Margaret Malochleb

Margaret Malochleb

News Condiments

Consumers’ willingness to experiment with condiments and sauces to add flavor and taste to their meals has resulted in lucrative opportunities for condiment and sauce brands. ©Dubravina/iStock/Getty Images Plus

News Condiments

Consumers’ willingness to experiment with condiments and sauces to add flavor and taste to their meals has resulted in lucrative opportunities for condiment and sauce brands. ©Dubravina/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Consumers clamor for sauces/condiments

Growing interest in sauces and condiments has elevated their role at dinner tables around the world, spurring food companies to delve into the psychology of condiment selection. As a result, the market has seen a slew of new product launches catering to changing taste patterns and fostering growth in the global condiment sauces market, which is expected to surge between 2020 and 2050, according to Transparency Market Research.

Among the industry’s most prominent brands, a number are abandoning conventional definitions in favor of all-purpose condiments that address consumers’ ability to move between varieties of condiments and sauces. The trend is allowing consumers to experiment with a wide variety of condiment sauce applications in their daily meals while helping to promote sales prospects.

Shifts in consumer behavior are predicted to have a significant effect on the market, with innovative product launches focusing on health benefits that can be promoted across online platforms. Drivers of growth include the use of organic, gluten-free, and clean label ingredients that appeal to consumers concerned about the harmful effects of sodium typically found in sauces and condiments.

Regionally, Asia Pacific is expected to remain the leading market for condiment sauces due to improvements in consumers’ lifestyles and their interest in trying new tastes and flavors. Attractive growth opportunities are also expected in North America and Europe.

How dietary guidelines impact the environment

A study based on data from seven countries found that national dietary guidelines varied greatly by country, with U.S. guidelines having the largest carbon footprint and India having the smallest. The study, published in Nutrition Journal, examined differences in recommendations for and consumption of the six main food groups: protein, dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils/fats.

A team of Tulane University researchers compared results from Germany, India, the Netherlands, Oman, Thailand, Uruguay, and the United States. The carbon footprint of the U.S. dietary guidelines was found to be about 1.2 times that of the Netherlands and about 1.5 times that of Germany. Even the U.S. vegetarian dietary guideline was over twice that of India’s, largely due to the high U.S. dairy recommendation.

The authors found that the principal difference between countries was the wide range of daily recommended amounts for each food group, particularly protein and dairy foods. Guidelines also varied in terms of which foods were included in each group. For example, protein recommendations in Germany and Uruguay only included animal proteins, while the United States and Thailand recommended a full spectrum of plant and animal proteins, and India recommended just plant proteins.

The authors caution that the study considers only a single environmental impact, greenhouse gas emissions. Other impacts, such as land and water use, should also be considered when evaluating diets.

“These findings hold insights for future development of dietary guidelines and highlight the importance of including sustainability considerations, such as reductions of protein food and dairy recommendations and/or the inclusion of more plant-based substitutions for animal-based products,” said lead author Brittany Kovacs in a press release. “By including more sustainable, yet still health-based, considerations into dietary recommendations, it is possible to influence the environmental impacts of the larger food and agriculture sector in various countries and worldwide.”

Gut immune system regulates nutrient intake

An investigation of the gut immune system by researchers at Yale found that the small intestine not only wards off pathogens but also regulates nutrient absorption, a finding that could offer insight into the origins of metabolic disease and malnutrition in some undeveloped regions of the world.

“We were surprised that the immune system was so involved in nutrition,” said first author Zuri Sullivan in a press release, noting that the study can help researchers better understand how the reciprocal interaction works.

Other study findings include insights into how a specific immune system signaling molecule, known as interleukin-22, helps fight bacterial pathogens that can cause food poisoning. The researchers found that the molecule also seems to prevent the uptake of certain nutrients in the presence of pathogens.

In a further investigation, the scientists discovered that gamma delta T cells, a group of immune system cells, can suppress expression of interleukin-22 in mice, allowing cells on the intestinal wall to activate digestive enzymes and nutrient transporters.

In addition to providing insights into how bacterial infections lead to chronic expression of interleukin-22, the findings could be helpful in developing ways to combat metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity, Sullivan noted.

Processed meat and dementia risk

After analyzing genetic and health information from half a million UK participants, researchers from the University of Leeds Nutritional Epidemiology Group concluded that consumption of a 25-gram serving of processed meat a day, the equivalent of one rasher of bacon, is associated with a 44% increased risk of developing dementia.

The study results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also showed that consumption of some unprocessed red meat, such as beef, pork, and veal, could be protective, with individuals who consumed 50 grams a day being 19% less likely to develop dementia.

Lead researcher Huifeng Zhang noted in a press release that dementia prevalence is increasing and that “diet as a modifiable factor could play a role. Our research adds to the growing body of evidence linking processed meat consumption to increased risk of a range of non-transmissible diseases.”

Prevalent among the 2,896 cases of dementia that emerged over eight years of follow-up were people who were generally older, more economically deprived, less educated, more likely to smoke, less physically active, more likely to have stroke history and family dementia history, and more likely to be carriers of a gene associated with dementia.

Fruit and Vegetables

A diet that includes daily consumption of two fruits and three vegetables has been shown to support increased longevity. © fcafotodigital /E+/Getty Images Plus

Fruit and Vegetables

A diet that includes daily consumption of two fruits and three vegetables has been shown to support increased longevity. © fcafotodigital /E+/Getty Images Plus


Five a day for longevity

New research published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation indicates that five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, in which two are fruits and three are vegetables, are likely optimal for a longer life. The recommendation was the result of an analysis of 26 studies that included about 1.9 million participants from 29 countries and territories in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

When the researchers compared results from participants who consumed only two servings of fruit and vegetables per day, they found the five-a-day participants had a 13% lower risk of death from all causes; a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke; a 10% lower risk of death from cancer; and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Not all fruits and vegetables were found to offer the same benefits, however. Starchy vegetables, such as peas and corn, fruit juices, and potatoes, were not associated with reduced risk of death from all causes or specific chronic diseases. On the other hand, green leafy vegetables, and fruit and vegetables rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, and carrots, were shown to be beneficial.

About the Author

Margaret Malochleb, Associate Editor, [email protected]
Margaret Malochleb