The following abstracts are just a few examples of some recent records added to the Food Science and Technology Abstracts (FSTA) database, produced by International Food Information Service (IFIS).

Road map for functional foods: central challenge and major priorities.
Coletta, F. A.
Nutrition Today 34 (4) 166-169 (1999) [13 ref. En] [Gerber Products Co., 445 State St., Freemont, MI 49413, USA. E-mail]

Activities of the International Life Sciences Institute of North America Technical Committee on Food Components for Health Promotion are discussed in terms of the current status and future of functional foods. The challenge is to improve public health by promoting consumer acceptance of safe food products which provide significant health benefits. Strategic priorities in this area are outlined: creation of a comprehensive science base; promotion of public trust; development of consumer-preferred functional foods; optimization of a regulatory framework for functional foods; and creation of marketplace incentives to develop functional foods.

Regulatory issues relating to herbal products. I. Legislation in the European Union, North America, and Australia.
Forte, J. S.; Raman, A.
Journal of Medicinal Food 3 (1) 23-39 (2000) [53 ref. En] [Correspondence (Reprint) addess, A. Raman, Dep. of Pharmacy, King’s Coll. London, London SE1 8WA, UK. E-mail]

Increased public awareness of health-promoting properties of herbal products has led to growth of the botanicals market. Laws regulating sales of manufactured herbal products differ between regions and countries. Legislation in the European Union, North America and Australia governing marketing of herbal products is discussed, with reference to: renewed interest in herbal products in recent yr; licensing status of herbal products; regulations of medicinal products in the EU (definitions, marketing, requirement for harmonization of EU regulations, regulations in the UK and Germany); regulation of herbal products in the USA (provisions of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) for definitions of dietary supplements, safety, labelling and regulatory bodies); regulation of herbal products in Canada (classification and definitions of herbal products, establishment of new legal category for natural health products, including botanicals, and new regulatory bodies for licensing and assessment of natural health products); regulation of herbal products in Australia (classification of botanicals depending on potency; licensing and definitions of herbal products); and harmonization and regional differences in regulations.

The health potential of resistant starches in foods. An Australian perspective.
Brown, I.; Conway, P.; Topping, D.
Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition 44 (2) 53-58 (2000) [24 ref. En] [Starch Australasia Ltd., 170 Epping Rd., Lane Cove, NSW 2066, Australia. E-mail]

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Current state of research into the health benefits of foods containing resistant starch, and the development of new foods incorporating resistant starch, are discussed, with particular reference to work being undertaken in Australia into high amylose corn starch. Aspects covered include: results of human studies investigating the links between dietary fibre, starch and human health; starch digestion in the gastrointestinal tract; physiological effects of dietary resistant starch (prebiotic properties, increased production of volatile fatty acids in the colon, increased faecal output and decreased transit time, reduction in the levels of secondary bile acids in the colon); Australian research into resistant starch (improvements in plant breeding and genetics to identify important attributes of starch, investigation of physiological effects of starches, especially high amlose corn starch, in order to exploit its potentially health-promoting properties in foods); food uses of resistant starch, in particular, +80% amylose corn starch (including white bread with an increased fibre content and extruded foods such as breakfast cereals, noodles and pasta); and beneficial microbiological properties of high amylose corn starch (prebiotic properties, improved yield and survival of probiotic cultures, and health benefits, including reduced intestinal pathogen levels and reduced symptoms of diarrhoea).

Herbs, botanicals & teas. [Book] Mazza, G.; Oomah, B. D. (Editors)
432pp. ISBN 1-56676-851-9 (2000) [En] 851 New Holland Ave., Box 3535, Lancaster, PA 17604, USA; Technomic Publishing Company Inc. Tel. 717-291-5609. Fax 717-295-4538. Price $99.95 [Agric. & Agri-Food Canada, Canada]

This book, a volume in the series Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, presents the latest scientific and technical information on the chemical, pharmacological, epidemiological and clinical aspects of major herbal and tea products. This publication consists of 13 chapters with the following headings: Garlic constituents and disease prevention; Chemistry and pharmacology of ginseng and ginseng products; Chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical applications of echinacea products; Ginger for drugs and spice purposes; Chemistry and pharmacology of fenugreek; Chemistry, pharmacology and clinical applications of St. John’s wort and Ginkgo biloba; Valerian, saw palmetto and goldenseal as herbal medicines; Evening primrose oil – pharmacology and clinical applications; Tea as a source of dietary antioxidants with a potential role in prevention of chronic disease; Bilberries and blueberries as functional foods and nutraceuticals; Licorice in foods and herbal drugs – chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and uses; Regulation of herbal and tea products – international perspectives; and Quality assurance and control for the herbal and tea industry.

Medicinal plants: culture, utilization and phytopharmacology. [Book] Li, T. S. C.
512pp. ISBN 1-56676-903-5 (2000) [many ref. En] 851 New Holland Ave., Box 3535, Lancaster, PA 17604, USA; Technomic Publishing Co. Inc. Tel. 717-291-5609/800-233-9936. Fax 717-295-4538. Price $134.95

This book provides information concerning a wide range of >400 plant species with medicinal value. It considers the cultivation, phytochemistry, phytopharmacology and potential uses of these plants (e.g. in production of essential oils and functional foods). The book is aimed at researchers and professionals working in the areas of nutraceuticals, functional foods, medicinal herbs and phytochemicals, in addition to medicinal plant growers and nutraceutical and food supplement manufacturers. 6 chapters are included, each organized by plant scientific name, under the following headings: Major constituents and medicinal values; Toxicity of medicinal plants; Essential oil and its fractions from medicinal plants; Value-added products and possible usage derived from medicinal plants; Cultivation and harvesting; and Major diseases and insects found in medicinal plants. An index and 3 appendices which detail major constituents and their source, essential oils and their source, and a list of common and scientific names, are also included.

Functional foods II: claims and evidence. [Book] Buttriss, J.; Saltmarsh, M. (Editors)
xx + 244pp. ISBN 0-85404-789-1 (2000) [many ref. En] Thomas Graham Hse., Sci. Park, Milton Rd., Cambridge CB4 0WF, UK; Royal Society of Chemistry. Price £59.50

This publication describes proceedings of the 2nd joint conference of the British Nutrition Foundation and the Food Chemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry held on 14-15 April, 1999 at Wye College, University of London, UK. The conference aimed to review scientific developments in 2 areas of the functional foods market (evidence for health benefits of physiologically functional ingredients and consumer and regulatory background to this market) to provide information for members of industry and academia working with functional foods. The book includes lectures and papers from the conference within 4 subject areas (setting the scene, pre- and probiotics, phytochemicals and micronutrients) under the following headings: Factors to consider when undertaking clinical trials for functional foods; Scientific concepts of functional foods in Europe: concensus document; Probiotic bacteria and the human immune system; Communicating the benefits of functional foods to the consumer; Functional foods and the European consumer; Bovine milk: a unique source of immunomodulatory ingredients for functional foods; Catabolite regulation: an intrinsic role for fructo-oligosaccharides?; Probiotic bifidobacteria and their identification using molecular genetic techniques; Lactulose stimulates calcium absorption in postmenopausal women dose-dependently; Plants as functional foods; Plant sterol-enriched margarines: efficacy in cholesterol lowering effects on lipid soluble vitamins; Red clover isoflavone supplementation in peri-menopausal management; Phyto-oestrogens in neonatal diets; Phytomedicine for thermogenic stimulation in obesity management: potentials and limitations; Folic acid – a case study for fortification; Promoting folic acid to women of childbearing age; Bioavailability of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in foods enriched with microencapsulated fish oil; and Effect of nutrient dense foods and physical exercise on dietary intake and body composition in frail elderly people. Poster presentations and a 5-pp. subject index are also included.

Bakery products comprising live lyophilised lactic bacteria. [Patent] Droitte, P. la; Simone, C. de (Novartis Nutrition AG; MENDES srl)
European Patent Application EP 1 010 372 A2 (2000) [IT 0269298 (19981215) [Novartis, 3001 Berne, Switzerland] En]

A functional food/health food comprises a fat-based non-baked component and a baked component. The fat based component is essentially water-free and comprises live freeze-dried lactic acid bacteria. The baked component contains ³1 non-digestible fibre-like substances. Intermediate products and methods for manufacture of the food product are also covered.

Preparation of cholesterol reducing edible products by mixing plant sterols/stanols in a melt of a food emulsifier. [Patent] Dahlsten, C. J.; Burling, H.; Strinning, O. (Arla FoU)
PCT International Patent Application WO 00/33669 A1 (2000) [SE 98-04253 (19981208) [Arla, S-105 46 Stockholm, Sweden] En]

A method for preparation of foods with a serum cholesterol reducing action is described. The method is based on dissolving or mixing plant sterols or stanols having cholesterol reducing action in a melt of a food emulsifier at a ratio of emulsifier to sterol/stanol which is >1.1, preferably 2:1. The solution or mixture is mixed into a protein-containing product at a temp. of 45-100°C (preferably 60-85°C), and the mixture is homogenized at a pressure drop of 50-1000 bar (preferably 100-250 bar); a solution of liposome particles is formed in the protein containing product and the resulting sterol/stanol containing liposome mixture is admixed into foods at 0.1-10% by wt., preferably 1-3% by wt. The sterol/stanol liposome preparations may be used in milk, cheese milk, cooking fats, yoghurt, acidified milk products, powdered milk, powdered cream, chocolate drink powder, gruels, health foods or pharmacological preparations.