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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Aug. 30 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Aug. 30 2019

Each week we collect the top stories and latest news in food trends and production, making it easy for you to stay current on science and innovation.

What’s the deal with clean label

As the health conscious craze continues to surge in popularity among consumers, the demand for clear labelling and nutritious, buzz-worthy ingredients becomes ever more important. With clean label transitioning from trend to must-have, Steve Taormina, business unit manager for NSF International’s Consumer Values Verified Program, discusses how to get a better understanding of this latest movement. He looks at the definition of clean label, why it’s trending and whether consumers are health savvy. Read more at New Food Magazine

Cargill makes a bigger investment in Puris, a key supplier to Beyond Meat

Cargill Inc. wants in on plant-based meats in a bigger way. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness is investing an additional $75 million in Puris, the nation’s largest supplier of pea protein, a key ingredient in well-known products like the Beyond Burger. Minneapolis-based Puris will use the funds to add capacity to its existing 200,000-square-foot processing plant in Dawson, Minn., doubling the company’s pea production by late 2020. It is a critical step for Puris as it tries to remain ahead of booming demand for its pea-protein, starches and fibers. Read more at Star Tribune

Reducing sugar: Blending natural sweeteners for optimized performance

Everyone loves sugar. Its flavor and performance are responsible for the eating experience we’ve come to expect from baked goods, confections and beverages. Excessive sugar consumption, however, has plagued our society with health problems such as obesity and metabolic disease, and this is what is motivating consumers today to drastically cut their intake of sugar. The challenge now for suppliers and manufacturers is to devise products which give consumers what they want in terms of sugar reduction as well as flavor, all while using alternative ingredients. Their hope is that consumers will begin to recognize products like stevia and choose them because they like the taste. Read more at Nutritional Outlook

Bringing more fiber options to the beverage category

There is a lot of ambiguity in the term “fiber” despite recent regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That is because not all fibers provide the same functions. This confusion is not unique to fiber. The same may be said of proteins, probiotics and a host of other ingredients often declared generically on product labels in order to reap the benefits of the healthful halo associated with specific forms and varieties. The types of fiber ingredients available to beverage formulators continue to grow as scientists learn more about their functions and how they behave in the body. A growing number of marketers are further differentiating fiber ingredients by including the descriptor “prebiotic.” Read more at Food Business News

A natural sweetener with a tenth of sugar’s calories, allulose could be a ‘breakthrough ingredient’

People looking to cut back on sugar may soon start seeing more of a novel ingredient: allulose, a substitute that tastes and performs much like the real thing but with a tenth of the calories and none of the cavity-causing, insulin-spiking drawbacks. Allulose, considered a “rare sugar,” in April got the blessing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to not be counted as sugar in nutrition labels because it does not produce the same physical effects. Since then, its primary manufacturer has seen a surge of interest from food companies seeking to cater to the large and growing contingent of consumers concerned that added sugar plays a leading role in obesity and disease. Read more at Valdosta Times

As the Amazon burns, experts urge plant-based diets

Wildfires continue to rage in the Amazon. Reuters reports that there have been 72,843 fires detected by Brazil’s space research center INPE so far this year, which is an 83 percent increase over the same period of 2018, and is the highest number since 2010. Ecovia Intelligence, a specialist research, consulting and training firm that focuses on global ethical product industries, is weighing in on changes consumers can make to help save the Amazon in the long-term, saying that some of the solutions are with sustainable foods. Read more at Whole Foods Magazine

Ready to try the Nordic Diet? Nutritionists suggest one important tweak

For those on the Mediterranean diet who are looking for a few new dishes or want to try something a bit different altogether, look north—way north—to Scandinavia and its Nordic diet. The Mediterranean and Nordic diets are based on adopting a healthy lifestyle rather than following a restrictive diet ‘plan’ and revolve around seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced foods of their respective regions. But one problem is the diet recommends canola oil, which thrives in cooler climates. But nutritionists suggest switching to olive oil for raw and cooking purposes to boost the diet’s health benefits. Read more at Olive Oil Times

Finger-lickin good wheat protein: KFC partners with Beyond Meat

It's finger lickin' fake chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken plans to test plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings at one of its restaurants in Atlanta. Depending on customer feedback, the chain could expand the test to other markets. California-based startup Beyond Meat said it developed the new product specifically for KFC. It's made with wheat protein coated in a proprietary breading. Read more at Star Tribune