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Newsletter 23 September 201

 23 September 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.” Charles Evans Hughes, jurist (1862-1948)

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: The hypocritical attack on processed food!
I CAME ACROSS a gem this week that perfectly exposes the hypocrisy of the ridiculous Luddite-like attack the processed food industry finds itself under today, as popular media and the food police warn consumers only to eat food that is unprocessed, organic, authentic, real, natural, local, preservative-free, additive-free…etc etc.

“To improve their lives, consumers worldwide grasp at new technologies like a drowning person to a raft. In the United States and the developed world, we routinely work on PCs or Macs, listen to our MP3 players, and search out “apps” on our handheld devices. When going out to dinner, we use a GPS system to find the restaurant. And in developing countries, many of these technologies also are used; all are envied and sought after.

Now consider the extraordinary case with food technology. President Obama’s wife Michelle tends a White House vegetable garden, which is a wonderful activity to show people where food comes from. But she contends that doing so allows us to avoid processed foods. In effect, she is telling us to avoid food technology.

Food technology is not a pejorative term. Why is it that consumers and many health professionals in the developed world treat it that way while all other technologies are viewed as a boon to humankind? Imagine the uproar if we insisted on the use of manual typewriters, overheads, 2 x 2 slides, chalkboards, and 78rpm records.”

Read the full article here: Food Technology: Equal partner for a healthy future, written by Fergus Clydesdale, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and IFIC Foundation Trustee
Going on hold: FOODStuff SA newsletter will be on hold for two weeks as I’m heading to Europe tonight for some field work in France, followed by five days at Anuga (8-12 October). Watch out for my Anuga 2011 blog, kindly sponsored by Symrise, that I’ll be doing from the world’s biggest food expo.

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

PS I’ve added Google Translate to the website, so you can now read everything in several languages, including Afrikaans. It might not be perfect, but it’s one of the best instant translation tools available.

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

Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News

Denny Mushrooms, recently sold by AVI as branding mushroom products was no longer viable in the face a wide range of cheaper imported products, will look to grow its business by increasing sales among upper-income black consumers.

An international project is underway to improve the export competitiveness of rooibos could increase current production, sustain jobs and boost the value of exported tea.
Torus Pak is an innovative new HMR food packing system that allows ready meals to be prepared as a producer would want to present them on a plate – and it’s being launched in South Africa by AGQPE Food Packaging Systems.
Novozymes and environmental venture group, CleanStar Ventures, are to jointly establish an integrated food-energy business in Mozambique that will replace thousands of charcoal-burning cookstoves with cleaner ethanol stoves.


 Food Science, Ingredients and Health

A new, overblown drama has broken out for the American food industry: allegations of unsafe levels of arsenic in apple juice, courtesy of Dr Oz – the talk show host, and commentator for his The Dr Oz Show, a daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health.

Why food looks tastier on an empty stomach
It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, because you’re more likely to buy junky, fattening foods. Now a new brain scan study shows why: your brain craves junk food more on an empty stomach.
Pitcher plant inspires ultimate non-stick surface
By mimicking the leaves of a carnivorous tropical plant, US scientists have developed a surface so slippery that everything slides off: water, oil, blood, ice, jam and even ants. This kind of ‘omniphobic’ surface could be used to produce graffiti-repelling walls, self-cleaning windows and pipes that transport fluids easily and quickly.

Paarl-based Afriplex has recently acquired micro-encapsulation technology to manufacture flavours in a powder format. This will allow the company to broaden its basket of flavour products and to offer clients an improved and wider range of product possibilities.

Aloe vera – Latin for ‘true aloe’ – has long been associated with skin health, cell growth, digestive health, and other benefits, and while scientific evidence of these is sometimes contradictory, it has a growing following around the world. Studies are currently underway to establish its efficacy in the absorption of vitamins, as an anti-inflammatory agent, and an aid to the digestive system.

The possibilities for healthier processed meat
The meat industry must move towards the production of healthier processed meats by formulating new and innovative products, according to a new review. Reducing levels of unhealthy ingredients, whilst boosting levels of healthy ingredients, could help to change the image of processed meats.

Nutrient powerhouse baobab attracts cereals big gun in the US
Baobab – the African superfruit packing an unparalleled nutritional punch – is being tested by a major player in the cereals sector and is set to feature in a clutch of new launches later this year from granola to chocolate covered fruit snacks.
The International Food Information Council Foundation has produced a suite of new resources known as the “Understanding Our Food Communications Tool Kit”, which is available for manufacturers and marketers to use in addressing food production questions in their daily food and health conversations with consumers and customers.
Everything you need to know about aspartame
The International Food Information Council Foundation has revised its popular brochure, “Everything You Need to Know About Aspartame.” It is designed to be a useful resource for consumers as well as health professionals, and provides consumer-friendly information that has been updated to reflect the latest science, including facts about aspartame and weight management, safety, food uses and applications, and benefits for various populations.
BPA in canned foods
A recent report, BPA in Kids’ Canned Food, from the Breast Cancer Fund has once again unduly thrust Bisphenol A back under the media spotlight. This fear-inducing report attempts to draw a parallel between the levels of BPA found in popular children’s meals and health effects from research involving laboratory animals. Currently the research that exists on health effects from BPA is based on animal studies or epidemiologic evidence that cannot conclude a causal relationship between BPA and human health risk.

 Verni Superflor

 International Stories

Eight people have died and another 55 people in 14 states have been sickened from a multistate outbreak of Listeria that has been officially linked to cantaloupes (spanspek in SA), sold under the Jensen Farms’ Rocky Ford-brand and which were recalled September 14.

Australian beer giant Foster’s has accepted an improved takeover offer worth Aus$9.9-billion from SABMiller. The group, whose leading lager brands include Corona and Foster’s, had in August rejected a hostile bid of Aus$9.51-billion from SABMiller.

The United Nations has adopted a political declaration on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, chronic respiratory disease and cancer – decided at its High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) held September 19-20.

Irish food and ingredients group, Kerry, has agreed a deal to buy Cargill’s global flavour business for $230m (€168m). In July, Kerry had said it was in exclusive talks with Cargill to acquire the flavours business which have now culminated in the signing of a definitive sales agreement.

Hershey is building chocolate factory of the future
They sure do it bigger in the US of A! Hershey is making a quarter-billion dollar investment in a modern chocolate plant that will accommodate the candy maker for the next 50 to 100 years. The expansion to the West Hershey Chocolate factory in Pennsylvania, set to be operational next year, will put the company’s biggest active production site at about 213 360 meters square!

Why does North Korea’s odious dictatorship remain so entrenched despite causing such hunger and misery to its people, including the devastation of a far-ranging famine that has killed one-fifth of the population.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Marketing and NPD Stuff

SAB and its key ad agency, Ogilvy, enjoyed a mutual love-in recently in celebration of a 50-year old business relationship. But, asks journalist, Christine Greyvenstein of Coup Magazine, what makes a business relationship work? Better yet, what makes a business relationship work for 50 years?

In keeping with its quest to deliver innovative olde style beverage flavours into the South African market, Frankie’s Olde Style Soft Drink Company has launched Dandelion and Burdock, yet another flavour to add to its range.

Known for it jams, fruit toppings and toasted muesli products, Pietermaritzburg’s Thistlewood Products has launched a new range of low GI biscuits.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Cherry Blossom, baked potato, soy sauce, fruit parfait… just some of the weird flavours of Kit Kat candy in Kit Kat-crazy Japan. Nestlé’s creative flavour development and marketing of its only-in-Japan products (some 19 unique flavours for Kit Kat) have made it the No 1 brand confectionery brand in Japan.

Some people love vegemite, some people hate it and, evidently some people have no idea what it is. Kevin Rudd, the Australian foreign minister, has been forced use all of his powers of diplomacy to convince dubious members of the US Customs service to allow him to take a jar of Vegemite, his nation’s favourite spread, onto a plane.
Monday September 19 was International Talk Like A Pirate Day [where do these pish ‘n tosh, mammering pea-brained ‘days’ hail?] – but in ragbag recognition, me hearties, this interesting article tackles the pirate’s biggest concern (after other pirates, official Navies, reefs or anything else that was part of the pirate lifestyle), scurvy. It’s a very nasty condition and still a scourge in parts of the world, too.

Food bites… Time to rant (again) on the importance of packaging

“Well, it’s time for my twice-a-year whine about the importance of packaging in luring consumers to a new product. Yes, I know it doesn’t matter how great the packaging is if the product inside doesn’t measure up taste-wise. Hey, we agree, the taste buds never lie.
   That said, you still have to get people to reach for the product, and it is the packaging that will first catch their attention in the aisle. That package and the information on it. It’s funny, whenever I’m invited to make a trends presentation at a food company, most of the people I’m introduced to are in R&D, marketing and sales. Not that these groups aren’t important. But I hardly ever get to meet the people behind the packaging. Don’t know why, I just never do. It’s like they’re an afterthought.
   But I will argue that the packaging folks are as important as any group in a food company, because they are the ones charged with making a new product stand out on the grocery shelf. If you get that packaging right, if it’s easy to pick out nuzzled alongside other products, easy to see and read, well, you’ve won the first leg of the battle to get that product in a shopping cart. After that, it’s R&D’s turn to impress, the ol’ taste-bud test. Bottom line? Without great packaging and palate-pleasing contents, sales and marketing won’t stand a chance.”
Bob Messenger, publisher of The Morning Cup and foremost US food industry commentator
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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 is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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