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.
Thought for Food Blog
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
Stevia is the name given to extracts from leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana used as sweeteners or sugar substitutes. The two main compounds responsible for the sweetness of stevia are stevioside and rebaudioside A, both of which are derivatives of the diterpene, steviol.
- Stevioside is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar, but possesses a bitter aftertaste.
- Rebaudioside A is 350-450 times sweeter than sugar and is less bitter than stevioside, making it a popular option for use in sweetener preparations.
Since the discovery that dietary saturated fats increase plasma cholesterol levels, low fat foods have been an important area of research, mainly because a link was assumed between plasma cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease risk.
Recent studies have suggested that the connection between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular health is more tenuous than was previously thought. Despite this, advisory bodies, such as the British Heart Foundation, still recommend that people should avoid saturated fats as much as possible and eat small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.
Imagine a world where you could have any food you liked in any shape you desired at the touch of a button. Rocket-shaped pasta? Easy. A bowl of dinosaur-shaped cereal? No problem. Or how about some chocolate, sculpted into an assortment of intricately shaped snowflakes? Well, with 3D food printing this could be a reality. And, as the technology has started to make some real progress in recent times, it could happen sooner than you might think. Its potential does not end at just printing individual foods like pasta and breakfast cereal, though. Scientists envision a future where entire meals could be printed using a 3D printer.
Christmas means different things to different people. For children, of course, it means presents and the magic of the festive season, for the spiritual, it’s a time for prayer and reflection and for the exhausted, it’s an opportunity to hibernate and watch all the box sets that have accumulated during the year.
But most of us have one thing in common. The festive season gives us an excuse to stuff our faces with as much food as we possibly can. Some of this food is ok. Turkey and sprouts, for example, are fine, upstanding healthy foods. But a great deal of our yuletide intake consists of sugary and salty snacks that at best make us put on weight and at worst may lead to one or more of the various unpleasant conditions that come under the umbrella of the metabolic syndrome. And because it’s Christmas, we allow ourselves to eat both good and bad food in humungous quantities.