Innova identifies 2013 trends
Consumers armed with more information about both value and health will continue to influence the food industry, making the growth of the “aware shopper” one of 10 emerging trends for 2013, according to Innova Market Insights.

Innova in November 2012 released its list of the top 10 trends it expects to affect food and beverage development through 2013. The trends reflect how influential various groups of consumers are, how food manufacturers are navigating global laws and regulations, and how health concerns about specific ingredients are driving reformulation efforts. One trend addresses how food companies have removed non-approved claims from packages per a European Union law and are now emphasizing the inherent benefits of certain foods and ingredients. Another explains how formulating foods and beverages for an aging population will continue as companies develop and market anti-aging products and promote certain ingredients for older consumers.

More products will highlight gluten-free, lactose-free, and other free-from claims. Given the fact that there is no clear regulation about the term “natural” and its use in marketing material, companies are positioning products as “additive-free” or “preservative-free.” The other five trends detail boosting the protein content of products, developing ways to formulate tasty food with less sugar, improving sensory experience for consumers, doing more with less as costs continue to rise, and emphasizing the extremes in flavor and other product attributes.

Food prep methods matter to diabetics
Eating more fruits, vegetables, and fiber and less saturated fat are important for people with diabetes, but a study published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that the way food is prepared may be significant too.

Cooking methods that use very high, intense, dry heat create a crust that contains advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are associated with plaque formation seen in cardiovascular disease, said Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a professor of nutrition at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. These byproducts of the cooking process can also end up on other tissues in the body, causing additional damage, she added.

The results showed that subjects with higher rates of cardiovascular issues consumed more of the AGEs. For each unit increase in AGEs intake, a subject was 3.7 times more likely to have moderate-to-high risk for cardiovascular disease, the researchers wrote. They said that more research is needed before making definite recommendations and that they want to conduct another study in which they will examine past intake of AGEs by diabetics.

The study, “The Relationship between Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products and Indicators of Diabetes Severity in Mexicans and Non-Hispanic Whites: A Pilot Study,” appeared online early in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, doi: 10.3109/09637486. 2012.704905.

Caffeine may aid brain health
Caffeine may have brain-health benefits, blocking inflammation that is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, reported scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

The researchers discovered that caffeine appears to block the activity of a signal that activates inflammation in the brain associated with cognitive impairment. When the brain undergoes trauma like an interruption of breathing or blood flow, brain cells release adenosine. Once out of the cells, adenosine activates caspase 1, an enzyme that triggers the production of cytokine IL-1β, which is a player in inflammation. The researchers found that caffeine blocked the activity of adenosine. “This discovery may eventually lead to drugs that could reverse or inhibit mild cognitive impairment,” said Gregory Freund, a professor in the College of Medicine and a member of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois.

The study, “Hypoxia/Reoxy-genation Impairs Memory Formation via Adenosine-dependent Activation of Caspase 1,” appeared in the Oct. 3, 2012, issue of Journal of Neuroscience.

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Gene enhances foam in beer
The identification of the yeast gene responsible for foam-stabilizing proteins in beer may help the brewing industry improve froth, which is important to the aroma and visual appeal of the beverage, according to a study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Proteins present in malt and mannoproteins in brewer’s yeast cell walls produce foam in beer. The researchers isolated the gene CFG1 (Carlsbergensis foaming gene) from Saccharomyces pastorianus, a yeast involved in beer fermentation. The gene encodes the cell wall protein Cfg1p, which is homologous to Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall mannoproteins, particularly those responsible for beer foam formation, reported the researchers. They further characterized Cfg1p to discover that the novel protein is responsible for beer foam stabilization, and they cloned the gene CFG1.

The study,”Cloning and Characterization of the Beer Foaming Gene CFG1 from Saccharomyces pastorianus,” appeared in the Oct. 31, 2012, issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Chocolate market grows in India
India is the fastest-growing market globally for chocolate confectionery sales with amounts reaching $857 million in 2011, up from $418 million in 2008, according to market research firm Mintel. As Indian consumers continue to purchase more chocolate, chocolate confectionery manufacturers, particularly major companies like Mondelez, Nestlé, and Mars are increasing their presence in the country.

Even though the chocolate confectionery market in India is not as large as it is in other markets like those in Europe, Mintel expects this to change as more products at lower prices become increasingly available. “This has given the Indian consumer an array of choices while giving manufacturers a level game field to compete, especially in the premium and affordable premium segments,” said Deepa Dsouza, a trend and innovation consultant at Mintel. Chocolate confectionery products making a “premium” claim were 6% of new product launches in 2011 compared with 4% in 2008.

The market is facing some challenges like rising raw material costs and perceptions that the products are unhealthy. Manufacturers are trying to improve the healthfulness of their products and include enhanced health messaging about products sold in the country, said Dsouza. Mintel’s data show that new chocolate confectionery products with antioxidant claims increased 400% from 2008 to 2011 and low/no/reduced trans fat, low/no/reduced calorie, and diabetic claims increased 200% during the same period.

Review article examines citrus fruit
With distinct aroma, delicious taste, and high contents of nutrients, citrus fruit is widely consumed and a popular food, and a review study published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety details the world-wide cultivation and the nutritional significance of citrus fruits.

Developments such as processing technology of frozen concentrated orange juice and advances in horticulture have increased the consumption levels of citrus fruits. The authors of the study also discuss the analytical technologies that have led to discoveries and a better understanding of the flavor of and nutrients in citrus fruits. Research continues on investigating the links between citrus fruit consumption and the prevention of various diseases and conditions.

The study, “History, Global Distribution, and Nutritional Importance of Citrus Fruits,” appeared in the November 2012 issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

What’s new with food companies

Ajinomoto North America has opened a customer application center in Itasca, Ill.

Avoca and Olympic Seafood AS have formed a joint venture called Rimfrost USA LLC to produce krill oil.

Barry Callebaut and Arcor-Dos en Uno have signed a long-term outsourcing agreement for the manufacture of compound and chocolate products.

Cal Poly State University in October 2012 has celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Dairy Products Technology Center.

Firmenich has won the 2012 Robert W. Campbell Award from the National Safety Council for integrating environmental, health, and safety management with business operations.

Griffith Laboratories recently launched a new website and a brand campaign called Food Beyond Boundaries™.

ICL Performance Products has combined its sales and marketing groups to form a new North American division called ICL Food Specialties.

International Flavors & Fragrances will expand its flavoring manufacturing facility in Gebze, Turkey.

LycoRed and Shanghai Lithy Foods Material Co. have formed a distribution agreement that will increase LycoRed’s presence in China.

Mérieux NutriSciences has acquired majority ownership of Swift Micro Laboratories.

Naturex has acquired Decas Botanical Synergies.

Nexira Group has acquired Tournay Biotechnologies.

Royal DSM will acquire Fortitech and integrate it into its human nutrition and health business.

Starbucks’ Carson Valley roasting plant has won the 2012 Manufacturing Excellence Award from the Association of Manufacturing Excellence.

Vitiva has opened Vitiva Analytical Services that will provide analytical, applications, and research and development services to product developers.


Karen Nachay,
Associate Editor
[email protected]