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New ARS Food and Nutrition Research Briefs Issued

Jan 17, 2023

Researchers at the USDA Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and collaborating institutions now think that molecular mechanisms of brain development during early life are likely to be a major determinant of obesity risk based on the results of a new study

Among other information, the current issue reports:

Research chemists with ARS are developing a healthier margarine or butter-like spread by replacing the saturated fats that are often used as solidifying agents and taste enhancers in them with plant-based and other natural waxes—sunflower, rice bran, candelilla and beeswax, among them. They are doing this by melting the waxes in hot vegetable oil and letting the mix cool to room temperature.

ARS scientists would like to tap into the nutritional potential of the millions of pounds of peanut skins that are stripped from the nuts in the process of making peanut butter, snack food, candy ingredients, oil and other products every year. The paper-thin skins are chock full of nutrients and bioactive compounds. The researchers have begun by comparing concentrations of bioactive compounds in different colored peanut skins, which range from red, tan and brown, to white, black and variegated. Profiling the nutritional chemistry and properties of peanut skins is a key step towards figuring out how best to use them and provide potential benefits to producers and consumers. 


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