Small Wonder The popularity of white bread has taken something of a beating in recent years, as wheat bread has capitalized on the positive consumer perception of whole wheat and its assorted health benefits. Wonder Bread has now decided to make that nutritious selling point a strength of its own, particularly in terms of fiber content.

Wonder Smartwhite promises the taste and texture of white bread, but with the same amount of fiber as 100% whole-wheat bread. In fact, the Wonder offering provides 5g of fiber per serving, in addition to the calcium equal to an 8oz glass of milk in two slices, as well as a good source of nine vitamins and minerals. It also has 33% less sodium than regular white bread and a total of 50 calories per slice.

On the Bean
Since the FDA identified its list of eight major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans), manufacturers of varying sizes have been relatively quick to introduce allergen-free products--or, at least, to re-label their products to make sure consumers are aware specific allergens are absent.

Perhaps no trade show sees more of these products than Natural Products Expo West, as exhibitors were quick to note which of the allergens were missing from their products. Naturally, this led to quite a degree of innovative formulations, from ice cream made with hemp milk to dairy-less cheese to the emergence of coconut milk in varying formulations. One such example came courtesy of Bean Brand Foods. Its Beanitos 100% whole bean snack chip is corn- and gluten-free, while also featuring omega-3s, protein and fiber.

More details on the 2010 NPEW can be seen in the May 10, 2010, issue of Prepared Foods’ E-dition.

Time for Tea
A 2001 Portland Business Journal cited sources estimating Kombucha sales would be $300 million within several years, yet the market remains a fraction of that, despite the beverage’s healthy reputation.

In developing its new take on the beverage, Celestial Seasonings notes, “To make Kombucha, a special live culture called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is added to a combination of organic brewed tea and sugar. After fermentation, live and raw Kombuchas contain naturally occurring probiotic organisms and acids that may promote gastrointestinal health and enhance and maintain vitality.”

The company is introducing the first raw, organic Kombucha naturally enhanced with functional ingredients. The five-item line augments the tea’s naturally occurring enzymes, probiotics and antioxidants with all-natural functional ingredients.

HFCS and Weight Gain
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is again a topic of controversy. A story on the March 10 CBS Evening News proclaimed, “HFCS is just sugar with an image problem.” It quoted Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest: “The evilness of high-fructose corn syrup has become an urban myth.”

Less than two weeks later, a Princeton University research team found “all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain,” noting rats with access to HFCS gained “significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.” Furthermore, “long-term consumption of HFCS also led to abnormal increases in body fat and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.” “Some people have claimed HFCS is no different than other sweeteners, when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel.

IRI Announces Pacesetters
Information Resources Inc. (IRI) has released its annual New Products Pacesetters, ranking the most successful new consumer packaged goods (CPG) food and beverage brands of 2009. While the troubled economy may have prompted some consumers to stick with the tried and true, IRI notes these products overcame such hesitance.

“These brands represent true attention to detail, when it comes to delivering what consumers want and need in a difficult economy,” explained IRI Business Insights Practice executive vice president Anne Berlack. “In 2009, New Product Pacesetters scored big, despite the challenges of launching new products in an era of conservative and rapidly transforming consumer shopping behaviors.”

No matter the economy, it seems, products geared toward health and nutrition still catch the average consumers’ eyes. In fact, of the 10 products on IRI’s list of Pacesetters, no fewer than six had some degree of a healthful slant. A pair of beers on the list pared the number of calories generally found in the beverage; Bud Light Lime added a fruit flavor to the light brew, while MillerCoors’ MGD 64 trimmed the calorie content to under 100 calories.

DEWmocracy from Mountain Dew was actually a series of flavors involved in a promotion where Mountain Dew consumers could taste test one of several different varieties (Revolution featured a wild berry fruit and ginseng flavor; Supernova had a strawberry, melon and ginseng flavor; and the ultimate winner, Voltage, had a raspberry-citrus and ginseng flavor). The latter has now become a permanent feature of the Mountain Dew

What you may have missed if you’re not subscribed to Prepared Foods’ E-dition:
* The FTC is part of an inter-agency initiative to “augment the nutritional standards of the foods and beverages being marketed to children.”
* Mango peel can be utilized for the preparation of macaroni with improved nutritional properties.
* A vegetable fat used in processed foods and ready meals increases the risk of a serious womb disease.
* Walnut consumption helped slow the growth of prostate cancer in mice.
* The J.M. Smucker Co. says it will close four plants and cut 700 jobs, about 15% of its workforce, and modernize other plants to cut costs.
* Subway is joining the breakfast scramble in a move that the sandwich chain hopes will help add customers and sales.

To subscribe to Prepared Foods’ E-dition or view its archives, visit Prepared Foods’ home page ( and click on the E-dition logo.

For daily industry news updates, see the homepage of and
* Registration is now open for the World Tea Expo, to be held June 11-13, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more details, visit
* Dan Schmerbach has been named corporate controller at MGP Ingredients Inc.
* Lallemand Health Ingredients and Lal’Food have merged, with Nicolai Jensen as general manager of the reinforced Lallemand Health Ingredients entity and Bruno Delattre as the newly appointed marketing manager.
* David Michael & Co. hired Luis Gayo as operations manager for the Philadelphia office, promoted Russell Kauffman to production manager and Mike O’Neill to third shift supervisor, and named Nicole Katz strategic business development specialist. Also, David Michael de Mexico named Jorge L. Zarco and Monica Perez account executives.
* Lonza is expanding its capacities for Carnipure™ and Carniking™ L-Carnitine products belonging to its nutrition business.
* Kemin Health L.C. appointed Michael Ceddia, Ph.D., to vice president of research and development, named Katleen Vankerschaver to principal global customer laboratory services manager for the food technologies division of Kemin Industries and added Ann Rolow to business manager for North America sales. Donavan Updike joined Kemin Food Technologies as North America sales manager in the western U.S. region, and Michael Zheng is now business director for the China food technologies division of Kemin Industries.
* Cargill opened a dedicated manufacturing plant in Pinghu, China. CTP Holdings, a Cargill majority-owned company, signed an agreement to sell its interest in oil palm plantations it owned and operated in Papua New Guinea to New Britain Palm Oil for $175 million, plus certain adjustments for stocks and capital expenditure.
* Sunwin International Neutraceuticals Inc. and WILD Flavors Inc. received official notification defined as “Letters of No Objection” from the FDA that the agency has reviewed the companies’ independent research submission and agreed that Sunwin Stevia Extracts are GRAS.
* DSM Food Specialties and Tianjin University of Technology & Science announced the creation of the “Cheese Technology Institute,” a dedicated online resource at for cheese manufacturers in China.
* Burke Corporation is adding Lisa Kalla to its industrial sales division, as sales manager for the eastern region.
* Horizon Milling named Steve Gorman vice president and sales leader.
* Zhejiang ShanShan Tea Co. Ltd and MB-Holding GmbH & Co. KG have entered into a joint venture agreement, to operate under the name of ShanShan (Hangzhou) Tea Extracts Co. Ltd.
* Kalsec Inc. has opened new sales offices in Shanghai, China.
* Viterra Inc. and Dakota Growers Pasta Company Inc. signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which a subsidiary of Viterra will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Dakota Growers. 
* Sabra added two brand marketing professionals the its team: Dennis Peters and Nicole Hofmann. The company also opened a new factory in Richmond, Va., on May 26. 
* Enzymotec launched a new product designed for the special nutrition needs of vegetarians, to provide a balanced phospholipids diet.
* FONA International Inc. hired John Bailey as senior account executive, Susan Chitwood as food scientist--dry beverage, Ken Gawley as senior account executive, Jason Mittelheuser as chemist--dry beverage, Marissa Piazza as flavorist-in-training--confections and Dena Pusey as process chemist--quality assurance. In addition, Manon Daoust is now business industry manager of performance nutrition, and Joanne Kennedy was named president of Women in Flavor & Fragrance Commerce.
* Mars Inc. filed a lawsuit against a cocoa flavanol extract supplier and against a pair of cocoa flavanol supplement manufacturers for infringement of nine U.S. patents owned by Mars. 
* Glanbia Nutritionals appointed Marilyn Stieve as business development manager, responsible for developing commercial opportunities for new flax seed solutions.
* Sartori’s shredded version of its SarVecchio Parmesan cheese was awarded “Best of Class” at the 2010 World Champion Cheese Contest hosted in Madison, Wis., during the three-day