Sustainability, ingredient safety on tap for Cereals & Grains 18

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Cereal grain scientists and food industry professionals from around the world will meet in London, U.K., Oct. 21-23, 2018, to share their research at AACC International’s annual meeting, Cereals & Grains 18.

The meeting will offer attendees an opportunity to connect with European leaders in cereal science from academia, government and industry. This year’s meeting will highlight the latest changes, challenges, research and innovations along the whole value chain of cereals seen from different international perspectives — from the field to the fork.

The meeting will convene at Hilton London Metropole’s modern conference facilities, giving attendees the chance to network and make new connections. There will be featured sessions with up to 400 participants, focus sessions with about 150 attendees and deep dives for around 50 specialists. In addition, each day will have a specific theme with sessions organized by industry leaders including:

Oct. 21 – Sustainability from Gene to Field:

  • Keynote Achim Doberman, Rothamsted Research: Leading from an illustrious past into a demanding future
  • Technologies for Grain Production – the latest developments in precision agriculture
  • Exploiting Ancient, Traditional and Exotic Wheats
  • The value of Data Science for Cereal Science, Bakery and Patisserie
  • Wheat Breeding for Quality
  • Rice, Pulses
  • The challenges and future of managing the grain industry from international perspectives

Oct. 22 – Safe Ingredients and Quality Products:

  • Keynote Ian Roberts, Bühler Group: Digitization to revolutionize the grain value chain of the future
  • Challenges of Managing Food Safety
  • Current innovations and challenges in extrusion of grains and legumes
  • EU Starch Roundtable
  • Shelf Life Challenges in the New Retail Model
  • Fermentation Science: Bread to Beer
  • Bioprocessing: designer tool for food structure and texture
  • Linking Consumer perceptions with analytical data to address consumer needs
  • Mycotoxins
  • Innovation in cereal research and analytical methods
  • Carbohydrate Quality with Glycemic Index point/counter point discussion

Oct. 23 – Formulating for Health and Wellness:

  • Processing for Health: how to steer processing for improved health benefits of cereal products
  • Reduced Sugar, Sodium & Fat
  • Game Changers II: Demystifying Grains and Nutrition
  • Health aspects of grain-based products
  • Moving the Whole Grain Definition Forward: Perspectives from the Stakeholders (AACCI-ICC Joint Panel)
  • Sourdough & Rye: New insights, new innovations
  • Innovation in quality testing and manufacturing of wheat based products – an Asian perspective
  • Fostering Innovation – General Session Panel led by Thorsten Koenig, EIT

For more details including session descriptions, featured speakers, exhibitors, pre and post meeting opportunities visit AACC’s website.

Source: World Grain


BENEO Receives FDA Certification for Fiber Ingredients

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Beneo-Orafti SA, a subsidiary of Südzucker Group, Germany, announced it has officially received FDA approval for two of its dietary fibers: Orafti Inulin and Oligofructose. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA’s) new food and nutritional labelling regulations, the Orafti chicory foot fibers remain classified as dietary fiber in the U.S., the company says.

After an extensive review of scientific research, the FDA confirmed that Orafti Inulin and Oligofructose are in compliance with the dietary fiber definition as laid down in the nutrition labelling regulation, it says. The decision was made following an extensive review by the FDA’s Nutrition Science Review team into a wide range of non-digestible carbohydrates, the company adds.

Anke Sentko, vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication at BENEO, said in a statement, “Given the ever-growing body of research in favor of our fibers, we never doubted this outcome, but are obviously delighted with the result of the latest ruling from the FDA.”

“At BENEO, we are delighted with this outcome as we’ll continue our mission to bring healthier solutions to the American consumer,” the company said in a statement. “As people become more familiar with nutrition labels and look for recognizable functional ingredients, we offer them our Orafti fibers from the root of ancient vegetable, chicory.

“With its ease of use, pleasant taste, excellent functionality for sugar and fat reduction, and digestive health benefits via its prebiotic power, chicory root fiber is the top choice to improve your products’ nutritional profile,” it adds.



Nestlé unveils ‘world first’ investment in distribution centre

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Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drink company, and XPO Logistics, a leading global provider of transport and logistics solutions, are co-creating a 638,000sq ft distribution centre at the new SEGRO East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire. The facility, a digital warehouse of the future, will be occupied predominantly by Nestlé for its consumer packaged goods and will function as a testbed environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.

The custom-designed distribution centre, scheduled to complete in 2020, will feature advanced sorting systems and robotics alongside state-of-the-art automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation. The site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines to deliver one of the most advanced distribution management centres in the world, giving consumers faster, more efficient access to KITKAT, MAGGI, NESCAFÉ and other much-loved Nestlé brands.

The XPO-owned facility will be strategically located in the Midlands to benefit from direct access to the M1 motorway for road transport, the East Midlands Airport for cargo flights, and an onsite rail freight terminal with direct access to the major UK ports of Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway and the Channel Tunnel.

The facility will be sited on man-made plateaus, with landscaping to minimise the visual impact to nearby settlements. Additional sustainability measures include energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.

Nestlé Director of Supply Chain David Hix said: “We are thrilled to be working with XPO Logistics to build a flagship digital warehouse and technology laboratory at the East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park. This is a world-first investment for Nestlé that builds on a century and a half of proud history in this country. Our partnership with XPO will encourage innovation and experimentation in our UK logistics operations and help futureproof our business. We will be able to be even more responsive for our customers across our brands, which include some of the most recognisable in the world.”

Richard Cawston, Managing Director, Supply Chain, XPO Logistics Europe, said: “Nestlé has entrusted XPO with the digital architecture for its future vision. Together, we will create limitless opportunities to explore new technologies in a state-of-the-art logistics environment. The new East Midlands centre will operate as both a think tank and a launch pad for XPO innovations, with far-reaching impacts on the way business is done. We look forward to an inventive collaboration with Nestlé.”

Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “This is excellent news for North West Leicestershire and the wider East Midlands economy. That two global giants – Nestlé and XPO – should choose to locate their new state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable facility here shows that this region is a great place for businesses to invest. It’s very positive for the development of our local economy.”



EXPO PACK in Mexico is the biggest yet

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The largest Expo Pack show in Mexico ever, hits new high as it attracted over 1000 exhibitors. It has also set a newer standard for 100 member companies across the 2950 net square meters, a 18% growth from 2016.

The largest Expo Pack show in Mexico ever, hits new high as it attracted over 1000 exhibitors. It has also set a newer standard for 100 member companies across the 2950 net square meters, a 18% growth from 2016.

“We had a fantastic show from start to finish,” says Steve Dilts, business development manager, Encoder Products Company. “My fingers were sore from scanning so many quality leads.”

The largest packaging and processing event in Latin America, EXPO PACK México’s Santa Fe location allowed easy access to over 23,000 prospective buyers from the nearby Mexican States of Puebla, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Queretaro and Morelos. With easy access to two international airports, international attendees arrived from throughout Latin America, including targeted buying groups from Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia.

“Attendees have come to expect innovation and the latest technology from EXPO PACK México, and it continues to exceed all of our admittedly high expectations,” says Jim Pittas, PMMI president and CEO.

GRUMA, headquartered in San Pedro, Mexico, is the largest manufacturer of tortillas in the world and makes sure to send a full buying contingent to both EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara.

“EXPO PACK México not only allows us to see what is new and innovative but, as a regular visitor, we have established relationships with exhibitors that we now do business with,” says GRUMA’s Juan Enrique Rollas, Maintenance and Packaging Manager.

Rollas’ colleague Camerino Parra echoed these sentiments, adding that it is essential to see the newest innovations in person.

Relationships are a prominent theme at EXPO PACK México with exhibitors noting that partnerships often begin with meetings at previous editions of the show.

“[EXPO PACK México] is a very classy show,” says Paul Chambers, vice president of sales and marketing for Valco Melton. “It’s crucial for establishing and building relationships with current and future customers.”

The show once again featured international pavilions from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Spain and the U.S., and had exhibitors representing 20 countries.

With the Mexican marketplace embracing sustainable packaging and processing more than ever before, EXPO PACK México exhibitors participating in the ninth edition of the EXPO PACK Verde program numbered 180.

In addition to technology and innovation, EXPO PACK México brought free educational offerings to attendees. The Innovation Stage’s 30-minute seminars each day focused on significant real-world industry trends while the Mexican Association of Packaging (AMEE) Conference addressed printing and coding, flexible packaging, packaging innovation and the supply chain.

Robotics safety training made its Mexico debut at EXPO PACK México as the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the world’s leading advocate for the benefits of automation, offered “Industrial Robot Safety Training.” The course provided an overview of the applicable standards for safety in cells with industrial robots according to the ISO 10218-1, ISO 10218-2. The seminar received positive reviews with engaged students actively participating throughout the training.

“Automation has emerged as one of the top considerations driving machinery purchasing decisions in Mexico,” says Gerardo Barajas, EXPO PACK México Director. “This training created an opportunity to ensure the safe integration of advanced technologies into in-plant operations.”

EXPO PACK México also hosted Packaging Week, organized by the Mexican Association of Packaging (AMEE). AMEE conducted its National Congress, a complete program of conferences and the Envase Estelar Awards program.

Association partners at EXPO PACK México in addition to AMEE, included the National Chamber of Industry Processed Food (CANAINCA), the National Chamber of Industry Graphic Arts (CANAGRAF), Camera de Comercio, the National Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (CANIFARMA), the National Chamber of Industry Cosmetic and National Association of Personal Care Products and Home (CANIPEC) and the National Chamber of Metal Containers (CANAFEM).

Source: Asia Food Journal


Cargill invests in Mouscron facility to meet customer demand for Belgian chocolate

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With the rapid rise in consumer demand for premium, high quality Belgian chocolate, Cargill has invested in a new liquid chocolate production line in its Mouscron production facility in Belgium. This investment increases the company’s capacity to produce milk and dark chocolate and creates up to 10 new local jobs.

Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business will open the world-class production line in the last quarter of 2018. With an investment of €12 million ($14 million), the company will be able to further enhance and expand its chocolate capabilities. The investment is a response to growing customer demand for high quality chocolates tailor-made to individual customer specifications, demonstrating Cargill’s continued commitment to providing its customers with a secure and broad supply of bespoke cocoa and chocolate products.

Demand for quality, Belgian chocolate

The new production line, along with the company’s deep chocolate knowledge, extensive food experience and R&D proficiency, will help food manufacturers innovate in a market characterized by rapidly changing consumer preferences and expectations. Inge Demeyere, managing director for Cargill’s chocolates and compound activities in Europe, said: “Indulgence is a key driver of the demand for premium chocolate. With the new production line, we will be able to better meet Belgium’s chocolate needs – and offer more quality Belgian chocolate to customers in other global markets who want to benefit from the country’s world-class reputation. At Cargill, we are fully committed to our long-term growth in the Belgian chocolate market.”

Belgium, a strategic market

Cargill currently employs approximately 150 people in production and related services in Mouscron. Belgium has been a focal point of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business for many years thanks to the country’s iconic chocolate production tradition combined with a strong focus on safety and product integrity. The Mouscron facility processes dark and milk chocolate in liquid and solid form for manufacturers active in confectionery, biscuits, bakery, ice-cream  and artisanal applications. The company has another chocolate site in Belgium, Antwerp, producing liquid and solid chocolate.



Sustainable emulsifiers answer WHO call for trans fat ban

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Removing trans fats from processed foods may be good for consumer health, but it makes life more challenging for food manufacturers – especially if you’re a margarine producer. Here’s how emulsifiers can help.

A May 2018 article on brought the news that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on governments to eliminate trans fatty acids (or trans fats, for short) from the world’s food supply by 2023. The article goes on to outline a six-step process WHO is calling REPLACE (REview, Promote, Legislate, Assess, Create, Enforce), which governments can use to guide their efforts.

Emulsifiers are already playing a role in the battle to eliminate trans-fats in margarine and baked goods– but their use is not as widespread as it could be. And that’s an important message for the food manufacturers who will now be facing even more pressure to reformulate existing recipes and change their plans for new ones. It does, however, also offer a new opportunity to investigate more sustainable solutions in the form of emulsifiers produced from RSPO-certified segregated palm oil and produced in carbon neutral factories.

Public enemy

In the early nineties, a landmark Harvard Medical School paper1 concluded that trans fatty acids present a significant health risk, with higher risks of cardiovascular disease already registered at daily intake levels of just 5 grams to 6 grams. The impact of the study was powerful and, at least in Europe, instantaneous. Since 2004 in Denmark, for example, oils and fats used in food products have been permitted a maximum of 2% non-animal trans fat content.

Removing industrially produced trans fatty acids is already on the agenda in the US, with a ban coming into effect on June 18 this year, but, as the article points out, they are still widely used in Russia, India, Africa and the Middle East, meaning food manufacturers in those countries will have their work cut out for them if their governments follow the recommendations of the WHO to ban industrially produced trans fatty acids by 2023.

Having worked with margarine production for more than 30 years, I’ve experienced first hand the difficulties that arise when you remove trans fats from margarine – and I’m happy to share my learnings.

Life without trans fats

Without trans fats, which is commonly derived from partly hydrogenated fats, it’s much more difficult to consistently produce high-quality margarine. In fact, every part of the production process becomes more sensitive to a variety of factors that were comfortably handled by partially hydrogenated oils in the past.

One such factor is the higher melting point of other fat types. For optimum flavor release, it’s best to use fats that melt at approximately mouth temperature: around 35o C (95 oF). In the old world, trans fats fitted the bill perfectly. In the new one, the only economically feasible, readily available fat type is palm oil (preferably sustainably produced), fractions of palm oil, or interestified fat types – but all lack comparable functionality.
The melting point of a fat also affects the ability of manufacturers to work with the fat during the production process. In a trans-fat-free world, you get a mixture of high melting point fractions and liquid oil, giving a higher melting point and a tendency toward softer products. Perhaps the most important phenomenon, however, is the slower crystallization speed of trans fat alternatives.

Generally, manufacturers simply cannot produce as much margarine from the same production lines as before. Process parameters require adjustment to handle slower crystallization, and most often, investments in new tube chillers are demanded or, for example, the combination of two machines where only one was needed before. Whichever route is chosen, final product quality just won’t be the same.

Slower crystallization, lower capacity

Lower production capacity is one effect of slower crystallization. Another is that crystallization continues to develop for longer than the usual 24 or so hours during pre-storage, changing its structure over an extended period of time and resulting in a more brittle product. Storage, therefore, and storage temperature variations, have a much greater effect. In pre-storage, an attempt might be made to to reduce brittleness and ensure consistency by varying temperatures from, for example, 21 degrees for the first 5 days then reducing to 16 degrees thereafter. For some, new pre-storage facilities that can enable the required temperature control may be required.

Crystallizing emulsifiers can help

For a century, emulsifiers have played a crucial part in successful margarine production, allowing manufactures to control aeration, fat reduction and plastification in a variety of products, ranging from frying margarines to low-fat spreads and puff pastry margarines – and, most importantly, when it comes to trans-fat removal, the ability to control crystallization.

Made from either rapeseed or RSPO SG-certified palm oil, oil absorbing and crystallizing emulsifiers and crystallizers help manufacturers speed up the crystallization process by entrapping the liquid oil in a network of small crystals which are formed during cooling and which help create a platform for other fats to grow small crystals from. This also means no oil separation in the finished product – even when it’s stored at elevated temperatures.

Are crystallizing emulsifiers always necessary?

You might ask, are crystallizing emulsifiers the only feasible solution to the problem of slower crystallization? and, are they, in fact, always necessary?

The answer is ‘no’. It is possible to create recipes that perform just as well as, or at least comparably to the performance of a trans fat-containing formulation. Cake margarines, for example, that use fast-crystallizing fat types such as palm oil or coconut oil fat, have nothing to be gained by adding crystallizers. But with cheaper fat types, small amounts of crystallizers can make a significant difference.

There is, however, no way to avoid spending some amount of additional funds to cope with a trans fat-free world – and for most, the costs will be high. Manufacturers will need to take a look at their equipment line-up. Most likely, older machinery won’t be enough to maintain current capacity and product quality on the new, trans fat-free playing field – at least, not without applying crystallizer dosages as high as 2%.

Upgrading brings new and better technologies with it – enabling, for example, the use of CO2 as a more efficient and effective cooling medium. But even after an upgrade to more modern equipment, manufacturers should still expect to incorporate from 0.5 to 1% crystallizer content in their recipes.



FDA Adds New Eight Fibers in Dietary Fiber Declaration

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The FDA is issuing new guidance that is permitting manufacturers to count eight additional fibers in the dietary fiber declaration on the Nutrition Facts label when the regulation enters into force.

The goal is to make sure that consumers can trust that the latest fiber-rich snack food or cereal that comes on the market can offer them some real health benefits.

The FDA issued decisions on citizen petitions regarding additional dietary fibers. They can also be counted as fiber on the Supplement Facts label. The eight new fibers are: mixed plant cell wall fibers (a broad category that includes fibers like sugar cane fiber and apple fiber, among many others); arabinoxylan; alginate; inulin and inulin-type fructans; high amylose starch (resistant starch 2); galactooligosaccharide; polydextrose; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin.

“Our work is not done. We have received additional petitions asking for additional fibers to be recognized in a similar fashion to the eight dietary fibers we are identifying today. We are actively evaluating these additional requests, working through the petitions and, in some cases, supplementary information provided by the petitioners, in an efficient manner,” according to FDA.

Sensus, manufacturer of chicory root fibers, welcomes the announcement that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes inulin-type fructans derived from chicory root as dietary fiber for the new nutrition facts label. The recognition consolidates the fiber status of chicory root fiber in the US and supports further opportunities for healthy food applications in the US.

Carl Volz, president Sensus America, states: “inulin/oligofructose has been clearly shown to support physiological health benefits as assessed by the FDA’s strict criteria. The FDA’s inclusion of chicory root fiber as a dietary fiber in its new food labeling regulations allows our customers to continue marketing their products as sources of dietary fiber and to continue to use chicory root fiber as a tool to reduce calories and added sugar.”

Source: World Bakers


Fête du Pain

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For the first time ever, the United States sent a team of 24 bakers to participate in the Fête du Pain, an annual twelve-day bread festival in France that celebrates bread. In Paris, the Fête occurred in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and concluded on May 16.

During the Fête du Pain, Messe des Boulangers, (Bakers’ Mass) took place inside Notre-Dame Cathedral on Sunday, May 6. The mass is a veneration of bread, and bakers are honored as they are brought to the front seats, led by priests. Later in the mass, the American bakers held baskets of bread at the altar as the bread was blessed by the Archbishop, and then carried the baskets to the entrance of the cathedral as the mass concluded.

“Each person takes a piece of the blessed bread as they leave the cathedral. That’s pretty moving,” explains Jeffrey Hamelman, who organized the American presence at the Fête, including participating in the Bakers’ Mass, and is the former bakery director at King Arthur Flour. “I’ve been baking for 41 years, and that’s the most significant highlight of my baking life,” he says.

Hamelman continued to say that it is incredibly rare that any bakers other than the French are part of this celebration, and “it’s pretty extraordinary” that the United States was invited to send a team of bakers.

At the Fête du Pain, the US participants organized a fully equipped working bakery in full view of the 10,000 people who visited the hall each day.

Eight bakers were required each day for the duration of the 12-day event. There were three teams of eight bakers. The second team overlapped for one day with the first team, and the third team overlapped one day with the second team. Each baker committed to five full days of baking.

“Several cities have their own Fête, but the one in Paris, not surprisingly, is the foremost,” Hamelman says. “There are a number of active working bakeries making products in a temporary building that is erected just in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral.”

Throughout the event, more than 200,000 people strolled through the Fête to watch bakers work and to buy their products, including thousands of school children along with their teachers. It was a great honor for the United States and the American bakers who participated, Hamelman said, noting the importance of this annual festival and its celebration of bread.

The American bakers who participated included Sandra Holl, Randy George, Christy Timon, as well as Carrie Brisson and Kelsey Fairfield, both of the King Arthur Flour Bakery + Cafe in Norwich, Vermont. Hamelman, William Leaman and Jory Downer served as the three team leaders.

“It was the best feeling to bring that experience to younger bakers and to get outside and see such an extraordinary event,” he added. “The hospitality of the French was remarkable. It truly was a festival and a total joining of good baking energy.”

The prestigious French baguette

This year the festival also revolved around a theme: “baguettes onto the scene.” Bakers were instructed to organize outdoor manifestations or offer innovations in their shop, such as new baguette recipes. From May 13 to 15, the village hosted the prestigious contest for Best French Tradition Baguette. The competition pitted 21 bakers from 13 regions of France for the title. In the finals, candidates had six hours maximum, and each had to bake on the spot in front of the audience, completing 40 French traditional baguettes that meet the required specifications. The French baker finalists were David Enguehard of Normandy, Aymeric Rousse of Occitanie and Laurent Encatassamy of Reunion Island. The overall champion was Encatassamy, who is head of the Maïdo bakery in Saint-Paul.

Fête du Pain, American Bakers



The FAO Food Price Index rose further in May

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» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 176.2 points in May 2018, up 2.2 points (1.2 percent) from April level and hitting its highest level since October 2017. The increase in May reflected a continued steep rise in dairy price quotations, while those of cereals also rose, albeit at a slower pace. By contrast, vegetable oil and sugar markets remained under downward pressure whereas meat values changed little.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 172.9 points in May, 4.1 points (2.4 percent) above its April level. The index continued on an upward path since the start of this year, standing in May at almost 17 percent above its corresponding value a year ago and reaching the highest level since January 2015. International prices of all major cereals have strengthened considerably in recent months, and in May wheat values gained largely on concerns over production prospects in a number of major exporting countries. International prices of leading coarse grains also rose, mostly due to deteriorating production prospects in Argentina and Brazil. Sizable purchases by Southeast Asian buyers kept international rice prices firm in May, notwithstanding weaker currencies of some top exporting countries and soft demand for aromatic and parboiled rice.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 150.6 points in May, down by 4 points (2.6 percent) month-on-month, marking a fourth consecutive decline and a 27-month low. The slide mainly reflects weakening values of palm, soy and sunflower oils, whereas rapeseed oil prices rebounded from their April’s multi-month low. As for palm oil, despite prospective production slowdowns in Southeast Asia, international prices fell due to sluggish global import demand and large inventories compared to last year. In the case of soy oil, ample supplies and stocks resulting from meal-driven crushing continued to weigh on world prices. The rise in rapeseed oil prices mainly reflected concerns about unfavourable weather conditions affecting the 2018/19 crop in parts of Europe.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 215.2 points in May, up 11 points (5.5 percent) from April and marks the fourth month in a row for the index to rise. The index value stood at 11.5 percent higher than in May 2017, yet still 22 percent below the peak reached in February 2014. The rise in May was mainly driven by sizeable increases in the price quotations of cheese, Skim Milk Powder (SMP) and butter, as those of Whole Milk Powder (WMP) were virtually unchanged. Tight supplies in New Zealand, the leading exporter of dairy products, are much behind the market firmness witnessed in recent months.

» The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 169.6 points in May, marginally lower than in April. The small decline in the index in May reflected the easing of pig meat and ovine meat prices, while those of poultry meat rose slightly. International price quotations for pigmeat and ovine meat weakened, on lower imports by China in the case of pigmeat and on a stronger US dollar for ovine meat. While poultry prices are estimated to have increased slightly, poultry markets became difficult to monitor in recent weeks because of the uncertainty surrounding the situation in Brazil, the world’s largest poultry exporter, where millions of birds were reported culled following a prolonged truckers’ strike in May. Bovine meat prices remained steady on a generally well-balanced market situation.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 175.3 points in May, down slightly (0.5 percent) from April, marking the sixth consecutive monthly decline. The latest decrease in international sugar prices mostly reflects expectations of a large sugarcane output as a result of favourable harvesting conditions that prevail in the Centre South region of Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer and exporter. Concerns over a prolonged dryness affecting cane yields in some part of that region lacked strength to reverse the market trend. Likewise, reports that Brazilian mills continued to favour ethanol production over sugar, with only about 37 percent of the sugarcane harvest directed for the production of the sweetener, failed to provide enough support for sugar prices to increase.

* 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


Water – As a Food Processing Ingredient

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Food and food processing industry is a growing market in agrarian economies across the globe. Water is an important component of the food processing industry as it is not only present in all foods; it is also extensively used in most food plants as a processing aid as well as an agent for cleaning operations. Water is used in rinsing, dissolving, dispersing, separating and other processes within the food industry.

Given the strict food safety standards that producers within the food industry must adhere to, the use of water is also monitored under strict parameters to ensure purity of water. As per the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines, water is tested along various parameters, including colour, odour, pH, taste, turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), heavy metals present, total plate counts (TPC), pesticide residues, chlorides, fluorides, etc.

Sources and criteria of usable water:

Water used in the food industry is primarily of two types – fresh surface water and ground water. Surface water is procured from rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and may have higher levels of suspended materials, turbidity, temperature fluctuations and pesticide residues. Ground water, on the other hand, may have higher levels of heavy metal and mineral content.

Water used as an ingredient in food must be free from undesirable taste, odour, colour and impurities. In the case of bottled water, water is the key ingredient and should be tested along more stringent parameters to ensure that it is free from bacteria and other microbes.

Both bottled water as well as water used in food ingredients need to meet standards set by the FSSAI and Indian Standards Institute (ISI).

Food processors generally obtain water from private water suppliers, municipal sources or owned wells. This water should meet all the key parameters as per IS 4251 guidelines. Natural mineral water should comply with IS 13428:2005. Packaged drinking water should pass the IS 14543:2004 specifications, and drinking water should meet standards set under IS 10500.

Colour of water may vary due to many organic and inorganic contaminations, and the apparent colour is determined through the original sample before it undergoes filtration or centrifugation.

The odour of water is recognized as a quality factor which determines the acceptability of drinking water and food prepared from it. Water can possess strange odours if not cleaned and purified properly, owing to the presence of fish and other aquatic organisms in the original source.. Most organic and some inorganic chemicals also affect the taste and odour of water.

pH value is the logarithm of the reciprocal of hydrogen ion activity in moles per liter. Neutral water pH ranges from 6-8 but in case of alkaline thermal spring waters, pH value may be more than 9 while for acidic thermal spring waters, the pH may be 4.

Taste of water should comply with the standards of neutral water and be free from any impurities. Each panelist should grade water on the 9 parameters listed in the FSSAI guidelines and confirm that the taste of water conforms to the acceptable standards.

The turbidity of the sample is the reduction of transparency due to the presence of particulate matter such as clay or slit, finely divided organic matter, plankton or other microscopic organisms.

There are various chemicals and compounds present in water including ammonia nitrogen, boron, nitrate, chloride, fluoride, total hardness, alkaline compounds, magnesium, sulphates, residue of free chlorine and chloramines, sulphide, cyanide, calcium, phenol, sodium, nitrites, total solids, hexavalent chromium, mineral oils, etc. Water with high dissolved solids and chemical elements is less palatable as well as unsuitable for many industrial applications. Presence of chemicals indicates contamination, and can cause serious health issues.


Water is an essential component in food and the food processing industry and should, thus, comply with the specifications laid out by the FSSAI and the ISI . There are various types of contaminants, including those arising from both organic and inorganic sources. There are physical, chemical and microbial tests which can be undertaken to quantify water purity. Specific filtration techniques are then used to filter the water, and only when water passes the respective tests is it considered fit for consumption/use.