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					                             Peanuts in the Media
                        For week ending March 11, 2011

Food Safety
         Peanut butter recall targets fewer than 3,000 jars
         FDA Recall: Is There Salmonella in Your Skippy?
         Reformulate, but forget food safety at your peril…
         EFSA publishes database on food consumption in Europe
         What's Up With Nuts?

Grower News
    Peanuts Grown Organically

Manufacturer News
   ConAgra Foods campaigns against child hunger

         UK leads free-from launches in major European markets: Mintel data
         Unambiguous guidelines for food allergy information urgently needed: TNO
         Gene linked to peanut allergy
         Scientists unlock genetic secret of nut allergies
         Allergist: Education about peanut allergies is important

Dietary Guidelines Updates
         How to persuade young Americans to follow dietary guidelines
         NPB Helping Consumers Eat More Plant-based Diet

Health & Nutrition
         Why Eat Like a Greek
         Mediterranean diet improves heart risk factors
         EU health platform opts for “flexible approach” as obesity rises

International Peanut News
         Saving the world – with peanut butter!
         The changing fortunes of marmalade

Other Peanut News
         A Favorite Sandwich Raised to a Work of Art
                                              Food Safety

Peanut butter recall targets fewer than 3,000 jars
The Associated Press
March 9, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The company that makes Skippy peanut butter says fewer than 3,000 jars possibly
contaminated with salmonella made it to store shelves.

A spokeswoman for Unilever United States Inc. declined to name the states where the peanut butter
ended up on shelves. The recalled jars were distributed to - but not necessarily sold in - 16 states.

No illnesses have so far been linked to the recall of the Skippy reduced fat creamy and reduced fat
chunky brands. A spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Disease Control says the agency is
monitoring for possible cases of illness connected to the peanut butter.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems.
A salmonella outbreak in peanuts two years ago killed nine people.

FDA Recall: Is There Salmonella in Your Skippy?
Meredith Melnick
March 7, 2011
Time Healthland

On Monday, Unilever announced a limited voluntary recall of Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter
Spread and Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread, after a routine sampling of products
indicated possible contamination with salmonella.

No other Skippy products are affected by the recall. So far, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
with which Unilever is coordinating the recall, has received no reports of illness associated with the
recalled products. (More on Health-Washing: Is 'Healthy' Fast Food for Real?)

Symptoms of infection with salmonella bacteria include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12
to 72 hours. Symptoms generally last for four to seven days, and most healthy people recover without
treatment. However, in rare cases, salmonella poisoning can be very serious or fatal, particularly in small
children, those with weakened immune systems or the elderly.

According to the FDA's press release on the Skippy recall:

The product was distributed to retail outlets in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania,
Virginia and Wisconsin.
The affected product, which is packaged in 16.3 oz plastic jars, is as follows:

UPCs: 048001006812 and 048001006782 (located on the side of the jar's label below the bar code.)

Best-If-Used-By Dates: MAY1612LR1, MAY1712LR1, MAY1812LR1, MAY1912LR1, MAY2012LR1 and
MAY2112LR1 (Stamped on the lid of the jar.)

Consumers who have purchased products with the above UPCs and Best-If-Used-By dates should throw
them out immediately. Unilever is offering replacement coupons to consumers; you can contact the
company toll-free at 800-453-3432 and speak to a representative Mon. to Fri. from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
EST (or 24 hours a day for general information on the recall). (More on Senate Passes Bill to
Overhaul Food Safety)

If we may, however, Healthland would also like to take this opportunity to remind consumers that low-
fat peanut butter "spread" lists corn syrup solids and sugar as its second and third ingredients. It may be
lower in fat than regular peanut butter, but it's still relatively high in carbs and sugar. For instance, while
Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter has 16 g of total fat (including 3 g of saturated fat) and 7 g of total
carbohydrates (including 3 g of sugar) per 2-tbsp serving, Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter
Spread has 12 g of total fat (including 2 g of saturated fat) and 15 g of total carbohydrates (including 4 g
of sugar) per serving.

Instead of mass-produced peanut butter, you could try an all-natural substitute — many grocery stores
even let you grind peanuts into a paste: a single ingredient treat.

Read more:

Reformulate, but forget food safety at your peril…
Ben Bouckley
March 8, 2011

With food manufacturers busy reformulating or developing products to cut ‘nasties’ such as salt and
sugar, Leatherhead Food Research has warned that associated food safety issues should not be an

Evangelia Komitopoulou, head of food safety at food research organisation Leatherhead told that NPD takes from a few days (for flavour variants) to one month (using
existing processes) or several for something new.

It’s a bug’s life…

But given that salt and sugar, for instance, are vital food preservatives that reduce water activity (lower
values will decrease water available for microorganism growth), Komitopoulou warned that lowering
levels raises potential safety issue, which if only compensated for at the end a given project risks
jeopardising its success.
“Examples …would involve the reduction of salt at levels below 3.5% in meat or fish products with
prolonged storage at chilled conditions, as this would allow for the growth of Cl. Botulinum,” she said.

“Total sugar levels below circa 65% in jam or conserves could allow for the growth of osmophilic yeasts
or moulds. Replacement of acetic acid by, for example, citric or lactic acid in mayonnaises or pickles
would reduce the level of preservation, as the latter acids are much less active as antimicrobials.”

Delicate balancing act

With formulation a delicate balancing act, Dr Wayne Wheeler, Leatherhead head of food innovation,
also warned that reducing the ‘fat phase’ in a given product risks increasing water levels in some cases –
with associated salt and sugar that could compromise a brand’s health credentials.

Komitopoulou said that product formulation teams are increasingly turning to free or bespoke predictive
modelling tools, to get preliminary indications of the safety and microbiological stability of new
products, as well as ‘spiking’ them and using real time ‘product challenge testing’ to assess safety.

Komitopoulou said that one method used to curb microbial growth involves increasing the acidity of
foods: this depends on the acids used to deliver specific levels, water activity and the type and level of
sugars/salts used.

“For example, growth of Campylobacter spp is observed under pH (4.9-9.0) and water activities of 0.98-
0.99aw [water activity]. Salmonellae are able to grow in water activities as low as 0.94aw and pH
conditions of pH 3.8-9.5,” Komitopoulou said.

Although low pH (highly acidic) products such as mayonnaises and pickles do not generally present food
hazard issues, she added, microorganisms such as lactics, yeasts and moulds can still cause spoilage.

Modified atmosphere packaging

In tandem with formulation expertise, modified processing techniques can also extend product shelf life,
said Komitopoulou: “Such techniques include drying, modified atmosphere packaging and nitrogen
packing of ingredients such as unsaturated fish oils, or other ingredients that have an easily oxidisable
oil: rice, coffee powder, etc..”

She added that modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) combined with low temperatures is being used
to extend the shelf life of cured hams and other meat products, as well as part-baked breads (the latter
stored in ambient conditions), cut vegetables and fruit.

Link to article:

EFSA publishes database on food consumption in Europe
Claire Videau
March 4, 2011

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its first Comprehensive Food Consumption
Database that will provide guidance for further studies on dietary exposure assessments.

The Comprehensive Database, was produced in conjunction with the EU member states from existing
information drawn from 32 dietary surveys in the 22 states.

The work started in 2008, when member states drew up national dietary surveys in their country that
would be used for EFSA’s risk assessment work.

At the time, the Concise Database was the only database in Europe that contained information from
national dietary surveys, but the data were only limited to a small number of food categories.

Since this limited its use for food exposure assessments, EFSA decided to develop a more detailed food
consumption database for that purpose.

Dealing with the data

The Comprehensive database will use FoodEx, EFSA’s own food and beverages classification system.
Categories are as follow:

- age: from infant to adults aged 75 and over
- food group
- type of consumption

The statistics are then reported in grams per day as well as grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

These enable EFSA to view chronic and acute exposure to substances that can be found in the food
chain and therefore evaluate consumers’ exposure to such risks.

Further studies
The detailed information contained in the database will be the basis for a number of studies EFSA is
working on.

According to EFSA, the document will play a key role in evaluating risks related to hazards in food in the
EU and complete EFSA’s work on risk assessment.

Nevertheless, the collection of these data cannot be used for country-to-county comparison because of
the different methodologies used.

EFSA is working on a standardised food consumption data collection system with the EU member states.
This project is known as ‘What’s on the menu in Europe?’ and the studies link to this initiative should be
completed by 2012, said the authority.

Link to article:

What's Up With Nuts?
William Marler
March 7, 2011
Huffington Post

DeFranco and Sons of Los Angeles, CA, is voluntarily recalling bulk and consumer-packaged in-shell,
hazelnut and mixed nut products containing hazelnuts because they may be contaminated with
Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. coli O157:H7). The recall was initiated after the nut products were
linked to seven illnesses in the states of MI, MN, and WI. To date, no E. coli 0157:H7 has been detected
in the nut products.

DeFranco and Sons received the in-shell nuts from suppliers or growers and subsequently distributed
the nuts nationwide and to Canada. The affected nuts listed below were distributed between 11/2/10
and 12/22/10. The 50 lb bags of in-shell hazelnuts or mixed nuts with hazelnuts may have been
repacked or sold in bulk containers to consumers.

Unilever United States, Inc., is also conducting "a limited recall of Skippy® Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut
Butter Spread and Skippy® Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread." The product was recalled
over concerns that it might be contaminated with Salmonella. The peanut butter was sent to retail
stores in these states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In addition to the above, there have been two nationwide outbreaks of Salmonella linked to peanut
butter in the past four years: the 2007 ConAgra outbreak and the 2009 PCA outbreak. Both outbreaks
sickened over 700 people and one outbreak was linked to nine deaths.

In 2009 Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. announced that it is voluntarily recalling from nationwide
distribution specific lots of bulk roasted shelled pistachios and 2,000 lbs., 1,700 lbs., 1,800 lbs. and 1,000
lbs. tote bags of roasted in-shell pistachios sold to wholesale customers due to potential contamination
with Salmonella. The recall affected certain bulk roasted in-shell and roasted shelled pistachios shipped
on or after September 1, 2008. The bulk product was distributed throughout the United States. The
Company is voluntarily taking this precautionary measure after learning that a small amount of roasted
shelled pistachios processed by Setton Pistachio and received by a commercial customer in late 2008
recently tested positive for Salmonella.

In addition, the company is voluntarily recalling the following retail product: Setton Farms brand roasted
salted shelled pistachios in 9 oz. film bags, UPC Code: 034325020252 with a "Best Before" date between
01/06/10 and 01/19/10. This product was distributed in the following states: SC, GA, FL, NC, VA, TN, KY.

Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection may include abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which is often
bloody. Most infected people recover within a week; however, some may develop complications that
require hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for a potentially life-
threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which includes kidney failure.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people,
and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience
fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances,
infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more
severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Link to article:

                                            Grower News

Peanuts Grown Organically
Jeff Harrison

Healthy Hollow Farms, located on Old River Road near Stilson, is home to 177 acres of certified organic
pastures and crop land, and was the home of Georgia’s only organic peanut crop last year. Because
Georgia's climate provides ideal conditions for weeds, insect pests and plant diseases, most organic
peanuts are grown only in west Texas and New Mexico.

Link to article:

                                           Manufacturer News

ConAgra Foods campaigns against child hunger
Bloombergy Business Week
March 10, 2011

ConAgra Foods plans to donate enough money for as many as 2.5 million meals to help end
child hunger if consumers support the campaign.

The Omaha-based company is asking consumers who buy its Banquet, Healthy Choice, Chef
Boyardee and other branded products to enter a code from the box online. ConAgra will make a
donation for every code entered at before September.

People can also donate $10 directly to the Feeding America campaign by sending a text
message that says "FeedKids" to 50555.

ConAgra is also helping to sponsor a 30-minute special about child hunger on NBC that is
scheduled to air on March 19 in select markets.

UK leads free-from launches in major European markets: Mintel data
Jess Halliday
March 7, 2011

People with food allergies and intolerances in the UK have more new products to meet their dietary
needs than consumers in other major European markets, indicates data from Mintel, but there has been
a general increase in launches across the EU in the last six years.

Food allergy incidence has been rising in the EU, with around 3.9 per cent of children suffering from an
allergy - although allergies often become less severe or disappear in adulthood. The 12 major allergens
recognised in Europe are: cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soybeans,
milk, celery, mustard, sesame, and sulphur dioxide (at levels of over 10mg/kg).

FoodNavigator will be exploring the growing market for foods designed for people with allergies and
intolerances at its conference Allergen-free Foods, taking place in London on 31st March. (More info at ).

The potential lies not just in catering to consumers with allergies and intolerances themselves: a retailer
or a brand with a broad offering will also attract food spends from other members in the same

Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) lists 2628 new gluten-free product launches in the UK
between 2006 and 2010, with annual figures more than doubling over this period to from 317 to 696.

Spain was the next most prolific market, with 1444 gluten-free launches listed over the period, followed
by 1348 in Germany. Italy and France had 698 and 548 launches listed respectively.

As for launches of products marketed as allergen-free (categorised by Mintel as ‘no/low/reduced
allergens’ but not broken out by specific allergens), the UK has 3010 launches listed, followed by
Germany with 1799, Spain 1590, Italy 923, and France 705.

For products marketed as no/low/reduced lactose, Germany is streets ahead with 897 launches listed
between 2006 and 2010. Spain had 300 listed, the UK 295, Italy 282, and France 248.

General increase

While the general trend is for increasing launches in the gluten-free, no/low/reduce allergy, and
no/low/reduced lactose categories, the data from Mintel do show some anomalies.

In particular 2007 was a peak year for launches across all three marketing claims in France, with 101
gluten-free products, 153 allergen-free, and 91 no/low/reduced lactose.
However this is in keeping with the trend across all packaged and prepared foods carrying marketing
claims in the country. Mintel listed a total of 7259 in 2007, dropping to 6483 in 2008 and 5953 in 2009.
In 2010, 7252 are listed.

This pattern may be linked to the impact of the economic climate on new product development.

Despite dropping to 90 launches in 2008, gluten-free has since surpassed 2007 launch levels in France to
reach 130 in 2010; allergen-free foods have also rebounded to reach 155 in 2010. Lactose-free launches
fell back to 39 in 2008 and have remained at around that level since, which may indicate an unusual
flurry of launches in 2007.

Data for this article was provided by Mintel Global New Products Database.

Link to article:

Unambiguous guidelines for food allergy information urgently needed: TNO
Lynda Searby
March 11, 2011

There is an urgent need for international guidelines that allow food manufacturers to provide food
allergy sufferers with better information, according to research organisation TNO.

Current rules establish a list of 14 food allergens which have to be indicated on pack whenever they, or
ingredients made from them, are used at any level in pre-packed foods. The list includes cereals
containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard,
sesame and lupin.

However, according to TNO, issues arise when tiny amounts of allergenic ingredients find their way into
products through cross-contamination or raw materials.

“Because of that companies cannot be absolutely sure they have excluded allergens, which has led to
the use of voluntary precautionary warnings such as 'may contain traces of milk' or 'produced in a
factory where peanuts are also processed',” Geert Houben, business line manager food safety with TNO,
told FoodNavigator.

He added: “These are being used so often they have little information value and people ignore them.”

The answer, he believes, is to develop international guidelines with action levels for each allergen, so
that broadbrush precautionary warnings can be replaced by more uniform and transparent risk

“We need to set quantitative action limits that give clear and transparent guidance to food
manufacturers as to when they should mention a possible cross-contamination and when they
shouldn’t. In practice if there was incidental contamination with an allergen, that would mean the
manufacturer would need to assess the situation and estimate the maximum concentration of allergen
in the food. If it was below the limit, they would need to trust the risk was small enough to ignore.”

TNO has conceived risk assessment methodologies and a database of food allergen susceptibility data
which it claims have ‘opened the way’ for the development of risk assessment guidelines.

“For the major allergens we can now estimate the number of people that may have an allergic reaction
if a certain quantity of allergens is contained in a food product as well as the maximum amount of
allergen that a food product may contain without it being a risk,” said Houben.

These tools are being used by the expert working group ‘From thresholds to Action Levels’ which was
formed by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) to develop quantitative limits for use across
industry for the presence of unintended allergenic constituents in products.

The group is chaired by René Crevel, science leader, allergy and immunology, of Unilever, who told
FoodNavigator: “We know from our own research that the current situation has driven consumers who
suffer from allergies to take risks, in other words, try out products with the ‘may contain’ label on. This is
why we are working to establish limits. Our ultimate goal is to provide safe foods for allergen sufferers
and enable them to make informed food choices as well as providing consistency throughout the supply

FoodNavigator conference

For the food industry, the biggest challenges are posed by ingredients with allergic potential that are
used in composite foods where their presence may not be immediately apparent.

FoodNavigator has lined up a team of experts to explore the issues in manufacturing foods for allergy
and intolerance sufferers at its conference on Allergen-free Foods, taking place in London on 31st March
(see for more details and booking).

Link to article:

Gene linked to peanut allergy
March 11, 2011

An international collaboration led by researchers at the University of Dundee has discovered a genetic
link to peanut allergy. It has been known for some time that peanut allergy can be inherited, but this
study marks the first robust evidence pinpointing a specific gene.

Peanut allergy affects one to two per cent of children in the UK and may result in a severe or life-
threatening allergic reaction. The number of people affected by peanut allergy has increased
dramatically over the past 30 years, but the causes of the disease are unknown.

Dr Sara Brown, Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow in the Division of Molecular Medicine at
Dundee, explains: "Allergic conditions often run in families, which tells us that inherited genetic factors
are important. In addition to that, changes in the environment and our exposure to peanuts are thought
to have been responsible for the recent increase in peanut allergy seen in the western world in

The researchers were particularly interested in a gene called Filaggrin. Mutations in this gene that cause
it to stop functioning had been linked previously with eczema and asthma.

The Filaggrin gene codes for a protein that helps to make the skin a good barrier against irritants and
allergens. Changes in the gene decrease the effectiveness of this 'barrier', allowing substances to enter
the body and leading to a range of allergic conditions.

In an initial study of 71 people with peanut allergies in England, Ireland and the Netherlands, the team
identified defects in the Filaggrin gene in around one in five patients. A separate, larger-scale replication
of the study in 390 people with peanut allergies in Canada confirmed the findings.

"Now, for the first time, we have a genetic change that can be firmly linked to peanut allergy," said Dr

The researchers only looked for the most common mutations in the Filaggrin gene, so they say it's likely
that their findings have underestimated the total significance of this gene in causing peanut allergy.

The gene accounts for only one in five patients, however, and further work will be needed to fully
understand the genetic risk factors for this complex disease.

Professor Irwin McLean from the University of Dundee commented: "We don't know enough about the
causes of peanut allergy but this is an important step forward. The Filaggrin defect is not THE cause of
peanut allergy but we have established it as a factor in many cases."

Nevertheless, this is the first time that any genetic association with peanut allergy has been
demonstrated in more than one population, making it more likely to be a genuine risk factor.

The findings are published today in the 'Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology'.

More information: Brown SJ et al. Loss-of-function variants in the filaggrin gene are a significant risk
factor for peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011;127(3):661-667. http://www.jacionl … 0091-

Link to article:

Scientists unlock genetic secret of nut allergies
Ben Archibald
March 11, 2011
SCOTS scientists have found a vital clue to why thousands of kids get deadly peanut allergies.

Dundee University experts pinpointed a gene defect which triples the risk of a child developing the

The faulty gene, which has also been linked to asthma and eczema, does not cause the allergy on its

But it's hoped that unlocking its secrets will help doctors find new ways to fight the condition.

Dr Sara Brown of the Dundee team said: "For the first time, we have a genetic change that can be firmly
linked to peanut allergy. It's a significant breakthrough."

Tens of thousands of kids across the UK have peanut allergy and many face death if they eat tiny traces
of nuts.

Many children develop asthma and eczema at the same time as peanut allergy.

And since the gene, Filaggrin, had already been linked to eczema and asthma, the Dundee experts
decided to see if it was also a factor in nut allergy cases.

Filaggrin helps stop allergy-causing substances getting through our skin. The Dundee team found one in
five nut allergy sufferers had a defect in the gene.

Professor Irwin McLean of the university said: "The Filaggrin defect is not the cause of peanut allergy but
we have established it as a factor in many cases.

"This is an important step forward."
The findings are published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Link to article:

Allergist: Education about peanut allergies is important
Stephanie Coueignoux
March 10, 2011

The list of products that can contain peanuts is pretty surprising, including shampoo and pet food.
Surprising, right? That's why experts say learning about the allergy can make all the difference.

"We're seeing more and more of [peanut allergies], especially in the schools," said Dr. Jose Arias, Jr., an
allergy specialist.

But there is still the controversy over whether peanut allergies are actually on the rise or if doctors are
now better at diagnosing it.
"There's a lot of debate about that -- are we just more aware of it is one of the things or are there really
more cases of it," Arias said.

While the jury is still out on what came first, the allergic reactions to peanuts are well documented.

Dr. Arias says a mild reaction would be getting a rash after you eat a peanut. If you are very allergic, Dr.
Arais says being near any type of peanut product will trigger a reaction from swelling to trouble
breathing, possibly even death.

That's why he said educating everyone about the allergy is so important. But it's most important to ask
lots of questions.

"A lot of parents say it's like their child has a contagious disease and they're always afraid to approach
the parent," Arias said.

About 20 percent of people who have a peanut allergy usually outgrow it by the time they reach their

Some Unexpected Sources of Peanut
Sauces such as chili sauce, hot sauce, pesto, gravy, mole sauce and salad dressing
Sweets such as pudding, cookies, and hot chocolate
Egg rolls
Potato pancakes
Pet food
Specialty pizzas
Asian and Mexican dishes
Some vegetarian food products, especially those advertised as meat substitutes
Foods that contain extruded, cold-pressed, or expelled peanut oil, which may contain peanut protein
Glazes and marinades
Ice cream served in ice cream parlors should be avoided; cross-contact occurs frequently because of
shared scoops
Source: The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Link to article:

                                      Dietary Guidelines Updates

How to persuade young Americans to follow dietary guidelines
Mike Stones
March 4, 2011

Weight loss and living longer are the prime motivators for persuading young people to follow the
healthy eating habits as set out in the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to a new
report from research organization, The NPD Group.
Highlighting both factors will be an important way of bridging the gap between

Americans’ healthy eating intentions and their actual eating habits, said Dori Hickey, NPD director of
product development and author of the report.

The best way to bridge this gap is to “Connect the dots for consumers in terms of a product benefit to a
fundamental characteristic of healthy eating,” she told FoodNavigatorUSA. “Keep in mind that taste,
convenience, and value are primary drivers of food choice overall for all generations.”

Healthy eating

For older generations, living longer and feeling good are the main motivations to adopt healthy eating
habits, revealed the research.

“It comes down to focusing on the motivators for healthier eating. The first step is to make sure that
messages are relevant to the group of consumers being targeted as motivations vary by generation,”
said Hickey.

NPD’s report, Healthy Eating Strategies by Generation , highlighted that intended behaviors of many
adult consumers are in line with the USDA’s recommendations, but the practice of those intentions lags
behind. “Lack of time and need for convenience, a quick bite, often proves as a barrier to healthy
eating,” said Hickey. “In addition, there is a prevalent perception that foods that are healthy don’t taste
good and aren’t affordable.”

But adult consumers, across generations, define healthy eating consistently and are aware of the top
characteristics of healthy eating and of a healthy lifestyle, she added.

The widest gap between what adults, aged 18 and over, say they plan to do and what they actually do is
exercise regularly. While 62 percent of adults say they intend to exercise regularly, only 46 percent say
that they actually do.

The second widest gap between intention and behavior concerned meal complexity and frequency.
While 44 percent of adults said they intended to eat smaller, more frequent meals, only 29 percent
actually admitted to doing so.

Calorie intake

A third gap concerned caloric intake. 53 percent said they planned to limit their calorie intake, but only
38 percent of consumers said they actually accomplished that.

The report, draws on information collected by The NPD Group’s syndicated research services, National
Eating Trends, Nutrient Intake Database, and Health Track.

Hickey wrote the report after comparing some of the healthy eating intentions and behaviors identified
in by the syndicated research with the new Dietary Guidelines.

Link to article:

NPB Helping Consumers Eat More Plant-based Diet
March 11, 2011
Progressive Grocer

The National Peanut Board (NPB) has bowed a new website,, which aims to help
consumers sift through the recently issued Dietary Guidelines for Americans and boost their
consumption of nuts and other plant-based foods. The creation of the website was the result of research
commissioned by the Atlanta-based board, which found, among other things, that while most
consumers agreed with recommendations in the guidelines for Americans to eat a diet containing more
plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, only a third thought they know how to
do so.

“Americans have never been more conscious about eating nutritious foods, but they’re saying they need
help to turn that desire into action,” noted registered dietitian Deanna Segrave-Daly.

In addition to facts about plant-based diets, the new site offers nutrition and health information,
recipes, and snack ideas. It also provides tips on gluten-free eating and managing food allergies.

“When you consider that 90 percent of American pantries contain one or more jars or peanut butter,
sometimes the challenge is as straightforward as connecting the dots to foods people already enjoy,”
said NPB president and managing director. Raffaela Marie Fenn. “That’s precisely why we created this
new site.”

Other research findings included:

•66 percent of respondents thought they are very or generally knowledgeable about nutrition and diet
overall, but just 33 percent said they are very or generally knowledgeable about plant-based diets
•67 percent were unaware that eating a more plant-based diet could help control overeating and
•38 percent said they mostly or usually consume a plant-based diet, with 68 percent admitting they
definitely or probably should eat more plant-based foods.
•Respondents pinpointed three particular challenges that impeded their ability to eat a more plant-
based diet: eating out or eating at other peoples’ homes, sticking to a plant-based diet, and finding
tasty, enjoyable foods and recipes.
•Fewer than half (41 percent) of respondents said they are very or generally knowledgeable about nuts,
their nutritional value or their role in a more plant-based diet.
Among the advice dished out by the NPB to consumers:

•Choose a range of protein-rich foods: With 7 grams of protein per serving, peanuts have more protein
than any other nut.
•Lower daily sodium intake to under 2,300 milligrams daily: Peanuts are naturally low in sodium.
•Eat less than 20 grams of unsaturated fat and less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day:
Peanuts contain 2 grams of unsaturated fat, and peanuts and peanut butter contain no cholesterol.
The national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults age 18 and older was conducted Feb. 2-4 and drawn from
Wilton, Conn.-based Toluna/Greenfield Online’s panel of 3 million Americans.

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                                           Health & Nutrition

Why Eat Like a Greek
Ron Winslow
March 8, 2011

Greek researchers offered fresh evidence of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, reporting in
a large study that it helps improve several risk factors linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

The Mediterranean diet is high in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and also relies heavily on
whole-grain cereals, fruits and vegetables, fish and low consumption of animal fats. It has been shown in
numerous studies and clinical trials to reduce mortality from such causes as cardiovascular disease and

Experts believe the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of the foods associated with the diet
confer health benefits across a variety of diseases.

In a new analysis that pooled findings from 50 different studies involving a total of more than 500,000
patients, researchers led by Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos of Harakopio University, Athens, found the
diet had beneficial effects against five components of a prediabetic condition called the metabolic
syndrome. The analysis found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 31%
reduction in risk of developing the syndrome.

The constellation of components of metabolic syndrome include waist circumference over 40 inches in
men and 35 inches in women, abnormally high blood pressure and blood sugar, very low levels of HDL or
good cholesterol and high levels of blood fats called triglycerides. Abnormalities in these risk factors are
widespread among the growing numbers of people who are obese or overweight or have diabetes.

Heart experts and public-health officials believe effective approaches to helping people shrink their
waistlines and achieve normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels would help reduce the
devastating toll of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The new study, published online Monday by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is
consistent with other findings of the protective benefit of the Mediterranean diet.

Elizabeth Jackson, a cardiologist at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said the study suggests that
"when people are able to make improvements through diet, they are preventing the need in the future
to go on medication" to control blood pressure and other risk factors. If doctors make more effort "to
counsel patients on what a general healthy-eating diet is like, we can get a lot of bang for the buck," she
There were some limitations to the findings. For one, the benefit against the metabolic syndrome was
found mostly in studies conducted in Mediterranean countries, and not in countries outside of that

Dr. Jackson said different designs of the underlying studies and the duration of follow-up could have
influenced the results. She said, for instance, that U.S. studies, including the big Nurses Health Study at
Harvard Medical School, have demonstrated the benefits of the diet in a U.S. population.

The results also reflect changes in recent years in how cardiologists look at the effect of diet on heart
risk. For years, heart experts were focused on low-fat diets, but "we've really shifted our focus to
thinking about other components," Dr. Jackson said. Research into the Mediterranean diet reflects how
dietary fiber can affect measures like triglycerides.

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Mediterranean diet improves heart risk factors
Mon, Mar 7 2011
By Karla Gale

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Eating a Mediterranean diet may prevent or even reverse metabolic
syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, according to a new study.

The Mediterranean diet includes an abundance of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, olive oil, poultry and
fish, with very little red meat. Scientists believe that eating this way has antioxidant and anti-
inflammatory effects on the body.

"This study reinforces guidelines over the past 10 years, stressing the need to reduce consumption of
refined carbohydrates and saturated fats" from meat and dairy products, Dr. Robert S. Rosenson of the
Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York told Reuters Health. He was not involved in the work.

Metabolic syndrome is a recent catchall for unhealthy traits that spell bad news for the heart, such as
belly fat, high blood pressure, low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, elevated fat levels in the blood
(triglycerides), and high blood sugar. The condition is diagnosed when a person has at least three of
those risk factors.

Reviewing 35 clinical trials, Dr. Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos at Harokopia University in Athens, Greece,
and his team found that faithfully eating a Mediterranean diet can improve each of those traits.

For instance, those who stuck with the Mediterranean diet as compared to eating their regular foods or
a low-fat diet trimmed their waistlines by about 0.43 cm (0.16 inches) on average.

They also showed slashed their blood pressure by 2.35 points on the top reading, and their fasting blood
sugar by 3.89 milligrams per deciliter.
While these benefits may seem small, Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, who was not involved in the research,
said they show a Mediterranean diet might be beneficial.

"So it's reasonable to recommend the Mediterranean diet to patients," she said. But she added that "we
can't say that this diet reduces the risk of diabetes."

Nor does the study, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, show that the diet cuts
the risk of death from heart disease, which has been linked to metabolic syndrome.

Mayer-Davis, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also said she was
concerned that cost could be a barrier to adopting a diet that emphasizes fresh foods, olive oil and fish.

"This speaks to the need to improve availability of these kinds of foods to people who don't have a lot of
extra money to spend," she told Reuters Health.

Olive oil is an important part of the Mediterranean diet because it is a so-called monounsaturated fat,
which "protects" levels of HDL cholesterol.

However, it can cost a lot more than other cooking oils on supermarket shelves. Rosenson said that
when he suggests this diet to his patients, he makes the point that the much cheaper canola oil is also
high in monounsaturated fats.

Dr. Robert Eckel, a former president of the American Heart Association who reviewed the study for
Reuters Health, noted that the Mediterranean diet "is part of a dietary pattern consistent with
guidelines from the AHA, the USDA, and other bodies, that overall is consistent with reduced risk for
cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes."

In other words, he added, "there's nothing really new here."

He noted that people often misconstrue the concept of a Mediterranean diet as simply adding olive oil.
"If they continue eating a lot of saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, they're mistaken in what the
dietary pattern is all about," he said.

Eckel, of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, also had several criticisms of the new
review. For instance, he pointed out that the comparison diets and other lifestyle modifications varied
broadly, and some studies were very short.

"Follow-up in the clinical trials varied from 1 month to 5 years - it's hard to make conclusions after 1

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online March 7, 2011.

EU health platform opts for “flexible approach” as obesity rises
Shane Starling
March 9, 2011

Ten years after the first European Commission reports were handed in, with little in the way of
demonstrable obesity-reduction results, the European Union Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and
Health is taking “a flexible approach” over coming years to tackling obesity rates that continue to rise in
most of the bloc’s 27 member states.

Despina Spanou, special advisor to the European Commission’s Director General for Health and
Consumers (DG Sanco), told a congress in Brussels last week that the Platform needed better working
methods and that individual member states were being given the flexibility to develop these.

“But it will be a flexible approach which must take account of diet specificities in member states, and
efforts in the Platform context,” she told the 5th Annual European Nutrition and Lifestyle Conference.

Spanou said the Platform, formalised and launched in 2005 to tackle rising rates of obesity in the EU,
would have four main points of focus between now and 2013.

These are:
Vulnerable groups
Kids advertising
Communications on sports and physical activities

“All member states are to develop a strategy to strengthen health promotion and disease prevention,”
she said of the Platform that went under review by the European Union presidency in December, 2010.

An earlier evaluation had shown results in reformulation and children’s advertising.

Spanou said the EU needed to work more closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), a group
that had adopted the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity in Istanbul, Turkey in late 2006.

That expansion of the Platform meant 34 members signed up and they implemented 148 commitments
by 2007.

Malta, Greece, the UK, Germany, Finland, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Portugal had the greatest
numbers of people with body mass indexes (BMIs) of more than 25 and therefore classed as overweight.


She said recent meetings of Platform stakeholders had determined reformulation initiatives with a focus
on saturated fat; trans fat; energy; total fat; added sugars; portion sizes, and consumption frequency.

“A clear framework for reformulating selected nutrients must be in place and where possible, specific
targets must be endorsed by national initiatives,” Spanou said.

Amendment: This story has been amended to reflect the fact that, "little in the way of demonstrable
results" in fact related to, "obesity-reduction results".
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                                      International Peanut News

Saving the world – with peanut butter!
University of Tampere (Finland)
March 9, 2011

“Then I would like to stop hunger and poverty in the world,” so say the aspiring beauty queens.

Actually, for some time now efforts have been made to do just that.

Professor of International Health, Per Ashorn and his group have been in Malawi developing and
studying a paste reminiscent of peanut butter intended for the treatment of undernourished children.

Co-operation between the University of Tampere and the University of Malawi began back in 1993,
when Malawi had some of the world’s highest infant mortality. The researchers carried out a rural
follow-up study to find out what happens in childhood and even prenatally.

The research led to the development of ways to help.

“It is difficult to find out why things are as they are then to do nothing about them,” says Per Ashorn.

“The optimal solution would be to change the entire environment in such a way that there would be
better dwellings, better food and fewer infections, but we are not equipped for that. We tried to find
interim solutions to support nutrition.”

One of these is a paste reminiscent of peanut butter, the basic idea of which is to provide additional
nutrition in small quantities, in a preparation that tastes good and costs as little as possible.

Three years ago several UN organizations made a common recommendation about home-treatment
with ready-to-use preparations like the nutrient-fortified peanut paste Ashorn’s team is interested in.

Information from a malnutrition gene

The researchers soon noticed that what was most typical in Malawi was mild undernourishment. The
paste as a small food supplement is not optimal and the researchers are further developing its
composition for this purpose.

“Slight undernourishment is not typified in those spindly legged children in Biafra or Darfur with their
bloated bellies and flies swarming round their eyes. Slight undernourishment means that the child lags
behind in all types of growth,” says Ashorn.

Height is an important criterion. More than half of the children in Malawi are very short at one year old.
“The interaction between genetic predisposition and the environment is also interesting in nutrition.
We have tried to get into this using many different approaches.

On the other hand they want to go forward at the level of the individual.

“The availability of a food supplement does not yet mean that someone is using it. Can people afford it
if it is only available commercially? How much importance is attached to children’s nutrition, are certain
things taboo in a society? There are a great many sociological questions connected to nutrition and
these, too, should be sorted out.

Ashorn believes that by studying undernourished children we could learn about the body’s basic
mechanisms and this could be put to use in other research.

He makes a comparison: “Nobody has bothered to study these undernourished children and wonder
what really occurs in undernourishment. On the other hand the molecular structure and genetics of the
banana fly have really come in for serious scrutiny.”

“Doing sufficient research would surely lead us to identifying an undernourishment gene in humans.
This knowledge would not be of any immediate benefit. But if we once understood how this
undernourishment gene and the environment interact, we could prepare for things in a totally different

Ashorn believes in knowledge sharing in research. The more knowledge can be disseminated the more
is gained. The one in the front line disseminating knowledge is also among the first to receive
knowledge. “In the long term if someone is studying undernourishment somewhere far away this may
sometimes lead to amazingly positive outcomes.”

Changing the world

Helping the hungry may sound like a very lofty objective. But isn’t it the purpose of science to do good
and make the world a better place?

Ashorn believes that the objective of science is the creation of knowledge. Knowledge, then, is utilized
to understand the environment and ultimately, perhaps, to change it.

He quotes the University Strategy about producing people who understand the world and change it.

“We are accountable to the society in which we live, and that is where we draw the objectives of our
research. But these are not merely economic objectives. That is, we are not merely in the service of
economic life producing innovations for the benefit of business,” he ponders.

The aim of a professional in health care is to produce health and in the longer term development.

“My interim goal could be to produce publications from which I can obtain more resources for the
further development of health. Money can be a means to an end, but not an end in itself.” He smiles.

Caring for malnutrition as an art form
The French doctor André Briend is the father of the “peanut butter” idea, after much thinking about
ways of treating severe malnutrition. He realized that this substance keeps well in warm places on
people’s shelves without going bad and retains its nutritional value well.

Professor Per Ashorn’s group heard about the idea in the early 2000s and invited Dr. Briend to visit

Research on the substance speeded up, and it became famous, largely due to clinical trials and public
health interventions conducted in Malawi. Dr. André Briend is currently an adjunct professor at the
University of Tampere.

“Remedying a state of malnutrition is quite tricky. If a person is severely undernourished, trying to put
things right the wrong way or too fast can even end in death,” says Per Ashorn.

A severely undernourished child should be treated should be treated with three sachets of peanut
butter a day and some drinking water. No cooking, no other ingredients, no other meals.

The preparation reminiscent of peanut butter includes milk powder, sugar, peanuts, oil and minerals.
The fatty acid component is still under consideration: rape oil has a good consistency but is not easy to
obtain in Africa. Soya oil is now being tested.

“Among the ingredients milk power is very costly. It would be nice if we could replace it with

The paste should be as tasty as possible. The sachets go around the world, sometimes there is a
meeting to taste the preparation and then it is either accepted or rejected.

As a former green politician Ashorn wants to draw attention to the packaging.
“It’s not a good thing to have the whole of Africa full of this foil. Cans are easier to reuse.”

The company manufacturing Plumpy Nut has taken out a free patent on the product, that is, anybody at
all can manufacture it locally.

“Whatever country you go to where there is severe malnutrition you will see this product or something
like it being used.”

One important question is who should receive the product. In children the onset of malnutrition is
generally before birth, possibly even before conception.

Ashorn’s group is currently starting up a new study in Malawi to find out about the combined effect of
infections and nutrition and to attempt to make a difference in the nutrition of pregnant women.

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The changing fortunes of marmalade
Nick Collins
March 11, 2011
The Telegraph

As recently as January, figures showed that annual marmalade sales had dropped by 800,000 litres – or
2.5 million jars – in the space of just one year.

This accounted for a three per cent fall in marmalade consumption, while American alternatives such as
peanut butter and chocolate spread enjoyed rises of 7.5 per cent and 8 per cent respectively during the
same period.

It was enough to leave marmalade lovers across the nation sobbing over their toast as they
contemplated a future devoid of delicious orange shred.

But from impending disaster came some crumbs of comfort as readers wrote in droves to The Daily
Telegraph urging the like-minded to take the future of marmalade into their own hands.

The response was staggering. In kitchens across the country defenders of the preserve slaved over their
stoves producing home-made versions of the British breakfast classic.

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                                          Other Peanut News

A Favorite Sandwich Raised to a Work of Art
Marshall Heyman
March 5, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

Paris Fashion Week is about to begin. Charlie Sheen is melting down here, there and everywhere. You
still haven't watched those Tivo'ed episodes of "Downton Abbey." But these provide no excuse to ignore
the fact that March is National Peanut Month.

To celebrate the joyous occasion, all weekend, Peanut Butter & Co., a specialty sandwich shop on
Sullivan Street as well as a purveyor of such fine goods as white-chocolate-flavored peanut butter, is
sponsoring the Nutropolitan Museum of Art, a pop-up art gallery on Mulberry Street dedicated to the
beloved sandwich. Every family that attends will receive a free jar of peanut butter; in turn, a second jar
will be donated to the Food Bank for New York City.

On Thursday, the Nutropolitan Museum had its grand opening. Peanut-butter-inspired songs provided a
soundtrack, including "Hot Nuts" by Georgia White and "Peanut Butter Girl" by Nude Furniture. Hors
d'oeuvres made with peanuts, like chicken satay and Camarones Encacahuatados, were passed.

.In the center of it all was the affable Lee Zalben, the 37-year-old founder and president of Peanut
Butter & Co. On his lapel, he was wearing a gold-plated peanut pin he had purchased on eBay. Mr.
Zalben surveyed the crowd, packed together, perhaps, like legumes.
"Who knew that people loved peanut butter so much?" Mr. Zalben asked rhetorically, because why else
would he have created his company 13 years ago? The idea for the Nutropolitan started when a random
customer came into the store, which sells 20 types of peanut-butter sandwiches (including the Pregnant
Lady, which features pickles), and challenged him to come up with one for every day of the year. "Life is
nutty that way," Mr. Zalben said.

"I went home and was lying in bed and I started making sandwiches in my head. It turned into this
thing," he said. He made a few of the sandwiches in reality and "they tasted good, so we set out on this
epic endeavor to make all of them. The interns helped."

Photographs of a few of the results are up on the walls. For instance, there's one on bakery-style white
bread with Pez and peanut butter.

"It's candy-licious," Mr. Zalben said. "The Pez is like a substitute for the jelly. It had a tutti-frutti taste."

'Another was made on a hot dog bun with a banana in place of a normal weiner. "Some people make
that at home," he explained. "And then you use peanut butter instead of mustard and sauerkraut."

A stack of silver-dollar pancakes was layered with peanut butter and honey. "You can eat it with your
hands like a sandwich, but you don't have to," Mr. Zalben said. Another was made with olives and
peanut butter on olive bread. "Visually, it's quite stunning," he added. The taste? "Very interesting."

Mr. Zalben said that "in the hands of a talented chef," peanut butter can go, really, with anything.
"There's a restaurant in New York that sells an eel roll with peanut butter."

Bananas, the monkey mascot from Peanut Butter & Co. was in attendance, as were several
representatives from the National Peanut Board, including Jeffrey Pope, a peanut farmer who flew in
from Virginia for the evening. Mr. Pope reaps about a million and a half to two million pounds of
peanuts a year and said that he thought the exhibit was "awesome." He would pretty much eat every
sandwich represented Thursday evening, "especially if I could take the anchovies off the one in the

Mr. Pope's fellow farmer George Jeffcoat, who was wearing a tie with peanuts on it, grows three million
to three and a half million peanuts a year. He called Mr. Zalben's exhibit "outstanding" and prefers
salted snack nuts to peanut butter. He said he would try every sandwich his friend Mr. Zalben had
created, "but I don't know if I would eat the whole thing. I also don't think I would put peanut butter on
a steak."

"I think the sandwiches are just fabulous," said Raffaela Marie Fenn, the president of the National
Peanut Board. "I would eat almost all of them. I don't eat peppers, so that wouldn't appeal to me. The
anchovies are fine. I'm Italian. I love anchovies."

Ms. Fenn said she eats peanut butter daily. "I used to think it didn't go with raw onions, but that's how
my husband eats it."

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