Posted in Kafevend Blog

Some of you may remember from recent weeks our look at how coffee pods have been causing a bit of a ruckus. It turns out however that a student in Singapore named Eason Chow has figured out a way to sidestep them altogether- whether they're a recycling nightmare or uber green bio friendly degradable, neither appear necessary anymore. He has solved this problem by making what appears, at first glance, to be coffee skittles. Each "Droop", as he has named them, consists of a core of coffee coated with powdered milk, followed by a sugar coating that stops it all falling apart. When you want to make a cup of coffee, you just insert one of these Droops into the machine which he has also designed, and the entire thing dissolves to make the drink- no nasty plastic to get rid of at the end! Seems like a pretty good idea, huh?

As if drinkers of PG Tips didn't have enough to contend with after their tea bag sizes were reduced, those who enjoyed a chocolate finger or two alongside their now diminished cup of tea are set to be disappointed again, as Cadbury have decided to reduce the amount of chocolate fingers you now get in a box. This isn't necessarily a dastardly ploy however. With recent world events such as the ebola outbreak in Africa where lots of cacao is grown, the price of cacao has been on the rise. Given the severity of the incident, I'm sure we here in Britain can forego a couple of chocolate biscuits.

Over the years, we've taken many a cursory glance at the various health boons and banes in drinks like tea and coffee. There's a general thought that some of these drinks along with other items like fruit and veg have a positive impact, though finding out specifically how they do this is something that is still being discovered.

Happily then, a recent study by Paul Kroon and his team at the Institute of Food Research has shed light on some of the specifics. In their tests, they produced evidence that showed certain polyphenols found in green tea and apples block a signalling molecule called VEGF and also activated a system that produces nitric oxide in the blood which helps to widen blood vessels. The molecule VEGF is an important part of the processes of vasculo- and angio- genesis which form and grow our circulatory systems. Unfortunately, the molecule and its associated processes can work against us sometimes. Angiogenesis itself plays a large part in the progression of cancer, whilst atherosclerosis, where arteries can clog and lead to heart issues, is also affected by VEGF. 

Whilst greater minds than ours are no doubt working on using this knowledge to its full potential, us layfolk ought at least to be pleased that our apple a day hasn't been for nothing, nor our green tea fad!

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