Saturday, August 12, 2017

Avocado the New Food Color?

Persea Naturals, a one-year-old food color additive company, is the result of a happy accident. Gregory Ziegler, food science professor at Penn State, was extracting starch from avocado pits when he stumbled upon a surprising color: a bright orange caused by an enzymatic reaction that occurred after the pits were pulverized. Ziegler extracted the starch, but the color was persistent and simply would not wash away.
There is growing interest in the natural products industry for natural sources of food coloring So for Ziegler, this was a business opportunity. A bonus is that the product is both a way to repurpose food waste—since avocado pits are the main input—and it doesn't divert otherwise marketable and edible produce away from the food supply. Ziegler and Persea Naturals, under CEO Bob Hicks, are now working to bring the concept to market under the brand name AvoColor.

They are early in the process of seeking FDA approval and are working with potential collaborators on ways to utilize and commercialize the product, but Ziegler has some ideas of what those collaborations could look like. "Avocolor is highly water-soluble, clear and vibrant, so we expect early applications in systems like beverages and confections," he said in an email.

Confections could include things like hard candies, gummies and icings, and it can work in almost any beverage—water, teas, dairy, soft drinks, even alcoholic beverages. Ziegler added they’re researching ways to disperse the pigment in fat-based foods, like fillings and frostings, although it may have an adverse effect on leavening, so it’s unlikely to be used in baked goods for now.

The team is in the process of figuring out the right approach for getting the product to market and what exactly their business model will look like. "The most reasonable approach may be a joint venture of some kind with a partner looking to expand its product line. We are in discussion with several possible collaborators but have yet to enter into a business partnership," said Ziegler. "Interest is coming from the many food companies that have committed to replacing certified food colors with natural alternatives. But the way the industry is structured, we are working most closely with so-called ‘color houses’—that is, companies that prepare colors for food manufacturers."


Looking Younger and Feeling Better with Collagen

These days, we don’t just want to feel OK. We want to feel absolutely, positively amazing—and look the part, too.

Aging gracefully depends on how you nurture your body. Today, a trove of studies shows the importance of following a nutrient-dense diet, being active and taking dietary supplements to support a healthy aging process. One of the clear standouts to help along the way: collagen, an antiaging nutrient that rose to stardom in Japan decades ago and now is making its prowess known here in the United States, thanks to innovative, research-backed products and an understanding that what goes inside your body supports your skin, hair and nails.

“In Asia, collagen supplements have long been a craze, and even before [collagen supplements], the tradition of consuming certain foods to rejuvenate the complexion is an old one,” says Naomi Whittel, founder of Reserveage Nutrition. “Asian diets are rich in collagen from foods like homemade bone broth from skin-on, bone-in chicken.”

Found plentifully just about everywhere in our bodies—from our skin, hair and nails to our bones and joints—collagen is an important protein for staving off wrinkles and keeping our joints healthy. The problem? As we age, we start to lose it. A notable decline in your collagen production starts at age 25, which means relying on your body’s stores simply isn’t enough.

Are you getting enough?

When it comes to collagen, experts agree it’s nearly impossible to get enough from diet alone, so you have to look elsewhere. Luckily, with food products getting more functional and supplements using new delivery formats, it’s no challenge to find products that contain the powerful antiaging protein.

“My first goal is for my clients to get everything they need from their food,” says Brooke Alpert, RD, founder of the website and nutritional practice B Nutritious. That’s why she recommends that clients drink bone broth, as well as cook bone-in poultry to up their dietary intake of collagen.

“It’s still not enough to really reap the health and skin benefits; that’s why I always recommend a collagen supplement.”

Today, supplement companies offer many ways to get collagen. Whether you favor a pill, a powder or a chewable, collagen supplements are beneficial for a few reasons: As with other supplements, they can send a quick dose of the nutrient to your body. Unlike other supplements, a collagen supplement can also stimulate cells to produce even more collagen at a faster rate, spawning natural rebuilding of the body’s tissues.

Focus on quality 

With the rise of collagen supplements has come more scrutiny over the quality of ingredients. In order to find a top-notch product, ask your retailer or the manufacturer about the collagen in products—does clinical research support its joint or skin benefits? Also be sure to ask where and how the ingredient was sourced. “Collagen is produced all over the world, so it’s important to pay attention to the way the animals are raised,” says Corey Friese, Vital Proteins cofounder and vice president of product strategy. The three main types of collagen are bovine, chicken and fish, so responsible companies source only the highest quality ingredients that meet the same standards you’d look for if you were eating those foods—for example, grass-fed cattle or wild-caught fish.

Of course, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, collagen is off limits. That’s one reason that the next frontier for collagen may be plant-based collagen precursors, Whittel says. “Ingredients such as high-quality vitamin C, preferably organic plant based; specific amino acids such as glycine, proline and lysine; and silica-rich compounds such as bamboo extract all help our bodies synthesize and produce more collagen.” Some collagen companies are also adding these ingredients to collagen to help you get more value for your money.


Managing Migraines

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils and migraines, I just have to share with you about Dr. Mariza Snyder, DC whose practice specializes in migraines and hormonal imbalances.  She published the book Smart Mom's Guide to Essential Oils.  She said that in working with hundreds of patients who suffer from migraines, she has found some essential oil blends that truly work for her patients.  She said that you can apply these essential oils every 30 minutes if severe by putting several drops in a cupped hand and taking several deep breaths, by applying to the back of the neck or crown of the head, or by rubbing on the feet.  She suggests to use a roller bottle on the skin where the oils will get into the blood stream in less than 30-60 seconds.

To help prevent migraines when stress is the trigger she recommends the following:

8 drops Lavender
6 drops Frankincense
6 drops Wild Orange

Add to roller bottle and finish filling with fractionated coconut oil.  Roll on wrist, temple, behind ear, or just breathe it in for fast relief.  She says this formula decreases cortisol levels and adrenal load, and encourages hormonal balance.

For a blend to help prevent migraines she recommends the following:

6 drops Lavender
6 drops Frankincense
2 drops Basil
4 drops Peppermint
4 drops Marjoram

Put in roller bottle and fill the rest with fractionated coconut oil.  She said that you need a pure therapeutic grade essential oil because the purer it is, the more effective it is.  One drop of Peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea.  That is why you can overdose on essential oils when you use a lot of drops internally or can burn the esophagus if you do not put the drops into a vegetarian capsule.

Please keep any blend with peppermint oil away from the eyes when applying for muscle tension around the head.  Many oils can irritate the eyes when applied too closely to the eyes.  Some oils like wild orange, grapefruit, bergamot, and other citrus oils when applied to the skin may make you more sensitive to the sun, so avoid sun exposure for 24 hours after application.

There can be many other contributing factors for headaches such as hormonal imbalances.  According to Rosemary Gladstar in Herbal Healing For Women, vitex is great especially in perimenopause when many women are estrogen dominant.  "Studies verify that vitex increases the production of luteinizing hormones, enhancing the progesterone cycle."  "Vitex has a stimulating effect on the pituitary gland, which among other functions, regulates and normalizes hormone production."  Vitex comes in capsule, extract, and essential oil forms.  There are many other essential oils for hormonal balance such as clary sage, cedarwood, and ylang ylang.  Many of our customers find the ionic form of magnesium works well in relaxing muscles and for sleeping when taken in the evening.

Diet plays an important role in migraines as well.  Many people think that grains, especially gluten, milk, and sugar play a significant role.  Even occasional use of these foods can contribute to headaches.  Omit foods that contain tyramine including avocados, bananas, beer, cabbage, hard cheese, potatoes, raspberries, tomatoes, wine, and MSG to see if that may contribute to your headaches.

King Bio makes a wonderful homeopathic remedy for headaches and migraines.  Some of our customers find feverfew, butterbur, and B2 to be helpful as well.