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Decatur, Ill.–based Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Milwaukee, Wis.–based Lesaffre Yeast Corp. have formed a joint venture to construct a new yeast plant located adjacent to ADM’s corn processing facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The joint venture company will be named Red Star Yeast LLC.
AXM Pharma Inc., Newport Beach, Calif., and Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., have entered into a trademark licensing agreement that grants AXM exclusive rights to use the Sunkist brand name and trademark for its vitamin and vitamin supplement products in China. AXM will focus its marketing efforts in China because it is one of the fastest-growing over-thecounter markets in the world.
Bunge Europe, the European operating arm of Bunge Ltd., White Plains, N.Y., has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire Polish edible oil and margarine producer Kama Foods from bankruptcy receivership through EWICO, a limited liability company in Poland. Bunge Europe owns a 50% stake in EWICO, with the remaining shares owned by an individual investor.
St. Louis, Mo.–based Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Ltd., and Agri Industries, an Iowa farmer-owned cooperative, have established a joint venture to market grain and operate Mississippi River terminals. The new venture, Agri-Bunge LLC, combines the operations of Bunge’s Albany, Ill., grain elevator and Agri Industries’ grain elevators in Burlington and McGregor, Iowa, and Fulton, Ill.
Burns, Philp & Co. Ltd., Sydney, Australia, is selling its Tone Brothers North American herbs and spices division. Based in Ankeny, Iowa, Tone is the second-largest manufacturer of herbs and spices in North America, offering a full range of gourmet, regular, and value herbs, spices, and dry sauce mixes to retail and club stores and foodservice groups.
Cargill Animal Nutrition, a division of Minneapolis, Minn.–based Cargill Inc., has completed the acquisition of Agway Feed and Nutrition from Agway Inc., Syracuse, N.Y. Cargill acquired the Agway feed mills in several cities in New York and Pennsylvania. The Agway Feed and Nutrition business office will remain in Shippensburg, Pa.
Dakota Beef LLC, Chicago, Ill., has agreed to provide certified organic beef that is free of antibiotics and growth-promoting hormones for Hain Celestial Group’s Earth’s Best baby food brand, the top-selling organic baby food sold in natural food stores. Hain is based in Melville, N.Y.
Danisco A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Henan Tianguan Group Co. Ltd. have completed a joint venture agreement. The new company, Danisco Tianguan (Nanyang) Co. Ltd., will supply xanthan gum to international manufacturers of salad dressings, sauces, beverages, mayonnaise, bakery products, and dairy desserts. Henan Tianguan is one of the largest xanthan gum producers in China.
Danisco A/S recently acquired Rhodia SA’s food ingredients operations within texturants and specialty products. Danisco will gain access to new products in the business area of stabilizers, primarily xanthan gum production and become one of the world leaders in the production, sale, and development of cultures. The company will also take over production facilities in several countries. Rhodia is based in Cedex, France.
Joint venture company DDS-Xethanol LLC has integrated DDS Technologies USA’s proprietary technology with Xethanol Corp.’s waste-to-ethanol expertise to convert corn waste and other organic waste matters into starch and other valuable co-products. The starch will be converted into fermentable sugar as a feedstock for ethanol production at a facility in Iowa. The company plans to begin processing feedstocks by the end of the second quarter 2004 and expects that each processor will produce approximately 80 tons of biomass waste per day. DDS Technologies is based in Boca Raton, Fla., and Xethanol is based in Iowa.
St. Louis, Mo.–based investment group, Wetterau Associates, recently purchased a 50.3% stake in Golden State Foods, Irvine, Calif., resulting in Golden State’s becoming a 100% managementowned and -operated business. The company is one of the top 10 foodservice distributors and processors in the United States and one of the largest full-line service providers to Oak Brook, Ill.–based McDonald’s Corp.
Hain Celestial Group Inc.’s Belgian subsidiary recently acquired Eitorf, Germany–based Natumi AG, a producer of nondairy beverages and desserts marketed principally to retail channels in Europe. The acquisition adds Natumi’s Milkfree brand to the Hain portfolio and gives the company the ability to produce its own non-dairy beverages and desserts in Europe.
Hansen Beverage Co. has received an exclusive three-year contract from the State of California Dept. of Health Services (DHS), under the Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program. The company will supply 64-oz shelf-stable ready-todrink 100% apple and apple grape juices, supplying each year an estimated 24.5 million units of the apple juice and 5.4 million units of the apple grape juice blend. Based in Corona, Calif., the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hansen Natural Corp.
Kerry Group plc has acquired Oregon Chai Inc., Portland, Ore., and Extreme Foods, Las Vegas, Nev., for $96 million. Both companies hold leading positions in fast-growing niches of the branded beverage foodservice sector in the U.S.; Oregon Chai is the brand leader in both the natural and organic segments of the specialty Chai tea market, and Extreme Foods is a leader in developing and marketing branded ready-to-use ice-blended flavored beverages for the U.S. foodservice industry.
Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., has purchased Veryfine Products Inc., Littleton, Mass., a privately held beverage manufacturer. As part of the sale, Kraft will acquire from Veryfine two manufacturing facilities and a distribution center.
Monsanto Co., St. Louis, Mo., recently received final safety certificates from the Chinese government for the importation of grain from biotech crops. Issuance of these certificates will allow for a more predictable process for traders and continued trade of the company’s Roundup Ready® soybeans. Roundup Ready crops allow growers to use Roundup glyphosate-based agricultural herbicides over the top of growing plants, thereby offering more effective weed control with an herbicide that has a favorable environmental profile.
Overhill Farms Inc. has entered into an exclusive agreement with Panda Restaurant Group to produce and market frozen cuisine products under the Panda Express brand frozen chinese products in retail and grocery club store chains. The frozen meals will provide the same quality and style consumers enjoy in the more than 600 Panda Express restaurants across the U.S. Overhill Farms is based in Vernon, Calif., and Panda is based in Rosemead, Calif.
Sethness Products Co., Chicago, Ill., and Roquette Frères S.A. Lestrem, France, have formed Sethness-Roquette, a joint venture that will manufacture and market liquid and powder caramel color. A new state-of-the-art plant located in Lestrem will be fully operational by the end of 2004 and serve markets in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Africa.
J.M. Smucker Co., Orrville, Ohio, has acquired International Multifoods Corp., Minnetonka, Minn., for approximately $840 million, which includes the assumption of approximately $340 million in debt. International Multifoods brands that will become part of Smucker’s portfolio include Pillsbury® baking mixes and ready-to-spread frostings, Hungry Jack® pancake mixes, syrup, and potato side dishes, Martha White® baking mixes and ingredients, Pet® evaporated milk and dry creamer, Robin Hood® flour and baking mixes, and Bick’s® pickles and condiments.
Frozen fruits and vegetables manufacturer and supplier Superior Foods, Inc., Watsonville, Calif., recently acquired a packing and blending facility from Rochester, N.Y.–based Birds Eye Foods Inc. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the 40,000-sq-ft facility, which currently employs 45 people, will be used for custom blending and packing for Superior Foods’ private label foodservice and retail customers.
Velvet Ice Cream Co., Inc., Utica, Ohio, has been named the preferred distributor of ice cream and novelty treats for 200 Speedway, 50 Gas America, and 11 7-Eleven locations in Indiana. As a result, the company will open a new satellite distribution center in Indianapolis, Ind. Velvet brand products are also sold in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida.
Tim Welch recently joined Alacer Corp. as President and CEO. Prior to that, he was responsible for Hansen Beverage Co.’s carbonated division and its Hansen’s Natural Soda line. Alacer is based in Foothill Ranch, Calif.
Burger King Corp. recently made several changes to its senior management team. John W. Chidsey has been appointed Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. Lynette McKee has been named Vice President of U.S. Franchise Development. The company promoted Jim Hyatt to Senior Vice President of U.S. Franchise Operations and Pam Long to Vice President of Operations Excellence. Burger King is based in Miami, Fla.
Minneapolis, Minn.–based Cargill Inc. has hired Donald Lindblad as Manager of Industrial Applications for Cargill Food & Pharma Specialties. He has more than 25 years of experience with specialty chemicals in the oil field and industrial markets.
Centennial Specialty Foods Corp., Englewood, Colo., recently hired Doug Evans as Chief Financial Officer. He has extensive experience in the fresh produce and processed foods industry, having worked in accounting and operations for fresh produce, farming, and food processing facilities.
Chr. Hansen has promoted John Brown as Global Marketing Manager and Margot Connor to Vice President of Sales for the company’s Human Health and Nutrition Division. The company also hired Hurl Minnig as Director of Sales for Food & Beverage, Teresa Supnet-Rosa as Director of Sales for Meat & Prepared Foods, and Linda Sweek as Manager of Communications and PR.
Empire Kosher Poultry Inc. has appointed Robert Van Naarden as President and CEO. He replaces John Turner, who led the company during the final stage of a period that saw the company through three separate owners. Van Naarden was a founding executive of two technology companies. Empire is based in Mifflintown, Pa.
Patricia J. Kaeding, former Associate Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration, has joined the law firm of Godfrey & Kahn, Milwaukee, Wis. She has 10 years of litigation and counseling experience with FDA, including representing FDA in federal court litigation. Other food-related issues she litigated include dietary supplements, qualified health claims, and the authority to seize food imports.
Health Sciences Group Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., recently hired Allan Himmelstein as President of its QBI division. Himmelstein has more than 30 years of executive management, production, sales, marketing, and finance experience in the food, chemical, and nutritional supplement industries. His responsibilities include leading his division’s efforts to develop and launch new products.
Heatcraft Refrigeration LLC, Stone Mountain, Ga., has hired Steve Dyer as Director of Operations for its Tifton, Ga., facility and promoted Nader Zyaei to Director of Operations at its Danville, Ill., facility. Dyer recently was Vice President and General Manager of Mid-South Electronics in Alabama. Zyaei joined Heatcraft in 1999 as Engineering Manager.
John Thomas has joined Inovpack Vector Inc., Totowa, N.J., as Regional Sales Manager for the Eastern United States region. Thomas, who earned his M.A. degree in food science and technology from the University of Georgia, brings more than 11 years of experience in meat and packaging sales to the position.
The Land O’Lakes board of directors recently elected Pete Kappelman, a dairy producer from Two Rivers, Wis., as its Board Chairman, the ninth in the company’s 83-year history. Land O’Lakes is based in Arden Hills, Minn.
Jerry L. Nelson recently resigned from his positions as President and Chief Operating Officer at Nash Finch Co. He joined the company in 1999. David Bersie, Senior Vice President of Food Distribution, will report directly to Ron Marshall, Chief Executive Officer. Nash Finch is based in Minneapolis, Minn.
Richmond, Va.–based Performance Food Group has named Robert C. Sledd Chief Executive Officer, replacing C. Michael Gray, who recently resigned after 29 years with the company. Sledd formerly served as the company’s CEO from 1987 to 2001, and is currently Chairman of the company.
Sartori Foods has hired Bruce Waddell as Vice President of Marketing and Sales and Mike Walz as Vice President of Operations and Operational Services. Waddell has extensive experience in marketing and sales, most recently as Commercial Director of Rhodia Food North America. Walz previously served as Director of Operations of Sweet Ingredients Div. and Operations Director/Plant Manager of Seasonings Div. at Kerry Inc. Sartori is based in Plymouth, Wis.
Seafood manufacturer and distributor Slade Gorton & Co. has promoted Bonnie Hardy to Vice President of Technology Solutions, Andy Patten to Vice President of Seafood Procurement, Peter Hicks to Vice President of Seafood Procurement, and Nicholas DeSantis to Regional Sales Manager of Fresh Seafood. Slade Gorton is based in Boston, Mass.
Wixon Inc., St. Francis, Wis., has hired Rob Kerfin as Regional Sales Manager. Kerfin, who has 10 years of food ingredient sales experience, will be responsible for selling seasonings, spices, and flavors in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. The company promoted Ron Ratz to Technical Product Manager for the Wix-Fresh™ product line. His responsibilities include marketing, sales, and sales training for the line.
SOCIETIES & ASSOCIATIONS
AOCS elects Johnson as president
The American Oil Chemists’ Society recently elected Larry Johnson as AOCS President. Johnson is Iowa State University Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Director of the Center for Crops Utilization Research.
As director of the Center, Johnson has been responsible for programs involving 46 affiliated faculty focused on developing new uses for corn and soybeans. He has conducted research on corn wet milling, new ways of separating grain into ingredients, vegetable oil and soybean processing, and the chemistry of lipids, starches, and proteins. The Center is part of the Plant Sciences Institute and the Colleges of Agriculture and Family and Consumer Sciences at ISU, Ames, Iowa.
Johnson earned his Ph.D. degree in food science from Kansas State University in 1978 and joined the ISU faculty in 1985.
AACC to define “whole grain”
To help consumers make informed and responsible dietary decisions, the American Association of Cereal Chemists has formed a committee to draft a new, consumer-friendly definition of whole grain. Julie Jones, chair of the AACC Grains in Health Task Force, says that the original definition of whole grain was designed for use by industry and regulatory agencies and contains words that may not help consumers select whole-grain foods.
The task force has proposed the following definition of whole grain: “Whole cereal grains and foods made from them consist of the entire grain seed usually referred to as the kernel. The kernel is made of three components: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. If the kernel has been cracked, crushed, or flaked, then in order to be called whole grain, it must retain nearly the same relative proportions of bran, germ, and endosperm as the original grain. Whole grain ingredients may be used whole, cooked, milled into flour, and used to make breads and other products or extruded or flaked to make cereal products.”
AACC has created an online discussion forum for input on the proposed definition at http://interactive.aaccnet.org/source/communities/communityHomePage.cfm?Cmtyld=21.
Introductory food engineering text available online
The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology is offering on its Web site the full text of the introductory food engineering book Unit Operations in Food Processing by R.L. Earle. The free, online educational and reference resource explains the principles of operations and illustrates them by individual processes. It has 12 chapters and a list of appendices, references, examples, and figures, all of which can be downloaded and printed for nonprofit use. The information is indexed and cross-linked so that specific topics, examples, and figures can be found easily. First published in 1966, but still relevant today for students, food technologists, and process engineers, it has been out of print since 1991. To access the book, visit www.nzifst.org.nz/unitoperations/.
by KAREN BANASIAK