In Pictures: Vegan Smoothies and Parfaits

Citrus and Berry Striped Smoothie

Mango, Young Coconut, Macadamia nuts, and a Dash of Vanilla

Blueberry Coconut and Mango Turmeric

Chocolate Peanut-butter Cup Smoothies

Chia, Blueberry, and Quinoa Parfait

Sweet Chia Pudding, Yogurt, Blueberry and Grape Parfait


Vanilla Makes Milk Beverages Seem Sweeter

Jeff Mulhollem wrote . . . . . . . . .

Adding vanilla to sweetened milk makes consumers think the beverage is sweeter, allowing the amount of added sugar to be reduced, according to Penn State researchers, who will use the concept to develop a reduced-sugar chocolate milk for the National School Lunch Program.

“We are utilizing a learned association between an odor and a taste that will allow us to reduce the added sugar content,” said Helene Hopfer, assistant professor of food science. “Reducing added sugar in products, just like reducing fat and salt, is the holy grail of food science.”

The idea that congruent or harmonious odors enhance certain tastes is not new, explained Hopfer, whose research group in the College of Agricultural Sciences has been experimenting with these “cross-modal interactions” in food since she came to Penn State three years ago. Her goal is to see them actually incorporated into foods.

In a blind taste test that provided new insights into taste enhancement by an aroma, participants — who did not know vanilla had been added to the milk — consistently indicated that samples with vanilla were significantly sweeter than their added sugar concentrations could explain.

The subjects’ responses indicate that with the addition of vanilla, the added sugar content in flavored milk could potentially be reduced by 20 to 50 percent, suggested lead researcher Gloria Wang, and people should not be able to perceive the beverage as less sweet.

“We maintain the sweetness perception by having this congruent odor — this learned, associated odor — basically trick the brain into thinking that there is still enough sweetness there,” she said. “Based on our results, taste-aroma interaction is a robust effect.”

Wang, now an associate scientist in product development with Leprino Foods Co. in Colorado, conducted the research at Penn State as part of her master’s degree thesis in food science. She tested not only congruent taste-aroma combinations but incongruent combinations as well. It turned out that even a beef odor in milk slightly enhanced sweetness for study participants.

Given widespread concerns about sugar intake and health, manufacturers are reformulating their products to help address consumer demand, Wang noted. She believes the findings of the research, recently published in Food Quality and Preference, offer them a workable option to reduce added sugar in their products and retain the sweetness consumers demand.

The study was novel because it did not ask participants to rate individual attributes of the milk such as sweetness, intensity of vanilla odor or milk taste. Instead, participants took a more holistic approach and simply selected the best match for the vanilla milk from four differently sweetened milk choices.

Later this summer, Hopfer’s lab in the Department of Food Science will start working on a two-year project, funded by the National Dairy Council, aimed at developing a reduced-sugar chocolate milk for the National School Lunch Program. The effort, based on the recent research using the synergistic actions between vanilla and sugar to reduce the added sugar content, will be a challenge because of the inherent bitterness of cocoa.

“The amount of sugar in chocolate milk is quite high because cocoa is very bitter, so you need some sugar to decrease the bitterness of the cocoa and then more to make it sweet,” Hopfer said. “We are hoping to utilize what we found with odors to reduce the added sugar content by experimenting to find the sweet spot between cocoa powder, sugar content and vanilla flavor. We know that if it isn’t sweet, children won’t drink it.”

Source: Penn State University

Lotus Root Crisps Launched to Pair with Champagne

Laurent-Perrier has partnered with Made For Drink to create a limited edition plant-based bar snack to pair with its Cuvée Rosé champagne.

The “delicate” lotus root crisps feature shichimi togarashi-style spices to highlight the elegant red berry notes of the pink champagne. Meanwhile, the blend of poppy seeds, ginger, chilli and seaweed complements the “depth and complexity” of Cuvée Rosé, which is renowned for pairing effortlessly with Asian cuisine.

In keeping with Laurent-Perrier’s focus on sustainability, the plant-based snack’s packaging is fully biodegradable and compostable. The outer layer is crafted from Portuguese cork which has been sustainably grown as part of a dynamic forest ecosystem.

Made For Drink’s Lotus Root Crisps will be available to enjoy alongside Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé at participating venues including a selection of Bel and The Dragon and Brakspear restaurants and pubs throughout the summer.

As part of the activation, consumers can purchase two glasses of chilled Cuvée Rosé in a participating bar and receive a complimentary sharing bag of lotus root crisps to share.

This will also run at Taste of London in Regent’s Park in June, where Laurent-Perrier is set to return as the champagne sponsor.

Juliet Elliot, marketing controller at Laurent-Perrier UK, said “We are always exploring new and original ways to enjoy Laurent-Perrier champagne, and the lotus root crisps are an innovative and delicious pairing for the Cuvée Rosé.

“Based just down the road from our UK head office, Made for Drink are a perfect partner because they share our values of quality, family and sustainability.”

Source: Bar Magazine

Video: Could CBD Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non psychoactive compound produced by the marijuana plant that seems to be everywhere these days.

Maybe you’ve even been asked if you’d like it added to your morning cup of joe!

THC, also marijuana-derived, is what gets people high and is screened for by drug tests.

The chemical structure of THC is very similar to CBD’s, which begs the question: Could using CBD make you fail a drug test?

This video breaks down the chemistry behind the possibilities.

Watch video at You Tube (3:45 minutes) . . . . .

This Is What Drinking Celery Juice Really Does to Your Body

Emily DiNuzzo wrote . . . . . . . . .

Some people see juicing as an easy way to add more fruits and veggies to their diet. Although it isn’t a new trend or dieting hack, celery juice, in particular, is having a moment. The never-ending health claims of celery juice benefits are alluring—but knowing what it actually does to your body is more helpful.

Celery juice is extremely hydrating

The one main benefit of drinking celery juice is hydration, according to Ali Webster, PhD, RD, the Associate Director of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation. “Considering that a 16-ounce serving of celery juice contains a full head of celery, it does provide more water than a typical serving the intact vegetable would provide,” she says. Very few people would eat an entire head of celery as their source of hydration, so it’s safe to say drinking it is more hydrating since you can easily consume more in liquid form, adds Malina Malkani, RDN, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and creator of the Wholitarian™ Lifestyle.

Aside from hydration and a few vitamins and minerals, there are very few other benefits of drinking celery juice, Webster says. “Most of the claims of celery juice’s effects on health are anecdotal—they rely on one person’s experience after drinking it,” she says. But personal anecdotes aren’t the same as evidence. Plus, if someone starts drinking celery juice, they are likely making other lifestyle changes that could also account for things like weight loss or clearer skin. These are the 17 best healthy-eating secrets from nutritionists.

There’s not nearly enough research backing other claims

Celery juice health claims circling the Internet, however, include everything from helping weight loss and digestion to reducing inflammation and preventing cancer. Malkani and Webster warn these are serious and potentially dangerous claims. First, there’s no evidence to support celery juice’s ability to help with weight loss, Webster says. The juicing process strips away the fiber which makes people feel full and aids weight loss. The same goes for digestion benefits. “Some people think drinking it first thing in the morning ‘improves digestion’ of other foods they eat throughout the day,” Malkani says. “However, there is not enough evidence to support this notion.”

Similarly, there is no current evidence that celery juice prevents cancer, either. Some studies show that certain types of fruits and vegetables either protect against certain cancers or have components that protect against cancer. That said, there is no research specifically on celery juice and this benefit. There is a partial exception—whole celery has a flavonoid, apigenin, which shows some chemo-preventative effects in cell-based research. Webster notes, however, that these results haven’t been demonstrated on humans in controlled trials—and, again, this is talking about whole celery, not the juice. Still, it’s possible there are more health perks of celery juice that researchers have yet to study. Until then, know that the juice is doing next to nothing for your body. Here are 13 health “myths” that turned out to be true.

Celery and celery juice can still be part of a healthy diet

That said, whole celery is a different nutritional ballgame. “I want to be clear that celery itself is an excellent addition to a healthy way of eating,” Webster says. Celery is nutrient-rich and a great source of fiber, vitamins K and C, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6, as well as riboflavin, Malkani says. Plus, whole celery has anti-inflammatory properties that promote the health of gut lining and may help regulate digestion, she adds. “There is plenty of evidence suggesting that whole celery has a wide range of health benefits that include reducing the risk of heart disease, liver disease, and gout,” Malkani says. “However, research on whether celery juice offers similar benefits is very limited.” These are the 33 other foods that are way healthier than you realized.

After juicing the celery, however, the liquid is bitter, and some people might need to add sweeteners to stomach the flavor—increasing calories and sugar. Malkani recommends putting whole celery into a smoothie instead so that you can “drink” it without destroying the fiber.

The bottom line is that, like anything else, celery juice isn’t a cure-all and drinking it won’t eliminate other unhealthy eating or lifestyle habits. If you enjoy the taste, then keep on juicing, stay clear of sugary sweeteners, and eat other fruits and vegetables, too. Remember, however, that drinking plain water is an equally valid way to hydrate—and you don’t have to add any extra ingredients to stomach it.

Source: Reader’s Digest