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Newsletter 14 December 2012

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 14 December 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Reason often makes mistakes, but conscience never does.” Josh Billings, American columnist and humourist (1818-1885)

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: The Ball lands in Tiger’s court!
The story broke last Friday, just too late to make it into last week’s newsletter. You’ve most likely heard the news already, but this has to be one of the biggest local food stories of the year – Tiger Brands buys Mrs Ball’s Chutney from Unilever SA.
Nice Christmas fillip for Unilever’s coffers – Tiger has paid a staggering R475m for one of our iconic brands. With Mrs Ball’s notching up sales of around R189m in 2011, it will take a while to recoup its investment, but for Tiger surely a coveted winner to add to its top-brands cupboard.
In related news, Unilever CEO, Paul Polman has reiterated that Unilever, the world’s second-biggest consumer-goods company, will sell more parts of its food business as it focuses on faster-growing personal care products and emerging markets.
Talking big food stories, these are my top ten for 2012, defined by the hits they’ve generated on FOODStuff SA.
This is the last newsletter of 2012.  Thanks again to you, dear reader, and to all my treasured advertisers, for your ongoing interest and support! 
Here’s wishing you a splendid, relaxing and safe holiday. See you in 2013!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
Paarman Foods is looking for a QC technologist! FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment: look for a job or advertise your company’s positions!
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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
Kraft Foods South Africa recently opened a new microbiology laboratory at the company’s chocolate factory in Port Elizabeth.
Cape Town’s Paarman Foods has recently achieved FSSC22000 certification, believed to be the first South African food manufacturer in its category to win this prestigous milestone.
SAD Safari has gone the trendy route of ‘heat’ and umami in the snacking arena, with the introduction of a new range of choice-grade Marmite and Wasabi peanuts and cashews.
It has been an eventful year in food retailing
… some highlights from Supermarket & Retailer magazine:
  • Woolworths vying for the trolley shop with its first supermarket.
Last week’s top headlines: Local snoek not all it appears to be


 International News & Developments
America’s Kansas City Star newspaper has published a hard-hitting investigative series into the current state of the US beef industry, called “Beef’s Raw Edges”. The project was spearheaded by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Mike McGraw. Needless to say, the industry is less than happy with the reports. [Must read for anyone in the meat industry – outstanding journalism even if you don’t agree with it! Ed]
Barry Callebaut, the largest maker of bulk chocolate, agreed to buy Singapore-based and listed Petra Foods’ cocoa-ingredients unit for $950-million to expand processing capacity and boost sales in Asia, and thereby becoming the world’s biggest cocoa processor.

Precious cocoa – caught between the chocolate appetite of the affluent West and the struggles of small-scale African farmers. New efforts and business/NGO partnerships are underway to bolster production and sustainability.

Turkish immigrant to the US, Hamdi Ulukaya, wanted yogurt like that back home, so he made some – like a billion dollars’ worth of it. [Excellent article on what has to be one of the most amazing food success stories ever. Ed]
As demand for all-things-coconut grows in the US, coconut-producing countries from Sri Lanka to Brazil are scrambling to supply foreign firms on the hunt for more fruit. What’s less clear is how — or if — this boom will benefit the men and women at the heart of this global business.

 Food Trends and Marketing
Food-related government intervention is trotted out all the time by food crusaders everywhere. But before we get to those interventions, maybe we should ask how we got here in the first place.
The UK’s regarded Marketing Magazine has named the energy drink’s space mission as “unquestionably the marketing masterstroke of the year”.
Technomic, the US market research company, has issued its report on the trends that will shape the US adults drinks business in 2013. 
Awareness of resveratrol and its potential health benefits is relatively long-established, but with increasing consumer interest in health and the growing body of research being carried out into its role and efficacy, its use is starting to move out of the specialist dietetic market and more into the mainstream.
Phil Lempert, also known as the Supermarket Guru, is one of America’s leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts. Here are his top trends for 2013 – the first five here.
Russia has seen the first launch worldwide of the new Tetra Gemina Aseptic (TGA) Leaf pack for Coca-Cola’s Dobry juice range, the country’s No 1 juice brand.
UK: Coke refreshes Glacéau design after cutting sugar
Coca-Cola has unveiled refreshed packaging for its Glacéau Vitamin Water brand to boost awareness of the drink’s new stevia-based sweetener.


 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

European scientists believe they have found the first direct evidence of man’s earliest dairy processing.
Manufacturers of ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk products can increase their processing capacity, cut their costs and benefit the environment via FoodPro Cleanline, an enzyme from the DuPont Danisco ingredient range that solves the age-old issue of fouling in UHT milk production.

Why taste is all in the senses
While some of us reach for a strong coffee in the morning, others recoil. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts may be high on some people’s list of favourite Christmas vegetables – but certainly not on everyone’s.
Frog-in-bucket-of-milk folklore leads to potential new antibiotics
Following up on an ancient Russian way of keeping milk from going sour – by putting a frog in the bucket of milk – scientists have identified a wealth of new antibiotic substances in the skin of the Russian Brown frog.
Bag-in-box wines are more likely than their bottled counterparts to develop unpleasant flavours, aromas and colours when stored at warm temperatures.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Type 2 diabetes can be reversed in the operating room. The implications are staggering for halting one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

The energy in–energy out hypothesis is not set in stone, argues Gary Taubes. It is time to test hormonal theories about why we get fat.

A recent Time Magazine’s front cover (December 3, 2012) and lead article will please food industrialists. It’s entitled “What to Eat Now: The Anti-Food-Snob Diet” by Dr Mehmet Oz, the vice chairman and professor surgery at Columbia University, a best-selling author and the host of the Emmy Award-winning “The Dr Oz Show”. It’s a hurrah for the food industry, in fact.
Why diets are harmful and counterproductive
Maintaining a lower weight reduces disease risk, according to most authorities. The contrary view is that weight is a baseless measure for health, and weight loss a counterproductive goal. 
The evidence for health benefits associated with salt reduction is controversial and the “concealment of scientific uncertainty” is a mistake, American researchers have suggested.
Obesity, diabetes are robbing people of sight
The twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes are beginning to rob more Americans of their sight, a new study shows. The percentage of adults suffering from uncorrectable vision loss spiked 21% in only about six years, rising to nearly 1.7% of the population,
More than regular: fibre’s fine nutritional future
Fibre is not just about keeping you regular, it has won the support of regulators in the form of health claims in areas like heart health, cholesterol reduction and digestive health. Yet many dietary agencies report that populations are not getting enough fibre. Is enough being done to sell fibre science and new fibre forms? What are the challenges for food, beverage and supplement manufacturers?

 American research finds cancer food scares don’t stand up to scrutiny with most culprit ingredients showing little or no increased risk of disease.

Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Something different for the end of the year – Google has released its Zeitgeist video, which takes a look at the year in ‘search’. And what a year it’s been. Check out “Zeitgeist 2012: Year In Review”. Guaranteed to bring a big smile to your face, and a big lump to your throat!

Who wouldn’t want to smell like a pizza? The dough, the spices, the cheese, the greasy cardboard box? But now you, too, can smell like the inside of a teenage delivery boy’s car if you’re one of the lucky 100 people who are fans of Pizza Hut and also live in Canada.
Red or white wine? Secret behind drink choice revealed
Red wine drinkers earn more and are generally happier, they are more likely to have a degree, be married and drink more frequently than those who have a preference for white or rose. White wine drinkers are home-lovers who are content with their position on the career ladder, and are more practical, a study has revealed.
Chocolate – it’s the guilt that makes it so delicious, study finds
Researchers have found that women are more likely to enjoy food if they think it is bad for them.
The world’s most expensive Christmas dinner: menu revealed
The £125,000 menu devised by a top London chef will provide dinner for four. Among the ingredients being used are a Yubari King melon costing £2,500, in addition the a £2,600 Densuke watermelon; 150-year-old balsamic vinegar costing £1,030; whole white Alba truffle costing £3,500; and gold leaf coming in at £6,000.

 Food bites…2012: Food scepticism is healthy

“Rather than endless calls for regulations, bans and taxes – whose efficacy is doubtful but whose effect on personal autonomy would be substantial – it would be far better to recognise that any diet with some modicum of balance will be fine for most people, who will live to a greater age than their parents or grandparents, on average, no matter how much disapproved food they consume.

Claims that any particular food is some dietary panacea should be treated with a large, metaphorical pinch of salt, whoever makes them, whether they are an evil mega corporation or the bloke behind the counter at the health-food shop.

Above all, a similarly healthy scepticism should be applied to crusading medics who want to scare us with the idea that Big Food is out to kill us and who encourage politicians to regulate what we eat.”

Rob Lyons, deputy editor of 
 Bidfood Solutions
DSM Quality for Life
QPro International
Swift Micro Labs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
The HR Company
ProCert Southern Africa

Progress Excellence
 Propak Africa 2013
Totally Food Events
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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