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Bakeries See Upsurge In Instagram-Ready, Alcohol-Infused Desserts

The Millennial fondness for unusual flavors and exotic cocktails – coupled with Instagram mania – have produced a wave of new and photogenic baked goods laced with alcohol. A baking industry website says bakeries are seeing increased demand for premium desserts “inspired by alcoholic beverages.” Cakes may be drizzled with sweet liqueurs and their fillings spiked with alcoholic beverages. Manhattan’s Doughnut Project sells handcrafted doughnuts infused with booze. Another spiked treat is the “Instagram-ready” Chandonut Rosé, featuring a Chandon sparkling rosé glaze covering a Bourbon Eggnog doughnut.

"People are going crazy for these boozy baked goods", CNBC, November 24, 2018

Nashville Mayor Challenges Local Businesses To Cut Holiday Season Food Waste

The mayor of Nashville, Tenn., has partnered with local organizations to challenge restaurants, hotels, and event venues to slash food waste. According to Mayor David Brinley, as many as 100,000 Davidson County residents, including more than 25,000 children, are food-insecure. By responding to the challenge, businesses could have a “meaningful impact” on the lives of many of our residents during the holiday season. Businesses that participate are being asked to select and implement practices from a menu of options to prevent food waste, to donate food and recycle food scraps, and to report on their progress. Organizations joing in the challenge include the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association, and Nashville Originals.

"Mayor David Briley issues food saver challenge to prevent food waste this holiday season", Nashville Pride (Tennessee) | Black Press USA, November 23, 2018

Pastry Chefs, A Dying Breed, Battle Headwinds With Creativity, Innovation

A post-recession return to homier desserts coupled with rising restaurant labor and operating costs have been rough on the nation’s pastry chefs. In fact, pastry chefs appear to be a dying breed at today’s upscale restaurants. To fight the trend, survivors have re-imagined old-fashioned, all-American pies and layer cakes, using alternative grains and sweeteners, imported herbs, and forms that give the desserts a new look. To save money, however, today’s desserts tend to be large-format and therefore more economical than complexly plated individual ones. Today’s dwindling community of pastry chefs knows that they have to make dessert seem essential by rethinking comfort and indulgence while still offering a taste of nostalgia.

"As Pastry Chefs Decline in Ranks, a Revolution in Cakes and Pies", The New York Times , November 22, 2018

The Science Of Tasty Whole Wheat Bread Marches On

The mission of wheat geneticists and other grain professionals at the Washington State University Bread Lab is to breed wheat for whole wheat flour that actually tastes good and that people would actually want to eat, not just satisfy a dietary recommendation. Breeding wheat for flavor is something of a new concept. Wheat breeders usually aim for traits like right height for mechanized harvesting, right texture for mechanized baking, and high yield. In their search for flavor, the Bread Lab researchers have identified one new wheat – Skagit 1109 – that makes a reliably tasty whole wheat bread called the “Approachable Loaf.” A group of 40 bakers, millers, breeders, and others met this summer to test-bake the loaf they've been discussing and fine-tuning for the last two years – with satisfying results.

"Science Makes Bread Taste Better", The Boston Globe, November 18, 2018

Dietitians Help Company Educate Consumers On Benefits Of Prebiotic Foods

California-based Freedom Foods has boosted the marketing of its nutritional bars and cereals by working with registered dietitians in retail stores and in communities. Freedom’s products, sold in more than 2,000 U.S., feature BarleyMax. a grain packed with prebiotic-resistant starch and fiber. The company realized early that selling a prebiotic food requires consumer education. Working with dietitians, Freedom Food is spreading the word about the benefits of Barley+ products through 28-day gut reboot camps, first tested at 12 ShopRite stores in New Jersey. The camps are basically health and lifestyle programs that advocate consumption of Barley+ products as a way to eat more whole grains. The company says RDs are also “relatable and approachable practitioners,” have strong relationships with local television news and talk shows, and contribute to the company’s social media programs.

"Freedom Foods taps RDs to spread the word about prebiotics", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 18, 2018

Report Covers Novel Food And Beverage Packaging Solutions That Cut Food Waste

A report by Chicago-based research company PreScouter covering food and beverage packaging innovations highlights nine shelf-life extension solutions that could go a long way toward reducing the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally each year. The solutions, in various stages of development, include the move toward more natural food- and plant-based additives and packaging. Other solutions feature superior coating materials, novel additives, and putting a new spin on older technologies. Six of the nine solutions have been approved for food use

"Extending the Shelf Life of Food and Beverages", PreScouter, November 18, 2018

As Legality Spreads, Cannabis-Based Cooking, Baking Is On The Rise

According to a report from Seattle-based marijuana research firm Headset Inc., one of the fastest-growing ways consumers use marijuana is to infuse into meals and baked goods at home. In Washington and California, as many as 15-25 percent of cannabis users incorporated the plant into home-cooked meals: double the percentage reported in 2015. Cooking with cannabis at home can be fun, but it requires meticulous attention to detail because marijuana can’t be infused into food from its raw, flowery form. The cannabinoids and terpenes must be activated via a heating process called decarboxylation. A key skill for marijuana chefs and bakers to learn is preparation of a key cooking ingredient:  cannabutter, whose butter to decarboxylated cannabis ratio is 16:1. 

"Cooking with cannabis: Bake, baste and blend your way to marijuana eats", Las Vegas Weekly, November 15, 2018

Start-Ups Targeting Food Waste Get $125M So Far In 2018

ReFED, a nonprofit organization devoted to solving food waste problems, has issued a report revealing that $125 million has been invested by the private sector in food waste start-ups since the beginning of 2018. Investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz, S2G Ventures, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, and DBL Partners obviously see great potential in the fact that an estimated $218 billion of food is wasted annually. Apeel Sciences ($70 million) produces a natural second skin to extend the shelf life of produce; Food Maven and Full Harvest ($8.5 million each) create B2B marketplaces for excess or wonky food; Spoiler Alert helps businesses better manage unsold food; ReGrained makes a flour out of spent distiller grains; and Goodr offers an on-demand food rescue service. 

"More Than $125 Million Poured Into Food Waste Startups In 2018", Forbes.com, November 14, 2018

Kellogg Plans To Back Out Of The Cookie Business

Kellogg Company plans to sell its cookie and snack fruit businesses to concentrate on its core product lines. On the auction block will be Keebler, Famous Amos, and Mother's and Murray cookie brands along with the Stretch Island fruit snack brand. In January 2019, the company will begin to revamp its organizational structure to improve core product market share. Kellogg hopes the move will provide “top-line growth” for the company. The structural changes will include consolidation of its morning foods, snacks, and frozen food businesses – representing about 80 percent of U.S. revenue – into single product categories. The company is also: placing a new emphasis on e-commerce; reorganizing its sales teams and making changes in its supply chain.

"Kellogg Company Looks To Sell Keebler, Famous Amos Cookie Brands", International Business Times News, November 13, 2018

Nonprofit Certifies Food Trucks For Green Disposal Practices

North Carolina-based nonprofit Don’t Waste Durham has developed a green food truck certification program to help vendors – who crank out hundreds to a thousand or so meals a day and mega volumes of wasted food and packaging – reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses are checked on use of reusable service ware or compostable materials, and serving on recyclable supplies when reusable and compostable are not options. Vendors learn of local foodservice suppliers, are hooked up with compost haulers and taught how to cut costs and waste. They get discounts for supplies, affordable pickup service and priority bookings at venues.

"Small Wave of Food Trucks Go Green", Waste360, November 08, 2018

Blockchain Technology Improves Walmart’s Food Safety, Reduces Food Loss

Walmart is using blockchain technology to help track and manage the chaotic and decentralized food supply system comprising producers, suppliers, and intermediaries such as processors that change constantly. Blockchain technology, like the food system, is based on a decentralized and distributed model that fits the modern food system perfectly. Each player in the network can update data, but also stops them from entering false data or making false changes. The speed with which blockchain enables companies to trace products and problems back to the source means improved food safety and less economic loss, and reduced food waste. It quickly and accurately identifies the source of a problem so that only impacted products are recalled or removed, rather than everything in the category.

"From 7 days to 2 seconds: Blockchain can help speed trace-back, improve food safety & reduce waste", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 06, 2018

Celebrity Chef Teaches Whirlpool Employees How To Cut Down On Food Waste

Joel Gamoran, a national chef with Sur La Table and the host of a cooking show called "Scraps," recently gave a cooking demonstration for employees at the global headquarters of Whirlpool Corp. Michigan. His mission was to show his audience how common household foods normally tossed in a garbage disposal can be used to create nutritious meals. He pointed out that Americans waste $319 billion worth of food every year while one out of eight people go to bed hungry. For his TV shows he partners with food waste champions around the U.S. to celebrate the local cuisine and create a delicious meal with food items many consider to be waste, like banana peels, shrimp shells, chicken bones, and carrot stems. The program is sponsored by Whirlpool’s KitchenAid brand, so he uses the brand's stand mixers, food processors, and blenders throughout his travels.

"Eliminating food waste: Whirlpool hosts celebrity chef for cooking demo", The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan), November 01, 2018

Food Distributor’s Program Moves Ugly Produce To Restaurants Rather Than Landfills


One of America’s largest fresh food distributors is showing chefs and restaurants that “imperfect” produce – fruits and vegetables that don’t meet aesthetics and size requirements – has real value. Baldor Specialty Foods’ Imperfect Produce program allows farmers sell these commodities to chefs, and directly to the public through community-supported agriculture (CSA) models. An estimated 24.7 percent of on-farm produce waste occurs because of disposal of imperfect produce.

"Imperfect Produce Gets a Market Boost", waste360.com, October 31, 2018

 
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