New Snack: Chicken-skin Gyoza

The fillings include chicken meat, chicken cartilage, onion, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. The fat on the chicken skin was removed. The calorie of each gyoza is 100 kcal.

Limited quantity of the gyoza will be sold for a limited time at 60 yen each.

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Scientists have Unlocked the Secret of Making Tomatoes Tasty Again

Colin Tosh, Niall Conboy and Thomas McDaniel wrote . . . . . .

If you shop in a supermarket you may well have asked why the fruit and veg you buy there is so tasteless, especially if you’ve also tried homegrown alternatives. Traditional breeds of tomatoes usually grown in gardens, known as heirloom tomatoes, for example, are often small and strangely shaped and coloured but renowned for their delicious taste. Those in the supermarkets, meanwhile, are often pumped up in size but somewhat insipid to eat.

This is because plants used by most tomato farms have gone through an intensive artificial selection process to breed fruit that are big, red and round – but at the expense of taste. Now a 20-strong international research team have identified the chemical compounds responsible for the rich flavour of heirloom tomatoes and the genes that produce them. This information could provide a way for farmers to grow tomatoes that taste of something again.

The unique flavour of a tomato is determined by specific airborne molecules called volatiles, which emanate from flavour chemicals in the fruit. By asking a panel of consumers to rate over a hundred varieties of tomato, the researchers identified 13 volatiles that play an important role in producing the most appealing flavours. They also found that these molecules were significantly reduced in modern tomato varieties compared to the heirloom ones. And they found that bigger tomatoes tended to have less sugar, another reason why large supermarket fruits often fail to inspire.

Tomatoes originally hail from the Andean region of South America and belong to the Solanaceae family, making them relatively close relations of potatoes and peppers. The original, ancestral tomato was very small, more like a pea, showing just how much human intervention has swollen the fruit. We don’t know how long they have been grown for human consumption but they had reached an advanced stage of domestication by the 15th century when they were taken to Europe.

Before the 20th century, tomato varieties were commonly developed in families and small communities (which explains the name “heirloom”). With the industrialisation of farming, the serious business of tomato breeding began with intensive selection for fruit size and shelf life.

Some more recent effort has been put into improving the flavour of tomatoes through breeding. But the new research appears to indicate that this has ultimately been unsuccessful and that earlier breeding efforts have doomed modern commercial varieties to mediocrity.

The new paper, published in Science, emphasises what seems to be a constant conflict between the food industry’s desire for profit and what the public actually want. The researchers tactfully excuse the way tomatoes have been bred for size and shelf-life at the expense of taste as being down to breeders’ inability to analyse the fruit’s chemical composition and find the right volatiles.

But many people will find this hard to swallow. After all, the new research itself used the most ancient volatile analysis system there is: the human taster. It wouldn’t have taken much for farmers to incorporate taste trials into their breeding programmes.

Because modern farmed tomatoes have only lost their flavour in the last hundred years or so and varieties are still available that produce the tasty volatiles, it should be possible to reinsert the crucial taste genes back into commercial varieties. This could be done by genetic modification or conventional breeding. Just as we are seeing a resurgence in organic and artisan growing, it would be great to see a new generation of tomato breeders interested in returning flavour to the fruit using wild and heirloom varieties, while maintaining other commercially desirable traits.

There is significant public opposition to the idea of genetically modifying foods by inserting genes into a plant’s DNA in the lab. But the idea of reinserting lost genes may be more palatable to the public than introducing completely new ones. Either way, it shows how perverse the food industry’s methods are that we may need to use one of the world’s most advanced technologies to give an inherently delicious food some flavour.

Source: The Conversation

Good News for Older Women With Early Form of Breast Cancer

Older women treated for a very early form of breast cancer, called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), do not have an overall increased risk of early death compared to their peers, a new study finds.

“Being diagnosed with DCIS can be extremely distressing, and research indicates that many women overestimate the risks involved and are confused about treatment. This study should provide reassurance that a diagnosis of DCIS does not raise the risk of dying,” said Dr. Lotte Elshof. She is an epidemiologist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

Elshof was to present the findings at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, DCIS “is a noninvasive cancer where abnormal cells have been found in the lining of the breast milk duct. The atypical cells have not spread outside of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. Ductal carcinoma in situ is very early cancer that is highly treatable. . . .”

Untreated, DCIS can progress into invasive life-threatening breast cancer. However, it is usually treated with either surgery alone, or a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.

To determine the prognosis of older women diagnosed with DCIS, Elshof’s team tracked 10-year outcomes for 10,000 Dutch women who were diagnosed with the condition between 1989 and 2004.

Women older than 50 who had been treated for DCIS actually had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from all causes combined, compared with women in the general population, the researchers found.

Specifically, the DCIS patients were less likely to die from other types of cancer and from circulatory, respiratory and digestive diseases, the findings showed.

“It might seem surprising that this group of women actually has a lower mortality rate than the general population. However, the vast majority would have been diagnosed via breast screening, which suggests they may be health-conscious and well enough to participate in screening,” Elshof explained in a news release from the European Cancer Congress.

The study also looked at the risk of death from breast cancer. The investigators found that women treated for DCIS had a 2.5 percent risk of breast cancer death after 10 years, and a 4 percent risk after 15 years.

Both of those rates are higher than in the general population, Elshof’s team noted. However, rates were lower in women whose DCIS had been diagnosed more recently, the study authors added.

And Philip Poortmans, president-elect of the European Cancer Organization, pointed out in the news release that “the increased risk of dying from breast cancer is completely offset by a lower risk of dying from other causes compared to women in the general population.”

Two U.S. oncologists who reviewed the new study said it should reassure patients.

“The important take-away message is that women diagnosed with DCIS can be expected to live to a normal age as a whole,” said Dr. Stephanie Bernik. She is chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

However, she agreed with the authors that there’s a good explanation as to why women with DCIS tended to have better life expectancy than other women.

“If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she will find herself with doctors’ visits at every turn,” Bernik noted. “This group of women is often encouraged to go to their primary medical doctor for any issue that may arise and screening for other cancers is more likely to occur. This may explain why women diagnosed with DCIS have a better overall survival.”

Dr. Eleonora Teplinsky is an oncologist at Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Lake Success, N.Y. She called the new study “excellent,” and said the next steps should look at “factors that contribute to the progression of DCIS to invasive disease.”

Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: HealthDay

Baked Breakfast Strata with Eggs and Roasted Tomato

Ingredients

4 large tomatoes cut into wedges
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
8 cups cubed Italian bread
2 cups whole milk
6 eggs
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded Fontina or Provalone cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Generously grease a 2-quart baking dish. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss tomato wedges with salt, pepper and 3 tbsp olive oil. Arrange tomatoes in one layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. Roast tomatoes until browned, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Toss bread cubes with another 3 tbsp olive oil. Spread bread cubes evenly on second parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in green onions, cheeses, and herbs. Transfer bread cubes to baking dish and pour egg mixture over bread. Add tomatoes, pushing them down among the bread cubes and cheese mixture. Bake until firm to the touch and bread is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers

In Pictures: Breakfasts with Toasts


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