Candyland in Chicago
Chocolate, chewing gum, sour lollipops, and breath mints. These and hundreds more confections temped the taste buds of more than 15,000 people who attended the National Confectioners Association’s 2007 All Candy Expo® in Chicago, Ill. For the first time, the show featured savory snacks, cookies, and biscuits in addition to sweet treats.

Many chewing gums featured the combination of mint and fruit flavors. Cadbury Adams USA LLC, Parsippany, N.J., showcased its new Trident Splash® Summer Spearmint, a blend of watermelon and spearmint flavors, and Dentyne Blast Cool Lime, which featured a liquid-filled center. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Chicago, Ill., offered Eclipse® Fusion Peppermint Berry.

Chocolate offerings are now darker than ever, as consumers are enjoying the flavor of dark chocolate and becoming more aware of its potential health benefits. Several companies, including Lindt & Sprungli (USA) Inc., Stratham, N.H., and Guylian USA Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., now produce chocolate bars and bite-sized treats made with 70% cacao. The classic M&M’s® from Mars Snackfood US, Hackettstown, N.J., is now available in Dark Chocolate Peanut variety.

This month’s Ingredients section by Don Pszczola discusses new ingredient developments for use in the confectionery industry as well as more products showcased at the All Candy Expo.

Barry Callebaut expands business
Barry Callebaut AG, Zurich, Switzerland, has recently made several strategic business transactions and investments by selling a business unit and acquiring production capacity in the United States and Japan.

It has announced plans to sell its U.S. consumer confectionery business, Brach’s, to Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co. Inc., Round Lake, Minn., to focus exclusively on its chocolate business. The transaction is expected to close by the end of November 2007.

Barry Callebaut acquired Food Processing International Inc., Eddystone, Pa., including cocoa liquor production facility. It also entered into a strategic alliance with Morinaga, Tokyo, Japan, whereby Morinaga will sell its cocoa and chocolate production equipment to Barry Callebaut. Additionally, both companies will enter into a 10-year supply agreement of liquid chocolate.

Gums receive tooth-friendly seal
Two companies recently received so-called tooth-friendly designations from dental experts.

The American Dental Association has awarded its ADA Seal of Acceptance to Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.’s sugarfree chewing gums Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse. According to ADA, these products have been clinically shown to help prevent cavities, reduce plaque acid, and strengthen teeth.

A new isomaltulose-based chocolate from Barry Callebaut AG, Zurich, Switerland, received a “Happy Tooth” quality seal from Toothfriendly International, a nonprofit association of dental professionals, institutions in dental and public health, and manufacturers of confectionery and oral care products. The chocolate is said to not depress the plaque pH below the level of 5.7 when teeth can become damaged.

Paper analyzes cocoa research
After reviewing a decade’s worth of research on the health benefits of cocoa, scientists at the Nestlé Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina, and University of California–Davis have recommended future directions for cocoa and health research.

They reviewed the findings on the effects of cocoa on antioxidant status, inflammation, and heart disease risk in humans and said that it is still unclear exactly how much and what type of chocolate is necessary to obtain potential health benefits. Instead of focusing on direct antioxidant effects, they suggest that future research should focus on specific mechanisms of action, such as inflammatory pathways. They also want more studies conducted to determine a relevant amount of chocolate that people can consume to enjoy the health benefits and to examine the effects of cocoa consumption on people who have or are at risk for chronic diseases.

The scientists’ research, “Cocoa and Health: A Decade of Research,” appeared in the August 2007 issue of British Journal of Nutrition.

Brewers collaborate
SABMiller plc, London, UK, and Molson Coors Brewing Co., Denver, Colo., in October announced their intent to combine the U.S. and Puerto Rico operations of their respective subsidiaries, Miller and Coors, in a joint venture to create a more competitive U.S. brewer with an enhanced brand portfolio.

“As a result of this combination, Miller and Coors will be able to provide more focused support for our flagship brands, while taking full advantage of consumers’ demand for imported and craft brands and innovative products,” said Leo Kiely, Chief Executive of Molson Coors.

The companies said the joint venture should help them to better compete in the changing U.S. marketplace by giving consumers more choice, improving productivity, and enhancing relationships with distributors and retailers.

The deal stills needs to receive approval from various regulatory agencies.

Nelson receives World Food Prize
Philip E. Nelson, a past President of IFT and food science professor at Purdue University, received the 2007 World Food Prize for his development of bulk aseptic processing, storage, and transport of fresh fruits and vegetables. The prize was formally presented to him during a ceremony held in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 18.

In the developing world, this technology had made it affordable and convenient to transport and deliver safe food products without the need for refrigeration. It has also helped to reduce postharvest waste and spoilage.

In the early 1970s, Nelson’s research led to the discovery of methods and equipment to preserve perishable food at ambient temperatures in very large carbon steel tanks.

He also partnered with the Scholle Corp. to develop a low-cost aseptic, bag-in-box system for preserving and shipping foods, such as tomato paste. By the 1980s, this technology had spread throughout the global food industry.

The World Food Prize Foundation annually recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food worldwide.

Beverage unit spun off
Cadbury Schweppes plc, London, UK, has announced that it will spin off its Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, Plano, Tex., to make it an independent company.

With operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, Americas Beverages manufactures and distributes such brands as Dr Pepper, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Snapple, Mott’s, and Hawaiian Punch. It has its own fully integrated bottling business that enables it to control its distribution network.

Potatoes pack nutritional punch
As you take a second helping of mashed potatoes at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, you will be happy to know that some potato varieties contain high amounts of phytochemicals.

Scientists with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Washington State University, and Oregon State University have identified 60 different kinds of phytochemicals and vitamins in the skins and flesh of 100 wild and commercially grown potatoes. The identified compounds include vitamin C, folic acid, chlorogenic acid, flavonoids, quercetin, and kukoamines.

The research team recently developed a method that analyzes the potato samples using high-throughput liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The researchers found that some varieties contained phenolic concentrations of 100–675 mg/100 g dry weight. Other varieties contain nearly the same amounts of phenolics as broccoli and spinach.

The scientists hope that this research will lead to the development of new potato varieties.

by Karen Nachay,
Assistant Editor
[email protected]