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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Oct. 25 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.

Sweetened beverages represented 62% of children’s drink sales in 2018

None of the 34 top-selling sweetened children’s beverages fulfilled expert suggestions for healthier drinks for kids. Fruit beverages and flavored waters that contain added sugars and/or low-calorie sweeteners dominated sales of beverages planned for kids in 2018, making up 62% of the $2.2 billion in total children’s drink sales, according to Children’s Beverage REALITIES 2019, a brand-new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut. On the other hand, the report—funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—discovered that healthier drinks, such as 100% juice, represented 38% of children’s drink sales that year. Read more at Drew Reports News

Cargill introduces stevia flavor enhancer ClearFlo for high-concentration formulas

Cargill is launching ClearFlo, a botanical extract ingredient which it claims delivers a taste-enhancing breakthrough in the stevia space. ClearFlo will be used in combination with Cargill’s fermentation-derived EverSweet steviol glucosides and will be available for commercialization in early 2020. The ingredient gets very close to the overall sugar sweetness profile, according to the company. Read more at Foodnavigator

Increased spending on health benefitting functional food ingredients market

According to a new study from Transparency Market Research, the sales of functional food ingredients are expected to exceed 1,900 thousand tons in 2019, and record a year-on-year growth of 6% in 2020. Growth of the functional food ingredients market remains driven by a slew of factors, which range from the rising demand for clean-label products and changing regulations in the food and beverage industry to its growing awareness among consumers. In the food industry, functional food ingredients are in high demand in dairy, bakery and confectionery products. Read more at Food Industry Executive

The sugar wars are about to change your food label. Here’s why.

Research shows that the consumption of added sugars is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Public health groups have taken up the cause and pushed for laws and rules they believe will reduce the ready availability of food high in added sugars. In the U.S., taxes on sugary drinks can be found in only a handful of cities and counties. But, a new national food-labeling policy will, for the first time, call out the amount of sugar added to packaged food and drinks. It will shine a harsh spotlight on the common food industry practice of adding sugar to almost everything on grocery store shelves. Read more at Chemical & Engineering News

American’s, especially millennials, are embracing plant-based meat products

Emerging biotechnologies are opening new niches in the food landscape that can help feed the world's burgeoning population with fewer resources in more extreme and unpredictable environments. With debate over the impacts of meat production intensifying, researchers have been tracking U.S. attitudes related to plant-based alternatives through Michigan State University's Food Literacy and Engagement Poll. The results reveal a growing appetite for plant-based meat among consumers, especially millennials and Generation Z. Read more at the Hartford Courant

Food companies try to be better partners for farmers and soil health

Conversations with farmers quickly reveal that growing things like legumes and small grains is good for their soil—it can help reduce the need for fertilizer, pesticides and water use—but farmers can only grow those things and remain in business if they have places to sell them. This spotlight looks at a few companies that have started having these conversations with farmers, and then discussing internally how they can transform those crops into ingredients for their product lines. Read more at New Hope Network

Adding nutrition and crunch: Naturality and healthy indulgence are driving the bakery space, but taste and texture remain key

Consumer demand for naturality is fast climbing the industry’s trend list, while ingredient provenance is not only an added perk, but a prerequisite that drives consumer choice. In the bakery sector, taste and texture are crucial elements and driving factors behind repeated purchases. However, the demand for clean-label offerings, featuring natural ingredients that boost health and wellness, is also gaining momentum. From perceived healthier grains to natural food colorings and vegan products, experts note what is propelling the bakery sector. Read more at Food Ingredients First

Whole Foods predicts biggest health food trends for 2020

With just two months left of 2019, the new year is fast approaching and with it brings a host of new food and drink trends. To find next year’s trends, Whole Foods Market enlisted 50 team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers and culinary experts to compile its report. Among the retail chain’s top predictions: Consumers will show increasing interest in rich and earthy dishes with traditional West African flavors, buyers will move away from traditional plain white flour to add newer and more interesting additions to their baking, and farmers and retailers will take a closer look at how to use land and animal management practices to help improve soil health and minimize their carbon footprint. Read more at the Evening Standard

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