Testing for Chocolate

Chocolate is a hobby and passion for many Americans, and Puratos brand of coverture chocolates has peaked the interest of consumers. Recently, Puratos Chocolate USA conducted a third-party sensory study to evaluate industry market positions and consumer taste preferences. Three categories of chocolate were tested, and Puratos’ Chocolanté had favorable results in each category, including milk, white and dark chocolate. Chocolanté Milk Chocolate earned significantly high ratings, including a pleasant flavor profile and high intent to purchase. Puratos Chocolate USA manufactures real and compound chocolates, including fillings, and a full range of Belcolade products--The Real Belgian Chocolate. Puratos Chocolate USA, 800-472-7462, chocolateus@puratos.com

Down on Main Street
Main Street Ingredients has been appointed by Klinge Foods Ltd. as the industrial representative and distributor of its reduced-sodium LoSalt® to food manufacturers in North America. LoSalt is a great-tasting, reduced-sodium salt containing only one third of the sodium in regular table, sea and rock salts. As it is high in natural potassium, it is a far healthier salt, claims Klinge Foods. LoSalt is an innovative and responsible approach to consumer sodium health issues. LoSalt extends Main Street’s commitment to providing healthy ingredients, as more pressure is put on food manufacturers to reduce sodium in their products. Main Street Ingredients, 800-359-2345, www.mainstreetingredients.com

Dairy Dream
A revolutionary new product from Darifair® eliminates the troubles with traditional heavy cream, such as freeze/thaw stability, retort cook times and color degradation in kettle and retort applications. Made with real dairy and 50% less fat, Daricream is claimed to have dramatically improved nutritional data, performance in soups and sauces, and it maintains superior stability, without sacrificing taste and texture, says the company. With a lower cost than traditional dairy cream, Daricream has become the go-to ingredient to solve a multitude of obstacles--without breaking the bank. Darifair, 904-268-8999, www.darifair.com 

Natural Goodness
Improving labels is one of the biggest challenges facing food manufacturers today. Breiss’ creative solutions and natural ingredients can help, with answers to label claim formulating challenges, including natural; kosher; organic; non-GMO; gluten-, trans fat- and caffeine-free; high fiber; and no additives, preservatives or artificial colors/flavors. New for 2010 is a Roasted Potato Flavor, an all-natural potato flour that is gently roasted to develop savory flavor and color. Breiss has a complete portfolio of natural ingredients with applications in a wide range of foods. Breiss Malt & Ingredients Co., www.Breiss.com

Yogurt with Omega-3
Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC), supplier of MEG-3® brand omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients, announced recently that Turkey Hill Dairy has introduced a limited edition Pomblueberry Chocolate Truffle Frozen Yogurt, containing MEG-3 ingredients. Each half-cup serving of the yogurt contains 32mg of omega-3 EPA and DHA, as well as “a healthy portion of live and active cultures, calcium and vitamin D.” Frozen dessert fans will love this delicious blend of pomegranate blueberry with chocolate fudge truffles, while also benefiting from the nutritious advantages of the two most beneficial omega-3s. Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited, www.ocean-nutrition.com or www.meg-3.com; Turkey Hill Dairy, www.turkeyhill.com

Test Time for Melamine is Shortened
Adding melamine to foods inaccurately enhances their protein content, a driving force behind the melamine-tainted pet feed event in the U.S. in 2007 that resulted in about 1,000 pet deaths and the thousands of sickened babies in China in 2008. Since then, scientists have fervently been working on an accurate melamine test that is affordable, portable and faster than the traditional 30-minute tests available.
Last month, Na Li, a University of Miami assistant professor in the College of Engineering, and her team came up with a test that uses gold nanoparticles and a dual color and precipitation test to detect the presence of melamine in foods. The tests can be done in less than 15 minutes. According to Science Daily, the first step is to separate the casein-based milk component, because it can hamper the detection of melamine. Then, gold nanoparticles are added to a red solution that, if it turns to blue, signals the presence of melamine. Cyanuric acid can then further be added incrementally to form a precipitant that can be assessed.
The research team is working to develop a commercially viable, simple kit that eventually can be used by consumers at home to detect melamine and give them a role in assuring their food is safe. The method has been published on the Internet, by Applied Physics Letters (visit http://bit.ly/b0dsyP to see the abstract).

Heart-healthy Soybean Oil
A heart-healthy, essential omega-3 fatty acid is poised to improve soybean oil, according to a recent FDA notice. The new scientific advance will reportedly move biotechnology onto the average consumer’s daily radar. Recently, the FDA issued a notice confirming that soybean oil with increased levels of omega-3 can be used in foods and beverages. Pending clearance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers can plant these new soybeans; the oil will lend itself to a wide range of food products, such as yogurts, salad dressings, breakfast cereals and more. Because most Americans do not consume the recommended levels of fish oil, which has been one current source of omega-3s, it is believed that soybean oil could be an effective alternative source. United Soybean Board Inc. (USB); for a brochure on USB’s biotechnology efforts, go to www.soyconnection.com/soybean_oil/benefits_of_biotechnology.php.

Prepared Foods’ R&D Seminars
In today’s economic times, educating key people can be quite expensive. Prepared Foods’ R&D Seminars series are structured to provide hands-on, useful and timely information to R&D professionals in food/beverage, ingredient and service companies in a short time period. The applications-oriented sessions, which cover areas such as beverage, baking, dairy, emerging ingredients, etc., offer solutions that attendees will use in their daily ingredient functionality challenges.
The schedule features several concurrent technical tracks, so participants can become informed about subjects that directly interest them. Each track will be devoted to a specific application challenge (beverage, baking, dairy, emerging ingredients, etc.) or specific ingredient functionality (gums, starches, emerging ingredients, etc.).
The R&D Seminar--Chicago 2010 event will be held October 6-7, at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Ill. The R&D Seminar--East 2010 meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Somerset, N.J. It is being held concurrently with and is co-located under the same roof as NYIFT Suppliers Day Expo, May 5-6, 2010. Please visit www.PreparedFoods.com for registration information. Please contact Marge Whalen at 630-694-4347 or whalenm@bnpmedia.com for sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.
A summary of one of the presentations given at R&D Seminars-East 2009 follows. (Summaries are published at the discretion of the chief editor and, unfortunately, space limitations do not permit all R&D presentations to be published.)

Drink in the Beauty
Ingestion of nutrients for skin health originated in Asia, moved to Europe and, most recently, has entered the U.S. The focus on the idea that beauty can be achieved from the inside out has mainly been on antioxidants and natural ingredients for healthy skin. Lori Lathrop Stern, senior nutrition scientist for DSM Nutritional Products, talked about consumer trends and beauty-from-within products in the U.S. and around the world during her speech, “Drink in the Beauty,” presented during Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Applications Seminar-East.
Consumers want to look and feel beautiful. The rise of cosmetic surgery reflects how far consumers are willing to go to enhance beauty. An aging population has the desire to minimize the effects of aging. “The amount of time and money spent on beauty is increasing, especially in the 50-64 age group,” reports Stern. More and more, skin care ingredients are science- and technology-based, and an interest in beauty from within is growing. Some 64% of consumers now believe nutrients can be beneficial for skin health.
Beauty from within has several platforms, the first being UV protection. This platform is about enriching the skin with nutrients that block or reduce the damaging effects of sunlight. UVB are sunrays that penetrate the top layer of skin and are responsible for sunburn, which causes direct damage to cells. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and set off a cascade of reactions that cause skin aging, protein breakdown and disrepair. Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin protect against UV-induced erythema, as shown in numerous studies. Stern stated the oxidative stress protection platform recognizes the contribution of cumulative oxidative stress to premature aging over a lifetime. In addition to UV light, there are many other external and internal sources of oxidative stress to skin. Topical and oral vitamins C, E, lutein and alpha lipoic acid reduce lipid peroxides. Green tea polyphenols reduce protein oxidation caused by chronic UV exposure.
Skin barrier maintenance and hydration is another beauty enhancement platform that is focused on nutrients that promote skin hydration to enhance external appearance. Maintaining barrier function is also important to protect the body from water loss and hinder the entry of unwanted bacteria and toxins. Topical and/or oral lutein increases skin hydration, as demonstrated in a recent Italian study (Palombo, P. et al. 2007. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 20:199-210). Vitamin C stimulates ceramide synthesis for skin barrier formation.
A fourth platform is skin structure, metabolism and repair, involving nutrients required for regular upkeep of skin, which regenerates at a fast pace. Cells that turn over quickly need a constant pool of nutrients to ensure they form correctly; maintain function and metabolism; and efficiently repair damage. Energy is produced in the mitochondria, or the energy powerhouse of the cell. The mitochondrial genome encodes genes for energy production. During photoaging, mitochondrial DNA deletion occurs, potentially leading to ROS (reactive oxygen species) production at the expense of ATP production. Coenzyme Q10 protects against deletion of mitochondrial DNA, as shown by real-time PCR in a DSM proprietary study (patent pending).
Varieties of other nutrients are promoting healthy skincare and can be added to beverages and supplements in many commercial forms. Capabilities exist for increased water dispersability, improved stability, color and flavor masking, improved handling and inhibiting interactions. Manufacturers also should consider nutrient loss during production, as well as during exposure to light and oxygen, and adjust accordingly. Stern advises the ingredients used in beauty products need strong scientific evidence of efficacy, in order for successful development. Suppliers should provide expertise in formulating and addressing consumer demands and awareness. Advantage should be taken of synergies between topical and oral ingestion, along with promoting the increased use of nutrients, as part of consumers’ daily skin care.
“Drink in the Beauty,” Lori Lathrop Stern, senior nutrition scientist, DSM Nutritional Products, lori.stern@dsm.com, www.dsm.com
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Clear Difference
Burcon NutraScience’s CLARISOY™ soy protein isolate enables the protein-fortification of many different sports drinks, juices, waters and beverages. Among its unique attributes, CLARISOY is 100% soluble and transparent in acidic beverages and solutions, enabling applications down to pH 2.5, a characteristic that allows the inclusion of protein in many different acidic fruit juices and sports drinks. It also has exceptional flavor characteristics (no “beany” taste) and is heat-stable, permitting hot-fill applications in beverage production. CLARISOY has numerous applications as a protein ingredient in many different foods and beverages. Burcon NutraScience, www.burcon.ca

Natural Immunity Assistance
Lonza is pleased to announce the inclusion of its Larch arabinogalactan (LAG)-based ResistAid™ in Ultimate Flora Advanced Immunity™, from ReNew Life. The dualprotection probiotic supplement is formulated to support the natural immune defenses in the respiratory system and digestive tract. Ultimate Flora Advanced Immunity utilizes the immune-supporting and antioxidant properties of ResistAid. Simultaneously, the multifunctional product employs ResistAid to assist the replenishing of beneficial intestinal bacteria and the support of immune cell production, claims Lonza. Ultimate Flora Advanced Immunity contains no fillers or binders and is made with premium natural ingredients. ResistAid is produced by a specific extraction process utilizing steam-heating. Lonza Inc., www.lonza.com, www.ResistAid.com

Cookie Revolution
Following the introduction of its Praeventia cookies and bars, Groupe Biscuits Leclerc is continuing its food revolution, with the launch of two new Praeventia cookies with Wellmune WGP®, an ingredient the company says is clinically proven to enhance key immune responses. Leclerc’s R&D department developed these two cookies, which are the “latest in functional foods,” according to Biothera. Biothera, the Immune Health Company, 651-675-0300, www.biothera.com

Cranberries Help with Cavities
According to the March 29, 2010 issue of Prepared Foods’ E-dition, people who drink cranberry may gain anti-cavity protection, in addition to the urinary tract benefits for which cranberry juice is famous.
The juice helps keep the bladder clean by preventing the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder wall. Apparently, this same property can be useful in the dental area.
Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars found in food. The acids they secrete result in dental decay. According to E-dition, “Laboratory studies have shown that cranberry juice acts like Teflon, preventing the bacteria sticking to teeth. The American researchers also found compounds in the juice stopped bacteria building up and forming plaque, which is a cause of gum disease. They are now planning to isolate the compounds that provide the protection. It is hoped they could then be added to toothpaste or mouthwash directly.”pf