Australian companies cutting salt in bread

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salSeveral major food companies in Australia, including George Weston Foods, Goodman Fielder Baking and Cereal Partners Worldwide, have agreed to reduce the amount of salt in their bread and breakfast cereals as part of a collaborative effort with the government called the Food and Health Dialogue.

Mark Butler, the parliamentary secretary for health in Australia, said George Weston Foods, Goodman Fielder Baking, Allied Mills, Cripps Nubake, Woolworths, Coles and ALDI were among the manufacturers and retailers who have agreed to reduce sodium across bread products to 400 mg per 100 g by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, Kellogg Co., Sanitarium, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Woolworths, Coles and ALDI were among those who agreed to reduce the sodium content of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals by 15% over four years.

In total, the manufacturers and retailers who have agreed to take part in the initiative represent more than 80% of the market share for bread products and approximately 60% of the market share for R-T-E cereal in Australia.

“Agreed targets give industry a level playing field and certainty on expectations,” Mr. Butler said. “Bread and breakfast cereals are the first of several food categories being prioritized by the Food and Health Dialogue to improve Australian diets.”

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Cargill opens flavor facility in China

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cargill-logoCargill, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, continues to expand its global reach with the opening of a flavor manufacturing plant in Pinghu, China. The facility, which will allow Cargill to serve customers with flavors for beverage, dairy, confectionery and bakery applications, as well as manufacturing and supply options, will complement the company’s Shanghai flavor application laboratory opened in 2007.

Cargill said the new site will join a production facility in Bangalore, India, as well as application centers in Shanghai; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Bangalore, in forming the base from which the company expects to serve the growing Asian market.

“This latest venture demonstrates our commitment to being a worldwide partner for our flavors customers as we now have one or more manufacturing sites in each regional market,” said Peter Michielsen, head of Cargill Flavor Systems. “Crucially, the plant will enable us to react even faster to the needs of our customers, whether local Chinese manufacturers, or global customers with sites in China. It also strengthens our worldwide flavor network where local knowledge becomes global knowledge, especially in terms of sharing expertise or spotting the rise and fall of consumer trends. At Pinghu, in particular, we will apply our knowledge in connecting base raw materials with specialty ingredients such as flavors.

“Our flavor business has a strong competitive advantage. It can — and does — draw upon the extensive knowledge we have built up across our food ingredients portfolio that also includes juices, starches and sweeteners, edible oils, texturizers, malt, cocoa and chocolate. This will enable us to provide original and often unique taste solutions to our customers.”

Cargill said the new plant has been built on the same site as the company’s existing starches and sweeteners plant.

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Lactic bacteria breakthrough may reduce bread additive use

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lactic acid bacteriaResearchers in Finland have discovered lactic bacteria that naturally produce hydrocolloids in wheat bread using sourdough, and could be used to make additive-free products that meet taste and texture requirements.

Sourdough always contains lactic acid bacteria, which are responsible for the fermentation process. But Kati Katina, senior research scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland led a three-year project to screen over 100 other cereal and food-based microbes to find out which ones work in a wheat matrix and can yield helpful hydrocolloids. The first phase of the project involved a modelling system.

Once the team had narrowed down the potential candidates, it progressed to the baking stage. Katina told  that the team was “quite lucky” to find four or five lactic bacteria that helped the mechanical processability of the dough, improved shelf life, and increased volume. The taste was mild and lacked the pungency often associated with sourdough bread.

The effect is attributed to the production of exopolysaccharides during the fermentation process, which act as coagulants and emulsifiers.

In a report on the work published in the journal Food Microbiology, Katina and her team said that Weissella confusa was identified as a strain with particular potential. Others from the general Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Weissella were seen to produce exopolysaccharides, but with some strains the positive technical results were marred by acidification. This was not the case with W confusa.

The indication is that the addition of the lactic bacteria early on means there is no need for other additives to be used in the manufacturing process, in order to achieve the same high quality results.

The project as funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for technology and Innovation Tekes, as well as by VTT. Katina said that since it is a nationally funded project, the findings have been made public and some bakeries are already putting them to use in their projects.

However Katina’s work is not yet over: There is potential to use the technology for producing ingredients for other cereal products and foods, such as extruded snacks, she said.

She is now investigating the nutritional aspects of the technology. Sourdough already has a reputation for having a low glycaemic index, and it is thought that the formation of the hydrocolloids could enhance this effect.

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EFSA sets new DRV for carbs, fats and water

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efsa-logoThe European Food Safety Authority published new dietary reference values (DRVs) for carbohydrates, sugar, fibre, fats and water confirming proposals made last year. The final levels have drawn criticism from some scientists.

The EU risk assessor was asked by the European Commission to update DRVs for a slate of nutrients on the basis of the most recent scientific evidence, as the last time these were set was in 1993. The values released today are the first of three batches: advice on protein and energy is in the works, and EFSA will start working on vitamins and minerals later this year.

EFSA held public consultations on the new DRVs prior to confirming them. The values will now be used as an evidence base underpinning nutritional policies, public health targets, and consumer info and education programmes.

Carbs, sugar and fibre

EFSA’s advice on total carbohydrates is that intake should comprise between 45 and 60 per cent of total energy intake for both adults and children. A daily intake of 25g of fibre is recommended for normal bowel function in adults; EFSA has also recognised evidence linking fibre to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and its role in weight management.

However it could not find sufficient evidence to support the role of the glycaemic index and glycaemic load in maintaining weight and preventing diet-related diseases.

No upper limit for sugars has been set, either, because of insufficient evidence and health effects are a matter of what foods are consumed and how often, rather than the amount of sugar per se. The panel does recognise that there is “good evidence that frequent consumption of foods high in sugars increases the risk of tooth decay”. But says policy makers should consider evidence for consumption patterns of sugar-containing foods when making national nutrition recommendations.

Balancing fats

Overall, EFSA says fat intakes should range between 20 and 35 per cent of total energy for adults (the values for children are adjusted to take account of their developmental needs).

But evidence for impact of different kinds of fat is recognised, such as the link between saturated and trans fats and blood cholesterol levels. Here too, though, EFSA leaves it to national policy makers to decide how to couch the message that mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids are better than trans and saturated.

In the case of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, however, it is more prescriptive. It says a daily intake of 250mg for adults “may reduce the risk of heart disease”. However academics and industry have been lobbying for far higher values than this – ideally over 500mg a day.

Following the publication of the proposed values, a 22-strong of scientists wrote to EFSA to ask it to “reconsider its conclusions and advice on omega-3 fatty acids afresh, right from the beginning.”

The scientists also objected to the proposal that ALA (alpha-linolenic) acid is a “viable precursor” to longer-chain DHA and EPA fatty acids. EFSA’s final opinion states that “ALA cannot be synthesised by the body, is required to maintain metabolic integrity, and is therefore considered to be an essential fatty acid”.

It proposes an adequate intake level of 0.5 per cent of energy, but says there is not enough evidence to set an average requirement, a lower threshold intake or a population reference intake. It also sees no need for a tolerable upper intake level, as it says there is no convincing evidence of any detrimental health effects.

The final DRV included in the current batch is for water. EFSA says 2 litres a day is considered adequate for women, and 2.5 litres for men.

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Global Strategic Business Report, Profiling 493 Companies Including Key and Niche Players Worldwide

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Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Bread – Global Strategic Business Report” report tobread-image their offering.

This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Bread in US$ Million. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World. Annual forecasts are provided for each region for the period 2007 through 2015. Also, a six-year historic analysis is provided for these markets.

The report profiles 493 companies including many key and niche players worldwide such as Associated British Foods Plc, Allied Bakeries, Barilla Holding Societa per Azioni, Barilla Holding Societa per Azioni, Fletchers Group of Bakeries, Flowers Bakeries, Inc., Frank Roberts & Sons Ltd., Franz Family Bakeries, Greggs plc, Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V., Bimbo Bakeries USA, Mrs. Bairds Bakeries, Inc., George Weston Bakeries Inc., Interstate Bakeries Corporation, La Brea Bakery Corporate, Martins Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc., Pepperidge Farm, Inc., Premier Foods plc, Sara Lee Corporation, Warburtons, Ltd., William Jackson Food Group Limited, and Jacksons Bakery. Market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. Company profiles are mostly extracted from URL research and reported select online sources.

Key Topics Covered: I. INTRODUCTION, METHODOLOGY & PRODUCT DEFINITIONS II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. Industry Overview 2. Product Overview 3. Product Launches/Developments 4. Recent Industry Activity 5. Focus On Select Global Players 6. Global Market Perspective III. MARKET

* Region/Country:

* – The United States

* – Canada

* – Japan

* – Europe

* – France

* – Germany

* – The United Kingdom

* – Italy

* – Spain

* – Rest of Europe

* – Asia-Pacific (Excluding Japan)

* – Latin America

* – Middle East

IV. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

* Total Companies Profiled: 493 (including Divisions/Subsidiaries)

Company Profiles:

* Associated British Foods Plc (UK)

* Allied Bakeries (UK)

* Barilla Holding Societa per Azioni (Italy)

* Fine Lady Bakeries (UK)

* Fletchers Group of Bakeries (UK)

* Flowers Bakeries, Inc. (US)

* Frank Roberts & Sons Ltd (UK)

* Franz Family Bakeries (US)

* Greggs plc (UK)

* Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V. (Mexico)

* Bimbo Bakeries USA (US)

* Mrs. Bairds Bakeries, Inc. (US)

* George Weston Bakeries Inc. (US)

* Interstate Bakeries Corporation (US)

* La Brea Bakery Corporate (US)

* Martins Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. (US)

* Pepperidge Farm, Inc. (US)

* Premier Foods plc (UK)

* Sara Lee Corporation (US)

* Warburtons, Ltd. (UK)

* William Jackson Food Group Limited (UK)

* Jacksons Bakery (UK)

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/350c25/bread_global_str

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Could snake and spider enzymes be used as food ingredients?

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Enzymes derived from snakes, spiders and carnivorous plants may soon be used as food ingredients.

The Danish Council for Strategic Research is looking into their potential to be used in everyday products such as food and laundry detergents.

Among the companies taking part in the research is Danisco, a world leader in food ingredients enzymes and bio-based solutions.

Charlotte Poulsen, an enzyme development specialist at the firm Danisco said the research would centre around the “highly effective” digestive qualities of enzymes such as the kind a spider injects into its prey to liquefy it.

The commercial possibilities are endless, Ms Poulsen noted.

She explained: “The highly potent enzymes may be used in for instance food ingredients, detergents, animal nutrition and a long list of other applications in which enzymes can perform their function as process catalysts.”

The research project has already begun and will run for a period of four years.

Source:  Ingredients Network

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HEALTHGRAIN Project

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Cereal foods are major dietary sources of energy, carbohydrate and fibre. Studies are increasingly showing that intake of both whole grain and cereal dietary fibre are able to protect against rapidly increasing chronic diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

healthgrain_logoThe HEALTHGRAIN Integrated Project aims to improve well-being of consumers and to reduce the risk of metabolic diseases in Europe by increasing the intake of protective compounds in whole grains or their fractions. The aim is to produce health promoting and safe cereal foods and ingredients of high quality which are attractive to consumers. To achieve this, our integrated comprehensive research, training and communication program will deliver means and motivation for optimising levels of compounds in European grain foods that have a biological effect. These health-protective compounds in grains may in addition to dietary fibre include lignans, phenolic acids, alkylresorcinols, phytosterols, folates, tocopherols and tocotrienols, other vitamins, trace elements and minerals. All of these compounds are concentrated in the outer layers of the grain, and are thus removed in production of white wheat flour. HEALTHGRAIN is developing ways to producing cereal foods containing more of these protective compounds. The role of cereal food structure and other factors influencing postprandial glycemic and satiating properties are also being studied in order to develop foods which contribute to metabolic health and weight management.

Read more about this projet here

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Weston helps drive Grupo Bimbo income

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sara-leeNet majority income of Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV in the year ended 31 Dec., 2009, was NP5,956 million (US$466 million), up 38% from NP4,320 million in fiscal 2008. Sales rose 42%, climbing to NP116,479 million (US$9,118 million) from NP82,317 million.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, net majority income was NP1,760 million (US$138 million), up 38% from NP1,274 million in the same period a year ago. Sales were NP30,084 million (US$2,355 million), up 36% from NP22,178 million in the same period a year ago.

“It was an outstanding year for Grupo Bimbo, marked by the successful integration of the largest acquisition in its history that along with a more beneficial commodity environment, helped propel the company’s results,” Grupo Bimbo said.

Operating profit in the United States during fiscal 2009 was NP4,261 million (US$334 million), up sharply from NP125 million a year ago. Sales rose 177% to NP49,977 million (US$3,913 million) from NP18,049 million.

“Net sales more than doubled on a quarterly basis when compared to the same period of 2008,” Grupo Bimbo said. “Growth reflected the incorporation of BBU East and higher volumes in both regions. New products, such as Sandwich Thins, which were pioneered by BBU, as well as promotions, helped drive volume growth in a highly competitive environment. For the full year, sales almost tripled … also as a result of the incorporation of BBU East and healthy volume performance.”

In the Mexico division, operating profit was NP7,500 million (US$587 million), up 9% from NP6,855 million in fiscal 2008. Net sales were up narrowly to NP55,388 million (US$4,338 million) from NP54,845 million.

In Latin America, operating profit fell 30% to NP301 million (US$24 million) from NP431 million despite a 20% gain in sales to NP13,606 million. Grupo Bimbo said the declines reflected significant deterioration in its Venezuela operations. Also in the region, the company said it experienced higher sales and distribution expenses associated with efforts to increase penetration, as well as higher labor costs.

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EFSA gives positive opinion for sucrose esters of fatty acids

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efsa-logoThe European Food Safety Authority has issued a positive safety opinion on sucrose esters produced by reacting sucrose and vinyl esters of fatty acids, which could open up new possibilities for improving the solubility of flavourings in drinks.

Sucrose esters of fatty acids are already permitted in the EU, after being assessed in 1992 and assigned the E-number E473. The earlier approval relates to sucrose esters of fatty acids and sucroglycerides from palm oil, lard, and tallow fatty acids.

But Singaporean company Compass Foods applied in 2008 for approval to market sucrose esters from monoesters of lauric acid, mysteristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These sucrose esters are produced via a different process, by reacting sucrose and vinyl esters of fatty acids.

This is said to result in very tiny residues of vinyl esters of fatty acid, acetaldehyde, and p-methoxyphenol – but these were not seen to be at a level to raise concern for EFSA’s panel.

EFSA was asked to assess the safety of the sucrose esters produced via this process by the European Commission – as well as whether the go-ahead to use the sucrose esters of fatty acids in water-based beverages would increase total intake levels beyond the current ADI of 40mg/kg. Notably, the sucrose ester of lauric acid was not considered in the evaluation that led to this ADI.

After assessing the evidence, EFSA’s panel concluded that the monosters proposed by Compass Foods would be extensively hydrolysed in the gastrointestinal tract into ocnsituent fatty acids and sucrose before being absorbed.

It found that, as long as the ADI of 40mg/kg is not exceeded, the sucrose esters of fatty acids produced by the new process do not pose a safety issue. However in Ireland, where sucrose esters of fatty acids are used more commonly as a glazing agent for fruits, some consumers could exceed the ADI.

“There is no is no reason to believe that the sucrose monoesters of fatty acids per se produced by the new manufacturing process should in any way have biological or toxicological effects different from those of sucrose monoesters of fatty acids produced by the currently-used manufacturing methods.”

The panel was unconcerned about the lauric acid source, as although there are limited toxicological data on this available, lauric acid is found in quite high levels in a number of foods. In order for the new esters to be permitted, EFSA pointed out that the current specifications would have to be changed to include the sucrose ester of lauric acid.

Moreover, permission would need to be granted for supercritical carbon dioxide to be used as a solvent to make them.

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Symrise concentrates umami in new flavour

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Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate

Symrise has developed a highly concentrated umami flavour which it will market as a replacer for monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Europe, once approval is granted.

Umami is one of the five taste sensations detectable by humans, together with sweet, bitter, salty and sour. It is the taste quality associated with several amino acids, especially the amino acid L-glutamate.

Symrise already has some unami flavours in its portfolio, but Matthias Hille, category manager of the savoury business unit at Symrise explained that none is as concentrated as the new ingredient. Whereas a standard umami flavour would be added at a level of around 0.12 per cent in a gravy, for instance, the new Symlife Umami can be used at 5 parts per million (ppm).

“The major advantage is that in its diluted format can be as a direct MSG replacer,” said Hille. Some consumers are inclined to avoid MSG, as they have a negative association of it.

Symlife Umami can be added to other flavourings sold by Symrise to give a boost to the umani perception, such as chicken flavour or other less concentrated umami ingredients. He explained that dosing the ingredient one gram at a time via pipette is not feasible for industry, which prefers to work with 25kg bags.

Aiming for positive list

Symrise’ R&D team spent three years working on Symlife Umani. While it is already being employed by some manufacturers of savoury products in Asia Pacific and has FEMA GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in the US, it is not yet permitted in the EU.

Hille said it is on the evaluation list of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), with an opinion expected by the end of this year. “We don’t expect big challenges,” he said. Once the opinion is granted, the ingredient is expected to be added to positive list of permitted flavours under the new flavouring regulation.

The company is already communication about the development to customers, however, due to the long lead time for trying it out in their products.

The umani flavouring is produced by a symthetic process. It was developed after the R&D team identified a unique perception from raw material, and carried out structure performance tests to identify the molecules responsible for that perception. The scientists then worked together with the flavourists to recreate the quality.

Hille said they have been “able to prove this ingredient is also working directly on the receptor in our mouths”.

Umami market

While umami is closely associated with Asian cuisine, Hille predicts that the tide away from using MSG in products means Europe could be just as big a market for the new flavouring as Asia.

Symrise is not the only firm aiming at MSG replacement. Givaudan said last year that it has discovered molecules associated with umami as part of its TasteSolutions programme, by analysing “traditional fermentation processes, cooking techniques and artisanal ingredients” from around the world. This research, as well as its research into taste perception, forms the basis for its new clean label ingredients.

In 2007 US-based Wild Flavors, too, launched a new taste modification platform called SavorCrave that was claimed to allow manufacturers of savoury goods to add the distinct umami flavor and mouthfeel to soups, sauces, meat marinades, frozen entrees and seasonings.

Yeast extracts, too, have targeted the umami space, though Hille said Symrise’s new concentrated flavour could have cost advantages. It is still exploring this proposition, but depending on the kind of yeast extracts, the application and the dosage level Hille reckons the saving could be in the region of 15-20 per cent.

Symrise has developed a highly concentrated umami flavour which it will market as a replacer for monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Europe, once approval is granted.

Umami is one of the five taste sensations detectable by humans, together with sweet, bitter, salty and sour. It is the taste quality associated with several amino acids, especially the amino acid L-glutamate.

Symrise already has some unami flavours in its portfolio, but Matthias Hille, category manager of the savoury business unit at Symrise explained to FoodNavigator.com that none is as concentrated as the new ingredient. Whereas a standard umami flavour would be added at a level of around 0.12 per cent in a gravy, for instance, the new Symlife Umami can be used at 5 parts per million (ppm).

“The major advantage is that in its diluted format can be as a direct MSG replacer,” said Hille. Some consumers are inclined to avoid MSG, as they have a negative association of it.

Symlife Umami can be added to other flavourings sold by Symrise to give a boost to the umani perception, such as chicken flavour or other less concentrated umami ingredients. He explained that dosing the ingredient one gram at a time via pipette is not feasible for industry, which prefers to work with 25kg bags.

Aiming for positive list

Symrise’ R&D team spent three years working on Symlife Umani. While it is already being employed by some manufacturers of savoury products in Asia Pacific and has FEMA GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in the US, it is not yet permitted in the EU.

Hille said it is on the evaluation list of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), with an opinion expected by the end of this year. “We don’t expect big challenges,” he said. Once the opinion is granted, the ingredient is expected to be added to positive list of permitted flavours under the new flavouring regulation.

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