New study casts doubt on reliability of glycemic index as an indicator of blood sugar response

USA — The glycemic Index, a value that aims to quantify how fast blood sugar rises after eating it, may not be a reliable indicator blood sugar response, according to a new study by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.  The scientists conducted controlled, repeated tests involving 63 healthy adults and found out that blood sugar responses after consuming a fixed amount of white bread could range across all three glycemic index categories (low, medium, or high).  The team found that the average glycemic index value of white…

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges US$922M to bridge global nutrition gap

US – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to commit US$922 million over the next five years to address global nutrition.  The pledge, delivered at the first-ever United Nations Food Systems Summit, is the foundation’s largest nutrition commitment to date, a statement from the foundation said.   Through the new commitment, the foundation aims to advance its mission of ensuring women and children have the nutrition they need to live healthy and productive lives.   Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation noted that investment in nutrition is critical to…

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Public, private food sector players welcome Technoserve’s Micronutrient Fortification Index

NIGERIA – Globally, more than 2 billion individuals or one in three people, are afflicted by micronutrient malnutrition, according to statistics by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with the World Health Organization further highlighting that 45% of child deaths globally are attributed to under-nutrition. One of the ways that has been formulated to address the menace is Food Fortification- a cost effective and complementary strategy that has helped to virtually eliminate many nutrition disorders in the world. TechchnoServe, an international non-profit organization has introduced a new…

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Indian QSR operator Jubilant Foodworks acquires minority stake in nutrition company Wellversed

INDIA – Jubilant Foodworks Ltd (JFL), a leading Indian quick service restaurants operator has acquired 25 per cent stake in Gurugram-based nutrition company Wellversed Health.  Wellversed Health offers a variety of food products that are customised for specific nutrition and dietary needs including gluten-free, keto, vegan, high-protein, diabetic conditions, and regular immunity.  According to a regulatory filing by JFL to the stock exchanges, the net revenue of Wellversed in fiscal 2019-20 was Rs 4.89 crore (US$663542).    Following the acquisition, Jubilant FoodWorks will have the right to nominate one non-retiring director to the board of Wellversed, and an observer…

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FSSAI introduces new logo for Vegan foods, bolsters food safety efforts with commissioning of 19 mobile food testing vans

INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Agency of India has introduced a new logo for Vegan foods to help consumers easily identify and differentiate plant-based foods from non-vegan foods.  According to the Indian food regulator, the new logo was in response to the rising number of people who are switching to the vegan diet for health and environmental reasons.   Just the way the green dot depicts vegetarian food and red indicates non-vegetarian, vegan food will now be designated by the v-shaped green logo shared by FSSAI.   The logo also features a green-colored leaf which…

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UK introduces mandatory folic acid fortification for wheat flour to help prevent birth defects

UK – UK government has announced that Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is to be added to UK wheat flour to help prevent spinal birth defects in babies.   Folate helps the body make healthy red blood cells and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as leafy green vegetables.    Research shows that not getting enough folate (Vitamin B9) within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can lead to neural tube defects and result in spinal conditions such as spina bifida or anencephaly.  Spina bifida (abnormal development of the spine) and anencephaly, a…

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India to introduce ‘front of package label’ to help consumers make healthier food choices

INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has announced plans to introduce front-of-package (FoP) labeling on packaged foods to help consumers make healthier food choices.  The move by the Indian food regulator is in response to concern over increasing consumption of junk food leading to obesity in youth and children in India.  According to a recently published study, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in India has increased rapidly in recent decades and is projected to worsen during the forecast period ending 2040.   According to the PLoS study, the prevalence…

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DSM to double down on sustainable food production, commits to close global micronutrient gap

NETHERLANDS –  Dutch multinational supplier of nutritional and health ingredients DSM has announced that it will fully focus its resources and capabilities to address the urgent societal and environmental challenges linked to the way the world produces and consumes food.  The Dutch company said its commitments cover three areas where it believes it can make the greatest positive impact together with its business partners: Health for People, Health for Planet and Healthy Livelihoods.  Under the ‘people’ umbrella, DSM said its new strategic food system commitments by 2030 are to work toward closing the micronutrient…

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Reducing sugar in packaged foods, beverages could prevent 500,000 deaths, new US study finds

US – Reducing sugar in packaged foods and beverages could help US citizens avoid lifestyles diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular-related complications, a recent study published in Circulation has revealed.  According to the study, cutting 20% of sugar from packaged foods and 40% from beverages could prevent 2.48 million cardiovascular disease events such as strokes, heart attacks and cardiac arrests.  Additionally, the study revealed that 490,000 cardiovascular deaths and 750 diabetes cases could be avoided in the United States over the lifetime of the current adult population if the above cuts were…

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Catalent eyes share of nutritional suppliments market with planned acquisition of Bettera Holdings for US$1bn

USA – US drug manufacturing company Catalent is seeking to have a share of the thriving nutritional supplements market with the planned acquisition of Bettera Holdings, from Highlander Partners for US$1 billion.  Bettera Holdings is the holding company for Bettera Brands, a Texas-based nutritional supplements company that manufactures gummy vitamins, soft chews and lozenges.  Highlander formed Bettera – which has four manufacturing facilities across the US – through a series of four acquisitions beginning in 2017.  Catalent expects the acquisition of Bettera to help it accelerate the growth of its softgel and…

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