Are 3D printed plant-based salmon steaks the next big thing?
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In this week's newsletter: Latest research, how we came up with the Qina score, 3D printed plant-based sea food hits the market, what retailers and shoppers want from heir grocery apps, 3-part microbiome sequencing series from Frontlinegenomics and our upcoming webinar on Ecosystems innovation in Personalised nutrition.
How we benchmark companies using the Qina score
So far we've had great feedback on the Qina platform in terms of timing and market need. One of the questions we get regularly is about how we came up with the Qina score. As many are aware there is currently no standard or benchmark for what a personalised nutrition company should be or look like. With our backgrounds in clinical, medical nutrition and consultancy, we could see a clear need to make navigation and guidance easier for both businesses and practitioners. The Qina score is a score made up of 10 criteria and is scored out of 100. The Qina score has been based on the published literature and is consistent across the segment, although we do have plans in the pipeline......(more on this later). Things that we see as important and match our values include: scientific validation, transparency, privacy, diversity, accessibility, support, behaviour change and adherence to the SDG's. To read more about the Qina score, please contact us by email and we'll gladly send you our manifesto and reasons why you can trust it!
Nutritional Research Update
Circulating Metabolites Associated with Postprandial Satiety in Overweight/Obese Participants: The SATIN Study
This hot-off the press study aimed to identify metabolic profile for postprandial satiety. Their finding include that higher glycine and linoleic acid were moderately but consistently associated with higher postprandial satiety in two different appetite assessments in overweight and obese subjects
Gut microbiome pattern reflects healthy aging and predicts survival in humans
This article reviews how gut microbiomes change when individuals age. “We leverage three independent cohorts comprising over 9,000 individuals and find that compositional uniqueness is strongly associated with microbial produced amino acid derivatives circulating in the bloodstream. In older age (over ~80 years), healthy individuals show continued microbial drift towards a unique compositional state, whereas this drift is absent in less healthy individuals. The identified microbiome pattern of healthy aging is characterized by a depletion of core genera found across most humans, primarily Bacteroides. Retaining a high Bacteroides dominance into older age, or having a low gut microbiome uniqueness measure, predicts decreased survival in a 4-year follow-up. Our analysis identifies increasing compositional uniqueness of the gut microbiome as a component of healthy aging, which is characterized by distinct microbial metabolic outputs in the blood.”
Metabolic Modeling Combined With Machine Learning Integrates Longitudinal Data and Identifies the Origin of LXR-Induced Hepatic Steatosis
The article uses metabolic models to develop temporal metabolomic and transcriptomic data. ADAPT (Analysis of Dynamic Adaptations in Parameter Trajectories) performs metabolic trajectory modeling and solves structural uncertainty in the model. ADAPT is extended to include both metabolic and transcriptomic time-series data by incorporating a regularization function in the learning algorithm. The reformulated ADAPT is then applied in the hepatic lipid and plasma lipoprotein metabolism to predict metabolic adaptations that are induced upon pharmacological treatment of mice by a Liver X receptor (LXR) agonist. ADAPT predicted that hepatic triglycerides accumulation comes from an increased influx of free fatty acids and triglycerides were stored in the cytosol. From this data, this study demonstrates that ADAPT is capable of providing biomedically important parameters that cannot be measured directly.
Not All Fibers Are Born Equal; Variable Response to Dietary Fiber Subtypes in IBD
Diet-based treatments have been proven to be excellent solutions to inflammatory bowel disease. An emphasized group of dietary factors that links microbiota to gut health is dietary fibers because they are fermented by the gut microbes within the bowel. While dietary fibers are highlighted in maintaining the gut and IBD, recent studies have highlighted the importance of the roles and interactions in each individual dietary fiber subtype, especially with the disease. There are an estimated ten subtypes of dietary fibers that are broadly categorized as soluble or insoluble, with different chemical structures, and fermentation profiles. As there is a clear understanding of the benefits of byproducts of fermentation in healthy and ill individuals, there is a vague understanding of how each of these individual fibers affects human health in dysbiotic settings. This review concludes the “differences in microbial composition and dietary factors present can result in substantial differences in host inflammatory response. [Therefore], taking into account that each select microorganism utilizes a variety of different environmental sources from the host diet and microenvironment for carbon and energy, along with the dysbiotic nature of the microbiome of IBD patients. There is a clear possibility that incomplete fermentation, potentially due to dysbiotic microbiome, can result in buildup of pro-inflammatory byproducts such as succinate.”
Relationship between vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms (BsmI, TaqI, ApaI, and FokI) and calcium intake on bone mass in young Japanese women
The article examines “the relationship between genetic and dietary factors, as well as its influence on bone mass in 20-24 years old Japanese women, with particular emphasis on vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms and calcium intake.” The study proceeds with assessing the bone mass of the calcaneus expressed as osteo sono-assessment index (OSI), VDR gene polymorphisms (BsmI, TaqI, ApaI, and FokI), calcium intake, and energy intake. Based on median calcium intake, participants were divided into two groups. The results show that “the bone mass was significantly different among the BsmI and TaqI genotypes after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.030 and 0.019, respectively). In addition, the BsmI AA and ApaI GT genotypes showed significant differences in bone mass between the calcium-intake groups, with low OSI in the low-calcium intake group and high OSI in the high-calcium intake group, respectively, even after adjusting for BMI (p = 0.020 and 0.038, respectively).” These outcomes support a logical approach towards preventing bone loss in young Japanese women.
A systematic comparison of food intake data of the United States and the Netherlands for food allergen risk assessment
“The article compares risk assessment outcomes for a broad range of food groups based on the United States and Dutch population food consumption survey data. We calculated risks for 14 allergenic foods for 9 concentrations (1-10,000 ppm) to assess comparability. Depending on the assumed allergen concentration, risk assessment outcomes for 20% (10 out of 49) food groups differed considerably. We consider the number of potentially relevant risk differences too high to conclude that food intake data from the US and The Netherlands can be used interchangeably. To allow risk assessments that cover scenarios for several countries, we recommend the development and use of a food intake dataset based on the highest intake levels for each food group of the involved countries to facilitate risk management efforts and harmonization.”
A service evaluation exploring the effectiveness of a locally commissioned tier 3 weight management program offering face‐to‐face, telephone, and digital dietetic support
Obesity continues to be a global health problem with significant costs associated with management, treatment, and obesity‐related comorbidities. Tier 3 weight management programs support patients with complex obesity and traditionally offer interventions through face‐to‐face delivery. In this study, a service evaluation (from OVIVA) compared weight loss for adults with a BMI ≥ 45 kg/m2 or ≥ 40 kg/m2 with comorbidity, who were offered a non‐randomized dietetic intervention through face‐to‐face, telephone, or digital support using the Oviva smartphone app as part of a tier 3 weight management program. There were no significant differences in weight loss between patients receiving face‐to‐face, telephone, and digital support, with data reported as intention‐to‐treat using baseline observation carried forward imputation. Completer data were also analyzed at an optional 12‐week follow‐up where weight loss was maintained with no significant differences between face‐to‐face and digital support. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in the acceptability of the interventions. Due to the potential scalability, resource, and cost‐savings of digital care, and improvement in accessibility for some people, digital delivery of weight management programs should be considered as a care option in weight management services.
Using the Google™ Search Engine for Health Information: Is There a Problem? Case Study: Supplements for Cancer
The study assesses the quality of online health and nutrition information using a Google™ search on “supplements for cancer”. Search results were scored using the Health Information Quality Index (HIQI), a quality-rating tool consisting of 12 objective criteria related to website domain, lack of commercial aspects, and authoritative nature of the health and nutrition information provided. Possible scores ranged from 0 (lowest) to 12 (“perfect” or highest quality). After eliminating irrelevant results, the remaining 160 search results had median and mean scores of 8. One-quarter of the results were of high quality (score of 10–12). There was no correlation between high-quality scores and an early appearance in the sequence of search results, where results are presumably more visible. 496 advertisements, over twice the number of search results, appeared. In conclusion, the Google™ search engine may have shortcomings when used to obtain information on dietary supplements and cancer.
Our latest blog post
We just published a blog on 3 consumer trends companies need to prepare for. It also includes highlights from the recent Deloitte report on the Future of healthcare. You can read the blog here
Revo Foods: The world's first 3D-printed plant-based seafood hits the market
Revo Foods (formerly known as Legendary Vish), an Austrian startup that specializes in 3D food printing and creating completely new plant-based fish products. The two products launched are plant-based smoked salmon strips and a smoked salmon spread. Revo foods is combining plant-based ingredients and 3D printing to produce alternative salmon products. The main ingredients in these products include pea protein, citrus fiber, and algae oil, and 3D printing are not used to create these products. Revo Foods will apply 3D printing techniques for the creation of its salmon sashimi, which uses similar ingredients to the previously mentioned products.
Wearable Tracks Biomarkers: Skin Patch Monitors Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and Glucose Levels
This article introduces the first wearable skin patch that monitors hemodynamic and metabolic biomarkers simultaneously. The device is placed on the neck to track physiological changes so people and patients can regularly monitor their health. The patch consists of “a blood pressure sensor and two chemical sensors: one that measures levels of lactate (a biomarker of physical exertion), caffeine and alcohol in sweat, and another that measures glucose levels in interstitial fluid.” With this invention, there are hopes that people and doctors can have a non-invasive comprehensive health overview.
Scientists develop a blood test to predict environmental harms to children
DNA biomarkers have been previously used on pregnant women to screen harmful prenatal environments linked to childhood illness and developmental diseases. However, DNA biomarkers have not been used to predict which children are at the highest risk of adverse health outcomes. The study uses a small amount of umbilical cord blood to assess which newborns are at elevated risk from prenatal exposures. From testing these biomarkers, researchers realize the biomarkers could be used to predict prenatal exposure to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter. Therefore, there are hopes that these biomarkers can be tested on a bigger population to have an affordable and accurate prediction on exposures and health outcomes.
Future Microbiome Themes Embrace Home Testing and Personalisation as Consumers Own Gut Health
Dr. Ruiari Robertson advocates the future of microbiome testing where instead of stool samples, smart pills can provide more personalized and accurate gut tests. The concept of a smart pill is that an individual swallows the pill and tracks it with bluetooth. By this, scientists can obtain samples of different gut regions and niches that would not be possible from stools. Through the pill’s preciseness, it can provide better assessment of prebiotic and probiotic by measuring the enzyme activity. Furthermore, the pill can test the status of inflammatory bowel diseases and the effectiveness of probiotic supplements. Aside from research, there is an opportunity for this pill to provide a personalized gut health approach for individuals.
Join Qina Founder Mariette Abrahams and Nard Clabbers CSO at Foodned for a lively discussion on the topic of ecosystems in Personalised nutrition on the 18th of March, click the image to sign up!
Food & Consumer Trends
5 Digital Health Trends to Watch in 2021, According to Investors
Healthtech investors, Dr. Fiona Pathiraja, Ashley Abrahams, and Pam Garside, provide insight and predictions of the 2021 health trends. Telemedicine is expected to continue to grow as doctors can have efficient access to patients’ tests and lifestyle factors to provide quality treatment. With that in mind, the use of AI is increasing as AI is incorporated into healthcare by assisting health professionals screen for diseases and analyzing CT scans. From advanced technology, there is an arising opportunity to provide personalized and preventative care with apps capable of providing services such as helping women to track their menstrual symptoms and medical devices that can perform non-invasive screening for infant meningitis. The mental health market is expanding especially with the pandemic demonstrating the prevalence of mental health in every age group rather than just the elderly. Therefore, mental health startups focused on providing behavioral and psychological support for younger people.
Ocado delivering worst ‘digital experience’ of major supermarkets, survey finds
The survey, commissioned by MullenLowe Profero, looked at supermarkets’ websites, apps, social media and email communication. Ocado, the pureplay online grocer, came behind every other major UK grocer except Budgens in terms of its overall digital experience. Among Ocado shoppers, less than a third (31%) rated their digital experience as good and only 14% deemed it exceptional.
Q&A: What retailers and shoppers want from their grocery apps
Alex Robinson and Leah Blandford express that grocery apps are becoming popularized especially with apps, in general, are universal tools for consumers to order takeout, track their health and manage their lives. In this interview, Robinson and Blandford explain the retailers’ focus is shifting towards contactless curbside pickup and contactless payments due to its efficiency. However, the online shopping experience can be easily portrayed as a bland, uncommunicative transactional process which is a common barrier of many apps. With the increased use of apps, retailers are finding ways to improve apps such as including digital coupons for customers to save money but also monetizing these apps by selling space for advertising or selling data. Furthermore, retailers have a strong interest in using AI to predict what consumers would want to buy next in order to provide a personalized shopping experience.
New Resources - Educational webinar by FrontlineGenomics
Microbiome Sequencing Online
The topic of the significant correlation between people’s microbiome and their health continues to rise. This three-part series webinar discusses the findings that metagenomics and microbiome have uncovered.
Food Matters Live 10th March online
Ecosystems innovation in Personalised nutrition 18th March 2021
Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October
Personalised nutrition innovation summit Newtrition X (Cologne) - 12th October
Qina is the hub for data and insights in Personalised nutrition. Qina offers the world´s first comprehensive and curated database of Personalised nutrition companies in the industry. Qina has a library of expert content and offers consultancy services for innovation projects.