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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - April 26 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - April 26 2019

Each week we collect the top stories and latest news in food trends and production, making it easy for you to stay current on science and innovation.

Beyond Meat is going public. Investors are betting on a new future of food

Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat company, is going public. The company sells burgers that contain no meat, but taste like they do, and its stated goal is to fix our food system. The company’s initial public offering (IPO) is the latest sign that alt-meat is going mainstream—and that’s a big deal. While Beyond Meat is the first plant-based meat company to go public, it looks likely that it won’t be the last. The trend that brought Beyond Meat racing to its billion-dollar valuation and IPO is just getting started. Read more at VOX

How far does your food travel to reach you?

When we consider ways of contributing to the health of planet Earth, we usually consider things like recycling, reducing the amount we drive, eating more organic foods or using less plastic. While all of these ideas are certainly worthy of our effort, few people consider the massive footprint of eating meals that have travelled around the globe to reach us. According to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, the food in an average meal travels about 1,500 miles to get to dinner plates. Read more at Care2

Eating right: How sweet are stevia’s benefits?

Stevia is a popular non-nutritive sweetener made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is native to Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, however it is now cultivated throughout the world. The leaves have been used for centuries by native people to make sweet teas, or to sweeten other foods. Although long-term studies are needed, stevia appears to be well-tolerated, without significant adverse effects, and can be a safe alternative to sugar and other sweeteners. Read more at the Chicago SunTimes

Meat consumption forecast to rise

Consumers don’t plan to stop eating meat, fish and eggs anytime soon, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by Cargill Animal Nutrition. The Feed4Thought survey showed that more than two-thirds of respondents plan to maintain or increase their consumption of animal protein in the next year. The survey also found that 93 percent of respondents care about the industry’s ability to feed the world sustainably, with 84 percent saying that it impacts what they buy. Read more at Meat and Poultry

Prebiotics and probiotics evaluated for depression, anxiety treatment

According to the results of a random-effects meta-analysis, there is a small, but significant amount of evidence that supports the use of probiotics in the treatment of depression and anxiety. The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of both prebiotics and probiotics in the management of depression and anxiety. According to the analysis, prebiotics did not have an overall effect on either depression or anxiety. Read more at MPR

Sweeteners in focus: Where next for allulose, stevia, isomaltose?

Are sugar alcohols losing their luster, will allulose take off and is stevia still hot? Leading players in the space, Icon Foods, Cargill and Beneo explore formulation trends as brands come under increasing pressure to reduce sugar and keep labels clean. Read more at Foodnavigator-USA

Added sugar labels could pay for themselves and save nearly a million lives. Why haven’t we seen them yet?

The Food and Drug Administration announced three years ago that it would be making “sweeping changes to Nutrition Facts panels on packaged foods”—one being the inclusion of “added sugar” labels. When the U.S. introduced trans fat labels, many food companies changed recipes to reduce the amount, and FDA hopes to see similar change in relation to sugary products. The food industry was supposed to update its nutrition facts panels by last summer. A new study from Tufts University makes the case for faster action. Read more at New Food Economy