First year of the CHIC project
The first year of the CHIC project has passed. By now, three major project’s parts (Technology, Communication & Stakeholder Engagement and Impact assessment) are in full swing. The first genome edited chicory plantlets are growing in several laboratories, the stakeholder advisory group was established and the impact on the European Court of Justice ruling on the project and on the whole field has extensively been discussed within the consortium and with external experts.
Communication channels, such as social media accounts, are active and partners presented the CHIC project at various events for school-age children. A short, informative animation movie explaining the project was created. The first progress meeting was organised after nine months at Keygene, in Wageningen, which allowed the project members to conclude that the project is on track and that we will continue according to plan.
The place of prebiotics in a healthy, balanced diet
The British Nutrition Foundation published a paper with an overview of the place of prebiotics in a healthy, balanced diet, particularly in relation to gut health. The paper also considers whether there are implications of consuming a diet low in prebiotics. Overall, there is a need to promote high‐fibre foods across the UK population as intakes currently fall well below recommendations.
Read the article 'Prebiotics - an added benefit of some fibre types'.
British Nutrition Foundation
94-98% of Northern Ireland population does not meet recommended fiber intake
According to the results for years 5-9 of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme for Northern Ireland a great majority (94-98%) of the population does not meet the recommended intake for fiber. The programme is a continuous cross-sectional survey, designed to assess the diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status of the general population in the UK. Read the report.
Food Standards Agency
Adding Value to the Chicory Root: Industry View on the CHIC Project
Sensus participates in the CHIC project: a project for developing and using New Plant Breeding Techniques for chicory as source of dietary fiber and medicinal terpenes. The project will be using New Plant Breeding Techniques and evaluate the technological performance of these technologies, as well as the safety, environmental, regulatory, socio-economic and broader societal issues associated with them.
Colleague Matthew de Roode tells more about the involvement of Sensus in this project.
Worldwide aging population
The percentage of older people (aged 60 years and over) worldwide increased from 9.2 per cent in 1990 to 11.7 per cent in 2013, and will reach 21.1 per cent by 2050. That means the number of elderly (60 plus) is expected to more than double, from 841 million people in 2013 to more than 2 billion in 2050.
Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013). World Population Ageing 2013. ST/ESA/SER.A/348.
Possible link between artificial sweeteners and obesity
Based on multiple experiments in mice and humans, Dr. Eran Elinav (Weizmann Institute Immunology Department - Israel) concludes that the use of artificial sweeteners to food products may contribute in the obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Although non-caloric artificial sweeteners do not contain sugar, they are shown to directly affect the body’s ability to utilize glucose and consumption, and can even result in glucose intolerance. These sweeteners were found to be not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. They change the composition and function of the gut microbiota. However, the glucose intolerance effect was not equal in all subjects, depending on the composition of the gut microbiota. In the subjects developing glucose intolerance, certain bacteria in the gut reacted to consumption of the artificial sweeteners by provoking an inflammatory response, prompting changes in the body’s ability to utilize sugar.
Top motivations for buying food products:
1. Good-tasting food
2. Good value for the price
3. A price I can afford
4. Something I know my kids will like
GUT MICROBIOME IMPLICATED IN METABOLIC DISORDERS
Obesity is a priority health issue in the world and several studies implicated a role of our intestinal microbiota.
Recently, the gut microbiota of a large Danish population of non-obese and obese subjects was analyzed by the latest metagenomic sequencing technologies, which showed that they differed by the number of gut microbial genes or ‘gut bacterial richness’. Individuals with less gut bacterial genes, or low bacterial richness, had in general more issues with obesity-related issues and chronic inflammation comparison to those individuals with a high bacterial richness. Those obese individuals among the lower bacterial richness group also gain more weight over time.
The researchers showed that only a few bacterial species can be used to distinguish between individuals with high and low bacterial richness, and also between lean and obese participants. In the long term continued research in this field has great potential for prognosis or treatment of subjects who may be at increased risk of progressing to more serious obesity issues.
Le Chatelier E et al. Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers. Nature. 2013. doi: 10.1038/nature12506.
2015: key trends in functional foods & beverages
Read the article written by Julian Mellentin, CEO of New Nutrition Business and co-author of Functional Foods Revolution and The Food & Health Marketing Handbook, for insights into the trends around functional food and beverages in 2015.