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India's food security agency issues guidance note for spices from post-harvest to transportation
With the demand for Indian spices growing globally, it is throwing up several challenges, mainly for food sustainability, traceability and safety standards, to the spice industry in the country, and keeping in view the requirement, FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator, has released a guidance not for handling of spices right from post-harvest upto packaging and transporation to the market.

The document, which shall be for reference only with no legal implications, covered subject of postharvest, drying and storage of whole spices to grinding, blending, storage, packaging and transporation of spices. It was divided into five main sections.

The first section gives an overview of the spices processing industry in India. The second section contains guidance for implementation of good manufacturing practices and good hygiene practices.

The third section of this document is recommendatory in nature and provides the basic knowledge and criteria for implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system by the food business.

The fourth section provides an inspection checklist for food business operator to audit their facility and operations.

It is pertinent to mention here that India is the world’s largest producer and exporter of spices of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as the country produces and exports about 75 varieties of spices. Indian spices are known over the world for their aroma, texture and taste.


Manufacturers of natural ingredient products will gain edge in Asia-Pacific ice cream & confectionery market
Rising disposable incomes and increasing health awareness across emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are boosting the demand for natural functional products in the ice cream and confectionery sector. As a result, manufacturers must position their products as healthy offering rather than just gourmet treats, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Companies focusing on offering ice cream products made with natural ingredients, catering to discerning consumers who are wary of artificial flavours and preservatives, will have a competitive edge over other in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) ice cream market, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

The company’s report, ‘Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Ice Cream Sector’, reveals that the ice cream sector in APAC, which was valued at US$18.4bn in 2017, is expected to register a value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% over the period 2017-2022.

According to GlobalData’s 2017 Q1 Consumer Survey, 53% Indians and 67% Chinese consumers stated that they think whey protein has a positive impact on their health. This presents a potential opportunity for ice cream manufacturers to introduce new variants of ice cream products with whey protein to tap such health conscious consumers.

Confectionery makers in APAC must position their products as healthy offering rather than just gourmet treat, says GlobalData.

The company’s report, ‘Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Confectionery Sector’, reveals that the market, which was valued at US$39.2bn in 2017, is expected to register the faster growth across regions with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% over the period 2017-2022.

UK to introduce plastic packaging tax
The UK is planning to introduce a ‘world-leading’ tax on plastic packaging in 2022: applying to all single use plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycle content.

Plastic bottles, trays and pots are due to be included in the tax. Announced in Budget 2018 this week, the government has also announced it with allocate 10m ($12.8m) more for plastics R&D and 10m ($ 12.8m) to pioneer innovative approaches to boosting recycling and reducing litter, such as smartbins.

Revenues from the single use packaging tax will be used to tackle waste and litter.

The idea of plastic packaging tax was outlined last year’s Budget and this year the government says it wants to move forward with introduction in 2022.

The amount of plastic the UK is throwing away is set to increase by over a million tonnes by 2030, equivalent to 87,000 more double decker buses worth of plastic waste each year, according to research from the WWF.

The vast majority of the 2.26 million tonnes of plastic packaging used in the UK every year is made from new material rather than recycled material, primarily because it is cheaper.

A new tax, however, will tax packaging that has less than 30% recycled content.

The tax is subject to consultation and the government documents do not yet set out a summary of what plastics will and won’t be included; however, the Treasury confirms that the tax is due to cover plastic bottles, trays and pots.

EU draft legislation limits trans fats
Trans fat limits for food have been introduced into EU draft legislation, with a proposed restriction of 2g per 100g of fat, where trans fatty acids (TFAs) are not naturally present in animal fat.

The draft European Commission regulation amending Annex III to European Parliament Regulation 1925/2006 was published on 4 October.

Stakeholders are able to submit their comments over a four-week feedback period. Food not conforming to the revised regulation could continue to be placed on the market until 1 April 2021 without penalty.

The primary dietary source of industrial TFAs is partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils generally contain saturated and unsaturated fats, among them trans fats in variable proportions (with TFAs ranging from a few up to more than 50%), according to the production technology used.

TFAs can also be naturally present in food products derived from ruminant animals such as dairy products or meat from cattle, sheep or goat.

In December 2015, the Commission published an advisory report to the European Parliament and Council on the topic of TFAs, which warned that their consumption significantly increased consumers’ risk of heart disease.

The Commission’s current approach of introducing legal TFA limits in food is in line with the report’s preferred recommendation.

Other proposals included mandatory TFA content declaration, voluntary agreements on reducing TFA in foods and diets at EU level, or EU guidance or national legal limits on TFA content in food.

Coconut oil is a versatile and natural antioxidant that can be used in food preservation
  Another study has proven that coconut oil is indeed healthy. In a study published in the journal Food Science and Technology, coconut oil cake was found to be a versatile and natural antioxidant that can be used in preserving food.

There have been no studies as of yet that looked into the utilization of coconut oil cake as a direct antioxidant source. Researchers from the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka examined the phenolic extract of coconut oil cake for antioxidant activity-related food stabilization. Oil cakes, also referred to as oil meals, are byproducts obtained after oil extraction from seeds. In animal foods, these are used in the fermentation process to produce enzymes, antibiotics, and some antioxidants.

In the study, the researchers measured the induction time of sunflower oil enriched with heattreated antioxidants to determine the heat stabilities and synthetic antioxidants of coconut oil cake extract.

Results revealed that coconut oil cake extract can be effectively used to prevent lipid peroxidation in different food systems. In addition, coconut oil cake extract can also keep the antioxidant activity at high temperatures.

The results of the study suggested that coconut oil cake extract is a versatile and thermally stable natural antioxidant mixture that is effective in stabilizing many food systems.

Based on the findings of the study, the resarchers concluded that coconut oil cake extract may be used as successful alternative for synthetic antioxidants in preserving food.

Adding refined fiber to processed food could have negative health effects, study finds
Adding highly refined fiber to processed foods could have negative effects on human health, such as promoting liver cancer, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Toledo.

Accumulating evidence demonstrates consumption of whole foods naturally rich in fiber confers an array of health benefits. This, combined with an appreciation by many health-conscious consumers that their diets are lacking in such fibers, has led to the food industry enriching foods with highly refined soluble fibers, such as inulin. Recently, changes in U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules allow foods containing supplemented fibers to be marketed as health-promoting. This study raises serious concerns about the safety of adding refined fiber to processed foods.

The researchers set out to test the idea that a diet enriched with refined inulin might help combat obesityassociated complications in mice. While such an inulin-containing diet did stave off obesity, some of the mice started to develop jaundice. After six months, many of these mice developed liver cancer.

Although this study was performed in mice, it has potential implications for human health, particularly cautioning against enriching processed foods with highly refined, fermentable fiber.

“These findings indicate that enriching foods with purified fibers may not recapitulate the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables naturally rich in soluble fiber,” said Dr. Andrew Gewirtz, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Science at Georgia State and one of the study’s authors.

Transparency key in GM labeling
Amid public debate about whether food companies should list genetically modified (GM) ingredients on their labels, a Cornell University study finds that consumers are more supportive of labeling decisions when they believe the company considered the public’s input in the process.
The study, published in the Journal of Risk Research, bolsters longstanding research into the impact of perceived fairness and transparency surrounding any decision-making process, known as procedural justice. For the study, researchers asked 450 participants to read one of four fictitious news articles detailing an agro-food company’s decision about labeling the GM content of their food products. The mock articles varied on four key points: the decision whether or not to label the presence of ingredients grown from GM seeds, and whether or not the company considered the public’s input as part of their deliberations. Participants then gave their reactions on a six-point scale regarding the legitimacy of the process and whether they support the company’s decision.
While the study found people reacted more positively to a decision when they believed the company engaged the public, any decision that led to labeling was deemed more favorable compared to either non-labeling process. That pro-labeling attitude is in line with other research and opinion polls showing a preference for GM ingredients to be displayed on packaging.

Researchers in India use curcumin to create ‘functional ice cream’

Researchers from the National Dairy Research Institute in India sought to bring the health benefits of turmeric’s main metabolite-curcumin-into one of the world’s most popular treat: Ice cream. Powdered turmeric, a key ingredient in making curry, can be found in spice cabinets across South Asia. Research pointed that, as people are looking for naturally occurring bioactive components in plants, the bioactives of turmeric is a valuable source of nutrients for functional foods.

Despite soaring sales of curcumin supplements, curcumin’s application as a functional food ingredient hasn’t been widespread-the researchers attribute this to “poor water-solubility, extremely low absorption and bioavailability, and rapid degradation under neutral and alkaline pH conditions.” Published in the latest edition of Food & Function, their study found that the hydrophobic curcumin can actually be dissolved to add nutrition to functional foods when it has been nanoencapsulated using sodium caseinate.

To make the curcumin bioactives dissolve, the researchers turned them into nanoemulsions, which are “transparent heterogeneous mixtures of oil in water and are stabilized by emulsifiers,” they wrote. For this study, the researchers used casein to emulsify and encapsulate the curcumin, this is because, compared to whey protein, casein can form a thicker interfacial layer around the lipid droplets, and because it is easily degraded by the enzymes of a stomach. Another advantage is that the food industry already widely uses sodium caseinate (NaCas), so the study could simulate a feasible functional food design.

After various tests using different oils to dissolve the curcumin-butter, palm, olive, MCT-60, and sunflower oil maximum solubility was found in MCT-60, a medium chain triglycerides-60. The team made their ice cream from scratch. Dry ingredients (skim milk powder, stabilizer, emulsifier, and sugar) were mixed with the liquid ingredients (milk and cream) at 70 to 72C. Afterwards is the homogenization process around 65C, when the curcumin nanonemulsion is added. The mixture is then pasteurized at around 85C, and cooled between 0 to 4C. After 24 hours of ageing in freezing temperature, flavour (mango) and color was added, before freezing and packaging it at below freezing temperatures (around-18C).

Eating more pulses increases fullness, can help manage weight
  Eating about one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can increase fullness, which may lead to better weight management and weight loss, a new study from Canada has found.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of all available clinical trials found that people felt 31 per cent fuller after eating on average 160 grams of dietary pulses compared with a control diet.
Pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly) and can be used to reduce or displace animal protein as well as "bad" fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.
Pulses make people feel fuller and was true across various age categories and Body Mass Indexes.
Although the analysis found pulses had little impact on "second meal food intake," the amount of food someone eats at his or her next meal, these findings support longer term clinical trials that have shown a weight loss benefit of dietary pulses.
Another recently published systematic review and meta-analysis found that eating on average one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can also reduce "bad cholesterol" by five per cent and therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Adequate omega-3 intake can improve attention, literacy in children
A new Australian study suggests that increasing the omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in red blood cells by dietary supplementation may improve attention, literacy and behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The randomized controlled trial measured the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) concentrations in red blood cells and behavior of 90 children with ADHD who received EPA-rich fish oil supplements, DHA-rich fish oil supplements or safflower oil as control for four months. The study results showed that increased red blood cell levels of EPA and DHA in participants supplemented with the omega-3 fatty acids were associated with improvements in spelling, cognitive problems, attention, hyper-activity, and behavior in general. Decreasing the levels of omega-6 fatty acids in favor of omega-3 fatty acids was also seen to improve the ADHD symptoms.

The researchers commented that this study highlights the importance of confirming interventions such as increased nutrient intakes with changes in blood nutrient concentrations.

The researchers added that DHA is as important a contributor as EPA to ADHD improvement. Recent research indicated that increased DHA levels in red blood cells were associated with improved literacy in children with learning difficulties.

Global functional food future very optimistic
Market researcher Canadean has released a new report "Global Functional Food Survey-Trends and Insights 2014–2016" which evaluates the optimism levels about the future of the global functional food and drinks market.

The report assesses the prevailing business environment for functional food and drinks by identifying key drivers and major barriers influencing the functional food and drinks market, and highlights key growth boosting issues, identifies major focus areas for functional food and drinks product development, and projects change in the sales of functional food and drinks and change in the demand for functional food ingredients in the future. It also provides information about the key brick and mortar and remote retailers that will boost the sales of functional food and drinks over the next three years.

Key conclusions from the report include:
+ Canadean believes that younger adults aged 25-34 will be the key demographic group that will drive functional food and drink sales over the next three years.
+ The US and China will be the two "hot-spot" areas where demand for functional food and drink will intensify most.
+ 'Energy/sport drinks', 'cereal and energy bars' and 'juice and soft drinks' are the product categories that will witness the biggest increase in demand.
+ Demand for functional food and drinks in grocers, hypermarkets, and supermarkets will outpace demand in specialist health stores.
+ Across most regions, demand for omega-6, probiotics and dietary fibres will grow in 2014–2016.
+ Online sales of functional food and drinks are also expected to increase.
+ Consumer education programs will be the most effective strategy for the expansion of functional food and drinks into new markets.
+ 'Clear product description', 'quality cues to customers', and 'maximum brand massaging' are the crucial packaging/labelling trends for the growth of functional food and drinks.
+ The majority of executives across all regions anticipate social media as the key channel for the marketing communication of functional food and drinks.

According to Canadean, the report identifies strategies that will be crucial for expansion of functional food and drinks into new markets over the next three years.

Global coffee output at record high in 2012-2013
Global coffee exports touched a record 110.2 million bags in the 2012-13 marketing year on significant rise in shipments from Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia, the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) said.

Exports from India, on the other hand, fell marginally in the same period. World coffee exports stood at 107.71 million bags in the 2011-12 marketing year, that runs from October to September, the global body said.

Despite a slight decrease in September, total exports for 2012-13 reached a record volume of 110.2 million bags.

Of the total exports, Arabica variety of coffee comprised of 68.5 million bags, while Robusta shipments were 41.7 million bags in the same period.

Barring India and Vietnam among top five coffee exporters, the shipments from Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia remained robust in the 2012-13 marketing year.

Export from Brazil, the world's largest coffee exporter, increased to Rs. 30.94 million bags in 2012-13, as compared to 28.86 million bags in the same period last year. Similarly, shipments from Indonesia, the world's third largest coffee exporter, also increased around 20%, while shipments from Colombia rose 20% too in the review period.

However exports from India, the world's fifth largest coffee exporter, fell to 5.16 million bags in the 2012-13, from 5.36 million bags in the previous year. The shipments from Vietnam, the world's second largest coffee exporter, also dropped in the review period.

Supplies were sufficient to meet the export demand as total world output in 2012-13 is also estimated at a record volume of 145.2 million bags, the report said.

India's tea production set to cross 1 billion kg again
India's tea production is expected to cross the one billion kg mark by a wide margin this year too, and is likely to be around 1,185 to 1,190 million kg, higher than last year's 1,126.33 million kg.

Tea production in India, the world's second-biggest producer of the brew, had breached the one billion kg mark in 2012.

According to the recent report of ITA, India’s production of the crop in the January-September period this year increased by 53.61 million kg to 861.57 million kg from 807.96 million kg during the same period last year.

During the first nine months of calendar year 2013, tea production in north India was 690.88 million kg, while in south it was 170.69 million kg.

In the January-September period this year, India’s largest tea producing state Assam’s crop was at 447.13 million kg, higher than last year’s 432.95 million kg.

North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) chairman Bidyananda Barkakoty said that for the full year also production in 2013 should be higher compared to last year in Assam, on the back of better climate and less pest attacks. Assam alone produces about 53% of India’s total production of tea, the favourite brew of the country.

India eyes membership of World Wine Trade Group
  The Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB), set up under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, was invited by the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) as an observer for the first time at an international level meet of the group.

India is also the first country from Asia to become the member of the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV). The invitation to IGPB indicates the world is recognising and watching the Indian wine industry and is eager to involve India in the WWTG, according to Jagdish Holkar, chairman of IGPB.

IGPB will initially participate as an observer and initiate contacts and then apply for membership, he said. The move will help the Indian wine industry gain international recognition and also boost export of Indian wines, he added.

Headquartered in the US, WWTG comprises eight non-EU wine producing countries who now account for almost a third of total global wine exports, a share which has risen rapidly over the past decade.
Members include New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, South Africa and the US; some other wine producing nations, such as Brazil, China, Mexico and Uruguay, attend as observers.
WWTG works to facilitate the international wine trade. The body also consists of new world wine producers and this will help India in promoting its wines. The OIV membership helps India get access to state-of-the-art scientific knowledge about vines, wines and grapes.

Indian wine has been gaining recognition in international markets. Sula Vineyards' 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, won a Silver Medal at the first Decanter Asia Wine Awards. York Winery's 2012 Chenin Blanc and 2012 Sauvignon Blanc won a bronze medal in the 2012 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition. Ritu Wines won 4 Bronze medals.
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