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Innovation In Pizza Comes From Independent Pizzerias, Not The National Chains

October 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
FastCasual.com blogger Darrel Suderman says there’s very little “true food innovation” among the nation’s QSR (quick service) pizza chains, so he went looking for it among the top 10 independent pizzerias. His survey of the restaurants turned up five innovations that might someday make it into the mainstream: use of an artisan hand-made preparation process that preps the dough from scratch by hand; use of ancient grains or native wheat flours, especially the preferred San Felice Italian flour; baking in authentic Neapolitan wood-burning ovens; all-natural, organic, heirloom ingredients; and an authentic toppings menu that includes Taleggio soft cheese and eggs.
Darrel Suderman, "Why isn’t there more pizza innovation?", Fast Casual, October 23, 2012, © Networld Media Group
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Gluten-free Bakers Have Some Time To Worry About Celiac Disease Vaccine

October 22, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
American biotech  company ImmusanT has developed a celiac disease vaccine that is undergoing clinical testing in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. With the gluten-free market likely to be worth as much as US$375.5 million within a couple of years, are bakers who produce gluten-free products feeling threatened by the advancement? Not yet, they say. Availability of the novel vaccine – Nexvax2 would reduce the immune system’s adverse response to gluten – is still 10 to 15 years away.
Georgi Gyton, "Could vaccine threaten gluten-free bakery?", Bakery Info, October 22, 2012, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Delicious Baked Goods That Are Also Healthy? It’s Possible, U.K. Bakers Say

October 19, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
There are ways to provide healthy, and tasty, baked goods to health-conscious consumers, according to food writer Samantha Edwards, who surveyed a selection of prominent British bakers. The basic strategy is to cut back on “indulgent ingredients,” such as fat, sugar, artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives, while adding fiber, whole grains and natural flavors.  Trends include breakfast sandwich wraps and turnovers wrapped in soft bread as alternatives to morning pastries. One baker, Delice de France, offers a selection of breads for the lunch crowd that include sourdoughs and whole grains. Other innovations: breakfast muffins containing dates, apricots, raisins, pumpkin seeds and granola; mini versions of cupcakes; and low-GI carrot cupcakes with fresh fruit.
"A Healthy Starter", British Baker, October 19, 2012, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kellogg Takes A Second Shot At Rolling Out A Localized Product Portfolio In India

October 19, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Many multinational companies doing business in the burgeoning markets of China and India have had to re-tool their products to adapt to local tastes. Cereal maker Kellogg faltered in India 14 years ago when it unveiled a breakfast cereal called Kellogg Mazza in variants like elaichi, coconut and rose, perhaps due to a lack of marketing effort. But the company is taking another shot. According to The Economic Times, citing unnamed company officials, Kellogg is introducing variants like pudina, tomato and garam masala for its oats range. Kellogg may have better luck this second time around. The breakfast segment of the exploding convenience foods market in India is growing at 18-20 percent a year. Kellogg leads the market with a 55 percent share.
Ratna Bhushan, "Kellogg India to take a second shot at localising its India portfolio", Economic Times, October 19, 2012, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Quest For “Real” Food Is Part Of A Broader Trend Among Consumers

October 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Fast Company has gathered evidence of a broad lifestyle trend among consumers: the quest for “realness” in food, behaviors, products, experiences, etc. The “real” movement in food extends beyond being a “locavore” to include concerns about food safety and health. During the recession, sales of natural and organic food and beverages increased 20 percent since 2009. In response to the demand for realness, food manufacturers have cut the number of product ingredients in 56 percent of food categories. “Better for you” snack foods are popping up all over the place. In the food/lifestyle category, there has been an increase in cooking among young people who simply find it a good way to connect with friends. 
Mike Doherty, "The Story Behind The Stuff: Consumers' Growing Interest In "Real" Products", Fast Company, October 18, 2012, © Mansueto Ventures LLC
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Antioxidant-Rich Diet Of Fruits, Vegetables Significantly Reduces Heart Attack Risk In Women

October 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Sweden who tracked the dietary patterns of 32,561 women over ten years in a population-based cohort study found that total dietary antioxidant intake from fruits, vegetables, coffee, chocolate and whole grains, was important in the prevention of heart attack (myocardial infarction). A diet of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants reduced the risk of heart attack in women aged 49 to 83 by as much as 29 percent. The researchers acknowledged that the study was conducted among women and therefore could not be generalized to men.
Susanne Rautiainen et al., "Total Antioxidant Capacity from Diet and Risk of Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort of Women", American Journal of Medicine, October 17, 2012, © Elsevier Inc
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Daily Multivitamin Reduces Cancer Risk In Men

October 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Taking a daily multivitamin seems to significantly reduce the risk of cancer in men, according to the results of the first long-term clinical trial on the impact of multivitamins on cancer. Researchers tracked nearly 15,000 men who took either a multivitamin or a placebo for more than 10 years. The men themselves reported whether they had been diagnosed with cancer. The researchers found that those who took a daily multivitamin had eight percent fewer cancer diagnoses compared with the group taking the placebo. The multivitamins were also associated with an apparent reduction in cancer deaths.
J. Michael Gaziano et al. , "Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: The Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial", JAMA, October 17, 2012, © American Medical Association
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Imaging Studies Show Connection Between The Brain And Diet-Related Problems

October 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists recently presented a raft  of studies that used advanced imaging technology to draw connections between our diet, the way we think and what we think. Researchers found that the brain plays a significant role in dietary disorders such as obesity, diabetes, binge eating and the attractiveness of high-calorie meals. For example, neurological imaging shows that when people skip breakfast, pictures of high-calorie food activate the pleasure-seeking part of the brain. Skipping breakfast leads to increased food consumption at lunch, suggesting that fasting is not an effective form of diet control. 
"This Is Your Brain On Food: Studies Reveal How Diet Affects Brain Functions", News release, abstracts presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, October 16, 2012, © Society For NeuroScience
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Krill Oil May Soon Be Second Largest Category Of Omega-3 Supplements

October 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Data from SPINSscan – an information source on UPC-coded natural products sold in supermarkets – shows that krill oil has grown 43 percent in the natural products channel during the last year. This growth significantly outpaced growth of other sources of omega-3s, according to Aker BioMarine, a supplier of krill ingredients. The company said it believes krill supplement sales will soon become the second largest category of omega-3 supplements in food, drug and mass. The growth in krill oil sales is probably the result of the high interest in krill oil in the food, drug and mass channel, where krill supplements grew 70 percent last year.
"Krill oil omega-3 sales grow 43%", News article, NewHope360, October 16, 2012, © Penton Media Inc
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Food Industry Expert Urges Tighter Legislative Control Over Nanotechnology Use

October 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Nanotechnology is used in the production of consumer and health goods, including food, food packaging and sun block products. Nanoparticles easily penetrate DNA structures and the cells of the lungs, skin and digestive system, raising concerns in the health and consumer community. The U.S. FDA studied the issue but found no reason for more extensive regulation of nanoparticles, a decision criticized by environmental and other groups. Food industry expert Adam Soliman, in an opinion article, acknowledges that the long-term effects of nanoparticle use may be positive, but suggests there may be negative effects on health. “Thus, jurisdictions [globally] should continue to broaden legislation monitoring the development of nanotechnology.”
Adam Soliman, "The Need for Stronger Nanotechnology Regulation", Food Safety News, October 16, 2012, © Marler Clark
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Hemp Bread Is Nutritious, But Not Easy To Find On Store Shelves

October 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The use of the hemp plant to make bread has a somewhat checkered legal history, thanks to the DEA’s efforts to ban hemp-based food products because they might contain traces of Cannabis sativa (marijuana). But hemp bread is apparently legal – food writer Carolyn Susman found loaves of the product (made by the French Meadow bakery) in the frozen food section of a local grocery store. The label claimed the sprouted whole grain product was vegan, kosher and low-glycemic. Its ingredients included wheat, organic flax, pumpkin and sesame seeds. The label also noted that the hemp plant was environmentally sustainable, needing no pesticides or herbicides "to flourish." But the next time she looked for the bread, it had vanished from the shelves.
Carolyn Susman , "Healthful, Without The High", Palm Beach Daily News, October 16, 2012, © Cox Media Group
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Supplement Users Are Very Concerned About Heart Health – Survey

October 11, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Canadian probiotics manufacturer Micropharma found in a consumer survey that a majority of supplement users worry about their heart health and nearly three out of four are looking for naturally sourced, clinically proven supplements targeted at cholesterol reduction. The company polled 677 U.S. supplement users, finding that 52 percent are concerned about heart health, and 40 percent express concern over digestive health. The company said it would be launching a probiotic supplement in the coming months “that will offer a safe and natural addition to a heart healthy diet and lifestyle for those consumers who want a natural solution."
"Survey Shows Supplement Users Have Strong Interest in Natural Solutions to Manage Their Cholesterol", Press release, Micropharma Limited, October 11, 2012, © Micropharma Limited
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Survey Finds Britons Need To Bone Up On Fiber, Nutrition Facts

October 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Though a large number of Britons – 75 percent – believe they eat a healthy, balanced diet, a survey for independent baker Warburtons has found that most are fairly ignorant about nutrition, especially when it comes to fiber. The survey found that half British adults say they get enough fiber from the foods they eat, though almost none knew what the recommended daily intake is. Most knew they get fiber from whole grain bread, rice and pasta, but they also believed they get fiber from eggs, chocolate and even beer. The U.K.’s National Health Service recommends daily fiber intake of 18 to 24 grams, but the average Briton consumes only 13 grams.
Giles Sheldrick, "Fibre In Beer? UK Clueless About Diet", Express.co.uk, October 10, 2012, © Northern and Shell Media Publications
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Kretschmer Launches Web Site Promoting Health Benefits, Versatility Of Its Wheat Germ

October 9, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Wheat germ brand Kretschmer (Sun Country Foods) believes its “superfood” should play a bigger role in America’s breakfast, lunch and dinner plans. The brand has launched a Web site that provides wheat germ recipes and healthy lifestyle tips designed to upgrade wheat germ’s profile as a nutrition-packed and versatile meal ingredient. Wheat germ is derived from the most nutrient rich part of the wheat kernel and is an excellent – low-calorie – source of vitamin E, the B vitamins, folic acid, protein and fiber. MyWheatGerm.com suggests adding wheat germ to morning yogurt or cereal, a salad or smoothie at lunch, or using it as an alternative to bread crumbs at dinner time.
"Look Who's Coming To Dinner, Lunch And Breakfast: Wheat Germ Is One Of This Year's Rising Health Food Stars", News release, Kretschmer/Sun Country Foods, October 09, 2012, © Sun Country Foods
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Roquette Research Program To Develop Plant-Based Protein Alternatives To Animal, Soy Proteins

October 9, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
French biorefiner Roquette Freres has established a research program that will focus on developing plant-based proteins to meet the needs of a growing world population. Roquette has been processing plant-based raw materials for more than 75 years, but the new research program, dubbed Proteov, is a response to the fact that the global population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. The Proteov research program will develop sustainable and affordable plant-derived protein sources that offer an alternative to animal proteins or soybeans. New Products will target general human and animal nutrition, sports, weight management and weight loss, and clinical and infant nutrition.
"Roquette commits itself to the development of a new generation of vegetable proteins", Press release, Roquette, October 09, 2012, © Roquette Freres
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Government Of Scotland Helps Small Food Makers Reduce Salt, Sugar, Fat In Products

October 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The Scottish government has created a two-year £172,000 (US$278,200) reformulation program to help smaller food manufacturers comply with the Obesity Route Map, which lays out the steps to be taken by the government and the food industry to address the increasing prevalence of obesity in Scotland. With the government aid, small and medium-size food manufacturers will be able to “tweak recipes” – to reduce salt, sugar and fats – “ in line with changing consumer tastes and requirements and the availability of new food preparation techniques and technologies.”
Laurence Gibbons , "Scottish scheme helps cut salt, fat and sugar", Food Manufacture, October 08, 2012, © William Reed Business Media
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Less Acculturated U.S. Hispanics Have Very Different Ideas About Healthy Foods

October 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
An NPD study of U.S. Hispanics’ food and beverage consumption patterns finds that  those who are foreign-born and speak mostly Spanish tend to think of healthy foods as lacking in taste and nutrition. Instead, healthy and nutritious are defined by the quantity of food served rather than the quality. Forty-six percent of Spanish-language dominant Hispanics feel that almost all healthy food lacks flavor. But these numbers change the longer Hispanics are in the U.S. Thirty-one percent of bilingual Hispanics and only 11 percent of “English dominant” Hispanics agree that healthy foods lack flavor or nutrition. The report suggests that food manufacturers and retailers could tailor their products to fulfill the needs of less acculturated Hispanics.
" U.S. Hispanics Define Nutrition in Terms of Quality and Quantity and Perceive Healthy Foods as Less Tasty, Reports NPD", Press release, NPD, October 08, 2012, © NPD
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Starbucks Tests Baked Goods In San Francisco Stores, Plans For National Expansion

October 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks says it is expanding its line of food items – a $1.5 billion business for the retail coffee chain – by adding bakery items. Earlier this year, the Seattle-based company bought small San Francisco bakery chain La Boulange for $100 million and the plan is to take the baked goods line national at some point. The company is testing baked goods served warm in nine stores in San Francisco. Items being tested include a whole wheat spinach croissant; a tomato, cheese and herb croissant; a blueberry yogurt muffin and a raspberry passion fruit loaf cake.
Simon Tomlinson, "A snack fit for Popeye: Starbucks unveils croissant filled with SPINACH in new menu", Daily Mail Online, October 08, 2012, © Associated Newspapers Inc.
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Growing Trend Toward “No Additives/Preservatives” Claims In Indian Food Industry

October 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Label claims of “no additives/preservatives” have increased significantly in India, largely in response to consumer health concerns and government pressure on the food industry – both large multinational and local companies – to make cleaner and healthier products, according to market researcher Mintel. New Indian food and drink products carrying the claim rose from 14 percent in 2008 to 18 percent in 2011. So far in 2012, they account for 16 percent of the overall food and drink market. Just in the food category, new products carrying “no additive/preservatives” claims have increased from 14 percent to 17 percent. In the beverages category, new products carrying the claims have risen from 13 percent to 15 percent since 2009.
"India leads the way in no additives/preservatives claims in Asia Pacific food and drink NPD", Press release, Mintel, October 05, 2012, © Mintel
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British-Style Pudding – Actually More Of A Cake – Gains A Foothold In U.S. Market

October 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A U.K. native transplanted to Austin, Texas, is growing a six-year-old business whose main offering is Britain’s traditional chilled dessert: pudding. Far different from the American version – it’s not a custard – the basic product provided by the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company to retail chains (e.g., HEB and Costco) and supermarkets is a moist sponge cake with finely chopped dates covered in toffee sauce and served warm during the Christmas holidays. But it isn’t an easy venture for Tracy Claros. She has to do her marketing in the spring and summer to make sure retail deals have been forged by August. And delivery of fresh product nationwide is a logistical nightmare. Encouraging news for Claros? A fellow Austin baker believes "chilled desserts are on the cusp of exploding onto the market."
James Jeffrey, "Two nations divided by a common custard", The Independent (London), October 05, 2012, © independent.co.uk
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Novel Ethnic Foods – Including Flatbreads – May Soon Appear On Canadian Grocery Shelves

October 4, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A food fad that began in Europe has migrated to Canada and could become a “revolutionary new category,” according to a Quebec-based importer. But the cheese-and-pepperoni-filled “pizza cone” is just one example of the novel ethnic foods -- on display at the recent Grocery Innovations Canada conference -- that shoppers may find on grocery shelves in the near future. In addition to sauces, spices and marinades, importers unveiled Philippine foods and foods derived from Middle Eastern, Indian and Greek cuisine, including barbari flavored flatbread that can be used to make bruschetta or margherita pizza and chapatti roti (Indian flatbread) to make kids lunch wraps.
Lauren La Rose, "Pizza cones, new ethnic foods, artisanal fare heading to Canadian stores", The Canadian Press , October 04, 2012, © Postmedia Network Inc
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Washington State Scientist Hopes To Revive Some Local – But Mostly Forgotten Wheat – Varieties

October 1, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A plant geneticist at Washington State University (Bellingham) is testing more than 40,000 wheat strains grown in the fields outside his Bread Lab in the hope of developing varieties that are heartier (e.g., more drought-resistant) and produce flours that offer good flavor and nutrition. According to this Sunset article, there is “a stunning array of wheats” getting a second look, including heirloom Red Fife, a flavorful wheat for whole-wheat breads; Sonora wheat, a drought-tolerant white variety; and rare Ethiopian Blue Tinge emmer farro, “a rich-tasting chocolate brown variety”. The main reason for the return of these wheats? The desire for “more choices, and more personality than mass-market flours blended from countless fields”.
Rebekah Denn, "Wheat's new wave", Sunset, October 01, 2012, © Sunset Publishing Corporation
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Special K Uses Pop-Up “Tweet Shop” In London To Promote New Potato Chip Product

September 29, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Social media continue to move deeper into marketing strategies as companies look for ways to engage consumers in promoting brand awareness. For example, in the U.K., Kellogg’s Special K brand recently opened a pop-up – four days only – “Tweet Shop” to promote the fact that the brand is expanding into the potato chip (or crisps) market. Customers come into the shop and, in exchange for a suitable tweet promoting the product, walk out with a sample of Cracker Crisps, which come in three flavors. The concept works on two levels: the tweets boost word of mouth brand awareness, and the whole Tweet Shop concept grabs some free public relations attention.
Emma Hall , "In London, Kellogg's Swaps Snacks for Tweets to #tweetshop", Advertising Age, September 29, 2012, © Crain Communications
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Will Barley Someday Have A Higher Profile In U.S. Foods?

September 27, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Barley acreage has dropped since 1985 in Washington State – because of favorable wheat prices and a herbicide problem – but is now on the rebound and grain industry leaders in the Western U.S. see an opportunity for an increased role for barley in food production. Most barley in the U.S. today is grown for animal feed (51 percent) or to create malt for beer production (44 percent). Only two percent is used in food production, and therein lies a potential opening. Mary Palmer Sullivan, program director for the Washington Grain Alliance, calls barley a “nutritional powerhouse” high in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. She can take credit for barley's heart-healthy claims being accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Andy Perdue , "Washington barley on the rebound", Tri-City Herald (Washington), September 27, 2012, © Tri-CityHerald.com
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Singapore Bun Maker Plans Major Expansion In China

September 26, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Singapore company whose plan 12 years ago was to create a “bread culture” in Asia with a variety of exotic baked goods has announced plans to double the number of retail bakeries in China to 500 – and globally to 1,000 – by 2014. BreadTalk also said it has begun implementing a new look and feel for its stores, offering new bun flavors, and adding variations to its famous pork floss (dried meat covered) buns. The company now sells chicken buns, tornado-shaped yam buns, a chocolate-filled “Hello Panda” bun, and “numbingly hot” floss buns. BreadTalk also plans to launch an artisan bread line and open an “Icing Room”, where customers get to decorate their own cakes, next year in China.
Grace Ng , "BreadTalk set to get them talking all over China", The Straits Times (Singapore), September 26, 2012, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.
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Warburtons Reduces Pack Sizes, Prices, For Its Premium Lines Of Rolls

September 25, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Cost-conscious consumers are looking for lower-priced, smaller packages of their favorite baked goods, and Warburtons (U.K.) is happy to comply. The company announced it is reducing the pack size for its premium rolls, including Lunch Rolls and Batch Baked rolls, from six to four. Its Sub Rolls packs will be reduced from three to two rolls. The company said consumer research on its product line determined that “smaller pack sizes are becoming increasingly relevant to our customers as they offer a reduced price point at a time when shoppers are increasingly looking to spend wisely."
Katy Askew, "UK: Warburtons reduces premium pack sizes", just-food.com, September 25, 2012, © just-food.com
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Never-Frozen Dough Is Key Feature Of Domino’s New Handmade Pan Pizzas

September 24, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Domino’s Pizza has introduced the Handmade Pan Pizza featuring a crispy golden crust, buttery flavor and never-frozen dough. The product was introduced in September in all 5,000 Domino’s restaurants. A national TV ad campaign will launch on October 1. A medium two-topping handmade pan pizza, which will also feature two layers of cheese and toppings to the edge, will be priced at $7.99.
"Domino's Introduces Handmade Pan Pizza", Domino's Pizza, September 24, 2012, © Domino's IP Holder LLC
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Ginkgo Biloba Falls Short As Memory Enhancing Supplement

September 24, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
People looking for nutritional supplements to improve their memory can skip ginkgo biloba, a new study by British researchers has found. The ancient Chinese herbal medicine has been used to ward off the mental decline associated with aging. And recently marketers have promoted ginkgo biloba supplements as a way to boost memory and stave off Alzheimer’s disease. But this meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials involving 1,000 individual found no health benefit. In fact, the authors wrote, ginkgo biloba had “no ascertainable positive effects on a range of targeted cognitive functions in healthy individuals.
Keith R Laws et al., "Is Ginkgo biloba a cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals? A meta-analysis", Human Psychopharmacology, September 24, 2012, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc
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De-Fatted Wheat Germ Product Boosts Fiber In Baked Goods

September 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Niche market oil seed company New Holland Extraction (U.K.) has developed a de-fatted stabilized wheat germ that can be used to increase the fiber content of baked goods, allowing reductions in fat content. According to the company, Bettergerm’s fiber content is about 20 percent, and its binding properties give cakes and muffins better mouthfeel. The wheat germ meal improves bread by enhancing the crumb structure and volume. Because it is a clean-label product, it can be labeled as wheat.
"Improved fibre for baked goods", British Baker, September 21, 2012, © William Reed Business Media
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Scientists Will Test Satiety Effect Of Melanoidins Baked Into Bread

September 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Italian scientists are preparing to launch a study to determine whether undigestible fiber-like compounds found in coffee and bread crust can reduce appetite by providing a feeling of fullness. The scientists will develop bread enriched with melanoidins and test them against other kinds of bread in a clinical trial to see whether they impact satiety. Fifteen volunteers will eat the experimental breads and fill out satiety questionnaires. Blood tests will then be performed to determine satiety gene expression.
"Italy : Checking Melanoidins Satiating Efficiency Through Evaluation of Human Gut-Brain Response to Novel-Bread Ingestion", TendersInfo, September 21, 2012, © Euclid Infotech (P). Ltd
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Chr. Hansen Introduces Cheese Cultures For Eastern European Market

September 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Chr. Hansen has introduced two cheese cultures for the Continental segment in Eastern Europe that are designed to improve cheese flavor and reduce bitterness in new formats (i.e., sliced, diced, shredded). Available as frozen DVS cultures, the products comprise flavor enhancing strains that can be used in rotation with the DCC260 culture for improved robustness. According to the company, the low inoculation rate and high activity of the culture accelerate the ripening process. Belarus, Russia and Poland produce large quantities of Continental cheese such as gouda each year with a growing focus on the "shredded" format.
"Better taste, less bitterness and increased phage protection", Press release, Chr. Hansen, September 21, 2012, © Chr. Hansen
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Royal DSM In Talks To Buy Cargill’s Cultures/Enzymes Business

September 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Royal DSM (The Netherlands) is looking at a major acquisition in the world cultures and enzymes market, which is valued at more than €1 billion (US$1.3 billion). The company says it is in discussions to acquire Cargill, a maker of cultures and enzymes for the dairy and meat industries. Cargill’s cultures and enzymes business generates annual net sales of about €45 million and has about 200 employees. A DSM food specialties executive said the acquisition “would allow us to serve our customers faster with one of the most versatile offerings in cultures and enzymes in the global dairy industry.”
"DSM in exclusive discussions to acquire Cargill’s cultures and enzymes business", Press release, DSM, September 20, 2012, © DSM
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Study Finds That Obese Children Find It Difficult To Identify Specific Tastes

September 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers who studied 94 normal weight and 99 obese, but otherwise healthy, children 6 to 18 years old found that obese children had a harder time identifying specific tastes, probably because their taste buds were less sensitive. The taste sensitivity of each child was tested using 22 "taste strips" placed on the tongue. Strips included the five taste sensations, at four different levels of intensity, plus two blank strips. Obese children had particular difficulty in identifying salty, umami, and bitter tastes. Obese kids also rated three out of the four intensity levels lower than kids of normal weight.
Johanna Overberg et al., "Differences in taste sensitivity between obese and non-obese children and adolescents", Archives of Disease in Childhood, September 20, 2012, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
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Study Finds That Women Who Read Food Labels Tend To Be Thinner

September 19, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A multinational study of women consumers finds that those who read food labels when shopping weighed nine pounds less than those who didn’t read labels. The study analyzed data from an  annual health survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that collected more than 25,000 observations on health, eating and shopping habits. The study also found that women read labels more often than men; smokers in general paid even less attention to food labels. "These findings imply that health education campaigns can employ nutritional labels as one of the instruments for reducing obesity," the authors write.
Maria L. Loureiro et al., "The effects of nutritional labels on obesity", Agricultural Economics, September 19, 2012, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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New Technology Uses Fungi To Transform Food Waste Into Bioplastics

September 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Foodservice companies and restaurants routinely donate unsold products to homeless shelters, food banks, etc. But what to do with the stuff destined for the trash bin? Scientists in Hong Kong may have an answer. With the help of the restaurant chain Starbucks, they have developed a way to transform day-old pastries and other food waste into useful bioplastics and detergents. Using a biorefinery, old stale food, coffee grounds and other food waste is added to a fungus mixture. The fungi eat the waste matter and secret simple sugars that can be made into useful products. Whether consumers will warm to the idea of purchasing food in packages made from “fungus poop” is another story, however.
Ian Chant , "New Technique Could Turn Day Old Pastries Into Plastic, Slight Upgrade From Current Cardboard State", Geekosystem, September 18, 2012, © Geekosystem, LLC
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Government Should Regulate Sugary Drink Consumption To Control Obesity, Healthcare Costs

September 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Many foods contribute to excess calorie intake and obesity but, according to health experts, sugary drinks are particularly at fault. Consumption of sugary beverages has tripled since the 1970s, as drink sizes have increased from 6.5 or 12 ounces to 16, 20, 32 and 64 ounces. New York City health commissioner Thomas A. Farley believes government can play a role in controlling consumption of sugary drinks, and thus controlling the rising healthcare costs associated with obesity and heart disease. In a JAMA article, he notes that New York City has supported a 1-cent-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks and the city's health department approved a cap on the portion size of sugary drinks served at restaurants.
Farley TA, "The Role of Government in Preventing Excess Calorie Consumption: The Example of New York City", JAMA, September 18, 2012, © American Medical Association
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Organic Food Sales Doing Remarkably Well Ten Years After USDA Program Launched

September 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The organic food industry has made “remarkable progress” over the ten years since the creation of the USDA National Organic Program, according to consulting firm Retail Insights. Though growth in conventional food stores has kept up with food inflation, organic food has a CAGR of eight percent over the past three decades. Total organic spending was about $10.4 billion in 2003 and $31.5 billion last year. The bulk of that spending was on organic food and beverages – $29 billion. “Standardization and definition have been extremely helpful in providing confidence in shoppers,” Retail Insights said.
Vanessa Voltolina, "SN Whole Health: Organic at 10", Supermarket news, September 17, 2012, © Penton Media
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Legumes Used To Create Unusually Moist – And Nutritious – Cakes

September 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Washington State University catering service has developed cakes that use unconventional – but healthy – ingredients from the Palouse, a region in the Northwest U.S. that comprises parts of Washington, Idaho and Oregon. The unusual cake ingredients include two legumes: garbanzo beans and lentils. According to the pastry chef of the university caterer, you can’t taste the legumes in the cakes, but they contribute to their moistness and tenderness, and make them high in fiber and protein. The secret lies in the preparation of the batter. The lentils or garbanzo beans are cooked, pureed and folded into the batter. The legumes' natural sugars and gums are hydrophilic: “they love water and bind it to the cake system," making the cakes unusually moist.
Linda Weiford, "Sweet Palouse on a fork", WSU News, September 17, 2012, © Washington State University
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Is It Time For Grocery Stores To Integrate Gluten-Free Products?

September 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Segregation of foods in stores by category – organic, ethnic, gourmet, etc. – works well in building interest and demand. But as familiarity increases, some of these products can be spread around the store, integrated into broader categories. According to retail food experts, the gluten-free category may be reaching that integration point. The ideal strategy is to have a gluten-free subsection within a product category – e.g., gluten-free bread in the bread aisle – rather than a single gluten-free multi-product section. One retail consulting firm says this kind of integration can increase sales of the targeted items by an average of 40 percent. Product category sales grow by 12 percent and category profits by 15 percent.
Kelly Gates, "SN Whole Health: Integrating Gluten-Free", Supermarket News, September 17, 2012, © Penton Media
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Some Hot Food Trends For Autumn

September 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Protein-rich foods and so-called super teas are among the hottest food products this fall, according to Supermarket News. The more protein in a product the better, apparently. Kashi Go Lean cereal, for example, has 13 grams per serving and an 8-ounce container of Voskos’ nonfat Greek yogurt has 20 grams. SymphonyIRI says sales of protein-rich foods were up 8.6 percent through June to $3.5 billion. In the beverage category, Celestial Seasonings, the Republic of Tea and Salada Tea have unveiled functional teas fortified with herbs, vitamins and other nutrients. Other hot items for autumn: raw (unprocessed, uncooked) foods and foods containing the spice turmeric, in demand because of its purported anti-inflammatory properties.
Robert Vosburgh and Christine Blank, "SN Whole Health: Fall 2012 Trends", Supermarket News, September 17, 2012, © Penton Media
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Time To Dispel Myths About The Purported Adverse Effects Of White Bread

September 15, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The tide may be turning in the controversy over whether white bread is beneficial or detrimental  to health. A new study from a U.K. researcher takes “health campaigners and TV nutritionists” to task for “demonizing” white bread in recent years. Dr. Aine O’Connor stresses that “bread is an important source of nutrition” and “health professionals need to dispel the myths.” One such myth is that consuming bread contributes to obesity. She notes that though bread consumption in the U.K. has fallen steadily, the country has the worst obesity problem in Europe. Bread is loaded with nutrients, and though it has been high in salt, manufacturers have taken steps to cut sodium content. 
James Hall, "White bread is not bad for you, experts say", The Telegraph, September 15, 2012, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Big Food Companies That Own Organic Brands Oppose California’s GMO Labeling Initiative

September 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The organic food industry in California generally supports Proposition 37, a ballot initiative that would require labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). But some well-known organic brands owned by big food companies – Kashi, Cascadian Farm, and Horizon Organic – are opposed to it. Joining big bioengineering companies like Monsanto and DuPont are Kellogg, General Mills, Dean Foods, Smucker’s and Coca-Cola, each of which own organic brands. The New York Times reports that consumer reaction on social media has led some of the organic brands owned by big companies “to try to distance themselves from their corporate parents”.
Stephanie Strom, "Uneasy Allies in the Grocery Aisle", The New York Times, September 13, 2012, © The New York Times Company
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Fish Oil Supplement Companies Criticize Omega 3 Testing As Flawed

September 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Industry representatives of fish oil supplement makers went on the defensive recently, criticizing ConsumerLab laboratory analyses of 35 fish oil/omega 3 supplements as well as a scientific meta-study that found no omega 3 benefit for heart patients. ConsumerLab found problems with 11 of the 35 products, including mislabeling, contamination and excessive PCBs. The meta-study, published in JAMA, found that any positive impact of omega 3s on heart health was statistically insignificant. A representative of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA pointed out flaws in the ConsumerLab testing and publicity, and in the JAMA study.
Joanna Cosgrove, " Omega 3s Under Fire", Nutraceuticals World, September 13, 2012, © Rodman Publishing
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New York City’s Board Of Health Cracks Down On Super-Sized Sugary Drinks

September 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
In an unprecedented move, New York City’s Board of Health – at the behest of Mayor Michael Bloomberg – has barred the sale of sugary beverages in cups or bottles larger than 16 ounces in any establishment that has a food-service license. That would include fast-food restaurants, delis, movie and Broadway theaters, and even Yankee Stadium concession stands. Despite widespread opposition – a poll of New Yorkers found 60 percent were hostile – the measure will go into effect next March. "We cannot continue to have our kids come down with diabetes at age 6," Bloomberg said.
David B. Caruso and Jennifer Peltz, "NYC Bans Big, Sugary Drinks at Restaurants", ABC News, September 13, 2012, via Associated Press
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“Pink Slime” Maker Alleges Defamation By ABC News In $1.2 Billion Suit

September 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
ABC News, several of its top anchor and reporting personnel, and two federal government scientists are being sued for $1.2 billion by a maker of a textured beef product dubbed by the media as “pink slime”. Beef Products, Inc., which manufactures a lean, finely textured beef (LFTB), alleged that ABC News misled American consumers to believe the use of boneless lean beef trimmings in processed meat is unhealthy and unsafe. Also included in the defamation suit is the former corporate quality assurance manager at Beef Products, who was the apparent source  for the story.
"ABC News Slapped With $1.2B Lawsuit Over ‘Pink Slime’", Food Product Design, September 13, 2012, © Virgo Publishing LLC
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Could Phyllo Dough Catch On In American Kitchens And Bakeries?

September 12, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The paper-thin sheets of unleavened dough known as phyllo – found in pastries like baklava and spanakopita – are widely used in the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa and throughout the Arab world. Phyllo could catch on in American kitchens if cooks got over a major misconception: phyllo dough is not difficult for home bakers to work with, especially when the commercially prepared frozen dough sheets are used. (Making phyllo dough from scratch is a tricky, time-consuming process.) Indiana food writer Cindy Bradley says once the dough is thawed it can be used to make any number of interesting desserts and dishes. She provides recipes for several, including salmon Florentine phyllo rolls and phyllo-crusted goat cheese and lentil pie.
Cindy Bradley , "Fill in the phyllo, or fillo, with all sorts of tasty ingredients", Herald-Times (Bloomington, Indiana), September 12, 2012, © the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at www.heraldtimesonline.com Distributed by MCT
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German Grain Company Develops Nutritious, Tasty Wheat Aleurone For Baked Goods

September 11, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Four years of R&D by German grain specialist Kampffmeyer Food Innovation has resulted in the creation of a nutritious wheat aleurone that can be used as a tasty ingredient in refined flour and whole grain baked goods, pizzas and pasta. The aleurone is fiber-rich and packed with a wide array of minerals and vitamins. According to Kampffmeyer, the aleurone ingredient is easy to incorporate into formulations, has an appealing light color, and enables manufacturers to offer the health of whole grain without taste or visual problems.
Kacey Culliney, "'We unlock the power of wheat': Kampffmeyer", Bakery and Snacks, September 11, 2012, © William Reed Business Media
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Biotech Firm Hopes To Show That Its Enzyme Technology Can Help Make Bread More Nutritious

September 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. biotechnology firm Dyadic International announced that its Netherlands subsidiary is participating in a two-year European project to develop more nutritious, tastier whole grain and white breads. Participants in the HealthBread Project will apply scientific and technological knowledge “to the production and marketing of commercially viable, healthier bread,” the company said. Dyadic said it would be working with 16 scientific, baking and food organizations to demonstrate the effectiveness of its C1 enzyme technology in producing more nutritious bread products.
"Dyadic to participate in EC Healthbread Project", Biofuels Digest, September 10, 2012, © Biofuels Digest
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Canadian Craving For Ethnic Foods Represents A Big Market Opportunity For Restaurants

September 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Canadian restaurant chains have yet to take advantage of a growing consumer interest in ethnic foods and flavors, according to market researcher Technomic. A survey of Canadian consumers found that only one in four felt that limited-service and full-service restaurant chains provided a satisfying variety of ethnic offerings. Two-thirds of consumers reported that they consider authenticity of ethnic foods to be important when choosing a restaurant. The dissatisfaction with availability of ethnic offerings on restaurant menus “translates into opportunities for operators to differentiate their menus and gain market share with globally-inspired offerings,” Technomic said.
"Canadian chain restaurants missing out on ethnic menu opportunities, says Technomic", Press release, Technomic, September 10, 2012, © Technomic
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Homemade Baked Goods May Now Be Sold Legally In South Carolina

September 7, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
South Carolina has joined 25 other states in enacting a cottage food law legalizing the sale of homemade candy and baked goods. The measure was signed into law in June, reversing a long-term prohibition enforced by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Home bakers may now sell “nonpotentially hazardous” products as long as sanitary, packaging and labeling guidelines are followed. The old law required baked goods to be produced in a DHEC-approved kitchen. The law still bans the sale of homemade jams and jellies, meat or vegetable products, and anything that would require refrigeration.
Haley Hughes, "Ban on the sale of baked goods from home kitchens crumbles", Aiken Standard, September 07, 2012, © Aiken Standard
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