2016 IBIE Innovation Showcase preview

September 24th, 2016

For decades, companies have unveiled new technologies, products and services at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) that not only offer solutions but also define the future of baking.

A leading reason people attend a tradeshow is because they want to see the latest advances in their industry. The premier Innovation Showcase in 2013 was one of IBIE’s most popular attractions, and the feature is back this year, presenting even more progress. The Innovation Showcase highlights cutting-edge developments that have hit the market during the past three years. Each showcase entry is a product or service that has not been exhibited at a previous IBIE, making it a “must see” event for anyone walking the show floor.

New in 2016 is the opportunity for show-goers to learn more about each innovation during an interactive 15-minute presentation in the Idea LAB on the show floor. Michael Cornelis, IBIE chairman and vice-president, international sales, American Pan, a Bundy Baking Solution, explained that the strategic plan for IBIE 2016 heavily focused on the Innovation Showcase and how to make it easier for attendees to see what’s new at the show.

“Innovation has always been our main focus at IBIE,” Mr. Cornelis said. “It’s the No. 1 reason that people attend, and it’s why exhibitors often plan their new product cycle around the show.”

Exhibitors in 2013 received tremendous value from the showcase, he added, not only by being featured in the Hall of Innovation at the entryway to the show floor but also with recognition in the Official Show Directory, the 2013 IBIE Special Edition & Show Preview, email newsletters and features on the IBIE website and mobile app. All those elements, Mr. Cornelis said, drove significant traffic to those exhibitors’ booths.

“For attendees, it gives them an opportunity to see some of the latest advances in one place, rather than having to search them out on the show floor,” Mr. Cornelis said. “Before they even walk into the exhibit hall, they can stop by the showcase, see what’s new and write down the booths they want to visit.”

Formost Fuji was one of first 48 companies to participate in the 2013 debut of the Innovation Showcase with a new horizontal wrapper. Dennis Gunnell, vice-president, sales and marketing, was more than happy to invest in the opportunity.

“To me, it was a no-­brainer,” Mr. Gunnell said. “It really hits home as to why you go to a tradeshow, so we jumped on board right from the very beginning.” Formost Fuji plans to announce another product via this year’s showcase, which has expanded to 56 entries, according to its organizer, Sosland Publishing Co.

With the help of the showcase, Mr. Gunnell said, Formost Fuji was able to reach a targeted audience in a way not previously available at IBIE. He explained how the added presence of the display in the halls’ entryway, along with participation in Sosland’s IBIE-related publications, was able to cut through the daunting size of the show, which features 800 exhibitors on 700,000 sq ft of floor space, and reach attendees with a clear, concise and easy-to-see message.

Mr. Gunnell said people directed to his booth by the Innovation Showcase came with a purpose. “They’re there because they already have the need and they’re already interested at that point,” he said.

In 2016, show-goers can expect to see the latest in wholesale and retail advances, including ovens, griddle systems, bakery pouches and snack containers, mixers, packaging equipment, heat management solutions, consulting services, ingredients and more.

Related presentations at the Idea LAB (booth No. 7720 in the Central Hall) will also offer a more engaging experience for show-goers, Mr. Cornelis said. The presentations, which include a Q&A session, will highlight how the innovating company created a solution to an industry challenge. Presentations will allow companies to dive deeper into their new technology, product or service by providing context and an opportunity to create dialogue with attendees.

“Attendees no longer want to be passive participants, simply walking up and down aisles; they want organizers to curate experiences that facilitate networking, hands-on learning, inspiration and entertainment. We’re continuing to add and improve upon that every year,” Mr. Cornelis explained. “The Innovation Showcase is part of that strategic initiative along with several other show features we’re bringing to the table in 2016.”

Source:  bakingbusiness.com



Soft Robotic grippers for packaging

September 24th, 2016

Tech start-up to exhibit their latest gripping technology in Booth 9901 – Looks to enable the snack & baking industries with packaging automation

Snack and bakery packaging automation has typically come with its own set of limitations. For example, many products have variable characteristics such as weight, size and shape – all difficult for many packaging machines to handle consistently. Many applications are delicate and require special gentle handling such as raw dough, freshly baked items such as bread rolls or bagels, enrobed chocolate and items with any sort of topping or frosting. These are sample applications where baked goods producers have traditionally found difficulty on the packaging side of their production lines – until now.


Photo Credit: Soft Robotic Inc.

With new developments by Soft Robotics, a single end-of-arm tool (EOAT) on a robotic packaging system can now handle an unprecedented range of objects without the need for tool changes or software modifications between cycles. Soft Robotics has demonstrated the ability to grasp difficult-to-handle products with variable characteristics with a single device utilizing their proprietary technology. This disruptive capability addresses unmet needs in existing markets and unlocks new markets for cost-effective automated solutions.

“We continually look for opportunities in markets where our technology can help improve line production and overall efficiencies,” says Carl Vause, Soft Robotics’ CEO. “The baking industry is certainly one of those areas where delicate products cause issues for typical packaging machines, no matter if they are mechanical or robotic. Our technology allows robotic automation to address existing packaging needs, open new markets to robotics, is cost-effective, and can even increase worker safety.”

See live demos of the Soft Robotics gripping technology at IBIE 2016, October 8-11 in Las Vegas – Booth 9901.

About Soft Robotics

Soft Robotics Inc. is commercializing a new class of robotic end-of-arm tool that can delicately and adaptively manipulate items of varying size, shape and weight. By leveraging the science of soft robotic actuators, the company is automating facilities that have traditionally depended on manual labor for material handling applications in the fresh-cut produce and consumer packaged goods industries. Learn more at www.softroboticsinc.com.

Source:  roboticmagazine.com


Packaging, Technology ,

Rising UK milling wheat premium threatens revival in imports

September 24th, 2016

A revival in British milling wheat premiums is, in rendering German supplies more competitive, threatening to revive UK imports, whose high level since the nightmare year of 2012 has surprised investors.

While prices of higher quality wheat have outperformed worldwide – a reflection of a poor quality, if record large, global harvest – those in the UK appear to have fared particularly strongly.

Demand for UK milling wheat “is good with premiums off their lows and good demand to both mills and reports of vessels loading to Algeria”, traders at a major European commodities house said.

The dynamic also reflects the sowings season for winter grains, with the traders noting that “undoubtedly October is always a month where, due to workload, farmer selling slows”.

German vs UK

The price outperformance has closed to £28 a tonne, from £40 a tonne last month, the discount of imported so-called “A” German wheat – a popular purchase by British flour makers, with an elevated protein level typically of some 13% – to eastern UK milling wheat values.

While still a “historically large” price gap, and one likely to spur UK buyers to turn more to domestic supplies, a continuation of the trend would threaten ideas of a switch away from German imports, the AHDB bureau said,”

“If the recent fall in German prices continues then this opportunity [for UK supplies to displace imports] may be diminished,” AHDB analyst Isobel Robinson said.

Import upsurge

The comments follow data which showed that UK wheat imports, at 118,414 tonnes in July, their weakest start to a marketing year since 2011-12 – as the UK began its second wettest year on record, which left the country with a dismal harvest and sent mills scrambling for foreign supplies.

The taste for imports has proved unexpectedly strong, totalling 8.32m tonnes between 2012-13 and 2015-16 – a jump of 87% from the total for the four years to 2011-12.

The resilient imports have been attributed to factors including greater reliability of imported supplies to the gap in specification between what UK farmers have grown to the higher quality demanded by buyers.

In fact, UK farmers for the latest harvest switched sharply to higher grade wheat, a fact reflected in an average protein level which, estimated provisionally at 12.6%, would be the highest in a decade.

AHDB senior analyst Jack Watts said last month that, helped by the shift towards higher-grade varieties, “we might hope that UK wheat imports fall below 1m tonnes” in 2016-17, which would represent a drop of one-third year on year.

Source:  agrimoney.com


Milling industry ,

Producing wheat will be profitable — for some

September 24th, 2016

Cash wheat prices (near $2.80 at this writing) are well below the cost of production. It is a fact that the market will offer prices that provide a profit for some producers. It is also a fact that the market will periodically offer prices that will weed out inefficient, high-cost producers.

Another fact is that a large difference exists in the cost of production between the most profitable and the least profitable farms. Low prices and negative returns reinforce the necessity for producers to calculate both their cost of production and where they fit in the hierarchy of profitable farms.

Kansas Farm Management Association records from 247 wheat farms were used to calculate the cost for producing non-irrigated wheat. The farms were divided into three groups: top, middle, and bottom third by net return to management per acre.

For the crop years 2011 through 2015, the average variable cost per bushel (including a land charge) for the top third was $5.12 per bushel; for the middle third it was $6.31 per bushel; and for the bottom third it was $9.11 per bushel. Subtracting the land charge resulted in $4.66, $5.78 and $8.49 for top, middle, and bottom thirds, respectively.


The 5-year average yields per acre were 47 bushels for the top, 41 bushels for the middle, and 33 bushels for the bottom thirds.

The difference in the per bushel cost between the average of the top third and the bottom third is $3.83 (without land) and $3.99 (with land). The difference between the top third and the middle third is $1.12 (without land) and $1.19 (with land). Note that these are averages of the three groups. Fifty percent of the farms in the middle group had per bushel costs more than $1.12 ($1.19 with land) higher than the average of the top third’s cost per bushel.

For 50 percent of the farms to receive a positive return above variable costs, the average price of wheat would needed to have been $5.78 (no land charge) or $6.31 (with land charge).

The records also showed that the cost areas that indicated the greatest difference between groups were fertilizer, herbicide/insecticide, and machinery, in that order. Producers may find it worth their effort to calculate and review the individual cost areas and determine where management practices could be used to replace inputs and reduce costs.


When the average cost per bushel is subtracted from the average Kansas price for June and July, the top third’s 5-year average return per bushel was $1.48. For the top third, the net returns were $2.53 (2011), $2.76 (2012), $2.35 (2012), minus 53 cents (2014), and  minus 42 cents (2015).

For the middle third, the five-year average was 29 cents per bushel; $1.16 (2011), $1.42 (2012), $1.25 (2013), minus $1.38 (2014), and minus 99 cents (2015). Over the 5-year period, the bottom third had a negative net return every year and an average of a minus $2.51 per bushel.

The Kansas wheat production costs and yields may be different from Oklahoma and Texas costs. But the bottom line results would be about the same. The fact is that about 40 percent of the wheat farms have a negative return over the 5-year period between 2011 and 2015.

The market will provide a profit for wheat production. That profit may only be for the top 60 percent. Now is the time to figure out which group your farm is in and/or how to get the farm in the top third and how to keep it there.

Source:  southwestfarmpress.com


Milling industry ,

Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Ice Cream?

September 24th, 2016

When you dip into a creamy pint of ice cream on a hot summer day, it can be challenging to limit yourself to just one serving. But what if a company told you that they make a healthy ice-cream-like dessert—and that it’s perfectly fine to eat a whole pint?

That’s what Arctic Zero and Halo Top seem to suggest you can do. “Our love of ice cream runs deep, like eat-the-entire-pint deep,” says Arctic Zero’s package (even though it’s technically a frozen dessert because it doesn’t contain enough milk solids to meet the definition of real ice cream). And the website for Halo Top, which does qualify as ice cream, exclaims, “Save the bowl. You’re going to want the whole pint.”

Unable to resist, we reviewed Vanilla Maple and Purely Chocolate from Arctic Zero and Vanilla Bean and Chocolate from Halo Top for nutrition and taste.

Why You Shouldn’t Eat the Whole Pint

One half-cup serving of Arctic Zero claims just 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 5 grams—about 1 teaspoon-worth—of sugars. Halo Top claims 60 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams of sugars per serving.

When you compare that to a half-cup of Breyers Original, which has 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, and about 14 grams of both natural and added sugars, you can see why people might be tempted to overindulge.

But that doesn’t mean you should.

For one thing, each pint has four servings, so if you ate the whole container you would end up with 150 calories with Arctic Zero and 240 calories with Halo Top. “That’s actually more than what you would get from a single serving of Breyers,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a project leader in Consumer Reports’ food-testing department.

In addition, Halo supplements its dessert with 5 grams of “prebiotic fiber” per serving, so eat the whole pint and you get 20 grams—enough to possibly cause bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. (We reached out to the company several times to find out exactly what “prebiotic fiber” is and why it’s added, but got no response.)

Finally, Keating says that “encouraging people to eat a whole pint, regardless of its calorie and sugar content, can foster bad eating habits.” That’s partly because eating such a large quantity can crowd out space for other, healthier food. And, she says, most nutrition experts recommend you stick close to suggested serving sizes as much as possible so you don’t get accustomed to overeating.

Still Highly Processed

These desserts don’t contain high-fructose corn syrups, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or ingredients that some people want to avoid, such as artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose.

But they are still processed foods, containing the thickeners and stabilizers guar and xanthan gums (Arctic Zero) and carob and guar gums (Halo Top) as well as the calorie-free sweeteners monk fruit concentrate (Arctic Zero) and erythritol and stevia (Halo Top).

“If your goal is to avoid highly processed foods, then these products may not be for you,” Keating says.

Extra Nutrients, but Not Extra Healthy

Both brands seem to be trying to boost their products’ healthy image by highlighting not only their fiber content but protein, too.

For example, Arctic Zero’s label prominently mentions its protein—but it only has 3 grams of protein per serving, just one more than Breyers vanilla ice cream and one less than the Häagen Dazs version.

And though Halo Top does provide 5 grams of fiber per serving— regular ice cream basically has zero—Keating generally recommends getting your nutrients “from real foods—like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and low-fat dairy or meats—not processed foods, like these ice creams.” That’s because those foods pack lots of other needed nutrients, and the strongest evidence of their health benefits comes from studies that looked at overall healthy diets, not fortified foods or supplements.

“They’re jumping on as many bandwagons as they can,” says Keating.

The Taste Didn’t Make Us Scream for More

To top it all off, our sensory panelists weren’t sure they would want to eat a whole pint, anyway.

Sampling the treats blind, they didn’t think that Arctic Zero tasted much like ice cream, mentioning an artificial butterscotch candy flavor with the Vanilla Maple and an unidentifiable “off-note” along with the mild cocoa flavor with the Purely Chocolate.

Halo Top, which is churned with real milk, cream, and eggs, fared somewhat better. Our panelists said that the vanilla flavor had a subtle dairy impression with vanilla bean flavor and that the chocolate had a good cocoa taste. Still, they said it had a chalky texture and lacked the fullness of regular ice cream.

Bottom Line

These frozen treats aren’t cheap: Arctic Zero costs $4.99 a pint at our local Mrs. Green’s Neighborhood Market, and Halo Top $5.99 a pint at our Whole Foods. For comparison, the cost breakdown of Breyer’s Natural Vanilla comes to around $1 per pint at our local Walmart.

If you really want an ice-cream-like treat but are following a low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diet, you could try try one of these treats. “A half-cup or even a cup won’t sabotage a diet,”  Keating says.

But, she says, even most people on strict diets can enjoy the occasional fat and calorie splurge—so why not go for the taste and simplicity of regular ice cream?

Source:  consumerreports.org


Ice Creams

The Best of Bread

September 24th, 2016

ryebakercoverJewish bakers are rethinking everything they thought they knew about rye bread. And baguettes. And croissants. And scones.

When Stanley Ginsberg first envisioned writing a cookbook about rye bread, his thoughts turned to the things he grew up eating as a Jewish kid in post-WWII Brooklyn: pumpernickel, kornbroyt (New York corn rye), and caraway-flecked delicatessen rye. Writers, after all, are routinely advised to “write what you know.” And as a born and bred New Yorker whose previous cookbook was essentially a love song to the breads, cookies, and cakes found in the Jewish bakeries of his youth, Ginsberg knew from rye bread—or so he thought.

“I was in search of the breads that my parents and grandparents ate in Europe,” he told me recently. “That was the wedge that opened the door.”

His research ultimately took him into unfamiliar territory. The Rye Baker: Classic Breads from Europe and America, out this month, is a deep-dive exploration into the craft behind working with a dough that Ginsberg calls “sticky and challenging” (compared to wheat), but entirely beguiling. “Rye was the stuff that, for centuries, fueled Europe’s empires,” he said. “So there’s an incredible tradition and culture of rye bread in much of the Western world that we don’t really know about here.”

The 75 recipes in The Rye Baker (of more than 140 that Ginsberg uncovered) transcend Jewish cuisine, covering the snappy crispbread found in Sweden, Germany’s crusty rye boules, and France’s fragrant apple-cider rye. Still, from the perspective of Jewish cuisine, Ginsberg’s timing for a rye-focused book couldn’t be better. Over the last half-decade, a new crop of Jewish bakeries has opened that celebrates this same artisanal baking spirit. Just like Ginsberg, the bakers at the helm of these establishments are starting from what they know and transforming it into something fresh, unexpected, and delicious.

Take Essen Bakery in South Philadelphia. The petite bakery and café opened in April of this year, and has already developed a cult following for its za’atar-spiced challah. Owner Tova du Plessis is a South African transplant who grew up baking with her mother. “I have clear memories of my mom showing me how to shape babka as a young child,” she told me. As an adult, her challah quickly became the stuff of legends among her Friday night dinner community. “I was always pushing myself to impress my friends, and it just kept getting better—lighter, fluffier, better crumb, better flavor,” she said.

Not surprisingly, her plan to become a doctor morphed into a pastry degree from the Culinary Institute of America. And when a bakery space opened up just a 15-minute walk from her home in Philadelphia, she jumped at the opportunity to turn her passion into a business. “The first thing that came to my mind was to open a Jewish place,” she said. “The babka you buy at the store has been sitting on the shelf for weeks and is full of preservatives. I wanted to offer something different.”

Today, Essen Bakery sells babka in two flavors: cinnamon hazelnut and chocolate-halva. “The halva takes it to a new level,” she said. She also makes an Israeli-style rugelach, which starts with a soft, yeasted dough and fills it with high-quality chocolate. In addition to challah, Essen sells a rye bread with pickle juice, mustard, and caraway seeds baked directly into the dough. “It basically tastes like a deli sandwich before you put anything on it,” du Plessis said.

In Montreal, Jeffrey Finkelstein runs Boulangerie Hof Kelsten, a bustling wholesale bread company he opened in 2009. Finkelstein had spent several years working in some of the best restaurant kitchens in the world, then came home to try something close to his heart. “I wanted to re-create my grandmother’s dining room,” he said, recalling the lavish yet homey meals she would make for Shabbat dinner and the holidays, and the rugelach and fresh-squeezed orange juice she regularly greeted visitors with. He also wanted to reclaim the from-scratch cooking that had once typified Montreal’s Jewish eateries but had been lost in recent decades. “Back in the day, Jewish smoked-meat places made everything on-site,” he said. “The old places that are still around have huge rooms to smoke stuff in that haven’t been used in 50 years.”

So he started baking—in his mother’s kitchen. “She was traveling for a few months, so I turned her home into a micro-bakery,” Finkelstein said. “By the time she came back, there was nothing in her fridge but dough and her dining-room table had become a proofing station.”

His persistence (and his mother’s superhuman patience) paid off because he now employs 22 people and bakes sourdough, challah, and caraway-flecked rye along with other breads for nearly 50 wholesale customers. In 2013, he added a café that serves Jewish-inspired sandwiches (brisket, chopped liver, gravlax, and a house-made “veal bacon” VLT) and pastries from buttery, jam-filled rugelach to bialys and everything-bagel-spiced scones.

Craft baking has reached into the kosher market as well. In 2012, Miami-native Zak Stern opened an exceedingly hip bakery and cafe in his hometown called Zak the Baker. Unless one is specifically looking for it, there is almost no indication that the place, which could easily be featured on the pages of Kinfolk, adheres to the strictest possible interpretation of the kosher laws.

Except for the challah, all of the breads Stern and his team make—multigrain, rye, country wheat, and sourdough baguettes, among others—are made with natural leaven instead of commercial yeast. And the café menu, with its pastrami-spiced gravlax, Swiss and sauerkraut on rye “Reuben,” schmaltz herring and crème fraiche toast, and bevy of pastries (everything from cheese danishes and coconut macaroons to the Cuban-inspired guava-and-cheese pastelitos), regularly attracts lines out the door.

Meanwhile, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Levi Krinsky runs Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse, a wholesale kosher bread company with, for the last six months, a bustling retail cafe. Like du Plessis, Krinsky did not start out with culinary ambitions. But in 2014, inspired by his mother’s Jewish Italian heritage, he decided to build a pizza oven from scratch. “I really just wanted a summer project,” he said. “But once it was completed, I realized someone had to make pizza and breads in it. That is what set me off.” So he began watching YouTube videos, reading baking cookbooks (Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish is a favorite) and teaching himself the art of bread baking. Meanwhile, Crown Heights’ Orthodox and Lubavitch communities were beginning to seek out artisanal kosher food, but the neighborhood did not have any kosher-certified craft bakeries.

Krinsky focuses less on traditional Jewish breads (as those are already available in abundance in his neighborhood), and more on making the best possible versions of European classics, which are harder to find. Almost as soon as he started selling his loaves of ciabatta and sourdough and rustic French baguettes at a local gourmet food shop, people came running. Before long, Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse was supplying nearly two dozen supermarkets plus a handful of restaurants and caterers. The recently opened cafe, which serves coffee, salads and egg dishes, and a variety of pastries, has also grown quickly with almost no marketing. “Most places in the neighborhood buy parbaked pastries that are made with shortening and preservatives,” Krinksy said. “Our croissants, cinnamon buns, and scones are all made on-site and with butter. We are a totally different experience.”

New York City, of course, has a long pedigree of Jewish baking. At the turn of the 20th century, there were three dozen kosher bakeries on the Lower East Side alone, as well as a robust bagel-baking union that boasted 300 members and conducted meetings in Yiddish. Today, a handful of shops keep that legacy alive, like the 100-year old Orwashers, which badges itself as the city’s original artisan bakery. But by bringing high-quality European-style breads to contemporary kosher consumers, Krinsky is charting a new path in the city.

So why is Jewish bread having a renaissance now? According to Ginsberg, for millennial bakers, it represents a form of “cultural t’shuvah” (Hebrew for “returning”). As with the larger Jewish food movement, he described it as “a search for connection with earlier generations in a way that is easily accessible.” In other words, eating freshly baked rye or challah that tastes like the breads our ancestors ate, or dipping a hunk of kosher sourdough baguette into high-quality olive oil, offers an opportunity to merge one’s Jewish and contemporary identities together in a single bite. Not bad for a piece of toast.

Source:  tabletmag.com


Bakery , ,

The FAO Food Price Index hits a 15-month high in August

September 24th, 2016

fao_index_price_08092016_1» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 165.6 points in August 2016, up 3 points (1.9 percent) from July and almost 7 percent above the corresponding period last year. The August value of the Index is the highest since May 2015. Except for cereals, prices of all other commodities used in the calculation of the FFPI rose in August, led by dairy, oils and sugar.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 143.6 points in August, down 4.5 points (3.0 percent) from July and 7.4 percent below its year-earlier level. Seasonal harvest pressure, associated with the completion of wheat harvests in the northern hemisphere, kept wheat quotations under some downward pressure. Maize values also receded on exceptional crop prospects in the United States and ample supplies of low quality wheat, which could compete with maize for use as animal feed. Meanwhile, a combination of thin buying interest and prospects of larger availabilities from imminent crop harvests weighed on international rice prices.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 169.1 points in August, up 11.7 points (7.4 percent) from July, reversing the easing of prices observed in the preceding three months. The rebound was mainly driven by strengthening palm oil quotations due to lower than anticipated output in Malaysia and continued tightness in global inventories, which coincided with rising import demand in some key importing countries, notably China, India and the EU. International prices of rapeseed oil also firmed, reflecting lower crop prospects in the EU.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 154.6 points in August, up 12.3 points (8.6 percent) from July and around 14 percent from last year.  Prices rose for all the dairy commodities that compose the Index, in particular for cheese, whole milk powder and butter.  The latest  increase confirmed a notable change in market sentiment, as falling milk production in the EU, coupled with an unexceptional opening to the dairy year in Oceania, pointed to tighter export supply prospects than had been earlier anticipated.  Skimmed milk powder quotations were muted, supported by large EU intervention stocks, which were seen as a potential future source of supply.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 162.2 points in August, 0.5 points (0.3 percent) higher than its revised July value but down 5 percent from August fao_index_price_08092016_22015. International prices for ovine meat, pigmeat and poultry meat strengthened somewhat, while quotations for bovine meat declined.  Limited supplies of pigmeat in the EU and sheep meat from Oceania lent some support to prices for these products, while firm international demand, in particular from Asia, underpinned poultry meat prices.  Meanwhile, recovery in bovine meat production in the United States reduced the need for external supplies and contributed to international prices falling back somewhat.

» The FAO sugar price index averaged 285.6 points in August, up 6.9 points (2.5 percent) from July, reaching its highest level since October 2012 and as much as 75 percent above the corresponding period last year. The latest surge in sugar prices was largely on account of a continuous strengthening of the Brazilian currency (Real), which appreciated by another 2 percent against the US dollar in August. Expectations of a significant deficit in global markets in 2016/17 and prospects of reduced inventories in Asia also underpinned international sugar quotations.

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.


Download full dataset: Excel, CSV


Download full dataset: Excel



Chocolatier Tsuchiya offers Japanese chocolate fanatics hope

September 24th, 2016

Antonio Koji Tschuiya helping to bring chocolate revolution to Japan

Chef Antonio Koji Tsuchiya feels gregarious, knowing that he can speak about chocolate for a few hours. He sits at a table in the dining space of one of his five shops, the one most centrally located in the Shibuya-Ku district of Tokyo.

While Tsuchiya is about to start his monologue, an elderly man walking past interrupts him: “This is the best chocolate in Japan,” he says. It’s Mr. Iijima, a loyal customer, Tsuchiya explains after the man has left the shop. “On the day of the opening, he came by the store three times. He never really left,” the chef explains.

Although a lot of the shops in his area have closed their doors, Tsuchiya managed to stay relevant to his clientele. But how did he get there?

Tsuchiya learned to make chocolate in France, where he worked for several shops between 1981 and 1986. And when he returned to Tokyo he realized how little people knew about high quality chocolate.

High quality chocolate was still a niche market back then. This has a historical reason: Western countries had the technology and know-how to make tasty chocolate, but Japan had been a closed country for centuries. It was only after the war that chocolate was introduced in Japan, when the Americans occupied Japan,” Tsuchiya says with a nostalgic sigh.

Today the approach to chocolate is rather different in Japan compared to the Western countries.

“Chocolate doesn’t have a central place in Japanese gastronomy,” Tsuchiya explains. “In Europe and in America it is common to eat chocolate together with coffee or tea, or you get it at parties — in Japan this would be unthinkable.”

Birth of chocolate culture in Japan

Slowly chocolate is getting more grounded in Japanese society — one could even say there’s been a small chocolate revolution, Tsuchiya says. And, he has happily profited from this wave, which prompted him to start importing cacao beans from various orgins.

A little further down the road, just a five-minute walk from his main shop in Shibuya, one can find Tsuchiya’s cacao store.

He points outside of the window. “That is where we make the chocolate,” he says while holding on to a big bag filled with beans.

As for high quality cacao beans, Tsuchiya says, “It depends a lot on the climate and weather. For example, last year’s harvest from Peru was great, the best beans we had that year. However, this year’s quality isn’t that great.”

But the chocolate expert does have a good idea of the kind of chocolate his clientele — and what Japanese people in general, like.

“Beans from Madagascar are also good; those from Vietnam are very fruity and tasty,” he explains. “Another interesting trend is the growing popularity of chocolate mixed with matcha and yuzu [a typical Japanese lemon fruit],” Tsuchiya says.

In the past it was very common to mix several beans, to neutralize a strong taste, or to compensate for a certain bean that has less quality.

“Now there is this new way of thinking, the single origin bean has gained popularity among chocolate makers — a similar trend as we have seen in the whisky and coffee industries,” he says.

Tsuchiya grabs a big bag full of beans; on the side it reads Colombia.

“Bitter isn’t it?” he asks rhetorically after opening the bag. A strong bitter smell spreads across the table.

“By making chocolate out of single origin beans it is easier to trace where the chocolate is from, the character of chocolate becomes more distinct,” Tsuchiya believes.

Award-winning chocolates

It is time to taste, Tsuchiya says, half way through the interview. He places the red-colored chocolate box on the table; right beside it a knife to cut the chocolate in small pieces.

This selection, the chef explains, won him the prestigious Award of Excellence (organized by the Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat) in Paris last year.

“Last year’s theme was specialty chocolates; this is the highest prize you can win as a foreigner,” he says.

This winning selection consisted of four small pieces of chocolate, including:

  • Sesame Framboise: Chocolate (blended) with sesame seeds and raspberry.
  • Matchalait: Milk chocolate ganache (blended with fresh cream) and matcha.
  • Vietnam single bean: Chocolate from Vietnam.
  • La Nuit Du Japon: Chocolate (blended) with shisho (belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae) and wasabi.

“The ingredients should not be predominantly present, especially with the wasabi. If you use too much wasabi that would be too simple, there is no creativity in that,” Tsuchiya emphasizes. “In the case of the Vietnam chocolate, the jury loved the delicious fruity and sour taste — a very strong taste.”

This year’s chocolate

This year he is planning to mix chocolate with vegetables, something that is very uncommon in Japan.

“This year we combined chocolate with spring onion and kombu, that’s brown seaweed. I have always wanted to combine chocolate with vegetables. First I thought of tomato. In March I was visiting Shanghai, I saw someone making bread with tomato and thought: why shouldn’t I try that with chocolate. In the end the taste was too sour,” he explains.

But it did get him to think about experimenting with vegetables. Not long after he mixed chocolate with spring onions from Kyoto — a city in the west of Japan, known for its high quality vegetables.

“It wasn’t as bitter as usual, but quite sweet actually. When I mixed it with chocolate, and added some vanilla, it really worked well,” he says with enthusiasm.

This was also the starting signal for his 2016 assortment, consisting of four small pieces of chocolate:

  • Pistachio marzipan
  • Japanese walnut (from Uchiko, Ehime prefecture) and cassis
  • Kelp (brown seaweed), shiitake (Japanese mushroom), Japanese pepper with lime (not too spicy)
  • Colombian single origin chocolate

And when it comes to ingredients, the chocolatier doesn’t compromise.

“It is important to judge your ingredients in an objective manner: for the best almonds you need to go to Spain, for the best pistachio you need to go to Italy, and so on. You need to judge the product in a fair manner,” Tsuchiya says.  “This is for all types of foods, also for sweets and chocolate. We buy good ingredients, even though it is expensive, we make no compromises.”

Source: Candy Industry



Puratos unveils €1.5m innovation centre

September 24th, 2016
Innovation is a cornerstone of Puratos, who invented the first ever bread improver in 1953, a development that revolutionised the industry. Since then they have continued to make substantial investments to ensure that they stay at the forefront of product and process technologies, driven by ever-changing consumer needs. Puratos prides itself on being consumer and customer focused, watching for and interpreting the latest market trends to inspire its research programs.
Puratos UK has now taken another important step in bolstering its commitment to help its customers enhance their business by introducing a new Industrial Bakery Competence Centre (IBCC) in Fringford, which will focus on the research of bakery industrial processes, the development of industrial applications and the training of new and existing customers.
Photo: Puratos

Photo: Puratos

The IBCC, which complements Puratos’ existing patisserie & chocolate innovation capabilities, will help customers to reduce product development time thanks to its new industry standard equipment situated in a laboratory environment that enables safe and easy testing of new ingredients and recipes.
“We’re delighted to unveil our new €1.5 million world class innovation centre to the industry. This is an important step in our ongoing commitment to investing in our customers’ success, as well as in achieving our ambitious aspirations to double our market share in the next five years.
“We have spent many months collaborating closely with our key industrial partners, who recognise our strong technology expertise, innovation capabilities and outstanding product quality. The detailed design of the facility and its equipment has been guided by these relationships, ensuring our newest investment closely matches their large scale plants as well as meeting their future needs – Julian Lewis General Manager Puratos UK
Specific capabilities at the Fringford Innovation Centre include:
  • Rapid testing and development of bakery solutions tailored to the challenges of large-scale manufacture
  • Development of applications and training in patisserie – from concept to finish goods
  • Technical, taste and production expertise in chocolate in patisserie
  • Sensory analysis – consumer testing to validate new products and applications in bakery, patisserie and chocolate
  • Specialist pilot equipment providing a realistic production environment to test new products and trial production


“By expanding our industrial development capabilities at Fringford, it will enable us to better help our customers to enhance their businesses through research, development, training and inspiration. Driven by our strong expertise and commitment to technological innovation, Puratos UK is now ready for the latest challenges facing our industry.” Julian Lewis general manager Puratos UK


Companies, Research

Fi Asia just three weeks away

September 10th, 2016
Comments Off on Fi Asia just three weeks away

The 21st edition of Food ingredients (Fi) Asia will take place from 21-23 September 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia, with over 15,000 visitors and 650 exhibitors expected from 40 countries.

According to the organisers, Fi Asia is a unique and proven business platform that brings together leading food and beverage professionals from ASEAN and beyond. Over 15,000 visitors and an expected 650 exhibitors from 40 countries, makes Fi Asia 2016 the region’s largest event exclusively for the food ingredients industry, UBM says. Growing by 26% each edition, this continued strong growth in Fi Asia also reflects the robust growth of the F&B sector, not only in Indonesia, but also the ASEAN region. Furthermore, it demonstrates the value that Fi Asia presents both visitors and exhibitors.

Asia Pacific is a huge and increasingly influential market in the supply of food and beverage ingredients. In 2012 the region accounted for 35% of global value added food and drink ingredient supply (equivalent to almost 8.5 million tonnes out of a global total of 24.2 million tonnes).Asia Pacific is also one of the fastest growing regions, with a forecast CAGR of 4% over 2012-2017, which means that by 2017, Asia will have increased its share of the global total to 38%.

Not surprisingly, UBM notes, Indonesia is expected to be one of the strongest ingredient markets in the region during this period. The US Department of Agriculture considers that several factors which are contributing to the growth of the Indonesian food processing industry are the introduction of new flavours and products with variant package sizes, a growing middle class, aggressive promotional activities, the growth of modern retail outlets, and growing health awareness.

Despite the recent economic slowdown, turnover in Indonesia’s food and beverage industry stands at about IDR 1,200 trillion (approx. US$87.6 billion) in 2015, up from IDR 1,020 trillion (+17.6% year-on-year) in the preceding year, according to the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (Gapmmi). Indonesia’s food manufacturing sector is still attracting foreign investors, with an investment value of US$11.9 billion in 2015, based on data from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). International investment accounted for 60% of all manufacturing commitments in Indonesia last year. These figures clearly demonstrate the strength of the Indonesia F&B sector, and that Indonesia is no longer seen as just a market for food exports, but more as a production base to many international companies. This increased local manufacturing will drive further demand for food ingredients. Attending Fi Asia 2016 will give international visitors the ideal opportunity to better understand this dynamic market and meet potential business partners.

Among the highlights of Fi Asia 2016 is the extensive educational program where visitors will hear from leading speakers who can help them discover innovative products and applications that can transform product and process development, and hear the latest industry trends that will help visitors to grow their business.

When visitors pre-register at www.fiasia.com they will not only receive a visitor badge before the show, saving them from queuing upon arrival, but will also receive a free show directory, as well as a Fi Asia-ASEAN membership that offers free Wi-Fi and VIP lounge access for all Fi shows in ASEAN for 2016 – 2020. Additionally, as a pre-registered attendee at Fi Vietnam 2016 visitors will have free access to the online Business Matching Service. This online matchmaking tool allows visitors to search for and arrange on-site meetings with exhibitors prior to the show.

Source: ingredientsnetwork.com