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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Nov. 15 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.

Affordability of the EAT-Lancet Diet: A global analysis

The EAT-Lancet Commission drew on all available nutritional and environmental evidence to construct the first global benchmark diet capable of sustaining health and protecting the planet, but it did not assess dietary affordability. In this study, researchers at Tufts University used food price and household income data to estimate affordability of EAT-Lancet benchmark diets, as a first step to guiding interventions to improve diets around the world. Read more at The Lancet

Prebiotics demand rising attributable to impact in improving immunity

The sales of prebiotic ingredients are expected to grow to about $5.5 billion in 2019, and the rise in the demand will mainly be attributed to its impact in improving the immune system. These were the findings of Future Market Insights’ new study on the prebiotics ingredient market. It added that rising awareness about the benefits of prebiotic ingredients in maintaining a healthy digestive system and supporting healthy metabolism will continue to drive the growth of the prebiotic ingredients market. Read more at FNB News

Cargill continues to explore opportunities in plant proteins

As the demand for plant-based food sweeps the globe, large-scale conglomerates that have acquired their wealth through the use of animals are investing in, and sometimes even acquiring, smaller vegan companies. Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Cargill, a major meat and agricultural commodities processor that has been in operation for more than 150 years, is also making the transition to vegan-friendly products. Cargill’s Texturizers and Specialty Lead, Laurie Koenig discusses the company’s history and its plant-based goals for the future. Read more in the Vegconomist

The importance of understanding the difference between a food trend or a fad

As the shift toward natural and healthy products continues to accelerate at rapid pace, food and beverage brands face several challenges including formulating tasty and nutritious products, marketing said products to the right consumers, and creating opportunities for repeat purchases and further innovation. Brands must rely on market data and consumer demand to determine whether to launch a new product as well as understand the dietary patterns such as gluten-free, vegan, keto and FODMAPs that are blurring the lines of trend versus fad. All of this makes it even more difficult to determine whether a product has the potential to impact the market long term. Read more at Natural Products INSIDER

Evolving sugar strategies: 3 in 5 U.S. consumers prefer sugar reduction over artificial sweeteners

Sugar reduction is a popular option for three in five U.S. consumers who would rather cut back on sugar than consume artificial sweeteners, according to an Innova Market Insights survey. Sugar-related claims continue to grow and increasingly take on more prominent on-pack positioning. In a new report, the market researcher outlines that opportunities for reducing sugar intake are moving in several directions as companies address evolving concerns and demands. Read more at Food Ingredients First

Cargill supports startups tackling hunger

The World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator and Cargill are teaming up to help three start-ups tackle hunger. In May, the two organizations hosted, supported and mentored eight teams of entrepreneurs working to fight world hunger. Now, they’re moving forward with additional funding and support for three start-ups: a nonprofit social enterprise that provides small-scale maize millers in Africa with smart technology; a portable tool to analyze the nutritional content of fortified food; and an initiative to develop detailed, up-to-date maps to support field operations during responses to humanitarian crises. Read more at World Grain

Formulating better-for-you attributes into beverages

Health and wellness beverage product developers have no boundaries, as better-for-you means something different to every consumer. Most concepts make a connection by promising a benefit, but from there, anything goes. With some health and wellness beverages, the promise may simply be to contain fewer—or zero—empty calories, e.g., added sugars. Others may serve as a vehicle for functional nutrition and feature macro- and micronutrients associated with improving physical well-being. Read more at Food Business News

Plant-based boom faces sustainability and nutrition challenges

Sales of plant-based foods show no signs of slowing in Europe. But booming demand raises complex issues, from the nutritional profile of formulations through to the sustainability of ingredient sourcing. However, experts warn that industry needs to avoid solving one problem and then creating another. A recent white paper, “Harnessing the Plant-Based Movement” from Oakland Innovation suggests that formulators must step up their game on nutrition. Read more at Foodnavigator

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