|Issue 13: 10 October 2008|
|Thursday, 09 October 2008|
Food Industry News
SA: No need for melamine contamination concern - CGCSAThe mere presence of melamine in foods does not indicate that the food is contaminated, the Consumer Goods Council (CGCSA) said today. There are acceptable daily intake levels of melamine and as long as this is below the tolerable daily intake limit, the food will be safe, the CGCSA said in the wake of the Chinese contaminated milk saga.
The CGCSA has operated a Food Safety Initiative (FSI) for the past two years which continues to monitor the situation to ensure any melamine content does not exceed internationally-certified tolerable levels. Read more
US: FDA says small amounts of melamine pose no serious riskTiny traces of melamine, the chemical that has set off a global food safety scare, are not harmful in most foods, except baby formula, FDA experts say. The FDA set the maximum "tolerable" amount at 2.5 parts per million, but says it was unable to determine what a safe amount of melamine in baby formula would be. Read more
SA: SANBWA issues environmental standards for bottled water producersFollowing the establishment a year ago of an environmental committee, the South African National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA) has now issued its members with official environmental guidelines aimed at cradle to grave improvement of members’ environmental stewardship. The environmental guidelines form part of the revised SANBWA Guidelines & Standards.
“Although, collectively, SANBWA members produce 90% of all the bottled water consumed in South Africa, the amount of groundwater used in the production of that bottled water is only 18 litres per sec (about 1 550 cubic metres per day) – which is the amount needed to irrigate an 18-hole golf course,” says SANBWA technical manager, Charlotte Metcalf. “Even so, we believe that the industry has a responsibility to continuously improve its protection and conservation of water resources wherever possible and also contribute to reducing the consumption of energy resources. Read more
SA: Food price crisis eases - somewhatConsumers can expect some relief from rocketing food prices in the year ahead as bumper harvests worldwide signal that the worst of the global crisis might be over. Increases will slow and prices are expected to consolidate at higher levels once the dust settles. Read more
SA: Waste not, want notSome of SA's largest food manufacturers and retailers have joined with the private sector, NGOs and government to bring relief to the poorest of the poor by donating surplus food to newly-established food banks for redistribution. The SA food industry disposes annually of an estimated 0.8% of food produced, valued at R2.24bn. Read more
A helping Hand in the struggle against hunger in SA
What makes a person who quickly and dexterously overtakes all others as she sails up the corporate escalator suddenly decide to step off the upwardly-mobile staircase and change tack to selflessly serve her community? What motivates her to flout the instinct of ego and, to all intents and purposes, abandon assured vocational and commercial success to carry instead the considerable weight of running a nonprofit organisation that demands a gutful more grit and none of the glory?
Read more about Feedback, one of the NGO's mentioned above, and its MD, Dean Hand, in this Business Day article.
US: Losses aside, Tesco remains committed to USTesco’s entry into the US market cost the company more than $100-million in losses in the first half of the year, the UK-based retailer reports ... Tesco, which entered the US market in November 2007, says the losses were in line with the company’s expectations. Read more
EU: Nestle CEO discusses company's recipe for successPaul Bulcke, global CEO of Nestle, says the company's goal has always been to devise and produce reliable and nutritious foods. He says he is open to genetically modified products and predicts an additional one billion new consumers within 10 years. Read more
US: Bringing organic back down to earthOrganic has an image problem. As some consumers fear they are, quite literally, priced out of the farmers market, it’s time to stir up more debate about organic as a set of principals, not as a status symbol ... Organic food is seen to be “for wealthy, middle class people indulging in their penchant for peasant food." Read more
UK: Farmers will grow drought resistant crops 'in four years'GM oilseed rape and maize that tolerate water shortages are in field tests - opponents remain sceptical. Read more
US: Little-known E coli strain O111 gains notorietyThe Centers for Disease Control says people who ate food from an Oklahoma restaurant in August were sickened by E coli O111, a rare type of E coli that can also be deadly and is becoming increasingly familiar to public health officials. Read more
US: Asian vegetables an untapped market in USThe market for processed or value-added Asian vegetables has tremendous potential in the US where such products could become commonplace on shop shelves, according to an academic ... Asian populations are increasing in the US and non-Asians are developing a taste for many traditional foods from the region. Read more
EU: Danisco signs agreement with UnistrawUnistraw has granted Danisco worldwide exclusivity for the sales and marketing of its patented straw concept for use with HOWARU premium probiotics. Danisco and Unistraw expect the first HOWARU straws to be launched by mid 2009. Read more
UK: Recycled food to power buses that run on railsA revolutionary new bus network, in which vehicles powered by recycled cooking oil and animal fat run on a disused railway line, is to be launched in Cambridge. Read more
New Product Stuff
Chewable caffeine from former Wrigley inventorRon Ream, a former inventor for Wrigley, is making caffeinated gum for the US military. His firm, Marketright, has a two-year contract with the military for its Stay Alert Gum. Read more
FRANCE: Yoplait launches sophisticated DizzyA new generation dairy beverage in the ultra fresh segment, Dizzy is supplied in an aluminium bottle, breaking traditional sector codes to attract immediate attention. Read more
Food Marketing Stuff
Kraft, General Mills launch word of mouth networksRecognising that a consumer's two cents are well worth their dollars, General Mills and Kraft have both launched new word-of-mouth networks ... For General Mills, it is "Pssst . . . ," an online network that gives members the scoop on the latest product news and offerings; Kraft, meanwhile, has kicked off Kraftfirsttaste.com Read more
Study: Colour and flavour rule consumer preferencesThe intensity of colour and the flavour are the key drivers behind consumer acceptance of beverages, says a new study involving Dannon. But packaging and labeling are not as important for winning over consumers, according to findings published in the journal Food Quality and Preference. Read more
Diet and Eating
Eating for a better moodThe next time you feel blue or irritable, you may want to take a look at what’s in your fridge. Researchers who study the food-mood connection have found that certain vitamins and other compounds in food can change brain chemistry ... Foods influence the activity of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that convey information from one neuron to the next. Anything that affects these chemical messengers affects your mood. Read more
Diet self-deception and gaming yourself thinThe spirit is willing, the flesh is weak ... Nearly all of us have a fairly well-informed idea these days of which foods are good for us and which ones are not. We fully intend to eat more of the former and avoid the latter. If you ask us, we’ll gladly tell you so. One little problem: a fair number of us won’t be telling you the truth, and may even be kidding ourselves. Read more
What's the healthiest diet of all?Scientific evidence is accumulating that Mediterranean fare is optimal for health. Read more
Miscellany and Interesting Stuff
The growth industry that is now obesityObesity is big business these days. A recent conference on the subject has generated the usual doom-ridden headlines. Organised by the National Forum on Obesity, speaker after speaker produced scary statistics.
The Independent's brilliant Janet Street-Porter at it again! Read more
Applying science to alternative medicineMore than 80 million adults in the US are estimated to use some form of alternative medicine, from herbs and megavitamins to yoga and acupuncture. But while sweeping claims are made for these treatments, the scientific evidence for them often lags far behind: studies and clinical trials, when they exist at all, can be shoddy in design and too small to yield reliable insights. Read more
New book explores the science of food
What goes into making the food we eat? From sliced bread for sandwiches to shredded lettuce for salads, food takes us an incredible journey before it even reaches our plate, and along the way it has been processed and packaged for our convenience.
Peppered with startling insights and humor, Food Bites: The Science of the Foods We Eat by expert food science writer, Richard Hartel, a professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin, and his daughter AnneKate Hartel, offers an appealing, detailed exploration into not only how science is applied to everyday foods, but the science behind them. . Read more
Team finds Coca-Cola works as spermicide - and wins an IgNobel PrizeDeborah Anderson had heard the urban legends about the contraceptive effectiveness of Coca-Cola products for years. So she and her colleagues put the soft drink to the test ... in the lab. For discovering that Coke is a spermicide, Anderson and her team are among this year's winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, the annual award given by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine to oddball but often surprisingly practical scientific achievements. Read more
That's it for this week, folks!