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Aging Population Turns To Supplements To Maintain Eye Health

March 9, 2009: 05:30 AM EST
In a preventative strategy, aging consumers are using supplements to enhance their nutrition intake to avoid some diseases. High on the list of concerns is eye health, which Frost & Sullivan claim has become a primary concern for the food industry. In a new report, European Eye Health Ingredients Market, Frost & Sullivan estimate that the market had sales of $43.4 million in 2007 and estimates this will reach $87.4 million in 2014. Consumers are concerned about eye-diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and childhood blindness and have been using products high in antioxidants, notably lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin and bilberry.
Frost & Sullivan, "Frost & Sullivan: Ageing Population and Availability of Preventative Medicines Propels Growth of European Eye Health Ingredients Market", March 09, 2009, © Frost & Sullivan
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Quaker Oats Lines Under One Marketing Umbrella

March 9, 2009: 07:55 AM EST
Quaker Oats’ suite of breakfast and snack products is being rebranded under one communications umbrella, with the tagline “go humans go”. Quaker owner PepsiCo wants to stress the health-giving qualities of the company’s key ingredient – wholegrain oats. The marketing and advertising campaign employs television, print, online and “out-of-home extension advertising” to promote the message that Quaker oats "help power the bodies and minds of humans and inspires people to be their best". Television ads began screening in prime time slots and cable channels on March 16, with print ads scheduled to begin this month (April).
"PepsiCo rebrands Quaker", just-food.com, March 09, 2009
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Wellness Benefits Key to Yogurt Growth

March 9, 2009: 05:53 AM EST
Yogurt is proving to be a front-runner with a lot of staying power in the race to develop innovative new functional foods. The dairy product has been in use for at least 4,500 years, and its benefits have long been known. But it is proving to be the ideal vehicle for many current trends in adding wellness benefits to food. Yogurt is a natural carrier for pre- and probiotics, omega-3, conjugated linoleic acid, fruit, and added proteins such as whey and soy. New manufacturing and processing techniques are overcoming some of the taste and texture problems associated with adding functionality to the product, opening doors to even more innovation. “Good for you” yogurts will continue to drive growth, says Daphne Mazarakis, founder and president, Tula Foods. “Consumers already associate yogurt with health, so the idea that we can bring them a yogurt with another promising health benefit is credible.”
Kimberly J. Decker , "Yogurt Trends", Food Product Design, March 09, 2009, © Virgo Publishing
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Hansen Launches Its Self Beauty Elixir That Promises Health Benefits

March 6, 2009: 07:43 AM EST
In a bid to tap the trend in functional beverages, Hansen has launched a low-calorie, functional, ready-to-drink beverage - Self Beauty Elixir - that contains vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts. The company claims that the drink will "promote and support healthy skin and overall wellness". It should be available in mass retailers, drugs stores and major supermarkets from spring in three flavors, Tropical Bliss, Blushing Berry and Pink Lemonade.
"US: Hansen rolls-out Elixir ‘beauty’ beverage", just-drinks.com, March 06, 2009, © just-drinks.com
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Sensing the Presence of Sugar Key to Aging Process

March 5, 2009: 03:12 AM EST
A paper published in the journal PLoS Genetics explains how Université de Montréal scientists found that the presence of calories is not the important element in the aging process, but the extent to which cells sense them. There are two elements to calorie intake: taste and digestion. Cell sensors detect the presence of sugar glucose, for example, and molecules in the cell break it down, converting it to energy. Some thought the by-products in this process caused aging, but this study shows another possible cause, using yeast cells, which age much like human cells. The team found that the lifespan of yeast cells rises when glucose in the diet was reduced, but also found that: (a) cells that couldn’t consume glucose were still sensitive to the aging effects of glucose; and (b) eliminating the glucose sensor significantly increased lifespan.
"Over-consumption of sugar linked to aging", Nouvelles.com, March 05, 2009, © UdeMNouvelles
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EU “Agrees in Principle” to Unilever Plant Sterol and Fatty Acid Claims

March 2, 2009: 09:14 PM EST
Unilever says that it has “heard informally” that the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has approved in principle its claims that plant sterols help reduce cholesterol and ALA/LA (a-linolenic acid and linoleic acid) assist children's growth and development. The Committee has apparently asked the European Food Standards Authority to develop conditions of use for the claims. Unilever says it will apply the claims in the near future.
"EU: Brussels poised to OK Unilever health claims", just-food.com, March 02, 2009, © just-food.com
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New Methods for Isolating Plant Pigments

March 2, 2009: 01:25 AM EST
The anthocyanin group of plant pigments is catching the eye of researchers because of its anti-cancer properties, cardiovascular protection and other benefits such as vision and memory enhancement. But the problem is that the pigments are broken down after consumption in food sources, which makes it difficult to track the process of absorption and accumulation. Ingredient suppliers are trying to improve functionality and stability. Food Ingredient Solutions of New Jersey says there has been success in beverage shelf life for more than one year using stable anthocyanins from sources like purple potatoes. While in California, InterHealth Neutraceuticals is using berry extracts to obtain anthocyanin functionality.
Sharon Palmer, "Coloring the Anthocyanin Age", Food Product Design, March 02, 2009, © Virgo Publishing
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Mood Foods Poised to Realize Potential as Recession Deepens

March 1, 2009: 05:48 AM EST
Mood foods may be the next big thing as the economic recession continues to affect people’s mental health. Economic woes are a leading cause of anxiety and depression in today’s world, and many people find they can’t afford a regular therapy program. This opens opportunities for the increasing range of remedies targeted at mood disorders such as anxiety, which are often exacerbated by lack of sleep. Products that promise to promote relaxation are poised to expand as people become increasingly aware that good sleep is as important to health as food and exercise. Dietary supplements and functional foods that have “mood-lifting” properties are ideally placed to benefit from the rising demand, particularly for people with milder symptoms. Promising advances are being made across the spectrum of products available, including vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and proteins, herbs and botanicals, carbohydrates, and specialty ingredients. Products will have to be science-based and fast-acting to be successful.
Rebecca Wright & Dilip Ghosh, "The Mood Health Market", Nutraceuticals World, March 01, 2009, © Nutraceuticals World
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Report Suggests Fructose Metabolism May Increase Food Intake, Obesity

March 2, 2009: 01:36 AM EST
In a review of prior studies, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine determined a link between the consumption of fructose and increased food intake, which may contribute to a high incidence of obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. In the brain, malonyl-CoA has a critical role in monitoring energy balance gauged through glucose levels. But the researchers find fructose has the opposite effect of glucose on the malonyl-CoA signaling system, effectively encouraging food intake. The researchers argue that the fact that fructose metabolism by the brain increases food intake and obesity risk raises health concerns about high fructose sweeteners, especially by youth.
Daniel Lane et al, "Effect Of Glucose And Fructose On Food Intake Via Malonyl-Coa Signaling In The Brain.", Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, March 02, 2009, © Elsevier
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Probiotic Protein Bar

March 1, 2009: 08:00 AM EST
Max Muscle Sports Nutrition, based in California, is offering a probiotic protein bar, that the company claims is the first of its type in the US. Developed in conjunction with Ganeden Biotech of Ohio, the bar contains the patented GanedenBC30, a form of the strain bacillus coagulans. The company says the strain survives harsh manufacturing processes and remains shelf stable without refrigeration.
"Probiotics Muscle in on Protein Bars", FoodProcessing.com, March 01, 2009, © Food Processing
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Health Claim Rule Threatens Smaller Functional Food Processors

March 1, 2009: 09:18 PM EST
The future of a host of smaller functional foods companies is at risk because the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is too strict over the definition of health claims, says Cantox Health Sciences of Canada. The company says many products contain ingredients with promising benefits, but which cannot be promoted because EFSA rules state that only products with proven effects can be advertised as being healthy. The company says that smaller companies do not have the money to spend on research to prove their claims. About 80 percent of claims put forward to EFSA for approval have been turned down, according to Cantox.
"Claims regime threatens functional sector", Functional Ingredients , March 01, 2009, © Penton Media
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Kraft Partners with Drug Company to Develop Bioactive Food Ingredients

March 1, 2009: 07:38 AM EST
Kraft Foods Global Inc. is teaming up with Minneapolis-based drug company Medisyn Technologies Inc. to develop bioactive ingredients for food. David Land, president of Medisyn, explains the company’s approach: “Rather than going on a fishing expedition, you create a rational approach by identifying a market need and intelligently working toward fulfilling that need.” The aim is to identify the specific properties required, find the compounds with those properties, and then look for sources in nature. He says the result is a significant reduction in development time. Kraft says it underlines its strategy of complementing internal R&D efforts with external collaboration, and alliances like this help it to get to market quicker. Land says that trends show opportunities in fighting weight, diabetes, cholesterol, osteoporosis and high blood pressure, but it has also been working in areas such as mental health, including anxiety and mental focus.
Diane Toops, "Kraft Foods Global Thinks Outside the Box with Bioactive Ingredients", FoodProcessing.com, March 01, 2009, © Food Processing
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Prevention Trend Key to Future for Antioxidants

March 1, 2009: 05:36 AM EST
Antioxidants and products that promote immune system health as a means of preventing illness and disease are becoming more important as the health care system continues to focus on disease treatment and economic conditions worsen. Antioxidant sales reached more than $3 billion in 2007, continuing their overall growth of around 6 percent, according to Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). Non-vitamin antioxidants ticked upwards by 11 percent, and antioxidants from fruit and vegetables achieved 21 percent growth. The top five best sellers remained the same as in 2006, with the exception that CoQ10 kicked Vitamin E out of second spot, demoting it to No.3. Traditional antioxidants such as selenium and Vitamins C and E showed low or even negative growth, allowing relative newcomers such as pomegranate, goji and acai to shine. These and other superfruits, with their high levels of anthocyanin, are poised to join carotenoids in the race for supremacy, alongside some tried and true favorites, such as blueberries and cranberries. Fruit and vegetable juice blends are beginning to make their presence felt as companies attempt to combine the best of the trend toward more natural, whole foods. Antioxidants are also finding their way into nutricosmetics (also known as cosmeceuticals), and CoQ10 and resveratrol continue to hold their ground. Food companies are also keeping up with the trend for consumers to want evidence that antioxidants actually work, and to know what the specific benefits are, by turning to clinical studies and scientific tests to back their claims.
Sean Moloughney, "The Evolution of Antioxidants", Nutraceuticals World, March 01, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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Mango Seed Extract Sheds Pounds from Research Subjects

March 1, 2009: 02:59 AM EST
African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) may help people to lose weight and cut cholesterol levels by inhibiting production of body fat. An extract from the mango seeds has been shown in a recent study to affect genes and enzymes that govern metabolism. Researchers at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon found that a group of overweight people fed the extract for 10 weeks lost on average 28 pounds each, a result described as “significant”. They also showed declines in LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and blood sugar levels. The group did not follow any other special diet, and was instructed to keep to their normal exercise levels. The research was partly funded by Gateway Health Alliances, Inc., which provided the Irvingia gabonensis extract.
"Fruit extract shows promise as weight-loss aid", Canada.com, March 01, 2009, © Reuters
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Stevia Processors, Sellers see Much Sweeter Future

March 1, 2009: 04:28 AM EST
Stevia extract Rebaudioside A processors are very optimistic about the industry's future, following GRAS approval by the FDA and expected approval by the European Union. Malaysia's PureCircle is quadrupling the capacity of its stevia extraction plant in China to more than 4,000 tons and doubling its Malaysian plant to 2,000 tons as well as investing in Kenya and Paraguay. GLG is increasing capacity in China from 5,000 tons to 41,000 tons and developing new strains. Merisant of Chicago is banking on its PureVia tabletop sweetener to revive its fortunes. The company says Reb A sales could take up half of the $1.6 billion world sweetener market, compared with 2 percent at the moment.
Richard Clarke, "Reb-A to spark sweetener revolution?", Functional Ingredients, March 01, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Tesco cuts prices on over 3,500 items

February 27, 2009: 07:15 PM EST
Summary from the snapshot Britain's two biggest supermarket groups, Tesco and Asda, went head to head with price cuts on thousands of everyday products, stepping up the battle to attract shoppers hit by the economic downturn. Britain's two biggest supermarket groups, Tesco and Asda, went head to head with price cuts on thousands of everyday products, stepping up the battle to attract shoppers hit by the economic downturn.
"Tesco cuts prices on over 3,500 items", Guardian, February 27, 2009, © Guardian
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Count Calories to Lose Weight

February 26, 2009: 06:25 PM EST
Counting calories is the key to losing weight, according to a two-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Frank Sacks, principal investigator in the study, and a professor of cardiovascular-disease prevention at Harvard School of Public Health, says the study “goes against the idea that certain foods are the key to weight loss," and sends a positive message to people. “It gives people a lot of choices to find a diet they can stick with." But Arthur Agatston, a Miami cardiologist who created the South Beach Diet, which focuses on food selection, says "Measuring your food is not going to work in the long term.” Commenting on the research, Martijn Katan, a nutrition researcher at Amsterdam's VU University, said that participants had difficulty keeping weight off toward the end of the study. "Evidently, individual treatment is powerless against an environment that offers so many high-calorie foods and labor-saving devices," he said.
Jennifer Levitz, "Calorie Counters Have it Right, Diet Study Says", Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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header - Women increasingly drawn to social media

February 26, 2009: 02:15 PM EST
The number of women attracted to the world of social networking has grown by a massive 53% in just 12 months, according to research by consumer magazine publisher IPC. The number of women attracted to the world of social networking has grown by a massive 53% in just 12 months, according to research by consumer magazine publisher IPC. The number of women attracted to the world of social networking has grown by a massive 53% in just 12 months, according to research by consumer magazine publisher IPC.
Ben Bold, "Women increasingly drawn to social media", Brand Republic, February 26, 2009, © Haymarket Media
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Fiber on the Move in US

February 25, 2009: 04:41 PM EST
Fiber is on the move in the US, according to new figures from Datamonitor. The proportion of new products claiming to be high in fiber rose from 5.2 percent in 2006 to 6.3 percent in 2007, says Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics. PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Kellogg, and Dannon are among multinationals launching high-fiber products, ranging from bars, cookies, chips and bread to drinks and yogurt. Some of the products also contain omega-3. While few of these products are making weight-related claims at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before companies start touting grains as a means of helping people to feel full for longer, cutting down the amount they eat.
"Food Makers Pump Up Fiber Contents", QSR Magazine, February 25, 2009, © Journalistic Inc
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Whole Foods Commits To Sustainable Palm Oil

February 24, 2009: 04:17 PM EST
In an boost for the Rainforest Action Network's campaign to end unsustainable palm oil production, Whole Foods Market signed on, expressed concern about for current practices and called for a change in the US market. Palm oil is used widely in many cosmetic and consumer goods and unsustainable practices are blamed for deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Amazon rainforest. Whole Foods Market joins 37 other food, cosmetic and consumer goods companies and two organic palm oil suppliers who have signed a Rainforest Action Network (RAN) pledge to seek more sustainable ways of sourcing palm oil.
"Whole Foods Market® Supports End to Unsustainable Palm Oil", Rainforest Action Network, February 24, 2009, © Rainforest Action Network
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Obesity Contributes to Childhood Allergies

February 23, 2009: 10:58 AM EST
Obesity may contribute to allergies in overweight children, say researchers from several institutes in North Carolina and Colorado. Using data on 4,000 children from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006, the researchers found a strong correlation between overweight and obesity and allergic reactions to a range of foods, including eggs, milk and peanuts. Children in the study were more than 50 percent more likely to be allergic to milk, and 25 percent more likely to have other allergies. The study also found that systemic inflammation may play a role in allergies. Lead author Cindy M. Visness said there was nothing conclusive about the findings, but they added weight to the need to maintain normal body weight.
Cynthia M. Visness, et al, "Association of obesity with IgE levels and allergy symptoms in children and adolescents: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006", Elsevier Inc, February 23, 2009, via Elsevier Inc, © American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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Food Scares Prompt Standards Review

February 22, 2009: 04:23 PM EST
Recent food safety scares, including the potential for bioterrorism, are prompting international food producers to tighten controls over manufacturing amid ongoing debate over the need for stronger food safety enforcement. A recent outbreak of salmonella in the US, related to contaminated peanuts produced by the Peanut Corporation of America, killed at least eight people and resulted in the recall of thousands of products. In the wake of this and other scares many major companies are reconsidering their policies on contract manufacturing, even though owning their own processing plans is in itself no guarantee of safety. The US Congress is considering creating a new Food Safety Administration along the lines of the European Food Safety Authority, which was set up in 2002 amid similar public concerns. Currently food safety policing in the US is split between the FDA and the USDA. There are no global standards, but some companies, Nestle among them, are adopting ISO standards.
Jenny Wiggins and Jonathan Birchall, "Scares Prompt Tighter Controls on Food", The Financial Times, February 22, 2009, © The Financial Times Limited
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Kraft Seeks Quick Route for New Products

February 18, 2009: 08:02 PM EST
Kraft Foods Global Inc is working with pharmaceutical company Medisyn Technologies Inc to identify bioactive compounds that can be incorporated in foods to target specific ailments. The two companies see opportunities in the “big five” health concerns – weight management, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Medisyn has also done work in mental health, particularly anxiety, dream state and mental focus. Medisyn’s approach allows it to identify compounds that target the ailments, find them in plants and animals, and develop ways to extract them within 18 months. Kraft’s responsibility is to bring a finished product to market after appropriate trials and regulatory process have been followed.
Diane Toops, "Kraft Foods Global Thinks Outside the Box with Bioactive Ingredients", FoodProcessing.com, February 18, 2009, © Food Processing
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Court Upholds NYC Calorie-Count Rule

February 17, 2009: 04:29 PM EST
New York city’s rule that requires restaurant chains with more than 15 outlets in the city to disclose the calorie content of menu items is legal, says the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals. The rule was challenged by the New York State Restaurant Association, which represents 7,000 outlets. The Association says it may appeal the ruling. Other states have implemented or are considering similar rules, aimed at combating obesity. The National Council of Chain Restaurants says members want to disclose nutritional information, but is calling for a national standard, saying that the differing state and city rules are confusing. Congress is considering a measure that would require calorie counts on menus in national chains with 20 or more outlets.
"Appeals Court Upholds NYC's Calories-On-Menus Rule", Newsday, February 17, 2009, © Newsday Inc.
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Diet Drinks have Role to Play

February 16, 2009: 08:11 PM EST
Research has shown that diet drinks containing non-nutritive sweeteners can help people to control their weight, but only if they’re not used as an excuse to eat more calories from other sources. Only about 15 percent of Americans regularly choose food and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners, despite the rising tide of obesity. Reasons for sticking with caloric sweeteners such as sugar and high-fructose corn syrup include taste and safety fears. In a few cases the safety fears have been well founded, but in general there is no evidence that the wide range of alternatives on the market actually cause health problems. Successfully using diet sodas as part of a weight loss plan comes down to behavior rather than biology, says Dr Barry M. Popkin of the University of North Carolina, who reviewed 224 studies with a colleague, Richard D. Mattes of Purdue University. Non-nutritive sweeteners help with weight loss only if they substitute for calories, not if they are used as an excuse to consume high-calorie foods or drinks.
Jane E. Brody, "Sweeteners: Real Aid or Excuse to Indulge?", New York Times, February 16, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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FDA Seeks Action on StarCaps

February 9, 2009: 04:34 PM EST
The FDA says that StarCaps, a “natural” weight-loss capsule incorporating papaya, contains bumetanide, a potent pharmaceutical that can have serious side effects. The capsules are the latest weight-loss supplement to be named in an ongoing investigation that has already resulted in warnings to manufacturers, and the recall of some products. The tainted StarCaps pills have been recalled, but the investigation is raising questions about the FDA’s powers to regulate the supplements sector. Legislation allows the FDA to take action only after a supplement goes to market, and it takes action only if it contains an undeclared active pharmaceutical. It has no power to order recalls, but can take legal action if manufacturers fail to do so. Views differ on the safety of weight-loss supplements, with some experts saying that even those that do not contain active pharmaceuticals pose risks for some people, particularly from interactions with other drugs.
Natasha Singer, "F.D.A. Finds ‘Natural’ Diet Pills Laced With Drugs", February 09, 2009, © 2009 The New York Times Company
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Placing Bets Can Make Dieting More Effective

February 4, 2009: 08:17 PM EST
Putting cash on the line is becoming the latest fad in the weight-loss business. A number of internet companies have been set up to help people place bets on meeting weight-loss targets, in competition with friends or others. Recent studies support the idea that a financial incentive is a good way to encourage people to stick to their diet plan. Among web companies helping people to make friendly bets is StickK.com, which motivates people by asking them to sign signing contracts: if they fail in their goals, it costs them money. The lost money can go to a friend, a charity, or a “non-charity”, which appears to be the most effective. People who know that their cash will go to a group they don’t like are better at sticking to their diets. Fatbet.net and makemoneylosingweight.com provide a forum for publicly tracking weight and setting specific incentives, but don’t handle the money. StickK.com takes the money up front via credit card.
Pamela Weiler Grayson, "Dieting? Put Your Money Where Your Fat Is", New York Times, February 04, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Wellbeing Key Driver in Milk Launches

February 1, 2009: 04:13 PM EST
More than half (53 percent) of the milk-based beverages launched in 2008 promoted health as their primary benefit, a 42 percent increase over 2007, says Innova. Health benefits were part of the marketing mix for 17 percent of last year’s new products. There was a 10 percent increase (from 164 to 181 products) in beverages containing inulin and oligofructose, both of which are prebiotics. Gut health featured in 17 percent of the product launches, up from 13 percent in 2007 and 2 percent five years ago. Low fat claims fell from 17 percent to 2 percent, low sugar claims dropped from 3 percent to 2 percent, and convenience claims dropped from 34 percent to 17 percent. The trends “reflected the fact that consumers were becoming increasingly aware of specific health claims within the well-being category”, says Tim Van der Schraelen, Beneo-Orafti's marketing and communication manager. The survey was commissioned by Beneo-Orafti.
"Dairy Drinks: Health in Control as Convenience takes Back Seat", Functional Ingredients, February 01, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Shelf Tags Provide Nutrition Information

February 1, 2009: 08:21 PM EST
In-store labeling systems that identify healthy products are becoming more popular in supermarket chains across the US. Some groups, such as Ahold USA's Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, Supervalu, and regional chains Price Chopper and Hy-Vee, are using proprietary systems, others are basing labels on FDA guidelines or ranking developed by private companies in association with researchers. The chains are also using booklets, ceiling banners, promotional messages and websites to promote their schemes. Retailers say the programs promote healthy-eating habits, boost customer loyalty and improve the shopping experience. Some reports indicate sales of labeled items are increasing. Many packaged-food manufacturers are also involved in a national labeling program developed by nonprofit organization The Keystone Centre. Scheduled to launch in summer, the "Smart Choices Program" uses federal government guidelines to identify healthy foods. Participating companies include Kraft Foods, General Mills, ConAgra and Unilever.
"Supermarkets Tag Along on Nutrition", In-Store Marketer, February 01, 2009, © In-Store Marketing Institute
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Fat on the Menu at R&D Seminar

February 1, 2009: 04:07 PM EST
Consumers are looking at the facts on nutritional labels rather than the claims, says Marjorie Gilbert, food ingredients director for AarhusKarlshamn USA Inc. In a presentation (“The Fact of the Matter: The Facts are in the Nutritional Panel”) to Prepared Foods’ 2008 R&D Seminar-East, Gilbert cited figures from a June 2007 IFIC study that shows consumers look first for the expiry date, then the Nutrition Facts Panel, then the ingredient statement. Fewer looked at statements about health and nutrition benefits in 2007 than they did in 2006. When looking at the nutrition label, they look first for calories, then total fats, then trans fats. Saturated fats are sixth on the list. Olive oil is considered the healthiest, followed by canola, soybean and sunflower. Other presentations covered reducing fat in chocolate; use of omega-3 oils in products; emulsifiers in cakes; and use of omega-6.
"Fats From Nutritional Nuances to Physical Functionality", Prepared Foods, February 01, 2009, © BNP Media
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More to a Bar than Meets the Eye

February 1, 2009: 04:18 PM EST
Nutrition bars have the potential to offer all things to all people – if flavor and texture stability issues can be overcome. Challenges include the desired taste, flavor and color of the finished product, solubility, bioavailability, pH level, safety/toxicity, interactions among various ingredients and bioavailability and stability of the individual ingredients, says Ram Chaudhari, PhD, FACN, CNS, senior executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Fortitech. Balancing high-protein bars, adding vitamins at the right stage of the process, and selecting the correct form of a particular nutrient are crucial factors, Chaudhari says. When it comes to ingredients, old favorites like protein, vitamins and minerals still rule, but superfruits such as açai, goji berry, mangosteen, pomegranate and blueberry are increasingly popular. Bars that target specific health issues look to be the way to the future, as are meal replacement bars. Look for more bars that contain vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, zinc, omega 3s, fiber, prebiotics, CoQ10, soy, whey proteins and antioxidants, Chaudhari says. They’ll also start appearing in a wider range of outlets.
"Bar Basics", Nutraceuticals World, February 01, 2009, © Nutraceuticals World
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Bakers Crack the Health Barrier

February 1, 2009: 08:32 PM EST
Bakers are responding to the “better for you” trend with a range of innovations designed to retain the “feel good” factor of baked goods while taking out the “bad” ingredients and adding “good” ones. Much of the focus is on substituting good fats and sweeteners for the traditional trans fats, salt and sucrose, and on finding ways to incorporate whole grains in place of refined white flours. Fortification is going beyond the familiar iron, niacin and a few other vitamins to include many more vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, pre- and probiotics, and bulk fibers. The result is that it’s now possible to buy baked goods that touch some or all the bases: no sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, colorings or artificial flavorings; diabetic friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and cholesterol-free, vegan and kosher certified. Packaging is also being revolutionized, to make it easy to handle and environmentally friendly. Technology is also playing its part, developing new ingredients and processes that make it possible to produce light, soft, fluffy treats without the guilt.
David Feder, RD., "New Directions in Healthy Baking", Food Processing, February 01, 2009, © Food Processing
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Nutrition Bars Third in Popularity Race

February 1, 2009: 04:24 PM EST
Satiety, digestive health and “natural” are key ingredients for bar consumers in 2009, according to recent surveys. Fiber, probiotics and protein are the buzzwords. Neilsen Company says sales of nutrition bars totaled $416 million for the year ended October 4, 2008, up 3.5 percent over the previous 12 months. The breakfast bar category rose nearly 10 percent in that time, with sales totaling $585 million. Nutrition bars continue to trail behind granola and yogurt bars, with sales topping $1 billion. In a 2006 Mintel survey, 41 percent of respondents said they were eating more nutrition bars. Taste was the prime driver for 43 percent of these respondents. Health, wellness and physical needs such as diet motivated 14 percent. Three-quarters of consumers in 2006 were looking for a good source of protein or vitamins. But now people are more concerned about overall nutrition, says Chris Brandt, vice president of marketing for Odwalla.
Amanda Baltazar, "Nutrition Bars Fill a Role", Nutraceuticals World, February 01, 2009, © Nutraceuticals World
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Mothers Flexible over Kids’ Food

January 27, 2009: 08:26 PM EST
Mothers are choosing healthier foods for their children, and the kids are responding by beginning to like them, according to research conducted by Stamford-based Just Kid Inc. In a report entitled “The Moms Food Study: Understanding Moms’ Needs for Her Kids”, Kim Bealle, managing director of strategy and innovation, says that moms balance a number of factors when choosing food for their children. Emotional, rational and environmental factors drive the choices, which are balanced by what Mom thinks is best and what she knows her kids will like. Different factors come into play for each meal. “Eating right” topped the list of preferences: healthy and nutritious, helps establish good long-term eating habits, and “fills my child up” ranked over 80 percent in the survey. Authenticity is important, and it’s OK to add a bit of fun: healthy cereal with chocolate bits is acceptable, for example. Treats are OK for special occasions, but there’s a preference for small serving sizes to keep the number of calories down. A combination of balanced nutrition, fresh, unprocessed, fewer preservatives, all-natural foods and more traditional ingredients is the mothers’ holy grail. The kids themselves know more about healthy eating and are beginning to enjoy their fruit and vegetables, Bealle says.
Diane Toops, "Moms Choosing Healthier Foods for Kids", FoodProcessing.com, January 27, 2009, © 2004-2009 Food Processing
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Probiotic Gum Tackles Gingivitis

January 16, 2009: 04:22 PM EST
Swedish biotechnology company BioGaia AB has expanded its range of products containing the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis (L. reuteri, or “Prodentis”) to include a gum that helps to control gingivitis. BioGaia has previously marketed lozenges, liquid drops and tablets containing L. reuteri, but this is the first to target “bad” bacteria in the mouth. The company says the mint-flavored, sugar-free gum, named GUM Periobalance, is backed by a recent study and anecdotal evidence. About half the US population aged over 30 is known to be affected by gingivitis. The gum is available in Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa and Indonesia.
Joanna Cosgrove, "GUM Periobalance Reduces Gingivitis with the Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri", Nutraceuticals World, January 16, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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Kraft Enters Innovation Deal

January 16, 2009: 04:52 PM EST
Kraft Foods Global Inc has teamed with Medisyn Technologies Inc in a bid to stay ahead of the game in innovative functional foods. The research and licensing partnership is expected to enable faster and less costly development of new functional food ingredients, says Medisyn. The arrangement covers "bioactive discovery with development and commercialization milestones, as well as post-commercialization payments”.
Karlene Lukovitz, "Kraft Fast-Forwards Functional Foods", January 16, 2009, © MediaPost Communications
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Slow Eating Benefits Young Adults

January 6, 2009: 04:53 PM EST
“Slow down and eat” appears to be the key message to take away from a recent study of young adults. The research on 18-25 year olds shows that eating alone or on the run may result in less healthy food choices. Investigators from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, found that eating with friends and family was associated with eating more healthful foods, and with higher intakes of calcium and fiber among males. “Eating on the run" was linked to higher consumption of soft drinks, fast food and fat, and with lower intake of several healthful foods among females.
"Young Adults Need to Make More Time for Healthy Meals", January 06, 2009, © Elsevier Health Sciences
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Choline May Help Reduce Breast Cancer

December 2, 2008: 05:45 PM EST
Pregnant mothers who eat foods containing choline, such as eggs, reduce the chances that their babies will later develop breast cancer, say biologists from Boston University. The study is the first to link choline consumption during pregnancy to breast cancer, and to identify possible choline-related genetic changes that affect breast cancer survival rates. Pregnant rats were divided into three groups, and fed diets containing standard amounts of choline, no choline, or extra choline. Female offspring were then treated with a chemical that causes breast cancer. All the treated offspring developed the cancer, but those whose mothers had a high-choline diet developed slower-growing tumors than the others. The slow growing tumors had a genetic pattern similar to the pattern in breast cancers of women who are considered to have a good prognosis. The fast-growing tumors were similar to those seen in women with a more aggressive form of the disease. The researchers say that the genetic changes may result from the way that choline affects modifications of the DNA within the mammary gland of fetuses as they develop in the womb.
"Eating Eggs When Pregnant Affects Breast Cancer in Offspring", December 02, 2008, © CNS Media BV
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Lallemand and Biostime Form New Probiotics JV To Target China

November 27, 2008: 07:14 PM EST

Lallemand SAS and Biostime Inc have extended the partnership they formed in 2000 with a new joint venture to market probiotics in China. Biostime France is based in Blagnac (France) and equally owned by French probiotics maker Lallemand SAS and Chinese marketer and distributor Biostime Inc. Lallemand specializes in research, development and production, while Biostime distributes to 15,000 outlets in China. The two companies launched “Biostime Probiotic Sachet for Children” in China after it was registered there in 2002. Sales have grown 20 percent a year since then, and are expected to reach 100 million sachets in the near future. The companies now plan to market adult and senior products.

"Lallemand and Biostime Launch Probiotic JV in China", November 27, 2008, © FLEXNEWS
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Valensa International and Parry Nutraceuticals Create New Force in Natural Products Market

November 26, 2008: 07:23 PM EST
Indian and American companies have combined to market “the next generation of high-performance nutritional products from plant-derived sources for the condition-specific dietary supplement, functional food and fortified beverage sectors”. Valensa International (Orlando, USA), the vehicle of a 48 percent strategic stake held by E.I.D. Parry (India) Ltd in U.S. Nutraceuticals, has joined forces with Parry Nutraceuticals (Division of E.I.D. Parry (India) Ltd) to market a range of products, including omega-3 essential fatty acids (ALA, EPA and DHA); phycocyanins and carotenoids including astaxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The two companies already co-market astaxanthin and Valensa's patented SpiruZan, a Spirulina/Astaxanthin product. Both companies are committed to making sustainable natural products, and focus on natural ingredients made using environmentally responsible technology. Together they combine expertise in botanical material sourcing, formulation, product development and marketing of products for health and nutrition.
"Valensa International and Parry Nutraceuticals Join Forces in the Global Natural Products Marketplace", MarketWatch, November 26, 2008, © PR Newswire
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UK Govt Launches Obesity Campaign

November 11, 2008: 07:47 PM EST
More than 12,000 grassroots organizations, including the British Heart Foundation and the Fitness Industry Association, have signed up to the UK government’s $413 million anti-obesity Change4Life initiative. Companies including Kellogg's, ITV, Asda, Tesco and PepsiCo have also signed up. The drive to tackle obesity includes price cuts on healthy food from Tesco and Adsa, a national health campaign on ITV, and Pepsi stars featuring in fitness advertisements. The government is also in talks with companies including BSkyB, Kraft and Unilever about joining the initiative, working through the Advertising Association. Health secretary Alan Johnson says the aim is to “create a lifestyle revolution that will help families to eat well, move more and live longer”.
Mark Sweney, "Government Unveils Details of £275m Anti-Obesity Push", November 11, 2008, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008
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Optiva Gets Heart Health Tick

November 10, 2008: 07:29 PM EST
Kellogg has gained the endorsement of UK cholesterol charity Heart UK for its Optiva cereal brand. It plans to spend $1.71 million on a UK marketing campaign to gain a larger share of the market, and has introduced a new variety, containing oat flakes, hazelnuts and almonds. Kellogg has invested $30 million in the brand since it was launched in August 2006. Optiva is available in Sainsbury's and Morrisons in the UK, and is targeted at the aging population increasingly concerned about cholesterol and heart health.
"UK: Kellogg, Heart Charity in Optivita Push", November 10, 2008, © just-food.com
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Rice Blamed for Infant Allergies, Seen To Be Worse Than Than Cow's Milk

October 28, 2008: 05:44 PM EST
Rice can cause more allergies in infants than soy or cow’s milk, say Australian researchers. Until now rice has been considered a low-allergy food, but the research at Sydney's The Children's Hospital at Westmead shows that the cereal triggers food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) in more infants than either cow or soy milk and resulted in treatment with an intravenous drip more frequently. The study of 31 infant-allergy cases was conducted over 16 years. Rice is often the first solid food introduced into an infant’s diet. They say increased consumption of rice in Australia may be a factor. FPIES doesn't occur in babies fed exclusively on breast milk.
Simeon Bennett and Carey Sargent, "Rice May Cause Worse Infant Allergies than Cow's Milk (Update1)", October 28, 2008, © Bloomberg
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BPA Protects Cancer from Treatment

October 9, 2008: 05:50 PM EST
Bisphenol A (BPA) may protect cancer cells from chemotherapy, according to a study done at the University of Cincinnati. Lead researcher Nira Ben-Jonathan said that BPA does not increase cancer cell proliferation, but acts by “protecting existing cancer cells from dying in response to anti-cancer drugs, making chemotherapy significantly less effective”. The researchers exposed human breast cells to levels of BPA found in the blood of human adults. BPA is widely used in food and beverage containers, and studies have shown it can migrate into the contents. Previous studies have indicated that high levels could cause cancer. BPA is approved as safe for use in food and drink containers by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The plastic and food industries assert that it is safe.
Tara Parker-Pope, "Plastic Chemical May Interfere With Chemotherapy", New York Times, October 09, 2008, © New York Times
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CRN at Odds with FDA over Combos

October 1, 2008: 05:38 PM EST
Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) president and CEO Steve Mister has taken Bayer’s side in a dispute with the FDA over Heart Advantage, a combination of aspirin and phytosterols that fits somewhere between an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine and a dietary supplement. The FDA has issued a warning letter stating that the entire product is a drug, maintaining that its twin claims – that aspirin keeps the blood flowing and phytosterols help to lower bad cholesterol – “may be interpreted by the consumer as medical advice”. Bayer says it stands behind both claims and that neither is intended to replace medical advice. Mister says the CRN “continues to believe that combination dietary supplement-OTC drug products have a useful and important role to play in integrated healthcare and wellness”, and urges the FDA to help companies “maneuver the regulatory challenges”. CRN says the agency has scope under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and the US Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to approve such combinations.
"Council for Responsible Nutrition says that Supplement-OTC Drug Products Play Important Role; FDA says Otherwise", Functional Ingredients, October 01, 2008, © Penton Media, Inc.
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