Open Access Original Research Article

Studies Examining Whether Sugar Added to Foods Changes Body Weight: Is a Sweet Solution Out There?

Robin A Ralston, Karen Z Walker, Helen Truby

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 112-122
DOI: 10.9734/EJNFS/2013/2749

This review re-examines the studies relating sugar consumption to development of overweight or obesity as identified for the recent revision of the Australian Dietary Guidelines. All studies identified for the initial evidence review that examined sugars added to foods (one systematic review, three randomised controlled trials, one retrospective cohort study) were re-examined for biases, methodological flaws, and potential confounders that may have affected outcome or quality rating. While the initial evidence review itself followed rigorous methods, methodological issues were evident among primary studies, including short duration of interventions, difficulties with estimating total sugar intake and distinguishing natural versus added sugars, overlooking effects of the food matrix and metabolic differences between glucose and fructose. Few studies examined isocaloric interventions and some introduced concurrent interventions confounding the effect of sugar. Most (71%) of the included studies were funded by the food industry. More high quality, well-controlled longitudinal studies are yet required to support public health messages relating to sugar added to foods and the risk of weight gain.

Open Access Original Research Article

Plants as Food and Medicine: An Ethnobotanical Survey among Kanikaran Community in Southern India

M. Ayyanar, S. Ignacimuthu

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 123-133
DOI: 10.9734/EJNFS/2013/3642

The study mainly focused on the plants used as food as well as medicine by Kani tribals in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Southern Western Ghats, India. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out among the Kani tribals through questionnaires and consultations with age-old and knowledgeable tribals during June 2007 to September 2009. A total of 59 species of plants were recorded in this study with their vernacular names, parts used as food either raw or cooked and medicinal uses. Among all the edible plants, unripe fruits of Artocarpus heterophyllus and tubers of Manihot esculenta are favorite edibles and these are the main food for the Kani tribal community. Due to indiscriminate exploitation, destruction of forests and changing scenario of rural life, the oral folklore of plants is on the way of extinction. The present investigation underlines the potential of ethnobotanical research and the need for documentation of traditional knowledge pertaining to the utilization of plants for greater benefit of mankind.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Starch Digestibility and Nutritional Composition of Improved Rice Varieties from Cameroun

Amaka M. Odenigbo, Sali Atanga Ndindeng, Chijioke A. Nwankpa, Noe Woin, Michael Ngadi

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 134-145
DOI: 10.9734/EJNFS/2013/5096

Aims: Resistant starch (RS), kinetics of starch digestion, predicted glycemic index (pGI) and nutritional composition were determined in two improved rice varieties from Cameroun. 
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Canada between December 2012 and March 2013. 
Methodology: Non-parboiled and parboiled samples of TOX 3145 and NERICA-3 varieties were involved in this study. An in vitro enzymatic starch digestion method was applied to measure starch digestibility parameters. Standardized methods were adopted for proximate and mineral contents evaluation.
Results: The parboiled samples had significantly higher (P<0.05) resistant starch (8.35 - 11.07%) than the non-parboiled samples (3.81 - 4.84%). The values for pGI among samples ranged from 57.57 to 67.78%. Significantly higher values for protein, phosphorus and potassium were found among the parboiled samples (P<0.05). Nutritional composition was positively related to RS while pGI had inverse relationship with protein, ash, fat, phosphorus, potassium and RS.
Conclusion: Starch digestibility of these rice varieties was associated to their nutritional composition.

Open Access Review Article

Benefit-Risk Analysis for Foods (BRAFO)- Executive Project Summary

Stéphane Vidry, Jeljer Hoekstra, Andy Hart, Bernhard Watzl, Hans Verhagen, Katrin Schütte, Alan Boobis, Alessandro Chiodini

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 146-153
DOI: 10.9734/EJNFS/2013/7007

BRAFO, Benefit-Risk Analysis for Foods, was a European Commission project funded within Framework Six as a Specific Support Action and coordinated by ILSI Europe. BRAFO developed a tiered methodology for assessing the benefits and risks of foods and food components, utilising a quantitative, common scale for health assessment in higher tiers. A methodology group reviewed and assembled the methodologies available developing a guidance document that describes a tiered (‘stepwise’) approach for performing a risk and benefit assessment of foods. In parallel, three expert groups on natural foods, dietary interventions and heat processing applied the tiered approach to several case studies. Finally a consensus group reported on the implications of the experience gained during the development of the project for the further improvement.