FDA says bakery hasn’t resolved live bugs on food

      Comments Off on FDA says bakery hasn’t resolved live bugs on food

As part of its enforcements, the Food and Drug Administration sends warning letters to entities under its jurisdiction. Some letters are not posted for public view until weeks or months after they are sent.

In an Oct. 9 warning letter, the FDA used more than 2,600 words to outline “serious violations” at Pollman’s Bake Shops Inc., which is owned by Rose B. and Fred J. Pollman III.

The FDA inspected the company’s bakery and central kitchen facility on June 3-5, and 13. Based on FDA’s inspectional findings the agency determined that food manufactured in the facility is adulterated in that it was prepared, packed or held under unsanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.

Further, the FDA reviewed product labeling and found that the Pollman’s cookies, pies, sweet baked or fried goods, cake, and rolls are misbranded regarding food allergens.

At the conclusion of the inspection, FDA issued a Form FDA 483, Inspectional Observations, listing deviations found at the operation. As of the date of the warning letter, the FDA had not received a response.

The following points are among the problems found by FDA inspectors and addressed in the warning letter.

1. You did not conduct a hazard analysis for any of your products. In particular, you did not identify and evaluate known or reasonably foreseeable hazards to determine whether there are any hazards requiring preventive control. Specifically:

a. You did not identify undeclared allergens due to incorrect labeling and allergen cross-contact as known or reasonably foreseeable hazards to determine whether they are hazards requiring a preventive control. Your facility manufactures multiple products that contain allergens, such as milk, eggs, soy, and wheat, which must be declared on the label. In addition, your facility manufactures multiple products with different allergen profiles on shared equipment.

b. You did not identify environmental pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella as required by 21 CFR § 117.130(c)(1)(ii). Your facility manufactures ready-to-eat food which is exposed to the environment prior to packaging and after the food undergoes a lethal treatment in the oven. The packaged food does not receive a treatment or otherwise include a control measure (such as a formulation lethal to the pathogen) that would significantly minimize the pathogen if the food is contaminated after it leaves the oven.

c. You did not identify vegetative pathogens, such as pathogenic E. coli and/or Salmonella, as known or reasonably foreseeable hazards to determine whether they are hazards requiring a preventive control. Your facility manufactures products with wheat flour, an ingredient that has been associated with pathogens such as these.

d. You did not identify mycotoxins as known or reasonably foreseeable hazards to determine whether they are a hazard requiring preventive control. Your facility manufactures products with wheat flour, an ingredient that has been associated with mycotoxins.

e. You did not identify the physical hazard of metal as a known or reasonably foreseeable hazard to determine whether it is a hazard requiring a preventive control. Equipment with metal-to-metal contact during operation may generate metal fragments that could contaminate food.

f. You did not determine whether there is a hazard requiring a supply-chain-applied control for any of your raw materials and other ingredients to determine whether you need a supply-chain program. You are required to implement a supply chain program whenever a supplier controls a hazard that requires preventive control.

2. You did not identify and implement preventive controls to provide assurances that any hazards requiring a preventive control will be significantly minimized or prevented and the food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by your facility will not be adulterated. Preventive controls include, as appropriate to the facility and the food, process controls, food allergen controls, sanitation controls, supply-chain controls, and a recall plan.

3. You did not prepare or have prepared and did not implement a written food safety plan for any of the products manufactured in your facility, as required by 21 CFR § 117.126(a)(1).

A food safety plan must include the following:

Current Good Manufacturing Practice (Subpart B):

1. You did not take effective measures to exclude pests from the manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding areas and to protect against contamination of food on the premises by pests. Specifically, the following conditions were observed:

  • On June 3, 2019, a live-fly was sitting on a 7-inch round double layer yellow cake with white icing in the cake icing room.
  • On June 5, 2019, a live-fly was sitting on a double layer yellow cake with white and yellow icing in the icing room.
  • On June 5, 2019, a live roach was crawling on the floor in the bake room during the manufacture of yellow cupcakes.
  • On June 5, 2019, eight live flies were in the cake icing room sitting directly on the prep tables. Additionally, four live flies were on the circular swivel cake stands used for turning the cakes while the icing is being applied.
  • On June 3, 2019, and June 5, 2019, eight dead roaches were in the bake room, and three dead roaches were in the boiling room during manufacturing.

2. You did not maintain your buildings, fixtures, and other physical facilities of the plant in a clean and sanitary condition and in repair adequate to prevent food from becoming adulterated, as required by 21 CFR 117.35(a). Specifically:

  • On June 3, 2019, a steady stream of water flowed from the air-conditioning unit onto the top of two unbaked pies and then onto the floor.
  • On June 3, 2019, broken floor tiles were observed throughout the food manufacturing area in the bake room, boil room, and storage room. The floor tiles in these areas were holding dirty, standing water.

3. You did not clean and sanitize utensils and equipment as frequently as necessary to protect against allergen cross-contact and contamination of food. Specifically:

  • On June 3, and 5, 2019, food residues were observed on the production floors throughout the firm; cooking containers were observed rusted and uncleaned from the previous day’s production of red velvet cake, and standing water was next to the rear walk-in cooler adjacent to the wash room.
  • On June 5, 2019, the (redacted by FDA) was observed with an encrusted food build-up from the previous days’ production.

4. You did not store cleaned and sanitized portable equipment as necessary to protect food-contact surfaces from allergen cross-contact and from contamination. Specifically, On June 3, and 5, 2019, cleaned cooking utensils and uncleaned cooking utensils were observed on the same shelves located in between the production area and wash room area.


1. Your Cookie, Pie, Sweet Baked or Fried Goods, Cake, and Rolls products are misbranded, in that the finished product labels fail to declare the major food allergens, as required. Specifically, your Cookie, Pie, Sweet Baked or Fried Goods, Cake, and Rolls products are manufactured with wheat, milk, egg, soy, coconut, peanuts and/or pecans in various combinations. You package all of your Cookie, Pie, Sweet Baked or Fried Goods, and Cake products into cardboard boxes which are unlabeled. You package your Rolls with a label that includes the name of the firm, street addresses, and telephone numbers only.

Federal law defines milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans, as well as any food ingredient that contains protein derived from one of these foods, with the exception of highly refined oils as “major food allergens.”

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that your facility is subject to the registration requirement. The failure to register a facility as required is a prohibited federal law.

Source:  foodsafetynews.com


Revolutionary Technology Emerges for Baking Gluten-free Bread

      Comments Off on Revolutionary Technology Emerges for Baking Gluten-free Bread

Electric shocks are used to heat gluten-free bread from the inside, saving energy and time compared to conventional baking applying heat from the outside. A new study in Ohmic heating (OH) has been published by the Institute of Food Technology of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, in Food and Bioprocess Technology.

The first results show the superior quality of the Ohmic bread while saving energy and time during the manufacturing process. The ohmic heating treatment chamber used for the experiment was designed to resemble the baking tin used in conventional baking.

OH is an emerging technology that has shown many advantages over other heating methods. Heat is distributed in a very rapid and uniform manner, as heating occurs volumetrically and does not rely on conventional heat transfer based on conduction, convection or radiation, the researchers say.

This study demonstrated that OH was a suitable and promising technology for the production of GF crustless bread. It showed the need to implement a heating profile with variable power in different heating steps in order to achieve optimum product quality, such as specific volume, elasticity, and porosity.

Compared with conventional baking, OH has shown many advantages in terms of improved bread quality and reduced baking time, the researchers underline. Starch digestibility of the bread baked with OH was slightly reduced, compared with conventional baking; this resulted in bread with higher RS content, which has been associated to several health-related benefits.

Regarding the costs, OH might even reduce processing costs, as baking is known to consume most of the energy (around 40%) during bread making. Although energy expenditure of OH in industrial scale cannot be transferred directly from the pilot scale equipment and remains currently unknown, it might provide economical advantage over conventional baking methods. Moreover, due to the use of high frequencies (kHz range in this study), the electrochemical reactions at the electrode interface may be reduced, minimizing corrosion and leakage of metals to the heating medium.

Overall, this process is still in need of optimization and further fundamental research should be carried out in order to understand the behavior of the batter and its components (e.g., starch, protein) during OH and to further optimize the process variables for a tailored and targeted processing.  The complete study can be found here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11947-019-02324-9

Source:   worldbakers.com


Halloween puts candy industry in spotlight

      Comments Off on Halloween puts candy industry in spotlight

When the National Confectioners Association (NCA) search committee was looking for a new CEO, they brought in candidates and had them pick their favorite candy out of a bowl.

John Downs, now the group’s chief executive, picked out candy from a small family company, Goetze.

“I picked out the Goetze Cow Tale that was in the bowl and Mitchell Goetze, who’s the owner of the company, was on the search committee and he likes to say, ‘I don’t know what else you said the rest of the way or how you answered the questions but when you selected my product out of the bowl, you were my guy,’ ” Downs recalled.

Downs, a Maryland native who previously spent nearly 30 years at Coca-Cola focusing on public affairs, is now known as the candy man in his neighborhood and is the most popular person on his street every Halloween.

“I have a big selection because I’m in a unique position as the candy man to get all this candy from our member companies and so everybody likes to come to our house for Halloween,” Downs told The Hill in a recent interview. “We have great candy.”

The holiday is an important day for the industry. In 2018, the Halloween season saw about $4.5 billion in chocolate and candy sales. Overall, the confectionery industry generates $35 billion in retail sales per year.

“We call that the power of sweet, where over 600,000 Americans rely in part on the production of confectionary products for their livelihood,” Downs said.

And the lobby also has data on American’s favorite treats. For Halloween, those are candy corn and chocolate. Eighty-five percent of Americans who give out candy for Halloween choose miniature treats, according to the group’s data.

For Halloween, NCA holds events around Washington, D.C., for disadvantaged children, including on Capitol Hill.

And when Downs isn’t providing sweet treats, he is talking to Congress about the important issues involving the industry.

The top issue for NCA right now is trade, in particular pushing through President Trump’s new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

“USMCA [The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement] and getting that passed is a very important priority for NCA as well as others in the business community,” Downs said.

At NCA’s Washington forum in September, 160 chocolate and candy makers came to the capital, and trade was an important part of their discussions with lawmakers.

NCA is also focused on reforming the U.S. Sugar Program, which maintains a minimum price to help domestic sugar producers.

“We always take an opportunity to talk to folks on Capitol Hill about trying to do something in terms of coming up with a win-win for both small family farmers as well as small family-owned chocolate and candy manufacturers who are put at a real disadvantage with this U.S. sugar problem, which is outdated and outrageous and reform is long overdue,” he said.

And the NCA is also working on health issues. It launched the #AlwaysATreat initiative in 2017 with the Partnership for A Healthier America, a nonprofit to improve children’s health and address childhood obesity.

“I think it really demonstrates our companies have made a real commitment to help our consumers and their families manage their sugar intake while still enjoying their favorite treats,” Downs said.

The initiative helps promote portion guidance and transparency on ingredients and calories. Half of NCA’s members’ instant consumables and individually wrapped products will have 200 calories or less by Dec. 31, 2022, Downs noted.

The candy industry has strong ties to lawmakers in both parties and is closely connected to a Capitol Hill tradition, the Senate’s coveted “candy desk.” The desk has belonged to Sen. Pat Toomey since the 114th Congress, who stocks it with candy for colleagues, following a tradition started in 1965 with then-Sen. George Murphy (R-Calif.).

“We’re the only industry that I know of that has a desk on the Senate floor, the candy desk … it really represents how important chocolate and candy are as a fabric of our society here in the U.S.,” Downs said.

Over in the House, the group helped create the Congressional Candy Caucus in 2016, which now has over 50 members from both sides of the aisle.

“It is bipartisan because, I said this when I first came into the job, everybody loves candy, whether you’re a Democrat or you’re a Republican or you’re independent, or whether you’re young or you’re old,” Downs said.

When he talks to lawmakers, Downs stresses the impact the candy industry has on American traditions, like Halloween, and on the economy overall.

“Candy has just such a strong currency as it relates to this concept around emotional well-being and social connections people have with our products,” Downs said.

Source: thehill.com


What Is Einkorn Flour, and How Do I Bake with It?

      Comments Off on What Is Einkorn Flour, and How Do I Bake with It?

What if there was a wheat variety that could produce a flour similar to regular all-purpose or wheat flours, but without the gluten? That’s the potential of einkorn, one of the world’s earliest cultivated forms of wheat that’s on the rise again among American farmers.

Ancient grains in general are growing in popularity. Technically, any whole grain is “ancient” by nature, as they can all be traced back to farmers from thousands of years ago. The Boston-based Whole Grains Council, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, defines ancient grains loosely as any grain that is largely unchanged over the last few hundred years. This means varieties such as einkorn—along with farro, kamut and spelt—are considered ancient, while modern wheat, which is continually bred and changed for higher yields, is not.

Einkorn differs in several ways from regular hard red wheat, which is used to produce many flours and breads in the United States. Take a look.

How Einkorn Wheat Grows

If einkorn wheat is so great, then why did large-scale agriculture move away from it in the first place? For starters, it’s not an easy crop to raise. It’s difficult to plant and to harvest, and also has a much smaller head that regular wheat, which creates an additional step in the milling process (read: higher production cost).

“It’s a very tall wheat—say, chest-high [on a man]—and the taller it gets, the more likely it is to blow over and the harder it is to harvest mechanically,” explains Jon Detweiler, who’s raised einkorn the last three years on his Dalton, Ohio-based Venture Heritage Farm. For example, a big windstorm or a heavy rain can flatten the crops and make them nearly impossible to pick it up.

Einkorn also doesn’t yield nearly the weight of a standard, hybridized modern hard red wheat, says Detweiler. “Out of the hull, you can get 30 bushels [to the acre] out of einkorn, but up over 100 bushels on regular wheat,” he adds.

That said, einkorn results in a higher income per acre because it’s a rare specialty crop, says Detweiler. That’s one of the main reasons farmers are beginning to grow it again—but it has potential benefits for those with health concerns, too.

Benefits of Einkorn Wheat

Einkorn has been touted for its digestibility. All wheat contains starch, but the types and arrangement of starch in einkorn allow it to be released more slowly, meaning it won’t spike blood sugar the way modern wheat does. There have also been studies on the gluten aspect of einkorn: It does contain some gluten, but the structure is arranged differently, so it does not affect those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance in the same way. (Researchers acknowledge more studies are needed on this, however.)

Other studies show einkorn is higher in protein that modern wheat—as much as 30 percent more—as well as other nutrients such as vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Types of Einkorn Flour

Baked goods made with gluten-free flours such as almond, buckwheat and sorghum have opened up a new world for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Even so, a gluten-free croissant or sticky bun is never going to have quite the same taste and texture as one made with regular flour. That’s where einkorn comes in.

Just like regular all-purpose and whole-wheat flour both come from modern wheat, einkorn wheat can also be made into two types of flour. If you’re used to baking with regular AP flour, there are some things you need to know about each before trying to substitute with einkorn.

The first type is whole-grain einkorn flour, which is darker in color (resembling a regular whole-wheat flour) and has a nuttier taste. A true whole-grain flour will require refrigeration, because it contains the germ and oils of the wheat that can cause it to go rancid, says Jade Koyle, a farmer in Teton, Idaho, who raises einkorn wheat, and also mills and sells einkorn flour. (He mills and ships his whole-grain variety the same day for optimum freshness.)

The second type is all-purpose einkorn flour, which is lighter in color and looks more like a regular AP flour. It has the bran and germ extracted to lengthen shelf life, and a lower fiber content than whole-grain varieties. “It’s more equivalent to regular flour, but it’s still going to behave differently [in baking],” says Koyle.

Baking Substitutions for Einkorn Flour

You can’t substitute einkorn cup-for-cup for regular flour in baking without tweaking your recipes. Einkorn hydrates less than regular, meaning it absorbs less water or liquid—so it can take some experimentation to figure out what works best. In general, bake times and processing times (if you’re making a yeast or sourdough bread) are both shorter with einkorn, and recipes will require between 20 and 50 percent less water, says Koyle.

“There’s a tendency to just want to add more flour to make [a dough with] the consistency you’re used to,” says Koyle, which you should avoid. He recommends adding a ½ to 1 Tablespoon of coconut flour to recipes such as quick breads, cakes and waffles to absorb some of the moisture. That makes it a little easier to get a lighter, fluffy end product.

If you’re worried about experimenting on your own (which is totally understandable, as einkorn is an expensive grain and “it’s very sad to have it just flop,” says baker Kirsten Detweiler, Jon’s wife), you can turn to cookbooks such as “Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat.” The book is written by Carla Bartolucci, who’s co-founder of Connecticut-based Jovial Foods, one of the leaders of the einkorn movement that sells einkorn flour, wheat berries, pasta and snacks made from the ancient grain.

The key is to not freak out when batters and doughs don’t look as they normally do when you’re substituting einkorn. “Bread dough made with einkorn can be very sticky and a little tough to get used to, while cake batters can sometimes get gummy with mixing,” explains Bartolucci.

When baking bread, one big difference with einkorn is that it does not require kneading because you don’t need to develop its gluten, says Bartolucci. For this reason, you should avoid using a stand mixer when baking bread with einkorn. She also notes that cakes and muffins made with einkorn will require less mixing and maybe an extra egg or egg white in the batter to avoid a too-dense result.

Overall, know that experimentation with einkorn flour is the best way to find out what works (and what flops). And a note of caution: Even though einkorn has a different type of gluten than regular wheat, it’s hard to make any blanket statement as to whether it’s safe for those with celiac’s disease or a gluten intolerance, says Koyle. If you try it, be sure to introduce it into your diet slowly to see how you react.

Source: Yahoo


World-famous bakery shares secrets in a new book

      Comments Off on World-famous bakery shares secrets in a new book

If there is such a thing as baking royalty, Apollonia Poilâne might be its queen.
The 35-year-old is a third-generation baker for the world famous Poilâne in Paris. It was founded in 1932 by Apollonia’s grandfather Pierre and has inspired chefs, musicians, poets, and artists worldwide for nearly 90 years: Surrealist icon Salvador Dalí commissioning a bedroom suite made completely out of bread for a 1971 exhibition. While it started in Paris, it has a location in London and a pop-up in New York City until Nov. 3.

Now, Apollonia Poilâne is opening the company’s oven doors wide with her first English-language cookbook, ‘Poilâne: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery’, a weighty collection of nearly 100 recipes.
Speaking at the bakery’s hub under a replica of the Dalí bread chandelier, the soft-spoken CEO is reluctant to discuss her celebrity clientele, which includes Oprah “I Love Bread” Winfrey, Robert De Niro, and Natalie Portman. But she quick to praise the women she calls her “guardian angels” — TV chef Ina Garten, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, and the owner of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters, the latter of whom provides the book’s foreword.

“They’re ladies I look up to for what they have accomplished. They inspire me, and I refer to them as my guardian angels for their words of wisdom,” says Poilâne.

Those words of wisdom have proven very important to Poilâne, who took over the family business at 18 after her father Lionel and mother Irene were killed in a helicopter crash in October 2002, leaving her and her younger sister Athena orphaned.

“I was incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a fantastic team, let alone the friends of my parents who helped me also go through those times,” says Poilâne.

The day after the tragedy, Apollonia headed straight to the bakery, says she sat at her father’s empty desk and resolved to run Poilâne.

“There was no question for me of whether I was taking over the family business or not. I had been essentially groomed since I was a child, whether I realized it or not,” says Poilâne, whose sister chose to study visual arts. “It essentially happened sooner than planned.”

She was CEO for a company worth eight million euros ($8.9 million) with over 130 staff while also studying economics and business at Harvard University.

Now, with annual sales topping 12 million euros ($13.3 million) annually with around 160 people employed, demand for the company’s signature Poilâne loaf has never been higher.

“A Poilâne wheat sourdough loaf stands out because of its size, because of its format, because of its flavors,” explains the baker. “The whole sensory experience when you have this big hug of bread is extraordinary — and it keeps. So it’s another thing that’s very special because you don’t need to waste bread.”

Fans of the famous loaf can now tackle the “big hug of bread” at home, with Poilâne sharing the secrets of the company’s sourdough in a recipe which stretches over three pages.

While home cooks may not be able to entirely replicate the conditions in which the loaves are baked (unless they have a wood-fired oven that can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit), Poilâne is happy with the final product that the book’s recipe produces, saying she was “able to duplicate the elusive balance of acidity and sweetness” of the bread which has influenced countless bakers including Acme Bread Company founder Steve Sullivan.

Sullivan calls the original Poilâne loaf “giant, rich and tangy” and “completely unlike anything I had ever tasted.”

Another fan is Tartine’s Chad Robertson.

“I love that really mild acidity that is very balanced that you get with the Poilâne bread,” says Robertson, who is acknowledged as one of America’s finest bakers. “That bread never sort of followed trends. It was its own category of everything. Something that’s really just true and authentic and elemental at its core endures.”

As well as containing recipes for French classics like croissants, pains au chocolat, brioche, and croque mademoiselle, ‘Poilâne: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery’ also offers suggestions on what to do with leftover bread and provides numerous variations on breakfast and lunchtime staples.

The recipes that Poilâne is most proud of are her gluten-free cornbread, developed over the course of 15 years (using a mixture of corn flour, oat milk, and flax seeds), and her late father’s “bread sandwich,” which consists of a piece of thin bread, buttered and toasted, sandwiched between two slices of bread.

“It is a wink to my father, who used to give this recipe partly jokingly,” smiles Poilâne. “But I took it for its word as a bread of quality is fulfilling. So, the sandwich is about using bread as a filling.”

It’s one of a number of playful recipes in a book that celebrates the many and varied uses of bread and provides a blueprint for where the company might be heading next. As Poilâne states, “my family would appreciate that there are many more doors yet to open.”

Source:  indiatimes.com


French pastry chef Dominique Ansel on new Hong Kong bakery

      Comments Off on French pastry chef Dominique Ansel on new Hong Kong bakery

For pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s new Hong Kong establishment he has created this cake with lemon mousse and bergamot cream inspired by the humble juice box. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

When French pastry chef Dominique Ansel – best known as the inventor of the Cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid that is so famous the name is trademarked – offers to come to your home to cook dinner, what would you say?

The smart thing to say is, “Yes, please, what time, and what wine would go well with the food?” What is not wise to say to a man who was awarded World’s Best Pastry Chef 2017 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is, “Yes, please, and should I make dessert?”

Guess which category this writer is in.

Fortunately, Ansel, and his fiancée and business partner, Amy Ma, came to my flat bearing not just groceries for the meal he was making (beef soup noodles and three cup chicken, dishes he learned how to make from Ma’s mother in Taiwan), but also so many of his own desserts that my own (all three of them) were superfluous.

Ansel, who was born in Beauvais, France, has four bakeries around the world: the original, Dominique Ansel Bakery, opened in New York City in 2011, followed in 2015 by Dominique Ansel Kitchen, in the same city.

He also has Dominique Ansel Bakery London, and bakery/restaurant Dominique Ansel LA, in California. (He had an outlet in Tokyo, but closed it last year.)

Ansel is in Hong Kong because he’s opening his newest establishment, Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel (Dang Wen Li is the Chinese version of his first name), in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui. The signage for the around 1,200 square foot (110 square metre) space, with seats for about 40, is being revealed today, and it should open in December, Ansel says.

The first inkling that Hong Kong would be getting its own Dominique Ansel bakery was when the pastry chef put up an Instagram post in March, stating, “Something New, Coming Soon”. “Not the Cronut” the post announced, leading to speculation about what would be served instead.

“The new concept is pastries for locals – pastries that are inspired by the culture and traditions of Hong Kong,” Ansel says. “We’ve been working with Upper East Holdings [the company behind Lady M crepe cakes] – we’ve known them for maybe two years now. We were always really cautious about opening in Hong Kong because it’s not an easy market. It’s a market that people underestimate – they think that they can come in and stamp their brand on it.The more you know Hong Kong, the more you realise that won’t work.

“We finally decided that we can’t replicate anything – we weren’t just going to do a Dominique Ansel Bakery. We knew what we wanted to do. For two years we kept saying ‘no’ to all the things we didn’t think were going to work, then started throwing out ideas on different concepts and things that were more relevant to the people of Hong Kong.”

We eat several of the new items after dinner, as well as one of the chef’s classics, the DKA – Dominique’s kouign amann – the Breton pastry for which Ansel’s version was named best in Paris, while he was working at Fauchon patisserie in the early 2000s.

There’s the whimsical “juice box” dessert, which looks like the small lemon tea juice box that comes with a plastic straw, but which Ansel reimagined as a cake with lemon mousse and bergamot cream.

A pastry homage to the local snack of boiled mochi balls with crushed peanuts takes the form of a peanut chausson – puff pastry wrapped around a piece of mochi and peanut frangipane. And the popular snack of fishballs on a stick is instead made into a sweet dessert of fried glutinous flour balls filled with peanut ice cream, dusted with icing sugar and torched to caramelise the sugar.

“Not having the Cronut was a pivotal decision,” Ansel says. “Everybody expected us to just bring the Cronut but that’s like setting your own expiration date because how long will people like it? We also decided we weren’t bringing the frozen s’mores [and] we weren’t bringing the cookie shots, our signatures. We wanted to find a translation for them for the Hong Kong market. Frozen s’mores is something for American kids who grew up eating this. They know what it is, they recognise it, they have an emotional connection to this.

“I wanted to have a similar signature for Hong Kong – something that’s on a stick – so the fishballs. Instead of the cookie shot [a small cup made of chocolate chip cookie, filled with milk] we’re changing it to aYakult
bottle made out of a snickerdoodle cookie, with a chocolate lid. It’s going to be filled withmilk tea. We wanted people to have the same connection that [people in the US] have of childhood cookies and milk, and for people in Asia it’s Yakult.”

Ansel has Ma, who was born in Taiwan, to thank for his understanding of Hong Kong; she went to high school at Hong Kong Island School, and also lived here for several years as an adult.

“People expect me to do twists on desserts – they don’t expect me to look at the food scene in general,” Ansel says. “Nobody would expect me to do a century egg [another new dessert, which will be made with hazelnut, coffee and black sesame] or a juice box. I didn’t come up with all the ideas. Amy grew up here, she knows the culture so much more than I do.

“We’re looking for things that aren’t clichés. Hong Kong has idiosyncrasies, small things that people here would relate to. Like if you show the juice box [dessert] to someone in New York they won’t have the same reaction as when you show it to someone here. And if we served the frozen s’mores here, people would come to eat it once, but if it doesn’t connect to them, they’re not going to come back. I asked, ‘what item on a stick do HK people eat’ – fishballs. It’s a genuine take on Hong Kong.”

Ansel says Hong Kong has “heart” and that’s exactly what he looks for in cities.

“It’s a sophisticated place and you can’t play around with things. It’s one of those cities where there’s real romance and a real identity. There’s so much history, so much culture from all over the world. I think for someone to come in and not have respect for that, and not try to do something authentic, is the worst idea, but you see brands do it over and over again.

“They don’t understand the city, they just copy and paste what they’ve done that works in different parts of the world. They take the clichés – the dragons, the boats with red sails – and it works for a few months because it’s new, but then it disappears because it’s not special.

“It’s challenging, it’s hard to think of new ideas, work with new products, learn the local culture and adapt the menu, and take the essence of what you do and translate it into something new, for a local market. It’s so important for us to have emotional connections to people.”

The executive chef of Deng Wen Li by Dominique Ansel is Camille Moenne-Loccoz, who, with his wife, owns the excellent Plumcot patisserie in Tai Hang.

“I reached out to [pastry chef] Pierre Hermé to see if he knew of someone in Hong Kong,” Ansel says. “He suggested I contact Camille, and I asked him if he could recommend someone. He said, ‘I’m interested.’ He’s so excited – he keeps sending us photos of the kitchen as it’s being built.”

Ansel and Ma plan to visit Hong Kong four or five times a year, as often as they do for their other bakeries outside New York. They had arrived in Hong Kong on the morning of our dinner, so were looking tired – their usual state, he says.

“Amy wakes up two or three times a night to check emails. I don’t get much sleep, either. I go to bed at midnight or 1am, and wake up around 5am. It’s a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice. Even when I go on holiday, we’re working. You can’t stop checking emails, you can’t not talk to the team.

“When we started in 2011 we had four people on the team, two in the kitchen, two in front – no managers, no dishwashers. Now we have 80 people in New York, about 70 in LA, London about 60, Hong Kong will be another 40. So many people rely on us, we have so many standards that need to be maintained.

“Five hours of sleep – it’s not healthy but what can you do. It’s our business, it’s what we do.”

Source:  scmp.com


Reformulation can help food manufacturers – OECD

      Comments Off on Reformulation can help food manufacturers – OECD

Reformulation can benefit the food industry, enabling companies to reduce costs and target new consumer demands, the OECD has argued.

A report by the OECD on obesity said such efforts would lead to manufacturers “attracting people from the health-conscious segment of the market” and suggested gradual reformulations be adopted to preserve sales with consumers “more likely to adjust to a new taste over time”.

Consumers in the 36 countries that are part of the OECD would live longer if reformulation took place – an additional 2.9 months per person on average between 2020 and 2050, the organisation argued.

The report recognised that its reformulation model was, however, based on the assumption that consumers faced with a change in recipe for a familiar food item would not buy and consume more to make up the lost calories, or switch to a rival brand that had not reformulated.

Nevertheless, the report said reformulation, improving food nutrient labelling or regulating advertising of unhealthy foods to children can generate major healthcare savings.

Every US dollar equivalent invested in preventing obesity would generate economic returns of up to US$6, according to the report. If OECD member government policies reduced the calorie content in energy-dense food, such as crisps and confectionery, by 20%, more than one million cases of chronic disease per year in these largely developed countries could be avoided, the report claimed.

That would help boost economic performance, the OECD suggested. Reformulation could boost the economies of the 36 OECD member countries by 0.51% GDP annually, creating growth equal to the economy of Chile every year.

Source:  just-food.com


IBIE 2019 proves a record-shattering event with education and innovation

      Comments Off on IBIE 2019 proves a record-shattering event with education and innovation

Epiphany Masaganda, executive pastry chef of The Sailfish Club in Palm Beach, Florida, traveled across the country to attend the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) to learn about innovative breads because her restaurant is starting a bread program. Rachel Lawson, a baker at De La Terre Cafe and Bakery in Jordan, Ontario, Canada, wanted to sharpen her bread baking skills.

These bakers and more than a dozen more learned creative ideas and sound fundamentals for producing “Old World and Innovative Artisan Breads” in a hands-on session conducted by Julien Otto, chef instructor and master baker for The French Pastry School, during the record-breaking 2019 edition of the IBIE.

The most comprehensive baking industry expo in the Western Hemisphere welcomed industry professionals from around the world on Sept. 7-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

IBIE provided a newly implemented day of learning on Saturday, Sept. 7, featuring tailored sessions that gave attendees curated, business-focused tools they need to enhance and grow their businesses. Courses included talent management classes with a concentration on acquiring, developing, and retaining employees and cultivating great leaders.

The day also offered hands-on workshops designed for artisan bakers taught by Otto from The French Pastry School and hands-on cake decorating skills sessions taught by Bronwen Weber.

Among bread formulas demonstrated by Otto included Alsatian rye beer bread, Beaujolais red wine and salami rye bread, onion and potato levain bread and Madras curry and raisin loaf. For his onion and potato levain bread, Otto mixed in instant potato flakes with bread flour, dry instant yeast, salt, liquid levain and water to start the mixture.

Then he followed by gradually adding olive oil and one minced red onion, prior to letting the dough rise for an hour. “With potato flakes, olive oil and a lot of water, here you have something very moist,” Otto said. “Mix until the dough is just moving from the bowl.”

The IBIE Saturday education program included RPIA’s Business of Baking for Beginners seminar. Nearly 95% of those who start a retail bakery fail within five years, so it is imperative that bakery owners have a well-defined business plan, The RPIA Group executives told a group of about 100 attendees.

“A bad plan will not stand the test of time,” said Randy McArthur, national technical sales for Dawn Foods and a founding member of RPIA. “We hope to get you focused in a finer direction to help you make more money.”

McArthur said a solid business plan requires many traits: the ability to learn and listen, capital, merchandising, passion, work ethic, and knowledge. “You have to be a bit of a master of everything,” he said. “You need a system in place to track trends because times are changing at lightning speed today. How you go to market depends on who you are.” There are more than 40 types of bakeries, like donut shops and bakery cafes, and the key is to open the right type in the right location.

“One of the biggest issues I learned from owning a bakery was to work in your business, not on your business,” McArthur said. “As entrepreneurs, we can expect our staff to know what we know, and they don’t. Unexpressed expectations will not be met. A great plan needs a great team.”

Rick Crawford, RPIA managing partner, added another important consideration for the audience: “Do what your customers want, not what you want.”

Insights for market trends

IBIEducate presented the largest education offering to date, with more than 100 sessions designed to deliver a fresh, forward-thinking perspective on business, operations and creativity for every role and every segment within the industry. Seminars focused on the most relevant issues facing the industry today.

Corbion’s consumer research on new sugar label regulations, presented during the session “Could Purchase Intent Be Influenced by New Sugar Label Regulations?” Marge O’Brien, senior manager, global insights, and CJ McClellan, manager of global marketing, both of Corbion, surveyed 800 primary shoppers online and interviewed 15 primary shoppers in person about their label-reading and purchasing habits. In light of the Food and Drug Administration’s revision of the Nutrition Facts Panel, they researched what consumers knew regarding the changes and how it impacted buying habits for bread and sweet baked goods. Two-thirds of respondents were unaware of the label changes, and those consumers who said the label has some impact on their purchasing decisions were nearly twice as likely to call out the added sugars than those who reported the label would have a low impact on their decisions.

“If your core consumers don’t look at labels, you have to think about how you’re going to handle that as you reduce sugar,” O’Brien said.

With regard to chocolate, today’s consumers seek more premium experiences from chocolate and bakery products, said Marit Allen, market segment development manager of Barry Callebaut, during an IBIE presentation. Simple swaps may inspire shoppers to pay higher prices.

“We believe today’s brands and products need to choose a route,” Allen said. “They either need to trade up and become more premium or trade down and be all about value. But you don’t want to get stuck in between.”

Allen provided tips for elevating ordinary baked foods featuring chocolate. Adding cocoa liquor to a brownie imparts a richer, fudgier and more robust chocolate flavor. Using cocoa powders without alkali results in a deeper color and cleaner label.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of what they put in their mouth,” Allen said. “They want to know everything about the real origin of their food, and they also want to know how the origin is influencing pure flavors. They want believable and trustworthy information about where their food comes from, who grew it, who created it.”

Hands-on demonstrations

Two new Artisan Marketplaces crafted by Puratos and The Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA) respectively, housed a virtual reality tour, samples from the world’s only Sourdough Library, and featured demos from Certified Master Bakers including Lionel Vatinet, Peter Reinhart, Lauren Hass, Leslie Mackie and Jory Downer.

Duff Goldman, who starred on Food Network’s popular show “Ace of Cakes,” made a special appearance at IBIE in partnership with AB Mauri where he signed autographs and crafted a unique cake sculpture, Spilled Yeast. Made of fondant, wood and foam, his sculpted, oversized packet of iconic Fleischmann’s yeast is a unique reflection of the actual 7-gram package that consumers purchase today. Now 151 years old, Fleischmann’s is the oldest bakery yeast brand in North America.

“It’s nice working with AB Mauri. We are celebrating the art of baking,” Goldman said. “Arts and crafts are two different things. You can’t make it art if the craft isn’t awesome. People are making stunning cakes all around the world. More and more people are getting better at it. And that’s exciting. It’s people in Africa. It’s people in South America. It’s people in Europe, and they’re really doing neat stuff.”

The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) Bakers Center, brought to you by Bundy Baking Solutions, hosted baking competitions and live demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, whose demos were standing room only. This new state-of-the art center also hosted the 18th annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition.

On the show floor

International markets greatly contributed to the event’s growth, as professionals from more than 100 countries made up nearly 30 percent of the attendance. “IBIE continues to provide the platform for the entire baking community to gather and celebrate the vibrancy of this industry, innovative trends and digital automation technologies, advances in baking processes and the thousands of bakers and support services who have a passion and commitment to the success of this industry,” says Joe Turano, IBIE chairman.

Nearly 1,000 exhibitors (237 new to IBIE) and the largest show floor in history allowed this year’s event to break records for growth. More than 20,000 professionals (nearly 10% over the previous expo attendance) attended education sessions and walked the exhibit hall.

Numerous exhibitors featured innovative product solutions and reinforced their history in the North American marketplace.

BakeMark demonstrated its market position as “the complete package for quality donuts.” Dating back to the 1946, when BakeMark introduced its first donut mix, the company launched into manufacturing to address the growing need of bakers requesting premade mixes. BakeMark has continued to meet the needs of an ever-changing market by introducing a variety of mixes and other products for donuts, cakes, sweet goods, Hispanic products and more.

Malt Products Corporation (MPC), a manufacturer of malted barley extract and other natural sweeteners, showcased its recently enhanced and rebranded OatRite portfolio of liquid and dry oat extract sweeteners. As consumer desires for non-GMO, plant-based, and multi-functional ingredients continue to grow, MPC food technology experts discussed why oat extract has become an increasingly popular option for bars, cookies, bagels and other baked goods. MPC’s OatRite extracts are made from whole grain sprouted oats minimally processed in a state-of-the-art plant, producing a syrup with a mild sweetness and pleasant oat taste and aroma.

Retail bakery owners Paul Bendinskas of ABC Cake Shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Julie Pinho of Pinho’s Bakery in Roselle, New Jersey, helped Dawn Foods introduce the three winning Baker’s Request cake flavors (coffee, coconut and honey) developed as part of Dawn’s Inspired by You program, appearing at the Dawn Foods booth during IBIE. Dawn unveiled valuable consumer insights and a wide range of product innovations including Dawn Balance Naturally Brilliant Icings and new Exceptional Lemon Old Fashion Donut Mix.

AAK USA Inc. created several great-tasting concepts to showcase AAK’s fat and oil solutions to help bakers create better-for-you bakery and non-dairy plant-based products that consumers will embrace. “Our newest global brand for plant-based foods, AkoPlanet, offers formulators a real-life solution for plant-based foods and supports AAK’s continued commitment to help fulfill consumers’ desires for better-for-you, clean label and sustainable products that look and taste great,” said Octavio Diaz de Leon, president of AAK USA and North Latin America.

Source: Bakemag.com



Hershey Is Opening A New Park Dedicated Completely To Chocolate Called “Chocolatetown”

      Comments Off on Hershey Is Opening A New Park Dedicated Completely To Chocolate Called “Chocolatetown”

The chocolate heaven that already exists on Earth is about to get even better. You know Hersheypark? The theme park with more than 70 rides, a water park, and a zoo?? Just when you thought they couldn’t make things any better, they went ahead and announced that next year they’re opening “Chocolatetown,” which is exactly what you’re imagining and MORE.

Next summer, the amusement park will be opening the gates to a world all about chocolate. Their newest addition to the park will feature their 15th rollercoaster, Candymonium, which apparently is going to be the “tallest, fastest, longest, and sweetest coaster” they’ve ever had. Let’s get to the good stuff now, though.

This sweet add-on will also hold three new dining experiences: The Chocolatier Restaurant Bar + Patio, Milton’s Ice Cream Parlor, and The Sweeterie. The Chocolatier will be serving food and drinks embedded with bits of chocolate. When you’re at the ice cream parlor, people can watch creamologists make exclusive Hershey ice cream recipes. And at the Sweeterie, customers can feast their eyes on professionals making Hershey treats in this confectionary kitchen. Brb, quitting my job here to do this forever.

Oh! And they’re housing their 10,000-square foot merch store in this land, too.

In conclusion, this forthcoming park sounds beyond incredible and extremely chocolate-filled. In another conclusion, I will be buying a season pass to Hersheypark immediately. See you there??

 Source: MSN


The Christmas Chocolate Wars Are Well Underway And Ever So Posh

      Comments Off on The Christmas Chocolate Wars Are Well Underway And Ever So Posh

Chocolate companies are gearing up for one of the biggest confectionary showdowns of the year. The “chocolate season” begins just before Halloween, taking in Christmas (which accounts for about a quarter of total annual sales in both the U.S and the U.K.), Valentines Day and ending in the consumption of Easter eggs (the busiest time of year for chocolate consumption). Whilst the Swiss eat the most chocolate per person, people in the U.K. will eat almost twice as much as their American counterparts.

U.K. chocolate Christmas sales began in August

At the end of August, the Daily Mirror reported that discount retailer B&M in the U.K. were selling Cadbury Snowballs (milk chocolate spheres covered in icing) and Snowy Fingers (a half white, half milk chocolate version of standard Finger biscuits). Two weeks earlier, however, Costco had already put giant, 2kg tins of Quality Street on its shelves for an ample £11.62 (around $14). That’s 25% cheaper, pound for chocolate pound, than rival Tesco.

Chocolate was first marketed to the masses…

Chocolate has often been a good barometer of the state of the economy and an indicator of social change. The New York Times reported how in the early part of the 20th century, chocolate cigarettes were mainly marketed to women, many of whom were under social pressure not to smoke in public. Since World War II, chocolate has been an integral part of ration packs to keep troops perky overseas and during the Great Depression, Hershey’s nickel chocolate bar was an “affordable lunch”. From the 1970s onwards, the first chocolate shops opened across U.S. shopping malls delivering chocolate to the middle class masses.

… but chocolate has had a luxury makeover

At the turn of the 21st century, chocolate had a facelift. As everyone started paying more attention to what they ate and what it came packaged in, the desire grew for more “healthy” chocolate from smaller, fair trade producers. By 2009, Nestlé and Cadbury were selling fair trade-certified chocolate bars, such as Milky Ways and KitKats. And now the chocolate world has moved on again. People are increasingly seeking out luxury, craft products–upmarket gins and premium non-alcoholic beverages–and confectioners have followed suit. And as many new luxury chocolate brands hit the High Street, like British brand Hotel Chocolat and French brand, Le Chocolate des Français, the bigger chocolate companies are following suit. Premium advent calendars are also growing–they grew at a staggering 41% during 2017–both in chocolate and non-chocolate versions.

Source: Forbes