Middle East Focus: Alibaba-Dubai e-commerce project, regional potential for frozen lime juice, COP27 food focus and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo contact

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Alibaba-Dubai e-commerce project, regional potential for frozen lime juice, COP27 food focus and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus. ©Getty Images
Alibaba-Dubai e-commerce project, regional potential for frozen lime juice, COP27 food focus and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Middle east

Alibaba-Dubai e-commerce project, regional potential for frozen lime juice, COP27 food focus and more feature in this edition of Middle East Focus.

‘E-commerce not a luxury’: Alibaba and Dubai government project looks to boost Middle East F&B exports

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is establishing Dubai’s first e-commerce pavilion on its platform with the backing of local trade authority Dubai Industries and Exports, urging Middle Eastern food firms to hop on board and boost exports to China and beyond.

E-commerce has been a booming retail market in many countries for several years, but in the Middle Eastern region this trend only really started to pick up steam in the last couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even so, research by global e-commerce firm Shopify has shown that at present online retail only makes up about 2% of sales in the market, and although this number is growing rapidly due to rising wealth and demand for convenience in the region, firms looking to grow at a more accelerated pace whilst still in tandem with the e-commerce trend are undoubtedly looking further.

Entering the lime-light: Chiangmai Bioveggie eyes wider ASEAN and Middle East with frozen juice

Thailand’s Chiangmai Bioveggie is focusing on exports for its single-ingredients frozen lime juice product, banking on the culinary heritage of limes in many Asian and Middle East markets, coupled with shelf-life benefits, for success.

When we first spoke to Chiangmai Bioveggie back in 2019, the firm was focusing its efforts on vegetable tablets aimed at providing consumers with a convenient, palatable format to consume the necessary daily intake of nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

Three years on, the vegetable tablets product has reached stability in the Thai market and now the firm is looking to expand further into international markets – and to do this, it intends to focus mostly on its frozen lime juice, a bold move as it is product with just one ingredient.

Bringing food to the ‘centre of the table’ at COP27: ‘In Glasgow we made commitments, in Cairo we implement them’

Less than two-months out from COP27 in Egypt, we ask how the dialogue around food has changed since last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Scotland. What role can technology play in encouraging food systems transformation? And what’s in-store for COP28 in Dubai?

Food production is linked to more than one-third of total manmade greenhouse gas emissions. The agri-food sector must play a key role in limiting global warming to 1.5˚C – as per the Paris Agreement.

The ‘first steps’ to amplify food systems transformation in high-level, UN discussions have been taken, according to Wiebe Smit, Program and Policy Specialist at Clim-Eat. “However, with agriculture and food systems contributing over one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, we really must act now.

Global diets ‘barely heathier’ in 30 years

Global eating habits have not much improved today since 1990, reveals research, though European countries fare better than average.

Diets are only slightly healthier than they were 30 years, according to a global study.

Researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University investigated the eating habits of adults and children in 185 countries over three decades. They used the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, which ranks different diets on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 representing heavy consumption of sugar and processed meats and 100 representing the recommended balance of fruits, vegetables, legumes/nuts and whole grains. They also used data from over 1,100 surveys from the Global Dietary Database, a large, collaborative compilation of data on food and nutrient consumption levels worldwide.

Inulin may alter dietary intake, reduce inflammation linked to depression, obesity

Prebiotics like inulin may decrease calorie intake by impacting appetite regulating hormones, and reduce inflammatory symptoms associated with obesity and depression, says a recent study.

Published in The British Journal of Nutrition​, the study analysed the effects of inulin supplementation on inflammation and clinical symptoms of women with obesity and depression and noted lower intake of protein and dietary fibre in the intervention group and following a calorie-restricted diet.

Calorie and protein intake can impact inflammatory biomarkers and consequently affect depression and mood, according to researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

Related topics: Middle East

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