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"Science's Quest to Banish Fat in Tas...

Battling the MSG Myth » Sharing Media Reports and Letters Related to the Issue » "Science's Quest to Banish Fat in Tasty Ways" « Previous Next »

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MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 5:52 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brace yourselves --- the adulteration of our food supply will never end. See today’s New York Times article entitled, Science's Quest to Banish Fat in Tasty Ways, by Melanie Warner at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/11/business/11food.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=all

The article talks about efforts to create fat repellant coatings, chemically modified starches (labelled simply as “modified cornstarch”), breads with microscopic capsules of fish oil, ingredient companies selling $4 billion worth of additives to the food industry a year, a cracker system composed of Splenda and hydrolyzed wheat protein, Cargill and National Starch Food Innovation gearing up to "help Americans eat more fiber by creating resistant starch” which changes the molecular structure, companies ready to "help" us such as Proteus Industries, Sara Lee, Kellogg, Martek Bioscienses, Kerry Ingredients, --- and of course, ConAgra. The article gives only a short mention to a Professor Nestle who states that ingredients that are extracted from their natural sources are never as good as the real thing. She states: "No way do plant sterols replace whole fruits or vegetables, or even beans for that matter. The evidence is pretty clear that foods work, but single nutrients don't."
Carol H
Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 11:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Didn't our parents warn us about "playing with our food"? They don't know just how right they were.....
Lisa Marie
Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2005 - 6:49 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MEMorrisNJ, Can you copy and paste this article in? Thanks so much.
MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 6:41 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Primordial Soup Served Hot?
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

It even happens in deep sea vents. Go to:
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20050815/primordialsoup.html --- quote: At high temperatures, such as those found at the vents, glutamine and asparagine spontaneously break down to form the more acidic amino acids glutamic acid or aspartic acid. Sometimes the breakdown can even tear apart protein chains.

Not quite sure I understand all this but I thought you scientific types would find of interest.
MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 5:47 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lisa Marie - Sorry, I can't access it anymore and it was too long (2 pages). Perhaps, you can ask your library to get you a copy?
Lisa Marie
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:34 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ThanksMEMorrisNJ, I found it so I will post it here. It is totally unhealthy and disgusting what they are doing to our food. Future generations will undoubtedly suffer over this stuff.
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News Clippings 8/11/2005


The New York Times
Science's Quest to Banish Fat in Tasty Ways

by: Melanie Warner


Low-fat fried chicken may seem like a contradiction in terms, but not to Stephen Kelleher. On a recent summer morning, he hovered over a whirling assembly line as a waterfall of gray liquid cascaded over slabs of breaded chicken. Then the magic began.

During the bath in the liquid solution, which consisted of water and protein molecules extracted from a slurry of chicken or fish tissue, a thin, imperceptible shield formed around the meat. When the chicken was submerged in oil, the coating blocked fat from being absorbed from the fryer.

Voilà! The chicken contained 50 percent less fat than a typical piece of fried chicken.

Just another day in the strange world of food scientists. Mr. Kelleher, the founder of Proteus Industries in Gloucester, Mass., is one of many chemists who work, often in secret, in a little-understood part of the $550 billion processed-food industry. These are the people who ultimately put food together, and their mission is critical: developing foods that let consumers have their cake and eat it, too.

With two-thirds of Americans considered overweight and yet many professing a desire to eat healthier, every major food producer and food-ingredient company has ordered its scientists to find the holy grail: products that either have less bad stuff - fat, white flour, sugar and salt - or more good stuff like whole grains, fiber and fish oil.

Some of these food additives are natural and some are not. But even those that are natural hardly evoke images of a country harvest. Fat-repellent coatings, after all, do not grow on trees.

Coming soon to your grocery store, for example, could be salty corn chips cooked in oil but that are marketed as healthy because the addition of chemically modified starches make them high in fiber. Labeled simply as "modified cornstarch," this additive cannot be broken down until it reaches the colon, much like the natural fiber found in fruit and vegetables. Also coming soon: bread containing microscopic capsules of fish oil, enabling food companies to contend that the bread is "heart-healthy" because of the cholesterol and triglyceride-lowering omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

Some nutritionists question whether all this alchemy will further confuse consumers about the basics of good nutrition. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, maintains that the best way to get fish oil into your diet will always be to eat fish.

"What this does is to turn food into medicine," said Professor Nestle. "Omega-3's occur naturally in food like fish, chicken and eggs, and plants to a lesser extent. Why do we need to get it from bread?"

One reason may be that products that can be marketed as healthier often generate higher sales and fatter profits for food companies. PepsiCo, for instance, reports that sales of its healthier "Smart Spot" items - products like Baked Lay's potato crisps, Tropicana orange juice, Diet Pepsi and Quaker oatmeal - are growing at double the pace of other products.

Foods labeled as healthy also present a show of good faith to administration officials, members of Congress, consumer groups and trial lawyers, who all monitor the food industry's response to the nation's obesity problem.

Ingredient companies today sell $4 billion worth of additives to the food industry a year and are responsible for many of the common properties of processed food. Additives, for instance, keep the fruit in yogurt suspended, not plopped at the bottom. They make sure that chicken dinners do not come out of the microwave hot around the edges and cold in the middle, and they allow many foods to stay in warehouses or on supermarket shelves for up to nine months without spoiling.

Tate & Lyle of London, one of the largest food-ingredient companies in the world, makes the popular sweetener Splenda. It recently started selling a whole-grain "cracker system" composed of Splenda and hydrolyzed wheat protein, an additive that has been manipulated - either chemically or through enzymes - to give the softness of white flour without adding carbohydrates.

Other ingredient companies are focusing on what they can add to food to make it healthier. Both Cargill, the commodities giant that has a large food-ingredient business, and National Starch Food Innovation, the food arm of National Starch and Chemical based in Bridgewater, N.J., and itself a unit of the giant Imperial Chemical Industries of Britain, have seized upon the fact that the average American consumes less than half the fiber each day that the government recommends.

Nutritionists consider fiber beneficial because it prompts slower, steady digestion, preventing spikes in blood sugar and insulin. It has also been shown to lessen the risk of colon cancer.

The most obvious way to get more fiber into the diet is to increase consumption of whole and unprocessed fruit, vegetables and beans. But food companies say that many Americans are unwilling to make significant changes in their eating choices to do this, and food companies are more than willing to fill in the gaps.

Rather than simply add a fiber like bran to foods, which can produce a coarse consistency that some dislike, Cargill and National Starch are selling something called resistant starch. They start with starch that has been extracted from either tapioca or corn and then modify it through a patented process - Cargill uses chemicals and National Starch uses enzymes - so that it will resist digestion in a way that mimics naturally occurring fiber.

Judy Marlett, a fiber expert and former nutrition professor at the University of Wisconsin, explains that when starch is modified to be resistant, the molecular structure changes. The bonds between glucose molecules are covered up so that digestive enzymes cannot get to them. As a result, resistant starch, like natural fiber, is not digested until it reaches the lower intestine, where bacteria are finally able to break it down.

Dorothy Peterson, a starch specialist for Cargill, says that the company is marketing resistant starch as an additive for products including bread, muffins, pasta and corn chips, allowing companies to increase the fiber content by several grams a serving. "It's a simple way to do fiber addition," Ms. Peterson said. "We've gotten a tremendous amount of interest from customers."

One corporate customer already using National Starch's Hi-maize resistant starch is Sara Lee, which has added it to several products in its Delightful line of low-calorie bread. Listed on the label as cornstarch, it adds just under a gram of fiber for each two-slice serving. Dannon is using a similar product, resistant maltodextrin, in its Light 'n' Fit With Fiber yogurt, which has three grams of fiber a serving.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to protect against heart disease and are essential for brain development in infants, is another ingredient that food companies are clamoring over. Last September, the F.D.A. approved the health claim for omega-3 that it may reduce the risk of heart disease.

The best source of omega-3's is the oil in fish. But fish oil is, well, fishy, and is not a natural fit for inclusion in the likes of bread, muffins and cereal bars. To deal with this, National Starch recently perfected technology that encapsulates fish oil, so it can be added to foods without an unappealing taste or smell.

A specially modified cornstarch and a vegetable protein, usually soy, are mixed with water and fish oil and then cycled through machines that evaporate the water. In the process, the starch and protein molecules attach themselves to the droplets of fish oil, forming a shield. The concoction emerges from the machines as a beige powder.

Jim Zallie, a food scientist and National Starch group vice president, says that a company in Seattle is testing the product for its bread. The label on the bread, he says, is unlikely to advertise the fish oil content, but simply cite the presence of omega-3's.

Kellogg has signed a 15-year licensing deal with Martek Biosciences, a company that sells omega-3 fatty acids derived from algae, which have a milder smell and do not necessarily need to be encapsulated. Kellogg declined to comment on the deal or when the algae-based omega-3's might appear in its products.

Kerry Ingredients, a Wisconsin-based subsidiary of the Kerry Group, a European food giant, is doing similar encapsulation with fiber, also to avoid the unseemly taste and texture issues. Without encapsulation, the ground-up soybean hulls the company is using as fiber make food taste a bit like sawdust.

But guar gum, which comes from the seeds of the guar plant and is used widely in food as an inexpensive thickener and stabilizer, is even more problematic.

Kerry Ingredients is using guar, which has a neutral flavor, as a fiber source, "but it's the consistency of mucus," said Jack Maegli, a food scientist who heads research and development for new products at Kerry Ingredients. "If you eat too much of it, it invokes the gag reflex. I know it sounds unpleasant, and it is unpleasant. That's why we encapsulate it."

The problem, Professor Nestle said, is that ingredients that are extracted from their natural sources are never as good as the real thing. She cited plant sterols, another seemingly healthy ingredient popping up in various foods. Extracted from soybeans using a chemical solvent, plant sterols are promoted for their cholesterol-reducing benefits and have been added to yogurt, orange juice and cereal.

But, Professor Nestle said: "No way do plant sterols replace whole fruits or vegetables, or even beans for that matter. The evidence is pretty clear that foods work, but single nutrients don't."

Food companies insist that, unlike their critics, they are pragmatists. They say their consumer research shows that convenience and taste still outrank nutrition as the top priority for most people and that consumers have no intention of giving up their favorite foods.

That is good news for the industry. If Americans stopped eating large quantities of fried chicken, sweetened breakfast cereal, cookies and snack chips, the financial health of many companies would suffer.

And that is why food scientists like Mr. Kelleher of Proteus Industries keep searching for the perfect recipe for low-fat chicken.

Pat Verduin, head of research and development at ConAgra Foods, which sells fried chicken and fish to restaurants and schools through its food-service operations, says that other companies have tried other coatings using a pectin-based solution, which leads to a gummy texture and oil that pools unevenly on the surface of the product.

"I think what Proteus is doing is novel," Ms. Verduin said, adding that ConAgra is looking at the technology. "They may be on to something."
Anonymous
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 4:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ich can mich an dich uberhaupt nicht errinern.nvv

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