Weekly Roundup: BASF closes Bayer seeds buy, ADM strengthens oilseeds processing position

17 Aug 2018 --- In a busy week on the commodity front, BASF closed the acquisition of Bayer’s global vegetable seeds business, ADM reached an agreement to purchase certain assets of Brazil-based Algar Agro and IMCD reported positive results for the first half of 2018. Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) published its sixth annual Sustainability Report, outlining progress towards its ambitious targets for a sustainable future.

Monsanto glyphosate traces show up in US breakfast cereals and snack bars

17 Aug 2018 --- Laboratory tests commissioned by US activists Environmental Working Group (EWG), have revealed that glyphosate – the active herbicide in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller used in commercialized agriculture all over the world – has been found in a raft of oat-based breakfast cereals and snack bars. 

Rethinking seafood: “Cellular aquaculture” pioneers BlueNalu raise US$4.5m

17 Aug 2018 --- As cultured meat continues to attract attention from global investors, manufacturers and start-ups, a US firm is pioneering a technique of producing real seafood products directly from fish cells. The technology is tipped to be a disruptive game-changer to current industry practices. Just two months after the launch of the company, BluNalu, a trailblazer in the field of “cellular aquaculture,” has announced the closing of a US$4.5 million seed round.

Natural preservative breakthrough: Flavonoids produced from yeast hold vast potential, claim NTU researchers

16 Aug 2018 --- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have discovered a plant-based food preservative that is said to be more effective than artificial preservatives. In tests carried out on meat and fruit juice samples, the organic preservative kept its samples fresh for two days without refrigeration, compared to commercial-grade artificial food preservatives.

“Poisonous” foraging: Major cookbook recalled over food safety concerns

16 Aug 2018 --- An Instagram star’s cookbook featuring foraging recipes including the use of wild, raw mushrooms and immature elderberries has been pulled from the shelves following a backlash over food safety concerns.

African palm oil expansion: Biodiversity and primates under threat, says new study

16 Aug 2018 --- A new study forecasts a rise in oil palm plantations across Africa as the global demand for the commodity continues to grow. But the continent must learn lessons from key growing regions in Southeast Asia to lessen the environmental impact of the industry and its potential effect on primates.

Fish Dependency: Danish production only meets two-thirds of national demand

16 Aug 2018 --- Denmark officially reached its annual “Fish Dependency Day,” yesterday (August 15), 30 days earlier than in 2017 and six months earlier than in 1990, according to a recently published report from the New Economics Foundation. Fish Dependency Day is the date on which a country begins relying on fish from outside its own waters to meet demand, due to depletion of domestic supplies through a combination of overfishing, mismanagement and domestic demand. According to Our Fish, Denmark is only able to produce fish which meets two-thirds of the national demand.

Sustainable spices: Olam highlights traceability platforms

15 Aug 2018 --- As the demand toward highlighting traceability around spices continues to grow, Olam International is working on plant-based innovations and tapping into the opportunity to market sustainable spices. Innovation within the diverse company, which this week released its latest financial results, includes new formulation solutions for plant-based alternatives within chocolate milk.

Cream cheese in minutes: Arla Foods Ingredients solution cuts process time

15 Aug 2018 --- Arla Foods Ingredients is set to launch one of the world’s fastest cream cheese manufacturing processes at Food Ingredients South America (São Paulo, Brazil, August 21-23, 2018). The protein solution can cut cream cheese-making process from 20 hours to just 30 minutes, according to the company.

Upcycling sunflower seeds: Ingredient innovator, Planetarians targets the plant protein landscape

15 Aug 2018 --- Shifting consumer preferences for healthier choices are driving the demand for plant-based proteins, which are growing at a rapid rate. The plant-based food market is growing at double-digit rates and expected to reach US$5.2 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Nestlé and rising prices for plant-based proteins are forcing food manufacturers to identify opportunities and sustainable ingredients to address this consumer demand. That focus has created a robust marketplace for functional, and value-added components, including that of sunflower seeds, according to Planetarians, an ingredient company who claim to be “revolutionizing the plant-protein landscape through upcycling defatted seeds.”

Natural preservatives expansion: Natural Products Canada invests in Chinova Bioworks

15 Aug 2018 --- Natural Products Canada has invested in Chinova Bioworks, a Canadian company whose mushroom-based natural preservative has previously captured the interest of major food industry partners such as DSM Ventures, Rhapsody and AgFunder.

Sustainable palm oil: Global investors call for stronger standards from RSPO

14 Aug 2018 --- More than 90 institutional investors representing more than US$6.7 trillion in assets have called on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its standards for certifying the sustainable production of palm oil. In a letter sent earlier this month to the RSPO, investors voiced their concerns over the group’s relevance and effectiveness and the current disconnect between corporate policy commitments and the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria Guidance. The investors outline specific recommendations to help bridge the gap.

The flavors shake-up: Ethnic, rich and authentic options pushed to the fore

14 Aug 2018 --- The last few months have seen a real shake-up in the flavors space with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) beginning a new chapter with the combination of Frutarom. The news came as Swiss-headquartered market leader Givaudan completed the acquisition of 40.5 percent of the shares of Naturex for €135 per share, with plans underway to take complete control of the natural ingredients supplier. The acquisition of such a significant shareholding in Naturex fits with Givaudan’s 2020 strategy to expand its offering to deliver natural products to customers.

Symrise reports accelerated organic growth, expands business in all segments

14 Aug 2018 --- Symrise AG (Symrise) has accelerated its organic growth course in the second quarter. All segments and regions contributed to this positive development, according to the company. Group sales rose significantly by 9.0 percent in the first half of 2018 and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to €317.1 million (H1 2017: €322.9 million). Against the background of this positive business performance, Symrise is refining its outlook for 2018. The group now expects an increase in annual sales above the medium-term target corridor of 5 to 7 percent, therefore growing significantly faster than the market.

Tyson Foods divests pizza crust business to private equity firm

14 Aug 2018 --- Tyson Foods has reached an agreement to sell its pizza crust business, TNT Crust business (TNT), to an affiliate of private equity firm Peak Rock Capital (Peak Rock). Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. However, the two companies hope to complete the deal by September. The transaction is the seventh recent food and beverage investment for Peak Rock.

Dairy expansion: Glanbia Nutritionals and partners invest US$470m in new Michigan facility

14 Aug 2018 --- Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers Inc. are set to build a new large-scale cheese and whey production facility in St. Johns, Michigan, US as part of a joint venture. The project is expected to be commissioned in the Q4 of 2020 and will cost approximately US$470 million.

EU families waste over 17bn kilos of fresh fruit & vegetables each year, reveals study

14 Aug 2018 --- A recently published Joint Research Centre (JRC) article has revealed that EU households generate roughly 35.3kg of fresh fruit and vegetable waste per person per year, 14.2 kg of which, is avoidable. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that about one-third of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted.

Sugar and alcohol reduction: Rising industry openness around reformulation, claims Food Matters Live Director

13 Aug 2018 --- Industry moves to overcome the sugar reduction challenge remain top of the UK NPD agenda, with a major shift towards openness around development. When Food Matters Live first started in 2014, the soft drinks industry was reluctant to speak about the issues of sugar reduction in beverages, but a new environment has now opened up, according to Event Director, Briony Mansell-Lewis.

Sugarcane genome successfully sequenced

13 Aug 2018 --- CIRAD and its partners have established the first sugarcane reference sequence. The plant's genome is so complex that conventional sequencing techniques had proved useless. This meant that sugarcane was the last major cultivated plant to have its genome sequenced.

Global export success: UK food and drink sales reach record high, but Brexit looms large

13 Aug 2018 --- UK food and drink exports hit a record level of £10.6 billion (US$13.5 billion) for the first half of 2018 – up by 4 percent compared to last year, as the date for Britain's exit from the EU draws ever closer. The US, China and Hong Kong were among the top countries importing British products, according to new figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, illustrating how the country's manufacturers may be able to look further beyond prioritizing their EU trading strategy in the future. Demonstrating a clear global desire for British taste, quality and high standards, UK food and drink businesses are now selling their products to over 200 global markets.

loading