At its annual meeting recently in Chicago, the American Heart Association (AHA) recognized for the first time the use of a food supplement to sustain the heart. Doctors at the meeting recommended that people with heart disease could lower their risk of fatal heart attack with a daily helping of salmon or other fatty fish—or by taking a daily fish oil supplement.

Previous studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can save lives of people with heart disease. The AHA further cited recent research touting fish-rich diets even for people with healthy hearts. The Physicians' Health Study suggested that fish can reduce a man's risk of dying by heart attack by 80%. The Nurses' Health Study found omega-3 fatty acids decreased a woman's chance of a heart-attack-related death by 33%.

According to Penny Kris-Etherton of Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the heart association's statement, “We have evidence that, if heart patients consume about 1g a day, they have much better survival rates and fewer heart attacks. Some people cannot eat fish, will not eat fish or live in places where they cannot get fish. Those people should consider a supplement in consultation with a physician.

Valuable Biotech

A recent Roper survey evaluated the top development in food biotechnology in 2002. Cited as most valuable was a tomato which had been enhanced with a higher quantity of lycopene, the antioxidant believed to be a cancer fighter. The survey questioned the respondents on a range of 20 achievements by government and academic institutions. The top five were:

1. Cancer-fighting tomatoes, ranked as “valuable” by 65% of respondents, have been under development for a decade by Purdue University and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. They offer more than three times the amount of lycopene compared to conventional varieties.

2. “Valuable” to 61% of respondents, a new sweet potato variety has built-in resistance to a devastating virus that consumes more than three-fourths of the annual harvest. Scientists at the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications' AfriCenter in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and other research institutions developed the improved sweet potato.

3. “Valuable” to 56% are bananas and potatoes developed to contain a vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases and the cause of almost all cervical cancer in women. Researchers with the University of Rochester have tested varieties equipped with the vaccine, and work is now entering the third stage of clinical evaluation.

4. Fresher produce was valuable to 54%. A gene that produces a plant hormone that counteracts aging and keeps fruits and vegetables fresh longer was recently discovered at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

5. Hardier crops were deemed “valuable” by 52%. Crops that flourish in extreme climates are being developed at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Researchers there have enhanced a thale cress plant, an herb from the mustard family, to have a higher tolerance to heat and light stress.

Sidebar: THE IN BOX

Chr. Hansen Inc., Milwaukee, has hired Paul J. Montgomery as key account/broker manager for the company's sweetener business unit and has promoted Kevin Ramsey to director of technical services for the same unit. In addition, the company has opened a newly built application and technology center in Horsholm, Denmark, to handle different project types and sizes for customers worldwide.

River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC, Salinas, Calif., has named Bruce Knobeloch vice president of marketing, heading the company's efforts for value-added sales in North America.

Givaudan North American Flavors, Cincinnati, has hired Dan McCafferty as senior vice president of sales and marketing.

David Michael & Co., Philadelphia, has promoted Derek Sabow to district sales manager and Yue Jian Ping to deputy general manager of David Michael (Beijing) Flavor Co. Ltd. David Michael also has welcomed Erin Kate O'Donnell as marketing coordinator in the company's Philadelphia headquarters.

Belleisle Foods, New Brunswick, Canada, has launched its new website—

Roche Vitamins, Basel, Switzerland, has signed a cooperation agreement with AnalytiCon Discovery GmbH, Potsdam, a biotech company researching active substances based on natural compounds.

U.S. Nutraceuticals, Boone, N.C., has named Daniel Vickers raw materials manager for its botanics division.

RFI Ingredients, Blauvelt, N.Y., has named Pi-Yu Hsu technical manager at its New York headquarters.

Burke Industrial Coatings, Vancouver, Wash., has moved its corporate offices, laboratory and warehouse to 6200 NE Campus Dr., Vancouver, Wash. 98661.

MGP Ingredients of Illinois, Pekin, Ill., has promoted Dick Larson to manager of administration and finance.

Importers Service Corporation, Jersey City, N.J., has promoted Christopher Berliner to vice president and general manager.

Unilever, New York, has appointed John W. Rice as business group president and chief executive officer of Unilever Bestfoods North America. Unilever also announced it is selling its Iberia Foods business to an affiliate of the Brooklyn Bottling Group, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Bunge North America, St. Louis, had added Thomas J. Erickson as vice president of government affairs.

Molson Inc., Toronto, has appointed Peter L. Amirault senior vice president of business development and innovation.

Sleeman Breweries, Guelph, Ont., has announced David Myers, president and COO, will assume responsibilities for the company's Ontario and Maritimes portfolio.

The 15 European Union member states have reached an agreement on food labeling requirements that are expected to introduce more transparency with regard to ingredients. The proposal calls for listing all ingredients that constitute 2% or more of a product, superceding current regulations that set the level at 25%. The proposal still must be approved by the European Parliament.

Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., has sold the unit that makes Now and Later, Intense Fruit Chews and Mighty Bite brands of candies to Farley's & Sathers Candy Co. Kraft also named Terry M. Faulk senior vice president of human resources, David G. Owens senior vice president of strategy of Kraft Foods Inc., Kevin R. Scott to senior vice president of strategy of Kraft Foods North America, and Paul E. Carothers vice president of public affairs.

Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., has sold Bishop Baking Co. Inc., Cleveland, Tenn., to Flowers Foods, Thomasville, Ga.

Silver Star Foods Inc., New York, has hired Michael Young as chief financial officer.

Dean Foods Co., Dallas, is selling its dairy operations in Puerto Rico to Grupo Gloria, a Peruvian conglomerate, for $122 million. Dean Foods' Puerto Rico operations consist of five companies: Suiza Dairy, Suita Fruit, Neva Plastics Manufacturing, Garrido y Compania LLC and Garido Alto Grande Corp.

Ajinomoto Co. will take full control of Orsan SA, a French maker and seller of monosodium glutamate.