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Gluten-free, fructose malabsorption, HFCS – this week in the news, May 22 2011

May is National Celiac Awareness Month, and a number of articles in the past two weeks talk about food manufacturers, restaurants and supermarkets offering gluten-free options. Fructose in the diet has considerably increased in the past decade, and balancing fructose and glucose may help avoid the symptoms of fructose malabsorption. 1 in 50 new products now have labels claiming to not contain HFCS. Campbell Soup and Kraft have both announced new sustainability targets. California wants genetically engineered salmon, which may soon be approved by the FDA, to be labeled. McDonalds announced it will start using 1 million cage-free eggs a month. And veganism is on the rise.

Gluten-free – celiac relatives, products, restaurants, supermarkets

Gluten-free may help celiac relatives May-9-11 HealthDay
People at risk for celiac disease, even if they show no symptoms, may benefit from going gluten-free to improve gastrointestinal health and their health-related quality of life.

New gluten-free products May-11-11 FastCasual
The Annual State Restaurant Expo in Colorado had a “hot gluten-free mess of new products.”

Kelloggs launches Rice Krispies gluten-free cereal May-12-11 New Hope 360
Kellogg will launch its first-ever gluten-free cereal—Rice Krispies Gluten Free—by early June. The new cereal eliminates barley malt (the source of gluten in the original Rice Krispies cereal) and is made with whole grain brown rice.

Eating out gluten-free May-14-11 New York Times
More restaurants are offering gluten-free items on menus because of requests from customers. See also the article on gluten-free eating out in New Jersey.

Gluten-free is an opportunity for General Mills May-17-11 Food Navigator-USA
The US gluten-free cereals and bakery market is set for continued growth.

Fresh & Easy expands gluten-free offerings May-17-11 Supermarket News
The store is expanding its selection of gluten-free products and creating additional displays to highlight them in its stores. It carries more than 500 branded and private-label products without naturally occurring gluten ingredients and has added between 15 and 30 more, depending on the store.

Health conditions and food – abdominal migraine, diabetes, lactose intolerance, allergies, and fructose malabsorption

Recurrent abdominal pain in children may be abdominal migraine May-5-11 Medscape (free registration)
Up to 15% of recurrent abdominal pain in children meets criteria for abdominal migraine (AM), a new study suggests.

Eating moderate amounts of candy may cut diabetes risk May-12-11 Food Product Design
Eating moderate amounts of candy daily may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome such as diabetes by 15 percent and lower body mass index compared to individuals who do not eat candy, according to a study funded by the National Confectioners Association and the USDA.

Low-fat diet for diabetes May-20-11 Food Product Design
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals who consume a low-fat diet have a lower risk for developing diabetes.

Alternate cause of lactose intolerance May-13-11 USA Today
Some people who think they are lactose-intolerant may actually suffer from a psychological condition known as somatoform disorder.

Peanuts in pregnancy may reduce allergies May-15-11 Food Navigator-USA
Maternal intake of peanuts may help protect against peanut allergy in children, according to new research in mice.

Fructose malabsorption and IBS May-16-11 Food Science and Nutrition
Balancing dietary fructose and glucose may mitigate clinical symptoms for individuals with apparent sensitivity to fructose.

Additives and flavorings – MSG, HFCS, and sodium

MSG and weight gain Apr-6-11 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
MSG consumption was positively associated with overweight development among apparently healthy Chinese adults.

No HFCS claims May-11-11 Food Navigator-USA
1 in 50 (2%) of new products launched in the USA in 2010 featured the claim ‘no high fructose corn syrup’ (HFCS) compared with just 0.2% in 2006.

Reduced sodium rice mixes May-20-11 FoodProcessing.com
Rice mixes for foodservice are being offered, with lower sodium, no MSG, natural ingredients, no partially hydrogenated fats and no trans fatty acids. They also meet the less than 250mg sodium nutritional guidelines for schools and healthcare side dishes.

Sustainability – glass packaging, food manufacturers’ environmental impact

Green-conscious European consumers prefer glass packaging May-11-11 FoodBev.com
Glass packaging preserves the taste of its contents,  it’s considered healthy and safe and environmentally friendly.

Campbell Soup and Kraft pledge to reduce environmental impact May-12-11 Food-Navigator-USA
Both companies have unveiled new sustainability targets.

Other – GE salmon, BPA in can linings, McDonalds cage-free eggs, veganism rising, and more

California calls for labeling genetically engineered salmon May-6-11 LA Times
Genetically engineered, or GE, fish have yet to be approved for the U.S. But the FDA has been reviewing the first application to produce GE fish as food for several years. Genetically modified fish sold in California would be labeled as such under bill AB 88.

Consumers more concerned about the foods they eat May-9-11 From Field to Fork
73 percent of respondents are more concerned now than five years ago about the food they eat. Nearly six out of ten (59 percent) respondents would be willing to pay “somewhat more” for fresh fruits and vegetables if they came with traceability information (e.g., date picked). A news release by the FMI says the opposite, that consumer confidence in food safety is at its highest point in seven years, with 88 percent of shoppers “completely” or “somewhat” confident in the safety of food at the supermarket.

Kroger plans to remove BPA from can linings May-13-11 Progressive Grocer Store Brands
Kroger Co. is making an effort to remove Bisphenol-A from the lining of store brand canned goods, as well as from the paper on which it prints its receipts. The retailer already removed the chemical from baby products.

Most Americans shun restrictive diets May-18-11 Food Product Design
The majority of Americans are shunning restrictive diets and adopting long-term weight loss strategies such as cutting back on sugar, eating smaller portions, using low-calorie, sugar-free foods and beverages and combining calorie reduction with exercise.

McDonald’s to start using cage-free eggs May-19-11 Chicago Business
McDonald’s Corp. executives told shareholders that the fast-food chain will begin purchasing 1 million cage-free eggs per month this summer after years of debating the issue with animal-rights advocates.

Veganism on the rise May-22-11 New Hope 360
The number of vegetarians in the United States has roughly doubled since 1994 and now hovers around 7 million Americans, or 3 percent of the adult population, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group. The number of vegans is growing much more rapidly – they now make up nearly a third of all vegetarians.

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