Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Out of the Inbox

Just cleaning out the files...

• Have you read about the new "Jelly Belly" diet pill? It's a new Italian creation, but unfortunately doesn't offer the flavor offerings of real Jelly Bellies. Instead, the idea is that you swallow this pill and it inflates to a gelatinous mass the size of a tennis ball in your stomach. Makes you feel full and you don't want to eat as much. It eventually dissolves and goes out in the usual manner as if you had simply eaten 42 cups of Jell-O. I think if the scientists hadn't used the words "gelatinous mass" I could get into it a little more. Still, cheaper than gastric bypass.

• Just in case you didn't think most foods' health claims were a bogus bunch of advertising fluff, here comes Frito Lay, who decided that since they have switched to using more non-saturated fat in their chips, they can now make health claims for Ruffles. It seems to be under serious consideration by the FDA, which I think once this passes can officially change its name to the Food Disaster Administration.

• A recent survey by the NDP market research group found that 70 percent of adult Americans want to cut down or avoid sugar completely, with 40 percent saying they check food labels for sugar content. As a result, food manufacturers are responding to the resultant demand for more reduced-sugar or sugar-free products. Great! Well, except that the survey analysts stated that Americans had gotten on an anti-sugar kick in the 1960s, too, and we apparently got over it.

• The buzz over probiotics continues. This latest, from a food industry newsletter, says the science is "building" behind the use of the probiotic ingredient inulin. Inulin is a root fiber that promotes probiotic bacteria in the gut, has a sweet taste, and is classified as a soluble fiber. The latest study, published in Nutrition Research, shows that probiotics such as inulin, consumed regularly, help protect against colon cancer.

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