Beyond The Headlines: Sustainable Food Systems Initiative accepting applications, US VA looks to improve veterans’ nutrition
28 Apr 2023 --- This week in nutrition news, the Danone Institute of North America revealed it is accepting grant proposals for its Sustainable Food Systems Initiative. Also, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to launch a program to increase access to healthy food and improve health outcomes for US veterans. Meanwhile, Steakholder Foods successfully 3D bioprinted “ready-to-cook” cultivated grouper fish.
In brief: Nutrition news
The Danone Institute of North America is accepting grant proposals for its initiative focused on funding research projects to improve the health and sustainability of food systems in North America, with the primary objective of addressing issues related to food equity, climate change and biodiversity. The initiative will provide grants for academic and non-profit organizations, with a total funding amount of up to US$650,000. The deadline for submissions is June 14, 2023. The institute says its Sustainable Food Systems Initiative is committed to advancing scientific research and promoting sustainable food systems.
The VA and the Rockefeller Foundation’s new program, the Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE), will provide veterans with access to healthy food options through a network of community-based organizations and provide job training and employment opportunities for veterans. The Veterans CARE program is part of a broader effort by the VA to address food insecurity among veterans, which is associated with poor health outcomes such as chronic diseases and mental health issues. The Rockefeller Foundation is providing a US$5 million grant to support the program’s implementation in five cities across the US. The program will also address systemic issues contributing to food insecurity, such as limited access to healthy food in low-income areas.
Steakholder Foods, a Singapore-based alternative protein company, unveiled its 3D bioprinting of a cultivated grouper fish. The company used its proprietary technology to create the fish analog, made entirely from plant-based ingredients. The company states that the bioprinted fish product has the same taste, texture and nutritional content as traditional grouper, while being more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Steakholder Foods further states that its 3D bioprinting technology allows it to create products that mimic animal-based foods while addressing concerns about animal welfare and the environmental impact of traditional meat production. Furthermore, it says developing a cultivated grouper fish product is a significant milestone for Steakholder Foods and the alternative protein industry. It plans to bring the product to market soon.
Outwork Nutrition, a sports nutrition company, has launched Sleep, a natural sleep aid supplement with clinically dosed ingredients to promote better sleep and recovery. The product is designed to improve sleep quality and maximize performance for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Sleep contains a blend of natural ingredients – including melatonin, magnesium and valerian root – that have been scientifically proven to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
In brief: Business news
Gnosis by Lesaffre launched a new probiotic in its range, called LifeinU L.Rhamnosus GG 350 – a new quality specification of its existing probiotic bacteria, LifeinU L.Rhamnosus GG. Gnosis states that its Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG is used globally to support digestive health and protect against antibiotic-associated and acute diarrhea. Furthermore, the company says that the product’s key features are its reliability and proprietary production process, which ensures consistent stability over time.
Pharmavite, the makers of Nature Made vitamins, has started the construction of a production facility in New Albany, Ohio, US. The facility is expected to provide an additional 300,000 square feet of production and warehousing space – with the potential for future expansion – and create over 300 new jobs. The company says the new facility is geared toward sustainability and will feature energy-efficient equipment and innovative environmental management systems. The company also aims to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for the facility, which recognizes sustainable building strategies and practices. It is expected to be operational in 2023.
CJ CheilJedang (CJ) Food and Nutrition Team (FNT) has launched a functional nutrition brand, ActiveEnrich. CJ and FNT state that the brand will offer a range of specialized nutritional products designed to support various health needs, including weight management, immune support and digestive health. The products will be made using CJ’s proprietary technology, contain ingredients sourced from around the world, help expand its portfolio of health and wellness products and meet the growing demand for functional nutrition.
Specialty Enzymes & Probiotics (SEB) unveiled Pepzyme Pro, a proprietary blend of enzymes designed to support digestive health. According to SEB, Pepzyme Pro contains a unique combination of lipase, amylase, protease and cellulase enzymes to help improve nutrient absorption and reduce digestive discomfort. The company says the product is available in a vegetarian capsule and is suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions and consumers looking for natural ways to support their digestive health.
In brief: Scientific studies
Researchers at Newcastle University, in the UK, have found that TA-65, a plant-based compound extracted from the Astragalus herb, could help improve the outcome of heart attack patients without negatively impacting immunity. The study, published in GeroScience, found that TA-65 significantly reduces inflammation, a major risk factor for further complications. However, unlike current cardiovascular treatments, it also appears to improve immunity. The results show that giving TA-65 to older patients for over a year after their heart attack specifically increased lymphocytes, improved immunity and patients experienced fewer complications such as chest or joint pains following their heart attack. The researchers state that further studies and more extensive trials are needed to confirm the results.
Finally, researchers from New York University School of Global Public Health and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University (US) conducted a comprehensive analysis of three decades of US food policies to determine how “junk food” should be defined. The team analyzed 47 laws and bills from 1991 through 2021 and found that existing policies used several criteria to define foods, including product categories, processing, place of preparation or sale and nutrients and serving size. According to the study, policies used categories of food products to differentiate between necessary or staple foods and non-staple foods, and combined processing and nutrient criteria to further determine which products within food categories would be subject to or exempt from regulation. The researchers concluded that the combined approach, such as the one used in the Navajo Nation junk food tax, could provide a path forward for new junk food policies, with revenue from excise taxes earmarked for particular uses, including improving access to healthy food in low-resource communities.
By William Bradford Nichols
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