Consumer health becomes personalised

Apr 14, 2021 1:46pm

The last two weeks have been life changing to say the least, but the world of personalised nutrition does not stop! We have some exciting news share shortly with big changes happening at Qina. We have collated two week's worth of news, so make sure to block time in your diary to catch up on all the updates.

Happy reading!!



Research Update

A Combination of Lactoplantibacillus plantarum Strains CECT7527, CECT7528, and CECT7529 Plus Monacolin K Reduces Blood Cholesterol: Results from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

“Dietary supplements have been proposed to help manage blood cholesterol, including red yeast rice (RYR) extracts, plant sterols and stanols, beta-glucans, and some probiotics. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of RYR combined with three Lactoplantibacillus plantarum strains (CECT7527, CECT7528, and CECT7529). Study groups were comparable at baseline, except for history of recent hypercholesterolemia treatment (81% in active vs. 22% in placebo). Changes in LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol (TC) became significant compared to placebo upon adjusting for the baseline imbalance in hypercholesterolemia treatment. No adverse effects were noted during the study. The combination of 10 mg of monacolin K and L. plantarum strains was well-tolerated and achieved a statistically significant greater reduction in LDL-C and total cholesterol in the intervention group compared to the placebo, once adjusting for the recent history of hypercholesterolemia treatment.”

Individual risk management strategy for SARS-CoV2 infection: a step toward personalized healthcare

Lethal or critical COVID-19 occurs most in infected hosts with certain risk factors such as advanced age or pre-existing disease. Host metabolic status significantly affects the clinical presentations of SARS-CoV2 infection. Individual risk management is thus crucial for preventing severe COVID-19. Such susceptibility is individual depending on a multitude of factors. Personalized risk assessment requires the inclusive analysis of big health data to stratify individual risk and derive a customized action plan. Personalized medicine requires shifting from the virology aspect per se to the whole individual's consideration, including dietary pattern, nutritional status, supporting lifestyle, co-existing diseases, and environmental factors.

Nutrigenomics and Life Style Facet - A Modulatory Molecular Evidence in Progression of Breast and Colon Cancer with Emerging Importance

Nutrigenomics and lifestyle factors play a vital role in health management and represent an exceptional prospect for the improvement of personalized diets to the individual at risk of developing diseases like cancer. Concerning cancer as a multifactorial genetic ailment, several aspects need to be investigated and analyzed. Various perspectives should be researched and examined regarding the development and prognosis of breast and colon cancer. Malignant growth occurrence is anticipated to upsurge in the impending days, and an effective anticipatory strategy is required. The effect of dietary components, basically studied by nutrigenomics, looks at gene expression and molecular mechanisms. It also interrelates bioactive compounds and nutrients because of different 'omics' innovations. Several preclinical investigations demonstrate the pertinent role of nutrigenomics in breast and colon cancer, and change of dietary propensities is conceivably a successful methodology for reducing cancer risk. The connection between the genomic profile of patients with breast or colon cancer and their supplement intake, it is conceivable to imagine an idea of personalized medicine, including nutrition and medicinal services.

Network analysis of nitrate-sensitive oral microbiome reveals interactions with cognitive function and cardiovascular health across dietary interventions

Many oral bacteria reduce inorganic nitrate, a natural part of a vegetable-rich diet, into nitrite that acts as a precursor to nitric oxide, a regulator of vascular tone and neurotransmission. Aging is hallmarked by reduced nitric oxide production with associated detriments to cardiovascular and cognitive function. This study applied a systems-level bacterial co-occurrence network analysis across 10-day dietary nitrate and placebo interventions to test the stability of relationships between physiological and cognitive traits and clusters of co-occurring oral bacteria in older people. Relative abundances of Proteobacteria increased, while Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Fusobacteria decreased after nitrate supplementation. Two distinct microbiome modules of co-occurring bacteria, that were sensitive to nitrate supplementation, showed stable relationships with cardiovascular (Rothia-Streptococcus) and cognitive (Neisseria-Haemophilus) indices of health across both dietary conditions. A microbiome module (Prevotella-Veillonella) that has been associated with pro-inflammatory metabolism was diminished after nitrate supplementation, including a decrease in the relative abundance of pathogenic Clostridium difficile. These nitrate-sensitive oral microbiome modules are proposed as potential pre-and probiotic targets to ameliorate age-induced impairments in cardiovascular and cognitive health.

Telemedicine and Telehealth in Nursing Homes: An Integrative Review

The article assesses how telemedicine and telehealth can maximize access to specialty care, modernize care models and improve patient outcomes. Measurable impacts such as reduced emergency and hospital admissions, financial savings, reduced physical restraints, and improved vital signs were found along with process improvements, such as expedient access to specialists. Clinician, resident, and family perspectives were also discovered to be roundly positive. Studies showed wide methodologic heterogeneity and low generalizability owing to small sample sizes and incomplete study designs.

Preliminary evidence was found to support geriatrician, psychiatric, and palliative care consults through telemedicine. Financial and clinical incentives such as Medicare savings and reduced admissions to hospitals were also supported. Additional research is needed to explore resident and family opinions of telemedicine and telehealth use in nursing homes, as well as remote monitoring costs and workflow changes incurred with its use.

Genetic, lifestyle, and health-related characteristics of adults without celiac disease who follow a gluten-free diet: a population-based study of 124,447 participants

The number of gluten-free diet followers without celiac disease (CD) is increasing. However, little is known about the characteristics of these individuals. Gluten-free diet followers have a better cardiovascular risk profile than non-gluten-free diet followers but poorer self-reported health and a higher prevalence of blood and immune disorders and digestive conditions. Reasons for following a gluten-free diet warrant further investigation.


Technology News

DSM invests $100 million in personalized health & nutrition innovation

DSM collaborates with Hologram Sciences which manages consumers’ health with holistic solutions. Hologram Sciences plans to work on products with DSM that focus on the latest consumer insights. Furthermore, a digital platform will be created to provide consumers a personalized experience and allow them to interact with registered dietitians in order to “better understand how their lifestyle, nutrition, and other factors impact overall health and what they can do to live healthier lives.”

Digital Health Infrastructure Benefits From Cloud-to-Edge Architecture

During COVID-19, digital health took off as physical distancing requirements became paramount. Some providers saw increases in virtual visits in the tens of thousands, other components, including remote patient monitoring and wearable technology, were becoming more commonplace. Prior to the advent of the pandemic, 88% of healthcare providers had invested in a remote patient monitoring (RPM) system, which could include blood glucose monitors or oximeters. And by 2022, the number of wearable devices in the U.S. is expected to top 67 million. But, to make digital health accessible to patients and useful for providers, the right infrastructure and integration with electronic health records (EHRs) are required.

Healthcare tops 100 most innovative AI companies: 8 digital health startups on the list

Healthcare is the most-represented industry, in showing promising artificial intelligence startups. On the “AI 100 2021” list, the 100 companies have raised more than $11.7 billion. Healthcare was the most common industry on the list with the eight selected companies representing dental insurance, clinical trials, and surgical tech. The following healthcare companies on CB Insights' 2021 AI 100 list are Caption Health, Recursion, Unlearn, Theator, Overjet, Olive, Insitro, Owkin.

PAR Acquires Guest Loyalty Platform Punchh for $500M

PAR Technology Corporation acquired guest engagement platform Punchh for $500 million in cash and shares. The deal adds loyalty and guest engagement software to PAR’s existing arsenal of restaurant tech tools, which currently includes a wide range of hardware and software products for restaurants. Punchh helps restaurants align their sales channels and marketing campaigns with their customers’ needs by collecting consumer data and using it to dictate the types of campaigns and promotions sent out. An example of this would be sending deals on plant-based meals to vegans and never sending that group offers for meat burgers. Punchh has raised $68.1 million and its platform serves over 200 brands including Pizza Hut, Denny’s, and El Pollo Loco. PAR’s integration with Punchh platform will allow restaurants to access more technology via a single system, rather than “juggling disjointed vendors,” as is fairly common nowadays.

We also suggest reading: Are 3D printed plant-based salmon steaks the next big thing?

Spanish Consortium Enters Personalised Nutrition Pact to Address Cognitive Health

Natac Biotech, Precision for Health, IMDEA Food are collaborating in a 3-year project, HEALTH4BRAIN, to create precise nutrition that will maintain and improve cognitive health. The goal is to produce food products based on an individual’s genetic profile and study the food’s effect on the individual’s brain. Personalised nutrition has also been of interest in sports nutrition, healthy aging, and nutricosmetic sectors. Studies include testing iron metabolism in athlete’s endurance performance and the effect of fish oil supplements on heart health based on certain genotypes. The European Union is supportive of personalized nutrition and funded MyBiotics Pharma to advance technology in creating personalized probiotics. 

Apeel Unites Avocado Suppliers Through an Expanded Network Fighting Food Waste

Apeel is aiming to reduce food waste with its plant-based coating technology that extends the life of fruits and vegetables. The food-safe powder consists of plant oils that create a barrier against water and oxygen from penetrating produce. While the technology was tested on different produce such as asparagus and citrus fruits, it is best known to be used on avocados which have prevented 5 million avocados from going into landfills in 2020. This coating technology not only has a positive impact financially but also on climate change with food waste being a leading contributor. More than 20 leading suppliers have joined to use this solution to decrease food waste.

Apple Watch is Effective in Monitoring Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases, According to Stanford Study

The Apple Watch has been studied to be as good as in-clinic tests. With the Apple Watch’s extensive functions, this technology provides the efficiency for people to gather data within their own time and at home rather than visit the doctor and perform functional exams. According to a study where researchers compared the ECG patches and Apple Watch app’s detection of abnormal heart rhythm, the “Apple Watch app's alerts matched up with electrocardiography, or ECG readings, 84% of the time.” The outcome suggests the Apple Watch as an efficient and less costly way in determining symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

ASA rules DNAfit ‘nutrigenetics’ ad unfit for publication

“DNAfit has pointed to the body of ‘nutrigenetic’ evidence that suggests DNA sequencing can shape personalised nutrition advice after UK authorities deemed an ad for its services as a breach of the non-broadcast code.”


Remember to watch the NutraIngredients awards live results on the 12th of May! - we've been shortlisted!



Food & Consumer Trends

The power of personalization in food shopping: Two online retailers show the way

The article reviews the trend of online shopping as 27% say they now shop online for groceries more than before COVID-19. Furthermore, the key points about personalized shopping from the consumer perspective are discussed:
-Food retailers understand the motivational factors that drive consumers to personalize eating, concerns they have about going too far, and what kinds of relationships they’re willing to engage in with stores to achieve their shopping and eating aspirations:

  • Shoppers expect to control and do some of the work of personalization; that’s what they think shopping is. They just want shopping to be easier, with the flexibility to meet their families’ changing needs.
  • Families desire to eat together and family meals require balancing among personal and shared needs and tastes. Desires for social cohesion and parental goals for cultivating healthy food habits put hard limits on extreme eating personalization.
  • Consumers rate stores most highly that excel at the benefits of personalization: convenience, caring, and enabling the shopper to meet their needs.

Gathered Foods, Maker of Good Catch Secures $26.35M for Plant-Based Seafood

“Gathered Foods receives $26.35 million funding from investors including Louis Dreyfus Company, Unovis Asset Management, and Big Idea Ventures. The Good Catch brand currently offers lines of plant-based fish products, including tuna, frozen fish burgers, fish cakes, and crab cakes. Good Catch has a distribution partnership with Bumble Bee Foods and its products are currently available in the U.S. and Canada as well as in various European countries.” There is an upcoming trend of plant-based seafood products other companies such as Revo Foods launching plant-based salmon strips and salmon spread, 3D-printed plant-based salmon filet, Tyson-backed New Wave Foods launched a plant-based shrimp product last month, and Ocean Hugger which launched plant-based eel and tuna.

The Frozen Food Ingredient Market is ‘Ready for a Shake Up’ Says New Supply Venture

“The Frozen retail market saw a massive growth in 2020 pandemic, outperforming both fresh and chilled sectors with an estimated 13.8% year on year increase.” From these statistics, REMS Frozen Foods plans on expanding its frozen food variety to products such as a superfood or a healthy plant alternative that serves as a meat substitute.

Not all food categories have post-pandemic staying power, report reveals

Numberator’s research demonstrates which food trends are or are not staying, post-pandemic. Meat alternatives had interesting results as sales were lower in 2020 compared to 2019. Yet, meat alternatives had a 129% increase in sales during the first seven months of the pandemic. Baking products such as yeast and leavening agents have also shown an increase in sales but this is not expected to stay. Sales of energy and sports drinks have continued to do well while kombucha has not, despite more functional benefits. Puffed and vegetable snacks will continue to remain the same compared to previous years. From the many home cooking opportunities the pandemic has given, “seven out of 10 consumers plan to keep up their new home cooking habit”; however, sales and marketing data hints that consumers are tired of dining at home and eager to go out to restaurants. 

Snack Sector Looks to Lentils, Beans and Insects as ‘Health by Stealth’ Hits Limit

More than half of the consumers aged 16-24 years old snack at least once a day” which demonstrates the increasing demand for healthier snack options. Throughout the years of 1990-2019, the UK snack industries have successfully “reduced salt by 53% and saturated fat levels by up to 60%.” There is a focus on lentil-based snacks as it does not only provide a flavorful taste, but also nutrient content that is “40% less fat than regular crisps and 13% protein content.” Insects are also being taken into consideration due to the growing interest in low carbon footprint and high protein content. Between 2009-2018, the consumption of nut snacks had an annual 70% increase and with its protein status, nut snacks make a nutritious and great choice as a “hunger filler and longer-lasting energy source.



2021 Consumer Research: How COVID Changed Online Shopping and Brand Trust

On April 27th at 2pm EST, the one-hour online webinar panel will provide an overview of the driving factors behind consumer behavior. Here are the following topics that will be discussed:

  • Pop off the Page: Three key steps for stopping the scroll and grabbing your shopper’s attention
  • Trust Factor: The top three things that build consumer trust when shopping for a product online
  • The Bounce-Back: Retail spending rebounded in fall 2020. Here’s how to capture the growing spend, remain competitive, and deliver profit​


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Upcoming Events

Vitafoods Insight Virtual Expo 10th May

Kisaco Personalised nutrition summit, 28-29th June

Personalised nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October 

Personalised nutrition innovation summit Newtrition X (Cologne) - 12th October