Newsletter 24 August 2011

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 24 August 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “People tend to respect and believe in science — until it tells them something they didn’t want to hear.”   LA Times editorial

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: D-day for heart-attack trans-fats!
South Africa’s food regulatory environment has turned a whole lot tougher this year: the new labelling regulations, aka R146, are just around the corner in March 2012; the government is talking seriously about banning alcohol advertising; the minister of health has salt reduction in processed food in his crosshairs; and draft regulations on warning labels for high-caffeine drinks have been published.

Trans-fatsThen there’s the Consumer Protection Act, and, ta-ra, last week was D-Day for heart-attack trans-fats.

From Wednesday August 17 2011, South Africa is a reduced trans-fatty acid zone, with much lower levels of the evil trans-fats that contribute to the risk of heart attacks and other ills, and no false claims about them. With a large number of caveats, that is, including just how you define trans-fats and how much faith you have in the cut-throat instincts of those in the food business. Read this great commentary

There are some great trends articles, this week, too, including two excellent proprietary items – on energy drinks and cocoa as a new functional ingredient – from the highly-regarded New Nutrition Business, and which are exclusive to FOODStuff SA.

Enjoy this week’s read! I’m off on a week’s R&R in the bush – and back with the next newsletter on Friday, September 9.
Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News
There is no question of our flair for producing a world-class chenin blanc, cabernet sauvignon or pinotage at an affordable price. But the provenance of South Africa’s wines is altogether less savoury, an investigation by human rights monitors claims. It has been promptly denied by SA wine authorities for its gross bias and generalisations.
BMI Research covers a wide range of methodologies and markets. In this report, BMI provides some key findings from its various research projects into South Africa’s beverage market.

Appletiser and Grapetiser are iconic South African products, sold for decades in cans and marketed as 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugar, preservatives or colourants. In other words, positioned as a healthier alternative to traditional fizzy drinks. That the new variant in PET bottles now contains preservatives has raised some eyebrows.

The GIFSA and Diabetes SA endorsement logos have been officially approved by the Dept of Health, reports Jan Delport of the GI Foundation of South Africa. R146, the new labelling regulations, requires all food endorsement logos to get approval from the DoH.
Cape Town’s Orley Foods, the specialist chocolate and confectionery ingredients company, has added a brand new dimension to its inventory: the commissioning of a new filling line for liquid sauces which it believes will hold great appeal for several of its markets. 
Shoprite is fending off increasingly fierce competition from rival food retailers with an aggressive roll-out of new stores. CEO Whitey Basson, in announcing the annual results, said he was satisfied that some 64% of SA shoppers buy at his stores – up from 47% in 2005. He was happy that Shoprite won many awards including No 1 supermarket in the Sunday Times Top brands survey. “The only award we haven’t won is the nicest CEO in the retail trade,” he joked.


 Food Trends, NPD and Marketing

The convergence of scientific and technological progress, corporate strategy, consumer knowledge and desire for foods that can claim to be “naturally healthy” is bringing cocoa to a tipping point. Though the growth curve may be a long and gentle one, cocoa’s use in foods as a health ingredient is now clearly and firmly on the increase. Beverages, dairy and snacks look like the areas most likely to be able to make the most of cocoa’s future potential.

The unstoppable rise of the energy drink category continues to astonish. That a market that is (in the West at least) now twenty years old can continue to produce 10% annual growth – against the background of a stagnant economy and despite premium pricing – is scarcely believable. So how is it possible? And what can we all learn from the phenomenon?

Briton’s now spend more on coffee in a year than they do on their energy bills – and as the price of beans rises, the responce has to be ever more fussy about coffee options. The story’s the same the world round, it would appear….

Kraft Foods has introduced a new Oreo variant, the Triple Double Oreo, which combines a layer of vanilla cream, a layer of chocolate cream and three chocolate wafers.

America’s Grocery Manufacturers Association announced its 2011 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity at its Executive Conference this week – honoured were General Mills and Batter Blaster.

 Verni Superflor

 International Stories
How does the chairman of the world’s largest food company – Nestlé – view consumer trends toward organic foods, slow foods, and farmer’s markets in parts of the US and Europe? “You have to be rational,” says Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of the board of Nestlé. “There’s no way you can support life on earth if you go straight from farm to table.”
Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola is investing $4bn in China in a bid to double revenues in the region by 2020. This is the company’s biggest planned investment in the region since its $2bn commitment in 2009.
Kenya: KFC First US chain in East Africa’s untapped market
KFC just opened its first restaurant in East Africa. The shiny red-and-white KFC in the new wing of an established Nairobi mall is the first American fast food outlet in East Africa’s most developed economy, and there are indications its entrance could herald a rush of US chains into this untouched but potentially lucrative landscape.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Science, Sustainability and Ingredients
Coriander oil has been shown to be toxic to a broad range of harmful bacteria. Its use in foods and in clinical agents could prevent food-borne illnesses and even treat antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the authors of a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.
In the 15th century, when Europeans first began moving people and goods across the Atlantic, a microscopic stowaway somehow made its way to the caves and monasteries of Bavaria – and subsequently gave the world its biggest alcoholic brew: lager beer.

The high intensity sweetener Advantame is not associated with any adverse effects, according to a toxicology study over two generations of rats conducted by Ajinomoto. Advantame is a high intensity sweetener derived from the same amino acids as aspartame, and vanillin. While aspartame is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, Advantame is said to be “thousands of times” sweeter.

Unwanted bacteria, yeasts and moulds can cause major problems for the food industry as well as consumers. Norwegian researchers have developed new methods to identify potential sources of contamination.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

When it comes to improving bone health in postmenopausal women — and people of all ages, actually — a Florida State University researcher has found a simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis: eating prunes, or dried plums as they are now coyly referred to in America.

Everyone loves to hate HFCS, and while many studies have shown that there is relatively little difference between HFCS and regular sugar (though there are some differences in metabolism), the only real data we have so far to link to is that Americans as a whole are getting fatter, and we’re all eating a lot of HFCS. Brainy blogger on Scientific American, Scicurious, looks at this contentious topic and unwraps the latest research that was a turning point for HFCS.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Nestlé has set canine tails wagging across the United States with the launch of its new Frosty Paws Bites frozen ice cream snacks for dogs. The bites – specially formulated for dogs, who are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy products such as regular ice cream properly – contain high quality protein, vitamins and minerals, but no milk.

New dentistryFood needs teeth – so I’ve included this interesting story here! Researchers at the University of Leeds have discovered a pain-free way of tackling dental decay that reverses the damage of acid attack and re-builds teeth as new. The pioneering treatment promises to transform the approach to filling teeth forever.


Food bites… Conventional wisdom isn’t always wise

“Despite how much money and expertise is poured into nutrition research, we should still be skeptical about jumping to conclusions about our food and health. Our understanding is always shifting, and it’s often muddled by activists with a dog in the fight…
   …Whatever the case, we should bet on ‘moderation’ remaining the cornerstone of any diet. Anybody who tells you a food or ingredient is going to harm you generally has an agenda, and not your health, to promote.”
Rick Berman, OpEd in The Des Moines Register. Read full article

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Published every Friday (except this August) 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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