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Period: December 15, 2018 to January 1, 2019
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Irish Food Ingredient Company Licenses Enzyme That Reduces Acrylamide

The chemical compound acrylamide, a cumulative neurotoxin formed in brewed coffee and in starchy foods heated to high temperatures, such as chips and French fries, is being targeted by governments with regulations limiting its use and adding warning labels on foods and beverages. In the meantime, Irish food ingredient  company Kerry has signed a licensing agreement with Renaissance BioScience Corp. to manufacture the company’s non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme, Acryleast. The enzyme reduces acrylamide by up to 90 percent across food and beverage products, including biscuits, crackers, French fries, crisps, coffee, and instant food. According to Kerry, it is a clean label solution that requires minimal changes to the manufacturing process and has no impact on taste, aroma, or texture.

"We anticipate great demand : Kerry and Renaissance BioSciences ink partnership on acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme", FoodNavigator.com, December 07, 2018

McDonald’s In The Vanguard Of Movement To Reduce Antibiotics In Beef

With a nudge from the Natural Resources Defense Council, McDonald's announced it has told its beef suppliers around the world to cut back on the use of antibiotics beginning in 2019. Implementation will begin with pilot projects in ten markets around the world, including in the U.S. McDonald’s is the first big burger chain to launch such a policy, though other fast food leaders – Chipotle, Panera, Subway – have either cut antibiotic use in their beef supplies or have committed to do so. A spokesman for the NRDC said: “Nobody in the world sells more burgers than McDonald's, and their actions can shape the future of the industry.” Forty-three percent of medically important antibiotics sold to the U.S. livestock industry go to the beef sector, compared to only six percent for chicken.

"McDonald’s Commits To Reducing Antibiotic Use In Its Global Beef Supply", Natural Resources Defense Council , December 11, 2018

Consumers Expect Colors – Artificial Or Not – In Their Foods

Colors are important to food companies because, apparently, they’re important to consumers. Though big food companies like McDonald’s and Kellogg have promised to get rid of artificial dyes, they continue to use – or have reinstated – colorings because consumers want them. General Mills, for example, eliminated artificial colors from Trix, it added them back in last year after consumers demanded a return to the “classic” look. The cheddar cheeses sold by Boar’s Head, Cabot, Kraft, and Tillamook contain annatto, a plant extract commonly used for color.  Because salmon buyers expect salmon to be pink, farmed salmon is often fed synthetic astaxanthin, a version of a naturally occurring compound. It makes economic sense: darker salmon commands an extra 50 cents to $1 per pound when offered next to lighter salmon.

"Artificial dyes fading, but food will still get color boosts", Associated Press, December 11, 2018

Carcinogenic Synthetic Flavors Ordered Removed From Food Products

The FDA has ordered the removal of six artificial flavors from food products because they cause cancer in animals at doses far higher than what a person would consume. The six flavoring substances include synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. The substances are being removed under the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The food industry has two years to comply, though the FDA believes the ingredients are safe in the trace amounts they are used. Neither the FDA nor the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association responded when asked for examples of products the six ingredients are used in. But they noted that the compounds have natural counterparts in foods like basil, coffee, grapes and peppermint, and that the action does not affect the naturally derived versions.

"Artificial flavors are mystery ingredients", Chicago Sun-Times, December 13, 2018

ShopRite’s Partnership With Perdue Produces Antibiotics-Free Fried Chicken

East Coast grocery chain’s partnership with Perdue Farms has led to the introduction of an eight-piece grab-and-go fried chicken item that promises “no antibiotics, ever” (NAE). The relationship with Perdue has also produced rotisserie chicken, roaster breast, and roaster leg quarters. The fried chicken is the company's newest style of NAE poultry that is hand-breaded, raised cage free and made fresh throughout the day. According to ShopRite, the products are priced at or below most conventional rotisserie and fried chicken offerings. ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in New Jersey and the largest supermarket cooperative in the U.S.

"ShopRite Introduces No-Antibiotics-Ever Fried Chicken", The Shelby Report, December 19, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Bottled Water Companies Continue To Struggle With A Major Packaging Challenge

Growing consumer criticism of the disposable plastic bottles that contain America’s most popular beverage – bottled water – not to mention stricter new government regulations and bans by public facilities have created a major problem for bottlers. They have yet to come up with a more enviro-friendly bottle, though they are searching for answers. PepsiCo says its acquisition of countertop water carbonator SodaStream will help it move “beyond the bottle.” Poland Spring-owner Nestlé is rolling out glass and aluminum packaging for some brands. Evian has pledged to make all its plastic bottles entirely from recycled plastic by 2025, up from 30 percent today. Parent company Danone SA hopes the move will help it regain market share and win over plastic detractors who are already pressuring the makers of straws, bags and coffee cups. Advanced recycling technologies wait in the wings, but no one knows whether they will work or be economically feasible.

"Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis", The Wall Street Journal , December 12, 2018

Products & Brands  

Swiss Coca-Cola Bottler Tests Technology That Draws CO2 From The Air

Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland has partnered with Climeworks, a pioneer in applying a technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from air. Coca-Cola will use the technology in bottles of the sparkling water Valser. Climeworks uses stacked shipping containers that pull air inside and through filters that capture CO2 like an ultra-powerful tree. Once a filter is full, the collector is heated, releasing the gas in a pure form that can be injected deep underground for storage. The company’s first partnership was with a nearby greenhouse that used the CO2 to help plants grow faster; the beverage industry was the natural next step. Drawing CO2 from the atmosphere is more expensive than getting it from other sources, but the developers believe that declining costs eventually will make the technology more economically feasible.

"This sparkling water is the first drink to get its fizz from CO2 captured from the atmosphere", Fast Company, December 14, 2018

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