W holemeal bread took a spanking in The Sunday Times recently for having nearly double the level of sugar it did 30 years ago. Shock! Naughty plant bakers are contributing to the obesity epidemic by loading our bread with cheap sugar to make it more palatable and to compensate for salt reductions, it reported. Horror!What it failed to state – and this rather undermined its point – is that sugar is not commonly added to bread in the UK. A glaring error, you might think, and one deserving of the paper in turn being put over our collective knee for a slap.Comparing data from McCance and Widdowson’s (M&W) The Composition of Foods 1978, with a loaf plucked from the shelf – in this case, Hovis, which includes a small amount of brown sugar – the report said that sugar content in wholemeal bread had gone up from 2.1g per 100g in 1978 to 3.7g per 100g in a Hovis wholemeal loaf today. It also cited Sainsbury’s own-label bread, which has 3.5g sugar on the nutrition label.The problem is that the Sainsbury’s loaf, like most other loaves, contains no added sugar. As Joe Street, MD of Fine Lady Bakeries, which doesn’t add sugar to its Tesco own-label bread, nimbly states: “The article looked at one thing [that sugar is added to bread], took it in isolation, and assumed it’s everywhere, which is a load of nonsense.” The starting point for explaining why sugar content appears to have risen should be asking why, if one loaf has added sugar and the other doesn’t, do the two loaves have similar sugar contents on the nutrition label?Firstly, let’s break down the typical 3.5g sugar content in a 100g of wholemeal bread. Flour contains around 2% of naturally occurring sugars. As a rule of thumb, taking a third off that figure would give an approximate level of the sugars in bread – somewhere between 1.3-1.5%. Sugars will always be higher in wholemeal than in white bread, because sugar levels are higher at the junction between the bran and the endosperm.fermentation processThen there’s the fermentation process where the amylase enzyme breaks down starch, a product of which is another sugar – maltose. The fermentation process will actually increase the sugar levels, taking us up to between 2%-2.5%. So much of the sugar content is naturally occurring from the flour and fermentation. Another source of sugars is malt, which is added to dough to help speed the fermentation and to develop a good crust colour in a short time, a soft crust and a moist crumb texture.So what makes up the remainder? The increased use of enzymes potentially producing more maltose in modern no-time dough-making may provide a clue, says cereal scientist Stan Cauvain of bakery consultant Baketran. “I wonder – and I can only say at this stage that it is a wonder – if as a result of using much higher levels of enzymes than we did 30 years ago we’re actually generating more maltose. That is perhaps why levels appear to be much higher.” Indeed, he estimates that alpha amylase enzyme activity has increased tenfold since 1978.Improvements in the way nutritional data is measured may also account for the disparity between sugar levels in 1978 and now. Historically, sugar nutrition content used to be calculated and now it is more scientifically analysed – and more accurate. A suspicion arises from M&W’s figures for bananas, which show that the amount of sugar in a banana rose from 16g to nearly 21g between 1978 and 2002.”Are you telling me that people are breeding bananas to make them more sweet? That’s banana talk!” says Professor Jeya Henry of Oxford Brookes University. “The whole tone of the [Sunday Times] article demonises sugar, in a way that is unfortunate. There is a problem of analytical exactitude in comparing data from 20-odd years ago. There have been huge advances in methodology.”The M&W data for wholemeal in 2002 actually shows 2.8g/100g sugar – way short of the typical 3.5g found in loaves today. There has been no revolution in the plant baking process over the past five years to account for the dispa-rity, says Graham March, MD of Roberts Bakery. “There’s absolutely no reason why [sugar levels] should have changed over time. No recipe change would have created that much difference.”Low levels in breadThe gripe of food campaigners is that more sugar in processed foods is detrimental to people’s health. But even if sugar content in bread had actually doubled, would they be right to point the finger at bread? Federation of Bakers director Gordon Polson points out that sugar levels in bread remain very low. “It has not been an issue that has been raised as one of concern,” he says.Foods that have 10g/100g or more of sugar are considered to be high in sugar, so the current sugar levels in wholemeal are “not a concern”, concurs Lisa Miles, nutrition scientist at The British Nutrition Foundation. “There’s no widespread recommendation to restrict the sugars found naturally in foods, because these foods tend to also provide vitamins, minerals and fibre,” she adds.Sometimes a small amount of sugar is added to wholemeal bread because wholemeal grains are bitter and unpalatable to consumers on their own, British Bakeries says in a statement: “Hovis Wholemeal does contain a small amount of brown sugar, added as much for the flavour generated in baking as for the effect on bitterness. The quantities of sugar added are very small and do not affect the nutritional benefits of the bread.” Meanwhile, bakery writer Dan Lepard says the issue has been overblown: “I wouldn’t have thought that the inclusion of a small amount of brown sugar in Hovis’ loaf was such a scandalous thing, especially when most of it will disappear during the fermentation process, simply leaving the molasses to give a rich warm colour to the crumb and dough.”One thing that can be confidently dispelled is that sugar is being added to wholemeal bread for nefarious reasons. “Nobody is concealing the addition of sugar to bread. It could be a combination of circumstances that gives us higher levels than we saw 30 years ago,” says cereal scientist Cauvain. n
To trap and hold tiny microparticles, research engineers at Harvard have “put a ring on it,” using a silicon-based circular resonator to confine particles stably for up to several minutes.The advance, published recently in Nano Letters, could one day lead to the ability to direct, deliver, and store nanoparticles and biomolecules on all-optical chips.“We demonstrated the power of what we call resonant cavity trapping, where a particle is guided along a small waveguide and then pulled onto a micro-ring resonator,” explains Kenneth Crozier, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) who directed the research. “Once on the ring, optical forces prevent it from escaping, and cause it to revolve around it.”The process looks similar to what you see in liquid motion toys, where tiny beads of colored drops run along plastic tracks—but on much smaller scale and with different physical mechanisms. The rings have radii of a mere 5 to 10 micrometers and are built using electron beam lithography and reactive ion etching.Specifically, laser light is focused into a waveguide. Optical forces cause a particle to be drawn down toward the waveguide, and pushed along it. When the particle approaches a ring fabricated close to the waveguide, it is pulled from the waveguide to the ring by optical forces. The particle then circulates around the ring, propelled by optical forces at velocities of several hundred micrometers-per-second.While using planar ring resonators to trap particles is not new, Crozier and his colleagues offered a new and more thorough analysis of the technique. In particular, they showed that using the silicon ring results in optical force enhancement (5 to 8 times versus the straight waveguide).“Excitingly, particle-tracking measurements with a high speed camera reveal that the large transverse forces stably localize the particle so that the standard deviation in its trajectory, compared to a circle, is as small as 50 nm,” says Crozier. “This represents a very tight localization over a comparatively large distance.”The ultimate aim is to develop and demonstrate fully all-optical on chip manipulation that offers a way to guide, store, and deliver both biological and artificial particles.Crozier’s co-authors included Shiyun Lin, a graduate student, and Ethan Schonburn, a research associate, both at SEAS.The authors acknowledge funding from the Harvard Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) and the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard, both supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Starting in all seven games for Wisconsin this season, Nick Janus recorded one goal on a penalty kick in a 3-2 loss to University of California – Irvine. Janus scored one goal last season.[/media-credit]As sophomores go, Nick Janus has exceeded most expectations laid out for him.Janus gained over 1,550 minutes of game experience as a freshman, and after putting up five points last year and earning a spot on the All-Freshman Big Ten team, he has already equaled last year’s point total in just seven games in 2011.Lining up at the center and outside midfielder spots, as well as forward, throughout the year, the coaching staff feels that Janus will anchor the offense no matter where he is playing. “The work rate and the toughness and the intangibles that he brings to our midfield – whether it’s holding the ball, whether it’s tackling for a loose ball, whether it’s dominating his opponent physically – all those bits and pieces that make a good player, we just trust him, even though he’s only a sophomore,” head coach John Trask said.Known as a workhorse by coaches for his aggressive style of play and strong work ethic, Janus has become the player coaches come to rely on in tough situations.The respect for the sophomore doesn’t end with the coaches – teammates see him as a team leader, as shown when he converted a critical penalty kick against UC Irvine. Janus said that senior forward Josh Thiermann initially stepped up to take the shot, but handed the ball over to the sophomore in return for his relentless work throughout the game.The fact that UW players selected Janus displays his teammates’ confidence in his ability to handle pressure and score in key situations.Janus impressed many Badger fans in his first year with the team, but coaches feel that his maturation, as well as the valuable experience he gained this summer, will lead him to an even greater role in 2011. This summer Janus spent several weeks playing in the Netherlands with a team of current college players and older players assembled by Bret Hall, a former professional soccer player who helped coach the 2007 U.S. Women’s National Team.Playing against four different professional teams over three weeks, Janus believes that his experience against top competition in Europe will transition to his play for the Badgers.“I learned [in Europe] that if you make a mistake, it’s like a spotlight’s shown on it, because the professional teams are so good that if you lose your mark in the box, it’s a goal,” Janus said. “You have to be on your game the entire 90 minutes; you have to be clicked in the entire 90 minutes.”A talented player who sees himself as his toughest critic, Janus isn’t simply satisfied with the additions he made to his game in Europe this summer. His coach points out that he has already seen tremendous improvement in the sophomore in ways that go beyond the box score, but Janus sees plenty of room for improvement.“One thing I really wanted to work on from last year was my fitness, and that’s something I have worked on a lot over summer, and it’s improved a lot from last year,” Janus said. “[Also] individual defending, I’m really looking to improve on that, because right now I don’t think it’s at the best it should be.”A native of Deer Park, Ill., Janus is one of several players on the UW roster from the greater Chicago area. Playing against fellow sophomore midfielder Trevor Wheeler for much of his junior career and facing off with Chris Prince and Kyle McCrudden in high school, there were already several familiar faces on the team when he joined the Badgers. As Big Ten play approaches and the team tries to gain momentum heading into the most important part of its schedule, look for Janus to take charge in key moments and lead Wisconsin’s offense. “We had to rely on [Janus] a lot last year to hold the ball, to get us up the field, which is one his strengths,” Trask said. “Something we’re working on now … is for him at times to play a little quicker in the right areas of the field, and save his special stuff for those moments in and around goal.”
Award-winning colloqua singer DenG has made history again by becoming the first Liberian artist to receive an MTV Africa Music Award (MAMA) nomination.DenG, who is widely recognized for hot Afro bangers like “Kemah” and “Put Foot,” was nominated in the “Listener’s Choice” award category along with other hit makers like BeBe Cool and Prince Kayee, just to name a few.Although DenG has made a big impression for Liberia’s struggling entertainment industry with this nomination, it is still unclear if he will be attending the event in Johannesburg. Also, as things stand, the catchy colloqua hits-maker, who turned 32 this year, does not seem to be doing much publicity to encourage his fans to vote for him. Lastly, he has remained mute to the media of late for reasons best known to himself.This year’s award will feature performances from African and international artists, exemplifying the show’s signature cross-genre and cross-border collaborations.The 2016 MTV Base Awards will celebrate African talents across 17 categories, including Best Male, Best Female, Best Song and Best Collaboration. Since the MTV Base Awards started in 2008, it has continued to recognize the talents of musicians, achievers and personalities from across Africa, including 2Face Idibia, Big Nuz, D’ Banj, Mafikizolo and Sarkodie, just to name a few. To vote for DenG, go to http://mama.mtv.com/voting/ and click the Listener’s Choice Category. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)