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In The News

Our ‘In The News’ page provides a graphical snapshot of the last news stories posted and summarises all our articles in one page, as they are added to the site. Therefore what you see here is a chronological sequence of content but everything here is accessible via the top navigation or the sidebar navigation options. Or, indeed, you can open articles using the “Hot Stuff” section in the footer or from the tags at the end of each article.

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Food colours

Many natural food colours degrade over time or when they are heated. This is one of the main reasons why colour ingredients are needed.

The colour of our food is an intrinsic part of its appeal. Colours contribute to the taste sensation, whether they are the bright colours we associate with many fruit and vegetables, or the lurid reds and yellows common in Indian dishes. Grey colours give the impression that a food will

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Heart health

Plant sterols have been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. Blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

High levels of cholesterol are believed to be bad for the heart. Increasing numbers of people in the western world now take statin drugs to help reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in their bloodstream, as it can lead to blocked arteries and increase the risk of heart attacks and

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Digestive health

In recent years, these probiotic-bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health.

Foods that claim to improve digestive health are now commonplace on the supermarket shelves. In recent years, these probiotic-bacteria have become popular ingredients in foods designed to promote digestive health. These days, it’s not as simple as adding ‘fibre’ – many more exotic sounding ingredients such as resistant starch, inulin, oligosaccharides and polydextrose are used, not to mention the lactic acid bacteria that are added to yogurts and yogurt drinks

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Bone and dental health

Calcium and vitamin D are needed for normal growth and development of bone in children.

Several vitamins and minerals are essential for our bones and teeth to grow and remain healthy. It’s crucial, for example, for children to consume sufficient calcium as it’s needed for the growth of strong, dense bones and teeth, and as we get older it’s needed to keep them that way.

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Vitamins

Carotenoids are found naturally in foods such as fruit, spinach, carrots and eggs.

The importance of certain ingredients in the diet for maintaining health has been known since ancient times. But the need for what we now call vitamins was first realised in the mid-18th century, when the Scottish surgeon James Lind found that citrus fruit helped to prevent sailors on long voyages

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Fish oils

Fish oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids

Marine oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, notably eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They are extracted from various different oily fish, such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna and herrings, but the fish do not make the oils themselves – they come from their own diet, usually microalgae, or

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Minerals

Many different minerals are essential for health, often in tiny amounts. Some of the most important are: Calcium has long been associated with formation of bones and teeth but has a wide role in human health, and claims have now been authorised for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth

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Fibre

Dietary fibre is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Consuming sufficient dietary fibre is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system. There are two main types of fibre – soluble and insoluble – and many different components of plants act as dietary fibres, including cellulose, lignin, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides. Insoluble fibre passes straight through the digestive tract unchanged. Because

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Sweeteners

If it weren’t for artificial intense sweeteners, the only way to satisfy a sweet tooth would be with natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and maltose, which are full of calories and contribute to tooth decay.

The modern desire to eat sweet foods that don’t make you fat has led to the development of a variety of low calorie intense sweeteners that are much sweeter than sucrose, and only need to be used in tiny amounts to satisfy the taste buds. They aren’t a modern invention

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Preservatives in food

Preservatives work by killing the micro organism or preventing it from growing

Humans have always found ways to preserve their food to stop it spoiling before it can be eaten. Many of the bacteria and moulds that grow on food can be dangerous. Salmonella, listeria and botulism are familiar forms of food poisoning caused by bacteria, and one of the most infamous

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Gelling agents, thickeners & stabilisers

The texture of food is important for the look and feel of food, and also for digestion. Thickening and stabilising agents are gums that work with emulsifiers to maintain the texture of food, and create texture in water-based products that would otherwise be runny. Ingredients such as flour, cornflour and

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Flavourings

Coffee has more than 800 different aromachemicals.

One of the most important qualities of our food is the flavour – it has to taste good. All flavours are a subtle mix of the five basic tastes – salt, sweet, bitter, sour and savoury – combined with the aromas that the foods give off, which are a crucial

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Emulsifiers in food

Ice cream is another food that would not exist were it not for emulsifiers.

Oil and water don’t mix but they do form emulsions – and these are crucial to the consistency of a number of foodstuffs. Nature is good at making emulsions, and the classic example is milk, where a complex mixture of fat droplets are suspended in an aqueous solution. Emulsifiers are

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Anti-caking agents

Anti-caking agents are used to prevent powdery and granular food products from absorbing water and clumping together

Many powdery and granular food products have a tendency to absorb water and clump together. Whether it’s table salt, icing sugar, non-dairy creamer, instant soup or even grated parmesan cheese, if the ingredients don’t flow freely then they are difficult to use. Salt cellars wouldn’t dispense salt, drink vending machines

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Acidulants in food

Acidulants are an essential ingredient in sharp, zesty food products. These acids are what give fruit its characteristic tang, and most of those that are added to food products are common in nature. For example, citric acid occurs naturally in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, malic acid is

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Flavour enhancers

Monosodium Glutamate (E621), known as MSG, is added to processed foods, especially soups, sauces and sausages.

Flavour enhancers are used to bring out the flavour in a wide range of foods without adding a flavour of their own.  For example, monosodium glutamate (E621), known as MSG, is added to processed foods, especially soups, sauces and sausages. Flavour enhancers are also used in a wide range of

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Antioxidants

Oxidation is a real problem for food products. Oxidation, for example, causes raw apples and potatoes go brown, but this can prevented in the kitchen by adding lemon juice. It’s very effective because lemon juice contains a very strong antioxidant – ascorbic acid or vitamin C (E300). By preventing or

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The fascinating chemistry in your kitchen…

  Over the years, the perception of food additives has been bedevilled by a lack of understanding that nutrition is a chemical process. In the Mix brings out the chemistry in familiar culinary tasks, such as cake-making, and shows how the use of additives is rooted in such processes as

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TV programme discovers the surprising truth about MSG

Often on the receiving end of negative comments and bad publicity, a new TV programme has uncovered the truth about flavour enhancer MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped recently went behind the scenes at MSG manufacturer Ajinomoto, and unearthed some surprising facts. For example, MSG – the subject of

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Good news on food pesticide residue levels

More than 97% of food samples evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) contain pesticide residue levels that fall within legal limits, with just under 55% of samples free of detectable traces of these chemicals. The findings are part of EFSA’s 2013 annual report on pesticide residues in food,

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A taste of things to come?

As the EU gets set to scrap ‘best-before’ dates on long life food packaging in a bid to stop millions of tons of edible produce being thrown away every year, a US businessman is preparing to open a supermarket and restaurant selling only food that is out-of-date. Doug Rauch, the

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FAIA in Nutraceuticals Now magazine

The latest issue of Nutraceuticals Now includes an article on FAIA… NN-FAIA-Article Tell someone else about this…

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Survey reveals food hygiene concern for those eating out

The Food Standards Agency’s Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker for November 2013 shows the top food safety issue of concern for respondents was food hygiene when eating out (36%). When asked about wider food issues, the top three issues of concern were food prices (60%), food waste (50%), and the amount

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PICTURE THIS! Ingredients of all-natural foods…

James Kennedy, a British chemistry teacher based in Australia, has combined a love of graphics with a love of science, and produced a series of posters and images which he hopes will dispel the many myths surrounding enumbers and additives. “As a chemistry teacher, I want to erode the fear

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‘No health problems with low calorie sweeteners’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2a-8mnfhtw&rel=0] Tell someone else about this…

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‘No need for action on aspartame’ says expert review

Experts who have reviewed a study of aspartame have concluded that ‘the results did not indicate any need for action to protect the health of the public’. The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer products and the Environment (COT) peer reviewed a double blind randomised crossover study of

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Sweet success for United Biscuits

United Biscuits received the top accolade at the recent Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards. The company was commended by FDF President Jim Moseley (pictured) for its success in exports, for which it won the Exporter of the Year (Large Company) Award. The FDF Awards recognise the achievements of food

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New meat detector technology will distinguish between horse and beef

Retailers will soon be able to distinguish almost instantly between beef and horsemeat in products, thanks to a new device built by British engineers. Oxford Instruments and the Institute of Food Research have developed a machine that can identify meat before it is processed. The technology can distinguish between fatty

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UK food and drink exports on the up

Total UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports grew by 2.5% to £6.1 billion in the first half of 2013, according to figures from the Food & Drink Federation. Although 2013 began slowly with food and non-alcoholic drinks exports down by 3.4% in Q1, this was offset by strong Q2 growth

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New advice for people with food allergies

Advice for people with food allergies has been updated, prior to new rules on allergen labelling being introduced. New regulations will mean that information about allergenic ingredients will be made available for non-prepacked as well as prepacked foods. This is to make information clearer and more consistent for consumers. These

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Exponent

Our food and nutrition specialists have extensive experience in the food industry, government, and consulting, and recognised expertise in dietary exposure and safety evaluation, food science, nutrition and regulatory support. Tell someone else about this…

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A World Without Food Science

A World Without Food Science: What would a trip to your local grocery store be like without the benefit of research and technology? How would food shopping look with no knowledge of microbiology, food safety, food processing, food packaging and transportation? [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhuaXO2A3Tk&rel=0] Tell someone else about this…

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Global additives market ‘set to grow steadily’

The global market for food additives is set to grow steadily over the next five years, according to a new report. The market was worth £18.4 billion in 2011, and is expected to reach £23.6bn in 2018, says Transparency Market Research. The analyst says the increase will be as a

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Follow us on Twitter

You can now follow FAIA (Food Additives & Ingredients Association) on Twitter @FAIAnews. We’ll be bringing you daily news and views on food and drink colours, flavourings and additives. Tell someone else about this…

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Overweight people ‘less likely than average to consume soft drinks’

Despite a difficult year for the soft drinks industry, the overall retail value of the industry rose by 3.3 per cent in 2012, to nearly £15 billion. According to the 2013 Soft Drinks Report, soft drinks are consumed in more than 99 per cent of households. Soft drinks containing added

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Salt levels slashed in shop bread

Supermarket bread contains 20 per cent less salt than it did a decade ago, according to new research. Bread is a major source of salt in the diet, providing almost a fifth of the total derived from processed foods. The recommended daily intake for UK adults is a maximum of

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FAIA assists with top TV science show

BBC 1’s recent episode of Bang Goes The Theory asked how much the public really knows about what is on their dinner plate, and was produced with the advice and assistance of FAIA. Find out more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lwxj1 Tell someone else about this…

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Aspartame ‘poses no toxicity concern’

EFSA opinion on artificial the sweetener aspartame says ‘it poses no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels’.

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Cornelius Group

Founded in 1935, Cornelius are a European distributor of speciality chemicals with operations in UK, Eire, France, Poland, Russia and Scandinavia and sourcing offices in China and India. Cornelius Group plc represents innovative suppliers from around the globe which means we are able to offer a vast array of specialist

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Nutrient metabolism

Certain nutrients are essential for basic bodily functions, and a wide range of health claims have been authorised by the EU in this area. They include: *The homocysteine metabolism claims are of special interest as this involves the metabolism of homocysteine, seen as a marker for chronic illnesses such as heart

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Mental health

Numerous health claims have been authorised by the EU in this area. They fall into three major categories – psychological, cognitive and neurological claims. Many claims submitted for memory and its enhancement were rejected. There also two important claims authorised for DHA (dodecahexanoic acid), a component of fish oil which

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Immune system

The immune system is a complex collection of organs, cells and tissues that work collectively to protect the body against disease caused mostly by pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi). Parts of the immune system include the tonsils, lymph nodes, appendix, spleen, thymus, skin and mucous membranes. The lymph nodes

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