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Subject:
FOOD BUSINESS NEWS
Period: September 17, 2011 to September 24, 2011
Geographies:
Worldwide
Categories:
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Contents
 

Poland Beginning To Boost Its Presence In European Organic Food Production

The Warsaw Journal reports that Poland has the right mix of resources and other factors that could make it “an important player” in Europe’s growing organic foods market. The country so far has been a small consumer of organic foods – only 0.2 percent of food purchases in 2009, or about €50 million, were in the organic category – but consumer interest is growing. With European and global organic demand on the rise, organic production in Poland is increasing as well, thanks to competitive prices, a large workforce and many small-scale, traditional farms that are easy to convert to organic methods. Through 2010, the number of organic farms and total area devoted to organic food production have soared: from 3,760 to 20,000 farms, and from 82,730 to more than 500,000 hectares. The number of processing plants in turn grew from 50 to nearly 300. Also driving expansion has been the rapid development of a sales network for organic products in Poland. The number of organic stores should grow ...  More

"Going organic: promise for Poland", Warsaw Journal, September 12, 2011

 
Companies, Organizations  

New Cargill Stabilizers Help Yogurt Makers Control Costs, Maintain Taste And Texture

Cargill has introduced a customizable functional stabilizer system that allows yogurt makers to keep raw material costs down while providing the creamy products consumers expect. According to the company, Vitex AYS stabilizers feature modified food starch and hydrocolloids that create “a cost-effective alternative to gelatin” while maintaining yogurt flavor and texture. A Vitex AYS product manager said the rising cost of gelatin and starch was the motivating force behind development of the stabilizers. 

"Cargill launches new functional system to help dairy food makers contain costs", Press release, Cargill, September 19, 2011

Organic Food Prices Still A Hindrance To Grocery Shoppers – Poll

An online survey of 2,112 adults conducted in August for Whole Foods Market found that food prices have had a major impact on their food buying patterns. Eighty-two percent said current food prices have affected their grocery shopping, and more than 75 percent said they have changed their cooking and eating habits due to the economy. Large majorities saying they would buy natural or organic foods if they could afford it. Seventy-one percent said they would buy natural/organic foods over conventional foods if the prices were the same. And 70 percent said they would buy organic if prices fit their budgets. Twenty-four percent said natural/organic foods would account for only a quarter of their total household food purchases in 2011.

"Customers still place value on value", Press release, Whole Foods Market, September 13, 2011

UNFI revenue report reveals growth for natural retailers

Natural Foods Merchandiser, September 22, 2011

Unilever May Resume Buying Sinar Mas Palm Oil

The Jakarta Globe, September 21, 2011

A War Against Food Waste

New York Times, September 15, 2011

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

PepsiCo Partners With Aid Organizations To Boost Chickpea Production In Ethiopia

PepsiCo and its charitable arm have partnered with international food assistance programs in an initiative to boost chickpea production in Ethiopia. Enterprise EthioPEA will also promote long-term nutritional and economic security in the east African country, the continent's largest producer of chickpeas. Chickpeas are rich in protein – an average of 22 percent – and are a sustainable alternative to meat. Among other goals, the partnership hopes to enable 10,000 Ethiopian farmers to double chickpea yield by applying more modern agricultural practices and irrigation techniques. Participating with PepsiCo are the PepsiCo Foundation, the United Nations World Food Program and U.S. Agency for International Development.

"PepsiCo, World Food Programme and USAID Partner to Increase Food Production and Address Malnutrition in Ethiopia", Press release, PepsiCo, September 21, 2011

Tesco Installs NCR Self-Service Units In Central And Eastern European Stores

British retailer Tesco has contracted with NCR Corporation to install SelfServ Checkout stations in stores across Central and Eastern Europe. SelfServ Checkout allows customers to scan, bag and pay for products themselves. According to NCR, Tesco is the first retailer in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to make self-checkout technology available. Self-service stations have also been installed in Tesco stores in the U.K., Ireland, the U.S. and South Korea. Tesco says more than ten million shoppers use them every week in the U.K., accounting for more than a third of store transactions.

"Tesco Enhances Shopper Convenience with NCR Self-Checkouts across Central and Eastern Europe", News release, NCR, September 16, 2011

McCormick Completes Acquisition of Kamis

McCormick , September 08, 2011

Innovation & New Ideas  

Researchers Develop Barley-Based Pasta Flour Rich In Fiber And Antioxidants

Spanish and Italian researchers report that they have developed a barley flour – using a process known as air classification – from the most nutritious part of the grain and used it to make a healthy pasta. According to the study, the barley spaghetti they created has more fiber and more antioxidants than semolina-based spaghettis. However, adding gluten to the barley flour to improve its cooking quality ended up lowering the antioxidant activity. The researchers said that because the barley spaghetti met FDA requirements for fiber and beta-glucans content, they might qualify for the health claims “good source of dietary fiber” and “may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

"Development of Functional Spaghetti Enriched in Bioactive Compounds Using Barley Coarse Fraction Obtained by Air Classification", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, September 15, 2011

Campbell To Unveil 35 New Soups And Sauces

Campbell Soup Company is introducing 35 new soups and sauces in the U.S. this fall, a seven-fold increase in new product launches over 2010. New Campbell’s soups include five Slow Kettle Style varieties, four regionally-inspired – New Orleans, New England, etc. – soups and eight Healthy Request soups providing “heart-healthy” alternatives to condensed, Select Harvest and Chunky soup products. The company is also launching two 50-ounce, family-size cans of Chunky soup, three Swanson Flavor Boost concentrated broth packets for skillet dishes or stir fries, two unsalted Swanson stocks, and new Italian and Mexican sauces.

"Campbell Introduces Nearly Three Dozen New Soups and Sauces to America’s Store Shelves", Press release, Campbell Soup Company, September 15, 2011

Selling Illusions of Cleanliness

Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2011

Parmalat and Tetra Launch New Milk Carton

Food Ingredients First, September 16, 2011

HUL Mumbai campus receives LEED India Gold Certification

India Infoline News Service, September 15, 2011

Press Release  

USDA Researchers Create Insect-Resistant Potato Variety

Scientists at the USDA have developed a wireworm-resistant potato variety from two wild potatoes that may reduce or eliminate the need for wireworm insecticides. To do this, they crossed germplasm from wild potatoes from Chile and Bolivia with a cultivated variety, then selected 15 plants that best-resisted Colorado potato beetles and green peach aphids from three generations of progeny. They planted them in wireworm-infested fields and compared the damage they sustained with that seen in nearby rows of Russet Burbank potatoes, some of which had been treated with organophosphate- and carbamate-based insecticides. The resistant cloned potatoes fared just as well or better than the insecticide-treated Russet Burbank potatoes. The researchers believe natural compounds called glycoalkaloids may protect the cloned potatoes.

"Scientists Develop New Potato Lines to Wage War on Wireworms", News release, USDA, September 19, 2011

Chinese Company Expands Facilities To Ramp Up Organic Food Production

Chinese food and beverage company Nutrastar International said it plans to significantly expand its organic and specialty food consumer products business over the next year and a half. Production capacity expansion will total 890,000 square meters on the existing production grounds. The company said it will add hundreds of greenhouses with an annual projected organic production capacity of 6.5 million kg. The company’s current consumer product businesses include a specialty mushroom line and several beverage lines. The company is taking advantage of local government initiatives – sparked by China’s food safety problems – that provide financial support through subsidies to organic and green producers.

"Company Plans to Increase Organic and Specialty Food Product Offerings by 2012", Press Release, Nutrastar International, September 19, 2011

Harvard Researchers Launch Healthy Eating Plate

Harvard College press release, September 14, 2011

Products & Brands  

Dietary Supplement GABA Helps Prevent, Treat Type 2 Diabetes In Mouse Study

A U.S. study in mice has determined that the over-the-counter dietary supplement GABA, a naturally-produced amino acid, may have potential to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. For the study, GABA was given orally to mice that were obese, insulin resistant and in the early stages of type 2 diabetes. GABA was found to prevent disease progression and improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity by suppressing the inflammatory immune responses involved in development of type 2 diabetes. In the future, GABA supplements may become part of a course of treatment for obesity-related type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, the researchers suggested.

"Combining Antigen-Based Therapy with GABA Treatment Synergistically Prolongs Survival of Transplanted ß-Cells in Diabetic NOD Mice", PLoS ONE, September 22, 2011

DSM Launches New Business Unit To Focus On Marketing Nutritional Lipids

Swiss nutritional ingredients maker DSM says it has created a business unit that combines Martek’s algal DHA omega-3 and ARA omega-6 products and DSM’s polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) product portfolio. The Nutritional Lipids unit will leverage Martek’s technology and market position in the U.S. and DSM’s global marketing and sales network. The company says scientific evidence shows that nutritional lipids offer significant health benefits and support brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. Products from DSM's Nutritional Lipids portfolio are  found in more than 400 brands of infant formula, nutritional supplements, functional foods and animal feeds sold worldwide. Martek veteran Peter A. Nitze will serve as president, based in Columbia, Md.

"DSM Nutritional Products establishes Nutritional Lipids", Press release, DSM, September 12, 2011

Stop And Shop, Unilever Partner To Battle Hunger

East Coast grocery retailer Stop & Shop has partnered with Unilever to donate $150,000 to Feeding America and member food banks during September to feed local children and families. The money will buy more than one million meals through hunger relief organizations such as regional food banks and pantries. Every dollar donated buys eight meals from Feeding America. Stop & Shop is conducting special promotional events in September in conjunction with the initiative, including Popsicle Parties and Stuff-A-Truck days. According to the companies, 25 percent of American children face hunger every day.

"Stop & Shop and Unilever to Provide More than 1 Million Meals for Local Families", News release, Stop & Shop , September 08, 2011

Officials slam corn syrup rebranding

CBS News, September 15, 2011

The many faces of coconut: a 2011 market overview

Functional Ingredients, September 14, 2011

Going organic: promise for Poland

Warsaw Journal, September 12, 2011

Honey verdict gums up GM rules

New Scientist blog, September 07, 2011

Confectionery Market Buoyed By New Concepts & Innovation

Nutraceutical World, September 07, 2011

Commission to decide on EU use of flavours not assessed by EFSA

Institute of Food Research, September 05, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Vitamin D Deficiency Associated With Severe Asthma In Children

The findings of a British clinical study of children with severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA) suggest that vitamin D supplementation may provide a new approach to therapy. Eighty-six children were enrolled in the study, 36 children of whom had STRA, 26 had moderate asthma and 24 had no asthma. The researchers measured the relationships between vitamin D levels and lung function, medication usage and symptom severity. Children with STRA had significantly lower levels of vitamin D, worse symptoms, greater use of asthma medications and poorer lung function than the other children. "Our results suggest that detecting vitamin D deficiency in children with STRA, and then treating that deficiency, may help prevent or reduce” lung damage, the authors concluded.

"Relationship Between Serum Vitamin D, Disease Severity and Airway Remodeling in Children with Asthma", American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, September 22, 2011

Researchers Say Zinc Is Important To Neuron Communication, But Warn About Supplements

A U.S. study verifies the long-held assumption that zinc plays an important role in controlling communication between neurons in the brain, but researchers warn that people taking zinc supplements should use caution. Zinc supplements are sold without prescription to treat various brain disorders, including depression. But scientists aren’t sure if the supplements modify zinc content in the brain or modify communication efficiency between neurons. In the hippocampus – where learning and memory processes occur – disrupted communication may contribute to epilepsy. The researchers caution that people taking zinc supplements should be careful until there is enough information about desired zinc concentrations and how oral supplements affect them.

"Vesicular Zinc Promotes Presynaptic and Inhibits Postsynaptic Long-Term Potentiation of Mossy Fiber-CA3 Synapse", Neuron, September 21, 2011

Eating Low-Fat Yogurt During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Asthma, Hay Fever In Children

An as-yet unpublished study to be presented at a medical meeting in Europe has found an association between consuming low-fat yogurt during pregnancy and childhood asthma and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). The study’s purpose was to determine whether the fatty acids in milk and dairy products consumed during pregnancy protected children from developing allergic diseases. Data from patient registries and questionnaires were analyzed by the researchers. The results showed that drinking milk during pregnancy did not increase the risk of asthma and actually protected against asthma development. But women who ate low-fat yogurt with fruit once a day were 1.6-times more likely to have children who developed asthma by age seven.

"Low-Fat Yogurt Intake When Pregnant May Lead to Child Asthma and Hay Fever, Study Suggests", Press release, presentation at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress, September 17, 2011

Fruits/Vegetables With White Flesh Seem To Reduce Risk Of Stroke

A Dutch study has found that consumption of fruits and vegetables with white flesh may prevent the incidence of stroke. For the study, researchers examined the association between consumption of fruits and vegetables in various color groups – green, orange/yellow, red/purple and white – with stroke incidence over ten years among 20,069 adults. The participants were free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study, but 233 eventually suffered strokes. Green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits and vegetables weren't related to stroke, researchers found. But the risk of stroke dropped by 52 percent for those who ate a lot of white fruits and vegetables – such as apples, pears and cauliflower. They found that each 25-gram-per-day increase in white fruits and vegetable consumption lowered the risk of stroke by nine percent.

"Colors of Fruit and Vegetables and 10-Year Incidence of Stroke", Stroke, September 16, 2011

EFSA Approves Health Claim For Olive Oil Ingredient

After studying scientific findings on the health benefits of hydroxytyrosol, an orthodiphenol found in olives and olive oil, the European Food Safety Authority has issued a scientific opinion stating that the ingredient does protect blood lipids from oxidative damage. The EFSA approved the health claims of the product Hytolive, which has a high concentration of natural hydroxytyrosol. The agency based its opinion on the results of three studies that showed a “dose dependent and significant effect of olive oil hydroxytyrosol … on lowering levels of oxidized low density lipoproteins (LDL)” after three weeks of consumption. The EFSA said consuming five mg a day of the ingredient would qualify for an approved health claim.

"EFSA Panel Approves Hydroxytyrosol for Heart-Health Claims", Nutrition Horizon, September 13, 2011

Liver Function Improves In Rats Fed Diet Rich In Maple Syrup

A study conducted in Japan in rats has found that a diet rich in carbohydrates derived from pure maple syrup improved liver function. The rats were fed diets that included either 20 percent pure maple syrup or 20 percent syrup mixture with similar sugar content as maple syrup. After 11 days, the researchers analyzed standard biomarkers for liver function, finding that the rats on the maple syrup diet showed significantly decreased levels of liver enzymes AST, ALT and LDH in the blood. Using a gene expression profiling technique known as nutrigenomics, they found that the maple syrup diet triggers a mechanism that causes genes involved in the production of harmful ammonia in the liver to be less active. The researcher suggested that this beneficial effect may be due to maple syrup’s polyphenolic antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.

"Researchers uncover a potential new benefit of pure maple syrup on liver health", Press release, University of Tokyo, September 13, 2011

Food Formulators Need To Be Careful When Mixing Vitamins With Probiotics

Researchers in Australia and Switzerland report that vitamins added to probiotic formulations can either enhance or harm the bacteria, depending on the vitamin used. Blending vitamin E, or tocopherol, in probiotic formulas enhances the viability of bacteria, while vitamin C has a harmful effect. Researchers tested micro-encapsulated probiotic formulations that used Lactobacillus rhamnosus. They mixed in tocopherol, sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), or both, finding that the  antioxidant activity of the tocopherol enhanced the probiotics during storage. But the vitamin C salt, even with tocopheral added, “had detrimental effects on probiotic survival.” They concluded that “the chemical effects of additives and their metabolic fate in the presence of probiotic bacteria” need to be monitored when preparing probiotic products.

"Tocopherol and Ascorbate Have Contrasting Effects on the Viability of Microencapsulated Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 15, 2011

Diet Rich In Vitamin A Reduces Abdominal Fat In Animal Study

Indian researchers who looked at the impact of dietary vitamin A on the activity of an enzyme that controls glucose metabolism have found that the vitamin reduced abdominal fat and overall body weight in obese rats. The animals in the study were fed either a vitamin A-enriched diet or a standard diet. At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that the vitamin A diet “significantly decreased body weight, visceral fat mass and 11b-HSD1 [the enzyme] activity in visceral fat of the obese rats.” The researchers suggested that further research is needed to understand how 11b-HSD1 activity is regulated by nutrients like vitamin A. The results of that research may lead to development of dietary therapies to prevent obesity and insulin resistance.

"Vitamin A decreases pre-receptor amplification of glucocorticoids in obesity: study on the effect of vitamin A on 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 activity in liver and visceral fat of WNIN/Ob obese rats", Nutrition Journal, June 23, 2011

Formation Of Acrylamide In Starchy Foods Is Reduced By Grape Seed, Clove Bud Extracts

Researchers in Hong Kong and Singapore have found that grape seed and clove bud extracts  seem to cut the formation of the carcinogen acrylamide in food products made from potatoes by 60 percent. Grape seed compounds known as proanthocyanidins reduced acrylamide production by 62.2 percent in potato-based foods. However, in toher carbohydrate-based foods, such as cookies, extracts of clove buds reduced acrylamide development by 51 percent. Acrylamide is produced when sugar and the amino acid asparagine are subjected to heat. The process, known as the Maillard reaction, results in the brown color of baked, friend or toasted foods. The compound, however, was found to cause cancer in laboratory rats.

"Dietary plant materials reduce acrylamide formation in cookie and starch-based model systems", Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, June 16, 2011

Chicken Feed, Eggs & Cholesterol

Nutraceutical World, September 19, 2011

Nanoparticles cause brain injury in fish

EurekAlert, September 18, 2011

Consumers eager for health benefits from food

Iowa State University, September 15, 2011

Colors of Fruit and Vegetables and 10-Year Incidence of Stroke

American Stroke Association, September 15, 2011

Rheological properties of commercial chestnut flour doughs with different gums

International Journal of Food Science & Technology, July 26, 2011

Trends  

Whole Foods Contest Winners Will Visit Eco-Friendly Costa Rican Banana Grower

Whole Foods Market and Earth University, which exports sustainably grown bananas, have partnered to send five shoppers to Costa Rica to learn about ethical banana production. The  Whole Foods Market’s Earth University offerings include fresh bananas and frozen bananas and pineapples. The grocer’s Whole Trade program certifies growers for paying fair wages and providing safe working conditions, in addition to showing concern for the environment. Whole Foods shoppers can enter the contest by signing up online through September 30. Winners will experience Earth University’s hands-on teaching of sustainable agriculture, and responsible business and community development, the company said.

"Shoppers go bananas for chance to win field trip to Costa Rica", Press release, Whole Foods Market, September 15, 2011

Debate Rages On: Is Salt To Blame For Cardiovascular Disease?

Though many scientists and consumers are convinced that a salty diet is the primary contributor to high blood pressure – and increased risk of cardiovascular disease – in the Western world, recent studies cast doubt on that view, and even suggest that cutting salt intake may be harmful. One blood pressure expert in the U.K. called the evidence of the harm caused by salt intake “actually pretty flimsy.” The salt industry, of course, agrees, and one food manufacturer has started adding salt back into its products. According to this Reuters special report, the outcome of the debate will have a big impact on business. There’s the U.S. snack foods industry with annual revenue of $27 billion, for example, and the blood pressure medications industry with worldwide sales of $35 billion in 2009. But scientists have yet to come to a consensus on salt’s harmful or beneficial effects. Evidence is slight and often contradictory. So the debate rages on.

"Special Report: A pinch of doubt over salt", Reuters Health, September 01, 2011

CLA Market Approaches $200 Million

Nutraceutical World, September 22, 2011

Old Ketchup Packet Heads for Trash

Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2011

Organic Farming for Health & Prosperity

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), September 19, 2011

Packaging Unwrapped

Rexam, September 19, 2011

Highflying Sauces

Food Technology Magazine, Institute of Food Technologists, September 15, 2011

Coca-Cola rolls out PlantBottle packaging in UK

Marketing Magazine, September 12, 2011

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