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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.

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The Weekly for December 11, 2019


Top Stories

World food prices jump in November
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, world food prices rose significantly in November, reaching their highest point in more than two years, driven by jumps in the international prices of meat products and vegetable oils.

DoorDash, White Claw, Impossible Foods top list of Fastest Growing Brands
A new report released by Morning Consult finds that the U.S. food and beverage industry dominated its Fastest Growing Brands of 2019 rankings, with 11 of the top 20 spots claimed by food brands and delivery services.

IFT kicks off third annual IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ competition
Applications are now open for the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ competition, which is designed to help emerging and investment-ready food related startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators gain visibility and make strategic connections to help advance the science of food and its positive impact on the sustainability of the global food supply.


Research Briefs

Mintel announces food, drink trends for 2020
Mintel has announced three key trends that will shape the global food, drink, and foodservice industries over the next 10 years.

Scientists map 99% of sugarcane genome
An international group of researchers led by Brazilian scientists has assembled the most complete genome sequence of commercial sugarcane. They mapped 373,869 genes or 99.1% of the total genome.

Snacks may help children increase fruit, veggie and protein intake
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that children who eat between meals may be getting fruits and other elements of a healthy diet that they would not otherwise eat.

Moderate alcohol consumption may increase cancer risk
A study published in the journal Cancer suggests that even moderate alcohol consumption may increase the risk for cancer.

Almond Board invests $5.9 million in researching next-gen farming
The Almond Board of California (ABC) has announced an investment of $5.9 million in 85 independent research projects exploring next-generation farming practices.

Consumers believe ag-tech is needed, but many don’t want it
Technology in agriculture (ag-tech) is how we'll feed a growing population, make farming more sustainable, and improve the lives of farm animals, say 85% of the 3,000 participants in Cargill's new three-continent consumer survey.


Company News

PepsiCo launches second Greenhouse program accelerator
PepsiCo has announced the launch of its second PepsiCo Greenhouse program in North America, an initiative designed to support emerging entrepreneurs and brands in the food and beverage industry.

Blue Pacific Flavors, McCormick collaborate on encapsulation technology
A new collaboration between Blue Pacific Flavors and McCormick & Co. will market non-GMO, natural flavors with FlavorCell, a technology of McCormick’s Flavor Solutions business segment, to provide encapsulated flavor delivery in powdered beverages, confectionery, and bakery products.

Nestlé scales up action against child labor and expands cocoa sustainability program
Nestlé has reported significant progress in its efforts to tackle the issue of child labor in the cocoa communities of West Africa.

Ingredion, SweeGen extend distribution agreement for stevia sweeteners
SweeGen, a nature-based sweetener company, and Ingredion, a global provider of ingredient solutions to diversified industries, has announced an updated agreement that extends its relationship on a non-exclusive basis for three more years.

Cargill invests $113 million to expand cocoa processing in Africa
Cargill is investing more than $113 million to expand its cocoa processing sites in Yopougon, Ivory Coast, and Tema, Ghana.

Motif FoodWorks, University of Queensland partner to improve texture in plant-based meat
Motif FoodWorks, the animal-free ingredient company, has announced a partnership with the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, to test and identify new formulations to improve the texture of plant-based meat products through in vitro processing.

McDonald’s names Ian Borden as president, international
McDonald’s has announced that Ian Borden, most recently president, International Developmental Licensed (IDL) Markets, has been appointed to president, International, effective immediately.

Regulatory News

E. coli infections linked to Fresh Express salad kits
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states and Canada, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kit.

FDA provides flexibility for start of routine inspections on small farms
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it is providing flexibility for when states may begin conducting routine inspections of small farms, other than sprouts operations, under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Noblegen self-affirms GRAS status for euglena flour
Noblegen, a nutritional ingredient company, has achieved self-affirmed GRAS status for its protein-rich flour sourced from dried whole cell Euglena gracilis.


IFT News

Startups! IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge competition application now open!
Emerging and investment-ready food related companies don’t miss this unique opportunity to gain visibility, make strategic connections, and win $25K. Competition finalists participate in a live pitch competition at IFT’s Annual Event and Food Expo in Chicago July 14, 2020, to compete for the $25,000 grand prize. Competition application is open now through January 9, 2020.

Beyond Clean Label: A Look at Functional Ingredients and Value-Added Nutrition Podcast
Clean label has been around for nearly 10 years and continues to be broadly discussed within the food industry. In this IFTNEXT Food Disruptors podcast episode we go beyond the “marketing-speak” to explore functional ingredients and value-added nutrition.

IFT Short Course: Plant Proteins—Functionalities and Applications
February 4–5 | Chicago, IL | 14.00 CH
Explore familiar and novel plant proteins, discussing their properties, functionalities, and applications across multiple food and beverage categories. Don’t miss the opportunity to apply your learning in course activities and to network with other participants in this this two-day short course.

Plant Proteins, Packaging Innovation: Upcoming webcasts are free for premier members

  • Overcoming Flavor and Solubility Limitations of Plant Proteins for Beverage Applications
    January 28 | 12–1 p.m. CT | IFT’s Food Chemistry Division
  • Overcoming Flavor and Structural Limitations of Plant Proteins for Meat Analogues
    February 6 | 11 a.m.–12 p.m. CT | IFT’s Protein Division
  • Achieving Packaging Design and Innovation that Resonates with Consumers
    February 19 | 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. CT | Food Packaging Division
  • To Measure is to Know: My Career in Sensory Methodology with Suzanne Pecore
    March 11| 12–1 p.m. CT | Consumer Sciences Division

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