An ad agency employee once asked how I keep from being bored when writing about food and nutritional products. I was dumb-founded. As the editor of Prepared Foods and its nutraceuticals-oriented supplement NutraSolutions, I believe there is not a more interesting segment to cover.

I offer as evidence a few news bits from the daily updated Prepared Foods and NutraSolutions websites.

Diageo has expanded its Smirnoff Twist line with a green apple-flavored vodka. Don't laugh. Flavored vodkas have grown almost 200% since the mid-1990s, they say, and the introduction coincides with “the surging consumer interest in all of the apple-themed products.”

“Pepsi Blue sales have exceeded our aggressive expectations,” noted Michael Hartman, vice president of marketing, Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd. Pepsi Blue, the fusion of berry and cola, reportedly achieved almost 50% of its full-year sales forecast in just one month.

Following third-quarter losses of a reported $1.45 billion, Netherlands-based Royal Numico, N.V. “threw in the towel” on its vitamin business. It retains General Nutrition Centers in the hope that the 8%-12% annual rise in higher-margin segments, such as sports nutrition and meal supplements, will pay off. (

Harvard Medical School studies, published in the November 2002 issues of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Experimental Eye Research, support dietary zeaxanthin's role in protecting the retina of the eye from light's damaging effects. (

A study led by Dr. Ann Hsing at the American Institute for Cancer Research, published in the November 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), reports that individuals who consume the highest levels of allium (garlic, scallions, onions, chives and leeks) had nearly a 50% lower cancer risk than those who ate the least. (

This array of subjects is not only reflected on our websites and monthly print publications, but in this issue, also. One section covers the culinary-oriented side of foods with an update on trends, as well as tactics for flavor development in the international scale-up of products. The Wellness and Organic Ingredients Directory details suppliers of nutritional and medicinal ingredients for food and dietary supplements.

By the way, if you offer value-added organic ingredients for North American manufacturers and wish to be included in next year's guide, please send your contact information, including city and state, to me at

Best wishes for a happy and successful 2003!

Internet Information

For more information on subjects covered in this issue see these Internet sites.

‘Bout Bioactives — The NPI website has news, features, and more on alternative health products, nutraceuticals and functional foods — The American Heart Association on Coenzyme Q10
— Articles on glucosamine and its relationship to osteoarthritis — A background piece on how soy isoflavones work

Buzzing About Botanicals — Medicinal Herbs Online includes a comprehensive herbal and medicinal glossary, along with explanations of how herbal preparations are used — The University of Washington’s Medicinal Herb Garden’s list of herbs indexed by botanical and common names and allows searches via Medline — The American Botanical Council’s site offers information and publications on herbal medicine — Based on The Botanical Safety Handbook

Love Those Lipids — A comprehensive breakdown of lipids, their categories, functions and nutritional value — Article explains benefits of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and their functions — Explains essential oils and how they are extracted — A list of conditions associated with the benefits of omega fatty acids

A Stable of Sweeteners — A short, comprehensive history of stevia and stevioside, with a focus on its status in the EU