• 19 Jul
    Crop round-up July/Aug 2021

    Crop round-up July/Aug 2021

    While orange production is up in regions such as Brazil, Florida, South Africa, Morocco and the EU, analysts say there are minor concerns about whether the global supply of orange juice will be sufficient to meet demand in the first half of 2022.

    FLORIDA – ORANGE PRODUCTION <UP>

    The USDA’s final forecast on Florida’s 2020/21 orange crop is 52.8 million boxes. The total is comprised of 22.7 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties), unchanged from the June forecast, and 30.1 million boxes of Valencia oranges, up slightly from the June forecast. USDA

     

     

    SOUTH AFRICA – ORANGE AND ORANGE JUICE PRODUCTION <UP>

    The production of oranges in South Africa is estimated to increase by 2% to 1.65 million tonnes in 2020/21, from 1.62 million tonnes the year before. The USDA projects that 285 000 tonnes of oranges will be processed in 2020/21, against 282 000 tonnes the year before.

    The production of orange juice is estimated to increase by 1% to 50 000 tonnes in 2020/21, from 49 494 tonnes in 2019/20.

    Concentrated orange juice accounts for at least 90% of the total orange juice produced in South Africa. The South African citrus industry prioritizes the export of fresh citrus, and only processes the fruit that does not meet export standards.

    The USDA estimates that exports of orange juice in 2020/21 will increase significantly to 40 000 tonnes, from 29 549 tonnes the year before. USDA

     

    TURKEY – ORANGE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    In 2020/21, orange production in Turkey is estimated to decrease to 1.3 million tonnes, which is 23% lower than in 2019/20 (1.7 million tonnes), due to excessive hot weather conditions in May 2020 during the blooming period.

    Volumes for processing are also projected to decline in 2020/21, but to a lesser degree, to 105 000 tonnes from 110 000 tonnes the year before. USDA

     

    MOROCCO – ORANGE AND ORANGE JUICE PRODUCTION <UP>

    Orange production in 2020/21 in Morocco is forecast at 1.10 million tonnes, against 806 000 tonnes the year before. The USDA expects the volume of oranges for processing to reach 50 000 tonnes, compared with 35 000 tonnes in 2019/20. This will equate to 5 000 tonnes of orange juice (65 brix equivalent) in 2020/21, against 3 500 tonnes the year before. USDA

     

    CHILE – APPLE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Commercial apple production in Chile in 2021 is expected to fall to 1.095 million tonnes 5% lower than the 1.115 million tonnes produced the previous year. USDA

     

    NEW ZEALAND – APPLE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Total apple production in New Zealand for 2020/21 is forecast at 543 000 tonnes, 8% lower than the year before. USDA

     

    FLORIDA – GRAPEFRUIT PRODUCTION <STABLE>

    The USDA’S forecast for Florida grapefruit production is unchanged at 4.10 million boxes. Of the total grapefruit forecast, 620 000 boxes are white and 3.48 million boxes are the red varieties. USDA

     

    SOUTH AFRICA – GRAPEFRUIT PRODUCTION <UP>

    The production of grapefruit in South Africa is estimated to increase by 8% to 373 000 tonnes in 2020/21, from 344 626 tonnes the previous year.

    On average, 29% of total grapefruit produced is used for processing. The USDA estimates that the volume of grapefruit delivered for processing will increase by 12% to 105 000 tonnes in 2020/21, from 94 000 tonnes the year before. Grapefruit is processed to juice and concentrate, the majority of which is exported to Europe. USDA

     

    ARGENTINA – LEMON PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Lemon production in 2021 in Argentina is forecast at 1.15 million tonnes, against 1.49 million tonnes in 2020. The same report projected the volume of lemons for processing at 831 000 tonnes, compared with 1.08 million tonnes the year before. USDA

     

    EU – LEMON PRODUCTION <UP>

    EU lemon production in 2020/21 is forecast to increase by almost 12% on the previous year to 1.6 million tonnes. USDA

     

    TURKEY – LEMON PRODUCTION <UP>

    In 2020/21, lemon production in Turkey reached 1.1 million tonnes, which is 13% higher than during the 2019/20 season (950 000 tonnes). Lemons earmarked for the processing industry in 2020/21 are expected to remain unchanged on the previous year at 50 000 tonnes. USDA

     

    CHILE – GRAPE PRODUCTION <DOWN>

    Commercial grape production in Chile in 2020/21 is expected to decrease to 615 000 tonnes, 21% lower than the 780 000 tonnes produced the previous year. USDA

     

    CHINA – PEACH, NECTARINE AND CHERRY PRODUCTION <UP>

    China’s peach and nectarine production is estimated at 16 million tonnes in 2021 (Jan-Dec), an increase of nearly 7% from the previous year.

    Cherry production is forecast at 600 000 tonnes in 2021/22 (Apr 2021-Mar 2022), an increase of 15% from 2020/21. USDA

     

     

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Trade Data
  • 15 Jul
    Juices & nectars: What next for juice: let’s look at the figures

    Juices & nectars: What next for juice: let’s look at the figures

     

    According to data from Zenith Global’s Globaldrinks.com database, global volume sales of fruit juices, nectars and juice drinks (FJNJD) fell by 3.3% in 2020 to 61.5 billion litres, writes Christina Avison, Associate Director – Commercial, Zenith Global

    While worldwide consumption had been growing incrementally pre-pandemic, boosted by positive performance in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, volumes had been falling in Europe and North America in the years to 2019. The significant factors behind waning demand include price, sugar content and lack of consumer enthusiasm despite huge investment into innovations that have failed to create proportional impact.

    Value sales have shown more strength reflecting an increase in average prices thanks to rising premiumisation of the category and stable demand from the hospitality sector. This had been the main route to competing with other liquid refreshment beverages and achieving success in a densely packed competitive marketplace.

    In 2020, there was an overall drop in value worldwide of more than 7%. Retail purchasers of juices opted for larger SKUs and multipacks thanks to reduced shopping trips, bigger basket sizes and to meet the needs of more of the family confined to the home. There were also several months of the year where next to no sales were achieved in the HoReCa channel, and smaller packs designed for on-the-go consumption and convenience purchases also suffered with reduced footfall in major centres across the world due to quarantines, lockdowns and shelter in place guidance.

    Markets where FJNJD are highly popular in convenience and hospitality like Spain and Japan were worst hit by value declines, with any uptick in retail sales unable to make up for losses in HoReCa and on-the-go volumes while typical consumers stayed home and relied instead on fresh fruit and homemade juices.

    Furthermore, with a fall in higher value channels, brands suffered significantly greater losses in markets across North America and both East and West Europe where, despite increases in private label sales in the year, this was not able to offset a decline in the top brands’ value sales in single serve packaging.

    Value sales too are expected to recover more quickly, growing at a stronger CAGR than volume at around 5% per annum to 2025.

    Pandemic panic

    It is well documented that when flu season hits, orange juice consumption spikes. With the threat of a far worse virus in 2020, demand for juice rocketed – the highest peak seen across the review period – especially in markets like the US, Germany and the UK. Juice, with its natural health credentials, is seen as a convenient and simple way to consume nutrients for adults and children alike.

    Immune support became an overnight top priority for consumers fearful of contracting the coronavirus, so healthy and functional juice drinks came more sharply into focus. Shoppers stocked up amid fears of shortages, especially in ambient and long-life SKUs. In the early months of the global pandemic, orange juice prices were boosted significantly by this surge in purchasing and elevated by concerns over supply chain continuity and labour shortages in Florida and Brazil.

    In 2020, Zenith Global observed a rise in the number of juice brands proactively promoting the health benefits of juice consumption to the growing population of health-conscious consumers seeking better-for-you beverages. No more so than in Australia, where it was announced in August 2020 that the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation rejected the Australian government’s proposal to retain its five-star Health Star Rating for 100% juices. Fruit and vegetable juices are now assessed on the same footing as sugar-sweetened beverages including CSDs despite having zero added sugar, with some products now allocated as low as 2.5 stars thanks to high naturally occurring sugar content.

    Sugar crush

    There is still a limited understanding amongst some consumers and lawmakers regarding inherent vs added sugars in juice, yet consumers are easily convinced by claims of sugar reduction. This has undoubtedly been one of the key factors shaping global juice consumption trends and the trigger for falling volumes in a number of the largest world markets.

    Consequently, investment in technology to reduce sugar in juices is gathering pace, with biotechnology company Better Juice recently landing USD8 million in seed round funding. Its enzymatic technology process will be carried out in a new manufacturing plant in Israel which claims to reduce sucrose, fructose and glucose content in fruit juices without reducing the nutritional or prebiotic value by converting these sugars into non-digestive compounds, such as dietary fibres, gluconic acid and sorbitol.

    Another favoured way to reduce fructose is to use vegetables in juice blends. Adding vegetables like carrots or beetroot to juice drinks has also shown to increase a consumer’s identification with healthful messaging.

    Constant evolution, marketing and reformulation continue in the juice category and this was not slowed by the pandemic. In the UK, PepsiCo launched Tropicana Lean in September 2020 with a lower sugar content and market leader Innocent Drinks released Innocent Super Light in March 2021. In the US, Coca-Cola’s Half Naked range performed significantly better in 2020 than Naked’s standard range, with its Naked Protein portfolio also seeing triple digit growth in the year as consumers turned to functional properties.

    Functional juice

    Functionality beyond the natural health benefits of a fruit-full diet is high up on the list for consumers in a mid- and post-pandemic world. Not just supporting general health and wellbeing, juices marketed with added benefits like immune boost, added vitamins and minerals and support for fighting off colds and viruses have been boosting sales in the category. Ingredients with particular health markers like ginger, matcha, spirulina, turmeric, celery and açai resonate with consumers and further highlight the health halo.

    Some of the key launches in the last 18 months include:

    • Granini, Spain: brought out a new range of fortified immune support nectars.
    • Morinaga Milk Industry, Japan: launched Sunkist Super Grape enriched with polyphenols to support gut health and cardiovascular health.
    • Plantly, Australia: released enhanced juicy water ‘Defence’ which includes echinacea extract and high-vitamin C fruits and vegetables like sweet potato, apple and carrot for an immune boosting hit.
    • Innocent, UK: relaunched super smoothies, now containing double the vitamins.
    • So Good So You, USA: introduced two new immune boosting juice shots to its existing range.

    Premium flavours

    The high price of juices and juice drinks relative to other refreshment beverages continues to be one of the key challenges to future growth in the category. However, premium flavours remain a stronger selling point than price with consumers seeking a more sophisticated adult beverage than juices shared with the whole family. Inspiration from cocktails gives a real treat feel to the juice category, especially during lockdowns, with PepsiCo capitalising on this adding new flavours to its Tropicana Premium Drinks line like Pina Colada and Strawberry Kiwi Sunrise.

    While key flavours like orange and apple continue to dominate on a global scale, grape, pineapple, cherry and cranberry have remained steady and less volatile to changes experienced in the last 18 months.

    The return of breakfast

    One of the key reasons cited for stagnating or declining juice sales is the hectic nature of modern life and the change over the last 50 years from a family breakfast sat around the table with a glass of juice to the modern bustle of grab-and-go convenience foods, meal replacement drinks or skipping breakfast altogether.

    However, with more of us staying home in the last year than ever before and rediscovering the simple pleasures of enjoying extra family moments to connect, breakfast – and by extension, juice consumption – may be set to be a positive change that households opt to keep as we move into the new normal.

    Riding this renewed momentum for juice and maintaining new or returning customers gained throughout the pandemic will be key to ensuring future growth. Zenith Global certainly believes this is possible, with a bright horizon forecast for FJNJD for the first time in a long time.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jul
    Sustainable Agriculture: Campaigning for safe responsible agriculture

    Sustainable Agriculture: Campaigning for safe responsible agriculture

    Global ingredients manufacturer, Treatt, has joined the Sustainable Agriculture Industry Platform to expand safe and responsible agricultural practices in South America.

    Joining in collaboration with its lemon oil partner FGF TRAPANI, Treatt and FGF TRAPANI will expand SAI Platform’s sustainable best practices into Argentina and Peru through the rest of 2021 and into 2022. As a member of SAI Platform, Treatt will continue to champion good working conditions for employees and promoting responsible and sustainable farming through their extensive global supply partners.

    Much of Treatt’s lemon oil is harvested from FGF TRAPANI’s South American farms, before ending up on global consumer shelves through beverages.

    Commenting on the decision, Craig Landles, Global Lead Citrus Buyer at Treatt, said: “Sustainability has never been such an important factor in how businesses are scrutinised by customers, investors, employees and society as a whole. At Treatt, sustainability is a core focus and we are committed to enhancing our sustainability responsibilities across the Group.

    “Joining the SAI platform is a significant step forward and we are proud to become a member. We will be in a stronger position to share best practice knowledge, as well as embed and implement sustainable practices in our supply chain as a result.”

    Founded in 2002, the SAI Platform provides a pre-competitive environment to address global sustainability challenges facing food production today, and in the years ahead. With a network of over 90 members around the world, SAI Platform is developing the practice of sustainable agricultural tools and principles that create secure and strong agricultural supply chains, to protect the earth’s resources.

    The focus is member driven and SAI Platform meet their needs through Beef, Dairy and Crops Working Groups as well as its measurement and verification tool the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) and data collecting tool Spotlight. By leading the field to sustainable practices, SAI Platform delivers value to its members, farmers, their communities and consumers.

    Mr Landles added: “Treatt and FGF TRAPANI have the perfect partnership to support their customers’ sustainability requirements. We can instil best farm practice to others – it is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference for the right moral reasons. It is something Treatt is very passionate about as a business and we are very proud to be so.”

    To find out more about Treatt’s sustainable methods, go to https://www.treatt.com/sustainability

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jul
    Juice power: How to convert your drink into a retail product

    Juice power: How to convert your drink into a retail product

    Why your family food or drink recipe can’t be sold in the shops, Richard Horwell, marketing and branding specialist, Brand Relations, provides some insight.

    There are no rules about where a business idea can be born, and some of the best begin in a kitchen. We recently developed a healthy soft drink based on stinging nettles. The recipe was one that had been in the founder’s family for generations. It was originally used as a cure-all and detox, and now it has been reimagined as a refreshing summer drink. Whether a recipe has been handed down through the years, or adapted from a drink experienced while travelling, or created from scratch (by design or by accident), it’s likely to need quite a few changes before it becomes a marketable reality. And no matter how wonderful the recipe, there are a number of steps to take on the journey from kitchen to high street.

    Step one: It is so important to understand before you take on any business venture that the production of your product cannot be just a few drinks here and there; it’s either all or nothing. The best idea is to take your recipe to an experienced manufacturer (co-packer). A co-packer will be looking at volume and unless you can give them confidence this project will grow and fast, then very few will consider taking it on.  They also need to believe in your product as much as you do, so before you speak to them make sure your company and brand look professional, many co-packers won’t even respond to Hotmail or Gmail addresses, so get brand ready.

    Another thing to remember is that many co-packers will only take on a product if it is going to be produced in its thousands (not hundreds). To ensure that this can be done correctly and safely, with a reasonable shelf life and all the right information on the packaging, you need to get a professional recipe developer on board to help and guide you.

    Step two: Your product could be the most delicious product in the world, sell amazingly with your friends, family and local farmer’s market, but the hardest pill many of my clients have to swallow is that the recipe will simply not taste the same when produced on a massive scale.

    Your recipe at home has the option to be filled with the most expensive good quality fresh ingredients which provide the best end result, but if you want to mass produce then you may have to change ingredients to ensure the product isn’t ridiculously expensive and can be mass produced cost effectively. The most important thing to consider is that your ingredients need to have a longer shelf life to cope with the route to market, whether this is via wholesalers and physical retailers or mail order. New products can spend far longer sitting on the shelf than established brands so ensure you have that shelf life.

    You also need to look out for allergens such as milk or peanuts as many co-packers will refuse to fill your product due to the process of informing every client of the potential exposure. But more importantly you also need to make all allergens VERY clear to consumers. Check out the top 14 allergens (https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-allergy-and-intolerance), and wherever possible remove them. If not, ensure you find a co-packer that can cope with the allergens, and that your packaging makes them clear.

    Novel Foods is another one to look out for; beware of ingredients that may be legal in other countries but not necessarily in the UK. Some products sold as supplements can’t be sold for mass consumption in food and drink. For this, check the Novel Foods website: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/regulated-products/novel-foods-guidance.

    Step three: Consider the shelf life of your product. Remember new brands move slowly, no matter how good they are. So, you need to factor this in.

    While really long shelf-life products are not viewed as healthy, so are less popular at the moment, it is important to remember that, generally, the longer the shelf life the better. As a new product your initial movement into the market will be slow until you get some decent listings under your belt. Often, the only other way to retain the shelf life is to put preservatives in your product, however, many wholesalers and retailers refuse to accept this as part of their range. So, avoid this, if at all possible.

    So, when developing your recipe, you must take into consideration whether your product can be stored for a long period of time, preferably at ambient temperatures, or if necessary, chilled.  You then need to adapt your recipe to ensure it will taste just as good at the end of its shelf life as it did at the beginning.

    Step Four: Getting your product’s packaging right is of primary importance and it’s a process many new start-ups overlook.  Your packaging needs to be adaptable: what worked at a farmers’ market won’t necessarily work in a major retail outlet. The packaging needs to be sturdy and protect the product, whether it is stacked on pallets, manhandled by the wholesalers, shelf-stackers, or mail order fulfilment companies, and delivered by couriers or postal workers.  It must remain in pristine condition – preferably with a minimal amount of plastic included in the packaging.

    It is important to understand the best materials to pack your product in. Plastic is lightweight and durable, but currently very unpopular due to environmental reasons. Glass is more sustainable, however many wholesale buyers will not consider it due to its weight and chance of breaking in transit. So, you need packaging appropriate to the product, sturdy and protective, minimal environmental impact, easily recycled and preferably not too heavy. It’s a lot to ask.

    Step Five: Communicating with your target consumer is essential if you are to sell your product. However, different platforms need different approaches. What worked at the farmers’ market will not work in-store. And often what works in-store won’t also work online. So, you need to create messaging that suits the audience and the platform.

    You need to make your target consumer understand what you are about and why you are preferable to the competition. Today, consumers don’t just switch for price; they want to understand the benefits of your brand and they want that information and understanding FAST. Think about why your consumers would pick up your brand and then try to communicate that on the packaging.  Your brand name will NOT sell your start-up product, so don’t cover your packaging in a fancy logo and colourful designs. Instead, aim to educate your target consumer so they will understand what they will (and won’t) get from the product.

    Step Six: Remember that even once all the steps above have been completed, you’ll still need to get safety certification, such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) or SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approved) before anyone will even entertain stocking your product. So, this must be factored into each step as well. As this will lie with the manufacturer, make certain they have these relevant certifications or are BRC (British Retail Consortium) certified.

    Research

    But before all of that, do your research. Start by looking online and visiting target stores. What’s the competition? Is there anything similar in the market either in the UK or internationally? How is it selling? How is the messaging handled? Knowledge is strength and the more knowledge you have the stronger your chances of breaking into the market and making your idea fly.

    Richard Horwell is the owner of Brand Relations, a specialist food and drink marketing and branding company based in London. Over the last 13 years, Brand Relations has been behind the launch and development of over 100 brands in the UK. Richard has also built up and sold companies of his own in the Food and Beverage sector. He has over 30 years’ experience in marketing FMCG brands around the world, having lived and worked in the UK, USA, Australia and the Middle East. www.brandrelations.co.uk

     

     

     

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jul
    Agronomy: How SVZ harnesses agronomy to ensure nutritious, delicious fruit ingredients

    Agronomy: How SVZ harnesses agronomy to ensure nutritious, delicious fruit ingredients

    With governments and health organisations shining a spotlight on fruit and vegetable consumption as a central part of a healthy lifestyle, consumers around the world are searching their supermarket aisles for products that can help them integrate vitamins, minerals and fibre easily into their diets.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on nutrient-rich, natural produce has only intensified, and manufacturers are increasingly incorporating fruit ingredients into their fruit juices, smoothies, yoghurts and baked foods. Producing consistently high-quality, tasty fruit ingredients requires expertise, however, and a deep understanding of agronomy.

    The very foundation of fruit production, agronomy is an exact science that allows ingredient suppliers to provide the best fruit and vegetable varieties in relation to growing conditions, customer requirements and processing needs. As a global fruit ingredient supplier, SVZ has a team of dedicated expert agronomists working in the fields year-round, ensuring that every fruit that passes along the supply chain meets the exact expectations of both manufacturer and consumer.

    On demand

    SVZ’s expert agronomy team was created in 2006, following an influx in special requests from customers. It was no longer the case that customers just wanted tasty purees, juices and NFCs – they now also wanted specific nutrients incorporated, particular colours and tastes, as well as safety credentials. “Take baby food for example,” says Anna Sereda, Corporate Agronomist at SVZ. “This application requires a strict quality grade to ensure that the final product is both safe and highly nutritional – and so the expertise of agronomists is required from the very start.”

    The role of SVZ’s team of agronomists is diverse and evolving. Involved in guiding and supporting farmers from seed selection to harvesting, ensuring their compliance with specific credentials, agronomists need to be available to support and guide farmers at any time of the day or night. Wherever customers are in the world, be it in America, Europe or Asia, there are different regulations required for fruit ingredients – and agronomists enable these expectations to be met by working closely with farmers. Plus, they are also heavily involved with the P&PD (‘Process & Product Development’) team, who focus on new ingredient development and special customer requests, as agronomists have an important role in making their plans materialise.

    Latest developments

    “We are the link between farmers and the customers,” says Anna. “Whenever a new customer request comes in, we are the ones who are in the field, monitoring, observing and reporting, to ensure that their wishes are made a reality.” Such requests vary dramatically, from ensuring specific levels of a nutrient to changing the appearance of an ingredient. “For example, we have received requests from customers who are looking to alter the colour of vegetable ingredients for drink applications. Via several rounds of testing and modelling, our agronomy team can ensure that specific pigments are present in a vegetable to generate the required hue. This is exciting, because these colour varieties are being created in a 100% natural way, without the need for artificial colourings or additives.”

    When the agronomy team isn’t looking at special customer requests, they’re harnessing science to ensure that every ingredient is consistently high-quality – for example, by analysing soil composition. “At SVZ, we also have a huge focus on soil analysis – we go into detail with regard to understanding exactly the composition of soil and how it can be improved to ensure the best possible output,” says Anna. “Based on analyses, we can determine the estimated amount of mineral nitrogen released during the growing season, for example, allowing farmers to then adapt the doses of fertilisers accordingly. Paying close attention to soil status is a practical way to assist growers in optimising their crops and ensuring healthy biodiversity in the fields.”

    Looking ahead

    All scientific fields are constantly changing and evolving, and agronomy is no exception. “One development we are seeing more of is farmers who want to be more specialised,” comments Anna. “In a competitive marketplace, agricultural specialisation is one way to increase volumes and yield, while simultaneously reducing costs. However, this comes with a need for advice and guidance and agronomists are perfectly positioned to offer this.”

    “We’re also seeing a pronounced shift towards organic food worldwide, which is both a massive challenge and opportunity. Consumers are looking for healthier, safer and more wholesome meal options for their families. With concerns over food safety heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, communicating supply chain transparency to audiences is a priority. And organic labels offer meaningful value for customers, representing more ‘natural’ farming. As agronomists, we can help farmers achieve organic status and make the changes they need to be both ethical and environmentally responsible.”

    Amazing agronomy

    As global consumers become more aware of the effect their food and beverage choices have on their health and the planet’s health, sustainable and nutritious fruit ingredients are only going to become more popular. Shifting to more environmentally responsible ways of growing – for example, with reduced reliance on chemical pesticides – can be challenging, and it’s therefore only with the expertise of agronomists that global farmers can make this shift to more ‘greener’ agricultural methods.

    That’s why, for SVZ, agronomy is more than simply an ‘added extra’. It’s a fundamental part of our sustainable approach to agriculture, and we work closely and collaboratively with our farmer partners to ensure that they are guided and supported at every step of the process. For our customers, our approach to agronomy ensures that we can tailor our ingredients to meet their exact requirements – and meet rising consumer demand for more nutritious, tasty and ethical products.

     

    SVZ International B.V. supplies high quality fruit and vegetable ingredients to food and drink manufacturers around the world. Its long heritage in agricultural supply, further supported by the world class facilities of its parent Royal Cosun’s farmer owned co-operative and accredited sustainability initiatives, ensure a consistent, premium quality ingredient supply. With more than 100 years’ experience in the global fruit and vegetable agribusiness, SVZ represents quality leadership throughout the whole supply chain. Its strong partnerships with local growers and production facilities within the world’s finest growing regions ensure SVZ fruit and vegetables are cultivated, harvested and processed to the highest standards.     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jul
    Lingonberry juice – functional juices

    Lingonberry juice – functional juices

    A look at the positive effects on hypertension and vascular function from Lingonberry Juice with reference to experimental studies, by Anne Kivimäki, University of Helsinki

    Lingonberries are beautiful red berries growing in the Nordic forest. Their fresh, astringent and bitter taste might give you some facial contortion. Actually, one genetic variant (TAS2R38) regulates the perception of bitterness in berries.  Regardless of strong taste, it is worth of consuming – lingonberries seem to have beneficial effects on health!

    Cardiovascular diseases and diet

    Cardiovascular diseases are major cause of death in all over the world.  Vascular function is impaired in common situations such as hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. When blood vessels lose their ability to dilate and constrict normally, there is no space for the blood pumped by the heart and blood pressure increases. As many other diseases, this ‘vascular dysfunction’ is related to low-grade inflammation. Hypertension is cause of disturbances in endogenous systems and unbalanced body homeostasis.

    In the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, lifestyle and healthy diet are important aspects. Treatment of cardiovascular diseases includes lifestyle guidance and appropriate diet in addition to medication. Foods such as berries, fruits, tea and cocoa has been claimed to exert positive effects on cardiovascular health. This positive effect may arise from polyphenols which are secondary metabolites of the plants. About 8000 different polyphenols have been identified and half of them belong to a group classified as flavonoids. Polyphenolic content has seasonal and growth place variability. For example, amount of one type of flavonoid, anthocyanin, is highest in low temperatures.

    Wild berries, e.g.  lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos, V. microcarpum) and cultivated blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) are excellent sources of polyphenols.

    What we studied

    In our studies conducted in the Department of Pharmacology in University of Helsinki we wanted to investigate the effects of cranberry, lingonberry and blackcurrant juices on vascular function and blood pressure in experimental model of hypertension.

    At first, vascular function was studied after 8 weeks consumption of cold-compressed cranberry, lingonberry and blackcurrant juices. Interestingly, in lingonberry treated group vascular dysfunction was totally abolished. Thus, we decided to continue to further studies with lingonberry juice. We wanted to clarify how lingonberry juice affects increased blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats and what are the effects in normotensive rats consuming high-salt diet. High salt intake is one risk of the factors of hypertension. Low-grade inflammation was studied, as it is related to hypertension and vascular dysfunction.

    What we found

    We found that lingonberries have potential. The established high blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats became lowered during an eight-week treatment with lingonberry juice. However, more concentrated lingonberry juice was unable to prevent the strong genetic development of hypertension in young rats. Yet, more concentrated lingonberry juice was able to normalize vascular function of mesenteric arteries in this experimental model.  So it looks like lingonberry juice has the ability to enhance vascular function in this experimental model, but the perfect dose still needs to be established.

    Lingonberry juice also affected positively on inflammatory markers in these experimental models. After lingonberry juice treatment, serum levels of both angiotensin II and alkaline phosphatase were lower than in the control groups.  These are important markers for monitoring inflammation and incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Reduced gene expression of cyclooxygenase 2, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, p-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 partly indicates possible anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects of the lingonberry juice.

    Possible mechanisms behind these positive effects on hypertension and vascular function may be the inhibition of renin-angiotensin system together with enhanced nitric oxide production. These processes are also targets of antihypertensive drugs.

    Conclusions

    Taken together, a long-term treatment with lingonberry juice lowered blood pressure and improved vascular function in an experimental model of hypertension.  The possible mechanisms of these positive cardiovascular effects are related to important body homeostasis regulator, renin-angiotensin system and enhanced nitric oxide bioavailability. Furthermore, lingonberry possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may well contribute to its beneficial health effects.

    In addition to fibres and minerals lingonberries contain moderate, but not high amounts of vitamins like C, A, some B-group vitamins. Vitamin E concentration is fairly good, 1.5 mg/100g. The real power of the lingonberries are phenolic compounds, flavonols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, quercetin and stilbenes to name a few. Interestingly, lingonberries contains high amounts of resveratrol, which is usually associated with grapes and red wines.

    There is a lack of clinical studies conducted with lingonberries or lingonberry products. Results from these experimental studies cannot be directly extrapolated to humans.  Clinical evidence is essential in order to give any claims of the health benefits. However, it has been shown, that moderate reduction of blood pressure and enhanced vascular function is possible to achieve with polyphenol-rich foods.

    Lingonberries really have the potential for a superfruit!

    References:

    Kivimäki A.          Lingonberry juice, blood pressure, vascular function and inflammatory markers in experimental hypertension.  http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-5631-0

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jul
    Mexico – Kerry launches new world-class taste facility

    Mexico – Kerry launches new world-class taste facility

    Kerry, the world-leading taste & nutrition company, has announced the opening of its new taste facility in Latin America, which will serve mainly Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Andean region. Located in Irapuato, Mexico, the new state-of-the-art facility will significantly increase Kerry’s capacity in the region and further support customers in delivering local and sustainable taste solutions.
    This new site expands Kerry’s offerings across a number of food and beverage categories, including refreshing and alcoholic beverages, snacks, meat, dairy and bakery. It will also play an important role in enabling Kerry’s ambition to bring sustainable nutrition solutions to more than two billion people by 2030 around the globe, say the company. Aligned with the company’s commitments under their Beyond the Horizon strategy, the facility incorporates world leading processes and technologies that will support the company’s environmental goals. These capabilities, combined with expertise across sustainable innovation, marketing insights, research, development and applications, and sensory science, will enable Kerry to co-create with customers, exciting products that will be consumed across the region.

    “COVID-19 has impacted consumer behaviour and taste preferences across Latin America, and companies need to be in a position to understand and respond to these evolving dynamics. This new taste facility allows us to deliver on consumer demands across the region and we look forward to working with customers to bring innovative taste solutions to satisfy consumer needs and create a world of sustainable nutrition,” said Marcelo Marques, President and CEO of Kerry Latin America.
    Commenting on the announcement, Edson Cortes, Taste Lead for Kerry Latin America, added: “Mexico boasts 35% of the taste market in the Latin America region and presents solid opportunities for growth and innovation. With sustainability at the core of our Taste portfolio, this site will also enable us to deliver tailored solutions for customers in the regions. This important investment positions Kerry as the leader in the flavours market in Latin America as we seek to consolidate our position in the market and deliver great taste solutions with our customers.” Kerry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Jul
    Europe – Soft drinks industry poised to slash added sugar by 10% in Europe as industry sets new 2025 target

    Europe – Soft drinks industry poised to slash added sugar by 10% in Europe as industry sets new 2025 target

    The Union of European Soft Drinks Associations (UNESDA) has revealed its enhanced health and nutrition targets to help Europeans manage their intake of added sugars from soft drinks with a pledge to reduce sugar by a further 10% by 2025. The new targets will represent a 33% overall reduction in average added sugars over the last two decades, building on past sugar reduction milestones that the industry achieved from 2015 to 2019 (14.6% reduction on average) and from 2000 to 2015 (13.3% reduction on average).

    Nicholas Hodac, Director-General of UNESDA, says these new goals are “very ambitious,” and the soft drinks industry will accelerate the speed and scale of its sugar reductions.  “However, we are very confident that we will deliver on our new pledge. We will do so through increasing our efforts on the reformulation of existing products and innovation of new products, including using low-calorie sweeteners.”

    Further, UNESDA will introduce products in smaller pack sizes to support portion control and continue to invest in the promotion of no- and low-sugar products to drive consumer choice toward healthier products. The European Association of Sugar Manufacturers, CEFS, stands behind the objective of the Farm to Fork Strategy.

    Currently, no soft drinks are advertised anywhere in Europe to children younger than 12 years old, where the audience consists of more than 35% of this age group. However, taste is a key driver of consumer preference, and it is important to raise the acceptance of beverages with lower sweetness. Kerry’s solutions, such as TasteSense Sweet, address side effects from sweeteners and enhance mouthfeel attributes while delivering balanced taste and sweetness from interactions with taste receptors. Manufacturers adopt various strategies in response: reformulate their main brand along healthier lines or keep the original but develop an alternative offering a healthier option, for instance, 30% fewer sugars.  FoodIngredientsFirst

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Jul
    Global – Refresco announces acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN

    Global – Refresco announces acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN

    Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, announce it has entered into an agreement to acquire HANSA-HEEMANN. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

    HANSA-HEEMANN, headquartered in Rellingen, Germany, is a family-owned, independent beverage manufacturer with five production sites spread across Germany. The vast majority of HANSA-HEEMANN’s volume (60%) is in mineral water, with the remaining 40% of its volume in carbonated soft drinks (CSD). HANSA-HEEMANN serves three different market segments: private label, own brands, and contract manufacturing for A-brands. HANSA-HEEMANN employs over 800 people with an annual revenue of approximately EUR300 million.

    Water is the largest category within the non-alcoholic beverage market. The landscape is highly competitive and rapidly changing with many smaller local and regional players who maintain a strong foothold. Branded players with a wide range of water products are looking for opportunities to grow with retail discounters. In addition, the focus on sustainability continues resulting in for example, increased demand for recycled PET and reduction in operational carbon footprint. Refresco

    By Caroline Calder News
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