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Segurança E Qualidade Alimentar
Tecnologia Alimentar
Food Risk Communication
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Science Briefs

In recent years, both functional food and organic food products have become increasingly popular, not least due to the health benefits, or perceived health benefits, associated with them. Studies, however, have also shown that food carrying nutrition or health claims can sometimes be perceived as unnatural, especially if they have been altered to provide added nutrition or health benefit.

Researchers from Aarhus University (Denmark) and the University of Kassel (Germany) investigated how consumers of organic food react to a combination of organic and functional food, i.e. their attitudes towards and their buying behaviour of an organic product bearing a nutrition or health claim. While no significant difference was observed with regards to choosing a product with or without a claim, occasional buyers of organic food were more likely to choose an organic food product with a claim. Furthermore, opting for a product with a claim was associated with reading the claim and perceiving the product as healthier when compared to the other options available.

Health benefits are the key message of functional foods bearing health claims. Actual food choice, however, is influenced by various other motives. Scientists from the University of Belgrade and IPSOS Strategic Marketing researched the effect of food choice motives, nutritional knowledge, and the use of food labels on consumer attitude towards foods with health claims. The expectation of a functional food benefitting one's health is strongly influenced by a person's trust in food labels. At the same time, consumers also expect functional foods to be tasty and pleasant in the sense of enhancing one's mood.
A new review by the European Food Information Council and Aarhus University explores how European consumers respond to health claims on food and drink products. Specific attention is given to how product- and consumer-related factors affect attitudes, understanding and purchasing behaviour.
The past decade has seen great advances in our understanding of the role of gut bacteria, probiotics and prebiotics in promoting human health and disease. A review published by a team of North American and European researchers discusses the current scientific evidence accumulated in this area from 2000-2010.
Plant-derived sterols, known as phytosterols, have been shown repeatedly to lower bad LDL cholesterol in the blood. A combined analysis of existing trials, published in the Journal of Nutrition, now shows the average size of the effect can be estimated from the dose given.

A new study has found that the absorption of the natural form of folic acid present in foods, called folate, relative to folic acid capsules, is better than expected.

Antioxidants are believed to have substantial health benefits and raspberries in particular are a good source. In fact, raspberries may have 10 times more antioxidants than tomatoes or broccoli. Further, raspberries contain some specific antioxidants that are found almost nowhere else.

In view of the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), identifying functional foods that reduce CVD risk factors (including high blood cholesterol) is an important area of research. A body of evidence has accumulated, strengthening the association between oat beta-glucan consumption and a decrease in blood cholesterol, according to a review by researchers from the University of Manitoba, Canada.
There will soon be no more bitter pills to swallow, thanks to new research by Leeds scientists: a spoonful of sugar will be all we need for our bodies to make their own medicine.

A research group of the Animal Nutrition Unit at Zaidín Experimental Station, which is owned by the Higher Board of Scientific Research, located in Armilla (Granada), have demonstrated that leguminous plants can have beneficial effects on the body. Amongst others, eating these foods can reduce the probability of suffering cancer of the colon, as they reduce the replication ratio of tumour cells.

SOBRE O EUFIC
O European Food Information Council ou EUFIC (Conselho Europeu de Informação Alimentar) é uma organização sem fins lucrativos, que fornece informação científica sobre segurança e qualidade alimentar, nutrição e saúde, aos meios de comunicação, profissionais de nutrição e saúde, educadores e líderes de opinião pública, de uma forma facilmente compreensível pelos consumidores.

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