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Food as medicine is growing in popularity, pushing aside nutraceuticals and moving medicinal qualities into mainstream foods. In order to get label statements approved, a lot of testing research is ongoing. Many of the papers in this issue center on the medicinal qualities of foods, and how these can be measured. If you are involved with these issues, reading these papers can save you a lot of time and trouble.

An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells

  1. Top of page
  2. An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells
  3. Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil
  4. Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source
  5. Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix
  6. A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?
  7. Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

Activity of conjugated linoleic acid against cancer has been demonstrated, but exactly how this dietary fatty acid works its magic had been debated and tested. A great deal of work has been done on CLA and its various sizes, beginning with reports by Mike Pariza at IFT annual meetings in the early 1980's. The material is found in the meat and dairy products of ruminants. In a new chapter in the knowledge of how this material affects cancer cells, we bring you the paper titled “Growth Inhibition of Osteosarcoma CellMG-63 by a Mixture of trans,trans Conjugated Linoleic Acid Isomers: Possible Mechanistic Actions” by researchers from Gyeongsang Natl. Univ, Ohio State Univ., Busan Regional Korea Food & Drug Administration, Busan, Korea, and HK Biotech Co., Ltd., Korea. The researchers studied the growth inhibitory effect of a mixture of t,t conjugated linoleic acid isomers (t,t CLA) in the human osteosarcoma cell MG-63, with references to c9,t11 and t10,c12 CLA isomers. The t,t CLA induced a cytotoxic effect in a time-dependent (0 to 6 d) and concentration-dependent (0 to 40 μM) manner, as compared to the reference and control treatments. Cell death and the cell cycle-related parameters were measured on the cells treated with 40 μM t,t CLA for 4 d. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the t,t CLA treatment effectively increased the proportion of apoptotic cells with a low DNA content (sub G0/G1) and a marked loss of cells from the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, relative to other treatments. Morphological changes in the cells, and DNA fragmentation confirmed the apoptosis. The composition of linoleic and arachidonic acid in membrane was decreased by increase in t,t CLA. These findings suggest that t,t CLA addition in membrane activates a mitochondria-mediated apoptosis pathway that can enhance the antiproliferative effect of t,t CLA in the osteosarcoma cells. The t,t CLA exhibited a more potent inhibitory effect than other CLA isomers and linoleic acid on the proliferation of MG-63 cells mediated by the induction of apoptosis. It is suspected that the mechanistic actions of the inhibitory effect of the t,t CLA might be attributed mainly to the pathway that involves a Bax-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, there are other factors that may enable the t,t CLA to inhibit growth; for instance, arachidonic acid metabolites, which are related to membrane phospholipids profiles. p T7-15.

Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil

  1. Top of page
  2. An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells
  3. Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil
  4. Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source
  5. Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix
  6. A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?
  7. Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

Menhaden oil is one of the more available sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are believed to reduce cardiovascular and other ailments. In the paper titled “Comparison of Soybean Oils, Gum, and Defatted Soy Flour Extract in Stabilizing Menhaden Oil during Heating,” which reports research by a group of Louisiana State scientists, it was seen that defatted soy flour extract prevented the oxidation of the menhaden oil and its components, retaining high concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid, a particularly valuable component. While menhaden oil is used in various food products, stabilized with materials such as TBHQ, these additives can't be used in organic products or in certain nutraceutical products. Therefore, this information would be helpful in the development and utilization of soy products as a food antioxidant or an antioxidant nutritional supplement. This application will also increase the potential health benefits of fish oil with the additional health promoting functions of the soy antioxidants. The study was quite thorough, and offers information about the tests and how they were run. p C19-23.

Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source

  1. Top of page
  2. An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells
  3. Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil
  4. Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source
  5. Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix
  6. A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?
  7. Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

Dr. R.G. Brannan of the Ohio State Univ. found that the extractive of grape seed had a positive effect on the flavor and texture of chicken thigh meat, especially in products that contained salt. Since most prepared foods do contain some salt, the information about the use of grape seed extract to counteract the activity of salt may be of interest. The information, including testing methods, is reported in “Effect of Grape Seed Extract on Physicochemical Properties of Ground, Salted, Chicken Thigh Meat during Refrigerated Storage at Different Relative Humidity Levels.” The paper discusses the method by which grape seed extract may mitigate the pro-oxidative effects of NaCl, and may change the effect of salt on protein during freezing and storage. Grape seed extracts are known to contain polyphenolics that are primarily condensed tannins, a.k.a. proanthocyanidins, usually oligomers and polymers of polyhydroxy flavan-3-ols such as (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin, many in the form of gallate esters or glycosides. Tannins characteristically interact with proteins, forming both soluble and insoluble complexes with proteins and were generally regarded as factors that decreased the nutritional quality of food proteins. Recent evidence strongly points to the health-promoting effect of polyphenolics in general, and those found in grape seed extract are considered particularly potent. p C36-40.

Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix

  1. Top of page
  2. An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells
  3. Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil
  4. Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source
  5. Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix
  6. A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?
  7. Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

Hot dogs and other deli meats are still a target for better processing techniques to insure that they are free of Listeria. In “Elimination of Listeria monocytogenes on Hotdogs by Infrared Surface Treatment,” researchers from the Eastern Regional Research Center USDA studied a pasteurization process designed to be automated, inexpensive, and easy to use.

The pasteurization system contained 4 basic elements: an infrared emitter, a hotdog roller, an infrared sensor, and a temperature controller. The sensor monitored the surface temperature of hotdogs while the infrared emitter, modulated by a power controller, was used as a heating source. The infrared surface pasteurization was evaluated using hotdogs that were surface-inoculated with a 4-strain L. monocytogenes cocktail to an average initial inoculum of 7.32 log (CFU/g). On the average 1.0, 2.1, 3.0, or 5.3 log reduction in L. monocytogenes was observed after the surface temperature of hotdogs was increased to 70, 75, 80, or 85 °C, respectively. Holding the sample temperature led to additional bacterial inactivation. With a 3 min holding at 80 °C or 2 min at 85 °C, a total of 6.4 or 6.7 logs of L. monocytogenes were inactivated.

Depending on the final surface temperature and the hold time, more than 5 logs of bacteria were destroyed at the end of the infrared surface pasteurization. In all experiments, the temperature of the infrared emitter was below 330 °C, which can be easily achieved in the food industry. Although hotdogs were used in the experiments to demonstrate the concept of an automatically controlled infrared surface pasteurization process, this technology can be used to treat any RTE meats in the food industry. p M27-31.

A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?

  1. Top of page
  2. An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells
  3. Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil
  4. Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source
  5. Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix
  6. A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?
  7. Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

Tomatoes, the number 1 or 2 vegetable in consumption, appear to be efficient suppressors of COX-2 expression. COX-2 is the enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. Selectivity for COX-2 reduces the risk of peptic ulceration, and is the main feature of celecoxib, rofecoxib, and other members of this drug class. COX-2-selectivity does not seem to affect other adverse-effects of NSAIDs (most notably an increased risk of renal failure), and some results have aroused the suspicion that there might be an increase in the risk for heart attack, thrombosis, and stroke by a relative increase in thromboxane. With the current problems of pharmaceutcals that suppress COX-2, finding a natural suppressor could be very important to arthritics and sufferers of other inflammatory diseases.

Cell studies showed that phenolic extracts of heated tomatoes increased suppression of COX-2 expression more than the suppression observed by fresh tomato. Noncondensed tannin containing fraction of fresh tomato greatly suppressed COX-2 expression (P < 0.05) compared to the negative control, but both noncondensed tannin-containing and condensed tannin- containing fractions of heated tomatoes suppressed Cox 2. The objective of this study, reported in “Contribution of Tomato Phenolics to Suppression of COX-2 Expression in KB Cells,” was to understand the suppression effect of phenolics in fresh and heated tomatoes on the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Both small and big tomatoes of fresh or heated (in boiling water for 30 min) treatments were used, and the tannins recovered. The study explored the effect of tomato phenolic extracts on the regulation of 12-o-teradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammatory responses in KB cells. HPLC showed that tomato phenolic profiles were similar between small and big tomatoes either by fresh or heated treatment. p C1-10.

Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

  1. Top of page
  2. An insight into the mechanisms of CLA against cancer cells
  3. Maintaining good flavor in menhaden oil
  4. Fruit of the vine provides ingredient source
  5. Listeria still hounds the dogs: another possible fix
  6. A red, round COX-2 inhibitor that you can slice?
  7. Are booze and beer healthy? What the beer drinker thinks

Consumer's beliefs about alcoholic beverages are affected by advertisements, public service announcements, product labels, health claims, and warnings about the “demon rum.” The research reported by a group of researchers in the paper “Beer Consumers’ Perceptions of the Health Aspects of Alcoholic Beverages” uses focus groups and questionnaires to examine consumers’ perceptions of alcoholic beverages based on their nutritional value and health benefits. Beer drinkers, volunteers from commercial breweries in California, Missouri, and New Hampshire, took an anonymous survey to identify their understanding of the health benefits of alcoholic beverages. The survey was provided as a self-explanatory format, completed in 5 to 10 min. Although statistically significant differences were seen between survey location, gender, and age, general trends emerged in areas of inquiry.

The findings indicate that a great opportunity exists to inform consumers about the health benefits derived from the moderate consumption of all alcoholic beverages. Some of the findings are interesting: Most of the population perceived red wine as the healthiest alcoholic beverage. In general, men rated alcoholic beverages as more healthful than women. Overwhelmingly, taste was identified as the leading driver of choice when choosing an alcoholic beverage followed by location and activity. The lack of nutritional labeling on alcoholic beverages may be the source of confusion and misperceptions of consumers about the actual contents of alcoholic beverages. Consumers are making beverage choices based upon product taste and situational factors, with limited understanding of the nutritional content of the beverages chosen. It seems that nutritional information could have a positive impact on consumer perceptions, but a more limited influence on actual beverage selection. p H12-17.