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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - March 25 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - March 25 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.

Harvard study on sugary drinks and early death may spell the end of soda

It’s no secret that both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened sodas are linked to diabetes and obesity, but new research could finally shut the door on soda, showing that drinking sugary sodas can actually shorten your life. In the study, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, Harvard public health researchers show evidence that people who drink two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day — this includes sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or fruit concentrates — have significantly higher chances of dying early compared to people who drank less than one a month. Read more at Inverse

Demand for natural sweeteners continues to rise

More consumers are embracing health and seeking better-for-you products, which is leading to tremendous innovation in food, beverage and supplements. This new paradigm in consumerism also includes a desire for products formulated with ingredients consumers can pronounce, as well as products with shortened ingredient lists. Consumers are now demanding transparency about how food and beverage ingredients are sourced and manufactured. And sugar reduction is at the epicenter as consumers demand reduced-sugar foods and beverages made with natural, familiar ingredients, but not at the expense of taste. Read more at Natural Products INSIDER

Fake meat may be the sustainable solution to the food industry

There's a burger fight going on in the supermarkets, and cows are watching from the sidelines. Alternative meat sales have increased across the globe. The market is set to reach $6.3 billion in revenue by 2023 and big meat brands are trying to get a slice of the pie. The reason for this growth can be traced to flexitarians, people who seek protein alternatives. The business is booming globally and in the U.S., about six percent of people consider themselves vegan, up from one percent in 2014. Alternative meat companies are creating products to help dial back on meat consumption. By doing so, they are changing how we see meat. Read more at Business Insider

Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood

When Americans fret about the deterioration of their diet, they tend to focus on the excessive amounts of sugar, salt and calories. What they don’t talk about: an important ingredient that’s gone missing as we’ve been filling our plates with more chicken and cheese – fiber. Only five percent of people in the U.S. meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily target of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That amounts to a population-wide deficiency — what nutritionists call the “fiber gap.”  Read more at Vox

Prebiotics for dogs

It’s now well known that probiotics are friendly forms of bacteria that live in the intestines and can improve our health in several ways — and now, they’re not just for humans any more. Many veterinarians recommend probiotics for dogs for everything from treating digestive conditions to boosting the immune system. But in order to fully reap the benefits of probiotics for dogs, experts say prebiotics may be equally important. Read more at Dogster

SpartanNash comes ‘clean’ in private brands

Responding to shifting customer behavior, SpartanNash is stepping up a program to simplify private brand product ingredients and provide more transparency. Called the Clean Ingredient Initiative, the effort has reformulated or redesigned packaging for more than 425 products in the grocery distributor’s “Our Family” and “Open Acres” private labels since last year, including the removal of synthetic colors, MSG and other ingredients. Read more at Super Market News

Packaged Facts predicts mashup of beverage trends in the U.S.

Your daily cup of coffee just got much more interesting. In fact, the U.S. beverage market overall is benefiting from new innovations and formulations in recent years. Such efforts by marketers and manufacturers have given the otherwise-mature beverage industry the buoyancy necessary to stay afloat and thrive, according to U.S. Beverage Market Outlook 2019, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts. Read more at New Hope Network

How fiber improves functionality in baked foods

Bakers not only add fiber to boost a product's nutritional content, but many add it to influence processing. Chicory root fibers, both inulin and oligofructose, may help bakers improve a product’s nutritional profile by reducing sugar, fat and calories. Chicory root fibers are also clinically proven and scientifically recognized prebiotics, and they support a balanced blood sugar level. Read more at Baking Business