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A cup of tea a day could keep the doctor away: earl grey tea 'reduces heart disease'

Earl Grey tea could be highly influential in reducing the risk of heart disease, according to scientists. New research has found that bergamot extract, which is an important component of the tea blend, helps to lower cholesterol. This could help to protect against cardiovascular illness, which are responsible for over 25 per cent of UK deaths. Scientists from the University of Calabria, Italy, found that bergamot contains hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavonoids (HMGF) enzymes, which attack a number of proteins that can contribute to heart disease. Bergamot is the ingredient within Earl Grey tea that gives it its distinctive flavour, meaning that having a daily dose of the beverage could provide protection. Published in the 'Journal of functional Foods', the study suggested that taking a daily dose of HMGF could help to lower bad cholesterol - low-density proteins (LDL) - and be just as effective at statins in doing so. HMGF was also found to increase the amount of good cholesterol - high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Bergamot has long been part of the Mediterranean diet, which is known to be one of the healthiest diets and to help cut down the chance of cardiovascular disease. It is often used in traditional forms of medicine for the treatment of inflammation, wounds and as an antiseptic, as well as for heart protection. While the extract is available in supplement form, it could also be beneficial for those at risk of heart disease to drink several cups of Earl Grey tea each day in order to benefit from its protective qualities. The study follows on from previous research, performed by the University of Catanzaro, Italy, in 2012, which found that bergamot could help to protect against diabetes and aid with weight loss. This means that the fruit could have a number of health benefits. Despite the fruit being likened to statins in terms of heart protection by lowering LDL, it is thought that statins also have other health benefits, including being an effective treatment for men suffering from erectile dysfunction.


Scientists uncover why major cow milk allergen is actually allergenic

Cow milk allergy occurs in children and in adults. Scientists at Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Vienna investigated what actually makes the milk allergenic. A specific protein in milk known as beta-lactoglobulin is able to initiate an allergy only when being devoid of iron. Loaded with iron, the protein is harmless. The scientists discovered the same mechanism recently with regard to birch pollen allergy. Their findings help to decipher allergic reactions and were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Milk allergy is frequently confused with lactose intolerance. However, these are two entirely different mechanisms that occur in the body. People with lactose intolerance do not digest lactose properly because they lack an enzyme known as lactase. In the case of the potentially much more dangerous cow milk allergy, however, the body's immune system attacks milk proteins with its own IgE antibodies.
According to statistics, about two to three percent of children in Europe suffer from a genuine milk allergy. Less adults are diagnosed with the disease. The formation of so-called Th2 lymphocytes is initiated in these patients. Th2 lymphocytes contribute in great measure to the production of IgE antibodies to milk proteins. Hence, people develop an allergic reaction to milk. 
Such an allergy may cause swelling of the mouth and mucous membranes, diarrhea, exacerbation of neurodermitis, and in rare cases even an allergic shock. Precise diagnostic investigation helps to differentiate between allergy and intolerance and thus avoid incorrect diets which, under certain circumstances, may cause malnutrition.

Lack of iron load transforms milk protein into allergen
One of the most important milk allergens, the so-called beta-lactoglobulin, belongs to the protein family of lipocalins. Lipocalins possess molecular pockets which are able to accommodate iron complexes. Iron is bound to the protein by so-called siderophores. The first author Franziska Roth-Walter and her colleagues now show that an "empty" milk protein, one without iron and siderophores, helps to activate Th2 lymphocytes. As a consequence, the production of IgE antibodies against the milk protein is stimulated. The patient gets sensitized and may develop an allergic reaction to milk. Roth-Walter, working at the department of Comparative Medicine at the Messerli Research Institute says: "Knowledge of the molecular structure of allergens has contributed very significantly to our conclusion about milk allergy. This is of enormous practical relevance."

Investigating the difference between organic and conventional milk

As the next step the scientists want to find out, what contributes to the iron load of milk proteins. The lead investigator Erika Jensen-Jarolim explains: "One of the most burning questions we want to answer is: Why are these milk proteins loaded to a greater or lesser extent with iron? The manner of keeping and feeding cows may be a factor involved in this phenomenon. Iron loading may depend on whether the milk is produced organically or conventionally. This will be one of our major interests in the future. Lipocalins exist in all mammals. We assume that our conclusions will be applicable to the milk of other mammals as well."


Are you as old as what you eat? Researchers learn how to rejuvenate aging immune cells

Researchers from UCL (University College London) have demonstrated how an interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immunity is involved in the process of ageing.
The two new studies, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), could help to enhance our immunity to disease through dietary intervention and help make existing immune system therapies more effective.
As we age our immune systems decline. Older people suffer from increased incidence and severity of both infections and cancer. In addition, vaccination becomes less efficient with age.
In previous BBSRC funded work, Professor Arne Akbar's group at UCL showed that ageing in immune system cells known as 'T lymphocytes' was controlled by a molecule called 'p38 MAPK' that acts as a brake to prevent certain cellular functions.
They found that this braking action could be reversed by using a p38 MAPK inhibitor, suggesting the possibility of rejuvenating old T cells using drug treatment.
In a new study published today in Nature Immunology the group shows that p38 MAPK is activated by low nutrient levels, coupled with signals associated with age, or senescence, within the cell.
It has been suspected for a long time that nutrition, metabolism and immunity are linked and this paper provides a prototype mechanism of how nutrient and senescence signals converge to regulate the function of T lymphocytes.
The study also suggests that the function of old T lymphocytes could be reconstituted by blocking one of several molecules involved in the process. The research was conducted at UCL alongside colleagues from Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
The second paper, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed that blocking p38 MAPK boosted the fitness of cells that had shown signs of ageing; improving the function of mitochondria (the cellular batteries) and enhancing their ability to divide.
Extra energy for the cell to divide was generated by the recycling of intracellular molecules, a process known as autophagy. This highlights the existence of a common signaling pathway in old/senescent T lymphocytes that controls their immune function as well as metabolism, further underscoring the intimate association between ageing and metabolism of T lymphocytes.
This study was conducted by researchers from UCL, Cancer Research UK, University of Oxford and University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Professor Arne Akbar said: "Our life expectancy at birth is now twice as long as it was 150 years ago and our lifespans are on the increase. Healthcare costs associated with ageing are immense and there will be an increasing number of older people in our population who will have a lower quality of life due in part to immune decline. It is therefore essential to understand reasons why immunity decreases and whether it is possible to counteract some of these changes.
"An important question is whether this knowledge can be used to enhance immunity during ageing. Many drug companies have already developed p38 inhibitors in attempts to treat inflammatory diseases. One new possibility for their use is that these compounds could be used to enhance immunity in older subjects. Another possibility is that dietary instead of drug intervention could be used to enhance immunity since metabolism and senescence are two sides of the same coin."
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Mu researchers find boron facilitates stem cell growth and development in corn

Boron deficiency is one of the most widespread causes of reduced crop yield. Missouri and the eastern half of the United States are plagued by boron deficient soil and, often, corn and soybean farmers are required to supplement their soil with boron; however, little is known about the ways in which corn plants utilize the essential nutrient. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that boron plays an integral role in development and reproduction in corn plants. Scientists anticipate that understanding how corn uses the nutrient can help farmers make informed decisions in boron deficient areas and improve crop yields.
“Boron deficiency was already known to cause plants to stop growing, but our study showed that a lack of boron actually causes a problem in the meristems, or the stem cells of the plant,” said Paula McSteen, associate professor in the Division of Biological Sciences and a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU. “That was completely unknown before. Through a series of experiments involving scientists from several disciplines at MU, we were able to piece together the puzzle and reach a new conclusion.”
Meristems comprise the growing points for each plant, and every organ in the plant is developed from these specialized stem cells. Insufficient boron causes these growing points to disintegrate, affecting corn tassels and kernels adversely. When tassels are stunted, crop yields are reduced, McSteen said.
The research evaluated a group of plants stunted by its ability to grow tassels. Kim Phillips, a graduate student in McSteen’s lab, mapped the corn plant’s genome and found that a genetic mutation stunted tassel growth because it was unable to transport boron across the plant membranes, inhibiting further growth in the plants.
Amanda Durbak, a post-doctoral fellow in the College of Arts and Science at MU, also helped prove boron’s usefulness to meristems. She treated two groups of tassel-less corn, one with a boron fertilizer and the other with only water. The group that was treated with boron grew normally, while the group treated with water withered.
Further testing revealed that, at the cellular level, the affected plants’ meristems had altered pectin which is strengthened with boron and stabilizes the plant cell. Without the pectin, plant meristems disintegrate.
“By using various techniques and expertise at MU, including genomics, translational experiments with frog eggs, research in the field, cellular testing, and evaluations at the MU Research Reactor Analytical Chemistry facility and at MU Plant and Soil Analysis Facility, the study team drew conclusions that will help corn producers make informed decisions about raising crops in boron deficient zones,” McSteen said.
Researchers at the University of Georgia and at California State University, Long Beach also contributed to this study. The paper, “Transport of boron by the tassel-less 1 aquaporin is critical for vegetative and reproductive development in maize,” was published in The Plant Cell and was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.


Chocolate Masters™, part of the Barry Callebaut Group and known as the specialist in the production and sale of chocolate and cocoa-based decorations, now fully supports the Quality Partner Program (QPP) for its entire product portfolio. Barry Callebaut is convinced that the future of chocolate is closely linked with that of cocoa farmers. Therefore, in 2005, the company launched its own Quality Partner Program (QPP) in Côte d'Ivoire, aiming to secure the production of sustainably grown cocoa. In 2010, this program has been expanded to Cameroon. Barry Callebaut works in partnership with farmers and farmer organizations to boost farm productivity, as well as to help address basic education and health needs in rural communities. QPP aims to improve cocoa cultivation in distinct ways, through farmer training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and in the usage of sustainable production methods. QPP also works toward improving the overall quality of life of cocoa farmers and their families by offering opportunities to increase earnings, as well as through improved access to safe water and education. Chocolate Masters™ offers a range of chocolate and cocoa-based decorations and a full range of special collections from seasonal celebrations (such as the Christmas collection) up to colourful marzipan decorations. The Chocolate Masters™ collection is a source of creative, decorative ideas and inspiration for each food professional - be it for the industrial food manufacturers but also for artisanal chocolate producers.

The technical experts at BENEO have conducted technical trials to improve the shelf-life and quality of glazed and iced, freshly and frozen packed donuts. The results show that with the partial replacement of sucrose with BENEO’s functional carbohydrate Palatinose™ in glazings or icings, shelf-life and overall product quality can be significantly improved. Findings showed that a partial replacement of sucrose with Palatinose™ in freshly packed donuts leads to an extended shelf life stability through the unique carbohydrate’s ability to control water activity and moisture migration. Furthermore, the glaze with Palatinose™ maintains transparency, even throughout the extended shelf life.  Thanks to the low hygroscopicity of Palatinose™, the glaze does not become sticky. In addition, the Palatinose™ glazed, freshly packed donuts exhibit a more pleasant sweetness in comparison to using sucrose alone. The trials also demonstrated that partial replacement of sucrose with Palatinose™ in frozen packed donuts ensures a maintained glaze transparency throughout the freezing process and after defrosting.  It prevents the glaze from sticking to the foil during frosting and, of even greater importance, after defrosting. Furthermore, Palatinose™ provides a slightly reduced and more pleasant sweetness in frozen packed donuts, as with pure sucrose glazing.

There are signs that the global food additives market is returning to growth as the worst effects of the worldwide economic downturn have passed and consumer spending levels are starting to increase again. As the economic situation improves, the processed foods industry continues to expand within the developing world in particular, with high rates of growth observed in countries such as China, India and Brazil. In turn, this is driving demand for many types of food additives, as a result of which some of the leading suppliers are now establishing production bases in the Asian and Latin American regions. Another trend influencing the market at present is the move away from artificial food additives and ingredients. With consumers and food manufacturers demonstrating an ever-greater preference for products positioned on a “natural” or “clean label” platform, artificial and synthetic food additives have been falling out of favour. Meanwhile, health demands are forcing food and beverage manufacturers to reformulate their products, mostly through reductions in sugar, salt and saturated fat levels. This, in turn, is opening up opportunities for manufacturers of food additives. The Global Food Additives Market – 6th Edition is a new publication from Leatherhead Food Research, which updates the previous edition last published in 2011. The report discusses and reviews the global market for food additives, notable examples of which include flavours, sweeteners, hydrocolloids, enzymes, colours, preservatives and antioxidants. The report includes market size data for the last five years, as well as an extensive review of the competitive landscape and discussion of likely future directions for the industry.


Symrise AG has secured the financing for acquiring the Diana Group by successfully issuing a bond. The € 500 million bond was oversubscribed several times. Part of a comprehensive financing concept totalling € 1.3 billion, it boasts highly attractive conditions and will be used by Symrise to finance the largest acquisition in the company’s history over the long term. Due to a capital increase based on authorized capital, which was equally well received by the market, Symrise achieved proceeds from the issue of around € 400 million in May 2014. In June 2014, the company secured short and medium- term borrowings from its primary banks amounting to € 400 million. The bond financing has a term of 5 years and a coupon of 1.75 percent. The issuance was supported by Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International plc and UniCredit Bank AG as active book runners together with Banco Santander S.A., BNP Paribas, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen and J.P. Morgan Securities plc. The bond shall be listed and admitted for trading on the official list of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000SYM7704). As part of its refinancing activities, Symrise successfully issued its first corporate bond in October 2010 with a maturity of seven years.


Tereos Syral's new website is now online. With a specific area dedicated to the food and beverages applications, the website supports proximity with customers and partners. It is a way to discover or rediscover the activities, jobs, products and services of this major European producer of starch and derivatives. It presents a unique innovation: a fun and educational module to get to know the raw materials, manufacturing processes and products. It also features a product finder, an interactive map of the company’s production sites, videos and a complete career space.


PLT Health Solutions, Inc.
and Oakshire Naturals, LP have announced the launch of Earthlight Whole Food Vitamin D. The patented mushroom powder ingredient delivers 40,000 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D per gram – from a non-GMO, clean-label, natural source. Earthlight’s high concentration of Vitamin D will allow food, beverage and supplement producers to offer “Good”, “Excellent” and “High Potency” source label claims with only a few milligrams of the ingredient. This low level of addition means that Earthlight will not affect the organoleptic properties of the products in which it is included and contributes to the cost-effectiveness of this Vitamin D solution. A minimally processed ingredient, Earthlight is considered a “whole food” form of nutrition – responding to consumer desire for “cleaner” labels on their food, beverages and supplements. This ingredient solution is being introduced to the market at a time when concern about adequate levels of Vitamin D is at an all-time high in the nutrition and medical communities – a concern that is gaining awareness among consumers as well. According to Devin Stagg, Director of Corporate Strategy for PLT Health Solutions, Earthlight Whole Food Vitamin D allows food, beverage and supplement producers to address a convergence of consumer wants. First it was “natural”. Then it was “clean label”, and often consumers want “vegetarian” or “vegan” on their labels. Today’s answer to all of these consumer preferences is “whole food” nutrition.


Technical problems associated with using real fruit in long shelf life dry products can easily be addressed with fruit ingredients from Taura Natural Ingredients. Manufacturers of products such as cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals and snack bars have traditionally had to contend with the difficulties caused by moisture transfer when using fruit ingredients. Introducing additional moisture to the product matrix in such applications poses a threat to the texture and shelf life of the finished product. Fruit pieces, pastes and flakes from Taura Natural Ingredients eradicate this problem because they are made using the proprietary Ultra Rapid Concentration (URC®) process. URC® technology concentrates fruit purées and blends to below 10 percent moisture in less than 60 seconds. This process enables Taura to control the “water activity” of the final ingredient. Water activity is a measure of the ability of water to migrate from a given ingredient into the surrounding product matrix and is a relative measure of the capacity for moisture transfer. Taura Natural Ingredients has the ability to tailor the water activity of its fruit pieces and flakes to each application, opening up a world of product development opportunities. Taura Natural Ingredients has created a free White Paper for food manufacturers addressing the challenges associated with incorporating real fruit into long shelf life dry products. Entitled Extending the shelf life of products containing fruit, the White Paper is available.

Since 1969 STAUBER has consistently offered the finest quality ingredients to the nutritional, food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and pet care industries. The company was founded on the principle of partnering with manufacturers that provide the highest level of product and service. From their corporate office in Fullerton, California, manufacturing capabilities under their control in New York, warehouses in four strategic geographic locations and alliances with major freight companies, STAUBER is able to react quickly and deliver customer needs by being a complete "solution provider". STAUBER’s success is due to a passion for innovation. STAUBER is a one-stop, forward-thinking supplier of a broad spectrum of solutions for the ingredient industry. The ingredients they use lead to breakthrough products for their customers. Innovation is also reflected in the areas of Quality Assurance, lower minimums, abundant inventory, agility, responsiveness, in-house proprietary capabilities, and full transparency in how STAUBER does business. STAUBER Performance Ingredients will represent Jungbunzlauer’s complete product line and concepts to the nutritional industry throughout the United States. “Jungbunzlauer and STAUBER have been working together for decades and have jointly expanded their presence in the nutritional and dietary market segments in the US. STAUBER’s excellent market knowledge and intimate customer relationships across the US, along with Jungbunzlauer’s high quality standards, provide the basis for the continued success. STAUBER’s manufacturing capabilities in Florida, NY provides additional customized and tailor made solutions for our customer base in North America” says Peter Luck, Director Sales for Jungbunzlauer. “STAUBER is pleased to strengthen our twenty-plus year relationship with Jungbunzlauer. Both companies are very uniquely aligned in the philosophy of providing “high quality naturally originated” ingredients to the ever-growing and dynamic nutritional industry. As innovation and new product & delivery vehicles arise, and consolidation of much of the industry continues, it is very humbling to be associated with such a fine company as Jungbunzlauer.  Our teams look forward to continuing to work together to serve our end customers more effectively into the future!” adds Dan Stauber, CEO.  “As consumer demand for healthier and more natural goods continues to increase and producers seek to find and exploit opportunities to become more efficient in all aspects of their , business, Jungbunzlauer together with its channel partner STAUBER Performance Ingredients will provide customer oriented solutions” Luck said.

Effective June 15, 2014, or as contracts allow, Stepan will increase prices for STEPANPOL® Aromatic Polyester Polyols by $0.07 per pound. The increase is necessary due to rising raw material costs.


Exocyan™, is a unique brand of cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) extract, a small berry grown exclusively in North and South America. The Exocyan™ product line is standardized on proanthocyanidines (PACs) content, a type of flavonoid, with antioxidant and other health activities. This berry is naturally packed with polyphenols and especially ProAnthoCyanidins (PACs). Most other plants and berries, like grapes and green tea, contain B-Type PACs. However, cranberry contains only A-Type PACs, which have healthy ageing properties. The A-Type PACs in cranberry are unique because they are the only PACs that have antibacterial activity. The anti-adhesion property of A-Type PACs is the basis of cranberry’s extraordinary ability to improve urinary tract health.

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