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Photo: Heini Pekkala

On June 18 in Espoo, Finland, a symposium was arranged to honour the scientific achievements of Kaisa Poutanen and her work as research professor at VTT Technical Researh Center of Finland. The symposium was arranged in connection to the Healthgrain Forum Workshop 2019 the 17:th, and approximately 90 international participants attended the event.

The workshop took place at VTT facilities with topics discussed such as an update on sourdough research and ‘Industry 4.0’: reflections to food ecosystem. The honorary event for Kaisa Poutanen started with a common dinner at the Hotel Hanaholmen, followed the day after by the honorary symposium, including presentations on whole grain, rye and oats - and a talk by Kaisa Poutanen on her 30 years in cereal science.

During the session on rye, presentations were held by renowned researchers in the field: Per Åman from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Kati Hanhineva and Marjukka Kolehmainen from the University of Eastern Finland, both part of the Nordic Rye Forum, and Pia Silventoinen from VTT.

Their presentations covered the following topics:

  • Achievements in Nordic rye collaboration (Åman)

  • Whole grain rye phytochemicals, metabolism and impact on health (Hanhineva)

  • Whole grain rye: possibilities to have an effect on brain health (Kolehmainen)

  • Multifunctional rye bran ingredients for novel cereal foods (Silventoinen)

The rye session ended by Marjut Lampinen from the Finnish family owned company Linkosuo that talked about a novel way of using rye in the company’s new rye whole grain snacks; and, lastly, a panel discussion with the speakers.

Photos: Heini Pekkala

In a recently published study, several researchers from the the Nordic Rye Forum showed for the first time an association between the phytoestrogen enterolactone - a metabolite of plant lignans that are commonly found in rye - and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mortality.

A number of 450 deceased random cases of diabetes and a randomly selected subcohort of 850 persons, were included in a nested case-cohort from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Pre-diagnostic enterolactone concentrations (measured at baseline, before disease development) were found to be associated with lower mortality, especially deaths from diabetes. The findings call for further exploration of enterolactone in type 2 diabetes management.

Read the full article here: Pre-diagnostic plasma enterolactone concentrations are associated with lower mortality among individuals with type 2 diabetes: a case-cohort study in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort.

In a study recently published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Finnish and French researchers aimed to elucidate parts of the underlying mechanisms of the health effects associated with high intake of whole grain rye. Metabolites circulating in the blood were investigated in a human intervention study using untargeted metabolomics.

Fifteen adults consumed whole grain rye bread or refined wheat bread enriched with fermented rye bran during four weeks. The four weeks of rye consumption were followed by four weeks of refined wheat bread consumption. Fasting plasma samples drawn after each of the two periods were compared regarding the subjects’ metabolic profiles. Plasma concentration of five endogenous metabolites was identified to be associated with whole grain rye intake, of which serotonin and taurine were two that both decreased after the whole grain rye period.

To test a hypothesis of altered biosynthesis of serotonin as a response to increased intake of cereal fiber, mice were fed a high fat diet supplemented with either rye bran, wheat aleurone or cellulose during nine weeks. Concordantly, lower levels of serotonin were found in the gut after consumption of rye bran or wheat aleurone compared to cellulose.

The results suggest that serotonin could be a possible link between whole grain consumption and its associated health effects.

Read more here

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