Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Nov 19-25)

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Nov 19-25)
From the US FDA’s approval of a qualified health claim for high oleic oils to the EU’s push to promote its own plant protein market, a lot has happened over the past seven days. Here’s a round-up of the top seven global food and beverage news items to get you updated!


1. Natac Solutions developing new wave of functional ingredients

Recently launched at the SupplySide West show in Las Vegas, Natac Solutions is aiming to help CPG companies rethink and enhance their functional products with its range of plant-based extracts claimed to preserve the holistic plant nutritional profile.

The company, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Radiant Technologies Inc. (RTI) and Grupo Natac S.L., combines Natac’s technology that preserves all the phytochemical compounds in what it refers to as the ‘full plant profile’ with Radiant Technologies’ patented microwave-assisted processing (MAP) technology, which reduces the extraction time and energy while producing high-yield, nutrient-dense plant extracts.

Natac Solution's most popular 38 extract ingredients include olive, fennel, artichoke, soy, milk thistle, grape, saffron, valerian, and green coffee, among others.

According to David LaFond, PhD, Natac Solutions managing director, key growth opportunities are focused on the energy and performance category where it believes it can help CPG brands develop next-level functional products in the categories of snacks, bars, and beverages.

For more on this news, please click HERE​.

2. FDA approves qualified health claim for high oleic oils

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a qualified health claim for edible oils containing high levels of oleic acid to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat shown to have cardiovascular benefits when it replaces saturated fat.

In a statement issued last week​, the FDA said it would allow the following wording on pack: “Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that daily consumption of about 1½ tablespoons (20g) of oils containing high levels of oleic acid [at least 70%], may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

The Agency added that companies using the claim will also need to make it clear that to achieve this benefit, these oils, “should replace fats and oils higher in saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day”​.

Oils eligible to make this claim include high oleic sunflower oil, high oleic safflower oil, high oleic canola oil, high oleic soybean oil, olive oil and high oleic algal oil. 


3. UK raises over £154m since introduction of sugar tax

Soda © Getty Images Boarding1Now
© Getty Images / Boarding1Now

With many countries around the world considering taxes on sugar and carbonated beverages, HM Revenue & Customs in the UK announced that the nation’s sugar tax has raised £153.8m ($197m) since its introduction seven months ago.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) is predicted to raise £240m ($308m, €271m) in its first year.

The levy has two tiers: a lower rate for beverages containing 5g sugar per 100ml or more; and a higher rate for those with 8g sugar or more. The majority of the revenue – more than 90% - has come from traders paying the higher rate.

For more on this story, please click HERE​.

4. EU wants to push its own domestic plant protein market

Lentils © Getty Images Pawzi
Lentils. Image © Getty Images / Pawzi

Global demand for plant protein continues to rise, and the European Commission recently announced new policies to promote domestic production and consumption of soy, chickpeas, lentils and rapeseed​.

Local production of these crops has “grown dynamically” in recent years, the EC noted. The soya area in the EU has doubled to almost one million hectares since the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform in 2013, with an EU production of 2.8 million tonnes in 2018. Since 2013, production of pulses has almost tripled and reached six million tonnes (2.6 million hectares) in 2018.

However, this is not sufficient to cover the growing demand due to “market and climatic factors”.

Agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan has called for an EU-wide debate on how to grow more plant-based proteins in a “sustainable way”. The proposals he presented include support via the CAP, more research and innovation and improved market analysis. Next year, there will also be €200 million available to “promote the benefits of plant protein for nutrition, health, climate and environment”.

5. Müller discovers specific yogurt strains to boost health

After testing over 13,000 strains, the German dairy giant claims to have discovered a specific combination of yogurt strains that creates less sour tasting products.

The company announced that a combination of Streptococcus thermophilus​ and Lactobacillus bulgaricus​ creates a milder product which means less sugar is required to create a better taste.

The firm plans to use the new mild recipe to reduce sugar in its Müller Corner range by 9%.

It says the new formula, available from May 2019, will also offer a thicker and creamier texture.

For more on this story, please click HERE​.


6. Maharashtra FDA pushes for strict punishments for food adulteration violators

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Indian state of Maharashtra has announced that the maximum punishment for food adulterators will be life imprisonment will soon be the maximum punishment for food adulterators in, said the state’s.

This reportedly came after Congress member Sanjay Dutt raised the issue of food adulteration cases having increased at an alarming rate in Maharashtra over the last three years, as per data from the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

Dutt also claimed that Maharashtra ranked second in the country in terms of food adulteration case reports in the 2016/2017 period, and ‘demanded that the concerned ministry strengthen [monitoring] to ensure swift action and conviction of those guilty,’ according to The Indian Express​.

Maharashtra is the second-most populous and third-largest state in India, comprising India’s most populous city, Mumbai.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

7. Study explores limonene safety in food products

Citrus © Getty Images Plateresca
© Getty Images / Plateresca

Indian researchers have called for more data into the effects of limonene​ on modern food processing techniques, the degradation products generated, and the toxicity from such products.

Limonene is a monocyclic terpene found in over 300 plants in different parts of the world. It is commonly used as a flavor additive in food, beverages and fragrances, thanks to its lemon-like scent.

Researchers from India's National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management reported that oral intake of limonene in rats resulted mainly in severe hyaline droplet nephrotoxicity, but only in male rats because of specific protein α2u-globulin, a major urinary protein.

The same effect, however, has not been observed in humans. Other toxicological effects of limonene found in rodents were hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity.

Despite this, limonene has not displayed any genotoxic, immunotoxic, or carcinogenic properties. Based on the available information, the researchers classified limonene as a low-toxicity additive.

The researchers concluded: “Future research should evaluate the effect of conventional and emerging food processing techniques on food products containing limonene in detail, especially with respect to generation of new metabolites of limonene, toxicity of these metabolites and safe level / limits of such metabolites in food products, as there is paucity of data regarding the same.”

The study was published in the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology​.

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