Heinz’s Mayochup Coming to U.S. Grocery Stores this Month

Linda Zavoral wrote . . . . . . . . .

Mayochup became an Internet sensation earlier this year when the Twitterverse discovered that Heinz was marketing the blend in the Middle East and started asking for it here.

“After seeing the unprecedented passion surrounding this product, including the nearly one million votes on social media and 500,000 votes in favor of bringing it stateside, launching Mayochup in the U.S. was a no-brainer,” said Nicole Kulwicki, director of marketing for Heinz, in a statement.

Looks like Heinz has spiced up the blend a bit. According to the ingredient list, Mayochup contains (in order of prevalence) soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, tomato concentrate, distilled white vinegar, egg yolks and small amounts of salt, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice concentrate, paprika extract (for color) plus various preservatives and other polysyllabic additives.

Source: The Mercury News

Seafood Laksa


5 oz dried rice vermicelli
3 cups coconut cream–do not shake the can
3 cups fish stock
1-1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz Japanese kamboko
8 oz scallops
3-1/2 oz deep-fried tofu, halved
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup vietnamese or regular mint
1/4 cup fried red asian shallots


2 teaspoons shrimp paste
6 large, dried red chilies
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh galangal or ginger
8 red asian shallots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 candlenuts or macadamia nuts, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and roast for 5 minutes.
  3. Soak the chilies in boiling water for 15 minutes. Roughly chop the chilies and place into a mortar and pestle with the remaining paste ingredients. Pound to form a smooth paste.
  4. Soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well and set aside.
  5. Spoon the thick coconut cream from the top of the can and fry with the paste in a wok until the oil from the coconut starts to separate from the paste and the mixture is fragrant.
  6. Add the fish stock and the remaining coconut cream. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and stir in the seafood and tofu, cooking for 5 minutes or until tender.
  7. Season with the fish sauce and palm sugar.
  8. Divide the noodles between 4 serving bowls, ladle on some of the soup and serve topped with the bean sprouts, mint and fried shallots.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food Style – Noodles

In Pictures: Making Mooncakes at a Traditional Hong Kong Bakery

See more pictures at SCMP . . . . .

New Cancer Treatment Uses Enzymes to Boost Immune System and Fight Back

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new approach to treating cancer using enzyme therapy.

The enzyme, PEG-KYNase, does not directly kill cancer cells but instead empowers the immune system to eradicate unwanted cells on its own. PEG-KYNase is designed to degrade kynurenine, a metabolite produced by numerous tumors that suppresses the immune system. The UT team’s findings were published in a recent issue of Nature Biotechnology.

A healthy, fully functioning immune system can combat the spread of cancer cells and eliminate tumors by itself. However, tumors have evolved in multiple ways to suppress the immune system, leading to the growth and metastasis of cancer cells.

“Our immune system constantly polices the body and normally recognizes and eliminates cancerous cells,” said Everett Stone, research assistant professor in the College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Molecular Biosciences and co-author of the study. “Kynurenine acts as a roadblock to immune cells that impedes normal surveillance; our drug removes this obstacle.”

Enzymes have been used in specific treatments before, to treat cancers such as leukemia for example, but this is the first time one has been designed to take on the role of immune checkpoint inhibitor. The researchers are confident this approach could prove effective in treating a variety of different cancers.

The team, led by Stone and professor George Georgiou in the Cockrell School of Engineering, developed an enzyme therapy that stimulates a human immune system abnormally suppressed by cancer cells, unleashing the body’s power to fight back against the disease.

Their next step is to initiate clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the enzyme.

“Our work presents a new therapeutic approach to overcoming the suppression of the immune system by cancer cells,” said Georgiou, who is a professor in the Cockrell School’s chemical and biomedical engineering departments, the College of Natural Sciences’ molecular biosciences department and Dell Medical School’s oncology department. “By relieving immune suppression, the immune system becomes primed to kill cancer cells and eradicate tumors.”

The research was funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the American Cancer Society and Kyn Therapeutics, the company that is pursuing the clinical development of this approach.

Source: University of Texas at Austin

Study Links Widely-used Drug Azathioprine to Skin Cancers

Roddy Isles wrote . . . . . . . . .

A drug used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and vasculitis as well as to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients has been identified as an important contributor to skin cancer development, in a research study carried out at the University of Dundee, Queen Mary University of London and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The research, published in Nature Communications, identified a `strong case for an association’ between the drug azathioprine and the mutational signature found in cases of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), a common form of skin cancer.

It was already known that use of azathioprine leads to increased photosensitivity to UVA light, probably contributing to development of skin cancers. This new study finds that use of azathioprine leaves a molecular fingerprint in skin cancers, further implicating it in cSCC development.

Charlotte Proby, Professor of Dermatology in the School of Medicine at Dundee, said, “We recommend all physicians give appropriate advice on UVA avoidance including year-round sun protection for their patients on azathioprine.”

Professor Proby and colleagues said they were not necessarily advocating withdrawal of azathioprine.

“As with all medications the risks must be balanced against the benefits, particularly with the need to treat potentially life-threatening diseases with an effective drug,” she said.

“It is important that sun protection, skin surveillance and early diagnosis/lesion removal are part of the routine management of patients on azathioprine.”

cSCC is a common skin cancer with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the UK, with significant health economic implications.

Sophia Lowes, from Cancer Research UK, said, “It’s important to protect your skin from the sun when it’s strong, especially if you burn easily or are taking medications which make you more sun-sensitive. The most effective protection is to spend time in the shade and cover up with a hat, long-sleeved top and sunglasses. For the bits you can’t cover, use sunscreen with at least 4 stars and SPF 15 or higher for protection against both UVA and UVB rays.”

Importantly, this new study also reveals the molecular landscape of cSCC and highlights potential targets that may be developed for future therapeutic approaches to manage cSCC.

Different carcinogens leave a different `mutational signature’ in a cancer. By studying these signatures, researchers can start to determine what the causes of a cancer are.

The researchers in the School of Medicine at Dundee, in collaboration with the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Queen Mary University of London, were able to carry out mutational signature analysis of cSCC tumours from 37 patients, many of whom had been on azathioprine. They found a new mutational signature, Signature 32, which correlated with time on azathioprine therapy.

Source: University of Dundee

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