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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Sept. 6 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Sept. 6 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.

Clean label report uncovers consumer misperceptions

A recent clean label report has uncovered consumer misperceptions about functional ingredients claims regarding health benefits. The clean label movement (consumer-driven demand for elimination of allergens and other ingredients from food and non-food products) report from InsightsNow has identified consumer misperceptions around food, beverage and supplement ingredient claims regarding health-promoting benefits. This research showed that consumers may be well-informed around the functional benefits of ingredients, but hold misperceptions and misunderstandings regarding some ingredients. Read more at New Food Magazine

Cargill encourages women to pursue leadership roles through palm oil empowerment program

Cargill’s program to empower women at its palm plantation in South Sumatra, Indonesia, has won Top Honors in the “Sustainability/Ingredients” category of the 2019 BEST in Baking Program. The awards ceremony is sponsored by the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), in partnership with Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, to recognize exhibitors and suppliers driving progress in the baking industry. Cargill’s women’s empowerment program provides free services in childcare, a support network for women and mandatory maternity leave. Read more at Food Ingredients First

Collagen, mushrooms trending in functional beverages

While there’s a plethora of beverages in today’s marketplace designed for more than hydration, there’s a growing segment of beverages formulated with ingredients that serve highly specific functions. These are beverages with a purpose and are not necessarily appropriate for all consumers. About a quarter of U.S. adults are trying to manage a health or medical condition through their diet, according to research by The NPD Group, Chicago. There’s growing interest in food as medicine, with a great deal of innovation taking place in the beverage space, where functional nutrients are delivered to the consumer in the form of a grab-and-go drink. Read more at Food Business News

Will compostable packaging ever be able to solve our waste problem?

If a consumer buys a smoothie in Portland, Oregon, the drink might come in a compostable plastic cup, a choice a thoughtful shop owner might make to make her operations more sustainable. The consumer might think that they’re helping avoid part of the global waste problem. But Portland’s composting program, as in many cities, specifically bans compostable packaging from its green bins—and this type of plastic won’t break down in a backyard composter. Though it’s technically compostable, the container will end up in a landfill (or perhaps the ocean), where the plastic may last as long as its fossil fuel counterpart. It’s one example of a system that offers incredible promise for reshaping our waste problem but is also deeply flawed. Read more at Fast Company

Analyst’s Take: Demand for protein drives $42 billion sports and weight management market

Consumers are demanding more protein from diverse sources, which is pushing the protein-heavy $42 billion sports and weight market forward, according Nutrition Business Journal’s data analyst Claire Morton Reynolds. This demand, paired with increasing interest in convenient delivery formats, sheds light on NBJ's growth estimates across categories. It is no coincidence that the two categories that have had the strongest growth over the past few years are also grab-and-go. Though it represents the smallest market share by annual sales, the strongest growth in the industry between 2015 and 2018 came from the functional sports beverage category, primarily made up of RTD protein beverages and carrying a CAGR of 15%. Read more at New Hope Network

All things keto: Brands continue to align with popular diet

Depending on what you read, ketogenic diets—low in carbs, high in fat—are either going to help put Weight Watchers out of business or just be another passing fad. In the meantime, beverages, snacks, desserts and other food categories are busily touting their keto-friendly status. According to Mordor Intelligence, Europe has the largest population of consumers who practice the ketogenic diet trend, followed by North America. Mordor cited as leading global keto players Nestlé (through its Vitaflo nutrition unit), Know Brainer Foods (ketogenic creamers and beverages), Zenwise Health (oils and snack bars), Ample Foods (keto shakes), and Perfect Keto (oils, powdered drinks, snack bars). Read more at MediaPost

Vegetarian and vegan products likely to face greater scrutiny over sustainability claims

Analyzing consumer behavior, research firm GlobalData suggests changing societal values regarding ethicality, sustainability and environmentalism are trickling down to product choice. The research firm said vegetarian and vegan brands will need to meet consumer's expectations of sustainability or risk being avoided by their key customer base. Its research revealed that 49% of consumers say that how ethical, environmentally-friendly and socially responsible a product is often influences their product decisions. Read more at Just Food

Are you getting enough fiber? Cardiologist explains why it’s important for your heart

It lowers cholesterol, helps prevent constipation, decreases risk of cancer and is relatively inexpensive, yet it's absent in many of the fad diets that we follow. It’s called fiber. Understanding how it has become the forgotten stepchild in the American diet may be key to helping long-term health. In fact, Americans consume less than half of the recommended amount of fiber every day. Most of us do not know exactly what fiber is, or how it can help. Read more at The Philadelphia Enquirer