Sara Langen

INDUSTRY NEWS
Predictive microbiology database launched
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture collaborated with the U.K. Food Standards Agency to create an online database that contains the results of 20 years of experiments on the behavior of bacteria in foods.

The database, ComBase, was launched in June at the fourth International Conference for the Predictive Modelling of Foods in Quimper, France. According to the project organizers, the database already contains around 20,000 growth and survival curves and 8,000 records containing growth rates.

To access the database, visit www.ifr.ac.uk/combase/.

America’s Second Harvest to expand nutrition programs
Thanks to a $200,000 donation from Cargill Inc., America’s Second Harvest plans to make a number of improvements to its programs, including launching a new Nutrition Initiative Network.

Half of the grant will fund the hunger-relief organization’s Nutrition Initiative, which will include “Day of Nutrition” events at local affiliates where nutritionists will provide technical assistance, food safety demonstrations, nutritious cooking and meal planning, and cooking demonstrations. The program also involves the infusion of produce, seafood, and protein items into the organization’s national distribution network.

The rest of the grant will help the organization increase the capacity of its food-preparation programs, including its Community Kitchens® and Kid Cafes®, a nutritious after-school feeding program. The grant will also be used to fund food safety training programs.

America’s Second Harvest, based in Chicago, Ill., is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country, with a national network of more than 200 regional food banks and food-rescue programs serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico. It distributes 1.4 billion lb of food and grocery products annually.

Cargill, based in Minneapolis, Minn., markets, processes, and distributes agricultural, food, financial, and industrial products.

Food journal debuts
Food industry academics and professionals have a new scientific journal to peruse.

Publisher World Food RD Ltd. and the International Society for Food, Agriculture, and Environment (ISFAE) have launched the Journal of Food, Agriculture, and Environment, available in both print and online versions.

The publication features peer-reviewed original research, critical reviews, and short communications on food science and technology, agriculture, animal science, and human nutrition, with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of food, agriculture, and the environment. It publishes news and information about advances in science and technology and their applications in making better use of the environment and its resource products. It also considers a limited number of relevant scholarly manuscripts addressing ethical and socioeconomic issues related to modern agricultural and environmental sciences.

The journal’s editorial office is based in Helsinki, Finland. For more information, visit www.world-food.net/scientjourn.php.

ISFAE, also based in Helsinki, is a nonprofit association that disseminates news and information about and promotes science, development, and technology worldwide.

New food pyramid brochure introduced
Food retailers have joined in an effort to help educate American consumers about the importance of a balanced diet to a healthy lifestyle.

Members of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the International Food Information Council, and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture released a new brochure, The Food Guide Pyramid . . . Basic Maintenance For Your Body, in June. The publication offers a unique approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle by helping consumers personalize the Food Guide Pyramid to their own specific needs.

The brochure offers practical guidelines for a healthy diet by including examples of what consumers eat and addressing important dietary considerations such as portion sizes and the nutrition content of carryout and restaurant meals. Consumers can use the guidelines to plan healthier meals for themselves and their families. It offers reasonable and manageable actions that any consumer can work into their own daily routine to increase the quality and enjoyment of the foods they are eating and the activities they are performing. A sample menu is also provided, bringing the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations to life.

Brochures can be purchased through the FMI Store at 202-220-0723 or www.fmi.org/pub.

FMI, based in Washington, D.C., conducts programs in research, education, industry relations, and public affairs on behalf of its 2,300 member companies, food retailers and wholesalers.

New Fi Asia 2003 dates announced
Food Ingredients Asia (Fi Asia) organizers have postponed the show until later in the year in response to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak.

Originally planned for September 23–25, 2003, at the Suntec International Conference & Exhibition Center in Singapore, event organizers CMP Information and CMP Asia have rescheduled Fi Asia for December 9–11, 2003. The venue will remain unchanged.

Organizers stated that travel limitations within certain areas of South East Asia due to the SARS outbreak made the decision inevitable. Although there is no longer any negative travel advice about Singapore itself and all quarantine restrictions have been lifted, the organizers felt that September was too soon to hold the exhibition.

For more information on Fi Asia 2003, visit www.fi-events.com. The event’s U.S. and Canadian Pavilions are organized by IFT. For information on the U.S. and Canadian Pavilions, call Jack Cacciabondo at 312-782-8424 or e-mail [email protected].

COMPANY NEWS
Birds Eye Foods Inc., manufacturer and marketer of frozen vegetables and processor of other food products, sold its Veg-All canned vegetable business to Allen Canning Co. of Siloam Springs, Ark., in June. Veg-All has been produced in the company’s Green Bay, Wis., facility, which closed in June. Birds Eye is based in Rochester, N.Y.

Bunge Ltd. will acquire Hindustan Levers’ edible oils and fats businesses based in Bangalore, India. Hindustan Lever is a 51% owned subsidiary of Unilever Plc. Hindustan Lever produces branded hydrogenated vegetable fats marketed under the brand name Dalda and bakery fats marketed under Masterline brands, and distributes its products throughout India. Bunge is based in White Plains, N.Y.

Cargill Inc. held the grand opening of its new Regenasure™ glucosamine plant at its complex in Eddyville, Iowa, in June. The $10-million facility is HACCP/ISO 9002 certified. Glucosamine, a dietary supplement, is used to promote joint health. Cargill’s Regenasure glucosamine is made from a non-shellfish source (corn) and is kosher approved. The product was conceived, developed, and brought to market by the staff at the company’s Eddyville complex and is the first American-produced glucosamine on the market. Cargille is based in Minneapolis, Minn.

Packaged food company ConAgra Foods Inc. sold its chicken business to Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in June. The $590-million deal is part of ConAgra Foods’ plan to reshape its portfolio to focus on its branded and value-added food businesses. The transaction includes all of ConAgra Foods’ fresh chicken business currently reported in the Meat Processing segment, but does not include the Butterball brand or ConAgra Foods’ prepared chicken products sold in retail channels under brands such as Banquet, Healthy Choice, and Marie Callender’s. ConAgra Foods is based in Omaha, Neb. Pilgrim’s Pride is based in Pittsburg, Tex.

Cheese manufacturer Dan Carter Inc. changed its name to DCI Cheese Co. in March. A new logo, tag line, mission statement, and redesigned Web site, www.dcicheeseco.com, were also adopted. The new name reflects the changes that have gone on within the company in the past 10 years and will communicate its identity more effectively. The company’s brands include Black Diamond, Auricchio Americano, Organic Creamery, Salemville, Black River, Great Midwest, and Timber Lake. DCI is based in Mayville, Wis.

Dean Foods Co. agreed to acquire Horizon Organic Holding Corp. in June. Horizon Organic markets certified organic foods in the U.S. and U.K., including milk, dairy products, orange juice, pudding, fruit jels, eggs, yogurt, and butter, under the brand names Horizon Organic, Silk, and Rachel’s Organic. The company will continue to be headquartered in Boulder, Colo. Dean foods is based in Dallas, Tex.

DSM Food Specialties acquired National Starch & Chemical Co.’s Plasticoat® food coating business in July. The business will be integrated into DSM Food Specialties, a business group within the Life Sciences Products cluster. DSM intends to retain the Plasticoat name. The acquisition is designed to complement DSM’s

by SARA LANGEN
Assistant Editor