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Classroom Breakfast Program Seeks To Feed More Low-Income School Kids

September 7, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A small but growing national program known as “Breakfast in the Classroom” is trying to get more low-income schoolchildren to eat a healthy breakfast. Run by a coalition of organizations known as Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, the program’s simple goal is to provide food for students after the morning bell has rung. Less than half of eligible low-income students take advantage of free or reduced-price USDA breakfasts. Getting meals in the classroom means that students don’t have to get to school early or skip breakfast in the rush to get to class. The program is operating in five school districts around the country and will be expanding to 10 this year, according to a CNN report.
John Martin, "Breakfast comes to the classroom", Cable News Network, September 07, 2012, © Cable News Network
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Panera Bread Opens Another “Pay-What-You-Want” Café In Chicago

September 7, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Panera Bread Company has opened a café in Chicago that is actually owned by the charitable Panera Foundation. That’s an unusual business model in and of itself, but what makes it even more intriguing is that the new café operates on a pay-what-you-want formula. People at the café are encouraged to donate, rather than pay a fixed price for coffee and a meal. Donations cover the operating costs. Panera co-CEO Ron Schaik – he is also president of the foundation – “sees these cafes as a way for them to help the community and to raise awareness about middle-class food insecurity,” according to the NPR Morning Edition piece.
"Panera Sandwich Chain Explores 'Pay What You Want' Concept", Transcript, National Public Radio, September 07, 2012, © National Public Radio
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One Million Americans Now Using USDA’s Diet Planning/Tracking Tool

September 6, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A free online diet planning and tracking tool developed by the USDA has garnered more than a million registered users, according to Secretary Tom Vilsack. SuperTracker, unveiled in December 2011 along with the My Plate icon, features updated food and physical activity databases, a tool that allows users to set personal calorie goals and a system for tracking personal physical activity. SuperTracker incorporates both the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and is designed to help Americans put the guidelines into practice in day to day activities.
"USDA's SuperTracker Diet Planning and Tracking Tool Reaches One Million Registered Users", Press release, USDA, September 06, 2012, © USDA
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Study Will Test Whether Vitamin E-Rich Soups In Pregnancy Reduce Child Asthma

September 6, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen are recruiting mothers-to-be for a study to determine whether eating soups bolstered with vitamin E-rich foods can prevent childhood asthma. The three super-soups -- developed with Scottish food manufacturer Baxters Food Group -- nearly double the daily intake of vitamin E (to 15 mg). The soups are made from sundried tomatoes, sunflower oil, beans, lentils and wheat germ. The soups will be tested – three servings a week – among expectant mothers from 12 weeks into their pregnancy through delivery. The study is based on earlier findings that pregnant women whose diet is low in vitamin E have babies more prone to asthma.
Prof. Graham Devereux, "Can souped-up soup tackle childhood asthma?", News release, University of Aberdeen, September 06, 2012, © University of Aberdeen
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Soluble Corn Fiber Shown To Be Beneficial For Health, And Well-Tolerated In High Amounts

September 6, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
New research sponsored by U.K. food ingredients provider Tate & Lyle provides evidence that diets rich in soluble corn fiber can be both well-tolerated and healthful. One study in adolescents showed that soluble corn fiber significantly increased beneficial bacteria in the gut and increased calcium absorption. A second study among adults found that 40 grams of soluble corn fiber consumed in a single dose, or up to 65 grams consumed in multiple doses throughout the day, were well-tolerated. The doses exceeded daily recommendations for fiber, and far exceeded average actual daily intake. Neither children nor adults consume anywhere near the recommended 19-38 grams per day.
"New Research Indicates Soluble Corn Fibre Plays an Important Role in Promoting Gut Health and Increasing Calcium Absorption", Press release, Tate & Lyle, September 06, 2012, © Tate & Lyle
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Nestlé Tackles The Health And Wellness Market Again With Anti-Obesity, Anti-Diabetes Foods

September 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
In an attempt to convince countries around the world that it is cheaper to prevent than treat diabetes and obesity, Nestlé SA is marketing products that target those chronic conditions. Boost shakes, for example, were formulated to help diabetes patients control blood sugar. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Nestlé’s offerings mark the third attempt to crack the health and wellness market. Success in the latest endeavor depends on whether Nestlé can convince regulators that its products are scientifically sound. The company also needs to “persuade doctors to prescribe them and show they can do something drugmakers’ offerings can’t”.
Dermot Doherty, "Nestle Diversifies With Products Fighting Junk Food Ills", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 05, 2012, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Desire For Healthier Breakfasts Drives Innovation In U.K., Globally

September 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Companies that have not been considered breakfast food players are taking advantage of a health and wellness trend in the U.K.’s breakfast foods market, according to a report by Euromonitor. Kraft, for example, in 2009 launched its Belvita Breakfast Biscuits, packed with vitamins, minerals and whole grains. It has expanded the product line, offering a yogurt-filled version. Danone introduced a pourable yogurt to take advantage of the trend toward substituting yogurt for milk when eating breakfast cereals. The U.K. is the world's second largest breakfast cereals market after the U.S., experiencing two percent value growth in 2011. Euromonitor also reports on healthy breakfast trends in Ireland, Spain, India and developing countries.
Ewa Hudson, Global Head of Health and Wellness , "Health and Wellness Breakfast Trends", Euromonitor International, September 05, 2012, © Euromonitor International
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Organic Foods May Be Safer To Eat, But Not More Nutritious – Study

September 4, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Organically grown food may be safer – limiting a person’s exposure to chemical fertilizers and pesticides – but it is not really healthier than conventionally grown foods, a U.S. analysis of more than 200 studies has found. The researchers could find no real differences between organic and conventional food in terms of nutritional content. But organic food was 30 percent less likely to contain pesticides. Some of the studies reported that organic milk contained more omega-3 fatty acids, and some reported that organic foods contained more nitrogen, probably because of differences in fertilizer use. Extra nitrogen is unlikely to confer any health benefit, however.
Crystal Smith-Spangler et al., "Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review", Annals of Internal Medicine, September 04, 2012, © The American College of Physicians
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Scientists Seek To Develop A Nutrient-Rich Pasta

September 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Australian and Italian scientists are collaborating on research projects whose goal is to develop a “super spaghetti” packed with healthy functional ingredients. According to the Food Navigator report, the researchers hope to improve the basic understanding of the durum wheat cell walls used to make spaghetti. One project will look into how durum wheat growth affects starch levels and fiber, and into how fiber levels in pasta might be improved. The second project will examine the roles played by arabinoxylans and beta-glucans – dietary fiber components – in determining bread dough and pasta quality.
"Australian, Italian researchers collaborate to develop healthier pasta", Food Processing Technology, September 03, 2012, © Net Resources International, a trading division of SPG Media Limited.
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Simplified Bread Recipe And Bread-Making Technique Gains Popularity Via E-Mail

September 2, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A “minimalist” recipe and technique for making bread – developed by a Manhattan bakery and publicized by a New York Times food editor – appears to be catching on, thanks to e-mail. A Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune editor shares the recipe and technique in this article, noting that the original Times piece is the “most e-mailed food article of the New York Times.” The key to the simple recipe is time – about 24 hours worth. But otherwise there is no kneading – it takes only a minute to mix the dough – and no special ingredients or equipment. The result? A loaf of bread with “great crumb, lightness, incredible flavor and an enviable, crackling crust.”
John Laaper , "Challenge has changed the world of bread", Coshocton Tribune, September 02, 2012, © www.coshoctontribune.com
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Canadian Food Company’s Ad Campaign Counters Negative Image Of Bread

August 30, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, maker of Dempster’s breads, is fed up with the bashing bread has taken in recent years from negative articles and books such as Wheat Belly. It is fighting back with a new ad campaign designed to show weight-conscious consumers that they don’t have to avoid the carbs in its line of bread products. To highlight the wholesomeness and nutrition of bread, the ad shows a farmer plucking slices of bread from trees and pulling a wrapped Dempster’s loaf from the soil.
Susan Krashinsky , "All you need is loaves ", The (Toronto) Globe and Mail, August 30, 2012, © The Globe and Mail Inc.
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Microgreens Found To Have Higher Concentrations Of Micronutrients Than Mature Plants

August 29, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Many of the currently trendy seedlings – known as microgreens – of green vegetables and herbs are actually more nutritious than the mature versions, according to U.S. research. Microgreens have gained popularity in recent years, a culinary trend that has blossomed in many upscale markets and restaurants. Seedlings of spinach, lettuce, red cabbage and other vegetables are usually one to three inches tall and harvested 14 days after germination. The researchers found that microgreens generally have higher concentrations of healthful vitamins and carotenoids than their mature counterparts.
Zhenlei Xiao et al., "Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 29, 2012, © American Chemical Society
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Leftover Antibiotics In Sausage Meat Can Actually Boost Pathogen Production

August 28, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Residues of antibiotics often weaken or kill beneficial bacteria added to uncured pepperoni or salami sausages to make them safe for consumption, according to Danish and Irish researchers. Sausage meat is commonly inoculated with lactic-acid-producing bacteria to control the fermentation process. The final product is then acidic enough to kill pathogens that might have existed in the raw meat. But antibiotics residues kill the bacteria that produce lactic acid, thus allowing pathogenic bacteria to proliferate. Unfortunately, the leftover antibiotic is not potent enough to kill the harmful pathogens. The researchers note that good quality controls in processing plants can catch fermentation problems.
Jette Kjeldgaard et al., "Residual Antibiotics Disrupt Meat Fermentation and Increase Risk of Infection", mBio, August 28, 2012, © Kjeldgaard et al.
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Big Food Companies In U.K. Benefit From British Government R&D Funding

August 26, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
British government research councils have awarded nearly £3 million of public money to large food manufacturers to help them find ways to make their products more nutritious, the Telegraph newspaper reports. Companies who have received the money – including PepsiCo, Unilever, Wrigley’s, and several British firms – are working with university scientists to develop new food production technologies and ingredients. The companies already benefit from considerable tax relief, and critics wonder whether taxpayer funds should be awarded to companies to boost the nutritional value of their foods. That, they say, should be the companies’ job.
Richard Gray, "Junk food companies paid by taxpayer to develop healthier products", The Telegraph , August 26, 2012, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Home Cooking Of Baby Food Is Major Challenge For U.K. Baby Food Industry

August 24, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Research from industry analyst Mintel finds that the poor economy has pushed a lot of U.K. households to make their own baby food. This trend has not hurt the baby food industry generally: in the past five years, the market has experienced a 51 percent rise in value to £611 million in 2012, and there is greater choice of baby food products than ever before. By 2017, baby food and drink is forecast to increase in value by 15 percent to £703. Nevertheless, Mintel says 41 percent of parents home cook food for babies and toddlers and “home cooking is one of the biggest challenges facing the baby food market.”
" Baby Food is heating up in the kitchen in UK as four in ten parents make more home cooked food", Press release, Mintel, August 24, 2012, © Mintel
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Gluten-Free Diet Does Not Lead To Weight Loss – Study

August 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. scientist reports that he could find no evidence that a gluten-free diet offers health benefits or promotes weight loss in the general population. Only one percent of Americans suffers from celiac disease, and another six percent suffers from gluten sensitivity. These people need to avoid gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – in all foods they eat. For the rest of the population, gluten may provide important benefits, such as supporting heart, gut and immune system health. A gluten-free diet does not lead to weight loss, either. In fact, according to Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., it may promote weight gain, because gluten-free products contain more added fats and sugars.
"New Research Debunks Gluten-free Diet for Weight Loss", Press release, Grain Foods Foundation, August 23, 2012, © Grain Foods Foundation
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IPhone Attachment That Probes For Nitrate Residues Could Skewer Phony Organic Claims

August 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Lapka Electronics LCC has developed a free downloadable app and personal environment monitor attachment (with probe) for the iPhone. The device measures nitrate concentration in food, a sure sign that food was not produced organically. Nitrates are used in non-organic fertilizers, so any residue left behind is evidence that a claim of organic is false. The Lapka device, expected on the market later in 2012, will have attachments that detect radiation, electromagnetism, and humidity as well. Food Product Design envisions people using the $220 device in grocery stores to probe fruits and vegetables, maybe even packaged foods, “which I’m sure will rile many a store manager”.
" Test Pesticides With Your iPhone", Blog, Food Product Design, August 23, 2012, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Portuguese Franchisor To Base Its Global Coffee Houses On Indigenous Pastry

August 22, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Portuguese franchising group is launching a chain of coffee houses on four continents featuring a centuries-old pastry that has never been commercially available outside the country. Portugal’s government supports the new franchise chain as a way to help reverse the country’s shrinking economy. The pastry – “pastel de nata” – is a “rich, round egg custard in a flaky crust,” sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar. It is in great demand by both locals and tourists. The franchise – Be-business – opened the first "Nata Lisboa" coffee house in Lisbon. A new one opens in Paris soon, to be followed by establishments in Brazil, North America and Asia by 2016.
Levi Fernandes , "Portugal's 'pastel de nata' tart: a crisis-buster?", Agence France Presse , August 22, 2012, via Yahoo! News, © Agence France Presse – English
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Plan To Boost Taiwan’s Food Industry Includes Baking Sector Initiatives

August 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
As part of a plan to give a shot in the arm to its food industry, the Taiwanese government will promote the use of local ingredients to develop baked products unique to the country. Eight kinds of food ingredients will be given a boost under the plan, and four baking sector clusters will be created along with 20 new brands of bakery products. Taiwan hopes the initiative will raise the output of the baking industry by NT$4 billion (US$133.9 million).
FBR staff writer , "Taiwan to initiate project to boost bakery industry", FBR Bakery & Cereals, August 21, 2012, © Progressive Digital Media Group Plc
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Buckwheat Flour Shown To Improve Quality And Nutrition Of Gluten-Free Bread

August 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Italian researchers have determined that high levels of dehulled buckwheat flour improve both the texture and nutrition of gluten-free breads. The study was undertaken because removing gluten from dough has resulted in some problems. Many commercially available gluten-free breads are based on pure starches, which results in “low technological and nutritional quality," the researchers wrote. In the study, the leavening characteristics – and thus overall quality – of gluten-free bread were improved with a formula that included 40 percent buckwheat flour, five percent puffed buckwheat flour and 0.5 percent hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC).
Kacey Culliney , "Buckwheat flour improves nutrition and texture in gluten-free bread, study", Bakery and Snacks, August 21, 2012, © William Reed Business Media
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British Bakery Enters Breakfast Market With New Line Of Fruit And Fiber Breads

August 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Kingsmill, a unit of Britain’s Allied Bakeries, is unveiling a line of breakfast breads containing fruit and fiber. The new products include a sliced loaf, as well as muffins and bagels, all of which deliver half of the recommended daily intake of whole grain. The company said it will spend about £2.5 million (US$3.95 million) on marketing the new products, its first in the breakfast arena. Allied Bakeries expects the breakfast segment to grow to £18 billion over the next three years, from £7.3 billion in 2011.
Samantha Edwards, "Kingsmill lines up new breakfast items", Bakery Info, August 21, 2012, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Food Industry Is Focusing Greater Attention On Nourishing The Good Bacteria In Human Gut

August 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
About 80 percent of the cells that inhabit the human body consist of beneficial bacteria. A growing trend in nutrition and health is a focus on prebiotics – indigestible food ingredients that nourish the friendly bacteria among the estimated 100 trillion microbes living inside the human gut. Natural sources of prebiotics such as inulin include wheat, onions and garlic. But there are more, and many more on the way. Prebiotics are gaining a greater foothold in the U.S. and European food industries because of a major advantage: they do not require refrigeration and can be incorporated into a wide range of foods. Researchers are finding ways to make prebiotics from plant carbohydrates like pectins, mannans and xylans.
Robert Rastall, "In Your Future: More Healthful Foods to Nourish the Non-Human You", News release, presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 21, 2012, © American Chemical Society
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New Form Of Methyl Cellulose Reduces Hunger Pangs – And Calorie Intake

August 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A new form of a food additive that has been in use for more than 50 years might someday be used as an “anti-hunger” additive in foods like yogurts, fruit shakes and smoothies. The new version of methyl cellulose – SATISFIT-LTG – dissolves in cold liquids and forms a gel at body temperature. The gel lingers in the stomach before passing into the small intestine. Tested in a clinical trial, the ingredient makes people feel full after eating small amounts of food, and curbs food cravings longer after a meal. The consumption of SATISFIT-LTG resulted in a 13 percent decrease in calorie intake, the researchers said.
"New form of long-used food ingredient for “anti-hunger” yogurts, smoothies", Press release, American Chemical Society (ACS), August 21, 2012, © American Chemical Society (ACS)
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California Bakery’s Versatile Product Line Meets A Wide Variety Of Dietary Needs

August 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Julian Bakery of San Diego, California, recently noted in a press release that its product line – cookies, breads and other baked goods – is crafted to meet the needs of a variety of diets, whether for weight loss or medical conditions. The company bakes an array of carb-free, gluten-free, paleo and vegan-friendly bread products that offer “delicious alternatives to the traditional foods that [people] do not want to give up."
"Julian Bakery Offers Diet-Friendly Foods That Are Still Satisfying", News release, Julian Bakery, August 20, 2012, © Marketwire
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Electricity Supercharges Antioxidant And Polyphenol Content Of Sweet Potatoes

August 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Japanese researchers report that sending an electrical charge through an average sweet potato can greatly boost its nutritional value. Supercharging the sweet potato, which is already considered one of the most nutritious of vegetables and a global dietary staple for millennia, offers a way to further increase the role of the vegetable in “relieving hunger and improving nutrition and health,” the researchers said. The study found that passing 0.2 amps of current through a salt solution containing sweet potatoes increased antioxidant activity by 1.4 times and total polyphenol content by 1.6 times.
Kazunori Hironaka et al., "Electrifying success in raising antioxidant levels in sweet potatoes", News release, presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 20, 2012, © American Chemical Society
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Oregon Baker’s New Cookbook Revises Old Cake Recipes By Updating The Ingredients

August 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The owner of a Portland, Ore., bakery has taken it upon herself to test – and update – recipes from old cookbooks, pamphlets and an old bake shop that once occupied her store’s premises. She found that many of the recipes were too sweet, were made from mixes or just didn’t have any flavor. One change she made had to do with recipes that required products like Crisco or margarine. She substituted butter or canola oil for flavor, tenderness and moisture. She replaced many other ingredients in the old recipes, and the result of all the revisions is a new cookbook, “Vintage Cakes,” that “feels both modern and familiar, stylish yet homey, not fussy but not rustic either,” according to food writer Katherine Miller.
Katherine Miller , "Northwest Cook: Portland baker updates classics with 'Vintage Cakes'", The Oregonian, August 20, 2012, © Oregon Live LLC
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Foreign Fast Food Outlets Need To Work Harder To Interest Urban Chinese In Breakfast

August 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Market research from Mintel finds an untapped fast food breakfast market in China. Foreign fast food outlets need to work on such key factors as flavor and affordability to boost Chinese interest in fast food breakfasts. Currently, only 21 percent of Chinese city dwellers eat breakfast in fast food restaurants, though 75 percent eat lunch there. Foreign fast food outlets continue to grow – from 36,000 in 2006 to more than 50,000 now – but to break the breakfast barrier they may need to add more local items to the menu.
"Breakfast key to growth of foreign fast food market in China, reports Mintel", Press release, Mintel, August 17, 2012, © Mintel
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Diet Plan Advocates Eating Whole Wheat Bread

August 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Losing weight – and losing an obesity problem – is the goal of The Healthy Way, a weight loss video program that advocates eating nutritional whole grain bread, which is much higher in fiber than white bread. The higher fiber content “helps your body eliminate toxins, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and has been found to lower risk of heart disease and cancer.” The diet plan suggests replacing butter and mayo with ketchup, mustard, or homemade hummus. Likewise, spreading olive oil on bread and adding natural herbs and spices is a great substitute for butter.
"Including Bread in a Diet, Is It a Weight Loss Idea for Good Health", SBWIRE, August 17, 2012, © SBWire, The Small Business Newswire
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IFT’s New Certification Program Recognizes Food Scientists’ Knowledge And Skills

August 14, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The Institute of Food Technologists has launched a certification program for food scientists that provides an opportunity to obtain a specific credential recognizing applied scientific knowledge and skills. The Certified Food Scientist (CFS) program will help employers to identify, hire and retain the best talent, and “to continue to meet the ongoing demand for knowledgeable food scientists throughout the food system.” The CFS program will also demonstrate the profession’s  commitment to safe and quality foods for consumers, IFT said.
"IFT Launches New Certification Program For Food Scientists", News release, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), August 14, 2012, © The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
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TIC Gums Unveils Replacement For Guar Gum

August 14, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Texture and stabilization solutions provider TIC Gums has introduced a compound that can be used as a replacement for guar gum in certain applications. Ticaloid Guar Replacement (GR) 8700 was developed for the food industry as a way to cope with tight supplies and fluctuating prices of guar gum. TIC says the new compound is a low viscosity solids builder that can be used in film type applications like breath, energy and vitamin strips, and in some health beverages.
"With Guar Gum Demand Larger than ever TIC Gums Introduces Ticaloid™ Guar Replacement 8700", Press release, TIC Gums, August 14, 2012, © TIC Gums
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Australian Government Works With Breakfast Cereal Makers To Polish Cereal’s Image

August 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
To counter the apparently tarnished image of breakfast cereals among Australians, the country’s food agency has established a forum comprising six leading breakfast cereal manufacturers to improve consumer understanding of breakfast cereals by emphasizing benefits, engaging in “positive dialogue,” and correcting misinformation. All of the forum members – Carman's Fine Foods, Freedom Foods, Kellogg Australia, Nestle Australia, Popina Foods and Sanitarium – manufacture locally and rely almost exclusively on Australian grown grain. The breakfast cereal industry in Australia employs 3,000 people and accounts for about $1.2 billion in anual retail sales.
"A new chapter for breakfast cereals", Australian Food & Grocery Council, August 10, 2012, © Australian Food & Grocery Council
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Many Muesli Cereal Brands Found To Be Not All That Healthy

August 7, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A New Zealand consumer magazine that tested more than six dozen muesli breakfast cereals has come up with some discouraging results. Of the 75 brands tested, only 12 had low levels of fat, sugar and salt. One brand contained about the same level of fat and salt as corn chips, and more than four times the sugar. Some brands had as much as 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal, often “disguised” as honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or glucose. The CEO of Consumer New Zealand said the results convinced her organization: it no longer recommends muesli as a healthy breakfast option.
Paul Easton, "Muesli is as bad as corn chips", Consumer.org.nz, August 07, 2012, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Bar Snack Business Also Offers Unusual Array Of Savory Pastries

August 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A pair of Brooklyn, N.Y., entrepreneurs who started a bar snack business have successfully expanded into pastries. Their bar snacks – including spicy bacon caramel corn and maple thyme pecans – were created as an alternative to the boring fare offered at local watering holes. They now offer an unusual menu of pastries that reflect their European (Polish and Austrian) ancestry. Options include black chocolate stout cake with salted caramel butter cream, Montego Bay bars with sweet cocoa and date puree, jelly doughnut muffins, mustard spice cookies and an assortment of savory quick breads and tarts, stuff that’s “more for an adult palate,” they say.
Patty Lee, "Greenpoint bakery Ovenly uses uncommon flavors to spice up pastries ", New York Daily News, August 05, 2012, © NYDailyNews.com
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Research Shows Chickpea Flour Could Replace Soy In Gluten-Free Breads

August 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Spanish researchers who tested the impact of four legume flours on gluten-free breads found that chickpea flour could be the best candidate for making gluten-free breads more palatable without using soy. The idea behind the experiments was to formulate a gluten-free bread where legume proteins were substituted for soy protein, which carries a risk of allergies. They tested chickpea flour, pea isolate, carob germ and soy flour, finding that chickpea bread could be a satisfactory alternative to soy protein. It has the best “physico-chemical characteristics,” “good  sensory behavior” and the “softest crumb”, the researchers found.
Nathan Gray, "Chickpea flour backed for gluten-free bread success", Bakery and Snacks, August 03, 2012, © William Reed Business Media
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Obesity Prevention Requires A Blend Of Strategies

August 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Though obesity is a growing problem among children in the U.S. – 17 percent are considered obese – many parents continue to pack their cupboards and refrigerators with junk food. And the food industry continues to supply it. But mental health professional Diane Girardot reports that obesity can be prevented. It takes a combination of strategies: individual lifestyle changes, environmental and governmental policy changes, tighter regulation of the food industry and possibly litigation. Unfortunately, however, many parents refuse to deprive their children of junk food. And many people believe that obesity is a personal choice and the government has no business regulating what and how much they eat and drink.
Diane Russell Girardot, "Behavior change and obesity in America", Philadelphia Inquirer, August 03, 2012, © Philadelphia Media Network Inc.
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“Caketails” Catching On Among Trendy U.K. Bakeries And Consumers

August 1, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A number of trendy bakeries in the U.K. are flavoring their cakes and cupcakes with “18-certificate” – i.e., adults only – beverages, such as gin, champagne, rum, and amaretto, creating what have become known as “caketails”. Also available are so-called “mocktails” that feature exotic flavors such as strawberry daiquiri. A bakery in London serves up cupcakes with names like the Chocolate Guinness and the Blue Hawaiian Tipple, laced with Blue Curacao. “As we like to say,” the owner quips, “with a caketail you can have your drink and eat it, too.”
Martha De Lacey, "The cupcakes with the 18 certificate: Get ready for 'caketail' hour as new craze for alcoholic (adult-only) cake hits the nation", Daily Mail Online, August 01, 2012, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Baking In The U.K. No Longer Just A Woman’s Thing

July 31, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A trend born in Great Britain should gladden the hearts of the baking industry: a U.K. trade magazine reports that a growing number of males are taking up baking in their homes, thanks perhaps to the popularity of baking shows on TV. Baking suppliers are capitalizing on the trend by introducing “more convenient and ‘macho’ products” for the burgeoning market. In the last five years, the home baking market in the U.K. has increased nearly 100 percent, from £376 million to £645 million. According to the report in The Grocer, men like “vigorous baking activities like bread making as well as scones and pies.”
Bianca London, "Baking for boys: Number of ‘macho’ men baking on the rise following the success of The Great British bake Off", Daily Mail, July 31, 2012, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Germans Are Fond Of “Second-Hand” Goods –- Even Baked Ones

July 31, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
It seems Germans these days have a fondness for all things second-hand, and that penchant extends beyond used clothes and furniture. A shop in Berlin known as Second Bäck sells day-old – but top quality – loaves and rolls collected from a dozen premium bakeries. The business model conforms to popular concepts of sustainability and recycling. And, according to Deutsche Welle, “the stuff literally sells like hot cakes”.
Ranty Islam, "Giving new life to old bread", Deutsche Welle, July 31, 2012, © Deutsche Welle
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Is It Time To Revamp The System For Measuring Calories In Food?

July 31, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Pressure is mounting for an overhaul of the U.S. system for determining the absolute calories of foods, thanks to recent studies that call into question calorie counts shown on almond and pistachio packages. The studies challenge the Atwater general factor system for measuring calories, by asserting that the absolute calorie content listed on food packages does not gibe with the number of calories actually absorbed and metabolized by the body. Such an overhaul – which may also be attempted in the U.K. – would be time-consuming but not impossible, experts say.
Rod Addy, "Momentum builds to overhaul global calorie system", Food Navigator, July 31, 2012, © William Reed Business Media
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New Cricket-Based Power Bar Seeks Acceptance Beyond Entomophagists

July 30, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A small California start-up hopes its new product will appeal to more than diehard entomophagists, the name given to people who eat insects. The company has developed a power bar whose main ingredient is flour made from boiled, then roasted, crickets. The cricket flour is bolstered with flaxseed, oats, honey, sunflower seeds, apple, cinnamon and cumin. The chewy bars that result have a texture and taste similar to sesame seeds. The business owners have some obstacles to overcome before their product enters the mainstream American diet. For one thing, without a mass production infrastructure, crickets are more expensive than beef or chicken to produce.
Angela Woodall , "Canyon-based power bar producer Chirp makes crickets the main ingredient", Oakland Tribune, July 30, 2012, © MediaNews Group
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Food Ingredients Firm Unveils Cost-Effective, Low-Cal Egg Alternative For Baking Industry

July 25, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Acknowledging both the rising cost of eggs and the consumer interest in healthier foods, Penford Food Ingredients has introduced a low-calorie egg alternative for use in a variety of baked items, including fillings. PenTech NG is a starch-based blend that can replace whole egg and egg yolks for both liquid and dry forms. According to the company, PenTech NG has a soft texture, and better viscosifier and moisture retention properties. It is also lower in calories, fat and cholesterol.
FBR Staff Writer , "Penford introduces egg replacer blend for bakery industry", Food Business Review, July 25, 2012, © Progressive Digital Media Group Plc
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Cake Mix Firms Quietly Downsize Their Products, Upsetting Consumers

July 24, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
With the cost of ingredients steadily rising, cake mix companies have joined other food companies in choosing to reduce product size rather than hike prices, and the trend has proven annoying to some consumers. Cake mixes that used to be 18.25 ounces are now either 15.2 or 16.5 ounces. Old, familiar recipes that rely on a certain size cake mix no longer work. Food writer Kathleen Purvis says the changes were made “quietly, with no announcement” by Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines and Pillsbury. But what really irks consumers – according to blogs and Facebook entries –  is that the development was not only quiet, it was “sneaky”: “because stores restock slowly, smaller packages were mixed in with larger ones for a while.”
Kathleen Purvis, "Tempest in a cake mix box", Newsobserver.com, July 24, 2012, © The News & Observer Publishing Company
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Bakery Café Chain Adds Assortment Of Breakfast Paninis To Menu

July 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A North American chain of bakery cafes has updated its menu with a new twist on an old familiar item.  Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is not only offering grilled-to-order Panini sandwiches as a breakfast item now, it is serving the sandwich on a hearty multigrain or maple flatbread. The new Flatbread Breakfast Paninis come in 16 varieties, including egg or an egg-white omelet; bacon, hickory smoked ham or a lightly-seasoned sausage patty with warm, melted cheese. The company says it expanded its breakfast array because “more people are choosing to eat out in the morning."
"Tim Hortons adds grilled Panini to breakfast menu", QSRWeb, July 23, 2012, © Networld Media Group
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For More Nutritious Wheat Bread With Longer Shelf-Life, Add Coriander To The Flour

July 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Indian researchers finds that the addition of coriander leaves – also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley – to white bread flour not only adds natural and healthy antioxidants to the bread, it increases its shelf-life. Scientists at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata say breads made with wheat flour enhanced with dried and powdered coriander leaves hold more moisture, stay fresher longer, and have a richer antioxidant content, improved color, texture, mouth feel and flavor.
Neharika Sabharwal , "Study finds fortified coriander bread healthier", The MedGuru, July 21, 2012, © themedguru.com
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Indiana Bakery Supplies Airport Hospitality Service With Cookies

July 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Fort Wayne, Indiana, bakery is working with the local airport to add a sweet dimension to a visitors greeting service. Ellison Bakery, located across the street from Fort Wayne International Airport, provides fresh-baked cookies to hospitality hosts, who then distribute them to deplaning passengers. Each passenger receives a complimentary cookie, a friendly greeting and any information the passenger may need. Note to bakeries nationwide: as many as 300 cookies are handed out in a few minutes; 1.4 million cookies have been distributed since 2008. The Fort Wayne airport seems to be the only one in the U.S. providing the special treat.
"Hospitality Hosts offer cheery help, cookie to air passengers arriving at Fort Wayne International Airport", News-Sentinel.com, July 21, 2012, © News-Sentinel.com
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Move Over Broccoli: Australian Bakery Unveils Low-GI “Super Bread”

July 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
The glycemic index (GI) of bread can range from 54 to 87, depending on the type. But a bakery in Queensland, Australia, says it has developed a dense bread whose GI is about the same as broccoli (17), contains seven percent carbohydrates, 26 percent protein – about the same as red meat – and more fat, though from natural seeds. The owners of Ashmore Bakery Club say they developed the bread to “give health-conscious customers an alternative.” A final benefit? “We are extremely happy with the product and its taste,'' one of the owners said, adding that the new formula would “change the baking industry.”
Jessica Elder, "Coast bakery launches low-carb bread", Goldcoast.com.au, July 20, 2012, © News Limited
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Novel Middle Eastern Cereal Product Gains Momentum In Health Food World

July 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Trending upward in popularity among health food enthusiasts is a Middle Eastern cereal product being touted as the new quinoa. “Super-nutritious” freekeh is durum wheat harvested when the grains are still young and green. Freekah’s smoky, nutty flavor comes from the processing technique: still-moist kernels are set on fire, roasted, and rubbed against one another. Freekeh has more protein than couscous and white rice, and four times as much fiber. One drawback? Freekah is not gluten-free.
Carrie Murphy, "What The Hell is Freekeh? The New Trendy (and Healthy!) Grain", Blisstree, July 20, 2012, © Alloy Digital
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U.K. Pastry Shop Says Its Italian Cake Bars Boost The Metabolic Rate

July 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A London-based start-up patisserie claims that its Italian pastries – in the form of cake bars –  contain a blend of natural ingredients that encourage the body to burn calories. The line of nine bars in a variety of flavors contain L-carnitine, guarana and green tea, all of which purportedly boost the body’s metabolic rate. Each bar also packs between 110 and 150 calories, but the bakery doesn’t say whether the calories burned equals the calories consumed. The founder of Klever Kalories says it hopes to expand its product line to cupcakes and savory snacks, such as crisps (AKA potato chips).
Lisa Riley, "The Klever cakes that claim to burn calories", The Grocer, July 17, 2012, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Cut Salt And Sugar In Bread Recipes By Using Novel “Layering” Technique

July 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Dutch scientists have found that bakers can add up to 25 percent less salt or sugar to bread recipes without loss of flavor by introducing the ingredients in layers or stripes. The technique intensifies the flavor, despite the smaller amounts of salt or sugar. The researchers say the key is the contrast between very salty and less salty (or very sweet and less sweet) areas: it causes the taste to register more intensely in the brain. The technique might be accomplished, for example, by making a loaf of bread with a mix of a saltier dough with a less salty dough. Overall, less salt is used though the flavor is just as satisfying, and healthier.
Pat Hagan, "Could using LESS salt be bad for your health", Daily Mail, July 17, 2012, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Worries About Calories, Costs, Ring The “Death Knell” For Restaurant Bread Baskets

July 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Blame two key trends for the near disappearance of complimentary baskets of bread in restaurants these days: rising costs and rising concerns about calories. Restaurants, especially smaller ones, can’t afford to provide a basket full of bread that could eventually be tossed in the trash. Bread is still available, of course, but often only by request, and for a price. The other problem has to do with calories, a reflection of increased consumer awareness of expanding waistlines. According to an NPD analyst, bread consumption has been on the decline for two decades because “the thing people are more interested in than anything else is, how many calories am I putting in my body?”
Laura Reiley, "In food trend, fewer restaurants offering free bread baskets", Tampa Bay Times, July 17, 2012, © Tampa Bay Times
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