Newsletter 10 July 2014

10 July 2014
We hunt down the latest food-drinks news
and trends so you don’t have to!
SmartStuff:   “Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.”  TS Eliot
Editor’s Stuff: Intriguing SA initiative for future food!

ONE of the most-read articles on FOODStuff SA has been, of all things, maggot farming in Stellenbosch!

This fascinating initiative – that we first reported on two years ago – is called AgriProtein and it aims to solve two serious environmental problems by converting fly larvae into livestock feed. AgriProtein has made big headlines in the past week or so, both here and internationally, with news that it’s ready to move to commercialisation. 

There are two takes on AgriProtein; one that looks at the project’s progress from theory to reality, and the other an interview with Dr Elsje Pieterse, the Stellenbosch University scientific and research brains behind it.

However, the all-time top reads on FOODStuff SA, by far, are about Prof Tim Noakes and his advocacy of the Banting diet which has taken this country’s middle-class eating habits and dietary concerns by storm.

The Financial Mail looks at this phenomenon, and today, news has broken of a new study, also out of Stellenbosch, that refutes the efficacy of a high-fat diet over other diets!
Enjoy this week’s read….


SAAFoST Events in Cape Town!
One-day seminar: What’s trending in functional ingredients? July 23
Organised by the Cape Branch, this is being held at CPUT, Bellville. There’s a great line-up of speakers who’ll cover the likes of fibre, dietary flavonoids, functional botanicals, enzymes, sodium reduction, new dairy ingredients, the stevia advantage, the new draft labelling regulations and so on.
Workshop on R429, July 30
With time quickly expiring to the August 29 D-date for submission of comments on the new draft food labelling regulations, R429, SAAFoST has set up a high-powered seminar being held at Stellenbosch University on July 30. It ran yesterday in Jo’burg, and is presented by leading labelling experts, CFL, comprising Nigel Sunley and Jane Badham.

See FOODStuff SA’s Events calendar for more detail.

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment!
Pesto Princess in Cape Town is looking for a food technologist!
Advertise your openings now! Click here

  Local News and Developments

The Banting diet phenomenon in SA

There’s a joke doing the rounds in Cape Town, where the so-called “Tim Noakes diet” has taken off: you can’t find cauliflower or double cream yoghurt for love or money. The Banting diet is currently huge news in South Africa, and here the Financial Mail weighs it up…. read on! 

New research could debunk Banting diet? No way, says Noakes!

Low carbohydrate diets, as advocated by Prof Tim Noakes of UCT’s Sports Science Institute, result in no more weight loss than “recommended balanced diets”, a Stellenbosch University study, just released, has found. Noakes has dismissed the findings.
GMO label rules to be reviewed
Anti GMO lobby group, the African Centre for Biosafety reports that the National Consumer Council plans to meet with all stakeholders before the end of this month to review a GMO labelling loophole in the Consumer Protection Act.
Comment: SA’s flightless poultry sector
The SA Poultry Association has done it again. This time the embattled, tight-knit poultry industry has managed to block EU imports, thanks to its cosy relationship with the ITAC.
One wonders who these appropriate measures will benefit: the consumers or the industry that has failed to innovate and compete with the rest of the world?

DGB’s new La Pêche liqueur

It’s all peaches and cream and a touch of gold tequila with DGB’s new La Pêche. 
A gem of a local brand, Wedgewood Nougat has extended its range of biscuits with two new additions to complement its orginal Angels. 

 International Developments

ADM to acquire WILD Flavors for €2.3-billion
Archer Daniels Midland Company has announced that it is acquiring WILD Flavors, giving ADM the ability to offer food and beverage companies a comprehensive suite of systems to enhance and improve their products. 

US: RIP Crumbs cupcake chain

Crumbs Bake Shop, America’s largest specialty cupcake chain, told employees on Monday that the New York–based company would be shutting down all of its stores at the end of the business day. 

PepsiCo: product innovation is the key to success

Global food and drink giant PepsiCo’s future success will hinge on it continuing to innovate, differentiate itself from the competition and raise its operational efficiency to grow its consumer base, according to the company’s executive vice president.
Packed with 62 grams of sugar and 160 milligrams of caffeine per can, Rockstar accounted for 4 percent of the $27.5-billion global energy drink market last year, according to Euromonitor International. Its American creator is now a billionaire. 
SABMiller sets out ambitious new sustainability targets
SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, is scaling up its globally-recognised sustainable development programmes with a set of ambitious new targets to achieve by 2020.
Three exhibitors at IFT 2014 Congress and Food Expo in New Orleans this week — Arla Foods Ingredients, PerkinElmer and Solazyme — captured the prestigious 2014 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award. Here’s why… 

 Trends, Marketing and NPD
Research conducted by Stanford and Boston University business academics has explored the question of how the feeling of satiety affects how soon people might eat the same food again; and the upshot is that humans take more pleasure in moderation than over-indulgence. 

Ingredients and mixes benefit from boom in home baking

Despite the apparently inexorable rise of convenience foods and the “cash-rich, time-poor” consumer, some parts of the world have maintained a high level of interest in home baking from scratch.
Butter continues its big comeback in the US, but it’s still got some road to travel from consumption levels of the 1920s. 
Here’s why snack packaging is going matte: better brand exposure in retailers, a sense of natural and improved texture are just a handful of the reasons. 
Mocha, java, chocolate are trendy descriptors for SA’s now-famous, new-style pinotage wines, but across the Altantic in the US, the world’s first coffee-flavoured wine has gone on sale. 
Understanding food fads: Let them eat kale
Anyone who doubts the ability of a stalky, bitter brassica to capture the public consciousness, consider this: last year, 262 babies in the US were named Kale. The cruciferous vegetable has been converted into crisps, popcorn, smoothies and cocktails, even hand cream and face scrub.
Who, what, why is ‘raw’ chocolate?
“Raw” chocolate is being sold as the latest “superfood”, but what is it and why is it getting more popular.
The World Dairy Innovation Awards 2014 again reiterate just how innovative and exciting is the dairy sector. 
 See all 2014 trends reports here!

 Food Science and Technology
Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange. It’s the first human trial of a banana that’s been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. 
Using rolling green hills and picturesque cows in marketing does little to tell consumers about the journey from farm to fork. 
From the grocery aisle to the TV dial, wildly innaccurate and false health and safety claims about foods and their ingredients serve to scare consumers away from many products and ingredients. Researchers at Cornell University have investigated this phenomenon more closely. 
Nestlé has created a blueprint for a new type of factory that can be built in half the time of a more traditional one for about 50%-60% of the cost, and which will be used in its African and Asian expansion. 
The newest thinking on sustainable, healthy, delicious farming comprises two key movements: one focused on the importance of land and the soil and another completely eschewing soil for hydroponics in urban buildings, reports The Hartman Group. 
Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has called on the public to stop washing raw chicken to reduce the risk of contracting campylobacter, a potentially dangerous form of food poisoning.

 Health and Nutrition 
For a heart healthy diet, don’t fixate on fat
Since the 1970s, food packages have trumpeted fat-focused statements such as “no cholesterol,” “fat-free,” and “low in saturated fat.” These well-meaning claims were intended to help us avoid suspected dietary culprits. But as we’ve learned over the past few decades, the story isn’t quite that simple, says the Harvard Medical School.
Analyst insight: The battle between fructose and glucose
Manufacturers should look to reduce overall use and reliance on sugar and not focus on replacing fructose with glucose, while concerns over HFCS should start to disperse as newer research invalidates current thinking, says Laura Jones of Mintel. 
EFSA has confirmed previous evaluations that, based on animal studies, acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers in all age groups. Acrylamide in food is produced by the Maillard reaction, the same chemical reaction that browns food and makes it tastier during everyday high temperature (+150°C) cooking in the home, catering and food manufacturing. 
As if almonds needed any more good news… however, scientists have again confirmed that almonds in the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy. 

ICYMI: Your probiotic is probably BS

Probiotics are having a moment. They’re everywhere. Walk in your local mega-mart, and it’s hard to miss the products offering you an extra dose of beneficial microbes. Though the good gut bugs are likely beneficial for some, companies are using the label to rip off consumers. 

Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
Cooking might not be rocket science, but it has taken a rocket scientist from Oxford University to reinvent the humble saucepan. 
What it takes to make a decent cup of coffee in space
Engineers have finally come up with a way to brew some good Italian espresso on the International Space Station. The space-age coffee machine — called, naturally the “ISSpresso” — is a capsule-based brewing system finessed to function in a microgravity environment.

Food bites…2014: They said it!

Successfully managing healthy reformulation
“WHAT we have been doing is to innovate the sugar out without changing the taste that consumers want… I don’t need applause from the critics, I need my consumers to buy our product and that’s happening.
   “We did the same with salt. Here’s my favourite statistic: a bag of ordinary ready-salted single-serve Walkers Crisps today has less salt than a slice of white bread. It didn’t just happen. And yet when you ask the consumer to taste it, they don’t notice any difference.”
Dr Mehmood Khan, executive VP & chief scientific officer, PepsiCo, read more
Leverage your labelling!

“LABELS seem to be one of the most underutilised methods of communicating with consumers. And the interesting thing is they’re probably the least expensive. We have to put a label on our products, so why not make it a powerful label?

   “Packaging and labeling may be the most cost-effective way to communicate with consumers. Imagine that your label was the only way you could tell consumers what you are offering. Treat it as preciously as it deserves.”
John Stanton, US marketing expert, read more
Brenda NeallPublished weekly as part of and, this newsletter is a cherry-picking, agglomerating service for all food and beverage industrialists. It aims to be topical, insightful, provocative, intelligent… fast, fresh and full of additives! We hunt down the latest SA and global food-drinks news and trends so you don’t have to!
FOODStuff SA and DRINKStuff SA, websites with reams of pertinent and interesting stuff about FMCG food-beverage manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, are published and edited by Brenda Neall. For editorial and advertising matters, contact her at: [email protected]