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Nigerian Entrepreneur Recycles Egg Shells Into Gold

April 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Nigerian expert in agricultural waste recycling has developed a “gold mine” of a process for recycling egg shells – donated by bakeries, hatcheries, confectionaries, etc. – for use by a variety of industries. The cosmetics industry, for example, uses egg shells to make body care products. Other examples listed by Ogochukwu Maduako include the pharmaceutical industry (medicine production), the paint industry (as a pigment), and the agricultural sector (for calcium supplementation). Egg shells can also be turned into an effective scouring powder in the home for washing pots and pans, sinks, and bathtubs. Maduako’s mission? “To change the narratives of agricultural waste through eggshells. I want agricultural waste to be seen differently – more like the gold that it is.”[Image Credit: © Corophoto from Pixabay]
Adie Vanessa Offiong, "How waste eggshells became my goldmine - Ogochukwu Maduako", Daily Trust, April 06, 2019, © Media Trust Limited
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FDA Updating “Standards Of Identity” In Foods To Adjust For Healthful Ingredients

April 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA says it is modernizing the standards of identity for many food products so that they can be formulated to be healthier and still use the term that most consumers recognize. An example is cheddar cheese. Under current rules, a company that wants to reduce the sodium and add a sodium replacement, like potassium chloride, it can’t call it cheddar cheese. The FDA says it’s a major priority, but a big endeavour because there are 278 standards of identity and all have to be changed by the long process of rulemaking. The agency says it is exploring ways these can be done more broadly and across different standards in broad categories. It will reopen a comment period on a 2000 proposed rule modernizing the standards of identity.[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
Elizabeth Crawford, "FDAs Nutrition Innovation Strategy pushes forward with updates to labeling, standards of identity", FDA Updating “Standards Of Identity” In Foods To Adjust For Healthful Ingredients, April 05, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Restaurant Industry In Mississippi Keeps Shackles On Home Bakers

April 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Mississippi’s restaurant industry is fighting, successfully so far, attempts to make it easier for home bakers – so-called cottage food operators – to sell their wares online. The state’s lawmakers a few years ago relaxed restrictions on home baking and selling, but left limitations on annual sales ($20,000) and display of images of baked goods on websites and social media. New legislation removing the restrictions passed the House, but died in the Senate, thanks to strong opposition from the Mississippi Restaurant Association, which claimed there was "widespread abuse creating an uneven playing field." Similar battles have been fought in the state, and elsewhere, between established industries and upstarts: food trucks vs. restaurants, small farmers vs. Big Agriculture, Airbnb vs. the hotel industry, Uber vs. taxi companies, etc. “Unfortunately for consumers, too often the response by lawmakers is to agree to protect the established interests rather than letting the market choose the winners and losers.”[Image Credit: © rodolfoguevara55 from Pixabay]
Brett Kittredge, "Little appetite for food freedom in Mississippi", Mississippi Center for Public Policy , April 04, 2019, © Mississippi Center for Public Policy
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Food Label Claims Continue To Cause Confusion

April 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
At a recent agriculture meeting in Nebraska, a state farm bureau executive explained the real meaning of labels like “hormone free,” organic, and “locally grown.” The “hormone free” label, for example, indicates that no synthetic hormones were given to the animal. But both raw cabbage and humans have thousands of nanograms of estrogen in them naturally. And the label is meaningless on things like chicken because USDA does not allow added hormones in raising poultry or hogs. Furthermore, many foods claim to be organic, but only those actually regulated by USDA are "USDA Organic." Another area of confusion and even rancor is genetic modification. It is important for producers to be candid and passionate when discussing GMOs, because there are some genuinely valuable advances in the science. A new genetic modification for apples, for example, reduces food waste by preventing browning that can cause people to throw out perfectly good apples. Without the browning, the apples have a longer shelf life.[Image Credit: © US Department of Agriculture]
Tiffany Stoiber, "'Mostly a marketing tactic:' Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation director provides guide to deciphering food labels", The Grand Island Independent (Nebraska), April 01, 2019, © BH Media Group, Inc.
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Arizona Bakery Chain Celebrates French Bread Day With Discounted Loaves

March 31, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
To celebrate “National French Bread Day,” family-owned, Arizona-based Bashas' supermarkets offered customers special discounts on its fresh-baked crusty bread from March 21 through March 26. The price of loaves of crusty bread varieties such as Multi-grain, Poppy Seed, Sesame and Original was reduced to $1.50. The price was reduced to $0.99 a loaf on March 21, the actual day of the French bread celebration. Bashas' crusty bread is baked from scratch in a hands-on process that spans a full 24 hours. Ingredients are measured and mixed by hand, then allowed to sit for 30 minutes while the yeast starts to ferment. Then the dough is cut by hand and weighed to exact proportions for consistent sized loaves. The dough rests for another 30 minutes before entering the roller, a machine that stretches the dough into its familiar log-like shape. Loaves rest on trays for a night in the cooler, spend 40 minutes in the proofer, then steam bake for 23 minutes. After a brief cooling period, the loaves are hand-bagged and placed on Bashas' bakery shelves.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from PIxabay]
Renee Sexton , "Bashas' Offers Special Discounts On Fresh Crusty Bread", The Shelby Report, March 31, 2019, © The Shelby Report
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Student App Could Be The “Bakery Of The Future”

March 29, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Two Case Western Reserve University students believe they have come up with the “bakery of the future,” essentially an app and website that promises delivery of baked goods produced by local home bakers and small bakeries. Available only on campus now, when the semester ends the service (PastryNow.com) will expand to include the downtown area of the city of Cleveland. Customers can use the app or website to order catering, subscriptions, or individual orders. A Facebook page urges customers to "try out [their] new Breakfast Anywhere subscription available at pastrynow.com for only $5 for the next 2 weeks."[Image Credit: © PastryNow Limited]
Anne Nickoloff, "Student-founded pastry app launched", cleveland.com, March 29, 2019, © Advance Ohio
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Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins Launches Organic Bakery Inspired By Nuns

March 29, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Self-help speaker Tony Robbins has announced the creation of Nunbelievable, Inc., a mission-based, direct-to-consumer premium organic baked goods company whose sales will support the work of soup kitchens and food pantries. Nunbelievable was inspired by the handmade cookies and confectionary creations of the friars and nuns of St. Roger Abbey in association with the Chicago-based religious order Fraternité Notre Dame. The nuns’ San Francisco branch – they also work in Chicago, Detroit, and New York City – was operating a soup kitchen in the Tenderloin District, and was in danger of eviction when Robbins stepped in. covering their expenses for six months and donating $1 million to help them open a new facility. Robbins leads Feeding America's 1 Billion Meals Challenge, which has provided 420 million meals in the past four years and is on track to provide a half-billion meals this year.[Image Credit: © Nunbelievable, Inc]
"Nunbelievable -- The First Nun-Inspired Organic Bakery -- Launches in Partnership with Tony Robbins, Idealab New York, Bonin Ventures, and Loeb.nyc", PR Newswire, March 29, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Slicing A Bagel: When Innovation Sparks A Social Media Controversy

March 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
It seems like a tempest in a teapot. But for some, especially devotees of the traditional bagel – sliced traditionally – it’s something of a typhoon. Social media foodies are engaged in an online battle over the advantages and disadvantages – or the virtues and horrors – of the “bread-sliced” bagel. Bread-sliced means sliced vertically instead of horizontally. The method was announced by someone in St. Louis who said he successfully introduced it to co-workers: “It was a hit!” he tweeted. But not for everyone, apparently. One shocked responder called it “an embarrassment to the whole sliced foods community." A bakery worker tweeted: “I have standards and a healthy respect for bagels." Others, however, lauded the slicing technique for creating a convenience: it’s easy to dip the slices in cream cheese “while walking, driving or typing at your desk.” Another said the bread-slicing "maximize[s] your surface area for spreads." And so the hullabaloo rages on.[Image Credit: © yuri hwang from Pixabay]
Dianne de Guzman, "The Internet collectively rejects bread-sliced bagels, mocks this well-kept St. Louis 'secret'", San Francisco Chronicle: Web Edition Articles (CA), March 28, 2019, © Hearst Communications, Inc
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Bimbo Says Its Arnold, Brownberry, and Orowheat Bread Is Now “Clean Label”

March 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST




Bimbo Bakeries USA announced that one of its bakery brands is now being produced without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or other dubious compounds and chemicals. The company’s “No Added Nonsense” initiative was created to meet consumer demands for “clean label” baked goods with “simple, easy-to-recognize” ingredients, the company said. The Arnold, Brownberry, and Oroweat brand also removed monoglycerides, diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monoglycerides (DATEM), and high-fructose corn syrup from its whole grain line, which includes Oatnut, 100 percent Whole Wheat, 12 Grain, Healthy Multi-Grain and Health Nut. In previous years, the brand removed bromate, bleached flour, azodicarbonamide (ADA), SSL & CSL, and partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from all breads.[Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc.]
"Arnold, Brownberry And Oroweat Bread Removes Artificial Preservatives, Colors And Flavors From Whole Grains Line", PR Newswire, March 25, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Smaller Portions At Eateries Might Help Solve The Food Waste Problem

March 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema says that in an era of global malnutrition – and, ironically, rampaging obesity – and burgeoning food waste, the nationwide restaurant practice of serving “dishes that practically call for building permits” is especially disturbing. For example, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Chicago serves full-size fruit pies cut into “a mere four slices;” a sandwich at the Smith in Washington, D.C., comes with what looks like four cups of French fries; and New York’s Bistro Pierre Lapin serves a cote de porc a la "shake & bake" that weighs in at about a pound. Doggie bags are not the answer to waste because they often get tossed out at home. Reversing this trend requires the cooperation of restaurants and patrons. Restaurants could offer smaller portions of a dish while letting diners order more of it and pay for the privilege. Lastly, diners faced with huge plates of unwanted food could "share, share, share" with dining companions.[Image Credit: © RitaE from Pixabay]
Tom Sietsema, "In an era of excessive food waste, a plea to restaurants: Cut down your portions; Sure, we can ", Washington Post Blogs , March 25, 2019, © Washington Post
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States Continue To Define Terms Like “Meat” And “Rice” To Benefit Industry

March 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed legislation protecting the cattle and poultry industries by requiring "fake meat" products to be correctly labeled. Under the new law, misbranding occurs when companies intentionally label products in a false, deceptive or misleading manner that misrepresents it as meat or a meat by-product. Data from the USDA show South Dakota had over 4 million total head of cattle, including calves, as of January 1, 2019. The South Dakota Stock Growers Association said it believes meat substitutes should not be allowed to benefit from the “generations of hard work” that have created today’s market for actual meat food products. The law goes into effect July 1. Meanwhile, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas signed into law a bill banning companies from marketing "cauliflower rice" if the product contains no rice. Arkansas is the nation's top rice-producing state.[Image Credit: © State of South Dakota]
"Noem signs law that targets companies marketing 'fake meat'", Associated Press State & Local, March 23, 2019, © The Associated Press
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AI Technology In Restaurant Trash Bins Helps Reduce Food Waste

March 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
An AI-powered trash bin known as the Winnow Vision uses a camera and smart scales that tell chefs the types of food they are throwing away too often. The technology recognizes and keeps track of food items being disposed of, helping commercial kitchens reduce the amount they purchase. The camera takes still images of the food inside the bin and checks it against a global database to identify it. AI algorithms play it back to staff in real time to let them know the value of what's being binned. Winnow Vision bins have been tested in more than 75 kitchens in the U.K. belonging to Ikea and luxury real estate development group Emaar Hospitality Group. The average kitchen catering for a business requires between one and two Winnow Visions.[Image Credit: © Winnow Solutions Ltd]
Joe Baker, "Could an AI-powered ‘smart bin’ help reduce food waste at restaurants?", i-Independent Print Ltd, March 22, 2019
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Chefs Can Play A Major Role In Boosting Nutrition, While Reducing Food Waste

March 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A UN-sponsored symposium in Paris concluded that an increasing number of restaurant chefs worldwide are not only promoting food linked to territory and local culture, and the consumption of local, fresh food. They are also becoming increasingly involved in the global movement to reduce food waste, championing food waste reduction efforts in their own restaurants, as well as empowering local communities to fight food waste. A publication, "Chefs as agents of change," produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highlights the role of chefs as advocates for healthy and culturally diversified diets.[Image Credit: © skeeze from PIxabay]
"Chefs are Key Ingredient in Promoting Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy and Culturally Diversified Diets", Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, March 22, 2019, © FAO
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Milk Producers Urge FDA To Enforce Legal Definition Of “Milk”

March 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has filed a citizen petition with the FDA proposing that plant-based brands that do not match dairy counterparts nutritionally should use the term imitation (e.g., imitation milk); while those that do match dairy nutritionally should use terms such as substitute or alternative (e.g., yogurt alternative). The NMPF said dairy milk is a key source of nutrients, including vitamin D, a nutrient in milk that has virtually eliminated the disease known as rickets. The Federation says the FDA’s decades lack of enforcement of laws that limit the term milk to the lacteal secretions of cows has allowed marketplace chaos to grow exponentially. The Plant Based Foods Association, however, argues that requiring a disparaging word such as imitation on labels would violate the First Amendment. Moreover, the NMPF is trying to solve a problem that does not exist: consumers are not confused, and they are not being misled.[Image Credit: © Lisa Redfern from Pixabay]
Elaine Watson , "Plant-based 'milks' should be labeled as 'imitation,' 'alternative,' or 'substitute' products, says NMPF petition", FoodNavigator-USA.com, March 22, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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USDA, FDA To Jointly Regulate Cultured Meat Products

March 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Federal agencies USDA and FDA will share regulatory oversight duties for culture meat production to ensure food safety and correct labeling practices. The FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. During the harvest stage, regulation will shift to the USDA’s FSIS, which will oversee the production and labeling of human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. The USDA said consumers trust the USDA mark of inspection to ensure safe, wholesome and accurately labeled products. The U.S. Cattlemen s Association (USCA) said it was encouraged by the joint regulatory oversight of cell-based meats, and pleased that FSIS will have pre-market labeling authority. The association, however, reiterated its stance that the term meat, and more specifically beef, refers to products derived exclusively from the flesh of a bovine animal harvested in the traditional manner. [Image Credit: © Pexels from Pixabay]
Ashley Williams , "USDA and FDA agree joint regulatory oversight of cultured meat", GlobalMeatNews.com, March 21, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kansas Scientists Hope To Relieve Hunger Worldwide, While Helping State Farmers

March 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Kansas State University grain science professor Sajid Alavi and his team of five scientists are looking for ways to better use the 21 million acres of Kansas row crops – corn, soybeans, wheat, and sorghum – to feed malnourished children overseas and give Kansas agriculture an economic boost. Funded by the USDA, the researchers have taken their fortified food project to Tanzania to benefit local children by growing more sustainable crops. The team’s ready-to-eat fortified dry foods and meals give malnourished children more calories and nutrients. However, the researchers want to create a new formula using sorghum that not only feeds more children, but also benefits Kansas farmers. Sorghum is easily grown in Kansas, needs less water, insecticides and herbicides, and has a high caloric value.[Image Credit: © Vijaya narasimha from PIxabay]
Olivia Bergmeier, "Sorghum grain provides answer for food shortages, K-State researchers say", The Collegian (KSU), March 19, 2019, © Collegian Media Group
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Even Organic Foods Can Be Tainted With Packaging Chemical Perchlorate

March 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Only 40 synthetic compounds are approved for use in organic food products, but a new report finds that choosing organic at the grocery store doesn’t always prevent exposure to harmful chemicals. One important “additive” approved by the FDA 14 years ago for use in packaging is the chemical perchlorate. According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), perchlorate has been contaminating a growing amount of food – infant formula, rice-based baby cereals, and dairy products – since 2005, and has had an enormous impact on the health of fetuses and young children: it is associated with significant declines in IQ, among other effects. The EWG and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have asked the FDA to ban the chemical in food and have talked to food companies about testing food products for perchlorate. Some states are also considering whether to take action.[Image Credit: © Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay.com]
Rachel Cernansky, "The Dangerous Food Additive That’s Not on the Label", Civil Eats, March 19, 2019, © Civil Eats
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New App Helps Home Cooks Cut Food Waste During Food Prep

March 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Save The Food, a campaign that has been working for years to reduce household food waste, has introduced a free app called Meal Prep Mate that provides valuable storing, cooking, and portioning advice. At a time when 40 percent of food sold in the U.S. for human consumption – $218 billion worth – never gets eaten, people who cook meals at home need a way to save time and keep healthy eating on track while reducing food waste. Using Meal Prep Mate, home cooks can make their own customized meal prep plan or choose an existing one. They input the number of people eating and the number of days they're prepping for. The app will provide a tailored shopping list, pre-designed recipes, and accurate portioning for every meal.[Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
Katherine Martinko, "New app helps you avoid food waste while prepping meals", Treehugger, March 19, 2019, © Narrative Content Group.
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Legislation Would Require “Maine Raised” Meat And Poultry To Be Exactly That

March 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers in Maine hoping to support the state’s poultry and cattle farmers are being misled by meat labeled “Maine Raised,” a phrase that suggests that food animals were raised and slaughtered locally. It is legal in the state for businesses to import animals from other states, slaughter them, and sell the meat as “Maine Raised,” usually at prices lower than actual Maine-raised meats. But a bill introduced by a legislator who happens to own an organic vegetable farm would require livestock such as beef, pork, or lamb be born and raised solely in the state. Poultry must be raised in the state from no later than seven days after hatching before it could be labeled and advertised as Maine raised. The legislation was well supported during recent hearings, and could soon make its way out of committee for a vote in the state House and Senate.[Image Credit: © Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay]
Julia Bayly, "Why 'Maine Raised' meat may not mean what you think it does", Bangor Daily News (Maine), March 18, 2019, © Bangor Publishing Co.
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“Third Culture” Bakers Bring Mochi Muffins To S.F. Bay Area

March 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


The mochi muffin has been slowly working its way into San Francisco Bay Area cafe culture since 2017, thanks to Indonesian immigrant and “third culture” baker Sam Butarbutar – he spent many of his younger years both in Indonesia and the U.S. The mochi muffin marries the flavor of a Southeast Asian steamed layered cake made with mochiko flour milled from sticky rice, coconut milk and pandan. The mochi muffin is caramelized on the outside with dense innards, all sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds.  According to food writer Leena Trivedi-Grenier, the muffin is “a beautiful medley of textures combining chewy Hawaiian butter mochi and the brittle edges of an American brownie.”[Image Credit: © Third Culture Bakery from Instagram]
Leena Trivedi-Grenier, "Third Culture’s mochi muffins have swept the Bay Area. Mochi doughnuts are next", The San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 2019, © Hearst
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Vegan Bakeries Sprout Across The State Of Maine

March 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Vegan bakers in Maine, committed to providing vegan baked goods for all purposes and occasion, have begun making vegan cakes. Mandaylynn Fleshman of Scattoloni Bakery in Portland makes vegan cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions, and makes sure the display case is stocked with at least two types of vegan cupcakes, chocolate mousse cups (made with aquafaba), chocolate-cherry cake bomb truffles, chia-spiced shortbread, and coconut-orange date balls. But vegan cakes aren't just a Portland thing: they are appearing at bakeries across the state, a trend fueled by the fact that more people are eating vegan, and more people are avoiding dairy products and eggs due to allergies and intolerances. The availability of vegan cakes is a marked change from even a few years ago.[Image Credit: © Raegamuffin's Gluten Free Bakery]
Avery Yale Kamila, "Good and plenty: Vegan cakes come into their own", Portland Press Herald, March 17, 2019, © Press Herald
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Premium Gin In U.K. Is Made From Upcycled Surplus Table Grapes

March 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
HYKE premium gin, made from unsold table grapes, is now available at 300 Tesco stores in the U.K. as part of the grocery chain’s commitment to reducing food waste. The grape-based gin was developed through a partnership involving major British fruit supplier Richard Hochfeld Ltd and craft spirits distiller Foxhole Spirits. They are upcycling an estimated 166 million surplus table grapes to make the beverage, which debuts at a time of burgeoning gin popularity in the U.K.: gin sales are at a 50-year high and demand for premium gin at Tesco was up by nearly 90 percent in 2018. Hochfeld says it loses the equivalent of 1.4 million baskets of table grapes in the packing process. HYKE is made with those surplus grapes blended with botanicals from Africa and South America.[Image Credit: © Tescoplc.com]
"First ever gin made from surplus table grapes to launch across U.K.", Tesco PLC, March 14, 2019, © Tescoplc.com
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Genetically Engineered Salmon: Appearing Soon At Your Local Grocery Store

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has lifted a ban on genetically engineered salmon, clearing the way for its appearance in grocery stores. The company AquaBounty may now import its AquaAdvantage Salmon eggs to a land-based facility in Indiana, where the salmon can be grown for food. The fish have been genetically engineered to grow faster than farm-raised Atlantic salmon. But Native American tribes, food groups, and environmentalists are concerned that there is no requirement that the gene-manipulated fish be labeled as “genetically engineered.” Instead, they can be labeled “bioengineered,” a less-loaded term that can appear on packages as a symbol that says “BE” or a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to find out if it's genetically engineered. "So it's quite a bit more burdensome,” according to a Center for Food Safety attorney. The FDA first approved genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat in 2015.[Image Credit: © AquaBounty Technologies, Inc]
Courtney Flatt, "Concerns raised over genetically engineered salmon", The Daily Astorian, (Oregon), March 13, 2019, © The Daily Astorian
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Big Upper Midwest Food Distributor SpartanNash “Cleans Up” Its House Brands

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Fortune 400 food distributor SpartanNash, which operates a chain of retail grocery stores in the upper Midwest and serves U.S military commissaries, is responding to customer preferences by accelerating a program to simplify private brand product ingredients and provide more transparency. “Our store guests are looking for healthier food options, clean labels and ‘free from’ formats when shopping at their local grocery store or putting food on the table," a spokesman said. In response, SpartanNash has reformulated or redesigned packaging for more than 425 products in its Our Family and Open Acres private labels since last year, removing synthetic colors, MSG, and other ingredients. Another 175 products will be added to the initiative during 2019. According to the company, the program focuses on providing customers with simpler products, shorter ingredient lists, and clean, easy-to-read labels. [Image Credit: © SpartanNash Company]
Russell Redman , "SpartanNash comes ‘clean’ with private brands", Supermarket News, March 13, 2019, © Informa USA, Inc.
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North Carolina Baker Seeks To Revive The Community Bakery Tradition

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A North Carolina baker has launched a Community Supported Bakery (CSB) at a location in a small town that has housed several start-up bakeries over the years. The idea is based on a European tradition that arose at a time when many individual homes lacked ovens; outdoor ovens became community gathering places. The space in Marshall does not have a retail facility, but has been used for baking workshops, a tradition Brennan Johnson and his Walnut Schoolhouse bakery plans to continue and grow. Johnson says he will sell sourdough breads at local farmers markets, and his workshops will focus on Scandinavian baking. Other bakers will teach cakes, croissants, bagels and other subjects. Johnson has been baking since high school. He travelled to Europe with his parents in ninth grade to research old community ovens to learn how they became community-gathering places.[Image Credit: © jacqueline macou from Pixabay]
Angela Nicholas , "Young baker brings fresh baked breads to community", The Asheville Citizen-Times (North Carolina), March 13, 2019, © www.citizen-times.com
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“Natural” Claim Continues To Lure Shoppers, Despite Lack Of Definition

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Label Insight-sponsored survey of 1,000 adult consumers finds that using the word “natural” on food packaging will motivate as many as 53 percent of Americans to make a purchase. Natural is generally accepted to mean the absence of artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and color additives in products that are minimally processed. Fifty-one percent of shoppers were swayed by "no preservatives," particularly older generations. Sixty-three percent of Baby Boomers say a product with that claim would motivate them to buy compared to 46 percent of Generation X and 41 percent of Millennials. Other ingredients Americans are concerned about include: high fructose corn syrup (57 percent of older adults) and sugar (all ages). And shoppers increasingly want to know the conditions under which the fish, poultry and livestock they're eating were raised: "antibiotic free" (34 percent); "free range" (26 percent); "grass fed" (25 percent); and "pasture-raised" (17 percent) are the key terms. Oddly, free range and pasture-raised are synonymous.[Image Credit: © Label Insight, Inc.]
"New Survey from Label Insight Reveals Which Loosely-Regulated Marketing Claims Motivate Shoppers to Buy", PR Newswire, March 13, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Singapore Airline Caterer Invests In Technology That Reduces Flight Food Waste

March 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Hoping to cut the number of extra meals that end up in the trash after every flight, Singapore-based airline caterer Sats has invested in new pasteurization technology that extends the shelf life of cooked food for as much as 24 months. Fresh meals chilled immediately can now be stored for up to 90 days without added preservatives instead of the typical 48 hours. Thanks to pasteurization and sterilization, ready-to-eat meals – e.g., braised chicken rice, chicken briyani, beef stroganoff, pasta alfredo, and black pepper chicken udon – can be stored without refrigeration for six to 24 months. There is no adverse impact on food safety, nutrition or taste. Sats recently opened an extended kitchen facility at a Singapore airport that can now produce up to 60,000 meals a day, compared to 45,000 before.[Image Credit: © SATS Ltd]
"Sats unveils S$25m investment in new technology to boost output, cut waste", The Business Times Singapore, March 12, 2019, © SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LTD.
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Americans Are Turning From Candy Bars To Shots Of Healthful Drinks For A Quick Energy Boost

March 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers increasingly view bottled potable soups, bone broths, plant-based lattes, and cold-pressed juices as healthful between-meal snacks. The beverages are taking the place of crackers and candy bars at snack time because they can be rich in protein, carbs, and fat that provide a mid-morning energy boost. Examples of the trend include: Fairlife Smart Snack nutrition shakes (Coca-Cola distributor) featuring ultra-filtered milk blended with honey and oats; and Well Yes! Sipping Soups (Campbell) available in harvest carrot and ginger, tomato and sweet basil, and butternut squash and sweet potato. One industry observer says the difference between a beverage snack and a meal replacement drink “comes down to portion size.” In other words, a shot of healthful juice or soup versus a 20-oz shake. 
Monica Watrous, "Is it a beverage? Or is it a snack? The answer is yes", Food Business News, March 12, 2019, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Developers Of New Food Spoilage Sensor Technology Seek Development Funding

March 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new technology that will “smell' when fruit or vegetables are deteriorating is in the works in the U.K. and, once some technical bugs are dealt with, could someday save tons of food waste. The quick and cost-effective quality assessment system would apply a technique commonly used in space science to allow food suppliers to pinpoint the peak condition of produce. The researchers have identified the unique molecular markers given off by rocket (arugula) leaves before they spoil, and want to see if the technique can be applied to other produce. The big challenge, however, is to take the complex technology and apply it to a cost-effective platform so that it can be used at different points in the supply chain, from production through to retail, the researchers said. They have a working prototype but now need funding to conduct the production design and develop an affordable device.[Image Credit: © RitaE from Pixabay]
"Using Space Know-How to 'Sniff' Out Salad Quality", Science and Technology Facilities Council (U.K.), March 08, 2019, © UK Research and Innovation and Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Wyoming Project Plans To Build An Industry Around Two Ancient Grains

March 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The goal of the First-Grains Project at the University of Wyoming is to diversify the state’s agricultural sector – and hopefully build a profitable industry – by growing some ancient wheat strains and encouraging Wyoming brewers and bakers to use them in their products. The focus is on spelt and emmer, two wheat varieties that have been cultivated by humans for more than 12,000 years. It’s been a complicated endeavor because the grains still have their hull when threshed, so they have to be dehulled by a special machine before processing. They had to get one of the rare machines from Europe, and they had to find an appropriate pesticide. But the First-Grains project is rolling along. It recently trademarked the name "Neolithic Brand" to highlight the history of its product. The project plans to build a mill in Powell, Wyoming, where the labor and technical expertise to process it are available.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter from Pixabay]
"Project reintroduces ancient grains", The Branding Iron: University of Wyoming, March 07, 2019, © The Branding Iron Online
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New Term For Restaurants To Digest: “Flexitarian”

March 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Food and beverage tracker Technomic reports that specialty diets are getting more diverse and restaurants need to begin thinking of ways to serve, not only vegans and vegetarians, but “flexitarians.” Also known as “semi-vegetarians,” flexitarians eat mostly plant-based diets, but also mix in occasional dairy foods and meats. The eating style works for those who want to eat healthier but are willing to leave room for a feast including meat or seafood once in a while.  "This desire for flexibility highlights the fact that dietary lifestyle choices are often not all-or-nothing decisions for consumers," a Technomic analysts says, adding that accommodating flexitarian customers by carrying a range of protein options or allowing them to build their own dishes is “a good start” for restaurants. Of 1,700 consumers surveyed, Technomic found that half eat a vegetarian or vegan dish at least once a month. [Image Credit: © Winsight, LLC.]
Amanda Yeager, "Report: It's time for restaurants to add 'flexitarian' to their lexicon", Baltimore Business Journal (Maryland), March 05, 2019, © American City Business Journals
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Carb-Conscious Inventor Tired Of Scooping Out Buns Develops Alternative

March 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A California-based inventor who routinely scooped out the insides of hot dog buns and bagels to lower her carbohydrate intake has designed a bun that sidesteps the problem. Dubbed “Hollows,” the gluten-free buns – a bagel/pretzel hybrid – retain the texture and taste of bread but with far fewer carbs. The “guilt-free” concoctions can be eaten plain or topped with anything from sea salt to poppy seeds to crushed pistachios, and more. According to InventHelp, the recipe is available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers.[Image Credit: © WikimediaImages from Pixabay]
"InventHelp Inventor Develops Hot-Dog/Hamburger Bun for Carb-Conscious Consumers (SDB-1354)", PR Newswire, March 04, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Milk Dispensers In Schools Reduce Milk Waste, Eliminate Milk Carton Waste

March 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Harrisonburg (Va.) City Public Schools measured milk waste for a week in January, finding that on average students consumed 220 cartons of milk at lunch a day, adding to about 39,000 cartons each school year. Because they are not recyclable, they end up in the trash. Moreover, students consumed about 70 percent of the milk in the cartons, wasting 30 percent, or about four gallons a day. To combat the problem, Bluestone Elementary School, and others in the state, are installing $3,000 milk dispensers in the cafeteria that allow students to fill their own reusable cups with as little or as much chocolate or regular milk as they want. The savings on milk aren’t much, about a cent per 8-ounce serving, but with a tight budget every little bit helps, a school representative said. Not to mention the complete elimination of trashed milk cartons.[Image Credit: © Daily News-Record]
Megan Williams , "Moo-ve Over Cartons; School Installs Milk Dispensers", Daily News-Record, March 04, 2019
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Retail Food Outlets Are Riding The Breakfast-On-The-Go Wave

March 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher NPD Group reports that the on-the-go breakfast trend is benefiting restaurants and other retail food establishment in the U.S. that cater to the growing number of busy commuters who can’t pass up the morning repast. The AM meal, whether snacks or breakfast, has been the only foodservice segment with year-over-year growth, according to NPD Group. Eating breakfast out can be both affordable and convenient, especially when it involves the top seller in the category, the very portable breakfast sandwich. The morning meal “represents a significant growth opportunity for retailers, especially with Millennials.”[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
"Convenience Takes Over Breakfast", NACS, March 02, 2019, © NACS
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Foodservice Companies Adjust To Consumer Demands For “Clean Label’

March 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Foodservice operators, including restaurants, retailers, and suppliers, say they are working hard to meet emerging consumer demands for “clean label” foods that feature simpler ingredient lists. Health-conscious consumers have become wary of foods containing artificial flavors or preservatives and “processed" or “chemical-sounding" ingredients. They also have grown to conflate the terms “natural," “healthful" and “wholesome." But no single “natural" term has emerged as the one Americans most associate with health, says researcher Technomic. Terms now found on menus and food products include: “preservative-free," “no artificial sweeteners," “unprocessed," “antibiotic-free,” “hormone-free," “organic," “clean," “GMO-free," “grass-fed," and “real." [Image Credit: © Ken's Foods, Inc.]
"Keeping it 'real' with clean labels", Restaurant Hospitality (Penton), March 01, 2019, © Informa USA Inc.
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Miss. Law Bars Cultured Protein From Being Labeled Meat

March 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law a bill prohibiting the labeling of animal cultures, plants, and insects as meat. The Senate bill passed unanimously in the state House of Representatives on February 28. The representative who handled the bill in the House said the legislation won't prohibit anyone from producing the products, but will prohibit labeling it as meat in Mississippi. A state senator said: "If it's not meat, it can't be labeled as such." Engineered animal protein and plant-based protein products, such as the Impossible Burger, are a growing trend in the U.S., raising concerns among lawmakers about accurate labeling. Other states that have either passed, or are considering, similar legislation include Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Virginia. The Mississippi bill will take effect July 1.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Jimmie E. Gates, "Dems, GOP agree: If it's not meat, don't call it meat in Mississippi", Mississippi Clarion Ledger, March 01, 2019, © www.clarionledger.com
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Starbucks Meal Donation Program In Canada Will Reduce Hunger, Cut Food Waste

February 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Canada has launched a national initiative to provide ready-to-eat meals through its more than 1,100 company-owned stores. FoodShare builds on a successful pilot program with Second Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in Canada. The initiative launched in February at 250 stores in the greater Toronto area, and will expand to more cities and provinces and eventually to the whole country. In Canada, the company has always donated unsold pastries and baked goods, but will now donate more healthful breakfast sandwiches, paninis, protein boxes, salads, yogurt, milk, and dairy alternatives like soy and coconut. The company says the initiative not only helps combat hunger, it diverts food surplus from landfills, helping to minimize the company's environmental footprint. [Image Credit: © Starbucks Coffee Company]
"Starbucks Canada to the 'food waste' rescue!", Fast Casual, February 28, 2019, © Networld Media Group
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Paris Baguette Plans Aggressive Expansion Over Next Decade

February 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The CEO of fast-casual bakery Paris Baquette, founded in South Korea in 1942, has big plans for expansion of the chain in the U.S. Paris Baguette has only 75 locations here, though there are more than 3,000 in France, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, and China. Jack Moran, a former CEO of international bakery-restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien, plans to open at least 1,000 U.S. cafés by 2030, with 38 opening this year. That includes a 50 percent increase in company-operated cafés and a 120 percent increase in the number of U.S.-franchised cafés. In addition, Moran will introduce U.S. customers to a more upscale version of Paris Baguette – Maison de PB – which will debut Singapore this year, and in Manhattan in 2020. Why the switch from Le Pain Quotidien to Paris Baguette? "I was knocked out by the quality and breadth of the baked goods selection," Moran said.[Image Credit: © Paris Baguette USA Inc]
Cherryh Cansler, "How Paris Baguette CEO plans to open 1,000 U.S. locations", Fast Casual, February 28, 2019, © Networld Media Group
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Still No “Singular Definition” Of “Clean Label”

February 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Hartman Group, a food and beverage industry trends analyst, says there really isn’t “any one singular definition” of the term “clean label”, but a handy rule of thumb might be: foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Essentially that means foods that are “fresh, real, and less processed,” said a Hartman Group analyst. An Ingredion study found that consumers value ingredient lists almost as much as price as they look for products free-from additives and artificial ingredients. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. consumers find it important to recognize the ingredients used in the products they buy (up from 66 percent in 2011). Other considerations becoming important in food choice and clean label include specific health claims, the manufacturer/brand, and country/region of origin. Consumers’ most accepted ingredients include natural flavors, natural colors, flour, vegetable oil, and sugar.[Image Credit: © Robert Owen-Wahl from Pixabay]
Mary Ellen Shoup , "How to define clean label? 'There isn’t any one singular definition,' says Hartman Group", FoodNavigator-USA.com, February 28, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Legalized Marketing Of Homemade Baked Goods Is Boon For Cottage Bakers

February 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
In the 48 states that permit the it, sale of homemade baked goods is improving lives in big and little ways, according to a public-interest law firm that represents the interests of home bakers in several states. Median monthly sales are a modest $200, but to many home bakers the money “makes a big difference to their financial well-being," the Virginia-based Institute for Justice states in a report drawn from a survey of 79 home-based bakers in Wisconsin, where a circuit court judge ruled in 2017 that laws against selling homemade baked goods are unconstitutional. Only New Jersey still bans the sale of bakery items made in a home oven. Wisconsin still bans the sale of homemade chocolate candy, cheesecake, cream pies or no-bake desserts. [Image Credit: © Pexels from Pixabay]
Mary Bergin, "Home bakers in Wisconsin are happily selling their treats, now that it's legal — you could too", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 26, 2019, © jsonline.com
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Rosy Outlook For World Functional Flour Market

February 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Fact.MR expects “impressive growth” in the global functional flour market, thanks to the consumer preferences shift toward healthful foods and ingredients. Global sales of functional flour will grow at a CAGR of over 6.5 percent through 2025, driven by the health and wellness trend that is creating sustained opportunities for the manufacturers of functional flour. The segment is controlled by a few leading companies with global and regional reach. However, smaller companies predominantly operating across local markets are also in play. The leading companies will continue to focus on strategic collaborations, such as mergers and acquisitions with the small players to boost their production abilities and gain substantial profits, the company said.[Image Credit: © congerdesign from Pixabay]
"Functional Flour Sales Soar as Consumer Show Marked Preferences for Specialty Foods & Ingredients: Fact.MR Study", GLOBE NEWSWIRE , February 25, 2019, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Are “Newfangled Devices” The Answer To The Food Waste Problem? Maybe Not

February 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nonprofit coalition ReFed says start-ups dedicated to fighting food waste attracted $125 million in venture capital and private equity funding in the first ten months of 2018. Products included smart tags that change color when milk goes bad, a mist to prolong the shelf life of fruit, and software to help grocery stores order the right amount of produce. Investors see food waste as “a big business opportunity," according to a marketing exec at Apeel Sciences, which sells a water-based solution that extends the ripeness of avocados by four days. But the products – and the trend – have their skeptics. Elizabeth Balkan, director of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s food-waste program, says, "I worry about this food-tech, food-waste boom becoming a food-waste bust."  Consumers are a major contributor to the food waste problem, so if they want to throw away less food, what they have to do is plan better and store smarter. “Newfangled devices” may not be the answer.[Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Deena Shanker, "Big Money Joins Fight Against $1 Trillion in Wasted Food", Bloomberg , February 24, 2019, © Bloomberg LP
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Pizza Beats Froot Loops In The Nutritious Breakfast Category

February 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Many breakfast favorites – e.g., Froot Loops and Cap’n Crunch – are made up of nearly 50 percent sugar, but more healthful alternatives are available. One of them, believe it or not, is pizza. Because pizza contains protein, carbs, and veggies – and way less sugar – word has been spreading that the food once considered junk is actually much more nutritional than breakfast cereals – if you choose the right ingredients. According to a nutritionist, a veggie-loaded whole-grain pizza with plenty of protein and not a lot of saturated fat “can absolutely be a healthier choice for breakfast.” Nutritionist-approved options include: hummus pizza; cheese pizza; mushroom, tortilla, or egg white pizza; and sweet potato pizza, topped with veggies, and fresh arugula.[Image Credit: © joshuemd from Pixabay]
"Great news: Pizza for breakfast is apparently healthier than cereal", Well+Good , February 21, 2019, © Well+Good LLC
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University Researchers Seeks Answer To Toxic Flour

February 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at Kansas State University are working to find ways to ensure the safety of flour and products made from it. A handful of flour product recalls since 2015, both here and abroad, has raised the alarm among consumers. General Mills in January announced a voluntary national recall of five-pound bags of its Gold Medal unbleached flour, citing the potential presence of Salmonella. There have been no confirmed consumer illnesses as a result of the suspect flour, but the company issued the recall “out of an abundance of care,” according to a statement. The university is replicating commercial milling and baking processes and introducing E. coli and Salmonella at high doses to determine ways to reduce the risk of contaminated flour and finished bakery products.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
"K-State researchers seeking ways to protect flour", Salina Post (Kansas), February 21, 2019, © Salina Post - Salina, KS
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Some Grocery Chains Are Backing Away From Ugly Produce Promotion

February 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The "ugly produce'" trend may be fading at U.S. supermarkets. Walmart, Whole Foods and other stores experimented with selling blemished or “wonky” fruits and vegetables at a discount to keep them out of trash bins. But the two chains and others have quietly ended their tests: selling dented apples and undersized potatoes may not be all that appealing next to better looking fruits and vegetables. Though many stores and chains are still interested in ugly produce – Kroger and Hy-Vee are notable examples – others like Meijer in the Midwest, Hannaford of Maine and Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle have backed away, citing lukewarm shopper interest. "Customers didn't accept it as much as we had hoped," said Mona Golub of Price Chopper, a grocery chain in the Northeast that also discontinued sales of cheaper ugly produce.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
Candice Choi and SCOTT McFetridge , "'Ugly produce' trend may have limits, as grocers end tests", Associated Press Financial Wire, February 21, 2019, © The Associated Press
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Time To Start Communicating What Food Date Labels Really Mean

February 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Johns Hopkins researchers say misunderstood food date labels – and keen awareness of food safety issues –are major reasons why as much as 31 percent of all food is wasted by supermarkets and consumers, according to the USDA. Under U.S. federal law, product dating is not required on food or beverage products, except for infant formula. Meat, poultry, and egg products may be voluntarily labelled if the labels comply with USDA regulations. A Johns Hopkins survey found 84 percent of consumers discarded food near the package date "at least occasionally" and 37 percent reported that they "always" or "usually" discard food near the package date. The researchers found that among labels assessed, "best if used by" was most frequently perceived as communicating quality, while "use by" was one of the top two perceived as communicating safety. The researchers concluded that there is a need for a strong food date labeling communications campaign, especially among those aged 18 to 34.[Image Credit: © Daniel Albany from Pixabay]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Study: Food date labels can cause widespread confusion and unnecessary food waste", FoodNavigator-USA.com, February 20, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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German Government Sets Goal Of Halving Food Waste By 2030

February 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Acknowledging that reducing food waste is an "economic, ecological, and ethical obligation" for everyone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet has adopted a goal of cutting food waste in the country in half by 2030. The idea is not only aimed at customers in supermarkets, but also at food manufacturers, companies, organizations, politicians, and scientists. Every year, the average German throws away 120 pounds of food, an unfortunate and avoidable situation. The most important part of the plan is packaging food in smaller quantities, German experts say, which food manufacturers can certainly help with. [Image Credit: © MikesPhotos @ Pixabay.com]
"German government rolls out plan to curb food waste", Deutsche Welle, February 20, 2019, © Deutsche Welle
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Will Gluten-Free Soon Be An Obsolete Health Claim?

February 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A multinational team of scientists has developed a new genotype of wheat with built-in enzymes designed to break down the proteins that cause the body's immune reaction to gluten, which gives breads, pasta, and cereal their chewy, crunchy texture. The scientists introduced new DNA into wheat, developing a variety that contains one gluten-busting enzyme (or glutenase) from barley and another from bacteria Flavobacterium meningosepticum, both of which break down gluten proteins in the human digestive system. The researchers tested gluten extracts from the experimental grain and found that it had far fewer levels of the disease-provoking proteins. The enzymes reduced the amount of indigestible gluten by as much as two thirds.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter from PIxabay]
Seth Truscott, "Healing grain: Scientists develop wheat that fights celiac disease", Washington State University, February 19, 2019, © Washington State University
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Hospital Adopts A “Room Service” Model To Cut Food Waste

February 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The rate of wasted food for an individual hospital can vary from six to 65 percent, according to a European report. The University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, however, has implemented a change in its food service that has cut waste by 30 percent, no small achievement in an industry that tosses about $3 billion worth of food a year. The change? Instead of serving meals at predetermined times, it serves on-demand, much like hotel room service: when they’re ready.  The customization does require more labor, so UCSF had to roll out on-demand dining in waves as the labor and budget became available. But each time it was introduced to a new part of the hospital, food waste levels dropped by 30 percent. The hospital is now adding delivery robots to help ease the labor costs associated with the program.[Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Dana Gunders, "Hospital Wastes A Third Less Food After This One Change", Forbes Media, February 18, 2019
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Dairy Co-op Demands That FDA Enforce Rules Regarding “Milk” Labeling

February 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Wisconsin’s Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative has demanded that the FDA “no longer turn a blind eye to misleading labeling” of plant-based beverages as “milk.” In comments submitted to the agency, Edge called on the FDA to "take immediate action" to enforce existing regulations that define dairy foods as originating from cow's milk. The enforcement is “long overdue and increasingly important,” the co-op said. The FDA has asked for public input to help determine customers' understanding of the labeling and differences between dairy products and plant-based non-dairy products and the effects on purchasing decisions. The FDA says the input could affect any industry guidance it might issue.[Image Credit: © Edge]
"Farmer Group: Time to End 'Anything Goes' Dairy Labeling of Plant-Based Products", Dairy Business, February 18, 2019, © DairyBusiness, LLC.
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