"You may never know what results come from your action.
But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
Food bites... So is Nestlé going to be transformed into a drugs company?
CEO, Paul Bulcke, commenting on the recent launch of the group's new
health science businesses, at the nexus between food and
pharmaceuticals. Read more
is very important, strategically speaking, because in our eyes it
is going to be a major dimension in our society... It's actually a new
industry that's in the making and is crystallising into a well-defined
business opportunity. The
productivity of society is linked with health. We don't feel it so much
in our society because we're a relatively healthy society. But if you
go into Africa, you see whole countries suffer because of
Then on the other side of the equation. there
are the healthcare costs that are exploding. If you add it all up,
there's an increasing business opportunity to help society to give
meaningful solutions and build a healthier society that's more
Editor's Stuff - SA strikes gold at SIAL!
Tens of thousands of food industrialists of every ilk from across the globe, many South Africans among them, will be heading to Paris next weekend for the biennial SIAL expo, one of the world's biggest foodbev trade shows, and second only in size to Germany's Anuga.
SIAL dedicates much space and focus to innovation, and an anticipated aspect of the event is the 2010 SIAL d'Or Awards, widely regarded as the "Oscars" of the food industry. These were announced last week, for products in nine categories, as well as to national winners.The good news is that South Africa features in the top nine!
So, congratulations to Dynamic Commodities, the PE-based company that's primarily in exports and thus largely unknown here, on winning yet another major accolade for its Bits o' Juice, cryogenically frozen citrus pods that make a novel flavouring condiment and which scooped top honours in the Sweet Frozen Foods Category and also won the South African country prize.
DC's directors were on stage in Cape Town just a few weeks ago to take
home a Global Food Award at IUFoST 2010, and by my reckoning, this wonderfully innovative product looks well placed to take the prize of prizes, the Global SIAL d'Or, that will be declared at the official awards ceremony held during the exhibition.
Whatever the case, you can be sure that DC's big win will add massive kudos and visitor interest to the whole SA pavilion at SIAL and enhance our reputation as country with a food industry that is innovative, creative and world class. Great stuff, indeed! Read more on Bits o' Juice here and you can review all the winners on the SIAL website here.
The Ig Nobel Awards for Economics
The real Nobels were announced with fanfare this week, but last week's parody prizes, the "Igs", are often more interesting - they're awarded to scientists whose work makes people laugh first and think later. I love the painful sarcasm in the Economics Prize awarded jointly to the executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Magnetar for "creating and promoting new ways to invest money ways that maximise financial gain and minimise financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof." Read more
SA's new labelling regulations: There's
a great deal of concern about the new regulations and their impending
'due date' in March 2011. I have set up a new page on the website, as a
useful resource and home to several articles, comments, insights and
advice on R146. Click here
Enjoy this week's read!
Email Brenda Neall:
Publisher & Editor
FOOD INDUSTRY JOBS ADVERTISED THIS WEEK! Tongaat Hulett is looking for technical sales staff - equity employment opportunities!
See jobs here and here.
Afrikaans translation: To translate this page, go to http://interpret.co.za/,
and simply paste the URL into the page translator module. The
translation is by no means perfect, but is a help if you want to read in
your home language.
Local Food Industry Stuff
Danone CEO officially launches
Danone Southern Africa
Franck Riboud, CEO of Groupe Danone,
the world's biggest yoghurt maker, was in Jo'burg last week for the
official launch of Danone Southern Africa. Late last year, Clover SA
announced it would sell its 45% stake in 12-year-old Clover Danone
a local joint venture with Danone to the multinational company
for just more than R1bn.
The company already has a strong
base in countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Egypt and is now
expanding in the sub-Saharan region. Apart from SA where, as of
August, it had 47% of the yoghurt market by value and 43% by volume
Danone sells products in Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and
Swaziland. In the next year it plans to enter Zambia, Malawi and
Tanzania. It does not produce in each country. It shelved plans to
build a plant in Maputo because of a lack of infrastructure and
reliable basic services. In those markets, it imports long-life
products made in SA. Business Day. Read more
Looking at Clover's possible JSE
With a turnover of R6bn, Clover
Industries possible listing could add a welcome dimension to the
JSEs food sector. Once a farmers co-operative, the company,
whose brands include Elite, Tropika, Super-M, Inkomazi and Ultra Mel,
underwent a capital restructuring earlier this year to promote
growth. The sale of its stake in joint venture Danone Clover to its
French partner provided it with R1,08bn with which to fund the
changes. Business Day.
Food producers face loss of market
with Wal-Mart deal
A potential deal between US
retail giant Wal-Mart and local mass retailer Massmart could reduce
prices of basic goods for South Africans, but analysts argue that the
deal could adversely affect food producers in the retail value
Wal-Mart may start price war in SA
South African retailers will
have to up their game if global retail giant Wal-Mart Stores succeeds
in setting up shop in the country. But local consumers may look
forward to lower prices. FastMoving.
PnP profit slump hits shares
SA's second-largest food
retailer Pick n Pay Stores expects half-year profit to decline by as
much as 25%, due to tough competition and losses related to the sale
of its Australian unit. FastMoving.
ProCert certification arrives in SA
With food safety, quality and certification top of the agenda for
all food manufacturers, there will be much interest in the arrival of
ProCert on our shores, the highly-regarded Swiss-based organisation that
provides certification and training solutions globally through a
network of strategic partners. ProCert is SAS (Swiss Accreditation
System) accredited for management systems, products and services.
partner of choice in South Africa is Western Cape-based Progress
Excellence, with whom it has been collaborating for some time in the
development and delivery of food safety training courses, not only in
South Africa but also in West/Central Africa, mostly for Nestlé. FOODStuff SA. Read more
New liquid stocks from Ina Paarman
Uncanny that two liquid stocks should hit our shelves this year. NoMU did it earlier with its stylish Fonds, and now that diva foodie of Cape Town, Ina Paarman has done it. Paarman Foods' new range of three liquid stock concentrates is a gourmet solution for serious home cooks who enjoy adding a professional touch to their cooking. FOODStuff SA. Read more
Jacobs Night and Day busts myths
about decaffeinated doffee
Many people have questions
about decaffeinated coffee. Is it healthy? Does it go through a
chemical process? Is it bad to drink decaffeinated coffee when
pregnant? The Jacobs team in SA explains how its decaf coffee is
Nitrogen trial for Woolworths
Woolworths is trialling
refrigeration technology that revolutionises the transport of
perishable goods on trucks. The solution, ecoFridge refrigeration, is
fundamentally different from the widely used mechanical systems.
Make way, Prozac, for a dose of the
succulent that gives Namaqualanders their laid-back air
Frazzled Americans from
Hollywood to Manhattan will soon be chilling under the influence of a
new tranquilliser - tried and tested by the dirt-poor goatherds of
remote Namaqualand. The San inhabitants of the Northern Cape have
known for centuries that they can get high by chewing the indigenous
succulent Sceletium tortuosum.
local company HGH Pharmaceuticals has signed an agreement with
US-based firm PL Thomas to market a sedative derived from the plant,
patented as Zembrin. Sunday Times.
Sceletium is the herbal ingredient that promised to deliver the same fix as cigarettes in the zany 'Liquid Smoking' drink launched in late 2008 Dutch/SA resident entrepreneur, Martin Hartman, based on a formula devised by SA's Afriplex, and which garnered many international media headlines. To read more on Sceletium, click here.
Food Industry News
Irene Rosenfeld vs Warren Buffett: A winner emerges
Buffetts open criticisms may have been Rosenfelds biggest challenge. In short: He called the Cadbury deal dumb; she went ahead... Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of $40 billion snack-food company Kraft, jumps to the coveted No 2 spot on this years "The Worlds 100 Most Powerful Women" list, up from her No 6 position last year. She comes in just behind Michelle Obama (No 1) and ahead of both Oprah Winfrey (No 3) and top competitor PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi (No 6). Its been quite the year for this Mac & Cheese lover. After receiving a $26.3 million compensation package in 2009, closing a $19-billion purchase of British candy-and-gum-maker Cadbury in February, and publicly brawling with Berkshire Hathaways Warren Buffett last spring, she collected 3,304 total press mentions. Forbes. Read more
GREECE: Unilever to buy EVGA
Anglo-Dutch food giant Unilever
is to buy the ice-cream brands of Greek business EVGA, an acquisition
that will give the business market leadership in the European
country. For all of Unilever's recent moves in home and personal
care, the company also suggests it remains aware of the potential of
its food business and is weeding out the parts that can no longer
provide the growth it needs - while planting seeds for future
POM ads tout sexual benefits of
POM Wonderful, which just got
spanked by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive health claims
in advertising its pomegranate juice, is about to whistle a different
tune for the product in its first national TV campaign: sexual
enhancement. This week, the leading seller of pomegranate products in
the US began airing three sensual TV spots, including one that
suggests Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, introduced the
pomegranate to the island of Cyprus as an aphrodisiac. USA
Is a coffee shortage pending?
Coffee pundits are fretting
about a coffee "shortage", which has led to a 35% price
spike over the past four months on the NY ICE Coffee Futures
Exchange. We're hearing dire predictions of doom and gloom, an "end
to coffee as we know it." Leave it to mainstream media and hedge
funds to create a mountain out of a molehill... Huffington
UK: Premier Foods puts Quorn up for
Premier Foods, the company
behind Hovis bread, Mr Kipling cakes and Branston pickle, is in talks
to sell its meat-free business, including Quorn, the company said ...
Quorn was invented in 1985 by a joint venture between Rank Hovis
McDougall and Imperial Chemical Industries amid growing demand from
vegetarians for meat alternatives. The
Food Trends, NPD and Marketing
UK: A new purple potato - ideal for
health and Halloween
The Purple Majesty, a new
potato varietal with a deep purple skin and flesh and which contains
nine to 10 times more antioxidants than standard potatoes has goes on
sale in the UK at retailer, Sainsbury's. The juices run even darker
than a beetroot and once cooked they produce an alarmingly dark
blue-purple mash or chip. The
Vinegar or salt on chips? How about
How do you give your fish and
chips a vinegar kick without them going soggy? An American has
cracked the conundrum: vinegar-flavoured salt. Malt Salt combines
salt and vinegar in a fine white powder, meaning fish and chip lovers
will never have to suffer from the disappointment of picking their
way through fries made limp by liquid vinegar. The salt was developed
by J&D's, a small company based in America famous for its
mind-boggling array of bacon-flavoured products. It has the alarming
motto: "Everything should taste like bacon." The
Pleasure trumps green in the chip
PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, the makers
of SunChips, has pulled the world's first fully biodegradable bag
(all flavours except Original) as it works to find a better solution
that is more pleasurable to your ears. The biodegradable crisp packet
has been abandoned in favour of traditional bags because consumers
complained, loudly, that it was too noisy - and it has become a major
item of chatter on the social networks. The
COMMENT: "Discouraging news for those who believe that someday Americans might adopt carbon standards, downsize their cars and stop living in 5,000-square-foot houses. They won't even buy a biodegradable chip bag if it makes crinkly sounds."
From a blog by Jay Hancock at the Baltimore Sun, read more
Marks & Spencer opts for
innovative ring-pull closure system
Check out this ingenious new
packaging for M&S - Bapcos patented ring-pull that's being
unveiled in the UK for the first time with Marks & Spencer,
following multiple successes in the US and Canada over the past two
Bisphenol A on the brink?
To BPA or not to BPA? While the
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) backed the continued use of
bisphenol A last week, the real question is whether the verdict was a
full-blown reprieve for the controversial chemical or merely a stay
Failing consumer confidence, vociferous and
credible scientific opposition as well as moves by some industry
players to begin its phase-out all suggest the days of the chemical
used in food packaging and polycarbonate baby bottles could be
numbered. FoodNavigator. Read
US: Seven marketing claims that have
recent years, dozens of companies have gotten heat from government
watchdog agencies because of inflated or unsupported claims of health
benefits. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission sued POM Wonderful,
accusing the company of deceptively advertising its pomegranate juice
and POMx supplements. The company's claims of "super health
powers" capable of treating or preventing prostate cancer and
other conditions are "false and unsubstantiated," according
to the FTC. Days later, the Food and Drug Administration sent
warning letters to three mouthwash makers... USNews.
Food Industry Focus: Gum
EU: Sugar-free chewing gum reduces
The European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) has approved a health claim for xylitol, sorbitol
and mannitol-based sugar-free chewing gum that it reduces the risk of
tooth decay. The application was submitted by leading gum
manufacturer, Wrigley, under Article 14 of the health claims process,
the category which refers to disease risk reduction.
Gum is the new delivery system for
American chewing gum
manufacturers will introduce new products to capture larger shares of
a $24-billion worldwide market, industry-watchers say. One new
product will contain vitamin C, and another can change flavour as
it's chewed. Newcomers include Kraft Foods' Stride Shift, which
changes flavour, and Trident Vitality, which will contain vitamin C
when it is released next year; Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights
offers flavours such as chocolate mint chip, and key lime pie.
chewing gum launches in US
British company, Revolymer
has just launched its new brand, Rev7, a high quality confectionery
chewing gum, said to have an excellent taste and long lasting
flavour, to US consumers and attendees at the National Association of
Convenience Store Show (NACS). For the first time, the product is
also removable and degradable, making it the world's first
commercially available environmentally-friendly gum. PR
Kraft invests $14m in gum and candy
R&D in Europe
Kraft Foods has held an
opening ceremony to inaugurate the recently completed European
Kraft Foods Gum and Candy Research & Development (R&D) Center
in Eysins, Switzerland. The facility will focus on innovation and new
product development for many confectionery brands, including the
worlds leading gum brand Trident and the worlds leading candy
brand Halls, as well as other brands such as Bassetts, Carambar, The
Natural Confectionary Co, Trebor and V6. FoodBev.com.
Food Industry Focus: Stevia
Cargill claims extensive interest in
Truvia ahead of expected EU approval
Food ingredients giant Cargill
says there is "extensive" European interest in its natural
stevia-based sweetener Truvia Rebiana, ahead of anticipated approval
from the EU Commission for use of steviol glycosides as food
ingredients. Cargill plans to sell the zero-calorie sweetener (which
is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar) to EU consumers with a
carrier as a tabletop sweetener; it says it is also partnering food
firms to develop specific ingredients in products as baked snacks and
yoghurts; beverages, however, are leading the way. FoodNavigator.
Cargill to invest 'millions' in
Truvia advertising campaign
Cargill announced today that it
will launch a new multi-million dollar multimedia advertising
campaign for its Truvia(TM) natural no-calorie sweetener, which it
claims to be the third largest brand in the U.S. sugar substitute
category. Flex News.
Two global stevia trade associations
launched this week
stakeholders in the stevia industry are organising to maintain
standards and pursue scientific enquiry into the use of stevia
sweeteners. But two trade organisations have been announced this
week, with very different membership criteria and ostensibly
different aims. FoodNavigator.
Innova: Is luo han guo the next hot
natural sweetener after stevia?
As the sweetener stevia finally
moves into the EU food market via France, interest is already turning
to new quarters and suggestions of a rival in the natural sweetener
stakes have focused interest on luo han guo (Siraitia
grosvenori/Momordia grosvenori), or
monk fruit, a Chinese fruit 300 times sweeter than sugar and in use
in China as a natural sweetener for hundreds of years. FOODStuff
Health and Nutrition Stuff
USDA tries to make food pyramid more
Every five years the federal
government updates its dietary guidelines for Americans. This year,
with most Americans overweight or obese and at risk of high blood
pressure, policymakers are working to reinvent the familiar food
pyramid and develop advice that is simple and blunt enough to help
turn the tide ... What the guidelines will say when they are unveiled
in December is still under wraps. But the interagency committee is
searching for new ways to communicate lessons about healthful eating
and is working to make the food pyramid "more meaningful and
engaging,"... Washington Post.
Why fat thighs are not as bad as a
Using ice cream, candy bars and
energy drinks to help volunteers gain weight, Mayo Clinic researchers
have discovered the mechanisms of how body fat grows. Increased
abdominal fat seems to heighten risk for metabolic disease, while fat
expansion in the lower body as in the thighs seems to lower
the risk. The findings appear in the latest edition of the
Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences (PNAS). ScienceDaily.
Food Science Stuff
Food science and food myths: James
Bond may have been onto something
The question of why James Bond
prefers his vodka martinis shaken rather than stirred has taxed
researchers for some time. Most connoisseurs now agree that a stirred
martini is superior to Bond's shaken one. So why was a man of
impeccable taste drinking the wrong kind?
explains some of the conundrums around food and drink: best before
dates, why that second glass of bubbly is less fizzy than the first,
why do banana skins go brown in the fridge, etc. The
Everything you needed to know about
microbiological testing of your products
A series of informative articles
written by Tracey Botes, newly-appointed GM of The Food Safety
Network, and previously founder/owner with the late
Prof Alex von Holy of Consulting Microbiology Laboratories, that is
now owned by Microchem. Here is the list of articles currently
1. Good Laboratory Selection
2. Conversations in microbiology
3. "Who do I test for?
4. Reading and understanding a lab
5. Back to Basics - Interpreting the
6. Meetings with microbes -
Global demand for MSG and
nucleotides continues to grow, says Ajinomoto
During Ajinomoto's fiscal 2009 (which
ended 31 March 2010), the company saw global demand for monosodium
glutamate (MSG) amount to approximately 2.16 million tons. According
to recent company estimates, Ajinomoto managed to maintain a leading
share of this market with approximately 30%. Over the past 3 years,
the market has grown at an average annual rate of approximately 3-4%.
It is expected to continue its expansion at the same rate, said the
firm. Flex News. Read more
Household water rinse gets produce
Scientists have found some
effective household measures that can eliminate germs and pesticides.
The simplest? Rinsing with tap water... NY
Weird, whacky and wonderful stuff!
The 2010 Ig Nobel awards
Presented last week and
trumping the real Nobels by a week, the American parody of the
Nobels, the Ig Nobels are arguably the highlight of the scientific
calendar; honouring achievements that first make people laugh, and
then make them think and spur people's interest in science,
medicine, and technology. Researchers from across the world were
honoured at Harvard University for achievements that included proof
that swearing relieves pain, a means of collecting whale snot with a
remote-controlled helicopter and the first documented case of
fellatio in fruit bats. The Guardian.
That's all the stuff for this week, folks!