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‘Bright future’ for natural and organic industries | 2021-03-03 | Instant News

BOULDER, COLO. – Makers of natural, organic and functional food and beverage products have opportunities in the coming year to help consumers adopt healthier habits, said Carlotta Mast, senior vice president and market leader at the New Hope Network.

“2020 is a year full of challenges, but natural and organic brands face a bright future,” said Ms. Mast. “We are in a position where a growing number of consumers are going.”

Seventy-seven percent of Americans surveyed last year indicated personal health was becoming more important amid the pandemic, Mast said during a webinar on March 2 as part of the New Hope Network’s Spark Brand Success digital event. However, he noted, many cope with heightened stress by consuming more alcohol and “fast food,” reducing exercise and feeling more anxious.

“The question, of course, is how can our industry and brands help people return to healthier habits?” Ms Mast said. “We know they want it, and I think this is our big opportunity for 2021 and beyond.”

Sales of natural, organic, and functional food and drinks in the United States grew 13% to $ 186 billion by 2020, according to estimates from the New Hope Network.

“Staple foods in the kitchen, frozen food, and meat, fish and poultry, as well as meat and plant-based dairy alternatives, are all categories that experienced the highest growth rates last year,” said Mast.

“How can our industry and brands help people return to healthier habits? We know they want it, and I think this is our big opportunity for 2021 and beyond. “- Carlotta Pole, New Hope Network

Organic, usually a challenging category during times of economic turmoil, is also growing; Organic food and drink sales in the US were up 13% to $ 47.9 billion.

“Almost every category of organic food and drink did well in the US last year, including dairy products, which experienced some bottlenecks over the past few years, but last year this category benefited from consumers hoarding organic milk during the pandemic,” Ms. Mast said.

Sales of functional foods and drinks increased 9.4% to $ 78 billion last year, led by growth in the stable, frozen, and snack categories.

“People continue to embrace the food as medicine trend and choose food and beverage products that provide true health and functional benefits,” said Ms. Mast. “The functional ingredients that most attracted consumers last year were those that support immune health such as mushrooms, ingredients to support the body’s stress response such as adaptogens, as well as collagen, nootropics, and healthy fats.”

Sales of conventional food and beverages increased 8.6% last year, said Ms. Mast.

“We anticipate that we will see sales growth in conventional food and beverage continue to lag significantly behind natural, organic and functional as we emerge from the pandemic and retailers large and small continue to provide more room for our industrial products,” said Mast. .

The health attribute is still booming, said Kathryn Peters, executive vice president of business development at SPINS. Products featuring claims such as gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, plant-based, grass-fed and cage-free all posted double-digit dollar growth last year.

Immune-boosting drinks and reducing stress and anxiety continue to gain traction, prompting interest in ingredients such as elderberry, melatonin, chaga mushroom, and ashwagandha.

Plant-based products are popping up in new categories, from frozen appetizers to whipped dessert toppings.

“Plant-based products continue to grow at about twice as much as their main product,” said Ms. Peters. “This is a very fast-paced trend and one that we anticipate will continue as more and more studies reveal its good for the body and good for the earth.”

Shoppers are looking for maintainable foods that feature whole foods, minimally processed foods, fewer additives and less sugar, he said.

“We think buyers … are looking for a new meal plan, one that we can adapt to our own strategies and needs that give us a greater chance of success,” said Ms. Peters.

Frozen food answers the call for convenience and health, as consumers are tired of home cooking, Ms. said. Peters.

Social and economic sustainability are issues driving purchasing decisions. Ninety percent of consumers say it’s important that brands support and treat employees well. Buyers have also shown an interest in supporting underrepresented businesses, he said.


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The Richmond home baker shows off her expertise in the Food Network’s ‘Spring Baking Championship’ | Instant News

HOUSTON – What started as a mother-daughter bonding experience for Madiha Chughtai, ended up being a chance to become a contestant on the “Food Network”” Spring Cake Championships ”Season 7.

Ms. Richmond is part of a new pool of talented bakers who are battling popular culinary competitions.

Madiha Chughtai, as seen in Spring Baking Championship, Season 7. (© 2020 Television Food Network, GP All rights reserved.)

“When my daughter was six years old, she loved the Food Network channel and she was always watching Duff Goldman and all these shows, and we were going to watch this program and she would ask me all these questions. At that time I was not a baker. I am a foodie. And that’s how I got to work. I want to respond. Now here I am, ”said Chughtai, who has been coming full circle with cooking for Duff Goldman ever since Ace of Cakes baker is one of three judges in “Spring Cake Championship. “

“I am very happy to be on the show. At home, in the kitchen, it’s very easy, but being on the show and competition with all the culinary pastry chefs, it’s very difficult because I never work outside my kitchen, “said Chughtai of the show’s 10 episodes, where he still competes to take home. a $ 25,000 prize and a place in Food Network Magazine.


Madiha’s Process, as seen in Spring Baking Championship, Season 7. (© 2020 Television Food Network, GP All rights reserved.)

The mother of three was born in Pakistan but moved to the US nearly 20 years ago.

Chughtai has perfected his recipe and in 2017 opened his business, M’s Cakes and Cakes, a place to make specialty cakes and French pastries from her home kitchen.

Spring Cake Championshipairs on Mondays at 8pm on the Food Network, or you can stream the episodes Discovery +.

To connect with Chughtai, click here.

To see Chughtai’s full interview, watch the video above.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.


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Three technologies that are changing the food industry | 2021-02-22 | Instant News

BOSTON – Digital tools are key to addressing disruptions in food and agricultural value chains, according to a new report from Lux Research. The company’s Foresight 2021 report identifies the top technologies food and agriculture leaders should pay attention to in the coming year.

“The agrifood ecosystem is going through a phase of rapid and intense change, where much of the growth in space in recent years has fallen to companies outside the top 20 players,” said Joshua Haslun, PhD, senior analyst at Lux Research. “As smaller, more agile brands meet consumer demands for personalization, larger brands will need to find innovative solutions to regain lost positions and move forward.”

Investing in digital technology could help companies gain agility and better respond to changing consumer demands, he added.

“Agility requires you to be able to digest data and generate insights relatively quickly and easily,” Haslun said. “Agility is very difficult for large companies to achieve. But when people change so fast, and the convergence of food and health is increasing so fast, that means you have to participate by changing quickly. “


The first technology, bioinformatics, has traditionally been used in pharmaceutical applications but may offer opportunities for food and beverage companies looking to accelerate ingredient discovery. Companies can use bioinformatics to better understand the relationship between potential ingredients and their impact on human health.

Companies like Brightseed are working with food and beverage formulas to reduce the burden of discovery. The San Francisco-based biotech startup is using an artificial intelligence platform to analyze millions of bioactive compounds and map their potential applications.

“It costs billions of dollars to make new active ingredients in pharmaceuticals,” Haslun said. “Food companies can’t invest that much, so your choice is to say, ‘We have a lot of information and we want to use it better, or we want to work with players who allow us to find new ingredients faster. ‘It requires taking all that information, making the right connections, filtering it, and then allowing your research and R&D team to take it and do something with it. “

Material informatics

Companies looking to speed up the product development process can turn to informatics materials.

“This is related to bioinformatics,” said Haslun. “This is the next step, where maybe you care less about the active ingredients and more about finding ingredients, knowing where they are and what their properties are, and then relating them to the results you want.”

He uses plant protein as an example.

“Say you want to make a grid, and you want to have something to build on it,” said Haslun. “You need something with structural integrity, something that’s easy to digest, something that doesn’t have too much flavor associated with it but can have other protein sources attached to it. With informatics materials you basically have a database connected to all of these parameters. “

Companies can also take advantage of informatics materials to better predict consumer responses to new products, flavors and formats.

“There are ways you can work with players to help quickly profile those flavors and predict what the response will be, and how they relate to other characteristics of the formulation,” Haslun said. “This will allow you to make better and faster decisions about the ingredients you include and the ingredients you have in mind for future products.”

Alternative protein

Vegetable product marketers are getting closer to achieving a price balance with animal products, but there are still opportunities to improve the flavors, textures and colors of alternative proteins.

“Texture, taste, no taste, all of this is very important to get over the balance of costs,” said Haslun. “What does it look like, and I’ll add, is it healthy? Are you masking the true taste by adding large amounts of sodium? Or are you just trying to copy a product that’s already out there? It’s a challenge that I don’t think we have resolved. “

Alternative protein technologies that address a variety of sensory factors may offer the most promising paths forward. For example, cell-based fats and mycelium exhibit texture and color, whereas fermented ingredients discuss color along with taste and texture.

“Addressing some of these manufacturing challenges around refining textures to make protein better suited to a number of different food forms, these are all challenges that we see being addressed,” Haslun said. “Has anyone been very successful? I thought it was in the air. “


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From Mauritius to Brazil: Yotam Ottolenghi street food recipes | Food | Instant News

I love everything about street food. I like to move around as part of the crowd, led by smell and hiss. I like to eat with my hands, and portions are small enough to leave room for trying something else, other smells and other fizz, further away. I love to try new things, travel the world through my tastes. I love the vendors, the energy, the chat with fellow parties. While the current silence hangs heavily on our street food scene, setting up a stall at home: I’m going to Mauritius (again) and Brazil this week, Ghana and Venezuela next.

Rolls of kati jackfruit (pictured above)

Jackfruit grows wild all over Mauritius and is given away free of charge to neighbors, friends and family. Luckily, canned jackfruit works well for this dish, but you can use canned chickpeas if necessary.

Preparation 15 minutes
cook 40 minutes
Serve 4

For bread
330g plain flour, plus 25g extra for dusting
1½ teaspoon carom seeds (AKA ajwain), or anise
45g ghee
, melted, plus about 50g extra for brushing
200ml of boiling water

For the jackfruit curry
150ml of ghee
1 large onion
, peeled and thinly sliced ​​(200g net weight)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
10 grams of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium green chilies, thinly sliced ​​(pith and seeds removed if you want less heat)
10 pieces of fresh curry leaves
60g fresh cilantro
, leaves are plucked, stems are roughly chopped
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons soft curry powder
200g cherry tomatoes
2 x 400g lead jackfruit in salt water
, drained (net weight 450g)
1 lemon – fine grated skin, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp; save the rest for other use
300ml of boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
250g unsweetened coconut yogurt
, or plain plain yogurt

Put the flour, carom seeds and a teaspoon and a quarter of the salt in a medium bowl, and mix well. Make a well in the center, add the ghee and water, then mix it with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. At this point the dough will be hot, but good to handle, so place it on a lightly floured work surface and knead for a while, until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. Return to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, start with curry. Set a large skillet with a lid to medium heat, add the ghee, and melt. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, chopped curry leaves and cilantro, and fry, stirring constantly, for 12-14 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the cumin seeds and curry powder, cook, stir for two minutes, then add the tomatoes, jackfruit, lemon zest and juice, boiling water, and a teaspoon of salt. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until all the liquid is soaked, and the jackfruit is tender and mostly broken into several strands (don’t worry if the odd pieces are still intact).

While the jackfruit is cooking, divide the bread dough into quarters and use your floured hands to roll about 140g each into balls. Dust the work surface very well with some extra flour, then, using a well-floured rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a 24 cm circle, press the pins into the center of the dough and push outward as you roll them into circles. It is important to have a floured surface to prevent the dough from sticking and making it easier to roll.

Heat a large skillet (or bread) over high heat. When the pan is very hot, remove any remaining flour from one loaf and place it in the skillet. Brush the top of the bread with melted ghee, let it cook for two minutes, until bubbles form and the bottom is golden, then flip it over, grease the cooked side with ghee again and cook a little longer. Remove the cooked bread and set aside in a warm place, wipe the pan with kitchen paper, then repeat with the remaining bread and ghee.

To make a kati roll, spread a little yogurt on top of the bread, then spoon a quarter of the curry mixture on top. Sprinkle over the cilantro, then roll tightly on the bread, a little like a burrito. Serve warm with the remaining yogurt on the side for dipping.

Shrimp and cream cheese pasties

Shrimp Pasties and Yotam Ottolenghi cream cheese.

This classic (very untraditional) Brazilian bar snack combines shrimp and cream cheese in a deep fried pastry. I have used store bought puff pastry for convenience, Philadelphia for accessibility (the brand most commonly used in Brazil is Catupiry, which you can buy online) and bake pasties instead, at least so you can make more at the same time. In Brazil, this is called pasteis, but I call them pasties a nod that they have a similar concept.

Preparation 15 minutes
cook 50 minutes
Make 10

1 x 320g rolled butter puff pastry, chill
Flour, to clean the dust
1 egg, beaten
Spicy sauce, serve
2 limes, cut into pieces, to serve

For stuffing
150 grams of prawns ready to cook and peel, cut into ½cm pieces
1 green chili, finely chopped (pith and seeds removed if you want less heat)
2 spring onions, chopped and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, peel and crush
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
125g cherry tomatoes, finely chop, then squeeze to remove excess liquid
100g Philadelphia cream cheese
(or Brazilian Catupiry, if you can get one)

Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan) / 425F / gas 7. Combine the first six fillers in a bowl with a third of a teaspoon of salt, then stir in Philadelphia, but don’t mix the whole thing: you want the cheese slices dotted throughout the mixture, not a homogeneous mass. .

Place the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface and roll a few rolls with a rolling pin to thin it a little more. Using a 10cm circular cutter, remove as many pastry circles as possible – you’ll get seven or more – and place them on a large cake tray. Gather the pieces, roll them back and cut again, to make three more cake circles, and a total of 10 circles. Place this on the tray too.

Spoon about 30g of shrimp and cheese filling in the center of each pastry circle, grease the open pastry with egg wash, and fold it over the pastry to make a half moon. Press together the edges of the pastry with the back of the fork, to close, then arrange on a large baking sheet lined with wax paper, spacing apart. Cut a few small slices into each pasty so that the steam escapes, grease the entire pasties with the egg spread, then bake for 25 minutes; rotate the tray half way, so that the colors are even.

Serve hot pasties from the oven with lime wedges and your favorite hot sauce together.


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Report skewer industry, FDA on heavy metal content in baby food | 2021-02-16 | Instant News

WASHINGTON – A DPR subcommittee on February 4 issued a scathing report accusing baby food manufacturers of marketing a product they knew contained “dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals”. The report was prepared by the staff of the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy of the DPR Oversight and Reform Committee.

The chairman of the subcommittee, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, said, “Baby food manufacturers hold a special position of public trust. But consumers mistakenly believe that these companies will not sell unsafe products. The subcommittee staff report found that this producer was knowingly selling baby food containing high levels of toxic heavy metals. I hope the company will commit to making baby food safer. Regardless, it is time for us to develop even better standards for the sake of future generations. “

The subcommittee launched its investigation in November 2019 following reports alleging high levels of toxic heavy metals in baby food. The sub-committee requested internal documents and test results from the seven largest baby food manufacturers in the United States. Four companies – Nuture, Inc .; Beech-Nut Nutrition Co., Hain Celestial Group, Inc., and Gerber Products Co. – provide the requested information.

Based on this information, subcommittee staff found that commercial baby food was contaminated with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. Toxic heavy metals harm the baby’s nervous development and long-term brain function.

The report said the company’s internal standards allowed what staff said were dangerous high levels of toxic heavy metal. Staff said documents reveal producers often sell food in excess of that internal rate.

The report says the common practice of manufacturers testing only their ingredients can hide the higher levels of toxic metals in prepared baby food.

And the report looked at baby food containing toxic heavy metals without labels or warnings.

The staff report made several recommendations.

First, baby food manufacturers should be asked by the FDA to test their finished products for toxic heavy metals, not just ingredients.

Second, manufacturers must be required by the FDA to report levels of toxic heavy metals on food labels.

Third, producers should voluntarily find substitutes for materials containing highly toxic heavy metals or discontinue products that have high amounts of ingredients that are often tested for high toxic heavy metals.

And fourth, the FDA must establish the maximum allowable levels of toxic heavy metals in baby food. One level for each metal should be applied in all baby foods.

I look forward to careful FDA regulation of this toxic heavy metal in baby food, followed by strict compliance requirements and mandatory consumer labels, ”said Mr. Krishnamoorthi.

FDA in a statement issued to Food Business News said it is reviewing the report’s findings.

“The FDA takes exposure to toxic elements in the food supply very seriously, especially in terms of protecting the health and safety of the youngest and most vulnerable people in the population,” said an FDA spokesman. “Toxic elements, such as arsenic, are present in the environment and enter the food supply through soil, water or air. Since they cannot be completely eliminated, our goal is to reduce exposure to toxic elements in food as far as possible, and we have been actively addressing this issue using a risk-based approach to prioritizing and targeting agency efforts. “

The spokesman continued, “We acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done, but the FDA reaffirms its strong commitment to continuing to reduce consumer exposure to toxic elements and other contaminants from food.”

Baby food manufacturers reject the methodology and timeframe of the report and point to their industry’s continued efforts to minimize the levels of heavy toxic metals in baby food.

They also highlighted their participation in the Baby Foods Council along with the Environmental Defense Fund and Healthy Babies Bright Future. The Council is a group of baby and toddler food companies, supported by key stakeholders, that have begun developing an Infant Food Standards and Certification Program which aims to reduce heavy metals in baby food to the lowest possible level.

Among the corporate members of the Baby Food Board are Gerber, Earth’s Best, Happy Family and Beech-Nut.

Gerber in his statement on the subcommittee report referred to the many steps needed to minimize the presence of toxic heavy metals in materials grown for use in the manufacture of baby food.

“Throughout the process we test our products, water, ingredients and food to ensure that we live up to our promise of delivering high quality and delicious baby food,” said Gerber.

The company also said it was working with other Baby Food Council members to identify best agricultural practices and create voluntary industry standards to reduce heavy metal levels in baby food to the lowest possible level.

“In addition, we will provide our full support and expertise to the FDA as they develop science-based regulation,” said Gerber.

Boma Brown-West, director of consumer health at the Environmental Defense Fund, said, “Today’s report underscores the importance of companies taking immediate and aggressive action to reduce toxic heavy metals – including lead, cadmium and arsenic – in food, especially baby food. These heavy metals damage brain development in infants and children and create financial and reputational responsibility for companies. In an era where corporate behavior is being examined under a microscope, real winners will emerge based on their ability to tackle toxic chemicals in baby food head-on. “

Charlotte Brody, national director of Healthy Babies Bright Future, said, “This compelling new evidence points to the FDA’s failure to protect babies from toxic heavy metals in their diets. While the FDA studies the problem and companies set loose internal standards, millions of babies are exposed to these contaminants every day. It’s time to step up and finally take clear action. “


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