Scientists make discovery that ‘shakes up’ foundations of wheat genome research

March 11th, 2017

Australian researchers have made a discovery in bread wheat that promises to ‘shake the foundations’ of wheat gene research and open up big opportunities for wheat breeders across the world.

A team of researchers at the University of Western Australia have found 21,000 new genes across 16 common wheat varieties.

The researchers also found variations between wheat varieties that were not previously known.

The findings are anticipated to have an immediate relevance to wheat breeders in Australia.

Professor of plant biology David Edwards said knowing there was a variation between genes could help in creating disease resistant varieties.

“A plant will be resistant because it has a resistance gene, and the susceptible ones will have that gene missing,” he said.

“So we can start doing associations and we find some varieties which are resistant to disease, and we can go through and say well these are resistant because we have these genes.

“And then we can use that information for breeding better varieties.”

International interest

Professor Edwards said the university worked closely with major breeding companies and had already had interest in the research findings.

“This is defiantly international- most of the work happens internationally and most of my collaborators are international.

Prof Edwards said the discovery of the new genes and gene variations came about because, previously, researchers were basing their studies off a defunct variety – Chinese spring.

“It was grown back in the 1950s and it’s not particularly useful, no-one has used it in breeding,” he said.

“But it was used because it was quite nice to work with.

“But looking back people didn’t have the knowledge that there was so much presence/absence variation and looking back it probably wasn’t a good idea.”

He said no-one had looked at the sequence of the 16 common wheat varieties previously because of the cost, but they were able to after securing funding from the Federal Government.

He said international research had been based on the Chinese spring wheat variety models for over a decade and this finding would make genomics far more applicable.

The research has been published in The Plant Journal.




Milling industry, Research

New research highlights environmental impact of… bread

March 11th, 2017

A new study from researchers at the University of Sheffield has analysed the environmental impact of a loaf of bread.

With an estimated 12 million loaves sold in the U.K. daily, bread is an integral part of many Britons’ diets.

The study, published in the journal Nature Plants, sought to analyse the whole process of a loaf’s production, from growing and harvesting the wheat to milling the grain; producing the flour; baking the bread; and making the final product.

The study showed that the use of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in wheat cultivation contributed 43 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This, the university said on Monday, dwarfed “all other processes in the supply chain.”

“We found in every loaf there is embodied global warming resulting from the fertilizer applied to farmers’ fields to increase their wheat harvest,” Liam Goucher, the N8 Agrifood Research Fellow who carried out the study, said in a news release.

“This arises from the large amount of energy needed to make the fertilizer and from nitrous oxide gas released when it is degraded in the soil.”

It is not just the production of a loaf of bread that has an impact.

In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that total emissions from global livestock represented 14.5 percent of “all anthropogenic” greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle alone represented roughly 65 percent of emissions from the livestock sector, the FAO stated.

Back in Sheffield, the scale of the challenge relating to the production of staples was being taking seriously.

“Our findings bring into focus a key part of the food security challenge – resolving the major conflicts embedded in the agri-food system, whose primary purpose is to make money not to provide sustainable global food security,” Peter Horton, chief research advisor to the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield, said.

“High agricultural productivity – necessary for profit for farmers, agri-businesses and food retailers, whilst also keeping prices low for consumers – currently requires high levels of application of relatively cheap fertilisers,” Horton, who was a corresponding author of the paper, added.

Horton went on to state that with more than 100 million tonnes of fertilizer being used every year to support agricultural production, a massive problem existed, with the environmental impact not costed within the system.

Solutions to possibly lessen the impact included better agronomic practices.

“These harness the best of organic farming combined with new technologies to better monitor the nutritional status of soils and plants and to recycle waste and with the promise of new wheat varieties able to utilize soil nitrogen more efficiently,” Duncan Cameron, a co-author of the paper, said.



Research ,

How much bread, dairy, eggs and maize cost after drought

March 11th, 2017

Just how much do we pay for bread, dairy, eggs and maize? Details here:

It’s said the egg market is stable and producer prices remain at profitable levels. Photo by for illustration purposes only.

Paul Makube, Senior Agricultural Economist at FNB Business takes a look at how the drought and subsequent recovery have impacted four basic breakfast foods, namely eggs, maize, dairy and bread.

It’s said the agricultural sector has survived the worst of the drought that has gripped South Africa in the past three years. The recent rains have, however, positioned the sector favourably in parts of the country.

• Dairy:

This industry has seen pastures improving, thereby reducing the need for frequent irrigation, which reduces electricity costs. In addition, supply outlook for grain crops has improved and the subsequent decline in prices from the second half of 2017 indicates that a reduction in food manufacturing costs is eminent.

Producer prices are expected to approach the long-term average share of approximately 37 per cent of the retail prices.

“We should see stable to firmer demand with new marketing strategies to reach more consumers in the country. The rebound in the industry following a devastating drought looks positive,” explained Makube.

• Eggs:

The egg market is stable and producer prices remain at profitable levels. Prices at consumer level have also remained relatively stable with a steady increase on an average of six per cent in January 2017 year-on-year (or as compared with the corresponding ones from a year earlier).

“We’ve seen a lot of suppliers enter the eggs market, This has increased supplies and placed profitability under pressure. Nonetheless, producers do have an option to reduce their stocks by shortening the life-cycles of their layer hens. The improved grain production outlook bodes well for feed prices, as feeding margins improve towards mid-year,” added Makube.

• Bread:

According to statistics issued by the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), South Africa’s total bread production grew by 12 per cent year-on-year (y/y) in December 2016 to a total of 182 million loaves. The growth came from brown bread, which moved up from 82 million loaves in January to 90 million loaves.

In fact, from October to December 2016, brown bread production was consistently higher than white bread. Prices of loaves of white and brown bread (700g) increased by 14 per cent and 13 per cent y/y at R13,60 and R12,28 respectively. The price of a loaf of white bread however slowed in January 2017, finishing up by 11 per cent y/y while that of brown bread was up by 13 per cent y/y.

• Maize:

For the first time in 2017 the price of the staple food, white maize, has fallen below R2 000 per ton. It is currently trading at R1 917/ ton, an advantage for food inflation which has remained sticky at double-digit levels of 11,8 per cent y/y in January 2017. The latest production estimates indicate a harvest of 13,9 million tons of total maize, with the white variety up by almost 144 per cent y/y at 8,3 million tons.

“While this is the first production estimate and is likely to change as the season progresses, our view is that it is likely to improve, given the good production conditions. However, if rains persist, the excessive moisture coupled with early frost in some areas may result in a slight downward revision to the current crop estimate in the months ahead,” cautioned Makube.

“The continued fall in maize prices on a year-on-year basis is expected to begin to filter through into the feed prices. Maize is a major input cost component, and a reduction in prices effectively means we will see feed prices beginning to slowly stabilise. Agriculture is not out of the woods yet, but it is on its way out of the red and back into the positive,” concluded Makube.




Fruit and Nut trends: Almonds reboot chocolate confectionery

March 11th, 2017

Addition of almonds could differentiate products in crowded field.

Do we need to make chocolate great again? Of course not. It’s chocolate; it’s already great. It’s so great, in fact, that chocolate candy accounted for $11.2 billion—more than half—of the $21.5 billion that American consumers spent on candy in its entirety during the 52 weeks ending April 30, 2016, per Nielsen data. That makes chocolate the best-selling candy type in America.

But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t sell better. And it doesn’t mean that chocolate can afford to skate on its reputation alone—impeccable though it may be—if it hopes to keep flying off what’s become an increasingly crowded candy shelf. Although the number of new chocolate introductions is increasing, according to Innova Market Insights’ 2015 Global New Product Introductions report, there is competition with the growth of the snack category increasing at a faster rate. In North America, bars lead the snack category.

Chocolate candy is going through an evolution or a “reboot”—a freshening up that taps novel concepts, ingredients and inclusions to boost its relevance not just within a competitive category, but to a diversifying market of confectionery consumers. So as confectioners look to make chocolate even greater, some are considering using California almonds.

Trapped in its own success

Make no mistake: chocolate is in no danger of fading away. The Sterling-Rice Group’s 2014 “Global Chocolate Study” notes that consumers enjoy chocolate on about ten separate occasions per month, illustrating just how evergreen a treat it is.

But that same timeless appeal may complicate chocolate’s ability to sustain its success. As UK-based David Bradley—also known as “The Curious Confectioner”— explains, “With chocolate occupying so much of consumers’ stomach-share, chocolate confections have to work that much harder not only to maintain their position, but to keep consumers excited about coming back for more.”

Partly, that’s because the candy category now offers so many more choices for consumers to get excited about. But it’s also because today’s consumers expect more excitement from the candies they choose. “Blame the empowerment of the Internet, or the spotlight that social media shines on what we could be eating if only we had access to it,” Bradley speculates. “There has also been an increase of chocolate products as a target category where developers are producing more and more products with cleaner labels and fewer ingredients. Contemporary consumers are demanding that their confections reflect their wants, needs and values.”

Headwinds ahead

That’s a tough bill to fill, and a glance at the trend lines suggests that chocolate may be falling short. Despite growing 32 percent from $84 billion in 2009 to $111 billion in 2014, according to Euromonitor International’s July 2014 “Global Confectionery Overview,” worldwide chocolate confectionery sales face headwinds nonetheless. This comes in part from increased choices and options available in snacking.

As evidence, consider that Innova Market insights, in its “Global New Product Introductions” report of May 2016, found that global chocolate introductions increased less than global food introductions overall between 2014 and 2015. There were 22,716 overall new confectionery product introductions in 2015, down two percent from the previous year. “What that tells us,” says Harbinder Maan, senior marketing manager at the Almond Board of California, “is that going forward, chocolate products will have to ‘raise their voices’ amidst the din if the confectionery industry wants to get chocolate’s growth curve bending in the right direction.”

Almond amplification

The question for confectioners then becomes how best to amplify chocolate’s voice. A key answer lies within the same data that contains chocolate’s less sanguine projections. As Innova researchers tracked a declining share of global confectionery sales attributable to chocolate, they found that the total share of confectionery introductions involving chocolate with almonds actually grew 8 percent from 2014 to 2015, with a total of 2,364 new products introduced in 2015.

More revealing still, among all global chocolate introductions, those that specifically included almonds increased the fastest, soaring 18.2 percent during the same period. And as if that weren’t enough, Sterling-Rice found that almonds now represent 54 percent of all chocolate-with-nut occasions, and an impressive 31 percent of total chocolate occasions. “This all adds up to data-driven proof,” Maan says, “that if confectioners want to make a compelling statement with their chocolates, almonds have a persuasive body of benefits to add.”

Matters of taste—and flavor

Of course, confectioners—and consumers—could have told us that from the start. After all, anyone who’s enjoyed an almond-packed chocolate bar “gets” the appeal of the pairing. But it’s still worth examining just how harmonious a marriage chocolate and almonds can be—and why the match works as well as it does.

The reason boils down to flavor chemistry. “Chocolate is rich in ketones, pyrazines, terpenes, acetyl pyrroles and hundreds of other aromatic compounds that complement  flavor compounds such as  furans, tpyrazines, terpenes, pyrroles, etc. that are generated from roasting of almonds,” says Guangwei Huang, principal scientist at the Almond Board of California. “The result is a seamless melding of flavor notes that humans are practically hardwired to appreciate. Dig into the science further and it emerges just how crucially almond varietal, degree of roast, size, shape and more—not to mention the chocolate’s cacao content, bean origin, relative sweetness versus bitterness and so-on—can enhance the sensory experience.”

Flavor scientists spend their entire careers elucidating these details, but the only detail that matters to consumers is that the finished confection’s taste is great. And with 77 percent of the consumers surveyed in Sterling-Rice’s “Global Chocolate Study” pronouncing chocolate-and-almond products “tastier,” the verdict is clear. “With all their unique qualities and forms,” Maan says, “almonds

offer just the right sweet, fruity and soft-vanilla aromatics to make them a natural fit for chocolate, milk or dark.”

Hooked on a feeling: Crispy, crunchy and creamy textures

That “natural fit” isn’t solely a matter of taste, either; texture plays an important role, too. The most successful chocolate confections leverage the contrasts amongst the soft, creamy, crispy and crunchy textures that their ingredients generate. And as ingredients, almonds are uniquely positioned to offer each of the experiences.

Innova Market Insights’ 2014 “Chocolate Report” affirms that along with “smooth” and “creamy,” both “crunchy” and “crispy” topped the list of textural claims accompanying new chocolate introductions once again in 2013. No wonder 31.2 percent of chocolate-with-almond intros trumpeted their crunchiness, Innova data shows.

“Great chocolate deserves great crunch,” Huang says. “Acoustic and mechanical properties greatly influence consumer appeal, buying decisions and eventual consumption. People love the ‘bursts’ of sound associated with the friable crispness and intermittent crunchiness of almonds—be they whole, in pieces, or ground up—against the backdrop of chocolate.”

One key question with every use of almonds is what form and preparation will optimize the product. Strategically choosing the form of almond to use in a chocolate confection can help developers fine-tune textural effects, with flaked, diced, chopped and caramelized options producing a decisive crispiness, while whole, halved, slivered and diced almonds create crunch.

As Guangwei Huang, principal scientist at the Almond Board of California says, “Roasting a chosen almond form will create a crispy texture that complement well with smooth feel of chocolate while working it into a formulation will lock in its texture and maintain its crispiness for the duration of the finished chocolate’s life. A low temperature (<280F) and a longer time roasting to achieve light roasted almond forms will ensure longer lasting flavor.”

But crunchy and crispy aren’t the only games in town. Innova found that the number of “smooth” and “creamy” texture claims on chocolate-with-almond products grew from 2012 to 2013 largely on the increasing appearance of almond mousse and cream as a textural attention-getter. “Almond butter and paste also serve as handy tools for amplifying a chocolate confection’s texture,” Bradley says. “And when paired with inclusions like strawberries, cherries or coconut, their light, nutty flavor makes the finished chocolate a sensory home run for consumers.”

Almonds soften the edge of new taste experiences

The idea of using almonds as a textural tool isn’t lost on Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights.

“Innovation in chocolate is driven by consumer interest in new combinations of textures, flavors and ingredients,” she says. And in the course of monitoring trends in the food industry more broadly, she and her colleagues have noted a number of ways in which almonds can give chocolates an advantage over competitive candies.

One such trend is what Innova calls “tastes for new experiences.” “That’s talking about flavors and textures that are bolder, more authentic or complex,” Williams explains. “They’re more sophisticated and more adventurous.”

So where do almonds fit in? As confectioners push the boundaries of the flavors and ingredients they use in their chocolate concepts, almonds can bridge the gap between “edgy” and “familiar.” Or, as Maan says, “Almonds are a touchstone. Consumers who might be nervous about trying an ‘out-there’ chocolate product feel safer when they can think, ‘Well, at least I know I’ll like the almonds.’”

Artisan confectioners are already putting the approach to use. Richard Cusick, chocolatier at Evolution Artisan Confections (Valparaiso, Ind.), appreciates how the versatility of California almonds give his creations a centered home base, whether he’s “working with acidic ingredients like aged balsamic vinegar, sweet fillings like raspberry puree or spices and chilies,” he says. “Almonds balance the flavors and are a natural complement to chocolate.”

Bradley takes “tastes for new experiences” even further, developing a Thai-Inspired Sweet and Spiced Cacao-Coated Almonds that updates the classic chocolate-coated almond with an enrobing of coconut blossom nectar and raw cacao solids infused with kaffir lime leaves, chilies and ginger.

That mouthful of sweet and spicy botanical notes proved to be “a winning combination,” Bradley says. Even as the almonds’ floral flavors complement the “exotic” lime and coconut nectar, the gentle bite of chili and ginger balance the chocolaty richness—bringing about a “lovely roundness of flavor,” according to Bradley. “They always work so well together.”

But confectioners needn’t travel to Thailand for inspiration. Even hot inclusions like sea salt and chilies, Williams notes, “offer confectioners the possibility of adding a savory touch” to chocolate-almond concepts. Globally, the use of sea salt in chocolate products with almonds grew at a 42.2 percent CAGR over the last four years, she says, representing 5.7 percent of product launches in the second half of 2015. As for chilies, chocolate launches including it are up 22 percent in the past year, leading Williams to conclude that chili “has never been more on-trend.”

An excuse to indulge

Emerging fruit flavors are also introducing an unexpected element to chocolate-and-almond confections, with the use of blueberry seeing a 19 percent CAGR from 2011 to 2015, passionfruit a 50 percent rate and coconut an eye-popping 57 percent one, Innova data show. Coconut in particular “has exploded,” Williams says, transitioning from the “waters” sector to chocolates, where its flavor compatibility makes it an obvious confectionery companion.

Williams sees it as yet another example of how all manner of fruits have “become neighbors and moved in with almonds and chocolate,” she says. And when those fruits are members of the “superfruit” family, they elevate not only the confection’s excitement quotient, but its better-for-you credibility, as well.

These days, that’s no small matter. “Health-conscious consumers are looking for permissible indulgences,” Williams says, and “chocolate’s common association with indulgence can be shifted to achieve a nutritious halo with the help of ingredients that are considered more health-forward.” Like almonds. That’s why she frequently advises customers to include “a little something healthful” when formulating indulgent concepts—a move that’s in step with another trend that she and Innova are following: “the indulgence alibi.”

Its idea is to formulate in a way that grants consumers better-for-them permission to enjoy otherwise sinful extravagances. And with one ounce of almonds supplying 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and a total polyphenol content similar to that in a half-cup of steamed broccoli or full cup of green tea, they may be a chocolate lover’s perfect alibi.

In fact, Bradley tapped almonds, chocolate and the aforementioned green tea to develop his Triple Antioxidant Almond Matcha Chocolates, which plays on the antioxidant power of the trio in a luxurious filled confection that’s indulgent alibi through-and-through.

Bradley’s muse was his daily matcha-and-almond-milk latte, which “really turned me on to that matcha-almond combination,” he says. “Who knew it was going to be so good?” It became even better when he joined the pair with coconut cream in a soft center whose “lovely” light texture he says is “perfect” for the confectionery concept.

The trick to achieving its silky smoothness was to blend whipped coconut cream with a blanched-almond paste, the texture of which is neither like an almond butter nor a marzipan, but rests comfortably in between. Further, the addition of powdered psyllium-husk fiber thickens the mix naturally while boosting the fiber content. And as for the formulation’s matcha powder, it lends both a beguiling flavor and its own nutritional benefits, the totality of which adds up to a chocolate that’s indulgent, functional and worthy of a spot on the “premium” shelf.

And indeed, almonds not only register as indulgent and functional with consumers—although they certainly register as both; when Sterling-Rice asked consumers to create their “ideal” chocolate bar, 88 percent of those who included almonds in the mix described the resulting bar as “nutritious.” But more than that, almonds consistently rank as “premium” in comparison with other nuts and amongst chocolate inclusions overall.

Seventy percent of Sterling-Rice survey respondents consider chocolate with almonds “more premium and interesting,” and 85 percent of those who included almonds in their ideal bar also stated that they’d be willing to pay more for it, which makes the choice obvious. Even a bare-bones chocolate bar is easy to love with the addition of almonds. Not only do consumers crave the combination, they will continue to look for creative pairings featuring two of their favorite ingredients together.

Source :


Chocolate, Confectionery

Top 5 Vendors in the Global Gluten-free Food Market from 2017-2021: Technavio

March 11th, 2017

Technavio has announced the top five leading vendors in their recent global gluten-free food market report until 2021. This research report also lists nine other prominent vendors that are expected to impact the market during the forecast period.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The research study by Technavio on the global gluten-free food market for 2017-2021 provides a detailed industry analysis based on product type (bakery and confectionery, cereals and snacks, and food) and geography (the Americas, Europe, APAC, and MEA).

The global gluten-free food market size is projected to grow to USD 7.38 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of close to 12% over the forecast period. The increasing awareness and the health benefits provided by gluten-free foods is a major factor driving the growth of the market,” says Manjunath Reddy, one of the lead analysts at Technavio for food research.

Competitive vendor landscape

The global gluten-free food market is impacted by the changing consumer spending pattern and tastes; regional, national, and local economic conditions; and demographic trends. The vendors in the gluten-free food market compete based on numerous factors such as price, quality, innovation, service, reputation, distribution, and promotion. Intense competition among the vendors, combined with rapid technological changes has led to an increase in mergers and acquisitions. The influx of private labels in the market is also on the rise, with vendors looking to distinguish their product and service offerings through a clear and unique value proposition.


Technavio’s sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report including the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more.

Top five vendors in the global gluten-free food market

Dr. Schär

Dr. Schär in engaged in the development and manufacture of gluten-free food products. The company offers pasta, bread, snacks, flour mixes, cereals, biscuits, sweet treats, and frozen convenience food. The company focuses on increasing its market share by launching new products and by expanding products to new regions.

Freedom Foods

Freedom Foods manufactures allergen-free and healthy food. It offers a range of products including allergen-free (gluten-free, wheat-free, and nut-free), low sugar and salt, and highly fortified products. The product range includes breakfast cereals, snack bars, biscuits, soy, almond and rice beverages, and other products.

General Mills

General Mills is a manufacturer and marketer of packaged consumer food. The company operates in three segments: US retail, international, and bakeries and foodservice. Its product portfolio includes ready-to-eat cereals, refrigerated yogurt, ready-to-serve soups, dry dinners, shelf stable and frozen vegetables, refrigerated and frozen dough products, dessert and baking mixes, frozen pizza and pizza snacks, grains, and fruit and savory snacks.


Gruma is engaged in corn and flour tortilla production globally. The company produces wheat flour and its derivatives such as flatbread, wraps, pizza bases, and other food products. The company’s businesses can be divided into corn flour and packaged tortilla and corn flour divisions.

Hain Celestial Group

Hain Celestial Group is a leading manufacturer of natural and organic food and personal care products. The company and its subsidiaries sell a number of food and snack products including infant formula, infant and toddler food, non-dairy beverages and frozen desserts, flour and baking mixes, hot and cold cereals, pasta, packaged grains, and other frozen foods. It has a wide portfolio of natural and organic personal care products and is also a leading organic and natural products company.

Browse Related Reports:

Source: Yahoo


Companies, Ingredients ,

Nestle to slash sugar content of its confectionery by a tenth

March 11th, 2017

Confectionery brand Nestle has vowed an across the board reduction of 10% in the sugar content of its chocolate and sweets in the UK and Ireland by 2018.

Recipe changes will affect some of Britain’s best known chocolate brands including Milkybar, Yorkie, Smarties and Quality Street.

It is estimated that this one change will reduce the amount of sugar used by 7,500 tonnes versus 2015 levels and comes in the wake of a threatened ‘sugar tax’ by the UK government to force manufacturers to make healthier products.

In lieu of sugar Nestle plans to use higher quantities of existing ingredients or to source natural alternatives to keep calorie counts down and has already ruled out the use of artificial sweeteners.

A spokesperson for food and drink multinational said: “The 10% reduction is not a case of a straight swap of sugar for another ingredient – it will be achieved in a number of different ways so that we can make sure that the taste is as good or better from product to product.

“We are not announcing specific changes to brands at this stage but over the coming months and years we will introduce revised products that make incremental reductions on sugar in different ways that, when added up, make a big difference overall to the nation’s diet while still maintaining taste.”

Nestle has invested heavily in sourcing alternatives to sugar and recently claimed to have made a breakthrough by reformulating sugar to allow them to reduce volume by 40% while maintaining taste.

In recent months drinks brands Lucozade, Orangina and Ribena took steps to reduce sugar content by 50% ahead of a targetted 2018 implementation date for the sugar tax.

On the digital front, Nestlé’s digital boss Pete Blackshaw, recently gave a run down of the company’s thoughts on Snapchat, he said: “Facebook can’t ignore it, and neither can we.”



Companies , ,

How Ice Cream Came To America

March 11th, 2017

Last month, President Trump issued a ban on people entering the country from seven predominantly Muslim countries, sparking outrage at home and abroad. The executive order placed limits on travel to the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, and by all refugees.

After just seven days, the ban was struck down in the courts pending further litigation. This un-American exercise in anti-Muslim hysteria prompted many to celebrate the many contributions they’ve made to our country. One such contribution is a delicious snack most Americans couldn’t live without: ice cream.

Ice cream came to the United States after being introduced to Europe during the Arab invasion of Sicily in the eighth century. During a recent conquest of the Persian Empire, the Arabs discovered a chilled refreshment known as sharbat. Sharbat was a combination of honey, fruit syrup, and snow. The Arabs took the delicacy to the next level by adding milk and sugar, whipping up the first batch of ice cream.

If Trump’s Muslim ban was in place decades ago, Americans would probably still have ice cream, but we’d be stuck eating it in bowls. The world’s first ice cream cone was created on a whim by Syrian immigrant Ernest Hamwi at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Hamwi was selling zalabis, a waffle-like pastry, near an ice cream vendor. When the vendor ran out of dishes, Hamwi rolled his zalabis into a cone to hold the ice cream—and summer days have never been the same since. The story of ice cream is another reminder of just how sweet diversity can be.



Ice Creams

Refrigerated Dough Products Market to receive overwhelming hike in Revenues by 2021

March 11th, 2017

The frozen dough products market can be segmented into five major types such as refrigerated Biscuits, Cookies/Brownies, Dinner rolls, Sweet rolls and others. The market can also be segmented geographically into North America, Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe and Rest of the World (RoW) regions.

Refrigerated Dough products consist of cookies/brownies, biscuits, dinner rolls, sweet rolls, pizza base and other bakery items. Modern equipment and packaging opens up a new demand spectrum in frozen dough industry. It increases the shelf life of the product and lowers the chances of product wastage. There is an increasing demand for par baked dough products in sandwich category as it is as tasty as fresh dough.

Par baked variety enables food service outlets and coffee bars to provide fresh from the oven buns and rolls which matches artisan style and taste with convenience. Moreover, people prefer to cook varieties of dough related dishes at home, which were previously available only at restaurants and coffee shops. Some of the varieties include crepes and fillo dough, par baked buns, gluten free bread among others.

The key drivers of this market include increased number of coffee shops, growing consumption of bakery products and booming food service industry. Moreover with increasing disposable income and coffee culture in emerging countries the demand for frozen dough products is also elevating. Dough products are considered healthy options in comparison to meat and other calorific meals. One of the important benefits of the dough products is, they can be consumed at any period of day such as during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Large number of product innovation and availability of products through different retail outlets would support the growth in this market.

Some of the restraining factors in the market growth could be unstable demand forecast and supply chain and short shelf life of the product. Proper packaging and storing facilities are some of the major concerns for manufacturers and distributors as the product requires a specific temperature. In addition to this, transportation of dough product requires proper storage facilities in the overall system.

The frozen dough products market across the globe is expected to show a substantial growth with a single digit increase in CAGR from 2013 to 2019. There is a significant increase in the frozen dough products market due to of its low prices than fresh baked products. However the market is expected to grow moderately in developed countries. The refrigerated dough market is expected to witness great opportunities as a result of increased snacking and breakfast (portion eating). Emerging countries such as India, Brazil, China and South Africa is expected to grow significantly on the backdrop of changing eating habits and availability of these products in supermarkets and other retail outlets. Developed economies have seen greater number of in-store bakeries and sandwich programs popping up in outlets such as convenience stores and hyper markets. Family gatherings and holiday parties further fuel the demand of dough related products such as pastries, cup cakes and sweet rolls.

The refrigerated dough products market is highly fragmented worldwide having small players supplying the frozen dough to bakeries, quick service restaurants and other food service industry.

Some of the key players in the refrigerated or frozen dough products market are Kontos Foods, Inc., Custom Foods Inc., Readi-Bake, Inc., Earthgrains Refrigerated Dough Products, L.P., Gonnella, Wenner Bakery, Europastry and Swiss Gastro Bakery Beijing Co.,Ltd, Dr. Schar USA, Inc. and Boulder Brands among others.



Bakery , , ,

Churros on menus here, there and everywhere

March 11th, 2017


Once found mainly in Milwaukee’s Mexican bakeries, churros now are popping up at places such as a new burger stand and a high-end restaurant.

Spanish food’s increased influence has something to do with the recent churro boom. The owners of the Spanish restaurant Movida in Walker’s Point operate the takeout Churro Shop, for instance, and the Mediterranean restaurant Tre Rivali in the Third Ward uses them to make ice cream sandwiches.

But don’t overlook the basic appeal of a freshly fried doughnut for churros’ surging popularity.

“They’re hard not to like,” said Scott Schwebel, who helped create the Ruckus in Shorewood with Paul Miller and brothers Lincoln and Ward Fowler, the founders of Colectivo Coffee Roasters. “It’s essentially fried dough dusted in cinnamon and sugar; they’re delicious and fun.”

The Ruckus creators encountered churros on their travels — “It’s a great street food,” Schwebel said, found from Mexico south to South America and in Spain and Portugal — and thought it would complement the soft-serve ice cream at the burger restaurant.

At the new burger and ice cream stand, 4144 N. Oakland Ave., churros are fried to order in a few minutes’ time and served with one of three dipping sauces — spicy fudge, peanut butter and salted caramel. They’re also an option to crumble over ice cream or into sundaes.

Like the best churros, the Ruckus’ churros are crisp on their ridged outsides and tender (but cooked through) within.

At Tre Rivali in the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, 200 N. Broadway, chef Heather Terhune first paired churros with ice cream last summer, when she used small, coiled churros to make an ice cream sandwich, with “hot chocolate” ice cream.

Terhune said she was inspired by a trip to Barcelona, where she had churros dipped in rich hot chocolate. “One of the best things I’ve ever eaten,” she said. For Tre Rivali’s ice cream sandwich, the dough is piped into circles and then frozen to maintain its shape as it’s fried.

Vermutería 600, the bar at Hotel Madrid, 600 S. 6th St., gives churros a savory turn. While planning the bar’s menu, chef Hector Miranda and co-owner Andre Mikhail wanted a finger food, a snack to balance out the burgers and other sandwiches, said Sean Wille, spokesman for StandEatDrink Hospitality Group.

The result was potato churros, like an airy potato souffle in fried form. It’s served with spicy tomato-based brava sauce, a play on the Spanish dish patatas bravas.

StandEatDrink’s first Spanish restaurant, Movida at 524 S. 2nd St., houses the Churro Shop, a takeout and delivery service. Movida occasionally had churros on its menu, but customers asked for them even when they were off the menu, hence the shop, Wille said.

It sells churros and miniature churro bites with a choice of dipping sauce (blueberry-black currant was debuting this week), as well as croquetas, little fried bites with savory flavors.

Deliveries have been increasing, particularly on the weekends and for parties, Wille said. Plans call for introducing an ice cream-churro option in summer, and the group is considering expanding with a food truck.

It’s become easier to find churros fried fresh — the recently reopened Gypsy Taco, behind Boone & Crockett bar at 2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and Taco Stop at  513 N. Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee both fry them to order. Gypsy Taco serves them with spiced chocolate sauce, Taco Stop sells them individually or in a sundae.

The fried pastries really are best served warm, although a number of the city’s panaderías carry churros on their shelves throughout the day.

Churros that have cooled completely tend to be dry, but Mr. Churro, 2333 W. National Ave., has a solution. The bakery sells cups of champurrado, the hot chocolate drink thickened with corn meal and flavored with cinnamon. It’s ideal for dunking a churro or two.




Unilever stung into action by Kraft

February 25th, 2017
Comments Off on Unilever stung into action by Kraft

Think of Kraft Heinz’s assault on Unilever as a slap in the face for management. It was short-lived, shocking, and will smart for a good while yet.

It’s a slap that says “we think we can do a better job for your shareholders than you”. That is not a message you want to get lodged in shareholders minds if you are Unilever’s management and today the company acknowledged the sting.

“Unilever is conducting a comprehensive review of options available to accelerate delivery of value for the benefit of our shareholders. The events of the last week have highlighted the need to capture more quickly the value we see in Unilever.”

That is the sound of a company cheek smarting.

It is very rare for corporate raiders like Warren Buffett (24% owner of Kraft Heinz) and Brazilian financier Jorge Lemann (owner of 3G) to back off so quickly. Once you dangle higher returns in front of pragmatic investors, they usually want to see what the next chat up line might be.


The Unilever management will take some pride in the fact they convinced some of their own major shareholders to back their rejection of the offer so flatly. The management argument, as told to me by senior management, went something like this.

Yes – Kraft has much higher profit margins than Unilever (23% compared to 15%) so looks like the better operator. But – Kraft habitually invests less in the future, therefore has lower organic (internally generated) growth and is saddled with more than average amounts of debt.

As a result it needs to acquire other companies to keep the growth going and pays for it by using yet more debt, which is financed in part with cash the target company has in the bank.

That model, argues Unilever, is not sustainable. Before long, we would be part of an underinvested, short-term profit-seeking, company-eating machine. As soon as Unilever had been digested, Kraft would be hungry again.

When the management of the company you want to buy REALLY don’t want to sell to you, you can always go over their heads, cut them out of the negotiation and appeal directly to the shareholders.

But “going hostile” costs a lot more money and excites much more regulatory and political interest than a deal which the management recommends.

Many UK politicians welcomed the Kraft defeat as a victory for responsible long-term thinking by one of Europe’s biggest companies and its shareholders who wisely eschewed the Jerry Maguire “show me the money” approach.

It’s lucky for them they did. It will give the government a bit more time to figure out their own play book for how to deal with future bids – which are certainly coming thanks to the discount UK companies are selling at thanks to a near 20% depreciation in sterling post-referendum.

‘Bidders wary’

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, I spoke to half a dozen US executives who were running the rule over potential UK targets – big and small.

Current rules only allow the government to intervene when takeovers could compromise financial stability, national security or media plurality.

Targets I heard discussed included food and drink, engineering and technology companies based or listed in the UK with foreign earnings potential. You can come up with a reasonably long list using those criteria.

Despite a few eye-catching deals like Japan’s Softbank swoop on ARM Holdings and the upstart company Skyscanner being sold to a Chinese rival, there is no flood yet.

In fact, merger activity overall is still subdued as bidders are still wary of the prospects for UK companies with exposure to domestic and EU markets until greater clarity emerges on the future relationship between the two.

As Kraft Heinz retreats with its tail between its legs for now there is plenty of food for thought for both Unilever and government.

Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman has been warned that if he doesn’t focus more on the bottom line, someone else will.

The government may have to decide quickly whether foreign takeovers are a sign of confidence in the UK to be welcomed or opportunistic raiding parties to be resisted.

Source: BBC


Companies ,