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Brought to you by the editors of Food Technology magazine, The Weekly Newsletter delivers the latest news and research from the food science, technology, and regulatory landscape.

The Weekly for July 29, 2020

Editor’s Note: The Weekly newsletter content will now be moving to a new daily newsletter called Food News Now. This new newsletter provides you with personalized content based on your interests and expertise. It’s designed to be brief and easy to read to give you a daily look at the latest industry news from reputable news sources.


Top Stories

Smithfield says not all plant workers can be socially distanced
According to Reuters, Smithfield Foods has said workers cannot be socially distant in all areas of its plants, in response to U.S. senators who pressed meatpackers on coronavirus outbreaks in slaughterhouses.

U.S. foodservice industry set to rebound to pre-pandemic levels by 2023
The latest research from Mintel shows that after several years of growth, the foodservice industry is expected to decline by up to 30% from 2019 to 2020, following nationwide dine-in bans/restrictions, restaurant closures, job losses, and lowered consumer confidence.


Research Briefs

A low-carb diet may lower the risk of blinding eye disease
Following a long-term diet that’s low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein from vegetables may reduce the risk of the most common subtype of glaucoma.

U.S. restaurant industry recovery stalls with no improvement in six weeks
COVID case surges across the United States and the subsequent rollbacks in re-opening plans have stalled the U.S. restaurant industry’s recovery, reported The NPD Group.

Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African Swine Fever Virus
Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.

COVID-19’s impact on lifestyles and eating behaviors in Asia
According to Innova Market Insights’ COVID-19 Consumer Survey (conducted in March 2020), in China, India, and Indonesia, personal concerns center on health, personal income, and the availability of healthcare and products to buy.

Company News

Geltor raises $91.3 million to expand its ingredients-as-a-service platform
The funding round aims to meet accelerating demand from global consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies for sustainable, functional, and 100% animal-free ingredients.

NP Nutra experiences strong first-half sales growth in 2020
Nature’s Power Nutraceuticals Corp. (NP Nutra), a leader in the nutraceutical ingredients marketplace, reported that sales were up 20% year over year for the first half of 2020.

Batory Foods appoints Vince Pinneri as president
The board of directors of Batory Foods, a national distributor of commodity and specialty food ingredients, has appointed Vince Pinneri to the position of president and member of the executive team, effective Aug. 31, 2020.

Purina invests $167 million to expand U.S. production
Nestlé Purina has announced it will expand its operations in Cumberland County, Pa., hiring 94 additional employees and adding new processing and packaging lines to its Mechanicsburg location.

Gathered Foods appoints Christine Mei as new CEO
Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood, has announced the appointment of Christine Mei as CEO.

Regulatory News

USDA provides an update on 2019 Tyson beef plant closure and COVID-19 investigation
The report summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb, Kan., plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA amends its procedures for dairy, infant formula firms exporting to China
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing changes to its export listing procedures for dairy and infant formula firms seeking to export their products to China.

FDA gives $1.5 million for FSMA education, training, and technical assistance
The FDA is announcing $1.5 million of continued funding, in the form of cooperative agreements, to the University of Arkansas Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and the National Farmers Union to enhance food safety under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

IFT & Meeting News

DEI Discussions: Building Work Relationships in a Virtual Work Environment
August 27 | 10:00–11:30 a.m. (CT)
How do you build important work relationships in a virtual workplace? This workshop explores how to build and maintain the relationships that we all need for optimal interactions, individual opportunities, and healthy teams—while operating in a virtual workplace. This workshop is free to IFT members.

SHIFT20 is Now On-Demand
Missed the live virtual event and expo? Didn’t get to see all of the sessions you wanted? No worries you can still get it on-demand. Peruse featured sessions presentations, over 100 scientific and professional development sessions, and 700+ research poster presentations all recorded and now available on-demand. Weren’t able to register? You still can!

Resources and Support for Online Teaching
IFT Webcast | August 3 | 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. CT | Education, Extension, and Outreach Division
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, educators are being challenged to move to online teaching in a short period of time. Besides generating course material, it’s important to incorporate elements that promote student engagement and community building to online courses. This live webcast consists of two sessions: the Fennema workshop and a roundtable in resources and support for online teaching.

JFS and CRFSFS Impact Factors Increased
IFT received good news for both Journal of Food Science and Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety in the 2019 Journal Citation Reports. The Impact Factor for JFS increased to 2.478, while CRFSFS increased to 9.912, making it the No. 2-ranked journal out of 139 journals in the Food Science & Technology category.

Upcoming Events

NEIFT Food Industry Expo

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States


San Antonio, Texas

Atchison, Kansas, POSITION PURPOSE:  Conceptualize new and value-added ingredients for eventual launch and commercialization in the food and non-food industry and to provide scientific support to Sales & Marketing and distribution partners to assure the success of the corporation. This position will be involved in project management directing product research, applications, customer projects and technical services in support of the company’s ingredients business. The individual will provide expertise in-house in support of the Ingredients Division initiatives and as a cross-functional team member with other departments of the company. This position will address regulatory matters with FDA and other government agencies and will be active in patent applications and in protecting MGP’s intellectual properties.   MAJOR ACCOUNTABILITIES & COMPETENCIES Research and Development Conceptualizes new value-added products in support of Innovation initiatives and in addressing the prevailing Food Trends. Commercialize new products in support of Sales and Marketing efforts. Directs food applications/formulations research on new and existing food ingredients utilizing in-house research equipment, commercial lab services or university facilities. Directs projects with universities or research centers to develop new scientific and clinical data or confirm the efficacy or performance of ingredients in food and non-food products. Provides expert technical advice on product, process, and quality improvements in support of Operations, Engineering, and Quality. Customer Support Provides technical service and customer support to the Sales and Marketing team including MGP’s brokers, distributors and international partners. Provides education through technical training of customers, brokers, distributors and MGPI staff. Strategy Development Develop strategic intent and new product development for R&D group and contribute to developing the 5-year strategy for MGP Ingredients Solutions. This includes understanding of current customer trends and how the ingredient portfolio can be expanded, improved and optimized. Experience with M&A activities and evaluations from an innovation standpoint. Can lead the R&D function during M&A focus within the strategy of the organization. Regulatory Compliance Directs efforts to obtain regulatory approval of MGP’s ingredients. Conducts regulatory discussions with FDA, USDA or other foreign agencies to support ingredient’s use in the food industry. Intellectual Property Invents new products or processes. Writes patents and provides technical advice to lawyers during patent application and prosecution. Provides technical advice in defending intellectual property in case of infringement. Information Management Writes and publishes brochures/booklets describing product attributes and performance in support of the Sales and Marketing team. Contributes articles in trade magazines in response to media inquiry. Keeps abreast of technical information in published literature, scientific meetings, and trade shows. QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS PhD. in Food Science, Grain Science or Cereal Chemistry Minimum of 10-15 years of fundamental and practical research experience in starch and protein structure, composition, properties, functionality, nutritional quality, modification and uses Minimum 10 years of commercial or industry experience in food research and product development in the baking, pasta, snack, breakfast cereal and meat alternative industries. Clear understanding of the commercialization process and how innovation and the new product development function connect to profitable growth in the sales arena Minimum 10 years of experience in technical service and sales support Ability to transition to the “go to market” sales platform to support the sales organization Minimum of 5 years of experience in collaborative research and partnership with industrial, academic or government institutions High visibility in the food industry with full understanding of the baking and pasta B2B segments Ability to assimilate technical information and create PowerPoint presentation materials to customers, distributors/brokers, and MGPI staff and develop  easy-to-read reports to executive management Ability to use Microsoft Office and use search engines to obtain technical, patent and market information Ability to establish close relationships with university professors, R&D scientists from food companies and scientists from government research laboratories. Specialized knowledge of chemistry of carbohydrates (starches, dietary fibers, gums, hydrocolloids), proteins, lipids, and enzymes; specialized knowledge of wet flour processing, dough rheology, baking, sensory analysis, chemical modification, enzyme conversion, food processing operations, extrusion, thermal modification, product development, ingredient interaction and functionality, quality management, human clinical studies, regulatory compliance, and patent writing/applications. Sound scientific knowledge and solid business understanding of the food industry and the prevailing Food Trends Excellent interpersonal communications skills Ability to communicate complex ideas or processes to a variety of audiences including sales, marketing, customer service, R&D and the C-suite environment Excellent written communication skills to outline ingredient applications and functions for potential advertising or marketing support of ingredients portfolio Results Driven Proven leadership skills with the ability to coach and teach new technologies and ideas Preferably an active member in good standing with the American Bakers Association (ABA) and other technical organizations like the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Cereals & Grains Association  ...