Canadian Company Announces “First Canadian-Made Plant-Based Egg Substitute”

Canadian food tech company Nabati has filed patents for a liquid egg alternative in Canada, the United States, and Australia. The company says it also has plans to file in Europe and China.

According to Nabati, the product will be the first and only egg alternative to be manufactured in Canada. It says that extensive research and development was required to create the plant-based egg, and the patents will allow it to protect its formulation and production process.

The liquid egg substitute will be sold under the name Nabati Plant Eggz and is free of soy, gluten, and cholesterol. It is also high in fibre, protein, and vitamins, including vitamin B12. It is expected to be available later this year.

Recently, Nabati announced it was planning to expand across the globe, starting with Europe and Asia. The company has been going from strength to strength in recent months, with its chick’n burger nominated as the best product of 2020 and its cheese now on the menu at Mucho Burrito. In March, it raised $7.7 million in funding and announced plans to go public.

“Nabati is proud to be the first Canadian company to develop a plant-based egg alternative, perfect for scrambling or making omelettes with,” said Nabati CEO Ahmad Yehya. “Our product uses lupin and pea protein to provide the right consistency, taste, and texture. It was important to us to create a formulation that was free of soy and gluten, which many people avoid in their diets. We are committed to creating healthy, plant-based alternatives that everyone can enjoy.”

Source: Vegconmist

Study: A Fermented-food Diet Increases Microbiome Diversity and Lowers Inflammation

A diet rich in fermented foods enhances the diversity of gut microbes and decreases molecular signs of inflammation, according to researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine.

In a clinical trial, 36 healthy adults were randomly assigned to a 10-week diet that included either fermented or high-fiber foods. The two diets resulted in different effects on the gut microbiome and the immune system.

Eating foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea led to an increase in overall microbial diversity, with stronger effects from larger servings. “This is a stunning finding,” said Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology. “It provides one of the first examples of how a simple change in diet can reproducibly remodel the microbiota across a cohort of healthy adults.”

In addition, four types of immune cells showed less activation in the fermented-food group. The levels of 19 inflammatory proteins measured in blood samples also decreased. One of these proteins, interleukin 6, has been linked to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Type 2 diabetes and chronic stress.

“Microbiota-targeted diets can change immune status, providing a promising avenue for decreasing inflammation in healthy adults,” said Christopher Gardner, PhD, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. “This finding was consistent across all participants in the study who were assigned to the higher fermented food group.”

Microbe diversity stable in fiber-rich diet

By contrast, none of these 19 inflammatory proteins decreased in participants assigned to a high-fiber diet rich in legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits. On average, the diversity of their gut microbes also remained stable. “We expected high fiber to have a more universally beneficial effect and increase microbiota diversity,” said Erica Sonnenburg, PhD, a senior research scientist in basic life sciences, microbiology and immunology. “The data suggest that increased fiber intake alone over a short time period is insufficient to increase microbiota diversity.”

The study published online in Cell. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg and Christopher Gardner are co-senior authors. The lead authors are Hannah Wastyk, a PhD student in bioengineering, and former postdoctoral scholar Gabriela Fragiadakis, PhD, who is now an assistant professor of medicine at UC-San Francisco.

A wide body of evidence has demonstrated that diet shapes the gut microbiome, which can affect the immune system and overall health. According to Gardner, low microbiome diversity has been linked to obesity and diabetes.

“We wanted to conduct a proof-of-concept study that could test whether microbiota-targeted food could be an avenue for combatting the overwhelming rise in chronic inflammatory diseases,” Gardner said.

The researchers focused on fiber and fermented foods due to previous reports of their potential health benefits. While high-fiber diets have been associated with lower rates of mortality, the consumption of fermented foods can help with weight maintenance and may decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers analyzed blood and stool samples collected during a three-week pre-trial period, the 10 weeks of the diet, and a four-week period after the diet when the participants ate as they chose.

The findings paint a nuanced picture of the influence of diet on gut microbes and immune status. On one hand, those who increased their consumption of fermented foods showed similar effects on their microbiome diversity and inflammatory markers, consistent with prior research showing that short-term changes in diet can rapidly alter the gut microbiome. On the other hand, the limited change in the microbiome within the high-fiber group dovetails with the researchers’ previous reports of a general resilience of the human microbiome over short time periods.

Designing a suite of dietary and microbial strategies

The results also showed that greater fiber intake led to more carbohydrates in stool samples, pointing to incomplete fiber degradation by gut microbes. These findings are consistent with other research suggesting that the microbiome of people living in the industrialized world is depleted of fiber-degrading microbes.

“It is possible that a longer intervention would have allowed for the microbiota to adequately adapt to the increase in fiber consumption,” Erica Sonnenburg said. “Alternatively, the deliberate introduction of fiber-consuming microbes may be required to increase the microbiota’s capacity to break down the carbohydrates.”

In addition to exploring these possibilities, the researchers plan to conduct studies in mice to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which diets alter the microbiome and reduce inflammatory proteins. They also aim to test whether high-fiber and fermented foods synergize to influence the microbiome and immune system of humans. Another goal is to examine whether the consumption of fermented food decreases inflammation or improves other health markers in patients with immunological and metabolic diseases, and in pregnant women and older individuals.

“There are many more ways to target the microbiome with food and supplements, and we hope to continue to investigate how different diets, probiotics and prebiotics impact the microbiome and health in different groups,” Justin Sonnenburg said.

Source: Stanford Medicine

In Pictures: Food of Vegan Restaurants in London, U.K.

Flu Shot Might Help Ward Off Severe COVID

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . . . .

A flu shot might offer some protection against severe effects of COVID-19, a new study suggests.

If you are infected with COVID-19, having had a flu shot makes it less likely you will suffer severe body-wide infection, blood clots, have a stroke or be treated in an intensive care unit, according to the study.

“Our work is important,” said study co-author Dr. Devinder Singh, noting limited resources around the world continue to constrain access to the COVID vaccine.

“The global population may benefit from influenza vaccination, as it can dually act to prevent a coronavirus and influenza ‘twindemic,’ which could potentially overwhelm health care resources,” said Singh, chief of plastic surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Why a flu shot would protect against some severe effects of COVID-19 isn’t clear, but it’s possible that it primes the immune system to reduce the odds of some system-wide harms also seen with flu, the researchers say.

They caution, however, that the flu vaccine is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, the study can’t prove that a flu shot is protective when it comes to COVID-19, only that it might be.

Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena is director of global health at Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, N.Y., and was not part of the study. “While the study shows a clear association between those who get their flu shot and lower morbidities of COVID infection, we must be clear that this study does not show causation and does not even suggest a clear causal link on how flu vaccination would help with COVID,” he said.

“Regardless, I fully support the flu vaccine and COVID vaccine as prudent public health measures, and if this happens to be a secondary benefit, great,” Cioe-Pena said.

For the study, Singh and his colleagues used the TriNetX research database to collect data on two groups, each with more than 37,000 patients.

People in the first group got a flu shot two weeks to six months before being diagnosed with COVID-19. Those in the second group also had COVID-19, but had not been vaccinated against flu.

The researchers compared the incidence of severe effects between the two groups, looking at sepsis, stroke, a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure, respiratory distress syndrome and joint pain. They also assessed rates of kidney failure, loss of appetite, heart attack, pneumonia, emergency department visits, hospital admission, ICU admission and death.

They found that people who had not had the flu shot were up to 20% more likely to be admitted to the ICU, up to 58% more likely to visit an emergency room, and up to 45% more likely to develop sepsis. They were also as much as 58% more likely to have a stroke, and up to 53% more likely to have a DVT. No effect on the risk of death was seen.

The findings were presented Sunday at the virtual annual meeting of the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Research presented at medical meetings is usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Dr. Marc Siegel is a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, and was not part of the study. “It’s possible that the flu shot primes the immune system in a way that undercuts the dysfunctional inflammatory response of COVID that causes blood clotting and other serious problems,” he said.

But Siegel pointed out that you can’t rely on a flu shot to protect you from COVID-19. He urged everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s the greatest vaccine ever invented. It’s amazing, amazing,” he said.

Source: HealthDay

Baked Rice with Mushrooms and Vegetables

Ingredients

2 bowls cooked rice
5 oz button mushroom
2 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/3 piece yellow bell pepper
1/3 piece red bell pepper
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp vegetarian broth
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

Seasoning

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mushroom essence
dash ground white pepper

Method

  1. Clean mushrooms. Cut button mushrooms into two halves. Cut shiitake mushroom into thick slices.
  2. Clean and cut bell peppers into large dices.
  3. Melt butter in a wok on low heat. Add mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add bell peppers and stir-fry until softened.
  5. Mix in broth and seasoning ingredients. Cook briefly and add the rice. Stir-fry to combine.
  6. Remove rice mixture to a baking dish. Spread cheese on top.
  7. Bake in a preheated 180°C oven until cheese melt and turn golden.
  8. Remove from oven and sprinkle parsley flakes on top before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Vegetarian Cuisine


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