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High-Fiber Wheat Product Inches Toward Commercialization

March 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Minnesota-based consumer-focused food company Calyxt announced that its high-fiber wheat product was declared a non-regulated article under the “Am I Regulated?” process by a unit of the USDA. The company said this is its first consumer-centric wheat product, second wheat product, and seventh product overall to be given this designation. Calyxt’s powdery mildew resistant wheat was awarded the non-regulated status by the USDA in February 2016. Consumer demand for flavorful high-fiber foods has been strong because they have the potential to not only decrease the risk of food-related coronary heart disease and diabetes, but also to lower cholesterol and control weight gain. Calyxt believes that once its high-fiber wheat flour is commercialized – it could happen in 2020 or 2021 – it can be used by food manufacturers to make premium bakery and pasta products that allow consumers to reach their daily fiber requirement.[Image Credit: © Calyxt ]
"Calyxt’s High Fiber Wheat Deemed Non-Regulated by USDA", News release, Calyxt, March 21, 2018, © Calyxt
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Jennie-O Cleans Up Its Processed Turkey Line

March 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel Foods subsidiary Jennie-O has debuted 17 “on-trend turkey products,” including flavored turkey bacon, taco-seasoned turkey sausage, and uncured turkey breast franks. The franks are made with premium turkey breast and have half the fat of beef franks. They contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no added nitrites or nitrates, and are gluten free. The company’s other new products also boast of less fat and no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. [Image Credit: © Jennie-O]
"Frankly Delicious: Jennie-O Unveils New Product Innovations, Including First-In-Category Uncured Turkey Breast Franks ", News release, Jennie-O Turkey Store, via PR Newswire, March 15, 2018, © Jennie-O
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Company’s Non-GMO Wheat Varieties Contain 94% Amylose, Resistant Starch

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agricultural technology company Arcadia Biosciences of Davis, Calif., announced advancements in its high-fiber resistant starch development program. Its non-transgenic (non-GMO) wheat varieties contain as much as 94 percent amylose and resistant starch. It used advanced screening and traditional breeding techniques to accomplish this. The company also said these wheat varieties deliver enough dietary fiber to qualify for the FDA’s “Good Source” of fiber or “High in Fiber” designation on consumer packaging. Arcadia said the new wheat varieties will provide the health benefits of resistant starch and dietary fiber, “while satisfying consumer demand for clean-label, natural foods.” The company is working with a few CPG companies to develop more healthful formulations of existing products, using both enriched and whole wheat RS Wheat flour. [Image Credit: © Arcadia Biosciences ]
"Arcadia Biosciences Achieves Key Resistant Starch Wheat Technology Milestones, Prepares for Commercial Launch", News release, Arcadia Biosciences, March 14, 2018, © Arcadia Biosciences
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Smoothie Chain Reformulates To Offer Clean Label Menu

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Smoothie King has added two whole organic spinach variants to its menu, which already includes carrot and kale smoothie offerings. Vegan pineapple spinach smoothie and lemon ginger spinach smoothies contain fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The company has launched a Cleaner Blending initiative to remove added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, added hormones in dairy, and GMO fruits and veggies from its offerings. In addition, the company has added in more whole fruits and vegetables. The company says it is on track to achieve its Cleaner Blending goals in more than 50 blends by the end of 2018. [Image Credit: © Smoothie King]
"Smoothie King Adds Organic Spinach To The Mix As Part Of Its 'Cleaner Blending' Initiative", News release, Smoothie King, via PR Newswire, March 13, 2018
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Cattle Growers Ask USDA To Clarify Labeling Of “Meat Products”

March 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), arguing that consumers need to be better informed about beef and alternative synthetic meat products, in February petitioned the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service for a change in the country’s food labeling system. Labels need to clearly distinguish between real beef and products formulated from plants or insects, as well as laboratory-grown products derived from animal cells, the USCA said. Products not derived from animals that are born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner, should not be permitted to be marketed as beef or meat products, the association said. [Image Credit: © USCA]
Simon Harvey, "US body calls for labeling distinctions for 'real meat' products", just-food, March 12, 2018, © just-food.com
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Coca-Cola Fortifies Its Coconut Water Beachhead With New Zico Flavors

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is laying the groundwork to be a major player in the soon-to-be $7 billion global coconut water market, adding new flavors to its Zico brand family and building its portfolio of healthful, better-for-you beverages.  The company expects coconut water to be a $1.5 billion market domestically by 2020, though the climb will be a steep one, requiring lots of new customers who may have a tough time getting used to the flavor of coconut water. The solution to the problem is new flavors: it recently added chocolate, watermelon-raspberry, and jalapeño-mango to the line. In addition, newly-announced organic veggie juice-coconut water blends (ZICOCocoLixir) fuse two health-centric drinks: coconut water and cold-press juice. It may seem odd for sugary soda company Coca-Cola, but it says it is simply pursuing the new mission of becoming a “total beverage company” globally.
Kate Taylor, "Coca-Cola Wants to Dominate a $7 Billion Industry with a New Type of Beverage that's Taking Over the World", Business Insider, March 09, 2018, © Business Insider Inc
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Cannabidiol-Infused Sodas Offer Functional Benefits, Company Says

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based food and beverage company Acme Naturals says its soda infused with “functional” hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is an “appealing, convenient, and cost-effective way” to consume America’s “hottest wellness ingredient.” The Tree Below Zero CBD soda, infused with 25mg or 100mg of CBD oil extract, is available nationwide in sweet lime, cranberry ginger, blueberry raspberry pomegranate and mandarin blood orange varieties. The functional benefits, according to the company, include balanced health, better sleep, intimacy, creativity, refreshment, and higher consciousness. Acme Naturals says the Tree Below Zero beverages are legal, containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-hallucinogenic. “It is not marijuana, it is not cannabis,” the company insists. “Drinking Tree Below Zero will not impair the consumer.”
"Acme Naturals Releases Tree Below Zero Sparkling Juice Infused with CBD", BevNET, March 08, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Wonder Drink Kombucha Debuts Prebiotic Variants

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Wonder Drink Kombucha has introduced a version containing prebiotic fiber. The tea contains certified organic plant-based prebiotic fiber (xylo-oligosaccharide) that feeds the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the human gut. The tea, available in ginger peach, tropical mango, and apple mint flavors, is sold in 12-ounce slim cans. Each contains 10 g of sugar and is non-alcoholic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.
"Wonder Drink Launches Prebiotic Kombucha", News release, Wonder Drink, March 08, 2018, © Wonder Drink / BevNET.com
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Restaurants Catering To Surge In Demand For Protein, Even The Plant-Based Variety

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Restaurant chefs and food companies are responding to the increasing interest in plant-based protein as an alternative to pork, poultry, and beef. Though the Mayo Clinic says Americans already eat way too much protein, almost 40 percent of Americans are trying to increase their consumption of protein; 23 percent are turning to plant protein. An example of how restaurants are catering to the trend is the 28-location vegan chain Veggie Grill based in Santa Monica, Calif. It offers a wide variety of plant-based proteins, including several with a similar taste and texture as meat, such as a new Meatballs & Polenta Bowl made from pea, wheat, and soy proteins. It recently introduced a Wunderbrat made with producer Beyond Meat’s protein formulated with peas, fava beans, and rice.
Bret Thorn, "Demand for Plant-Based Protein Beefs Up", Restaurant News, March 08, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Cocktail Mixer Company Adds “Hard” Seltzer To Portfolio

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based producer of “all-natural” cocktail mixers Ficks & Co. unveiled a line of RTD hard seltzers at the Natural Products Expo recently. The seltzers, targeting the surging wellness food and beverage market, and specifically Millennials, blend fruit alcohol, fruit juice (not from concentrate), and sparkling water. Available in grapefruit, lime, blackberry, and cranberry flavors, Ficks Hard Seltzers contain no added sugar and are five percent ABV.  [Image Credit: © Ficks & Co.]
"Ficks & Co Launches Line of All Natural Hard Seltzers at Expo West", News release, Fisk & Co., March 07, 2018, © Fisk & Co.
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Raw Pressery Juice Relies On Ethics, Innovation, Technology In Fast-Growing Market

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In a recent interview, Sreejit Nair, sales director of India’s Rakyan Beverages, said its Raw Pressery juice brand is applying advanced technologies to maintain market leadership in clean-label, cold-pressed juices. The fruit-based beverage category has grown at a CAGR of more than 30 percent over the past decade, thanks to the rise of health-conscious beverage consumers looking to avoid preservatives, chemicals, sugar, and artificial colors. The company uses HPP (high pressure processing) technology to pasteurize its juices, made with fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from farmers across India and abroad. The pasteurization method extends the shelf life of the juices to 21 days. Robotics and inventory automation ensure proper warehousing. The supply chain is using digitization to control costs, quality, temperature, and time. The company is also working with technology developers to create heat sensing devices that help maintain chiller temperature. In terms of innovation, the company recently launched a cold-pressed almond milk in coffee, cacao, and turmeric flavors. This year it expects to introduce a grapefruit-flavored juice, and to extend its product line to both chilled and ambient retail shelves.
""We Look to be Asia’s Largest Clean-Label Beverage Co"", Food And Beverage News, March 05, 2018, © Food And Beverage News
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Sonic’s New Mushroom-Beef Burger Has Flavor, Fewer Calories, And Eco-Benefits

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new-product test at a few Sonic Drive-In locations found that an experimental burger made with a mixture of 30 percent mushrooms and beef was a hit. It not only tastes good, it has fewer calories and is better for the environment. The burger is now being offered at all 3,500 Sonic eateries. Although a burger with less beef has a smaller environmental footprint – the company didn’t advertise that – consumers were impressed that Sonic’s offering starts at around 350 calories. An environmental advocacy group said that if all 10 billion burgers eaten in the U.S. each year used blended patties, 10.5 million tons of annual CO2 emissions would be eliminated, 83 billion gallons of water a year would be saved, and the amount of global farmland needed would be reduced by more than 12,000 square miles. [Image Credit: © Sonic Drive-In]
Adele Peters, "Now You Can Get Sonic’s Part-Mushroom Part-Meat Burger Everywhere", Fast Company, March 05, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Hydrosol Unveils Powdered Flavor Compounds As Alternatives To Fruit Concentrates

March 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
German food ingredients company Hydrosol has launched the Stabifruit line of functional powders offering major advantages for fruit juice companies over the use of fruit concentrates. The powdered compounds have a much longer shelf life, are cheaper to transport (i.e., no water weight), have no expiration date issues, and are microbiologically safer than juices or concentrates. The compounds provide fruit drinks with better mouthfeel, color, taste, and viscosity. Available flavors include orange, peach, mango, raspberry, banana, and currant. Hydrosol specializes in stabilizing and emulsifying systems for a wide variety of food products.
"Hydrosol Launches Stabifruit Functional System Range for Fruit Drinks", Food And Beverage News, March 03, 2018, © Food And Beverage News
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Courts Continue To Refine Laws Dealing With GMO Ingredients, Animal Feed

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Courts in New York (federal) and Massachusetts (state) have ruled that foods made from genetically modified ingredients or fed to animals that provide “end product” foods do not violate federal “all natural” food labeling policies. In a case against Dannon, the court dismissed a complaint that the company’s yogurt labels claiming to be “all natural” were deceptive because federal law does not require that foods from animals fed with GMO feeds be labeled “GMO.” In the Massachusetts case against ConAgra, the court dismissed the case because the plaintiff failed to allege that Wesson oil contains added color, synthetic substances or flavors, or contains anything that would not normally be expected to be in vegetable oil, whether or not the oil was extracted from corn, soybean, or rapeseed grown from genetically modified stock. [Image Credit: © ConAgra]
Nathan A. Adams IV, "United States: Claims That "All Natural" Label Was Misleading Due To GMOs Dismissed", Mondaq, March 02, 2018, © Mondaq® Ltd
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Meat Cultured In A Dish Could Reach Restaurants By The End Of The Year

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
“Clean” meat manufacturer JUST says it will bring meat products grown from cells in a Petri dish to restaurants by the end of this year. Lab-grown or “in vitro” meat is cultured from stem cells harvested from livestock. Some environmentalists say lab-grown meat could be the answer to the global need for protein while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cattle herds. The CEO of JUST says chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras created using the technique could be served in restaurants in the U.S. and Asia "before the end of 2018." Whether consumers will accept dish-grown meat remains to be seen. [Image Credit: © Phys.org]
Pasha-Robinson, "Lab-Grown 'Clean' Meat could be on Sale by End of 2018, Says Producer", Independent, March 02, 2018, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd.
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Strict Clean Label Grocery Chain Introduces Thousand Hills Grazed Beef In Stores

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colorado-based Natural Grocers is introducing the “exceptional quality” Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed beef, raised on family-owned U.S. farms, in its grocery stores in 19 states. Natural Grocers maintains strict clean label standards – stricter than USDA standards – for its beef suppliers, requiring all unprocessed, fresh and frozen meat to be humanely-raised without hormones, growth-promoting drugs, antibiotics or animal by-products. The company also “prefers” non-genetically modified feed. According to the company, the USDA allows meat to be labeled as 100-percent grass fed even if cattle are confined in feed lots and fed distillers’ grains, GMO alfalfa, and antibiotics. [Image Credit: © Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed]
Alissa Marchat, "Natural Grocers Adds Thousand Hills Grass-Fed Beef To All Stores", The Shelby Report, February 28, 2018, © The Shelby Report
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DuPont Enzyme Range Gives Manufacturers New Options For Baked Goods

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont Nutrition & Health has introduced a baking enzyme that acts as a strengthening solution to add tolerance and consistency to bread and buns. The DuPont Danisco POWERBake 6000 Dough Strengthener enzyme range was developed to enhance dough strength, but they also offer versatility. Used in combination with other enzymes and ingredients, the products can provide food manufacturers with a variety of new options and capabilities for baked goods. The products enhance the emulsification process; create a synergistic dough strengthening effect; improve tolerance to processing variations and raw materials; increase the volume of the final product; and improve crumb structure and whiteness. [Image Credit: © DuPont Danisco ]
Kevin Kuzma, "DuPont Nutrition & Health Debuts New POWERBake 6000 Product Range at ASB Baking Tech 2018", News release, DuPont, February 20, 2018, © DuPont Nutrition & Health
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German Food Ingredients Company Develops Gluten-Based Protein Additives

February 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food companies in Europe will be able to formulate both meat substitutes and meat-based products with a new range of gluten-derived proteins from German food ingredient maker Kröner-Stärke. The company says the wheat proteins were developed specifically to enable food manufacturers to diversify into high-quality meat substitutes and bring added functionality and nutritional value to traditional favorites. The company’s Glutex B, made from wheat gluten, is used to provide a meat-like texture to products such as vegetarian meatballs, and burgers. It can also be used in meat products such as minced meat to lower overall fat content and reduce cholesterol while keeping protein levels high. [Image Credit: ©  Kröner-Stärke]
"Kroner-Starke Unveils New Range of Clean Label Wheat Proteins", FoodBev, February 17, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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New Plant-Based Burger’s Veggie Fats Sizzle On The Grill

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Don Lee Farms has begun distributing nationally its Organic Plant-Based Raw Burgers, made with beans and seeds, and certified organic, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. The burger is free from artificial ingredients or preservatives. According to the company, the burger “bleeds” organic beet juice and sizzles on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. “It’s a burger made with plants, not with science,” said a Don Lee Farms spokesman. [Image Credit: © Don Lee Farms]
"Don Lee Farms Introduces First Organic Raw Plant-Based Burger — Made With Plants, Not With Science", News release, Don Lee Farms, February 15, 2018, © Don Lee Farms
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Healthy Growth In Demand For Wheat Protein Forecast Through 2022

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The growing U.S. baking industry and an increasing consumer preference for meat substitutes are contributing to healthy demand for plant-based protein, especially wheat protein, according to a market research report. Despite concerns about gluten intolerance, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 percent to reach $2.58 billion in the next five years. Other factors driving demand for wheat protein include the nutritional benefits for lactose intolerant and health- and fitness-conscious consumers, and increasing applications of wheat protein in varied end-user industries such as pet food and cosmetics.
"The Wheat Protein Market is projected to Grow at a CAGR of 4.8%", PR Newswire, February 15, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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DDW Introduces Cloudy Paprika Color Emulsion Superior To Orange Beta-Carotene

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Privately-held food and beverage coloring company DDW announced the launch of a cloudy paprika liquid color emulsion for use in orange-colored enhanced waters, juice drinks, iced teas, and sparkling drinks. The EmulsiTech cloudy paprika emulsion is an oleoresin providing an orange alternative to cochineal extract and FD&C Yellow 6. The product is non-GMO, palm-free, and water-dispersible. The company said the liquid emulsion disperses easily in beverages and performs better than orange beta-carotene powder. DDW can custom blend the emulsion with other natural colorings to achieve a customer’s target hue.
"DDW Launches On-Trend Paprika Emulsion for Orange Beverages", Food Ingredients 1st, February 14, 2018, © CNS Media BV
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Replacing Artificial Colors In Beverages Is A Complex Challenge

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food and beverage companies are working hard to meet consumer demands for natural and even organic colors in their products. Research has shown that beverage consumers are particularly attracted to vibrant colors, believing they taste better, are sweeter, and are more attractive generally. When successful at replacing artificial colors in beverages, companies are rewarded with increased market share. But replacing petroleum-based dyes presents numerous technical challenges. These include the possibility that natural food colors: will affect beverage flavor or sweetness; may interact with other ingredients to damage visual appeal; may have problems with stability, such as fading, precipitation, and ringing; may require cold storage to maintain integrity; and may be incompatible with other ingredients, including fortificants like vitamins and minerals.
Donna Berry, "Overcoming the Complexities of Coloring Beverages", Food Business News, February 14, 2018, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Food Spoilage – Not Plate Waste – Is More Of A Problem In The Home

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at Ohio State University have determined that people who on average left just three percent of their food on their plates when choosing their own meals left almost 40 percent behind when given a standard boxed-lunch type of meal. Plate waste at home was 3.5 percent higher when diners went for seconds or thirds. But the study’s lead author also noted that efforts to reduce food waste at home would be better directed toward other conservation tactics, like using up food before it spoils. Plate waste is a more serious problem at school cafeterias and event buffets. [Image Credit: © Portland State University]
Misti Crane, "Clean Plates Much More Common When We Eat at Home", News release, Ohio State University, February 14, 2018, © The Ohio State University
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Fentimans Debuts Tonic Water Developed For Premium Artisanal Gins

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British mixers maker Fentimans continues to ride the gin popularity wave with the addition of a premium tonic water, Connoisseurs, launched in 125ml, 200ml and 500ml bottles. The company said the mixer was developed to “accentuate and amplify the delicate botanical flavors found in artisanal and premium gin.” Last year, the company spent $1.7 million to rebrand and revamp its image.
"Fentimans’ New Tonic Aims to Amplify Botanical Flavours of Gin", FoodBev, February 14, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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McDonald’s Sees Better Quality Chicken As Vehicle For Extending Growth Curve

February 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s, which is in the midst of a three-year growth period, is betting that offering “Better Chicken” will keep that growth bubbling along. The company’s plan is to upgrade the chicken items on its menu to achieve a premium status similar to Chik-fil-A. It has already implemented some customer-pleasing changes to its McNuggets and sandwich lines: it has promised to stop serving poultry with antibiotics; removed artificial preservatives from McNuggets; and launched Southern-style sandwiches and tenders coated in a crispy buttermilk breading. It’s a major shift for the decades-old burgers-and-fries company, whose customers see chicken as a healthier protein. "It's definitely a transformational era for McDonald's," said an analyst at Motley Fool. "Chicken is part of that." [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
 
Leslie Patton, "McDonald's Bets that 'Better Chicken' can Keep Growth Run Going", Chicago Tribune, February 13, 2018, © Chicago Tribune
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Applied Food Sciences Achieves Non-GMO Verification For Caffeine Ingredients

February 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage brands may soon be able to formulate their products with non-GMO certified and organic caffeine, bolstering clean label claims. Texas-based international ingredient supplier Applied Food Sciences (AFS) has achieved Non-GMO Project verification for four of its core ingredients: PurCaf organic caffeine from organic green coffee beans; PurTea Organic Caffeine from organic green tea leaves; JAVA.g, a polyphenolic blend of caffeine and antioxidants from green coffee beans; and GCA, described as “the highest quality green coffee bean extract available on the market.” The nonprofit Non-GMO Project focuses on genetically modified organisms and aims to prevent GM foodstuffs from being present in retail food products.
"AFS Debuts “First-Ever” Non-GMO Project Verified Caffeine Ingredient", Nutrition Insight, February 09, 2018, © CNS Media BV
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Natural/Organic Is Increasingly Attractive To Hispanic Grocery Shoppers

February 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The organic and clean label foods and beverages movement is permeating nearly every segment of the American consumer population, and especially Hispanics, whose buying power has reached $1 trillion annually. A new Packaged Facts report finds that more than half of Hispanic shoppers routinely buy natural/organic groceries, and 60 percent say they are buying more natural/organic foods than ever. Forty percent of Hispanic adults say a store's organic vegetable and fruit selection is an especially important factor when choosing where to shop for groceries, while 33 percent say the store's selection of organic packaged foods and beverages is important. In each of these cases, Hispanics are 15 percent or more above the average for all adults.  [Image Credit: © Sustainable Brands ]
"Hispanics Creating New Retail Opportunities in Organic and Clean Label Food Market", News release, Packaged Facts, February 08, 2018, © Packaged Facts
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New Choline Gummie Supplements Meet An Important Need In Young Children

February 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Research over the years has shown that the brains of infants and young children are healthier when their moms supplement their pregnancy diets with larger doses of the vitamin-like essential nutrient choline. But choline – found in beef liver and eggs and in supplements – is also essential as children grow, though it can be difficult to get kids to ingest adequate amounts. An entrepreneur is trying to solve that problem with the launch of a gummie supplement that makes that task easier. Sarah Kline, founder of Austin, Texas-based BestCholine, begins shipping her choline supplement this month in 500mg capsules, the amount recommended by the American Medical Association. Her marketing challenge is twofold: spreading the word about her product while educating parents about the need for adequate amounts of choline in developing brains.. [Image Credit: © BestCholine ]

Adi Menayang, "Kids Need Choline Too: Supplement Start-Up BestCholine Launches Choline Gummies", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, February 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Spain Joins With Food Companies To Make Foods More Healthful

February 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

In a comprehensive initiative to make the country’s foods and beverages more healthful, the Spanish health ministry is working with food manufacturers, foodservice companies, and vending machine firms to cut levels of salt, sugar, and fat in more than 3,500 products within two years. The Spanish health minister called the move “a pioneering plan to improve the composition of food, promote the health of Spaniards and prevent chronic diseases.” [Image Credit: © CasualSpain.com ]

"Spain to Reduce Sugar, Salt and Fat Levels in 3,500 Products", FoodBev, February 06, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Calif. Dairy Introduces Non-GMO, Lactose-Free Milk Products

February 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A family-owned California dairy says it has developed a non-GMO Project verified lactose-free milk for consumers who are lactose-intolerant and hoping to avoid genetically modified organisms in their food and beverages. According to Clover Sonoma, the product is available in whole milk, two percent reduced fat, one percent low fat and fat free, as well as a chocolate whole milk option. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, a condition caused by the body’s inability to produce enough of the lactase enzyme to fully break down the natural sugar lactose found in milk.  [Image Credit: © Clover Sonoma ]
"Clover Sonoma Announces First and Only Non-GMO Project Verified Lactose Free Milk", News release, Clover Sonoma, February 06, 2018, © Clover Sonoma
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Nutritionist Argues That Pizza Makes A Better Breakfast Than Cereal

January 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A registered dietitian nutritionist has posted a blog entry saying that a slice of pizza makes for a more healthful breakfast than a bowl of cereal. The two contain essentially the same number of calories, argues nutrition blogger Chelsey Amer, but pizza “packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning." She acknowledged that pizza isn’t really a health food, but compared to most sugary cereals, it’s more balanced, contains more fat and less sugar. Another nutritionist disagreed, noting that cereal provides important nutrients “to start your day off right." Keri Gans said “the right cereal that’s packed with fiber, may help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar," especially when topped with berries rich in vitamins. 
Andrew N. White, "Pizza Is Healthier Breakfast Option than Cereal, Dietitian Says", International Business Times, January 31, 2018, © Newsweek Media Group
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Tyson Foods Invests In Another Alternative To Livestock-Sourced Protein

January 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Meat producer Tyson Foods, which markets about 20 percent of the meat sold in the U.S., has invested in a company whose mission is to eradicate farm-raised protein. The company invested in Silicon Valley-based Memphis Meats, which is trying to grow meat from animal cells, through its venture capital arm, joining Cargill, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Atomico, and DFJ. Memphis Meats CEO Uma Valeti said he hopes his company will benefit from the Tyson and Cargill investments because of their deep knowledge of meat distribution. “They really understand how to scale up,” he says. “They’ll help us learn a lot about getting meat on the shelf.” Tyson has also backed Beyond Meat, which is attempting to replicate the taste of meat with plants. 
Beth Kowitt, "Tyson Foods Has Invested in a Startup That Aims to Eradicate Meat from Live Animals", Fortune, January 29, 2018, © Time Inc.
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Panera Chides Competitors About Use Of Non-Clean Ingredients In Menu Items

January 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Fast-casual restaurant chain Panera has set up a committee of food experts who can advise competitors on how to start using natural “clean” ingredients in their menu items. The experts who comprise Clean Consultant can also be hired by other restaurant chains to learn how to get more active in food policy issues. The feisty company has also begun marketing a revamped breakfast sandwich; asked the FDA to clearly define the term “egg;” and called out rivals Chick-fil-A and Starbucks for using additives in their egg sandwiches. [Image Credit: © Panera Bread]
Kate Taylor, "Panera Wants to Help Other Brands Clean Up Their Menus ' and it Shows How the Sandwich Chain is Doubling Down on a Key Strategy in a New Era", Business Insider, January 29, 2018, © Business Insider Inc.
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Bear Squeeze Stakes Future Of Its Ketogenic Meal Powder On Non-GMO Claim

January 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Budding meal replacement company Bear Squeeze is differentiating itself from major competitor Soylent by touting its non-GMO nutrient profile. Billing itself as a “higher-end, cleaner Soylent,” the drinkable ketogenic meal product contains medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, kale, pumpkin seed protein, and probiotics. The ketogenic diet trend is gathering steam – searches have increased steadily on Google since 2016 – as consumers look for products that are low in carbs and high in fats like MCT oil. The California-based company, which raised more than $100,000 on the Indiego funding platform and was a prizewinner at BevNet Live recently, says Bear Squeeze is sold only online and only in bottled powder form for the time being.
Adi Menayang, "‘The Meal Replacement Category is On Fire,’ Says Founder of Ketogenic Beverage Brand Bear Squeeze", FOODnavigator-USA.com, January 25, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Runa Links Energy Drink Success With Prosperity Of Guayusa Farmers In Ecuador

January 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Brooklyn-based Runa, which makes RTD iced teas and guayusa-based energy drinks, has had considerable success in the energy segment: year-over-year sales in the multi-outlet channel grew 60 percent in 2017. But to really have an impact, especially on its guayasa suppliers, it needed to make sure its marketing was having a positive social effect while boosting sales. The streamlined goal now is to grow its line of 12 oz. canned “clean” energy drinks. The reasoning? The more demand for guayusa, ‘the more lives we are impacting in Ecuador.” The marketing strategy is to focus on tactics that have worked, but the company is also launching five flavors through a direct store distribution (DSD) partner in New York City.
Martín Caballero, "Runa Steers towards Natural Energy, Away from Tea", BevNET, January 19, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Mixer Buzz: U.K.’s Roots Beverage Now Offers Honey-Sweetened Tonic Waters

January 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British beverage start-up Roots is stepping into the spirits mixer market with the debut of a range of tonic waters. The honey-sweetened line includes Worker Bee, Queen Bee, and Rhu-Bee, with natural color and flavor from rhubarb. London-based Bottling U.K. will produce and distribute the products. Founder Jamie Blair says his mission was to created “a brilliant product” that was healthful and beneficial to the planet, especially to bees. The business also hopes to “give back” by reinvesting 10 percent of profits to bee-related projects. The Roots range of tonic waters is sold in 200 ml and 500 ml bottles.
"Roots Beverage Co Unveils Line of Honey-Sweetened Tonic Waters", FoodBev, January 18, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Pickle Juice Company’s Sports Drink Attains USDA Organic Certification

January 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Interest in pickle juice as a functional sport beverage has been somewhat muted, pushed mainly by the Pickle Juice Company of Mesquite, Texas, and by professional hockey player Blake Coleman. The New Jersey Devils forward drinks the concoction straight from the pickle jar, claiming that it relieves cramping. The Pickle Juice Company, on the other hand, offers something a little more sophisticated than the jar-based stuff, and it now claims a USDA organic certification. The company probably has a lock on the market, because its juice – besides being certified organic – contains no non-functional ingredients, only dual filtered water, vinegar, salt, natural dill flavor, potassium, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E. So, if that’s what you need, there it is.
Mike Pomranz, "‘Pickle Juice’ Sports Drink Just Got Even Better", Food & Wine, January 18, 2018, © Time Inc. Affluent Media Group
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Celsius Extends Fitness Drink Line With New Flavors

January 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Florida-based Celsius Holdings has added  two new flavors to its Celsius line of fitness drinks. Apple Jack’d and Orangesicle are carbonated “trainer-grade” thermogenic pre-workout drinks packaged in 16-ounce cans. Each contains 2,000 mg of the amino acid L-citrulline and 300 mg of caffeine, more than three times the caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of coffee. The company’s portfolio of fitness drinks, launched in March 2017, now comprises seven products. The proprietary thermogenic formula accelerates metabolism, boosts energy and burns body fat when combined with exercise, according to the company.
"Celsius adds new flavors to Celsius Heat line", Beverage Industry, January 16, 2018, © BNP Media
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It’s Not Easy To Find Out Whether Meat Is Ethically Raised

January 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Americans are eating 50 pounds more meat per person than they did in 1960. An increasing number of them want to be certain their meat was ethically raised. But that’s not easy to do. Labels like “all natural” or “free range” on meat packages are no help, and few many consumers are likely to visit farms to observe animal husbandry practices. That’s where independent third-party certification comes in. Whole Foods Market, for example, requires its fresh meat to be certified through the nonprofit Global Animal Partnership, a somewhat expensive procedure that involves regular farm audits. Other third-party organizations that assure customers that the meat they are eating was ethically raised include Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and American Humane Certified, as well as the Non-GMO Project and Where Food Comes From, Inc. [Image Credit: © agrilicious.org ]
Abigail Curtis, "You Want to Eat Meat That’s Been Ethically Raised. But How Can You Know for Sure?", Bangor Daily News, January 15, 2018, © Bangor Publishing Co.
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Peach Coca-Cola Will Debut This Month In Japan

January 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The peach-loving people of Japan will be the first market to try Coca-Cola’s new peach-flavored Coke for a limited time. The launch on January 22 will coincide with the beginning of peak demand for peach-flavored beverages in Japan, which runs through March and the transition to spring. Peach Coca-Cola’s pink-red label will feature an image of a plump peach with bubbles. A 500-ml (16.9-ounce) bottle will retail for $1.25; the 280-ml bottle will be about $1.00 at vending machines only.
Oona McGee, "Peach Coca-Cola coming to Japan in a world-first for the company", SoraNews24, January 10, 2018, © SoraNews24 / Socio Corporation
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RTD Drink Trends In 2018 Include Minimal Processing, Functional Ingredients

January 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer demand will continue to rise in 2018 for perishable RTD beverages that are minimally-processed, contain little or no added sugar, are sweetened with natural ingredients, feature unusual flavors, and offer functional benefits. In play will be products that are cold pressed or cold brewed, often using high-pressure technologies that eliminate the need for ultra-high temperature pasteurization and aseptic processing. Look for functional ingredients that promote health in RTD coffees, teas, and juices, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, prebiotics, and probiotics. New flavors expected to gain traction include: maple and honey, sour citrus, watermelon, carrot ginger turmeric (Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice), and mocktail spirit flavors like amaretto and whiskey (ArKay Beverages).
Donna Berry, "Freshness, Transparency to Propel Beverage Trends", Food Business News, January 10, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Start-Up May Have Sweetener Formula That Makes Sugar Obsolete

January 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
An Israeli entrepreneur and former PepsiCo exec has patented a clean-label sweetener he promises is a “breakthrough product that could ultimately make sugar obsolete.” Heylo is a proprietary combination of acacia and stevia, blended in a precise ratio using a technique that delivers clean taste and functionality. Unavoo Technologies, the brainchild of Yuval Maymon, says do-it-yourself concoctions of the two ingredients cannot duplicate the result. The patent protects the levels [of acacia and stevia], the formulation, and the interaction of the carrier with the sweetener. The sugar replacement market is large – as much as $20 billion – but current offerings have major problems that Heylo avoids. The biggest one: bulking agents (i.e., erythritol, maltodextrin, dextrose, maltitol and sorbitol) that comprise 80-90 percent of replacements. 
Elaine Watson, "Heylo! There’s a New Sugar Replacer in Town… and this One’s a Game-Changer, Says Ex-PepsiCo Exec", FOODnavigator-USA.com, January 08, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Desire For Skillfully-Cooked Veggies Transcends Vegetarianism

January 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Diners looking for restaurants that serve good vegetarian or vegan cuisine can now thank WalletHub for its list of the best cities for veggie-based cuisine. (Top of the list: New York City, but there are many others.) Chefs in New York once thought of vegetarianism as a fad, but now acknowledge it is “becoming a concrete cultural shift," as Sean McPaul of New York’s High Street on Hudson put it. But the shift encompasses much more than veganism and vegetarianism. An increasing number of diners simply want to eat more vegetables that are cooked well. The shift includes other concepts as well, including the farm-to-table movement, which supports local farmers. The end result: chefs are getting very skilled at cooking fresh vegetables well.  
Melissa Kravitz, "There's Something Big Shifting in American High Cuisine", AlterNet, January 07, 2018, © Independent Media Institute
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“Naked Cakes” Skip The Frosting, But Not The Decadence

January 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A minimalist trend is overtaking the cake-baking community: “naked cakes” shun frosting or fondant, but still manage to hold onto a certain sugar-rich decadence. The basic idea is to highlight the texture of the cakes themselves and the fillings between layers. They are embellished with fresh blooms, gum paste-molded flowers, edible pearls and gems, chocolate chips, crumbs, cookie dough, candy sprinkles, and fresh berries. The basic idea is to highlight the texture of the cakes and the fillings between layers. Christina Tosi, owner of the award-winning U.S. and Canadian bakery Momofuku Milk Bar, is said to have come up with the idea. But many other pastry chefs and bakers are featuring the desserts, including Martha Stewart and wedding resource The Knot.  [Image Credit: © Momofoku Milk Bar ]
"Frosting-Free Cakes the Latest Trend", Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, January 06, 2018, © Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
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Dunkin’ Removes All Synthetic Dyes From Donuts

January 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts has removed all artificial dyes from its donuts in the U.S., almost a year before its original deadline. Calling the accomplishment ”an incredible milestone moment,” the company said it took years of research to make the transition to simpler donut ingredients and hopes to continue the trend with “innovative new flavors” in the months ahead. The company said it is on track to meet its end-of-2018 deadlines for removing synthetic dyes from its entire menu, including donut icings, fillings and toppings, and frozen beverages such as Coolatta frozen beverages, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and coffee flavorings. Sister brand Baskin-Robbins is also working to remove synthetic dyes from its products. [Image Credit: © Dunkin' Donuts ]
"To Ring in the New Year, Dunkin' Donuts Removes Artificial Dyes from Donuts", News release, Dunkin' Donuts, January 04, 2018, © Dunkin' Donuts
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Ancient Grains Find A Modern Audience In U.S.

January 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Today’s health-conscious consumers have taken foods considered staples in ancient civilizations – grains like quinoa, amaranth, farro, and spelt – and made them new again. Industry data show that case shipments to U.S. foodservices rose by double-digit rates compared to processed wheat grains. Shipments of highly popular quinoa rose 18.5 percent in the 12 months that ended in October 2017 compared to a year ago. Shipments of spelt and farro also increased by double digits. Consumers are turning to ancient grains because they are richer in protein, fiber, and vitamins than modern grains. But the increasing popularity among foodservice operators is also due to the fact that chefs appreciate their unique flavors.  [Image Credit: © Bob's Red Mill ]
Kim McLynn, "Everything Ancient is New Again: Case Shipments of Ancient Grains to Foodservice Outlets Increased by Double-Digits", The NPD Group, January 03, 2018, © The NPD Group, Inc.
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New Fruit Juice Products Designed To Showcase Filipino Pride

December 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Philippines sauces and condiments company NutriAsia group is expanding into beverages with the launch of the fruit juice brand Locally. The coconut water-based drinks are available in ten flavors inspired by native Philippines fruits, including mango, tamarind, and calamansi. According to the company, the underlying mission is to raise awareness and appreciation of local produce, support Filipino farmers, and “champion Pinoy pride” by showcasing the country’s homegrown flavors and local culture.
"Locally Has Mangosteen, Sineguelas, and Guyabano Juice Drink Flavors You’ll Love", InterAksyon, December 19, 2017, © TV5 Network Inc.
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New Wheat Variety Is Rich In Healthful Resistant Starch

December 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australian scientists have developed a high-amylose wheat variety that contains more than ten times the amount of resistant starch compared to regular wheat. Farmers in Minnesota and Washington have become the first to harvest the wheat, whose amylose content is 85 percent rather than the normal 20 to 30 percent, for processing into flour. U.S.-based Bay State Milling Company is bringing the new wheat into the U.S. market under the brand name HealthSense high fiber wheat flour. It will be incorporated into a range of food products, including bread. Resistant starch improves digestive health, protects against the genetic damage that precedes bowel cancer, and helps combat Type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, it is missing from the diets of millions of people globally..  [Image Credit: © Bay State Milling ]
"CSIRO New Type of Wheat Could Transform Daily Fiber Intake", News release, CSIRO, December 13, 2017, © CSIRO
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Clean Label Reformulation Made Easier With New Citrus Fiber Ingredient

December 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The challenge for food companies trying to achieve clean labels is to reformulate using alternative ingredients that can withstand food processing conditions. New ingredients re needed to replace starches, gums, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. To help companies meet that challenge, Fiberstar, Inc., has developed a natural plant-based fiber ingredient that improves quality, texture, and health. Citri-Fi is a natural citrus fiber derived from citrus juicing and produced without chemicals, alcohols or other processing aides. The production process opens up the fiber to create high surface area to better hold water and improve emulsification. Comprising insoluble and soluble fibers, Citri-Fi is about 40 percent native pectin that can be activated to produce gelling properties. [Image Credit: © Fiberstar ]
"Fiberstar Announces Natural, Plant-Based Fibers to Improve Clean Label Food Products", News release, Fiberstar, December 05, 2017, © Fiberstar, Inc.
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Bakery Introduces Canada To The Flavor – And Eco-Benefits – Of Novel Grain

December 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian bakery recently hosted a reception at which freshly baked loaves of a novel bread were tasted by guests. The bread was made with a perennial grain – the trademarked name is Kernza – that has been developed from a forage crop called intermediate wheatgrass. Researchers and bakers alike are excited about Kernza because it is a sustainable root-based grain that reduces the amount of soil tillage normally required by annual seed-grown grains. The flour used in the tasting reception was a blend of other grains, because Kernza’s gluten quality is poor. Kernza is being used on a small scale in the U.S. to make bread, crackers, designer beers, and even whiskey. [Image Credit: © Land Institute ]

 
Laura Rance, "Kernza More than Just a New Food Trend", Winnipeg Free Press, December 02, 2017, © FP Newspapers Inc.
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