Science to Stabilize Sourdough Fermentation

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Scientists need to develop a method to stabilize sourdough fermentation. The science in developing sourdough baked goods with specific nutritional functionalities also needs to be perfected, Professor Marco Gobbetti (main picture) said at an event organized by Puratos Romania.

“The industry needs to consider sourdough as a cell factory. It is a complex of microbes that, if guided well, can help you modify cereals, food and eating in general,” Prof. Gobbetti said.

Marco Gobbetti is a microbiology professor at the University in Bozano, Italy. During the last decade, most of his articles dealt with the physiology and biochemistry of lactic acid bacteria during food fermentation, especially in sourdoughs. He collaborates with the Puratos Sourdough Library in the Center for Bread Flavor in Saint-Vith, Belgium, and has worked his entire career on sourdough studies; he revealed some of his findings during a conference in Bucharest, Romania.

Nutritional Benefits

As the industry and consumers are increasingly leaning towards dietary fibers and especially towards bread with high-fiber content, sourdough is an opportunity in the field, the professor explained. For example, without sourdough, wholemeal bread, rye or wheat-rye flour mixes are very difficult to process, especially because it offers an essential acid content to these types of dough. Sourdough fermentation brings improved the loaf volume and crumb softness, improves flours, texture and shelf-life of whole-grain rye breads. “For the producers of whole grains or rye breads, the only way to increase the volume of the bread is the sourdough fermentation,” professor Gobbetti said. On the other hand, this type of fermentation allows bakers to keep the most nutritional part of wheat – the germ, which is usually eliminating during the milling process.

Furthermore, sourdough fermentation also allows manufacturers to use non-conventional types of flours, such as legume- or hemp flours. By using legume fermentation, the process increases the content of amino acids, which helps achieve higher digestibility and reduce the content of non-digestible ingredients. When it comes to hemp flour addition, sourdough fermentation increases the phenols content in bread, leading to anti-oxidant activity and fighting against free radicals in the human body.

Another benefit underlined by the Italian professor is the increase of amino acid derivates, which compensates effects of the salt reduction. This is especially relevant considering that a low-sodium bread improves the adherence to a low-sodium diet in hypertensive patients.

Digestibility is one of the most important issues for humans, especially when it comes to celiac disease. During a study, the professor and his collaborator demonstrated that sourdough bread has an improved time of digestion and better absorption of nutrients compared to bread baked with regular baker’s yeast.

Sourdough bread has low-gluten content, which is especially beneficial for celiac disease sufferers but adopted by mainstream consumers as well, for presumed health benefits. The professor mentioned that, using extreme conditions, the sourdough’s fermentation can completely degrade the gluten in bread. At the end of a fermentation process that lasted 24 hours, the researchers succeeded to obtain wheat flour without gluten.

Another benefit underlined by Professor Gobbetti is a low-glycemic index. He explained that out of two types of bread baked with the same recipe, of which one is using sourdough fermentation, this will be the one with a lower glycemic index. The explanation for this phenomenon is a subject of future research, as scientists are now working o understanding it.

Puratos Sourdough Library

Karl de Smedt  the coordinator of the Puratos Sourdough Library from Saint-Vith, Belgium, shared updates from the only sourdough library in the world. Set within the Center for Bread Flavor, the Sourdough Library aims to safeguard the sourdough biodiversity and preserve the sourdough heritage and baking knowledge. “I think the sourdough is more than a dough with an intense taste, more than flavor. These are the most obvious properties of the sourdough, but it is more about digestibility, about freshness, about the sourdough crafting and translating it to the next generations. The bread we have now is probably the best in the history of humankind. I believe that, in the future, bread will improve,” Karl de Smedt underlined.

At the time of this article’s publication, the online library contained 1,640 types of sourdoughs from all over the world.

Source: World Bakers

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World Champions Gelato between innovation and sustainability

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The big supporters of the Italian “fabulous team” of Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria, an event organized by SIGEP – Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) and Gelato e Cultura, from 19 to 21 January 2020 in the South Hall of the 41st International Trade Show of Artisan Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and the Coffee World – reveal trends and strategies to ride the wave of this and the coming seasons

“In Italy, a growing trend is definitely linked to conscious consumerism, a return to the origins where everybody is looking for high-quality, authentic and local products – reveals Marco Casol, Managing Director of PreGel –. For instance, the IGP Hazelnut from Piedmont and pure Pistachio are booming, a timeless trend for PreGel is Zabajone. When we had the opportunity to support the Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria, we did not hesitate to put ourselves at the forefront, to support research and development of the best flavors in the world. We want to give voice to the champions in the race: we have just launched a digital project that presents through exclusive recipes the passion and professionalism of the Gelato Champions (you find the first recipe here https://pregel.it/gelato-world-cup/). Handcrafted fresh gelato is a symbol of goodness, tradition and genuineness: we want and must represent it in every part of the world, especially in countries with the greatest potential for growth.”

“The demand for chocolate is undergoing a revolution, and not just because of the recommendations of nutritionists. If its enhancement as an indispensable raw material started inside the restaurants, today gelato chefs and consumers clearly perceive the difference with products made from cocoa powder – explains Igor Maiellano, Director Italia Valrhona –. We were the first to introduce, through the Grands Crus, the concept of territoriality. In the Italian market, P125 ce de Guanaja, with reduced cocoa butter content, and Tulakalum, free of lecithin, win. We believed from the beginning in the Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria. The race has grown in all aspects and in 2020, in addition to the development of new products that marry the requests of champions, curious and courageous by definition, we wanted to include the latest brands entered in the group: Sosa Ingredientes and Norohy Vanilla. Valrhona has always been a platform for services, support and training for artisans.”

“Gelateria, pastry, baking and dining live together more and more closely, a trend that is recorded not only within professional kitchens. Electrolux Professional has been supporting Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria since the first edition, and thanks to the dialogue with the champions, SkyChillS was born. It’s anew concept of blast freezer, able to making both “cold” and “hot” – says Andrea Grandi, Head of Cook&Chill, Electrolux Professional Italy -. By incorporating five machines in less than 1sqm, it optimizes the space in laboratory and reducing the investment in other equipment. It is a complete working system: from leavening cell to firm leavening, it thaws quickly, it prepares ready chocolate to transfer into temperator; it becomes a specific machine for the gelato parlour, it can produce yogurt too. It still manages night-time productivity, including yeasts, and syncs with the SkyLine oven, so that the latter automatically goes into preheat”.

Gelato numbers

We find artisan gelato in 76 Countries, all the five continents. Europe is at the forefront, the main markets are Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland. Emerging countries in demand are Austria, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the spread is also increasingly widespread in Eastern European markets. In Europe, gelato sales reached 9 billion euros, representing 60% of the world market. Growth is constant, at a rate of 4% per annum; 300,000 employees.

In Italy there are about 39,000 gelato shops (10,000 specialized and 29,000 bars and pastry shops which produce and sell artisan gelato). They employ about 150,000 people and achieve a turnover of 2.7 billion euros, equivalent to almost 30% of the European market. In Germany, on the other hand, there are 9,000 gelato parlours (3,300 are pure gelato parlours), 2,000 are in Spain and 1,800 in Poland. As for the rest of the world, there are over 40,000 gelato parlours. Argentina, USA and Brazil are leading the way, China, Korea, Malaysia and Australia are among the most interesting growing markets. The global turnover exceeds 15 billion euros.

Source: Acomag

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Hershey’s First Official Chocolate Beer Is a Collaboration with Yuengling

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If you want to visit America’s best-known chocolate-themed amusement park and America’s oldest brewery, only one state can offer all of that excitement: Pennsylvania. The cities of Hershey, home to the iconic candy company, and Pottsville, home to the Yuengling Brewery, are only about 45 miles apart, but despite both brands’ history dating back to the 19th century, chocolate and beer have never collided… until now. Yuengling has announced its first-ever collaboration—and the first beer to ever officially bear the Hershey name: Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter.

Though many of these highly-anticipated, limited-edition collaborations (Wawa, anyone?) have ended up in four-packs of cans, this new brew—which is slated to arrive in mid-October—will only be available on draft. The good news, however, is that despite its limited run, Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter shouldn’t be hard to find. The beer will be available “in bars and restaurants throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., Delaware, Indiana and Kentucky, while supplies last,” the brewery states. And Yuengling implies that supplies should hopefully hold up through to Valentine’s Day.

“As the sixth generation of the Yuengling family, we have a 190-year history of listening to our fans and looking for new ways to deliver quality and memorable drinking experiences,” Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations and sixth generation brewer, said in the announcement. “We saw a unique opportunity to partner with Hershey’s, a brand known worldwide for its iconic, delicious tasting chocolate, to deliver fans our first-ever beer collaboration. We spent nearly a year developing our Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter and are excited for the world to indulge in the classic taste of Yuengling Dark Brewed Porter blended with the unmistakable taste of Hershey’s chocolate.”

The result, the brewery says, is a 4.7-percent ABV porter that mixes “Hershey’s chocolate with caramel and dark roasted malts for a smooth, rich and delightfully chocolaty finish.”

“This Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter is sure to surprise and delight the chocolate fans, and the avid beer-lovers, among us that are looking to try something new and delicious,” Ernie Savo, senior director of global licensing and business development at The Hershey Company, added. “Bringing together over 300 years of craft and experience is quite rare in 2019; however, that’s exactly what we did.” Seems like the genius of mixing beer and chocolate shouldn’t have taken so long, but here we are.

Source: Yahoo

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Salon du Chocolat 2020 opens in Seoul

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Korea’s leading chocolate & dessert show “Salon du Chocolat Seoul 2020” is welcoming its 6th edition in the Coex, Seoul from 10-12 January 2020. With a variety of chocolate and desserts on display, the show featured something for every palate.

The chocolate and dessert industries’ status is rising in Korea. In recent years, the Korean dessert market is showing steep growth. The dessert market has tripled from USD 230 million in 2014 to USD 670 million in 2015. In 2018, the market scale is estimated to be over USD 1.26 billion and this year is expected to exceed USD 1.6 billion.

In 2019, 136 exhibitors from 13 countries such as France, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Peru, Indonesia participated and around 40,000 visitors from 23 countries visited the show. For domestic buyers, department store, hotel, Café, e-tailer, shopping mall, importer and large distributors such as Hyundai, Shinsegae, Lotte, CJ have visited with 87% satisfaction according to the questionnaire.

For 2020, the fair will gather more than 250 exhibitors from across the globe, showcasing a wide variety of chocolates, confectionaries, desserts, bakeries, packaging and machines.

Salon du Chocolat Seoul 2020’s main them “TASTE THE ART BY CHOCOLATIER” stands that the chef will be focused on this event. Chef highlight zone “Chef’s Salon” will be organised with 16 domestic and international chocolatiers, patissiers to show their fascinating products to visitors and build chocolate culture in Korea. Chefs will demonstrate diverse recipe to visitors.

To line with chocolate and dessert market needs, the event runs advisory committee composed of famous chocolatier and patissier in Korea such as ‘Young-Taek Jung’(No.1 Chocolate master in Korea), ‘Eun-Su Ko’(CEO of Artisan Chocolate boutique Piaf), ‘Hong-Yeon Jung’ (CEO of French dessert boutique  L’hotel Douce) and ‘Dong-Suk Kim’(National team player in Pastry).

Salon du Chocolat Seoul 2020 would be the only and incomparable dessert platform in Korea for suppliers, buyers and visitors from across the world.

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This new blockchain chocolate bar is brought to you by the UN

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cocoaWhen you buy The Other Bar, you can donate back to cocoa farmers, supporting them planting more trees and earning a living wage.

When you buy The Other Bar, an experimental new chocolate bar designed to fight global poverty, the candy comes with a choice: Inside the package, you can scan a code to donate a blockchain token to the farmers in Ecuador who produced the cocoa, or use it to get a discount on the next chocolate bar you buy, sending more business their way.

“This is an experiment in what we can do to drive conscious consuming towards impact goals,” says Guido van Staveren, founder of the FairChain Foundation, a Dutch organization that partnered with the United Nations Development Programme on the pilot, a limited run of 20,000 packs of dark chocolate or milk chocolate bars made from Ecuadorian cocoa that will go on sale online October 14. “The whole idea is to use technology to influence consumer behavior and basically turn every product into a capitalist impact engine.”

Right now, cocoa farmers only receive an average of 3% of the value of the cocoa used to make typical chocolate, and most farmers don’t earn a living wage. Van Staveren argues that Fairtrade chocolate doesn’t go far enough, though Fairtrade farmers earn a minimum payment (the world price for cocoa is currently around $1,900 a metric ton; the Fairtrade minimum is $2,400 a metric ton.) The new project will pay a higher rate—$3,400 a metric ton—and the token inside will boost incomes further.

When a consumer decides to send funding back to farmers, it goes to the local cocoa farmer’s association, which uses the funds to plant new cacao trees. Each token is equivalent to a quarter of a cocoa-producing tree (so four chocolate bars equals one tree). The pilot, with 20,000 bars and 10 participating farmers, could lead to the planting of 5,000 new cocoa trees, which can provide extra income for farmers. The donations are tracked on the blockchain, so consumers have proof of impact. “Consumers don’t have to trust an NGO to create an impact . . . they only need to trust themselves,” says van Staveren.

The tokens are funded with money that other brands would use for marketing. It’s a model that the team hopes to prove in the pilot so that it can convince other companies that redirecting marketing budgets toward social impact is an effective way to grow business. “If we can show that this proof of impact drives customer loyalty, and marketing spend given to consumers turns into impact, then we can reach out to all these large companies that now spend millions on Kim Kardashian and say, ‘Don’t spend your marketing on these famous faces, spend your marketing dollars on your own crowd, your own customers, and let them invest in impact,” says van Staveren. Around $800 billion is spent worldwide on marketing, he says—but only $170 billion is necessary to end global poverty.

Source:  fastcompany.com

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Introducing Belcolade’s new Selection chocolates.

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Master Class Week

Puratos believes it is vitally important there is a sustainable cocoa supply chain in the future. They have therefore launched Belcolade Selection Lait and Noir Cacao-Trace made with certified Cacao-Trace™ beans (CT C501/J and CT O3X5/J).

The conventional Belcolade Selection range is already well known for its great taste and excellent performance, Belcolade Selection Lait and Noir Cacao-Trace raises the bar still further. The new sustainable milk and dark chocolates are both highly versatile, balanced chocolates with a fresh fruity note and slightly roasted cocoa taste.

Controlled fermentation makes the difference

The fermentation of the cocoa beans, alongside roasting and conching, is one of the 3 key factors that influence the taste of the final chocolate. Puratos is using its long-term experience in fermentation to manage this process in the cocoa sourcing countries via post harvest centres. The result is perfectly fermented cocoa beans that produce better tasting chocolate.
This has been confirmed in consumer tasting sessions; the panels named the new Belcolade Selection Cacao-Trace their favourite chocolate in tests1.

A unique chocolate Bonus supports local cocoa farmers

Belcolade Selection Cacao-Trace is more than just a great tasting and multi-use chocolate however, it is part of a sustainable programme that empowers farmers to produce better quality beans and ensure cocoa farming remains an attractive business in the future.
In a fully audited process, a unique Chocolate Bonus of € 0.10/kilo of chocolate sold is returned directly to the cocoa farmer – and they can use this money in any way they choose.

A remarkable story

Belcolade Selection Cacao-Trace is real Belgian chocolate made with sustainable cocoa beans that have been fermented under the control of Puratos. Not only does the chocolate taste better but it’s also an original and unique story to tell.

 

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Seeing Paris, baguette by baguette

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I am in love with the art and heritage of French bread.

Fortunately I’m not alone. Each year one chef is chosen in the Grand Prix de la Baguette de tradition francaise, an accolade bestowed each April for the past 25 years. The winner goes to a handcrafted baguette that beats out dozens of entrants from across Paris and tops a list of 10 finalists; all compete for a cash prize of 4,000 euros ($4,900) and — most importantly — mass recognition for superior artisanal baking. All 10 are then permitted to emboss a gold laurel on their shop window emblazoned with the year of award and their ranking.

That gold stamp means each year’s list of winners provides an unusual guide to the city, a path toward walking Paris with an eye to the best, most iconic, crispiest baguettes imaginable. It offers travelers a key to the city and a tasting menu of one of the anchors of every French table.

Over four chilly days in March, my partner, Ian, and I embarked on a journey of gluten. A mission of carbohydrates. A 96-hour tasting marathon. We ate as many of the award-winning baguettes as we could. Baguettes studded with seeds. Baguettes that are simply traditional. Baguettes sliced in half and stuffed with tuna. Baguettes adorned with brie, arugula and pears. I ate them with jam. With goat cheese. With butter. With salt. With nothing.

We walked 12 miles one day, 10 another. We saw Paris anew and witnessed how the local boulangerie-patisserie still marks each arrondissement. Once or twice I cheated, diverting to eat the wheaty country loaves at the Poilane bakery in the sixth and tasting the exquisite croissants at Maison Plisson in the third.

But mostly I ate baguettes, dropping crumbs in my scarf and noshing as I strolled. It was our first major trip away from our children; we wanted to make the most of it.

Beyond the Eiffel Tower, or the kissing couples on bridges across the Seine, the Louvre, the Pompidou, the Tuileries, the beloved, beleaguered Notre Dame — there is one image that, for me, has always symbolized Parisian life: the early morning and midday line out the door of a boulangerie. It is a time-honored wait for a baguette, typically endured next to a row of perfect pastries behind a glass case.

That line is democratizing – in it you’ll find students and besuited office-goers, workers in painters’ overalls, proper matrons with purses that click shut and coats that nip in at the waist, tourists and shopkeepers. Each patron hands over 1.10 to 1.30 euros (about $1.25 to $1.50) for a baguette.

The Prix de la Baguette comes with an honor that bestows more work, that being 12 months of baking for the Elysee Palace in Paris, the home of the French president. Prize-winning loaves are judged on a crispy crust with just the right amount of crumb and strict adherence to French rules for the perfect baguette: an exact amount of flour, yeast, water and salt. No other ingredients. They must be baked in the same place where they are sold.

On day one of my carb-heavy adventure, I went to three recent prize winners and finalists in the Marais: Ernest & Valentin above the Arts et Metiers metro stop in the third arrondissement, where you can watch bakers turn out baguettes in real time through a picture window and pick up a gravlax sandwich on seeded-baguette or a brie-arugula-pear combo on traditional. I tried a plain baguette at Maison Hubert Rambuteau on Rue Rambuteau, a block from the Pompidou, and glanced through the windows of one of my go-to favorites, Au Petit Versailles du Marais on Rue Francois Miron near the St. Paul metro in the fourth, with its gorgeously painted beaux-arts interior. The last boasts a space to sit and eat a tart with a cup of tea. The line for the tradition can be long, but I have happily waited to pick up a baguette there many times.

On Day 2, Ian and I headed to the Luxembourg Gardens, wandering through the not-quite-yet-green manicured spaces, encircling the pond and back out again to try the patisserie Maison Decorde on Rue Gay-Lussac in the fifth arrondissement. There, we ran into a massive demonstration: the children’s global day of action on climate change that was happening simultaneously around the globe. A professor standing to the side told me these strikes had been taking place for weeks in Paris.

I worried about my carbon footprint in my search of baguettes. I felt guilty about not bringing my children. And then I kept eating.

I began to see the laurels everywhere, aided by websites such as La Cuisine Paris, which maps them all out. In the 18th there was Au Duc de la Chapelle, where Chef Anis Bouabsa made a recent second appearance on the list of best baguettes. Chefs can compete more than once but must wait four years after a first-place win.

After 24 years of the competition, there are winners to be found in almost every arrondissement. (The 2019 winner, named after we left town, is Fabrice Leroy, of the 12th.)

Chefs will tell me you shouldn’t eat a hot baguette, that the true taste emerges when it cools, but I have always loved them direct from the oven. In 15 odd years of coming to Paris for work, one of my most memorable baguettes was at the Boulangerie Aux Delices de Glaciere on Boulevard Auguste Blanqui, near the offices of Le Monde newspaper. It was during the French elections – I was on my way to dinner with a friend; we shouldn’t have been snacking. But we were urged by the woman behind the counter to wait a moment. When she beckoned us back, the baguette we purchased poured with steam as we broke it open. We sat at an outside table and ate it at once. The chef there – Khemoussi Mansour – won second prize in the baguette competition in 2017. At the time, I didn’t know to look for the laurel.

If one thing stands out about the competition in the past several years, it’s that the prizewinning chefs often have names that reflect a Paris of diverse origins, from North Africa to Japan. They are the bakers, the early risers.

The 2018 champion, Mahmoud M’Seddi, a 28-year-old Parisian-born baker of Tunisian descent, told me that winning the competition “changed my life.”

“Before, I was an ordinary baker,” he continued in French. “Now I’m an ambassador of bread.” After his win, newspaper and television journalists from around the world came to interview him. He has three patisseries, and they are spread out — one on Boulevard Raspail in the 14th arrondissement and a stone’s throw from the Fondation Cartier, a soaring Jean Nouvel-designed mecca of modern art, made of glass and surrounded by gardens; the other two are in the 13th arrondissement.

I visited all three. We met on my second trip to a M’Seddi boulangerie, on Rue de Tolbiac. Upon arrival he insisted Ian take a pistachio cake, as part of house hospitality. He was enormously cheerful, playing us videos of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

M’Seddi is also worried: He is concerned that French shoppers will be drawn to the convenience of baguettes for sale at supermarket chains — the Monoprix, Carrefour, Franprix.

But so far, these laurels keep both Parisians and tourists alike coming into his shop and those of his fellow, ahem, bread winners.

Source:  stripes.com

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Just Desserts Wins Top Honors for 2019 IBIE BEST in Baking Competition

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Award Winning Vegan Product Line fastest growing Just Desserts platform

The International Baking Industry Exhibition (IBIE) has awarded Just Desserts “Top Honors” in Product Innovation at the 2019 IBIE BEST in Baking Competition. IBIE’s BEST in Baking Program honors suppliers and bakeries committed to excellence in the industry once every three years, in what has become the largest bakery exposition in North America.

The IBIE BEST in Baking Evaluation Committee selected Just Desserts’ “Vegan Midnight Chocolate Cake” for “Top Honors” recognition. Just Desserts has expanded its offering of plant based Vegan products and launched five new Vegan SKUs this year.

Michael Mendes, CEO of Just Desserts noted, “We are honored to receive this recognition for inovation from IBIE, which is the preeminent event in the bakery industry.” “Plant based foods grew 20% over last year, exceeding $3.3 billion and growing 10x faster than overall food sales,” according to the Plant Based Food Association. Just Desserts’ new plant based product line is the fastest growing of all products in the company portfolio for the past three years.

About Just Desserts

Just Desserts is a nut-free artisan-inspired baking company that makes premium desserts sold from coast to coast. Just Desserts was founded in San Francisco in 1974 with a passion for making delicious clean label desserts that are hand-crafted and made from scratch.

Source:  benzinga.com

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FAO Food Price Index held steady in September, remaining above last year’s level

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» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged nearly 170 points in September 2019, unchanged from August but 3.3 percent higher than in the corresponding period last year. While in September sugar prices fell sharply, the decline was almost entirely offset by higher prices of vegetable oils and meat. The Dairy index was down only marginally, whereas that of cereals remained steady.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 157.6 points in September, nearly identical to its August average and down 3.9 percent (6.4 points) from September 2018. However, among the major cereals, prices moved in different directions. Wheat prices were firmer in September amid brisk trade activity, though they remained well below (by 11 percent) the same time last year, pressured by the overall good supply outlook. By contrast, maize price quotations were down month-on-month, as international prices continued to slide because of large export availabilities in both southern and northern hemisphere exporting countries. International rice prices were steady to mildly lower in September, as the support provided by seasonal tightness and currency movements was countered by slow import demand and uncertainties surrounding policies in the Philippines and Nigeria.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 135.7 points in September, up 1.8 points (or 1.4 percent) from August, marking the highest level in 13 months. The modest increase mostly reflects higher price quotations for palm and rapeseed oils, whereas those for soy and sunflower oil fell month-on-month. While international palm oil values rose on steady import demand from India and China, rapeseed oil price quotations continued to increase, fuelled by the EU’s deteriorating production outlook amid firm demand from the biodiesel sector. In addition, rising crude mineral oil prices lent support to vegetable oil values. By contrast, soy and sunflower oil prices dropped on account of, respectively, sluggish global import demand and prospects of large supplies in the Black Sea region.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 193.4 points in September, down 0.6 percent (1.1 points) from the previous month but still 1.3 percent higher than its value in the corresponding month last year. In September, price quotations for cheese and butter fell, especially at the lower end of the price range. Moderate increases in export availabilities, principally in New Zealand, where milk production is nearing the seasonal peak, contributed to the decline. By contrast, Skim Milk Powder (SMP) and Whole Milk Powder (WMP) price quotations firmed on strong import demand amid limited export availabilities, especially in Europe.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 181.5 points in September, up 0.8 percent (1.4 points) from August, continuing the moderate month-on-month price increases observed since February 2019.  In September, price quotations for ovine and bovine meats continued to firm on solid import demand, especially from China, despite elevated export availabilities in Oceania. By contrast, while domestic pigmeat prices in China – the world’s largest market – remained at the high levels recorded the previous month, pigmeat prices in international markets tended lower, pressured by increased export supplies in Europe. Price quotations for poultry meat remained stable, as export availabilities were adequate to meet import demand.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 168.0 points in September, down nearly 6.8 points (3.9 percent) from August. The month-on-month decline was largely driven by the expectation of ample sugar stocks due to positive production prospects for the upcoming 2019/20 marketing season. Furthermore, weaker international energy prices in the second half of September contributed to the decline in international sugar prices by encouraging producers to reduce the use of sugarcane for the production of ethanol, notably in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter.

* 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

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Bakers Sue Nestlé for Selling ‘Fake’ White Chocolate

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A group of bakers has filed a class-action suit against Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, claiming its white chocolate chips are not actually white chocolate, but are instead made with inferior hydrogenated oils.

The complaint, filed in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, alleges that the Premier White Morsels sold by Nestlé skimp on cocoa butter and replace it with cheaper oils.

“Nestle, a company known for its chocolate, sells fake white chocolate baking chips and tries to market them as white chocolate,” the complaint reads.

The lead plaintiffs, Steven Prescott and Linda Cheslow, seek a ruling forcing Nestlé to stop labeling and advertising the product as “white chocolate,” as well as restitution on unfair competition, false advertising and violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act.

Prescott and Cheslow claim the morsels sold by Nestlé don’t melt like real white chocolate, and that many bakers like them have lost money creating inferior desserts with them.

The Premier White Morsels packaging doesn’t explicitly identify the product as white chocolate, but as “creamy, vanilla-flavored morsels.” The suit argues, though, that positioning them alongside Nestlé’s other Morsels products, which do contain chocolate, gives the false impression that the Premier White Morsels are authentic white chocolate.

“Nestlé is aware that reasonable consumers are misled into believing the product contains white chocolate when it actually contains fake white chocolate,” the filing reads, “but has thus far refused to make any labeling and advertising changes to dispel the consumer deception.”

Cheslow and Prescott’s complaint collects examples of customer feedback posted on Nestlé’s website:

“These don’t have chocolate in them and don’t taste like white chocolate,” one reviewer wrote. “There’s nothing premium about this product at all.

Another complained the morsels melted slower than authentic white chocolate “it just ended up as one big clump.”

“I wish the label included the word ‘imitation’ or ‘chocolate flavored’ like the fake semisweet morsels do,” another wrote. “Then wouldn’t have expected it to melt like white chocolate. [I] threw it out after trying to melt it for peppermint bark. added whipping cream in an attempt to save the dry crumbles and it turned to creamy rubber. Not spreadable.”

In a statement to Newsweek, a Nestlé spokesperson called the suit “baseless.”

“The label on our Toll House Premier White Morsels accurately describes the product, complies with FDA regulations, and provides consumers with all of the information necessary to help them make an informed purchasing decision.”

Technically, white chocolate isn’t really chocolate, as it contain cocoa powder—it’s made by separating out the dark solids from the cocoa bean, leaving behind the fatty cocoa butter, which is mixed with sugar and milk solids. (People who are allergic to chocolate can often eat white chocolate without experiencing any distress.) FDA regulations require products advertised as white chocolate contain at minimum 20 percent cocoa butter.

It’s high season for chocolate company lawsuits: In July, a Virginia man sued Godiva Chocolatier for $74,000 after he purchased a box of its chocolates and discovered they were made in Reading, Pennsylvania, and not Belgium.

Godiva argued “Belgian chocolate” is an element of its branding, not a statement of the product’s origin.

Source: NewsWeek

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