After a few freezing days and plenty of rain, I'm glad to see some rays of sunshine again. We are very busy planning for the upcoming events and updating the Qina database. This week alone we've added more companies, updated a few based on the latest news and making a few changes based on feedback. Make sure to book your demo call to take you for a spin!
In this week's newsletter: Latest research, Loewi releases their app, Fitbit adds glucose monitoring, Ahold Delaize partner launches frictionless shopping, Interview with Nell CSO and latest events including a new one with Foodmatterslive.
What will it take for Personalised nutrition to go mainstream? - latest blog post
This question has come up so many times over the years, but COVID has revealed that there are deeper challenges when it comes to funding startups that try to address the issues of chronic diseases in their own communities. Read what we have to say here
Functional Hydrocolloids, Gut Microbiota and Health: Picking Food Additives for Personalized Nutrition
As the roles of the microbiome could become potential evidence for clinical diagnosis, “the underlying mechanisms lay the foundation of assembling bespoke nutritional ingredients including functional food additives that may lead to favorable outcomes in facilitating amelioration of host dysfunctions. Functional hydrocolloids serve as multiple food additives with promising application prospects and outstanding adjunctive beneficial characteristics. Therefore, in this review, we introduce the latest advances in food additives-gut microbiota-host axis by summarizing the physiochemical and physiological properties of a collection of functional hydrocolloids from various sources, describing the functional hydrocolloids-related intestinal commensal markers, and deciphering the underlying mechanisms of their beneficial effects, and propose the feasibilities and guidelines for further developments of gut microbiota-oriented personalized nutrition.”
Strengthening the Reporting of Nutritional Genomics Research to Inform Knowledge Translation in Personalized Nutrition
“The ultimate goal of researching nutrigenetic interactions is to be able to provide individuals with genetically-tailored nutrition advice (when evidence is sufficient) in an effort to optimize health outcomes. As several consumer nutritional genomics companies are now offering genetic testing for personalized nutrition, proper reporting of nutritional genomics research for knowledge translation is of vital importance. Common reporting errors relate to SNP and genotype reporting, results lacking detail, consideration of linkage disequilibrium, mechanisms of action/functional SNPs, details of dietary intake, and sample reporting. Because of this, knowledge translation professionals may be unable or challenged in their attempt to use the findings from such research to inform clinical practice in nutritional genomics and personalized nutrition. The present article provides an overview of the issues at hand. It further presents a checklist as well as table and figure templates for researchers to use when reporting the results of original research in nutritional genomics to inform knowledge translation.”
The Lung–Gut Axis During Viral Respiratory Infections: The Impact of Gut Dysbiosis on Secondary Disease Outcomes
“The article summarizes the impact of viral respiratory infections on the gut microbiota and discusses the potential mechanisms leading to alterations of gut microbiota’s composition and functions. [Furthermore], the article discusses the effects of gut microbial imbalance on disease outcomes (gastrointestinal disorders and secondary bacterial infections) and the potential role of the lung–gut axis in coronavirus disease 2019.” In the cases of influenza A virus (IAV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), results have shown the gut microbiota’s vital role in respiratory defense against these infections. Continuous testing is still proceeding for SARS-CoV-2 cases and there is the development of intervention strategies that include SCFA-producing probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber-rich diets to reinforce the gut microbiota and build its potential to protect against viral infections. There is hope that the gut microbiota is another approach to fight off respiratory infections as an imbalance of the gut not only leads to intestinal disorders but also promotes bacterial superinfections.
The article reviews digital health data-driven approaches to understand human behavior by using digital health assessment and sources of digital health data. “[The study] provides a synthesis of the scientific literature evaluating how digitally derived empirical data can inform our understanding of health behavior, with a particular focus on understanding the assessment, diagnosis and clinical trajectories of psychiatric disorders.” Digital health data is proven to be practical with its new insights on human behavior such as psychopathology. Furthermore, the data offers personalized interventions that can adapt to every change in an individual’s progress.
A Mediterranean Diet and Low-Fat Vegan Diet to Improve Body Weight and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: A Randomized, Cross-over Trial
"A vegan diet is more effective for weight loss than a Mediterranean diet, according to a groundbreaking new study that compared the diets head to head. The randomized crossover trial, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that a low-fat vegan diet has better outcomes for weight, body composition, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels, compared with a Mediterranean diet."
Loewi is a Germany based startup that has just released their app that analyzes 28 vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and nutrient deficiencies in a blood test. Consumers may receive an intuitive evaluation and a free consultation after the initial blood test. With a Loewi profile, consumers will have a better understanding of their lab values and their everyday life. Furthermore, the profile will provide personalized nutritional recommendations based on lab values, allergies, and preferences.
Researchers identified elements inside walnuts that are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They developed a machine learning model through research of 1,833 participants between the ages 55-80 who followed one of the three diets: “Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts (50 percent walnuts, 25 percent almonds, and 25 percent hazelnuts); a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil; or a low-fat diet.” Of all the nuts, walnut’s metabolite profile has the highest correlation with a “17% lower risk of type 2 diabetes and 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.” From this new finding, there are hopes that machine learning and artificial intelligence can lead to a better understanding of preventing chronic diseases and advancing personalized nutrition.
Fitbit adds blood glucose tracking to its connected app
Users of the Fitbit app can now connect their blood glucose data from their Lifescan OneTouch reaveal app or manually enter their levels.
UST, a California-based digital services company, has launched an automated system called the UST Walk-In and Walk-Out that allows retailers to leave the store without visiting the check outstation. Within 8 weeks, the system can be installed in the store where customers scan their QR code on a mobile app upon arrival and leave with their purchases charged automatically. UST is not the only one in the growing market of cashier-less technology as other retailers such as Amazon, Zippin, Grabango, and Standard have already developed similar versions in other stores.
Food & Consumer Trends
According to research, food production contributes to a quarter of greenhouse gases of which half can be cut down by simply people changing their diets. In France, 38% of people consider their foods’ origin and season. 78% claim there is a lack of information about the environmental and health impact of foods when grocery shopping. ECO2 Initiative develops Etiquettable to score food products out of 100 along with color coding and letters based on an equation, Ecoscore= life cycle assessment (LCA) + bonus points - points deducted. LCA assesses the environmental factors from the time the food product’s raw ingredients were extracted, processed, and made into a final product. As the Eco-score relies on a category system from Agence de la transition ecologique (ADEME), LCA only factors in the other criteria and adds or deducts the score once a category has been determined. Already adopted by retailers such as FoodCheri, Frigo Magic, Season, and Yuka. Eco-score can be applied to online and in-store grocery retailers to allow consumers to make more informed decisions when shopping.
The article gives an overview of the upcoming trends in the grocery landscape based on popular consumer behaviors. With more than half of the Americans cooking more than 7 meals a week, consumers are looking for inspiration from digital platforms. “69% of people who visit Facebook weekly and 74% of people who visit Instagram weekly use the apps for food and beverage-related activities such as following brands, retailers or influencers or collecting and saving ideas.” The ongoing pandemic has led to convenience being held at a new standard as many consumers are ordering from digital circulars to shop, clip coupons, and discover relevant products. Furthermore, the pandemic and media have convinced consumers to discover other products rather than being loyal to one brand. However, Facebook has been proven to be the top platform to influence consumers to repurchase products. Based on these trends, personalization is expected to be the general trend that will shape the entire market.
The pandemic has accelerated people’s health concerns and beliefs as 65% of consumers seek functional benefits from what they consume and two-thirds of all consumers believe functional foods and beverages can replace some medicines. As this group gravitates towards low-sugar products such as cauliflower-crust frozen pizza and hard seltzer, the updated food trends are energy drinks, high-protein yogurt, vitamin-enhanced water, and low-calorie ice cream. Consumers are also focused on food labeling with “52% preferring "real food ingredients" and 40% "no preservatives" statements.” CBD has been the most commonly discussed ingredient followed by immunity-boosting ingredients like honey, turmeric, citrus, mushrooms, and fermented foods. Plant-based food has also been a growing consumer interest with not only alternative meats on the market but also plant-based cheese and milk.
Artificial intelligence has been the center of the conference due to its capability of figuring out why and what is happening in the market. Using data to take action in order to provide an excellent customer experience. As fresh food has been a consumer attraction, grocers need to find a strategy to sell “freshness” in which AI can partake by creating a workflow that is best fitted to mass-produce fresh foods.
Another upcoming trend that involves AI is using voice-based assistance in food retail. With the ongoing pandemic, voice technology is undoubtedly increasing due to its germ-free experience for shoppers. “More than 60% of US adults are active voice users and [in the UK], 50% of parents use voice to make purchases, 53% of young parents are using it to buy food, and 70% of voice users are searching for information about specific products and their availability.” As far as communication goes, meaningful digital consumer engagement is significant to attract consumers as “60% of consumers don’t feel they see themselves on the brand websites they engage with and 40% prefer to shop brands that offer personalized experiences.” Lastly, next-generation automation has been a popular topic because efficiency is prioritized in the consumer market.
SNPs, epigenetics, telomeres or a polygenetic risk score approach- where are we at?
Our interview with Dr Yiannis Mavvrommatis CSO of Nell health
We recently caught up with Yiannis about his role at Nell health and their approach of helping consumers live healthier lives.
Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October
Personalised nutrition innovation summit Newtrition X (Cologne) - 12th October