Archive for ecofren F & B community

Newly reformulated 10-calorie sodas leave fructose levels a mystery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by ecofrenfood


Newly reformulated 10-calorie sodas leave fructose levels a mystery

Posted by — May 16, 2013

Are you an ‘ex-Pepper’? If so, The Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group hopes to bring you back into the fold.  In an effort to lure what it refers to as “consumers who have left the soft drink category” the company is working feverishly to blanket the country with a new lineup of products, consisting of some of its biggest brand names reformulated with a witches’ brew of synthetic sweeteners – a combination of high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and acesulfame potassium (what the company calls its “proprietary blend”).  The selling point is that each supposedly contains no more than 10 calories per 12-ounce serving, which accounts for the special designation under which they’re being marketed  –“TEN.”

Since HFCS is the second ingredient in the three “TENs” I looked at, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, 7Up and Dr. Pepper, I couldn’t help wondering what the fructose amount is in the HFCS being used. After all, Archer Daniels Midland, one of the biggest manufacturers of this test-tube sweetener, has run ads for a product called “Cornsweet 90” a HFCS blend containing 90 percent fructose that it has called “the ideal choice for reduced calorie foods such as beverages…” And the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) itself has acknowledged in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration that this mega-fructose additive has been in use “with FDA knowledge for decades” (more on that in a minute). So I called the Dr. Pepper Snapple company press office with my question.

In the short conversation I had with company spokesperson Chris Barnes, I leaned more ‘ad speak’ than I could have in a Mad Men marathon. Terms like the “broader TEN platform,” “mouth feel,” “broader flavor system,” and my favorite, the “lapsed soft drink consumer” were dropped repeatedly in our talk. But when I got to my fructose question, Chris didn’t have an answer for me other than “I don’t know that we do share specific ingredient information beyond what’s on the label.” He did ask why I was interested and promised to follow up with the research and development department, but felt fairly sure the company wouldn’t divulge that information.

Although I didn’t get any further insight about fructose amounts from Barnes, he did tell me how “very excited” the company is so far with how “TEN” is “performing,” allowing folks who had concerns over taste and calories to now have the “benefit” of a soft drink once again.

A shocking acknowledgment

Now admittedly, the question of fructose amounts in HFCS is a touchy subject, something the CRA likes to gloss over by repeatedly asserting that the additive isn’t really high in fructose (one reason it had unsuccessfully sought to change its name to “corn sugar”) and telling consumers over and over that HFCS is “virtually the same” as real sugar, which is a 50/50 combination of glucose and fructose.

But contrary to the big public relations blitz put out by the CRA claiming that “sugar is sugar,” a growing body of evidence has come to light showing  that HFCS is apparently being used by food and beverage manufacturers in highly fluctuating fructose amounts, including the mega-90 version. Such findings led Citizens for Health to file a petition with the Food and Drug Administration last September, which asked the agency to take action against manufacturers using HFCS with fructose levels above 55 percent, the highest amount the FDA allows, and in the interim, to require the actual amount of fructose it contains to be specified on product labels. (To sign and support that petition, click here).

The CRA response to the FDA about that petition was a shocking acknowledgment that, in violation of FDA regulations, HFCS-90 has been used in the food supply “with FDA knowledge for decades.”  The letter, signed by CRA interim president J. Patrick Mohan, also refers to “fluctuations in fructose levels above 42 or 55%” in HFCS, that he apparently believes “would be expressly permitted” by the agency.

But despite Mohan’s apparent belief that all is fine and dandy regardless of what the actual fructose amount in an HFCS blend might be, the FDA has made it perfectly clear that HFCS 90 “contains a substantially different ratio of glucose to fructose than…HFCS-55,” and that the agency doesn’t have enough information to “ensure that this product is safe.”

Numerous medical experts and extensive studies have linked excess fructose consumption to a wide variety of health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, liver and heart disease. And for the CRA, which spent many millions of dollars to tell consumers that HFCS really isn’t high in fructose at all, this statement is quite telling.

But for now, the matter of just how much fructose might be in those new Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group formulas remains a mystery. Which is something you might want to keep in mind before you reach for a “TEN” on your supermarket shelf in the belief that you can now have the “benefit” of drinking soda without having to worry about the consequences.

Hidden MSG and the ‘soup wars’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by ecofrenfood

Hidden MSG and the ‘soup wars’

Posted by Linda Bonvie

March 1, 2012

It says “No MSG,” but this product contains autolyzed yeast

2008 could go down in the annals of advertising escapades as the year of the “soup wars.” I’m not sure who fired the first shot, but by the fall of that year, Campbell and Progresso were flinging slings and arrows back and forth claiming one had more MSG-free soups than the other.

The biggest skirmish in the battle came when Progresso took out ads saying: “Campbell’s has 95 soups with MSG; Progresso has 26 delicious soups with No MSG.” Campbell’s responded with an ad in The New York Times that showed a can of Progresso soup with the caption “Made with MSG,” alongside cans of Campbell’s Select Harvest soup saying, “Made with TLC.”

Along the way the Glutamate Association, the trade group that represents users and manufacturers of monosodium glutamate, entered the fray saying all this was merely a “marketing gimmick” that will confuse consumers into thinking that MSG, “…a perfectly safe product poses a health risk…”

The Glutamate Association did get something right: it was a “marketing gimmick,” a sneaky one known as “clean labeling.”

A “clean” label is one that does not list ingredient names consumers look to avoid, the kind that will get the product put back on the shelf rather than in the shopping cart. Where MSG is concerned, “clean labeling” can mean listing such flavor-enhancing ingredients as “yeast extract” or “hydrolyzed protein” instead of the better-known (and often shunned) “monosodium glutamate.”

MSG-Free It’s Not

If a food contains monosodium glutamate, according to the Food and Drug Administration, that fact must be stated on the label. However, monosodium glutamate is only one of many ingredients containing “free” glutamate (or manufactured glutamic acid) that is used in processed foods.

A check of Campbell’s Select Harvest, “No MSG added, 100 percent natural,” Savory Chicken and Brown Rice soup offers a good example of a “clean” label. Using yeast extract, a source of ‘hidden’ MSG, and “natural flavors,” which are typically another place to conceal free glutamate, Campbell’s goes to town advertising the naturalness and ‘MSG free-ness’ of its product.

In an interesting aside, the Campbell’s website (which doesn’t list the actual soup ingredients) contains an “ingredient glossary,” to help you “learn more about the ingredients found in our soups.” However while there are definitions for things such as lime juice (“the juice of limes”), and barley (“a hardy cereal grain”), there are none for monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, and natural flavors.

This “No MSG” product contains “yeast extract”

It’s natural, right?

Another selling point for some of these foods is the assertion that the MSG, from whatever source, is “naturally occurring,” as in “hey, we didn’t put it in on purpose, it just naturally happened when we added these ingredients.” Don’t believe it. “Naturally occurring” is never defined, and the free glutamate, whether referred to as “monosodium glutamate” or by any other name, was added for the purpose of improving taste and sales. It didn’t get there by accident.

Here are some more sneaky names of ingredients that contain free glutamic acid:

autolyzed plant protein,
autolyzed yeast,
calcium caseinate
hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
monopotassium glutamate
sodium caseinate
soy protein concentrate
textured protein
yeast food or nutrient
yeast extract

(For a complete list, as well as lots more information on monosodium glutamate and free glutamic acid, click here.)

In an interesting test (although not a scientific one, by any means) of how many shoppers are avoiding MSG, a large supermarket a few miles from where I live that is going out of business (and reducing all items by 80 percent) had just about been stripped clean of all products last time I was there, with the exception of a full stock of jars of Accent – a flavoring ingredient comprised of pure monosodium glutamate.

The “soup wars” may be over, but if you want to be a savvy consumer and avoid all forms of free glutamic acid under whatever name it masquerades, nothing takes the place of reading the ingredient label. Because no matter what you call it, it’s all still MSG.

Linda Bonvie,

– See more at:


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by ecofrenfood

by: Junji Takano

 Bananas are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia. In Japan, banana is 
by far the number one fruit in terms of consumption. It is also the most preferred 
fruit among the world’s top athletes as it can provide instant energy.

Research shows that eating two bananas can provide enough energy for a 
heavy 90-minute workout. The carbohydrates in bananas are easy to digest so 
you get an instant boost of energy after just 30 minutes of eating it!


Increase the Banana’s Sweetness by Peeling it Properly

Most people peel bananas by pulling its stem and I bet this is how you 
do it, too. If you look at it, this seems logical enough and you’ll get a high 
degree of success of peeling it aside from maybe having a mushy top.

The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work all the time. But more 
importantly, this is actually the wrong way of peeling a banana. 
The correct way to open a banana is to peel its skin like a monkey, which 
is to open it from the bottom and not from its stem!
Here’s how.
Step 1. Hold the banana with its stem pointing downwards then pinch 
the tip gently.
Step 1 of peeling banana
Step 2. Peel the banana downwards towards its stem using your fingers.
Step 2 of peeling banana
There are two major advantages of peeling banana from the bottom:
1. You peel the banana faster and more efficiently 100% of the time.
If you look at the bottom of the banana, you’ll notice that it’s patterned so it will crack easily when it’s pinched. This supports the theory that this is really the correct way of peeling banana.
2. You get to eat a sweeter banana.
The front end side of the banana (not the stem) is sweeter as nutrients gathers around it during the ripening process. Therefore, eating this part first will make the banana taste sweeter overall.

## Boost Banana’s Sweetness with High Temperature
Like sweet potato, unripe green bananas contain 20% starch. When exposed to heat, the starch will be converted into sugar. That is why sweet potatoes don’t taste sweet until they are baked. The same thing applies to bananas.
By immersing the banana in hot water of about 40 to 50 degrees Celsius, you can increase its sweetness even more. An enzyme called amylase will break down the starch in the banana fruit into sugar because of the rise in temperature.
So to make the banana fruit super sweet, follow these procedures:
1. Immerse the banana fruit in hot water (40-50 degrees Celsius) for 5 minutes.
2. Remove the banana from hot water and store at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
## How to Extend Shelf Life of Bananas by as much as Three Times
Bananas naturally turn from yellow to black in just a few days–the more so when you store it in the refrigerator.
However, by using certain methods, you’ll be able to make bananas last longer.
— Method #1 (Extend shelf life by 40%)
Separate bananas. Bananas ripen quicker when they’re still attached. This is because riper bananas emit large amount of ethylene gas and causes other bananas near it to ripen quickly and turn black. The same thing happens if you store bananas next to apples.
Ethylene is a gas that is naturally produced by plants. It acts as a ripening hormone to accelerate the maturation of fruits.
Usually, bananas turn black in just about 5 days. By separating bananas from other riper bananas, you can extend its shelf life by another 2 days.
— Method #2 (Extend shelf life by 2 to 3 weeks)
Submerge bananas in hot water temperature. Submerging bananas in hot water temperature of 50 degrees Celsius for a few minutes will increase the amount of “heat shock proteins (HSP)”.
Research shows that heat shock protein plays an important role in slowing down aging. Therefore, high levels of heat shock proteins in bananas will make it more resistant to ethylene gas and delay spoiling. Moreover, bananas will not easily turn black when placed in the refrigerator.
Submerge banana in water to extend its shelf life
Here’s how you can do it
1. Submerge the banana in hot water with temperature ranging from 40-50 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
2. Remove from hot water and cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
3. Wrap the banana with poly bag and store inside the refrigerator.


About the author:
Junji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in
investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968,
he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first electrostatic therapy
device for electromedicine that effectively eradicates viral
diseases, cancer, and diseases of unknown cause.

Delicious food, disgusting ingredient

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by ecofrenfood



Delicious food, disgusting ingredients

By  |  – Tue, Jun 7, 2011

On the latest episode of Jaimie Oliver’s Food Revolutionthe food activist chef came up with a brilliant way to break kids of their sweet tooth habit. He showed them what their desserts are really made of. Each kid got to make his or her own sundae and after they gobbled it down, he broke down some of more revolting ingredients in their high-calorie grub. It’s a radical approach but it may just be the cure for those late night binges. With that in mind, we collected some disgusting byproducts found in our favorite foods, to brainwash us into eating less of it. Will it work? It’s worth a shot. 

L-Cyesteine is a dough conditioner used in mass-produced bread products like bagels, donuts, rolls and crackers. And guess what’s needed to make L-Cyesteine? Hair. A recent study by the Vegetarian Resource Group found that human hair and hog hair were still used industry-wide, giving new meaning to the term “all-natural”.


The ingredient used to keep many packaged shredded cheeses from clumping is powdered cellulose, which is a fancy way of saying wood pulp that’s been chemically processed. Look out for the ingredient in your ice cream too. 

Secret ingredient: Sheep secretions-
The oils released from the fur of a sheep is the “gum base” used in many types of chewing gums for extra-moisture.

Secret Ingredient: cleaning agent-
Sodium bisulfite is a preservative used for bleaching out the discolorations and extending the lifespan of your average potato chip. It’s also an ingredient in most toilet bowl cleaners.

Secret Ingredient: crushed bugs-
Cochineal extract is a kind of red food dye found in many red-colored candies, sprinkles, strawberry flavored yogurts, jello, popsicles and most other “fruit-flavored” goodies. Turns out it’s not fruit responsible for the redness. The extract is actually made from the crushed and dried bodies of a red-colored insect called Dactylopius coccus costa. Still want to order dessert?



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Food, too, is wasted on the young

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by ecofrenfood

Food, too, is wasted on the young
by Alexandra Smith

A LAST-MINUTE decision to eat out regardless of what is at home in the fridge, a poor understanding of best-before dates and lazy shopping habits mean young people are among the biggest culprits of food waste in NSW.
Figures from the state government’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign show that people aged 18-24 waste between $24.90 and $26 of food every week, contributing to the $2.5 billion of food thrown away in NSW each year.
Fresh food is the most likely to hit the bin, followed by leftovers and packaged or long-life food, the figures reveal.
The Australian arm of the international aid agency Oxfam is so concerned about the amount of food young people waste in NSW it is has launched an online program to encourage consumers to change their habits.

With funding from the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s grants program, Oxfam Australia will urge young people to upload their solutions to food waste and have a role in tackling global hunger.
The Design for Change co-ordinator at Oxfam Australia, Sophie Weldon, said the campaign was about raising awareness. “Almost a third of food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted,” Ms Weldon said.
“There is enough food to feed the total global population of 7 billion people, yet almost 1 billion people go hungry every night.”
Ms Weldon said young consumers were less likely to have routines, which made it more difficult to avoid wasting food. They were also less inclined to stick to a shopping budget.
Ms Weldon said the best ideas shared through the campaign would be selected for publication in an e-book and distributed to organisations working on reducing food waste in Australia.

Read more:

Flora Naked Chef

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2012 by ecofrenfood

What Happens After Her Clothes Come Off? Cooking! (NSFW)

William Hsu at 8:43 PM February 13

When you’re presented with both sex and food, sex often ends up being the more important part of the package. Food becomes only a side dish. After all, a dinner date is only meant to be a prelude to an encounter between the sheets, and dessert, only the aftermath.

So what’s the obvious marketable solution for a television show about food? Why, Hong Kong producer Jesse Au‘s upcoming cooking show on the adult channel Ice and Fire, of course!

Hong Kong men apparently refuse to cook because it’s uninteresting and a waste of time (that’s what helpers are for, obviously). 26-year-old television host Flora Cheung wants to change that: “Most men don’t like to cook,” she told the South China Morning Post, “but I want to get them interested.”

Her idea of “interesting” (or the producer’s) comprises of shopping — fully clothed at first — in a market, before stripping down to a transparent apron to teach the nuances of cooking, thirty minutes per episode. Here’s a trailer of the Cantonese-language show, which can be seen on NOW TV, Hong Kong Broadband Network, and TVB Pay Vision:

Is it that outrageous to have a naked cooking show when there are already naked news reports, naked weather reports, and other naked shows that seem to cover every otherwise mundane aspect of modern society? We all know that sex sells, but how far do we go before we say enough is enough?

Sure, a naked cooking show is interesting, but what’s being sold here? Turns out Cheung has no previous professional cooking experience. One would think that the audience will still be more than captivated by her cooking. Then again, you never know with men. I just might be motivated enough to start cooking for myself.

Will you?

















Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2012 by ecofrenfood