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Study Finds More Reasons to Eat Whole Grains

From: Food in Canada

Copenhagen, Denmark – A study headed by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark has found several reasons why consumers should include whole grains in their diets.

In an article (“Several reasons why whole grains are healthy,” published on Nov. 2, 2017 by Miriam Meister), the National Food Institute says researchers from various departments looked at consumers who swapped their refined grain products, such as white bread and pasta, for whole grain versions.

The study included 50 adults who were at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

What the researchers found was “that the participants had less inflammation in their bodies when eating whole grains,” especially with rye.

Participants also ate less overall. This is “presumably because whole grain consumption causes satiety. While eating the whole grain diet, participants have generally lost weight.”

The researchers add that what effects whole grains have on gut bacteria composition warrant further study.

For more on the study, click here

Hershey Raises Growth Forecast Again After Positive Third Quarter

From: Food & Beverage Media

With a new federal marketing order, can pecans become the next ‘it’ nut?

From Food Navigator USA

The USDA approved a federal marketing order (FMO) for the pecan industry earlier this year, enabling the industry to collect mandatory dues that will go towards marketing and research efforts for US pecans. In August 2016, the industry started the nomination process for members of a new American Pecan Council, which will decide how the funds will be used.

Bruce Caris, chairman of the National Pecan Shellers Association, says that the pecan industry was more scattered throughout the country. While an overwhelming majority of domestic pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are grown in California (about 95%, Caris estimated), pecans are grown in 15 different states.

Despite its niche place globally as Caris described, there is growing demand for pecans overseas. “Prior to 2000, China had never imported more than a million pounds of pecans in the shell. Two years ago they bought almost 98 million pounds of in-shell pecans from the US. For this past crop year it would probably be close to 60 million — China alone is buying 20 to 30% of the US crop,” he said. There, Caris explained, consumers like their tree-nuts in shells, because it seems fresher to them.

But beyond being sold plainly as a nut, Caris noted innovation in other applications. “I would say over the past three years we’ve seen several pecan nut butters getting started. I know of two companies who sometime in the next month will launch pecan milk,” he added. “And inclusion in cereals and snack bars have taken off in the past five years, both here as well as in Europe and Asia, Japan in particular.”

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Read the full article here.

Nut-free Aurora food plant hiring workers, expanding to U.S., western Canada

From Metroland York Region

A $100,000 government grant for food processing machinery will allow Aurora-based Treasure Mills to expand its markets in the United States and western Canada and hire new workers, the president says.

The funding to Treasure Mills, which makes nut- and peanut-free snack foods such as muffins, cookies and cupcakes in its 30,000-square-foot plant, is part of a $2.5 million investment by the provincial and federal governments to boost York Region’s food and beverage processing sector.

Treasure Mills, grew by more than 60 per cent and “hired dramatically” last year, the president said. The grant for the flow wrapper machinery has reduced the company’s production costs by 10 per cent and increased product output by 200 per cent.

Learn more about sanitary turn-key bakery processing solutions from Tri-Mach Group here.
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Kellogg planning ‘aggressive’ changes to revive Special K snacks range

From Bakery & Snacks

Announcing its financial results for the second quarter, Kellogg revealed net sales from its US snacks segment had fallen 4% year on year to $803m while sales in its Morning Goods segment, which includes breakfast cereals, had dropped 2% year on year to $727m.

Sales in the US snack business had been impacted by the performance of the Special K brand, and Kellogg said it is overhauling its Special K snacks range to increase consumer relevance.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the last year renovating some of the Special K SKUs and launching on-trend foods like Special K Nourish Chewy Nut Bars, and we’re seeing positive results,” said Kellogg Snacks Business Unit president Adrienne Deanie Elsner.

She added that Special K Nourish bars had been 80% incremental to the Special K bars line, and that their sales growth was three times greater than the rest of the Special K bar range.

Learn more about turn-key snack food processing solutions from Tri-Mach Group here.
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Mars launches new protein bars under Mars and Snickers brands

From FoodBev Media

To capitalise on the protein trend, Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats has launched two new protein bars under its Mars and Snickers brands.

The Snickers protein bar contains 18g of protein, while the Mars protein bar has 19g. The two new bars are just 200 calories and have the nutritional profile you would expect from a protein bar, Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats said, but with all the great taste of Snickers and Mars that consumers know and love.

The protein bars segment is a fast-growing category with sales valued at £22m, increasing by over 58% and £8.2m on last year. Almost two in ten (17%) of UK consumers now typically consume food or drink that contains protein as a snack between meals, the company added.

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Wood-derived ingredients could be future of food, researchers say

From FoodBev.com

Manufacturers could soon be using wood-derived polymers such as xylan, fibrillated cellulose and lignin to improve the texture and reduce the energy content of food products, according to Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre. The Espoo-based organisation said that the wood-derived ingredients could be used in yogurts, baked goods such as cakes and muffins, and meat products.

As the food industry searches for new natural ingredients that improve the quality of products and promote consumer health, its research has shown that the polymers have properties that make them stand out from their traditional counterparts.

Xylan, a hemicellulose extracted from birch pulp, could be used as texture enhancer in yogurt: VTT’s studies shown that xylan can improve the smoothness of yogurt and enhance its stability when compared to conventional manufacturing techniques.

Fibrillated cellulose, which is produced by wet-grinding cellulose fibres, forms a web-like gel that could be utilised as a thickening and stabilising agent for fermented dairy products – yogurt included. It may also reduce cholesterol in the human body.

VTT tested lignin in the manufacture of muffins and found that, in addition to giving muffins a fluffier texture, lignin proved to be a surprisingly efficient substitute for whole eggs and egg yolks. Lignin also functioned as an emulsifier in mayonnaise and contributed to juiciness in a meat product, VTT said.

Read the full article here.

General Mills releases ‘first new breakfast cereal in 15 years’

From FoodBev.com

General Mills has launched its first new cereal brand in 15 years, after exploring a new way to incorporate real fruit into its products.

Shaped like small pieces of toast and sprinkled with blueberries and strawberries, Tiny Toast boasts a fresh fruit aroma and taste. Designed to have a similar family appeal to Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it is the first new cereal from General Mills since it launched the now-discontinued Harmony cereal in 2001.

Originally, the team behind Tiny Toast set out to make a layered cereal with either a cherry filling or a spread – but the concept proved too expensive and not particularly viable, so General Mills coated the cereal with fruit on the outside. The fruity flavours come from strawberry and blueberry powders – though the coarse powders more closely resemble a flake that provides Tiny Toast with its great taste and appearance.

“Tiny Toast gives you this really large pop of aroma that’s missing from those other fruit cereals,” said Mike Evenson, product developer for General Mills’ innovation, technology and quality division. “We watched how consumers responded when they first opened a box, and they were stunned at how good it smelled.”

Read the full article here.

The FDA is Making Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label

From the Wall Street Journal

The Food and Drug Administration said a new nutrition-facts panel on the back of packaged food and beverages will list how many grams of sugar have been added by manufacturers, and what percentage of the recommended daily maximum that represents.

The FDA’s decision to break out added sugar from the total sugar count already on packaging comes amid a yearslong campaign by the Obama administration to curb obesity, diabetes and other ailments. The new sugar rules have faced opposition from food and beverage companies, which say there is no difference between naturally present sugars and added sugars.

The FDA estimates that implementing the change will cost the food and beverage industry roughly $500 million a year, while providing approximately $2 billion annually in benefits such as reduced health costs, over 20 years. A study commissioned by several industry trade groups based on an earlier proposal found the label changes would result in a total net cost of at least $640 million. Economist John Dunham, who led the study, said the FDA accounted for far more benefits than are realistic.

Manufacturers have two years to comply with the new regulation, though they could still challenge the changes in court. Those with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have three years.

The new label regulations don’t apply to certain meat, poultry and processed-egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the FDA.

Among other changes, manufacturers also will be required to declare the amounts of potassium and vitamin D because the FDA says Americans aren’t getting enough of them. Manufacturers will no longer be required to list vitamin A and vitamin C because most people do. The new panels also will require some companies to change the serving sizes they list on the back of the package. Ice cream labels, which can now show half a cup as one serving, will list two-thirds of a cup as a serving, increasing the calorie count that appears on the label by a third.

Read the full article here.

Amazon is going to sell its own line of food

From ReCode

Amazon is going to start selling its own brands of snacks, diapers and detergent — a move lots of traditional retailers have already made. But Amazon isn’t a traditional retailer, so this move could be very meaningful for Amazon and its competitors.

The e-commerce powerhouse will soon begin selling its own packaged goods exclusively to Amazon Prime members under brands like Happy Belly and Mama Bear, the Wall Street Journal reports. Recode reported in February that Amazon was testing out the Mama Bear brand name.

Amazon already sells things like electronic accessories, office supplies and even clothing under a variety of its own brand names. Now it’s going all in on groceries and household products.

While some people will point out that so-called “private labeling” is nothing new — grocery stores and big-box retailers have been increasingly pushing their in-house brands — this is a much bigger deal. That’s because the growth in retail is all going to be online, and Amazon owns online. It already accounts for half of all sales growth in U.S. e-commerce.

Read the full article here.