Simple chemistry could do away with chocolate’s temper trap

To make chocolate glossy, producers spend a lot of time and energy tempering it. But the addition of a couple of common chemicals found in our food could do away with the tempering process, according to new research in Nature Communications. Just like salt and ice, the cocoa butter in chocolate crystallises when it hardens: … Continue reading Simple chemistry could do away with chocolate’s temper trap

Salt substitute leads to fewer strokes and heart attacks

A reduced-sodium, potassium-rich ‘salt substitute’ reduces rates of stroke, heart attack and death, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from the George Institute for Global Health showed that a salt substitute with more potassium chloride and less sodium chloride – the ‘normal’ table salt – leads to … Continue reading Salt substitute leads to fewer strokes and heart attacks

“Hidden” sugars on our supermarket shelves

Australians are buying large amounts of “hidden” added sugars in their supermarket groceries, according to a new study. The research, led by the George Institute for Global Health, found that over half of the food and drink bought in supermarkets contains added sugar, but it’s not clearly labelled as such. “We used supermarket survey data … Continue reading “Hidden” sugars on our supermarket shelves

COVID concerns drive supplement use

In an article published today in Australian Prescriber, University of Queensland Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology Geraldine Moses has warned of major potential harms associated with the use of dietary supplements. “One reason for the persistent popularity of vitamins and minerals is the perception that they are harmless,” says Moses. But that perception masks a troublesome reality. “When it comes to … Continue reading COVID concerns drive supplement use

When is milk chocolate good for you?

It’s always gratifying to hear that our guilty pleasures can have health benefits – like dark chocolate being good for your heart, or coffee preventing chronic liver disease, or wine keeping your teeth healthy – but what about milk chocolate? Though it’s higher in fat, sugar and calories than dark chocolate, milk chocolate’s effect on … Continue reading When is milk chocolate good for you?

Junk food linked to gut inflammation

The impact of diet on health is really a no-brainer – even leading to calls for GPs to prescribe fruit and vegetables before writing out a drug prescription. Now, US researchers report in the journal Cell Host & Microbe that they’ve found a mechanism to explain how obesity caused by an unhealthy junk food diet … Continue reading Junk food linked to gut inflammation

Should doctors prescribe fruit and vegetables?

We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us, but are they so good that medical programs should prescribe them? A new study by Australian researchers suggests they should. A review carried out by the George Institute for Global Health, NSW, and Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, US, … Continue reading Should doctors prescribe fruit and vegetables?

With heart failure, good nutrition could mean survival

A Swiss study has shown that personalised nutrition support for people hospitalised with chronic heart failure reduced their risk of dying compared to those given standard hospital food. Patients with malnutrition were most likely to benefit, which is unsurprising given it’s well established that malnutrition is associated with poorer patient outcomes – including people with … Continue reading With heart failure, good nutrition could mean survival

Easter Wrap: A Chocolate (story) feast

Easter weekends are often filled with chocolate, and there is always more to go around. Here are some of our favourite chocolate stories from our vault. Chocolate domesticated earlier than thought Study shows use in Ecuador 1500 years before Central America. Chocolate, long recognised as a critical cultural artefact in early Central American cultures, may … Continue reading Easter Wrap: A Chocolate (story) feast

Zeitgeist: Rising in the yeast

For most of human history, sourdough was the dominant form of leavened bread. It wasn’t until about 150 years ago that commercial baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was adopted as the most common yeast used to bake bread (as well as to brew beer and make wine). Prior to that, for many thousands of years, bread was … Continue reading Zeitgeist: Rising in the yeast

A sugar tax is good for all

A study has found that, a year after the introduction of a sugar tax, people were still purchasing the same amount of soft drink but consuming 10% less sugar. The UK introduced the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on soft-drink manufacturers in April 2018. Drinks with more than 8g sugar per 100mL are taxed at £0.24/L … Continue reading A sugar tax is good for all

You may have missed…

A round up of the stories that may have snuck past you in this week’s edition of science digest… Sharks aren’t so scary Sharks have a very frightening role in our cultural history, but Australians don’t find them as frightening as jellyfish or drowning, according to new research from the University of South Australia. The … Continue reading You may have missed…