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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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BiPro Introduces Protein Water Supercharged With Caffeine

December 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The BiPro consumer unit of North American dairy cooperative Agropur Inc. has launched a caffeinated protein water “designed for busy, health-conscious consumers.” Each 16.9-ounce bottle contains 100 mg of caffeine – equivalent to an 8-ounce cup of coffee – and 20 grams of protein. The caffeine is derived from guarana extract, a natural, plant-based source. Each bottle has 90 calories with zero grams of sugar, fat, or carbohydrates. Other ingredients include water, whey protein isolate (milk), phosphoric acid, natural flavor, and stevia extract.
"BiPro Introduces First Caffeinated Protein Water Flavor", News release, BiPro, December 01, 2017, © BiPro
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Cinnamon Compound May Provide Therapy For Obesity

November 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Exposing fat-derived human stem cells to a cinnamon compound results in thermogenesis (heat production) and metabolic remodeling that could reduce obesity, according to research by Chinese and U.S. scientists. Cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and scent, is known to protect against obesity and hypoglycemia in mice, so the researchers wanted to test its impact on human cells. They observed that cinnamaldehyde consistently activated thermogenesis in the human tissue in vitro, making it a “promising therapeutic target for obesity.” 
Adi Menayang, "Cinnamon May Have Anti-Obesity Benefits", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, November 30, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Flavor Is Still Important To Consumers Looking For “Better For You” Beverages

November 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Traditional beverage brands that have relied on flavor – especially from sugar content – will continue to have a tough time in today’s market, thanks to changing consumer habits. But the climate of uncertainty is nevertheless “a breeding ground for innovation and creativity,” according to Clark McIlroy of distributor Red Star Brands. The desire for food and drinks considered healthful, or at least less unhealthful, has not only spurred the entrance of new competitors, it has forced classic brands to reformulate, and risk the loss of what it was that made them “special.” Despite these trends, however, successful brands will always emphasize flavor. “Simply providing a ‘better for you’ product isn’t enough for modern consumers,” McIlroy says.
"‘Taste Cannot Be Compromised When Creating Healthier Products’, Says Red Star Brands", KamCity, November 30, 2017, © EMR-NAMNEWS Ltd.
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Almonds Are The Healthful, Sustainable “Feel Good” Snack

November 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Market opportunities are increasing for food ingredients that are not only healthful but ecologically beneficial by fostering sustainability in relation to humans, animals, and the environment. Ingredients that fall into that category are generally natural, GMO-free, sustainable, and ethical. One ingredient that satisfies these concerns is almonds, a snack people can feel good about. New snack product launches have again made almonds the number one nut for new product introductions in Europe. 
"Almonds Provide Inspiration for Innovation at FiE", Food Ingredients 1st, November 28, 2017, © CNS Media BV
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For One Maryland Baker, Breadmaking Is Closely Linked To The Soil

November 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Maryland baker is taking breadmaking beyond the mere mixture of water, flour, and yeast to the higher art of crafting delicious loaves only from ingredients grown organically by a local farmer. Jonathan Bethony’s “horse bread,” for example, is made with field peas, sorghum, millet, mustard seed, and camelina – all provided by an organic farmer, who grows only what he needs to keep his land healthy and ready to produce more traditional wheat. Bethony mills the grains at his bakery. He never sifts, so the nutritious oils and bran remain in his bread and pastries. Chef and author Dan Barber says Bethony’s somewhat spiritual techniques may seem old-fashioned, but they’re actually rather futuristic: “You’re basically looking at the Steve Jobs of bread.” 
Jane Black, "This New Bakery is Taking Local Grains to Another Level — and the Results Should Have You Standing in Line", The Washington Post, November 28, 2017, © The Washington Post
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Study Claims Sugar Lobby Suppressed Negative Findings On Sugar’s Health Impact

November 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After years of believing that foods containing fat were the major cause of a raft of health problems, scientists and consumers now know that sugar is the real culprit. But the decades-old misperception was not an accident. It was fostered by the sugar industry, which suppressed research as long as 50 years ago that would have rung the alarm bell. A new study reveals that the Sugar Association buried its own scientific findings on the harmful effects of table sugar on rodents in the 1960s. Two studies, known as Project 259, funded by the sugar lobby proved that sugar-eating mice were at greater risk for strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. The Sugar Association never published the results, but claims now that the reasons were circumstantial. [Image Credit: © National Health Service/UK ]
Hilary Brueck, "Big Sugar Buried These Concerning Health Studies 50 Years Ago", ScienceAlert, November 22, 2017, © ScienceAlert Pty Ltd.
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Brexit Consequences Will Make It Too Expensive For Some To Eat Healthfully

November 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Great Britain’s Food Foundation says Brexit-related ramifications like unfavorable exchange rates, tariffs, and higher labor costs will make it too expensive for lower income families to afford healthful quantities of fruits and vegetables. The Brexit impact could add £158 ($212) a year to the amount a family of four spends on fruits and vegetables, especially if they try to meet the five-a-day eating target. The thinktank recommends: an expanded healthy food voucher system; increased production of homegrown fruit and vegetables; new measures to secure seasonal labor for farms; capital grants to farmers to expand production; and guidance to ensure British-grown fruit and vegetables are prominent in meals served in schools, hospitals, and jails. 
Patrick Butler, "Five-A-Day Eating Targets 'Will Be Unaffordable for Millions after Brexit'", The Guardian, November 20, 2017, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Will Coke Fans Go For New Cola That Lacks The Disagreeable Stevia Aftertaste?

November 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola says it has come up with a stevia-sweetened cola beverage that not only has no sugar and no calories, the unpleasant stevia aftertaste is gone. An earlier attempt to satisfy evolving consumer tastes led to the creation of a stevia-plus-sugar cola. The sugar was added to mask the stevia aftertaste, but the drink foundered because it contained 60 calories. The company removed the offending stevia molecules from the new version, eliminating the aftertaste.
Jennifer Kaplan, "Coca-Cola Aims to Solve Stevia Aftertaste Problem with New Drink", Bloomberg, November 17, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Carlsberg Working With Microsoft To Develop AI-Based Flavor Sensing Technology

November 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danish brewer Carlsberg has partnered with Microsoft to develop a sensor platform based on artificial intelligence that would detect flavors and aromas in beer. The multimillion-dollar Beer Fingerprinting Project is expected to result in technology that would reduce the time and costs associated with developing new types of beer by being able to distinguish among all the flavors developed each day in the Carlsberg laboratory. A Carlsberg scientist said the technology would enable researchers to select and develop novel brewer’s yeast for application in craft, specialty, core and alcohol-free beers “at much higher speed and even better quality.” Also involved in the project are scientists from the Technical University of Denmark and Aarhus University.
Rachel Arthur, "Carlsberg Turns to Artificial Intelligence in ‘Beer Fingerprinting’ Project", BeverageDaily.com, November 07, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bank Analyst Looks At Beverage Innovation In The C-Store Channel

November 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog attended a recent national C-store meeting to assess the innovation activities of beverage companies in the C-store channel. Drinks innovation tended to cluster around flavors, clean labels, and functionality, all of which were “encouraging” trends for C-stores. She praised Coca-Cola’s pipeline as “a good mix of both flavor and package innovation. New offerings include Coca-Cola Georgia Peach and California Raspberry, the new Vitamin Water “Active,” Barrilitos fresh fruit infused waters, Coke Zero Sugar, and RTD coffees. PepsiCo’s new Dew Ice, launching in 2018, is “promising.” The company’s marketing strategy seems to be “straddling spaces” across retailers, occasions, and categories. Dr Pepper Snapple has high hopes for BodyArmor, setting a goal of 10 percent of the sports drinks market within 18 months, and for its Bai brands.
Stephen Daniells, "Innovation at C-Stores: Protein, Flavors, Sports Drinks and More", FOODnavigator-USA.com, November 06, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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U.K.’s Lucozade Ribena Suntory Cuts Sugar Content Of Its Drinks

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS), created when Japan’s Suntory acquired the beverages Lucozade and Ribena from GlaxoSmithKline in 2013, says its famous brands are going sugar-light and, in some cases, sugar-free. That would make them more healthful, according to CEO Peter Harding, who sees opportunities for healthful water-based, coffee-based, and tea-based beverages, and for non-alcoholic premium beverages – including cactus juice. LRS announced reformulation plans a year ago to cut sugar levels by more than half in its drinks, making them more healthful, helping them avoid widespread criticism, and helping them avoid the country’s new sugar tax.
Andrew Cave , "Lucozade Ribena Suntory boss: 'Our drinks can be fuel for healthier living'", The Telegraph , October 30, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

October 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [Image Credit: © Hershey's ]
Douglas Yu, "Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts", ConfectioneryNews.com, October 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coke Applies For Patent For Drinks Containing “Rare Sugars”

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is seeking a U.S. patent for beverages containing rare sugars and sweetness enhancers. According to the application, “the sweetness enhancers are present at or below the sweetness recognition threshold concentration.” The patent would also cover methods for improving the sweetness of a beverage that contains rare sugars, as well as an added sweetness enhancer. in a concentration at or below its sweetness recognition threshold. The invention was developed by Prakash Indra et al.
"The Coca-Cola Co. Submits United States Patent Application for Beverages Containing Rare Sugars", Global IP News (Food and Beverage Patent News), October 22, 2017, © Globalipnews.com
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New York Doughnut Shop Sticks To Savory Flavors

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A pop-up doughnut shop in Manhattan no longer serves traditional treats, opting instead to produce savory flavors like smoked salmon, foie gras, lobster roll, and caviar. Forbidden Doughnuts, launched by French chef Richard Farnabe and open only on weekends at the Bowery kitchen supplies firm, sells its wares for $5 to $18 each. Other ingredients in the unusual doughnuts include cauliflower, sweet peas, artichokes, kimchi, garlic, broccoli, tomato, olive tapenade, carrots, peppercorns, and crab. The specialty of the house is the caviar doughnut [left] with an oscetra caviar cream filling, cream fraiche glaze, and vodka gelee topping ($18).. [Image Credit: ©   Forbidden Doughnuts ]
Carly Stern, "Nobody's Dunkin' These! New York City chef Ditches Traditional Glazed and Chocolate Doughnuts", Daily Mail, October 20, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Lawsuits Accuse Coca-Cola, Other Diet Soft Drink Makers, Of False Advertising

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Three class action complaints filed by several law firms in New York earlier this month allege that consumers have been duped into thinking that diet beverages sold by major soft drink companies will help them lose or manage weight. But in fact, the suits say, drinking the beverages regularly actually leads to weight gain. The brain perceives beverages sweetened with sugar substitutes like aspartame to be sweet, then misreads the number of calories present, and slows down metabolism. Calories are then stored as fat. Because of this, the suit accuses Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Coca-Cola Company, and PepsiCo of false, misleading, and unlawful marketing. Coca-Cola called the lawsuit “completely meritless” and said it would “vigorously defend against it.”
Lisa Fickenscher, "These Diet Sodas are Actually Making People Fat: Suit", New York Post, October 18, 2017, © NYP Holdings, Inc.
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Vegan Grain Bowls Are A Hit Among Non-Vegan Foodies

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bowls of green veggies served on a bed of healthful grains are catching on among diners looking for a healthful lunch or dinner. Known as vegan grain bowls, the meals offer light but filling and healthful fare that appeals to vegans and non-vegans alike, if reports from Maine eateries are any indication. Variations include: green bamboo rice, French green lentils, green zebra tomatoes, and zucchini; wheat berries, seared tempeh, red cabbage and pumpkin broth; or rice and quinoa topped with greens, seaweed, avocado, pickles, and tofu finished with a carrot-ginger dressing. 
Avery Yale Kamila, "Vegan Grain Bowls Gain Popularity in Maine", Press Herald, October 11, 2017, © Press Herald
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [Image Credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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Nissin Reformulates Top Ramen Products For Health-Conscious Noodle Buyers

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Instant ramen maker Nissin Foods said consumer demand for simpler, more healthful food products was the force behind its decision to reformulate its Top Ramen product line with less salt, no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and “fewer artificial ingredients.” The company says the reformulation – the initiative is dubbed “Noodle Zen” – means an improved nutritional profile without loss of “great taste” or a price increase. Specifically, the products now have 15 percent less sodium, no added MSG, and no artificial flavors.  [Image Credit: © Nissin ]
"Nissin Foods Top Ramen Finds Noodle Zen with Updated Recipe", News release, Nissin, October 09, 2017, © Nissin Foods
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'Supermarket' Startup Seeks To Go Storeless

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Farmstead believes it can reinvent the supermarket model by eliminating its physical structure altogether. The San Francisco based startup has a series of micro-warehouses stocked with a range of local farm produce and grocery products and uses AI to predict a customer’s future needs based on their initial order. The selection is then delivered to the customer. Farmstead claims to have made over 15,000 deliveries in the Bay Area and has raised $2.8 million from venture funds. [Image Credit: © Farmstead] 
Dan Orlando, "Startup Believes it Can ‘Reinvent’ Supermarket Model", Supermarket News, October 05, 2017, © Penton
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Seaweed Slithers Into Natural Foods

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite its somewhat daunting fishy taste, seaweed is gaining popularity among natural food manufacturers because of its green color, umami flavor, healthfulness – it contains high levels of magnesium, folate, calcium, and vitamin K – and “an inspiring sustainability story.” Besides its traditional use as a wrapping for rice and fish, it is being incorporated into snack chips, pasta, purees, and jerky. Blue Evolution Foods is trying to improve seaweed’s status by blending it into pasta sauce and marinara sauce. Another innovator is blending several different seaweeds with mushrooms, herbs and spices and a dehydrator to create a kelp jerky as a stand-in for traditional meat-based jerky. [Image Credit: © California Academy of Sciences ]
Jenna Blumenfeld, "Brands Find New Flavor Opportunities with Seaweed", New Hope Network, October 03, 2017, © Penton
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Advanced Technologies Could Fuel Expansion Of Sugarcane Juice Market In India

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canned sugarcane juice is a popular and healthy but fragile beverage treat in India. A number of companies supply the juice, but its short shelf-life – it stays fresh only a few hours before fermentation sets in, thanks to the presence of yeast – makes it a frustrating commodity. Haphazard sugar cane sourcing worsens the problem. Various research organizations are working to solve the shelf-life issue. One example is the Central Food Technological Research Institute, which will soon file a patent application for preservation and packaging technologies for sugarcane juice. The addition of certain chemicals would preserve potability for six to eight months after bottling.
Arachika Kapoor , "Trials and Tribulations of Canning Sugarcane Juice", Media India, October 01, 2017, © Media India Group
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Judge Okays Agreement That Frees FDA To Enforce Menu Calorie Count Rules

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA will begin enforcing in May 2018 long-delayed regulations that require chain restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores to include calorie counts on menus. A federal judge in Chicago approved an agreement reached by the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, and the Dept. of Justice, to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Earthjustice targeting the FDA’s delays in enforcing rules finalized in 2014. The agreement was reached after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on August issued a statement assuring the litigants that there will be no further delays or changes to the menu labeling rules.  [Image Credit: © Earthjustice ]
"FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018", Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 27, 2017, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [Image Credit: © Agricultured ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Coffee-Flavored Coke No Sugar Debuts In Australia

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has launched, exclusively in Australia, Coke Plus Coffee No Sugar, a caffeine-stoked soft drink that combines traditional Coke flavor with an espresso-like “dash of real coffee from Brazil” and “subtle caramel undertones.” The company hopes coffee-loving Australians will find the new flavor a pleasing alternative to a second cup of java in the afternoon. A similar observation of Australian tastes led to the successful launch of Coke Ginger in the country. A Japanese magazine review of the beverage found the flavor reminiscent of a diet cola with a coffee aftertaste, and “not a fragrance that seems to be very tasty.”
Danielle Le Messurier, "Coca-Cola announces the launch of new flavour, Coke Plus Coffee No Sugar", News Corp Australia Network, September 26, 2017, © News Limited
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Vegan Doughnut Shop’s Menu Is Inspired By Pop Culture

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A vegan doughnut shop in Rochester, N.Y., bases the names of its menu items on movie characters, bands, politics, and art. Misfit Doughnuts & Treats, which opened five months ago, changes its fare every day, offering at least six different flavor profiles featuring one fruit, one chocolate, one citrus, one sweet and savory. Cartoon character Homer Simpson is the inspiration for the “Homer,” a strawberry glazed doughnut with sprinkles a doughnut filled with peaches and topped with a spray of mint is called, simply, “Impeachment.” [Image Credit: © Rochester VegFest ]
Robin L. Flanigan, "Monroe Avenue Doughnut Shop Creates Crazy Flavors that Work", Democrat & Chronicle, September 20, 2017, © www.democratandchronicle.com
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No Evidence Linking Whole Grains To Lower Heart Disease Mortality

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A review of previous studies found that none tested whether eating whole grains influences the risk of death from heart disease, or the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. They did assess the impact of whole grains on risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol. But none found any differences based on the types of grains people ate. A large, undisputed body of evidence associates whole grains with other health benefits, however, including lower weight gain, better cholesterol, glucose and insulin levels, which are risk factors for heart disease. They are also a source of cereal fiber that has been linked to lower risk for heart disease, obesity and cancer.
Lisa Rapaport, "What Can Studies Tell Us About Whole Grains and the Heart?", Reuters, September 20, 2017, © Reuters
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USDA Says Its Organic Police Are Slacking Off

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The inspector general of the USDA has found that agency officials tasked with monitoring imported foods labeled “USDA Organic” have been sleeping on the job, allowing, for example, millions of pounds of imported conventional soybeans and corn to reach U.S. grocery stores with bogus certified-organic labels. The audit of the Agricultural Marketing Service determined that the agency could not “provide reasonable assurance” that those items from abroad are actually “from certified organic foreign farms and business.” The inspector general suggested that the USDA needs to find a way to get the organic food-monitoring staff to do its job properly. [Image Credit: © USDA ]
Clint Rainey, "USDA Warns That Millions of Pounds of Fake ‘Organic’ Imports Are Pouring Into U.S.", Grub Street, September 20, 2017, © New York Media LLC
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Bread Trends Affecting American Diets

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Our shrinking world – fueled by international travel and near-universal access to the Internet – has meant increased sharing of information on a huge array of topics, including bread and other baked goods. Witness the U.S.-originated gourmet burger and upgraded bun that took off in Europe. Or the artisan bread trend that spread from Europe to the U.S. Other ideas that have emigrated include the interest in quality ingredients and clean label, and in unpackaged fresh bread products. Other ideas about bread and grain products that are being shared globally include interest in tortillas, flatbreads, matcha buns, Japanese milk bread, and classic European pastries like croissants and Danish. Keywords in the U.S.: healthful and flavorful.
Charlotte Atchley, "Three Bread Trends Shaping American Diets", Baking Business, September 19, 2017, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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New Beverages Featured At Natural Foods Expo

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The latest developments – “category-disrupting innovations” – in natural beverages were on display at the Natural Products Expo East 2017 in Baltimore, Md., recently. Among the new products, by category: dairy alternatives (Elmhurst Milked’s whole grain-based Milked Oats, Milked Brown Rice, and Milked Peanuts); coffee (Chameleon Cold Brew’s RTD sparkling cold brew coffees); plant-based waters (DrinkMAPLE’s organic maple water Raspberry Lemon); juice (new companies Repurposed Pod presented Cacao Juice and ZAVU’s high pressure processed Cupuacu, Acerola, and Caju juice blends). Also on display were new or newly packaged products in categories like kombucha & drinking vinegar, functional drinks, and probiotics beverages.
Martín Caballero and Brad Avery , "Expo East 2017 Recap", BevNET.com, September 18, 2017, © BevNET.com
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Company Launches Premium Protein Powder Based On Water Lentils

September 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Plant-based nutrition company Clean Machine has launched what it calls a “new superfood” protein powder based on protein-rich water lentils. Dubbed Clean Green Protein, the product contains Lentein and is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber. A 1.6-pound tub with 20 servings and a vanilla chai flavor has an MSRP of $59.99 and is third-party certified vegan, non-GMO, dairy free, and gluten free.  [Image Credit: © Clean Machine ]
"Clean Machine Celebrates the Exclusive Launch Of Lentein, Higher In Nutrients And Protein Than Any Plant Ever Discovered", News release, Clean Machine, September 17, 2017, © Clean Machine
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Company Debuts Ancient Grain-Based Bar Line

September 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Free-from food specialist Enjoy Life Foods, a Mondelez company, has introduced a line of grain and seed snack bars that combine three types of the ancient grain sorghum in four flavors. The company also unveiled new packaging that features the “unofficial shade of food allergy awareness,” teal – “a comforting color to those with food allergies.” The bars are high in protein, and made with popped-sorghum and gluten-free rolled oats. They are also palm oil-free and free from 14 allergens. They are available in 50-gram and 28-gram sizes, in banana caramel, cranberry orange, chocolate marshmallow and maple sweet potato flavors. [Image Credit: © Enjoy Life Foods ]
"Enjoy Life Foods Debuts New Packaging, Grain & Seed Bars at Natural Products Expo East 2017", News release, Enjoy Life Foods, September 14, 2017, © Enjoy Life Foods
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Califia Farms Debuts Seasonal Almond Milk Coffee Creamers

September 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Almond milk maker Califia Farms is introducing two limited-time, seasonal clean-label coffee creamers, one with pumpkin spice and one with mint cocoa. The new creamers offer a dairy-free creamer option containing real almond and coconut cream, and made without artificial ingredients. The company also provides low-calorie Almondmilk Holiday Nog, Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Coffee, and Pumpkin Spice Latte.
"Califia Farms’ New Festive – and Plant-based - Holiday Creamers Give the Gift of Indulgence Without Unwanted Ingredients, Sugars or Calories", News release, Califia Farms, September 14, 2017, © Califia Farms
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Cookie Industry Thrives As Consumers Look For Healthful, Artisanal Offerings

September 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The cookie segment of the retail snacks and baked goods industry is offering strong differentiation that riffs on traditional recipes, adding innovative, crafted, more healthful options. Handheld treats are doing quite well overall, with cookie sales reaching $8.2 billion in the year that ended in March, an increase of 1.76 percent. The main drivers in the field include a consumer preference for artisanal or craft cookies that are less uniform in appearance and have a “homemade” appeal. Homemade suggests the use of familiar, healthful ingredients, including coconut oil, dark chocolate, whole grains, natural sweeteners (viz., honey and maple syrup), oats, peanut butter, nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. Bottom line: consumers want to "eat less, but eat better."
Melissa Kvidahl, "Creative Cookies Get Thinner, Healthier and Offer Innovative Flavors", Snack & Bakery, September 13, 2017, © BNP Media
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Start-Up Hopes To Shake Up The Dairy Industry With Pea-Based Milk

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dairy is the largest contributor to carbon emissions by volume in food production. That fact inspired two entrepreneurs to launch a venture capital-backed Silicon Valley company, dubbed Ripple, to produce dairy alternatives that taste better and have the same amount of protein as dairy and soy milks, and much more than almond or rice products. Made from yellow peas, which are inexpensive to grow, their products aren’t strongly flavored but deliver the same amount of protein as milk from cows. The growing popularity of milk alternatives comes at the expense of the real thing, of course: sales of dairy milk declined seven percent in 2015 and are projected to fall another 11 percent through 2020.
Kate Krader, "For One Silicon Valley Startup, This Vegetable Is the Future of Milk", Bloomberg , September 12, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Stevia Increasingly Finds Its Way Into Big Food’s Reformulations

September 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers concerned about obesity and diabetes are more attentive to healthful dietary and fitness regimens. The trend, along with a spate of governmental levies on sugar, has inspired food and beverage companies to reformulate products. Among the new ingredients being used is the natural low-calorie sweetener stevia. Since 2012, new food with stevia has increased 57 percent; drinks are up 161 percent. In the second quarter of 2017, new product launches using stevia rose 13 percent year on year, researcher Mintel found. It was widely used in new carbonated soft drinks and juices, which represented nine percent of worldwide launches containing stevia in that period. Big suppliers using the ingredient include Coca-Cola, Danone, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever.
Daniel Selwood, "War on sugar drives continuing growth for stevia lines", The Grocer, September 09, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Attitudes Toward Natural, Organic Foods Drive Industry Evolution

September 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
At least half of American adults – and three-fourths of natural food shoppers – believe that organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious, healthier, and better tasting than conventional produce, according to Packaged Facts. These attitudes are the key reason that retail sales of natural and organic foods in the U.S. grew at a CAGR of seven percent from 2012 to 2016. Growth should reach double digits over the next four years, “far outpacing sales growth for groceries and consumables overall.” The demand for organic and natural foods has caused a shift in the industry. They are now found in most supermarkets, making them major competitors of natural food stores and chains. [Image Credit: ©   Hawaii Aloha Travel]
"Organic Food Trends Broadening the Competitive Fray for Natural Grocers", PR Newswire, September 07, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Chinese Beverage Shoppers Increasingly Prefer High-End Bottled Waters

September 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China’s upscale beverage buyers are turning away from sugar-sweetened soft drinks toward more healthful bottled water. Over the past half-decade, the bottled water market in China grew 12 percent a year on average, to a current value of $9.1 billion. It is forecast to reach $13.3 billion by 2021. Consumers are not just buying more bottled water (i.e., 25,906 million liters in 2016), they are buying premium, high-end brands considered healthier and better tasting. High-end brands are grabbing an increasingly larger share of the leading category: 400- to 800-milliliter sizes.
Shi Jing, "Thirst for chic bottled brands", China Daily, September 06, 2017, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Non-GMO Certification Is Mostly Meaningless, But Could Harm Farmers Globally

September 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International, whose Nabisco unit produces Triscuit snack crackers, is so far unfazed by the huge social media backlash that greeted its announcement regarding certification by the Non-GMO project. Applied across the entire line of Triscuit products, the certification was termed “pandering to ignorance and fear” by critics. A Forbes contributor took the criticism further, panning the Non-GMO Project itself for failure to say anything meaningful about a product or its ingredients on their labels, including whether it is healthful, environmentally sound, or whether the workers and farmers who produced it had good working conditions. “Slapping a no-GMOs claim on a product might be an easy way to capitalize on a popular trend,” she says, but it could lead to consumer rejection of genetically engineered farming, which would adversely affect farmers across the globe. [Image Credit: © Triscuit.com ]
Kavin Senapathy, "Stop 'Pandering To Ignorance And Fear': Consumers Speak Out Against Triscuit's Non-GMO Label", Forbes, September 06, 2017, © Forbes Media LLC
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Dairy Organization Lambastes Deceptive, Fear-Based Food Labeling

September 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation has called for an end to label claims such as “GMO free” because they represent "deceptive labels and fear-based marketing” that damages consumer trust and jeopardizes “safe, sustainable farming practices.” The fear-based label problem encompasses genetically modified organism products, synthetic animal-growth hormones, and high fructose corn syrup, according to the NMPF. The campaign’s website, peelbackthelabel.org, targets yogurt maker Dannon for advertising non-GMO ingredients and Dean Foods for a "No GMOs" label on TruMoo chocolate milk. [Image Credit: © Straus Family Creamery ]
Rick Barrett, "Dairy Farmers Seek End to 'Fear-Based' Food Labeling", Journal Sentinel, September 05, 2017, © jsonline.com
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Plant-Based Protein Trend Boosts Food And Beverage Industries

September 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers, particularly Millennials, continue to look for dietary protein from other sources besides meat. These include seafood and eggs, as well as plant-based sources like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, quinoa, etc. The trend has also taken hold in the beverage arena. An example is the dairy-free almond milk produced by Califia Farms, available in supermarkets and via subscription. Sales of beverages and creamers, coffees, and juices at the seven-year-old California company grew 77 percent in 2016. The company’s CEO says the next big trend will be plant-based cultured products such as cheese, butters, and yogurts.
Emily Berger, "Get In On Alternative Proteins", AGWEB, September 01, 2017, © Farm Journal, Inc
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Company Extends Its Line Of Antibiotics-Free Deli Meats

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Deli meat producer Columbus Craft Meats has added three new varieties of salami to its line of pre-sliced uncured antibiotics-free lunch meats. The company cited industry data indicating that antibiotics-free pre-packaged deli meat is growing at a rate four times faster than conventional pre-packaged deli meat. New products added to its uncured line include Italian dry salami, genoa salami, and pepperoni. The products also contain no added nitrates or nitrites. [Image Credit: © Columbus Craft Meats ]
"Columbus Craft Meats Builds On Its Momentum With The Launch Of New Uncured, Antibiotic-Free Salami Line", News release, Columbus Craft Meats, August 31, 2017, © Columbus Craft Meats
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Contrary To Lawsuit Allegations, USDA Is Studying QR Codes As Food Labels

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Center for Food Safety recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging that USDA missed a congressionally-mandated deadline of July 29 to study the “potential technological challenges” facing consumers who have to use electronic or digital disclosure methods, like QR codes, to research food ingredients. However, the agency actually is reviewing a feasibility study on that issue, a USDA spokesman said. The lawsuit says such a study is needed to help draft the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure standard because food companies should label packages with clear ingredient lists, including especially GMO information.
Elizabeth Crawford, "USDA Reviewing Feasibility Study for Using QR Codes to Disclose GMOs Ahead of New Labeling Law", FOODnavigator-USA.com, August 31, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Danish Innovator Is The George Washington Carver Of Hemp

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Danish innovator’s experiments with Finnish hemp – especially the seeds, shelled hearts, oil, and flour – have led to the creation of a growing range of food products, in the same way George Washington Carver made use of the humble peanut. Henrik Rendbøll’s company, Møllerup Gods (i.e., “Estates”), works with farmers who cultivate 500 hectares of hemp annually. By manipulating the hemp components, the company has created bread mixes, pesto sauce, marzipan bread, granola, cereal bars, goat cheese and salami with roasted hemp seeds. A collaboration with a brewery/distillery produces red and black ales brewed with hemp flour, and a craft gin. [Image Credit: © Møllerup Gods ]
Niamh Michail, "Danish Supplier Serves Up a Healthy Dose of Hemp Product Innovation", FOODnavigator.com, August 31, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Foodservice Baked Goods Supplier Bans 150 Dubious Ingredients

August 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
N.J.-based based foodservice baker Bridor’s new “clean label program” bans 150 ingredients from its European-style croissants, pastries, savory bistro items and breads. The company, which serves the foodservice and retail markets, said the ban covers artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. Bridor said the program affects 200 products and could encompass 300 by the end of the year. [Image Credit: © Bridor ]
Mike Berger, "Bridor Launches Clean Label Program For More Than 200 Items", The Shelby Report, August 30, 2017, © The Shelby Report
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Commercial Success Expected In U.S. For Reformulated Weight Loss Supplement

August 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new dosage version of an herbal weight loss supplement is now on sale in the U.S. Weighlevel is a blend of extracts from the leaves of Lady’s Mantle, olives, mint, and cumin, plus a fiber developed by a Japanese company. Two clinical studies have been conducted in Denmark on the extended release formulation; the first will be submitted for publication this fall. The supplement, developed by a Danish company and researchers at the University of Copenhagen, is taken once daily instead of the three times recommended in an earlier fiber-less version. The once-a-day formulation could make the supplement commercially viable in North America.  [Image Credit: © Sprunk Jansen ]
Hank Schultz, "Extended Release Form of Herbal Weight Loss Ingredient Could Be Winner in US Market, Supplier Says", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, August 25, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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