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1.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr ; : 1-18, 2022 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1978123

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, consumers increasingly seek foods that not only fulfill the basic need (i.e., satisfying hunger) but also enhance human health and well-being. As a result, more attention has been given to some kinds of foods, termed "superfoods," making big claims about their richness in valuable nutrients and bioactive compounds as well as their capability to prevent illness, reinforcing the human immune system, and improve overall health.This review is an attempt to uncover truths and myths about superfoods by giving examples of the most popular foods (e.g., berries, pomegranates, watermelon, olive, green tea, several seeds and nuts, honey, salmon, and camel milk, among many others) that are commonly reported as having unique nutritional, nutraceutical, and functional characteristics.While superfoods have become a popular buzzword in blog articles and social media posts, scientific publications are still relatively marginal. The reviewed findings show that COVID-19 has become a significant driver for superfoods consumption. Food Industry 4.0 innovations have revolutionized many sectors of food technologies, including the manufacturing of functional foods, offering new opportunities to improve the sensory and nutritional quality of such foods. Although many food products have been considered superfoods and intensively sought by consumers, scientific evidence for their beneficial effectiveness and their "superpower" are yet to be provided. Therefore, more research and collaboration between researchers, industry, consumers, and policymakers are still needed to differentiate facts from marketing gimmicks and promote human health and nutrition.

2.
Sustain Prod Consum ; 27: 1255-1272, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117700

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to food insecurity in developed countries. Despite adequate levels of agricultural production, consumers experienced demand-induced scarcity. Understanding the effects on nutrition and the environment is limited, yet critical to informing ecologically embedded mitigation strategies. To identify mitigation strategies, we investigated wheat flour and egg retail shortages in the United Kingdom (UK), focusing on consumer behavior during the COVID-19 lockdown. The 6 Steps for Quality Intervention Development (6SQuID) framework informed the methodology. Mixed qualitative and quantitative methods were used to pinpoint the causes of the shortages, and ecological impacts of consumer behavior were related using survey results (n = 243) and environmental and nutritional databases. This research confirmed consumers' narrowed consideration set, willingness to pay, and significant reliance on processed foods which indicates agronomic biofortification, breeding strategies, selective imports and improved processed food quality are important mitigation strategies. We identified positive and negative synergies in consumer, producer and retailer behavior and related these to mitigation strategies in support of a circular bio-economy for food production. We found that the substitutes or alternative foods consumed during the COVID-19 lockdown were nutritionally inadequate. We identified the most ecological substitute for wheat flour to be corn flour; and for eggs, yogurt. Our findings also indicate that selenium deficiency is a risk for the UK population, especially to the increasing fifth of the population that is vegetarian. Due to the need to implement short-, medium-, and long-term mitigation strategies, a coordinated effort is required by all stakeholders.

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