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Dairy Industry Advisory Group Points To Snack Food Sector As Potential Profit Source

September 6, 2010: 10:19 PM EST

A white paper from a dairy industry group urges dairy companies to take a close look at snack foods as a potential profit source. Calcium-rich dairy products account for only 13 percent of between-meal snack choices among people two years old and older. The white paper urges food manufacturers to “re-imagine” snacks with dairy-derived ingredients to take advantage of the virtually unlimited possibilities for innovation. Especially compelling is the fact that healthy snacks comprise more than half of all “snacking occasions:” a total of 850 million annually. According to the white paper, “Snacking is now viewed as helping contribute to moderation and balance in eating, which naturally aligns with dairy’s nutritious profile.” To gain a greater share of snack sales, dairy formulators need to solve refrigeration and portability problems.

Joanna Cosgrove, "Dairy Pursues the Snacking Market ", Nutraceuticals World, September 06, 2010, © Rodman Publishing.
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Pepsi Pulls Troubled All-Natural Pepsi Raw From U.K. Market

September 6, 2010: 10:34 PM EST
PepsiCo is removing the struggling all-natural Pepsi Raw brand, the first new cola it has launched since 1993, from the U.K. market. Made from naturally sourced ingredients, Pepsi Raw never really caught on in grocery stores after its debut in 2008. The latest sales numbers from Nielsen peg sales at a little over $1 million (£704,000) for the 12 months ending June 26. Industry watchers wonder whether Pepsi will tinker with its much-publicized plan to make its foods and beverages healthier. Perhaps also under reconsideration is the promise to spend heavy ad dollars on natural and low- or no-sugar products like Pepsi Raw and Pepsi Max. Pepsi used a low-key approach to the launch of Pepsi Raw, relying on “building buzz” with social media and word-of-mouth marketing.
David Burrows, "Pepsi Raw removed from UK market", MarketingWeek, September 06, 2010, © Marketingweek.co.uk
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Competition Heats Up In Krill And Functional Fish Oil Markets

September 3, 2010: 10:50 PM EST
New York private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg has purchased half of the outstanding shares of Norwegian krill supplier Aker BioMarine to form a joint venture, NewCo, which in turn bought fish oil supplier EPAX. Also a Norwegian company, EPAX provides fish oils with variable concentrations of omega-3s EPA and DHA, targeting specific health conditions. Industry observers hope the new market strength of Aker will spur it to greater investment in clinical trials for its fish oil supplements. Krill pioneer Neptune Technologies & Bioressources has had its fish oil tested successfully against competitive brands in studies of PMS and dysmenorrhea, arthritis inflammation and pain, and regulation of blood lipids. Meanwhile, Azantis, another major competitor, is broadening its R&D to create a water-soluble krill that might be useable in beverages.
Todd Runestad, "Industry analysis: Aker Lands Epax", Functional Ingredients, September 03, 2010, © Penton Media Inc
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On Its 30th Birthday, Whole Foods Adds Health, Wellness Themes To Marketing Strategy

September 3, 2010: 10:10 PM EST
John Mackey, CEO of $8 billion Whole Foods, whose 300 stores are celebrating the company’s thirtieth anniversary, says the company is evolving toward health and wellness while it maintains its emphasis on organic and natural foods. The company is getting ready to launch three wellness-related programs at stores, including an animal welfare rating initiative that will debut in all stores early in 2011. Customers will be provided information on how meat animals are raised. This month, the company will take advantage of an informational partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute to inform shoppers about seafood species sold in stores. The company is also launching Wellness Clubs in five prototype stores to teach consumers about the connection between healthy eating and disease prevention.
"Whole Foods CEO: Healthy food is affordable necessity", USA Today, September 03, 2010, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
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Obesity Problem Offers Continuing Opportunities For Weight Management Industry

September 1, 2010: 10:23 PM EST
Market researcher Packaged Facts says the global weight loss and diet management market is now worth $26 billion as people try various “solutions” to their obesity problem. But the problem is not going away, despite increasing pressure from the government, nutrition advocates and health-conscious consumers. Experts say consumers need to be educated on the importance of nutritious foods and a healthy lifestyle in controlling weight. But Americans love pills and supplements, and this provides an opportunity for the supplement and functional foods industries to provide safe and effective weight management products. One hot trend, for example, is foods and beverages that provide satiety, or hunger satisfaction. Another trend: the subtle shift toward formulating low-, no- or reduced-calorie/fat/carbohydrates/sugar foods with functional ingredients that help people lose weight.
Rebecca Wright, "Fat Chance ", Nutraceuticals World, September 01, 2010, © Rodman Publishing
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Baby Carrots Take On Cheetos In Battle For School Lunch Box Space

August 30, 2010: 01:32 AM EST
Bolthouse Farms and 50 confrère carrot growers are launching a quirky $25 million marketing campaign to get parents and school kids interested in replacing salty junk food snacks with baby carrots in lunch boxes this fall. A $1 billion market, baby carrots have suffered lately from the effects of the economic downturn, but growers hope to reverse that by tackling the $18 billion salty snack food industry. The campaign features a number of carrot-marketing innovations, including small colorful snack bags, hip school vending machines, clever new slogans, and TV ads that show baby carrots as “extreme, futuristic and even, yes, sexy.” Frito-Lay says it doesn’t feel threatened by the new campaign, and in fact welcomes it: "We applaud any effort to provide consumers with a wider range of snacking options."
Bruce Horovitz, "Baby carrots take on junk food with hip marketing campaign", USA TODAY, August 30, 2010, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
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U.S. Needs A Comprehensive Food Traceability System To Prevent Illnesses

August 27, 2010: 01:16 PM EST
An effective product tracing system would make it easier to identify food-borne illnesses earlier and control problems such as the egg salmonella outbreak faster, according to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). In a report submitted to the FDA, the organization suggests guidelines for creating a comprehensive product tracing system to track food products from farm to point of sale or service. The report recommends, for example, creating a standard list of key information to be collected; identifying points along the supply chain, internally and between partners, where information needs to be captured; keeping comprehensive records; using electronic systems for data transfer; and including traceability as a requirement within audits. The report says the system should be simple, user friendly, globally accepted and compatible with existing industry systems.
Jennifer C. McEntire, et al., "Traceability (Product Tracing) in Food Systems: An IFT Report Submitted to the FDA", Report by the Institute of Food Technologists to the FDA, August 27, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Enzyme Found In Body Fluids Destroys Anthrax Bacteria

August 26, 2010: 12:03 PM EST
An antibacterial enzyme known as lysozyme applied to food could protect people from intentional contamination with anthrax, U.S. scientists report. Lysozome, which is found in human tears and other body fluids, destroys protective cell walls of bacteria. Lysozyme in breast milk protects infants from certain infections and in the whites of hens’ eggs protects developing chicks. In their study, the researchers used a surrogate bacterial strain considered a stand-in for anthrax in hens’ egg white, and found that the lysozyme in egg white effectively killed the bacterial spores. It also showed some activity in killing spores added to ground beef and milk. The scientists say more research is needed on the effect of lysozome on bacteria in other types of foods, such as ground beef, milk, fruit juices, and vegetables.
Saeed A. Khan, Ph.D., et al., "Toward Safer Foods for Human Consumption with Anthrax Protection", Presentation, national meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 26, 2010, © American Chemical Society
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Asian Rice Variety Offers Healthier, Cheaper Alternative To Blueberries

August 26, 2010: 11:43 AM EST
U.S. researchers report that Chinese black rice bran is much richer in heart disease-fighting anthocyanin antioxidants than fresh blueberries and blackberries, and are much cheaper. A spoonful of black rice bran contains more antioxidants - including vitamin E - less sugar and more fiber than a spoonful of blueberries, researchers say. Food manufacturers could use black rice bran to enhance the health value of breakfast cereals, beverages, cakes, cookies, and other foods. The lipid soluble antioxidants found in black rice bran contain higher levels of water-soluble anthocyanin antioxidants than brown rice bran, which is considered much healthier than white rice. Black rice is used mainly in Asia for food decoration, noodles, sushi, and pudding.
Zhimin Xu, "Black Rice Rivals Pricey Blueberries as Source of Healthful Antioxidants", Presentation, national meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 26, 2010, © American Chemical Society
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FDA Offers Guidance For Restaurants On Complying With New Nutrition Labeling Law

August 25, 2010: 01:10 PM EST
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published drafts of guidelines that tell chain and other restaurants how to comply with the new federal nutrition labeling law, which requires that basic nutrition information on menu items be provided to restaurant diners. The restaurant and retail food establishment section of the law, which was enacted in March 2010, requires posting the number of calories for standard menu items on menus and menu boards, providing additional nutrition information in writing, and posting clearly that nutrition information is available on request. Restaurants also must post calorie information for self-serve items and foods on display. The agency, which is seeking public comment on the proposed guidelines, said it will hold off enforcing final regulations until restaurants have had time to comply.
U.S. FOod and Drug Administration, "Draft Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding Implementation of the Menu Labeling Provisions of Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 ", Federal Register, August 25, 2010, © FDA
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Quaker Oats Launches New Products, Ad Campaign, Based On Healthy Breakfasts

August 24, 2010: 02:10 AM EST
Proclaiming a growth plan based on products that “help people lead healthier lifestyles,” Quaker Oats Company said it will introduce two hot cereal varieties for its instant oatmeal line. The products targeted at adults and children include Quaker Hearty Medleys Instant Multigrain Hot Cereal and Mix-Up Creations, an instant oatmeal product that allows kids to create a breakfast by mixing “fun oatmeal flavors.” The company said the theme of its new advertising campaign, launching on September 1, will be the question: "Does Your Breakfast Make You Amazing?" According to Quaker Oats President Jaya Kumar, “We see a universal need for education and motivation to help Americans make breakfast a daily, healthy habit." Toronto-based ad agency Juniper Park created the "Amazing Mornings" campaign.
"Quaker Oats Sets New Direction for Growth, Reclaims 'Morning' Leadership", PepsiCo, August 24, 2010, © PepsiCo
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Researchers Suggest Functional Food Benefit For Olive Oil Production Waste

August 22, 2010: 08:16 PM EST
Researchers in Greece suggest in a new study that antioxidant-rich material called mill waste left over from olive oil production may have functional value if extracted and used in other oils and foods. According to the researchers, phenolic extracts could replace synthetic antioxidants to boost food stability. And the process could solve the tricky environmental problem of treating and disposing of mill waste, much of which is not readily biodegradable. The researchers analyzed antioxidants and experimented with various solvent extraction techniques to determine the impact on antioxidant levels. The major phenolic compound found in the mill waste extract was hydroxytyrosol, though various flavonoids were also detected. Ethanol was the best solvent for extraction of phenolic compounds from the waste material.
Theodora-Ioanna Lafka, Andriana E. Lazou, Vassilia J. Sinanoglou and Evangelos S. Lazos, "Phenolic and antioxidant potential of olive oil mill wastes", Food Chemistry , August 22, 2010, © Elsevier BV
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Mars Adds Lighter Version Of Twix Bar To Lower-Calorie Chocolate Bar Line

August 15, 2010: 11:47 AM EST
In an effort to attract chocolate bar lovers worried about their waistlines, confectioner Mars has introduced in the U.K. a Twix chocolate bar without the crunchy cookie base and 48 calories – one third –lighter than the original. Twix Fino, whose main competitors are Nestle's Kit Kat Senses and Ferrero's Kinder Bueno, is the first permanent addition to the brand in 40 years. Many big candy makers are responding to women who crave a pick-me-up chocolate bar, but want to avoid extra flab around the midsection. The new 94-calorie Twix, which has a wafer rather than a cookie layer, joins Galaxy Bubbles and Mars Delight in the company’s expanding family of lower-calorie chocolate bars.
"Twix raises the bar in the battle to cut out calories as 'lighter' chocolate market widens", Daily Mail , August 15, 2010, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Antioxidant-Rich Purple Carrots Could Be The Next Superfood

August 10, 2010: 04:56 AM EST

An Australian preclinical study in rats highlights the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of purple carrots, the newest superfood containing 28 times the anthocyanins than the familiar orange variety. Rats were fed a high-fat, high-carb diet that imitated the unhealthy Western diet over a 16-week period. The rats gained weight, developed high blood pressure, became glucose intolerant (pre-diabetic) and ended up with damaged livers and hearts. The researchers turned everything around, however, in the final eight weeks of the study by adding purple carrot juice to the diet. The rats returned to good health. The scientists plan human trials for later this year, but an extract of purple carrot juice is already being sold in New Zealand pharmacies.

Press Release, USQ, "Move over spinach: Purple carrots are the new 'supervegetable'", University of Southern Queensland, August 10, 2010, © University of Southern Queensland
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Law Center Urges Changes In USDA Policies To Encourage Fruit/Vegetable Farming

August 3, 2010: 10:49 AM EST
Current USDA policies favoring commodity crop farming discourage farmers who want to produce and market fruits and vegetables and should be changed, according to a report by a law center that provides legal services to family farmers. The USDA, whose programs are based on a commodity crop business model (low prices, high volumes), has for years accumulated data on yield and pricing for crops such as corn and soybeans and has long supported farmers with financial and risk-management programs. But the agency has not collected yield/price data on fruits and vegetables, which are marketed directly to retailers and consumers, rather than to wholesalers. The report recommends creation of a “safety net” of crop insurance and disaster assistance for fruit and vegetable farmers, among other policy changes.
Jill E. Krueger, Karen R. Krub, Lynn A. Hayes, "Planting the Seeds for Public Health: How the Farm Bill Can Help Farmers to Produce and Distribute Healthy Foods", Report, Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc., August 03, 2010, via Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, © Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc.
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Danone Licenses Probiotics Technology From Probi

July 29, 2010: 08:24 AM EST
Probiotics developer Probi has signed a 10-year agreement giving exclusive rights to Danone affiliates to use Probi’s Lp299v technology in probiotic fruit drinks and fruit juices for gut health outside North America. Danone also agreed to acquire 51% of ProViva AB from Skånemejerier. According to the company, Probi will receive a downpayment from Skånemejerier before the end of the year for rights granted by Probi and possible future milestone payments depending on regulatory approval of health claims. “This is a long term collaboration with Danone which will secure revenues from our existing Swedish franchise and establish a potential for international growth,” Probi said.
Probi, "Probi signs ten year license agreements with Danone", Press Release, Probi, July 29, 2010, © Probi
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New Natural Sweetener Offers Several Advantages To Producers And Consumers

July 29, 2010: 08:57 AM EST
Cookies baked with a novel natural sweetener made from sugar and stevia proved to be a hit at the recent Institute of Food Technologists food expo. The producers of “Steviacane” used their sweetener to bake 1,500 sugar cookies that drew a “strong positive reaction” from the expo attendees. According to Natural Sweet Ventures LLC, which is jointly owned by Imperial Sugar and PureCircle, Steviacane has several advantages: it’s natural, it uses less sugar and is thus lower in calories, and it does not harm the flavor of finished products. The patented process for making Steviacane combines cane sugar and high-purity stevia from the leaves of the stevia plant into an easy-to-use granulated product.
Press Release ISC, "New Sweetener Passes Test at Food Expo", ISC, July 29, 2010, © ISC
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Unilever's GPS-Equipped Detergent Tracks And Rewards Lucky Shoppers In Brazil

July 29, 2010: 04:29 AM EST

Unilever’s new promotion in Brazil, called "Try Something New With Omo”, involves adding a GPS device to 50 of its Omo detergent packages. The device will track buyers of the special boxes to their homes, where they will be given a pocket video camera and invited to a Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun day. The campaign, for a product that can already be found in 80% of homes in the country, aims to get people talking about its new stain-fighting version of Omo. The GPS device activates when the box is removed from the shelf. The website experimentealgonovo.com.br will include a map locating the winners, as well as photos of the winners and videos of the teams pursuing the GPS-implanted boxes. The technology for the promotion costs less than $1 million.

Laurel Wentz , "Is Your Detergent Stalking You?", Advertising Age, July 29, 2010, © Crain Communications
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L'Oreal Joins YouTube Craze, Creates Beauty Channel

July 29, 2010: 03:56 AM EST

L'Oreal Paris has partnered with YouTube to build Destination Beauty, a video channel designed for supporters of the most popular beauty and personal care video bloggers. Part of a year-long marketing campaign co-designed by media agency Universal McCann, the channel will feature L'Oreal-sponsored content from partners, such as makeup experts like Lauren Luke and Kandee Johnson, as well as Seventeen Magazine. Supported by Google through ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network, the video channel is created in response to the explosion in beauty videos online — 15 of the most viewed channels on YouTube, which has recently reached the two-billion-views-daily milepost, are classified under the "Beauty" category. The channel will feature weekly videos of tips on beauty-related topics, and will include products from L'Oreal and its competitors.

Lisa Lacy , "L'Oreal Sponsors Beauty Channel on YouTube", clickz, July 29, 2010, © Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC
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Coca-Cola’s R&D Machine Hopes To Keep Up With Fast-Changing Consumer Tastes

July 25, 2010: 10:33 AM EST
Determined to stay abreast of rapidly changing consumer preferences, Coca-Cola Co. has its R&D machine running at full tilt, not only developing new beverages with exotic flavors, textures and healthy ingredients, but also environmentally-friendly beverage containers using plant-derived plastics. Its Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) unit is focusing on six carefully-guarded product categories, any one of which could produce the next billion-dollar brand. The company is also exploring the use of natural sweeteners, colors and preservatives in beverages that will also contain functional ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. On the environmental front, its new recyclable bottles are partially made of a material derived from sugar cane. By 2020 the company hopes its bottles will be made 100 percent from plant-based material.
Martinne Geller, "Coca-Cola taps new drink textures, functions", Reuters, July 25, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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New Process Makes Chocolate Bits Germ-Free To Prevent Yogurt Spoilage

July 22, 2010: 04:51 AM EST
Processing tiny bits of chocolate into certain food products, including yogurt, adds a unique flavor. But, though chocolate made by conventional methods is fairly low in bacteria, it’s not low enough for dairy products. Even a small amount of bacteria in chocolate will proliferate quickly in yogurt, spoiling the product. Now German chocolate maker Herza Schokolade has developed a way to make little chocolate pieces germ-free so they can be added to yogurt without causing deterioration. The process is complex: cocoa beans must be degermed, the chocolate paste must be sterilized, and the chocolate pieces must be packed under sterile conditions. Now the company is working on another technical puzzle: preserving the stability of the chocolate pieces during this process.
HERZA SCHOKOLADE, "Sterile chocolate pieces for yoghurt and other dairy products", HERZA SCHOKOLADE Press Release, July 22, 2010, © HERZA SCHOKOLADE
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New Food, Beverage Introductions On The Rise Again, Mintel Says

July 20, 2010: 11:14 AM EST
Data presented at the recent Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting by market researcher Mintel shows that new food and beverage product introductions in the U.S. have increased about 15 percent over the second half of 2009. According to IFT, the increase indicates that the impact of the recession is leveling off and food manufacturers are innovating to meet consumer demand. Driving the increase this year has been new “treat foods” (Greek yogurt, pretzel M&Ms), as well as foods that make it easier to create restaurant-type food at home (specialty mayonnaise, spice collections), a Mintel representative said. Organic offerings topped out at 12 percent of new products in 2008, and since then dropped to about seven percent, largely from smaller companies or private label organics.
Mindy Weinstein, "On the Upswing: First Half of 2010 Showing Increase in New Food and Drink Products", News release, Institute Of Food Technologists, July 20, 2010, © Institute Of Food Technologists
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New Kellogg Cereals Promise Fiber, Antioxidants

July 20, 2010: 08:46 AM EST
Kellogg Company has unveiled a line of cereals that promise fiber and the antioxidant vitamins C and E. FiberPlus Antioxidants cereals, available in Berry Yogurt Crunch and Cinnamon Oat Crunch, are available now in grocery stores nationwide, the company says. Kellogg last June announced that most of its U.S. ready-to-eat cereals will be “at least good sources of fiber” by the end of 2010. Adding antioxidants to cereals follows on the heels of the company’s introduction of the FiberPlus Antioxidants Bar product family.
Kellogg Co., "KELLOGG COMPANY INTRODUCES DELICIOUS NEW KELLOGG'S FIBERPLUS™ ANTIOXIDANTS CEREAL", Kellogg Co. press release, July 20, 2010, © Kellogg Co.
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Research Finds Ethylcellulose Plus Lecithin Boost Flowability Of Fat-Reduced Chocolate

July 20, 2010: 10:09 AM EST
Blending ethylcellulose polymer surfactants with lecithin provides an efficient way to increase the viscosity of molten reduced fat chocolate, researchers at the U.K.’s University of Nottingham and Nestlé research center have found. The mixture stabilizes emulsion and lipid-based dispersions and offers a workable alternative to highly concentrated lecithin. Surfactants coat sugar and cocoa particles dispersed in fat such as cocoa butter to boost the viscosity of molten chocolate, which is necessary for successful processing and optimal mouthfeel in fat-reduced chocolate. Ethylcellulose did not improve flow by itself, but combined with lecithinit significantly enhanced fluidization and dispersibility of sucrose particles.
T-A.L. Do, J.R. Mitchell, B. Wolf and J. Vieir, "Use of Ethylcellulose Polymers as Stabilizer in Fat-based Food Suspensions Examined on the Example of Model Reduced-fat Chocolate", Reactive and Functional Polymers, July 20, 2010, © Elsevier B.V.
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Tate & Lyle Unveils First European Polydextrose Line In The Netherlands

July 16, 2010: 10:48 AM EST
Food and industrial ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle said it has fully commissioned its new STA-LITE Polydextrose line in a new facility in Koog, The Netherlands, to meet the growing demand for functional food ingredients. The facility is unique in Europe and provides a shorter supply chain and reduced costs for food and beverage makers. Available as a liquid and powder, STA-LITE Polydextrose is a low calorie (one kcal/gram), bulking agent used to provide body and texture in reduced calorie, no added sugar and/or high fiber foods. According to the company, polydextrose is also a soluble fiber with prebiotic properties. It is well tolerated, has a low glycemic response, is clean tasting and easy to use, enabling manufacturers to develop healthier versions of foods and beverage products.
Tate and Lyle, "Tate & Lyle announces the full commissioning of the first European Polydextrose line", Press release, Tate and Lyle, July 16, 2010, © Tate and Lyle
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Five Fast Food Giants Significantly Cut Trans Fats In Oils

July 14, 2010: 01:19 PM EST
New research that takes a first look at trans fat trends in major fast food restaurants has found that several of the biggest chains seem to be responding to health concerns. Specifically, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Jack in the Box and Dairy Queen have significantly decreased trans fats in cooking oils, according to the U.S. study. Using a Univ. of Minnesota database that catalogs the nutritional values of 18,000 foods, the researchers analyzed trans fat and saturated fat levels in french fries from the five chains. McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's significantly cut trans and saturated fatty acid composition of fries between 1997 and 2008. Potential future marketplace shifts include changes to sodium and energy content of fast food items, researchers said.
Lisa Harnack, Ph.D., et al., "Study Finds Fast Food Chains Have Significantly Decreased Trans Fats In Cooking Oils", Presentation, National Nutrient Database Conference, July 14, 2010, © Univ. of Minnesota School of Public Health, Nutrition Coordinating Center
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Kashi Offers New Resource For Natural Foods Enthusiasts

July 13, 2010: 01:26 AM EST
Kellogg subsidiary Kashi Company has launched a Web search tool designed to help natural food fans find natural goods and services in their community. The Natural Nearby search tool and accompanying map, found on Kashi.com, provide relevant listings and word-of-mouth recommendations on leisure activities, food, consumer goods, health and beauty, and services. The site is interactive – consumers can add listings and personal favorites – to grow the database, the company said, adding that it hopes the resource will make it “a little easier for people to embrace and live a more natural lifestyle.” Also available on Kashi’s site is the Kashi Yearbook, created to commemorate its 25th anniversary.
Kashi, "Kashi Company Announces New Natural Lifestyle Initiatives", News release, Kashi Company, July 13, 2010, © PR Newswire
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FieldFresh Food Venture Hopes To Crack India’s Top Ten List

July 12, 2010: 03:05 AM EST
A 50-50 joint venture between Bharti Ventures and Del Monte Pacific is looking to become one of the top ten food and beverage companies in India by 2014, with help from Del Monte’s supply chain expertise. FieldFresh Foods is targeting sauces, juices, Italian cuisine and packaged fruit, market segments worth a total of $857 million and growing by 20 percent a year. The venture has already seen good market penetration – its products are now available at 20,000 retail outlets in 25 cities – but it faces tough competition from Nestle, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Heinz, Parle Agro and Dabur. To speed things along, FieldFresh is spending $64 million on a food processing plant in Tamil Nadu and on fruit and vegetable research.
Arunima Mishra , "The Del Monte difference", Business Standard, July 12, 2010, © Business Standard Ltd.
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Healthy Beverages Continue To Be Major Focus Of Innovation, Sales At Campbell

July 12, 2010: 01:52 AM EST
Top executives at Campbell Soup Company told investors that the company’s long-term growth plans are based on healthy beverages, baked snacks and simple meals. Sales growth in these categories will be driven by increased innovation, including wellness, and higher levels of marketing support, according to CEO Douglas Conant. Campbell President Sean Connolly said the company will build on the success of the V8 V-Fusion juices by launching three new varieties of it plus tea products. The company will also enhance the V8 juice line with new products, such as sweet carrot juice and lower sodium spicy hot V8 juice, and introduce “a new, more contemporary package design.” Campbell's U.S. V8 portfolio accounts for $1 billion in annual retail sales.
Campbell Soup, "Campbell Steps Up Investments in Baked Snacks and Healthy Beverages; Highlights Plans for Simple Meals", Campbell Soup press release, July 12, 2010, © CSC Brands, L.P.
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New Germicidal Wipe Kills 35 HAI-Causing Pathogens

July 12, 2010: 03:37 AM EST
Kimberly-Clark Professional has introduced a germicidal wipe with “a new chemistry” that cleans and disinfects environmental surfaces quickly. According to the company, KIMTECH One-Step Germicidal Wipe kills MRSA in 30 seconds and C. difficile spores in six minutes. Other environmental surface disinfectants require 10 minutes, according to the company. The greatest surface cleaning challenge facing infection control and environmental services professionals is maintaining proper contact times to kill the largest number of pathogens that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), a company surveyu found. KIMTECH combines peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide with a proprietary wiper treatment that keeps the solution active over time, allowing it to kill 35 different organisms. The pre-moistened wipe is dispensed as ready-to-use individual sheets.
"Kimberly-Clark Professional Launches KIMTECH* One-Step Germicidal Wipe to Kill Organisms That Cause HAIs", News release, Kimberly-Clark, July 12, 2010, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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FDA’s New Safety Rules For Large-Scale Egg Producers Take Effect

July 9, 2010: 12:37 PM EST
The FDA hopes that its new rules enforcing safety standards for large-scale egg producers will make a dent in the large number of illnesses and deaths caused by eating eggs contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The new requirements, which impact about 80 percent of egg producers, went into effect on July 9. The producers are required, for example, to adopt contamination prevention measures and to use refrigeration during egg storage and transportation. Illness caused by Salmonella bacteria in eggs is a serious public health problem, FDA said, with 79,000 illnesses and 30 deaths reported last year. By employing the safety measures, producers would reduce Salmonella enteritidis infections from eggs by nearly 60 percent, the agency said.
FDA, "New Final Rule to Ensure Egg Safety, Reduce Salmonella Illnesses Goes Into Effect", News release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, July 09, 2010, © FDA
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Cargill’s Prebiotic Fiber Helps Create Non-Yogurt Foods That Benefit Digestion

July 7, 2010: 02:42 AM EST
Cargill said it will unveil at the Institute of Food Technologists Food Expo (July 18-20) a “simple pureed soup” containing a soluble prebiotic fiber that helps promote digestive health by stimulating the normal, beneficial bacteria in the colon. According to the company, food manufacturers can use the ingredient, called Oliggo-Fiber inulin, to develop non-yogurt foods that support good digestive health. A Cargill exec pointed to market research showing that a third of Americans suffer from digestive problems and 40 percent are searching for foods and beverages beyond the yogurt aisle that improve digestive health. Another 78 percent are interested in digestive health products rich in fiber. The company said Oliggo-Fiber inulin is a prebiotic with excellent heat stability that allows production of innovative and shelf-stable products, such as soup.
Cargill, "Cargill helps food manufacturers incorporate Oliggo-Fiber® inulin to develop products that go "beyond yogurt" in supporting good digestive health", Press Release, Cargill, July 07, 2010, © Cargill
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Nestlé Plans To Build New Facility In DRC

July 1, 2010: 09:37 AM EST

Nestlé is to invest some CHF 40 million over the next three years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), even though the country remains relatively politically unstable. The investment will involve a new production plant in the capital, Kinshasa, for food and coffee brands, such as Maggi and Nescafé 3-in-1. In 2009, Nestlé established distribution facilities and sales offices in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Goma, and the company hopes that building production capacity in the country will bring it closer to its consumers there and adapt the products for local needs and tastes. 

Australian Food News, "Nestlé to build factory in DR Congo", Australian Food News, July 01, 2010, © Australian Food News
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Researchers Isolate Compound In Honey With Antibacterial Powers

July 1, 2010: 09:41 AM EST
Scientists have known for some time that honey has a therapeutic effect on infections, but until now no one knew why. In a U.S. study, scientists have identified an ingredient – defensin-1, added to honey by bees – that acts as a potent antibiotic and might be used someday against drug-resistant bacteria. The researchers analyzed the antibacterial action of medical-grade honey in test tubes against various antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. They eventually isolated the defensin-1 protein, a constituent of the honey bee immune system, and concluded that most of honey's antibacterial properties come from it. "Honey or isolated honey-derived components might be of great value for prevention and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria," a researcher says. Their findings may also help breed healthier honey bees, they say.
Paulus H. S. Kwakman, Anje A. te Velde, Leonie de Boer, Dave Speijer, Christina M. J. E. Vandenbroucke-Grauls, and Sebastian A. J. Zaat, "How honey kills bacteria", FASEB Journal, July 01, 2010, © FASEB
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New Multigrain Pringles Marketed To Health Conscious Age Groups

July 1, 2010: 09:52 AM EST

Procter & Gamble’s Pringles brand is launching a multigrain version. The launch campaign includes TV and online ads, and donations to Share Our Strength to help hungry children in the US. Pringles also hired Food Network chef, Tyler Florence, to create recipes that went well with the new product, which was developed with a focus on taste, and comes in three flavors: Truly Original, Creamy Ranch and Cheesy Cheddar. One problem the marketers have to overcome is the perception that multigrain items are tasteless. Samples and coupons were given out in grocery stores nationwide, at concerts and festivals, and at New York’s Grand Central Station. The campaign was designed to target people 35 and older, who tend to be more aware of healthier foods, although the new product has about the same sodium content and calories as the original.

ELIZABETH OLSON, "The Chip That Stacks Adds a Multigrain Twist", The New York Times , July 01, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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New Dentyne Sugarless Gum Doesn’t Mask Bad Breath, It Purifies It

July 1, 2010: 03:14 AM EST
Dentyne has signaled its intention to boost visibility in the breath-freshening gum space with the introduction of sugarless Dentyne Pure, a chewing gum that "neutralizes" bad breath, not just covers it up like competitors do. According to the company, Dentyne Pure’s proprietary ingredients don’t cover up bad breath, they purify it. Launched in stores in March, the gum is being marketed through a sampling initiative and television ads on Facebook promoting the brand's "practice safe breath" motto. According to research firm Mintel, sugarless gum sales rose seven percent in 2007-2009, with $1 billion in U.S. sales in 2009 across food, drug and mass channels. Dentyne hopes to pump new life into the sugarless gum category while riding the fresh breath wave.
Elaine Wong, "Dentyne Introduces 'Pure' Gum to Kick Bad Breath", Brandweek , July 01, 2010, © Brandweek
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Genetic Tinkering Adds Shelf Life To Tomatoes

June 30, 2010: 01:33 PM EST
Adding a yeast gene to tomatoes increases production of a compound that slows aging and delays microbial decay, a study finding that probably transfers to most fruits. The U.S. researchers said the technology inhibits the aging of plants and extends the shelf life of fruits – in the case of tomatoes by an additional week. The organic compound spermidine is a member of the class of chemicals known as polyamines that influence hundreds of genes. The researchers introduced the yeast spermidine synthase gene, which increased production of spermidine in the tomatoes. The ripe tomatoes from those plants stayed fresh eight days longer than untreated tomatoes before they began to shrivel. In addition, decay and rot symptoms associated with fungi were delayed by about three days.
Avtar Handa, Autar Mattoo, et al., "Overexpression of Yeast Spermidine Synthase Impacts Ripening, Senescence and Decay Symptoms in Tomato", The Plant Journal, June 30, 2010, © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. and the Society for Experimental Biology
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Innova Finds “Simplicity” Is The Key Trend In Consumer Food Marketing

June 30, 2010: 11:11 PM EST
Consumers want to simplify their lives, especially in food and diets, and wholesome ingredients and minimal processing are becoming increasingly important, according to Innova Market Insights. Food manufacturers should be aware of some key consumer hot buttons when introducing products, including phrases such as “like grandma made” and ingredients that are “from the cupboard.” Interest in “home made” and “homestyle” is rising along with terms like “natural” and “preservative-free.” Innova found 987 new products in 2009 that used the words “simple,” “simplest” or “simplicity,” compared to 467 in 2008. According to Innova, Lay’s Classic Potato Chips applied the simplicity trend in making the claim “made with three simple ingredients in as little as 24 hours, and that’s it.” Innova’s data will be presented at the IFT Food Expo July 17-20.
Innova Market Insights, "Innova Market Insights Shows Consumers Want Simplicity", Press Release, Innova Market Insights, June 30, 2010, © Penton Media Inc
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Fructooligosaccharides Plus Resistant Starches Improves Digestive Health In Rat Study

June 30, 2010: 11:42 PM EST
Spanish scientists experimenting with colitic and healthy rats found that blending fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a type of oligosaccharide used in sweeteners, and resistant starch, which resists digestion in the small intestine and passes through to the large intestine where it acts like dietary fiber, can benefit digestive health. Healthy rats given a combination of FOS and resistant starch experienced changes in the intestinal microbiota: lactobacilli and bifidobacteria were increased. The colitic rats also benefited from the combination, experiencing an intestinal anti-inflammatory effect that was associated with an increase of protective bacteria and greater ability to defend against disease. The scientists concluded that combining two different dietary fibers may result in a synergistic prebiotic effect, and may provide intestinal health benefits.
M.E. Rodríguez-Cabezas, D. Camuesco, B. Arribas, N. Garrido-Mesa, et al., "“The combination of fructooligosaccharides and resistant starch shows prebiotic additive effects in rats”", Clinical Nutrition, June 30, 2010, © Elsevier BV
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Water-Based Beverages Leave Chemical Imprint That Might Help Crime Solving

June 30, 2010: 09:17 AM EST
Consuming a locally-made beverage leaves a chemical imprint in a person’s hair that is traceable to specific geographic locations, and can be used to track movement from place to place, according to new research that analyzed water from 33 U.S. cities. This is possible because the human body integrates hydrogen and water molecules with proteins, including hair proteins. Varying proportions of different forms of hydrogen and oxygen – known as isotopes – are predictable geographically, such as low-latitude, low-elevation, coastal regions, etc. Local or regional water sources are used to produce many beverages, so isotope patterns in hair could act as a chemical "fingerprint" to pin down where a person has been. The researchers believe the finding could help trace drink origins or help criminal investigations through hair strand analysis.
Lesley Chesson, et al., " Links between Purchase Location and Stable Isotope Ratios of Bottled Water, Soda, and Beer in the United States", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 30, 2010, © American Chemical Society
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Cargill Will Debut Omega-3-Rich Canola/Flaxseed Oil Ingredient This Month

June 29, 2010: 10:26 PM EST
Cargill announced it would be helping food manufacturers take advantage of the growing market opportunity for food products that can make heart-healthy package claims by introducing a omega-3 fatty acid-rich canola/flaxseed oil blend at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo July 18-20 in Chicago. The company said it has completed a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) self-determination for Clear Valley Omega-3 Oil, which it believes will enable food makers to make a Nutrient Content Claim 1 of "good source of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) omega-3" or "excellent source of ALA omega-3" on the front of the package. The oil boasts a level of 30 percent ALA omega-3 and a minimum of 160 milligrams of ALA in most applications. Cargill said the patent-pending ingredient is available for product trial testing.
Cargill, "Cargill to introduce industry-first healthy oil innovation, Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil made from canola and flax seed, at IFT Food Expo", Press Release, Cargill, June 29, 2010, © Cargill
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Oxygen Prevents Skin Damage From UVB Rays In Mouse Study

June 29, 2010: 02:13 PM EST
Although Japanese scientists admit it’s unclear what the implications are for humans worried about sun-aged skin, their study in mice has found that oxygen helped prevent wrinkle formation by lessening tissue damage done by ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The "sun-weathered" look from UVB radiation is caused by formation of new blood vessels from existing blood vessels in the skin, a process known as cutaneous angiogenesis. Hairless mice in the study were kept in an oxygen chamber after being exposed to UVB radiation from a special fluorescent lamp three times a week for five weeks. They developed fewer wrinkles and fewer signs of tissue damage than mice who were exposed to UVB radiation alone. The scientists said more study of the phenomenon is warranted.
Shigeo Kawada, Masaru Ohtani and Naokata Ishii, " Increased oxygen tension attenuates acute ultraviolet-B-induced skin angiogenesis and wrinkle formation", American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, June 29, 2010, © American Physiological Society
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Oxford Nutrascience To Incorporate Ocean Nutrition’s Omega-3s In Its Soft Chews

June 29, 2010: 01:57 AM EST
Impressed by the fact that omega-3 food products have recorded a 42 percent growth rate during recession-wracked 2009 in the U.S., Oxford Nutrascience has signed a five-year deal with supplier Ocean Nutrition Canada to use ONC’s MEG-3 ingredients in confectionery chews marketed in the EU. Oxford’s soft chew technology uses soluble fiber to allow functional ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, to be added while preserving taste, texture and stability. The collaborative marketing agreement with ONC will give Oxford access to large food and supplement manufacturers who use ONC's MEG-3 ingredient in their products. ONC derives its omega-3 EPA/DHA from fish oil. “Some of [ONC’s] products are the first and only fish oils to achieve U.S. Pharmacopoeia dietary supplement ingredient verification,” the company said in a statement.
Jamie Ashcroft, "Oxford Nutrascience in exclusive Omega-3 chews collaboration for Europe with Ocean Nutrition", Oxford Nutrascience, June 29, 2010, © Oxford Nutrascience
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Australian Scientists Develop High-Yielding Black Tiger Prawn

June 28, 2010: 03:38 PM EST
Scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the prawn industry have bred an improved Black Tiger prawn that is producing record yields in aquaculture farms. The scientists used DNA technology to ensure top quality prawn stocks. Half of the prawns sold in Australia are imported from China and Vietnam, so it is a priority both for the prawn industry and consumers to develop an Australian prawn that breeds in captivity and is completely sustainable. According to the scientists, the average industry yield for farmed prawns is only five tons per hectare. “So this year's average yield of 17.5 tons per hectare is a major leap forward.” Several breeding ponds produced 20 tons per hectare and one produced a world record yield of 24.2 tons per hectare.
"Is this the perfect prawn?", News release, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), June 28, 2010, © CSIRO
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Rare Japanese Gourmet Mushroom Found Growing Wild In Sweden

June 28, 2010: 02:20 PM EST
A university student in Sweden has discovered that the prized hon-shimeji mushroom, a savory and rare delicacy that can cost as much as much as $443 a pound in Japan, grows wild in Sweden. Hon-shimeji mushrooms were thought to grow only in Japan. But Swedish researchers using molecular techniques proved that the northern Swedish fungus is identical to the Japanese one. With another rare Japanese species, Tricholoma matsutake, the hon-shimeji is the most sought-after and expensive culinary mushroom in the Japanese market. Because the gourmet fungi have been in rapid decline, due to pest infestation of host trees, they are sold only by a few specialist dealers and served at exclusive restaurants. The hon-shimeji mushroom was found on sparse pine heaths and flat-rock forests in northern Sweden.
Henrik Sundberg, "Japanese Gourmet Mushroom Found in Sweden", Graduate thesis, not yet published, June 28, 2010, © University of Gothenburg
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Honest Tea Debuts First Organic Bottled Tea Containing Stevia

June 28, 2010: 11:06 PM EST
Honest Tea has launched the first ready-to-drink organic bottled tea naturally sweetened with organic stevia. The company says the tea took longer than usual to develop, partly because using stevia as a beverage ingredient needed FDA clearance, and partly because it took awhile to get the “flavor and function” right. Passion Fruit Green Tea with Maqui Berry blends USDA-certified organic green tea with passion fruit and maqui berry, a South American “superfruit.” The zero calorie tea is sweetened with an organic extract of stevia, a leafy plant native to South America that is sweeter than sugar, but without the calories. The company’s marketing effort for the new tea variety includes a link-up with the anti-cancer initiative Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
PRWeb, "Honest Tea Unveils First Bottled Tea Sweetened With Organic Stevia", PRWeb, June 28, 2010, © PRWeb
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Perennial Grains Would Provide Major Boost For Global Food Production

June 28, 2010: 02:40 PM EST
It may take another twenty years, but perennial grain crops that are more eco-friendly than annual grains are on their way, according to soil scientists. Perennial grains require less fertilizer, herbicide, and fuel, and cause less erosion, than annual grain cops. All that’s required to make them a reality is the right breeding programs and a few scientific breakthroughs. The scientists published a paper that calls for worldwide cooperation in the development of perennial grains, which would help farmers living off marginal land to expand sustainability. Perennial grains have longer growing seasons and put down deeper roots that reduce erosion, build soil and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
J. D. Glover, J. P. Reganold, et al., "Increased Food and Ecosystem Security via Perennial Grains", Science, June 28, 2010, © American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Frito-Lay Introduces Two More Snacks With Less Salt

June 28, 2010: 10:51 PM EST
In an effort to balance consumer demands for less sodium with their craving for traditional salty flavor, Frito-Lay North America has unveiled Lightly Salted corn chips and Ruffles Lightly Salted potato chips. The Lay’s Lightly Salted line, launched in 2000, contains only half the sodium per one-ounce serving of the original products. Interestingly, Frito-Lay says even its traditional snack chips are moderate in sodium. Lay's Classic potato chips contain 180 mg per one ounce serving (15 chips), compared to a slice of bread, the company says. A one-ounce serving of Classic Potato Chips compares well with ready-to-eat corn flakes cereal, which contains 202 mg per one-cup serving. Note, however, that a one-cup serving of potato chips would contain 1,616 mg of sodium.
PepsiCo, "Frito-Lay Expands Portfolio With New Lower Sodium Varieties of Top Selling Snacks", PepsiCo website, June 28, 2010, © PepsiCo
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Tooth Whitening Agent Also Improves Oral Health

June 28, 2010: 01:08 PM EST
The teeth and gums of dental patients who have undergone a bleaching process using 10 percent carbamide peroxide were cleaner and healthier over time, a new study has found. The findings are especially important for the elderly and others with impaired manual dexterity or mental challenges who may find it difficult to brush and floss properly. Carbamide peroxide has long been in use as a tooth whitener, but it has also served as an oral antiseptic that removes plaque, kills bacteria and elevates the mouth's pH, which results in fewer cavities. The key to success is the use of a custom-fit dental tray that the patient can wear comfortably at night or for several hours during the day with the carbamide peroxide gel.
Dr. Van Haywood and Dr. David Lazarchik, "Use of Tray-Applied 10 Percent Carbamide Peroxide Gels for Improving Oral Health in Patients With Special-Care Needs", Journal of the American Dental Association, June 28, 2010, © American Dental Association
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Danone Turns To Poorer Countries For A Revenue Boost

June 25, 2010: 02:13 AM EST
With sales of its yogurt and other products slowing in North America and Western Europe, Danone has turned its attention to poorer countries for a revenue boost. The company already derives 42 percent of its sales from emerging markets, a significant increase from a decade ago. Determined to reach a billion customers a month by 2013, Danone is targeting “customers who live on dollar-a-day food budgets,” according to The Wall Street Journal. But though the potential markets are huge, they have very little money. "The biggest problem is that prices are too high," says a U.S. professor. "Companies overestimate the size of the market and end up selling to the middle class, not the poor." Other hurdles to overcome: distribution networks are unreliable, costs are hard to control.
CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO, "Danone Expands Its Pantry to Woo the World's Poor ", The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2010, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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