A salty pretzel, a sweet ice cream cone, a sour, vinegary pickle: most of us relish the variety of flavours we experience when we eat, courtesy of our sense of taste. What many don't know, however, is that the experience of taste is highly amplified for some members of the population, known as "supertasters." This may sound amazing, but supertasters actually tend to avoid certain foods due to their increased sensitivity to strong flavours, including anything bitter and many healthy fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, individuals known as "non-tasters" have significantly decreased sensitivity to flavour, making it difficult for them to taste food at all. Unfortunately, this can cause problems, such as when they cannot detect when food has spoilt or is unsafe to eat.
Thought for Food Blog
Food Matters Live is an annual event, based at the ExCeL London, which brings together the food and drink industry across retailers, foodservice providers, government, education and those working in nutrition. Needless to say, it’s a huge event which allows for a massive variety of those in the industry, across the globe, to collaborate, learn and inform. With five of the IFIS team attending across Tuesday and Wednesday, we got stuck into as many of the seminars and exhibitions as possible, to hear about the latest news and innovations in food. Here, we detail just a few of our highlights from the event.
Topics: labelling, food quality, nutrition, cereals, healthy eating, superfoods, bacteria, retail and marketing, calcium, food production, sugar and substitutes, food research, UK, dieting, conferences and events, health, local foods, novel foods, supplements, IFIS Publishing
This post was originally published on The Conversation, and was written by Rosemary Stanton, a Nutritionist and Visiting Fellow from the School of Medicinal Sciences at the University of New South Wales.
Coconuts have been a valued food in tropical areas for thousands of years, traditionally enjoyed as coconut water from the centre of the coconut, coconut flesh, or coconut “milk” (made by steeping the flesh in hot water).
Solid white coconut oil (I’ll use this popular term, although technically it’s a fat not an oil) is now the darling of celebrities and bloggers, paleo enthusiasts and sellers of so-called superfoods. Claims for its supposed medical value reverberate around the internet, but how well do they stand up to scientific scrutiny?
Topics: nutrition, saturated fat, healthy eating, cholesterol, diabetes, superfoods, bacteria, obesity, fibre, cardiovascular health, toxins, fatty acids, food research, dieting, health, bone health, metabolism
This post was originally published on The Conversation, and was written by Sarah Bath, a lecturer in Public Health Nutrition and Margaret Rayman, a professor of Nutritional Medicine, both based at the University of Surrey.
Milk and dairy products are the main source of iodine in many diets, and an important iodine source in many countries. However, our latest research found that the iodine concentration of most alternatives to cows’ milk – such as soy and almond “milk” – is very low. This matters because deficiency of iodine, especially during pregnancy, affects brain development and is linked to lower intelligence.
Topics: milk and milk substitutes, labelling, fish, nutrition, allergies and allergens, seafood, pregnancy, iodine, eggs, soy, dairy, nuts, vitamins and minerals, health, cognitive function, plant-based diets, supplements
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.
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