Eaters’ appetites swayed by portion sizes
Most people can’t stop eating after just one normal serving if there is extra food on their plates, Penn State researchers have shown.
This tendency, coupled with the spread of mega-portions, may be contributing to the American obesity epidemic. In the first systematic, controlled study of adult response to portion sizes, researchers found that the bigger the portion, the more the participants ate. On average, they ate 30% more from a five-cup portion of macaroni and cheese than from one half its size, yet they did not report feeling any fuller after eating.
“Men and women, normal-weight and overweight individuals, restrained and unrestrained eaters, all responded to larger portion size by eating more,” said Barbara Rolls, Guthrie Chair of Nutrition in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development and leader of the study. Fiftyone normal-weight and overweight men and women, ages 21–30 years, had lunch one day a week for four weeks in the university’s Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior. The lunch included water, carrot sticks, and a snack size chocolate bar, as well as macaroni and cheese made in the “light” version of a well-known commercial mix.
Each week, the participants were served the macaroni and cheese in one of four portions ranging from 2.5 to 5 cups. They were required to eat all of the carrots and chocolate bar, but could eat as little or as much of the macaroni and cheese as they wanted. One group received the different amounts of macaroni pre-portioned on a dinner plate from which they ate. Another group received the different portions in a serving dish and could scoop as much as they liked onto their plates. In both cases, the participants ate more when more food was available but didn’t report feeling any fuller after eating.
“Our research shows that pretty much everyone is susceptible to the influence of portion size,” Rolls said. “However, it’s not increased portion size alone that is contributing to the American obesity epidemic, but rather, eating large portions of high-calorie, high-fat foods.”
The study is detailed in the paper, “Portion Size of Food Affects Energy Intake in Normal-Weight and Overweight Men and Women” by Rolls and coauthors Erin L. Morris and Liane S. Roe, which appears in the December 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For more information, contact Rolls at [email protected].
DuPont shares wheat genome data
DuPont Corp. made its proprietary wheat genome data available in December to public and private researchers without restriction, in an effort to boost industry wide research and enhance nutritional applications of wheat and other major cereal crops.
The company’s contribution, which consists of more than 200,000 lines of expressed sequence tags—portions of a gene which can be used to locate an entire gene—more than doubles the amount of wheat genome information currently available to researchers through GenBank, a public database of DNA information held by the National Institutes of Health.
DuPont said that a greater knowledge about the wheat genome will help advance the research of all cereal crops that feed a bulk of the people in the developing world.
New Web site debuts for ingredients professionals
A new job Web site, www.ingredientsjobs.com, caters to ingredients professionals who work in the food, natural products, personal care, household goods, and fine chemicals industries.
The management team behind the site feels that it provides a needed and valuable service to these industries.
“We feel that there are many companies who do not have the capability to easily reach industry professionals seeking employment,” Sales and Marketing Manager Don Krone said. “We would like to promote greater awareness in order to create a more open environment. The greater the transparency of the industry, the easier it is for a job seeker.”
The site utilizes an advanced keyword search technology, called the Bullseye Search, that identifies products, functions, and marketplaces more thoroughly than the standard keyword search systems found on other sites, which is said to increase the accuracy of the matching process.
Herbs and botanicals Web site available
Medical practitioners and consumers now have a new Web resource for comprehensive information about herbs, botanicals, and related products.
The Web site, www.mskcc.org/aboutherbs, contains information explaining the effects, side effects, drug interactions, and other details of each product listed, as well as links to scientific research. It contains monographs on 135 agents, with more to be added as they come into use.
The site, supported by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, hopes to clear up some questions consumers have concerning herbs and botanicals.
“Use of herbs and related agents has grown tremendously in popularity, but until now there was no easy access to current, comprehensive information about these agents,” said Barrie Cassileth, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “Vitamins, herbs, and other products are not required to be tested for safety and efficacy as are pharmaceuticals. As a result, neither consumers nor doctors know what they contain or whether they could interfere with other medications. These substances contain active agents that can be very helpful to patients. By the same token, however, they have the potential to cause harm.”
Surface treatments used on ready-to-eat products
A new product called acidified calcium sulfate is showing promise as a way to kill Listeria monocytogenes and keep lunch meats and frankfurters safer for consumers, researchers at Texas A&M University say.
Jimmy Keeton, professor in the university’s Dept. of Animal Science, said the researchers’ goal was to look at different treatments that might be used to decontaminate the surface of cooked products to ensure that Listeria was killed and had very little opportunity to grow afterward. Foodborne listeriosis is most commonly associated with ready-to-eat products such as frankfurters and hot dogs, lunch meat, smoked fish, and certain types of soft cheeses. “There’s a real concern about from the time ready-to-eat products are cooked until the time they are packaged that they not become contaminated with pathogens, specifically L. monocytogenes,” Keeton said. “Assuming the product is cooked adequately, the risk of contamination comes from the surface.
Research had already shown that adding substances such as lactic acid and sodium lactate created microbiological “hurdles” to organisms such as Listeria, but these were not considered entirely effective against the regrowth of the organism. However, Keeton said, acidified calcium sulfate—an organic acid, calcium sulfate combination—is showing potential as a product that not only kills the Listeria on the surface of products, but also keeps it from coming back. Even though it is acidic, it is safe enough to hold in the hand and has Generally Recognized As Safe status from the Food and Drug Administration, he said. For more information, visit http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/ANSC/ Dec1802a.htm.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. announced plans in January to double the soybean crushing capacity at its Rondonopolis mill in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. ADM operates six crushing plants in Brazil and one in Bolivia. ADM also announced plans to construct a new margarine and interesterification plant in Quincy, Ill., to produce margarine products for institutional and foodservice customers. The 106,000-sq-ft facility will be located adjacent to the existing ADM refinery and packaging plant. Construction is scheduled to be completed by summer 2004. The company also announced the formation of a new Specialty Oils and Fats Group, which will serve its customers with products derived from a variety of vegetable oil-based raw materials. These products will be manufactured at the ADM operations in Hamburg, Germany, Arras, France, and Quincy, Ill. ADM is based in Decatur, Ill.
Cadbury Schweppes PLC will acquire Adams Chewing Gum Co. from Pfizer Inc. for $4.2 billion. Adams’ brands include Dentyne, Clorets, Certs, Bubblicious, and Halls. Cadbury Schweppes is based in London, England; Adams in Parsippany, N.J.; and Pfizer in New York, N.Y.
Clextral, a French manufacturer of twin-screw extruders used in food processing and other processing industries, announced that it has acquired Afrem International a pasta processing equipment company and vertical cartoner manufacturer. Afrem International is also based in France.
DuPont, and Bunge Ltd. formed an alliance to grow their agriculture and nutrition businesses. The alliance will include a joint venture for the global production and distribution of specialty food ingredients, beginning with soy proteins and lecithins, a biotechnology agreement to jointly develop and commercialize soybeans with improved quality traits, and an alliance to develop a broader offering of services and products to farmers. The joint venture, named Solae L.L.C., will participate in the growing market for healthy and great-tasting food proteins. It will provide a broad offering of soy ingredient products, including textured vegetable proteins, soy concentrates and isolates, specialty lecithins, and isoflavones. DuPont will contribute its Protein Technologies food ingredients business for a majority interest in the joint venture. In exchange for its specialty food ingredients businesses, Bunge will receive a 28% interest in the joint venture plus an estimated $260 million in cash and will have the right to increase its ownership to 40%. Solae will be based in St. Louis, Mo. Dupont is based in Wilmington, Del., and Bunge in White Plains, N.Y.
Flavors of North America celebrated the groundbreaking of its new facility in Geneva, Ill., in November. The first phase of the project will consist of an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility on the 22.5-acre site. Tentative plans include two more construction phases for a corporate laboratory and an additional office building. Some of the new features of the facility include a flavor development lab, application and prototype creation labs, and a culinary center.
Flavors of North America, based in Carol Stream, Ill., creates and manufactures flavors for the food, beverage, and nutraceuticals industries.
Givaudan agreed in December to acquire International Bioflavors Inc. for $21 million. IBF, based in Oconomowoc, Wis., produces natural cheese and dairy flavors and ingredients for savory products such as snacks, sauces, and soups. The purchase will add new and complementary technologies to Givaudan’s portfolio and strengthen the company’s market position in savory flavors. Givaudan is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
H.J. Heinz Co. completed a deal with Del Monte Foods in December. The former Heinz businesses which are now a part of Del Monte are U.S. and Canadian pet food and pet snacks, U.S. tuna, U.S. retail private label soup and College Inn® broth, and U.S. infant feeding. These businesses include StarKist® tuna, 9-Lives® cat food, Kibbles ‘n Bits® dog food, Pup-Peroni® and Pounce® pet snacks, and Heinz Nature’s Goodness® baby food. The transaction includes new financing for the spun-off businesses, approximately $1.1 billion of which has been distributed to Heinz.
Hormel Foods Corp. acquired the Diamond Crystal Brands unit of Imperial Sugar Co. in December. Diamond Crystal Brands packages and sells sugar, sugar substitutes, salt and pepper products, savory products, drink mixes, and dessert mixes to retail and foodservice customers. Diamond Crystal Brands is based in Savannah, Ga.; Hormel in Austin, Minn.; and Imperial Sugar in Sugar Land, Tex.
Importers Service Corp. signed an agreement with the state of Jigawa, Nigeria, in November to purchase the state’s entire production of gum acacia. The agreement gives Importers Service Corp. another source of raw material and gives the Jigawa Gum Arabic cultivation and processing program a guaranteed outlet for its production. Importers Service Corp. has been involved with the Jigawa growing program since its inception, when the company was invited by U.S. State Dept., the Government of Nigeria,
Balance Bar introduced the Balance Gold Crunch line of energy bars in January. The triple-layer energy bars contain soy crispies and come in Chocolate! Chocolate!, S’mores, and Chocolate Mint Cookie flavors. The bars have a crispy, chewy texture and provide a 40–30–30 ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fat. Each 210-calorie bar is fortified with 23 vitamins and minerals and contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners or preservatives. Balance Bar is based in Rye Brook, N.Y.
French’s Ingredients introduced two new flavors in December. Frank’s ® Red Hot ® Gold Fever Sauce and Cattlemen’s ® Honey Barbecue Sauce will enhance ready-to-cook, heat-and-eat and deli meat and poultry, sausage, jerky, vegetables, and snack foods. French’s is based in Springfield, Mo.
Snapple Beverage Group introduced Snapple-a-Day™ this Strawberry Banana, Peach, and Tropical Blend all natural flavors. The fat-free, low-sodium, 210-calorie drink contains protein, calcium, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It comes in a 11.5-oz re-sealable plastic bottle. Snapple is based in White Plains, N.Y.
Seattle restauranteur Tom Douglas introduced three new teriyaki sauces to his specialty food line, Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen. The new sauces are Ginger Ginger Teriyaki, Garlic Garlic Teriyaki, and Red Chili Teriyaki. Douglas is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most recognized food personalities and was named Best Northwest Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 1994.
by SARA LANGEN