From the Ancient World

The interest in whole grains has spurred the re-introduction of some very old grains into the modern world. ConAgra introduces Ancient Grains, which have provided the nutritional and culinary basis for cultures from the ancient Andes, Middle East and West Africa for millennia. There is nothing old-fashioned about the taste-tempting flavors, textures and undisputed nutritional credentials of grains like amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff. Western nutritionists, culinary professionals and consumers will appreciate their captivating flavors and back-to-basics nutrition. ConAgra Mills, Marti DeMoss, 402-595-5783, Marti.DeMoss@conagrafoods.com, www.conagramills.com

Two Promising Fibers

Research shows that seven out of 10 consumers in the U.S. feel that fiber helps promote digestive health and a healthy immune system. Tate & Lyle’s PROMITOR™ dietary fibers offer processing benefits and essential fiber with no impact on taste and texture. The family of PROMITOR fibers includes PROMITOR Resistant Starch and PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber. The resistant starch can be used as a flour replacer in snacks and ready-to-eat cereals and is process-resistant. The soluble corn fiber has a clean flavor, is absolutely clear and can be used at high levels with low viscosity. Plus, PROMITOR Resistant Starch handles like corn syrup, but can be used in powder form. Tate & Lyle, 800-526-5728, salesinfo@tateandlyle.com

Culinary Concentrates

A leading provider of culinary flavor systems can be relied up-on to deliver the most authentic tastes to enhance any signature dishes. Custom Culinary™ Master’s Touch® Sauce & Gravy Concentrates are crafted by a team of culinary professionals and are made with only the finest, freshest, highest-quality ingredients available and offer a consistency that is unparalleled. They offer versatility that will provide an array of signature applications, from Hollandaise sauce to mouth-watering demi-glace. Custom Culinary, Kristina Capps, 630-366-7500, www.customculinary.com

Meat Their Demands

Now there are two new meat and meat replacement prototypes that address distinct consumer demands. They contain SaltWise™, Cargill’s sodium reduction system that helps manufacturers reduce sodium levels by 25-50% while retaining salt flavor. To address the continued demand for beef snacks with lower concentrations of salt, Cargill has developed a reduced-sodium beef stick that delivers the same great taste and saltiness of the regular product. The other meat product responds to the growth of meatball sales and consumers’ desire for better-tasting, convenient meat products that can be prepared at home. Cargill’s meatballs have excellent fat-binding and water absorption capabilities—resulting in increased yields and profits for manufacturers and retailers. Cargill, Nicole Reichert, 952-742-4204, nicole_reichert@cargill.com, www.cargill.com

Exciting Extracts

A global company providing superior shelflife solutions to preserve the freshness and enhance the quality of food has announced the development of a product that helps maintain the natural freshness of processed meats and other products. FORTIUM® brand R10 Plus dry natural extract from Kemin Food Ingredients Inc. combines the benefits of rosemary and green tea extracts into one product. This synergistic blend of natural extracts is label-friendly, cost-effective and has a low flavor profile. It was developed for use in processed meats, seasoning blends and other applications to help protect against color and flavor loss that can occur over time. Kemin Food Ingredients Inc., Jeff Sporrer, 515-559-5426, jeff.sporrer@kemin.com", www.kemin.com

A Calculated Effort

Food manufacturers clamor more than ever for the FDA’s various Nutrient Content Claims such as low-fat, low-sodium or low-cholesterol. While labs or third-party analysts are the usual routes for creating FDA-compliant nutrition panels, now there is an easier, more interactive and quicker option. LabelCalc is the only online, one-stop, FDA-compliant nutrition panel service. Users can access anytime, from anywhere in the world and avoid the delays, expense and hassle of giving nutrient analysis and panel label creation to an outside source. LabelCalc's Claims Calculator allows users to quickly determine if they qualify for FDA-approved Nutrient Content Claims. LabelCalc, Jill Beaverson, 707-971-0687, jill@labelcalc.com, www.labelcalc.com

Wild and Free

A complete line of ingredients promises to eliminate diacetyl from butter and dairy flavors. With both natural and natural/artificial versions available, WILD flavors has created diacetyl-free and no-added diacetyl flavors and ingredient systems that provide the buttery characteristics, mouthfeel and high impact expected with butter. This line of flavors and ingredient systems is production-friendly and heat-stable within a wide variety of applications including snacks, bakery, sauces, savory and culinary items.  WILD Flavors Inc., Donna L. Hansee, 859-342-3526, dhansee@wildflavors.com, www.wildflavors.com

New Study Highlights Enhanced Calcium Uptake

A new study shows how specific lactic acid bacteria enhance calcium uptake and gut immune defenses. Lallemand Nutritional Food Ingredients, the functional food division of Lallemand Inc., specialists in yeast and bacteria, has announced the promising results of a study on the well-documented lactic acid bacteria strain L. helveticus R389. A paper recently published online by BMC Immunology confirms the immuno-stimulating potential of milk fermented with the specific bacteria strain and sheds some light on the mechanisms involved, such as improved dietary calcium uptake in the gut. The bacteria strain is characterized by its important proteolytic activity and the diversity of bioactive peptides released during the milk fermentation process. Its health potentials are mostly linked to these specific peptides. To date, its potential health benefits cover the inhibition of potential pathogens, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activity, anti-hypertensive activity and important immunomodulatory activity. To these, the potential to enhance dietary calcium uptake in the gut can now be added. Lallemand Nutritional Food Ingredients/American Yeast, James Kopp, 832-338-8753, jkopp@lallemand.com, www.lallemand.com

For daily industry news updates, see the homepage of www.PreparedFoods.com and www.NutraSolutions.com.

* Texas A&M University will host a one-week practical short course on Snack Food Processing in cooperation with The Snack Food Association on Feb. 24-29, 2008. The program will cover establishment of snack food facilities, operating principles and a number of demonstrations. For more information, contact Dr. Mian N. Riaz; Food Protein R&D Center; 2476 TAMU Texas A&M University; College Station, TX, 77843-2476; phone: 979-845-2774, e-mail: mnriaz@tamu.edu or visit: www.tamu.edu/extrusion.
* Kevin Mehring recently joined Danisco’s Cultures Division as product manager--probiotics.
* GTC Nutrition opened its specialty oats manufacturing facility in Missoula, Mon.
* Wixon Inc. promoted Mariano Gascon from flavor lab director to vice president of research and development.
* Burke Corporation named Walter Knowles territory sales representative in Florida.
* Israeli company Galam Group reached an agreement with Atomer S.L. to take a majority participation in the company.
* Südzucker AG created a new functional food group: BENEO. Orafti, Palatinit and Remy will form BENEO, to be known individually as BENEO-Orafti, BENEO-Remy and BENEO-Palatinit.
* ConAgra Mills added Virgil Smail as senior director of Research, Quality & Innovation.
* Shaul Shelach has been appointed CEO of Solbar, Israel.
* Kalsec opened an $8 million state-of-the-art, customer-focused research center that allows the company to offer more complete ingredient solutions to food formulating and product development challenges.
* Baldwin Richardson Foods Co. added Timothy C. Ridgeway to its executive team as senior vice president and chief operating officer. 
* Biorigin announced an investment of $46 million through the end of 2008 in its Operations and Research & Develop-ment units, to increase the production capacity that will pass from 18,000mt/year to 35,000mt/year at the end of 2008.
* Frutarom Industries Ltd. signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of the German companies Gewurzmuller GmbH and Blessing Biotech GmbH in consideration for a cash payment of $67 million.
* Firmenich Inc. announced that its flavors will no longer be distributed by Flavor Savor Inc.  Due to the recent acquisition of Danisco’s flavor division, Firmenich will handle its U.S. customers directly.
* FONA International promoted Jennifer Hoffmann to manager of regulatory affairs and Lisa Cummins to regulatory affairs analyst II, while also hiring James Evanoff as director of corporate finance.