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Subject:
FOOD BUSINESS NEWS
Period: September 24, 2011 to October 1, 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
 
Companies, Organizations  

Sustainability Seen Emerging As Basis For Competition

A review in HBR looks to the arrival of sustainability as the primary driving force of financial success for companies, with the trend driven by three factors. First is the growing quantification of factors once considered irrelevant or priceless (such as externalities); second, social investing has emerged as a meaningful value-seeking discipline and is a force for change; last, industries look to be coalescing around standard metrics by which to rate sustainability. A critical element in the shift towards sustainability competition will be the broad acceptance of standard value-chain indices that amass relevant data in a full assessment of each product’s sustainability credentials.

"The Big Idea: The Sustainable Economy", Harvard Business Review Magazine, October 01, 2011

National Starch Creates A New Language To Describe Food Textures

National Starch has come up with a unique set of words, including some newly-coined ones, to better describe the consumer food texture experience. The new Texicon food texture language was created to “translate the consumer texture experience into measurable scientific terms,” according to National Starch. By using the new language, National Starch customers can quickly target and achieve the right texture in their products. Among the new words being used are “crinchy,” which describe food that is between crunchy and crispy, and “flumpy,” which describes mayonnaise as it comes from the jar. The Texicon language applies to a range of low- and high-moisture systems, such as baked snacks, creamy dressings, barbecue sauces, yogurt, sour cream, etc.

"National Starch introduces food texture language", News, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), September 23, 2011

Consumers  

As Organic Interest Grows, So Does A Fledgling Industry: Organic Delivery

The Organic Industry Examiner reports that organic food delivery services are springing up in metropolitan areas around the country, creating a new type of food delivery industry that is “more than just a trend.” Urban Organic in New York City, for example, delivers organic groceries three times a week, while Greenling offers a similar service in two Texas cities, and Healthy Bites serves the Washington, D.C. area. Their business models are dissimilar – Healthy Bites, for example, delivers full meals using organic foods twice a week – but all promise “organic when available,” certified pesticide- and GMO-free foods.

"Organic food home delivery a growing industry", Organic Industry Examiner, September 24, 2011

Affordability, Availability Are Keys To Healthier Eating For Low-Income Families

A survey of 212 women by Southeast Seattle nonprofit group Got Green has found that buying, cooking and eating “green” and healthy food are top priorities, but organic fruit and vegetables are just too expensive and grocery stores are scarce. The main barrier to switching to a healthier diet, therefore, is not education about “green” living, it’s affordability and availability, according to Got Green. Gardening is a good idea, but it’s not a solution for low-income families that are often short on time. Among its recommendations for change, the group urged policy changes that would provide more money for people who use food stamps so they can buy healthy food.

"Women in The Green Economy: Voices from Southeast Seattle ", Report, Women in the Green Economy Project, September 24, 2011

Market News  

Nestlé Expands Confectionery Development Facility In U.K.

Nestlé announced that it is enlarging its U.K.-based Product Technology Centre, where new confectionery products are developed and existing ones are reformulated. According to the company, the Technology Centre is also charged with deploying newly-developed technologies to Nestlé’s global operations so that confectionery products are produced safely and effectively while meeting the consumer needs. Centre Director Stefan Palzer says the expansion of the facility will allow the company to “accelerate and intensify confectionery product development” using sustainable and high quality raw materials, advanced manufacturing processes, and reliable equipment.

"Nestlé extends global Product Technology Centre for confectionery", Press release, Nestlé, September 23, 2011

Nestlé Survey Asks Australians To Rate How Happy And Healthy They Feel

Nestlé has partnered with Sydney University to develop a ten-minute online survey of 500,000 Australians seeking information on the key factors that contribute to health and happiness, and the complex relationship between the two. The interactive Happily Healthy Project will also give people ideas about how to change their lifestyles to make them happier and healthier, according to the company. The survey was developed with the help of Dr. Anthony Grant, an author and motivational psychologist. A key component of Nestlé’s Happily Healthy Project is the Happily Healthy Quotient (HHQ) which scores people on their level of fulfillment with life, both physically and emotionally. The company says 30,000 people have already completed the survey.

"Nestlé leads new interactive study on health and happiness in Australia", Press release, Nestlé, September 09, 2011

Marketing & Advertising  

Billboard Showing Grim Reaper Wearing “Cheeshead” Hat Irritates Wisconsin Dairy Farmers

A group in Wisconsin called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has sponsored a roadside billboard that shows the Grim Reaper sporting the “cheesehead” hat associated with fans of the Green Bay Packers football team. The billboard’s caption – “Warning: Cheese Can Sack Your Health” – has riled the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which claims the group has ties to animal rights organizations and is “a vegan front group.” The Physicians Committee, however, says cheese is unhealthily packed with saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. The Milk Board, which represents dairy farmers in the state, counters that cheese, like all foods, should be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

"Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board takes issue with planned billboard featuring Cheesehead Grim Reaper along Hwy. 41 in De Pere", Green Bay Press-Gazette, September 23, 2011

Food/Beverage Industry Jettisons “Nutrition Keys” Labeling System For “Facts Up Front”

Two organizations that represent the food and beverage industry have renamed the front-of-package nutrition labeling system “Facts Up Front.” Formerly known as “Nutrition Keys,” the new system, along with a consumer education campaign, “clearly communication the program’s objective,” according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food marketing Institute, by putting nutrition facts where shoppers can more easily find them. In addition to the new name, the organizations have created a Web site – FactsUpFront.org – that explains the Facts Up Front nutrition icons, provides research and resources, and features positive quotes from Congressional representatives about the new labeling system.

"Food Industry Redubs FOP Labeling System", Marketing Daily, September 22, 2011

Vending world tries new tech to court Gen Y

USA Today, September 16, 2011

The Flavor of Fruits to Come

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

Inside the Marketbasket

Progressive Grocer, September 01, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Discovery Regarding Fatty Acids Could Lead To More Effective Dietary Supplements

A study by U.S. researchers has found that animal-derived saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid are strongly linked to adverse health effects because they activate key regulatory molecules called Jun kinases that are implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and atherosclerosis. Unsaturated fatty acids, however, found in plants and cold water fish, not only do not activate those regulatory molecules, they actually block activation by palmitic acid. The researchers suggested that a better understanding of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as EPA and related omega-3 fatty acids, could lead to the identification of EPA-like molecules – and creation of dietary supplements – that are more effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

"Saturated Fatty Acids Induce c-Src Clustering within Membrane Subdomains, Leading to JNK Activation", Cell, September 30, 2011

Steroid Found In Mustard Plant Safely Stimulates Protein Synthesis, Builds Muscle

U.S. researchers have discovered that a steroid found in the mustard plant triggers a response in rats similar to anabolic steroids. Researchers fed healthy rats homobrassinolide, a type of brassinosteroid found in plants, orally each day for 24 days, then measured body weight, food consumption, and body composition. Rats receiving homobrassinolide experienced greater protein synthesis in muscle cells, gained more weight and slightly increased their food intake, without side effects. The researchers suggested that in the future it may be possible to breed or engineer plants such as the mustard for higher brassinosteroid content to produce functional foods that can treat or prevent diseases, decrease muscle wasting, and increase physical performance.

"Anabolic effect of plant brassinosteroid", FASEB Journal, September 29, 2011

Resveratrol Stops Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells

Resveratrol, a health-promoting ingredient found in red grapes and red wine, stops breast cancer cells from growing by blocking the growth effects of estrogen, according to new U.S. and Italian research. The findings suggest for the first time that resveratrol counteracts the progression of a malignancy by inhibiting the proliferation of hormone-resistant breast cancer cells. The discovery is especially important for women with breast cancer whose tumors eventually become resistant to hormonal therapy. The researchers used several breast cancer cell lines expressing the estrogen receptor to test the effects of resveratrol. They treated the different cells with resveratrol, and left some cells untreated, finding a significant reduction in cell growth in cells treated by resveratrol. No changes were seen in untreated cells.

"Resveratrol, through NF-Y/p53/Sin3/HDAC1 complex phosphorylation, inhibits estrogen receptor α gene expression via p38MAPK/CK2 signaling in human breast cancer cells", FASEB Journal, September 29, 2011

Saw Palmetto Proven Ineffective At Reducing Prostate-Related Urinary Symptoms

The popular herbal dietary supplement saw palmetto, which has long been marketed as a way to ease urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, is no more effective than a placebo, according to a clinical trial. An enlarged prostate can cause frequent urination and other problems. The probability of the condition increases with age; nine of ten men in their 70s and 80s are affected. The clinical trial was conducted at 11 North American clinical sites from June 2008 to October 2010 among 369 men aged 45 years or older whose peak urine flow was less than normal. Escalating doses of saw palmetto or placebo were given, starting at one, two, and then three pills of 320 milligrams per day. Doses were increased at 24 and 48 weeks. But saw palmetto had no more impact than the placebo in reducing urinary symptoms.

"Effect of Increasing Doses of Saw Palmetto Extract on Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: A Randomized Trial", Journal of the American Medical Association, September 28, 2011

Anti-Caking Agents Added To Powders Hasten Degradation Of Vitamin C

Anti-caking compounds added to powdered products to protect vitamin C from moisture accomplish the opposite: they seem to speed up the nutrient’s degradation. Purdue University scientists studying the dissolving effect of humidity on crystalline solids – a reaction known as deliquescence – tested different anti-caking compounds mixed with sodium ascorbate, a common form of vitamin C that normally dissolves when humidity levels reach 86 percent. They found that the anti-caking agents caused the vitamin C to dissolve at lower humidity levels. When vitamin C dissolves, it loses its nutritional value. “No anti-caking agent improved the chemical stability of the vitamin, and most caused an increase in chemical degradation even if physical stability was improved,” the researchers wrote.

" Effects of Anticaking Agents and Relative Humidity on the Physical and Chemical Stability of Powdered Vitamin C", Journal of Food Science, September 28, 2011

Study Associates Lower Levels Of Vitamin B12 With Cognitive Decline Among Older People

A multi-year study of 121 older residents of Chicago has found that lower levels of vitamin B12 in the blood were associated with a shrinkage in brain volume and lower scores on cognitive tests. Vitamin B12 is found in animal-derived foods, including fish and meat, and especially liver, milk, eggs and poultry. Cognitive test scores ranged from -2.18 to 1.42, with an average of 0.23. The researchers found that for each increase of one micromole per liter of homocysteine – one of the markers of B12 deficiency – the cognitive scores dropped by 0.03 standardized units or points. They cautioned, however, that it is still too early to say that vitamin B12 supplementation could help prevent cognitive decline in older people.

"Vitamin B12, cognition, and brain MRI measures: A cross-sectional examination", Neurology, September 27, 2011

Horphag Research Creates Nutrition Division

Natural Product Insider, September 22, 2011

Effects of walnut consumption on cognitive performance in young adults

British Journal of Nutrition , September 19, 2011

Feed your genes

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) press release, September 19, 2011

Meaty flavour compounds formation from the submerged liquid culture of Pleurotus ostreatus

International Journal of Food Science & Technology, September 15, 2011

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