Sour Food is the New Hot Food

Consumer demand for tart, sour foods is changing the food industry as more companies capitalize on the trend by offering sour-flavored food and beverage products like Greek yogurt, salt and vinegar chips and kombucha, reported Slate.

Industrywide growth of sour foods can’t be denied, not only has Greek yogurt expanded from a 1% market share in 2007 to dominating more than one-third of the entire market in 2013, but the trend is in enough demand that sour snacks are inspiring a wide variety of competing mass market pickle-flavored chips from big brand names like Lay’s and Pringles.

Consumer demand for intense, bold flavors in nothing new, hot and spicy foods have been dominating the food industry for the last few years. “The growth of sour is a natural extension of America’s desire for big and bold flavors,” Mary Chapman, director of product innovation for the food consultancy Technomic, told Slate. “Now that hot and spicy foods are well established, people want to taste what happens when sour flavor is cranked up,” she added.

The inclusion of international cuisines has enhanced the popularity of sour flavors and snack foods. Asian cuisines—particularly Thai, have elevated the growth of sour flavors with offerings like sour dipping sauces and spicy soups kicked up notch with the addition of lime juice.

Another reason for the sour food “it factor”—it’s not sweet. Given the negative attention public health officials and influential food polemicists have brought to sugary foods like soda and corn syrup, the opposite end of their flavor profile is seemingly safer to many consumers. “Taking tart flavor and bringing it forward connotes that sense of ‘ok, this isn’t a sugar-laden product’,” Kazia Jankowski, associate culinary director at Sterling-Rice Group, explained to Slate. In general, consumers perceive sour foods to be healthier, not only because of their sugar fears, but also because of the potential health benefits of the helpful bacteria involved in the fermentation that creates those tart flavors.

Moreover, fermentation itself has become a popular DIY pastime, which only further contributes to the growing market for sour flavors. With the help of social media outlets like Pinterest, pickling as become a star of its own. For example, kombucha, a mildly fizzy fermented tea has become so popular that its grown beyond its crunchy origins to being offered in mainstream convenience stores. Kimchi, a fermented cabbage, has also become increasingly popular spreading from Korean kitchens to Los Angeles taco trucks and even making its way to Michelle Obama’s recipe repertoire for White House Garden Produce.

A boom in artisanal sour products is also extending the sour trend. At a recent craft beer and food festival, Savor, thrown in New York by the Brewers Association, brewers from around the country introduced a variety of tart beers and sour beer panel discussions held at the festival drew sold-out crowds. These sour beers are seeing steady market growth. Belgian Sour, for example, is the second-fastest growing style of beer, with sales up 31% in one year, according to GuestMetrics, a company that tracks restaurant and bar sales. Increased demand for sour foods and beverages in all segments of food industry indicate that sour is here to stay.

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Exercise Benefits Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Moderate-intensity exercise reduces fat stored around the heart, in the liver and in the abdomen of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, even in the absence of any changes in diet, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells, or when the cells resist the effects of insulin. The disease can lead to a wide range of complications, including damage to the eyes and kidneys and hardening of the arteries.

Exercise is recommended for people with diabetes, but its effects on different fat deposits in the body are unclear, according to the study’s senior author, Hildo J. Lamb, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Radiology at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

“Based on previous studies, we noticed that different fat deposits in the body show a differential response to dietary or medical intervention,” he said. “Metabolic and other effects of exercise are hard to investigate, because usually an exercise program is accompanied by changes in lifestyle and diet.”

For the new study, Dr. Lamb and colleagues assessed the effects of exercise on organ-specific fat accumulation and cardiac function in type 2 diabetes patients, independent of any other lifestyle or dietary changes. The 12 patients, average age 46 years, underwent MRI examinations before and after six months of moderate-intensity exercise totaling between 3.5 and six hours per week and featuring two endurance and two resistance training sessions. The exercise cycle culminated with a 12-day trekking expedition.

MRI results showed that, although cardiac function was not affected, the exercise program led to a significant decrease in fat volume in the abdomen, liver and around the heart, all of which have been previously shown to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

“In the present study we observed that the second layer of fat around the heart, the peracardial fat, behaved similarly in response to exercise training as intra-abdominal, or visceral fat,” Dr. Lamb said. “The fat content in the liver also decreased substantially after exercise.”

Dr. Lamb noted that the exercise-induced fat reductions in the liver are of particular importance to people with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are overweight or obese.

“The liver plays a central role in regulating total body fat distribution,” he said. “Therefore, reduction of liver fat content and visceral fat volume by physical exercise are very important to reverse the adverse effects of lipid accumulation elsewhere, such as the heart and arterial vessel wall.”

The findings point to an important role for imaging in identifying appropriate treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, which the World Health Organization projects to be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.

“In the future, we hope to be able to use advanced imaging techniques to predict in individual patients which therapeutic strategy is most effective: diet, medication, exercise, surgery or certain combinations,” Dr. Lamb said.

Source: Radiological Society of North America

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Exercise can reduce harmful fat in people with type 2 diabetes ….

Mussels with Paprika Flavoured Sauce

Ingredients

2 lbs fresh mussels
1 lemon slice
6 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
parsley sprigs to garnish

Method

  1. Scrub mussels, discarding any ones that do not close when tapped. Put mussels in a large pan with 1 cup water and a slice of lemon. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the mussels as they open. Discard any that remain closed. Take meat out of the shells and drain on paper towels.
  2. Heat oil in the pan, Add mussel, stir and cook for 1 minute. Remove.
  3. Add shallot and garlic, cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft. Mix in parsley, paprika and chili. Return mussels and cook briefly. Remove pan from heat, cover and sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Source: Canadian magazine

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