Scientific Publications

ILSI Europe disseminates science by publishing articles on original research, literature reviews and gap analyses, and meeting proceedings in peer-reviewed journals.  ILSI Europe also publishes books, monographs, white papers, and other reports.

All Publications

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Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation

Prebiotics

Probiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH

The gut and brain link via various metabolic and signalling pathways, each with the potential to influence mental, brain and cognitive health. Over the past decade, the involvement of the gut microbiota in gut-brain communication has become the focus of increased scientific interest, establishing the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a field of research. There is a growing number of association studies exploring the gut microbiota's possible role in memory, learning, anxiety, stress, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, attention is now turning to how the microbiota can become the target of nutritional and therapeutic strategies for improved brain health and well-being. However, while such strategies that target the gut microbiota to influence brain health and function are currently under development with varying levels of success, still very little is yet known about the triggers and mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota's apparent influence on cognitive or brain function and most evidence comes from pre-clinical studies rather than well controlled clinical trials/investigations. Filling the knowledge gaps requires establishing a standardised methodology for human studies, including strong guidance for specific focus areas of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the need for more extensive biological sample analyses, and identification of relevant biomarkers. Other urgent requirements are new advanced models for in vitro and in vivo studies of relevant mechanisms, and a greater focus on omics technologies with supporting bioinformatics resources (training, tools) to efficiently translate study findings, as well as the identification of relevant targets in study populations. The key to building a validated evidence base rely on increasing knowledge sharing and multi-disciplinary collaborations, along with continued public-private funding support. This will allow microbiota-gut-brain axis research to move to its next phase so we can identify realistic opportunities to modulate the microbiota for better brain health.

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.

[post_title] => The microbiota–gut–brain axis: pathways to better brain health. Perspectives on what we know, what we need to investigate and how to put knowledge into practice [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-microbiota-gut-brain-axis-pathways-to-better-brain-health-perspectives-on-what-we-know-what-we-need-to-investigate-and-how-to-put-knowledge-into-practice [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-07 15:17:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-07 15:17:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://ilsi.eu/?post_type=publication&p=10456 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publication [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10350 [post_author] => 343 [post_date] => 2021-11-30 06:52:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-11-30 06:52:57 [post_content] =>

Qualitative Fat Intake Task Force

NUTRITION SECURITY AND SOCIAL ASPECTS

This systematic review of randomised control trials (RCTs) is the first to investigate the role of individual dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs) replacement on biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease (CMD) risk.

Globally, dietary guidelines are aimed at the reduction of dietary saturated fatty acids in favour of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), with a general consensus that dietary SFAs should not exceed approximately 10% total energy intakes. This systematic review assessed the impact of individual saturated fatty acids (SFAs) on the prevention of cardiometabolic disease.

Some local dietary guidelines (e.g., in France) are more specific by advising reduction of the recommended total intakes of individual types of SFAs in order to achieve greater positive impacts on cardiometabolic health.

Some evidence suggests that the sum of dietary lauric, myristic and palmitic acid should not exceed 8% total energy (TE) intake in adults.

This systematic review analyses data from trials which focused on traditional biomarkers of CMD risk such as fasting lipid profiles, markers of inflammation, hemostasis, glycemic control, or metabolic hormones.

The meta-analyses in this work found that the isoenergetic dietary replacement of at least 1.5%TE of palmitic acid with oleic acid or UFA for a duration of at least 14 days had significant beneficial impacts on lipid CMD risk markers in adults.

Impact of individual dietary saturated fatty acid replacement on circulating lipids and other biomarkers of cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs in humans

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses like the currently proposed one assess the available data with the aim of helping ground public health recommendations in scientific evidence. However, the current quantitative findings need to be interpreted with caution due to the presence of high statistical heterogeneity and low number of RCTs. Further RCTs designed to investigate different SFAs such as lauric and myristic acids and their impact on other clinical biomarkers of CMD risk are warranted.

Download the full-text open access article here

Scientific abstract Expand

Little is known of the impact of individual saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and their isoenergetic substitution with other SFAs or unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) on the prevention of cardiometabolic disease (CMD). This systematic literature review (POSPERO registration: CRD42020084241) assessed the impact of such dietary substitutions on a range of fasting CMD risk markers, including lipid profile, markers of glycemic control and inflammation, and metabolic hormone concentrations. Eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigated the effect of isoenergetic replacements of individual dietary SFAs for at least 14 days on one or more CMD risk markers in humans. Searches of PubMed, Embase, Scopus and Cochrane CENTRAL databases on 14th February 2021 identified 44 RCTs conducted in participants aged 39.9y (SD 15.2). Studies' risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool 2.0 for RCTs. Random-effect meta-analyses assessed the effect of at least three similar dietary substitutions on the same CMD risk marker. Other dietary interventions were described in qualitative syntheses. We observed reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations after the replacement of palmitic acid (C16:0) with UFA (-0.36 mmol/L, 95%CI [-0.50, -0.21], I2 = 96.0%, n = 18 RCTs) or oleic acid (C18:1) (-0.16 mmol/L, 95% CI [-0.28, -0.03], I2 = 89.6%, n = 9 RCTs), with a similar impact on total cholesterol and apolipoprotein B concentrations. No effects on other CMD risk markers, including high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triacylglycerol, glucose, insulin, or C-reactive protein concentrations, were evident. Similarly, we found no evidence of a benefit from replacing dietary stearic acid with UFA on CMD risk markers (n = 4 RCTs). In conclusion, the impact of replacing dietary palmitic acid with UFA on lipid biomarkers is aligned with current public health recommendations. However, due to the high heterogeneity and limited studies, relationships between all individual SFAs and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health need further confirmation from RCTs.

Keywords Expand

palmitic acidstearic acidmyristic acidmedium-chain fatty acidssaturated fatty acidsunsaturated fatty acidslipoproteinsfasting lipid profile, glucose, insulin

Number of full-text studies 683 reviewed as part of this analysis. Total energy intake recommended from saturated fatty acids 10% of less. Number of markers for health effects screened 6 including cardiometabolic and inflamation markers.

A more complete picture of the impact of dietary saturated fatty acids on metabolic health status would greatly contribute to the improvement of public health guidelines for the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases.

Categories

Nutrition
Public health
Nutrient intake
Macronutrients

[post_title] => Impact of individual dietary saturated fatty acid replacement on circulating lipids and other biomarkers of cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs in humans [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => impact-of-individual-dietary-saturated-fatty-acid-replacement-on-circulating-lipids-and-other-biomarkers-of-cardiometabolic-health-a-systematic-review-and-meta-analysis-of-rcts-in-humans [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-06 10:32:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-06 10:32:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://ilsi.eu/?post_type=publication&p=10350 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publication [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10454 [post_author] => 24 [post_date] => 2022-03-28 13:15:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-03-28 13:15:22 [post_content] =>

Nutrition, Immunity and Inflamation

NUTRITION SECURITY AND SOCIAL ASPECTS

Food allergy (FA) affects the quality of life of millions of people worldwide and presents a significant psychological and financial burden for both national and international public health. In the past few decades, the prevalence of allergic disease has been on the rise worldwide. Identified risk factors for FA include family history, mode of delivery, variations in infant feeding practices, prior diagnosis of other atopic diseases such as eczema, and social economic status. Identifying reliable biomarkers that predict the risk of developing FA in early life would be valuable in both preventing morbidity and mortality and by making current interventions available at the earliest opportunity. There is also the potential to identify new therapeutic targets. This narrative review provides details on the genetic, epigenetic, dietary, and microbiome influences upon the development of FA and synthesizes the currently available data indicating potential biomarkers. Whereas there is a large body of research evidence available within each field of potential risk factors, there is a very limited number of studies that span multiple methodological fields, for example, including immunology, microbiome, genetic/epigenetic factors, and dietary assessment. We recommend that further collaborative research with detailed cohort phenotyping is required to identify biomarkers, and whether these vary between at-risk populations and the wider population. The
low incidence of oral food challenge-confirmed FA in the general population, and the complexities of designing nutritional intervention studies will provide challenges for researchers to address in generating high-quality, reliable, and reproducible research findings

Read the full-text article here

Keywords Expand

IgE-mediated food allergy, biomarkers, pathways, risk factors, microbiota, nutrition, infant diet

[post_title] => Potential Biomarkers, Risk Factors, and Their Associations with IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life: A Narrative Review [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => potential-biomarkers-risk-factors-and-their-associations-with-ige-mediated-food-allergy-in-early-life-a-narrative-review [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-06 14:35:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-06 14:35:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://ilsi.eu/?post_type=publication&p=10454 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publication [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9564 [post_author] => 343 [post_date] => 2021-08-03 14:26:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-08-03 14:26:20 [post_content] =>

Microbiological Food Safety Task Force

FOOD RELATED CONTAMINANTS

Prevalence of pathogens of concerns for Low Moisture Foods (LMF) is considered through investigation of the reported foodborne outbreaks.

A Processing Environment Monitory programme (PEM) needs to be in place in order to identify points which need to be routinely sampled, search for harbourage niches, and detect and destroy pathogens of concern. These programmes need to be specifically designed considering the specific pathogens and production set up.

However, a monitoring programme on its own is not sufficient and needs to be accompanied by corrective and preventive action plans to ensure efficient application of the Good Hygiene Practices.

A tool for both food producers and regulators

This guidance document is intended to help set up targeted processing environment monitoring programs depending on their purpose, and therefore provide the essential elements needed to improve food safety.

Several food pathogens are of significant concern when planning monitoring programmes for LMF, and are discussed in this document:

  • Salmonella,
  • Cronobacter spp. (posing risk to infants),
  • pathogenic E. coli,
  • B cereus
  • Listeria monocytogenes.
Table 2 from Processing Environment Monitoring in Low Moisture Food Production Facilities. Are we looking for the right microorganisms?

Overview of recalls, withdrawals and safety alerts with microbial pathogens in the EU and US in 2012-2017. EU data were extracted from RASFF (2020) and US data were extracted from FDA (2020).

There is a great interest in the food industry to perform validations in a manner that would be accepted by all parties involved, for example, authorities and customers.

Low moisture foods are foods that:

  • are naturally very low in moisture,
  • have had water removed from them,
  • have a higher moisture content, but that contain agents that prevent the moisture from being available to microorganisms to allow their growth.

In this work, the "production environment" includes production equipment, production surfaces, floors/walls/ceilings, and the air within the production area.

Link to download the full-text

Scientific abstract Expand

Processing environment monitoring is gaining increasing importance in the context of food safety management plans/HACCP programs, since past outbreaks have shown the relevance of the environment as contamination pathway, therefore requiring to ensure the safety of products. However, there are still many open questions and a lack of clarity on how to set up a meaningful program, which would provide early warnings of potential product contamination. Therefore, the current paper aims to summarize and evaluate existing scientific information on outbreaks, relevant pathogens in low moisture foods, and knowledge on indicators, including their contribution to a "clean" environment capable of limiting the spread of pathogens in dry production environments. This paper also outlines the essential elements of a processing environment monitoring program thereby supporting the design and implementation of better programs focusing on the relevant microorganisms. This guidance document is intended to help industry and regulators focus and set up targeted processing environment monitoring programs depending on their purpose, and therefore provide the essential elements needed to improve food safety.

Keywords Expand

critical control points, pathogen, preventive control, recontamination, Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Cronobacter spp., Enterobacteriaceae, dry foods, food safety, processing, environment Monitoring

Low Moisture Foods are defined as having a water activity of 1 or below. In the EU and USA there were 498 combined alerts for microbial pathogens and LMF. Between 2010 and 2017, EFSA reported 10 salmonellosis outbreaks from LMF alone.

Genetic characterization of isolates provides interesting insights for understanding the difference between resident and sporadic strains in a processing environment.

[post_title] => Processing Environment Monitoring in Low Moisture Food Production Facilities. Are we looking for the right microorganisms? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => processing-environment-monitoring-in-low-moisture-food-production-facilities-are-we-looking-for-the-right-microorganisms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-31 06:46:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-31 06:46:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://ilsi.eu/?post_type=publication&p=9564 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publication [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9231 [post_author] => 343 [post_date] => 2021-05-31 08:22:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-05-31 08:22:17 [post_content] =>

Process-Related Compounds and Natural Toxins Task Force

FOOD RELATED CONTAMINANTS

Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons may unintentionally contaminate food through different routes across food chains and the lifecycle of food contact materials.

Gaps in the knowledge about mineral oil hydrocarbons (MON) still exist despite the recent advances in the research field.

A workshop to identify those gaps was organized by the European Branch of the International Life Science Institute.

Some of these were identified to be:

  • the lack of validated and standardized analytical methods for relevant food matrices, and
  • gaps in assessing the risk for consumers' health.

The consensus is that the lack of standardized, validated analytical methods able to assure good inter-laboratory reproducibility is the main gap underlining most of the existing difficulties to understand MOH.

In order to conduct adequate substance identification and quantification for input into risk assessment, the need for confirmatory methods that provide a detailed characterization of the unresolved complex mixtures needs to be solved.

The limited number of surveys covering a wide range of foods and enough samples to detect major sources of contamination other than packaging in paperboard also hinders reliable exposure estimation.

Fig. 4. Decision tree to identify auxilary methods. Adapted from Bratinova & Hoekstra, 2019. ALOX: Al2O3.
Decision tree to identify auxilary methods. (Adapted from Bratinova & Hoekstra, 2019)

Industry sectors represented in the workshop

  • Food & Drink
  • Mineral Oil/Waxes
  • Testing Laboratories
  • Analytical Instruments
  • Food Contact Materials
  • Cosmetics
  • Petroleum

Read the full-text article here

Scientific abstract Expand Background
In recent years there have been significant advancements in the understanding of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) in foods and their potential risk to health. However, important gaps in knowledge remain, such as the lack of validated and standardized analytical methods for relevant food matrices and gaps in assessing the risk for consumers' health. Scope & approach
A workshop was organized by the European Branch of the International Life Science Institute to identify knowledge gaps in analytical methods, assessment of exposure, hazard characterisation, and risk assessment of MOH. This work captures the outcome of the workshop and builds upon it by combining the perspectives of the participants with an updated review of the literature to provide a roadmap for future management of the topic. Key findings and conclusions
Most participants to the workshop agreed that the key issue underlying many of the knowledge gaps in the field of MOH risk analysis and management is the lack of standardized, validated analytical methods able to assure good inter-laboratory reproducibility and to enable understanding of MOH occurrence in foods. It has been demonstrated that method EN 16995 used for MOH determination in vegetable oils and fats is not reliable below 10 mg/kg of food. There is also a need for confirmatory methods that provide a detailed characterization of the unresolved complex mixture observed from one-dimensional chromatographic methods. This is required to enable adequate substance identification and quantification for input into risk assessment. A major gap in the exposure estimation is the limited number of surveys covering a wide range of foods and enough samples to detect major sources of contamination other than packaging in paperboard. Data on concentration of MOH fractions in human body needed to determine internal exposure estimates is scarce. Data relating concentration in tissues with personal data, lifestyle, food intake and the use of cosmetics are needed to clarify the complex system of distribution of MOSH in the body and to possibly establish relationship between external and internal exposure. Additional toxicological studies to better characterize the hazards of relevant MOH are required for a better human health risk assessment. Keywords Expand

Mineral oil hydrocarbon, Risk assessment, Exposure assessment, Food contaminant, MOSH, MOAH

Number of participants in the workshop 61 from Academica, Public organisations, and Industry. EN 16995 used for MOH determination in vegetable oils and fats is not reliable below 10 mg/kg of food. Main indetified gaps in the knowledge of Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons 8

To enable human risk assessment, the performance of toxicological studies on the relevant MOH mixtures and possibly their components is required.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Packaging Materials Task Force.

[post_title] => Mineral oil risk assessment: Knowledge gaps and roadmap. Outcome of a multi-stakeholders workshop [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mineral-oil-risk-assessment-knowledge-gaps-and-roadmap-outcome-of-a-multi-stakeholders-workshop [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-31 06:46:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-31 06:46:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://ilsi.eu/?post_type=publication&p=9231 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publication [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10456 [post_author] => 24 [post_date] => 2022-03-28 13:12:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-03-28 13:12:46 [post_content] =>

Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation

Prebiotics

Probiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH

The gut and brain link via various metabolic and signalling pathways, each with the potential to influence mental, brain and cognitive health. Over the past decade, the involvement of the gut microbiota in gut-brain communication has become the focus of increased scientific interest, establishing the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a field of research. There is a growing number of association studies exploring the gut microbiota's possible role in memory, learning, anxiety, stress, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, attention is now turning to how the microbiota can become the target of nutritional and therapeutic strategies for improved brain health and well-being. However, while such strategies that target the gut microbiota to influence brain health and function are currently under development with varying levels of success, still very little is yet known about the triggers and mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota's apparent influence on cognitive or brain function and most evidence comes from pre-clinical studies rather than well controlled clinical trials/investigations. Filling the knowledge gaps requires establishing a standardised methodology for human studies, including strong guidance for specific focus areas of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the need for more extensive biological sample analyses, and identification of relevant biomarkers. Other urgent requirements are new advanced models for in vitro and in vivo studies of relevant mechanisms, and a greater focus on omics technologies with supporting bioinformatics resources (training, tools) to efficiently translate study findings, as well as the identification of relevant targets in study populations. The key to building a validated evidence base rely on increasing knowledge sharing and multi-disciplinary collaborations, along with continued public-private funding support. This will allow microbiota-gut-brain axis research to move to its next phase so we can identify realistic opportunities to modulate the microbiota for better brain health.

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.

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