The Weekly: August 31, 2016

August 31, 2016

IFT Top Stories

World Food Prize recognizes Kenyan economist
The World Food Prize has named Andrew Mude the winner of the 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, for his work in developing insurance for never-before-insured communities whose livelihoods depend on herding cattle, goats, sheep, and camels in the remote, arid, and drought-prone lowlands of the Horn of Africa. Mude has made novel use of satellite data to achieve an innovative and highly effective solution that helps pastoral livestock herders reduce the considerable and costly drought-risk they face in this region.
 
“Dr. Mude reflects Borlaug-like persistence in his science-based, community mediated, and innovative approach to providing financial protection, through insurance, to millions of poor herders and their families who care for and depend upon their livestock as they move across the vast rangelands of East Africa,” said Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation.

Mude will be formally presented with the award and $10,000 on Oct. 12, 2016, in a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of the 2016 World Food Prize international symposium.

A Kenya native who received his PhD from Cornell University, Mude is a principal economist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). He spearheads a program called “Index-Based Livestock Insurance” (IBLI), which is greatly reducing the vulnerability of East Africa’s livestock herding families to recurring droughts. The droughts kill great numbers of livestock, sending many hungry households in remote regions into deep and lasting poverty. Since launching IBLI in 2008, Mude and his team have engaged local herders and leaders in building and delivering extension education programs—employing videos, cartoons, and radio broadcasts—to increase understanding of the principles and coverage of the insurance plans.

Before Mude’s approach was implemented, African herders had no access to livestock insurance. It was highly impractical and costly for insurance claim adjusters to travel through East Africa to confirm dead animals and pay claims. IBLI eliminates the need for such visual confirmation of stock losses by using satellite data to monitor grazing conditions—when these conditions are seen to fall below a certain threshold, this data serves as a proxy for dead animals, and insurance payouts are made.

“We have the satellite technology needed to monitor grazing conditions in the remotest of regions,” said Mude. “We should be using it to ensure that Africa’s remote livestock herders have access to basic insurance farmers around the world take for granted. We draw inspiration from Borlaug’s lifelong commitment to make his research make a difference. Together with many partners and the herders themselves—and only together—we’re determined to find new ways to help millions of people continue to practice the oldest form of sustainable food production the world has ever seen.”

Press release

Mondelēz abandons bid for Hershey
Mondelēz International has ended discussions with Hershey regarding a possible combination of the two companies. The announcement comes two months after Hershey turned down its initial $107/share ($23 billion cash-and-stock) bid.

Mondelēz Chief Executive Officer Irene Rosenfeld approached Hershey Chief Executive John Bilbrey again last week, and indicated that Mondelēz would be willing to offer up to $115 per share for Hershey. The chocolate company turned down the new bid, indicating it would be difficult to strike a deal before next year because of the shifting dynamics at its controlling shareholder, the Hershey Trust. In addition, Hershey responded that discussions for a takeover would need to begin at $125/share.

“Our proposal to acquire Hershey reflected our conviction that combining our two iconic American companies would create an industry leader with global scale in snacking and confectionery and a strong portfolio of complementary brands,” said Rosenfeld. “Following additional discussions, and taking into account recent shareholder developments at Hershey, we determined that there is no actionable path forward toward an agreement. While we are disappointed in this outcome, we remain disciplined in our approach to creating value, including through acquisitions, and confident that our advantaged platform positions us well for top-tier performance over the long term.”

Mondelēz press release

Coupland succeeds Dennis as 2016–2017 IFT president
On Sept. 1, 2016, John Coupland will become the 77th president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific society committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system. Coupland succeeds Colin Dennis, IFT’s 2015–2016 president.

In his position as president, Coupland will work with food scientists, technologists, and professionals from related disciplines in academia, industry, and government to support IFT’s strategic priorities, which include advancing and promoting careers in the science of food; establishing productive and interactive global networks; promoting science, technology, and their application; and advocacy efforts contributing to evidence-based science to the public dialogue on food issues. An area of particular interest to Coupland is the value of science communication in helping the public to better understand the ways food science is used to feed people every day so they can make more informed decisions about the food they eat.

Coupland is a professor of food science at Penn State University where he teaches core undergraduate and graduate courses in food chemistry, a graduate course about the physical chemistry of foods and a course about arguments around food. He conducts research on emulsion science and fat crystallization and has published more than 100 research papers and book chapters. In addition, he recently published the textbook, An Introduction to the Physical Chemistry of Foods.
As an active IFT member since 1996, Coupland has served on the Board of Directors, the Food Chemistry Division and Feeding Tomorrow Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Keystone Section of IFT.

Coupland received both his bachelor and doctoral degrees in food science at Leeds University in the United Kingdom before coming to the United States and serving as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After a second postdoctoral position at University College Dublin, he joined the Penn State food science faculty in 1998.

Press release

IFT Research Briefs

Soy fortification of corn tortillas
A study published in the Journal of Food Science explores the consumer acceptability of corn tortillas fortified with soybean presscake and defatted soy flour. Corn tortillas are the traditional Mexican and Central American flatbreads made from an alkaline cooking of corn, known as nixtamalization. They provide significant levels of carbohydrates and calcium, but are low in protein content. The researchers wanted to determine the physical and sensory properties of adding soy, whose protein content is approximately 40%, to corn tortillas.

The researchers prepared corn tortillas with 10%–40% soybean presscake, a by-product of cold press soy oil production, and 10%–35% defatted soy flour. They then compared the texture, color, size, thickness, and rollability of the fortified tortillas. In addition, they conducted a consumer acceptance test to evaluate the acceptance of tortillas at high levels of soy fortification (35% soy flour and 40% soybean presscake).

The researchers found that the tortillas fortified with soy were smaller and thicker with increased firmness and cohesiveness. In addition, their color was more red and yellow than control corn tortillas. The tortillas made with soy flour showed the poorest rollability, and were almost unrollable at high fortification levels (30% and 35%).

In the consumer acceptance test, all 76 participants gave the tortillas fortified with 40% soybean presscake and 35% soy flour high acceptability scores (6–6.6 on a 9-point scale). In addition, overall flavor and texture of both soy fortified corn tortillas scored above 6.

The researchers concluded that while fortification with soybean presscake and soy flour had significant effects on tortilla size, thickness, firmness, cohesiveness, rollability, and color, these changes were still acceptable to consumers.

Abstract

Can a soda tax impact consumption behavior?
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that a small tax on sugar-sweetened beverages may result in reduced consumption of those beverages. Five months after Berkeley, Calif., implemented its penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, lower-income residents had reduced their consumption by 21%, compared to the pre-tax days. Meanwhile, their counterparts in neighboring Oakland and San Francisco increased the amount of sugary drinks consumed by 4% during the same period.

To see whether the tax would change anyone’s buying habits, the researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco sent interviewers to busy intersections in census tracts with large numbers of low-income and non-white residents. They asked residents in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco how often they drank beverages in five categories: full-calorie soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, and sweetened tea or coffee concoctions. The first set of interviews occurred at least eight months before the tax went into effect, and the second set was completed five months after it was implemented. Nearly 3,000 people answered the questions in either English or Spanish.

After controlling for the age, gender, race, ethnicity and education level of those who took the survey, researchers found that the drinking habits of Berkeley residents were starkly different from those of similar people in Oakland and San Francisco. Those in Berkeley drank 26% less regular soda after the tax, while their neighbors in San Francisco and Oakland drank 10% more. The gap was even more pronounced in the case of sports drinks—those in Berkeley cut back by 36%, while those in Oakland and San Francisco drank 21% more. In addition, Berkeley residents increased their water consumption by 63%, while in neighboring cities, low-income residents drank only 19% more water during the study period.

More than one in five Berkeley residents told the survey-takers that the tax had caused them to change their drinking habits. Among these 124 people, 82% said they consumed sugary drinks less frequently, and 40% said they had reduced their portion sizes.

“While Berkeley is just one small city, this is an important first step in identifying tools that can move the needle on population health,” concluded Kristine Madsen, a public health researcher at UC Berkeley and senior author of the study.

Abstract

U.S. economic uncertainty stalls foodservice traffic in Q2
Total foodservice industry traffic was flat in the first quarter and remained flat in the second quarter of 2016, reports The NPD Group, a global information company. Quick-service restaurant (QSR) visits, which make up 80% of total industry traffic, were flat in the second quarter after being up 1% in the first quarter. Visits to fast-casual restaurants were up 2% in the second quarter, but this is considerably less than the 11% growth the category had in the same quarter last year.

“Contributing to the stalled visit growth are consumers’ uncertainties about current and future economic conditions,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD Group’s restaurant industry analyst. “These uncertainties have put a damper on overall consumer spending. Compounding the situation for the restaurant industry is the decline in food at home inflation while at the same time restaurant operators have been increasing menu prices.”

Lunch was the key contributor to overall traffic declines. Lunch visits, which represent 33% of all daypart visits, declined by 4% in the second quarter of this year compared to same period last year. Dinner, which represents 30% of daypart visits, declined by 1%. This, however, was an improvement for the dinner daypart, which had a 3% decline in the first quarter. Morning meal traffic, which represents 22% of daypart visits and has had a long run of traffic growth, increased by 1%.

Press release

Animal study: Engineered gut bacteria may prevent obesity-related disease
In a study presented at the American Physiological Society’s Inflammation, Immunity, and Cardiovascular Disease conference, researchers showed that engineered gut bacteria may help reduce the health problems that come with obesity.

Researchers led by Sean Davies, associate professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, are studying whether obesity-related diseases might be treated or even prevented by altering the gut microbiota. To find out, they engineered gut bacteria that produce a small lipid that helps suppress appetite and reduce inflammation. People who are obese typically produce less of this lipid, which is made by the small intestine.

“We have previously shown that this approach with engineered bacteria could inhibit obesity when standard mice were fed a high-fat diet,” said Davies. “Our new studies focused on mice highly prone to develop atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease, and we showed that the engineered bacteria were beneficial not only in inhibiting obesity, but also in protecting against fatty liver disease and somewhat against atherosclerosis.”

The researchers found that standard mice fed a high-fat diet while also receiving the engineered bacteria via drinking water gained less body weight and body fat than mice given standard drinking water or control bacteria. They also gave the engineered bacteria to mice with increased susceptibility to atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease. These mice accumulated less fat in the liver and showed reduced expression of markers of liver fibrosis, compared to mice that did not receive the treatment. The treated mice also exhibited a modest trend toward reduced atherosclerotic plaques.

“Some day in the future, it might be possible to treat the worst effects of obesity simply by administering these bacteria,” concluded Davies. “Because of the sustainability of gut bacteria, this treatment would not need to be every day.”

Press release

Germany leads the world in energy drink launches
According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), more energy drinks were launched globally in 2015 than in any year since 2008, with the number of energy drink products launched growing 29% between 2010 and 2015. In addition, volume sales are at an all-time high with the global market reaching 8.8 billion liters in 2015.

Germany recorded the highest share of new energy drink product launches in 2015, overtaking the United States for the first time. Some 9% of global energy drink launches occurred in Germany in 2015, as opposed to 8% in the United States. In comparison, Germany experienced just 6% of global new energy drink product launches in 2014, while 10% of global launches took place in the United States.

Around the world, the top five energy drink markets in terms of volume sales are the United States (3.3 billion liters), China (1.4 billion liters), the United Kingdom (561 million liters), Thailand (465 million liters), and Vietnam (351 million liters). Additionally, volume sales in Germany reached 328 million liters, with Austria (79 million liters) and Switzerland (58 million liters) following much further behind.

“The primary driver of global growth remains the drinks’ capacity to provide consumers with a quick and effective energy boost—something which resonates with consumers the world over,” said Alex Beckett, global food and drink analyst at Mintel. “Energy drinks are benefitting from being championed by giant brands, which devote huge investment to advertising and high profile marketing initiatives to project an exciting and edgy image. However, in less developed regions, local energy drink brands are emerging and gaining distribution as a more affordable alternative to multinationals, adding pressure for major players to project a brand identity that consumers from New York to Beijing want to be associated with, and pay more for.”

Mintel research also reveals that parents are emerging as a valuable audience for energy drinks. In the United States, while on average 12% of consumers drink energy drinks, this rises to 26% of those with children aged 5 and younger and 32% of those with children aged 6–11. In Germany, 33% of adults consumed a branded energy drink in 2015, rising to more than 44% of those with kids aged 21 and younger in the household. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, 58% of parents with children aged 5 and younger under consume energy drinks, up from an average of 35%.

Press release

Meat science researcher develops new steak cut
A researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno has repurposed a cut of beef that is usually thrown in with ground meat, but whose taste and tenderness makes it on par with a filet mignon. Amilton de Mello, assistant professor of meat science, has redeveloped the use for the small, quarter-moon-shaped slice of beef, which has been dubbed the Bonanza Cut. According to de Mello, the cut’s ease of trimming, marbling, and juiciness make it a profitable option for the meat processing industry in addition to the foodservice industry to offer it as a premium menu item.

“Chefs and restaurants will love this cut, it can be portioned for many sizes of servings,” said de Mello. “And for meat producers, it offers a higher price point and more profits by taking this cut in a new direction.”

de Mello started developing this new cut in 2014 while working for the beef industry. With support from JBS, he conducted research on the cut at the University of Nevada, Reno beginning in 2015 and found it compared extremely well against other cuts of beef. The objective of the experiment was to evaluate tenderness and cooking yields of the m. infraspinatus caudal tip (the very far end of the flat iron steak) and verify the opportunity of exploring this cut as an added-value product. Research found that the Bonanza Cut has superior marbling and higher fat content compared to other meat cuts, including the flat iron steak.

The small cut yields two pieces per beef carcass that combined weigh about a half of a pound. “This small volume makes this cut even more special based on its high quality and low availability,” de Mello said. “Due to its eating characteristics and unique texture, the Bonanza Cut is a new alternative to replace traditional beef cuts in many different recipes.”

Consumers won’t find the Bonanza Cut in the meat department or restaurants yet. It will be up to the meat producers, such as JBS who funded de Mello’s research, to make the cut available.

Press release

Featured Links



IFT Company News

Pinnacle Foods appoints Allen EVP, president of Boulder
Pinnacle Foods has announced the appointment of Michael E. Allen, food industry veteran with experience leading health and wellness brands, to the position of executive vice president and president, Boulder, effective Sept. 19, 2016. Allen will report to Mark Clouse, CEO, and replace Phil Anson, interim Boulder general manager and founder of EVOL frozen foods. In his new role, Allen will have full responsibility for the company’s Boulder segment.

Allen has 20 years of experience in the food industry, including focus in the natural, organic, and health-forward channels on brands such as Kashi and Morningstar Farms. He joins Pinnacle from Kellogg where he most recently held the role of president of the morning foods division. Prior to that, he served as Kellogg’s president of the frozen foods division from 2009 to 2013. Allen joined Kellogg in 1997 and progressed through various leadership roles in marketing, innovation, and general management.

Press release

Walmart brands ugly fruit to prevent food waste
To help combat food waste, Walmart has launched I’m Perfect branded apples from Washington. These apples have exterior bruising and bumps due to weather damage, but their texture and flavor remain unaffected. Their damaged appearance means that they are unsellable in the fresh market because they fail to meet traditional grade standards. The apples will eventually be available in 12 varieties from Granny Smith to Red Delicious, but for now, they are available in about 300 stores in Florida in five-pound bags.

The new branded apples are a result of Walmart working with its suppliers to build the infrastructure and processes to sell the slightly damaged fruit. “Because ugly produce can occur unexpectedly in any growing season or crop, we want to have the systems in place to offer this type of produce whenever it may occur,” said Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president of global food sourcing, produce and floral, Walmart U.S. “The I’m Perfect product is just one example of the ways we are aiming to reduce food waste, supporting growers, and providing value to our customers.”

Press release

Nestlé Nespresso launches post-conflict project in Colombia
Following the peace agreement in Colombia, Nestlé Nespresso will launch a coffee from Caquetá, a region heavily affected by the conflict, as a first step in its commitment to working in areas where 50 years of internal conflict has taken place. The company’s goal is to facilitate the return of farmers who were displaced in order to support their transition into a sustainable means of income and improved livelihoods.

In partnership with the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC), which represents Colombian farmers, Nespresso will first work with smallholders in Caquetá and subsequently several other regions to help them to develop their coffee farms and strengthen production of coffee as they work towards the revival of high quality coffee in the regions.

To achieve this, Nespresso will introduce its AAA Program, which already includes more than 40,000 farmers in Colombia, into these regions. Working together, agronomists and the farmers look at the best growing and management practices for their crops, including technical assistance in agricultural practices to ensure quality. Through their participation in the AAA Program, the farmers are able to improve their coffee quality and achieve better productivity and standards in environmental and social welfare.

The Grand Cru Nespresso coffee from Caquetá, Aurora de la Paz, will initially be introduced as a limited edition variety later this year.

Press release

Mondelēz expands Cocoa Life in Indonesia
Mondelēz International has completed the first phase of its new partnerships with Swisscontact, Cargill, and Wahana Visi Indonesia to expand its Cocoa Life program in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. With the help of Swisscontact, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), the program aims to develop sustainable livelihoods for cocoa-farming communities.

In the first phase, Cocoa Life communities developed Community Action Plans (CAPs) and formed Community Development Committees with representatives from all relevant groups in the community, such as youth and women. The committees will implement the CAPs, which feed into village plans, helping communities receive regional government funding and support.

Swisscontact is working with partners Wahana Visi Indonesia and Cargill on a three-year program to reach 6,000 cocoa farmers and at least 16,000 community members in Southeast Sulawesi. The collaboration with Cargill as supply chain partner focuses on improving good agricultural and environmental practices as part of the farming and environment focus areas in the Cocoa Life program.

Cocoa Life aims to reach more than 200,000 farmers across six countries, benefiting more than a million people. Mondelēz International’s ultimate goal is to sustainably source all the company’s cocoa supply, mainly via Cocoa Life.

Press release

The Sugar Association speaks out against AHA added sugar limits
Last week the American Heart Association (AHA) announced new standards for how much added sugar children should consume a day. The group decided that children aged 2–18 should eat or drink less than six teaspoons (25 g) of added sugars daily, and that children younger than the age of 2 shouldn’t consume added sugars at all. While some groups, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, have supported the limitations, The Sugar Association believes the AHA standard contradicts recommendations from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The group released the following statement on its website: “The release of the AHA’s Scientific Statement on added sugars and kids is baffling. In a year where both the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (ages 2 years and up) and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final labeling rule (ages 4 years and up) issued a 10% target for added sugars in an effort to provide Americans a tool to help build a healthy diet, the AHA is releasing their own vastly different recommendations. The AHA is recommending six teaspoons of added sugars for an active 16–18-year-old boy—this is just 3% of his calories. Where is the science to support this?”

The Sugar Association statement

Coca-Cola meets 2020 water replenishment goal
Five years ahead of schedule, Coca-Cola and its global bottling partners (the Coca-Cola system) have met their goal to replenish, or in other words offset, the equivalent amount of water used in their global sales volume back to nature and communities. Based on a global water use assessment validated by LimnoTech and Deloitte, and conducted in association with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Coca-Cola system returned an estimated 191.9 billion liters of water to nature and communities in 2015 through community water projects, equaling the equivalent of 115% of the water used in Coca-Cola’s beverages last year.

The company originally announced its water replenishment goal in 2007 following a campaign by anti-poverty group War on Want claiming that Coca-Cola had exacerbated water shortages and contaminated local water supplies in communities around the world, particularly in India.

The company and its partners met the replenishment goal through 248 community water partnership projects in 71 countries. Some replenish projects directly return water to the source while others are outside the watershed the plant uses but are important to help meet needs of local governments, communities, and partners where there is a pressing need. Coca-Cola and its partners seek projects that have a direct benefit, can be scaled up to have greater impact by reaching more people and parts of an ecosystem, are easy to learn from and replicate in other places where the challenges are similar, and can be built to be sustainable by the community over time, continuing to replenish water. These efforts, as well as new projects, frequently address local source water vulnerabilities and balance additional sales volume as Coca-Cola’s business continues to grow.

In addition, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners have improved water use efficiency by 2.5% from 2014 to 2015, adding to a cumulative 27% improvement since 2004.

“Now, every time a consumer drinks a Coca-Cola product, they can have confidence that our company and bottling partners are committed to responsible water use today and tomorrow,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola. “We are keenly aware that our water stewardship work is unfinished and remain focused on exploring next steps to advance our water programs and performance.”

Press release

Roquette joins sweetener consortium
Roquette, a manufacturer of specialty food ingredients from plant-based raw materials, has partnered with the Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG (BRAIN) and its subsidiary, natural products company AnalytiCon Discovery to form a consortium by the name Dolce. The partners will jointly develop natural sweeteners and sweet taste enhancers with the goal to achieve sugar and calorie reduction in a variety of food and beverages.

Roquette will benefit from the proprietary BRAIN screening technology and AnalytiCon’s access to a variety of all-natural ingredients with a particular focus on edible plant material. Roquette’s role will be to lead late stage development, production, and supply of the compounds to different markets and application fields. The Dolce alliance will help to bridge the gap between the discovery and development (BRAIN and AnalytiCon), formulation and production (Roquette), and marketing and sales of novel sweet innovations into different food and beverages segments, creating new opportunities for consumer product goods companies in different fields.

“In the field of food and beverages, there is a high demand for natural sweet solutions, which help to make food formulations lower in calories,” said Thierry Marcel, executive vice president of R&D at Roquette. “We are convinced that this Dolce consortium will be a reference in the development of new sweetening solutions and will address a formidable and presently unmet market need for all natural sweetening alternatives.”

Press release

IFT Regulatory News

Jeni’s receives FDA warning letter for Listeria presence
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent a warning letter to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams informing the company it found a dangerous form of Listeria in the ice cream manufacturer’s Columbus, Ohio, plant during inspections earlier this year. Regulators also found “significant” violations of good manufacturing practices spelled out in federal regulations.
 
An inspection in 2015 in the same Columbus plant turned up 20 samples positive for Listeria, after which the company closed its retail stores and voluntarily pulled its frozen-dessert products from supermarkets. According to the FDA’s August 2016 warning letter, the Listeria strain found earlier this year matches the one discovered in the plant and the company’s ice cream last year, indicating the pathogen has been present in the facility since 2015. The​ FDA said its findings indicate the company’s sanitation procedures historically have been insufficient “to control, reduce, or eliminate” Listeria from its facility.

The warning letter highlighted other violations that could lead to food contamination. For example, the FDA said that while bases for Buttermilk Yogurt, Brambleberry Crisp, and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso were being made, a dust-like substance was present on the fan of a cooling unit mounted in a room where containers and utensils are washed and stored.

In response to the warning letter, Jeni’s published a blog post written by Mary Kamm, quality leader, John Lowe, CEO, and Jeni Britton Bauer, company founder. In the post they stated that “Listeria is so widespread in the natural world, it will inevitably find its way into otherwise clean environments.”

After explaining that the company is now aggressively searching for Listeria in its plants and tests every batch it produces, they concluded: “As a result of our sanitation and other food safety procedures, our environmental testing program and our test-and-hold procedures, we can assure everyone that the food we produce is absolutely 100% safe. Beyond that, we want to clarify that the periodic detection of Listeria on non-food contact surfaces is not in any way abnormal in the industry or indicative of an ‘outbreak’ of Listeria.”

Jeni’s must take “prompt action” to address all violations noted in the warning letter. The FDA said that if the company fails to do so, it could result in further enforcement actions, such as seizure or injunction.

FDA warning letter

Jeni’s statement

IFT’s May 2015 ePerspective post

China approves Senomyx flavor ingredients
The Food and Drug Administration of the People’s Republic of China has approved the use of Senomyx’s flavor ingredients Sweetmyx SR96 (S9632) and Bittermyx BB68 (S6821). This regulatory approval allows Senomyx to pursue commercialization of these flavor ingredients in China in a range of foods and beverages.

Sweetmyx SR96 is used to boost the sweet taste of products allowing food and beverage companies to reduce sugar while maintaining the same taste to create lower calorie offerings. Bittermyx BB68 is used to reduce the bitterness of certain ingredients and can be used to reduce bitter taste associated with hydrolyzed soy and whey proteins, menthol, caffeine, cocoa, and rebaudioside A (stevia) for use in food, beverage, and oral care products.

Press release

Country Fresh recalls fresh-cut veggie products due to Listeria risk
Country Fresh, Conroe, Texas, is recalling 30,000 cases of various fresh-cut vegetable products, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products were shipped to retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia under the Country Fresh and various store brand labels.

The products bear “best used by” dates of Aug. 7, 2016 through Aug. 19, 2016. The products are either in clear plastic clamshell containers or in Styrofoam trays overwrapped with clear plastic film. No other products are being recalled and no illnesses have been confirmed.

The potential for contamination was uncovered as the result of a single routine sample taken at a retail store by the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture, which revealed the finished product tested positive for the bacteria. The company has ceased distribution of the affected product as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Country Fresh continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

Press release

IFT IFT & Meeting News

IFT leadership nominations now open
As a member of IFT, we’re looking to you to help create the future of our organization by nominating yourself or a colleague for IFT President-Elect or the IFT Board of Directors. Learn more about board responsibilities and the nomination process by reviewing the Candidate Guide. The deadline to submit your nominations is Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Kate Dockins, staff liaison for the Nominations & Elections Committee, at mkdockins@ift.org.

New deadlines—IFT17 Call for Proposals
Do you have a topic you’d like to propose as a session or a presentation at IFT17? Start your session or presentation proposal now to be considered for IFT17. Session and presentations proposals, as well as New Products & Technologies proposals are due Oct. 3, 2016. Technical Research Papers (printed poster and ePoster abstracts) are due Dec. 16, 2016. Don’t delay, the deadlines are much earlier this year! Visit the IFT17 Call for Proposals page for full details including instructions on how to submit.

IFT16 sessions and ePosters now available online
Now you, too, can take advantage of the new trends, developments, and applications insights shared by industry experts at IFT16 by accessing the IFT16 Session Catalog and ePosters. The Session Catalog contains more than 100 session audio recordings synced with presentation slides and PDFs of presenter handouts (for sessions which presenters gave permission to record audio and share handouts). It’s a convenient way to capitalize on the valuable content shared at the event. Purchase the catalog in its entirety, or simply purchase sessions by track. ePosters are available for separate purchase as well.

Did you attend IFT16 as a Total Access registrant? If so, you have free access to all of the recorded sessions and ePosters from IFT16 through June 2017. Use the access code from the email you received from IFT on August 29 to access the Session Catalog.

Last chance to earn your Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential in 2016
The deadline to apply to take the CFS exam in the final 2016 testing window is October 3! Apply today! Then register for the CFS Prep Course to get prepared. The online course leads you through a “boot camp” designed to help you prepare for the exam. 

Volunteer to Review IFT17 Session Proposals
If you haven’t already, sign up today to become a session proposal reviewer for IFT17! You may select which track you’d like to review based on your area of expertise. Volunteer today and be a part of this very important process of helping select sessions for presentation at IFT17. You must be a current IFT member to apply.

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