U.S. sales of gluten-free foods hit $1.57 billion, in 2015, an increase of 11 percent from 2014. That’s a slower increase than the 81 percent in 2013, but still beats overall grocery sales growth of three percent. The explosion of gluten-free products is a “blessing” for celiac disease sufferers. The odd fact, however, is that only one percent of the U.S. population actually suffers from gluten intolerance. Surveys have found that the rest buy gluten-free foods because they believe they are “generally healthier” or will help them lose weight. About 25 percent of consumers think "gluten-free is good for everyone." Health professionals, however, say this is a misconception, and that those without a diagnosis of gluten intolerance don... More
"You Can Eat Gluten Again, America", Bloomberg, October 14, 2016
The health and wellness trend is affecting a cherished tradition of the U.S. education system: school fundraisers. More and more school systems are rejecting junk food sales – cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. – and turning to other activities to raise needed cash. Among these are athletic events, including jog-athons and fun runs, to scratch up money needed to support programs ignored by the school system budget. A main reason for the trend is growing concerns about childhood obesity. But it is being driven by the availability of sophisticated social media-based marketing programs that bring in larger amounts of cash and don’t really need the help of parent volunteers.
"Fewer Bake Sales, More Fun Runs", Orange County Register (California), October 05, 2016
The clean-label movement in the food industry – which is partly a quest to get rid of unsavory chemical preservatives – is driving the growth of the in-pack antimicrobial market, as well as other “active packaging” technologies, according to a U.S. market research firm. The company studied the technologies being used today, and those in development, to meet clean-label shelf-life requirements and fend off specific pathogens. Lux Research looked at 35 systems, including Addmaster’s Biomaster silver ion technology. Linpac Packaging uses the technology in trays for meat, poultry and other protein to protect against various pathogens, but it is especially effective against campylobacter. Other technologies being considered include... More
"Antimicrobial growth led by clean-label", Food Manufacture, October 05, 2016
Nestlé Health Science has introduced a nutritional beverage targeting people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. ProNourish contains no fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides or polyols (FODMAPs), which are specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in severe abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and excess gas in some people. ProNourish drinks contain six grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein, 3 grams of low-FODMAP fiber, 25 vitamins and minerals, and 170 calories. The company says its product is also suitable for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, and lactose intolerance; but not galactosemia.
"Nestlé Health Science Unveils Pronourish™ Low Fodmap Nutritional Drink (USA)", News release, Nestlé, October 04, 2016
People who try to eliminate all grains from their diet – many say it makes them feel better – are missing the point. Grains are in fact an excellent source of nutrients, but only when they are not highly processed. Whole grains retain B vitamins and fiber, minerals like selenium and copper, as well as carbohydrates and varying amounts of protein. Processed grains contain significantly lower amounts of these nutrients. Studies have shown that eating whole grains is associated with lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death from all causes. But diets high in refined grains seem to increase the risk of these health problems.
"Is a Grain-Free Diet Healthy?", Healthline, September 30, 2016