Seaweed cuts fat

Researchers at Newcastle University have found that seaweed added to bread, biscuits and yoghurt can reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body by up to 75%. Natural fibre alginate, found in sea kelp and already used in small quantities in food as a thickener, means the products are more effective than weight-loss products sold over the counter.

A woman of worth

The director of a Leicester-based cake-making company has been named East Midlands Businesswoman of the Year. Debbie Bass who runs Sugar and Ice beat 80 other entries to scoop the prize in the Women of Worth competition.

LASER fundraiser

LASER is holding a fundraising dinner for the Bakers’ Benevolent Society at the Bel Canto Restaurant in London, on Saturday 24 April. It costs £40 per person, with wine and coffee optional. If you would like to attend, please send a cheque made out to LASER to Laurent Valbret, 72 Harpes Road, Oxford, OX2 7QL or email

Setting your shelf-life

A free publication to help food businesses of all sizes set the shelf-life of ready-to-eat foods has been published by the British Retail Consortium and the Chilled Food Association. The Shelf-life Guidance also helps firms meet European Union microbiology rules. To download the guidance go to

New Village Bakery

New independent shop The Village Bakery has opened in Warsash, near Southampton, selling bread, cakes, homemade pies and pasties, and sandwiches. Owners Jim and Alison Orr also plan to sell a range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free products.