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Articles from 2009 In September

Freeze/Thaw Stability

Specialized ingredients developed by Advanced Food Systems minimize or prevent damage such as freezer burn, protein damage, or loss of color and flavor, caused by freeze-thaw cycles in frozen foods.

Actobind® systems work by stabilizing internal moisture, while ActoGlaze® systems stabilize surface moisture, reducing or eliminating texture degradation and freezer burn in foods such as meats and seafood.  Actoloid® systems prevent breakdown of emulsions due to the effects of ice crystallization in a wide range of frozen foods.

Purge and shrinkage can be minimized through Actobind® and EasyBrown® systems, especially in grilled, roasted or plain IQF vegetables.  These ingredient systems also improve texture in reheated foods.


Expo East Recap

BOULDER, Colo.—More than 21,000 industry members explored more than 1,500 booths at Natural Products Expo East/Organic Products Expo-BioFach America held Sept. 23 to 26, 2009, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Natural Products Expo East hosted the 7th Annual New Products Showcase Awards and commended the following winners for new natural, organic and healthy products: Rescue Balm by Nelsons (Health & Beauty category), Mango Orange Pineapple Kefir by Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery Inc. (Food), Yummi Bears Organics by Hero Nutritionals (Supplement/Herbs), VerTerra Dinnerware/4 Square by VerTerra Ltd. (Green/Environmentally Friendly), Organic B.R.A.T. by B.R.A.T. Diet LLC (Most Innovative), Organic Honey by Honey Bunny Inc. (Best Packaging) and Pumpkin Pie Soda by Maine Root Handcrafted Beverages (New England’s Best).

Editors and experts from New Hope Natural Media identified the following top trends:

  • Hot new ingredients include coconut oil, lavender, maqui, agave nectar and ancient ingredients such as salba grain.
  • Superfood producers continue on their quest for even higher levels of antioxidants, omegas and other functional benefits; probiotics are being featured in drinks, powders, yogurts, cereals and bars.
  • Gluten-free products were found outside of the baked goods aisle; low-calorie and low-sugar products are strong, especially in beverages.
  • Dairy-free and nut allergy avoidance are hot topics, as is transparency of sourcing and a commitment to social and eco-responsibility across many product categories.
  • Value products are being introduced in response to tightened budgets; packaging trends include mini-sizing, portion control and squeeze-packs or pouches, especially for kids.

Next Pharmaceuticals ~ Relora® Liquid

SALINAS, Calif.Next Pharmaceuticals will be sampling its new liquid delivery form of Relora®, an all-natural dietary supplement designed to alleviate stress and help reduce stress-related eating, at SupplySide West 2009. Reloras is a blend of extracts from the bark of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense. The new liquid is fast-absorbing and fast-acting and the 25mL dose can easily be mixed into any type of beverage. Relora Liquid is unflavored, but flavoring is available upon request.


Veggie Diet and Low BMD

SYDNEY, AustraliaResults from a recent study suggest vegetarian diets, particularly vegan diets, are associated with lower bone mineral density (BMD), but the magnitude of the association was clinically insignificant (Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 90(4):943-950).

A systematic electronic literature search was conducted to identify all relevant articles on the association between vegetarian diet and BMD. Nine studies of 2,749 subjects (1,880 women and 869 men) were included in the analysis. Traditional and Bayesian methods of meta-analysis were applied to synthesize the data.

Overall, BMD was 4 percent lower in vegetarians than in omnivores at both the femoral neck and the lumbar spine. Compared with omnivores, vegans had a significantly lower lumbar spine, which was more pronounced than in lactoovovegetarians. The probability that BMD was 5 percent lower in vegetarians than in omnivores was 42 percent for the femoral neck and 32 percent for the lumbar spine. There was no evidence of publication bias. There was a moderate degree of between-study heterogeneity; the coefficient of heterogeneity varied between 46 percent and 51 percent.



Americans Need to Eat More Fruits, Veggies

WILMINGTON, Del.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009 report that summarizes data for fruit and vegetable consumption from multiple sources and, for the first time, breaks the results down by state. It also discusses policies and environmental supports that can make it easier for everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The report reveals that all 50 states fall short of national objectives for consumption of fruits and vegetables, which aim for 75 percent of Americans to eat at least two servings of fruit, and for 50 percent of Americans to eat at least three servings of vegetables daily.

Nationally, CDC supported state surveys indicate that only 33 percent of adults are meeting the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent are meeting the vegetable recommendation. On average, only 14 percent of American adults consume at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables each day. The statistics are even worse for high school students32 percent report eating at least two fruit servings daily, and 13 percent say they eat at least three vegetable servings each day. On average, only 9.5 percent of American adolescents consume at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables each day.

National Ads Dispel HFCS Myths

WASHINGTONThe Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) launched a new $1 million ad campaign designed to put an end to the inaccuracies surrounding the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The campaign will communicate to the public what most experts already know, that high fructose corn syrup is nutritionally the same as sweeteners such as table sugar and honey.

People have been spoon-fed misinformation about high fructose corn syrup, said Center for Consumer Freedom Executive Director Rick Berman. We thought it was time someone explained, in no uncertain terms, that high fructose corn syrup has the exact same number of calories as table sugar and is handled the same way by the body. Any non-agenda driven nutrition expert will tell you the same.

The new television commercial, which features actors dressed as an ear of corn, a sugar cube and a honey bear standing in a police lineup, focuses on the fact that high fructose corn syrup has been wrongly accused of contributing to obesity more than other sweeteners. The victim in the commercial is unable to identify the sweetener responsible for making him gain the weight because all three sugars are nutritionally the same.

The commercial will air on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and CNBC and will run for three weeks. The campaign launch also includes three full-page ads in national newspapers USA TODAY, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as a full-page ad in Crains Chicago Business.


FDA Releases Communication Plan

WASHINGTONThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued its Strategic Plan for Risk Communication, which outlines the agencys efforts to disseminate more meaningful public health information, including food safety.

The plan also lays out a framework for the FDA to provide information about FDA-regulated products to healthcare professionals, patients and consumers in the form they need it and when they need it, and for how the agency oversees industry communications. The plan also focuses on improving two-way communication through enhanced partnerships with government and non-government organizations, and focuses on policies that affect areas of high public health impact.

The plan defines three key areasFDAs science base, its operational capacity and its policy and processesin which strategic actions can help improve the FDAs communication about the risks and benefits of regulated products. The plan also identifies more than 70 specific actions for the FDA to take over the next five years, including 14 that the agency commits to accomplishing over the next year.

Organic Food Marketing Report

WASHINGTONA new report from USDAs Economic Research Service (ERS), Marketing U.S. Organic Foods: Recent Trends From Farms to Consumers, analyzes recent data on each level of the organic supply chain.

According to ERS, the report was compiled in response to increased interest for research and analysis of the U.S. organic marketing system, particularly what types of consumers purchase organic food; how structural change has affected the retailing, distribution and manufacturing of organic food; and why increases in the supply of organic products at the farm level lag behind growth in demand at the retail level.

Following are some of the reports findings:

·        Consumers of all ages, races, and ethic groups who have higher levels of education are more likely to buy organic products than less-educated consumers.

·        By 2008, nearly half of all organic foods were purchased in conventional supermarkets, club stores, and big-box stores.

·        Although produce remained the top-selling organic category, sales of dairy products, beverages, packaged and prepared foods, and breads and grains grew to 63 percent of total organic sales in 2008, up from 54 percent in 1997.

·        While organic farmland acreage increased from 1997 to 2005, growth was not swift enough to prevent periodic shortages of some organic products.

Download the full report here.


Managing Celiac Disease Hard for Kids

BOSTONManaging Celiac disease is harder for children because they arent always able to follow the strict diet and discern which foods contain gluten, said Alan M. Leichtner, MD, director of the Center for Celiac Disease at Childrens Hospital Boston. Additionally, older kids face taunting and peer pressure at school, which leads to a feeling of isolation.

Leichter said the number of children diagnosed with Celiac disease is on the rise due in part to better testing and a natural increase in the disease.

Consumers Seeking Functional Foods for Digestive Health

NEW YORKDigestive health is one of the hottest topics in the food and beverage arena, driven by innovations in product formulations and increasing awareness among consumers of the link between digestive health and immune function, according to market research firm Packaged Facts. In its new report, Boosting Immunity Through Digestion, the company reported the global retail market for probiotic/prebiotic foods and beverages topped $15 billion in 2008, a 13 percent increase over 2007. It projects the market for functional foods and beverages addressing digestive health will top $22 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent between 2004 and 2013.

Results of a poll conducted by Packaged Facts in February 2009 found digestive health will be one of the key areas of focus for purchasers of functional foods through 2013, driven by the association with overall wellness and the ability to delivery nearly apparent benefits to the consumer. Consumers in developed countries are becoming increasingly aware of their ability to treat health concerns and problems with diet, said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. Combined with knowledge that allows consumers to address these concerns without conventional medical treatment is driving interest in nutrition as it relates to digestive health and digestive health as it relates to overall wellness.

Product introductions are meeting the consumer need. In 2008, 232 products were introduced worldwide that contained probiotic and/or prebiotic ingredients. Through the first six months of 2009, 139 such products were introduced globally; aside from yogurt, the leading categories of fortified products included milk, functional drinks, breakfast cereals, cheese and cookies. The prebiotics sector is showing faster growth, with a presence in products ranging from pudding to frozen chicken dinners. Further, Packaged Facts called out digestive enzymes as the new frontier in formulating products for digestive health, with foods such as beverages, candy, dried goods, fruit juices and margarine among possible delivery vehicles for active digestive enzymes.

Packaged Facts report also noted several marketing challenges, including consumer confusion and skepticism about digestive health products, and a lack of understanding about the strains of probiotics and their associated health benefits. Further, there are formulation issues to address, as surveys show that although consumers are making active attempts to eat healthier, they are generally not willing to do so by compromising sensory benefits.

Further information on the report is available here.