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Issue 4: 1 August 2008

FOODStuff SA Ezine 1 August 2008

 Food for thought . . . 

'We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.'

 Frank Tibolt

'Consumers’ overarching goal in participating in wellness is quality life experiences both today and in the future, and their primary strategy for achieving this goal is balance. What it comes down to is negotiating extremes, allowing oneself to experiencing the 'good' and the 'bad', but ensuring the pendulum does not get stuck at either polar extreme.'
Laurie Demeritt is President & COO of The Hartman Group, a full-service consulting and market research firm

Food Industry News

SA: National Food Control Agency to be established

A national Food Control Agency is to be established in the wake of concerns over the consistent increases in food prices, President Thabo Mbeki has announced. A draft framework for the agency has been completed and is now ready to go out for consultation. Read more

SA: Looking a little closer at SA's food inflation

Food inflation might be due to 'underlying demand' as well as supply-side factors, related to the strength of commodity prices. Demand for processed food is directly related to generous income growth, says Danelee van Dyk, an economist at Standard Bank. Read more

SA: Simba's new boss . . . yes, she's a helicopter pilot, too!

Simba's new chief executive, Lauren Siebrits, has popped her head over the parapet for the first time. Her first big media exposé makes for some interesting reading. And just showing what it takes for a women to excel in this male, still pale, dominated world . . . Ms Siebrits is a helicopter pilot, too! Read more

SA: GM spud awaits commercial approval

Africa's first locally developed genetically modified crop, adapted to fend off the potato tuber moth, has finished its field trials. Read more 

SABMillerlogoEU: SABMiller expands export operations in Europe

SABMiller has announced that it is expanding its European export operations into a selection of additional markets, with the intention of increasing volumes over the next five years. Read more

US: Salmonella 'smoking gun' found on Mexican farm

US investigators trace the strain responsible for the four-month outbreak to a serrano pepper and irrigation water. Read more

jalopenopeppersUS: FDA says 'no' to Mexican peppers

The FDA said consumers need to avoid eating raw jalapeno peppers and foods that contain peppers grown and harvested or packed in Mexico. Read more

US: Scientists explore new food-safety technologies

Well-publicised salmonella and E coli outbreaks have food producers interested in new technologies that could help cut the risk of such problems. Scientists are examining pressure and irradiation methods — among other procedures — that could help keep food safe. This article may be a little 'lay' for the more well-informed on these topics. Read more

MeddietgraphicEU: Fast food invasion hits Mediterranean diet in its heartland

The Mediterranean diet' has long been touted as the ultimate diet: low in animal fat and high in fruit, vegetables and olive and sunflower oils. But a report by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reveals that the people of Mediterranean countries increasingly spurn it. Read more

SlimfastslumpUS: Unilever's Slim-Fast sales slip but brand rebuilds

The weight management sector may be booming but Unilever's flagship diet brand, Slim-Fast, is experiencing sliding sales as consumers continue to associate it with old-school dieting habits. Read more

StarbuckslogoAUSTRALIA: Starbucks to close 61 of its 84 stores

Starbucks will close more than two-thirds of its 84 stores in Australia by the end of the week under a cost-cutting plan announced Tuesday. Read more

British firms join forces to fight obesity

Several of Britain's food and beverage, retail, media, advertising, fitness and healthcare companies have joined forces with the government to form a partnership to fight obesity. Read more

rationbookwarUK: A return to World-War style rationing. . .to reduce wastage?

Food rationing came into effect back in February 1918 during World War One. However, there are many lessons that can be learnt in order to benefit today’s wasteful society. Read more

ImageUS: Cadbury sales stay strong despite economy

Cadbury saw sales grow in the first six months of the year, which it credits to its products being affordable luxuries. 'No matter how bleak things look, people will always go for those small, affordable treats,' said chief executive Todd Stitzer. Read more

IFTpresidentUS: Nurturing the next generation of food scientists 

'The public perception of food science needs to change. Food scientists are not chefs: Food science is a scientific discipline.' So says Dr John D Floros, president of the Institute of Food Technologists. posts an exclusive interiew with Floros, outlining the waning appeal of food science as a tertiary qualification and what the IFT is doing about it. Read more

Ingredient Stuff

Senomyx gets busy with new sucrose enhancer

US high-tech flavour developer, Senomyx, has announced the start of development activities for a new sugar enhancer that allows for a reduction in the presence of sucrose by up to 50% while maintaining the flavour of natural sugar. Read more 

Sweet deal for sucralose

The firm behind the first serious rival to Tate & Lyle in the sucralose market says it is close to a 'major brand win'. Read more

ImageNew aspartame policy paper

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in the US has released 'Aspartame: A Guide for Consumers, Policymakers and the Media,' a new policy paper containing current and scientifically accurate information and resources for journalists, health professionals and policymakers.  Download the paper (pdf)

ImageNatural colours catching up with synthetic

In the first of a series of four articles on the topic, looks at the huge interest in colours derived from natural sources . . . and questions if they could overtake synthetic alternatives. Read more

GRAS for CLA announced

The FDA has issued a 'no objection' letter to the GRAS petition for conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), confirming its GRAS status in various food and beverage applications. The vuluntary appeal was submitted by Dutch company, Lipid Nutrition, alsong with Cognis in Germany, another CLA manufacturer. Read more

Packaging Stuff

WRAP celebrates end of UK packaging growth

Packaging growth has ended in the UK grocery industry, despite sharp growth in sales, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Read more

standuppouchesThe Top 10 things made possible by stand-up pouches

Consumers now demand a great deal more from the packaging of the products that they acquire, hence packaging companies have started make the packaging able to deliver according to their expectations. Hence the success of the stand-up pouch: from increased consumer appeal to lower total cost, stand up pouches are proving a major winner. Read more

New carcinogen scare in food packaging – what's the story?

Perfluorooctanoic acid is found in 98% of Americans' blood. The chemical industry says the concerns are based on animal tests and there's no evidence PFOA is harmful to humans. Read more

New Product Stuff

colawarsCola wars hot up again – this time over stevia sweetener

PepsiCo will introduce a stevia-sweetened drink within the next few weeks, a move that comes a little more than a year after Coca-Cola disclosed the development of a natural stevia sweetener, developed with Cargill, that it said might start a new generation of calorie-free drinks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
    Coke apparently plans to introduce a soft drink with the new sweetener in a few US markets before year end, pending formal FDA approval of the sweetener. Pepsi's new SoBe Life drink will reportedly be rolled out first in several Latin American markets, starting in Peru. Read more 1 ; Read more 2

V8soupsUS: Campbell brings V8 to the soup aisle

Campbell is launching a soup range extension of its famed staple V8 beverage brand. The company will focus on the product's vegetable content in marketing efforts and will sell the soups in green aseptic packaging. Read more

newbroccoliUK: Sainsbury's introduces new variety of broccoli

Sainsbury's has introduced a new variety of broccoli called 'bellaverde' at its stores, reports Developed to encourage children to eat broccoli, this new variety of broccoli tastes like peas and costs £1.79 for a 200g portion. Read more

pouponcocktailsUS: Grey Poupon introduces new specialty cocktails

Kraft Foods has announced that its Grey Poupon brand has introduced five new specialty cocktails, all enhanced with the flavour of mustard. Read more

embodijuicesUS: New juice drink offers benefits of red wine

Embodi, a new functional beverage in the US, is claimed to provide all the antioxidants and health benefits of red wine – without the side-effects of alcohol. It reportedly contains a specially developed grape pomace extract made from the skins, seeds and stems of red grapes, giving it the same healthy properties as wine. Read more

Coke tests drinks inspired by Chinese medicine

Coca-Cola, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has been working with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to develop prototype beverages made with Chinese herbal cures. Read more

Health & Nutrition

The hard truth . . . hour's exercise 'to lose weight'

Women who want to lose weight – and keep it off – need to be exercising for almost an hour, five days a week, say US experts. Read more

USfoodportionsUS food portions: Monuments of decadence?

With soaring food prices sparking protests in many countries and more than 800 million people going hungry every day, US food portions are under scrutiny. A lightening of the American plate could ease pressure on worldwide food demand. . . . Read more

Hot Stuff

homefarmersGoing organic: Harvest at home

It has to be in San Francisco . . . Green entrepreneurs are helping establish backyard vegetable 'farmers'. Read more

Green behavior not just a fad

A new study questions previous studies that claim consumers are growing weary of green attitudes: Read more

pseudoscienceStill no cure for cancer hysteria

The Guardian bloggist, Ben Goldacre, argues that the newspapers are so profoundly overrun with pseudoscience about food that there's no point in documenting it any longer. Read more

A take on the downsizing of Starbucks

In its own way, Starbucks has a lot in common with SUVs, hot tubs and television screens wide enough to fill a wall. That is, it represents the bit-by-bit extravagances that helped get us into the tight economic jam we find ourselves in today. Read more

Whacky Stuff

weirdjapanbevsTen even more weird and bizarre Japanese soft drinks

What is it with Japan and weird drinks? Part of the answer lies in the love Japanese have for soft drinks – surveys show that about 40% of the nation's citizens drink at least one soft drink every day. That's about 50 million people! In addition, trends come and go very quickly in Japan. Read more

And more weird beverage stuff . . . Japan sips the eel thing

Forget cola, lemonade or beer – Japanese people sweltering in the summer heat now have a new canned drink to quench their thirst – made out of eels. Read more

The shrew that can drink 'nine glasses of wine' and not get drunk

It weighs no more than a golf ball and could curl up in the palm of your hand. But the pen-tailed tree shrew can drink most humans under the table. Read more

extremechefThe high chef of high-tech cooking

When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking. Read more

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