Thought for Food Blog

Super Taster vs. Non Taster: Does it Matter for Your Health?

Posted by Shira Rossiter

25-Jan-2018 13:47:53

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. 

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Topics: food safety, cancer, nutrition, saturated fat, flavour, sensory perception, salt, healthy eating, spices, fruit, vegetables, obesity, alcohol, food research, health, appetite and satiety

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

Iodine Deficiency and the Developing Brain

Posted by Naomi McGrath

02-Mar-2015 14:45:00

It is estimated that around 2 billion people worldwide may have an insufficient intake of iodine. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), and there is increasing evidence for its importance in the early growth and development of many organs, including the brain and central nervous system.

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Topics: organic, salt, seafood, nutrients, pregnancy, iodine, thyroid, eggs, dairy, vitamins and minerals, hormones, cognitive function, central nervous system, supplements

Nanotechnology – Not a Big Deal?

Posted by Chris Cattini

28-Jan-2015 14:39:00

What is nanotechnology?

The UK Food Standards Agency defines nanotechnology as the manufacture and use of materials and structures at the nanometre scale. A nanometre is one millionth of a millimetre. If you shrink a grain of rice one thousand times, stop for a minute to admire your supernatural size-reducing powers and then proceed to shrink the grain a thousand times again, you will have conjured up a nanoparticle.

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Topics: food safety, labelling, nanotechnology, packaging, salt, additives, regulations and guidance, contaminants, water, novel foods

A Matter of Taste – The Genetics of Flavour Perception

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Aug-2014 11:15:00

In the sixties, a gloomy prediction was made: in the future, people wouldn’t eat foods, as such, but would rely on pills and nutrient-rich powders to provide them with sustenance. No longer would eating be regarded as entertainment. Future inhabitants of our world would eat to live, nothing else.

Thankfully, this turned out to be science fiction. Fifty years on, pills, powders and gels may be consumed as supplements, but the possibility that these could replace real food is still remote. Gastronomes are prepared to spend large amounts of money on fine dining in order to experience unusual flavour combinations. Chocolates full of sugar and fat are given as presents because we love them. Even the astronauts in the space station are provided with specially formulated foods (probably the closest we have come to the predicted powders) that have to be tasty and enjoyable as well as nutritious.

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Topics: texture, flavour, sensory perception, salt, nutrients, retail and marketing, polyphenols, consumer behaviour, supplements, genetics

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