Video: Should You Eat a Low-gluten Diet?

When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating, a new study shows. The researchers attribute the impact of diet on healthy adults more to change in composition of dietary fibres than gluten itself.

Watch video at vimeo (1:37 minutes) . . . . .


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Opinion: Six New Trends Shaping the Global Consumer Landscape

Mintel has recently revealed six key consumer trends impacting industries and markets around the world and identified how they will play out in the years to come. In 2019 and beyond, the global consumer landscape will evolve like never before, driven by themes of privacy, individuality, wellness, convenience and connectivity:

  • Total Wellbeing: Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs.
  • Challenge Accepted: A growing momentum to take on new challenges is driving consumers to reach new heights and uncover new passions.
  • Rethink Plastic: While not inherently bad, the throwaway use of plastic is driving consumers to review their own behaviours to prevent plastic pollution.
  • On Display: Consumers and brands are becoming more aware that they have a digital persona to nurture and grow, creating tension as everyone fights for attention and nobody is safe from scrutiny.
  • Social Isolation: Constant digital connectivity, where physical interactions are replaced with digital updates, can increase feelings of loneliness, social isolation and depression, creating a demand for products and services that help consumers learn to disconnect.
  • Redefining Adulthood: The concept of what it means to be an adult has changed beyond recognition and consumers are adapting to lives that don’t fit the mold.

Here, the global Mintel Trends analyst team explores how these trends are set to shake up markets around the world, including implications for both consumers and brands.

TOTAL WELLBEING

“In 2019 and beyond, growing consumer curiosity with the microbiome shows no signs of abating. From gut-friendly fermented foods to probiotic skincare, consumers will demand products that balance and boost the natural bacteria found in and on the body.”

“Consumers are looking externally to their surroundings and internally towards their physical and mental wellbeing, expecting holistic approaches to wellness. Across the globe consumers are increasingly seeking personalisation and in the UK, as many as 42% of British consumers are interested in a personalised diet based on their genes/DNA. Developments in health monitoring, such as skin sensors or ingestible capsules, will satisfy consumers’ demand for this personalised approach, while also building on scientific research in these emerging fields.”

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

“As appetites for adventure grow, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”

“Social media inspiration is blurring the line between reality and #lifegoals, opening consumers up to a whole new world. In fact, a third (32%) of Canadian consumers who have attended a live event say they learn about live events from social media. It may be fuelling a love of adventure, but social media is not without its pitfalls and in the years to come, companies and brands should proceed with caution.”

RETHINK PLASTIC

“When it comes to recycling, well-meaning consumers are desperate to do the right thing but often simply don’t know how or where to start. As consumers continue to challenge brands over the perils of plastic waste, the development of recyclable products and packaging that are convenient for consumers to separate will be critical. But equally as important will be creating incentives and initiatives; in China, 58% of Mintropolitans* are willing to pay more for ethical brands.”

“In 2019 and beyond, expect to see more sponsored ‘reverse’ vending machines and bring-your-own-mug schemes. But it takes more than any one individual or brand to save the world; the future will be about working together. Companies and organizations should look to partner in order to create or crowdsource ideas that will make innovative and disruptive changes, such as the development of biodegradable materials, the search to enhance the recyclability of plastic or the cultivation of a better waste management system.”

ON DISPLAY

“Consumers and brands have come to accept and nurture their digital personas, perfectly curating their online identities. But even among the most carefully crafted feeds, one misguided post can lead to intense scrutiny and public backlash. In the US, 16% of Hispanic social media users have boycotted brands based on things they learned on social media.”

“Now more than ever, it’s crucial for companies and brands to have social media strategies in place and to train employees about company morals and etiquette, so that when (not if) they are faced with a sensitive issue, they know how to handle it in a timely way. While it is important to balance the cycle of ‘negative exposure’ by sharing good, positive stories, it’s equally important to promote critical thinking and dissent. This will help brands align with consumers’ defiant side and break through their filter bubbles.”

SOCIAL ISOLATION

“Technology can make the world a lonely place. Consumers increasingly live their lives through smartphone screens and, although connected electronically, they are becoming isolated from each other both physically and emotionally. It seems there are countless reasons why consumers may feel they never need to leave their homes, with 34% of Brazilian Millennials (aged 19-35) saying they prefer to contact companies/brands online rather than in-store or over the phone. And smart home technology and delivery services make it easier than ever for consumers to feel they have everything they need under their own roof.”

“Facilitating connections and creating unique spaces where communities can be built is the next stage in cultivating customer loyalty. Brands who position their physical and virtual ‘space’ as places for consumers to meet while also eating, shopping or taking part in a leisure activity will lead to a boost in not only engagement, but revenue.”

REDEFINING ADULTHOOD

“With experiences over material things being a key priority for consumers, companies need to focus on campaigns and opportunities that focus on making life memorable. Taking a technology-first approach could be the answer, as more and more consumers are commonly relying on technology to manage their everyday ‘adult’ tasks. In fact, a third (33%) of US consumers agree they would rather interact with people online than in-person.”

“Despite more convenience and opportunity, the challenges of adulthood have not disappeared. Those looking to capitalize on this will serve as a resource for these hurdles by making responsibilities feel more manageable and even fun (sometimes). Flexibility is the name of the game. With a growing remote workforce, consumers’ daily lives are fluid and brands have to adapt to lifestyles no longer defined by 9-5 work cultures.”

*Mintropolitans are broadly defined by Mintel as those who represent a significant, sophisticated consuming group (aged 20-49) who pursue quality of life rather than just wealth, are well educated, and are the potential trendsetters.

Source: Mintel

Grilled Avocado with Strawberry and Honey

Ingredients

cooking spray
2 cups hulled strawberries (quartered)
1 Tbsp honey
2 small avocados (halved, pitted)
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint

Method

  1. In a small bowl, gently stir together the strawberries and honey. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally to let the strawberries macerate and release their natural juices.
  2. When the strawberries are ready, preheat the grill on medium high.
  3. Lightly spray each avocado with cooking spray. Place the avocados on the grill with the stem side facing 10 o’clock. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Rotate the avocados so that the stem side is facing 2 o’clock. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the avocado halves to plates with the flesh side up.
  4. Remove the strawberry mixture from the refrigerator. Fold in the mint.
  5. Spoon the strawberry mixture over each avocado half and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: American Heart Association

Sourdough Hands: How Bakers And Bread Are A Microbial Match

Lindsay Patterson wrote . . . . . . . . .

If you bake a lot of sourdough bread, your hands might look like your loaves. Bacterially speaking, that is. The microbes found on bakers’ hands mirror the microbes within their starters — the bubbly mix of yeast, bacteria and flour that’s the soul of every loaf.

That’s the surprising finding from a sourdough bake-off experiment, coordinated by ecologists Rob Dunn and Anne Madden. Fifteen sourdough experts from around the world arrived at a Belgian baking center with brand-new homemade starters, fed from the exact same ingredients sent from Dunn’s lab. But before the bakers could get their hands into the dough, they held them out to Madden for bacterial swabbing.

Partnered with analysis of the starter’s microbial ecosystem, Dunn and his collaborators were able to draw a close connection between bread, bakers and their bacterial species.

“It’s a reminder that we have a really intimate relationship with our food,” says Dunn. “Not only do we impact the species in our food, but the species in our food impacts the species on or in our bodies.”

In his new book, Never Home Alone, released Nov. 6, Dunn explores the species behind what he calls the “wild life” of our homes. “There’s a lot more life in our houses than we think,” he explains. “To the extent that we’ve thought about it, we’ve tried to kill it.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Dunn’s survey of indoor species (including insects) lands him in the bakery with sourdough, which is brought alive by microbes. The experiment delves into how cooking with fermented foods might affect the microbes of the people who make them. In the book, Dunn describes how he formed the hypothesis that our bodies and environments influence the taste of our food.

The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.


Where did the idea that hands and home affect the flavor of food come from?

I had a couple of conversations that led me toward this concept of son-mat, the Korean word for "hand flavor," that there was something that the hands offered to the food. If I were a poet, that would just be "love" and "sentiment." But I'm an ecologist. So the only thing I could think about in the context of that word was that there were actually species moving from people's hands into the food. And if there were species moving from hand, there must also be species moving from homes. The boundary between the body and the home is super fluid.

How did you come up with an experiment to test that idea?

We teamed up with the Puratos Center for Bread Flavour, which is a super cool bread museum, research and conference center in the tiny German-speaking part of eastern Belgium. The ideal experiment would have people from different regions, both men and women, from different styles of bakeries. That would maximize the kinds of ways that their bodies and bakeries might influence what they were contributing. That’s where Puratos was super helpful, because they were able to recommend bakers around the world who could come together at this bread center to do the experiment. The hope was to get them all to make the same starter except for the microbes, then bring them together, and all make the same bread. So we could test the starter, we could test their hands, and we could test the consequences for the bread itself.

What were the results?

The starters were super different, and those differences were in part associated with who made them, and where they made them. There was an essence of the baker in the starter the baker made, and that was conveyed in the bread. That was one result.

The other one, which our design wasn’t perfect for, but was the crazier one to me, was that we’d swab the hands of the bakers to figure out what was on their hands, and it was the same thing that was in the starter. We hadn’t thought to wonder if the baker’s hands themselves would be unusual. But lo and behold, the baker’s hands looked like sourdough. So yes, the bakers did influence their starters, but the other way around was true too. The life of baking seems to influence the bakers.

Can you describe what you mean by “Their hands looked like sourdough”?

The most common sourdough starters are lactobacillus bacteria and their relatives. And the most common yeasts are saccharomyces yeasts and their relatives. If we look at the average human hand, those bacteria and those yeasts are really quite rare — three percent maximum of fungi on the hands. On the bakers, they were in some cases up to 60 percent of the bacteria in particular on the hands. Which is to say that the hands looked more like sourdough in terms of the microbes they had more than they looked like the hands of the plumber or the professor.

So, based on their bacteria, if you were to try to pick sourdough hands out of a lineup, those hands might look like the starter itself?

Yeah, they would probably look like a funky starter.

People have such a personal connection to their starters. Would you say that that’s backed up by the science at this point?

Yes. Clearly, our data suggests that something about baking seems to be changing the hands of the people who do the baking. To me, it suggests that your hands are in a way taking a measurement of your life. Right? And so if it’s a life spent with your sourdough starter, if it’s a life spent in food, they’re going to record a different story than if it’s a life just swiping left and right on your phone.

How much bread do you have to bake to have sourdough hands?

That’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer. But if I were to speculate, I bet it doesn’t take a lot of baking to change your hands a little bit. But if you really want those total baker hands, I think that’s touching bread as much as you touch people.

Source: npr

Video: Robot Making Tricolor Crepes

Watch video at You Tube (1:44 minutes) . . . . .