Newsletter 22 July 2011

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 22 July 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.”  Thomas Szasz, author, professor of psychiatry

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: From fraudulent olive oil to extreme eating, from rules for successful NPD to beer archaeology… it’s in this week’s read!

Amid the wealth of relevant material I uncovered this week, three stories stand out as recommended reads:

Confused by the choice of olive oils on our shelves? You can’t go wrong with local – SA Olive reports that South African olive oils rate the highest when it comes to quality, value for money and truthful labelling. It recently put various local and imported olive oils through rigorous testing and found that many imported brands are not what they claim.

Wayne Morley, ex-technical food developer at Unilever and now head of Food Innovation at Leatherhead Food Research, outlines his top 10 rules for product developers to bear in mind when attempting the highly difficult and rarely successful task of taking a food product all the way from idea-to-shelf.

The overfeeding of America seems likely to continue unabated at the nation’s chain restaurants. The dishonorees in the CSPI’s Xtreme Eating Awards include burgers topped with pork belly and fried eggs, meatballs stuffed with provolone, and grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with deep-fried mozzarella sticks.


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Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News

Food group AVI is selling the full issued share capital of Denny Mushrooms to Blue Falcon 134 Trading. Blue Falcon’s shareholders include RMB Ventures Six, an indirect subsidiary of FirstRand, which holds a 49.9% interest in Denny, and Denny’s executive management team.

In line with Massmart and Walmart’s commitment to develop local suppliers, Massmart has announced the appointment of Mncane Mthunzi, current CEO of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), as Supplier Development Executive.

A ‘miracle’ tree from India and West Africa has been touted as a potential solution to malnutrition and as a biofuel by a scientist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Jacobs Kronüng premium coffee  got a head start in bringing Mandela Day to life at Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, on Sunday 17 July by creating an impressive 2 700-cup mosaic artwork of the world’s favourite statesman.


Food Trends, NPD and Marketing
Peter Spanton, former London restaurateur (and alcoholic) believes he has found an answer.
It’s every pudding lover’s dream: a truly sumptuous dessert that won’t ruin the waistline and won’t up your odds of cardiac arrest… a growing number of chefs are not just slaving away to produce fabulous, exciting food, but are also trying make it healthy.
People have been guzzling energy drinks for the last 10 years – and now they’re also looking to relax. The new phenomenon of alertness and relaxation drinks, which has developed out of the energy drinks category, has risen in less than five years to a retail value of $521 million.

Eggs have always been difficult to market because on the surface there’s not much difference between them, but in the UK a number of interesting innovations have come out of the seemingly unglamorous egg market.

• SA launches an egg-marketing campaign

 Verni Superflor

International News
Famine in East Africa
Aid workers have long been warning that a famine was approaching in East Africa. Now that it is here, they are struggling to feed millions of victims of what is said to be the worst drought since 1950. The situation is likely to get even worse.
Cargill has confirmed it has been approached by Kerry, the global ingredients and  flavours and consumer foods group, who has expressed interest in acquiring Cargill’s global flavours business. The two are now in exclusive discussions which may, or may not result in the sale of the business.
Seventeen of the nation’s largest food and beverage companies unveiled an agreement that outlines uniform nutrition criteria for foods advertised to children that will further strengthen voluntary efforts to change child-directed food advertising.
High food prices are here to stay – and here’s why
Wheat, maize, sugar and coffee have hit near record levels in the last six months, and dairy, oils and cereal are all 20-50% above where they were last year. Dig up your lawn and plant your flowerbeds with spuds. Marry a farmer. Buy land. The United Nations, commodity brokers and hedge funds, banks and governments all seem to agree that high food prices are here to stay.
Concerns raised over aflatoxin controls on Indian spices
The Indian spice sector has been given a wake up call after EU inspectors uncovered a raft of weaknesses in the country’s safety procedures to prevent aflatoxin contamination that means exports cleared by officials may fail to reach European standards.
After much debate, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has signed off a bill that turns an apparently self-evident truth into law – that beer is an alcoholic drink. The new bill will bring regulations for the drink in Russia into line with those for spirits, banning sales in street kiosks as well as all beer advertising.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
There’s been quick and fierce reaction, not unexpectedly, to a recent article in the online British Medical Journal (BMJ) where GP, Dr Margaret McCartney, argues that the recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration “is not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunked nonsense.”
Is salt bad for us? In just the past few months researchers have published seemingly contradictory studies showing that excess sodium in the diet leads to heart disease, reduces your blood pressure, or has no effect at all. Scientific American tries to get through the haze with Marion Nestle.

Food Science, Sustainability and Ingredients

The benefits of the technology far outweigh any risks and we must embrace the opportunities created by it…

The era of cheap produce is over. So what next? Journalist, Robin Barton meets some of the farmers, producers and scientists with the future of food in their hands, including SA’s own Jody Scheckter.
Nestlé UK’s York site, which makes over a billion Kit Kats a year, has reportedly achieved zero waste to landfill nearly four years ahead of the company’s 2015 target.
Taking desalination of water a step forward
Desalinating seawater is expensive, but in potable water-stressed Singapore, the government and Siemens are working to do it cheaper. Siemens says its demonstration electrochemical desalination plant on the island can transform seawater into drinking water using less than half the energy required by the most efficient previous method.
Top 10 Ingredient Innovations at IFT 2011
A slew of new ingredients were presented at the 2011 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo, and several grabbed the attention of the Food Product Design editorial team.
Combating E Coli: Can a peptide block the bug?
A team of research collaborators in the US and Canada are on the trail of a tiny protein that could render E coli and other pathogens weak against our inherent defense: human digestion.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

The busiest and biggest McDonald’s in the world will be within the Olympic park in London, when it opens for business next UK summer, seating 1 500 customers.

For tasty recipes, fine produce, nutrition and health information and the latest culinary/food trends, The Independent newspaper in the UK asked some experts for their top bookmarks. Many of these are not relevant to the remit of this website which is FMCG food manufacture, and the myriad of issues that go with it, but this is a useful resource.

By analyzing ancient pottery, Dr Patrick McGovern of Pennsylvania University is resurrecting the libations that fueled civilization – and uncovering how drinking in modern societies offers insight into dead ones. McGovern is the world’s foremost expert on ancient fermented beverages, and he cracks long-forgotten recipes with chemistry…

Binge drinking is why women can’t read maps, say scientists
Women, according to the received wisdom frequently cited by exasperated male drivers, can’t read
maps [and men can’t ask for directions]. Now scientists have come up with one rather uncharitable explanation for the supposed phenomenon. It could be the result of binge drinking in adolescence.

Food bites…Caught between health and a hard place

“At one time, I was seduced by nutritionists saying I should be doing this or that and I launched 100% fruit desserts with vitamin C. They got into Sainsbury and Tesco, and they met all the nutritional criteria, but nobody bought them and they were delisted. I lost £200 000 but it taught me a lesson: my job is to make products that sell.”

Paul Newberry, co-founder of UK-based fruit snack maker Stream Foods

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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, intelligent… fast, fresh and full of additives!


Brenda NeallFOODStuff SA is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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