Archive for September, 2017

What’s the Difference Between Cocoa & Cacao?

September 23rd, 2017
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Sure, you love chocolate, but can you tell these ingredients apart?

Most people love the rich, creamy taste of chocolate, but not everyone knows the difference between cocoa and cacao.

The chocolate flavor most of us think of is based on cocoa, which comes from the beans of the cacao tree. Cocoa is processed into cocoa powder, cocoa butter and, of course, chocolate chips. With its sweeter flavor, cocoa is a more common ingredient than cacao in desserts like fudgy brownies and rich chocolate cakes.

The purer form of chocolate is called cacao. It comes from the same source as cocoa, but you can find it in cacao nibs and specialty bars. It’s also a superfood with many antioxidants—in case you needed another reason to give it a try.



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Europain 2018 Promises to be the Biggest Ever

September 23rd, 2017
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Professionals from around the world will gather in France in February of 2018 for one of the most exceptional events in the bakery, pastry, and chocolate-making industry.

Europain 2018, taking place February 3-6, 2018 at Paris-Nord Villepinte in France, will look to address all the latest themes in all trades of the industry. Over the four-day period, attendees will experience a one-of-a-kind exhibition featuring nearly 700 exhibitors and brands over a 47,650 square-meter exhibition area.

Additionally, the Europain Forum will feature four days of exchanges and talks from qualified professionals from around the world. Conferences, interviews, and roundtables will cover the three main themes of the show: managing, manufacturing, and selling. Topics discussed at the forum will include new business moments in bakery, new models to create your bakery shop, new recipes with ancient wheat, how to manage allergens and diets in bakery or pastry, the ideal lab, and much more.

The Baker’s Lab is a life-sized bakehouse outfitted by exhibitors and partners that will feature a selection of innovative appliances and equipment. It will enable bakers to see in one location all the innovations presented at the show. Demonstrators will display techniques and creative ideas that attendees can use to boost their own production.

Exceptional contests will also take place at Europain 2018. Bringing together established and rising talents, the Masters contest is a series of competitions that include: Coupe Louis Lesaffre, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, and Masters de la Boulangerie.

The United States will be represented by two bakers at the prestigious 2018 Masters de la Boulangerie competition: Jeffrey DeLeon and Jacob Baggentstos. The three-day competition pits 18 bakers from around the world for an elite showcase of baking expertise, challenging their creativity, innovation, and technical prowess. The candidates will be competing in one of three specialties: Nutritional Bread Making, Gourmet Baking, and Artistic Bread Making.

Excitement is already building for the event. Bakery professionals who have attended past Europain events have seen for themselves the extent of its coverage.

“I’ve been to two Europain events, 2012 and 2016, and both times it was an exciting and astonishing experience . . . I encourage anyone connected to the baking industry to come to Europain. It offers something for everyone,” says Bread Bakers Guild of America’s Laverne Mau Dicker.



Bakery, Events

The ‘World’s Best Gelato’ has been crowned after a three-year contest

September 23rd, 2017
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An Italian competition to find the best gelato in the world has come to the conclusion after three years of searching, that when it comes to perfect ice cream, there’s no place like home.

The Gelato World Tour is coordinated by the Carpigiani Gelato University, also known as Bologna’s ice cream university, and is supported by the Italian Foreign Ministry as it tours the world each year to track down the tastiest gelato on the planet.

Judges have toured the world during a three-year selection process with over 1,800 gelato-makers taking part. The 36 finalists representing 19 countries competed in the Grand Finals in Rimini, with a number of challenges ranging from dairy-free ice cream to speedy gelato-making.

Alessandro Crispini poses with his prize-winning gelato. Photo: Dino Buffagni/Gelato World Tour

Alessandro Crispini poses with his prize-winning gelato. Photo: Dino Buffagni/Gelato World Tour

But it turned out that the very best cone can be found in Italy, with the Gelateria Crispini in Spoleto scooping the top prize.

Gelataio Alessandro Crispini’s pistacchio flavour, made of three kinds of Sicilian pistacchio roasted for 24 hours, was crowned the World’s Best Gelato.

The winners were selected by a 45-strong jury including gelato experts, chefs, and journalists.

In second place was the German Eiscafé De Rocco in Schwabach with a grape sorbet created by a father and son in a tribute to their hometown of Venice. And a chocolate-passion fruit gelato from Amor-acuyà in Medellín, Colombia was awarded third place.

A total of 50,000 visitors came to the finals to watch the competition and enjoy the 2,500kg of gelato which was produced over the three-day fair.

And according to organizers, 2017 has been a record year for gelato-eaters as well as makers, with consumption of the dessert up ten percent on last year.



Ice Creams

Ingredion introduces process-stable tapioca flours

September 23rd, 2017
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HOMECRAFT Create multi-functional tapioca flours offer superior viscosity, shelf-life stability, flavour release and texture.

Food scientists at Ingredion Incorporated’s global Idea Labs network of innovation centers today announced the launch of HOMECRAFT Create multifunctional tapioca flours. The new range of ingredients emerges as a milestone in more than two decades of research dedicated to understanding the role tapioca can play in clean-label applications.

HOMECRAFT Create multi-functional tapioca flours couple a clean ‘tapioca flour’ label with the functionality of a modified starch. The full range of flours is adapted to suit a variety of production processes, offering tolerance and stability advantages while at the same time helping manufacturers achieve indulgent dairy products and smooth sauces, puddings and custards.

The flours, which will be introduced in phases globally, provide exceptional flavor release and enhanced, creamy textures that allow food manufacturers to reduce fat content and improve nutrition profiles. At the same time, the range of ingredients delivers higher viscosity than clean label starches in some applications, offering opportunities for cost savings.

HOMECRAFT Create multi-functional tapioca flours support non-GMO and gluten-free claims, aligning with consumer-driven trends reshaping labels around the globe. The number of new products formulated globally with tapioca flours has seen a 38 percent compound annual growth rate since 2012, according to research firm Mintel.

Ingredion conducted proprietary consumer research in 26 countries, assessing consumer preferences regarding functional texturizers and stabilizers. Consumers across all regions prefer a ‘flour’ label, presenting an opportunity for tapioca flour.

“Flours are highly recognized and also have a superior degree of acceptance, given their association with minimal processing, which consumers perceive to be healthy,” says Dan Haley, director of the global Wholesome Springboard at Ingredion. “The challenge for food manufacturers has been to formulate with flour without compromising flavor, texture, appearance and a gluten-free positioning. HOMECRAFT Create tapioca flours help manufacturers overcome this challenge in a wide array of applications.”

Manufacturers frequently inquire about functional ingredients that meet consumer’s clean-label expectations, says Angelina De Castro, senior marketing manager, North America. “In the US and Canada, consumer research shows that tapioca flour consistently ranks very high in ‘natural’ perception and acceptability. With our new HOMECRAFT Create multi-functional tapioca flours, food developers now have the ability to use a widely accepted texturizer that offers breakthrough functionality and helps to create a superior eating experience.”

“Tapioca is a versatile ingredient, suitable for formulations from yogurts to soups and cooking sauces,” says Chong Hui Cheng, marketing manager, APAC. “Tapioca is a familiar and staple food ingredient in Asia Pacific. Our proprietary research shows that two out of three consumers in the region accept tapioca flour as a food ingredient.”

Consumer research in EMEA also reveals a preference for ‘flour’ labels. “Our recent study shows that flours are recognized, trusted and preferred by consumers,” explains Davy Luyten, marketing manager in the region. “Acting on this insight could give manufacturers the competitive edge they need to differentiate their dairy, meat, bread, snacks and baby food products. With 76% of European consumers placing importance on recognizable ingredients, we anticipate strong interest in our new HOMECRAFT Create multifunctional tapioca flours.”

Source: Asia Food Journal



Why chocolate is good for your gut

September 23rd, 2017
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Chocolate lovers, rejoice; the sweet treat is not only delicious, but studies show that it can also promote friendly bacteria and reduce inflammation in our guts.

First, some background: trillions of bacteria live in our guts. They contribute to our immune system, metabolism, and many other processes essential to human health.

When the delicate balance of microbes in our intestines is disturbed, it can have serious consequences.

Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, allergies, asthma, and cancer have all been linked to abnormal gut microbiomes.

A healthful diet supports bacterial diversity and health, but could chocolate be an integral part of this?

Benefits of cocoa

Cocoa is the dry, non-fatty component prepared from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree and the ingredient that gives chocolate its characteristic taste.

Many health benefits have been attributed to cocoa and its potent antioxidant functions. These include lowering cholesterol, slowing down cognitive decline, and keeping the heart healthy.

Cocoa metabolism is partly dependent on the bacteria that live in our intestines.

Our bodies are only able to absorb some of the nutrients in chocolate. As such, we need our tiny microbial passengers to break complex molecules into smaller components, which we would not be able to take into our bodies otherwise.

This allows us to make full use of the many health-promoting molecules in cocoa. It doesn’t stop there, however. The gut microbes also benefit from this relationship, which, in turn, has an even greater effect on our health.

Gut health and inflammation

Several studies show that the consumption of cocoa increases the levels of so-called friendly bacteria in the gut.

Researchers from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom measured higher levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in the intestines of human volunteers who drank high-cocoa chocolate milk for 4 weeks.

The same team previously showed that components in cocoa can reduce the growth of Clostridium histolyticum bacteria, which are present in the guts of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.

In pigs, higher levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species were also found in the colon in response to a high-cocoa diet. Interestingly, the expression of known inflammatory markers was reduced.

Friendly bacteria including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have, in fact, been implicated in actively promoting anti-inflammatory processes in our intestines, keeping our gut healthy.

Chocolate as part of a healthful diet

Despite the fact that these scientific studies support the claim that cocoa can be beneficial for our gut microbiomes, cocoa does not equal chocolate.

The cocoa extracts used in research do not contain the high levels of sugar and fat found in our everyday chocolate bars.

Unsweetened cocoa powder or high-cocoa content dark chocolate are the closest alternatives to the cocoa used in these studies. Consumed in moderation, chocolate may therefore promote friendly bacteria, and, by extension, a healthy gut, keeping inflammation at bay.

When choosing your next chocolate treat, join the Medical News Today editorial team in their choice and opt for a nice piece of dark chocolate.



Chocolate, Health

Frozen Bakery Market to Grow Worldwide by 2020

September 23rd, 2017
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The frozen bakery market makes up around 8% of the total frozen food market across the globe. The market is embracing more diversified operations, which offer sophisticated and healthy products.

Malarkodi Mahendran, Persistence Market Research, contributed to this article

Health-conscious consumers prefer food that contains healthy ingredients and stays fresh for a long period of time. A growing demand for these ingredients leads growth in the overall frozen bakery market, according to a report recently released by research specialist Persistence Market Research (PMR), called “Frozen Bakery Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020”. One of the reasons for the growth in the frozen bakery market is “food on the go”. In busier lifestyles, people tend to skip breakfast and grab bakery product that was previously frozen.

Dynamics by geographies

The market is expected to continue flourishing in the developed and developing regions of the world, the report shows. An increase in trade activities involving frozen pizza and frozen bread in Europe leads to a rise in the overall growth of the frozen bakery market. Europe contributes to this from the power stance of being the largest market of frozen bakery across the globe. North America is estimated to be second largest market after Europe, due to the increase in demand for processed food and the busy lifestyles of the population.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market for frozen bakery. The growing influence of Western culture, rising middle classes with higher disposable income, and changing eating habits of consumers are some of the main reasons driving the Asia Pacific market. The growth of the frozen bakery market is expected to be fastest in the emerging market of Latin America and the Middle East up to 2020.

Expert analysis

Malarkodi Mahendran is a senior consultant with PMR. She offered Asia Pacific Baker & Biscuit her views on the report and its findings:

How has the ratio of frozen bakery goods evolved in the frozen foods category and how is it estimated to evolve?

The frozen bakery goods category has around an 8-10% market share of the total frozen food market. The market is evolved and undergone significant changes with respect to constantly changing consumer preferences. The quality frozen bakery products with natural/organic ingredients that meet most of the parameters set by consumers on the grounds of health and nutrition, will drive the market.

Which categories of frozen baked goods are driving this market, and in which areas?

Globally, frozen pizza crust and frozen bread is driving the market of frozen baked goods. Europe represents the largest frozen bakery market across the globe, followed by North America.

What are the main factors for this? Please compare the dynamics in Europe with those in the Middle East, APAC and the Americas.

On a global scale, Europe has the largest market for frozen bakery products and is expected to maintain its dominance in the future. Hectic lifestyles, coupled with increasing numbers of working women, are driving the frozen bakery products market in Europe. The preference among European consumers for convenience foods will undoubtedly drive growth in the frozen bakery products market.

In North America, the frozen bakery market has undergone a significant change in recent years due to changing consumer trends for frozen bakery products offering high nutritional health value, while clean label is driving growth of the market. To meet these parameters, frozen bakery product manufacturers are producing goods that are organic/natural or free-from products to retain consumer trust.

The increasing disposable income levels within the middle-class economy and growing urban population in countries like India are among the strong factors influencing the frozen bakery market in the developing countries of the Asia Pacific region.

Due to the high consumption of bread in Middle Eastern countries, bakery is a major processed food sold in this region. Most of the processed food products are imported into these countries and therefore supplied in frozen form. This is one of the main reasons driving the frozen bakery food products market in the Middle East.

Source: World Bakers



Uncommon Cacao vs. global commodity markets

September 23rd, 2017
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A new report from the farmer financier highlights imbalances that disproportionately hurt farmers and create disincentives among manufacturers and retailers to push for change

To understand the impact that volatile commodity markets have on the “little guy,” just look at the Ivory Coast. The West African country is the world’s largest producer of cacao?—?the fruit that chocolate is made from. To help farmers stabilize income, the government sets a minimum price for purchasers: last year it was $1.88 a kilogram of cacao beans. But the markets had a different idea.

Higher-than-expected yields drove down futures prices for cleaned, roasted cacao beans on the London and New York markets. In turn, the Ivory Coast’s government slashed the guaranteed price to farmers by 36%?—?a decision that affects cacao farmers worldwide because the price is set every year in West Africa where 60% of the world’s cocoa is produced.

Here’s where Uncommon Cacao comes in. The Berkeley, Calif., social enterprise provides logistics and financial services to smallholder cacao farmers, connecting them with premium chocolate makers. It started in Belize in 2010 with a vision of making cacao trading more equitable for local farmers and has grown to a network of 2,600 farmers in five Latin American and Caribbean countries. Now it is looking to effect a systems change across the entire cocoa market through something the market currently lacks: farmer pricing transparency.

In its latest transparency report, Uncommon Cacao details the prices received by farmers in its network, where producers earned $1.30 a kilogram above the 2016 West Africa FarmGate price and 30 cents a kilogram above the average commodity price.

The report exposes several other issues in the cocoa value chain that affect farmers. One is the importance of cacao processing to farmer income. In Haiti, for instance, Uncommon Cacao partners with PISA, a cacao processor and farmer network that works with half of all farmers (and 70% of women farmers) in Uncommon Cacao’s network. Last year, the farmers received slightly below the West African FarmGate price for their crops?—?a legacy of Haiti’s notoriously opaque cacao market, where large export companies historically have bought “dried, unfermented, low quality cacao from smallholder farmers at prices below the commodity mark,” the report says.

Since PISA opened its own central processing plant, producers have seen earnings almost quadruple. What’s more, the report notes, they are “incentivized to protect their trees from the environmentally degrading charcoal market.” (An article by agricultural data company Gro Intelligence says that farming accounts for only 6.6% of the cocoa value chain; processing accounts for an additional 7.6% of the value.)

The report raises another issue that affects farmer income: the unreliability of product certification. Because existing certifications don’t verify quality or flavor of the beans, the report says, it leaves farmers at the mercy of commodity pricing because all cocoa beans are treated the same.

Finally, Uncommon Cacao highlights imbalances that disproportionately hurt farmers and create disincentives among manufacturers and retailers to push for change. “Our entire supply chain is only 10% or less of the price of a chocolate bar,” the report states. (Gro Intelligence’s data reveals that almost 80% of cocoa’s market value is in manufacturing and retail.) “We need consumers to pay more and retailers to get on board with margin transparency.”




What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream & Gelato?

September 23rd, 2017
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Get the scoop on your favorite frozen desserts


If you’ve ever found yourself at the ice cream shop or in the freezer section of the supermarket wondering what the difference is between ice cream and gelato, you’re not alone. Though we enjoy all of these treats equally, there are obvious differences between them.

Let’s start with the one we are most familiar with: ice cream. Ice cream is typically made from milk, cream, sugar and sometimes egg yolks. There are many ways to build a base; however, a traditional French custard base consists of tempered egg yolks in milk, cooking the mixture until it develops a thick consistency. According to the Food and Drug Administration, ice cream contains at least 10 percent milk fat and is churned at a high speed to create a light and airy texture.

While gelato is technically the Italian word for “ice cream,” there are differences between the two. A gelato base uses more milk and less cream, and is churned at a much slower speed, resulting in a lower fat content and a creamier texture.

And because we can’t forget about sherbet and sorbet: The middle child stuck between ice cream and sorbet, sherbet is a fruit-based dessert that contains about 1 to 2 percent milk fat. If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative, sorbet is the dessert to go with. Sometimes used as a palate cleanser between meals, its two main ingredients are fruit juice (or purée) and sugar.



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U.S. CPI for baked foods, cereals rises in August

September 23rd, 2017
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The Consumer Price Index for baked foods and cereal products rose 0.2% in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The index for all food at home, meanwhile, decreased 0.1%.

Of the 18 items followed by Milling & Baking News, a sister publication of World Grain, 11 posted month-over-month increases and 7 finished lower.

The August index for Cereals and Bakery Products before seasonal adjustment was 272.5% of the 1982-84 average, down 0.2% from a year ago. For all food at home, the August index was 238.8, up 0.3% from August 2016.

The CPI for cereals and cereal products in August was 228.3, down 0.1% from July and down 1.3% from August 2016. The index for products within this category included: flour and prepared mixes, 239.3, down 0.6% from July and down 1.7% from the previous year; breakfast cereal, 223.8, down 0.7% from the previous month and down 0.8% from a year ago; and rice, pasta and corn meal, 236.6, up 1% from July but down 1.6% from August 2016.

The price index for bakery products in August was 297.8, up 0.3% from July and up 0.3% from August 2016.

The August index for bread was 179.2, up 0.9% from July and up 0.4% from August 2016. Under this heading, the CPI for white bread was 325, up 0.6% from July and up 1.2% from August 2016. For bread other than white, the index was 346.5, up 1.2% from July but down 0.7% from a year ago.

The price index for fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins in August was 173.8, down 0.3% from July and down 0.8% from August 2016. The August index for cakes, cupcakes and cookies was 282.8, up 0.2% from July and up 1.3% from August 2016. Under this segment, other price indexes included fresh cakes and cupcakes, 301.4, down 1% from July but up 0.7% from August 2016; and cookies, 268.8, up 1.2% from the previous month and up 1.5% from the previous year.

The CPI for other bakery products in August was 267.6, up 0.3% from July but down 0.1% from August 2016. Under this heading, other price indexes in August included: fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and donuts, 295.9, up 1.2% from July and up 1.5% from August 2016; crackers and cracker products, 307.3, up 0.1% from July but down 1.8% from August 2016; and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts and turnovers, 271.1, down 0.5% from July but up 1% from the previous year.

Source: World Grain


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Confectionery Giant Mars Announces $1 Billion Sustainability Plan To Fight Climate Change

September 11th, 2017
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When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, many were worried that it could spell the end of the accord. The concern was that if as big a player as the US was to leave, other countries would see little point in remaining. But in a strange twist of fate, the reverse has happened.

Nations have doubled down on their commitments, and the current White House administration is even receiving a backlash from major business and industry players who want the regulations and targets because they know they are necessary. The latest corporation to hit back at the withdrawal is the confectionery giant Mars, who has announced that it is launching a $1 billion ‘Sustainability in a Generation’ plan. The aim is to tackle its carbon emissions while at the same time promote sustainable farming for its products.

Industries are now waking up to the fact that cutting emissions is not just about doing good or preventing climate change, but is actually just good business sense. By switching from fossil fuels to renewables the cost of energy drops once you recoup the initial investment as the energy is cheap. It’s as simple as that.

“This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what’s necessary. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” explained Grant F Reid, the chief executive of Mars. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource-efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”

Mars has set out a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 67 percent by 2050. In addition to this, they will also set up projects aimed at reducing poverty for their suppliers and farmers in low-income countries, as well as improving the sustainability of the farming practices that they run.

The massive investment by the $35-billion company, which makes all sorts of confectionary from Skittles to Juicy Fruit, has been announced in the run up to the UN General Assembly and Climate Week that is taking place in New York later this month. Mars hopes that as such a big hitter in the business world, it will encourage other companies to make similar environmental commitments.

And it seems that this mentality is working. To date, 14 states that account for a third of the US population and just under 40 percent of the US’s GDP, have formed the United States Climate Alliance in which they will maintain their commitments to the Paris agreement, bypassing the White House and the President entirely.



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