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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Dec. 20 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Dec. 20 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.

Prebiotics: Emerging category shows diversity, promise

Prebiotic supplement sales have doubled every year since 2016, with prebiotic and synbiotic (prebiotic/probiotic combination) supplements projected to surpass $1 billion in sales by 2020. Bars, beverages, yogurts and other products are also incorporating prebiotics. Many ingredients offer prebiotic activity, including some fibers, bacteriophages, polyphenols, resistant starches and various oligosaccharides. Research has established the potential of prebiotics in digestive health, but many additional areas are being studied, such as immune support, weight management, mood and skin health. Read more at Natural Products INSIDER

Cargill donations support California foodbank’s hunger relief efforts

To help support California food bank’s efforts to meet demand for protein during a difficult fire season, Cargill donated nearly 50,000 pounds of beef to local families in California. Cargill worked with its partner MEANS Database, a nonprofit that helps direct food in 49 states to local emergency feeding services, to connect with Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, Calif. and Feeding America Riverside, San Bernardino Food Bank in Riverside, Calif. to coordinate the donation. The donated product was recently received by the foodbanks and was distributed throughout the communities served by the foodbanks and where Cargill is proud to have a local presence. Read more at Pork Business

Stevia’s sweet trajectory

A key word summing up the past decade of steviol glycoside sweeteners is expansion. Rebaudioside A once was the main steviol glycoside found in foods and beverages, but other steviol glycosides, most recently Rebaudioside M, have grown in use to improve taste and expand use in product categories. Steviol glycosides still are extracted from the stevia leaf, just like a decade ago, but thanks to novel processing techniques steviol glycosides now may involve materials like sugarcane syrup yeast and baker’s yeast to increase supply of sought-after Reb M and Reb D. Regulatory approval has come in several international markets, too, expanding geographic reach. Read more at Food Business News

Cargill and Renmatix agree to joint development of clean label food ingredients

Cargill and Renmatix have signed a joint development agreement to explore a novel approach to making functional food ingredients from unused plant materials. The two companies will use Renmatix’s Plantrose Process, a proprietary, water-based technology, and Cargill’s preferred feedstocks to make highly functional food ingredients. “Renmatix’s Plantrose Process, which uses only water, heat and pressure, supports our commitment to help customers deliver food and beverage products that are label-friendly, sustainable and cost-effective,” said Bruce McGoogan, Cargill strategy and business development leader. “The fact that this simple process can economically and efficiently deconstruct plant materials and convert them into functional food ingredients is a solution we’re excited to explore in order to help us feed the world.” Read more at Nutritional Outlook

5 food trends in 2020: Consumers will be more adventurous, mindful next year

In 2020, consumer food choices may change as they gravitate toward the new choices being offered at restaurants and in supermarkets. These new food trends run the gamut from plant-based options to the more obscure, but they all are geared toward being healthy – a trend that many Americans strive for as the New Year approaches. The top food trends that are expected to rear their head next year include plant-based meats, sustainable foods and healthy brain food. Read more at International Business Times

Can mission-driven food companies scale up without selling out?

As a generation of food-company founders retires, they don’t want to sell out. In recent years, a steady stream of small organic companies has been acquired by multinational conglomerates. Coca Cola bought Honest Tea for more than $43 million. Campbell’s Soup acquired Plum Organics for $250 million. Hormel Foods bought Applegate Farms for $775 million. When just 10 companies—including Nestlé, Unilever and General Mills—control the vast majority of food brands, it raises serious questions about the ability of mission-driven companies to hold on to their original intentions. Read more at CivilEats

Clean label is the future of sports nutrition, but what does that mean?

Clean label is an ethos, a consumer demand for transparency, sustainability and responsibility, and sports nutrition currently suffers from a negative perception when it comes to these demands, according to research firm Mintel. Its data shows that 48% of UK consumers who haven’t used sports nutrition are very skeptical about the products’ benefits and 69% of U.S. consumers agree that they contain too many artificial ingredients. A Mintel analyst suggests a revamp is needed to create a more “clean label” image for the category. Read more at Nutraingredients