Newsletter 16 March 2012

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 16 March 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:  “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.”
~Theodore Rubin

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: R146: Shooting itself in the foot?

R146, the new food labelling legislation, now nearly three weeks ‘live’, made some headlines again this week.
Top labelling consultants were quoted in several mainstream media that, as it stands, R146’s stringent approach to nutritional labelling and declarations will have the unintended consequence of leaving consumers with even less information on food products.
Nigel Sunley (left) repeated his contention to the likes of The Times and Radio 702/Cape Talk that the nutritional aspect of the new food law has “backfired”. The problem is the nutrition table, a declaration that is only required if a product is making a claim – a requirement surely at odds with this era of information and consumer empowerment/enlightenment?

That’s one issue, but the crux of the current matter is that the processes legislated to determine and analyse a food’s nutritional content are so “complex and expensive” that Sunley maintains that it’s cheaper and easier for companies not to volunteer any breakdown of nutritional information at all…. Read more on the link below.

Eish! Some 17 years later in their making, you would have thought something this obvious would have been sorted at the outset, but that’s just my tuppence worth! Enjoy this week’s read…

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
 Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Many interesting career opportunities are posted up on FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages! Click here!

Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments

Greg Solomon, MD McDonalds, describes the company as “a family and a family business. Looking outward we want to be talking to a family – a mother, a father, a child – and that’s who we cater for. We are not just a business that caters for kids. One of our fastest growing markets is the young adults. For us there is a family feeling in this business. It is an open ended learning environment”. This article looks at Solomon from a leadership perspective…

Kraft has relaunched Cadbury Dream white chocolate in a stylish new packaging design and the introduction of two new flavours – Dream with Biscuit and Dream with Almond and Coconut.

Workshop on food defence, Gauteng, April 19
Entecom will be conducting a workshop on food defence in association with AIB International. This hands-on workshop, to be held in Randburg on April 19, is customised to the South African industry and will be presented by Rolf Uys.
   What is food defence? Food safety is defined as unintentional contamination of food, whereas food defence is the intentional contamination of food, by extortionists, extremists, criminals or disgruntled employees.
Top headline last week: Nestlé looks to uncover SA’s bio bounty
Nestlé’s has announced that it’s entering into a new research partnership with the CSIR, a collaboration aimed at discovering new bioactive ingredients from indigenous flora with health benefits.

International News & Stuff
US: “Pink slime” just went from a simmer to a boil
The stomach-turning epithet for ammonia-treated ground beef filler has suddenly become a potent rallying cry by activists fighting to ban the product from US supermarket shelves and school lunch trays. Federal regulators say ‘pink slime’ meets standards for food safety. Critics liken it to pet food and their battle has suddenly gone viral amid new media attention and a snowballing online petition.
The Cola War continues. As Pepsi struggles to regain market share, Indra Nooyi’s job is on the line…. Read this excellent analysis of PepsiCo’s current struggles and strategies from The Economist.

Thirst for bottled water strong despite prices: Nestle
Consumers are shunning carbonated soft drinks in favor of bottled water, even in the face of recent price increases, Nestle Waters North America’s top executive said. “It’s convenience we are talking about,” said Kim Jeffery, president and chief executive of Nestle Waters North America, at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago on Monday.

A coming boom in agriculture? I think so. The old way of looking at food supply and demand is giving way to a new emphasis on the changing diets of hundreds of millions of people. Those changes will substantially increase demand for grains, putting upward pressure on prices, writes Forbes journalist, Bill Conerly.

 Food Marketing, Trends and Innovation
Innova Market Insights tracks and reports on hundreds of innovative products from around the world every, providing just a snapshot of the vast body of new product data it covers. Here’s is a run-down of the first ten of twenty of what it rates as “the most innovative and on-trend products” that it featured in its database and monthly magazine in 2011, listed in the order in which they appeared. One of them is from South Africa. The rest will follow next week!
Food companies are reaching for the snack bowl. Facing stagnant growth in their base grocery business, packaged-food companies are increasingly turning to snacks as an avenue for growth.
Despite ongoing economic difficulties, new product activity in the global snackfoods industry appears to be continuing unabated. Launch numbers recorded by Innova Market Insights showed a strong double-digit increase in 2011. Savoury and salty snacks accounted for just under two-thirds of the total, and snack nuts and seeds the remainder.
The real story of the modern family
The iconic nuclear family of the 1950s is kaput. At nearly any time of day, just a casual glance at the variety of shoppers in a typical grocery store reinforces the notion that trying to influence Mom as the primary grocery shopper is largely a losing battle. The notion of family is being totally redefined….. Great insights from The Hartman Group.

Chocolate milk, to allow it or not, is a hot topic for schools in America. In reaction, chocolate milk producers are turning their attention away from school kids and focusing on millions of adult athletes.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

Food Science, Safety and Ingredients Stuff

No matter how careful the preparation and trials, in product development things can sometimes go wrong when it comes to manufacturing and selling the product. And it might not be obvious that all is not well until some time after the launch. Wayne Morley (left), head of Food Innovation at Leatherhead Food Research, outlines five tips for trouble shooting.

Rare blood oranges get their distinctive colour from anthocyanins, pigments that also provide a variety of health benefits, for example lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. The oranges, however, require distinct growing conditions which make them a rare fruit – but this could change with the genetic work of a team of British scientists.

Guar gum, widely used in multiple food applications, is in short supply thanks to unprecdented demand from the oil and gas industry and its growing use in hydraulic fracturing to prevent fluid loss. This has resulted in substantially higher prices which has food formulators increasingly looking for alternatives. DuPont Danisco reports it has a wide range of solutions to help.

Salmonella cases in humans are on the decline in EU countries — down by nearly 9% in 2010, the sixth consecutive year for which a decrease was reported. Salmonella prevalence in poultry is also declining in the EU. The statistics come from an annual report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA.

Simply looking at images of food that appeals to you can make something taste better, according to a new study by scientists at the Nestlé Research Centre in Switzerland.

World demand for aseptic packaging is projected to grow 9.1 percent per year to $35.8 billion in 2015. Advances will be driven by the increasing number of applications and the cost and convenience benefits associated with aseptic packaging (especially in terms of ambient storage and transportation).

A study has found that specialist oenophiles have a much more acute sense of taste than the rest of us – and it may even be in the genes. And thus the findings raise this question: just how useful are their judgements for ordinary wine lovers?

 Verni Superflor

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

Yet another scare on red meat…. those juicy burgers and sizzling steaks may look innocent enough (not to mention temptingly tasty), but they could be driving meat eaters to an early death, according to a new Harvard study.

Meat industry experts and health campaigners have both questioned the results of a Harvard Medical School study which claimed to show that eating a diet high in red meat shortened life expectancy.

Californian researchers have discovered how salmonella, a bacterium found in contaminated raw foods that causes major gastrointestinal distress in humans, thrives in the digestive tract despite the immune system’s best efforts to destroy it.
Of all the childhood allergies, an allergic reaction to eggs is one of the most common. But eggs are difficult to avoid, even finding their way into many foods that might not seem particularly “eggy”, and are even used in flu vaccines. A team from Australia’s Deakin University, Melbourne, now says its well on the way to producing not just hypoallergenic eggs, but the chickens that lay them.
Soft bigotry of low food expectations
The “obesity epidemic” is often used to justify myriad new regulations targeting certain types of food and restaurants. Yet these regulatory efforts really have less to do with making people healthy than increasing government control over how private businesses run their companies and how citizens run their private lives. [Excellent commentary from The Washington Times!]

There is not enough scientific data to support a link between FDA-approved food colours and the increased incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to results of a new meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

You have to love the ever-inventiveness of human nature… trending in trendy bars of the world is the Nicotini, tobacco-spiked cocktails devised reportedly in Florida, US, in reaction to the ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

Anaesthetic gel made from a rare plant found deep in the Peruvian rainforest has been found to be so potent that it could potentially replace the uncomfortable anesthetic injections used prior to dental procedures — and provide a natural remedy for aching teeth, scientists say. [No, this is not food, but it is related, sort of. Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating development.]

 Food bites…The food of the future

The world diet in 2062 or 2112 will be as unfamiliar to most people today as our own cosmopolitan diet of fast food and ethnic cuisines would be to our great grandparents in 1912. The new foods will be the result of fierce demand and resource pressures on food worldwide, astonishing new technologies, and emerging trends in diet, farming, healthcare and sustainability…

These emerging trends in food will surprise and even appall some people – and excite and motivate many more. Like our homes and clothes, our food is not frozen in time and, while our diet respects tradition, it is constantly in pursuit of novelty. Driven by necessity and impelled by our urge to discover new things, the next century of food will be the most adventurous and interesting in the 10,000-year story of civilisation.

Julian Cribb is an Australian science and agriculture writer and
author of The Coming Famine: the global food crisis and what we can do to avoid it.
Read more of this fascinating article
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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: [email protected]