Friday, 26 May 2017

Low FODMAP stock concentrate

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Used as a foundation for savoury recipes, good stocks can transform a recipe from ordinary to gourmet. Stocks are often used in dishes such as soups, sauces, gravies, stews, casseroles, risottos, tagines, biryanis or even steamboats. However, many commercial stocks are salty, expensive and often contain onion and/or garlic, making them unhealthy and high in FODMAPs. They can also have cuisine based limitations, making them unsuitable for the delicious Asian dishes you love.

Here are two very simple, but mouthwatering stock recipes. They also reduce well to make concentrates, meaning they can be frozen in ice-cube trays and pulled out next time you want to make a delectable dish that is bursting with natural umami!

Stocks require several hours of cooking time, making them perfect to prepare and freeze on the weekend, then pull out to use on busy work days.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Savoury Low FODMAP Muffins

By Trish Veitch (Professional research chef)

Low FODMAP muffins are great served as snacks or treats when entertaining. They also freeze and reheat well, meaning you can pull them out of the freezer whenever you’re hungry. Here is a delicious, easy recipe for savoury low FODMAP muffins that is easy to modify to suit your taste or inspiration (see the tips below)!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Update: Bananas Re-Tested!

By Shirley Webber & Lyndal McNamara (Research Dietitians)
From time-to-time, we re-test a food tested in the past, to ensure that the information we provide to app users is up-to-date. This is important as changes in agricultural and environmental factors can influence FODMAP levels in food. Our scientific testing methods have also become more advanced over time, allowing us to detect FODMAPs with even greater sensitivity and accuracy.
Our most recently re-tested food was banana. We chose banana in part, because many people had reported discomfort after eating ripe bananas. Our app has since been updated with these new data.

New FODMAP ratings of common ripe bananas versus unripe bananas

Ripe banana


Unripe banana


Why has the FODMAP rating of bananas changed so significantly?
We know that agricultural and environmental factors influence FODMAP levels in food and believe that the changes in our FODMAP results may reflect this.
From published research we know that plants naturally tend to accumulate fructans in response to environmental stressors such as cold temperatures and drought.(1) Fructans provide plant cells with greater structural integrity, making them more hardy and resistant to damage from environmental changes and disease.(1)

Studies investigating bananas specifically have found that their fructan content increases when they are stored and ripened in cold storage, which is now relatively common practice by supermarket chains to prevent spoilage and guarantee even ripening.(2, 3) Farmers may also be selectively breeding varieties of crops with a higher fructan content, as they tend to be more resilient to pests and diseases.(1)
As our findings have confirmed, simple changes in how we grow or even store food over time can have a significant effect on their FODMAP content by the time they reach consumers. This emphasises just how important it is to test and retest foods to ensure that the FODMAP composition data provided in our app is consistent with the foods currently in the food supply.
To reflect these new findings, we have updated the banana listings in the app and revised the banana recipes. Remember to check the app for this updated information, including serving size information. When you look at the serving size information, you will see that you can still have a small serve of ripe banana (1/3 banana). It is important to remember that if you currently tolerate ripe bananas well, then there is no need to remove them from your diet. Remember, your diet only needs to be as strict as your symptoms require!

  1. Valluru R, Van den Ende W. Plant fructans in stress environments: emerging concepts and future prospects. J Exp Bot 2008; 59 (11): 2905-2916. Shalini R, Antony U.
  2. Agopian R G D, Purgatto E, Cordenunsi B R, Lajolo F M, Paulo U D S. Synthesis of fructooligosaccharides in banana `prata` and its relation to invertase activity and sucrose accumulation. Amer Chemical Soc. 2009.
  3. Fructan distribution in banana cultivars and effect of ripening and processing on Nendran banana. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2015;52(12):8244-8251.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Macadamia Nut Dukkah

By Trish Veitch (Research Chef)

Dukkah is a delicious, versatile, Middle Eastern sprinkle and there are many variations available! However, commercial dukkahs are often expensive and it can be tricky to source low FODMAP varieties. Here is an easy recipe that you can make and freeze so it is quick and easy to use whenever you like. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Mechanism series - Introduction

By Shirley Webber (Research Dietitian)

This month we will explore research into the mechanisms involved in inducing and exacerbating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We will delve deeper and unpack the reasons why a particular meal may be well tolerated in one person and bring on symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, discomfort, and flatulence in another.

If you haven’t seen this animation yet, now would be a good time to take a look as it explains the mechanisms underlying IBS and the role of FODMAPs in triggering symptoms.