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Period: April 1, 2017 to April 15, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Popeye’s Favorite Food Could Help Make Damaged Hearts “Strong To The Finish”

U.S. researchers believe they have solved a big problem in regenerative medicine: how to get blood flowing in developing tissue. Establishing a vascular system – blood vessels down to the tiny capillary scale that deliver oxygen, nutrients and essential molecules – is not an easy undertaking. Worcester Polytechnic Institute scientists experimenting with spinach cultured beating human heart cells on leaves stripped of plant cells. They ran fluids and blood cell-size microbeads through the spinach vasculature after seeding the plant veins with human cells that line blood vessels. Their findings suggest that multiple spinach leaves could be used as a scaffolding to grow layers of healthy heart muscle to treat heart attacks. 

"WPI Team Grows Heart Tissue on Spinach Leaves", News release, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, March 22, 2017

Researchers Find Strong Link Between Healthy Bones And Green Tea

A Chinese analysis of data from 15 studies found that green tea (Camellia sinensis) and a key compound known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) tend to increase bone mineral density. However, the analysis of data from nearly 139,000 people stopped short of saying drinking green tea was linked to a reduced risk of fractures. The researchers suggest that the benefit of green tea regarding osteoporosis derives from its polyphenol content: as much as 40 percent of water-extractable polyphenols. Other teas contain much less. The researchers also suggest that green tea may act by boosting the creation of cells responsible for bone formation (osteoblasts) or suppressing cells that weaken bones (osteoclasts).

"Tea consumption may decrease the risk of osteoporosis: an updated meta-analysis of observational studies", Nutrition Research, March 28, 2017

Americans Prefer Natural Therapies For Coughs, Colds – Survey

A survey of American consumers sponsored by a respiratory system dietary supplement brand finds that more than two-thirds of respondents prefer natural supplements to “synthetic, over-the-counter” products to ease coughing. Natural supplements were preferred because they tended not to induce drowsiness, according to Pohl-Boskamp, the makers of Myrtol 300. Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they have gone to work or school without taking cold meds to avoid drowsiness and stay clear-headed. Millennials up to age 35 said they were more likely to try a natural supplement to treat a cough or cold. Myrtol 300 is a blend of essential oils created in Germany and sold in Europe and elsewhere for four decades.

"Majority of Americans Prefer to Take Natural Supplements Instead of Over-the-Counter Medicines, Survey Shows", News release, Pohl-Boskamp, March 30, 2017

New Bubbly Beverage Takes Soft Drinks Industry By Storm

Carbonated beverage lovers in the U.S. have jumped on the bandwagon of an industry phenomenon known as Sparkling Ice, and in the process are redefining America’s drinks business. This development should dismay traditional soda makers because the brand is attacking the very foundation of their product offerings, and it’s succeeding. Sold in elongated plastic bottles in a variety of lively colors and flavors, Sparkling Ice, backed by a $37 million marketing campaign, is nearing a billion dollars in annual sales. It offers a serious alternative to Coca-Cola and Pepsi: a healthier fizzy drink – no sugar, just sucralose – in multiple flavors that is also a substitute for flat water. “It’s a perfect storm of timing for us,” says chief marketing officer Brian Kuz.

"Look Out, Coke and Pepsi! Here Comes Sparkling Ice", CPG Matters, April 01, 2017

General Mills’ Hothouse Venture Unit Adds Another Partner

General Mills’ venture capital unit 301 INC has invested in start-up “lifestyle” breakfast food company Purely Elizabeth. The eighth company 301 INC has partnered with, Purely Elizabeth has positioned itself as a natural, nutrient-dense granola company. It has experienced rapid success since founder and CEO Elizabeth Stein, a former nutrition counselor, began eight years ago making her own granola from ancient grains and superfood seeds, selling it to clients, friends and family. 301 INC’s portfolio of start-ups includes, besides Purely Elizabeth, Beyond Meat, Rhythm Superfoods, Kite Hill, Good Culture, Tio Gazpacho, D’s Naturals, and Farmhouse Culture.

"Purely Elizabeth Joins 301 INC Portfolio", News release, Taste of General Mills, April 03, 2017

Conagra Recalls Hunt’s Chili Kits After FDA Finds Salmonella Bacteria

Conagra Brands has recalled Hunt’s Chili Kits because the FDA claimed the chili powder was tainted with salmonella. Conagra said the kits they had examined had no traces of the dangerous bacteria, but they implemented the recall “out of an abundance of caution.” The recall affects retail and online stores, as well as military commissaries. Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that develop 12 to 72 hours after infection. The symptoms subside after a weak though there is a risk of dehydration.

"Hunt's Chili Kits Were Recalled Nationwide Because of a Salmonella Risk", Time, April 05, 2017

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