Posts tagged with "Ingredients"

Will this food trigger allergies? Label Insight discloses the ingredients

March 26, 2019

Label Insight, a Chicago-based firm that “decodes” and “interprets” food label data for retailers—and, in turn, for U.S. shoppers who want to know more about the ingredients they will be consuming—has raised $21 million in new funding, The Chicago Tribune reports.

The series C round brings the company’s total funding to roughly $35 million; the company closed its last round in January 2016, The Chicago Tribune notes. Delta-v Capital led the round alongside River Cities Capital Funds. Delta-v managing partner David Schaller joins Label Insight’s board along with the deal.

The company—which was founded by brothers Dagan and Anton Zavier in 2008 in order to increase transparency in food, pet, and personal care marketing and enable customers to make more-informed purchasing decisions—claims to offer “more than 22,000 high-order attributes per product.”

Thus, a shopper with an allergy can ask a store rep and quickly figure out what products to avoid. Retailers get a tool to help customers understand what they’re buying, while companies can offer more information to sway ingredient-conscious shoppers.

The company says it works with top brands like Unilever, Conagra, L’Oreal, and Ocean Spray, and its database has information on more than 400,000 products. It provides that information to retailers like AlbertsonsMeijer, and Raley’s.

Earlier this year, Label Insight announced it was expanding into products like pet food, over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and supplements, and personal care items. CEO Paul Schaut said Label Insight plans on building its database to one million items with the new funding.

The series C round brings the company’s total funding to roughly $35 million; the company closed its last round in January 2016, The Chicago Tribune notes. Delta-v Capital led the round alongside River Cities Capital Funds. Delta-v managing partner David Schaller joins Label Insight’s board along with the deal.

“The consumer’s mandate for more information doesn’t stop with what they eat—it includes what they put on their bodies, personal care; it includes what they feed their pets, pet food; or their babies, baby food,” Schaut told the news outlet. “It’s not going to stop at what they buy at the grocery store. You get on a plane, you go to a restaurant, you’re going to want to know more about what you’re eating. Our business is just to support the industry any place the consumer is asking for more information.”

Schaut said Label Insight currently employs about 115 people, split evenly between its Chicago and St. Louis offices. With the funding, it plans to bring that number to 170 within the next 12 months. The hires will be focused on the company’s data science team,s as well as its sales and marketing teams, he said.

Research contact: bmeyerson@chicagotribune.com

Skin deep: Chemicals in cosmetics alter women’s hormone levels

September 17, 2018

It’s time to face up to the facts: The cosmetics and creams women use every day may cover their flaws and accentuate their best features, but they also can pose a critical risk. New research has established that chemicals found in many beauty products are linked to changes in hormones.

Indeed, the new research results—published in Environment International by Assistant Professor of Global and Community Health Anna Pollack, Ph.D., and colleagues at Fairfax, Virginia-based George Mason University—discovered links between chemicals that are widely used in cosmetic and personal care products and changes in reproductive hormones that can lead to serious conditions, including breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. .

For their study, the authors collected 509 urine samples from 143 healthy women between ages of 18 and 44. Participants did use birth control and had no prior history of any chronic ailments. Urine was analyzed for environmental chemicals commonly found in cosmetic and personal care products.

The authors found numerous adverse effects on reproductive hormones when these chemicals were present—especially parabens (antimicrobial preservatives) and benzophenones (ultraviolet filters). They say that even low levels of exposure to mixtures of chemicals can alter levels of hormones.

“We have early indicators that chemicals such as parabens may increase estrogen levels,” says Pollack, in a university press release. “If this finding is confirmed by additional research, it could have implications for estrogen dependent diseases such as breast cancer.”

This study is the first to examine mixtures of chemicals that are widely used in personal care products in relation to hormones in healthy, reproductive-age women, using multiple measures of exposure across the menstrual cycle, which improved upon research that relied on one or two measures of chemicals,” Pollack noted.

This multi-chemical approach more closely reflects real-world environmental exposures and shows that even low-level exposure to mixtures of chemicals may affect reproductive hormone levels. Another noteworthy finding of the study is that certain chemical and UV filters were associated with decreased reproductive hormones in multi-chemical exposures while others were associated with increases in other reproductive hormones, underscoring the complexities of these chemicals.

“What we should take away from this study is that we may need to be careful about the chemicals in the beauty and personal care products we use,” explains Pollack. “We have early indicators that chemicals such as parabens may increase estrogen levels. If this finding is confirmed by additional research, it could have implications for estrogen dependent diseases such as breast cancer.”

Research contact: apollac2@gmu.edu