Environmental Science

Here you'll find all my latest published articles and blog posts relating to Environmental Science

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

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

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

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

Clutch Cognition creates functional drinks with brain health botanicals

Danish startup, Clutch Cognition, has entered the functional drinks space targeting cognitive health with a blend of botanicals and plant-based ingredients such as sage, green oat, green tea, and guar beans. Clutch Cognition says it uses the intersection between science, via clinical evidence, and plant-derived nutrition to create the “most relevant ‘smartdrink’.” Its plant-based beverage is targeted at the modern-day consumer, who lives “a sedentary, yet mentally challenging and exhausting lif

Nitrite and nitrate alternatives gain ground for processed meat applications

As France finalises its review into the health risks of nitrite in cured meats, industry research focuses on the potential substitutes for nitrite and nitrate in processed meats to offer consumers healthy alternatives. By the end of June 2022, France will have completed a review of the potential health risks of using nitrite in cured meats. The review comes as the French parliament gave the green light to a bill that seeks to lower nitrite use in cured meats. In May 2022, flavour manufacturer,

Algae strain Chlorella appeals to environmental ingredient demands

Manufacturers explore the use of Chlorella, a type of single-celled green algae known for its rich nutritional profile, to offer a vegan alternative in food and drink formulations. With environmental consciousness at the forefront of consumers’ purchasing decisions, shoppers are increasingly opting for vegan ingredients. As a result, plant-based and microalgae ingredients are proving popular in new formulations. Chlorella is one such microalgae strain under the spotlight. Danish company Aliga

Automation meets advanced technology to maximise food safety

Food safety testing technologies such as automation and next-generation sequencing methods are instrumental to building industry transparency, consumer confidence and detecting foodborne outbreaks and infectious diseases. There are various prevalent food safety technologies in today’s food safety industry. Scientists, manufacturers, and companies can detect pathogens through screening that uses traditional methods for culturing while various techniques can detect nucleic acids and antibodies.

Plants and microalgae spur new omega-3 formulations

With health and environmental awareness high among consumers, omega-3 producers are exploring the use of plant-based and microalgae ingredients to appeal to consumers’ nutritional needs. Omega-3s are fatty acids that play an essential role in diet and nutrition. They are popular with consumers for their purported health benefits, ranging from heart and cardiovascular health to improving symptoms relating to depression, eye health and infant development. There are three main types of omega-3s:

How massive parallel sequencing amplifies ingredient transparency

Food manufacturers are using massive parallel sequencing techniques to build transparency and trust with consumers by confirming the authenticity of ingredients and the absence of harmful bacteria. Massive parallel sequencing, or next-generation sequencing, is a term that describes techniques that perform parallel sequencing of millions or billions of individual short DNA sequences. “These techniques enable us to identify and further study adulteration of food, food authentication and food pois

‘Taste-adjusting’ chopsticks use electricity to give sensation of enhanced salt

‘Taste-adjusting’ chopsticks use electricity to give sensation of enhanced salt Japanese food company Kirin Holdings and researchers have created chopsticks that use an electrical current to give the perception of added saltiness in food by approximately 1.5 times its actual salt content. They are now working to roll out the technology industry-wide. In April 2022, Kirin Holdings confirmed it has been working with Meiji University to undertake research and develop an electrical stimulation wav

The future of family farming - Falstaff

There are more than 600 million farms worldwide in today's agricultural landscape, with more than 90 percent of those run by an individual or a family, and reliant on family labour. Estimates suggest that family farmers occupy around 70 to 80 percent of farmland and produce more than 80 percent of the world’s food in value. The recently held Global Forum of the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF), 2019-2028, was co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International F
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