Newsletter 22 March 2013

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 22 March 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “The more you sweat in practice; the less you bleed in battle.”  Chinese proverb

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: All about regulations!
The week has been one for loads of legal stuff and tough talk from health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi. He’s been busy signing the draft salt reduction regulations into law, and promising to do his best/worst when it comes to new controls on liquor and tobacco.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Monday [March 18] that he would be signing regulations to reduce the salt content in several foodstuffs. The draft regulations were published for comment in July 2012.

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has, of late, used a number of public forums to reiterate that the liquor industry had best beware. Liquor advertising and upping the legal drinking age are in his sights.
In the wake of the meat labelling scam that erupted in Europe and locally, the Department of Trade and Industry will soon publish proposals to strengthen the labelling of meat products so that their ingredients are identified more precisely.


Today is World Water Day. Water is life. Respect, conserve and enjoy it!

Enjoy this week’s read!

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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) has established the retail ombud to handle unresolved consumer complaints ranging from sour milk and worms in cans to dodgy cosmetics and broken appliances.
Dairy producer Clover is investigating the possibility of moving its cheese facility closer to milk sources at the coast. This would save on transport and distribution costs, the firm said this week.
McCain Foods (SA) in George is expected to close by September this year, bringing more business decline and job losses to a region already hard hit by the recession. The landmark vegetable processing factory (left) has been in operation for the last 48 years.
LRQA, a division of the Lloyd’s Register Group Limited that has been assuring South African businesses for many years against QMS, EMS & OHSAS standards, is now offering the food industry its global expertise and experience on food safety standards, including ISO 22000, FSSC 22000 & HACCP.
How meat hops through SA hoops
Millions of rands worth of horsemeat enters the country each year and, although customs controls are fairly stringent, where it ends up is anyone’s guess.
Cape Town’s contentious by-law banning liquor sales on Sundays and after 6pm on weekdays will come into effect at the end of this month amid concerns that the ban will do little to curb alcohol abuse, but will fuel the illegal trade in liquor and hurt small-scale traders.
Liqui-Fruit Vitality is now available in a resealable, 330 ml Tetra Prisma pack with the DreamCap26, an innovative cap design. The pack is opened with one single, easy twist of the cap that can be re-sealed for later enjoyment.

In a deal that underlines its commitment to South Africa and the whole EMEA region, Kerry Ingredients & Flavours has acquired Cape Town-based Orley Foods, a leading manufacturer and supplier of sweet ingredient solutions.

 International News & Developments
An Irish government investigation has found that an Irish meat plant uncovered several cases of contamination of its beef supplies with horsemeat from June 2012 but kept it secret until February 2013. The company’s South African arm, based in City Deep, Jo’burg, is Woolworths’ dedicated meat supplier.
Horsemeat saga will shrink supply chains – Kerry CEO
Kerry CEO McCarthy said sales were recovering in wake of horsemeat contamination saga, adding that the contamination saga would result in “ultimately greater visibility [and] greater traceability” along the supply chain as food producers review how they source meat.
France, Finland, Denmark, Britain, Ireland and Romania have all either instituted food taxes or have been talking about it. But perhaps no country is trying harder than Hungary, which has, in the past 18 months, imposed taxes on salt, sugar and the ingredients in energy drinks.
Mark Lynas spent years destroying genetically modified crops in the name of the environment. Now he’s told the world – and his fellow activists – that he was wrong. So why did he change his mind? And does he have any friends left?
US: Whole Foods to label all GM products by 2018
Whole Foods Market, America’s high-end supermarket chain known for its organic inventory, will aim for “full GMO transparency” within five years. The business has more than 300 stores, including seven in the UK that already require GMO labelling. Whole Foods says it’s the first national grocery chain to set such a deadline …
Earlier in the month, NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s bid to ban the sale of large sugary drinks in the city was declared invalid, as it was always likely to be. Opinions are massively divided on the issue: industry relief vs food activist depression.
   One the most ardent food industry critics, the very high-profile Mark Bittman, columnist for the New York Times, says “If this is about freedom, it’s about the freedom of marketers to sell vectors of disease; we should all be in favour of restricting that freedom.” Read more of his views on the banning the ‘Big Gulp’ ban here
Coca-Cola Great Britain has launched new, stevia-sweetened Sprite in the UK, containing 30% fewer calories and, instead of being added as a mid-calorie addition to the Sprite range, it will completely replace the current Sprite.

 QPro International

 Food Trends, Innovation and Marketing
Even as food prices sizzle around the globe, fresh foods remain a healthy staple in our diets. In fact, consumers around the world spend between 30 and 60 percent of their total food, grocery and personal care expenses on fresh foods, according to new findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York City should be pleased – Americans apparently are soda-banning themselves, with the average US person now drinking 38 percent more water than 15 years ago.
Nearly six out of ten Americans [likely most people! Ed] have little knowledge about food production, according to a new white paper, “Building Trust in What We Eat,” released by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. The research is designed for food marketers to better understand the consumer’s lack of knowledge and trust in food production, and how that impacts food company perceptions.
Coca-Cola is taking bottled water and doing what it does best – giving it some bubbles and flavour. The Atlanta-based company has confirmed that it would introduce a line of zero-calorie, carbonated, fruit-flavoured waters called “fruitwater” starting April 1.
Wrigley wants to burst the bubble of the energy drink industry. The chewing gum giant, owned by private candy maker Mars, is rolling out a caffeinated product called Alert that will bear a warning label to scare off kids and those with sensitivities to the stimulant,
Very stylish item of innovation for the wine industry… out of California comes The Vini, offering fine wines by the glass and sleekly packaged in a glass tube as a 187ml serving, equivalent to 1/4 of a regular-size bottle of wine.

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

In what could be a major change in the method that companies use to extract the sweet steviol glycosides in the stevia plant, US-based Cargill and the Swiss company, Evolva, have agreed to join together to develop fermentation-derived steviol glycosides, which will enable the production of better tasting and less expensive stevia products. Stevia is the fastest growing natural zero-calorie sugar substitute on the market.
Bitter erythritol blow: EFSA rejects beverage use extension
Cargill has failed in its second attempt to secure EU approval for use of the bulk sweetener erythritol in soft drinks. Erythritol is an important carrier of stevia.
The poultry and meat industries are always looking for new and innovative advances in science and technology in battling salmonella — and an American biotech company has come up with a new spray-on solution that has just been confirmed GRAS by the US FDA.
As the global obesity problem continues to balloon out of control, reduced-fat foods are gaining in popularity. Unfortunately, consumers tend to overeat reduced-fat foods because they don’t feel full, so the challenge for food scientists is to create great-tasting foods that promote satiety. A new study has shown how natural oils and fats — particularly olive oil — regulate the sensation of feeling full after eating.
A food safety success story: Three crazy guys with a big idea
The case of one company’s journey from ‘appalling’ food safety to third party certification provided a refreshingly honest view on the effect major companies can have on food safety – even for the smallest start-ups – at the recent GFSI conference in Barcelona.
A new report into the food colours market combining market expertise from Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research reveals that, for the first time in 2011, the value of natural colours has overtaken that of artificial/synthetic colours globally.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Who would have thought it? After massive product recalls in Europe and Britain, wide revulsion and an international search for the guilty perpetrators, it seems that the horsemeat many have been eating inadvertently may be the new health food, according to scientists.
Improving one isolated health parameter such as blood pressure does not necessarily make us healthier overall. There are no silver bullets. Studies will not supplant the basic principles of living well. [A brilliant essay. Ed]
Werner Bauer, Nestlé’s Chief Technology Officer [and former MD of Nestlé South Africa], writes about how the company’s scientists are working to better understand the relationship between genes, diet and lifestyle, with the aim of tackling chronic health conditions through nutrition. He explains why healthy and sustainable diets that help to prevent or manage chronic disease are an unmet need in society.
Studies have found that organic baby food does not contain more nutrition than the conventional version. “The variety of foods and nutrients that babies take in will have a much larger impact on their health than whether they’re fed organic or not,” said Tiffani Hays, director of paediatric nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
New genetically engineered tomatoes could lower plaque build up
Researchers at UCLA have developed genetically engineered tomatoes that can produce a peptide that mimics the actions of good cholesterol when consumed.
If you do, you fly in the face of mounting and incontrovertible evidence that some calories – in particular, “sugar calories” – are jeopardising both your and your family’s health. Physicians and politicians who cling to the dogma that “all calories should be treated equally” imperil our future… So says ardent “anti-sugarman”, Dr Robert Lustig who, in this article, explains his latest published research on sugar’s role in global diabetes.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Produced at least as far back as 5 000 BC, beer has been with us for a long time. But the lifespan of individual beers is more likely to be measured in days or weeks rather than years or decades. The exception is if they’re preserved at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in a shipwreck. One such shipwrecked beer that is about 170 years old has been salvaged and analysed and will be reproduced using modern industrial techniques.

 Food bites…2013: Shame on the food fraudsters!

“WE have never lived in an era where food has been so safe. The fact is that we have to keep these things in proportion. However, my attitude there is this is a pity because the perception is reality.

   “The perception in society and the population at large is our industry, food and beverages, is you cannot depend on them, that we are a bunch of cheaters.

   “That we’re living in an environment where food has never been as unsure and unsafe – and actually that’s totally the contrary.

   “We wouldn’t in our minds start to cheat cheaply for a short term profit, putting our brand names and our good names on the line – that is just plain stupid.

   “To the fraudsters doing these things and putting the whole industry in the spotlight, well I say, shame on them.”

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestlé, commenting on the meat fraud scandal
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Brenda NeallPublished weekly 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]