Hi, I’m Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, and I love words.

Listening to them, learning new ones, putting the perfect ones down on page to make that sentence just right, and whizzing them around again until they’re just so.

And of course, nattering words to chat, relate, put the world to rights, ask questions, and generally find out more about the world and us in it.

On this site you will find my latest published articles, if you want to know more, please check out my blog here

Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe

Here are my latest published articles

So You Just Received an Adult ADHD Diagnosis. Now What?

On Monday 26th September, 2022, I received an adult ADHD diagnosis. For the first time in my life, things started to make sense as to why I function the way I do. I felt confident, validated by a psychiatrist, that the diagnosis of adult ADHD reflected the collection of niggling daily indications and struggles that continued to prod away at me, and signify I was finding life a different kind of beast from how I perceived those closest to me. An observation that only seemed to become clearer the

AI-led brain scanning tech: Progressing mental health care

In 2022, 44% of countries responding to a World Health Organisation (WHO) survey reported they had experienced one or more disruptions to mental health care, including prevention and promotion programmes, diagnosis, treatment and life-saving emergency care. Deepening value and commitment to mental health understanding, reshaping environments and strengthening mental health care are critical paths to transformation, the WHO states in its 2022 World Mental Health Report. With democratising acces

Ice cream innovation draws on health and wellness trend

Manufacturers are formulating ice cream ranges with probiotics, protein, and plant-based ingredients to appeal to growing health and wellness demand. Ice cream products are diversifying in the remaining months of 2022. Digestive health claims are proving a prominent feature on ice cream packaging labels, data analytics firm IRI says in its latest dairy insights. Manufacturers will likely increase their prebiotic, probiotic, and other digestive claims to meet consumer demand, particularly as co

Making coffee farming more sustainable

Interest in a circular economy model is increasing among coffee players as calls for positive environmental action proliferate the supply chain. “Our agricultural system needs an urgent overhaul,” Miguel Gamboa, coffee sector lead at international non-profit organisation, Rainforest Alliance told Ingredients Network. In June 2022, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced the publication of its recent consultation outcome. The consultation surrounded the imp

Healthy food interest continues despite rising prices

Deloitte insights show that consumers are willing to pay a premium for food linked to health and wellness even though cost concerns are growing. In its latest insights into consumer spending habits in food and beverages, professional services company Deloitte highlights how food as medicine continues to resonate with consumers. Its popularity remains even though price rises and shifting spending patterns to stretch budgets are at the forefront of consumers' buying habits. As health and wellnes

FDA proposes a new definition of ‘healthy’

Products that exceed limits for sugar, salt, and fat will not be eligible to make a ‘healthy’ claim, under a proposed definition of healthy by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The regulatory agency also has announced plans to launch a front-of-pack label. Under the proposed definition, more foods would be eligible to display the “healthy”’ claim. Therefore, the new rule could see items such as higher-fat fish like salmon, nuts and seeds, certain oils, and water on the list of “health

Nestlé launches infant formula with novel ingredient, myelin

Nestlé has identified a nutrient blend of components found in breast milk, myelin, and will launch Nutrilearn Connect, an infant formula containing the novel ingredient, in Hong Kong before expanding to other markets. The product comes after years of research examining the impact of nutrition on the brain and cognitive development in early life. The nutrient blend comprises specific phospholipids, vitamins, fatty acids and minerals relevant for myelin to form. Myelin is a lipid-rich sheath whi

How the food industry can take action to protect bees

How the food industry can take action to protect bees From practicing polyculture to using organic biocontrol measures, the food industry must act to safeguard the population, health, and resilience of bees, says the Best Bees Company. Bees have a long-standing relationship with food; they are essential for pollinating many major food crops. “Before there even was a food industry at all, bees were crucial to ensuring crops flourished,” says Emily O’Neil, staff scientist at The Best Bees Compa

Hyperlocalisation promotes food system resilience and diversification

Climate change action and new technologies are driving a rise in hyperlocalisation throughout the global food chain, improving the industry’s adaptability and ability to meet consumer demands for greater choice. Hyperlocalisation involves creating shorter supply chains and establishing or redesigning operations to allow food production to occur in the same local environment as the end consumer. With a focus on supply chains that are both short and sustainable, localisation has evolved into hype

Tackling the rise of antimicrobial resistance

As the 2030 goal of halving antimicrobial use edges closer and a 2022 regulation is brought in to reduce antibiotic use on farm animals, the food industry is loudening its calls for action amid the increasing resistance to antimicrobials. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides scientific support and advice on risks to human and animal health regarding the possible emergence, spread, and transfer of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the food chain and animals. “EFSA acknowledges tha

Researchers develop automation method to isolate volatile food ingredients

A research team in Germany has applied automation to a long-standing method to isolate volatile food compounds, creating advantages over the existing manual process, which include food manufacturers’ potential to increase yields and lower the contamination risk of non-volatile substances. A study into volatile food ingredients has identified an improved method for isolating food compounds from their non-volatile counterparts using automation. The research team from Leibniz Institute for Food Sy

How plant-based milk brands can address taste and texture challenges

How plant-based milk brands can address taste and texture challenges Today’s consumers want plant-based milk products that mimic the desirable sensorial attributes of their non-dairy alternative counterparts. In response, brands and manufacturers are focusing on taste, texture, education and sustainability. The sensory attribute is the number one area of improvement for plant-based milk alternatives, as highlighted by over a third (34%) of European consumers in recent research, ‘Understanding

Farm biologicals can make our farming system more sustainable: Rabobank

Farm biologicals can make our farming system more sustainable: Rabobank Replacing synthetic pesticides with farm biologicals - crop production products from living organisms – may help create a more sustainable farming system, says a recent Rabobank report. Farm biologicals, otherwise known as biologicals, are crop production products from living organisms that can be used independently or together with synthetic items, according to the agrochemical international trade association, CropLife In

New partnership strives to improve cocoa farming in Ivory Coast

New partnership strives to improve cocoa farming in Ivory Coast Conseil du Cafe-Cacao and IDH’s Sustainable Trade Initiative launch a new programme, Cocoaperation, to support cocoa farming and improve the livelihoods of cocoa producers. Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the agency responsible for regulating, stabilising and developing the Coffee-Cocoa sector in the Ivory Coast, and IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, an arm of the finance fund for smallholder farmers, IDH Farmfit Fund, aim to increase the

Dairy industry explores advanced technologies to digitalise global production

Dairy manufacturers are increasingly integrating automation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into their production plants in order to meet growing global demand for dairy products, particularly in Asia. Digitalisation in dairy production units is allowing manufacturers to maximise efficiency, reduce operational costs and meet consumer demand. Automation is garnering attention in the dairy industry as it enables producers to implement and use auto

Shifting trends: Analysing the impact of high inflation in India

Shifting trends: Analysing the impact of high inflation in India Despite food and beverage categories in India feeling the pinch of increasing inflation, the overall outlook remains upbeat as governmental support steps in and evolving consumer purchasing patterns shape the sector. In April 2022, India’s retail inflation rate reached 7.8%, the highest it has hit in eight years. Yet, despite this alarming inflation statistic, data analytics and brand consulting company Kantar reports positive le

World first: Dutch team develop method to extract high-value protein from tomato leaf

World first: Dutch team develop method to extract high-value protein from tomato leaf Tomato leaves that are currently seen as a major waste stream in horticulture could provide a reliable and sustainable source of rubisco – a widespread plant protein that has potential in food and drink, say researchers. Researchers at the Wageningen University & Research (WUR), the Netherlands, say they have become the first in the world to extract high-value rubisco protein from tomato leaves, one of the ma

Infant formula shortage in the US: How to prevent a future crisis

Infant formula shortage in the US: How to prevent a future crisis Following a series of events which led to the US being unable to meet its needs for infant formula, action is needed to prevent future shortages, says the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest. “The infant formula shortage in the US is swiftly resolving, thanks to efforts by the federal government and industry to ramp up production and secure imports,” says Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs, Ce
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