Wellness Foods: HealthBites - October/November 2007

What's happening in the world of nutrition and health.

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Juice in the Pink

This month, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Northland Cranberries Inc. (www.northlandjuices.com), Port Washington, N.Y., announces its "Drink to Pink" campaign. The company is partnering with four supermarket chains throughout the country to donate funds to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (www.bcrfcure.org) in conjunction with each 64-oz. bottle of Northland 100% Juice Cranberry Blends purchased during a specific timeframe. The campaign is expected to raise a minimum of $50,000 for the independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and finding a cure for breast cancer. Since 2006, Northland has raised more than $150,000.


Milk in Your Cereal

Pizzey's Milling (www.pizzeys.com), Angusville, Manitoba, was acquired by international dairy foods and ingredients giant Glanbia PLC (www.glanbia.com) Kilkenny, Ireland. The milling company, which produces and markets nutritional ingredients such as whole and milled flax seed and omega-3 oils from flax will enhance Glanbia's position as a global nutritional ingredients supplier. Glanbia will leverage its significant investment in innovation and research, as well as its sales and marketing structure, to support development of the international market for flax ingredients and healthy flax components, including omega-3, lignans and fiber.


Ingredient in Meat Linked to Cancer

Choline is an vital nutrient, with numerous functions, including roles in brain development and memory. It's found predominantly in protein foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. But epidemiologists at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, in a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, disclosed the lecithin component might stimulate the growth of colorectal polyps. The researchers were originally investigating if choline, due to its similarities to folate, would also protect against genetic damage that leads to cancer. Instead, they found a 45 percent increase in the likelihood of developing polyps for those who had the highest choline in their diet among 40,000 subjects studied. The subjects had an average choline intake lower than the 425mg daily recommendations. It also must be noted the types of polyps referred to in the study turn cancerous only in 5 percent of cases.


Sour Milk

The Cornucopia Institute (www.cornucopia.org) has learned the USDA could revoke the organic certification of one of the nation's largest industrial dairy operator, Boulder, Colo.-based Aurora Organic Dairy. Aurora operates several giant factory dairies in Colorado and Texas. The company has been the subject of a series of formal legal complaints filed with the USDA. Investigation into Aurora's organic livestock management found 98 percent of its cattle in feedlots instead of grazing on pasture as the law requires. The organic industry is carefully watching what the USDA does with Aurora because of the dairy's size and impact on the marketplace.


Let's Get Small

Nutraceutical ingredient manufacturer Blue California (www.bluecal-ingredients.com), Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., is now offering complete microencapsulation services to the food, beverage and nutraceutical industries. Micro-encapsulation is a process by which tiny particles or droplets ranging in size from a few nanometers to one micron are coated with a protective layer to create small capsules with controlled properties. This process can provide many benefits such as protecting vitamins from oxygen's deteriorating effects and probiotics from gastric acid; masking taste or odor; and controlling the rate at which the particles leave the microcapsule.


"CaaaSHEW"

A study published in the science journal Allergy reports that cashews could cause "more severe" allergic reactions in children than the more widely feared peanut. Researchers at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, England, found among the 141 children studied, cashew reactions were eight to 13 times more likely to trigger bouts of wheezing, loss of consciousness and increased risk of severe cardiovascular symptoms, such as sudden hypotension (decreased blood pressure) or cardiac arrhythmia.

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