M, Fryknäs M, Lindskog M, Bohlin L, Gullbo J: Cytotoxic Effects of Cardiac Glycosides in Colon Cancer Cells, Alone and in Combination with Standard Chemotherapeutic Drugs. Journal of Natural Products, 2009; 72 (11): 1969 DOI: 10.1021/np900210m
17.01.2010: Japan to ban 125 food additives 
On October 5, 2009, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) notified local governments (Health Offices) throughout Japan of its plan to delete over 125 food additives from the current list of 418 approved additives. The stated reason for the deletions is that the ministry believes these additives are not currently being used in foods sold in Japan. MHLW has requested that companies wishing to avoid deletion of any of these substances submit documentation on their use by January 8, 2010.
In this list are included forms of glucosamine, aloe vera, krill isomaltodextranase, chitin, quercetin, mulberry bark extract, ginger extract and calcinated calcium, Eucalyptus leaf extract and others. See the complete list HERE
Once these additives have been deleted from the list, they will no longer be allowed for use in foods in Japan. Likewise, any imported foods found to contain a residue of these substances would not be allowed to be sold in Japan.
 Japan to Ban the Use of 125 Food Additives
17.01.2010: Salt and salted foods have different effects regarding CVD and cancer 
Takachi and colleagues 2009 assessed the effect of salt and salted foods. Cooking and table salt was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) but not cancer. Salt preserved foods, such as salted fish roe, however, were associated with a higher risk of total cancer.
The authors concluded that increased intake of table salt may boost the risk of heart disease, while increased consumption of salted foods may increase the risk of cancer, probably resulting from carcinogens called N-nitroso compounds which may be formed from nitrate or nitrite preservatives.
 Takachi R, Inoue M, Shimazu T, Sasazuki S, Ishihara J, Sawada N, Yamaji T, Iwasaki M, Iso H, Tsubono Y, Tsugane S.: Consumption of sodium and salted foods in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease: the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec 16.
14.01.2010: Salt and fat reduction in meet products using magnesium chloride and gellan gum 
Salt is used to improve taste, water-binding and texture of proteins, stabilises batters with fat and acts as an anti-microbial, increasing self-life of meat products. About 80 per cent of salt intake comes from processed food, whereas 20 per cent of salt intake comes from meat and meat products, and 35 per cent from cereal and cereal products.
Totosaus and Pérez-Chabela report that calcium chloride, in combination with gellan gum to reduce fat and salt meat batters. Magnesium chloride produced better results than the potassium or calcium salts.
The authors stress that only the combination of magnesium chloride and gellan gum produced a synergistic effect with best texture results.
Gellan gum Gellan gum is a water-soluble polysaccharide produced by Sphingomonas elodea, a bacterium. It is used primarily as a gelling agent, thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer and withstands 120 °C heat. It has E number E418. In soya milks it keeps the soy protein suspended in the milk. 
A previous study of Totosaus and colleagues 2004 found good results using potassium chloride and calcium chloride in combination with kappa-carrageenan. Salt and fett content could be reduced without sensory detriments. 
 Totosaus, Alfonso; Pérez-Chabela, M. Lourdes: Textural properties and microstructure of low-fat and sodium-reduced meat batters formulated with gellan gum and dicationic salts. LWT - Food Science and Technology. Volume 42, Issue 2, 2009, Pages 563-569. Doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2008.07.016
 Wikipedia: Gellan gum.
 Totosaus A, Alfaro-Rodriguez RH, Pérez-Chabela ML: Fat and sodium chloride reduction in sausages using kappa-carrageenan and other salts. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004 Aug;55(5):371-80.
14.01.2010: Smoke Flavourings: Only two out of 11 are safe, says EFSA 
Nine smoke flavourings used in food production,were found not safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Possible risk of cancer could not be ruled out for one of those smoke flavourings. Only two were found to be safe.
All these flavourings are currently, or have previously been, on the market in the EU. They are added to meat, fish, cheeses, soups, sauces, drinks and confectionery to give them a “smoked” flavour, as an alternative to traditional smoking.
See the whole list  of assessed smoke flavourings and safety concerns at:
 EFSA completes first safety assessments of smoke flavourings. EFSA 8 January 2010.
 Summary of the Opinions on Smoke Flavourings Adopted by the EFSA CEF Panel in 2009.
12.01.2010: Vegetable iron fortification of foods to counter iron deficiency
Miret and colleagues 2009 report the development of sodium iron chlorophyllin from mulberries which could replace heme iron to fortify foods .The use of heme analogues from vegetable origin could provide an alternative iron source of potentially high bioavailability. Sodium iron chlorophyllin is vegetal semisynthetic chlorophyll derivative.
The authors substituted the magnesium in the porphyrin ring by iron. Sodium iron chlorophyllin is stable under simulated gastrointestinal conditions and is able to deliver bioavailable iron. The authors stress that it may be inhibited with calcium. This combination should be avoided. The green colour may be covered by the colour of chocolate bars or drinks. Another way to fortify foods could be to combine it with the taste and colour of pistachio or kiwi, suggest the authors.
 Miret S, Tascioglu S, van der Burg M, Frenken L, Klaffke W.In Vitro Bioavailability of Iron from the Heme Analogue Sodium Iron Chlorophyllin. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Dec 21.
11.01.210: Testing microcystin in water using carbon nanotubes 
Microcystin is a poison from blue-green algae Cyanobacteria. Microcystin-LR is one of over 80 known toxic variants and is the most studied by biologists and ecologists. Microcystin containing 'blooms' are a problem worldwide, including China, Australia, the United States and much of Europe. Once ingested, microcystin travels to the liver, via the bile acid transport system, where most is stored; though some remains in the blood stream and may contaminate tissue. Microcystin binds covalently to protein phosphatases thus disrupting cellular control processes. 
Wang and colleagues 2009 at the University of Michigan developed a biosensor based on single-walled carbon nanotubes to test for microcystin in water. This test is rapid and simple to perform. The researchers plan to adapt the test to detect a variety of other toxins in water and food by replacing the antibodies.
The test measures the electrical conductivity of the nanotubes located on a paper strip. The nanotubes are put in contact with a dispersion of antibody to the microcystin-LR turning the paper conductive. The antibody in contact with the toxin changes the width of nanotube−nanotube tunneling gap changing the conductivity of the paper which can be measured.
It takes less than 12 minutes to perform the test which may replace the difficult ELISA method. The limit of detection was reported to be 0.6 nmol/L (0.6 ng/mL) and may be used to control compliance which the WHO standard for microcystin-LR content in drinking water (1 ng/mL).
 Libing Wang, Wei Chen, Dinghua Xu, Bong Sup Shim, Yingyue Zhu, Fengxia Sun, Liqiang Liu, Chifang Peng, Zhengyu Jin, Chuanlai Xu, Nicholas A. Kotov: Simple, Rapid, Sensitive, and Versatile SWNT-Paper Sensor for Environmental Toxin Detection Competitive with ELISA. Nano Letters, 2009; 9 (12): 4147 DOI: 10.1021/nl902368r
 Wikipedia: Microcystin
11.01.2010: Salt content of packaged and restaurant foods is to high, says CSPI
Seventy percent of the population - a group that includes the elderly, African Americans, and people with existing high blood pressure - should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, according to the federal government. Everyone else should limit themselves to 2,300 mg per day. But according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest CSPI, average sodium intake is actually north of 4,000 mg per day. In May CSPI identified a number of popular chain restaurant meals that provide 5,000, 6,000, or 7,000 mg of sodium. 
Reducing sodium levels in packaged and restaurant foods could save thousands of lives a year in New York City alone,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “Food companies should cooperate with New York City authorities and set achievable targets to reduce salt nationwide. If companies don’t cooperate, they can certainly expect other state and local governments, and perhaps at long last, the Food and Drug Administration, to begin regulating in this area.” 
Reducing salt consumption is one of the single most effective ways to prevent heart disease and strokes. The CSPI calls for actions by policy makers and cooperation from the food industry to achieve a salt reduction by 25% in food.
See why salt reduction is important for you: Salt, The Forgotten Killer 
 "Heart Attack Entreés and Side Orders of Stroke": Overly Salty Restaurant Meals Present Long-Term Health Risks for All, and Immediate Danger for Some. CSPI May 11. 2009.
 New York City to Nudge Food Companies to Lower Salt Nationwide. CSPI Praises Move and Urges Industry to Cooperate. CSPI January 11.2009.
 Salt, The Forgotten Killer. Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D.. CSPI. February 2005
11.01.2010: Effect of berry juices are exagerated 
The industry commercialised ready-to-drink polyphenol-rich beverages supported by heavy marketing activities covering health, sport and wellness.
A study of David Heber compared the antioxidant content and the in vitro inhibition of LDL (average) of polyphenol-rich beverages on market. The polyphenol content of juices found by the authors were: Pomegranade juice (Punica granatum) (97%), red wine (69%), Concorde grape juice (38.4%), blueberry juice (48.6%) black cherry juice (34.2%), cranberry juice (38.8%) and acai (19.6%).
Other beverages presented low inhibition, such as orange juice(10.3%), apple juice (1,4%), iced green tea (12.5%), iced black tea (11.8%) and iced white tea (8.4%).
The authors say that some beverages must be consumed in much larger amounts to have the same effect of pomegranade juice or red wine. These two do have effects in humans including anti-inflammatory effects.
Commercial juices are labelled as nectar of fruit drinks. Their content of natural juice is 20 per cent or below. Their physiological effect is therefore comparable with a recommended fruit and vegetable rich nutrition. Here are some publications which originated from a same group of researchers.
Concord grape juice may enhance memory in older people 
Robert Krikorian, Barbara Shukitt-Hale and colleagues 2009 claim that Concorde grape juice improved verbal learning and enhanced verbal and spatial recall in 12 older adults with memory decline but not dementia.
A previous study by Shukitt-Hale and colleagues 2006 reported that Concord grape juice appeared to reverse the course of neuronal and behavioural ageing in rats. 
Blueberries improves memory in older adults 
Krikorian and colleagues 2012 report that juice of wild blueberries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects because of their content of polyphenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins. Studies associated these anthocyanins with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers, mediating memory function as well as improved glucose disposal, all of what could reduce neurodegeneration. Krikorian found in the study that nine elderly persons improved memory and neurocognitive.
Blackberries improves motor and cognitive function in aged rats 
The polyphenolics in fruits and vegetables have retarded and even reversed age-related decrements in motor and cognitive performance, which may be the result of the polyphenols increasing antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory levels, or by direct effects on signaling, in the brain, according to Shukitt-Hale and colleagues 2009. The authors report that a 2% blackberry-supplemented diet reversed age-related deficits in behavioural and neuronal function, improving motor performance on three tasks which rely on balance and co-ordination.
Review on berry supplementation and age-related cognitive decline 
Willis, Shukitt-Hale,in a review found that antioxidant-rich berries consumed in the diet can positively impact learning and memory in the aged animal due to the direct interaction of berry polyphenols with aging neurons, reducing the impact of stress-related cellular signals and increasing the capacity of neurons to maintain proper functioning during ageing.
Plum juice, but not dried plum powder, is effective in mitigating cognitive deficits in aged rats 
Shukitt-Hale and colleagues 2008 assessed the effect of supplementation of 2% of plum (Prunus domestica) as 100% juice und as plum powder. The authors found that plum juice improved working memory, whereas no improvement was noted with plum powder, compared with rats subjected to a diet without plum.
 Seeram, Navindra P.; Airam, Michael; Zhang, Yanjun;Henning, Nusanne M.; Feng, Lydia; Dreher, Mark; Heber, David: Comparison of Antioxidant Potency of Commonly Consumed Polyphenol-Rich Beverages in the United States. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 1415-1422 1415
 Krikorian, Robert; Nash, Tiffany A.; Shidler, Marcelle D.;Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Joseph, James A.: Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. British Journal of Nutrition. Published online ahead of print, First View Article, doi:10.1017/S0007114509992364
 Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Carey,Amanda; Simon,Laura; Mark, David A.; Joseph, James A.: Effects of Concord grape juice on cognitive and motor deficits in aging. Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 295-302 (March 2006). Doi:10.1016/j.nut.2005.07.016
 Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, Kalt W, Vinqvist-Tymchuk MR, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA.: Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults (dagger). J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 4
 Shukitt-Hale B, Cheng V, Joseph JA.: Effects of blackberries on motor and cognitive function in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2009 Jun;12(3):135-40.
 Willis LM, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA.: Recent advances in berry supplementation and age-related cognitive decline. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 Jan;12(1):91-4.
 Shukitt-Hale B, Kalt W, Carey AN, Vinqvist-Tymchuk M, McDonald J, Joseph JA.: Plum juice, but not dried plum powder, is effective in mitigating cognitive deficits in aged rats. Nutrition. 2009 May;25(5):567-73. Epub 2008 Dec 18.
09.01.2010: The Brazilian oil fruit pequi has antiinflamatori effects and may reduce blood pressure 
The oil of the Brazilian pequi (Caryocar brasiliense Camb.) is mostly composed of oleic and palmitic fatty acids and may alter the ratio of triglyceride to cholesterol in postprandial lipidemia. Ana L. Miranda-Vilela and coleagues 2009 found further that pequi oil could reduce exercise-induced inflammation and blood pressure, and modulate postprandial lipidemia in runners older than 45 years. The authors stress that pequi oil may become a valuable supplement for athletes.
Pequi pulp is a very popular food in some parts of Brazil eaten by itself raw or prepared or used as an ingredient in cooking or to flavor beverages. Pequi with rice and chicken is especially popular among locals.
 Miranda-Vilela, Ana L.; Pereira, Luiz C.S.; Goncalves, Calos A.; Grisolia , Cesar K.: Pequi fruit (Caryocar brasiliense Camb.) pulp oil reduces exercise-induced inflammatory markers and blood pressure of male and female runnersNutrition Research. Volume 29, Issue 12, Pages 850-858. Doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2009.10.022
08.01.2010: Neotame E961. New artifical sweetener in Europe 
Neotame is a highly intense sweetener with a sweetness potency ranging from 7 000 to 13 000 times that of sucrose. It may be used as a replacement for sucrose or other sweeteners in a broad range of products. Neotame can be used alone or with other sweeteners. In addition, neotame can modify the flavour of foods and beverages. The sweetener was developed by The NutraSweet Company in the US and is a derivative of aspartame.
It is used to mask bitter or harsh notes, such as may be present when potassium choloride is used in salt substitutes, or the beany taste of soy. The approval is an amendment to directive 94/35/EC,
Allowed are up to 20 mg/Kg of Neotame for non-alcoholic drinks. Deserts and similar, and milk- and derivates- based products may use up to 32mg/Kg. Confectionaries and others vary from 12 mg/Kg to 200 mg/Kg for Breath-fresching. (See the complete list at the directive 2009/163/EU)
 Commission Direcxtive 2009/163/EU of 22 December 2009 amending Directive 94/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs with regard to neotam
07.01.2010: Amaranthus betacyanin pigments as natural food colour 
Harold Corke and his co-workers from the University of Hong Kong report that addition of betacyanin pigments from Amaranthus tricolour, led to pink-red noodles with good colour stability, without affecting the cooking and textural properties of cooked noodles. It also improved the protein content of the noodles. Amaranth is an approved natural colorant in China, at levels of 0.1 and 0.5 per cent.
Natural red pigments in use are anthocyanins, betalains, and carotenoids sourced from berries and grapes, red beetroot, and red fruit, vegetables and flowers, respectively. Natural red colours are betacyanins, and betalains which are stable in low acid foods.
The natural amaranth should not be confused with a synthetic dye that has been named "amaranth" for its similarity in color to the natural amaranth pigments known as betalains. This synthetic dye is also known as Red No. 2 in North America and E123 in the European Union. The Regulation 94/36 EC allows amarath only in bitter soda, aperitiv vines, spirit drinks with less than 15% alcohol/volume and fish roe to be coloured with amaranth E123. 
Amarant as feed 
Alfaro and colleagues 2008 report that the amaranth plant could be a useful resource for animal feeding. Dehydrated amaranth leaves and stalks in levels up to 60%, were used to replace equal amounts of alfalfa leaf meal. The authors found that amaranth leaf meal contained 17.8% protein and 12.4% crude fiber as compared with the alfalfa leaf meal which contained 22.0% protein and 23.3% crude fiber. The authors reported that amaranth leaf meal can efficiently replace alfalfa leaf meal up to 15% of the total weight of the diet, whereas growth retardation and interstitial nephrosis and edema, were observed at a 60%. The authors stress that steam treatment improves the nutritive quality of the amaranth meal.
Invasive weeds 
The following 9 species of Amaranthus are considered invasive and noxious weeds in the U.S and Canada: A. albus, A. blitoides, A. hybridus, A. palmeri, A. powellii, A. retroflexus, A. spinosus, A. tuberculatus, and A. viridis. A new strain of the Palmer amaranth has appeared which is Glyphosate-resistant and so cannot be killed by the widely used Roundup herbicide. Also, this plant can survive in tough conditions. This could be of particular concern to cotton farmers using Roundup Ready cotton. The species Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth) causes the greatest reduction in soybean yields and has the potential to reduce yields by 17-68% in field experiments.
Palmer amaranth is among the “top five most troublesome weeds” in the southeast and has already evolved resistances to dinitroanilines and acetolactate synthase inhibitors
 Zhu, Fan; Cai, Yi-Zhong; Corke, Harold: Evaluation of Asian salted noodles in the presence of Amaranthus betacyanin pigments. Food Chemistry. Volume 118, Issue 3, Pages 663-669. February 2010. Doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.05.041
 European Parliament and Council Directive 94/36/EC of 30 June 1994 on colours for use in foodstuffs Official Journal L 237 , 10/09/1994 P. 0013 – 0029
 Alfaro, M. A.; Ramírez, R.; Martínez, A.; Bressani, R.: Arch Latinoam Nutr, 37(1), 174-185. FDA Poisonous Plant Database. FDA Nr. F21033 . 01.01.2008
 Wikipedia: Amaranth
07.01.2010: High-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) from cellphones increases brain function of mice 
Long-term high-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure was found by Arendash and colleagues 2009 to provide cognitive-protective and cognitiveenhancing effects. The authors report that in Alzheimer’s disease mice, long-term EMF exposure reduced brain amyloid-beta (A beta) deposition through A beta anti-aggregation actions, increased neuronal activity, and increased cerebral blood flow, probably due to an increased of brain temperature during exposure. The authors cautiously propose that EMF exposure may represent a non-invasive, non-pharmacologic therapeutic against Alzheimer’s disease and an effective memory-enhancing approach.
 Arendash GW, Sanchez-Ramos J, Mori T, Mamcarz M, Lin X, Runfeldt M, Wang L, Zhang G, Sava V, Tan J, Cao C.: Electromagnetic Field Treatment Protects Against and Reverses Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease Mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009 Sep 11. Doi: 10.3233/JAD-2009-1228
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07.01.2010: Supplements of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) may improved memory in animals and may become a treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease 
Mice with age-related deficits in learning and memory were fed with oligomeric proanthocyanidins (oligomers) (OPCs) on memory impairment. During the study Yokosawa and colleagues found that administration of oligomers improved spatial and object recognition impairment in mice due to an increase in the densities of axons, dendrites and synapses.
Oligomers led to a neuroprotective role in the brains of the animals caused by an increase in the phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2, more accentuated in the hypothalamus and choroid plexus than in other brain regions. Aging may lead to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
These compounds may become interesting for the food industry
 Lee, Young A.; Cho, Eun Ju; Yokozawa, Takako: Oligomeric proanthocyanidins improve memory and enhance phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 in senescence-accelerated mouse prone/8. British Journal of Nutrition Published online ahead of print, 13 Oct 2009. Doi:10.1017/S0007114509992005
07.01.2010: New preservative for meat products, non-alcoholic beverages energy and sport drinks 
The new preservative ethyl lauroyl arginate is awaiting approval in March by the European Commission.
The application, Spain’s Laboratorios Miret SA (LAMIRSA), originally proposed to EFSA that the preservative be used in non alcoholic beverages made with fruit juice, energy and sports drinks, and meat products, at a dosage of 115 to 225 ppm. However EFSA saw that this dosage would mean the potential exposure to the chemical could be at or above the ADI of 0.5mg per kg of bodyweight per day.
Studies in different rat strains and sexes showed that there was a consistent effect on white blood cell counts.
Experts speaking for LAMIRSA, the company which wants to produce the preservative, say that the data is toxicologically not significant since the observed effects are “inconsistent between the studies considered and did not demonstrate a dose-effect relationship”, and the effects on white blood cells were not accompanied by changes to the tissue in any of the studies. Ethyl lauroyl arginate has been generally recognised as safe (GRAS) in the US since 2005, at levels up to up to 200 mg of the active ingredient ethyl-Nα-lauroyl-Larginate HCl /kg. Last year JECFA recognised it as a food additive and allocated an ADI of 0-4 mg/kg bw, and the additive was recently approved in Australia and New Zealand.
EFSA, however, maintains that the toxicological relevance of the findings could not be assessed, since the mechanism of action is not clear. The ANS panel of the EFSA concluded that the scientific evidence of a plausible mechanism for the alterations in white blood cell counts has not been provided and that the concerns and uncertainties related to white blood cell counts have not been addressed.
 EFSA: Statement on the evaluation of the new information provided on the food additive ethyl lauroyl arginate. 24 September 2009.
02.01.20010: The association of fatty diet of the Wester-style diet further explained by new study
A study of Erdelyi and colleagues 2009 says that increased intake of red meat, processed meat and alcohol can increase risk of colorectal cancer, whereas greater consumption of dietary fiber, milk and calcium might decrease risk. According to this study Western diet induces oxidative stress and alters immune responses in the colon of mice long before tumors occur.
The researchers found 41 genes, related to metabolic processes such as lipid metabolism and glutathione metabolism, to be expressed differently between the Western diet and control animals. Genes collectively associated with immune and inflammatory responses were found to be increased. The authors also reported an increase of the number of macrophages, which are associated with inflammation in the colon. Several proteins such as myeloperoxidase and MCP-1 and oxidative stress genes associated with inflammation were also found to be increased.
The authors concluded that Western-style diet interferes with networks of related biological response pathways involving colonic lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, and the immune response.
 Erdelyi, Ildiko; Levenkova, Natasha; Lin, Elaine Y.; Pinto, John T.; Lipkin, Martin; Quimby, Fred W.; Holt Peter R.: Western-Style Diets Induce Oxidative Stress and Dysregulate Immune Responses in the Colon in a Mouse Model of Sporadic Colon Cancer. Journal of Nutrition, 2009; 139 (11): 2072 DOI: 10.3945/jn.108.104125
01.01.2010: Detection and quantification of cocoa-butter equivalents (CBEs) in milk chocolate to find chocolate fraud 
The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) recommends the use of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) method to determine the amount of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter in chocolate products, which is limited to 5% by the Chocolate Directive 2000/36/EC. The JRC developed two methods to determine foreign fats in dark chocolate and another method to test milk chocolate. The development of this method took more time because the chemical composition and physical properties of vegetable fat resembles those of cocoa butter very closely and the milk fats in milk chocolate interfere with vegetable fats.
 Foreign fats in chocolate - Cocoa butter calculation (CoCal) toolboxes
01.01.10: EPA plans to lower the amount of dioxins levels 
According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins, such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic of dioxins, may cause a large number of different health effects, like cancer and reproductive effects. Dioxins are of concern because they are the result of combustion, and are absorbed from the air into the food chain where they can stay for many years.
Preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for cleanup of dioxins in soil
Currently, EPA's recommended dioxin preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for cleanup of dioxins in soil are 1,000 part per trillion (ppt) for dioxin in residential soil and a level within the range of 5,000-20,000 ppt in commercial/industrial soil. The draft interim PRGs proposed are 72 ppt for residential land uses and 950 ppt for commercial/industrial land uses. This draft interim PRGs include consideration of the potential absorption of dioxin through skin exposure.
The perpetrator, not the tax payer must pay for environmental cleanup 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reduces the need for federal taxpayers to fund the cleanup of environmental releases. The agency has identified three additional industry sectors for which it will begin the regulatory development process for any necessary financial assurance requirements: the chemical manufacturing industry; the petroleum and coal products manufacturing industry, which primarily includes refineries and not coal mines; and the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry. Already included in this program is the hard-rock mining industry.
Financial assurance requirements help ensure that owners and operators of facilities are able to pay for cleanup of environmental releases and help reduce the number of sites that need to be cleaned up by federal taxpayers through the Superfund program, following Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Additional classes of facilities that require further regulations: waste management and remediation services, wood product manufacturing, fabricated metal product manufacturing, electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing, and facilities engaged in the recycling of materials containing CERCLA hazardous substances.
 EPA Seeks Public Input on Interim Guidance for Dioxins in Soil Cleanup Goals
 EPA Identifies Three Industries for Financial Obligations in Cleanup of Environmental Releases Action is a first step to ensure owners of these facilities, not taxpayers, foot bill for the cleanup of environmental releases. December 30.2010