Newsletter 20 May 2011

Your Newsletter

 20 May 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
  SmartStuff:   “To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.”
Joan Didion, American journalist, essayist
Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Listening to bacteria!
What did we ever do without the internet? As I do my weekly research, I am constantly amazed at the wonderful stuff out there – and this week I want to share this with you…
Bonnie BasslerIt concerns bacteria – little beasties that are as important in the work of all food industrialists as taste, texture, mouthfeel, product, price, place and promotion. But few of us really understand what crafty little buggers these single-cell creatures are. One person who does is Dr Bonnie Bassler (left), one of America’s foremost scientists who has done ground-breaking work in uncovering how bacteria communicate.

Bacteria, it turns out are “glued to their cellphones and Internet chat lines. They converse in a complex chemical language, using molecules to alert one another to who’s out there, in what numbers and how best to behave given the present company. Bacteria survey their ranks, they count heads, and if the throng is sufficiently large and like-minded -if there is a quorum – they act. Through chemical signalling, tiny bacterial cells can band together and perform the work of giants.”

If bacteria are important in your work, do read about Bassler’s work – which has stunning implications for medicine and industry – and watch a brilliant 18-minute lecture by her. She’s utterly engaging and even gets a standing ovation! And if bacteria are not important in your work, do so anyway – after all, us humans are only 10% human and 90% bacteria. Click here for both

Enjoy this week’s read – there are, as every week, great stories and insights!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor


 FOODStuff SA is a hub for food industry recruitment….Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry Stuff
SA consumers are now among the most protected in the world. Looking at the cost of protection, the turf wars and what it means for business…. 
New Fair Cape yoghurtsFair Cape Dairies launches indulgent yoghurt range
Fair Cape Dairies’ newest addition to its range of dairy products are Divine double cream yoghurts – available in three delicious flavours:  Chocolate Brownie, Apple Crumble and Cherry.
Local is always lekker when it comes to beer
The conventional marketing wisdom is that international brands will always trump locals. But not apparently with beer. A great article on SABMiller’s approach to beer branding and marketing.
RTD Fruit JuicesSA: RTD fruit juice market insights
In 2010 the RTD (ready to drink) fruit juice recovered from volume losses seen over the economic downturn. The market is expected to reach 2007 levels by the end of 2011, reports BMI, as consumers free up more disposable income for luxury items like fruit juice.
Bottled water trends from BMI
From 1998 through to 2007, the bottled water market averaged a volume growth rate of 27.0% per annum. This was a function of the category being fairly new and becoming established within the South African market. The growth in popularity of bottled water was exceptional, reports BMI.


 International Food Industry News
Tetra EveroTetra Pak launches the world’s first aseptic carton bottle for milk
Tetra Pak has launched the Tetra Evero Aseptic one litre, the first aseptic carton bottle for milk. The company says it combines the easy handling and pouring of a bottle with the environmental and cost advantages of a carton.
Ronald McDonaldUnder fire, Ronald McDonald tries to prove he’s still cool
Is Ronald McDonald getting too old? Kids nowadays seem more interested in smart phones and cool apps than his over-painted smile, floppy shoes and silly demeanour. He also seems out of step with McDonald’s new efforts to appeal to adults. And he’s fallen flat in new ads this year. And if that’s not enough…
Computers will soon take orders at European McDonald’s
The next “one billion served” may get their burgers without speaking a word. McDonald’s is jumping on the technology bandwagon with a new system that will soon change the way European customers order food – picture computers instead of humans asking whether customers prefer fries and supersizes.
Exploding melonsThe case of the exploding melons in China
A bizarre wave of exploding watermelons – possibly due to farmers’ abuse of a growth-boosting chemical – has once again spotlighted safety fears plaguing China’s poorly regulated food sector.
DuPont succeeds with Danisco acquisition
US chemical group DuPont has successfully completed its tender offer for Danisco, as 92.2 percent of outstanding shares in the Danish food ingredients firm were tendered by Friday’s deadline.
Asda settles ‘nasty’ aspartame legal battle with Ajinomoto
UK retail giant Asda has settled its long-running legal dispute with ingredient supplier Ajinomoto out of court, after the latter took legal action against the retailer for describing aspartame as a ‘nasty’ on own-label product packaging.
Lactalis takeover bid rejected by Parmalat
Lactalis’ €3.4bn takeover bid for Italian dairy giant Parmalat has been rejected, following a “unanimous decision” by the firms’ board of directors.
SABMiller announces new brewing research centre
SABMiller is building a brewing research centre in the UK that it believes could deliver a “quantum leap” in beer innovation.
Co-founder of McCain Foods passes away, aged 81
Co-founder of McCain Foods and chairman of Maple Leaf Foods Wallace McCain has passed away at the age of 81 following a 14-month struggle with pancreatic cancer.

 Verni Superflor

 Food Science, Technology & Safety Stuff
Growing meat in the labGrow meat in a petri dish?
A handful of scientists aim to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for steak without wrecking the planet. Meat grown in a laboratory could provide high-protein food sources free of the environmental and ethical concerns that accompany large-scale livestock operations…
The brain in your gut
Did you know you have functioning neurons in your intestines – about a hundred million of them? Senior Nestlé food scientist, Heribert Watzke, talks about about the “hidden brain” in our gut and the surprising things it makes us feel.
Better food packaging can cut 1.3bn ton waste bill
Improved food packaging can help to cut the 1.3bn tons of food produced for human consumption which is either lost or wasted each year, according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Humanity hitting the resource ceiling
Better living through using far fewer material resources is the only possible future, experts agree. Humanity is pressing up against the limits of a finite planet to provide resources like water, oil, metals and food, according to a new UN report.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Industry Trends, Marketing & NPD
Biscuit sales soar in the UK
Choc DigestivesBritons love tea and a biccie! Latest research from Mintel reveals that with sales of biscuits, cookies and crackers having increased 22% over the past five years to reach a delicious £2.2 billion in 2010, the overall UK biscuit market is set to make a packet.
   Mintel forecasts sales to grow a further 15% to reach £2.6 billion by 2015.
New global foods trends inspired from international influences
Foraging for your supper, markets for nocturnal eaters and hyper-specialised restaurants are among five new food trends that are sweeping the globe, says a travel magazine.
Lazy CakesMelatonin desserts – laid back and legal
Remember melatonin? In the 1990s, this over-the-counter dietary supplement was all the rage among frequent fliers, promoted as the miracle cure for jet lag. Now in the US it is back in vogue, this time as a prominent ingredient in at least a half-dozen baked goods that flagrantly mimic the soothing effects of hash brownies — and do so legally. At least for now.
New gum targets muscle function, says Wrigley
A new Wrigley chewing gum, which claims to aid muscle function, has been singled out by Datamonitor Product Launch Analytics (PLA) team as one of the most innovative food products on the market.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Novak DjokovicIs a gluten-free diet behind Djokovic’s smash success?
No one can match Novak Djokovic on the tennis court. He’s the most in-form player in the world, and his recent win in the Rome Masters was his 39th straight victory in succession. This year the Belgradian has won seven titles and £3.3m. His success is not just down to his agility, baseline aggression and strong serve, however, but his diet.
Humans “supersize” as technology advances our evolution
Human evolutionFor nearly three decades, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert W Fogel has assiduously researched what the size and shape of the human body say about economic and social changes throughout history, and vice versa.
   His research has spawned not only a new branch of historical study but also a provocative theory that technology has sped human evolution in an unprecedented way during the past century.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
Going where no beer has gone before
Wherever man has ventured, beer has followed. Now, two Australian entrepreneurs hope that will include space. Looking ahead to a future of growing space tourism, they have developed a full-bodied brew they believe can stand up to the trials of imbibing in space, including swelling tongues that diminish the sense of taste.
Bernie MadoffRidiculous prices fetched for Madoff’s booze collection
Bernie Madoff’s victims can finally benefit from a scam — only this one had willing victims. The wine and alcohol collection amassed by Madoff was auctioned off this week, fetching staggering prices for rather mundane lots. The proceeds will go to victims of his decades-long fraud.
DSM Quality for Life
QPro International
Totally Food Events
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
The HR Company
 On FOODStuff SA
 Put your company’s logo or ad here every week and reach 2700 food industrialists! From only R300!
Anchor Yeast
 Radical Waters
Food Ingredients Day at CPUT!
Calling Cape Food Industrialists!
CPUT (Bellville campus) is hosting an informative one-day symposium on May 26, highlighting the latest ingredient developments from several key vendors. 
Only 40 places!
Fee: R650
Cindy Hunlun [email protected]


 ProCert Southern Africa
 Progress Excellence
Published 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… fast, fresh and full of additives!


Brenda NeallFOODStuff SA is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

[email protected]

Food bites… Our trust in the food industry

“Of course, the problem is that, with food, one never really knows whether the food about to be eaten will cause illness, injury, or death. It is not as if it is feasible to drag a microbiologist around with us every time we go food shopping so that we can test for pathogens before putting that package of ground beef in our shopping cart.
   Ultimately, buying food and eating it is, and always will be, a matter of trust – or strategic denial.  Indeed, when we are no longer able to trust the food available in the marketplace, then buying food becomes a matter of insecurity and fear. When will the next time bomb go off? And who will be the next casualty?”
Denis Stearns, writing on Food Safety News. Read more