Barry Callebaut debuts Cacaofruit Experience range of products

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Barry Callebaut has unveiled a new range of products that makes use of the entire cacao fruit, including its beans, peel as well as its fruity pulp and juice.

Called Cacaofruit Experience, the ingredients can be used in applications such as juices, smoothies, frozen desserts, bakery and pastry products, and snacks all the way to chocolate.

Barry Callebaut said the line responds to consumer demands for food and drinks that are both tasty and nutritious as well as good for the planet.

According to the Swiss chocolatier, Cacaofruit Experience products have a fresh and fruity taste and are rich in nutrients such as fibres, protein and magnesium. At the same time, they are said to be good for the planet because the entire cacao fruit is used.

SnackFutures, the innovation and venture hub of Mondel?z International, is the first company to introduce Cacaofruit Experience in a product under its new CaPao brand. CaPao is piloting two cacao fruit snack products – Smoothie Ball and cacao fruit Jerky Strips – with select retailers in Los Angeles, California.

Cacaofruit Experience is also hitting the chef and artisan market as a new type of chocolate: WholeFruit chocolate, a fresh, fruity chocolate made from 100% pure cacao fruit. As of May 2020, WholeFruit chocolate will be available in two variants: the punchy WholeFruit Bold and the smooth WholeFruit Velvety.

“Innovation is one of the pillars of our growth strategy,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut. “Our unparalleled knowledge has enabled us to break new ground, unleashing the full power of the cacao fruit, which the Mayans cherished as ‘food of the gods’.

“Today, we have again unveiled a world first with Cacaofruit Experience. We are looking forward to starting a new journey with our customers and discovering the completely new range of applications that Cacaofruit Experience and WholeFruit chocolate will make possible.”

Pablo Perversi, Barry Callebaut’s chief innovation, sustainability and quality officer, said: “Our goal in R&D is to develop innovations that are on trend, satisfy unmet consumer needs and also taste great. WholeFruit chocolate scores on all three points.

“It will respond to the need of millennials and centennials for ‘healthy indulgence’ just like our Ruby chocolate, launched in 2017, meets the need for ‘hedonistic indulgence’. Moreover, by using more of the cacaofruit and wasting less, we are also having a positive impact on the planet and its people.”



First bread with Tritordeum

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Belgium bakery De Trog has created the first bread with the new cereal tritordeum, born from the combination of durum wheat (Triticum durum) and wild barley (Hordeum chilense).

The new bread is described as a loaf with tritordeum flour milled on stone, liquid sourdough and malted tritordeum grain mixed into the dough. This not only gives a bit of bite but above all a very pleasant malt touch on the crumb and an extremely aromatic crust, the bakery describes.

Tritordeum differs from ordinary wheat in that it contains more digestible gluten and gives the bread a very specific taste and crumb color. Moreover, it contains more fibers, unsaturated fatty acids, and protein, the bakers explain.

The development of Tritordeum started in the late 70s, by a group of researchers from the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (IAS) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Córdoba. Its name is a combination of the name of its parent seeds in Latin: Triticum durum (Durum wheat) and Hordeum chilense (Wild barley).

After 30 years of research, Agrasys launched Tritordeum on the market in April 2013. Tritordeum has been developed by the traditional breeding technique of hybridization, which is why it does not fall into the genetically modified organism (GMO) category.

In terms of bread making, bakers usually compare it with standard wheat, the cereal of reference and most widely cultivated worldwide. However, Tritordeum is not a new wheat variety, but a new crop with its own rheological, nutritional and organoleptic properties, according to the producer.

Source: World Bakers


First line of defense: Innovations in food safety and preservation

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Vigilance in the food sector is a requisite in the prevention of foodborne illnesses along broad supply chains. This year, industry has welcomed the entry of innovative solutions that aid manufacturers in curbing the spread of pathogens such as Salmonella, E. Coli and Listeria, while extending the shelf life of products. In this space, clean label additives are offering antibacterial solutions that prevent contamination without affecting the organoleptic properties of food. FoodIngredientsFirst speaks to specialists at the forefront of food safety.

Food safety ostensibly remains at the top of the priority list among consumers. In a recent study centered on Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (APMEA), Ireland-headquartered Kerry found that food safety holds greater significance than health and environmental claims for consumers within the region.

In the US, the Food and Drug Association (FDA) highlights that a number of multistate foodborne disease outbreak investigations are currently open at the moment, including Salmonella and E. Coli contamination along supply chains. While most foodborne illnesses are not part of a recognized epidemic, outbreaks can provide important information about the agents (germs, toxins and chemicals) that cause illness as well as the foods that are responsible and the settings that lead to transmission.

Earlier this year, the FDA also announced a new era of smarter food safety that will address several areas, including traceability, digital technologies and evolving food business models. This includes the GenomeTrakr Network, a new tool to facilitate foodborne outbreak investigations. While the agency has now launched a new Food Safety Dashboard as part of the FDA-TRACK, which is one tool the FDA uses to monitor certain programs through key performance measures and projects, and regularly updates to ensure food safety transparency to the public.

Handwashing – along with other preventative steps like separating raw meat and chilling perishable foods correctly – will be increasingly important as antibiotic resistance becomes a more pressing concern. Salmonella and Campylobacter alone make over 400,000 Americans sick with antibiotic-resistant infections every year.

“Antibiotic resistance continues to be a global health issue, threatening our progress in healthcare and food production. Aggressive action is needed now to keep new resistance from developing and to prevent existing resistance from spreading,” says Brian Katzowitz, Health Communication Specialist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Antibiotics are valuable tools for treating infections, but any antibiotic use – whether for people, animals, or crops – can lead to resistance. Humans can get sick from antibiotic-resistant bacteria or become colonized, which means that they carry the germs. This could occur when eating food that contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria and is not handled or cooked properly, or by coming into contact with animals carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” he explains.

People with weakened immune systems, in particular, are more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die, should they get a foodborne illness. To avoid this, these groups must be especially careful when choosing, handling, preparing and consuming food, notes Katzowitz. “This includes people with diabetes; liver or kidney disease; HIV/AIDS; autoimmune diseases; organ transplants; people receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy; adults age 65 and older; children younger than 5 years; and pregnant women.”

Another factor affecting the prevalence of foodborne illnesses is germ type. “Children under the age of five have higher rates of Salmonella infection than any other age group. Meanwhile, Listeria infection primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. It’s rare for people in other groups to get sick with Listeria infection. For E. coli, very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill,” he adds.

CDC is quickly expanding the use of whole genome sequencing in state laboratories, and scientists will soon begin using whole genome sequencing for outbreak investigations of other foodborne pathogens, such as Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing E. Coli (STEC) and Salmonella.

“A recent technological advancement is changing the way we detect and respond to foodborne disease outbreaks,” says Katzowitz. “The PulseNet laboratory network has recently transitioned from using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, a DNA fingerprinting technology used for the last 25 years. Now it is using a technology called whole genome sequencing to detect and help solve outbreaks. Because of this, we are likely to detect more outbreaks and solve them faster thanks to the capability to more precisely define outbreaks across the reported illnesses.”

Green solutions promoting food safety and preservation

Within the space of food safety and preservation, Kemin Industries, a US-headquartered global nutritional ingredient company, offers a Buffered Vinegar food safety solution. The clean label solution offers a balanced flavor profile and is marketed as an alternative to chemical preservatives. The product protects processed meat, poultry and fish products, as well as deli salads from the growth of spoilage bacteria, while extending the shelf life of those products. Buffered Vinegar specifically targets foodborne pathogens such as Listeria, Salmonella and E. Coli.

“Kemin’s Buffered Vinegar ingredient for food preservation has no negative effect on meat quality. This includes parameters such as water holding capacity, protein denaturation, color and flavor. This product line is available in both liquid and dry forms, making it easy to add to brines, marinades, spice blends or direct application to meat. Kemin also offers an organic buffered vinegar solution that can be added to organic food products,” says Kelly De Vadder, Marketing Manager of Food Technologies (EMEA) at Kemin.

“Traditionally, manufacturers have used lactate-diacetate blends to reduce the risk for spoilage bacteria and safeguard food safety. However, based on the organic acid mode of action, there are other more effective options,” she further highlights. “Organic acids and their salts are considered inhibitory agents. The undissociated form penetrates the bacteria cell wall and disrupts the normal physiology. The more undissociated acid penetrates, the more disruption. The greater the disruption, the more inhibition.”

The effectiveness of organic acid effectiveness is determined by the pKa (an indicator of the strength of an acid), explains De Vadder. Organic acids with a higher pKa are more effective at entering the cell and thus less Buffered Vinegar is needed to have the same impact on bacteria.

Under the Phageguard brand, Netherlands-based phage- and endolysin technology development company Micreos has developed FDA-approved food safety products against Salmonella and Listeria.

PhageGuard contributes to safer food production by using phages. As the natural enemy of bacteria, phages specifically kill pathogens, while leaving good bacteria intact, explains Dirk de Meester, Director of Business

Development at Micreos. “They are green, smart and easy to apply on food via spraying, misting or dipping. Phages can also be used directly on food contact surfaces or in the processing environment. The PhageGuard advantage further is precision. It is targeted to eliminate pathogens in food products, without affecting taste, odor or texture. The PhageGuard products are effective in killing either target Listeria, Salmonella or E.Coli O-157.”

A key component of food safety is monitoring. UK food waste startup Fresh Check is offering a simple, fast and low-cost method of performing crucial hygiene testing with color-change spray to warn users about bacterial, chemical or organic contamination. The company’s color-change spray is pegged as a new tool for the food industry to ensure hygiene that is more affordable, simpler and faster than existing methods.

“Ensuring hygienic conditions is critical for all aspects of the food industry, with bad hygiene damaging public health and company reputation. However, there is only one viable method for on-the-spot confirmation of hygiene in food facilities,” explains Alex Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of Fresh Check.

Food safety will remain high on the industry priority list for years to come. As consumers are increasingly turning an eye towards clean label products, a sustained trend is expected in natural antibacterial solutions that operate effectively, without compromising the indulgent properties of food-grade products.



Cargill introduces innovative sugar reduced chocolate capabilities to customers

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$5 million investment in Belgian Mouscron site to meet market demand for sugar reduced chocolate  

Cargill has invested $5 million in its site in Mouscron (Belgium) to enhance its capabilities for producing chocolate with lower sugar levels. The investment allows for the introduction of a range of bespoke and innovative sugar reduced chocolate recipes to meet the increased consumer demand for sugar reduced chocolate products.

The demand for chocolate is growing by approximately two per cent per year¹. A vast majority of consumers view chocolate as an indulgence, a delightful product that they can enjoy in the moment. A growing group of consumers is on the look-out for chocolate that tastes just as delicious but also contains less sugar. Cargill’s 2019 study² on global food and beverage trends shows that sugar is the number one avoided ingredient in food products and that 54 per cent consumers are willing to pay more for chocolate with no or reduced sugar. According to EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) market data³, the market demand for sugar reduced confectionery products is growing more than twice (9 per cent) as fast as the general chocolate confectionery market (4 per cent).

“As more consumers look for reduced sugar chocolate products, our customers are looking for new chocolate recipes that combine an indulgent sensory experience with lower sugar levels,” says Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe. “Cargill is able to deliver on that ask thanks to our unique R&D approach. Leveraging a deep chocolate and broad food ingredients expertise, Cargill created a unique sugar reduced chocolate recipe capability using an optimized blend of sugar replacers, while still managing to get all the other elements like taste and texture right. Our new, bespoke sugar reduced chocolate capabilities can produce a creamy, rich, indulgent chocolate taste with just the right level of sweetness.”

The investment of $5 million into Cargill’s state-of-the-art chocolate factory in Mouscron includes the option to use a wide range of sugar replacers and the necessary dosing systems to allow Cargill to reduce sugar levels gradually, or up to 30% or higher. This result provides customers the ability to claim sugar reduction on the packaging of consumer products. It is also the latest in a long line of Belgian chocolate investments, focused on responding to and anticipating the demands of the industrial and gourmet segments.

Most recently, Cargill acquired Smet, a leading Belgian-based supplier specialized in chocolate and sweets decorations. With the acquisition, Cargill was able to broaden its product portfolio and services to gourmet customers such as artisans and chocolatiers, bakery, hospitality businesses and food service industries.

Belgium has been a focal point of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business for many years and Cargill’s 330 chocolate employees in Belgium are committed to the continued growth of its chocolate business, in the country and worldwide.

¹ Euromonitor 2019, mixed category
²  Cargill’s Proprietary Perspective on Global Food & Beverage Trends 2019
³  Euromonitor 2018



IBIE Committee Vice Chair Interview: Sustainability Isn’t a Trend, It’s the Future!

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As the show’s international participation continues to grow, the Baking Expo will cover over 1 million sq. ft., space that will host the new, the innovative, the inspirational, and the latest in all areas of baking.

There are many new and exciting features in store, from new show floor areas dedicated to the artisan bread industry to virtual reality tours, competitions, demonstrations, including the Innovation Showcase, and the Fresh Take Talks. Dennis Gunnell (pictured), IBIE Committee vice chair, and president of Formost Fuji Corp., has offered European Baker & Biscuit a comprehensive look behind the scene ahead of the show in September.

How has the international interest expanded over the past years and how will it be reflected at IBIE in September? 

Our show continues to grow year-over-year, thanks in part to international participation on both sides of the aisle. Just over 25% of our exhibitors come from outside the U.S., with the majority coming from Canada and Europe – and strong growth coming from Asia. Our show is expected to sell out for the second time in a row, despite opening up additional space. International participants, whether they are an attendee or exhibitor, see great value in our show – as evidenced by our growth.

What international trends represent opportunities on the US market and we can expect to find at the fair?

As an international show, IBIE provides bakers with a comprehensive offering as many markets – including the U.S. – are trending toward more diversified, multi-cultural products. Likewise, many international markets that were once very fragmented are beginning to industrialize and look to the U.S. for information and resources to scale their operations and/or break into the wholesale market.


What are the main trends influencing industrial baking, from your observations? 

  • Some of the trends and challenges include the workforce gap, clean labeling and new sugar regulations. Bakers are under a lot of pressure for new product innovation to address the demand for BFY (Better-For-You) products.
  • Digitization is also top of mind, applications including digital diagnostics, maintenance, scheduling, and performance and analytics tracking as well as tools that allow for remote access, automating processes.
  • Scaled artisan baking is becoming a new profit center for commercial bakers as they are able to introduce efficiencies and processes.
  • As states legalize marijuana here in the S., bakers are able to capitalize on a new market and demand.
  • Bakers are also tapping into the e-commerce trend—building (or collaborating on) direct-to-consumer efforts.


IBIE 2019 offers two new Artisan Marketplaces, Crafted by Puratos and the Bread Bakers Guild of America. What do these interactive features entail and why are they introduced?

As consumer demand increases for artisan breads, bakers are looking to capitalize on the trend and IBIE provides the resources to help them. The IBIE Artisan Marketplace Crafted by Puratos will give artisan bakers a comprehensive destination to celebrate the history and art of specialty baked goods. Within the Marketplace, Puratos will feature The Sourdough Experience, which includes hands-on demonstrations and workshops, as well as a virtual tour of, and actual samples from, their Sourdough Library in Belgium, the only library of its kind in the world. Puratos will also feature their MyBreaD program, offering attendees the opportunity to select their own ingredients for creating a personalized loaf of artisan bread that can be picked up in the Marketplace the following day. Additionally, a presentation theater in the space will feature intimate, face-to-face discussions with featured bakers, digital presentations and videos for learning, networking and informal meetings. The European-influenced setting and sidewalk café seating will create a truly immersive atmosphere on the show floor.

In the IBIE Artisan Marketplace Crafted by Bread Bakers Guild of America, attendees will find a uniquely designed environment inspired by the California Wine Country. The Marketplace will focus on engaging bakers through live demonstrations with a full lineup of expert-led content running daily throughout the duration of the expo.


How do you envision sustainable baking in the future, at any production capacity?

Sustainability isn’t a trend – it’s the future. Consumers are gravitating to companies and manufacturers who support corporate responsibility and regulators are putting more restrictions in place. While some bakers may find sustainable initiatives cost-prohibitive, many actually provide a significant cost savings. In fact, we have an IBIEducate session presented by ABA, that we encourage bakers to participate in: Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Savings Opportunities for Baking.


What workforce trends can be observed and how are gaps addressed?

It’s a complicated challenge and it’s been addressed in a multitude of ways. On the one side, there have been technology advancements and automation that help reduce the gap within bakeries. On the other side, IBIE also provides education to help bakeries acquire, train and retain employees. The supporting associations are also very involved with educational institutions to ensure there’s a pipeline of qualified bakery professionals entering the workforce.

Please share details about the BEST in Baking Program, including organization, eligibility criteria, updates regarding nominees and winner announcements.

The BEST in Baking industry awards program provides our baking community the opportunity to celebrate and showcase leaders in the industry, working to bring category excellence and thought leadership to important industry defining topics. This program honors suppliers and bakers committed to excellence from sustainability and supply chain innovation to workforce development.

The program is organized in partnership with Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery and entrants are evaluated by a panel of judges. Winners will be announced on August 12th, 2019 and awarded at IBIE in September.

What is the involvement of American Bakers Association (ABA), the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) and Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA) in organizing IBIE?

IBIE is produced by the American Bakers Association (ABA), the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) and Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA). The associations represent the interests of the key stakeholders at our event and are behind the vision and planning of IBIE. All proceeds from IBIE are invested back into the industry through the associations, including education, advocacy and consumer awareness programs.



Elevate desserts with chocolate

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A convenient way to add glamourous appeal to your sweet treats involves chocolate decorations. Dobla’s Decorating Kits are an easy and affordable way to beautifully decorate cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. The kits provide an efficient way to manage inventory and reduce SKU counts. Planning for production is a breeze, as each kit is designed with just enough delicious chocolate to make a select number of items. Set-up for new items is significantly reduced as each kit is an individual SKU, eliminating the need to set up all of the individual products contained within the box.

Each Dobla Decorating Kit includes printed chocolate decoration pieces and chocolate curls. Easy step-by-step instructions are included to show how to create each product with beautifully consistent results. Dobla Decorating Kits are available in an incredible variety of seasonal and special occasion formats.

Available from BakeMark, Sprinkelina adds a colorful, shimmery flair to your creations. Available in a variety of sprinkles, pearls, glazes, and piping gels, Sprinkelina is the perfect complement to your creativity.

Mix multiple colors of Sprinkelina Sprinkles to create your choice of Halloween sprinkle mix.

Seaman at Barry Callebaut, which recently introduced the new Ruby, suggests that bakers can incorporate Ruby in fun and interesting ways for fall sweets, including cakes, cookies and donuts. Barry Callebaut’s Ruby has a new and unique sensory profile, combining berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. This is unlocked from pure cocoa beans that are specially chosen for their ruby properties, without adding berry flavors or colors.

As part of its global launch, Ruby is now hitting the world’s largest chocolate market in North America. Following successful rollouts in Asia, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand, the one-of-a-kind product is formally launching in the United States and Canada.

“With Ruby being such a new innovation on the chocolate scene, bakers can best capitalize on its unique color and flavor profile by showcasing it in its purest forms such as Ruby bark,” he says. “Ruby pairs well with maple and with a range of nuts including macadamias; dip white chocolate macadamia nut cookies in tempered Ruby for a pop of color and unexpected fruity punch to the cookie.”

Source: Bake Mag


Food grade multilayer film obtained from chemical recycling

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A pilot project – between BASF, Borealis, Südpack and Zott – has led to the creation of a multilayer food packaging protopy made of polyamide and chemically recycled polyethylene.

Multilayer films offer excellent barrier properties in terms of protection and preservation of food products, as well as their overall efficiency in environmental terms; however, they can only be recycled to a limited extent, since mechanical recycling processes are not suitable for composite materials.

To overcome this impasse, BASF has been working for some time on the ChemCycling process, with which it intends to promote the chemical recycling of plastic waste, in order to process and reuse mixed plastic materials.

The alternative. The flexible packaging produced specifically for a cheese product – the “Zottarella” – made by Zott Gourmet Dairy, thus testifies to the feasibility of the undertaking; the German manufacturer in fact played an active part in the pilot project together with BASF (which supplied the chemically recycled polyamide), Borealis (that provided the sustainable polyethylene) and Südpack (which converted the multilayer film and created the pouch).

The peculiarity of this pilot project is that both packaging components – polyamide and polyethylene – are made from chemically recycled material, thanks to the selection of special polymers. Moreover, the collaboration between the companies involved has enabled the constant certification of all phases, from the raw material to the finished packaging, which also responds to all the required functionalities, first of all the barrier properties and weldability.

The raw materials for polyamide and polyethylene were produced in very small quantities within the ChemCycling project. The pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste was supplied by a partner and fed into BASF’s Verbund production site in Ludwigshafen as a raw material. According to the certified mass balance method, both plastics have an allocated 100% share of recycled materials.



KSU, Bühler offers course geared toward milling execs

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Mill owners, managers and directors without practical background experience are invited to attend the Bühler—KSU Executive Milling course at Kansas State University’s IGP Institute. The course is scheduled for Nov. 4-8 and is designed to give participants knowledge and experience to bring back to their respective companies.

“Participants are exposed to several topics involving milling processing and procedures,” said Jason Watt, Bühler instructor of milling.

This includes subjects such as raw material varieties and characteristics, cleaning systems, flow sheet technology, and finished product handling.

Past participant Mark Harrison, engineering manager at SEPROD Limited in Kingston, Jamaica, believes the training gave him a better understanding of the processes.

“Being able to understand the importance of particle size, different components and where they are in the process gives me a better understanding of the milling process,” Harrison said.  “It’s better to have an overall knowledge of the process to understand how the mill can become more profitable.”

The objective of the course is to understand the underlying principle of the milling process and the parameters that can be influenced by either the raw material or the milling system; understanding the challenges of the operating staff; and learning which critical control points to check in order to judge whether an operation is running well.

Participants also will gain hands-on experiences using Bühler equipment in the Hal Ross Flour Mill.

“Hands-on activities help them apply their classroom learning,” Watt said. “By working with the equipment, it helps them retain their knowledge.”

To register for the course or for more information, click here.

Source: World Grain


Researchers recommend wheat flour fortification

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Vitamin D

Adding vitamin D to wheat flour would prevent 10 million new cases of vitamin D deficiency in England and Wales over the next 90 years, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.

The researchers say overhauling existing public health policy to introduce the mandatory fortification of vitamin D in wheat flour would not only be cost saving but would significantly reduce the burden on the NHS by preventing 25% of the estimated 40 million new cases of vitamin D deficiency over the coming 90 years.

Furthermore, offering free vitamin D supplements to targeted groups of the population – including children, the elderly and Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) risk groups – would prevent an additional 8% of new cases of vitamin D deficiency over the next 90 years. Therefore, the combination of wheat flour fortification and targeted supplementation would in total prevent 33% (13.2 million) of cases of vitamin D deficiency, the researchers concluded.

They concluded that fortifying flour with vitamin D alone would save the public purse £65 million by reducing demand for healthcare and treatment for vitamin D deficiency and its complications. Meanwhile, they projected that adding vitamin D to flour would cost just 12 pence per person per year.

The research, published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was funded and led by the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research and Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research.

Vitamin D is essential for skeletal growth and bone health, and deficiency can lead to rickets, soft bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness. Previous research led by the University of Birmingham has shown that, in extreme cases, vitamin D deficiency in babies and children can cause seizures or heart failure as a result of a lack of calcium.

Dietary sources of vitamin D are limited. The main natural source is through exposure of skin to sunlight. However, sun screen use, air pollution, indoors lifestyles, and wearing full body clothing can all reduce exposure to sunlight and lead to vitamin D deficiency. Dark skin produces far less vitamin D than white skin, and from October to April in the UK there is insufficient ambient ultraviolet sunlight to produce healthy levels of vitamin D in all ethnicities.

Those particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency are older adults, and those of BAME origin. However, vitamin D deficiency is common in many populations across the world, regardless of ethnicity.

Most countries have adopted policies to increase their population’s intake of vitamin D. In the UK, multivitamin supplements containing vitamin D are recommended to all children aged up to four, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and are provided free-of-charge to those in low-income households. In addition, infant formulas and spreadable fats are fortified with vitamin D. Other foods, including breakfast cereals and milk substitutes, are commonly fortified.

In the UK, the average daily vitamin D intake is below the Reference Nutritional Intake of 400 IU per day, and 20% of adults and 16% of children aged between 11 and 18 years are estimated to be deficient in Vitamin D.

Dr Magda Aguiar, who carried out the research at the University of Birmingham, said: “While both supplements and fortified foods are important sources of vitamin D for the UK population, evidence suggests current UK supplementation polices are not working.”

“Addressing vitamin D deficiency in the UK requires a multi-disciplinary approach and preventing conditions that are the consequence of deficiency would save the NHS money to the extent that it would more than compensate for the money needed to implement flour fortification at a national level.”

Dr Aguiar, now at the University of British Columbia, added: “We now hope that UK policy makers will consider a new national policy to fortify foods such as wheat flour with vitamin D to address this serious health issue. This will lead to significant benefits for the population, particularly the most vulnerable groups.”

She said that a similar national food fortification policy in Finland has reduced vitamin D deficiency from 13% to 0.6% in the population.

Meanwhile, the Birmingham researchers’ latest analysis showed that the optimal way to prevent vitamin D deficiency would be to combine flour fortification with offering vitamin D supplements to key groups.

They proposed a new UK strategy to add 400IU of vitamin D per 100g of flour, while also offering free vitamin D supplements at a dose of 400IU for children aged up to 18, as well as doses of 800IU for all those aged over 65. This, they estimated, would cost £250 million over 90 years – equivalent to 38p per person.

Professor Emma Frew, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research who is partly supported by the National Institute for Health Research, said: “We have provided compelling evidence that a new strategy is not only safe but would also improve vitamin D intake, which in turn would enhance the health of millions in England and Wales.”

“Most previous research into strategies to improve population vitamin D intake have focused only on supplementation programmes, which are generally expensive and not sustainable in the long term.”

“Our study showed that, even though supplements are still a viable option for those at a higher risk, food fortification strategies should be prioritized as a response to the rising prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, as it is a safe and cost-saving option.”

The study is said to be the first to provide evidence on the health and economic impact of preventing vitamin D deficiency as well as being the first to compare a supplementation programme with flour fortification.



Bühler revolutionizes industrial milling with Mill E3

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It is a completely new approach to the plant, processes, and machinery of industrial mills. With Mill E3, Bühler revolutionizes the milling industry and sets new standards in cost-effective building investment, project realisation time, and energy consumption. “After the introduction of automation 40 years ago, Mill E3 is the next big step forward in milling,” says Johannes Wick, CEO of Grains & Food at Bühler Group. The first customer to rely on Mill E3 is also testing a pilot of Bühler blockchain technology to trace grain for more transparency and food safety.

For decades industrial milling concepts have focused on optimizing machines and processes, but the basic design concept remained the same, based on buildings with a minimum of five to six floors. With the completely new approach of the Mill E3, Bühler now optimizes the entire arrangement and construction concept. At the Networking Days 2019, Bühler shows that it is possible to build flour mills with latest technology more cost-effectively, install them quicker, and operate them with less impact on the environment.

Shorter installation time, faster commissioning, smaller building

Mill E3 stands for advantages on three efficiency levels: space, time, and energy. In the optimal case a Mill E3 building can be 30% smaller in volume than a traditional mill of the same size. The construction of the Mill E3 building not only locks up less capital, it is also completed more quickly. By using pre-assembled modules, Mill E3 is installed 30% faster than conventional flour mills. “It’s basically a plug-and-play mill,” says Stefan Birrer, Head of Business Area Milling Solutions. This means Bühler customers can set up their Mill E3s more quickly and start generating revenues faster. It significantly reduces infrastructure cost, construction time and complexity.

Up to ten percent less energy

With the same output, Mill E3 reduces energy consumption by up to 10%, without compromising yield or quality. This is down to the compact mill design and innovative process solutions such as the newly developed integrated grinding system Arrius. Arrius has an integrated drive, which saves up to 10% of energy compared to conventional roller mills. The TUBO Tubular Push Conveyor replaces specific pneumatic transport passages in order to save energy. TUBO is much more efficient and makes food production even safer. The product is transported gently, loses no weight due to drying out, and the conveyor system is more hygienic because the pipelines are self cleaning.

“Be it space, time, or energy: On all these levels, we were able to show that the plant will be better than anything other mill builders have on the market,” says Stefan Birrer. “The design, the new grinding system Arrius and the IoT and Blockchain applications are revolutionizing the milling industry once again,” adds Johannes Wick. Bühler customers can order Mill E3 now.

First customer uses Bühler blockchain pilot for food traceability

The UK’s largest milling company, Whitworths Holdings Ltd. incorporating Whitworth Bros. Ltd. and Carrs Flour Mills Limited, operates 17 mills on 9 sites. It is the first company to rely on Mill E3. “Besides the obvious mechanical benefits E3 offers, we were also convinced of the digitalization approach. Bühler is definitely on the forefront in this respect,” says Mike Peters, Managing Director of Whitworth Bros. Ltd. “For us, Mill E3 offers more than just a new technology approach. It will enable us to create complete transparency for our customers in the future,” he adds. Together with Mill E3, Bühler has proposed increasing transparency along the value chain by adding connectivity features, digital services, and blockchain to help guarantee the end product quality.

Connected to the Bühler Insights cloud

“With systems in place to trace the grain back to farms, Whitworth was in a good position to do a blockchain pilot project,” says Stefan Birrer. “What we have done is transform paper-based tracking into blockchain tracking.” Mike Peters explains the reason behind the idea to introduce blockchain as follows: “If we don’t embrace these new digital technologies and embed them within our business now, in the longer term that could be a bar to entry into certain markets as pressure comes from the end consumer and eventually from regulatory for increased transparency.” The new mill is due to be completed towards the end of 2020. After that the monitoring phase begins. “IoT and blockchain will give us the opportunity to push the bar for food safety, food security, and transparency through our supply chain,” says Mike Peters. Data from the fully connected mill will be monitored with Bühler Insights, Bühler’s secure cloud service powered by Microsoft Azure. For milling companies which want to monitor and benchmark various production sites, Bühler developed the digital service Yield Management System. It also makes deviations between different recipes visible and comparable, from anywhere at any time. Yield Management System is also connected to Bühler Insights.