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In the wake of the obesity pandemic, the concept and demonisation of "ultra-processed foods" has moved into the popular - and academic/professional - mindset. Here one of SA's leading food scientists, Nigel Sunley unpicks this thorny topic in an article based on a presentation he made at the SAAFoST Congress, Cape Town, in early September.

In the vast anthropological catalogue of contemporary humanity that is YouTube, there's an entire universe of videos where cute kids bug out their eyes, gag and make hideous faces while trying not to spit out distressingly sour or disgustingly flavoured candy. Videos with titles like "Extreme Sour Candy Challenge" have millions or even tens of millions of views. So what is the appeal?