The Weekly: June 5, 2013

June 5, 2013

IFT Top Stories

USDA, EPA launch U.S. Food Waste Challenge; industry joins
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, calling on others across the food chain—including producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies—to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste.

Food waste in the United States is estimated at roughly 30–40% of the food supply. In 2010, an estimated 133 billion lbs of food from U.S. retail food stores, restaurants, and homes never made it into people’s stomachs. The amount of uneaten food in homes and restaurants was valued at almost $390 per U.S. consumer in 2008, more than an average month’s worth of food expenditures.

“The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Not only could this food be going to folks who need it—we also have an opportunity to reduce the amount of food that ends up in America’s landfills. By joining together with EPA and businesses from around the country, we have an opportunity to better educate folks about the problem of food waste and begin to address this problem across the nation.”

The goal of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge is to lead a fundamental shift in how we think about and manage food and food waste in this country. The Challenge includes a goal to have 400 partner organizations by 2015 and 1,000 by 2020.

As part of its contribution to the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, USDA is initiating a wide range of activities to reduce waste in the school meals program, educate consumers about food waste and food storage, and develop new technologies to reduce food waste. USDA will also work with industry to increase donations from imported produce that does not meet quality standards, streamline procedures for donating wholesome misbranded meat and poultry products, update U.S. food loss estimates at the retail level, and pilot-test a meat-composting program to reduce the amount of meat being sent to landfills from food safety inspection labs.

Through its Food Recovery Challenge, EPA will provide U.S. Food Waste Challenge participants with the opportunity to access data management software and technical assistance (www.epa.gov/smm/foodrecovery/) to help them quantify and improve their sustainable food management practices.

In response to the USDA’s Challenge, the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA), comprised of leading food retail, food manufacturing, and foodservice companies, issued the following statement:

“The Food Waste Reduction Alliance is pleased to join the USDA’s Food Waste Challenge as a founding partner. The FWRA will look to provide new platforms to educate and engage the food retail, food manufacturing, and restaurant industries on food waste opportunities, challenges, and best practices. One example of how the FWRA will achieve this end is by producing a best practices guide and toolkit this fall, which will help individual companies accelerate efforts to reduce food waste. The toolkit will contain examples of efforts already underway, guidelines, and checklists. Importantly, the FWRA will also research, identify, and report on key barriers that inhibit or complicate the industry’s progress in achieving its primary goals—to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste—and recommend strategies to overcome these obstacles.”

The FWRA was formed in 2011 as a cross-industry initiative by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute, and the National Restaurant Association to address the issue of food waste.

USDA press release

FWRA press release

Townsend Farms’ antioxidant blend linked to hepatitis A outbreak
On June 4, Townsend Farms Inc., Fairview, Ore., announced that it is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, because it has the potential to be contaminated with hepatitis A virus, based on an ongoing epidemiological and traceback investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) of an illness outbreak. No other Townsend Farms products, frozen or fresh, are covered by this voluntary recall or linked to the illness outbreak at this time.

The product was sold at Costco warehouse stores under the product name Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, 3-lb bag and UPC 0 78414 404448. The product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores from April 19 until May 7, 2013, under the product name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend, 10-oz bag UPC 0 72036 70463 4.

Townsend Farms is implementing this voluntary recall after learning that one of the ingredients of the frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey, may be linked to an illness outbreak outside of the United States.

According to the CDC, as of June 4, 49 people ill with acute hepatitis A that may be linked with consumption of a contaminated product have been reported by seven states: Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, and California. These numbers are expected to change as the investigation continues. Based on epidemiologic investigation of 26 cases, the illness onset dates range from April 29 thru May 24. Eleven people have been hospitalized. Nineteen of the people interviewed reported eating Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix.

Preliminary laboratory studies of specimens from two cases suggest the outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus (HAV) is genotype 1B. This strain is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in the North Africa and Middle East regions. This genotype was identified in a 2013 outbreak in Europe linked to frozen berries and another 2012 outbreak in British Columbia related to a frozen berry blend with pomegranate seeds from Egypt.

FDA recall press release

CDC press release

Japan suspends U.S. wheat imports due to bioengineered crops
According to Bloomberg, Japan has suspended imports of western-white wheat and feed wheat from the United States after the discovery in an Oregon field of gene-altered crops developed by Monsanto Co. that never won approval for consumption. Scientists said the rogue wheat was a strain tested from 1998 to 2005 by Monsanto, which withdrew its application for approval amid concern buyers would avoid crops from the U.S., the world’s biggest wheat exporter.

Japan will continue importing hard-red winter wheat and dark-northern spring wheat from the U.S., as they are sourced from Montana, Washington, North Dakota, and Minnesota. These types of wheat are used in Japan for bread and noodles.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating how the unapproved seeds slipped out and were growing nine years after Monsanto ended its wheat program.

Bloomberg article

IFT Research Briefs

CDC report: Listeria causes death in 20% of cases
Older adults, pregnant women, and persons with immunocompromising conditions are at higher risk than others for invasive Listeria monocytogenes infection (listeriosis), a rare and preventable foodborne illness that can cause bacteremia, meningitis, fetal loss, and death. A study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) summarizes data on 2009–2011 listeriosis cases and outbreaks reported to U.S. surveillance systems.

Nationwide, 1,651 cases of listeriosis occurring during 2009–2011 were reported. The case-fatality rate was 21%. Most cases (58%) occurred among adults ages 65+, and 14% were pregnancy-associated. During this time period, 12 reported outbreaks affected 224 patients in 38 states. Five outbreak investigations implicated soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk that were likely contaminated during cheese-making (four implicated Mexican-style cheese, and one implicated two other types of cheese). Two outbreaks were linked to raw produce.

The report concluded that almost all listeriosis occurs in persons in higher-risk groups. Soft cheeses were prominent vehicles, but other foods also caused recent outbreaks. Prevention targeting higher-risk groups and control of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in foods implicated by outbreak investigations will have the greatest impact on reducing the burden of listeriosis.

Report

Peppers may protect against Parkinson’s disease
A study published in the Annals of Neurology shows that eating foods from the Solanaceae family, which contain naturally-occurring nicotine, may be able reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Foods in the Solanaceae family include peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.

The researchers recruited 490 newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients, and 644 unrelated individuals with no neurological disorders for the control group. The researchers examined whether Parkinson’s disease was associated with self-reported typical frequency of consumption of peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice, and potatoes during adulthood, while adjusting for consumption of other vegetables, age, sex, race/ethnicity, tobacco use, and caffeine.

The researchers found that consuming foods in the Solanaceae family did lower the risk for Parkinson’s disease, with peppers displaying the strongest association. However, the consumption of all other vegetables did not have any association with Parkinson’s disease. In fact, Solanaceae vegetable eaters lowered their risk by 19% on average. And eating two to four peppers a week lowered the risk by about 30%. In addition, the potentially protective effect of edible Solanaceae largely occurred in men and women who had never used tobacco or who had smoked cigarettes for less than 10 years.

The researchers concluded that “confirmation and extension of these findings are needed to strengthen causal inferences that could suggest possible dietary or pharmaceutical interventions for Parkinson’s disease prevention.”

Abstract

U.S. restaurant performance index hits 10-month high
Driven by higher same-store sales and an improving outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) hit a 10-month high in April. The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry—stood at 101 in April, up 0.4% from a level of 100.6 in March. In addition, April represented the third time in the last four months that the RPI topped the 100 level, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Growth in the Restaurant Performance Index was due largely to restaurant operators’ healthier outlook for the business environment in the coming months,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In particular, there was a drop off in the proportion of operators who expect conditions to worsen in the months ahead, which suggests a broadening of the perspective that the expansion is firmly entrenched.”

Restaurant operators reported stronger same-store sales results in April. Forty-nine percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between April 2012 and April 2013, up from 44% who reported higher sales in March. Meanwhile, 33% of operators reported a drop in same-store sales in April, down from 37% in March.

Restaurant operators remain generally optimistic that their sales will improve in the coming months. Forty-one percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down slightly from 44% last month. However, only 10% of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, down from 15% last month and the lowest level in 11 months.

Similarly, a smaller proportion of restaurant operators are bearish about the economy in the months ahead. Only 13% of operators said they expect economic conditions to worsen in the next six months, down from 20% last month and the lowest level in 12 months.

Press release

Dark chocolate makes gains on milk chocolate
There’s no contest when it comes to the preference of chocolate ... milk chocolate rules the confectionery battleground. However, dark chocolate just might be creeping up in popularity. The latest research from Mintel reveals that for just more than half (51%) of all adult consumers the favorite type of plain chocolate is milk chocolate, followed by 35% who favor dark chocolate, and 8% who prefer white chocolate. In contrast, Mintel’s 2011 report found that 57% of consumers favored milk chocolate and 33% of consumers preferred dark chocolate.

“The progressively better understood health benefits of dark chocolate may be increasing its popularity as more consumers are looking for indulgent foods that can serve multiple functions such as nutrition or convenience,” said Sarah Day Levesque, Food Analyst at Mintel. “An exception to the pattern of milk chocolate being the consumer favorite is among consumers ages 55+ who are more likely to favor dark chocolate, most likely because they are seeking added nutritional benefits.”

Some 46% of men ages 55+ and 48% of women over age 55 favor dark chocolate, followed by 38% of men that prefer milk and 40% of women that also prefer milk. These numbers are indicative of the trend toward the increasing favor for dark chocolate. Indeed, 73% of all chocolate consumers are aware that dark chocolate is healthier.

The chocolate confectionery market has fared seemingly well in a lagging economy, growing 19% from 2007 to 2012. This growth can be attributed to consumers’ demand for affordable luxuries or indulgence, as well as the foodie culture that has increased interest in premium, high-quality, and artisanal varieties of chocolate. However, due to countering trends, Mintel expects slow growth for the chocolate confectionery category in the next five years, with sales growing 15% from 2012 to 2017.

When deciding to purchase chocolate, some 89% of consumers buy chocolate as a treat or reward and 87% buy it as a snack option. Meanwhile, 83% of consumers look carefully at the size of chocolate candy packages to determine the best value for the money and 72% buy chocolate as a way to improve their mood or provide an energy boost.

Press release

Probiotics may alter brain function
A study published in Gastroenterology shows that probiotics in food may alter brain function in humans. The discovery that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain carries implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said.

The small study involved 36 women between the ages of 18 and 55. Researchers divided the women into three groups: one group ate a specific yogurt containing a mix of several probiotics twice a day for four weeks; another group consumed a dairy product that looked and tasted like the yogurt but contained no probiotics; and a third group ate no product at all. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans conducted both before and after the four-week study period looked at the women’s brains in a state of rest and in response to an emotion-recognition task in which they viewed a series of pictures of people with angry or frightened faces and matched them to other faces showing the same emotions. This task, designed to measure the engagement of affective and cognitive brain regions in response to a visual stimulus, was chosen because previous research in animals had linked changes in gut flora to changes in affective behaviors.

The researchers found that compared with the women who didn’t consume the probiotic yogurt, those who did showed a decrease in activity in both the insula—which processes and integrates internal body sensations, like those from the gut—and the somatosensory cortex during the emotional reactivity task. Further, in response to the task, these women had a decrease in the engagement of a widespread network in the brain that includes emotion-, cognition- and sensory-related areas. The women in the other two groups showed a stable or increased activity in this network.

During the resting brain scan, the women consuming probiotics showed greater connectivity between a key brainstem region known as the periaqueductal grey and cognition-associated areas of the prefrontal cortex. The women who ate no product at all, on the other hand, showed greater connectivity of the periaqueductal grey to emotion- and sensation-related regions, while the group consuming the non-probiotic dairy product showed results in between.

The knowledge that signals are sent from the intestine to the brain and that they can be modulated by a dietary change is likely to lead to an expansion of research aimed at finding new strategies to prevent or treat digestive, mental, and neurological disorders, said Emeran Mayer, Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s senior author.

“There are studies showing that what we eat can alter the composition and products of the gut flora—in particular, that people with high-vegetable, fiber-based diets have a different composition of their microbiota, or gut environment, than people who eat the more typical Western diet that is high in fat and carbohydrates,” said Mayer. “Now we know that this has an effect not only on the metabolism but also affects brain function.”

Press release


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IFT Company News

Food manufacturers cut 1.5 trillion calories since 2007
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) has announced that participating food and beverage companies have exceeded their goal of reducing 1.5 trillion calories in the marketplace in the United States. This announcement comes three years after a 2010 commitment by the HWCF, and its 16 food and beverage corporate partners, to the First Lady’s Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to reduce calories by 1.5 trillion by 2015.

“Our industry has an important role to play in helping people lead healthy lives and our actions are having a positive impact,” said Indra Nooyi, HWCF Chair, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. “We see continued opportunities to give consumers the choices they’re looking for and to work collaboratively with the public and non-profit sectors on initiatives that enable continued progress.”

The progress report showcased that the HWCF calorie reduction in the marketplace since the baseline year of 2007 was achieved by giving new choices and continued great taste for the consumer.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy devoted to improving the health and healthcare of all Americans, is supporting an independent evaluation to determine whether HWCF has met its calorie-reduction goal. That evaluation will be released in the fall. Follow-up studies supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also will evaluate subsequent effects on children’s diets.

The HWCF participating companies include: Campbell Soup, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Co., Kraft Foods, McCormick & Co., Nestlé USA, PepsiCo, Post Foods/Ralston Foods, Sara Lee, Coca-Cola, Hershey, J.M. Smucker, and Unilever.

Press release

Tyson Foods acquires Circle Foods
Tyson Foods Inc. has acquired the assets of Circle Foods LLC, a producer of frozen and refrigerated handheld Mexican foods, uncooked tortillas, and Indian flatbreads, from Claridge. California-based Circle Foods has been in business for 25 years and is known for branded products that include Nuevo Grille and TortillaLand handheld Mexican products, TortillaLand uncooked tortillas, and RotiLand Indian flatbreads. The company, which operates a plant in San Diego, also produces private label products for various customers.

Terms of the acquisition, which was completed June 1, were not disclosed. Tyson Foods does not plan any significant operational changes and intends to keep the existing Circle Foods management and production team in place to grow the business. The operation currently has approximately 600 full-time employees.

“Claridge and the Circle Foods team have developed an outstanding portfolio of products and customers, with a fantastic plant and workforce, and will be an excellent fit within our branded consumer products group,” said Donnie Smith, President and CEO of Tyson Foods. “We believe Tyson’s robust sales structure, as well as our frozen and refrigerated foods distribution system, will enable this business to accelerate its growth.”

Press release

Cargill opens $40 M chicken processing facility in Russia
Cargill has opened a chicken processing facility at its complex in Efremov, Russia. This poultry facility represents a further investment of $40 million at the company’s industrial complex, located south of Moscow. The facility—which marks Cargill’s first primary chicken processing operations in Russia—will predominantly supply McDonald’s restaurants in Russia with high quality Chicken McNuggets as well as other chicken products.

“Cargill has had a strong business relationship with McDonald’s for many years and when sourcing locally became a key requirement for McDonald’s in Russia, we were pleased to be able to work together and help them find a solution,” said Jeremy Graves, General Manager, Cargill Meats Europe. “Our processing plant and our joint efforts to build a sustainable local supply chain is yet another example of the ongoing collaboration between our two companies.”

As part of this investment to establish a local chicken supply chain in Russia, Cargill has started to develop local supply partnerships with Russian poultry rearers in order to ensure that the locally-sourced chicken meets Cargill and McDonald’s high quality, food safety, and welfare requirements. The facility, which employs more than 140 staff, has the capacity to produce 18,000 metric tons per annum of further processing chicken products.

Press release

Nestlé opens foodborne pathogens lab; breaks ground on factory in Germany
Nestlé has opened an advanced laboratory to study foodborne pathogens that are harmful to human health. The new facilities at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland will have a high level of ‘bio-containment,’ meaning certain areas will be sealed with access restricted to trained personnel who must wear protective clothing and adhere to strict hygiene procedures. The company is using sophisticated scientific techniques to refine the processes it uses to kill pathogens without destroying the nutritional value of its food.

“We constantly face familiar pathogens like Salmonella, but there are newer threats as these pathogens evolve,” said Nestlé’s Chief Technology Officer Werner Bauer. “We have to stay one step ahead. The research done here will undoubtedly be a great asset for Nestlé, but we also have a responsibility to communicate and share the results with the scientific community and consumers, so everyone can benefit.”

In other news, Nestlé has begun construction on a new factory that represents the company’s largest-ever investment in Germany—a €220 million Nescafé Dolce Gusto site in Schwerin in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The factory is expected to create about 450 new jobs by the time it is fully operational.

Germany is Nestlé’s fourth biggest market worldwide and its number one market in terms of sales of Nescafé Dolce Gusto. The factory in Schwerin will be the company’s third fully-dedicated Nescafé Dolce Gusto site, after Tutbury in the United Kingdom and Girona in Spain. It will produce around two billion capsules per year for the German, Scandinavian, and Eastern European markets.

Lab press release

Germany factory press release

PepsiCo, Theo Muller open yogurt manufacturing facility
Muller Quaker Dairy, a joint venture between PepsiCo Inc. and Theo Muller Group, has opened its new yogurt manufacturing facility in Batavia, N.Y. The new facility, which will employ approximately 180 people, will serve as a national production and distribution center for Muller yogurt, which launched in select regional markets in 2012.

“PepsiCo continues to perform at an extremely high level while simultaneously transforming our portfolio for the future and strengthening our position in high-growth food and beverage categories. We have invested over many years to expand our global nutrition offerings in ways that allow us to capitalize on new growth opportunities, and the new Muller Quaker Dairy facility demonstrates continued progress against this key business priority,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s Chairman and CEO. “The Theo Muller Group is a tremendous partner whose deep dairy expertise has allowed our joint venture to enter the U.S. market with a delicious product that our consumers absolutely love.”

The 350,000+-sq-ft facility will have three production lines initially, which can produce more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour. The facility can accommodate up to eight production lines with room for future expansion. The company is targeting LEED certification for the facility, which would make it the largest LEED-certified dairy manufacturing plant in the world. The facility sits on 82-acres of land in what has become one of the most concentrated milk producing and processing regions in the country. Products manufactured at the plant will include Muller Corner, Muller Greek Corner, and Muller FrutUp varieties.

Formed in 2011, the Muller Quaker Dairy joint venture brings together the complementary strengths of two successful global companies.

Press release

Synergy expands internationally with Thai manufacturing hub
Synergy, a flavors and ingredients manufacturer and supplier, has opened a new manufacturing facility in Samut Prakarn, Bangkok, Thailand. The latest in a series of investments it has made in Asia, the facility will allow Synergy to provide enhanced production and technical support to its growing portfolio of customers in the region.

Owned by Carbery, an Irish dairy co-operative, Synergy first entered the Asian marketplace in 2009. The new facility will provide a wide variety of ingredients and support services to manufacturers in the Asian food and beverage industry. The factory will offer blended powder and liquid flavor production facilities, in addition to sweet and savory flavor creation and application laboratories. It will also provide a full range of technical, warehousing, and customer support services.

“As we continue to grow our business and develop strong relationships in Asia, it has become a priority for us to expand our capabilities in the region,” said Steve Morgan, Managing Director at Synergy Europe & Asia. “This new plant will allow us to work even more closely with our customers, to share the expertise of our expanding local team, as well as Synergy’s global resources, and to develop products that cater for the unique and flourishing food and beverage markets in the region.”

Synergy

ALPLA, Avantium to collaborate on PEF bottle development
Avantium, a renewable chemicals company, and ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, a plastic converter, have announced their Joint Development Agreement for the development of PEF (polyethylene furanoate) bottles. After The Coca-Cola Co. and Danone, ALPLA is the third company to collaborate with Avantium on PEF, a bioplastic based on Avantium’s proprietary YXY technology. The goal of these collaborations is to bring 100% biobased PEF bottles to the market by 2016.

“Avantium is very excited to have ALPLA enter the Joint Development Platform for PEF bottles,” said Tom van Aken, CEO Avantium. “With ALPLA’s extensive and proven know-how in PET conversion, bottle design, and bottle manufacturing, ALPLA will be a major contributor to accelerate the commercial roll out and industrialization of PEF.”

The YXY technology platform is a catalytic technology to convert plant-based materials into chemical building blocks for bioplastics, like PEF (polyethylene furanoate). PEF is a novel generation of 100% biobased and recyclable polyester which has the potential to replace conventional fossil resources based durable materials like PET. PEF has a high barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water, which extends product shelf life and reduces production costs.

ALPLA will develop PEF bottles for personal care applications, such as cosmetics and detergents, and for food applications, such as sauces, dressings, baby foods, and edible oils. ALPLA and Avantium will furthermore work on the development of bottles for beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Press release

IFT Regulatory News

U.S. Treasury Dept. approves voluntary nutrition facts on alcohol
On May 28, 2013, the U.S. Treasury Dept.’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued a ruling (Ruling 2013-2) that allows alcohol beverage industry members to provide consumers with nutritional information about their products and provides guidelines to ensure that the information is presented in a consistent and non-misleading manner.

The Federal Alcohol Administration Act provides for regulation of the labeling and advertising of distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverages to prevent consumer deception, to provide consumers with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product, and to prohibit false or misleading statements.

The ruling allows “Serving Facts” statements that include the serving size, the number of servings per container, the number of calories, and the number of grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat per serving. Additionally, Serving Facts statements may include information about the alcohol content of the product as a percentage of alcohol by volume and may also include a statement of the fluid ounces of pure ethyl alcohol per serving.

Industry members will not need to apply for new label approval to add a Serving Facts statement if it conforms to the examples contained in the ruling. TTB is providing this interim guidance on the use of optional Serving Facts statements on labels and in advertisements pending the completion of rulemaking on this matter. The Ruling can be found at http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2013-2.pdf.

Press release (pdf)

Health Canada approves partially hydrolyzed guar gum as a dietary fiber source
Health Canada has approved partially hydrolyzed guar gum for use as a dietary fiber source. Made by Taiyo International and marketed as Sunfiber, it is a soluble, transparent, and tasteless dietary fiber.

“While there have been a select number of soluble fibers recently approved by Health Canada, Sunfiber is a galactomannan-based fiber (as opposed to a sugar/starch based fiber) that allows product formulators to bring the benefits of this truly regulating fiber to consumers who are looking for a unique, more comfortable fiber source,” said Taiyo’s Vice President Lekh Juneja.

Sunfiber is low in viscosity, improves stability of beverages at various pH levels, and is resistant to heat, acid, and digestive enzymes. In addition to its blood glucose benefits, Sunfiber improves absorption of minerals (such as calcium, iron, and zinc) and aids protein utilization. Sunfiber has prebiotic characteristics that stimulate health-promoting indigenous bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.

SunFiber

First public meetings to be held for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines; IFT member named to Committee
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) are holding a public meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) on June 13, 2013, from 8:30–11:30 a.m. and June 14, 2013, from 8:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m. in Bethesda, Md. The meeting will be accessible by webcast or by attendance in-person.

At this meeting, the Committee will be oriented to the Dietary Guidelines revision process and begin its deliberations. The meeting agenda will include (a) review of operations for the Committee members, (b) presentations on the history of the Dietary Guidelines and how they are used, (c) presentation on USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Library, and (d) plans for future Committee work.

Written comments will be accepted throughout the Committee’s deliberative process. Opportunities to present oral comments to the Committee will be provided at a future meeting. Written comments should be submitted by June 5 to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to this meeting.

To assist with satisfying the mandate, a discretionary federal advisory committee is established every five years to provide independent, science-based advice and recommendations. The DGAC consists of a panel of experts who are selected from the public/private sector. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack have announced the appointment of 15 nationally recognized experts to serve on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Among the individuals appointed to the Committee is Steven Clinton, a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Clinton is the John B. and Jane T. McCoy Chair of Cancer Research, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, Dept. of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University School of Medicine. Clinton also holds appointments in the Dept. of Human Nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology and in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health. He is a physician-scientist who has devoted his career to research in cancer etiology and prevention.

Clinton’s research focuses on epidemiology, clinical trials, community research, and experimental models, as well as cell and molecular systems. He has published extensively on the role of dietary energy balance and obesity in cancer risk, on a variety of foods associated with cancer prevention properties, as well as on several nutrients including vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. He served on the IOM Committee on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium.

Federal Register notice (pdf)

Registration information

Committee press release

IFT IFT & Meeting News

June 13: 9:00–10:00 a.m. CT
Free member webcast: Prebiotics – What’s New in the Netherlands and United States
Sponsored by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, this webcast brings together leading industry and academic experts to explore the latest developments and research in prebiotics. Get new tools for detection and validation of health promoting effects of various carbohydrates, examine new approaches to identifying the immunological and metabolic properties in a high-throughput manner, and learn how industrial partners and academic institutes in the Netherlands are working together to develop a multidisciplinary approach to further research and build technology in the area of prebiotics. Learn more.

July 13
Pre-Annual Meeting Short Course: Fundamentals of Textural Design
This sensory-science based course will provide you with a market report of the emergence of texture as a key differentiator, and will equip you with “a language of texture” to help you quantify and communicate with product developers, marketing/category managers, and consumers. This, along with nine other focused Short Courses, will be held July 11–13, 2013, just prior to the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Find out more and register for this course.

July 12–13
IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference covers NanoCharacter and NanoRelease Projects
Richard Canady, Center for Risk Science Innovation and Application, along with a number of other esteemed industry presenters will be discussing NanoCharacter and NanoRelease Projects at the IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference. The focused event is designed to bring dozens of food professionals in R&D, engineering, regulatory, defense, and sales, together for discussion and learning around the latest food nanoscience issues. Get more details and register today.

New teaching & learning program offers enhanced training for educators at Annual Meeting
Designed for academic members and other educators who are interested in teaching excellence, research, and outreach, the newly developed Teaching & Learning Program will be held at this year’s IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. The Teaching & Learning SPA (Science Practice Application) Lounge, which offers academics a dedicated space to socialize and network, and the The Fennema Lectureship & Workshop are just a few new enhancements to this revamped program. Learn more about the Teaching & Learning Program today.

Free Annual Meeting Scientific Program webcast offer
If you have registered for the Annual Meeting Scientific Program, you may select two free webcasts which are complimentary with your registration. Webcast topics to choose from include Innovative Formulation Approaches and Consumer Insights to Mitigate High Ingredient Costs ? June 18; Ancient Grains: Nutritional and Functional Aspects ? June 24; andMental Models Technology ? on-demand. See your Annual Meeting registration confirmation for details. If you do not plan on attending the Annual Meeting Scientific Program, you may still register for any of these webcasts by clicking on the links above.

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