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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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Company Creates Stickers That Keep Produce Fresher Longer

February 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Kirkland, Wash.-based start-up Stixfresh has developed a stick-on label it claims can keep fruit fresh for up to 14 days longer, thereby helping to reduce food waste. The coating on the stickers is made from beeswax and other natural ingredients that have a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status from the FDA. The compounds work together to create a protective layer around the fruit. By slowing down the ripening process, Stixfresh labels can extend the freshness of a wide variety of fruits by up to 50 percent. The company is launching a crowdfunding campaign in February to give consumers anopportunity to test the product and join the brand. [Image Credit: © STIXFRESH]
"Stixfresh develops stickers to keep fruit fresh for two weeks", FoodBev Media , February 18, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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EPA Plans To Regulate Toxic Chemicals Found In Drinking Water

February 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month announced plans to set a maximum drinking water contaminant level for polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a man-made substance found in food packaging, cleaners, water-repellent fabrics, Teflon-coated cookware, and cleaning products. The contaminants are also found in firefighting foams, which have seeped into groundwater sources that reach millions of drinking taps. The process could take months at least, and critics say the move is a stalling tactic to protect industry interests, given the health risks known. The chemicals have been linked to reproductive and developmental conditions, as well as liver and kidney, and immunological effects. They also contribute to low infant birth weights, thyroid problems, and some cancers. By the end of the year, the agency will propose a regulatory determination, which is the next step legally required under the Safe Drinking Water Act.[Image Credit: © ImagesBG from Pixabay]
Ledyard King, "Critics scoff at EPA plan to regulate tap water toxins", USA TODAY , February 15, 2019, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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Vegetable-Based RightRice Debuts At Whole Foods Markets

February 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Popchips founder Keith Belling has introduced a vegetable rice made with lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and rice. San Francisco-based RightRice is a shelf-stable blend of more than 90 percent vegetables comprising 10 g of complete protein and five grams of fiber per serving, but has 40 percent fewer net carbs than traditional white rice. RightRice, available in original and three savory flavors, cooks like rice in about 10 minutes.  Each flavor comes in a seven-oz. pouch (about four servings) at a suggested retail of $3.99, and is non-GMO, vegan, kosher and gluten-free. RightRice is available at Whole Foods Markets nationally and online at Amazon.[Image Credit: © BFI]
"RightRice Introduces Innovative Vegetable Rice Grain With Exclusive National Launch In Whole Foods Market And On Amazon", PR Newswire , February 15, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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“Upcycled Food” Is A Marketable Term That Could Help Reduce Food Waste

February 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Drexel University scientists have reported on consumer perceptions of “upcycled food" – leftovers from processing that are put into new, value-added products – after originally using the term “value-added surplus products." A survey of more than 1,000 consumers asked what term would encourage them to buy products from materials leftover after processing, including salvaged, repurposed, reprocessed, and rescued. The clear winner was “upcycled,” the scientists found, because it’s a familiar term from fashion that suggests recycling and environmental goodness. What’s more, consumers were also willing to pay more for upcycled than conventional food. The researchers concluded that the right message and marketing would benefit food companies by reducing food waste while achieving equal or greater value from products.[Image Credit: © Couleur from Pixabay]
Arlene Karidis, "Addressing Consumers’ Perceptions of “Upcycled Food"", waste360.com, February 14, 2019, © Informa USA, Inc.,
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Vermont Enters Final Implementation Stages Of 2012 Food Waste Law

February 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Enacted in 2012, Vermont’s universal recycling law (Act 148) is nearing the end of its long implementation phase. By July 1, 2020, Vermonters will have to keep food scraps out of their trash bins. The act quotes a waste composition study that showed more than half the state's waste comprises recyclables, yard debris, and food scraps that could be diverted and repurposed. In 2014, the law required some of the largest producers of food waste – grocery stores, food manufacturers – to keep food waste out of the trash. In 2020, individual residents will finally be required to do the same. When the law goes into effect, trash haulers must provide a food waste pickup service to customers. The requirement is being debated in the state capital, because trash haulers don't have the right equipment for this service and might not want to invest since the revenue stream isn't guaranteed, especially if residents compost in their backyard or feed scraps to animals.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier @ Pixabay.com]
Amanda Brooks, "Vermonters prepare for food waste law", The Milton Independent (Vermont), February 14, 2019, © The Milton Independent
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Panera Bread Re-Introduces Double Bread Bowl For Two Weeks

February 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Panera Bread introduced a double-bowl version of its bread bowl nationally on February 14 for two weeks only. The Double Bread Bowl was available starting at $9.99 and is essentially the same as the classic bread bowl but twice as long, allowing for double the amount of soup or mac-and-cheese filling. Panera tested the Double Bread Bowl in Philadelphia in 2018. The company said a test launch  resulted in “an overwhelming response on social media from fans asking, 'When will Double Bread Bowls come to my city?'" [Image Credit: © Panera Bread]
Kate Taylor, "Panera is rolling out the two-bowl version of its famous bread bowl across America", The Business Insider, February 13, 2019, © Insider Inc.
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Pulse-Based Peatos Snack Beards The Lion – Er, Cheetah – In Its Den

February 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Los Angeles-based start-up believes it is offering a more healthful alternative to the current orange-colored puffy snacks – read Frito-Lay Cheetos – that Americans love so much.  Peatos from World Peas Brand have replaced the traditional corn or potato base with a pulse (peas) base and have “cleaned up” the seasonings – all while maintaining “the explosive flavor and vibrant colors.” Peatos are a crunchy puffed snack that contain twice the protein (four grams) and three times the fiber (three grams) of competitor Cheetos. They are made with non-GMO ingredients, have no artificial flavors, no synthetic colors, and no added MSG. PepsiCo, parent company of Frito-Lay's Cheetos, last May sent a cease-and-desist letter to World Peas after Peatos began hitting store shelves. According to reports, PepsiCo said Peatos (tiger image) "is confusingly similar to and dilutes the Cheetos (cheetah image) brand." [Image Credit: © Werner Weisser]
"Junk Food Gets a Makeover as Consumers Nationwide Embrace World Peas Brand Peatos' “Better Than Junk Food” Crunchy Puffs", Business Wire, February 13, 2019, © Business Wire
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Home Bakers Seek Easing Of NM Rules On Sales At Farmers Markets

February 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Home-based bakers in New Mexico are eagerly supporting a bill in the state legislature that would legalize the limited sale of un-inspected food items, including bread, at farmers markets. The bill –House Bill 463, or the Food Freedom Act – was referred to, but not heard by the pertinent House committees. New Mexico has some of the most restrictive rules in the U.S. regarding cottage industries. Proponents of the bill say they would like to see a law similar to one in Texas – “a more lenient approach” – that acknowledges that customers at a farmers market know they are purchasing food prepared in someone's home. The New Mexico legislative session ends in mid-March.[Image Credit: © Pexels from Pixabay]
Dianne L Stallings , "More lenient law sought for home-baked goods at farmers markets", Ruidoso News (New Mexico), February 11, 2019, © ruidosonews.com
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French Bakery Chain Opens Locations In N.Y. Area

February 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


French bakery and café chain Marie Blachère is setting up shop this month in the Long Island village of Great Neck, N.Y., and next month in Greenwich Village (Manhattan). The 35-year-old chain, with more than 500 locations in France, is known for its baguettes, but also sells croissants, brioches, fruit tarts, and – especially for Americans – muffins, doughnuts, sandwiches, and pizza. [Image Credit: © Boulangerie Marie Blachère]
Florence Fabricant, "Marie Blachère Bakery Heads to Great Neck, N.Y.", The New York Times, February 11, 2019, © The New York Times Company
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Generation Z Ideal Is Fast, Healthful, Eating

February 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Packaged Facts says today's 18- to 24-year-old adults (Generation Z) are more likely than their Millennial predecessors to say they often snack between meals (74 percent vs. 66 percent) and, when cooking at home, are much more likely to prefer simple, easy-to-prepare meals (58 percent vs. 40 percent). Households headed by adults under age 25 are 29 percent more likely to eat shelf-to-microwave dinners and 26 percent more likely to eat frozen breakfast entrees/sandwiches.  They are also 23 percent more likely to eat frozen (complete) TV dinners and are 10 percent more likely to eat dry packaged dinners, dinner mixes, and kits. "Therefore,” a company exec says, “there's exists ample opportunity for food marketers of frozen prepared meals, canned soups, potato chips, and other canned and packaged prepared food such as salads and desserts, to convert adults under the age of 25 into loyal lifelong customers."[Image Credit: © John R Perry from Pixabay]
"Gen Z Adults Seek Foods Fitting Their Busy, Yet Health Conscious Lifestyles", PR Newswire, February 11, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Two Bakers Share A Love For Artisan Bread – And A Simple Business Plan

February 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Two baking entrepreneurs who share a love of sourdough bread have joined forces in Green Bay, Wisc., to make their artisan loaves in the kitchen of a parish school, sell it on the Internet, and deliver it to customers. They take over the kitchen, with its two ovens and large wooden work counter, after the schoolkids have been fed their lunches. The experienced online businessmen knew they had a good thing going, and they knew how to market it without much overhead cost. Customers order bread on the company website and the two bakers deliver it right to homes and retail businesses. The first week Voyageurs Sourdough had four orders, but they are now averaging 50 a week. The 28-ounce loaves sell for $10 each. [Image Credit: © Pain de la Baie Verte]
Kendra Meinert, "At Voyageurs Sourdough, fresh-baked artisan bread gets delivered to your door", Green Bay Press-Gazette, February 10, 2019, © www.greenbaypressgazette.com
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Zero-Waste Cooking Is Top Restaurant Trend In 2019

February 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The National Restaurant Association says zero-waste cooking in restaurants is one of the major trends of 2019.  The basic idea is to create menu items that make use of ingredients that would otherwise be discarded as waste. Washington, D.C.’s Teaism restaurant, for example, has come up with a way to use broccoli stems trimmed from florets. The chef grins the broccoli stems, mixes them with goat cheese and seasonings, rolls them together, breads them with panko and fries them. Another restaurant breathes new life into used coffee grounds by cold steeping them to flavor homemade coffee ice cream.[Image Credit: © jacqueline macou]
"Zero-waste cooking trends: Broccoli stems and broken scallops ", National Restaurant Association, February 10, 2019, © National Restaurant Association
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Science Is Helping To Make Bread Less Harmful For Some, More Healthful For All

February 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists are actively working on ways to reduce or eliminate components in bread (such as fructans and gluten) that create health issues for people with irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.  A Finnish company, for example, has introduced an enzyme called LOFO, which can help lower the fructan content in wheat bread. An American researcher has developed a reduced-gluten wheat using CRISPR gene-editing technology. For people looking for more healthful bread, European bakers are experimenting with tritordeum flour (a hybrid of wheat and wild barley) that yields 30 percent more fiber than traditional wheat flour. Other bakers are adding fiber by blending traditional wheat flour with lupin bean or lentil flour.[Image Credit: © Sabine Schulte from Pixabay]
Cara Rosenbloom, "Can’t stomach bread? Alterations to the carbs, gluten and fiber in wheat could change that.", Washington Post Blogs , February 09, 2019, © The Washington Post
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USDA Issues Final GMO Food Labeling Rule

February 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
It took nearly three years, but the USDA in December issued the final rule implementing the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The NBFDS pre-empted state and local genetic engineering labeling requirements. The rule takes effect on February 19; implementation will be phased in over the next three years. The NBFDS requires food manufacturers, importers of food labeled for retail sale in the U.S., and some U.S. retailers to disclose foods and ingredients produced from foods that are or may be bioengineered. Disclosure can be through text, a symbol, electronic or digital link, or text message. For example, the text disclosure can say “bioengineered food” or “contains a bioengineered food ingredient” for a multi-ingredient food. [Image Credit: © BryanCave.com]
Bryan Cave , "Bioengineered Food Disclosure Rules Finalized, Require Disclosure of 'Detectable' GMOs", Bryan Cave Law Firm, February 08, 2019, © BryanCave.com | A Global Law Firm
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Panera’s Nine-Year Experiment In Feeding The Hungry Comes To A Close

February 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

The last location of Panera Cares, Panera Bread’s pay-what-you-can non-profit experiment, has closed its doors. The St. Louis, Mo.-based company acknowledged that the concept launched nine years ago in Clayton, Mo., – and since then in other cities around the U.S. – is “no longer viable.” The community cafes posted a suggested donation for customers whose payment would cover the free food given to those unable to pay. The cafes were also supposed to raise awareness of hunger issues in America. The last Panera Cares café was in Boston.[Image Credit: © Panera Bread]
Brenna Houck, "Panera Bread closes last pay-what-you-can restaurant", Nation's Restaurant News, February 07, 2019, © Vox Media, Inc
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German Researchers Develop Infrared Scanner That Senses Food Freshness

February 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Fraunhofer researchers in Germany have developed a mobile food scanner that will allow consumers and supermarket operators to test whether food items have gone bad. The pocket-size device uses infrared measurements to determine the ripeness and shelf life of produce and display the results via an app. The scanner, still in the testing stages, contains data for only two foods so far and permits the shelf life of products to be estimated. The core of the mobile scanner is a near-infrared (NIR) sensor that measures the ripeness of the food and identifies the amount and composition of its contents. Infrared light is beamed with high precision at the food and the scanner measures the spectrum of the reflected light. The absorbed wavelengths permit inferences to be made about the chemical composition of the food.[Image Credit: © Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft]
"Pocket-size food scanner to battle food waste", Fresh Plaza, February 07, 2019, © FreshPlaza.com
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N.C. Bagel Bakery Takes A Fresh Look At An Old Tradition

February 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A bagel bakery in North Carolina is doing its best to shatter the myth that the only good bagels in the world come from the boroughs of New York or from Montreal. The owners of Benchwarmers Bagels are “asking people to try something new,” something that emerged from the joint efforts of a stone mill bakery that provides fresh milled grain and flour, and a craft coffee bar. Benchwarmers boils its bagels in a vat of honey-water before sliding them into a wood-burning oven on long wooden planks. They mix favorites like sesame, poppyseed and everything, with za'atar and sea salt and a Southern-inspired grits bagel. Their bagel sandwich fillings include duck rillette with sour cherries, house-cured lox with deviled eggs spread, and fried bologna with yellow mustard and an egg. The owners say they respect the bagel traditions, but new takes are long overdue. [Image Credit: © Benchwarmers Bagels and Coffee]
Drew Jackson, "Benchwarmers Bagels bakes with fire and challenges the bagel establishment", The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), February 06, 2019, © Raleigh News & Observer
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Canadian Start-Up Gets $1M Investment To Develop An Upcycling Machine

February 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Halifax-based Beyond Food Inc. has raised $1 million from a range of investors – including several NHL players – to develop its first Zero Waste Pod and launch a partnership with a Canadian supermarket chain. The company’s mission is to reduce food waste – $31 billion a year in Canada – by using supermarket produce that is about to be tossed out to make a nutritional food ingredient. The patent-pending Zero Waste Pod is a modular facility about the size of a shipping container that can process aging fruits and vegetables into a fine powder for use as a nutritious ingredient in food manufacturing.[Image Credit: © Beyond Food]
Peter Moreira , "Entrevestor: Beyond Food raises $1 million to launch Zero Waste Pod", Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia), February 06, 2019, © SaltWire Network
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Dangerous Chemicals Found In Foods Produced, Sold By Grocery Chains

February 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Environmental organization network Friends of the Earth said that its testing found store and name-brand foods produced and sold by the top four U.S. food retailers contain residues of toxic pesticides linked to a range of serious health and environmental problems. The foods were purchased in 15 cities across the country by Friends of the Earth and a number of allies, including Environment Texas. Oat cereals, apples, applesauce, spinach and pinto beans from Kroger, Walmart, Costco, and Albertsons stores contained detectable amounts of glyphosate – key ingredient of the herbicide Roundup – organophosphates and neonicotinoids. The average level of glyphosate found in cereal samples (360 parts per billion) was more than twice the level set by scientists at Environmental Working Group for lifetime cancer risk for children. The average level of glyphosate found in pinto beans (509 ppb) was more than 4.5 times the benchmark.[Image Credit: © Friends of the Earth]
"New Study: Multiple Dangerous Pesticides Found in Food Made and Sold by Kroger, Walmart, Costco and Albertsons", Friends of the Earth , February 05, 2019, © Friends of the Earth
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PETA Billboard In Calif. “Debunks Myth” Of Cage-Free Eggs

February 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has erected a billboard in San Diego, Calif., that it claims “debunks the myth of cage-free eggs.” The billboard followed the release of PETA video footage showing a packed chicken shed at Hilliker's Ranch Fresh Eggs, Inc., in Lakeside, Calif. The company had been publicized as a model of the future of cage-free egg farming in the state and touted by its owner as “Chicken Disneyland.” “’Cage-free' means absolutely nothing to the hens stuffed on top of each other in filthy warehouses and made to overproduce eggs until their bodies give out and they're killed,” said PETA Director Danielle Katz. According to PETA, constant exposure to noise and severe crowding in the sheds can lead to distress, excessive adrenal hormone production, and suppression of the immune system. The billboard will remain up for four weeks.[Image Credit: © People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals]
"This Is Cage-Free Billboard Now Up In Wake Of Prop 12 Passage", PETA, February 04, 2019, © People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
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Could A West African Grain Become The New Quinoa?

February 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Senegalese farmer who raises a small, nutty grain known as fonio believes it could someday become a staple across Africa and eventually around the world. A Senegalese chef in New York City also believes fonio has a bright future. Pierre Thiam is on a mission to raise fonio's profile at home and abroad, believing it can generate much-needed income for West African farmers, though they struggle to make money from it now. Cultivated in Senegal, Ghana, Mali, and other parts of the sub-Saharan region, fonio – dubbed "the new quinoa" – is gluten-free, high in protein and amino acids, and easy to cook. The drought-resistant, fast-growing plant also has the potential to help ease hunger linked to the negative impacts of climate change.[Image Credit: © Yolélé Foods Inc]
Emmanuelle Landais, "The world's latest superfood?; Fonio, a gluten-free West African grain, has the potential to become the 'new quinoa'", Thomson Reuters Foundation, February 02, 2019, © Thomson Reuters
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State Bills To Bar Non-Meat Products From Deceptive Labeling Gather Steam

January 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that several states are considering legislation similar to a recent Missouri law that bars non-meat products, such as those made from tofu or vegetable sources, from being labeled as if they are made from beef. State legislators in Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Wyoming have introduced bills to stop what they say is deceptive labeling of non-meat products. The Nebraska bill aims to prevent companies from labeling plant-based, insect-based or lab-grown products as "meat." The Wyoming bill would outlaw "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." Under the Virginia bill, a product would be deemed "misbranded" if it "purports to be" meat while containing no meat, unless it contains the word "imitation" on the label. Beef producers generally back the bills, while vegetarians and producers of plant-based food oppose it.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
"'Fake Meat' Battle Spreads to More States", PEW Charitable Trusts, January 26, 2019, © The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Nonprofit Pickup Service Makes It Easy For Restaurants To Compost Food Scraps

January 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The owners of an Ohio eatery have partnered with a local nonprofit “food waste composting courier” whose mission is to address the “logistical problem of collecting food waste separately from traditional waste.” GoZERO Services picks up the Crest Gastropub’s food and kitchen waste and composts it. Restaurants are given a plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid from GoZERO services in which to place food scraps. The scraps are eventually dumped in a bin which is picked up by GoZERO and transported to the composting site. Residents can use the service too for a subscription fee.[Image Credit: © GoZERO Services Ltd.]
Kevin Parks, "Residents can join Crest Gastropub's composting efforts", ThisWeek Community Newspapers (Columbus, OH), January 24, 2019, © GateHouse Media, LLC
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Coke CEO Says Uncertainty, Not Slower Growth, Is Biggest Global Issue

January 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey says he’s more concerned about uncertainty in the global economy than about the possibility of slower growth. However, he and others attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, do expect slower growth this year. One source of uncertainty is the U.S.-China trade war, which could end in a couple of months if the countries negotiate a deal. Quincey said the effect of the trade war on his company is "slightly indirect" because its products for the China market are made there. Coca-Cola, he added, will continue to keep up with consumer tastes and solve problems like the sugar content of its drinks and reducing packaging waste.
Amelia Lucas , "Coca-Cola CEO: More uncertainty is the 'biggest issue'", CNBC.com, January 24, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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Washington State Legislators Introduce Food Waste Bill

January 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Three Washington state Democratic legislators have introduced a bill to fight food waste that has the backing of a broad coalition of food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and food banks. HB 1114 establishes a goal to reduce food waste in the state 50 percent by 2030, compared to levels from 2015. According to the bill, food waste results from the storage, preparation, handling, cooking, selling or serving of food for human consumption. The bill includes a prevention goal that includes strategies to reduce waste, disperse edible food to food banks and other productive uses, including animal feed, compost and energy production. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Beth Doglio, Vandana Slatter, and Jake Fey, and discussed at a public hearing on January 17 before the House environment panel.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay]
Madeline Coats, "Lawmakers aim to create plan to cut food waste by 50 percent", Peninsula Daily News, January 23, 2019, © Peninsula Daily News and Sound Publishing, Inc.
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International Bakeries Set Up Shop In New York City

January 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

New York City is not known for being light on homegrown bakeries, but in recent years the Big Apple has attracted an array of international bakers. Among those who have set up shop are bakery chains like Maison Kayser from France, Le Pain Quotidien from Belgium, Breads Bakery from Israel, and a few from Japan and Korea. Now a fresh wave of foreign-born bakeries is arriving from Australia, Italy, and Scandinavia. Among them: Ole & Steen, a chain of more than 90 bakeries and cafes in Denmark and England; Fabrique, which has 19 bakeries in and around Stockholm and five in London; Bourke Street Bakery, launched in 2004 in Sydney, Australia, and specializing in sourdough breads; and Princi, a Milan bakery that is ensconced in a Starbucks Reserve Roastery.[Image Credit: © Eric Kayser]
Florence Fabricant, "New York Gets a Fresh Batch of Bakeries From Abroad", The New York Times , January 22, 2019, © The New York Times Company
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AHA Puts In A Good Word For – Whole Grain – Bread

January 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The American Heart Association has come to the defense of bread, the human diet staple that has been vilified for years because of its carbs, sodium and gluten content. The AHA is sticking up for bread, the whole grain kind anyway, because it is a good source of nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system. It also provides dietary fiber that can help improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. The AHA warns that breads made from refined grains can lead to a surplus of bloodstream sugar, which is stored as fat. Watch out for white bread, French bread, bagels, and pizza crust. And, unless you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, be cautious of gluten-free baked goods. "The gluten craze is something to be wary about," says a nutritionist. "Baked gluten-free foods often do not have optimal nutrient value."[Image Credit: © PhotoMIX-Company @ Pixabay]
"Are some breads getting a bad rap?", HealthDay, January 21, 2019, © HealthDay
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Dave’s Killer Bread Launches First Two English Muffin Products

January 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Dave's Killer Bread (DKB) of Milwaukie, Ore., is entering the breakfast foods arena with the launch of two varieties of English muffins: Killer Classic and Rockin’ Grains. According to  a DKB brand manager, the muffins meet the needs of consumers who are increasingly eating breakfast all day including snack times, lunch, and dinner. The classic version contains 6 g of protein and 8 g of whole grains per muffin, plus five other grains: quinoa, spelt, rye, millet, and barley. The Rockin' Grains variant is made with flax, sunflower, sesame, millet, and quinoa, 20 g of whole grains altogether.[Image Credit: © Dave's Killer Bread]
"Dave's Killer Bread Launches Outta This World English Muffins", Business Wire , January 21, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Clean Label Egg Wash Replacer Now Available To N.A. Commercial Bakeries

January 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
California-based baking ingredients producer Pak Group has developed a product to help commercial bakeries consistently achieve the ideal glaze while still claiming products are clean labels. Bellarise Shine is a gluten- and dairy-free vegan egg wash replacer made from water, sunflower oil, pea proteins, dextrose and modified starch. It is non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, and removes allergens from bread labels. The company says it is suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including croissants, brioche, buns and patisserie. The product will also help bakers avoid the highly variable cost of eggs, the company says. Bellarise Shine, which took the company a year to develop, is available now for customers in North America.[Image Credit: © PAK Group]
Gill Hyslop , "Bellarise develops clean label egg wash replacer for North American bakers", BakeryAndSnacks.com, January 20, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Market For Citrus Essential Oils Expands Rapidly

January 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
An analysis by Fact.MR finds that citrus essential oil sales increased by 3,000 tons between 2017 and 2018. The oils are used in industrial and other applications, including aromatherapy, cosmetics, health care, and food and beverages. Citrus essential oils manufactured using grapefruits are expected to witness relatively faster momentum, as chemical constituents of grapefruit are sought by various industries. Grapefruit-derived citrus essential oil sales are expected to grow twice as fast as their counterparts in 2019. Purported health benefits of grapefruit essential oils include weight loss, improved immunity, and alleviation of stress. With the oils approved as safe for consumption by regulatory authorities, food and beverage companies have continued to incorporate them as a “clean label” ingredient into multiple products. Their antimicrobial and antifungal properties have opened up new avenues for citrus essential oils in the packaging industry, and as a natural preservative. [Image Credit: © silviarita]
"Citrus Essential Oil Demand in F&B Growing as Scramble for -Clean-Label' and -Green' Ingredients Intensifies", News release, Fact.MR, January 18, 2019, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Israeli Company Uses Zero-Waste Process To Make Plant-Based Yogurt

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Israel’s Yofix Probiotics Ltd. has launched a dairy-free, soy-free yogurt alternative line using a clean-label formula involving a few natural ingredients. The yogurt is traditionally fermented and contains live probiotic cultures, plus the prebiotic fibers that feed them. The products, available in three fruit flavors, use no cow milk and, unlike almond or cashew, do not require a great amount of water. The production process is carefully designed to ensure zero waste: all raw materials used in production remain in the final product. The company plans to launch globally, and will also debut plant-based dairy substitutes for milk, yogurt drinks, cream cheese, coffee creamers, and ice cream. [Image Credit: © Yofix Probiotics Ltd.]
"Yofix Launches Clean-label, Plant-based Yogurt Alternative", PR Newswire, January 15, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Bagels Can Round Out The In-Store Bakery Business

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Bakeries in supermarkets that offer bagels in different sizes and flavors can become “a destination” for shoppers. Although plain bagels are always fine, the more variety the better. A market in Dayton, Ohio, for example, bakes 16 different varieties of bagels from scratch each day, along with standard flavors like plain, sesame and poppy, the in-store bakery has succeeded with blueberry-cinnamon crunch. Another in-store bakery is known for its unique seasonal bagels, like the gingerbread bagel, made with flour, brown sugar, ginger, and white chocolate. Other seasonal and holiday bagels include heart-shaped pink and red bagels for Valentine’s Day, green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day and pumpkin bagels in the fall. Rainbow bagels are available year-round. In fact, the rainbow food trend has been a boon to the bagel business, according to one baker.[Image Credit: © Andrew Becks from Pixabay]
Carol Angrisani , "Bagels fill a hole in bakery", Supermarket News, January 15, 2019, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Japan Offers Its Own Versions Of Bread

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Though Japan is not generally known as a bread-eating country, bread has become more popular, especially among young people, and the country does have its own unique varieties. Introduced in Japan by 16th century Portuguese traders – the Japanese word for bread, "pan," is derived from Portuguese – bread grew rapidly after World War II. The Japanese have adapted foreign bread-making techniques to create their own variations, including curry pan (doughnut-like bread filled with curry), melon pan (fluffy bread covered with a sweet cookie dough crust), anpan (bread filled with sweet bean paste), and katsu-sando (pork cutlet sandwiches). Japanese bakeries in New York City offer wasabi-butter breads, wasabi-sausage items, and pizzas with green shiso leaves.[Image Credit: © fancycrave1 from PIxabay]
Mari Nameshida, "Delicious; You too can cook washoku; 'Melon bread' combines two treats in one", The Japan News, January 15, 2019, © The Yomiuri Shimbun
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Professor’s Research Helps Candy Firm Mars Achieve Its “No Artificial Dyes” Goal

January 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Candy company Mars Inc. has patented an Ohio State professor’s method of extracting the natural pigments – anthocyanins – that give red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables their colors. Three years ago, Mars announced a "five-year effort" to remove all synthetic dyes from its products. Before research by Monica Giusti's lab, there was no method of anthocyanin extraction that produced the specific blue pigment of blueberries. Though anthocyanins are difficult to work with, her research helped the company reach its natural dye goal. Giusti's work is allowing companies such as Mars to incorporate real nutritional value into foods that are typically perceived as unhealthy. "The real beauty is that the pigments that we extract from nature tend to be those phytochemicals that make plants good for us," Giusti said.[Image Credit: © The Lantern: Ohio State University (Columbus)]
Lydia Weyrich , "Ohio State researcher develops natural dye, making M&Ms healthier", The Lantern: Ohio State University (Columbus), January 14, 2019, © The Lantern
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Becht Resigns As Chairman Of JAB Holding Over Disagreements About Company Strategy

January 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
JAB Holding, owner of coffee giant Keurig Dr Pepper, announced the retirement this year of chairman and co-founder Bart Becht, a few months after he stepped down from its Coty cosmetics business. Becht reportedly resigned because of disagreements with his partners about the scale of the company's dealmaking, preferring that JAB focus on improving operations for the companies that JAB already has stakes in. The company has hired three new executives with consumer products backgrounds: Fabien Simon, Ricard Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski. Anheuser Busch InBev veteran Rittes will open a new office in Brazil to head up expansion in emerging markets. JAB, the investing arm of Germany's Riemann family, was run by Becht with partners Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet. Harf will take over as chairman after Becht's departure. CEO Bob Gamgort will replace Becht as chairman of its board.
Amelia Lucas, "Bart Becht, chairman of Keurig Dr Pepper owner JAB, to retire from the company he helped form", CNBC.com, January 14, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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Hydration Drink Liquid I.V. Now Available In All U.S. Costco Stores

January 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
California nutrition company Liquid I.V.’s eponymous hydration beverage has launched nationally in 516 Costco stores after sales success on Costco.com and regional Costco outlets.  Available in packs of as many as 30 “sticks,“ Liquid I.V. contains five essential vitamins and is vegan, as well as gluten-, soy- and dairy-free. The product is now is carried in more than 20,000 stores, including Whole Foods Market, GNC, CVS, Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, and Kroger. The company says the beverage is made using Cellular Transport Technology (CTT), which “delivers hydration and other key nutrients rapidly into the bloodstream.”
"Liquid I.V.'s National Launch at Costco Ushers in a Modern Era of Hydration", PR Newswire , January 11, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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French Patisserie Continues U.S. Expansion Strategy

January 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
French patisserie Le Macron French Pastries plans to establish more than 20 new locations in “targeted” areas in the New York metropolitan area over the next five years. The company has more than 50 locations in the U.S.; it is looking to grow through “smart franchise partnerships and tactical site selection.” The new locations will be in Manhattan, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), and Staten Island. "As a prime state for expansion, especially with our versatile mobile cart franchise opportunity, we look forward to increasing our footprint … with franchise partners to help give all New York residents access to our little bites of heaven known as macarons," said CEO Rosalie Guillem. Franchise opportunities include kiosks, mobile carts, and express locations. [Image Credit: © Le Macaron]
"Le Macaron French Pastries Sets Eyes on New York", PRNewswire, January 11, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Japanese Barley-Based Vegetable Juice Aojiru Continues Global Expansion

January 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Yamamoto Kanpoh Pharmaceutical announced it is expanding its marketing of the functional beverage Aojiru to Korea and Australia. Aojiru (“green vegetable juice”) is made from barley leaves harvested in Kyushu, Japan. The market size of Aojiru in Japan was $485.7 million in 2012, according to the Yano Research Institute. Popular in Japan and China, Aojiru is also exported to the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore. A 2018 Euromonitor showed that Yamamoto Kanpo continued to show strong growth in 2018, due to the success of its Aojiru.
Tingmin Koe , "Japanese Aojiru leader Yamamoto Kanpoh targets Korea and Australia entry for functional beverage", Beverage Daily, January 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Marijuana Compounds – And Zero-Waste Cooking – Loom Large In Eatery Trends

January 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to new research from the National Restaurant Association, plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), and zero-waste cooking will be the hottest overall culinary trends of 2019. Seventy-seven percent of the survey’s 650 professional chef respondents identified cannabis/CBD-infused drinks as the No. 1 trend; 76 percent tapped cannabis/CBD-infused food as the second most popular trend. Association officials, however, stressed that cannabis and CBD are federally controlled substances and laws governing their use vary from state to state. They urged restaurant operators to follow all laws when selling or using those items. By the way, third on the list of overall trends was zero-waste cooking, which calls for chefs and restaurateurs to reduce the amount of food waste created during the preparation of menu items to keep it out of landfills. [Image Credit: © Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay]
"CBD-Infused Food/Drink, Zero-Waste Are Top Trends", National Restaurant Association, January 10, 2019, © National Restaurant Association
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Australia Sees Profit Potential In Legume Known As Lupins

January 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST



A growing number of companies in West Australia are capitalizing on the nutritional benefits of the legume seed of the lupinus genus, the popular flowering plants known as lupins. The seeds are gluten-free, low carb, and rich in protein, amino acids, and prebiotics (i.e., fiber). An example of the phenomenon is a former chef who has been making lupin granola for almost three years. He buys lupin flakes, mixes them with nuts, grains and seeds, and roasts them in a slow oven, creating a nutritious, tasty granola. The lupin granola is used as a base in protein bars and slices, and there's a chia pudding topped with it. Eighty-five percent of the world's lupins are grown in West Australia.[Image Credit: © Coastal Crunch]
Jenne Brammer, "Lupins gain traction as human food", The West Australian (Perth, Australia), January 09, 2019, © The West Australian and Seven West Media (WA)
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C-Stores Add Healthful Snack Options To Their Product Lineups

January 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Saddled for many years with a reputation as purveyors of junk foods, many convenience stores (C-stores) are now offering more healthful food and snack options, including produce, all-natural snacks and organic items. The industry is gradually adapting to a trend toward clean and transparent labeling that reveals where the food came from and tells the story behind it. According to industry observers, C-stores have an array of clean products to choose from (e.g., snacks like KIND bars and RXBARs, and SmartPop! popcorn). Consumers know they can find these options in grocery stores, so they now expect them in C-stores.[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
Tammy Mastroberte, "How C-stores Can Answer the Call for Clean Label Foods & Beverages ", Convenience Store News, January 08, 2019, © EnsembleIQ
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Impossible Foods Tinkers Successfully With Its Plant-Based Meats

January 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Impossible Foods, producer of plant-based meat replacements, including hamburger patties (Beyond Burger), has tinkered with its popular formula, replacing textured wheat protein with soy protein concentrate, reduced salt, substituted sunflower oil for coconut oil to reduce saturated fat, and ditched konjac gum and xanthan gum. According to the company, taste tests determined that the new formula “matches conventional beef burgers when it comes to likeability.” Other new ingredients (not in the original versions) include modified food starch and methylcellulose (which are also used in the plant-based Beyond Burger), the preservative cultured dextrose, vitamin C, and vitamin E.[Image Credit: © Impossible Foods Inc.]
Elaine Watson, "Impossible Foods replaces wheat with soy protein concentrate in its plant-based burger; says color additive petition won’t delay retail launch", FoodNavigator-USA.com, January 08, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Blockchain Technology May Deliver Believability In Food Labeling

January 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Food businesses use a lot of marketing and packaging gimmicks to convince consumers to buy their products. A large majority of Americans say they’ve felt tricked by the gimmickry. So how to build faith in food?  One solution would be to adopt a blockchain-based system that would provide a more accurate and trustworthy version of product labels, especially when it comes to claims about organic or non-GMO. Blockchain technology increases transparency and accountability in food supply chains and sets industry-wide standards. Manufacturers and wholesalers are already using it to track food. In the U.S., Walmart is working with IBM to streamline and improve its food safety system. European retail giant Carrefour is tracking chicken, eggs, and tomatoes from farms to grocery store shelves, and plans to expand that system to all their fresh products.[Image Credit: © felixioncool from Pixabay]
Samantha Radocchia, "Know What's GMO: Why Blockchain Will Build Faith In Food Labels", Forbes, January 08, 2019, © Forbes Media LLC
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