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Lonza Now Offers Clean-Label Colors For Its Vegetarian Supplement Capsules

November 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Greenwood, S.C.-based pharmaceutical and biotech ingredient supplier Lonza is now offering diet supplement manufacturers its plant-based Capsugel Vcaps Plus in a range of clean label colors. The vegetarian capsules have been around for a while, but coloring the shell has previously required an E-number. The new food-colored capsules, labeled as natural colorants in the U.S., allow manufacturers to create bright-colored supplements that also appeal to consumers looking for supply chain transparency and a “natural” claim. The capsule shell is made using plant-based hypromellose (HPMC) and water only, without any preservatives. The first of Lonza’s clean label solutions is the Vcaps Plus Purple Carrot capsule, following the successful introduction of the Vcaps Plus Blue Spirulina capsule in Europe earlier this year. [Image Credit: © Lonza]
"Lonza Adds Color to the Clean-Label Experience ", Lonza, November 07, 2018, © Lonza
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Consumer Food Choices Change As Perceptions Of What’s Healthful Change

November 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report finds that consumers are increasingly taking on a more personalized, holistic view of health, making food and beverage choices – e.g., natural, organic, high-protein, functional – based on their personal definition of health. But they may still reconsider restaurant orders if they think an item has too many calories. These views have implications for restaurants, especially as some are now required to post calorie counts and consumers increasingly rely on foodservice for meals. Other key findings: 40 percent of consumers say their definition of health has changed over the past two years; 66 percent look for calorie counts on restaurant menus; and 34 percent are likely to order dishes made with vegetables instead of carb-rich items.[Image Credit: © Winsight, LLC.]
"Consumers increasingly making food choices based on personal definition of health ", PRNewswire, November 01, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Functional Beverage Company Karuna Revamps Recipes, Packaging As It Seeks Wider Distribution

October 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Year-old beverage start-up Karuna is launching a redesigned brand and hopes to expand distribution over the next 12 months. The line features revamped formulation and packaging designed that highlights the products’ functional benefits, wholesome ingredients, and gut health-boosting prebiotics. The company’s six SKUs, which debuted last year in St. louis-area Whole Foods Market locations, have different ingredients to emphasize unique needs reflected in the flavor names: Boost, Focus, Pro-Fit, Empower, Rejuvenate, and Detox. Boost, for example, is a coffee blend made with black sesame and coconut. Other product ingredients include turmeric, coconut, cacao, chestnut, pear, oats, flaxseed, banana, cinnamon, black soybean, quinoa, flaxseed, mango, goji berry, lemon, red dates, grape, kiwi, watermelon, aronia berry, and mung bean sprouts. Each $3.99 12 oz. bottle – from 45 to 150 calories per bottle – is USDA certified organic and Non-GMO project verified.
Brad Avery , "Karuna Aims to Balance Flavor and Function with Rebranded Line", BevNET.com, October 19, 2018, © BevNET.com
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British Functional Beverage Brand DRGN Launches Turmeric Soft Drinks

October 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Mintel in 2016 named turmeric as a “superfood to watch.”’ The advice was not lost on U.K. beverage brand DRGN, which recently launched a turmeric-infused soft drink that contains vitamins, electrolytes, citrus flavor, and an amino acid to reduce fatigue and aid hydration. The drink also contains ginger, which the company says has antioxidants that support liver function. Each 250 ml DRGN, suitable for vegans, contains 80 calories and no caffeine, artificial flavors, colorings, or sweeteners. The company also pitched the beverage as a “smarter mixer” when paired with spirits.
Jules Scully, "DRGN unveils new functional soft drink with turmeric and vitamins", FoodBev Media, October 18, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Szent’s Innovative Bottled Water Uses Scent Ring To Deliver Flavor Via The Nose

October 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based start-up Szent has launched a product line comprising still water, packaged in paraben-free recycled bottles, whose flavor is derived from a scent ring infused with natural oils that deliver flavor via the sense of smell, without the need for artificial sweeteners or additives. The brand uses a reverse osmosis purification process. Flavors include passionfruit, tangerine, tropical, pineapple, and mint. Sold exclusively on Amazon, the waters retail at $27 for a case of 12, but will debut in stores in 2019 with single-serve bottles retailing at $2.25.
"Szent Introduces an Entirely New Way to Experience Water", PRNewswire , October 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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ANP To Develop CBD-Infused Water Formulas For Alkaline Water Company Part

October 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A wholly owned subsidiary of the Alkaline Water Company of Scottsdale, Ariz., announced that its wholly owned subsidiary has signed a formulation, development, and supply agreement with dietary supplement maker American Nutritional Products Inc. (ANP, Carson City, Nev.). Alkaline Water uses a proprietary electrolysis process to make alkaline water under the Alkaline88 brand. Subsidiary A88 Infused Beverage Division, Inc. will work with ANP to finalize the formulations of a line of cannabidiol (CBD)-infused and other functional products. ANP will develop five to seven functional waters, including three or four in the CBD area, and two or three in the vitamin and antioxidant segment. Alkaline water products under development include: hemp-derived CBD-infused water; vitamin-infused CBD water; vitamin based "energy" water; sparkling CBD water; and naturally flavored water. 
"A88 Infused Beverage Division Enhances CBD and Infused Portfolio", Globe Newswire, October 17, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Advanced Analytics Platform Helps Paper Boat Meet Flavor Preferences In Four Indian States

October 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Indian beverage maker Paper Boat serves a wide array of tastes and preferences in the four states in which it operates. Some like their buttermilk laced with curry, others like it with green chili or ginger. To determine these preferences, and customize the product line, Paper Boat owner Hector beverages is applying a proprietary customer feedback analytics platform to survey customers on a large scale on WhatsApp. Most recipe modifications are made after receiving customer feedback at scale. The technology allows the company to tailor its 11 products into 48 SKUs targeting different regional flavor preferences. For festivity-based seasonal products, customization of recipes can expand the line to 60 SKUs, “often done on computers and takes 2-3 minutes.”
Anand J, "How beverages maker Paper Boat is using analytics to personalize consumer tastes", TechCircle, October 15, 2018, © Vccircle.com
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U.K. To Finally Act On Folic Acid Fortification Of Flour

October 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British Prime Minister Theresa May is backing a plan to add folate supplement to bread flour to stem the tide of neural tube defects occurring in early stage fetuses: at least two pregnancies a week are terminated because of the defect, which leads to conditions like spina bifida. The U.K. has one of the highest rates of neural tube defects in Europe; folic acid fortification could help alleviate the problem. The Royal College of Midwives has urged the government to introduce mandatory fortification “as soon as possible.” Senior British government sources suggest the change could be made a reality within weeks. [Image Credit: © Hanjörg Scherzer from Pixabay]
Alex Matthews-King , "Folic acid 'to be added to flour' to reduce serious birth defects in U.K.", independent.co.uk, October 15, 2018, © independent.co.uk
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Fermentation Opens Up New Market Opportunities For Beverage Companies

October 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Mintel reports that the growth of fermented drinks is driven by strong demand for more healthful, natural and functional foods and beverages. Younger consumers especially are taking to fermenteds because of the digestive benefits of the probiotic content. But beverage makers who offer fermented drinks should also pay special attention to – and tout – their brands’ “unique taste,” not just their functionality. The sour and bitter flavors are being enhanced by combining with ingredients such as berries, citrus, turmeric, ginger, white tea, and hops. Among the better-known fermented drinks are: kombucha, sparkling kefir water with lemon and ginger, and switchel (water, cider vinegar, ginger, lemon and maple syrup). 
Rachel Arthur , "‘Unique taste sensations’: Fermented drinks inject new flavor into soft drinks sector", Beverage Daily.com, October 12, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Indian Brewery Debuts Non-alcoholic Radler

October 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
United Breweries Limited (UBL) of Bengaluru, India, is expanding into the non-alcoholic beverage market with the introduction of segment with the launch of malt-based Kingfisher Radler in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The target market, according to the company, is health-conscious, young adults looking for an alternative to alcohol. A radler, like its cousin the shandy, is traditionally a blend of beer and either fruit juice or a carbonated soft drink. UBL will distribute the new product across outlets carrying soft drinks through its new distribution network for non-alcoholic beverages. 
"United Breweries forays into non-alcoholic beverage segment", The Economic Times, October 12, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Fast-food, Restaurant Chains Wooing Millennials Spurn Processed Cheese

October 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Fast-food and fast-casual restaurant chains bowing to the demands of the Millennial generation are spurning the century-old sandwich favorite processed American cheese – made with sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, natamycin, modified food starch, and milk – in favor of premium cheeses that contain no synthetic or artificial ingredients. Wendy’s, for example, offers asiago, AW's Canada locations use real cheddar, McDonald's replaced its Big Mac American cheese with a version that contains no artificial preservatives, and Panera Bread is now using a four-cheese combo of fontina, cheddar, manteau and smoked gouda to make its grilled cheese sandwich. The result is higher sales for the restaurants, and a significant drop in American cheese sales for the fourth straight year. U.S. sales of processed cheese, including brands like Kraft Singles and Velveeta are projected to drop 1.6 percent this year.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
Lydia Mulvany and Leslie Patton, "Millennials Kill Again. The Latest Victim? American Cheese", Bloomberg, October 10, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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New Beverage Line From Ex-CEO Of Red Bull U.K. Tackles Toxic Effects Of Alcohol

October 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The name of the new beverage line launched by former Red Bull U.K. CEO Harry Drnec pretty much says it all. Sober Up is being pitched to alcohol imbibers as a detox solution that reduces the noxious effects of alcohol consumption. The beverage also boosts mental clarity and helps prevent hangovers, according to Drnec. Sober Up is being launched through an Indiegogo campaign targeted at health-conscious consumers who enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages. The funds raised will be used to ramp up production, start online and retail sales, and begin production of Sober Up with cannabidiol (CBD). During his 12 years at Red Bull U.K., Drnec helped transform the energy drink rom a three million cans a year brand to more than three billion cans a year.
"Former Red Bull U.K CEO launches new drink line", Beverage Industry, October 09, 2018, © BNP Media
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FDA Drops Seven Approved Flavoring Chemicals After Data Prove They Cause Cancer

October 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to two food additive petitions, the Food and Drug Administration has removed seven synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers (adjuvants) from its list of approved ingredients because they have been proven to be carcinogenic. Data presented in one of the petitions submitted to the FDA by Breast Cancer Fund and nine other watchdog groups show that six of the synthetic substances caused cancer in laboratory animals under the conditions of the studies. The seventh synthetic flavor was dropped from the list because it is no longer used by industry. The six flavoring substances include synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. [Image Credit: © Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (Formerly Breast Cancer Fund)]
"FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List", USFDA, October 05, 2018, © U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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Nestlé USA Forms New Partnerships With Innovative Food Start-Ups

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé USA announced three new partnerships with innovative food start-ups as part of the TERRA Food & Agriculture Accelerator founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank. The partnerships are with with Jackson's Honest, Miyoko's and Here, each of which is “creating on-trend foods focused on plant-based nutrition, simple labels and fresh ingredients.” Chicago-based Here Foods turns fresh produce ingredients grown by independent farmers into products like cold-pressed juices, spreads, dips, and salad dressings. Jackson’s Honest sells more than 20 Non-GMO Project verified snacks, including potato chips, tortilla chips, and grain-free puffs cooked “low and slow” in organic coconut oil. Miyoko Creamery makes non-dairy cheese, butter, and other products from organic nuts, legumes, and other plant-based ingredients.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé USA Partners with Start-ups Disrupting the Healthy Snacking and Plant-based Foods Categories", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Belgians Adopt Food Nutrition Labeling Scheme Developed In France

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Belgian government has introduced a voluntary scheme for front-of-pack nutritional labeling that is now being implemented by the country’s grocery retailers. The Nutri-Score scheme was developed by the French government and put in place in France a year ago. The system was designed to inform consumers about the nutritional quality of a product by using color coding associated with letters from A to E. Five levels range from the most nutritionally favorable product (class A) to the least (class E). U.S exporters to Belgium will not have to comply with the scheme if they don’t want to. Two large retail chains, Ahold Delhaize and Colryut, have committed to applying the scheme by the end of 2018.[Image Credit: © Ahold Delhaize]
"Belgium Adopts Nutri-Score for Front of Pack Nutritional Labeling", USDA Foreign Agricultural Service , October 03, 2018, © USA.gov
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USDA Researchers Work To Develop More Nutritious Wheat Varieties

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Lincoln, Neb., are developing experimental biofortified breeding lines of winter wheat, the first step in the long process of creating a new type of nutritious wheat that farmers can grow. The goal of biofortification is to have the wheat used to make bread dough naturally contain more iron – 60 percent of the world's population doesn't get enough of this mineral in their diet– and other nutrients. The team combined low levels of the antinutrient phytate and high grain protein without reducing grain yield, while at the same time increasing levels of zinc, calcium, and manganese. More work needs to be done to get it in wheat that can be planted by farmers, but the genes can be used to develop more nutritious wheat without sacrificing yield.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter]
"Wheat That Pumps Iron, Naturally", Science Daily, October 03, 2018, © Science Daily
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Bioengineering Company’s New Technology Delivers “Natural Preservatives”

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to consumer demands for simple and understandable food ingredient labels, manufacturers are looking to replace artificial preservatives. To help in that endeavour, Mass.-based bioengineering firm Conagen announced a “ready-to-go” technology that can create the “next generation of natural preservatives.” The fermentation technology produces a highly pure compound with significant anti-microbial effects and preservative functionalities. It is stable in various pH conditions, colorless with a slightly sweet taste, and water soluble. The company says the compound will be ready for commercial scale production in 2019, with regulatory approvals “on the way.”[Image Credit: © Conagen-Inc.com]
"Next Generation, Non-GMO Natural Preservatives Developed By Conagen", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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McDonald’s Removes Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, Colors From Menu Items

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Hoping to attract more health-conscious consumers to its restaurants, McDonald's is getting rid of the artificial ingredients in its menu items. Seven classic burgers – the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Big Mac – will no longer contain artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. The changes apply to the bun, the cheese, and the sauce, but not to the pickles. Ingredients eliminated include the artificial preservative calcium propionate from buns and the preservative sorbic acid from its American cheese. Th company is also removing potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA from the Big Mac Special Sauce without "sacrificing that signature taste."[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Jordan Valinsky , "McDonald's removing artificial additives from its burgers", CNN Money, September 27, 2018, © Cable News Network
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FDA May Soon Require Non-Dairy “Milks” To Change Their Labeling

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In what may be the first step toward changing the way plant-based dairy substitutes are labeled, the FDA is soliciting comments from producers and other experts on how consumers use the alternative “milk.” The agency wants to know whether American consumers understand how substitutes differ from cow’s milk in nutritional content and cooking performance. As sales of non-dairy substitutes like soy and almond milk National Milk Producers Federation asked the FDA to enforce what's known as a "standard of identity." The for milk reads, in part: "the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum” – the milk produced after giving birth – “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows." Companies and consumers have 60 days to respond to the FDA's questions.[Image Credit: © rawpixel from Pixabay]
Anna Edney, "U.S. Explores Renaming Almond Milk in Victory for Dairy Industry", Bloomberg, September 27, 2018, © Bloomberg LLC
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Suit Alleges Pret a Manger’s Baked Goods Contain Weed Killer Ingredient

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Beyond Pesticides announced it is joining GMO Free USA and Organic Consumers Association in a lawsuit charging restaurant chain Pret a Manger with “deceptive marketing and sale of certain bread and other baked goods” as "natural food" though they tested positive for glyphosate. The lawsuit accuses Pret of exploiting consumers' preferences and willingness to pay more for products marketed as natural. A component of Roundup weed killer, glyphosate is patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, but is linked to adverse health effects including cancer, infertility, and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases. The suit would have Pret fully disclose glyphosate in its products and reformulate them to be glyphosate-free.[Image Credit: © Beyond Pesticides]
"Nonprofits Sue Pret A Manger for Deceptive Marketing of Foods as 'Natural'", PR Newswire , September 25, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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FDA May Soon Update The Definition Of, And Permitted Ingredients For, Yogurt

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA is looking into the possibility of “modernizing” regulations governing the content and even the definition of yogurt. The dairy industry has been pushing to open up the yogurt standard as manufacturing practices and consumer tastes have changed. The FDA established a standard for foods labeled as "yogurt" in 1981 that limited the ingredients. But the industry objected; the following year the agency suspended enforcement of various provisions and allowed the addition of preservatives. A 2009 rule that was never finalized created a unified standard that allowed emulsifiers as well, but yogurt makers said the rule created confusion and left it open to lawsuits. Meanwhile, milk producers hope the FDA’s “modernized” standards will soon crack down on soy and almond drinks that call themselves "milk," which current standards say must come from a cow.[Image Credit: © Aline Ponce from Pixabay]
Candice Choi , "'Yogurt' to get more modernized definition in U.S.; Industry wants greater liberty to use term in food labels", The Associated Press, September 25, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Rocky Mountain High Brands Acquires Protein Drink Company FitWhey

August 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dallas, Texas-based health and wellness company Rocky Mountain High Brands announced it has acquired BFIT Brands, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based maker of whey protein and energy drink FitWhey. The 100-calories water-based drink combines whey isolate protein, caffeine, vitamin B, and other ingredients. FitWhey is naturally sweetened, flavored, and colored and comes in four flavors: berry, lemonade, orange cream and grape. The beverage is sold in nutrition stores, convenience stores, and fitness clubs in the Southwest.
Rebekah Schouten, "Rocky Mountain High Brands acquires protein energy drink brand", Food Business News, August 02, 2018, © Sosland Publishing Company
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U.K. Start-Up Recognized For Low-Carb Bread Dough

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST



A British food technology start-up that invented a low-carb bread alternative was recently certified as “reduced carb” by Sugarwise, an international certification authority for sugar claims on food and drink. Manchester-based Lo-Dough was awarded the certification because its products have no more than 10 percent of calories coming from free sugars, and no more than five grams of free sugars per 100 grams. Lo-Dough has recipes for low-carb pizzas, pies, desserts and pastries.[Image Credit: © Sugarwise]

"Food Tech Startup Lo-Dough Becomes First Ever Reduced Carb Certified Company With Sugarwise", PR Newswire , July 24, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Non-alcoholic Mamma Beer Helps Czech Cancer Patients Endure Side Effect Of Chemotherapy

July 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Czechs are renowned beer lovers: per capita consumption is more than 36 gallons per person. But cancer patients, who often spurn alcohol when undergoing chemotherapy, miss out on the health benefits of beer at exactly the wrong time because beer boosts vitamin intake, aids digestion, and stimulates the appetite. Researchers have shown that taste disturbance in cancer patients not only interferes with nutritional status, it may also affect treatment and recovery. The answer for many such patients is a non-alcoholic brew dubbed “Mamma Beer,” which counteracts a side effect of chemotherapy that makes food and drink taste bitter or bland. One cancer patient who underwent chemotherapy years ago is the creative force behind Mamma Beer, whose sweet, fruity flavor and tangy finish have proven to be just what the doctor ordered.
Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas , "Czech Company Designs A Nonalcoholic Beer To Taste Good To Cancer Patients", KCBX , July 06, 2018, © NPR/KCBX
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Whole Grains Make A Healthful Salad Topper

June 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Whole grains – including ancient grains like barley, farro, and quinoa – are not just for baking, according to food writer Diane Peterson. They make healthful additions to salads because they boost fiber and protein in their diet, and help diners feel full longer, lose weight and ward off disease. They are, in fact, “a tasty way to add flavor and a nice chew to summer salads.” The chef at Zoftig restaurant in Santa Rosa, Calif., uses only organic whole grains – brown rice, semi-pearled farro from Italy and white quinoa from Peru – in salads as well as in the popular Korean burrito wrap. A Middle Eastern-style Maccabi Bowl [left] features housemade hummus, smoky baba ganoush, and a beet dip served with whole-wheat chips, olives and tabbouleh made not with bulgur wheat but Italian farro, mixed together with the traditional blend of cucumber, herbs, parsley, green onions, olive oil and vinegar. ][Image Credit: © John Burgess | The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.]
Diane Peterson, "Whole grains add heft to summer salads", The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif., June 26, 2018, © The Press Democrat
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FDA Okays ADM’s Maltodextrin Fiber For Use In Food, Beverages

June 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The FDA has approved a digestion-resistant maltodextrin fiiber developed by a joint venture of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Japan’s Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. for use in foods and beverages. The agency added Fibersol to its list of approved fibers “that have a physiological effect beneficial to human health.” Food and beverage manufacturers can label it as “soluble corn fiber,” “soluble vegetable fiber (corn),” “digestion resistant maltodextrin,” “resistant maltodextrin,” or “maltodextrin.” The FDA took into account nearly 20 years of clinical research on the ingredient filed by ADM on behalf of joint venture ADM/Matsutani LLC JV.

"Fibersol Included on the FDA Approved List of Fibers", Bevnet.com, June 21, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Does Adding Fiber To A Brownie Make It More Healthful Than A Peach?

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

As the FDA continues to review health claims related to added fiber, and continues to approve ingredients that boost fiber content, critics wonder whether food companies are distorting notions of what’s really healthful. The founder of the candy company Smart Sweets said its fiber-laden gummy bears are a way for people to "feel good about enjoying candy." The trend got started when the agency ruled in 2016 rule that added fibers need to provide a health benefit beyond just adding a non-digestible carbohydrate. Though the FDA recently rejected two fiber ingredient petitions, it approved eight that can be counted as fiber. The consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest says added fiber creates situations where, for example, a consumer might choose a brownie over a peach because the brownie might have more fiber. [Image Credit: © ESHA.com]

Candice Choi , "Fiber optics? Range of ingredients bulk up food fiber counts", Associated Press International, June 15, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Sales Of Protein Beverages, Including Waters, Are On The Rise

May 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

RTD beverages that contain protein are seeing sales increase to meet demand from health-conscious consumers seeking to conveniently boost intake of the nutrient. Different brands of protein-rich drinks offer various functional benefits, including energy, refueling, rehydration, satiation, sports nutrition, and meal replacement. A growing subcategory of protein drinks is protein water, including those containing WPI, a concentrated clear protein source. Protein water is represented by several brands and companies: BiPro Protein Water from BiPro U.S.A;  Chicago-based Protein2O, with two product lines; Bolthouse Farms (Campbell Soup Co.) B Strong and B Balanced beverages;  Gatorade protein shakes (PepsiCo); and JoeFroyo Functional Cold Brew coffee with caffeine, probiotics, and protein. Protein sources include milk protein isolate, whey, pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and collagen peptides.

Donna Berry, "Beverage makers capitalizing on the power of protein", Food Business News, May 17, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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WHO Asks World’s Governments To Ban Trans Fats By 2023

May 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants the world’s governments to eliminate trans fats – partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – associated with margarine, Crisco and other low-price, long shelf products linked to countless premature deaths. WHO’s guidelines suggest eliminating trans fats from global food supplies within five years, a move that would save as many as 10 million lives. WHO’s campaign was developed with the help of Vital Strategies, a global health group backed by Michael Bloomberg, who as mayor of New York City, introduced the first municipal ban on trans fats in 2006. Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Britain, and the United States have all moved to restrict or ban trans fats.

Andrew Jacobs, "Trans Fats Should be Eliminated Worldwide by 2023, WHO Says", The New York Times, May 14, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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FDA Menu Labeling Rules Take Effect, But Restaurants Should Do More

May 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The FDA’s new menu labeling requirements, which went into effect on May 7, apply to restaurant chains with 20 or more locations. They must disclose the number of calories contained in standard menu items, and provide nutrition information, including total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc. A Virginia Tech food and nutrition policy expert called the FDA’s rules “an important first step.” But the restaurant industry, which has contributed to “poor diet quality, obesity and related chronic diseases," should voluntarily implement strategies to promote healthy foods and beverages. Specifically, the industry should improve the nutritional profiles of products to reduce calories, sodium and fat; and standardize and limit portion sizes to 600 calories for kids' meals and 700 calories for adult meals.

"Mandatory National Menu Labeling Underway. While It Is A Good Start, Restaurants Could Voluntarily Do Much More, According To Virginia Tech Expert", Virginia Tech, May 07, 2018, © Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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FDA Extends Nutrition Facts Label Compliance By 18 Months

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The FDA has extended the compliance date for the rules regarding the Nutrition Facts, Supplement Facts, and Serving Size labels, from July 26, 2018 to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. The American Heart Association lamented the extension, calling it a “disappointment.” CEO Nancy Brown was encouraged, however, by the fact that several major food manufacturers decided to stick to the original July 2018 and 2019 deadlines. She noted that 29,000 foods on the market now have the revised Nutrition Facts labels containing “critical” information for consumers. She urged other food manufacturers to follow that example because “Americans should not only enjoy the food they are eating, they deserve to know what’s in it.” [Image Credit: © Oregon State University]

"Delay of revised nutrition facts labels disappointing, but companies should still comply promptly, says American Heart Association", American Heart Association, May 04, 2018, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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USDA Issues Proposed GMO Food Labeling Rules For Public Comment

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The USDA has issued proposed rules on the labeling of foods that contain “bioengineered” ingredients, a more neutral term than “genetically modified organisms” (GMO). The rules implement a federal law enacted in 2016 (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, PL 114-216) that was a victory for backers of federal mandatory labeling, but also for opponents because it did not require all food companies to put readable information on packages. The law also barred states from writing their own mandatory labeling laws. The proposed rules allow small food manufacturers to inform consumers via websites or telephone numbers. Larger companies can use a label on packages, a symbol to be developed by USDA or bar codes, or other digital means scannable with smartphones. Public comment on the proposal is open until July 3; the final rules will be issued July 29.

Cathy Siegner , "GMO labeling moves one step closer to reality, but what will it look like?", Food Dive, May 04, 2018, © Industry Dive
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Floral Flavors Are Popping Up In Foods, Beverages This Spring

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As in men’s and women’s fashions this spring, flowers are trendy as flavorings in food and beverages. The most popular florals are lavender, hibiscus and elderflower, and each has a distinct, unique botanical flavor. The tiny white flowers of elderflower that 
smell like perfume and honey grace the liqueur St-Germain, gin, lemonade, and kombucha. Tropical and subtropical hibiscus flowers with their tart berry flavors are found in tea varieties, as well as probiotic vegetable drinks, cider, and fruit bars. Although some people think it tastes soapy, lavender can be found in lattes, honey, and ice cream.
Maura Judkis, "Elderflower soda and lavender lattes: Flowers are suddenly everywhere in food", The Washington Post, May 03, 2018
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Nutrient-Dense Grain Foods Are Ideal For Older Americans

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A new study has found that regularly eating a variety of grain foods, along with fruits and vegetables, contributes to the nutrient density needed by Americans over age 50. This age group is not getting those nutrients in their diets, according to the study published in the journal Nutrients and presented at a recent scientific meeting. The trade group Grain Foods Foundation said older people should think twice before giving up bread and other grain foods because they are nutrient-dense. They contain dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium and iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, niacin, and thiamin. Breads, rolls, and tortillas contain thiamin, niacin, dietary fiber, folate, and iron. These foods “can play a key role in helping older Americans meet recommendations for under-consumed nutrients and nutrients of public health concern," said one of the study’s authors.

"New Study Shows Breads And Cereals Contribute Many Nutrients Older Americans Are Missing For Healthy Aging; Data Presented at American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific Meeting", PR Newswire, May 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola China Invests In Local Premium Yogurt Maker

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola China has invested in Beijing LePur, a marketer of healthful high-end consumer foods such as Greek yogurt and cereal. The companies will collaborate on new product development, digital innovation, and brand incubation. Fast-growing LePur has used the Internet and e-commerce to build sales of higher-priced products that meet the growing consumer demand for health and well-being. Coca-Cola China President Curt Ferguson said the investment in LePur will accelerate its move toward becoming “a total beverage company" while contributing to innovation and to the development of the Chinese beverage industry.
Wang Zhuoqiong, "Coca-Cola eyes health business with Beijing LePur tie-up", chinadaily.com.cn, April 27, 2018
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Scary Food Warning Labels Not The Answer To Obesity Problem

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Chicago Tribune editorial board is warning readers that the scary food labeling policy in Chile could happen in the U.S., thanks to possible revisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Because of a growing obesity problem, Chile requires food companies to label high-calorie or high-fat treats with black stop-sign-shaped warning labels. As part of the NAFTA negotiations, officials are discussing similar warning labels, though the Trump administration is opposed to them on American foods. The Trib editors, while acknowledging the obesity crisis, argue that food labels shouldn’t be a part of trade negotiations in the first place, and “scare tactics like warning labels are a huge Super-Nanny-State overreach.” They also argue that obesity is not caused by eating fatty or sugary foods. “It is caused by people eating too much of those foods.”

"Scare us thin? NAFTA doesn’t hafta", Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2018, © Chicago Tribune
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Hey FDA, It’s Time To Update Those Rules About Labeling Eggs

April 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

An organic and free-range egg company has petitioned the FDA to modify its regulations to allow eggs to be labeled as a healthy food. New Hampshire-based Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs is puzzled that many sugary foods, such as toaster pastries and pudding cups, are allowed to market themselves as "healthy," but foods widely known to be nutritious, such as eggs, are not. In fact, the FDA’s stance on eggs is out of step with the thinking reflected in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS). "Our goal with this petition is to encourage the FDA to bring outdated regulations in line with current nutritional science and general consumer awareness,” says CEO Jesse Laflamme.

"Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs Says What the FDA Won't Say: Eggs. Are. Healthy.; Files Petition Urging FDA to Update Outdated Assessment", Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs, April 25, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Avoid Processed Foods, Replace With “The Clean 20”

April 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Processed foods – potato chips, snack cakes, frozen pizzas, etc. – may be tasty and convenient, but they are a major contributor to obesity and illness. Best-selling author Dr. Ian Smith says that transitioning away from processed foods to cleaner, more healthful edibles needn’t be difficult. In his new book, "The Clean 20: 20 Foods, 20 Days, Total Transformation," Smith lists the foods and the benefits of including them in our diets every day. They are: avocados, berries, cheese, chicken, chickpeas, eggs, kale, lemons, lentils, nuts, oatmeal, seafood, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turkey, quinoa,100 percent whole-grain or whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, and yogurt.

"Are you eating 'The Clean 20' foods?", The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi), April 19, 2018, © USA Today Network
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Company’s New Snack Foods Are Certified Palm Oil Free

April 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The production of palm oil has a devastating effect on the planet, according to Enjoy Life Foods, a large marketer of foods in the “free from” category that is committed to sustainability. It announced that it is the first U.S. food company to receive Palm Oil Free Certification for its newest product launches (Grain & Seed Bars and plant-based Protein Bites) from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Program (POFCAP). The goal, according to the company, is to show that delicious foods can be created “without having to utilize an ingredient that increasingly more consumers are looking to avoid." Enjoy Life Foods’ portfolio of 70+ foods are also Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher, and free from 14 allergens. Nearly 90 percent are Certified Vegan.  

"Enjoy Life Foods Earns First Palm Oil Free Certification For Latest Snack Innovation; #1 Free-From Food Brand Once Again Sets New Industry Standard in Response to Consumer Demand for Trusted and Transparent Options; ", Enjoy Life Foods, April 19, 2018, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Makes Smartwater Available To Uber, Lyft Passengers Via Cargo Platform

April 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Start-up in-car commerce company Cargo has partnered with Coca-Cola to offer Smartwater along with an array of snacks, gum, premium electronics, cosmetics, and personal care items for purchase using smartphones in Lyft and Uber rideshare vehicles. The Cargo partnership with Coca-Cola launched in Coke hometown Atlanta, Ga., recently in a nationwide expansion that began in New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Rideshare drivers can earn up to $500 a month extra in commissions, referrals, and performance bonuses by adopting the Cargo platform.
"US Uber users can now buy Coca-Cola snacks and drinks from their smartphones as car-commerce accelerates", InternetRetailing, April 18, 2018, © InternetRetailing Media
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Raw Pressery Juices Are Now Being Sold By Subscription In India

April 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Indian beverage company Rakyan Beverages, maker of the Raw Pressery cold-pressed juice brand, is among a handful of juice marketers in the country that are turning at least partly to a subscription-based sales and delivery model. According to Euromonitor, selling fresh juice via subscriptions to health-conscious consumers is gaining traction because plans can be customized to fit individual buyers. Rakyan offers juice subscriptions of one to three months.
"Parched this summer? Online juice delivery startups are here to save the day", YourStory, April 17, 2018, © YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd.
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Coca-Cola Debuts Lemony Coke Slushy In Japan

April 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has launched two slushy products in Japan. Available frozen or unfrozen, Coca-Cola Frozen Lemon and a Fanta version are packaged in squeezable pouches. The lemon-flavored slushy has been in development for eight years, according to reports. A lemon version of Coke debuted to mixed reaction in 2001, but the company believes the flavor will work well in a slushy version.
"Coca-Cola Launches World's First Official Coke Slushies", The Independent, April 15, 2018
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Edible-Insect Supplier Entomo Farms Attracts Grocers, Manufacturers

April 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A co-founder of Canada’s Entomo Farms, an insect farmer and processor, says recent moves by grocery chain Loblaws and Maple Leaf Foods indicate that the edible insect movement may be gaining momentum. According to Jarrod Goldin, meat- and plant-protein company Maple Leaf Foods bought a minority stake in Entomo, and Loblaws is now marketing a private-label version of Entomo’s cricket powder. Some small food brands in North America buy cricket powder from suppliers in Thailand, Vietnam and other countries, but larger ones prefer dealing with suppliers closer to home They also prefer companies certified by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Entomo Farms supplies more than 50 companies in eight countries with cricket and mealworm ingredients for protein bars, smoothies, chips, crackers, pasta and pasta sauce, baking mixes, hot dogs, and pet treats. [Image Credit: © Entomo Farms]
Elaine Watson, "Maple Leaf Foods invests in Entomo Farms as Loblaws bets big on edible insects", Food Navigator USA, April 12, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Multiple Interwoven Trends Combine To Pummel Carbonated Soda Sales

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Despite 90 percent market penetration in the U.S., the mature carbonated soft drink (CSD) industry needs to innovate to reverse 13 years of declining sales volumes, according to analysts who advise suppliers to combat adverse trends by offering more healthful options, varied flavors, and other benefits. Innovation in these areas must involve effective marketing to Generation Z and Millennials, and to increasingly diverse ethnic populations. Factors contributing to stagnated CSD value sales have included the rise of the health-and-wellness movement, the declining effectiveness of value-adding strategies, and increased competition. Health-conscious consumers are spurning sugary CSDs and artificially-sweetened diet CSDs – about 20 percent of consumers have trimmed soda intake. Mintel says the number and range of competitive beverages, many claiming to offer health benefits, is “a prime challenge to the CSD market.”
"2018 Soft Drink Report: Carbonated soft drink manufacturers adapt to formulation, engagement trends", Beverage Industry, April 11, 2018, © BNP Media
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Coca-Cola Amatil To Invest $10M Garnering Business Innovation Ideas

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Australian unit of Coca-Cola hopes to partner with the country’s entrepreneurs and start-ups to invigorate its business as consumers spurn sugary sodas. Coca-Cola Amatil will invest as much as $10 million in emerging companies with good ideas on business improvements that could lead to new revenue streams. The basic idea is to catalyze business innovation, according to chief executive Alison Watkins, but not in beverages or products. The company’s new venture, dubbed Amatil X, wants to focus on improving the ways it deals with retailers that stock its products, under the broad themes of sustainability, use of customer information, and delivery.
Patrick Hatch , "As consumers turn off soft drinks, Coke looks for new X-factor", April 11, 2018
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“Real Organic Project”: Assuring Consumers Their Food Comes From The Soil

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Fifteen farmers and scientists from around the U.S. who are determined to stick to “the true spirit of the organic movement” recently met to create new standards for organic certification. The current USDA organic label certifies that fruits, vegetables, and meats have been grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers, and without genetic engineering. The new, still unnamed, labels would tell whether the produce was grown in soil – rather than in water – and meat and dairy products came from animals that had been pastured. The new label is being created by the Real Organic Project, which says it is not abandoning the USDA’s National Organic Program, but merely supplementing it. The new standards will be tested on 20 to 60 farms this summer. [Image Credit: © Real Organic Project]
Lisa Rathke, "More organic than thou? Rebel farmers create new food label", The Washington Post, April 10, 2018
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Food Importer Plans National Distribution For Pasta Alternative

April 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food importer OA Foods has big plans for expanding distribution of alternative pasta Palmini as the carb-avoidance trend continues in the U.S. Palmini, made from hearts of palm, is available on Amazon and in Whole Foods Market stores in Florida. The plan is to take the product nationwide next year. According to Mintel, 41 percent of American consumers believe rice and grains are healthier than pasta and are looking for alternatives to wheat-based pasta. More than 90 percent of gluten-free Palmini is water; one serving contains 20 calories, four grams of carbs, and two grams of fiber. OA Foods spent two years developing a machine that can produce noodles made from hearts of palm, harvested from the center of the cabbage palm tree, on a commercial level.
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Palmini could reinvent pasta category with new vegetable noodle alternative", Food Navigator USA, April 09, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Dunkin' Donuts Tests Snacks in Boston

April 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts is testing a $2 afternoon snacking menu in several Boston-area locations that features donut fries, Munchkin dippers, pretzel bites with honey mustard sauce, waffle-breaded chicken tenders, ham-and-cheese rollups, and gluten-free brownies. The test is designed to gather input from consumers, franchisees, and employees prior to a possible national rollout. A Reddit user review gave thumbs up to the pretzel bites and the donut fries, and thumbs down to the “gross” waffle-breaded chicken that was “way too greasy.” The batter is the “same batter used in the pancake bites that they used to have.” The company recently unveiled a value menu offering Wake-up Wraps for $2, breakfast sandwiches for $3, and croissant sandwiches for $5. [Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]


 
"Dunkin’ Donuts Tests Snacks in Boston", NACS, April 09, 2018, © NACS
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Time For Healthful, Natural Energy Beverages, Says Mamma Chia

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Mamma Chia beverage company, whose functional product range includes health and energy drinks made with chia seeds, is basing its marketing strategy on the belief that “the traditional energy drink space” – dominated by chemical- and sugar-laden drinks – “is ripe for disruption.” Consumers are demanding more healthful, natural beverages. Its recently-launched “clean energy beverages” combine chia seeds with caffeine from organic yerba mate and organic green coffee beans to deliver 2,500 mg of omega-3 and 90 mg of caffeine per serving. Chia seeds also add fiber, healthy fat, and protein to the beverages. CEO Janie Hoffman sees “endless opportunities” in chia-based drinks, “and we seek to create more.”
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Mamma Chia CEO: ‘Consumers are looking to get more nutritional bang for their buck’ Worthwhile?", Beverage Daily, April 06, 2018
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Company Wants To Spread The Word About Its Healthful Peanut Butter

April 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Wisconsin-based company that produces “the healthiest peanut butter” has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to get its message across to Americans who believe national brands produce healthful peanut butters. According to Pintful, major U.S. brands “sneak in” added sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, palm oil, and hydrogenated oils. The products are “damaging to your gut health, insulin sensitivity, and overall health and wellness.” Pintful’s product, however, uses natural, plant-based, and organic ingredients. The peanut butter is high in protein, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, keto-friendly, pet-friendly, and has no added sugar, oils, or preservatives. [Image Credit: © Pintful Peanut Butter]
"75%+ Of Americans Are Wrong About Peanut Butter", KMOV.com, April 03, 2018, via ABNewswire.com, © KMOV
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