Yesterday afternoon, I snacked on chipotle-lime beef jerky while sipping a stevia-sweetened sparkling beverage. Last night, I cooked dinner for four with a meal kit delivered to my house. This morning, I skipped the cereal sitting dormant in my pantry and grabbed a high-protein nutrition bar from a local company for breakfast as I scrambled out the door. Like me, large swaths of consumers have fundamentally changed their food consumption habits, and small- and medium-sized manufacturers have taken advantage of those shifts to the detriment of established “big food” manufacturers.
As reported in A.T. Kearney’s “Is Big Food in Trouble?” report, the top 25 food manufacturers in the United States have ceded 300 basis points of market share to small- and medium-sized competitors since 2012—and have had anemic annual growth of 1.8%. Changes in consumers’ core values—amplified by social media, celebrity chefs, and a myriad of food experts—are rewarding small- and medium-size companies with annual growth rates of 11–15%. Continue reading →
To many the proposed FDA rule to deny GRAS status to partially hydrogenated oil—and thereby in effect banning it from use—would be a great public health benefit. However, this proposed rule is not without consequences to many individuals, so it is critical that this decision is made carefully.
The FDA and others have stated that further decreases in trans fatty acid consumption could decrease thousands of cardiac events and deaths. These calculations of saving lives by further lowering trans fatty acid consumption assume that the biological effects of trans fatty acid follow a dose dependent linear response. Unfortunately, the pharmokinetics of the biological effects of trans fatty acids are difficult if not impossible to confirm since most studies that show adverse effects of trans fatty acids had to use dietary trans levels in excess of 5% of total energy. FDA has calculated that trans fatty acid consumption of partially hydrogenated oils has decreased from 4.6 g per day in 2003 to 1.3 g per day (2.1 to 0.6% of total energy) in 2010. It is very common for kinetics to not be linear especially at extremely low or high concentrations of bioactive agents. Therefore, it does not seem scientifically prudent to make a bold statement of how many deaths a food ingredient is causing without any clinical data. Keep Reading
Palm oil is a major industrial commodity today. It is economical, versatile, immensely popular, and it is being produced in an increasingly sustainable way. An industrial feedstock in food and confectionery goods, cosmetics, detergents, and biofuels, it is also an important food source in large parts of the developing world.
But a number of factors suggest that the future lies in new oils. Rapid expansion of palm oil production has destroyed areas of the rain forest, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and eroding biodiversity. The planet cannot sustain ever-expanding production levels, which some project could nearly triple by 2050. And while in some food uses palm oil doesn’t require hydrogenation, its ubiquity in packaged foods still makes it a health concern in the developed world, where diets are high in saturated fats. Alternatives are required. Although sustainable palm oil and other vegetable oils are necessary elements in today’s oil portfolio, they are insufficient. Buyers, governments, and nongovernmental organizations need to accelerate initiatives to develop new oil sources. Keep Reading
On November 20, Hostess announced that mediation with its bakers union had failed and that the 82-year-old company would proceed with liquidation plans. The good news is that the company’s iconic brands, such as Twinkies and HoHos, may not be gone for good. There may be multiple buyers of the individual product brands under the Hostess umbrella or there may be a single buyer who acquires them all. But rest assured, they will be sold because they have real market value. Estimates are that the combined sale of Hostess could be worth over $2 billion.
On March 28 and 29, IFT will be holding its annual Wellness conference in Rosemont, Ill., offering attendees unbiased perspectives, news about emerging trends, and information on how other organizations within the food industry are penetrating the health and wellness sector. Recently, Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor at IFT, spoke with Linda Eatherton, Partner and Director of Global Food & Nutrition Practice at Ketchum, who will speaking at the conference’s closing session about what consumers around the world will want from food companies in 2020. Linda joined Ketchum in 2001 to lead the firm’s worldwide Food & Nutrition Practice. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Public and Industry Communications for Dairy Management Inc.
After reading the President’s Message on “Food Science and Sodium” by Dr. Roger Clemens in the January issue of Food Technology magazine, I assume that this column has generated considerable feedback and I would like to add my two cents worth. Roger and I have in the past had some friendly debates on this issue, which I think is healthy.
I come to the sodium issue as someone who has considerable experience with human taste perception, in general, and salt taste perception, in particular. But I claim no special expertise on blood pressure regulation or on how much sodium humans ought to consume. Hence, I have nothing authoritative to say on the salt intake health controversy other than to suggest that to describe recommendations by the vast majority of health professionals and relevant government agencies worldwide as “conventional wisdom” is a bit misleading. Keep Reading
Part 2 of the audio interview between Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor at IFT, and John Floros, Head of the Department of Food Science at Pennsylvania State. In this segment John explains the challenges we face to feed a population which is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. In addition, he addresses consumers’ negative perceptions of processed foods, and finally, he shares some tools that he believes are currently being underutilized that may help improve our efforts to feed a growing population. John has worked in the food processing industry, was on the faculty at Purdue University, and since 2000 he has been leading the . He is widely published, is currently a Member of the Science Board for the Food & Drug Administration, and a Fellow and Past President of IFT.
IFT is a nonprofit scientific society of individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. The views and opinions posted on ePerspective are those of authors and these opinions do not necessarily reflect the positions of IFT.