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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - July 12 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - July 12 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.

Regular ingestion of fructan-rich vegetables is associated with better satiety and fewer cravings for sweet and salty foods

A current challenge in gut microbiome science is that of characterizing the effects of food groups on gut microbial communities instead of focusing on isolated nutrients. Although prebiotics provide health benefits by specifically altering the composition or activity of the gut microbiota, not all dietary fibers are prebiotics and they can benefit gut bacterial groups in different ways. A new study from Université catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium has found that regular consumption of vegetables rich in inulin-type fructans improve food behavior and are well-tolerated overall, through changes in the gut microbiota. Read more at Gut Microbiota for Health

Millennials are raising an ‘army’ of vegan kids

Millennials are going vegan at a rapid rate. And now that they’re reaching parenting age, the number of vegan kids is growing, too. Impossible Foods — the plant-based meat company responsible for the Impossible Burger — just released an insights report detailing the rising popularity of vegan eating among young people. The research uncovered “striking differences” between age groups, with younger generations more likely than older people to reach for vegan meat over its animal-based counterpart for health, ethical and environmental purposes. Younger generations were more likely to put the environment as a reason for going meat-free than older groups. Read more at Live Kindly

Healthy drinks mandate for kids’ meals heads to Delaware’s Governor Carney

Kids in Delaware could soon get fewer sugary drinks when eating out. State Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown’s (D-New Castle) bill would require restaurants to make healthier beverages the default drink in children’s meals. It’s headed to Gov. John Carney after passing the legislature last week. A spokesman for Carney said the governor supports the legislation. Read more at Delaware Public Media

Cargill confirms plan to change German starch plant to wheat use

U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill confirmed it will develop its starches and sweeteners factory in Krefeld, Germany, changing the plant to wheat raw material from corn in a $200 million investment project. The project had been announced in January 2018. By transforming the site from corn to wheat, Cargill said it can add wheat proteins and specialized starches to its portfolio. Read more at Reuters

The humble pea is America’s favorite new crop

Nobody used to want peas; now everyone does. The little legume has risen to stardom in the world of agricultural commodities, thanks to increasing interest in plant-based protein. People want to eat less meat and are looking for alternative sources of protein. Now farmers can hardly keep up. Bloomberg reported that growers in the United States and Canada are rushing to put peas in the ground. Read more at Treehugger

After 10 years of rapid growth, what does organic mean today?

Organic food means many different things to many people. Some point to organic certification as the gold standard to reducing the environmental impacts of farming while ensuring that farmers make a living wage. Some view it as a healthier way to eat. Still others see it as elite, divisive or watered-down. But one thing is clear: The organic market hasn’t stopped growing steadily since the USDA passed the U.S. Organic Foods Production Act three decades ago. Four experts weigh in on how booming interest in organic food has changed the industry, and what it means for farmers, policymakers and eaters. Read more at Civileats

What are sugar alcohols – and are they safe to eat?

Sugar alcohols are often listed alongside sugar on a nutrition panel, but many consumers still wonder what they are and whether they are they dangerous to eat? The short answer is no. Also called polyols, sugar alcohols are carbohydrates (like sugar) that provide about half the calories real sugar serves up, according to the Calorie Control Council. They are naturally occurring in trace amounts in certain foods such as fruits and vegetables (think pineapple, berries, sweet potatoes and asparagus), but they're also commercially produced from sugars and starches. This article provides a look at the research and health benefits behind sugar alcohols as well as their function in foods. Read more at Livestrong

Ten food trends you’ll soon be seeing everywhere

What will we be eating and drinking more of in 2020? The place to look for these trends was at the recent Summer Fancy Foods Show in New York. This article offers details on trends spotted, such as the boom in collagen, fancy Gatorade, boozy or booze-adjacent teas, CBD and “oat milk everything” including ice cream. Read more at the Press Herald