World-first Coke Bottle Made with Plastic from the Sea

Coca-Cola is unveiling the first ever sample bottle made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, demonstrating that, one day, even ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks. This sample is the first ever plastic bottle made using marine litter that has been successfully recycled and reused in food and drink packaging.

About 300 sample bottles have been produced using 25% recycled marine plastic[1], retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches. A small step for now, but the technology behind it has big potential.

Recycling the unrecyclable

The marine plastic bottle has been developed to show the transformational potential of revolutionary ‘enhanced recycling’ technologies, which can recycle previously used plastics of any quality back to the high-quality needed for food or drinks packaging.

Enhanced recycling technologies use innovative processes that break down the components of plastic and strip out impurities in lower-grade recyclables so they can be rebuilt as good as new. This means that lower-grade plastics that were often destined for incineration or landfill can now be given a new life. It also means more materials are available to make recycled content, reducing the amount of virgin PET needed from fossil fuels, and resulting in a lower carbon footprint.

The sample bottle is the result of a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and The Coca-Cola Company. Although enhanced recycling is still in its infancy, the partners produced the sample marine plastic bottle as a proof of concept for what the technology may achieve in time.

In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste streams from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower-quality recyclables. From 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out this enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.

Working toward zero waste

Bruno van Gompel, Technical and Supply Chain Director, Coca-Cola Western Europe, says the potential for the technology is huge: “Enhanced recycling technologies are enormously exciting, not just for us but for industry and society at large. They accelerate the prospect of a closed-loop economy for plastic, which is why we are investing behind them. As these begin to scale, we will see all kinds of used plastics returned, as good as new, not just once but again and again, diverting waste streams from incineration and landfill.”

Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa Technologies, the Dutch company that developed the proprietary enhanced recycling technology, says: “The impact of enhanced recycling will be felt on a global scale: by working with Coca-Cola and Indorama to produce this bottle, we aim to show what this technology can deliver. Our new plant is now operational and we are bringing this technology to scale. In doing so, we aim to eliminate the concept of single use plastic and plastic waste altogether.”

Source: Coca Cola

Apricot Amaretto Torte

Ingredients

1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 medium-size apricots (about 1 lb total)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar, divided
4 to 5 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup apricot nectar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Method

  1. Pour lemon juice into a medium-size bowl. Quarter and pit apricots. Add to bowl and turn to coat with juice. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, whirl almonds until finely ground. (Or finely chop almonds with a knife, then place in a large bowl.)
  3. To almonds, add eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon of the liqueur, and almond extract. Whirl or beat with an electric mixer until thick and well blended.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and butter. Whirl or beat until well blended.
  5. Spread batter in a greased, floured 9-inch cake pan with a removable rim. Decoratively arrange apricots in batter, overlapping as needed. Press fruit lightly into batter.
  6. Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven until cake just begins to pull away from side of pan and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (about 25 minutes; pierce cake, not fruit). Let cool slightly on a rack.
  7. While cake is cooling, stir together cornstarch and 6 tablespoons of the sugar in a small pan. Whisk in apricot nectar and orange juice. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and thickens slightly (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and remaining 3 to 4 tablespoons liqueur. Keep warm.
  8. Sprinkle cake with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove pan rim and cut cake into wedges. Serve with apricot-orange sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Low-fat Italian Cookbook

In Pictures: Food of Ristorante Berton in Milan, Italy

Modern Italian Cuisine

The Restaurant

Study: Most Sweetened Drinks Aimed for the Kids in the U.S. Do Not Meet Nutrition Recommendations

Kay Campbell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Fruit drinks and flavored waters that contain added sugars or low-calorie sweeteners dominated sales of drinks intended for children in 2018, making up 62% of the $2.2 billion in total children’s drink sales, according to a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

That year, companies spent $20.7 million to advertise children’s drinks with added sugars, primarily targeting kids under age 12, according to the report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In fact, children ages 2 to 11 saw more than twice as many TV ads for children’s sweetened drinks than for children’s drinks without added sweeteners.

This report follows a consensus statement released in September by health and nutrition experts that recommended that children under age 5 should not consume any drinks with added sugars or low-calorie sweeteners, and that they should consume limited amounts of 100% juice.

But common nutrition-related claims and images of fruit on packages of sugary fruit drinks and flavored waters make it difficult for parents to easily identify the healthier drinks for their children, say the authors.

“Beverage companies have said they want to be part of the solution to childhood obesity, but they continue to market sugar-sweetened children’s drinks directly to young children on TV and through packages designed to get their attention in the store,” says Jennifer L. Harris, lead author and director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center. “Parents may be surprised to know that pediatricians, dentists, and other nutrition experts recommend against serving any of these drinks to children.”

Researchers assessed the top-selling brands of children’s drinks—including 34 sweetened drinks (fruit drinks, flavored waters, and drink mixes) and 33 drinks without added sweeteners (100% juice, juice-water blends, and one sparkling water)—analyzing sales, advertising spending, children’s exposure to TV advertising, nutritional content, and product packaging. Brands with at least $10 million in sales in 2018 were included.

Confusing Package Claims and Hidden Low-Calorie Sweeteners

Some companies have developed drinks that may be healthier for children, such as juice and water blends that do not contain added sweeteners, and these companies have begun to advertise them to parents and children, researchers say. But those healthier drinks, such as 100% juice, represented just 38 percent of children’s drink sales in 2018.

Study authors also say that package claims on sweetened children’s drinks, and similarities between claims on sweetened and unsweetened drinks, can confuse parents about their nutritional content.

Sugar-sweetened children’s fruit drinks typically contained just 5% juice or less, but according to the report, 80% of those packages included images of fruit and 60% claimed to have “less” or “low” sugar or “no high fructose corn syrup.”

Children’s drinks with and without added sweeteners also had similar package sizes and types, flavor names, use of fruit imagery, and front-of-package claims for products.

“You shouldn’t have to be a nutritionist to figure out whether or not a product is healthy for your child,” says Maria Romo-Palafox, study author and assistant professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Saint Louis University.

In addition, low-calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose and stevia, were found in 74% of children’s sweetened drinks, including drinks that also contained added sugars, but there was no mention of low-calorie sweeteners on the front of packages.

“The fronts of the packages make children’s drinks look healthy, but there’s no way to know which ones have added sugars or low-calorie sweeteners reading the front. You have to read the nutrition facts panel on the back and you have to know the names of low-calorie sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium and sucralose, to realize they are in the product,” Romo-Palafox adds.

Industry, Regulators, and Legislators Can Do More

Authors say the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI)—the voluntary, industry self-regulatory program—should establish nutrition standards that conform with health expert recommendations. Specifically, drinks with added sugars or low-calorie sweeteners should not be advertised directly to children.

Beverage manufacturers should also clearly indicate that products contain added sugars and low-calorie sweeteners and the percent juice content on the front of children’s drink packages, they say.

Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could require that products with nutrition-related claims on packages meet minimum nutrition standards and prohibit the use of fruit and vegetable images on drink product packages that contain little or no juice.

Also within the options available to legislators, state and local taxes on sugary drinks should include children’s fruit drinks and flavored waters to raise the price and discourage purchases.

Additional key findings:

Beverage manufacturers made some progress in developing and advertising healthier drinks for children.

  • More companies sold unsweetened juice-water blends, which are healthier than sweetened children’s drinks and contain only juice and water. The majority contain less than 50 calories in one box or pouch.
  • With the exception of one sugar-sweetened children’s fruit drink, licensed characters only appeared on children’s drinks without added sweeteners (primarily 100% juice)—a significant improvement compared to 2014.
  • Kraft Heinz was the only company to advertise sugar-sweetened drinks directly to children on children’s TV, including Kool Aid Jammers and Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters.

However, companies continued to extensively promote sweetened children’s drinks, and many children’s drinks were high in sugar despite healthy-sounding claims.

  • One-third of all children’s fruit drinks contained 16 grams or more of sugar per serving—equivalent to 4 teaspoons, which is more than half of the maximum amount of added sugars experts recommend for children per day.
  • Of the 100% juice children’s drinks studied, only 4 of 13 came in appropriate sized boxes or pouches for a toddler (age 1 to 3 years). Some contained more than 6 ounces of juice, which is the maximum recommended daily amount for preschoolers (age 4 to 6 years).

Source: University of Connecticut

Next-Gen Artificial Pancreas Boosts Blood Sugar Control

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . . . . .

The latest version of the so-called artificial pancreas system helped people with type 1 diabetes gain even better control of their blood sugar levels than current technology does, a new study reports.

The device combines an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and a computer algorithm. The system measures blood sugar levels and delivers insulin automatically when levels rise. Insulin delivery is temporarily stopped if blood sugar levels drop too low.

People using the artificial pancreas were able to have good blood sugar control for almost an extra three hours each day compared to using just an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor.

“People with type 1 diabetes have to think every day about their blood sugar and how they need to manage it. Automated delivery systems can make a big difference and help ease the daily burden of managing blood sugar,” said study lead author Dr. Sue Brown, an endocrinologist and associate professor at the University of Virginia.

Type 1 diabetes develops when the body’s immune system — which normally protects you from disease — mistakenly turns against the healthy cells that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to control blood sugar levels.

People with type 1 diabetes have to replace that lost insulin — either with shots or through an insulin pump. But getting the right amount can be tricky. Too much insulin can send blood sugar dangerously low, while too little can set people up for serious diabetes complications.

That means people with type 1 diabetes spend a lot of time testing and adjusting their insulin levels throughout the day. That’s where the artificial pancreas can help, by taking over some of this work.

These systems aren’t yet completely automated, though. Diabetics still need to count the carbohydrates in their food and enter that information into their insulin pump.

But it will control blood sugar levels, giving more insulin when needed and pulling back when there’s enough.

“This system can give a more normal way of life,” said study co-author Boris Kovatchev, director of the University of Virginia Center for Diabetes Technology. Kovatchev led the team that developed the system.

Only one artificial pancreas system is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — the Medtronic 670G. This study didn’t compare the two systems, but the authors said there are important differences in the algorithms controlling each device.

The latest study used Control-IQ artificial pancreas system. It uses an insulin pump made by Tandem Diabetes and a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) from Dexcom.

For the study, 168 people with type 1 diabetes were randomly chosen to wear either the new artificial pancreas system or an insulin pump and glucose monitor alone. The patients were between the ages of 14 and 71.

The study lasted six months. Both Brown and Kovatchev said they didn’t ask participants to change their diet or other lifestyle factors.

The average daily time in-range (a blood sugar between 70 and 180 milligrams per deciliter) averaged 61% at the start of the study for those using the Control-IQ. During the trial, that rose to 71%. That meant participants had good blood sugar control for an additional 2.6 hours a day.

The group who just used an insulin pump and CGM had no change in their in-range time.

There were no severe low blood sugar events. One person in the Control-IQ group had a complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), because the site where the insulin pump tubing goes into the skin was blocked and insulin couldn’t get through, Brown explained.

Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher is director of the Pediatric Diabetes Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City. She said the newest device is more user-friendly than the 670G and the algorithms are significantly different.

“Each design that is approved by the FDA will be slightly better than the one before,” Gallagher said. “They’re building on the successes that came earlier.”

Daniel Finan, a research director with JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), said that what’s most important for people with type 1 diabetes is choice. “This study is a meaningful step forward, and there are more good innovations on the horizon,” he said.

Finan noted it was significant that no one dropped out of the study. “This system was designed with usability in mind,” he said. “You can’t reap the benefits if you don’t want to wear the device.”

Tandem Diabetes has filed paperwork with the FDA for approval of the Control-IQ device.

The study was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: HealthDay


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