This new sensor can measure glucose in sweat

Oct 27, 2021 1:03pm

It is time for trend reports and it is great to see sustainability and mental wellbeing are high on the agenda. We are working hard in the background on some exciting developments on the Qina platform.

In this week's newsletter: 23andme launches new black representation study, latest research, Eatlove partners with YouFIt gyms, New lab-on a chip startup Bisu raises $3.2m, New sensor can measure glucose in sweat, Personalised nutrition podcast with Tim Spector and plenty more!

Happy reading



What happened at NewtritionX? 

We recently presented and moderated the NutritionX event at Anuga. For a great Press release on the event by the NewtritionX, click here

In the headlines - Black representation in genetic research study launched by 23andme

In a recent study published in Cell(2018) it was estimated that 78% of GWAS studies contained data from only European descent. In order to advance medical treatments and to ensure equitable representation in research more ethnicities should be included which is what 23andme set out to achieve.

In this new study 1,000 people with African ancestry consented to participate in research. The median age of participants is 37. Most of those who participated were in New York, California, Texas, Georgia and Florida. In addition about 69 percent were women, and most of those who participated had West African ancestry. This study is important because conditions such as certain cancers, diabetes, and asthma, impact people of African ancestry differently. Some of those differences are due to environmental and social differences but genetics may also play a role.


Research Update


Commercial Devices Provide Estimates of Energy Balance with Varying Degrees of Validity in Free-Living Adults

This study aimed to compare gold-standard assessments [doubly labeled water (DLW) and DXA] in energy expenditure (EE) and energy storage (ES)  and commercial devices [Fitbit Alta HR activity monitor (Alta) and Fitbit Aria wireless body composition scale (Aria)]. The study included 24 healthy adults. They completed two 14-day assessment periods, for each type of measurement. The results show: "was moderate to a strong agreement for EE between the Fitbit Alta and DLW (...). There was a weak agreement for ES between the Fitbit Aria and DXA. Correlations between methods to assess energy intake (EI) ranged from weak to strong, with an agreement between the DXA/DLW-calculated EI (...)". In conclusion: "EE estimates were the most robust overall, whereas ES estimates were generally poor".


Taste of Modern Diets: The Impact of Food Processing on Nutrient Sensing and Dietary Energy Intake

This study used data from the Singapore Multi-Ethnic Cohort Phase 2 (N = 7011) and has two main objectives: (1) investigate the association of  269 Singaporean foods and 6 taste modalities in the context of food processing; (2) examine the relative contribution of different taste clusters to total energy intakes, stratified by weight status. The results show: "Sweet taste and mono- and disaccharide content of foods were significantly associated across all processing categories [but more] among unprocessed foods. In contrast, associations between fat sensation and fat content, as well as salt taste and sodium content, were stronger for ultra-processed foods (UPFs)". And, "Individuals with BMI > 23 derived significantly greater percentage of energy from processed foods rather than UPFs, and this energy was higher from “savory–fatty” and lower from “neutral” tasting. Eighty percent of individuals’ dietary energy was from both “savory–fatty” and “neutral” foods, independent of differences in total energy intake and weight status". 


Sequential dependency for affective appraisal of food images

"Participants from 16 different countries (N = 1278) watched a randomly presented sequence of 60 different food images and reported their affective appraisal of each image in terms of valence and arousal (...) The analyses showed that valence and arousal ratings for a given food image are both assimilated towards the ratings on the previous trial (i.e., a positive serial dependence). For a given trial, the arousal rating depends on the arousal ratings up to three trials back. For valence, we observed a positive dependence for the immediately preceding trial only, while a negative (repulsive) dependence was present up to four trials back. These inter-trial effects were larger for males than for females but independent of the participants’ BMI, age, and cultural background. The results of this exploratory study may be relevant for the design of websites of food delivery services and restaurant menus". 


Measuring the oral bioavailability of protein hydrolysates derived from food sources: A critical review of current bioassays

This review describes in vitro assays of digestion, permeation, and metabolism as indirect predictors of the potential oral bioavailability (BA) of hydrolysates and their constituent bioactive peptides. It also discusses the relationship between industrial hydrolysis processes and the oral BA of hydrolysates and their peptide by-products.



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Remember all companies listed in this newsletter are on the Qina platform.



Technology News


YouFit Gyms Reveals Complete Rebrand and Game-Changing Member Perks to Gyms Nationwide

YouFit Health Club has announced a company-wide rebrand that includes a new name (YouFit Gyms), new personalized services, and low-cost affiliations. "YouFit Gyms will now offer members access to affordable on-site personal training, first-of-its-kind nutritional resources through a new partnership with EatLove, and YouFit On Demand, a series of virtual classes created for at-home workouts, helping to facilitate a hybrid model option for members". In this partnership with EatLove, the members will receive individualized meal planning, nutritional advice, food tracking, and a dietitian-led education series, all included in their low-cost membership.


Japanese healthcare startup Bisu raises $3.2M seed round to launch its lab-on-a-chip product – TechCrunch

The "Bisu Body Coach" is a portable home medical lab that uses a microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” technology (spectroscopic analysis and real-time measurements) at home. The Bisu app provides feedback on key nutritional biomarkers such as hydration, minerals, vitamins, pH, uric acid, and ketones. It provides personalized nutrition and lifestyle advice (personalized recommendations based on your goals, preferences, activities, sleep, and weight) through simple and accurate urine and saliva tests. The Japanese company is now in beta testing (in the US and Europe), and aims to commercialize in these markets in 2022 and in Japan and South Korea in 2023.


Viome Life Sciences Announces Expansion of Collaboration with GSK into New Therapeutic Interventions for Cancers and Autoimmune Diseases

Viome Life Sciences has announced the expansion of its two-year partnership with GSK. Through this partnership, GSK and Viome will continue to examine chronic diseases that are without treatment and will work to develop much-needed new targets for potential interventions, using Viome’s proprietary microbiome analysis and artificial intelligence platforms and GSK’s expertise in immunology.


Wearable, Non-Invasive Sensor Measures Glucose in Sweat

“Scientists at Penn State University developed a wearable glucose monitor that can non-invasively measure glucose levels within sweat in real-time. The low-cost sensor consists of laser-induced graphene and a nickel-gold alloy that can detect very low levels of glucose in sweat without the use of enzymes. The sensor contains a microfluidic chamber into which sweat is drawn, and then an alkaline solution reacts with the glucose in the sweat, causing a reaction in the alloy and a substantial electrical signal”


Gryphon snaps up Metagenics as healthcare practitioners and patients seek nutritional programs

Metagenics is a nutraceutical company that uses nutritional genomics to create nutrition programs and products to support health. The brand offers approximately 850 natural health products across several functional areas, from immune health to women’s health. The company has partnered with healthcare practitioners for over 35 years. These healthcare practitioners recommend nutritional products to support their patients’ health with measurable results. They have announced a partnership with Gryphon that promises long-term sustainable growth for its brand worldwide.


Researchers launch 'world's most advanced nutrition' app

David Dunne and Sam Impey are the co-founders of "Hexis", one future app that through his words is "the world’s most intelligent nutrition system". Hexis is now on beta testing and will be available on the market in early 2022. Hexis is a performance technology app for fitness enthusiasts who want to get more from their bodies. It uses sports science to optimize the body capacity on their basic routines and in physical performance. It uses artificial intelligence, to predictively periodize the body’s needs to the demands of the workout, lifestyle, and goals.



Food & Consumer Trends


ADM forecasts “whole self” nutrition, microbiome awareness, and sustained plant-based appetites to star in 2022

Eight key consumer trends according to ADM’s second annual list of global consumer trends: (1) Nourishment for the Whole Self - focus on mental well-being and healthy nutrition; (2) Plant-based Lifestyles -  flexitarian approach (3) Microbiome as The Root Of Wellness - 58% of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits that bacteria in the digestive system can have on their overall health; (4) Clean & Transparent Sourcing - Clean Label products; (5) Humanization of Pets (6) Precise & Responsible Animal Feeding (7) Sustainable Goodness (8) Advanced Renewables & BioSolutions - Today’s consumers are more conscious of the environmental impact of their consumption and the food system at large, with a specific focus on the use of finite materials and physical waste.


Personalised nutrition: A chance for real change

Experts from the Personalised Nutrition Industry recently discussed the future and business potential at the Future Food-Tech Summit. Some snippets and soundbites are included below: 

- " If we look at the growing numbers of chronic diseases maybe it's not the time to worry about earning big margins, maybe it's time to look after the health of our future generations";

- "Personalized nutrition will appeal to any consumer looking to cut -through some of the confusion created from the many health benefits touted across so many different products."

- "Personalised nutrition is an opportunity to keep people more compliant because they are getting feedback through diagnostics so they can see the benefits" 

- "Research is so important to drive the whole sector and to drive innovation and for the insurance industry to adopt the technology." 



Resources: Tim Spector on personalised diets for long term health - BBC Podcast


This recent podcast features renowned scientist, expert and co-founder of startup Zoe in personalized nutrition Prof Tim Spector on how personalized diets can impact long term health. 


Are continuous glucose monitors dishing out imprecision nutrition? Read more here


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