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SymphonyIRI Will Supply Walmart With Online Planning And Customer Data Management Technologies

July 25, 2011: 10:22 PM EST
Walmart has appointed SymphonyIRI as its technology provider for its Customer Advantage Web-based collaborative planning and customer data management platform. The technology will utilize SymphonyIRI's Consumer Network and Liquid Data technologies and marketing analytics to help Walmart and its suppliers keep track of customers, their shopping behavior, and requirements. Manufacturers will also benefit from the system's features, which will let them understand better and provide for customers' needs. Customer Advantage will allow the retailer and its suppliers to collaborate to upgrade planning, marketing, and expansion planning, according to Walmart and SymphonyIRI.
"SymphonyIRI Group Delivers Next-Generation Shopper Insights for World’s Largest Retailer", SymphonyIRI Group, July 25, 2011, © SymphonyIRI Group
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Subway Fortifies Its Bread With Calcium And Vitamin D

July 26, 2011: 04:30 AM EST
Subway has added bread with enhanced calcium and vitamin D content to its menu lineup and claims that each 6-inch serving of Subway sandwiches provides 30 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium and 20 percent of vitamin D. Subway  move plays to concerns about average poor nutrition: the Centers for Disease Control and the Institute of Medicine have both warned  about Americans' failure to consume sufficient nutrients, saying, for example, that less than 33 per cent of older people get the recommended intake for Vitamin D.
Press Release, SUBWAY, "SUBWAY® Chain Introduces Calcium and Vitamin D Fortified Bread to National Menu", PRNewswire, July 26, 2011, © PRNewswire
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Israeli Company Debuts Tomato-Derived Flavor Enhancer For Multiple Applications

July 25, 2011: 11:46 PM EST
Tomato products specialist LycoRed of Israel has introduced a natural tomato concentrate that enhances the flavor of foods and can replace expensive artificial flavor components and can be used for salt taste enhancement. LycoRed SANTE is the result of an effort by company scientists to separate out and concentrate the taste enhancing components of the tomato, resulting in a natural flavor enhancer suitable for a wide range of applications. The company said that in some cases food companies can save up to 10-20 percent of product cost by replacing expensive ingredients, reduce sodium content “and enable a clean label.” LycoRed SANTE is available as a  liquid or a free-flowing powder, is heat resistant, stable at almost all pH’s and is suitable for ambient, frozen, baked, cooked and fried products.
"LycoRed Boosts Health & Flavor with Natural Salt-Enhancement Ingredient", Press release, LycoRed, July 25, 2011, © LycoRed
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Researchers Urge Greater Use Of Nutrient-Rich Seaweeds In Functional Foods

July 20, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists who reviewed more than a hundred scientific studies found that seaweed and other “macroalgae” are rich in heart-healthy nutrients known as bioactive peptides, which are also found in milk products. The researchers note that food companies are increasingly interested in using bioactive peptides as ingredients in functional foods that are nutritious and have a therapeutic effect on high blood pressure. Seaweeds, which have been eaten in some cultures for centuries, are rich in these bioactive compounds and are easy to cultivate. Among the varieties of seaweed available are Nori in Japan, dulse in coastal Europe, and limu palahalaha in native Hawaiian cuisine. The researchers said “more efforts are needed to fully exploit their potential for use and delivery to consumers in food products."
Ciarán Fitzgerald, et al., "Heart Health Peptides from Macroalgae and Their Potential Use in Functional Foods", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 20, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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Bramton's Simple Solution Adds New Scents

July 19, 2011: 05:13 AM EST
Pet care brand Simple Solution (Bramton Company) has introduced pro-bacteria and enzyme packed Stain + Odor Remover in new scents, Rainforest Fresh and Spring Breeze. The product line  offers an odor-removing system designed to discourage pets from repeat marking, leaving only clean and fresh scents behind. According to the company, Simple Solution Stain and Odor Remover products break down organic proteins to remove unwanted stains. They are formulated to renew carpets, upholstery, bedding, fabric toys, clothing and any water-safe surfaces and are safe for use around pets and children.
"Simple Solution Introduces New Rainforest Fresh and Spring Breeze Scented Stain + Odor Remover", EON Businesswire, July 19, 2011, © Business Wire
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Nestlé Invests In New Zealand Maker Of Kiwi-Based Functional Foods, Drinks

July 14, 2011: 10:21 AM EST
In a move that further entrenches it in the burgeoning medical nutrition market, Nestlé SA announced it will acquire an 18 percent stake in Auckland, New Zealand-based Vital Foods, a producer of kiwi-based functional drinks and dietary supplements used to treat intestinal disorders. Vital Foods, founded in 1991 and financed in recent years by the Nestlé Health Science venture capital fund, said the new funding would allow it to pursue clinical trials (in irritable bowel syndrome) and enter new markets. According to this Reuters report, Nestlé Health Science has targeted three main areas for product and market development: gastrointestinal health, metabolic and brain health.
Silke Koltrowitz, "Nestle invests in kiwi cure for constipation", Reuters, July 14, 2011, © Thomson Reuters
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Nutrient-Rich Onion Waste Could Be Recycled, Researchers Suggest

July 14, 2011: 11:05 AM EST
Researchers in Spain and the U.K. who analyzed each part of the onion have found that valuable nutrients and other substances are lost when half a million tons of onion waste are discarded during processing in European countries alone. Waste includes the dry brown skin, outer layers, roots and stalks, and onions damaged or not big enough for commercial use. They found, for example, that the brown onion skin could be used as a source of non-soluble dietary fiber as well as phenolic compounds and other flavonoids. The two outer fleshy layers of the onion also contain fiber and flavonoids. Whole onions thrown away are a source of prebiotic fructans for digestive health and sulfurous compounds that contribute to cardiovascular health.
Vanesa Benítez, et al. , "Characterization of Industrial Onion Wastes (Allium cepa L.): Dietary Fibre and Bioactive Compounds", Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, July 14, 2011, © Plant Foods for Human Nutrition
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Campbell Soup Plans R&D Center At Its Pepperidge Farm Facilities In Connecticut

July 12, 2011: 06:46 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company plans to invest more than $30 million to build a research and development center at the company's Pepperidge Farm bakery facilities in Norwalk, Connecticut. The planned innovation center will include product development and testing lines, culinary kitchens, laboratories, and conference rooms. Campbell Soup's project also includes plans to upgrade Pepperidge Farm's headquarters, while building an environment-friendly and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified structure.
Campbell Soup Company, "Campbell Soup Company Invests in Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center to Drive Further Growth in Baking and Snacking Businesses", Campbell Soup Company press release, July 12, 2011, © Campbell Soup Company
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Heinz Introduces Soups That Come In Plastic Tubes

July 9, 2011: 07:48 PM EST
Heinz has launched a line of soup products that come in plastic sachets resembling a tube of toothpaste. The portable soups are available in four flavors and come in puree form, which consumers need to dilute with hot water. Heinz emphasizes that the new soups contain natural products, have no artificial colors and flavors, and are low in fat, promoting them as healthier than soups that come in cans or in powder form. Heinz expects the soups in tube to replace soup products that come in tin cans, which have a long history that began with French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's search for a reliable method to preserve food for his armies.
Sean Poulter, "Soup in a tube: Heinz launches green alternative as tin can feels the squeeze", Daily Mail, July 09, 2011, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Heinz Unveils Dilutable Soups In Plastic Tubes In U.K.

July 9, 2011: 05:13 AM EST
Heinz has launched an alternative to the familiar “tin can” of soup in the U.K.: “squeeze and stir” all-natural, low-fat  soups in plastic tubes that resemble toothpaste tubes. As the price of metal to make soup cans rises, the plastic tubes offer a cheaper production option for Heinz. However, consumers are likely to notice an apparent price hike: the 70g soup tube costs 59p ($0.95), or about 0.84p ($0.01) a gram. A 400g can of soup, however, costs 85p ($1.37), or 0.21p ($0.003) per gram. The benefits for Heinz are two-fold: higher unit prices at much lower production costs. “Even taking account of the fact the puree has to be diluted, it would seem the new product is a more expensive option,” the Daily Mail reports.
Sean Poulter, "Soup in a tube: Heinz launches green alternative as tin can feels the squeeze", Daily Mail, July 09, 2011, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Danisco Claims Its OsmoAid Works Better, Gentler Than Other Laxatives

July 7, 2011: 06:59 PM EST
Danisco launched its OsmoAid brand of Lactitol, a disaccharide sugar alcohol that has been used as a laxative for more than 20 years. The company claims OsmoAid works gently and causes no harsh effects usually associated with traditional laxatives. OsmoAid lowers colonic pH and stimulates peristalsis, and increases the osmotic pressure in the intestinal lumen, Danisco says. Danisco also quotes studies showing OsmoAid works better than other laxatives.
Press Release, Danisco, "Danisco launches effective osmotic laxative with better tolerability", Danisco, July 07, 2011, © Danisco
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New Probiotic Processing Technology Is More Gentle On Bacterial Strains

July 6, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
German scientists have developed an eco-friendly technology for gently vacuum-drying less robust probiotic bacterial strains for use during food production. The new method will allow food manufacturers to incorporate underused probiotic strains in functional foods and supplements. The current production process involves freeze drying, which destroys some probiotic bacteria strains and uses a lot of energy. In the newly developed technology – called low temperature vacuum drying (LTVD) – the bacteria remain in a liquid state and easily survive. And vacuum drying requires 40 percent less energy than conventional freeze drying.
P. Foerst, et al., "Combined influence of fermentation and drying conditions on survival and metabolic activity of starter and probiotic cultures after low-temperature vacuum drying", Journal of Biotechnology, July 06, 2011, © The Institution of Chemical Engineers
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Kraft Launches Cauliflower-Based Pasta Product In The US Market

July 6, 2011: 04:30 AM EST
Kraft Foods Inc. launched Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Veggie Pasta, a brand of pasta that includes cauliflower as ingredient. Kraft's move highlights a trend in the food industry wherein companies develop and launch products that include organic and natural ingredients without emphasizing it, claiming the practice helps encourage children to consume more vegetables and healthy foods. Kraft's healthy pasta product includes cauliflower that is freeze-dried and ground before being added as ingredient. Skeptics, such as New York University professor Marion Nestle, however, assert that nutrients are lost when vegetables undergo such a process.
JESSICA MINTZ, "Food companies take veggie cue from sneaky trend", Associated Press , July 06, 2011, © Associated Press
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Strong Demand For Anti-Aging Skin Care Products Bolsters Beauty And Personal Care Industry

July 4, 2011: 12:44 AM EST
Premium beauty product sales rebounded strongly in 2010, driving the recovery of the global beauty and personal care industry. Also fueling the recovery was “dynamic innovation activity” in skin care, the largest market category, Natural Products Insider reports. The category is expected to grow three percent a year to $100 billion in sales by 2015, one fourth of which will come from sales of anti-aging products. Thanks to the focus on innovation, technically advanced skin care formulations based on stem cell technology and aesthetic medicine are showing up in new cosmeceutical products. A major disappointment, however, has been the slow start of nutricosmetics products, which have not yet surmounted the skepticism of consumers.
Irina Barbalova and Ewa Hudson, "Opportunities for Cosmeceuticals", Natural Products Insider, July 04, 2011, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Nutritionists Doubt Antula Healthcare's Health Claims For Its Chewing Gum

June 30, 2011: 06:38 PM EST
Some nutritionists and consumers are debating Antula Healthcare's claim that its Vigo Beauty chewing gum, recently launched in Sweden, can make consumers more beautiful. Antula Healthcare has used the European Food Safety Authority's approval of the vitamin-reinforced chewing gum's beautifying benefit claims, such as strengthening hair and nails and making the skin more elastic, in marketing the product. Although nutritionists acknowledge that the vitamins and nutrients in the chewing gum can contribute to healthier nails, hair and skin, other nutrients – such as iron and zinc - are also needed, and can come from a healthy and balanced diet.
Sadie Whitelocks, "Chew yourself beautiful: The wonder gum that claims to make you more beautiful", Daily Mail, UK, June 30, 2011, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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EA’s Playfish Social Game To Feature P&G Paper Towel Brand

June 30, 2011: 12:08 AM EST
Electronic Arts Inc. announced it is working with Procter and Gamble to feature Bounty paper towel products in EA’s Playfish Restaurant City, a social game in which players create and manage virtual restaurants and use their Facebook friends as waiters and chefs. Under the new collaboration, players will be able to use Bounty products to enhance their Restaurant City gameplay experience and interactions with friends, the company said. The Bounty products will be used in “in fun and relevant ways,” including “product centric in-game challenges.” Acquired by EA in 2009, Playfish is the world’s No. 2 publisher of social games on Facebook with titles like Pet Society, FIFA Superstars and Madden NFL Superstars.
"EA Launches Procter and Gamble’s First Social Gaming Campaign in Playfish Social Game Restaurant City", Press release, Electronic Arts, June 30, 2011, © Electronic Arts
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New System Makes Measurements Of Food's Impact On Blood Sugar More Accurate

June 28, 2011: 10:42 PM EST
A Swedish researcher has developed a way to measure a food’s impact on blood sugar levels – the glycemic profile or GP – that provides a more accurate picture when combined with the glycemic index (GI) system because it takes the shape of the blood sugar curve into account. The flatter the curve over time the better the GP. Food that produces an even and reasonably low curve scores the highest GP values because it delivers energy for a long time. Using the GI system alone is inaccurate because it only takes into account short-term fluctuations in blood sugar. The best foods have a low GI and a high GP score. To calculate GP, blood glucose is measured for three hours after a meal, rather than two hours used in GI.
Liza Rosén, "New measurement important complement to GI", News release, Lund University in Sweden, June 28, 2011, © Lund University
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General Mills Follows Food-Inside-Food Trend, Launches New Products

June 29, 2011: 05:06 AM EST
General Mills has launched new food products that come stuffed with other foods inside, a trend that both consumers and manufacturers have found to their liking. Recent food-in-food launches include Betty Crocker and its Fun da-middles baking mix, Totino's Pizza Stuffers, and Pillsbury Grands' Biscuit Sandwiches that comes with eggs and sausage stuffed inside a biscuit. General Mills plans to launch similar products that belong to other product categories, such as yogurt, cereal, and snack bars. Most new products fail, underscoring General Mills' ambition to create new ‘platforms’.
Tom Webb, "General Mills new food lineup focuses on foods stuffed inside other foods", Twin-Cities, June 29, 2011, © Twin-Cities.com
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60/40+ Program Enhances Health And Nutrition Benefits Of Nestlé Products

June 28, 2011: 11:22 AM EST
Nestlé has sold CHF 36.4 billion worth of products covered by its 60/40+ product development and marketing program over the past three years. 60/40+ products are defined as those preferred by 60% or more over its main competing products, using a large sample of consumers, and which also offer additional nutrition benefits. The program underpins Nestlé’s innovation approach and has helped the company reduce harmful or unhealthy ingredients, such as trans fats and saturated fats, sodium and sugar, in its products worldwide, either through launching new products or by renovating existing ones.
Nestle, "Nestlé assesses products worth CHF 36.4 billion to enhance taste and nutritional value", Nestle press release, June 28, 2011, © Nestle
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Israeli Company Introduces Calcium-Enriched Milk For Children

June 28, 2011: 06:50 PM EST
Dairy company Tnuva has introduced a children’s milk product in Israel that contains increased levels of vitamin D and twice the calcium of conventional milk. Both vitamin D and calcium are essential nutrients for growth and bone health in children. A glass of Tnuva’s Milk V contains 400 mg calcium. Milk V is made with LycoRed’s CapsuDar vitamin D solution, which is structured for pasteurizing and performs well under a wide range of pH. A proprietary beadlet technology cross-links the vitamin D inside a gelatin-based matrix, protecting it from oxidation. Tnuva says it led the milk market in Israel in 2010 with 72.4 percent market share.
"Tnuva Creates High Calcium Milk for Children", Food Ingredients First, June 28, 2011, © CNS Media BV
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Interactions Between Drying Process And Fermentation Conditions Affect Probiotic Production

June 23, 2011: 11:48 AM EST
Researchers found that interactions between low-temperature vacuum drying process parameters and fermentation conditions have significant influence on the survival, metabolic activity, and residual water content of bacterial strains Lactobacillus paracasei ssp.paracasei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. Bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium lactis, which are being produced as food supplements. Researchers changed and optimized shelf temperature and chamber pressure by response surface methodology in order to study survival and residual water content. Results showed that bacteria's survival rate following low-temperature vacuum drying is comparable to that of freeze drying.
S.A.W. Bauer, S. Schneider, J. Behr, U. Kulozik, P. Foerst, "Combined influence of fermentation and drying conditions on survival and metabolic activity of starter and probiotic cultures after low-temperature vacuum drying", Journal of Biotechnology, June 23, 2011, © Elsevier B.V.
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Innovative Tunnel System Allows Profitable Strawberry Production At High Elevations

June 22, 2011: 08:35 PM EST
With demand for fresh strawberries on the rise, there is a need for growing regions that have optimal conditions beyond California and Florida. For this study, scientists experimented with “high tunnels” as a technique for extending the growing season in less-than-perfect climates, such as in the high-elevation valleys of the Intermountain West. They found that the tunnels boost out-of-season yields and total seasonal production. And with early yields sold at a 50 percent price premium, a 4.3 m x 29.3-m high tunnel using the in-ground production system generates an additional $2,770 in revenue compared with field production and a profit increase of $1,658. The researchers concluded that high tunnels are an effective and economical system for extending the strawberry growing season in states like Utah.
Daniel Rowley, et al., "Early-season strawberry tested in high elevation conditions", Press release, American Society for Horticultural Science, June 22, 2011, © American Society for Horticultural Science
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UK Online Supermarkets Losing Customers Due To Bad Service

June 21, 2011: 08:20 AM EST
Consumers in the UK are dropping online grocery shopping because they find it unreliable and they are frustrated by late deliveries, omitted items and poor substitute choices.  Grocery purchases made online account for just 3.2% of grocery sales in the country, even though online sales make up almost 10% of overall retail sales. The researchers from Kingston University say improved service; monthly subscription fees instead of delivery charges; and special offers exclusive for online customers should help online retailers expand their business.
Ellie Duncan, "Consumers find online grocery shopping a chore", Growth Business, June 21, 2011, © Growth Businesss, Vitesse Media
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Bread Produced From Unusual African Grains Have Good Sensory, Nutritional Qualities

June 21, 2011: 05:36 AM EST
Research conducted by scientists in Nigeria and Italy has found that some unconventional African grains have the potential to produce nutrient-rich and flavorful breads. Researchers evaluated the qualities of the African cereals Acha (Digitaria exiliis) and Iburu (Digitaria iburua) in producing sourdough bread. According to the researchers, bread produced from Acha and Iburu sourdough flour showed lower specific volume and higher density compared to wheat sourdough breads. They were preferred because of their hardness and resilience, as well as color, acid taste and flavor, high levels of free amino acids, and overall acceptability. The researchers suggested that using selected starters with the dough increased the nutritional and sensory qualities of the Acha and Iburu breads and their potential for use in the baking industry.
R. Coda, et al., "Utilization of African Grains for Sourdough Bread Making", Journal of Food Science, June 21, 2011, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Chr. Hansen Re-Opens Modernized Food Color R&D Center In France

June 15, 2011: 06:55 PM EST
Danish food ingredients supplier Chr. Hansen announced the re-opening of its refurbished food color expertise center in Montpellier, France. According to the company, the facilities will serve as a center of innovation focusing on “new, natural appearances” for food products. The re-opened Montpellier plant underwent a makeover that included an expansion and renewal of the laboratories and a beefed up R&D and application staff. The center will focus on application work within beverages, dairy, fruit preparations and phytonutrients, four key Chr. Hansen color business industries. In April, the company opened two extended color production plants in Peru and Denmark.
"Chr. Hansen inaugurates upgraded color innovation center", Press release, Chr. Hansen, June 15, 2011, © Chr. Hansen
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PepsiCo Tests Reduced-Sugar Cola

June 13, 2011: 10:23 AM EST
PepsiCo announced that it will begin market testing a new reduced-sugar, yet “full-flavor” cola in July in Iowa and Wisconsin. According to the company, Pepsi NEXT is targeted at consumers who “seek the rich taste of full-calorie cola but have decreased their consumption” to reduce  sugar intake. Pepsi NEXT will provide “real cola flavor and 60 percent less sugar,” the company said. Consumer testing found that the new product resonated well among cola drinkers looking for a less sugary cola product.
"PepsiCo Announces Test of Reduced-Sugar Cola Innovation, Pepsi NEXT", Press release, PepsiCo, June 13, 2011, © PepsiCo
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Gluten-Free Certification Program Launched For Food Manufacturers

June 13, 2011: 12:44 PM EST
Organic certifier Quality Assurance International and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) have developed a gluten-free certification program for food manufacturers who are marketing gluten-free products. The certification is science-based and verified through inspections and product testing, the two organizations said, and leads to the issuance of a triple-verified gluten-free label that “brings transparency and trust to people who need gluten-free foods as part of maintaining their healthy diet.” The certification program involves sensitive testing procedures, stringent auditing and an independent application review process using  feedback from consumers, manufacturers and retailers. Included in the process are product review, onsite inspection, testing to ensure compliance to 10ppm or less and ongoing compliance that features random product testing.
"A New, Science-Based Gluten-Free Label Consumers Can Trust", Press release, Quality Assurance International, June 13, 2011, © Quality Assurance International
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Scientists At Nestlé And King’s College London To Study How Genes Interact With Food

June 10, 2011: 10:38 AM EST
Nestlé announced that scientists from its research center in Switzerland will work with colleagues at King’s College London on a six-month project examining the interactions between genes and food ingredients, and how they can affect human health. Scientists will look at ways genes and their encoded proteins determine important bodily functions, including food metabolism, response to the environment and detoxification. Especially important is gaining knowledge of how changes to gene regulation from diet and exercise could impact human health. The partnership is the result of an Interchange Award given to King’s College by the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
" Nestlé partners with King’s College London on food and gene research", Press release, Nestlé, June 10, 2011, © Nestlé
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Nestlé To Launch BabyNes Capsule System Outside Switzerland In 2012

June 7, 2011: 11:13 AM EST
Nestlé SA plans to roll out its BabyNes infant-formula capsule system next year after initially launching it in Switzerland in May. BabyNes took over six to develop, and it costs 249 Swiss francs. Nestlé would like it to emulate the success of Nespresso, the company's single-serve capsule coffee dispensing system. Nespresso's success encouraged companies, such as Sara Lee Corp. and Ethical Coffee Co., to manufacture capsules compatible with the system. Nestlé responded by taking both to court. BabyNes machines will include a chip to prevent use of non-Nestlé capsules, with the company denying anticompetitive behavior and claiming it merely wants to ensure hygiene and safety standards are maintained.
JOHN REVILL, "Nestlé to Take BabyNes Global ", The Wall Street Journal, June 07, 2011, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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DSM Opens Nutrition Innovation Facility In U.S.

June 6, 2011: 10:45 AM EST
Dutch life sciences and materials sciences company DSM announced it has opened a Nutrition Innovation Center in Parsippany, N.J.,  whose purpose is to designed to help manufacturers of food, beverage, dietary supplement and personal care products “find a competitive advantage faster than ever before.” The center houses a laboratory and fully equipped pilot plant and sensory analysis facilities that enable the company to optimize production processes, improve product quality, test new ingredients, and analyze and evaluate a wide range of products. The company said its specialists will collaborate with customers to offer applications expertise, product development assistance and scale-up bench top formulation.
"DSM opens new nutrition innovation center to accelerate customers’ speed to market", Press release, DSM, June 06, 2011, © DSM
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New Extraction Technology Increases Levels Of Oat Beta-Glucan And Protein

June 6, 2011: 10:01 AM EST
Finnish researchers have discovered an effective way to extract oat beta-glucan polysaccharides, starch and protein in better bran fractions, an advance that could improve functional food products. The process, which involves defatting (lipid removal) of non-heat-treated grains with high-pressure carbon dioxide, leaves a porous matrix that is easy to mill into fine particles and fractionate by air classification. The resulting oat bran concentrate contains higher levels of beta-glucan and protein than products produced using dry fractionation methods. Beta-glucan has been shown in studies to play a role in reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
J. Sibakov, et al. , "Lipid removal enhances separation of oat grain cell wall material from starch and protein", Journal of Cereal Science, June 06, 2011, © Elsevier Ltd
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New Cargill Innovation Center In Brazil Will Serve Multiple Industries

June 6, 2011: 11:05 AM EST
Cargill announced it has opened a food technology Innovation Center in Campinas,  Brazil, that houses technical teams from various fields of knowledge whose mission is to develop innovative solutions, ingredients and applications in partnership with customers. The $12.6 million, 20,000 square meter center houses multiple laboratories to serve customers in the beverage, baking, confectionery, convenience foods and dairy categories. It also includes a flavor and aroma laboratory, and an industrial lab to develop applications for the paper, textile, corrugated and biopolymer market. The new facility will enable product sensorial analysis, prototype development, ingredient creation and evaluation, consumer testing, and food preparation and tasting in the culinary center, the company said.
"Cargill opens Latin America Innovation Center", Press release, Cargill, June 06, 2011, © Cargill
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Waitrose Unveils New Line Of Nutritionally Balanced Foods

June 5, 2011: 11:41 AM EST
British food retailer Waitrose has introduced a line of nutritionally balanced foods, Waitrose LOVE Life, that will appear in stores beginning June 30. According to the company, the range of products is designed to complement the staple grocery items in essential Waitrose and the more “indulgent” products from Duchy, Heston and Menu From Waitrose ranges. The company said the new product line includes more wholefood ingredients and avoids saturated fats. The product launch will be supported with a quarterly magazine, recipe cards and a dedicated section on Waitrose.com where MyWaitrose members can share recipes and tips. The products were developed by Waitrose nutritionists and in-house chefs.
"Introducing Waitrose LOVE Life", Press release, Waitrose, June 05, 2011, © Waitrose
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Danisco Unveils Pine-Derived Plant Sterols For Health Supplements Making Cardio Claims

May 27, 2011: 02:27 AM EST
Danish food ingredient supplier Danisco has launched a new brand of sterols derived from a sustainable pine source and designed for food and dietary supplements that target cardiovascular health. According to the company, PinVita phytosterols lower the level of unfavorable LDL cholesterol in the blood by reducing cholesterol absorption. PinVita’s easy-to-formulate, ready-to-use solutions are available for applications such as dietary supplements, fats and oils, dairy and bakery products. The company says free and esterified formats of PinVita have limited impact on the taste, texture and appearance of the final consumer product. The PinVita plant sterols are suitable for allergen- and GMO-free products as well.
"Danisco introduces new ingredient brand for cholesterol reduction", Press release, Danisco, May 27, 2011, © Danisco
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Molecular Technologies Could Help Thwart Fraudulent Fish Marketing Practices

May 27, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A European Commission report says molecular technologies based on genetics, genomics, chemistry and forensics enhance traceability and could deter illegal activities such as selling low-cost catfish fillets as premium priced sole fillets. The advanced technologies can answer questions about species, location of catch, and even whether a fish was caught wild or farmed. The report, from the EC’s Joint Research Centre, advocates use of the technologies across Europe to help curb the annual €10 billion illegal fishing industry that hurts the global economy, disrupts marine ecosystems, and damages fisheries, communities and consumers. Molecular methods, including those based on DNA-technology, make it possible to identify fish species without the need for expert knowledge, according to the JRC.
Jann Martinsohn, "Deterring Illegal Activities in the Fisheries Sector - Genetics, Genomics, Chemistry and Forensics to Fight IUU Fishing and in Support of Fish Product Traceability", Report, Publications Office of the European Union, May 27, 2011, © EU Joint Research Centre (JRC)
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Danone Adopts Ingeo Plant-Based Plastic Packaging For Its Activia Yogurt In Germany

May 26, 2011: 12:37 PM EST
Danone has changed the packaging of its Activia yogurt in Germany from oil-based plastic to Ingeo, a plastic derived from plants. A partnership between Danone and Ingeo manufacturer NatureWorks has resulted in the packaging switch, which will reduce the yogurt product's carbon footprint by 25% and use of fossil resources by 43%, based on a life cycle assessment conducted by the LCA Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. NatureWorks also estimates fossil energy savings will equal electricity used by 13,000 German homes monthly, while greenhouse gas reduction will be equal to that from not driving a motor vehicle 19 million kilometers.
"Danone Launches Sustainable Ingeo Activia Yogurt Cup in the German Market", Food Ingredients First, May 26, 2011, © CNS Media BV
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Hindustan Unilever Partners With Banks And Telecom Companies To Reach Rural Consumers In India

May 25, 2011: 04:14 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) plans to develop a model for joint distribution deals with India's leading telecom companies, banks, and financial services companies to cover some 775 million consumers who live in the country's rural areas. HUL plans to base the planned model on its Project Shakti alternative distribution channel, introducing an outline called, "Gateway to Rural: Beyond FMCG." Also, HUL has begun a pilot project with the State Bank of India involving HUL's Shakti Ammas, or women who sell HUL consumer products in India's rural areas. India's banking policies requiring banks to expand their services to include rural depositors push banks to search for effective means to penetrate rural markets, which offer growth opportunities for banks, mobile telecoms companies, and FMCG companies.
Kala Vijayraghavan & Sagar Malviya, "Hindustan Unilever taps banks, telecom firms to reach rural India wider", Economic Times, May 25, 2011, © Times Internet Limited
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Mutant Form Of Wheat Is Sweeter Than Conventional Variety And Nutritious

May 25, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers from Canada and Japan have genetically engineered a form of wheat – “sweet wheat” – that is both flavorful and nutritious. Much like the way sweet corn arose as a mutation of field corn, sweet wheat was developed from two mutant types of wheat that lacked enzymes needed to manufacture starch. The new wheat could be used in breads and cakes, the researchers suggested. Their tests of the sweet wheat flour and seeds found that the flour tasted sweeter, and both the flour and seeds were richer in sugars, lipids and dietary fiber than other forms of wheat. The lack of the two enzymes, GBSSI and SSIIa, “suggests that sweet flour may provide health benefits when used as a food ingredient."
Tomoya Shimbata, et al., "High Levels of Sugars and Fructan in Mature Seed of Sweet Wheat Lacking GBSSI and SSIIa Enzymes", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 25, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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Unilever Partners With Engineering Firm To Support Manufacturing Worldwide

May 23, 2011: 04:51 AM EST
Unilever has partnered with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to support the development and management of Unilever's manufacturing facilities worldwide. From its headquarters in Singapore, the partnership - Unilever Engineering Services (UEnS) - will assist in Unilever's expansion plans by improving project delivery, cost management, speed to market, as well as operations and sustainability. Unilever's expansion plans will focus mainly on developing markets, which the company expects to account for 70–75% of its long-term growth. The partnership will also coordinate with Unilever's supply chain groups to support faster time to market and smaller environmental footprints for its manufacturing plants.
"Unilever drives efficiency in capital investment programme", Unilever, May 23, 2011, © Unilever
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Savory Aromas Plus Mineral-Based Salt Replacers Cut Sodium Without Affecting Flavor

May 17, 2011: 08:53 AM EST
Scientists at Unilever’s Netherlands facilities have found that combining savory aromas with salt replacers like potassium chloride allows reduction of sodium content in foods by as much as 30 percent without affecting the flavor. They suggested that enhancement of potassium chloride with a savory aroma offers one solution to the problem of cutting sodium content in foods, but others are needed to meet World Health Organization guidelines. One application of the technology would be in instant bouillons, the scientists said.
Max Batenburg, et al. , "Saltiness Enhancement by Savory Aroma Compounds", Journal of Food Science, May 17, 2011, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Tesco Launches Microwave Meals That Whistle When Ready

May 16, 2011: 05:04 AM EST
Ready meals just got even easier. Tesco will launch in June 2011 a new range of chilled microwave ready-meal Indian curry dishes that whistle when cooked. You don’t have to pierce the lid before use or stir halfway through. Manufactured by S&R Foods under the East End brand, the meals use built-in pasteurization cooking process and will have a shelf life of 30 days without the need for preservatives. Based on a Swedish technology, the meal packs use a valve in the film lid to form a vacuum, sealing in "nutrients, textures, and flavors and keeping out bacteria. The makers of the technology claim a Michelin-starred chef is using it in Sweden.
LUKE SALKELD, "The REALLY convenient microwave meals: Curries that whistle when cooked (and they don't even need stirring or piercing beforehand)", Daily Mail, May 16, 2011, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Aggressive ‘Brand Stewardship’ Behind Success Of Largest U.S. Companies

May 17, 2011: 12:52 AM EST
An analysis of U.S. consumer goods companies find that brand stewardship and brand portfolio strategy lie behind their enduring success, underscoring the multi-billion dollar valuations given to brands. Brand diversification is seen as a core success strategy along with the ability of companies to leverage brand strength in distribution and other fields. The list of companies studied includes  Procter & Gamble, which controls 48 ‘major brands’ including Gillette, Tide, and Pampers; Johnson & Johnson, with 35 major brands, including Band-Aid and Tylenol; PepsiCo, which owns 34, including Pepsi and Frito-Lay, and Mars, which owns 26, including M&M's, Snickers, and Orbit.
Douglas A. McIntyre, Charles B. Stockdale, Michael B. Sauter, "The American Companies With The Most Valuable Brands", 24/7 Wall Street, May 17, 2011, © 24/7 Wall St.
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Are Functional Foods In Fact “Functional”?

May 14, 2011: 09:45 AM EST
Do functional foods really provide the health benefits their manufacturers promise? The New York Times explores the issue, asking whether the millions of dollars spent by millions of consumers on foods and beverages that claim to lower cholesterol, help the heart and the waistline, improve digestion, etc., really do any of that. Functional food sales hit $37.3 billion in the U.S. in 2009, a 32 percent increase from 2005. Federal regulators have begun to police the claims of big food producers. Multimillion-dollar settlements were reached with Wrigley and Dannon. The companies defend their claims, of course, but nutrition experts say functional foods are not about health, “they are,” as nutrition professor Marion Nestle says, “about marketing.”
Natasha Singer, "Foods With Benefits, or So They Say", New York Times, May 14, 2011, © The New York Times
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Omega-3 Enrichment Of Surimi Has Functional Potential, If Problems Can Be Solved

May 12, 2011: 11:23 AM EST
Omega-3 enrichment of surimi, a fish-based food processed to mimic crab or other shellfish meat, could potentially elevate the product to the status of a functional or nutraceutical food, if certain problems are overcome, according to a U.S. study. One serious problem, they found, was lipid oxidation, which can make surimi taste rancid. Noting that surimi is made from well-accepted marine foods, adding omega-3 fatty acids  would make it “a logical vehicle” for delivering healthy ingredients “without the need for dietary supplements in a pill or capsule form.” Before that can be accomplished, however, the scientists recommended “sensory and storage stability tests” to make sure protein content, taste, texture and color are not adversely affected.
Brittney N. Pietrowski, et al. , "Chemical properties of surimi seafood nutrified with ?-3 rich oils", Food Chemistry, May 12, 2011, © Elsevier Ltd.
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Oregon Bill Supporting Local Foods For Schools Has Health And Economic Benefits – Study

May 12, 2011: 11:05 AM EST
A health impact study by Upstream Public Health in Oregon has found that a bill (HB 2800) supporting delivery of fresh local foods to schools would offer the state an economic benefit and a number of important health benefits, including “shaping children's preferences for healthy food.” The legislation calls for reimbursement of schools for purchasing Oregon food products for breakfast and lunch, and would provide education grants to schools to support teaching gardens and cross-curricular nutrition education. The grant-supported study also said the bill would create hundreds of new farm-industry jobs over a five- to 10-year period. Funding would come from the Economic Development Fund, part of Oregon’s Lottery.
"Oregon Farm to School Bill Would Benefit Health Through Job Creation, Study Finds", Press release, The Pew Charitable Trusts, May 12, 2011, © The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Starch Compounds May Provide Cheaper, More Eco-Friendly Food Supplements And Drugs

May 11, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A discovery by scientists at Penn State University may someday provide drug and food companies a cheaper, more eco-friendly alternative for creating controlled-release medications and vitamin-enriched food supplements. Using corn starch and a fatty acid ester the researchers created pockets that are able to carry oil soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, into the body. The pockets protect the vitamins from acids and heat as they travel through the stomach and into the small intestines, where they can be absorbed into the blood stream. The researchers suggested that because corn and other starches are common, biodegradable and easily absorbed by the body, their use would be inexpensive and better for the environment.
Ursula V. Lay Ma, John D. Floros, Gregory R. Ziegler, "Effect of starch fractions on spherulite formation and microstructure. Carbohydrate Polymers", Carbohydrate Polymers, May 11, 2011, © Elsevier B.V.
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Pfizer Targets Obesity Problem In Young Children With New Child Nutrition Products

May 6, 2011: 09:00 PM EST
Noting that 43 million children under age five were overweight in 2010, Pfizer has launched a new range of child nutrition products – infant and follow-on formulas, and “growing-up milk” – “developed to meet the changing nutritional and feeding needs of young children.” The GOLD range of products provides nutrients needed for health, growth and development in growing children, the company said. The GOLD range provides older infants and young children with 100 percent of the U.S. Daily Reference Intakes of vitamin A, iron, iodine and zinc, recommended levels of vitamin D, less protein to support healthier rates of growth, and the soluble fiber oligofructose to promote gut health.
"Pfizer Launches New Advanced GOLD Range of Early Child Nutrition Products", Press Release, Pfizer Nutrition, May 06, 2011, © Pfizer
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Children’s Food/Beverage Market On Verge Of Major Growth Phase

May 5, 2011: 11:44 AM EST
The children’s food and beverage market is emerging from the recession and is “on the brink of a breakthrough,” according to market researcher Packaged Facts, which forecasts 40 percent growth through 2015, thanks in part to the better-for-you products trend. The kids’ food and beverage market spans a wide variety of product categories – frozen foods, dairy products, beverages, cereal, etc. – that are linked by three criteria: a taste kids love, nutrition kids need, and entertainment kids want. According to Packaged Facts, retail sales of children’s foods reached $10 billion in 2010, up 25 percent from five years ago. The largest segment was frozen foods ($2 billion), which accounts for 23 percent of the market. Beverages and dairy products were the next largest segments.
"Kids' Food and Beverage Market to Grow 40% by 2015", Press release, Packaged Facts, May 05, 2011, © Packaged Facts
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Scientists Develop Fruit Juice Blend That May Benefit Cardiovascular System

May 5, 2011: 08:28 AM EST
French scientists collaborating with a German fruit juice maker have developed a fruit juice blend that provides an optimum level of vasodilation with the least amount of bitterness. Berries and other fruits are rich in polyphenols, which boost the release of compounds such as nitric oxide that dilate blood vessels. Vasodilation has been linked with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The optimum blend the researchers developed included a base of grape juice (63 percent), plus apple, blueberry, strawberry, lingonberry, acerola and aronia (chokeberry) juices. The researchers hope to test the effect of their juice blend in animal and human studies.
Cyril Auger, et al. , "Fruit juice-induced endothelium-dependent relaxations in isolated porcine coronary arteries: evaluation of different fruit juices and purees and optimization of a red fruit juice blend", Food & Function, May 05, 2011, © Royal Society of Chemistry 2011
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Soy Enhances Quality Of Microwave Dough Products

May 4, 2011: 06:04 AM EST
A study found that replacing wheat with soy in microwave-baked dough products improves the food's texture and cut the adverse effects of microwave cooking, such as tough and rubbery quality. Researchers focused on changes in the physicochemical properties of dough products caused by the addition of soy, at 10%, 20%, and 26% mix rates, and compared the results with conventional baked products. Results suggest that lowering of water mobility caused by soy proteins and polar lipids "plasticized the starch-gluten network" of microwave-baked soy doughs.
Luca Serventi, Joseph Sachleben,Yael Vodovotz, "Effect of Soy Addition on Microwavable Pocket-Type Flat Doughs", Journal of Food Science, May 04, 2011, © Institute of Food Technologists
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