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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - May 3 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.

Plant protein products need to target flexitarians not just vegans or vegetarians new Cargill market research finds

If you’re selling a plant-protein product, you might want to make sure that your marketing isn’t so narrow that it leaves out what ultimately is turning out to be the driving force of the plant-based protein market: flexitarians. Flexitarians are consumers who alternate between consuming animal and non-animal products, with no exclusivity. The new data was commissioned by plant protein supplier Cargill and conducted by Nielsen on nearly 2,000 consumers during the second half of 2018. Read more at Nutritional Outlook

Your questions about food and climate change answered

This in-depth look at how our diets impact the climate provides details on how to shop, eat and cook in a warming world. The article takes a look at how foods impact global warming, which foods have the largest impact, simple choices to help reduce that impact and even a quiz to help calculate efforts. Readers can learn about why meat has such a big impact and whether it is important to eliminate meat altogether. Read more at The New York Times

The future of protein might be ‘gas fermentation’ or growing food out of thin air

We know that relying on animals, especially methane-producing cows, for the bulk of our protein is unsustainable. But creating protein alternatives in labs or out of plants can also have a significant environmental cost. What if we nixed the agricultural bits altogether and just made protein out of naturally occurring elements in the air around us? Sounds like science fiction, but Finnish company Solar Foods is working to do just that. Read more at The Spoon

FDA will exempt allulose from added sugar labeling rules

The FDA announced last week it will use its discretion to exclude allulose from the amount of "total sugars" or "added sugars" on Nutrition Facts panels. Allulose will still count toward the caloric value of food on the label, but at a revised lower calorie count, the agency said. Compared to regular sugar, allulose has fewer calories, a smaller impact on blood glucose and insulin levels, and doesn't promote tooth decay. Read more at Fooddive

Plant-based meat sales on the rise

From soy-based sliders to ground lentil sausages, plant-based meat substitutes are surging in popularity. And carnivores — not vegans or vegetarians — are among the biggest consumers. Growing demand for healthier, more sustainable food is one reason people are seeking plant-based meats. That’s also the reason behind rising sales of oat milk, cauliflower pizza crust and even coconut oil-based makeup. Read more at Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Rising demand for plant protein feeds growth of the humble pea

Local demand for pea protein has grown as witnessed by product sales at the three locations of the St. Paul, Minn.-based Mississippi Market Co-op. It is also rising globally. Some analysts predict the pea protein market will at least triple in size to more than $300 million by 2025. Behind the trend is consumers’ desire to eat more plant-based foods. A 2018 survey from Nielsen found 39 percent of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods as a substitute for beef, chicken and pork. Yellow and green peas offer a strong alternative, with their chewy, meat-like texture. Read more at Marketplace

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