Consumers trying more craft beer
While domestic beer and imported varieties are consumer favorites, craft beer has garnered a following, with 33% of all beer drinkers ages 21 and older saying that they are drinking less imported beer and more domestic craft beer instead, according to market research firm Mintel.
A little more than half (59%) of beer drinkers said that they would like to try craft beers, and 51% said that they would try more if they knew more about them. Mintel recognizes that more consumer education can help to generate interest in craft beers and increase growth in the craft beer market.
“Craft beers have increased in popularity in the past five years, and enjoyed a boost in their consumer base,” says Garima Goel Lal, a senior analyst at Mintel. “Craft beer is most popular with the 25–34-year-old crowd, so manufacturers would be wise to target this demographic and educate them more about artisan beers.”
Price may be deterring some consumers from trying or purchasing craft beers, with 41% of beer drinkers reporting that they consume craft beers as a treat because they cost more than other types of beer. But others are still allowing themselves to indulge as 29% of consumers who reported drinking more beer in 2010 than they did in 2009 said that they are drinking more craft beer as an affordable luxury.
Enhancing pasta with peanut flour
Incorporating peanut flour into pasta formulations improves the protein quality of the pasta but often leads to pasta with undesirable quality attributes. Scientists at the University of Georgia conducted a three-variable experiment to determine the peanut flour percentage, carrageenan percentage, and drying temperature that would produce pasta of optimal quality. They also conducted sensory evaluation on the pastas.
The variables studied were percent peanut flour substituted for durum wheat flour (30%, 40%, and 50%); amount of carrageenan, which is used in formulations like this to improve dough viscosity and finished product firmness (2.4%, 2.65%, and 2.9%); and drying temperature (60°C, 74°C, and 88°C). The results showed that increasing the drying temperature of the pasta decreased moisture in cooked pasta and increased firmness of dry and cooked pasta. It also resulted in a darker color in dry and cooked pasta. Increasing the level of peanut flour resulted in darker product color and higher cooking loss percentages. Carrageenan levels of 2.4%–2.9% did not significantly affect pasta quality. The pasta formulated with 30% peanut flour and dried at 60°C was lighter in color, higher in moisture, and softer in texture than pastas formulated with more peanut flour and dried at increased temperatures. While sensory evaluation results show that this sample was a popular one in the “favorite” category, response surface analysis of consumer test data showed that the optimum peanut pasta had between 35% and 45% peanut flour and was dried between 60°C and 71°C.
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The National Peanut Board, though the Southeastern Peanut Research Initiative, as well as State and Hatch funds allocated to the university, provided funding for the research.
The study, “Analysis of Ingredient Functionality and Formulation Optimization of Pasta Supplemented with Peanut Flour,” appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Journal of Food Science.
Improving iron absorption
Adding magnesium or calcium to nanostructured iron oxide improved the solubility of iron and the sensory characteristics of food, and these results may one day be used to develop foods that can help reduce cases of iron deficiency around the world, according to researchers at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Fortifying with iron is challenging; ferrous sulfate causes severe sensory changes in foods, iron phosphate has acceptable sensory properties but has low bioavailability in humans, and iron oxide has good sensory properties but has poor solubility and low bioavailability. For their research, the scientists used nanostructured iron oxide with added magnesium or calcium to increase solubility in dilute acid and maintain good sensory characteristics. They tested the compounds in chocolate milk and fruit yogurt. The nanostructured iron oxide with magnesium or calcium had higher iron solubility than that of pure iron oxide and had better sensory characteristics in the milk and yogurt than ferrous sulfate. The researchers said that the nanostructured iron oxide with magnesium, in particular, might be a good alternative to nanostructured iron phosphate, which is costlier.
The study, “Incorporation of Mg and Ca into Nanostructured Fe2O3 Improves Fe Solubility in Dilute Acid and Sensory Characteristics in Foods,” appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Journal of Food Science.
Packaging competition deadline nears
DuPont Packaging is accepting entries for the 23rd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. The entries will be judged for excellence in packaging innovation, sustainability, and cost and waste reduction. There is no entry fee, and DuPont materials do not need to be used in the packaging structure. The winners will be announced in the spring of 2011. The deadline is Feb. 28, 2011. For entry forms and guidelines, visit www.packaging.dupont.com.
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Meat, poultry to carry nutrition info
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recently announced a new rule requiring that Nutrition Facts panels appear on certain meat and poultry products. Providing the nutrition information is part of USDA’s ongoing effort to educate consumers about healthy nutrition and diets.
Under the new rule, which goes into effect Jan. 12, 2012, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry will have Nutrition Facts panels on them, and packages of whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry will feature the Nutrition Facts panels or the panels will be available for consumers at the point-of-purchase. Information will include the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat that a product contains as well as the fat percentage on packages that list a lean percentage statement, i.e., “76% lean.” The rule will apply to 40 cuts of meat and poultry products.
To read the Federal Register notice announcing this rule, visit http://federalregister.gov/a/2010-32485.
Nominations sought for freezing research
The Frozen Food Foundation, in conjunction with the International Association for Food Protection, is accepting nominations for the Frozen Food Foundation Freezing Research Award. The award honors an individual, group, or organization for preeminence in, and outstanding contributions to, the field of research impacting food safety through freezing. The award recipient will receive a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium sponsored by the Frozen Food Foundation. The nomination deadline is March 1, 2011. For more information, visit www.frozenfoodfacts.org or www.foodprotection.org.
Wine glycoproteins similar to allergens
Glycoproteins found in wine are thought to cause allergy-like symptoms in some people. New research on the structure and function of these compounds may help winemakers to develop low-allergenic varieties of wine.
Produced naturally as grapes ferment, glycoproteins are thought to play roles in oenological processes. Researchers with the University of Southern Denmark and the Agricultural Research Council, Turi, Italy, analyzed Italian Chardonnay and identified 28 glycoproteins, some for the first time, and found that many of the grape glycoproteins’ structures were similar to known allergens such as those that cause allergic reactions to ragweed and latex.
The study, “Glycoproteomic Profile in Wine: A ‘Sweet’ Molecular Renaissance,” appeared online early in Journal of Proteome Research, doi: 10.1021/pr100298j.
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What’s new with food companies
• Burcon is licensing its Clarisoy® soy protein isolates to ADM, which will market and sell the ingredients.
• ConAgra has begun milling rice for the Puerto Rican market through its Molinos de Puerto Rico business unit.
• DSM has acquired Martek Biosciences Corp.
• ICL Performance Products annouced plans to build a sodium hexametaphosphate processing plant in Lawrence, Kan.
• The Missouri Dept. of Economic Development has named International Dehydrated Foods Inc. Exporter of the Year for 2010.
• Health Canada has announced that Kemin Health’s Slendesta potato extract may be marketed as a nonnovel food ingredient in Canada.
• Magrabar Chemical Corp., a manufacturer of food grade antifoams, defoamers, and release agents, recently received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
• Solazyme and Roquette have formed a joint venture to produce, commercialize, and market microalgae-derived food ingredients.
•Vitiva’s rosemary extracts are in compliance with new European Union legislation that defines purity criteria for rosemary extracts.