Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017

December 6th, 2016

FERRÉ CONSULTING Holding Group – Europe / USA wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017 filled with health, work, joy and humanity.



Here is the animated greeting card
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Ferré & Consulting Group

New Technology to Cut Sugar in Chocolate

December 6th, 2016

Big food companies that include Nestle, Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ), and PepsiCo Inc. are scrambling to create healthier products to reduce their dependence on treats full of sugar and salt. It comes as the U.K., Mexico and some U.S. cities implement sugar taxes to help fight childhood obesity and diabetes, which affects four times as many people now than in 1980. The World Health Organization has said increasing the price of sugary drinks by 20% would reduce consumption by a fifth.

Nestle said it had devised a new technology that has the potential to reduce sugar in some of its confectionery products by up to 40% without affecting the taste. They have found a way using only natural ingredients to change the structure of sugar particles. By hollowing out the crystals, Nestle said each particle dissolves more quickly on the tongue, so less sugar can be used in chocolate.

“Our scientists have discovered a completely new way to use a traditional, natural ingredient,” said Nestle’s chief technology officer, Stefan Catsicas.

“Real food in nature is not something smooth and homogeneous. It’s full of cavities, crests and densities. So by reproducing this variability, we are capable to restore the same sensation”, said Nestle’s top researcher. “If you look with an electron microscope into an apple, that’s exactly what you see”.

The announcement comes as a global obesity epidemic ramps up pressure on processed food makers to make their products healthier. Nestle and Mondelez have all been working to reduce sugar, fat and salt, as consumers increasingly opt for fresher, healthier options.

Nestle said it was patenting its findings and would begin to use the faster-dissolving sugar across a range of its confectionery products from 2018. The company declined to say whether it will use the technology in other product categories, as it’s waiting for the patent to be published, a spokesman said.

Nestle is not the first company to experiment with designer molecules. Back in 2010 PepsiCo designed a salt molecule that it said would allow it to use less sodium without affecting the taste of its snacks, which include Cheetos.

Source: Abasto


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CEBP Bakers & Confectioners European Evening Presents EU Industry’s State

December 6th, 2016

The European Confederation of National Bakery and Confectionary Organizations (CEBP) hosted the European Evening event in Brussels at the Stanhope Hotel, on November 14, 2016.

With the MEPs and EC high officials in attendance, Christian Vabret, CEBP president, presented an overview of the association as well as current concerns of bakers throughout the EU: “Our sector is one of the most important in food production in Europe. It includes more than 190,000 manufacturing companies and over 2,000,000 employees. This sector consists mainly of small family businesses, especially in the Mediterranean area.”

He also expressed his concern regarding recent development disrupting the bakery industry: “Laws coming from Brussels are often amended by a new text prior to their implementation. This is a regular and incomprehensible approach in recent years.” The association can help mitigate this and support bakers with training and advice, he concluded.

On this occasion, a study on bread consumption was presented to a wider public of members of the European Parliament (EP) and officers of the European Commission (EU). The study “An Overview of the Bread Markets in Europe” courtesy of Gira Consultancy & Research aimed to show the officials why bread promotion matters. Highlights of the study include:

  • Bread consumption dropped from 67 kg recorded in 2004 to 63 kg per capita today;
  • Fresh bread consumption in particular dropped from 51 kg (2004) to 46 kg per capita today;
  • National Health Authorities recommend the consumption of bread, although consumption figures remain under their recommendation level;
  • Younger consumers eat less bread, but more out of home;
  • Men usually eat more bread than women, but women eat a wider variety of bread;
  • An increase of searching for regional and local bread products.

Like every year, every country brought typical bakery and confectionery products from their home country for the EU representatives to see and taste.

The study was co-financed by the Bread Initiative, an informal coalition of flour millers, craft and industrial bakers, bakery ingredients and yeast manufacturers. The goal of the Bread Initiative group is to improve the image of bread in it its diversity, emphasizing its health value, cultural heritage and economic importance of the bread sector in Europe.

Source: World Bakers



Mondelez to close Montreal cookie and cracker factory

December 6th, 2016

Confectionary giant Mondelez has decided to shut down its cookie and cracker plant in Montreal, Canada by 2017.

The move is expected to affect 454 jobs at the facility, reported The Globe snd Mall.

Almost all of the plant’s production will be shifted to Toronto while the remainder of its operations will be carried out by the company’s factory in Portland, Oregon.

The Montreal factory manufactures Christie brand products that include Ritz crackers and Oreo cookies among others.

Mondelez Canada spokeswoman Stephanie Cass was quoted the publication as saying: “Over the next few days and weeks, we look forward to sitting down with the union representatives to discuss severance arrangements.”

Cass confirmed that the remaining five plants of Mondelez in Canada will be unaffected.

The decision taken will not be reversed by the global confectionary even if it is offered any financial assistance from the provincial government, Cass said.

Economy Minister Dominique Anglade has denied getting any request for financial aid from the company.

Anglade said: “We are very open at looking into what we can do with the company but I don’t think it will respond to their needs.”

The Montreal plant closure will be gradually phased out until 2017 end, the company spokeswoman.

Cass was quoted by Global News as saying: “Right now, our focus actually turns to our employees and doing what we can do to support them.”




Cargill report highlights latest trends in cocoa and chocolate

December 6th, 2016

Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business has released its comprehensive report highlighting key trends in chocolate.

Based on insight gained from interactions with customers across numerous application categories, and on information gathered from projects with customers through Cargill’s application centres, the report highlights trends across four key themes: indulgent; premium; healthy; and sustainable and clean.

Cargill’s four trending areas


Today’s consumer is looking for an ever-more indulgent experience, across flavour, texture and colour, inspiring new levels of creativity in sweet foods around the world. In flavours – vegetable and chocolate combinations are becoming popular across a range of categories, for example kale flavour fillings in chocolate bars and chocolate featuring alongside beetroot in cakes.

Texture is also evolving towards more indulgence, with larger chocolate chunk inclusions as well as new combinations of textures such as crispy chocolate layers on top of creamy desserts.

Cocoa powder is increasingly being used to play with shades and add depth of colour.


Demand for premium products is at an all-time high, with provenance and origin being key among cocoa and chocolate products. Besides specifying the origin of cocoa or chocolate, manufacturers increasingly highlight on the pack the country where the end-product was manufactured, satisfying consumers’ desire to buy local products. Inspiration from the artisanal industry is also observed. Processes behind the product are becoming more prominent on packaging – with details included such as ‘stone ground’ or ‘slow churned’ and even the conching time of chocolate.


How diet affects health and wellness is increasingly on consumers’ minds, leading them to avoid ingredients perceived as unhealthy, and look for those perceived as healthy. Besides the long standing trend for sugar reduction and gluten free, lactose free claims are increasingly being observed in cocoa and chocolate products, with milk alternatives such as coconut milk increasing in popularity. Looking at ingredients seen as beneficial, the trend for protein is still booming and becoming mainstream, breaking free from the sports nutrition niche and focusing on satiety rather than sports recovery.

Sustainable and clean

Where food comes from, how it is produced, and its true ethical and environmental cost, really matter to today’s consumer. Certified chocolate products are becoming more popular and spreading their reach out from chocolate tablets into dairy, bakery, biscuits and ice cream. Answering consumers’ needs for more transparency, clean and clear labelling is also more important than ever. In the quest to remove e-numbers, real fruits and plant extracts are being increasingly used to naturally colour products.

Niklas Andersson, Cargill European marketing director for cocoa and chocolate, said: “Whether working in confectionery, biscuits, bakery, cereals, dairy or ice cream, our report provides real insights that can help manufacturers get a head start on the competition when creating new products and innovations.

“Today’s discerning consumer is looking beyond value for money. They are better informed than ever before and, as our research demonstrates, they consider the contents of their food and its impacts on the future more than ever before. In short, they want food that tastes good, is good, helps them to be good and does good.”



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Sugar Reduction Should be Innovation Rather Than Policy Driven

December 6th, 2016

Beneo says that replacing sugar with healthier alternatives has become a requirement from the consumer and heavy trends for better nutrition and reduced sugar intake should be driving the market, rather than government pushing for taxes and legislation to curb sugar consumption.

Christoph Boettger, who has recently been appointed as a board member, spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst during Hi Europe where he demonstrated Beneo’s sugar-reduced solutions and explained how the company continues to address sugar reduction to meet the demands of consumers.

“We are focusing very much on the replacement of sugar as we feel it’s a huge trend in the market, a requirement of the consumer. A large share of populations intend to cut sugar intake in their daily nutrition. And that’s why with our ingredients, we have been working on smart solutions to replace sucrose in many products of daily life,” he says.

Boettger presented samples of sugar-reduced products that benefit from a lower blood glucose effect using less or no sucrose and, as a result, contribute sustainably to weight management.

The range of samples on show at Hi Europe included a sugar reduced strawberry yogurt with Beneo’s chicory root fiber, oligofructose, which reduces the total sugar content of this fruit yogurt by at least 20 percent.

And a no added sugar milk chocolate containing BENEO’s sugar replacer ISOMALT and chicory root fiber inulin, the sugar content could be reduced by more than two thirds. At the same time, it conveys the same taste as the full-sugar equivalent. In addition, a low glycaemic non-carbonated isotonic drink including Beneo’s next generation sugar, Palatinose. This orange-flavored sports beverage contains 30 percent less high glycaemic sugars and can carry a “low glycemic” claim.

“When we are replacing sugar it is important for us that we are also reducing the load of high glycemic carbohydrates in the product which is done often in consumer products where for example starch is replacing the sugar which is taken out.” Boettger adds.

“But with starch being a high glycemic you still have a high impact on the blood sugar level meaning a fast increase to a higher level, which then also leads to a respective injury limit response.”

“For a healthier lifestyle this should be reduced because this type of strong fluctuation of the blood sugar level enhances obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

As sugar taxes resonate around the world, Beneo is pushing for more consumer choice rather than enforced legislation from governments.

“We are glad that we can provide solutions to everybody that wants to reduce sugar consumption, who wants to replace sugars. I think the choice should always be given to the consumer to go for the solution he intends to have. With the examples we have, we can give this choice to the customer so that he can decide himself without regulation from the outside which is forcing him in a certain direction.

“For us what is much more important is that the sugar is not only replaced but that it’s replaced with a healthy alternative which our ingredients can provide.”

Beneo is committed to sustainable farming, enabling the company to develop high quality ingredients derived from chicory root and beet sugar and its dedication to the conscious sourcing of rice and wheat also supports biodiversity, reducing water pollution and soil erosion. The company’s continuous investment in state-of-the-art factories ensures high-level energy efficiency and it has a strong focus on corporate social responsibility.

Beneo also cites how it invests heavily in research and development, with a budget six times higher than the European food industry average.

Watch the full interview here.



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Food scientists are trying to engineer milk chocolate to be as healthy as dark chocolate

November 5th, 2016
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Chocolate_o_s_sidePeople are always eager for good news about chocolate. That made us sitting ducks two years ago, when Harvard science journalist John Bohannon fooled the world by publishing a “study” that showed chocolate could help you lose weight. He watched the fake story and flimsy science get picked up by legitimate news outlets globally before finally confessing that he had conned the media to prove a point about irresponsible science journals and journalists.

With that cautionary tale in mind, I suggest we all take the latest chocolate development—that US Department of Agriculture researchers, in partnership with North Carolina State University, have found a way to boost the nutritional content of milk chocolate—with a grain of (smoked sea) salt. Not because the science is faulty, but because the promised novel form of chocolate doesn’t make milk chocolate a health food.

It’s understandable that researchers would look for ways to give sweeter, more popular milk chocolate a piece of dark chocolate’s good-for-you halo.

Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate, which means it also offers more of the bean’s health-supporting flavonoids. Eating small amounts of dark chocolate consistently—most studies use chocolate made from 70% cocoa—has been found to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar levels in the body, improve mood by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost heart and brain function. The polyphenol epicatechin in cocoa is a particularly potent antioxidant known to improve blood flow by prompting blood vessel cells to release higher amounts of nitric oxide. (For this reason, eating dark chocolate could even enhance your workout.)

In order to try jack milk chocolate’s healthfulness factor, the scientists added an ingredient that doesn’t sound immediately appealing: extracts of discarded peanut casings, a waste product of the peanut industry.

Added to milk chocolate, the peanut skin extracts bring with them phenolic compounds that offer antioxidant properties similar to that of dark chocolate. “The compounds in peanut skins are the very same ones found in other sources such as cocoa, tea and cranberries; that is catechin, epicatechin and procyanidins,” says Lisa Dean, food technologist and lead author of the study. The scientists encased the peanut skins in the starchy food additive maltodextrin, which camouflaged their flavor, making the difference between treated and untreated milk chocolate undetectable in the study’s 80-person blind taste test. (They have not yet tested the dosed chocolate with people who have peanut allergies.)

“There are published studies that have shown that extracts from peanut skins are anti-inflammatory in cell culture, have cholesterol lowering effects in rats, and have antioxidant effects in chemical tests,” Dean adds, noting that, “if the compounds themselves are the cause of the health effects, then the effects will be the same, regardless of the food source.”

So could the new enriched milk chocolate be as healthy as dark chocolate? Not really. Yes, it would offer the same antioxidant levels, but it would still contain higher amounts of sugar and milk solids than dark chocolate. Then again, dark chocolate bars can also contain larger than recommended amounts of sugar, too, and that refined sweetener, which has been tied to its own, much more elaborate publishing scandal, is worse for us than we knew.



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Forecast: the Global Bakery Market until 2020

November 5th, 2016
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Technavio analysts forecast the global bakery market to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% between 2016 and 2020. The report segments the market into the following four categories:breads and rolls, cakes and pastries,cookies and others.

According to Manjunath Reddy, a lead analyst at Technavio for food research: “The numerous health benefits of gluten-free bakery products have increased their popularity in the Americas and Europe. Vendors have gradually begun to split their focus into health and indulgence cakes and pastries in Western Europe and North America. High-fiber bakery products are witnessing robust retail sales in Latin America and Asia-Pacific (APAC).”


Increase in indulgent consumption

There is high demand for cakes as a result of an increase in indulgent consumption. The demand for on-the-go snacks is also contributing to the demand for cakes and pastries. The sales of chocolate-based cakes increased by 19% between 2007 and 2012. Consumption of these products is usually unaffected by the prevailing economic conditions. Premium varieties in unique flavors are also much in demand and drive the snacks and pastries market. This is further supported by innovation in packaging, enabling easier on-the-go consumption.

Despite growing health consciousness, there exists a steady market for premium, indulgent foods.

Demand for functional ingredients

Due to the increasing demand for bakery products suited for specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free, innovation has become an important driver. Functional ingredients are being used to enhance products and make them healthier. Increasing innovation is apparent in the Canadian bakery market. Products containing flours other than wheat (rice flour and chia flour) have been launched in recent years. Out of the new products launched in Canada in 2014, an increasing number of bakery products claimed to have rice flour. Cakes and pastries and sweet goods constituted around 13% of these products.

Rise in in-store supermarket bakeries

In-store bakeries are found in grocery stores and are relatively small but offer a substantial range of fresh baked products, with increasing amounts of wholegrain bread being produced. Artisanal and industrial bakeries have had to contend with rising competition from the growing number of in-store supermarket bakeries that have their own offerings with competitive pricing. In-store bakeries are gaining prominence due to their lower prices and the convenience of one-stop shopping. Value-conscious customers are increasingly opting for private-label offerings of supermarkets.

“Par bakery items are frozen to increase their shelf life and lower temperature also retains the texture of crumbs and reduces the rate of crumb hardening that results from staling. These cakes also provide an easy and fast way to offer consumers fresh bread and rolls,” says Manjunath.

Source: World Bakers


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France’s baguette obsession: The rules of “baguetiquette”

November 5th, 2016
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When you think of your stereotypical French person, you may well picture them in a striped shirt and holding a baguette. For bread is an integral part of the country’s diet and the French take it very seriously. In the show this week, bakers tell us the secret to making good bread as we explore the rules of “baguetiquette”.




Nutella for breakfast? Chocolate maker pushing FDA to reclassify spread

November 5th, 2016
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Nutella lovers enjoy the creamy spread on toast, pancakes, waffles and more– but is it really okay to eat all day?

Ferrero, the Italian company behind the chocolate hazelnut spread, are now making a case that their product is suitable as a breakfast food, not just something you should enjoy for dessert.

Ferrero wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce Nutella’s serving size from two tablespoons to one, according to Bloomberg. The company already filed a petition with the FDA in 2014 asking for the food to be categorized along the lines of other a.m. spreads like jams and honey.

On Tuesday, the agency announced intent to seek more information on flavored nut-butter spreads, their planned use and usual consumption amounts. The amount of Nutella people really eat in one sitting is now under scrutiny.

Since 1993, the FDA has considered the spread to be among “other dessert toppings.” But Ferrero says the two-tablespoon serving size on the U.S. label could be confusing and lead people to think they should use that amount on their toast. The FDA sets “reference amounts customarily consumed” (RACC) for 139 categories of food products, which helps determine serving size.

The agency said it’s asking for information now because it recently issued a final rule updating certain RACCs (and, also, because of the petition).

“Because Nutella is used in the same manner as jams and jellies, uniformity in RACC values among Nutella, jams, and jellies would enable consumers to make informed nutritional comparisons of these similar products,” Ferrero wrote in its petition.

Almost three-quarters of Nutella consumed in the U.S. was used on bread in 2012, compared with just 2 percent on ice cream, Ferrero said. Starting on Nov. 2, the FDA began taking comments on the issue. The comment period will last for 60 days.



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