The rapid rise of meal kits for health in Personalised nutrition

Apr 27, 2022 12:00pm

I had a great time this week in London teaching my "Design thinking and entrepreneurship for nutrition experts" intensive module at St Mary's university. At Qina we believe in preparing the next generation of students for opportunities that have not yet been created.

In this week's newsletter: 

Latest research, Food forum workshop proceedings, DietID help staff improve diets, Innit partners with Roche, Happ launches meal kits service, Zoe app to detect risk of cancer and other diseases and more!


Yours in health,

Mariette Abrahams

CEO & Founder of Qina


LATEST RESOURCE-Proceedings of the National Academy of sciences workshop

Challenges and Opportunities for Precision and Personalized Nutrition

"Challenges and Opportunities for Precision and Personalized Nutrition - Proceedings of a Workshop" summarizes the presentations and discussions of the workshop conducted on August 10-12, 2021 that Qina participated in. "The workshop explored potential challenges and opportunities in the application of precision and personalized nutrition approaches to optimize dietary guidance and improve nutritional status. Workshop presenters discussed current precision and personalized nutrition research methodologies, limitations in data and design, adapting technologies for utilization, and policy and regulatory challenges".


Research update 

Emerging Adults Carrying a CDH1 Pathogenic or Likely Pathogenic Variant Face Diet and Lifestyle Challenges after Total Gastrectomy

Individuals with a pathogenic, or likely pathogenic variant (PLPV) in the CDH1 gene are at risk (33% to 42% lifetime risk) for hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). When diagnosed they have two options: total gastrectomy (PTG) between ages 20 and 30 years to eliminate the risk of gastric cancer or frequent endoscopic surveillance (with cancer detection rate for endoscopy ranging from 15% to 60%). If they decide to do total gastrectomy (PTG), patients will face several nutritional implications such as early satiety, nausea, early dumping syndrome, late dumping syndrome, bile reflux, weight loss, micronutrient deficiencies, and metabolic bone disorders. Also, emotional concerns for young adults (career seeking, identity exploration, establishing independence, seeking romantic relationships, and considering or entering into parenthood) are important to consider. Based on this, the commentary highlights the essential role of the RDN in the care of these patients, discusses diet and lifestyle challenges that emerging adult CDH1 PLPV carriers face when considering PTG, and provides the RDN with insight on the nutrition concerns and risks after PTG, as well as nutrition interventions to mitigate these risks.


Nutrient profiling – scientific advice for EU Farm to Fork initiative

Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods, and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver scientific advice related to nutrient profiling for the development of mandatory, front‐of‐package nutrition labelling and the development of nutrient profiles for restricting nutrition and health claims on foods. The Panel concludes that “excess intake of SFAs, sodium, and added/free sugars and inadequate intakes of dietary fibre and potassium are associated with adverse health effects [and so] they could be included in nutrient profiling models. Energy could also be included because a reduction in energy intake is of public health importance for European populations. In food group/category‐based nutrient profiling models, total fat could replace energy in most food groups owing to its high‐energy density, while the energy density of food groups with low or no fat content may be well accounted for by the inclusion of (added/free) sugars".


Deep Lipidomics in Human Plasma - Cardiometabolic Disease Risk and Effect of Dietary Fat Modulation

This study evaluated two disease-specific case-cohorts of a total of 1,262 patients (CVD n=551 and T2D n=775). It aims to relate associations between plasma lipids and incident cardiometabolic diseases and subsequently test if the identified risk-associated lipids were sensitive to dietary fat modification. The participants consumed diets rich in fat (groups divided into saturated FAs diet (control), monounsaturated FAs diet, or a mixture of monounsaturated and n-6 polyunsaturated FAs) for 16 weeks. The results show "several monoacylglycerols and FA16:0 and FA18:0 in diacylglycerols were associated with both outcomes, cholesteryl esters, free fatty acids, and sphingolipids were largely CVD-specific, and several (glycerol) phospholipids T2D-specific. In addition, nineteen risk-associated lipids were affected by the diets rich in unsaturated dietary FAs compared to the saturated fat diet", which supports the substitution of dietary saturated FAs with unsaturated FAs as a potential tool for primary disease prevention.


Interplay between diet and gut microbiome, and circulating concentrations of trimethylamine N-oxide: findings from a longitudinal cohort of US men

This study "investigated whether gut microbiome could modify associations of dietary precursors with trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) concentrations and cardiometabolic risk markers" in 307 healthy men in the Men’s Lifestyle Validation Study. By analyzing faecal and blood samples, the study concluded that "10 bacterial species in abundance was significantly associated with plasma TMAO concentrations. Higher habitual intake of red meat and choline was significantly associated with higher TMAO concentrations (...). Among abundant TMAO-predicting species, Alistipes shahii significantly strengthened the positive association between red meat intake and HbA1c levels. Secondary analyses revealed that some functional features, including choline trimethylamine-lyase activating enzymes, were associated with TMAO concentrations".



Where am I speaking next?

This event is in its second year and brings together industry, academia, entrepreneurs and innovators to solve the future of future of food.

I will be delivering a session on Personalised nutrition and participate as part of the Blendhub panel discussion

For more information on the event, click here.


Technology News

Happ launches personalised meal kits

"Happ - Your personal food butler towards building a Personalised Nutrition ecosystem, have launched their first proposition together with partner Butlon- Happ Meal kits."


“Unparalleled” opportunity in peptides, Nuritas CEO reveals as AI drives supplement innovation

Interview with Dr Nora Khaldi, founder and CEO of Nuritas. Here she explains how its AI-powered platform can uncover bioactive compounds and present environmentally sustainable solutions. The AI technology platform Nπϕ (Nuritas Peptide Finder) has been shown to identify and develop new bioactives ten times faster and 600 times more accurately than traditional discovery methods, significantly reducing time to market. By using bioactive peptides from food sources and waste streams from food processing the company improves (environmental) sustainability. “Peptides are the language of nature: signalling molecules that can trigger, regulate or correct precise biological pathways in human bodies. They provide highly-specific benefits that can be added to our everyday products, from skincare to supplements, (functional) food, medical food, and drugs,” Khaldi says.

Related articles:

PNU 34.2021: Biotech Firm Nuritas, Backed By U2’s Bono & The Edge, Raises $45M to “Improve Human Health” With Plants

PNU 12.2021: Nuritas & Sumitomo Partner Up in AI-Powered Peptide Discovery Pact



Innit Expands Partnership With Roche Diabetes Care France for Healthy Eating, Enabling Connection to Blood Glucose Meters

Innit has announced a new partnership with Roche Diabetes Care France. Right now, Innit users can access an upgrade on the Phil app with the connection of Roche Diabetes blood glucose meters to Phil. Phil app by Innit helps patients understand their pathology, access articles, expert advice, and manage their diet. Now they also can track blood glucose and HbA1c.

Related articles:

PNU 12.2022: Innit Unveils Joint Solutions With Google Cloud for Health and Wellness

PNU 24.2021: Innit and Google Cloud Team Up to Help Retailers Personalize Grocery Shopping


Diet ID partners with Ohio State University Medical Center launches Diet ID to Increase Healthy Eating Habits of Faculty and Staff

"Diet ID, an instant digital dietary assessment and health behaviour change platform, is partnering with Ohio State University Medical Center on a special project designed to promote healthy eating habits in hospital medicine". This groundbreaking partnership will encourage behaviour change among hospital staff leading to an overall increase in diet quality and lifestyle improvements. This, in turn, will lead to higher quality patient care, as it is well established that health professionals who learn to apply health promotion and disease prevention to themselves are much more likely to do the same for their patients. The participants will access health coaching (group or one-on-one) and the Daily Actions Module of Diet ID that will allow participants to set goals, work on personalized habit change, and track progress over time.

Related Articles:

PNU 01.2022: Breakthrough digital nutrition tool improves Diet Quality by six percent in as little as two weeks

PNU 28.2020: Personalized supplements: Diet ID and Nature’s Bounty partner on non-subscription recommendation tool


Zoe new app will ‘revolutionise healthcare’ by alerting people to risk of cancer other diseases

ZOE is a UK-based company that tracks users' symptoms and alerts them to their personal risk of cancer, dementia, and other diseases along with advice on beneficial lifestyle changes. The Zoe app was firstly supported by grants from the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care between August 2020 and March 2022 to track COVID symptoms, but now it's upgrading to other diseases. Gut health and menopause will be the first diseases to be explored in the coming weeks and years. The app combines data inserted by users on their diet, lifestyle, and exercise as well as symptoms that could be relevant to cancer, heart disease, dementia, mental illness, and muscular-skeletal disease, for example. The ZOE app can then use AI algorithms to predict diseases and provide advice on which medical specialist to go to.

Related Articles:

PNU 12.2022: Menopause Is Associated With Postprandial Metabolism, Metabolic Health and Lifestyle: The ZOE PREDICT Study

PNU 05.2022: Podcast with Zoe co-founder Jonathan Wolf

PNU 37.2021: Impact of insufficient sleep on dysregulated blood glucose control under standardised meal conditions


Food & Consumer Trends

What impact are ultra-processed diets having on our planet?

This commentary aims to discuss how 'global diets' (characterized by a high intake of ultra-processed foods) impact agrobiodiversity loss. "The homogeneity of agricultural landscapes linked with the intensive use of cheap, standardized ingredients is negatively affecting the cultivation and consumption of long-established plant food sources, including rich varieties of grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods, commonly produced by agro biodiverse production systems", said Fernanda Marrocos, PhD and candidate in Global Health and Sustainability at the University of Sao Paulo (USP). In her opinion, "we need to reshape the modern, globalized food system urgently. First, relevant policymakers at all levels need to recognize the calamitous effects of ultra-processed foods on both human and planetary health. Second, researchers, professional and civil society organizations, and citizen action groups should urge national governments to use different policy strategies (e.g. fiscal measures, food procurement policies) to promote the production, accessibility, and consumption of a rich variety of fresh or minimally processed foods, and to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of ultra-processed foods".


Upcoming Events


Food Innovation and Investment Summit, Kisaco Research, San Francisco, California, 18-19 May 2022

2022 KoSFoST International Symposium and Annual Meeting

New Era in Food Science and Biotechnology - Bexco, Busan, Korea July 6-8, 2022

NutraEvent, Nantes, France, October 4th & 5th 2022 

Personalized nutrition summit - ANA, San Diego 26-29 October

Sign up for a free account to learn more.