Azelis acquires Euroconsultant, expands meat ingredient distribution platform in Poland

18 Jan 2019 --- Distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients Azelis has acquired Euroconsultant Ltd., a Polish distributor of flavors, shelf life extenders and other products predominantly for the meat segment. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year.

Weekly Roundup: Nestlé highlighted in Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Louis Dreyfus to exit dairy business by mid-year

18 Jan 2019 --- This week, Nestlé became part of the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in the workplace. Science and technology company Merck received a 2018 Life Science Industry Award for its “best use of social media.” Meanwhile, Louis Dreyfus is set to exit the dairy business by mid-2019 as part of strategic refocus on its core businesses, while Lindt & Sprüngli achieved solid sales growth and substantial market shares in 2018.

Tracking provenance and building trust: WWF and BCGDV take traceability to next level with new blockchain platform

17 Jan 2019 --- A new blockchain platform promises to take food transparency to the next level by allowing consumers to easily track the provenance of what they are buying while helping businesses stamp out unscrupulous operators. OpenSC can reportedly help businesses to remove illegal, environmentally-damaging or unethical products from their supply chains, giving consumers “peace of mind” about the products they are purchasing. The new platform, launched by WWF and BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), comes as more consumers want to know what’s in their food and where it comes from.

Ending the “scandal” of food waste: UK funds available to help redistribute surplus food

17 Jan 2019 --- UK food redistribution organizations and other companies operating surplus food schemes are being invited to bid for a share of a £5 million (US$6.4 million) round of government funding designed to turbocharge the reduction of food waste. The scheme will seek to help food projects tackle the financial challenges of redistributing surplus food and stem the flow that is currently going to waste.

Farming insects could be key to sustainable food production, but upscaling issues linger, say Swedish scientists

17 Jan 2019 --- Although insects such as whole-roasted crickets are gaining traction as protein-rich snacks, there is still an overwhelming lack of knowledge concerning the ecological sustainability of the emerging, multi-million-dollar insects-as-food industry, say researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. In an opinion article published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, the researchers explore unanswered questions around insect rearing and environmental impacts, but overall they remain optimistic that suppliers will rise to the challenge.

Brexit aftermath: More chaos, confusion and calls for clarity as MP vote down Withdrawal Agreement

16 Jan 2019 --- As widely predicted, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, setting out an orderly exit from the EU, was yesterday massively voted down by MPs in a historic defeat that now sees May facing a further vote of no confidence. The deal was rejected by 432 votes to 202, throwing the future of Brexit into further chaos. Last night’s result leaves the food industry facing even more uncertainty and fuels growing concerns that the UK is heading for a “catastrophic” no-deal scenario.

Low on the welfare pecking order? Global fast food chains hit back at accusations of poor chicken treatment

16 Jan 2019 --- NGO World Animal Protection (WAP) has slammed some of the world’s largest fast food chains for their treatment of chickens, in a new global report released this week. The report, entitled “The Pecking Order,” rated the eight companies surveyed as either “poor” or “failing” on animal welfare standards. In response to this, the companies outlined – McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Nando’s, Starbucks and Domino’s – maintain that their animal welfare standards are up to scratch.

Wageningen University to open new food safety research institute

16 Jan 2019 --- RIKILT Wageningen University & Research and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)’s Laboratory for Food and Feed Safety will merge into a new institute effective from June 2019. The institute will be called Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) and will be part of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), based in the Netherlands. The new institute will seek tocan carry out lab work for the NVWA and the Dutch central government in a more effective and knowledge intensive manner.

US-China trade relations remain “the biggest millstone around the neck,” says new Rabobank F&A outlook

15 Jan 2019 --- The food and agribusiness sector in China will continue to be volatile throughout 2019, according to the latest RaboResearch China Food and Agribusiness (F&A) Outlook 2019. The sector is facing a slowing economy beset with uncertainties and headwinds, the report notes.

Small compounds, big opportunities – nanotechnology in food: Could 2019 be a breakthrough year?

15 Jan 2019 --- Nanotechnology and nanomaterials could offer exciting new benefits to many applications including food, according to the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST). Although there are many applications of nanotechnologies in various industries from electronics to sports goods, only a small percentage of them are currently in the food arena.

A bitter “no deal” surprise? “Hard Brexit would double costs on sugar imports,” Tereos exec warns

15 Jan 2019 --- A “hard” Brexit would have devastating ramifications for the European sugar industry with tariffs of over 100 percent entering into force if no deal is signed prior to the UK’s March 29 exit date from the EU. This is according to Guillaume Planque, Head of Product Management – Sugar & Sweetening Solutions at French-headquartered Tereos, the world’s number 2 sugar producer.

Brexit deal vote just hours away: Agri-food and e-commerce fears of cross-border chaos in “no-deal” scenario

15 Jan 2019 --- There have been many politically dramatic moments in the Brexit saga with some bizarre twists and turns along the way, but today’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement is one of the most significant. MPs are gathering in Parliament to either accept or reject the deal on how Britain will exit the European Union (EU). The food industry watches with bated breath, pinning their hopes on approval even though most realize there is a very slim chance of it being green-lighted.

“Lighter formulation”: Fiber thrives amid fat, sugar and salt reduction strategies

15 Jan 2019 --- 2018 saw the introduction and expansion of regulatory pressures in the form of a sugar tax in the UK as the global obesity crisis worsens. In 2019, manufacturers and suppliers are expected to respond to these themes and seek to reduce overall levels of fat, sugar, salt and total calories in a clean and transparent way. The market has become so competitive that manufacturers need to keep their fingers on the consumer pulse. As a result, the notion of “lighter reformulation” has evolved alongside a renewed interest in fiber.

Vegan fast food: The Vurger Co looks to disrupt London’s restaurant scene

14 Jan 2019 --- The “Veganuary” campaign, which runs throughout the month of January, is attracting more people into following a vegan lifestyle or simply cutting down on their meat intake in favor of plant-based alternatives. No longer considered just a “side dish,” vegetables are well and truly at the center of the plate. That is definitely the case for London-based vegan burger chain and start-up The Vurger Co., which now runs two restaurants in the cosmopolitan capital. With its vast plant-based menu focused on burgers, fries, mac ‘n’ cheese and vegan milkshakes, the company is poised to strengthen the profile of vegetables even further. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with Co-Founder and CEO Rachel Hugh who explained how the start-up came about and how it has evolved since receiving crowdfunding back in 2017.

Bell Spark Trends 2019: Indigenous and Asian flavors tipped for success

14 Jan 2019 --- Bell Flavors & Fragrances (Bell F&F) has unveiled ten key trends that highlight new innovations within the flavor and fragrance industry, in the company’s fifth edition of its annual Spark trends program. Spark is Bell’s insider resource for new and emerging consumer trends as well as flavor and fragrance inspirations, including indigenous and cultural flavors traditions from Asia, South America and Europe.

Citrus flavors expansion: ADM acquires Florida Chemical Company in US$175m deal

14 Jan 2019 --- Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is set to acquire Florida Chemical Company (FCC), a division of Flotek Industries specializing in citrus-based flavors and fragrances in a deal valued at approximately US$175 million. The transaction, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and will strengthen ADM’s position in the fast-growing citrus category.

Beyond dairy: Chobani launches new plant-based recipe for US market but advocates EU non-dairy labeling rules

14 Jan 2019 --- US yogurt maker Chobani LLC has launched the company's first-ever plant-based non-dairy recipe products which only contain natural ingredients, are low in sugar and are packed with probiotics. By entering the non-dairy space, the company, which spearheaded the US mainstreaming of Greek yogurt, is seeking to capitalize on consumers’ growing interest in plant-based alternatives to products traditionally derived from animal proteins.

Holding steady: Global food prices “broadly stable” in December but 2018 lower than 2017

11 Jan 2019 --- Rising international cereal prices offset declining sugar and dairy quotations in December, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with global food prices remaining “broadly stable” last month. The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 161.7 points in December, compared to a revised level of 161.6 points in the previous month. However, for the whole of 2018, the FFPI was down year-on-year.

rbST free: Kraft Heinz launches Natural Cheese range made from milk without the artificial hormone

11 Jan 2019 --- Kraft Heinz has launched Kraft Natural Cheese, made with milk from cows raised without the artificial growth hormone rbST.

A “no deal” Brexit: European Dairy Association exec warns of “catastrophic” repercussions for highly integrated sector

11 Jan 2019 --- The Secretary General of the European Dairy Association has warned of the “catastrophic” impact that an increasingly likely “no deal” Brexit scenario would have. He foresees repercussions that are far more severe than the Russian ban on dairy imports in 2014, with “a whole new scale of crisis” on the cards. While contingency plans are already in place in terms of stockpiled dairy ingredients, likely consequences will include a temporary consumer price increase on UK sold dairy products in the EU, as new supply chain systems are considered.

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