New center focuses on trigeminal research
Takasago International Corp.’s Flavor Div. in October opened the Takasago USA Sensoral™ Center of Excellence, to study materials that stimulate the trigeminal cavity, part of the human nervous system that enables recognition and identification of sensory proprieties of food components.
Takasago intends to use the center to capitalize on its creation and use of asymmetric aroma chemicals that stimulate various parts of the trigeminal cavity, which comprises nerves originating in the cerebellum and separating into three divisions in the face and oral and nasal cavities.
The new center will house interdisciplinary research efforts to develop flavors that function in heating, cooling, tingling, and masking applications and that can be used for all markets, including oral hygiene, confectionery, beverage, and pharmaceutical segments. Flavor chemists and applications personnel will staff the center.
Companies back taste-receptor research
In an effort to develop healthier foods and beverages that tasteless bitter and use less salt and sugar, Linguagen Corp. announced an expansion of its taste-receptor research, garnered by $10.2 million in new equity financing. Three leading food ingredient companies—Cargill Ventures, Danisco Venture A/S (Danisco A/S), and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.—will provide financial resources for the research, which should enable greater insights into the trends and needs of the food industry. Also participating in the venture are NJTC Venture Fund SBIC LP, Aperture Capital LP, and RK Ventures Group LLC.
Proliant announces new corporate structure
Proliant Inc., manufacturer and marketer of protein products, announced a new corporate structure coinciding with the retirement of Keith A. Barnes as President and CEO of the company. In the reorganization, credited to the company’s expansion during Barnes’ tenure, Proliant’s four divisions will separate to form individual companies.
The four companies and their Presidents and CEOs are: Proliant Dairy Ingredients, headed by Chris Snyder; Proliant Meat Ingredients, headed by Chia-Wei Chang; Proliant Biologicals, headed by Stephen Welch; and Proliant Health Ingredients, headed by Eric Weaver.
Alliance to address dairy industry safety and quality
Silliker Inc. and the International Dairy Foods Association in November formed a strategic alliance to provide technical services to the dairy foods industry, thereby enhancing industry safety and quality standards.
The organizations will produce technical publications, sponsor training programs, and provide testing, consulting, and auditing services on areas ranging from trans fatty acid content to plant security. As part of the alliance, Silliker and IDFA will cosponsor a food security workshop on March 30-31, 2004, in the Chicago area.
First bag-in-box plant in China
Scholle Corp. is continuing its commitment to the Chinese market by opening a new manufacturing and sales office in Suzhou, China, northwest of Shanghai. The plant represents the company’s 12th plant worldwide and is said to be the first bag-in-box manufacturing facility to be located in the People’s Republic of China. Bags manufactured at the Suzhou plant will be used initially for wine, post-mix fountain syrup, dairy products, and processed food applications.
Irish caramel color plant celebrates 25 years
U.S.-based D.D. Williamson celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Little Island Industrial Estate plant in County Cork, Ireland. The plant was the 138-year-old company’s first manufacturing facility outside of North America. Its 25 employees produce caramel color for food and beverage processors in Europe, Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. The company also has manufacturing locations in Puerto Rico, China, Swaziland, and Brazil.
Thinkage, Georgia Tech develop temperature sensor
Researchers at Thinkage, a food venture established by BOC, Murray Hill, N.J., and the Georgia Tech Research Institute are developing a non-contact core-temperature sensor for use in preparing and processing ready-to-eat food products. The new system will use a 3-D stereo imaging system and infrared sensors to measure the core temperature of cooked products. Several temperature measurements of the product are taken during cooking and cooling, and the sensor generates and compares images of the product to determine the maximum temperature, eliminating the need to insert a thermometer in the product to determine the core temperature, oftentimes the source of human error and variation.
Deromedi named CEO of Kraft
The Board of Directors of Kraft Foods, Inc. in December named Roger K. Deromedi as Chief Executive Officer. He recently was Co-CEO of Kraft Foods and President of Kraft Foods International. Betsy D. Holden, formerly Co-CEO of Kraft Foods and President of Kraft Foods North America, will continue with the company in a global leadership position and remain a member of the Board of Directors. Deromedi has had more than 26 years of experience with the company in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill., in October opened its first organic processing plant. The facility, in Enderlin, N.D., produces ADM’s NutriSoy® organic whole soybean powder, using a patent-pending process that yields a microfine soybean powder with a bland flavor, milk-white color, and smooth texture. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Organic Program and the European Economic Community 2092/91 Organic Program have certified the plant; Quality Assurance International has certified the product.
Bunge North America, St. Louis, Mo., announced that its subsidiary, Bunge Foods, will sell its bakery business to Dawn Food Products Inc., Jackson, Mich., for $76 million. Bunge Foods will continue its edible oil processing and packaging business. Included in the sale are bakery mix-related assets in Seattle, Wash., Bradley, Ill., and Modesto, Calif.; frozen bakeries in Mexico, Missouri, and Tustin and Modesto, Calif.; the syrups and toppings plant in Seattle; and the bakery research and development facilities in Seattle and St. Louis.
Chr. Hansen in November opened a larger office in Beijing to handle the rapidly growing Chinese market for dairy cultures. The office has five times the space, room for twice as many employees, and the new product development laboratory called the Application and Technology Center. The company has more than 40% of the market for dairy cultures in China.
Direct sales company The Culinary Palette Ltd., Darien, Ill., celebrated one year of business in November. Using a home-party program, the company markets seasonings, sauce, and bread mixes formulated by food chemist and company owner Tricia Cox-Giron. The company also offers customized product development and bulk product to small processors who purchase less than 5,000 lb/yr.
Flavors of North America (FONA), Carol Stream, Ill., announced the imminent opening of FONA UK Ltd., a commercial office and R&D facility in Surrey, England, housed within the facilities of Leatherhead Food International. Michelle Green, new European Commercial Manager, will oversee completion of office and lab construction and coordinate European manufacturing resources.
Fuji Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., Toyama, Japan, on Sept. 1 acquired Swedish natural astaxanthin manufacturer, BioProcess AB. The acquired company adopted the new name AstaReal AB to reflect a common image with Fuji’s Hawaiian-based subsidiary, the recently renamed BioReal (formerly Micro Gaia), and with Fuji’s Tokyo-based subsidiary, NatuReal. The acquisition adds to Fuji’s base of intellectual property because BioProcess owned the largest number of patents relating to astaxanthin in human and animal health, including areas such as muscle endurance, fertility, and stomach health.
Graceland Fruit Inc., Frankfort, Mich., on Sept. 30 broke ground on a 30,000-sq-ft expansion of its dried fruit processing facility. The $13-million expansion will increase production capacity for the company’s infused dried fruit ingredients and allow the production of new products using some of Michigan’s more than 7,000 acres of sugar beets, cherries, blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables. Expanded operations are expected to begin in September 2004.
Huber Engineered Materials, Atlanta, Ga., a unit of J.M. Huber Corp., on Nov. 1 acquired Micro Powders and Braig Inc. (MPBI), Benicia, Calif. The acquisition will develop Huber’s business in specialty ingredients and functional additives for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets. Huber will combine its specialty engineering practices and surface science research with MPBI’s granulation services to make specialty formulation methodologies for drug and supplement manufacturers. In addition, MPBI’s products, including its calcium carbonate and ground oyster shell powders, will strengthen Huber’s existing line-up of excipients and supplement additives.
Malvern Instruments Ltd., Malvern, U.K., on Oct. 31 acquired Bohlin Instruments Ltd., Cirencester, U.K., a developer and manufacturer of rheometers and viscometers. Malvern develops and manufactures laboratory-based and in-process systems for particle characterization. Richard Hall, Bohlin’s Managing Director, will head the rheology team.
Because expansion of MGP Ingredients Inc.’s Kansas City, Kans., facility is one month ahead of schedule, Randy Schrick, Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering, expects completion of the $3.8-million expansion well ahead of the original March 2004 target. Installation of new equipment and other renovations should enhance production of the company’s lines of Wheatex textured wheat proteins and Polytriticum wheat protein- and starch-based resins that are used in the manufacture of pet chews and other treats. The company is headquartered in Atchison, Kans.
In an overhaul of its global specialty starch supply chain, National Starch and Chemical Co., Bridgewater, N.J., on Nov. 5 announced the closing of its Collingwood, Canada, and Tilbury, U.K., starch manufacturing plants. The company also announced it would complete in 2004 its modification of its factory in Shanghai, China, to serve the emerging Asian market. Also to be modernized are three plants that serve food and industrial starch customers in Indianapolis, Ind.; North Kansas City, Mo.; and Hamburg, Germany.
Sunrich Food Group, Hope, Minn., acquired Dakota Gourmet, Wahpeton, N.D., and SIGCO Sun Products Inc., Breckenridge, Minn., in a move that will enhance Sunrich’s grain-based core competency. Because of the integration of the companies, Sunrich can expand its ingredients and processing expertise—which concentrated on domestically grown edamame (soybeans in the pod), gluten-free veggie burgers, and soymilk—into the sunflower, soy nut, and grain products industries.
SOCIETIES & ASSOCIATIONS
Three inducted into frozen foods hall of fame
The Distinguished Order of Zerocrats, an organization of industry members, in October inducted three industry professionals into its Frozen Food Hall of Fame for their contributions to the frozen food industry. James Biggar was honored for his work at Nestlé USA, where he oversaw significant increases in sales and the introduction of the Lean Cuisine product line; Thomas B. House, former President of the American Frozen Food Institute, was honored for government and industry communications efforts; and Monte Thornton was recognized for his work at Publix Super Markets. The ceremony took place at the 2003 convention of the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association.
Smith reelected to head NFRA board
The National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association re-elected Bob Smith, Division Vice President for Customer Development at Nestlé USA, as its Chairman of the Board, a position he has held since 2002. Prior to that, he served as Director, Secretary, and Chairman-Elect of the association.
CRA honors corn refining research efforts
The Corn Refiners Association in October honored Devon Cameron, Univ. of Arkansas, and Lynda Cabrales, Univ. of Illinois, as winners of the 2003 CRA/American Association of Cereal Chemists’ Outstanding Poster Awards. Cameron researched the use of high-intensity ultrasound to separate starch from degermed yellow corn flour; Cabreles modified the 100-g lab steeping and milling method developed several years ago by fellow researcher Steve Eckhoff. Each honoree displayed outstanding research efforts to understand and improve the corn refining industry.
AACC installs new officials
The American Association of Cereal Chemists at its annual meeting in September installed newly elected officials for 2003–04. George Lookhart, with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, became the new AACC President-Elect. New members of the Board of Directors are Khalil Khan, North Dakota State Univ.; Filip Arnaut, the Puratos Group; Sakharam Patil, retiree of American Maize/Cerestar; and James Dexter, Canadian Grain Commission Grain Research Laboratory.
AACC names 2003 award winners
AACC at its annual meeting in September named the recipients of its 2003 honorary awards. The association gave its highest award, the William F. Geddes Memorial Award, to Fred Hegele of General Mills Inc. He won the award for his exceptional leadership on AACC’s Board of Directors 1999–2000, efforts in drafting the AACC strategic plan, and work on numerous committees.
Alain Buleon of the French National Institute of Agronomic Research received the Alsberg-French-Schoch Lectureship Award sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association to recognize superior contributions to fundamental starch science.
Olin Anderson, Genomics and Gene Discovery Research Unit, USDA/ARS, received the Thomas Burr Osborne Medal to recognize distinguished contributions to cereal chemistry. He was also named an AACC Fellow.
Randy Wehling, Univ. of Nebraska, was given the AACC Excellence in Teaching Award for contributions in teaching cereal science and technology.
Robert Cracknell, AWB Ltd.; Barry McCleary, Megazyme International; and Mark M. Stearns, Interstate Brands Corp., were named AACC Fellows in recognition of their outstanding contributions to cereal science and technology.
ADSA honors UW researcher
The American Dairy Science Association in June awarded the 2003 International Dairy Foods Association Research Award to Sundaram Gunasekaran, Professor of Food and BioProcess Engineering at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Gunasekaran developed the UW Meltmeter, the first significant new objective cheese melt-ability measurement and test procedure developed in the past 25 years, in addition to developing the UW MeltProfiler and related data analysis software. Measurements of cheese melting properties using these approaches have enabled the cheese industry to produce cheese that meets the functionality targets of the foodservice pizza industry.
IDDBA elects 2003–04 officials
The International Dairy·Deli·Bakery Association™ elected Richard Campbell of Schreiber Foods Inc., 2003–04 President, succeeding Scott Hackbarth of Sargento Foods Inc. Other officers elected were Ray Burke, Rich Products Corp., as Executive Vice President; Mary Bentley, General Mills Bakeries & Foodservice, as First Vice President; Dave Peterson, Bel/Kaukauna USA, as Second Vice President; and Mike Learned, Churny Co. Inc., as Treasurer. Elected Board Members with terms expiring in 2006 were: Steve Beekhuizen, Dawn Food Products Inc.; Kathy Brady, Albertsons Inc.; Norma Gilliam, Hubert Co.; Rick Goodman, Smithfield Deli Group; Ray Haefele, Tyson Retail Deli Inc.; Linda Hook, DCI Cheese Co.; Ed Meyer, Schnuck Markets Inc.; Peter Redmond, Wal-Mart Supercenters; and Douglas Wittich, Maplehurst Bakeries Inc.
Serving as members of the Board until 2005 are Bentley; Tom Brewer, Golub Corp./Price Chopper; Burke; Campbell; Mark Clausen, Acosta PMI Inc.; Learned; Dave Leonhardi, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Gregory McAfee, Concept 2 Bakers; and John Sullivan, Norseland Inc.
New Board members with terms expiring in 2004 are Richard Anderson, Land O’Lakes Inc.; Mark Brown, ConAgra Foods Deli Group; Andy Callahan, Churny, Kraft Foods Inc.; Mike Eardley, HEB Grocery Co.; Hackbarth; Lee Ann LaBore, SuperValu Inc.; Greg Lancelot, Tyson Foodservice Deli; Peterson; and Brent Schmiegelow, Sara Lee Deli.
Small named ISSI President
In its first member-wide election for president, the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics in September named Henry Small, Thomson ISI, as President. Approximately 100 members representing more than 25 countries voted in a process that in the past was reserved for ISSI’s Board. Small’s tenure will be four years.
NRA grants four scholarships
In December, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), in conjunction with Product Evaluations Inc., awarded four $2,500 scholarships to students of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC). Recipients Sal Alverado, Brendan Beauregard, Colby Juntugen, and Theresa Smith were recognized as future leaders of the restaurant and foodservice industry.
Gottscho and others honored by PEF
The Packaging Education Forum in October selected 100-year old packaging machinery manufacturer Adolph Gottscho Inc. as Packaging Leader of the Year for 2003–04. PEF recognized Gottscho’s support of college-level packaging education, in particular, its interest in and financial support of the packaging program at Rutgers University. The firm last year pledged $1.5 million to Rutgers for the construction of the Ira Gottscho Packaging Engineering Laboratory, a teaching laboratory.
PEF also inducted Bill Archibald of General Mills Inc., Bill Armstrong of Sealed Air Corp., Richard G. Lee of Econocorp Inc., and Arnie Orloski Jr. of Packaging World Magazine into PEF’s Packaging Hall of Fame.
PFSE appoints Executive Director
The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE), a private coalition of food safety constituent groups, announced the appointment of Shelley Feist as Executive Director. Feist brings 15 years of experience in non-profit associations, including work with government relations, alliance building, issues management, and grant procurement. The Partnership’s aim is to educate consumers about proper food safety handling practices and food security issues. The coalition created the Fight BAC!® campaign.
Bunge Ltd. announced that John E. Klein, President and CEO of Bunge North America, will retire at the end of 2003, after 28 years of service, including 19 as CEO. He will continue to serve Bunge in the capacity of non-executive Chairman of Bunge North America. Carl Hausmann, the current CEO of Bunge Europe, will replace him. Jean-Louis Gourbin, who joins Bunge from the Danone Group, will succeed Hausmann.
Joseph A. Levitt in December retired as Director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and was succeeded by Robert E. Brackett. Levitt’s tenure as Director at CFSAN was marked by productivity increases, as a result of innovative and clear management and a rigorous process for setting and achieving priorities, according to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Mark B. McClellan.
Christine Taylor, Director of FDA’s Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, was chosen in November to head a special project on nutrition issues for the World Health Organization. In the two-year assignment, which begins in January, she will develop approaches to help the World Health Organization assess food-related health risks by creating nutrition risk-analysis models.
Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., announced that Larry Gentine, President of the Food Service Div. will retire on Jan. 31, 2004, after 35 years of service. The second son of Sargento founder Leonard Gentine Sr., he will continue on Sargento’s Board of Directors. Sam Colson, current Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the Food Service Div., will succeed Gentine as President. Mike Gordy was named President of Sargento’s Consumer Products Div., and Kevin Delahunt, former Vice President of Marketing for the Food Service and Ingredients Divs., was named the new President of the Food Ingredients Div.
The Steritech Group Inc., Charlotte, N.C., has named Richard Ennis as Vice President of the Food Safety Div. Ennis, formerly Marketing Director of Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s business-to-business washroom division, has 15 years of marketing and operations experience in the hygiene products and services sector.
Takasago International Corp. (USA) Flavor Div., Rockleigh, N.J., announced that Sharon Clark, formerly of SunPure Ltd., has joined Takasago as Beverage Technologist. Mary Nguyen, recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University, joins the company as Sensory Analyst. Catherine Marie Scarpati, who had served Pepsico in research and development for 21 years, now works as the Takasago’s Senior Laboratory Technician. Finally, Maria Trantafilos moved from Dragoco to Takasago as its new Marketing Associate.
Roderick W. Sowders joined U.S. Flavors & Fragrances, Wauconda, Ill., as President and Chief Executive Officer. The flavor supplier is the first North American acquisition for the Carbery Group, a County Cork, Ireland–based producer of food, ingredients, and flavors. Sowders most recently served as Vice President, North America, for Sensient Flavors Inc.
Chris Davies is new Senior Project Manager at Lancaster, Pa.–based Webber/Smith Associates Inc., an engineering and construction management firm serving the food industry. His project responsibilities include prepared foods, pasta, salty snack, candy, and fruit and vegetable sectors.
Bumble Bee Seafoods has expanded its regional test market for Bumble Bee® Prime Fillet™ to national distribution, in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of canned tuna. The product Fillet is hand-selected, solid white albacore packed in water only, with no vegetable broth added as a flavor enhancer. It is uniquely packaged in a high-gloss, gold-and-black litho-graphed can, with no wrapped label, and is positioned upside down on supermarket shelves.
The European-style packaging helps differentiate it from other tuna cans. The packaging reinforces the products quality and “denotes how Bumble Bee is turning the tuna industry upside down to benefit the consumer,” the company said. Bumble Bee Seafoods is based in San Diego, Calif.
Campbell Soup Co. launched its first certified organic product, Campbell’s® Organic Tomato Juice. The company’s first organic tomato varieties were bred from seedlings selected by Campbell’s Seeds Co. and planted by contracted certified organic farmers in California. Harvested tomatoes are processed on certified lines in Campbell’s Sacramento facility. The juice is packaged in 46-oz, multi-serve plastic bottles that carry USDA’s Organic Seal. Campbell is based in Camden, N.J.
Herr Foods Inc. added Mexican Cheddar Dippers with Black Beans to its line of chips. The bite-size tortilla chips are a mix of top-quality masa (ground corn), black beans, Cheddar cheese, and a blend of herbs and spices. Herr Foods is based in Nottingham, Pa.
Burke Corp. introduced Tezzata® chorizo-style pork topping. The meat is sold fully cooked and frozen for use, as needed, in chili, Mexican dishes, pizza, appetizers, soups, and other entrees. Based in Nevada, Iowa, the company manufactures fully cooked ethnic and specialty meats for foodservice, industrial, and retail markets.
Cascadian Farm now offers three new varieties of organic cereals that are good sources of fiber and low in fat. Raisin Bran is an organic variety of the classic breakfast cereal. Hearty Morning™ offers 8 g of fiber/serving, along with organic whole-wheat flakes, granola clusters, and crunchy bran strands. Purely O’s™ is an organic whole-grain oat cereal with 1 g of sugar/serving. Cascadian Farm, based in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., is part of Small Planet Foods, a business unit of General Mills Inc.
Pillsbury offers a twist on pancakes with its new Pillsbury® Mini Pancakes with Dippin’ Cups, 3-in-diameter frozen pancakes that come with individual syrup cups. The pancakes come in Buttermilk and Blueberry flavors, and both pancakes and syrup are microwavable. The company is also introducing two new flavors of Pillsbury® Waffle Sticks with Dippin’ Cups—Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon—and two new flavors of Pillsbury Toaster Strudel™ pastries—Chocolate Fudge and an Improved Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavor. Pillsbury is a brand of General Mills and is based in Minneapolis, Minn.
Progresso® debuted its new line of Rich & Hearty soups, in a nod to the popularity of traditional comfort foods like steak and potatoes, chicken noodle soup, and mashed potatoes. The line offers ready-to-serve soup made with lean beef or all-white meat chicken. Varieties are beef pot roast with country vegetables, steak and roasted russet potatoes, sirloin steak and vegetables, slow cooked vegetable beef, savory beef barley vegetable, chicken and homestyle noodles, creamy chicken wild rice, and chicken pot pie. Progresso is a brand of General Mills and is based in Minneapolis, Minn.
Country Choice Naturals introduced Organic Plus Instant Oatmeal, in French Vanilla and Golden Brown Sugar flavors. The oatmeal, sold in groups of eight 1.65-oz packets, is made with organic soy protein, isoflavones, flax, and calcium. USDA certifies it as organic. Country Choice is based in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op has a new Packaged Bulk line of 72 premium, USDA-certified organic spices and seasonings in Fresh-Lock™ resealable packages. Stores can display the small packages on an accompanying spinner unit, conserving shelf or counter space. The packages hold only about 1/3 cup of product, so that the product will maintain its freshness while consumers are using it. Frontier Natural Products is based in Norway, Iowa.
Mac Farms Inc. introduced Refreshing Power Milk or RPM®. The carbonated dairy-based beverage was developed with the assistance of Dairy Management Inc. and Cornell University researchers. The lactose-free drink offers the same nutritional value of grade-A skim milk and is fortified with potassium and magnesium. It is marketed as an alternative to soda. Mac Farms is based in Burlington, Mass.