Tuesday, 22 August 2017

the Dutch egg contamination scandal

Synonyms: 5-Amino-1-[2,6-dichloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-4-[(trifluoromethyl)sulfinyl]-1H-pyrazole-3-carbonitrile; (+/-)-Fipronil; 1-(2,6-Dichloro-4-trifluoromethylphenyl)-3-cyano-5-amino-4-(trifluoromethylsulfinyl)pyrazole; Fluocyanobenpyrazole; Frontline Spot-on; Frontline Spray; Frontline Top Spot; Goliath gel; Granedo MC; Grenade MC; Maxforce FC; Maxforce FC Select Roach Killer Bait Gel; Over’n Out; Regent; Regent TS; Termidor; Termidor 80WG; TopChoice;

Around 700,000 potentially contaminated eggs have been imported into Britain from Dutch farms, according to the Food Standards Agency.
The affected eggs have been contaminated with an insecticide called Fipronil.

Where did the eggs come from and how did they become contaminated?
A The affected eggs originate from around 180 farms in the Netherlands that bought poultry from a supplier which used an illegal insecticide to treat red mite in chickens. The chemical, called fipronil, is not authorised for use as a veterinary medicine or pesticide around food producing animals as it can make its way into birds and eggs.
The egg in these foods may have been supplied from affected farms in the Netherlands before the blocks on these farms were imposed. It was incorporated into processed foods; fresh eggs on sale in the UK remain unaffected. Most of the additional egg products that have been identified were imported into the UK in liquid form so it is no longer practicable to provide a figure in terms of whole eggs, however, it remains the case that the egg we have identified represents only a fraction of a single percentage of the eggs we consume in the UK every year.
85% of the eggs we eat in the UK are laid here. As a precaution, UK eggs are being tested for the presence of Fipronil, and all initial results have been clear.

What is fipronil and is it harmful to humans?
Fipronil is a popular pesticide, often used to de-flea household pets such as dogs and cats. It is also effective at treating red lice, which are commonly found in poultry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says fipronil is "moderately toxic" to people if it is eaten in large quantities, and can have dangerous effects on the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.
It can also cause "nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and epileptic seizures," says the Dutch food standards agency NVWA, although its effects are reversible.
Exposure to Fipronil can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches and dizziness. Long-term exposure to great quantities can cause thyroid, liver and kidney damage, and even lead to seizures.

= = =
Questions risen:
1. what penalties have been imposed to the Dutch (?) (only Dutch?) companies that started the scare?
2. What has happened to the birds that had produced these eggs?
3. How much fipronil has been actually applied to the birds? 

Ioannis Zabetakis

for the Love of Cheese

Carbon copy of T. S. Eliot’s original letter to the Times

Included in the latest volume of the Letters of T. S. Eliot is a letter to the Editor of the Times entitled ‘Stilton Cheese’, written on 25 November 1935 and published a few days later. Eliot is replying to a letter from poet and literary editor J. C. Squire and his ‘spirited defence of Stilton Cheese’. An expert on the cheese, Squire was heading up the Stilton Memorial Committee and had proposed the erection of a statue of the inventor of the Stilton – a Mrs Paulet of Wymondham. While Eliot could see the worthiness of a statue, he questioned whether anyone would bother to look at i...

[continue reading here]

Monday, 21 August 2017

Industrial pollution, spatial stigma and economic decline: the case of Asopos river basin through the lens of local small business owners

Industrial wastewater polluting Asopos river

This paper explores the notion of environmentally induced spatial stigma through an analysis of data from interviews across public attitudes to pollution within the Asopos river basin in central Greece. The area has a 40 year plus history of legal and illicit industrial waste disposal and public debate on the associated environmental degradation. The study focuses on the perceptions and beliefs of a sector of the community likely to be directly and negatively affected by stigma, that is small business owners in the tourism and hospitality sector. The qualitative analysis explores awareness and viewpoints on environmental degradation and water quality within the local context, implications for the local economy and the individual's own enterprise, views on industrial environmental management as well as corporate responsibility and future prospects for the environmental problems of Asopos. Findings reveal a noticeable variation in views on industrial pollution and ecosystem deterioration among the respondents, but overall a strong environmentally induced stigmatization of the area. They also uncover an information asymmetry and lack of credible commitment by government bodies and industry members in disclosing accurate information, a situation likely to increase speculation and uncertainty within the community. The paper concludes by addressing implications of the findings to policy-making and managerial considerations, along with future research perspectives which aim to increase considerations of sustainability aspects for local development. © 2016 Newcastle University.

Food security and …olives

by Ioannis Zabetakis, Lecturer on Food Lipids, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

My relationship with olives is a precious one. Some memorable events in this path: reading about olive oil when I was a primary school student, analysing olive oil in my BSc years, planting my own olive trees in our garden and then talking to my kids about Olympic Games and olives where the winners were not given any medals but an olive wreath

Ioannis Zabetakis

In my Academic research later, I developed a long standing interest in the by-products of olive industry and olive pomace (OP) in particular. OP is the main agricultural by-product of olive industry; because of its nature, it is a major environmental issue for all the olive-producing countries.

Research on the waste-management issues of OP has been active over the 15 years and all the available data suggest that OP could be exploited as an alternative dietary lipid source in compounded fish feeds resulting in the formulation of functional fish feeds and aquacultured fish according to the EU legislation (EC 1924/2006).

Moreover OP can also be used in agriculture by inclusion in animal feeds without attenuating animal performance and meat quality. We have developed a patented novel fish feed and fish based on the valorisation of OP (Nasopoulou et al., 2011).

In some exciting relevant developments, the potential of dry olive cake in a practical diet for juvenile hybrid tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus × Oreochromis aereus, has been recently reported (Harmantepe et al., 2016).

A feeding trial was carried out to evaluate the effects of olive cake (OC) on growth, feed utilisation, digestibility of nutrient, haematological values and some blood chemistry parameters of juvenile hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × Oreochromis aereus).

The best feed conversion rate and protein efficiency rate were obtained from the fish fed with the control and OC12 diets. Growth performance, feed conversion rate and protein efficiency rate of fish fed diets with OC incorporation levels of more than 12 percent tended to decrease significantly (P <0.05) compared to the control and OC12 diet groups.

To read the full article and for references, click HERE.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Chewing the fat over statins

this is a very interesting paper that shows that there is sth wrong around statins prescription...

Chewing the fat over statins: Consumer concerns about lipid-lowering medication

  • Deckx, L.a
  • Kreijkamp-Kaspers, S.a,
  • McGuire, T.bcd,
  • Bedford, S.e,
  • van Driel, M.a
  • aPrimary Care Clinical Unit, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  • bFaculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
  • cSchool of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Australian Family PhysicianVolume 46, Issue 8, 1 August 2017, Pages 594-601

The objective of this article was to explore the information needs of consumers using statins.

Calls made to a national medicines call centre in Australia were analysed. Where question narratives were available electronically (n = 1486), the main concerns were identified using a coding scheme. Subsequently, we evaluated whether these concerns were addressed in the medication leaflet.

The most common concerns were about side effects (36%) and interactions (28%). Concerns about side effects related to musculoskeletal (27%), gastrointestinal (12%) and skin problems (5%). Concerns about interactions included other medicines (49%), complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs; 39%) and grapefruit (6%). Additional questions related to differences between treatments (12%) and dosage (8%). Most topics were mentioned in the medication leaflet, but strategies to manage these concerns were lacking.

When prescribing statins, information about common side effects, when symptoms require action, and interactions with other medicines, especially CAMs, should be addressed and tailored to the patient.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Μetal Uptake by Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Irrigated with Water Polluted with Chromium and Nickel

= = = = =

Our latest scientific publication...
The full paper is here.

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, 15771 Athens, Greece
Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, 15771 Athens, Greece
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrea Buettner


The water aquifers of the regions of Asopos River in Viotia and Messapia in Evia (Greece) have been contaminated with hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) and bivalent nickel (Ni (II)). Given that these areas are the two biggest tuber producing regions of Greece, in our previous work, the cross-contamination of the food chain with these two heavy metals was quantified. In the present study, the potential of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) cultivation in these regions is evaluated. The scope of our study was to investigate the uptake of chromium and nickel by sunflower, in a greenhouse experiment. The study included two cultivation periods of plants in six irrigation lines with different levels of Cr (VI) and Ni (II) ranging from 0 μg/L (control) to 10,000 μg/L. In all plant parts, statistically significant increased levels of Cr (VI) and Ni (II) were found when compared to control ones. Also, a positive correlation, both for Cr and Ni, between levels of heavy metals in irrigation water and plants was observed. Following European Food Safety Authority recommendations, the obtained oil was evaluated as safe for consumption, therefore, sunflower cultivation could be a valid bioremediation solution for the Asopos and Messapia regions.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Food Security and Climate Change

My July column at International Aquafeed is here.

Food Security and Climate Change

Over the past weeks, there were some rather disappointing developments on climate change and related politics and politicians. US has now opted out of the Paris Agreement. The UK’s PM has failed to react strongly to that decision of the Trump’s administration making a lot of people wondering where UK’s government stands today.

Let’s have a look though why we need to bother about these developments.

One of the most urgent problems that we need to face is the one of food security; i.e. Food Security (FS) stands for the production of nutritious food that is enough to feed all people on Earth.

FS has two dimensions:
1. nutritional value of the produced food and
2. sustainable production of food.

Climate Change (CC) is a huge problem that we face as food Scientists. CC makes the food production more difficult and more expensive. Therefore, CC is a huge obstacle in our attempts to increase FS. Denial of CC is a major political and scientific non-sense! Denial of CC jeopardises FS, in other words it may put human lives at risk. This risk is related to famine, malnutrition or even death. Therefore, in our opinion, denying CC and Paris agreement is simply wrong and unhuman!

On top of these developments, the recent elections in UK have brought some further developments that are related to CC and FS. At the moment (as these lines are being written), it looks like that UK will have a Tories-DUP government with Michael Gove as Environment Minister. Theresa May’s choice of Mr Gove is rather surprising because she sacked him as Education Secretary last year. Past record of Mr Gove is not promising: his voting record reveals he has generally opted against eco-friendly measures, such as reduction in carbon emissions and financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation.

On the other hand, DUP’s political views on CC are rather alarming. While climate change scepticism is not official party “policy”, the DUP has previously appointed a denier as environment minister in Northern Ireland, and it counts a number of creationists (i.e. deniers of the evolution theory) among its senior members. Friends of the Earth has expressed concern that the Democratic Unionists will exercise major national influence over the government even though some of the party’s MPs are climate change sceptics. The most vociferous doubter of climate change is the DUP’s East Antrim MP, Sammy Wilson. He has described the theory of manmade climate change as a “con”. 

James Orr, Friends of the Earth’s Northern Ireland director, said: “Their manifesto had hardly a positive word on the environment and nothing at all on climate change. Theresa May must not allow the DUP to further weaken her already inadequate manifesto commitments to maintain environmental protections and preserve nature”.

Both US and UK have a strong role as leading countries in promoting Science that serves the people and respect the environment. Will the current administrations in these countries show such commitment?


Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Limerick

Applicants are invited to apply for postdoctoral fellowships in these areas.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Use of Potato Starch in Fish Diets

Tropical gar, Atractosteus tropicus, is a carnivorous fish species from Southern México with high value and acceptance in local markets. Therefore, the present study aims to spare proteins in diets for larviculture of this species...
In conclusion, dietary inclusion of potato starch at 28% S enhanced growth, survival and some digestive enzyme activities, and decreased cannibalism in the larval gar. Potato starch could replace dietary protein as a major source of energy for A. tropicus larvae, thereby reducing the cost of diets.

= = =

this is a very interesting paper in a promising field; to increase food security and sustainability in Aquaculture.

further reading

Food Security and Cardioprotection: The Polar Lipid Link

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Omega 3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease risk factors

this is an interesting paper on CVDs and omega-3 fa.

the Summary of the paper follows (highlights are mine)

Several studies and reviews regarding the supplementation of omega-3 LC-PUFAs have been developed during the last years. Indeed, the evidence states that high doses omega-3 LC-PUFAs produce a small but significant decrease in blood pressure in older and hypertensive subjects. Due to the increasing interest in the benefits of LC-PUFAs, we aimed to evaluate the scientific evidence provided in the past five years (2012–2016) on the effects of the intake of omega-3 LC-PUFAs on cardiovascular risk factors such as inflammation and oxidative stress, through a systematic review in PubMed database. Twenty-eight articles were related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and are included in this systematic review. The studies included healthy subjects and CVD patients; we included the number of subjects, type of study, type and doses of omega-3 LC-PUFAs, primary outcomes, and results. The use of omega-3 LC-PUFAs for ameliorating CVD risk factors can be recommended. However, the administration of omega-3 does not seem to show any benefit for the management of CVD or associated complications.


Table 3 is very interesting! Comparing fish to EPA+DHA!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

polis, politics, politicians

Emma Goldman (June 27 [O.S. June 15], 1869 – May 14, 1940) was an anarchist political activist and writer.

In this blog, we (are trying to) focus to food and nutrition.

Let's make an exemption today.

Let's remember something that happened in Greece, 2 years ago...

5th July 2015...
people said NO. 
People believed that there is some hope...
few days later, Tsipras changed it to YES...
and Greece was condemned to be a "bailout-istan" for many decades...

Results Votes %
Yes 2,245,537 38.69%
No 3,558,450 61.31%
Valid votes 5,803,987 94.20%

5 Ιούλη 2015...
Ο Λαός Είπε ΌΧΙ...
λίγες μέρες μετά, ο Τσίπρας το άλλαξε σε ΝΑΙ...
και έτσι η πατρίδα μου καταδικάστηκε να είναι μια δουλοπαροικία εις τον Αιώνα των Αιώνων...
 - - -
this is a historical paradigm where People do not have any power...

Elections cannot be allowed to change economic policy

What does it mean for policy to be insulated from politics? That’s the question we ultimately confront when investigating the putative depoliticisation of the economy. Matters which should be publicly resolved, through organised processes of contestation, instead get decided privately. We can cite examples of such transitions, consider whether they embody a broader tendency and offer explanations which account for this direction of travel.

However I’ve often wondered about the micro-social aspects of such a transition, specifically how policy makers make sense of this depoliticisation. Is it a naked power grab? Is it a response to the vagaries of the electorate? Is it an attempt to address issues of socio-economic change which are seen as being impossible to raise with the public?  Yanis Varoufakis offers a partial answer to these questions in his gripping accounts of Eurogroup negotiations in his political memoir Adults In The Rooms. From loc 4202
As he spoke, Schäuble directed a piercing look at Sapin. ‘Elections cannot be allowed to change economic policy,’ he began. Greece had obligations that could not be reconsidered until the Greek programme had been completed, as per the agreements between my predecessors and the troika. The fact that the Greek programme could not be completed was apparently of no concern to him. What startled me more than Wolfgang Schäuble’s belief that elections are irrelevant was his total lack of compunction in admitting to this view. His reasoning was simple: if every time one of the nineteen member states changed government the Eurogroup was forced to go back to the drawing board, then its overall economic policies would be derailed. Of course he had a point: democracy had indeed died the moment the Eurogroup acquired the authority to dictate economic policy to member states without anything resembling federal democratic sovereignty.
 = = = 

And our eternal Quest for A Democratic Europe is still on but so much more disheartened...

Our Polis is governed no more by the People but by the Eurogroup... a circle of not elected technocrats... 

The end of Democracy...

The rise of Eurogroup-cracy...

Monday, 3 July 2017

summertime : feta and watermelon!

Feta and Watermelon: it's a common summertime dish in the Med! And nutritionally, it is excellent!

more info here.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Novel research

The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Objective: To assess whether more frequent fish consumption is associated with lower RA disease activity scores among participants in an RA cohort. 

 Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from participants in the Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA (ESCAPE-RA) cohort study. Frequency of fish consumption was assessed by a baseline food frequency questionnaire assessing usual diet in the past year. Multivariable, total energy-adjusted linear regression models provided effect estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for frequency of fish consumption (never to <1/month, 1/month to <1/week, 1/week, and ≥2/week) on baseline DAS28-CRP. We also estimated the difference in DAS28-CRP associated with increasing fish consumption by one serving per week.
Results: Among 176 participants, median DAS28-CRP was 3.5 (interquartile range 2.9-4.3). In an adjusted linear regression model, subjects consuming fish ≥2 times/week had a significantly lower DAS28-CRP compared with subjects who ate fish never to <1/month (difference -0.49 [95% CI -0.97, -0.02]). For each additional serving of fish per week, DAS28-CRP was significantly reduced by 0.18 (95% CI -0.35, -0.004).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher intake of fish may be associated with lower disease activity in RA patients.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

lack of common sense or something else?

the news: India’s government is advising pregnant women to avoid all meat, eggs and lustful thoughts.

Malnutrition and anaemia, or iron deficiency, are key factors behind India having one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality, with 174 of every 100,000 pregnancies resulting in the mother’s death in 2015. That’s better than five years earlier, when the maternal mortality rate was 205 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, but still far worse than China’s 27 per 100,000 or the United States’ 14 per 100,000, according to Unicef.

- - -

Why does the India's government choose to ignore the scientific facts and put in danger the lives of mothers and babies?
Is it lack of common sense or something else?

Monday, 19 June 2017

trans fatty acids: Industry vs Science

On the obituary of Fred A. Kummerow, there is an interesting story on trans fatty acids...

"Interviewed for this obituary in 2016, Professor Kummerow said that in the 1960s and ’70s the processed food industry, enjoying a cozy relationship with scientists, played a large role in keeping trans fats in people’s diets.
“Other scientists were more interested in what the industry was thinking than what I was thinking,” he said. He was often heckled by industry representatives when he presented his research at scientific conferences, he said."

= = =

So, at the battle Industry vs Science, who is the winner?

Diet, Nutrition and Politics (upd)

the June issue of International Aquafeeds is out!

You can read my op-ed piece here.

Let’s remind ourselves some common sense things that the politicians tend to forget 

 1. We work towards the design, development and production of functional and nutritious food following as much as possible sustainable practices.

2. We care for the health of our family and the future of our kids.

3. In a wider and more, ideological context, we (should) care for the well being of Society and the Planet.

4. The public health is a matter of concern.

5. Healthy diet (with lots of fish!) should be promoted more openly. Now, let’s see some recent news coming from US [1].

According to this report, “Michelle Obama has made her strongest political intervention since leaving the White House, stating bluntly at a health conference: “Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.”

So, why did she need to state this? Because, earlier in May, Donald Trump’s administration froze regulations that would cut sodium and increase whole grains served in school meals [2].

So, the story goes like that: Michelle Obama’s legacy on promoting healthy eating is in real danger by the current administration in US under Donald Trump.

This is the administration that denies climate change and the fact that the Planet gets warmer due to anthropogenic activities! It is quite clear from these stories, that when we work towards the 5 points mentioned at the start of this op-ed article, we are not alone!

We have to face politicians that are sometimes misinformed, probably a bit ignorant, somehow with their own agenda and ignoring the wider good!

However, there is a dead clear way forward that could boost our companies and products: to communicate to nutritional authorities and politicians the benefits of a healthy diet, the pros of eating fish and seafood and how these foods can promote health and inhibit obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

The world is complex and in order to be successful as professionals, as parents, as members of the wider public promoting the public interests we need to ask ourselves: Michelle or Donald?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Yogurt and Immune system

Yogurt containing two probiotic strains plus heat-treated bacteria may boost the activity of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells in people over 60, says a new study.

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. paracasei), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (B. lactis) and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK) cell activity, interleukin (IL)-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN)-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. 
Figure 1. Effects on serum interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-γ, and immunoglobulin G1 concentrations following 12 weeks of consuming dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum. Mean ± SE. tested by logarithmic transformation. * p < 0.05 and ** p < 0.01 derived from paired t-tests within each group. p < 0.05 derived from independent t-tests at changed value and adjusted for baseline values, sex, and changes in diastolic blood pressure (BP).
Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration.

Friday, 9 June 2017

moving backwards

Putin has signed accord to take action against climate change...; what does DUP believe on this?

Yesterday's elections in UK brought DUP into goverment.
Here are six DUP stances we should know about;

one of them is on: Climate denial

While climate change scepticism is not official party “policy”, the DUP has previously appointed a denier as environment minister in Northern Ireland, and it counts a number of creationists among its senior members.

= = =
 Denying climate change has major implications on food sustainability and food security.
Hence, I think we could argue that the new UK goverment and the term "food secutiry" are incompatible...

= = =

Friends of the Earth has expressed concern that the Democratic Unionists will exercise major national influence over the government even though some of the party’s MPs are climate change sceptics.
The most vociferous doubter of climate change is the DUP’s East Antrim MP, Sammy Wilson. He has described the theory of manmade climate change as a “con”. James Orr, Friends of the Earth’s Northern Ireland director, said:
Their manifesto had hardly a positive word on the environment and nothing at all on climate change. Theresa May must not allow the DUP to further weaken her already inadequate manifesto commitments to maintain environmental protections and preserve nature.
Senior members of the DUP have also even denied the theory of evolution. In 2009, when the Ulster Museum hosted an exhibition marking Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the DUP’s Mervyn Storey (who later became a minister in the executive) called for “an alternative exhibition” promoting creationism.
Storey’s election literature from the same period included a photograph of him standing on the Giant’s Causeway, the world heritage site with uniquely hexagonal rocks on the Northern Irish coastline that scientists say is 550m years old – far far older than the biblical claim of the Earth’s age.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Cancer, Diet and Exercise

Some recent studies highlight the value of a good diet and exercise in fighting cancer.

In detail, a study of nearly 1,000 colon cancer patients found that those who exercised regularly, ate more fruits and vegetables and avoided refined grains and meats had a 42% lower chance of death after seven years. 

Similarly, a study of more than 300 Australian breast cancer survivors who aimed to exercise for 180 minutes a week – most by simply walking – had far better rates of survival than those who were not part of an exercise program.

 = = =

The message here is clear: diet, exercise should be an integral part fighting cancer. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Climate Change and Food Security

One of the most urgent problems that we need to face is the one of food security; i.e. Food Security (FS) stands for the production of nutritious food that is enough to feed all people on Earth.

FS has two dimensions:
1. nutritional value of the produced food and
2. sustainable production of food.

Climate Change (CC) is huge problem that we face as food Scientists. CC makes the food production more difficult and more expensive. Therefore, CC is a huge obstacle in our attempts to increase FS...

Denial of CC is a major political and scientific non-sense...

Denial of CC jeopardises FS, in other words it may put human lives at risk...Risk of famine, risk of malnutrition, risk of ...death.

Therefore, in our opinion, denying CC and Paris aggrement is simply wrong and unhuman!

Ioannis Zabetakis


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ireland first country to restrict unhealthy food sponsorship aimed at children

Ireland is set to become the first country in the world to restrict unhealthy food sponsorships aimed at children attending primary school, once a newly developed code of practice is introduced.
The code, developed jointly by the Department of Health, the HSE, food companies and advertisers, has the objective of reducing people’s exposure to the marketing of food and drink that is high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS). 

the full story is here.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Fish and Dementia

in this blog, we love fish!

so, any news on the nutritional value of fish (like this one) is simply very welcome!

Why Greek mountain villagers have healthy hearts?

Scientists have pinpointed one reason why people living in isolated villages in Greece may enjoy long and healthy lives.
They found a new genetic variant, common among villagers, which appears to protect the heart by lowering levels of "bad" fats and cholesterol.
Despite a diet rich in animal fat, the people of Mylopotamos in northern Crete do not suffer from cardiovascular disease.
And they really love their cheese.

What's special about these Greek villages?

[read the full report here]

The paper is here 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sports and Diet

People use say that we are what we eat,or may be not?

But, who influences our food choices?

The is a clear answer: our family!

Our parents lead by example and their choices have huge impact on our diets/lifestyles!
Here is some related research supporting this view.

Coping with Time Pressure and Stress: Consequences for Families’ Food Consumption


This study explores the coping strategies that families apply when under time pressure and stress (time stress), and how such strategies affect food consumption at dinnertime. The data were based on photo interviewing methodology with a sample of 12 Norwegian children (ages seven and eight) and their parents. In this case, the children were asked to take photographs during their dinners at home and while shopping for groceries with their parents. The findings show that the most dominant explanation for time stress was the children’s participation in sport activities. In this regard, the families applied several coping strategies, such as skipping dinner and eating snacks instead, consuming convenience food, avoiding preference conflicts, planning for healthy dinners, involving children and grandparents in food preparation, and practising compensatory health beliefs and behaviours. This might be the first study that identifies parents’ use of compensatory health beliefs to justify children’s diets. More specifically, the parents stated that the children’s high activity levels could compensate for unhealthy food consumption. The strategies that were applied had varying influences on the families’ food consumption, depending on the parents’ confidence in cooking and meal-planning skills. It was found that parents with high confidence and skills were more likely to make healthy cooking a priority. Consequently, they served more healthy dishes at dinnertime, compared with other parents. Unlike previous studies, the findings indicate that children’s active lifestyles might not be directly related to healthy diets.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Is healthy food out of reach?

there is some useful food for thought...

can we educate people to eat healthy?
are there any better ways to promote healthy eating than education?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

goat cheeses

when it comes to nutritional value and sensory properties, dairy products from sheeps and goats have some unique features.
These features are under investigation by our team in UL. Some exciting news are coming up soon.
Watch this space!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

eat fish via...chicken!

Manor Farm becomes the first Irish producer to launch omega 3 chicken.
The new range of omega 3-enriched chicken products is available in Tesco Ireland stores now. It includes 1.5kg whole chicken, fillets and oyster thigh and drumstick products..

the full story is here. 

This is a clever way to improve the nutritional value of chicken. 
Although, a clear link  between omege-3 fatty acids, inflammation and heart health needs to be established.