Weekly NewsWrap – 28 August 2014

  We hunt down the latest food-drinks news and  
  trends so you don’t have to! 

Our weekly cherry-picking trawl through the global food-drinks worlds…

Some South African briefs   

A tough, busy year for RCL Foods

On the back of significant corporate activity, local food producer RCL Foods reported a headline loss of R318.8 million for the year to June 30 2014. This number was however primarily impacted by R1.04 billion incurred in finance costs in the course of some major acquisitions and other transactions. Read more

Western Cape woman named SA’s top female entrepreneur in agri-processing

Ilse RutherfordA Western Cape entrepreneur, Ilse Ruthford, from Stellenbosch clinched top honours in the agri-processing category at the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ awards to honour women in agriculture. Ruthford is the financial manager of the wine storage facility at the Compagniesdrift farm. The farm is one of the Western Cape’s land reform success stories. It is a equity scheme project where 50% of the farm is owned by the Meerlest Powerment Trust, of which Ilse is a member. 

The facility offers storage, bottling and labelling services to the wine industry. Read more

New and improved Fry’s ‘Authentically Durban’ range to be launched

Frys Durban rangeFry’s Family Foods (the SA market leaders in vegetarian foods) says it is relaunching its ‘Authentically Durban’ range, created exclusively in association with Deena Naidoo, South Africa’s first MasterChef, and which hit the shelves a year ago. Read more

Coega to develop R2bn aqua-farming facility

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has announced plans to develop a R2bn aqua-farming facility on 300 hectares of land at the Coega industrial development zone outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.This follows the completion of a feasibility study indicating that local conditions were well suited for the commercial cultivation of marine animals and plants, including abalone, finfish and seaweed. Read more

Food science, technology & ingredient news…   

How to prevent organic food fraud

OrganicA growing number of consumers are willing to pay a premium for fruits, vegetables and other foods labelled ‘organic,’ but whether they’re getting what the label claims is another matter. Now scientists studying conventional and organic tomatoes are devising a new way to make sure farms are labeling their produce appropriately. Read more

Salmonella outbreak across Europe may be caused by single batch of eggs

Food poisoning experts say there is evidence that outbreak including 250 British cases could be traced to same source. Read more

Fertile opportunity awaits for food waste processors

Globally speaking, the statistics on food waste are sobering, but in the US they are downright shocking: the USDA figures up to one-third of the available supply goes to waste. Set aside, for a moment, the frightening ramifications this has in the face of world population growth. We definitely should be working to reduce waste. But what about the organic scraps or produce that legitimately should be disposed of that are currently emitting all sorts of methane in landfills? There’s a greentech movement afoot to use that material both as the feedstock for renewable energy and for soil nutrients. Read more

Fibre-based satiety ingredient shown to make you eat less           

The effectiveness of a fibre-based dietary ingredient that makes people feel less hungry and consume less food has been demonstrated by a team of scientists. “What is notable is this product, given with breakfast, produced effects on appetite, which were apparent across the day. This is important when consumers are seeking help controlling they hunger across the day,” one researcher remarked. Read more

Cargill soluble fibre nears commercialisation; big potential for kids’ products

Just over a year on from Cargill’s purchase of soluble wheat bran extract from health and nutrition firm Fugeia, the supplier is edging closer to commercialising the soluble dietary fibre and powerful antioxidant, as consumers worldwide (and at all ages) continue to fall short on fibre needs. Read more

Chr Hansen launches cost-competitive, natural alternative to Red 40
Chr Hansen has launched a stable, cost-efficient substitute to synthetic food colorant Red 40 which is based on colour pigments derived from nature: Ultra Stable Red. Ultra Stable Red has been clearly proven and demonstrated to provide a bright red shade option that is stable, cost-friendly and derived from nature. Read more

Ingredion publishes white paper on gelatin-free yoghurt solution
Ingredion has published a white paper, “Formulating Gelatin-Free Yogurt with a New Cost-Effective Ingredient”. The paper presents an overview of the evolving yoghurt market focusing on how ingredients, such as gelatin, contribute to textural attributes and what opportunities formulators have to replace gelatin for cost savings and labelling benefits. Download the paper here

Food-drinks marketing, trends, NPD and innovation…   

Is this the answer to sealing cheese blocks?

Anchor cheeseDairy company Arla Foods of Denmark is hooked on a new easy-open/reclose system for bags of its UK Anchor-brand Cheddar cheese blocks. The system—the Easy-Lock by Aplix—uses self-mating micro CD (cross-direction) hooks that eliminate the need for precise mechanism alignment. The system also provides consumers with sensory feedback to indicate when the package is closed, does not fail when contaminated with product, and works in freezer conditions. Read more

UK: Aldi introduces ‘healthier’ checkouts
Aldi has become the latest major grocer to announce that it will introduce ‘healthier’ checkouts across its store network in the UK. The move follows similar announcements by rivals Lidl and Tesco this year. The move will see the hard discount replace confectionery, chocolate and sweets with dried fruit, nuts, juices and water. Read more

British reality TV show sparks increase in sale of bakery ingredients
Sainsbury’s has reported an increase in sales, aided by the popularity of the hit TV show ‘The Great British Bake-Off’. The chain reported that sales of its bakeware range is up 200%. Rolling pins and cookie cutters are up 22% week on week, Cooks Collection Bakeware was up 53%, and plain flour rose by 16%. Read more

Low-carb bakery to go mainstream, says expert

Low-carb baked goods will soon hit mainstream as companies work to overcome formulation and processing challenges to industrialize products, says the founder of consultancy firm the Bakery Academy. Read more

Additives and carb backlash stumps bread innovation, says Mintel

Packaged bread innovation has been complicated by a consumer backlash on additives and carbohydrates, but manufacturers can still generate interest with healthy, artisan ingredients, says Mintel. Read more

Healthy, fast-casual dining is the next big trend
At a recent restaurant development conference in Buckhead, several chefs were asked to predict the next big food trend. The consensus? Healthy, fast-casual, and superfood-focused restaurants. Read more

Hurricane Stevia: Coca-Cola Life touches down in the US

You’ve got to hand it to Coke: when they start getting creative, they do it every which way but loose. The company this week began selling Coca-Cola Life, its mid-calorie, stevia/sugar blend-sweetened cola, in the US — but only at The Fresh Market, a specialty grocer that has long shown a willingness to gamble with Coke’s entrepreneurial side. Read more

Jones Soda unveils a peanut butter and jelly beverage
To mark the back-to-school season, when lunchboxes across North America get filled with sticky peanut butter and jam sandwiches, gourmet soda company Jones Soda has launched a PB&J-flavoured drink. This is the same company that, among many weird possibilities, has bottled the flavours of Thanksgiving dinner — green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and butter, cranberry, turkey and gravy. Read more

Consumers wary of changes that make products greener
Consumers will respond positively if a company changes its products to make them “greener,” right? Not necessarily, a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds. “When a company makes a product that is better for the environment, consumers are actually less likely to purchase it if the environmental benefit is perceived as intentional rather than the result of some other effort,” write the Yale University researchers. “If a company intentionally made a product better for the environment, consumers believe the product’s quality must have suffered because the company diverted resources away from product quality.” Read.

Health & Nutrition Stuff…  

Robert LustigRobert Lustig: the man who believes sugar is poison

The maverick scientist has long argued that sugar is as harmful as cocaine or tobacco – and that the food industry has been adding too much of it to our meals for too long. A convert hears more about his theory. Read more

UC Berkeley study assails misleading health claims about “alternative” beverages

While sales of sodas are slipping, the huge category of alternative sugary beverages, which includes energy, sports, tea and fruit drinks, is growing rapidly, bolstered by false and misleading health claims, according to a study just released by the University of California, Berkeley. Read more

Alcohol-dependence gene linked to neurotransmitter

Scientists have solved the mystery of why a specific signaling pathway can be associated with alcohol dependence. The new research shows the gene, Nf1, regulates gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that lowers anxiety and increases relaxation feelings. Read more

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