Japanese Company Launched High-nutrition Bread in the U.S.

Catherine Lamb wrote . . . . . . . . .

Bread seems to be the unofficial food of quarantine. No wonder — it’s comforting, it’s affordable, and it’s a soothing home project to tackle, if you’re into that sort of thing.

But much as we love bread, we know that eating it all day, every day is probably not the healthiest decision in the world. A Japanese startup called Base Food is bringing a more nutritionally appealing bread offering to the U.S.

Founded in 2016, Base Food uses nutrient-dense ingredients like whole grain flour, seaweed, and flaxseed to develop healthier versions of staple foods. Starting today, the company’s second product, Base Bread, will be available direct-to-consumer in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Nevada and Colorado.

It will come in just one big 72-gram roll, which will cost $3.33 each or $2.99 each if you sign up for a monthly subscription. The bread will come frozen, which is why the company is only able to ship within a 2-day radius of their Reno, Nevada manufacturing facility. Frozen food typically equates to high shipping costs, but when I spoke to Base Food’s COO Michael Rosenzweig last week said they have yet to finalize their fees.

Base Food already sells two products — Base Noodles and Base Bread — in its native Japan, and the noodles are already available in the same seven U.S. states which can purchase the bread. Down the road, Rosenzweig said that the company is looking to get into foodservice retail channels, specifically through corporate cafeterias.

Another selling point is Base Bread’s shelf life. Rosenzweig told me that the bread will last a year in the freezer. We’ve in the midst of a pandemic that leads to both panic shopping and a fear of the grocery store, so Base Food’s nutritional profile and long life are both timely selling points. Then again, $3.33 is expensive for a single-serve roll of bread when you can buy a hefty loaf of artisan sourdough from your local bakery for $6 or $7 bucks — or just make your own.

I actually got to sample Base Bread at SKS Japan in August 2019. It was soft and squishy with a malty sweetness — sort of like a honey whole wheat bread. We also got to taste Base Noodles at the SKS 2019 Future Food competition in October, and they were tasty with a flavor akin to a nutty soba noodle.

As someone who loves carbs more than anything else in this world, but is trying to hang onto some semblance of healthy eating during quarantine, Base Bread offers an appealing option. At least until I smother it with butter.

Source: The Spoon

Mediterranean Fish Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 x 14-oz cans tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
2-1/2 cups boiling water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1-1/4 lb white fish fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
1 mackerel, skinned, filleted and cut into chunks
1/4 lb shelled cooked shrimp
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Place the oil, onion and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and tomatoes, wine, water and seasoning. Cook on high for 15 minutes.
  3. Discard any opened mussels. Ladle a little of the soup broth into a separate large, microwave-safe bowl and place the washed mussels in it. Cover and cook on high for 5-8 minutes, stirring once. Discard any unopened mussels, then add the rest to the soup.
  4. Place the white fish and mackerel in another microwave-safe dish, cover and cook on high for 3-4 minutes, or until firm. Add to the soup with the shrimp. Cook on high for 1-2 minutes to heat before serving, garnished with chopped parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Complete Fish & Shellfish Cookbook

How Exercise Supports Your Mental Fitness: Current Recommendations

Sporting activity can improve your cognitive performance. However, there are numerous different types of sports and a wide range of exercise and training. Which type and how much exercise will keep your mind in top shape? This is the question that has been explored by researchers at the University of Basel and their colleagues at the University of Tsukuba in Japan through a large-scale analysis of the scientific literature. They have used this analysis to derive recommendations that they recently published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Coordinated sports are particularly effective

The research group with the participation of Dr. Sebastian Ludyga and Professor Uwe Pühse evaluated 80 individual studies to identify a few key characteristics. Endurance training, strength training or a mix of these components seem to improve cognitive performance. However, coordinated and challenging sports that require complex movement patterns and interaction with fellow players are significantly more effective. “To coordinate during a sport seems to be even more important than the total volume of sporting activity,” explains Ludyga.

A higher total extent of activity does not necessarily lead to a correspondingly higher level of effectiveness for mental fitness. Longer duration per exercise unit promises a greater improvement of cognitive performance only over a longer period of time.

All age groups benefit

Just like our physical condition, cognitive performance changes over the course of our lives. There is great for potential for improvement during childhood (cognitive development phase) and during old age (cognitive degradation phase). However, the research group of the Department of Sport, Exercise and Health (DSBG) at the University of Basel was unable to find an indicator of different levels of effectiveness of sporting activities within the varying age groups.

Furthermore, sporting activities from primary school age to later age do not have to be fundamentally different in order to improve cognitive performance. Different age groups can thus be combined for a common goal during sports. “This is already being implemented selectively with joint exercise programs for children and their grandparents,” says Pühse. Such programs could thus be further expanded.

Intense sports sessions for boys and men

The same volume of sports activity has a different effect on physical fitness for men and women, as we are already aware. However, the research group has now been able to verify this for mental fitness. Men accordingly benefit more from sporting activity.

Differences between the sexes are particularly evident in the intensity of movement, but not in the type of sport. A hard workout seems to be particularly worthwhile for boys and men. Paired with a gradual increase in intensity, this leads to a significantly greater improvement in cognitive performance over a longer period of time.

In contrast, the positive effect on women and girls disappears if the intensity is increased too quickly. The results of the research suggest that they should choose low to medium intensity sporting activities if they want to increase their cognitive fitness.

Source: University of Basel,

LA County Coronavirus Infections Are Up to 55 Times That of Reported Cases

An early analysis of antibody testing from Los Angeles County finds a coronavirus infection rate that is up to 55 times the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to the researchers behind the study, the vast majority of people infected with the new coronavirus may be going without symptoms or have minimal symptoms.

It’s one of the first in-depth analyses of local population infection rates conducted in the United States.

Los Angeles County’s population totals more than 10 million. As the research team noted, by early April, there were 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in the county, including 600 COVID-19 deaths.

But new findings from the first round of ongoing antibody blood testing of county residents showed that about 4.1% of adults had antibodies to the coronavirus.

Adjusting for any statistical margin of error, that suggests that between 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adults have antibodies to the coronavirus, which translates to between 221,000 to 442,000 adults in Los Angeles County having already had the infection.

That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April, said researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” lead investigator Neeraj Sood, professor of public policy and senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC, explained in a university news release.

Now that the true, and much wider, penetration of coronavirus within the general public is known, “we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies,” Sood said.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer directs the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Speaking in the news release, she said the antibody test results “indicate that many persons may have been unknowingly infected and at risk of transmitting the virus to others.”

The study also highlights the need for expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, she said, so infected individuals “can be isolated and quarantined, while also maintaining the broad social distancing interventions.” The antibody test can help detect past coronavirus infection, but a PCR test is required to diagnose current infection, Ferrer explained.

According to study co-leader Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer at L.A. County Department of Public Health, “Though the results indicate a lower risk of death among those with infection than was previously thought, the number of COVID-related deaths each day continues to mount, highlighting the need for continued vigorous prevention and control efforts.”

The researchers plan to test new groups of people every few weeks over the coming months to assess the pandemic’s spread in the county.

Source: HealthDay

A Non-invasive Way of Monitoring Diabetes

Saliva could be used instead of blood to monitor diabetes in a method proposed in research involving the University of Strathclyde.

The test has been developed as an alternative to the current prevalent practice of monitoring blood glucose, which can be invasive, painful and costly.

Lab tests of the saliva process had an accuracy rate of 95.2%. The research shows promising results for monitoring diabetes, which affects an estimated 425 million people worldwide – around half of them undiagnosed.

The research has been published in the journal PLOS One. It also involved partners at the Federal University of Uberlandia in Minas Gerais, Brazil, the University of Vale do Paraíba in Sao Paolo, Brazil and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

Dr Matthew Baker, a Reader in Strathclyde’s Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry and lead researcher in the project, said: “Frequent monitoring of diabetes is essential for improved glucose control and to delay clinical complications related to the condition. Early screening is also paramount in reducing these complications worldwide.

“Blood analysis for screening, monitoring and diagnosing diabetes is widely practised but is quite invasive and painful. The constant need of piercing the fingers several times daily for most patients may lead to the development of finger calluses, as well as difficulty in obtaining blood samples; furthermore, not everyone would want to give blood and there are circumstances in which it could be dangerous.

Saliva reflects several physiological functions of the body, such as emotional, hormonal, nutritional and metabolic, and so its biomarkers could be an alternative to blood for robust early detection and monitoring. It is easy to collect, non-invasive, convenient to store and requires less handling than blood during clinical procedures, while also being environmentally efficient. It also contains analytes with real-time monitoring value which can be used to check a person’s condition.”

Dr Robinson Sabino-Silva, an associate professor at Federal University of Uberlandia (UFU) and a partner in the research, said: “The present protocol used in the infrared platform is able to detect spectral biomarkers without reagents. The combination of a non-invasive salivary collection and a reagent-free analysis permit us to monitor diabetes with a sustainable platform classified as green technology.“

The lab tests used a scientific system known as Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. This has been used in the diagnosis of several diseases, although its applications in the monitoring of diabetic treatment have begun to emerge only recently. Samples were assessed in three categories – diabetic, non-diabetic and insulin-treated diabetic – and two potential diagnostic biomarkers were identified.

The researchers are hopeful that the process they have developed could be used for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, although further study will be required to confirm this.

Source: The University of Strathclyde


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