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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - July 26 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - July 26 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.

Frozen foods renaissance: Segment sees revival through innovation and reinvestment

After years of decline, frozen food as a category is starting to see a revival through innovation and reinvestment. According to Innova Market Insights data, 25 percent growth was observed in frozen ready meal launches tracked globally between 2017 and 2018. Buoyancy in this segment is notably sustained by busy consumer lifestyles and an increasing demand for healthier, preservative-free options. Read more at Food Ingredients First

Cargill beefs up its environmental sustainability commitment with new goal

Cargill announced a new sustainability initiative to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its North American beef supply chain. The Wayzata-based agriculture giant’s goal is a 30-percent reduction by 2030, from a 2017 baseline of per pound of product. The initiative—dubbed “BeefUp Sustainability”—aims to address the food and ag industry’s need to meet rising demand for protein to feed a growing population while also decreasing its negative impact on the environment. Cargill hopes to help build on current progress by reducing its own supply chain footprint via four key focus areas: grazing management, feed production, innovation and food-waste reduction. Read more at Twin Cities Business

Grains: What’s old is new again

In a market segment as old and enduring as grains, one might wonder if further innovation is possible. In fact, an exploration of grains reveals that not only has the definition of “grains” loosened and expanded in recent years to include some non-cereal-grass seeds and other plants, such as quinoa and chia, but commercial applications for grains have evolved and changed as well. Traditional domesticated cereal grains, so-called “ancient grains” and non-cereal-grass seeds are now all gathered under the “grains” umbrella and are puffed into snacks, blended into other foods, formulated into beverages, and milled into concentrates. Grains are nearly as old as humanity itself, yet their dynamism in the commercial market remains strong. Read more at Nutritional Outlook

Aspartame safety fears disputed by sweetener association

New research that suggested that the artificial sweetener aspartame is not safe for human consumption has been disputed by members of the industry. The research, written by Professor Erik Millstone and Dr. Elisabeth Dawson of the University of Sussex, claimed that the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) 2013 review of the sweetener was seriously flawed and disputed 73 studies that indicated the ingredient could be harmful. The International Sweetener Association is now defending EFSA’s review of aspartame, which concluded that the sweetener is not a safety concern. Read more at Food Manufacture

New prebiotics: Benefits without downsides?

Prebiotics are currently a preferred treatment for certain metabolic disorders, as they can restore the balance of dysfunctional gut microbiota, and improve the body’s metabolism. However, these substances have to be used at high doses, which can result in patients experiencing bloating and flatulence. A research group at the Digestive Health Research Institute has recently shown three plant extracts to have prebiotic effects in obese/diabetic mice, with a shorter duration of treatment and at lower doses to the prebiotics currently in use. Read more at Healthcare in Europe

Sustainable Food Summit 2019: Key outcomes

The aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit, hosted recently in Amsterdam, is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry. Among the hottest topics that emerged during this year’s event were the economic risks of climate change, the rising market share of sustainable foods, redirection of food waste and adding social value to supply chains, all of which is translating to interest in green packaging, plant protein, ethical egg labeling and reduction of plastic use. Read more at New Hope Network….

Tofurkey takes on meat-labeling law for censoring its packaging

Tofurky has a beef with a meat-labeling law. The faux-meat substitute made from imitation turkey and tofu is challenging an Arkansas law that would impose a $1,000 fine on plant-based or alternative-meat products that are packaged and marketed like real meat, such as “veggie burgers” and “tofu dogs,” even if they’re marked vegan or vegetarian. Foods labeled as “cauliflower rice” and “almond milk” could also be subject to mislabeling fines for not containing rice or dairy. The lawsuit argues that the Arkansas law violates the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause by censoring its truthful claims on products and creating confusion among consumers in order to protect the meat producers in the state. Read more at Market Watch

Clean and clear labeling now the norm

The term “clean labelling,” coined by Innova Market Insights in its 2015 trends listing, is now becoming mainstream. Clean and clear labels are key concerns for the food and beverage industry, featuring in all Innova’s Top Trends forecasts in recent years. Almost 28 percent of global food and beverage launches used one or more clean label claims (natural, organic, no additives/preservatives, and GMO-free) in 2018, according to the research firm. Consumers are also increasingly drawn to clean label areas such as vegan-friendly, raw and paleo diets, and minimal processing, with emphasis on cold-pressing and high-pressure treatment. Read more at Food Processing