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Health effects of 'functional foods' featured during four-day symposium, Sept. 10-13

blems, including liver disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and insulin resistance (a condition associated with diabetes), according to study leader Minoru Sugiura, Ph.D. (AGFD 210, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 1:05 p.m.)

Scientists create new types of flour with enhanced antioxidant levels -- Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a newly patented process that transforms ordinary flour into flour with enhanced levels of antioxidants -- compounds that have been shown by others to fight cancer and heart disease. The process works by enzymatically modifying grains to make their natural antioxidants more available to the body, says Liangli Lucy Yu, Ph.D., an associate professor in the school's Department of Nutrition and Food Science. The process, which is environmentally friendly, works for different types of flour, including wheat, corn and rice.

Yu's group also has developed a new type of flour from fruit seeds -- normally waste products from the manufacture of juice and fruit products. In laboratory studies, the fruit seed flour appears to have the ability to fight inflammation, cancer and food-borne bacteria. This fruit-seed flour could add natural flavors and colors to baked goods while also fighting spoilage, a development that might reduce or eliminate the use of artificial ingredients that are used for those purposes, Yu says. In the future, the two flour types could be combined to create novel breads, pastries and other flour products with enhanced health benefits, she says. (AGFD 012, Sunday, Sept. 10, 9:05 a.m.)

'Designer soybean' boosts calcium levels, fights osteoporosis -- Researchers have known for some time that the natural calcium found in soybeans is not easily absorbed in the body. As a result, products such as soy milk contain calcium supplements, which sometimes settle out of the beverage. Now, using simple and inexpensive chemical techniques, scientists at Nihon University in Japan say tha
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