Protein technology detects hidden gluten

A new study has the secret ingredient to improve the safety of common breakfast foods.

Professor Michelle Colgrave, a researcher based at Edith Cowan University and CSIRO, is using revolutionary protein technology to detect “hidden” gluten and other proteins causing food allergies.

Most recently she has focused her investigations on food commonly found on the Australian breakfast menu including cereal, breakfast bars and drinks, powdered drinks and a popular savoury spread.

“We were pleased to find that products that were specifically labelled as gluten-free were on the whole safe to consume,” she said.

“However it is often another story for many foods that should be gluten-free, such as oats or soy flour.”

Colgrave said her team was looking to improve the safety of all Australian food and deliver tools to industry and regulators that can ensure compliance to Australian and international standards.

“Coeliac disease affects up to two per cent of the Australian population and despite this group carefully avoiding gluten in their diet, many of them report associated symptoms at least once a month,” Colgrave said.

“We are interested in discovering whether they are unwittingly consuming gluten through hidden traces in their diets.”

Colgrave said contamination can occur at many stages during manufacture from harvest to processing.

“Commonly used tests might be sensitive enough to detect small amounts of a contaminating substance in a raw ingredient, but might be challenged to detect the same contaminant in a processed food. Yet the human body was still able to detect it and react to it,” she said.

“The technique we use has been successfully deployed to test heavily processed products and it will provide a way to ensure that foods actually contain what it says on the label.”

Breakfast really is the most important meal – researchers

Skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque, according to research published  in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Eating a healthy breakfast has been shown to promote greater heart health, including healthier weight and cholesterol. While previous studies have linked skipping breakfast to coronary heart disease risk, this is the first study to evaluate the association between breakfast and the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis.

“People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle,” said study author Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.”

Researchers in Madrid examined male and female volunteers who were free from cardiovascular or chronic kidney disease. A computerized questionnaire was used to estimate the usual diet of the participants, and breakfast patterns were based on the percentage of total daily energy intake consumed at breakfast. Three groups were identified – those consuming less than five percent of their total energy intake in the morning (skipped breakfast and only had coffee, juice or other non-alcoholic beverages); those consuming more than 20 percent of their total energy intake in the morning (breakfast consumers); and those consuming between five and 20 percent (low-energy breakfast consumers). Of the 4,052 participants, 2.9 percent skipped breakfast, 69.4 percent were low-energy breakfast consumers and 27.7 percent were breakfast consumers.

Atherosclerosis was observed more frequency among participants who skipped breakfast and was also higher in participants who consumed low-energy breakfasts compared to breakfast consumers. Additionally, cardiometabolic risk markers were more prevalent in those who skipped breakfast and low-energy breakfast consumers compared to breakfast consumers. Participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels.

Participants who skipped breakfast were more likely to have an overall unhealthy lifestyle, including poor overall diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking. They were also more likely to be hypertensive and overweight or obese. In the case of obesity, the study authors said reverse causation cannot be ruled out, and the observed results may be explained by obese patients skipping breakfast to lose weight.

Busy weekends offer opportunities for premium breakfast products

As the fast-paced nature of twenty-first century life continues to change breakfast from an enjoyable pastime to a chore, consumers are increasingly seeking out convenience foods in the morning. While an established trend during the week, it is increasingly creeping into weekend habits.

According to a Canadean survey of packaging executives worldwide, 77% expect high or moderate demand for on-the-go grocery products during weekday mornings, while 63% forecast high or moderate demand during weekend mornings. While the high demand during weekday mornings is to be expected, this study shows that the industry is preparing to take advantage of a surprising opportunity: convenience breakfasts for those who are time-poor at weekends.

As a result, Canadean said it expects more innovative pack formats to be developed for breakfast drinks and smoothies, including dual packs separating liquid and solid contents, and heat-retaining packs to keep indulgent breakfasts warm while on the go.

“Brands built around convenience should consider brand extensions targeting weekend needs, while those built around enjoyment and indulgence should consider diversifying their product portfolios to offer new, more convenient products that still provide something special for weekend consumers,”

Safwan Kotwal, Analyst at Canadean, says: “Focusing purely on weekday breakfast convenience means brands risk leaving money on the table. While consumers’ timetables are arguably more flexible during the weekend, busier social lives are creating a new market for convenient, but at the same time indulgent, weekend breakfast products.

“Convenience purely targeted at busy office workers or busy parents on the school run means brands could be excluding themselves from a potentially very profitable weekend market.”

While convenience is an important consideration for many consumers, indulging and enjoying breakfast on the weekend is something they look forward to. Although high demand on weekday mornings will remain the most important occasion for convenience products, Canadean said it believes brands must not discount weekends as an opportunity.

“Brands built around convenience should consider brand extensions targeting weekend needs, while those built around enjoyment and indulgence should consider diversifying their product portfolios to offer new, more convenient products that still provide something special for weekend consumers,” Kotwal concluded.

Aussie women encouraged to Own It and feel Special

A new campaign will present a significant change in the history of Kellogg’s Special K as it tries to inspire realistic and positive change for women in getting fit and healthy.

#OwnIt is the new marketing initiative which kicked-off with a 60 second television commercial during the Australian Open Tennis Finals on 30th January, extended across digital and social media platforms to inspire women to own it all.

According to Kellog’s Australia Marketing Director, Tamara Howe, the strategy behind the campaign encourages women to ditch the doubt and focus on what they can change.

“The new #OwnIt campaign aims to counter that negativity. While we may not be able to eliminate self-doubt for women, we can be her ally in the fight against by focusing on what women love about themselves and have the power to change, and becoming an advocate for body confidence and inner strength,” Howe said.

The Special K #OwnIt campaign was developed by Kellogg in Canada. It launched in September 2015 and has continued to spark conversation amongst Canadian women. It has been adapted for the Australian market, following new proprietary research undertaken with Australian women in early 2016.

The Kellogg’s Special K #OwnIt program will be supported by a multi-channel integrated marketing, advertising, social media and public relations program. The #OwnIt story will be told across multiple touch points and is designed to be disruptive, impactful and compelling — sparking an important conversation with Australian women.

Gluten Free Muesli with Dates & Toasted Coconut

Product Name: Thankyou Gluten Free Muesli with Dates & Toasted Coconut

Product Manufacturer: N/A

Launch date: Monday 7th September

Ingredients:    Seeds (32%) (Sunflower Kernels, Linseeds, Pepitas, Buckwheat, Chia), Fruits (Dates (7%) (Dates, Rice Flour), Raisins, Coconut (4%) (SO2 free)), Nuts (Cashews, Almonds), Puffed Rice (Rice Flour, Rice Bran), Rice Flakes (Rice Flour, Fructose, Salt Emulsifier (471)), Brown Sugar, Honey, Sunflower Oil, Puffed Millet, Cinnamon, Natural Flavours, Natural Antioxidant (Mixed Tocopherols (307b) (Contains Soy)).

Shelf Life: 1 year

Packaging: N/A

Brand Website:

Describe the product: This gluten free muesli actually tastes amazing. It’s packed full of all your fave wholesome ingredients− dates and toasted coconut, mixed together with roasted (and perfectly crunchy) nuts, sunflower seeds, linseeds, pepitas, and chia.

Contact Email:

OOB Organic Blueberry Smoothie

Product Name: OOB Organic Blueberry Smoothie

Product Manufacturer: OOB Organic

Launch date: 26/10/15

Ingredients (as listed on the packaging):     
Organic Blueberries
Organic Kiwi fruit
Organic Banana

Shelf Life: 18 months

Packaging: Stand Up Pouch

Product Manager: Robert Auton

Country of origin: Kiwi -NZ, Blueberries USA/Chile Banana- Peru

Brand Website:

Describe the product: Use OOB organic smoothie as a base for a delicious and nutritious start to your day. Just add your favorite ingredients for a perfect healthy meal solution.
Each smoothie contains frozen pieces of Organic Kiwi fruit , slices of Organic Banana and either organic Blueberries or Strawberries.

Contact Email:

Up & Go now gluten-free with 4.5 Stars

Sanitarium’s new Gluten Free Up&Go is now available and offers consumers looking to avoid or reduce their gluten intake an expedient breakfast option, while still containing the protein and energy of two Gluten Free Weet-Bix and milk. 

It is also 98.5 per cent fat free, high in fibre and provides half of an adult’s daily calcium requirements.

Jaemes Tipple, Up&Go Brand Manager – Sanitarium, said the company developed the product in response to consumer feedback from the growing population who avoid gluten, and may not always have time for a sit down breakfast.

“We know that approximately 1 in 70 Aussies have Coeliac disease and many others are eliminating or limiting gluten in their diet, so we’ve developed Gluten Free Up&Go to provide a convenient, great-tasting, gluten-free liquid breakfast choice, in addition to the market-leading regular Up&Go.”

“Sanitarium is committed to the health and wellbeing of Australians, and providing nutritious products they love,” he said.

Michelle Reid, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist at Sanitarium, said the new Gluten Free Up&Go has a 4.5 Health Star Rating, under the new Government-led initiative which rates foods from 1⁄2 star to 5 stars, based on their nutritional credentials.

“When you don’t have time for a sit down breakfast and you are needing to avoid gluten, Gluten Free Up&Go is the ideal option for on the run. Gluten Free Up&Go earned 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars due to its protein content and being low in saturated fat and sodium.”

“Gluten Free Up&Go also contains 10 essential vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent choice to help start the day right,” she said.