The Weekly: February 27, 2013

February 27, 2013

IFT Top Stories

U.S. indicts peanut processors in 2009 Salmonella outbreak
According to Reuters, four years after a Salmonella outbreak linked to tainted peanut butter sickened hundreds in the United States and killed nine, authorities have charged the former owner of the company and several employees with fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. Federal prosecutors on Feb. 21 alleged the group covered up the presence of Salmonella in its peanut products for years, going so far as to create fake certificates showing the products were uncontaminated even when laboratory results showed the reverse. The charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in jail, although none carry a mandatory minimum sentence, prosecutors said.

The peanut scandal led to one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history and forced Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), the manufacturer, into liquidation. Former owner Stewart Parnell is among those charged, as is his brother, Michael Parnell, a food broker at P.P. Sales who worked on behalf of the peanut company.

William Marler, an attorney who represented victims of the contamination, said the indictments will have a far reaching impact on the food industry. “Corporate executives and directors of food safety will need to think hard about the safety of their product when it enters the stream of commerce,” he said. “Felony counts like this one are rare, but misdemeanor charges that can include fines and jail time can and should happen.”

In addition to the Parnells, charges were also levied against Samuel Lightsey, a former Operations Manager at the plant, and Mary Wilkerson, who held various positions including Receptionist, Office Manager, and Quality Assurance Manager. Another employee, Daniel Kilgore, has pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud and to the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce. He waived an official indictment.

Reuters article

Oceana finds widespread mislabeling of U.S. seafood
A study conducted by the advocacy group Oceana found that as much as one-third of seafood sold in restaurants and groceries in the United States is fraudulently labeled. The group sampled 674 retail outlets in 21 states between 2010 and 2012 and conducted DNA testing.

The testing found that one-third (33%) of the 1,215 samples analyzed nationwide were mislabeled, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Of the most commonly collected fish types, samples sold as snapper and tuna had the highest mislabeling rates (87% and 59%, respectively), with the majority of the samples identified by DNA analysis as something other than what was found on the label. In fact, only seven of the 120 samples of red snapper purchased nationwide were actually red snapper. The other 113 samples were another fish.

Ninety-five percent of the sushi restaurants, 52% of other restaurants, and 27% of grocery stores surveyed sold mis­labeled seafood. While academics, consumer groups, and media outlets in the United States and elsewhere have scrutinized fish labeling before and found major errors, Oceana’s effort is one of the largest seafood investigations to date.

According to Oceana, the findings demonstrate that a comprehensive and transparent traceability system—one that tracks fish from boat to plate—must be established at the national level. At the same time, increased inspection and testing of the seafood, specifically for mislabeling, and stronger federal and state enforcement of existing laws combatting fraud are needed to reverse this trend.

The study did not include the names of the food stores, restaurants, and sushi houses tested because the group cannot identify specifically where in the distribution chain the fraud occurred.


Study: U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program alleviates food insecurity
A study published in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Amber Waves shows that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may reduce the number of recipient households with very low food security by about 38%. In addition, the study shows that the reduction may be as high as 59% for households that depend heavily on SNAP for their food purchases.

SNAP is the largest U.S. food assistance program, serving 46.6 million people monthly in fiscal year 2012. By providing eligible households with benefits to purchase food, SNAP stretches a family’s food budget and increases its food security, defined as consistent access to adequate food for active, healthy living.

Earlier research had shown that SNAP improves the food security of participating households, but uncertainty remained as to the extent of that improvement. This stems from the fact that the most food-needy households—those with less money or other resources for food or those more concerned about the quality or adequacy of their diets—are more likely to sign up for the program than other eligible households. This “self-selection” effect more than offsets the beneficial effect of the program, with the result that simple comparisons of current SNAP recipients with non-recipients generally find that SNAP recipients have worse food security than non-recipients with similar incomes.

This recent analysis sought to overcome the self-selection effect by comparing the food security status of current SNAP recipients with that of households that had recently left the program. This approach removes much of the self-selection effect because it inherently adjusts for unobserved characteristics that do not change at the time households leave the program. The difference of 8.9 percentage points in prevalence of very low food security between households that continued to receive SNAP benefits (14.2%) and households that had recently left the program (23.1%, after adjusting for their higher incomes and other more favorable conditions) provides an estimate of SNAP’s effectiveness in improving the food security of participating households.

Press release

Report (pdf)

IFT Research Briefs

New product health, nutrition claims continue to grow
A U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) study shows that 43% of new food products in 2010 carried at least one health- and nutrition-related claim, compared to 25% of new products in 2001. Using data from the Datamonitor Group’s Product Launch Analytics data­base, the researchers were able to track new products carrying health- and nutrition-related claims from 1989 to 2010. The researchers then used Mintel’s Global New Product Database to compare the nutritional profile of new products with health- and nutrition-related claims to all new products over 2009 to 2010.

The researchers found that new food prod­ucts introduced with health- and nutrition-related claims accounted for 43.1% of all new U.S. food product introductions in 2010, up from 25.2% in 2001 and 34.6% in 1989. The reduction in health- and nutrition-related claims from 1989 to 2001 followed enactment of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA), which required most food products to carry the Nutrition Facts label and established labeling rules for the use of voluntary nutrient content and health claims.

Overall growth in health- and nutrition-related claims after 2001 reflect increases in low/no calorie, whole grain, high fiber, and low/no sugar claims. Health- and nutrition-related claims per product continued to increase, from 2.2 in 2001 to 2.6 in 2010, which suggests that competition between companies continued to result in a more complete representation of the health and nutri­tional attributes of their products. A proliferation of new products with claims appealing to weight-conscious consumers over 2001 to 2010 reflects growing awareness of obesity-related problems and educational campaigns targeting obesity. Claims related to gluten, antioxidants, and omega-3 ranked among the leading health- and nutrition-related claims by 2010.

Growing consumer demand for food products that contribute to overall health beyond basic nutri­tion may have provided manufacturers with incentives to supply and promote these products. The largest increase in health- and nutrition-related claims over 2001 to 2010 was for “no gluten,” followed by “no trans fats.” The growth in “no trans fats” claims came as companies responded to new food labeling regulations that required disclosure of the trans fats content, and public communications that gave prominence to limiting trans fatty acids. For new food products introduced in 2009 and 2010, sales and nutritional quality of those products carrying health- and nutrition-related claims exceeded that of all new food products.

Report (pdf)

Mediterranean diet + walnuts may reduce cardiovascular disease risk
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that a Mediterranean diet including nuts may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke or cardiovascular death).

The trial included 7,447 individuals (ages 55–80) participating in the Spanish PREDIMED (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterranea) trial, who were at high cardiovascular risk. They were followed for an average of 4.8 years. Participants were randomized into one of three intervention diets: low-fat diet (control group), Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil (50 mL per day), or a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 30 g mixed nuts, primarily walnuts, per day. The researchers found that a Mediterranean diet including nuts, primarily walnuts, reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 30% and specifically reduced the risk of stroke by 49% when compared to a reference diet consisting of advice on a low-fat diet. In addition to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, the research found that the Mediterranean diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil also reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 30%.

Co-investigator Emilio Ros believes that the unique nutrient profile of walnuts may be a key factor responsible for the benefits reported in the PREDIMED study. “In addition to being the only nut containing significant amounts of alpha-linolenic acid—the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid—walnuts offer numerous antioxidants and additional nutrients that, I believe, work together synergistically to produce their cardiovascular protective effect,” said Ros.


2012 consumer packaged goods trends continue into 2013
Reverberations from the United States’ economic rollercoaster ride have been felt throughout the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry for several years now, and 2012 was no exception. Consumers are still attempting to ease budgetary strains and are embracing a wide variety of money-saving strategies. The latest research from SymphonyIRI Group’s Times & Trends, “2012 CPG Year in Review: Finding the New Normal,” provides insights into today’s capricious consumers and the impact their behaviors are having on CPG growth trends.

“For 2012, we forecasted that shoppers would continue to define value largely based on price, manufacturers and retailers would pass ongoing commodity price increases on to the shopper, and private label sales would continue in their current ranges,” said Piyush Chaudhari, President of the Americas, SymphonyIRI. “These predictions largely came to pass, and we expect 2013 to resemble these same trends in many ways.”

SymphonyIRI predicts shoppers will remain frugal in 2013, even though there will be continuing signs of economic recovery and strengthening. In addition, the following trends identified in 2012 will continue in 2013:

  • Shoppers will reduce the number of channels they visit. Share of consumers shopping at fewer than five channels grew three percentage points between Q1 and Q4 2012, and SymphonyIRI believes this will continue as shoppers limit spending to channels that are perceived as offering the best value.
  • While an increasing number of positive economic signs are emerging, count on shoppers to remain intensely focused on value. There is enough negative news about the federal budget deficit and costs of the new healthcare law, for example, to reinforce shoppers’ frugal behaviors left over from the last recession.
  • Millennials are becoming the new baby boomers. They are a 50-million-strong-shopping group now forming habits and loyalties. Tailoring offerings to this group and providing outstanding service will pay dividends for decades to come, both literally and figuratively.
  • “New” media is rapidly becoming traditional media. The trend of shoppers leveraging the Internet for information and deals is growing and will continue to gain momentum, as millennials age and a new generation that is even more tech savvy than the millennial generation enters the market.

“The nation is far from having a firm foothold on growth and stability, and consumers and marketers alike are very aware of this reality,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI. “Consumers’ pursuit for value is as intense as ever, and it has served to amplify industry competition. Innovation that supports key shopper rituals, such as those around self-driven, home-based living, is being well received in the marketplace and will continue to help spur growth.”

Press release

Different foods may impact eating behavior, calorie intake
What makes a meal satisfying? The body recognizes nutrients and calories, but the satisfaction of a meal comes from the entire eating experience, including the taste, aroma, and texture of the food. A study conducted by Nestlé scientists shows that oral sensory stimulation may be more important than the volume of food in the stomach for the regulation of food intake.

In the first part of the study, scientists wanted to understand how sensory properties of hot savory foods and meals influence eating behavior and food intake. The study, performed in collaboration with Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and published in Appetite, tested the oral processing characteristics (e.g., chew rate, bite size) of 35 solid, savory foods that often comprise hot meals. Examples included a variety of vegetables (e.g., boiled potatoes, broccoli, carrots), meat and prepared foods (e.g., chicken, tofu, lasagna, pizza), and snack foods (e.g., tortilla chips, fish fingers).

Study volunteers were asked to eat a standard 50 g amount of each food item, seven of which were tested over five consecutive days. Video recordings of the volunteers eating the food were then used to calculate the eating rate (g/min), chew rate (chews/min), average bite size (g/bite), average chews/bite, and overall oral duration time (secs) for each of the 35 test foods.

The data revealed surprising differences in the way foods were consumed. For example, the average number of bites for each food varied from five bites (raw tomatoes) to 33 bites (tortilla chips)—a 6-fold difference. There were also large variations between the number of chews, ranging from 27 chews for mashed potatoes, to 488 chews for tortilla chips. Softer foods such as mashed carrots, lasagna, and canned tomatoes were eaten in larger bite sizes with fewer chews per bite, resulting in a much faster eating rate (g/min).

The researchers concluded that foods consumed in smaller bite sizes that were chewed longer resulted in slower eating rates and higher expected fullness among study volunteers.

In the follow-up study, also published in Appetite, a test meal of steak and gravy, carrots, and potatoes was adapted into whole and pureed textures with gravy of high and low flavor intensity. The meal was served to four groups of volunteers to consume until they were comfortably full. Food intake was measured and compared across each group and meal condition, and the duration of each individual’s mealtime was recorded to enable comparison of eating rates. Volunteers rated their perception of fullness before and after the meal.

The researchers found that participants that ate whole vegetables and steak consumed about 10% less than those who ate the mashed vegetables and steak pieces. The difference in gravy taste intensity resulted in a higher intake only with the mashed meal. Overall, the mashed meal was consumed about 20% faster than the whole meal—the equivalent of an extra 10 g/min more of food eaten.

“The evidence from these studies provides new insights into how different foods may impact eating behaviors, such as bite size and chewing time. These, in turn, can also impact feelings of fullness and food intake,” said Ciarán Forde, Nestlé Scientist leading the studies.

Study 1 abstract

Study 2 abstract

Antioxidants may not reduce risk of stroke, dementia
A study published in Neurology shows that the total level of antioxidants in people’s diets may not protect against stroke or dementia. Antioxidants such as lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E are found in many foods.

The study involved 5,395 people, ages 55+, who had no signs of dementia at the start of the study. Participants completed questionnaires about how often they ate 170 foods over the past year at the start of the study. Then the participants were followed for an average of nearly 14 years. Participants were divided into three groups: low, moderate, and high levels of antioxidants in the diet.

About 600 people developed dementia during the study and about 600 people had a stroke. However, researchers found that people with high levels of antioxidants were no more or less likely to develop brain disease than people with low levels of antioxidants. They noted that about 90% of the difference in antioxidant levels in the study was due to the amount of coffee and tea people drank. Coffee and tea contain high levels of nontraditional antioxidants such as flavonoids.

“This differed from an Italian study that found the higher total antioxidant levels were associated with a lower risk of stroke, where the variation from coffee and tea was lower, and the contribution from alcoholic beverages, fruits, and vegetables was higher,” said Elizabeth E. Devore, Harvard Medical School in Boston and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Adults cut back fast food, but U.S. kids still eat too much fat
A study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that American adults have made a little progress in recent years in cutting back on calories from fast food, but children are still consuming too much fat. French fries, pizza, and similar items accounted for about 11% of U.S. adults’ caloric intake from 2007 to 2010, on average, down from about 13% between 2003 and 2006. Younger adults, African Americans, and those who are already obese consumed the highest amounts of such food, which is often high in fat, salt, and calories.

The CDC found in a separate report that while American children, on average, are consuming fewer calories overall than they used to, the percentage of their calories from artery-clogging saturated fat was still above optimal levels.

The slight decline in fast food consumption among adults reflects a growing trend toward healthier options. Many food and beverage companies have revamped their products or created new, healthier options to account for the shift in consumer tastes. Still, Americans lead the world in calorie consumption. Portion sizes also have increased over the years, coupled with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, have added up to extra pounds. Complications from obesity include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and some cancers.

Young African American adults are especially a concern. Those ages 20–39 get more than one-fifth, or 21%, of their calories from fast food versus Caucasians and Hispanics in the same age group who get about 15% from such foods, CDC found. Obese and overweight adults also ate more fast food, it added.

The study also found that:

  • The consumption of calories from fast food “significantly decreased” with age.
  • Fast food consumption was about the same for low-income and higher-income adults.
  • More children are eating more protein, except for African American girls.
  • Carbohydrate consumption is lower among Caucasian boys and girls as well as African American boys.


IFT Company News

Nestlé Health Science acquires Pamlab medical food products
Nestlé Health Science, a fully-owned subsidiary of Nestlé, has agreed to acquire the business of Pamlab, a U.S.-based company with a portfolio of medical food products for use in the nutritional management of patients with mild cognitive impairment, depression, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

“The acquisition of the Pamlab business is aligned with our strategic ambition to provide science-based nutritional solutions for people with chronic medical conditions. Pamlab will particularly strengthen our brain health platform and provide us an additional foothold in metabolic health in the United States,” said Luis Cantarell, Nestlé Health Science President and CEO. “By leveraging our nutrition heritage and U.S. operations with Pamlab’s proven expertise in medical foods and strong sales force capabilities, together we can play a key role in helping to manage certain chronic diseases and improve the quality of patients’ lives.”

Pamlab’s portfolio of prescription medical food products for use under medical supervision includes Metanx, which is formulated to meet the distinct nutritional requirements of patients with diabetes to help restore the metabolic processes associated with peripheral neuropathy. Pamlab also makes Deplin, a medical food specifically formulated to provide necessary nutritional support for certain people on prescribed antidepressant therapy for clinical depression. In addition, the company produces CerefolinNAC, a medical food to help address distinct metabolic nutritional needs associated with mild cognitive impairment.

Press release

Saputo to exit the European cheese market
Saputo Inc. has announced the closure of its cheese manufacturing plant in Heiden, Germany, and, in conformity with the legislative requirements in the United Kingdom, enters into a 30-day consultation period for the proposed closure of its facility in Newcastle Emlyn, Wales.

The two plants were acquired in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The Germany plant specializes in Italian specialty cheeses for the retail market segment, whereas the United Kingdom facility mainly produces mozzarella for the foodservice market segment. Since acquiring the businesses, Saputo has aimed to penetrate the European market and get a better understanding of its realities and dynamics. The past few years have been a learning and challenging experience. Today, the Saputo European business does not have sufficient critical mass to be profitable and the company does not see short to mid-term opportunities to ensure such profitability. Saputo has therefore decided to close its Germany plant and proposes the closure of its United Kingdom facility, subject to the consultation period, to further concentrate efforts and resources in its current platforms and other markets.

In all, approximately 140 employees will be affected. Where redundancies are confirmed, impacted employees will be provided severance and assistance to find reemployment. In the event the proposed closure in Newcastle Emlyn, Wales is confirmed, the cost associated with both plant closures is expected to be approximately CDN$15 million (approximately US$14.62 million) after taxes.

Press release (pdf)

Phenomenex launches food industry-focused website
Phenomenex Inc., a global developer in the research and manufacture of technologies for the separation sciences, has launched a new website specifically organized for the food safety and quality industry. The food safety gateway functions as a digital consultant, helping users find answers by providing food analysis applications and newsletters along with product selection and method development tools.

Phenomenex already has websites created for the pharmaceutical, clinical research, environmental, forensic toxicology, and fuels industries.

“We have customers across the globe, working at all hours, who are searching online for answers. We wanted to give them the same high level of support and service in the digital space that they have come to expect when working with us in person,” said Michael Garriques, Internet Marketing Manager at Phenomenex. “They want immediate information to help them quickly figure out which column is best for their application, purchase that column, and then develop the most effective methods for their compounds. Our in-house web team has broken new ground and created an easy-to-use ‘digital experience’ designed to give customers the answers they need from anywhere at any time.”

Press release

Caravan Ingredients announces rebranding
Caravan Ingredients, an ingredient supplier to the food industry, has announced the launch of its rebrand which includes a refreshed logo and brand positioning. The updated company logo has design elements that convey the brand attributes of the company: modern, passionate, creative, and focused. This updated logo is paired with new advertising creative that is reflective of the same. This will better position Caravan Ingredients in the food and bakery marketplace. The new creative is being rolled out across all industries it serves, including industrial and wholesale baking, retail, in-store bakery, and food.

“Our new brand positioning is a logical step as we start thinking about the face of our new company and how we will reach our goal of becoming a leading global player in bio-based products. Our updated logo and creative helps to establish Caravan Ingredient’s position in food and bakery and allow us to further build on the equity of our brand,” said Mary Bentley, V.P. of Marketing and Business Development.


Nestlé suspends second supplier over horse meat
Nestlé Spain has announced it will no longer use a Spanish supplier Servocar after it became clear that the firm has supplied beef that contains horse DNA. Servocar had certified the batch as containing 100% beef so Nestlé has decided to stop buying and suit the company legally to ask for responsibilities. Nestlé has issued a statement once again clarifying that there is no food safety issue. Nestlé is removing from the shelf all the products produced with this supplier, and it will replace them with product confirmed by DNA testing to be made from 100% beef.

“It is clear this is a problem almost all manufacturers in the food industry now face. There is widespread fraud being committed across Europe. This is totally unacceptable. I want to apologize to consumers and reassure them we remain vigilant. We will test new deliveries of beef we receive from all our suppliers for horse DNA. We are enhancing our quality assurance and testing procedures to ensure that we don’t face the same problem in future. The quality and safety of our products is, and will always be our number one priority,” said Bernard Meunier, General Manager of Nestlé Spain.

In the first week of Nestlé’s enhanced testing program it has carried out hundreds of separate analyses of beef supplied to the company and finished products. This testing has so far covered about 70% of the products Nestlé manufactures in Europe that contain beef or veal. Only the four tests on beef supplied by H.J. Schypke and Servocar, and the tests on products produced from that beef have come back positive. All other tests carried out so far have been negative. The testing continues.

Press release

Key Technology, Visys to merge
Key Technology Inc. and Visys NV, a provider of chute-fed in-air sorters used by food processors and waste recyclers, have entered into a merger agreement. The combination of Key Technology and Visys creates a source of high-performance, digital sorting technologies available for food processing and other industrial markets.

Visys will continue to operate in Hasselt, Belgium, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Key Technology. Frank Zwerts will assume the position of President of EMEIA for Key Technology and will play a prominent role in Key’s global strategy and corporate development.

“This partnership with Visys creates a value proposition that is unmatched in the industry. Through a single supplier, customers will have access to the highest performing chute-fed and belt-fed sorters available, along with our industry-leading processing systems and unparalleled support to satisfy needs in all steps of the processing line,” said Jack Ehren, President and CEO of Key Technology. “Given this unprecedented mix of product solutions and services, we’re well positioned to improve customers’ operational efficiencies and maximize their competitive advantages. Furthermore, by consolidating our intellectual property and innovations, we expect to accelerate the development of next-generation sorting technology.”

Press release (pdf)

IFT Regulatory News

FDA to consider petition on flavored milk in schools
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient. The FDA has issued a Federal Register notice to request comments, data, and information about the issues presented in the petition. Comments must be submitted by May 21, 2013.

The IDFA and NMPF jointly submitted a citizen petition on March 16, 2009, requesting that the FDA amend the standard of identity in part 131 (21 CFR part 131) for milk (Sec. 131.110). Specifically, the petition requests that FDA allow the use of “any safe and suitable” sweetener in optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk. The petition also requests that the FDA similarly amend the standards of identity for 17 other milk and cream products. The petition asks that the standards of identity for these products be amended to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener in the optional ingredients.

IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk (e.g., chocolate flavoring added to milk) to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. IDFA and NMPF believe that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school. As further support for the petition, IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation’s schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day.

As it stands now, processors must use special labeling, such as “reduced-calorie chocolate milk,” for milk made with non-nutritive sweeteners. IDFA and NMPF argue that nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children, and maintain that consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims. The petitioners believe this phrase doesn’t appeal to children and has contributed to the overall decline in milk consumption in schools. Further, the petitioners assert that consumers do not recognize milk—including flavored milk—as necessarily containing sugar. Accordingly, the petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can “more easily identify its overall nutritional value.”

Federal Register notice

IDFA statement

Mondelēz recalls belVita due to possible foreign object
On Feb. 21, Mondelēz Global LLC announced a nationwide voluntary recall in the United States, including Puerto Rico, of the belVita Breakfast Biscuit, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate varieties, following notification from a third-party supplier that metal fragments may be in the products. The following product is being recalled:

  • belVita Breakfast Biscuit, Chocolate variety, 1.76 oz, UPC 044000031923
  • belVita Breakfast Biscuit, Chocolate variety, 8.8 oz, UPC 044000031947
  • belVita Breakfast Biscuit, Chocolate variety, 14.08 oz, UPC 044000031633
  • belVita Breakfast Biscuit, Apple Cinnamon variety, 1.76 oz, UPC 044000028244
  • belVita Breakfast Biscuit, Apple Cinnamon variety, 8.8 oz, UPC 044000028251

Press release

Smithfield Packing recalls pork sausage product that may contain foreign materials
Smithfield Packing Co. is recalling approximately 38,000 lbs of pork sausage that may contain small pieces of plastic, likely from gloves, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) announced Feb. 21. The recalled products are 1-lb chubs of “Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll” with a use-by date of March 12, 2013 and cases containing chubs of “Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll” with a case code of 78533109741.

The recalled product bears the establishment number “Est. 221-A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on Jan. 11, 2013, and were distributed in Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The problem was discovered after the company received two consumer complaints. FSIS and the company have received no reports of injury.

Press release

IFT IFT & Meeting News

Concerned about news coverage of food science and technology?
Hear from IFT President John Ruff about recent media stories and resources available highlighting the positive contributions by food science.

Resource page

Submit nominations for ILSI’s Future Leader Award
The North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) is soliciting nominations of individuals to be considered to receive its 2014 Future Leader Award. ILSI North America is a nonprofit, scientific research and educational organization established to advance the understanding of scientific issues relating to nutrition and food safety by bringing together scientists from academia, government, industry, and the public sector to solve problems with broad implications for the well-being of the general public.

The ILSI North America Future Leader Award, given to promising nutrition and food scientists, allows new investigators the opportunity to add to an existing project or to conduct exploratory research that might not receive funding from other sources or add to an existing project. Consideration will be given to individuals proposing research in the areas of experimental nutrition, nutrition and toxicology, and nutrition and food science. The grants will extend for a period of two years at a funding level of $15,000 per year.

Nominees for the Future Leader Award must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a doctoral degree
  • Be within five years of first tenure track position, or stable employment at a reputable research institute.
  • Have permanent resident of Canada or the United States.
  • Show potential for future scientific leadership in nutrition, nutrition and toxicology, or nutrition and food science, based on the recommendations of three senior colleagues.

The deadline is June 21, 2013. The award recipients will be selected in late 2013, with funding to begin by early 2014.

Award information (pdf)

July 12–13: Short courses held prior to IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo
This content-rich, highly-rated education offers in-depth, practical learning with minimal time investment. Whether you’re looking to fill the gap on food biotechnology, food application and health effects, textural design, flavor interactions, or more, eleven Short Courses are available. Held at varying lengths prior to the IFT 2013 Annual Meeting & Food Expo which takes place July12-13, 2013, in Chicago, Short Courses offer “time-mindful” education on topical issues in the food industry. Registration opens March 1, 2013. Plan your participation.

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