Sara Langen

Silliker introduces new GMO services
Silliker Laboratories Group, Inc., Homewood, Ill., announced the introduction of a new Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Integrity Program in North America and Europe at the 2001 IFT Annual Meeting & IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, La.

The program helps companies ensure the integrity of their products by offering real-time PCR testing for GMOs, educational consultations, and audits. The company has licensed technology from the Danone Group, an international food company. Danone’s biotechnology lab developed a specialized method with increased sensitivity. In addition, Danone conducted extensive validation tests on numerous products with difficult matrices like chocolate, beer, and baby foods. Silliker’s facility in Cergy, France, is already established to do the GMO testing, while a new laboratory under construction in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will also conduct testing when it opens in October 2001.

As part of the program, Silliker is offering consultation on GMO food testing. These consultation meetings help familiarize companies with all the different legal and scientific issues related to GMOs. Guidance is also provided on how companies can prevent potential contamination in their products and processes.

Real-time PCR testing for GMOs provides both screening and quantitative results. Depending on the food matrix, the screening method and the quantitative method can provide detection limits as low as 0.001% and 0.01%, respectively. The more specific quantitative method, most commonly applied to soy and corn, provides processors with the necessary data to meet current global regulations.

According to a recent report published by Strategic Consulting Inc., the demand for GMO testing is expected to increase significantly during the next few years to keep pace with the anticipated explosion of GM crops. The report states that roughly 43 million hectares of crops were planted worldwide in 2000 and predicts that it will almost double to 85 million hectares in 2005.

Fortitech nutrient systems to feature vitamins from BASF
Fortitech Inc. and BASF Corp. announced a strategic alliance at the 2001 IFT Annual Meeting & IFT Food Expo.

According to the agreement, BASF—a manufacturer of a full line of vitamins and carotenoids—will supply its ingredients for use in Fortitech’s custom blended nutrient premixes. The alliance is expected to give customers’ products a boost with Fortitech’s BASF-enhanced custom nutrient systems.

The new alliance provides a variety of additional benefits for customers, including a guaranteed and consistent supply of high-demand nutrients; a commitment to research that makes possible new products and applications; and significant savings with nutrient systems, strengthened by cost-effective supply capacities.

Product lines will be marketed using Fortitech’s product development expertise, now enhanced by BASF’s $600 million commitment to nutrient manufacturing and research and development. Fortitech’s custom-designed premixes may be used in baby formulas, beverages, energy bars, and a wide range of other fortified foods.

More than 12,000 nutrient blends have been developed by the company. Premixes save on labor, equipment, inventory, and quality control costs.

Fortitech is based in Schenectady, N.Y., and BASF is located in Mount Olive, N.J.

McCormick to partner for consumer study
The Flavor Division of McCormick & Co., Inc. announced at the 2001 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo that it is forming a partnership with Understanding & Insight Group and Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. for research on understanding what consumers crave.

Crave It! is a study designed to identify the elements of a consumer’s food consumption experience that results in making the consumer crave a product. Twenty categories of products will be explored, including beverages and other food products.

The research will be conducted by Moskowitz Jacobs and the Understanding & Insight Group and reviewed in partnership with McCormick. Final summaries will become available in the fall of 2001, but visit for continued updates on the research.

Frigidaire appliances to feature AK Steel antimicrobial-coated stainless steels
At the 2001 IFT Annual Meeting & IFT Food Expo, AK Steel Corp. announced an agreement with Electrolux Home Products whereby its Frigidaire brand will market a full line of appliances utilizing AK Steel’s AgION antimicrobial-coated stainless steels.

“These steels are coated with an advanced inorganic antimicrobial,” said Michael T. Adams, vice president, commercial for AK Steel. “The antimicrobial compound inhibits the growth of a broad array of microorganisms and will bring an added measure of cleanliness to consumer appliances.”

In addition to controlling the growth and spread of a broad range of microorganisms, the antimicrobial-coated steel is fingerprint resistant.

As part of the agreement, Electrolux will supply Frigidaire stainless-steel appliances to Camino de Robles, AK Steel’s concept home under construction in Santa Susana Knolls, Calif., to illustrate the benefits of antimicrobial-coated steel.

The AgION antimicrobial compound is an inorganic material that contains silver, a safe and natural antimicrobial agent. The silver zeolite is long lasting and durable when applied to AK Steel flat-rolled products. Silver zeolite acts as an ion pump, providing controlled release of silver ions in the presence of moisture. This ion release inhibits the growth and multiplication of destructive microbes.

The Food and Drug Administration has recognized the AgION antimicrobial compound as an acceptable additive in all food contact polymers, and the National Sanitation Foundation has certified the compound for food contact and food-zone applications. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency has registered the use of the AgION compound as an antimicrobial agent which can resist the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning components.

The AgION compound maintains its effectiveness over a range of temperatures and pH values, thereby permitting use in a variety of coatings that can be tailored to specific applications.

Givaudan to launch new business initiative
Leading flavor and fragrance company Givaudan is launching an online business initiative called GivaudanAccess, focused on servicing small to mid-size companies in all aspects of product development.

An extension of Givaudan’s core flavor and fragrance business, it will operate under the direction of Executive Vice President Bruce Bachmeier as a self-contained unit dedicated to the small and mid-tier food and fragrance companies. The company, located in Parsippany, N.J., is currently conducting beta testing of the system among 100 customers.

Bachmeier said in an interview yesterday that GivaudanAccess features a comprehensive catalog of more than 2,000 standardized flavors and fragrances which have been extensively tested in actual product applications. The Web-based system was developed in response to customers’ desires for breadth of offerings, service, and competitive pricing. Improvements in technology and supply-chain efficiencies, especially those in robotics, Bachmeier said, make the online initative possible.

After registering online at, the user can search the catalog via the SensorySearch™ search engine. It allows the user to specify the desired flavor or fragrance descriptor (e.g., mango flavor), product segment and subsegment (e.g., beverages, tea), and price level, then presents the user with a complete product description, as well as information on regulatory requirements, material safety data sheets, and other pertinent information. Although the products available are standardized, the company also provides for some customer modifications on request. The user can order a sample online, and the company promises to deliver the sample within 24 hr.

The program also maintains a personal history for each user, describing the user’s past ordering information and interest in particular flavors, allowing for examination of trends. It also features a link to Givaudan’s Customer Care Center, which provides answers to frequently asked questions, as well as a glossary of terms and a button to send e-mail for further help.

Bachmeier estimates that there are about 25,000 potential customers in North America for flavors and fragrances (about 15,000 for flavors), and about 40,000 in Europe. Givaudan plans to launch the system in North America (the United States and Canada) in mid-July, in Europe in November–December, and in Asia/Pacific and South America in late 2002.

Free trial of new index available
The Food & Nutrition Internet Index (FNII) is a Web site designed to help food technologists find food information on the Internet.

It contains 2,300 fully searchable summaries of the most important food and nutrition resources available on the Web. Attendees of the 2001 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo had the opportunity to try the FNII for free.

IFIS Publishing is currently redeveloping the Web site to include it in the new food science portal Food Science Central (, to be launched in October 2001. This portal is designed to fulfill the information needs of the food science, food technology, and food and nutrition communities. For more information on Food Science Central, see the article in the Associations News section of this issue.

At the 2001 IFT Annual Meeting & IFT Food Expo held in New Orleans, La., June 23–27, 2001, a number of companies issued announcements on new developments. Here are some of those announcements in brief.

AppliedSensor unveiled a new data processing algorithm for sensor system at the Expo. The patent-pending data processing algorithm—Optimal Discriminative Projection (ODP)—solves the dimension reduction problem present in gas sensor systems. This is achieved by reducing the dimensionality or number of variables that is associated with various sensor systems in multiple classes of data.

Armfield Limited introduced a 6000-Watt microwave UHT/HTST unit which can raise product temperature from ambient to 140 degrees Celsius in under a second. The FT84 unit is for very rapid heating of small quantities of viscous, non-viscous, and even non-homogeneous products.

DairyChem Laboratories, Inc. announced it will relocate its corporate headquarters to its recently completed facility in Fishers, Ind. The new facility advances the company’s research and development capabilities, as well as increases its warehouse and distribution space. The new address is 9120 Technology Drive, Fishers, IN 46038 (Phone 317-849-8400).

David Michael & Co., Inc., supplier of flavors, stabilizers, and natural vegetable extracts for the food and beverage industry, has signed a joint venture agreement with Aromatics S.A.S. of France.

D.D. Williamson, a Louisville, Kybased caramel color manufacturer, announced that it will now accept customers’ payments through Visa and MasterCard. Although this practice is frequent among vendors of office supplies, industrial parts, and durable goods, D.D. Williamson is believed to be among the first ingredient manufacturers to offer this financial service. By streamlining the purchase order process, the card option eliminates the time and paperwork needed for requisitions and invoice processing.

FlavourtechAmericas, Inc. announced new applications for its Spinning Cone Column. They include instant coffee, iced tea, dairy products, and fruit and vegetable concentrates and purees. The column captures natural flavors at high speeds and low temperatures and has been shown to retain natural aroma/flavor volatiles which are lost by other processing methods.

Generichem Corp. supplies minerals in various salts. Available are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and copper. Carbonates, oxides, citrates, gluconates, lactates, and sulfates are just a few of the forms in stock. Trace minerals and custom formulations are also available.

Gene-Trak Systems introduced a new rapid system for the detection of in food. The SequepointSalmonella utilizes DNA hybridization technology in a microtiter format that can be used manually or with an automated processor.

Givaudan’s Virtual Aroma Synthesizer (VASTM) technology won “Technological Breakthrough of the Year” at the 29th Annual Fragrance Foundation Awards on June 5, 2001. The computer-based system allows flavorists and perfumers to create flavors and fragrances in real time with a customer according to the customer’s exact specifications. The system provides real-time aroma evaluation of ingredient blends by combining precision instrumentation with human sensory evaluation. It produces vapors from up to 20 ingredients, which are then mixed together and delivered to the user via aroma.

Jones-Hamilton Co. announced a new acidulant for the food industry, sodium acid sulfate. This new acidulant has many potential applications. Its chemical characteristics are that of a medium-strength acid, and its flavor profile indicates a clean, smooth tartness.

Kemin Foods announced that its FloraGLO brand purified lutein achieved GRAS status, the first and only lutein to do so. The product is an eye-protective nutrient.

Primex Ingredients ASA of Norway announced Generally Recognized AS Safe (GRAS) self-affirmed status for ChitoClear chitosan. The FDA-regulated GRAS status permits Primex’s commercialization of ChitoClear for use in foods and beverages in the United States. Chitosan helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and inhibits fat digestion.

RQA, Inc. announced the creation of Product Dynamics, a Division of RQA. The strategic expansion brings together the critical components of global reach and more than two decades of experience in the area of Product Development and Sensory Services.

Tate & Lyle showcased its new Mira-Sperse® modified food starch at the IFT Food Expo. The Mira-Sperse 623, 626, and 629 starches are agglomerated waxy starches that may be used in low-sugar systems when dispersion would otherwise be difficult. It is a product of the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co., which is part of the Tate & Lyle Group.

Wacker Biochem Corp. and Omega Protein Inc. have joined forces to market and sell stabilized GRAS Menhaden fish oil powder in the United States under the name of OmegaDry. Menhaden fish oil is a significant source for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Wacker has developed a technology to produce fish oil in powder form using gamma cyclodextrin as a new alternative to microencapsulation. The cyclodextrin stabilizes the oil against oxidation and heat, but unlike microencapsulation no shear force can destroy the complexes. Omega Protein manufactures refined Menhaden fish oil for the food industry.

The American Candy Co. recently announced three promotions. Georgia Bobo was promoted from Assistant Vice President of Human Resources to Vice President of Human Resources. She joined the company in 1984. Her responsibilities include all functions of human resources, health and safety, and security for the Selma, Ala., facilities, as well as the Bradley Candy Division in Lebanon, Tenn. The company promoted Naren Shah from Director of Quality Assurance to Vice President of Technical Services. His responsibilities will include quality assurance, research and development, sanitation, and regulatory affairs for the Selma facilities, as well as the Bradley Candy Division. He joined the company in 1995 and has 33 years experience in the confectionery industry. The company also promoted Steve Arnold from National Sales Manager to Director of Sales. He joined the company in 1999 and has over 20 years experience in sales. In his new position, he will continue to provide leadership to the regional sales managers, as well as undertake responsibilities for the company’s export business, including customer relations and licensing. Based in Selma, Ala., American Candy produces confectionary products.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. Corporate Vice President and Director of Corporate Security and Services Mark J. Cheviron was named to serve on the U.S. Dept. of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council. He has been with ADM since 1980 and currently oversees security issues at ADM’s 1,100 business locations in 60 countries. In other ADM news, the company named Marc A. Sanner Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Planning. He joined ADM in 1987 and has held various positions in the company’s tax and accounting groups. Based in Decatur, Ill., ADM is involved in agricultural processing worldwide.

Chiquita Brands, Inc. promoted David A. Sackett to Director of Sales, North America, Processed Fruit Ingredients Division. He will be responsible for all sales and marketing for the division’s North American operations. A graduate of Indiana University, he joined Chiquita in 1996 as Sales Manager. Prior to that, he held numerous sales and marketing positions at Chep USA and Ryder Logistics. Based in Chicago, Ill., Chiquita markets tropical fruits.

Dean Foods Co. announced the retirement of George Muck, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Research Development as of August 1, 2001. He will continue to provide consulting support to the company in matters of food safety, food research, and FDA and dairy industry relations. He has worked for the company for more than 38 years. The company also announced the appointment of Tom Gruetzmacher to replace Muck. His title will be Director, Research and Development and Quality Assurance. He has been with the company for 24 years, most recently as Associate Director of Research at the Rockford Technical Center. Based in Franklin Park, Ill., Dean Foods processes and distributes dairy and other food products.

In Memoriam
Watson B. Smith, Emeritus Member, died February 8, 2001, at the age of 79.

Smith attended Cornell University, where he earned a degree in Entomology. He worked at Borden Inc. for 39 years in several research and development capacities, including providing technical services to the company’s International Division. An accomplished horticulturalist, he served as Superintendent of the New York State Fair Flower Exhibition for 27 years.

In addition to being a founder of the Central New York Section, which recently merged with Western New York, Watson served as an officer of the section and IFT Councilor for many years.

Assistant Editor