Thought for Food Blog

Chris Cattini

Chris studied biochemistry at university and specialises in food chemistry, biotechnology and microbiology. Her favourite area of research is the impact of food and eating habits on mental and physical wellbeing. In her spare time, Chris enjoys reading, walking and train journeys and is also very interested in the paranormal and parapsychology.

Recent Posts

Gut Feelings: The gut-brain axis and mental health

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Sep-2017 12:12:02

Our second brain

We have a second brain in our guts. Known as the enteric nervous system, it consists of a mesh-like network of around 100 million neurons lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. These neurons include a range of cell types operating via a complex system of circuitry largely independent of the central nervous system.

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Topics: zinc, sleep, fish, cereals, seafood, bacteria, fruit, vegetables, eggs, fibre, soy, meat, dairy, immune system, amino acids, neuroscience, fatty acids, nuts, tryptophan, gut health, cognitive function, mental health, central nervous system, fermented foods, supplements

Food Trends in India

Posted by Chris Cattini

02-Mar-2017 11:21:53

India is one of the key markets poised for future growth. If the country continues to develop at its current rate, it will become the world’s 5th largest economy by 2025.

The Indian consumer segment is dominated by a large urban mass, including both graduates and blue collar workers, and the country has one of the youngest populations in the world. More than 50% of the consumer base is less than 30 years old, including 440 millennials and 390 million members of generation Z (born after 2000). An increasing number of these young people have higher disposable incomes than their older counterparts and a greater tendency to spend their money rather than save it.

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Topics: rice, labelling, organic, social media, fruit, vegetables, chocolate, alcohol, dairy, food processing, retail and marketing, food production, functional foods, Asia, consumer behaviour, India, fermented foods

Why go dairy free?

Posted by Chris Cattini

17-Nov-2016 10:07:08

Consumption of dairy products in the UK has declined by 30% over the last 20 years. Americans drink 37% less milk now than they did in the seventies. Milk alternatives, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly popular. So why is this happening?

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Topics: milk and milk substitutes, labelling, sleep, cancer, animal welfare, nutrition, allergies and allergens, intolerances, nutrients, obesity, dairy, cardiovascular health, nuts, tryptophan, calcium, gut health, child nutrition, health

Water - much more than H2O

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Aug-2016 16:15:36

These days, most people carry a drink with them wherever they go. Every food shop, however small, has a fridge packed with bottled beverages. Some people drink large quantities of sugary soft drinks, others can’t get through the day without copious quantities of coffee, and tea drinkers are happy to respond to recent experimental evidence that suggests tea is a healthy source of liquid sustenance for the human body. However, for purposes of hydration, the most popular choice is water.

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Topics: food quality, fluoride, packaging, salt, nutrients, bacteria, pathogens, magnesium, contaminants, water, retail and marketing, calcium, vitamins and minerals, bone health, cognitive function, central nervous system

Food Fraud Costs the Global Food Industry $10-15 Billion Annually

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Apr-2016 10:00:00

In 2008, melamine was added to milk and infant formula to increase its protein content. This led to the hospitalisation of around 54,000 infants, 6 deaths from kidney stones and, ultimately, a number of criminal prosecutions, resulting in 2 executions.

In 2013, horsemeat was found in burgers and ready meals sold in UK supermarkets. Although not physically harmed, consumers – who thought they were eating beef – were less than happy. The incident highlighted the vulnerability of the food supply chain and Tesco, one of the supermarkets selling the adulterated meat, underwent – €300 million drop in market value.

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Topics: milk and milk substitutes, food safety, labelling, organic, honey, meat, dairy, regulations and guidance, contaminants, traceability, food fraud, food economics, analytical techniques

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