News

  • 16 Jan
    UK: No ban yet on energy drinks sale to kids

    UK: No ban yet on energy drinks sale to kids

    The UK’s soft drinks industry has welcomed a parliamentary committee finding that there is not enough evidence to ban the sale of energy drinks to children.

    In August last year, the UK government proposed prohibiting the sale of energy drinks to the under 16s in England as a means of tackling obesity.

    The Science and Technology Committee has since found that “societal concerns could justify a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children”. However, the committee said “current quantitative evidence alone is not sufficient to warrant a statutory ban”.

    Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), said: “The BSDA supported the voluntary ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s by retailers as it is in line with our longstanding code of practice, so naturally we welcome the committee’s endorsement of this approach.

    “Our members do not market or promote energy drinks to under-16s, nor do they sample products with this age group. In addition, energy drinks carry an advisory note stating ‘Not recommended for children’.

    BSDA members include Red Bull UK, Coca-Cola European Partners, Danone Waters UK and Ireland, and Mars Drinks UK.

    foodbev.com

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 16 Jan
    January 2019 outlook for FCOJ Futures, Jack Scoville

    January 2019 outlook for FCOJ Futures, Jack Scoville

    Pressure for FCOJ prices to work lower will continue

    FCOJ futures in New York continue to work lower on prospects for a bigger US crop and improved growing conditions in Brazil.  The weather in Florida has been great so far, warm and dry in orange production areas that should allow for a rapid harvest.  USDA in its last production report found that the prospects for a big production year were high.  USDA estimated Florida production at 77 million boxes in December, and that is 71% higher than the last year.  Early and mid-oranges production is estimated at 32 million boxes, up about 69% from last year, and Valencia production is estimated at 45 million boxes, up 73% from last year.  All estimated were unchanged from the previous month.    Texas and California estimates were also unchanged, so total oranges production is still estimated at 5.53 million tons, from 3.919 million tonnes in 2018.

    The estimates could be lower when the next round of reports is released.  We don’t know when the next reports are coming out as just about all USD information has been put on hold due to the partial shutdown of the US government.  The shutdown has caused USDA to cancel almost all Ag-related releases, and the annual production updates for grains and oilseeds along with the monthly production estimates for citrus and all monthly supply and demand reports have been cancelled until new funding is approved by congress and signed into law by the President.  No one knows when that will happen as meetings between the President’s representatives and members of the House did not resolve anything over the weekend.  President Trump wants his wall, and everyone in the US will pay the price for it one way or another, even if the wall is never approved or built.

    Even so, there are signs that the estimates could be lower.  Florida sources are reporting that there is plenty of fruit, and that is what USDA has been reporting.  But, USDA assumes a certain size when putting together these estimates, and there are reasons appearing to doubt that USDA will see quite that much production in the end.  Growers report that fruit sizes are small, and processors report that arrivals so far are behind last year on all varieties.  That should be a surprise to the trade, but the large USDA estimates imply that the orange will appear in the end.  That means it will take more oranges to fill a box, and that means less production.  No one has said why the fruit is small this year, but the weather was dry at times during the development season and the irrigation might not have been enough to prevent the smaller fruit from forming instead of normal sized fruit.  Many producers have replanted trees in the last few years to replace trees lost due to the greening disease, and the young trees might be producing smaller fruit as well.  The smaller fruit should be reflected in the coming production reports.  It could be that the oranges crop in Florida is a couple of million boxes less than what has been indicated by USDA so far, but the losses might not be more, at least for now.  One day, and we hope sooner rather than later, we will get these estimates.

    After that USDA will need to work on the acid content of the fruit as the acid content is at least as important as the volume of fruit harvested in determining the production of juice and FCOJ.  The acid content should be high if the small fruit is coming due to the dry weather seen in the state earlier in the year.  That means that there could still be plenty of FCOJ available to the market even with reduced production due to the small fruit size.  The Florida Mutual FCOJ reports show that there is juice around, so the increased production due to the harvest should serve to keep prices under pressure.  The weekly movement and pack reports show that inventories are about 18% higher than a year ago, and the inventory increase should hold or maybe increase as the production in Florida is processed.

    Production in Brazil should rebound this year amid much improved growing conditions.  Beneficial shows and storms have been reported in Sao Paulo, the biggest production site in Brazil.  Temperatures have moderated after being hot earlier in the year.  Good to very good orange crops and production are expected.  Brazil is the largest producer and exporter of FCOJ in the world, and it looks like the country will have no problem holding onto that position for the current marketing year.   They will export to Europe, with the US getting only a few loads of fill in demand at best.  That is due to the tariff wars we are in the middle of with China and Europe and just about everyone else except Russia these days.

    All in all, it looks like pressure for FCOJ prices to work lower will continue.  There should be a lot of support at about $1.05 per pound based on the weekly charts, but these same charts imply that the support area mentioned will be tested, and probably sooner rather than later.

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 18 Nov
    Cruzani acquire vitamin-infused water company

    Cruzani acquire vitamin-infused water company

    Cruzani will be entering the functional beverage market with the acquisition of a popular vitamin enhanced water beverage. This will be the 1st stage of their entry into the infused products market. The company is also exploring the feasibility of adding a reformulated version of the current beverage line, to include infused CBD which could be launched into various jurisdictions that require non-psychoactive CBD permitting and licensing to legally do so. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the part of the cannabis plant that doesn’t get you ‘high’ like the THC side of the plant. It is typically used for health reasons instead of for recreational purposes. The CBD products are either derived from industrial hemp plants or marijuana plants. Hemp-derived CBD is currently legal in 46 states in the US and The Hemp Business Journal has estimated hemp and CBD food, beverage, and cosmetics will grow to a $1.8 billion market by 2020.

    globalnewswire

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 18 Nov
    New technology reduces 87% of sugars from fruit juice

    New technology reduces 87% of sugars from fruit juice

    As the globe marks World Diabetes Day, the founder of a juice company claims he has found a successful way to remove 87% of sugar from fruit juice.

    Eran Blachinsky, founder and CEO of Better Juice, has come up with innovative technology that provides new options for people wanting to drink healthier beverages.

    In the current food environment, it is very easy for consumers to take in too much sugar, especially from sugary drinks. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the over-consumption of sugar is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

    WHO guidelines recommend that, to prevent obesity and tooth decay, adults and children should reduce their consumption of free sugars to less than 10% of their daily energy intake (equivalent to around 12 teaspoons of table sugar for adults). The guidelines further suggest reducing sugar intake to below six teaspoons of table sugar for adults for additional health benefits.

    In curbing the sugar intake and fighting diabetes and other related diseases caused by sugary drinks and juices, food-tech start-up company Better Juice has developed a way to reduce sugar in naturally occurring products like fruit juice.

    Health-E News

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 14 Nov
    Are oranges the new superfruit?

    Are oranges the new superfruit?

    They help prevent ‘cancer, heart disease, dementia and wrinkles’ reported The Sun newspaper. Vitamin C can do just about anything, the paper reported, from slowing down ageing to protecting against high blood pressure. It turns out that citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, grapefruits – might be even better for us than most. According to nutritionists Dr Sarah Brewer and Juliette Kellow, citrus fruits are the key to stay young and living long.

    In their book, “Eat Better, Live Longer: Understand What Your Body Needs to Stay Healthy”, they recommend eating at least one orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime a day.

    Dr Brewer told The Sun: “Citrus fruits contain antioxidant polyphenols and vitamin C which protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.

    “Vitamin C helps to lower cholesterol levels by promoting the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. Antioxidants in general also lower cholesterol by protecting circulating LDL (bad cholesterol) particles from oxidation so they return to the liver for recycling rather than contributing to furring up of the arteries.” (UK)

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 14 Nov
    Potential breakthrough could help fight against citrus greening

    Potential breakthrough could help fight against citrus greening

    As citrus greening continues to devastate Florida’s citrus crop, researchers think they’ve discovered a way to gain new insights into the disease which could help the industry finally defeat it.

    Citrus greening disease has destroyed millions of acres of citrus plants around the world. It is spread by a disease-infected insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, and has put the future of citrus at risk.

    So far, researchers have been unable to isolate the bacteria that causes greening; to study the disease researchers have been forced to grow trees, then study their roots. But now, Texas A&M AgriLife Research is reporting promise in rapidly culturing and reproducing the pathogens and microbes that cause the disease in the laboratory.

    The breakthrough, announced by US Sugar subsidiary Southern Gardens Citrus last month could be a game-changer, industry officials said. While it doesn’t cure the disease in and of itself, the research could allow the industry to “more efficiently and cost effectively find a workable defense against fastidious pathogens and microbes like citrus greening,” according to a Southern Gardens Citrus media release. Florida has lost more than 60% of its production since the 2003-04 growing season.

    USAtoday

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 17 Sep
    EU: Bumper EU apple crop forecast

    EU: Bumper EU apple crop forecast

    This year, the apple production in the EU is set at 12.6 million tonnes due to favourable weather conditions. This represents a recovery of 36% compared to last year’s low crop but is only a 3% increase compared to the average crop of 2014 to 2016. The pear crop is predicted at 2.3 million tonnes, increasing by 4% compared to 2017.

    WAPA reveals 2018 European apple harvest will be largest in a decade, with Polish production doubling to 4.48m tonnes. The crop estimate represented a 36% climb on last year’s total EU crop of 9.25m tonnes, and a rise of 13% on the three-year average, WAPA noted. Much of this growth will be driven by Poland, the bloc’s largest apple producer, which is expecting a huge 4.48m-tonne crop this season, up 56% on the 2.87m tonnes harvested last year and 23% on the three-year average.

    Likewise, Italy is anticipating growth in volumes of 29% for 2018/19, up from 1.7m tonnes in 2017/18 to 2.2m tonnes.

    France, Europe’s third-largest grower, is forecasting a more modest rise of 5% to 1.5m tonnes, while Germany’s apple crop is set to soar 66% year-on-year to just under 1m tonnes.

    Many other countries are forecasting large yearly increases in 2018/19, including Hungary (up 37% to 728,000 tonnes), Romania (+39%, 320,000 tonnes), Belgium (+147%, 217,000 tonnes) and Austria (+175%, 184,000 tonnes).

    Only Spain, Portugal and Latvia of the leading 21 EU producers are expecting lower apple crops this season, WAPA revealed.

    www.fruitnet.com, WAPA

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 17 Sep
    US:  Tight supplies in the US citrus market

    US: Tight supplies in the US citrus market

    US citrus production continues to decline. At the current forecast of 6.16 million tonnes for 2017/18, the US citrus crop is down 21% from the previous season, reflecting expected reduced national production across all major citrus commodities and overall smaller crops in the four major-producing States. The decline in citrus production is expected to be the greatest in Florida, largely driven by crop losses from Hurricane Irma. At the same time, orange and grapefruit crops are anticipated to have the largest declines in national citrus output, with reductions by as much as 25% and 22%, respectively, if realized. Tight supplies are resulting in higher citrus prices in the domestic market.

    The shipping season for US citrus is expected to finish early given the smaller crops, likely keeping upward pressure on prices this spring. USDA

    By Caroline Whibley News
  • 17 Sep
    Immune health beverages growing in demand

    Immune health beverages growing in demand

    Functional shots are generating triple-digit, 219.7% sales growth, according to SPINS’ data.

    There are many things that can weaken consumers’ immune systems, including the common cold, sleep deprivation and even flying in an airplane, where disease-causing bacteria can survive for up to a week inside warm plane cabins, wreaking havoc on the immune system, according to a 2014 study from Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.

    Dry air on a plane can cause dehydration so staying properly hydrated with water and boosting the immune system 2-3 days ahead of flying may help prevent this occurrence. Extra vitamin C and B-complex vitamins as well as consuming all-natural fruits and beverages containing antioxidant-rich blueberries, oranges, cherries and elderberries also may boost the immune system, experts note.

    “Lots of functional beverages are aiming their pitches toward the modern office professional — Life Aids’s Travelaid is a great example of this from an immunity-beverage perspective, directly marketing to those who travel on a regular basis,” says Jake Knepper, product library solutions manager at SPINS LLC, Chicago. And functional beverages that include elderberry as a primary ingredient are also  tipped to become significant in the beverages market in the next 12 months.

    Berry flavonoids, including the black elderberry, boost the body’s natural immune response and can ameliorate cold and flu symptoms

    beverageindustry.com

    By Caroline Whibley News
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