And just like that we are already in February!
This week has been packed with so much news to share in the world of personalised nutrition: Baze gets acquired, latest research, Personalised nutrition trend report published, Kerry develops a new tool for plant-based formulation, Nutrition & Genetics training by the Nutrition Society UK and more!
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In the Headlines - Baze gets acquired by Nature's way
Personalised nutrition startup Baze has just announced that it has been acquired by vitamin supplement giant Nature's way. This is great news and shows that this industry is definitely not stopping to move anytime soon. To read the full article on the Baze website, click here
Hot off the press! "Next in Personalised nutrition trend report 2021" published by Vitafoods insights.
We recently contributed our perspectives together with other experts in the field on key questions in the personalised nutrition industry. The report was just launched today and is available for free on the Vitafoods insight website. Get ready for some weekend reading, download your copy here and let us know what you think!
This study analyzes allergen information on food labels and lists practical recommendations to improve the label format based on communication theory. In order to convey a clear message to consumers, all food information could be easily readable with a simple or white background and bolded allergens on the ingredient list. The use of one simple precautionary allergen labeling (PAL) statement such as ‘May contain X…‘ or ‘May be present: X…’ is also indicated to provide clarity. Another recommendation is to organize the food label format by grouping related topics. Listing a uniform topic order and providing an allergen information section. As an efficient use of packaging space, allergen icons are suggested because they reduce the repetition of information.
“This review summarizes recent research about the transformational changes in gut microbes revealed in PCOS patients and the possible mechanisms and pathways by which the intestinal microbiome exerts influence on PCOS progression and phenotypes. In addition to the intestinal microbiome, evidence from animal studies suggests changes in the vaginal microbiome under PCOS conditions. The alteration of the microbiome could affect the oestrus cycle and PCOS phenotypes. The microbiome is closely associated with medicine and therapeutic approaches. Microbiome influences drug and therapy response and itself is a new source of therapy. Accurate modulation of the intestinal and vaginal microbiome is a potential therapy for PCOS patients. Future studies are required to elucidate the specific role of each particular genera of microbiota and the mechanism by which microbiome impacts the pathogenesis, progression, and phenotypes of PCOS.”
Genetic Variants Shaping Inter-individual Differences in Response to Dietary Intakes.
This review describes the associations between genetic variants and the biomarkers of vitamin status in healthy individuals. Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are recognized to be involved in vitamins’ metabolic pathways. “Polymorphisms in genes encoding proteins involved in vitamin metabolism and transport are reported to have an impact on vitamin D status; while genetic variants of vitamin D receptor were most frequently associated with health outcomes. Genetic variations that can influence vitamin E status include SNPs involved in its uptake and transport, such as in SCAR-B1 gene, and in lipoprotein metabolism. Variants of the genes encoding the sodium-dependent vitamin C transport proteins are greatly associated with the body's status on vitamin C. Regarding the vitamins of the B-complex, special reference is made to the widely studied variant in the MTHFR gene.” From the results, the article aims to understand how genes influence individuals’ responses to dietary consumption in order to further analyze dietary exposure and enhance personalized nutrition programs.
The article examines the impact of metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metagenomics in nutrition. Through the study, low intra-individual variability of the omics measurements and the high inter-individual variation is emphasized to enhance the development of precision nutrition. In cardiometabolic health, metabolomics and gene expression analysis help define different phenotypes which leads to a better understanding of molecular pathways to improve specific dietary advice. The application of nutrigenomics, moreso metabolomics, is used in weight loss studies to further understand the molecular changes. Metabolomics has also shown to play a key role in the development of biomarkers of food intake to make accurate dietary assessments. While further studies are needed to recognize the full potential of biomarkers and nutrigenomics, there is surmountable evidence that supports these technologies in nutrition science. Therefore, the analyses and interpretation of data could become more efficient and lower the need for multi-disciplinary collaborations.
The review speculates if the increase in the prevalence of food allergies across generations is due to the alterations in the microbiome. From the fecal samples of twins, the analysis emphasized a “significant enrichment in distinct metabolite pathways in each group” and “significant association between healthy twins and Phascolarctobacterium faecium and Ruminococcus bromii, suggesting new possibilities for the development of live microbiome-modulating biotherapeutics.” The differences from the twins’ fecal microbiomes and metabolomes to adulthood may suggest that the gut microbiota plays a protective role in people with food allergies that are beyond the infant stage.
Kerry launches Radicle Solution Finder to provide the efficiency of finding plant-based options by allowing consumers to filter out their challenges with choosing their own preferences in taste, nutrition, functionality, and plant protein or dairy alternatives. While there are still improvements to be made in incorporating all the factors to provide the perfect formulation. Radicle Solution Finder cooperates with Radicle’s holistic portfolio to address the issues. As research shows that taste is a top priority for consumers to lean towards plant-based options, Radicle Solution Finder incorporates authentic meat and dairy flavors, mask off-notes and enhance the overall flavor in its formulation. The goal is to offer plant-based solutions that are sustainable and nutritious options with the consideration of clean ingredients, authentic taste, and appealing texture.
Foodspace promotes the effectiveness of finding food products that can match consumers’ tastes and dietary preferences by helping CPG and the food retail industry to be more capable of organizing food products. To exceed the typical categories such as organic and gluten-free, Foodspace uses a machine vision technology that scans, analyzes, and understands the food packaging to provide sensory (creamy, grainy, etc), taste and diets. With this technology, the system can find 3,000 factors in a product which will provide a personalized experience for food shoppers.
Ukko, a biotech company that uses AI to distinguish food allergies, has accumulated an overall of $47.7 million in fundings to be applied in clinical trials for investigation in peanut and gluten allergies. With the use of AI, Ukko analyzes patient data to map how an allergen triggers a reaction in the body in order to break down the gluten protein to its component level and rid of only the bad parts that cause allergic reactions. Then, a new friendly gluten is created by genetically modifying wheat plants or fermenting yeast to be grown in a bioreactor. Therefore, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities do not have to be concerned whether what they eat will or will not cause an allergic reaction. While the process is still in the works, Ukko already has commercialization options on selling its own gluten to be added into starches, selling the gluten as an ingredient for food industries, developing a gluten-free flour line to be sold in stores, or doing the combination of all three. However, Ukko’s platform is not only limited to gluten allergies as the technology can be applied to all other allergies. Therefore, this could be the start of preventing sickness, saving lives, and easing consumers on what they eat.
BIOMES aims to help consumers understand their own microbiome and its correlation with diet and lifestyle. The consumer simply sends a stool sample which will be examined using next-generation sequencing to provide a nutrition plan and probiotic supplement recommendations. The user-friendly platform provides an overall score for each strain through imagery which tells consumers if the quantity is improvable or good. For the strains that could be increased, consumers are provided with recommendations and credible sources that support the advice. The dashboard also portrays strengths and weaknesses with indicators such as diversity, inflammation, constipation, and appetite. BIOMES collaborates with a supplier in Germany that offers 7 personalized probiotics that target health concerns such as immune deficiency and histamine intolerance. While BIOMES is a D2C, there is potential for the company to work with health professionals and offer subscription services for consumers to track how their dietary changes influence their microbiome.
We will be interviewing the CEO of Biomes Dr Paul Hammer very soon! watch this space.
Research shows that an average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day and Siggi’s Palate Training Kit aims to improve that by helping people become less desensitized to natural flavors. The process gradually retrains people’s palate with advice on how to read food labels to make healthier food choices and activities to practice sensory awareness. Available only on Siggi’s website, the $30 kit consists of a flavor desensitization reversal guide, eye mask, timer, journal, spoon, and a month’s worth of Siggi’s yogurt in various flavors.
Food & Consumer Trends
Asda partners with household brands including PG Tips, Vimto, Kellogg’s, Radox, and Persil to develop a plastics reduction strategy that will save an estimate of one million pieces of plastics per year. While there is an ongoing trial run of which incentive will appeal to customers to shop sustainability. Asda has launched ‘Greener at Asda Price’ that holds a national price promise that unwrapped products will not cost more than wrapped equivalents. In the store, some of the features include 15 huge refill stations consisting of more than 30 household staples sold in refillable format and 53 fresh produce lines sold in loose and unwrapped format. Asda has previously committed to becoming sustainable and that continues with its aim to generate zero carbon emissions by 2040, reducing waste by 50% and having a net regenerative impact on nature no later than 2050.
Survey: Consumers Want Healthy Protein That Tastes Good, But Aren't as Concerned About Sustainability
According to consumers, the reasons to eat protein are to have a balanced diet, to satisfy hunger throughout the day, and to build muscle health/strength. When deciding on protein, 25% of consumers emphasize the taste, 20% price, 19% type of protein, and 17% healthfulness. 7 out of 10 people claim to have tried a new plant-based protein in the last year, 22% new varieties of milk or dairy alternatives, and 21% other new varieties of packaged foods high in plant protein. However, despite the trend of plant-based foods continuously increasing, most consumers still prefer meat. When shopping for meat, 22% of consumers value no added hormones, 16% for Humanely raised trailed, 11% for cage-free and free-range, 10% for sustainably raised, and 5% for fair trade. Through this survey, manufacturers and producers are recommended to focus on quality meat that is inexpensive and delicious. To promote plant-based alternative meat, companies should focus more on marketing the quality instead of the environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a whole market opportunity for immunity products. Studies have shown that 45% of consumers are consuming more foods and beverages that benefit their immune systems. About 2/3 of consumers increased vitamin and supplement intake (vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, probiotics, elderberry), 34% ate more fruits (specifically citrus) and vegetables and 9% increased their use of spices. One common effort seen to boost immunity is the incorporation of berries into other foods such as oatmeal, granola, and many brands’ products. “Dark berries such as açaì, elderberry, and goji are known as rich sources of antioxidants, while ginger and mushrooms are known for anti-inflammatory properties.” Another way to increase immunity is by adding supplements such as zinc, B vitamins, and pre/probiotics. From the ongoing pandemic and health trends, immunity-boosting products are expected to grow and become a $17 billion market in the next 5 years.
Nutrition & Genetics training by the Nutrition society (UK)
Dr. Leta Pilic and Dr. Yiannis Mavrommatis both from St Mary's university in London, present a lecture that navigates nutritionists and registered dietitians in personalized healthcare. The course highlights the key terms in the field of nutrition and genetics, provides scientific examples of gene-diet interactions, presents the application of personalized dietary recommendations in different mock scenarios, and discusses the concerns when providing genotype-based dietary advice. The class, which costs £32, will be held on February 19, 2021, from 10:00 am to 1:45 pm.
Food Matters Live 10th March online
Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October
Personalised nutrition innovation summit Newtrition X (Cologne) - 12th October