Thought for Food Blog

FSTA gets festive: 9 Christmas-related food studies

FSTA Christmas food studies | IFIS Publishing

FSTA hit more than 1.5 million records this year, all related to food and beverages! And with that, our Christmas blog comprises titbits from just a few of the fascinating recent studies from a variety of credible journals, all related to the festive season.

Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain over the Christmas holiday periodrandomised controlled trial.

By: Mason, F.; Farley, A.; Pallan, M.; Sitch, A.; Easter, C.; Daley, A. J.
Published: 2018
Document Type: Journal Article
Objective: To test the effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain over the Christmas holiday period.

272 adults aged 18 years or more with a body mass index of 20 or more: 136 were randomised to a brief behavioural intervention and 136 to a leaflet on healthy living (comparator). The intervention aimed to increase restraint of eating and drinking through regular self weighing and recording of weight and reflection on weight trajectory; providing information on good weight management strategies over the Christmas period; and pictorial information on the physical activity calorie equivalent (PACE) of regularly consumed festive foods and drinks.

Mean weight change was -0.13 kg (95% confidence interval -0.4 to 0.15) in the intervention group and 0.37 kg (0.12 to 0.62) in the comparator group. The adjusted mean difference in weight (intervention-comparator) was -0.49 kg (95% confidence interval -0.85 to -0.13, P=0.008).

A brief behavioural intervention involving regular self weighing, weight management advice, and information about the amount of physical activity required to expend the calories in festive foods and drinks prevented weight gain over the Christmas holiday period.

Iconic dishesculture and identitythe Christmas pudding and its hundred 
yearsjourney in the USAAustraliaNew Zealand and India.

By: Chevalier, N.
Published: 2018
Document Type: Journal Article
Asserting that recipes are textual evidences reflecting the society that produced them, this article explores the evolution of the recipes of the iconic Christmas pudding in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and India between the mid-nineteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. Combining a micro-analysis of the recipes and the cookbook that provided them with contemporary testimonies, the article observes the dynamics revealed by the preparation and consumption of the pudding in these different societies. The findings demonstrate the relevance of national iconic dishes to the study of notions of home, migration and colonization, as well as the development of a new society and identity. They reveal how the preservation, transformation and even rejection of a traditional dish can be representative of the complex and sometimes conflicting relationships between colonists, migrants or new citizens and the places they live in.

Potential oral health benefits of cranberry.

By: Bodet, C.; Grenier, D.; Chandad, F.; Ofek, I.; Steinberg, D.; Weiss, E. I.
Published: 2008
Document Type: Review
Over the past decade, cranberry extracts have been attracting ever-growing attention by dental researchers. The potential benefits of cranberry components in reducing oral diseases, including dental caries and periodontitis, are discussed in this review. Aspects considered include: chemical composition of high mol. wt. constituents of cranberry; role of cranberry non-dialysable material (NDM) in preventing dental caries (inhibition of biofilm formation and intergeneric bacterial coaggregation); impact of cranberry NDM on inhibition of periodontal diseases (effects on periodontopathogens and host response); and potential for treating periodontal disease.

Dressing up for the holidays.

By: Pszczola, D. E.
Food Technology
Published: 2000
Document Type: Journal Article
This article describes different applications and potential health benefits of several foods frequently used in recipes for Christmas and other festive occasions. Foods considered include: ginger, pumpkin, custom-flavoured and coloured cheeses, cranberries, vanilla, rice, dried plum puree, turkey, stuffing, honey, cherries, nuts, raisins, and sweet potato.

Christmas feasting and social class.

By: Pitts, M.; Dorling, D.; Pattie, C.
Published: 2007
Document Type: Journal Article
This paper examines the role of Christmas meals in Britain with particular focus on construction of social class identities through feasting and consumption of food and beverages. Analyses were based on quantitative data from the UK National Food Survey for 1975-2000, sampled at 5-year intervals, and comparison of food purchase data from Dec. with data for the rest of the year. While expenditure on food in Dec. was shown to be consistently higher than for the rest of the year in all social groups, significant social class differences remained, not least in the consumption of healthy food and alcohol. Findings also showed that expenditure on constituents of the traditional Victorian-style Christmas has declined in the festive season over recent decades, while there has been increased emphasis among all social classes on modern convenience foods and ready meals.Discover FSTA

How to develop a seasonal offering.

By: Anon.
International Sandwich & Food to Go News
Published: 2018
Document Type: Journal Article
This article discusses the launch of a new compostable Christmas seasonal collection of bio cups, deli paper, stickers and sheet labels (Festive Favourites), by labelling and plant-based packaging company Planglow. Aspects covered include: pre-production process; shipping; design and color selections; and sales.

Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review.

By: Banel, D. K.; Hu, F. B.
Published: 2009
Document Type: Journal Article
BACKGROUND: Consumption of nuts has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease events and death. Walnuts in particular have a unique profile: they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may improve blood lipids and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to conduct a literature review and a meta-analysis to combine the results from several trials and to estimate the effect of walnuts on blood lipids. DESIGN: Literature databases were searched for published trials that compared a specifically walnut-enhanced diet with a control diet. We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis of weighted mean differences (WMDs) of lipid outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, high-walnut-enriched diets significantly decreased total and LDL cholesterol for the duration of the short-term trials. Larger and longer-term trials are needed to address the effects of walnut consumption on cardiovascular risk and body weight.

Voltammetric and spectroscopic determination of polyphenols and antioxidants in ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe).

By: Idris, N. A.; Yasin, H. M.; Usman, A.
Published: 2019
Document Type: Journal Article
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is widely consumed as an important spice or a common condiment in food and beverages. This study focuses on the determination of pungent and bioactive components in ginger and their antioxidant activity using voltammetric and spectroscopic methods. Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis revealed that the major components of the pungent compounds were zingerone, shogaols, gingerols, paradols, wikstromol, and carinol. Electroanalytical quantification estimated the antioxidant capacity of the ginger infusion to be 23.5 mumol GAE/g ginger extract, which is slightly higher than that estimated using chemical assay. The results may provide useful information for the development of ginger processing and utilization as a flavoring agent, and for our understanding of ginger as a source of natural antioxidants.

Anti-inflammatory effects of cinnamon extract and identification of active compounds influencing the TLR2 and TLR4 signaling pathways.

By: Schink, A.; Naumoska, K.; Kitanovski, Z.; Kampf, C. J.; Froehlich-Nowoisky, J.; Thines, E.; Poeschl, U.; Schuppan, D.; Lucas, K.
Published: 2018
Document Type: Journal Article
Purpose. Inflammatory processes are involved in many diseases. The bark of Cinnamomum verum and its extracts are well known for anti-inflammatory effects, but the underlying active compounds and chemical mechanisms are not yet fully identified. The objective of this study was to elucidate how cinnamon extract, specifically active compounds, and their combinations influence the signaling pathways of inflammation, especially through toll-like receptors TLR2 and TLR4.

Results. Among the identified compounds, trans-cinnamaldehyde and p-cymene significantly reduced the LPS-dependent IL-8 secretion in THP-1 monocytes. Synergistic anti-inflammatory effects were observed for combinations of trans-cinnamaldehyde with p-cymene, cinnamyl alcohol or cinnamic acid. Moreover, cinnamon extract as well as trans-cinnamaldehyde and p-cymene mitigated the phosphorylation of Akt and IkappaBalpha. Conclusions. Trans-cinnamaldehyde and p-cymene contribute to the strong anti-inflammatory effects of cinnamon extract. Furthermore, our experiments indicate that also synergistic effects among compounds that do not exhibit anti-inflammatory effects themselves might be present to positively influence the beneficial effects of cinnamon bark extract.

Related post: Eat, Drink and Be Merry

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