The Weekly: January 16, 2008

January 16, 2008

Top Stories

FDA: Clones safe as food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture have stated that foods from healthy cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as those from ordinary animals.

For more, see Animal Cloning: A Risk Assessment - FINAL USDA Animal Cloning page

Gain exclusive market research at IFT's Food Technology Presents Conference

Join a voice of Food Technology magazine as A. Elizabeth Sloan, contributing editor, discusses the insights that surround consumer health and wellness trends. Don't miss your opportunity to hear an exclusive, never-before published report of her most recent market research. Also, be sure to attend the session moderated by nationally recognized media icon Bill Kurtis in which experts will discuss the healthcare initiatives that face health organizations. Our panelists include Connie Diekman, president of the American Dietetic Association; Dr. Barbara Howard, of the American Heart Association, and Dr. Michelle May, a physician specializing in weight management and weight management education.

These and other presentations will offer practical information that you can immediately apply to your own portfolio of health and wellness product initiatives. Not only will you gain balanced, scientific, technical, and business perspectives that are free from vendor bias, you will also learn about techniques that will help your organization stay profitable. Best of all, you will leave the conference with information on new marketplace opportunities, and new ways to address the challenges that you and your organization face daily.

To register, go to When registering, please enter this code: 0108EM1098

Last Call for IFT Fellow Nominations!

It's not too late to submit a nomination for IFT Fellow, just be sure to do so by the February 1 deadline. All newly elected Fellows will be recognized on stage at the Awards Celebration at the 2008 Annual Meeting & Food Expo in New Orleans in June. Election as an IFT Fellow is a unique professional distinction conferred for outstanding and extraordinary contributions in the field of food science and technology. For additional information and nomination materials, please visit

Consider nominating a colleague today! Questions? Contact Liz Seidlitz at

Research Briefs

Grape seed extract improves poultry meat flavor

R.G. Brannan, Ohio Univ., found that the extractive of grape seed had a positive effect on the flavor and texture of chicken thigh meat, especially in products that contained salt. Since most prepared foods do contain some salt, the information about the use of grape seed extract to counteract the activity of salt may be of interest. The research was reported in "Effect of Grape Seed Extract on Physicochemical Properties of Ground, Salted, Chicken Thigh Meat during Refrigerated Storage at Different Relative Humidity Levels."

The paper discusses the method by which grape seed extract may mitigate the pro-oxidative effects of NaCl, and may change the effect of salt on protein during freezing and storage. Grape seed extracts are known to contain polyphenolics that are primarily condensed tannins, a.k.a. proanthocyanidins. Tannins characteristically interact with proteins, forming both soluble and insoluble complexes with proteins and were generally regarded as factors that decreased the nutritional quality of food proteins. Recent evidence strongly points to the health-promoting effect of polyphenolics in general, and those found in grape seed extract are considered particularly potent.

For more, see

Journal of Food Science

Menhaden oil stabilized with soy flour

Menhaden oil is one of the more available sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to reduce cardiovascular disease. However, when menhaden oil is used in various food products, stabilized with materials such as TBHQ, these additives can't be used in organic products or in certain nutraceutical products. However, research by a group of Louisiana State scientists indicates that defatted soy flour extract prevented the oxidation of the menhaden oil and its components, retaining high concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid, a particularly valuable component. Therefore, this information would be helpful in the development and utilization of soy products as a food antioxidant or an antioxidant nutritional supplement. This application will also increase the potential health benefits of fish oil with the additional health promoting functions of the soy antioxidants.

For more, see

Journal of Food Science

Children living in food insecure households are at risk

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC), in collaboration with researchers from Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, have found that children living in households with food insecurity, are more likely to be at developmental risk during their first three years of life, compared to similar households that are not food insecure. This study appears in the January 2008 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 16.7% of all U.S. households with children less than six years of age had food insecurity in 2005, reporting limited or uncertain availability of enough food for an active healthy life. In children aged less than three years, food insecurity has been associated with poor infant health, and the likelihood of hospitalization.

The Children’s Sentinel Nutritional Assessment Program interviewed caregivers from low-income households with children aged four to 36 months at five pediatric clinic/emergency department sites in Boston, Little Rock, Baltimore, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. The target child from each household was weighed and weight-for-age score was calculated.

In the sample of 2,010 families, the researchers found 21% reported food insecurity. The results of the analyses revealed that children from food-insecure households, compared with those from food-secure households, were two thirds more likely to experience developmental risks. Household food insecurity, (with or without the report of family hunger), even in the presence of appropriate weight-for age, is an important risk factor for the health, development and behavior of children less than three years of age.

Company News

Silliker acquires Pioneer Dairy Laboratory

Homewood, Ill.-based, Silliker, a provider of food testing and consulting services, announced the acquisition of Pioneer Dairy Laboratory. Founded in 1994, Pioneer provides expert services ranging from herd management to analytical testing. Accredited by the USDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture Milk Market Administrator and for specific analyses, Pioneer primarily serves dairies in the southwest region of the U.S through its Dimmitt, TX, Artesia, NM, and Stephenville, TX, laboratories.

The management team, headed by Technical Director Andy Brand, will remain and be fully involved in organizational integration activities supervised by Silliker management. “Pioneer brings an outstanding history of quality, service, and technical excellence to Silliker,” said Philippe Sans, Silliker CEO. “Pioneer’s extensive service portfolio coupled with our dairy testing center of excellence in Modesto, CA, enables us to provide dairy companies throughout the U.S. with unparalleled safety and quality solutions.”

Silliker is a privately owned company of the Mérieux-Alliance group. The Pioneer transaction marks the third major acquisition for the company over the past several months. Last year, Silliker acquired Plant Bioactives Research Institute, a leading provider of dietary supplement services, in Orem, UT, and Vancouver-based JR Laboratories, Western Canada’s leading food testing and consulting laboratory. Silliker now operates 20 laboratories in North America.

Target reformulates entire food brand to eliminate trans fat

Target announced on Jan. 14 that every product in its food brand, Archer Farms, contains zero grams of added trans fat. The food products are sold at Target and SuperTarget stores across the country. The Archer Farms brand consists of more than 2,000 food products.

According to the company, Target has dedicated the past several months to reformulating selected products so the entire Archer Farms collection meets the FDA standard for labeling items as zero grams of added trans fat. In 2006, Target expanded its Archer Farms brand to include organic food products. The same year, all SuperTarget produce departments became certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program-the strictest, third-party certification available.

"Removing added trans fat has quickly become a priority among the health community and for good reason. Regardless of age or gender, consuming food products with added trans fats presents a host of long-term health concerns," says Dr. Susan Mitchell, Target health and nutrition expert. .

David Michael reorganizes Sensory Dept.

The Sensory & Consumer Research Department of David Michael & Co. is now the Sensory & Flavor Insights Department. To better reflect its role in product development support and within the David Michael & Co. Technical Department, the Sensory & Consumer Research Department has been renamed Sensory & Flavor Insights Department.

Along with the restructure, the Sensory & Flavor Insights Department announces the following hires and promotions:

Erica Byerly has been promoted to Sensory & Flavor Insights Manager. Erica's sensory evaluation background includes R&D, new product development support and existing product improvement initiatives. Erica is a Villanova graduate with a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Missouri.

Rachel Czapla will be joining the Sensory & Flavor Insights department as Sensory & Flavor Insights Analyst. Rachel has worked at David Michael for five years, previously as a Vanilla Technician. She holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology.

Becky Graustein recently joined David Michael as a Sensory Technician. She will support the department through sensory and consumer test preparation and execution, record keeping, and lab maintenance. She is a recent graduate of Temple University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.

David Michael & Co. is a manufacturer of a line of over 35,000 flavors, stabilizers and natural colors, with its global headquarters in Philadelphia, PA, and facilities in Northbrook, IL, San Bernardino, CA, and internationally in Lerma, Estado de Mexico, Mexico (David Michael de Mexico SA de CV), Valence, France (David Michael Europe, S.A.S.) and Beijing, China (David Michael (Beijing) Flavor Co. Ltd.)

Danisco and Nihon Starch to develop anhydrofructose technology

Danisco and Nihon Starch Co. Ltd., Japan, have entered into a license agreement on exploiting the Danisco-developed anhydrofructose technology. The anhydrofructose technology is an alternative starch processing technology which enables anhydrofructose to be produced from starch instead of glucose.

Anhydrofructose is a calorie-free sugar naturally found in edible mushrooms and seaweeds. It has potential use in both food and non-food applications, including green chemistry, pharmaceuticals as well as oral health. Anhydrofructose has certain antimicrobial effects on gram-positive bacteria and can be used as a natural antioxidant in high-quality foodstuffs. Nihon Starch Co. Ltd. based in Kagoshima is one of the largest starch processing and food companies in Japan. Through the agreement Nihon Starch Co. Ltd. gains access to Danisco's technology for use in food, food safety as well as non-food applications in Japan.

Kemp introduces omega-3 milk

Saint Paul, Minn.-based dairy Kemps has introduced a new milk with omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil. The new line of premium half-gallons, Kemps Plus Milk, is now available in grocery stores throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to provide a variety of health benefits, including maintaining cardiovascular health and supporting brain growth and development.

"Kemps created the new line of Plus Milk in response to some of the most prevalent health problems facing people in the United States today," states Rachel Kyllo, Kemps' vice president of marketing. "Our proprietary formulations deliver the benefits with no difference in flavor, compared to regular milk."

NutraCea forms ventures to develop rice bran ingredients

NutraCea, processor of stabilized rice bran, nutrient research and technology, announced today that it has formed two joint ventures with HerbalScience Singapore Ltd Pte, a company that produces standardized botanical extracts for functional food and nutraceutical uses, and identifies novel chemistries for drug development through the application of its proprietary platform technology.

The parties will establish two companies, one for nutraceutical products and functional food ingredient development from stabilized rice bran and one for drug discovery from stabilized rice bran. NutraCea will have an 80% interest in Rice Science, a newly formed limited liability company that will develop certain extracts targeted for specific health conditions. Rice Science has identified three specific areas of health that it will pursue: diabetes, arthritis and immunity.

The second newly formed company, Rice Rx, will be a limited liability company owned 50/50 by HerbalScience and NutraCea. It will advance drug discovery from SRB for licensing to life science and pharmaceutical companies.

Regulatory News

FDA posts vulnerability assessment tool

The U.S. FDA recently added the CARVER + Shock Food Industry Vulnerability Assessment Tool software to its website at: CARVER + Shock is a targeting prioritization tool adapted from the military version (CARVER) for use by manufacturers and processors of all food products. The tool can be used to assess the vulnerabilities within a system to an attack. It allows the user to think like an attacker to identify the most attractive targets for an attack.

By conducting a CARVER + Shock assessment of a food production or processing facility, users can determine where their systems are most at risk of intentional contamination and focus resources on protecting their most dangerous exposures. The easy-to-use software can be downloaded free from our website and housed on a company's network so that no one else has access to its confidential information.

China to introduce food nutrition labeling

According to a Reuters news report, China is planning to require basic nutritional information on food labels starting May 1, 2008. The labels will be required to show how much protein, fat, carbohydrate and sodium is in a food, and may also show the cholesterol, sugar, and vitamin content. According to the report, the country will also clamp down on health claims labeling. Companies will not be allowed to say their products are high in calcium, iron or low in fat unless they meet criteria.

Meeting News

Elect Our Future Leaders: Vote in the Upcoming IFT National Leadership Election

Our 15 talented candidates offer a breadth of knowledge about the profession, a diverse volunteer history within IFT and beyond, and an unwavering commitment to each of you. As you may have learned in this month’s Food Technology Magazine, we have exceptional candidates on the ballot for our IFT National Election including for President-Elect, Roger Clemens and Marianne Gillette. For Board Member the strong list of nominees includes: Colin Dennis; Bill Franke; Russ Flowers; Bob Gallatin; Guy Johnson; Conrad Rebello; Julie Ruder and Justin Shimek. Nominees selected to serve as members of the Nominations and Elections Committee include: Ellen Bradley; Eric Decker; Maryanne Drake; Dallas Hoover; and Scott Lineback. To learn more about our candidates visit today.

IFT’s voting membership elects one member for President-Elect, four members for the Board of Directors and three members for the Nominations and Elections Committee. During our election from March 10 to April 10, 2008, IFT members can cast their ballots electronically from any Internet-accessible computer worldwide. IFT will send out an “Election Open” message via e-mail on March 10 to all IFT voting members with details on how to cast your vote.

IFT National Election Petition Process

In addition to approval of the slate of candidates, the IFT Board of Directors approved a 45-day petition cycle beginning on the date of electronic member notification of the candidates listing—which is today, Wednesday, January 16. Members have 45 days to submit petitions for President-Elect, Board of Directors and candidates for positions on the Nominations and Elections Committee. Deadline for receipt of all petitions is Noon Central time on Saturday, March 1. To learn more about the petition process and access the petitions visit

Please forward any questions about the slate, petition process or the online elections to Heather Lang, staff liaison to the Nominations and Elections Committee at

Washington DC IFT Section to host Congressional Update

The Washington, DC Section of the Institute of Food Technologists has scheduled its next meeting for Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at the offices of KL Gates at 1601 K Street, NW. The meeting will feature John Bode, with the law firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz P.C. and Tony Pavel with the law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP. They will provide their insights and perspectives on legislation adopted during the just concluded session of Congress and under consideration during the next session.

Registration begins at 1:30 pm, speaker presentations from 2 to 3:30 pm, followed by a networking reception. Preregistration is requested by January 17 with the Secretary of the DC IFT Section, Chris DiPietro at 301 377 5165; e-mail: - There is a $10 registration fee.

For more, see

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