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Nutrition

The new MRE pizza being tried out by the troops (Photo: US Army)

Pizza with a three-year shelf life will soon be joining the US Army's field rations menu. These infamous MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat) have a long and checkered history, acquiring such sobriquets over the years as "Meals Rejected by Everyone" and "Materials Resembling Edibles." Pizza has long topped the list of requested meals, but the task of providing a palatable slice of this complex food that will survive the required three-year shelf life has foiled all attempts. Now, the folks at Natick's Combat Feeding Directorate have achieved a minor miracle in food technology: stopping time for a slice of pizza.  Read More

Researchers use probiotic bacteria from nuts to make new products

The vegetable milk market could be about to get more varied with the findings of a new study carried out in Spain. Using probiotic bacteria obtained from grains and nuts, researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València have come up with a range of fermented products. They hope their findings will increase the choice and the quality of plant milks for people with allergies, lactose intolerance, pregnant women and, of course, vegans.  Read More

Soylent: the future of food?

There's a romance to food. It's one of life's great sensory and social pleasures. But a lot of us don't eat healthily, and a lot of us don't enjoy the process of preparing food, especially when we're eating alone. Furthermore, the way we eat today is incredibly wasteful throughout the entire production and consumption process, to the point where it actively damages our bodies and our planet. Enter Soylent: a food engineered to efficiently deliver 100 percent of the healthy body's needs with minimal waste, junk food-beating convenience and a very low cost, or, as the inventors put it, "creating an efficient form of fuel for humanity for the first time in history." Food has always been sexy, and this sounds about as exciting as artificial insemination. But when you check out the details, this ambitious plan actually makes a lot of sense.  Read More

Recent studies indicate that the Microsoft SenseCam may have value as an activity- and die...

We’ve recently been seeing a lot of wearable fitness devices aimed at monitoring our activity levels and diet – devices such as the Jawbone UP and eButton, for example. According to some new studies, however, Microsoft’s “life-logging” SenseCam might be better-suited to the job.  Read More

NANA combines the potential of webcams and touchscreen computing

Researchers across a number of UK universities have developed a touchscreen computer system to help tackle the growing yet relatively unknown problem of malnutrition in older adults, and particularly those that live alone. The system combines specially-developed easy-to-use touchscreen software with the remote monitoring made possible by a simple webcam.  Read More

The creators of the Chapul Bar consider eating insects a way of conserving resources

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, a protein snack bar made from crickets is set for an August launch. Chapul claims its bar is the first in the world to use the ubiquitous summer chirpers as a source of protein. And they're not necessarily as gross as they sound.  Read More

Bouncing blue laser light off the skin provides a non-invasive way to determine levels of ...

Have you had your daily serving of vegetables? This seemingly simple question is in fact very difficult to answer, for children and adults alike. Luckily, a new handheld laser scanner devised by researchers at Yale University and the University of Utah promises to put a swift end to veggie dodging, while also helping scientists to measure exactly how our diet affects our health.  Read More

Jawbone UP health and activity monitor

Jawbone has expanded its product offerings beyond Bluetooth headsets and portable speakers with the release of UP - a stylish, wrist-worn monitor that tracks your activity, sleep and nutrition with the aim of inspiring you to make healthier lifestyle choices.  Read More

PlateMate is a crowd-sourced dieting system, in which an online community determines the c...

While there are a great many people who want to lose weight by dieting, there aren't too many who can afford to have a nutritionist assess the caloric value of all their food choices. Using the PlateMate system, however, members can get an online community of laypeople to do exactly that - and for considerably less money. Although taking such an approach to nutrition might sound kind of iffy, calorie estimates generated by the crowd-sourced system are apparently just as accurate as those provided by trained nutritionists, and more accurate than self-kept logs.  Read More

The UC Davis device, which is pierced through a patient's throat, allowing them to swallow...

You may never have heard of oropharyngeal dysphagia, but it’s a fairly common and quite serious condition that can lead to aspiration, dehydration, pneumonia, malnutrition, depression and death. The term is used to describe difficulty in swallowing, which can be the result of strokes, head and neck cancer, head injuries, old age, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Around 16.5 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from it, with invasive surgical techniques that may or may not work being one of the main treatments. Now, however, surgeons from the University of California, Davis, have pioneered a new approach – a simple device that is pierced through the patient’s throat, then moved with their hand when they want to swallow.  Read More

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