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Newsletter 12 October 2012

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 12 October 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:  “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” Benjamin Disraeli, British politician

Sensient Food Colors

 Editor’s Stuff: The impressive power of human milk!
Human milkMy highlight read of the week, out of many great articles, is a fascinating look at the importance of human milk.

Its most important role could be preventing infant disease and boosting immunity by cultivating a balance of microbes in the gut and the rest of the body, our internal ecosystem or microbiome. In fact, many researchers now believe that mammalian lactation originally evolved as a protective, not a nutritional, adaptation.

For a substance so important to the success of our species, human milk has, until recently, been largely neglected by researchers. Now, however, scientists are 
finally isolating the compounds responsible. The result 
could be a health breakthrough for all ages. Do read!

SAAFoST Cape Events: We need your support!

50th Anniversary Dinner: The SAAFoST Cape Branch turned 50 this year and invites food industrialists to celebrate the anniversary at dinner at Cassia Restaurant in Durbanville, on Monday 12 November 2012. Guest speaker is renowned scenario planner, Clem Sunter.

SAAFost Quiz:
Please join the Cape Branch for a great evening of fun, general knowledge, and great grub at the annual quiz, being held at Mowbray Golf Club on Wednesday 24 October. Prizes for every team of six!
For details, contact:; T 082 969 5676

Enjoy this week’s newsletter!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment: look for a job or advertise your company’s positions!
Click here!

Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
Rhodes Food Group (RFG) has set its sights set on growth, with the backing of private equity firms Capitalworks and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, which have partnered with its senior management to acquire the 110-year-old firm from the Ivor Ferreira Trust.
Famous Brands has entered a joint venture with the Coega Dairy Company to supply cheese products to the group, in a transaction that will boost the income of dairy farmers in the Eastern Cape district, the restaurant franchise group reports.
Richard Brasher, the newly appointed CEO of struggling grocer Pick n Pay, says he will ensure the company again becomes the most successful retailer in Southern Africa.
We reported in August how a private-public partnership between Foodcorp and the local municipality has saved the historic Eastern Cape town of Molteno. The company has now issued a press release expanding detail on this heart-warming story.
The International Dairy Federation is hosting its annual summit at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa from 4-8 November. It will cover a broad range of topics across both the primary and secondary dairy sectors.
Brandy and cola is one of South Africa’s favourite drinks and now KWV SA has launched a new ready-to-drink (RTD) version with its premium KWV three-year old brandy.

 International News & Developments
SABMiller is taking its African beer brand, Chibuku, to ten countries across the continent, as part of its strategy to produce more affordable beer for lower-income consumers while taking market share from the “informal” alcohol sector, the brewer has said.
California: Celebrities join in Prop 37 labelling fight
The battle over Proposition 37, a ballot initiative that would require labeling many genetically engineered ingredients, is heating up in California. Large food and biotech companies have put up around $35 million to defeat the initiative, but now Prop 37 proponents have a slew of celebrities on their side.
The world food situation is deteriorating. Grain stocks have dropped to a dangerously low level. The World Food Price Index has doubled in a decade. The ranks of the hungry are expanding. Political unrest is spreading. [Sobering insights from the respected Earth Policy Institute. Ed]

Ireland-based food ingredients and flavours group, Kerry, plans to set up a €100m food technology center in Naas, County Kildare, Ireland, in order to cater to its customers in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region.

 Food Trends and Marketing
Nice touch from Consol Glass for the green-savvy consumer: it has launched a new product, the Grip & Go multi-purpose glass bottle. Consol’s solution to keeping water, freshly squeezed juices or milk drinks tasting exactly as they were intended – fresh and delicious – the funky 500ml glass bottle is perfect for everyday use.
While the success of Red Bull has never had anything to do with taste*, the company is about to offer something it’s never before tried: flavours.
Now here’s a snack launch that must have been a challenge for a team of flavourists: creating Guinness crisps and conveying the strong, bitter-sweet flavour of Irish stout.
Mondelez is combining its Oreo and Cadbury Dairy Milk brands for the first time to launch a new chocolate bar.
Unlike the passionate love affair most South Africans have with biltong, the American equivalent, beef jerky, has always been something of an outcast food in the US, a favourite of truckers and staple of gas-station checkouts. Things are changing, and it’s undergoing a metamorphosis as a healthy snack.
As the rapid growth of emerging markets gives millions of consumers new spending power, those consumers are encountering a marketing environment every bit as complex and swiftly evolving as its counterpart in developed countries. Product choices and communication channels are exploding; so is the potential of digital platforms; and, as everywhere, consumer empowerment is on the rise. [Scholarly article from the McKinsey Quarterly]

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Following the horrific injuries sustained by a British girl who drank liquid nitrogen, has the trend for molecular mixology gone too far?
Of course a nice glass of wine goes well with a hearty steak, and now researchers who study the way food feels in our mouths think they may understand why that is: The astringent wine and fatty meat are like the yin and yang of the food world, sitting on opposite ends of a sensory spectrum.
The storm of scientific criticism over claims that a genetically modified (GM) maize causes severe disease in rats shows no signs of abating, with several food-safety bodies are slamming the study.
Nestlé has entered a collaborative agreement with US-based life sciences firm Chromocell to develop ingredients for reduced-salt foods that correspond with consumer taste expectations, the company has announced.

This year marks the centennial of the Maillard reaction — complex but common food chemistry that puts the yummy into our cooked food, and whose study is credited with birthing modern food science.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to new research published in the October 9, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene.
A more scientific obesity test says: “It’s even worse than you think!”
The widely used Body Mass Index (BMI) is crude and should be replaced; here’s a more modern suggestion, with an outcome that’s scary.
The chronic disease food remedy
Cures for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity have eluded scientists for decades, but research in nutritional genomics suggests that halting the progression of these diseases may be as simple as a dietary intervention. [In-depth article in latest issue of Food Technology, the IFT’s monthly journal].

Middle-aged people will be able to grow old gracefully within a generation by taking a pill which can fight the ageing process and illnesses associated with it, an eminent British scientist predicts.

Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
Another “Only in America” story! The winner of a cockroach-eating competition has died shortly after eating dozens of the live insects and worms in Florida, according to reports. Roaches are not known to be unsafe to eat.

 Food bites…2012: Foodism: the new religion?

“Western industrial civilisation is eating itself stupid. We are living in the Age of Food. Cookery programmes bloat the television schedules, cookbooks strain the bookshop tables, celebrity chefs hawk their own brands of weird mince pies (Heston Blumenthal) or bronze-moulded pasta (Jamie Oliver) in the supermarkets, and cooks in super-expensive restaurants from Chicago to Copenhagen are the subject of hagiographic profiles in serious magazines and newspapers.

Food festivals (or, if you will, “Feastivals”) are the new rock festivals, featuring thrilling live stage performances of, er, cooking. As one dumbfounded witness of a stage appearance by Jamie Oliver observed: “The girls at the front – it’s an overwhelmingly female crowd – are already holding up their iPhones … A group in front of me are saying, ‘Ohmigodohmigod… ‘I love you, Jamie,’ yells a girl on the brink of fainting.”

The new series of The Great British Bake-Off trounced Parade’s End in the ratings, and canny karaoke-contest supremo Simon Cowell is getting in on the act with a new series in development called Food, Glorious Food! – or, as it’s known among production wags, The Eggs Factor.

If you can’t watch cooking on TV or in front of your face, you can at least read about it. Vast swaths of the internet have been taken over by food bloggers who post photographs of what they have eaten from an edgy street stall or at an aspirational restaurant, and compose endlessly scrollable pseudo-erotic paeans to its stimulating effects.

Right now, five of the 10 bestselling books on are food books, with Nigellissima outselling Fifty Shades of Grey. According to the spring 2011 Bookscan data, British sales of books in nearly all literary genres were down, except for the categories of “food and drink” (up 26.2%), followed by “religion” (up 13%). Before 1990, the bibliographic category of “food and drink” didn’t even exist.

That food and religion alone should buck the negative trend is no coincidence, for modern food books are there to answer metaphysical or “lifestyle” rather than culinary aspirations, and celebrity chefs themselves are the gurus of the age.”

From an article by Steven Poole in The Guardian, a man who has had his fill of foodism, read more


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Brenda NeallPublished every Friday as part of, 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!
FOODStuff SA, stuff about FMCG food-bev manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, is published and edited by Brenda Neall. You can contact her at:

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