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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - June 7 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - June 7 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.

Cargill pursues progress toward transparent cocoa sector

Cargill says it is realizing supply chain traceability, empowering cocoa farmers and tackling pressing issues such as deforestation using the power of technology. In its 2017/2018 Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Sustainability Report, the company highlights work being done every day by the cocoa processing company to improve the lives of farmers and their communities in five origin countries where the company sources cocoa – Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. The latest report shows how Cargill is taking action on a range of issues across the cocoa sector while maintaining a farmer-first approach. Read more at Food Ingredients First

Stevia sweetened product launches jumped 31 percent last year

Newly introduced foods and beverages using stevia sweeteners grew by 31 percent in 2018, according to research from the Mintel Global New Products Database. That's up from an 11 percent growth rate in 2017. Of the total number of stevia-sweetened product launches last year, beverages saw a 36 percent jump, while foods increased by 27 percent. In categories using high-intensity sweeteners, stevia is the leader for plant-based drinks, ice cream and frozen yogurt, ready-to-drink iced tea, dressings and vinegars. Manufacturers are turning to stevia for a number of reasons, including taste improvements, cost and scale advantages, and label considerations, since some extracts can be listed as natural flavors. Read more at Food Dive

Eversweet fights stevia aftertaste with fermentation

Cargill believes the future ‘looks bright’ for stevia in beverages thanks to fermentation that extracts the smaller, sweeter and rarer compounds in the leaf. It’s been one year since Cargill launched its zero-calorie Eversweet ingredient with the technology. Cargill says the sweetener can produce up to 100 percent sugar reduction in a typical carbonated drink. Read more at Beverage Daily

‘Ultra-processed’ foods linked with cardiovascular disease, early death, studies say

“Ultra-processed" foods have been linked with increased rates of cardiovascular disease and early death, according to two new studies published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The United Nations defines “ultra-processed” foods under NOVA classification as “formulations mostly of cheap industrial sources of dietary energy and nutrients and additives, using a series of processes.” These foods are “energy-dense, high in unhealthy types of fat, refined starches, free sugars and salt, and poor sources of protein, dietary fiber and micronutrients.” Read more at New York Daily News

Half of baby boomers are limiting sugar consumption

Food manufacturers who want to grab a bigger slice of the baby boomer demographic might want to take note of this research. Half of U.S. baby boomers are limiting sugar consumption or buying more products with reduced sugar content because of health concerns, according to new research from Innova Market Insights. About 40 percent of people in the demographic born between 1946 and 1964 are reducing their intake of sweet snacks. Read more at FoodDive

Are artificial sweeteners putting kids at risk for asthma?

With the prevalence of artificial sweetener consumption during pregnancy nearing one in four women, better understanding of the impact of these compounds on infants is needed. Research indicates that consumption of artificial sweeteners during pregnancy can increase the body weight of offspring, putting them at risk of obesity related complications later in life, or increase a child’s risk for developing asthma, but it is unclear how or why this may occur. Read more at University of Manitoba Today

Aging for amateurs: Fiber an almost magic bullet

If you could take a pill to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease and of developing a stroke, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer by 15-30 percent, almost all of us would do it, unless the pill had severe side effects or was too expensive. But we don’t need a pill to get those results. Just eat more fiber. In many large studies, groups that eat the most fiber get the 15-30 percent reduction in these illnesses. Read more at The Post and Courier

Tax on sugary drinks in Philadelphia halves purchases in the city in the first year, JAMA study finds

The amount of sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages sold in Philadelphia dropped by half during the first year in which the city’s controversial tax on the beverages was in effect, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers found there was a 59 percent reduction in sales in supermarkets within the city limits, but there was also an uptick in sales just outside the city border indicating some limitations on the strategy. Read more at Foodnavigator-USA