Syrup power

University of Rhode Island researchers have discovered a maple syrup compound called quebecol, named for the Canadian province that leads the world in maple syrup production. Extracts have shown antioxidant, antimutagenic and human cancer-fighting properties. Quebecol is not present in maple tree sap, but studies suggest it is formed during processing or extracting maple syrup. The phenolic compound could have functional food and medication applications.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods

February 4, 2011

Muscular fish oil

Fish oil supplements may help prevent muscle loss in breast cancer survivors, according to University of Queensland research. Chronic inflammation, which causes a breakdown in muscle tissue, may cause muscle loss. Fish oil interferes with the inflammation, reducing its effect.

Source: Medical News Today

April 12, 2011

Protecting plants with venom

A scorpion’s sting should be avoided, we all know. But Michigan State University researchers are tapping into the venom to create insecticides that protect plants from bugs. Scorpion venom attacks various channels and receptors that control their prey’s nervous and muscular systems. Identifying how and which channels the venom attacks could help researchers develop insecticides that control pests, particularly those resistant to other pesticides.

Source: Medical News Today

April 28, 2011

Switchgrass lite

A native perennial grass strain could become a feedstock for ethanol production. Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation researchers produced a switchgrass variety with reduced lignin. The new strain is more easily converted to biofuels and requires fewer costly additions during fermentation than conventional switchgrass. Oak Ridge National Laboratories tests showed the new strain produced about one-third more ethanol.

Source: Biobased News

February 201

Frosting on the canola

Eat your cake and feel good about it. Richardson Oilseed Limited of Winnipeg has developed icing shortening made from canola, which has the lowest saturated fat among vegetable oils. Ice-It is a non-hydrogenated shortening for icings, cake fillings, decorations and other ready-to-use confections. The company previously introduced canola-based popcorn popping oil, toppings and margarine.

Source: Soyatechnews.com

May 2, 2011

Pass the bamboo

Known for its fiber and industrial uses, bamboo could be the new health food. Researchers at Punjab University in India found that young bamboo shoots are rich in nutrients, mainly proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, minerals and fiber. Low in fat and sugar, bamboo may also have antioxidant and cancer-fighting attributes. Worldwide, more than 2 million tons of bamboo shoots are consumed annually, primarily in Southeast Asia.

Source: Nutraingredients.com

May 2, 2011