Saccharin warning label removed
Manufacturers no longer need to include a warning label on products containing saccharin.

President Clinton recently signed legislation to remove the warning label that had been required on saccharin-sweetened foods and beverages since 1977. Before the president signed it into law, Congress passed the Saccharin Warning Elimination via Environmental Testing Employing Science and Technology Act, as part of a Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill. Rep. Joe Knollenberg (RMI), who sponsored the bill, said he is confident that the results of more than two decades of scientific research into the subject prove that saccharine is safe.

The sweetener is no longer on the federal government’s National Toxicology Program’s Ninth Report on Carcinogens. By removing saccharin from its list, the NTP acknowledged the safety of saccharin, the congressman said.

Tyson Foods buys IBP
Tyson Foods Inc. reached a deal to buy meat processor IBP Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash and stock.

Tyson beat out Smithfield Foods, which was also interested in IBP. The deal could triple Tyson’s annual sales, bringing them to an estimated $24 million, Tyson spokesmen said. Tyson will also assume $1.5 billion in debt.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and should be finalized during the first quarter of the year, Tyson spokesman John Lea said.

PepsiCo to acquire Quaker Oats
PepsiCo Inc., headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., will buy Chicago-based Quaker Oats Co. in a $13.4 billion stock deal.

The acquisition will give PepsiCo, the world’s No. 2 beverage company, Quaker’s Gatorade beverage line. The combined company could have a market value of more than $80 billion, placing it among the world’s five largest consumer products companies.

Milk next on Coke’s menu
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Coca-Cola Co. plans to market milk drinks for children younger than 12 years old next year. The company has dubbed its new enterprise “Project Mother.” The newspaper said Coke plans to test more than five types of milk-based products, according to Victoria Reid, the company’s head of innovations directed at kids.

Consumers confident in FDA
A recent University of Michigan survey showed consumer satisfaction with the United States Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to ensure food safety remained high for the second year in a row.

Consumers expressed satisfaction with the FDA’s performance in food labeling and consumer alerts on food safety issues, the study showed. Although consumer satisfaction was high overall, the study showed there is some concern that the agency should make a greater effort to educate the public on its role in food safety.

ACH Food Companies, Inc
. acquired the Commercial Shortening and Oil Products business from Procter & Gamble Company. It marked ACH’s 14th and largest acquisition in less than five years. ACH acquired the patents, trademarks, product formulations, advertising rights, customer lists and inventory associated with the business. In other ACH news, its Humko Oil Products division entered into a long-term supply agreement with Archer Daniels Midland Company. ADM’s fully integrated soybean crushing and refining capabilities will supply ACH’s Champaign, Ill., plant with liquid soybean, corn, and other vegetable oil needs. Formerly known as AC Humko Corp., ACH markets a range of products to the retail grocery, foodservice, and food processor industries.

Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. expanded its presence in South America by purchasing a stake in Chile’s leading brewery. Anheuser-Busch bought a 14 percent share of Compania Cervecerias Unidas S.A. for $224 million. The company operates primarily in Chile and Argentina, and holds 90 percent of Chile’s domestic beer market. The two brewers have been partners for five years in Argentina, where Anheuser-Busch holds an 11 percent share of CCU’s Argentine beer subsidiary. The company also brews and sells Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser brand in Argentina, and exports it to Chile and Paraguay.

Ashland Distribution Company’s Fine Ingredients Division opened a new 29,000-square-foot customized blending, quality control, and warehouse facility in LaMirada, Calif. The new facility will allow the company to shorten the lead time for developing and producing its blends. The new site will support the company’s Ashland Nutritional Products business unit. The company provides more than 1,500 individual ingredients to the food and beverage and the nutrition and health industries.

Swiss-based Bühler Technology Group acquired Gebr. Bindler & Co. KG in Bergneustadt, Germany, to form the Bühler Bindler GmbH. The company will focus on the manufacture and supply of machines and equipment for the chocolate industry. Bühler provides production systems, engineering solutions, and associated services in food processing, chemical process engineering, and die casting.

Cargill and SunPure formed an alliance to combine their North American citrus-processing businesses. The new limited partnership between the two companies is called Cargill Citro Pure. The alliance created the largest non-branded citrus processor in North America. This marks the second time the companies have formed an alliance this year. Earlier, they formed Cargill SunPure Natural Cloud LLC, which manufactures and markets a functional beverage ingredient made from citrus peel. The Natural Cloud venture will combine with Cargill Citro Pure. Cargill is an international marketer, processor, and distributor of agricultural, food, financial, and industrial products and services. SunPure is a fully integrated citrus company including growing, processing, and flavor capabilities.

Dragoco Gerberding and Co. AG opened a new R&D and production center in Shanghai, China. The new 12,000-square-foot facility will compliment the company’s existing China offices in Beijing, Cheng-du, and Guangzhou. Based in Holzminden, Germany, Dragoco produces flavors and fragrances internationally.

The Plano, Tex., based Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. acquired the assets of the Slush Puppie Corporation, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, for $16.6 million. Slush Puppie manufactures frozen, non-carbonated beverages primarily sold as self-serve fountain products, in addition to frozen cocktails served in restaurants and bars. The company also provides frozen slush-making equipment, point-of-sale materials, and support services.

McCormick Research & Development opened a new Culinary Center in Hunt Valley, Md. The company’s creative technical talents will use the center to work with customers to develop new product innovations and solutions by combining the passion of culinary art with the science of food technology. McCormick & Co., Inc. produces spices, seasonings, flavorings, and specialty foods world wide.

Seneca Foods Corporation converted its Newark, N.Y., vegetable canning facility into a warehouse. Employees of the facility were offered other employment within Seneca. The company processes vegetables, both canned and frozen, for a number of labels.

Sensient Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., halted negotiations with Paris-based Lesaffre et Compagnie for the sale of its Red Star Yeast division. The companies signed a Letter of Intent in August, but could not agree on purchase terms. Sensient, formerly known as Universal Foods Corporation, produces colors, flavors, and fragrances for a number of industries, including the food and beverage industry.

The World of Food Science
A new online magazine for the international community of food scientists and technologists.

online @ 

Assistant Editor