Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - July 19 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - July 19 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.

WHO warns of two sugary baby foods

The World Health Organization (WHO) examined nearly 8,000 baby food products from more than 500 stores in Austria, Bulgaria, Israel and Hungary between November 2017 and January 2018. The agency noted that while foods that naturally contain sugars, such as fruits and vegetables, can be appropriate in young child diets, "the very high levels of sugars present in commercial products is a cause for concern." WHO called for the banning of added sugars and sweeteners in baby foods, and said labels on candies and sweetened beverages should state products are not suitable for children under three. Read more at Daily Nation

Deep Dive: Six mega trends shaping innovation in flavors and colors

Shifting consumer demand is shaping innovation in food flavors and colors. In this article, experts from research firm Mintel and color houses GNT, Mane and Sensient Flavors offer a rundown of six top trends delivering disruptive innovation. They include bold and exciting colors and flavors, natural ingredients, clean label ingredients and sustainable sourcing. Read more at Foodnavigator

Today’s diets are eating away at our future food supplies, but we can change this

Thousands of overlooked yet beneficial crop species are threatened unless we learn to conserve, farm and consume them, writes Juan Lucas Restrepo, director general of Bioversity International. More than 6,000 edible plant species exist, and yet fewer than 200 are used today to feed the world. Of these, only three crops – maize, wheat and rice – supply around 60 percent of humanity’s plant-based calories. And within these three crops, the genetic diversity arriving in our platters is also shrinking. This poor use of agricultural biodiversity, or “agrobiodiversity,” is bad for farming, as it makes harvests more vulnerable to bad weather as well as to pests and diseases. It is also bad for human health because less varied diets are less nutritious and are more prone to leave people less healthy. Read more at Euractive

U.S. organic food market sales have cooled, report finds

New research from Rabobank​ reports that retail organic food sales in the U.S. hit $47.9 billion last year. But, even though new sales records are expected "for the foreseeable future," growth in the space has moderated. While organic food sales increased by an average of 10 percent per year between 2010 and 2016, that pace has cooled to six percent for the past two years, according to the report. Still, assuming a five percent to six percent growth rate annually, sales could reach almost $60 billion by 2022. Read more at Fooddive

If you want to help the environment, cut your beef consumption in half, new report says

A new report is calling for a big shift in people's diets as a way to help the environment. The World Resources Institute released a report that proposed reducing beef consumption as one of the strategies to achieve a sustainable food future by 2050. According to the report’s lead author, Tim Searchinger, Americans consume a beef equivalent of three hamburgers per week. He says that they need to immediately cut that down to a hamburger and a half.  Read more at USA Today

Upping the mmm…what’s new in sauces and condiments

The demand for fun-and-fresh flavors is high: According to the Comax Trend Flavor Predictions 2018 report, consumers are looking for interesting, trendy and fringe flavors—mashups and hybrid flavors that add an element of surprise have gone from something to enjoy every-so-often to something people seek out on a regular basis. And of course, consumers increasingly want those flavors to come free of artificial ingredients. Product manufacturers and retailers discuss the shift toward exotic flavors and clean and healthy ingredients in sauces and condiments. Read more at Whole Foods Magazine

Raley’s takes shelf labeling to new heights

Retailer Raley’s has expanded its Shelf Guide transparency program to include 23 icons that can be printed on shelf tags to inform customers about everything from which diets an item is compliant with to whether it contains GMOs. The Shelf Guide is backed by science and nutrition experts, as well as real customer data to help shoppers determine which products fit into their diet restrictions and lifestyles. The retailer said it spent a year conducting an analysis of Nielsen and customer data to pinpoint consumer demand for healthier products. Read more at Winsight Grocery Business

Everything you need to know about sugar alternatives

A diet high in processed sugar—anything that’s not fructose or lactose, which are found naturally in fruit and milk, respectively—has been linked to a host of health issues, prompting many people to try sugar alternatives. But not all sugar substitutes are created equal. Some are zero-calorie sweeteners developed in a lab, while others are not quite as natural as fructose or lactose, but are considered real, whole foods. Here are some of the most common sugar alternatives and the best uses for each to help you determine the right choice for you. Read more at Runner’s World