Fruits & Vegetables

Tapping into texture trends: UK launch for Crunchy Cranberries by Ocean Spray

27 Nov 2018 --- UK-based supplier of fresh fruit, ingredients and fruit snacks, J.O. Sims Ltd, has launched Crunchy Cranberries by Ocean Spray in the British market. Tapping into sensory trends toward texture and crunchiness, the crunchy ingredient format has been created using a new drying process and is intended to provide food manufacturers with new application and innovation opportunities, based on the fruit’s distinctive texture.

Total recall: Latest E.coli outbreak illustrates implementation need for blockchain

21 Nov 2018 --- The US and Canada have been shaken by yet another E.coli outbreak; this time for Romaine lettuce. The latest news comes amid a wave of E. coli concerns in the US and only further highlights the growing role for blockchain technologies in traceability, with pressure already mounting on suppliers from their retail customers.

Back to basics: Kellogg’s considers ditching cookies and fruit snacks to focus on core businesses

13 Nov 2018 --- The Kellogg Company is exploring the sale of its cookies and fruit snacks businesses to sharpen its focus on its core businesses, in a bid to make the company more agile, according to the company CEO. Investing in the areas of business with the highest growth opportunities is central to Kellogg's growth strategy and following an in-depth assessment, the company is looking into the sale which would include the Keebler, Famous Amos, Mother's and Murray brands.

E. coli investigation: Water from irrigation canal “most likely” cause of biggest US outbreak in a decade

06 Nov 2018 --- The US Food & Drug Administration has completed a full investigation into the country’s largest E.coli outbreak in more than a decade where five people died and scores of people were sick as a result of the food contamination. The probe provides an overview of factors that potentially contributed to the contamination of romaine lettuce with E. coli O157:H7 that has been implicated in the multistate foodborne illness outbreak.

Plant-based boost: Döhler Group to acquire a majority stake in Nutrafood

22 Oct 2018 --- The Döhler Group is to acquire a majority stake in Nutrafood S.r.l., in a move the company says marks a “milestone” toward achieving a leading position in the plant-based nutrition segment. Nutrafood's portfolio complements Döhler’s range in the area of plant-based food and beverages, where the company currently provides solutions in categories ranging from smoothies to spoonables. 

Genome editing: Could the groundcherry become the next big fruit crop?

03 Oct 2018 --- With the help of CRISPR genome editing, researchers have discovered how to take a little-known fruit called the groundcherry (Physalis Pruinosa) from almost wild to almost domesticated in a just a few years. And, the “new” fruit is being tipped as a contender for favorites like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. The groundcherry, which is around the size of a marble, could become agriculture's next big berry crop.

Passina sells Dutch blending operations to Döhler, refocuses on core passion fruit business

03 Oct 2018 --- The Döhler Group and Passina have reached an agreement on the acquisition of Concentra Europe BV (more commonly known in the industry under the “Passina” brand). The move means that the Döhler Group will be the owner of Passina's Dutch and German subsidiaries, as Passina refocuses on its core passion fruit business. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed and the proposed transaction has now been filed with the relevant antitrust authorities. It is conditional upon their approval, according to the company.

US food safety: FDA draft guidance calls for releasing retailer lists during recalls

27 Sep 2018 --- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new draft guidance that will help determine when it is necessary and appropriate for retailers to be publicly identified when a food recall or outbreak is underway. Agency policy has prohibited the release of such information, citing considerations for “confidential” business relationships.

Tracking leafy greens: Walmart urges suppliers to contribute to blockchain database

27 Sep 2018 --- Rapidly pinpointing potential food contamination is one of the major virtues of blockchain – that’s why US retail giant Walmart is lauding the benefits of tracking lettuce and spinach through the supply chain using this burgeoning technology. The move is aimed at seriously ramping up food safety following US outbreaks of E. coli in romaine lettuce and salmonella in a number of products from eggs to breakfast cereal.

Strawberry sabotage spreads: New Zealand supermarket removes strawberries after needles found

25 Sep 2018 --- A week after the first strawberries were found with needles inside them in Australia, in a dangerous food tampering act which has shocked the nation, needles have also been found in New Zealand strawberries.

Relief strategy: Almond and cherry subsidies added to Trump’s bailout package for farmers

24 Sep 2018 --- Producers of shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries will be able to apply for part of a bailout package aimed at mitigating the losses suffered by US farmers in the midst of country’s trade disputes. In July, President Trump pledged a US$12 billion emergency bailout package for producers affected by escalating trade disputes. At the time much, the US Administration said that much of the aid would be directed towards payments to farmers of soybeans, sorghum and wheat, but now it’s been extended to include almonds and cherries.

Functional fruit: Dirafrost refreshes smoothie market with new range

18 Sep 2018 --- Frozen food company Dirafrost FFI (Dirafrost), part of Agrana Fruit and well known for its fruit and fruit purees, is stepping out of its comfort zone and refreshing the smoothie market. The company already had a range of 11 smoothies, but now, according to the company, their new range changes the tone. 

Saving ugly produce: Full Harvest achieves US$8.5m in funding

22 Aug 2018 --- Full Harvest, a marketplace for excess produce that would otherwise go to waste has closed an $8.5 million Series A round of financing led by Spark Capital. New investors Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Rent the Runway Founder Jenny Fleiss, Jon Scherr (CircleUp) and Adam Zeplain of Mark.vc, as well as previous investors, including Seed lead Wireframe Ventures, also joined the round.

Asda removes plastic wrapping from swedes while maintaining shelf-life

21 Aug 2018 --- UK supermarket chain Asda has announced that it will be removing plastic wrapping from its swedes as of this week. Each year, the retailer sells almost six million of the root vegetable, with the removal of their wraps expected to result in a reduction of 14 tons of plastic. The removal of the packaging is expected to have no effect on shelf-life and comes as part of the supermarket’s sustainability goal to achieve 100 percent recyclable packaging across all own brand products by 2025.

Cutting banana waste: Convenient packaging solution launched in Korea

17 Aug 2018 --- In light of recent findings from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) which revealed that EU households generate roughly 35kg of fresh fruit and vegetable waste per person, per year, “lifestyle hacks” to prevent avoidable waste are high in demand. Notably, Korean grocery store E-Mart has presented a clever packaging concept designed to reduce the number of bananas which are wasted by consumers once purchased.

European Salmonella outbreaks highlight compliance information needs, claims SGS

09 Aug 2018 --- The rise in unexplained European cases of salmonella poisoning linked to the use of cucumbers in ready-to-eat foods reminds manufacturers about the need to stay informed on food compliance matters, according to SGS Digicomply (SGS), a regulatory intelligence network. The company provides tailored data to help businesses mitigate against the risk of non-compliance.

Extended shelf-life tomatoes: Arcadia and Shriram reach milestone

23 Jul 2018 --- Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural food ingredient company, and Shriram Bioseed, a leading research and hybrid seed development company, have announced the achievement of a key milestone in developing extended shelf life (ESL) tomatoes. Bioseed has field tested Arcadia’s ESL technology in multiple tomato hybrid backgrounds in multiple locations and seasons. Significant and consistent improvements in field yield and fruit quality, such as firmness, shelf-life and color development, were observed. These new hybrids are in the pre-commercial, wide area field testing stage with anticipated launch in 2019.

The consolidating ingredients sector: Ingredion convergence epitomizes a tightening sector

23 Jul 2018 --- The integration of several portfolios into a single larger ingredient entity was a key theme at the IFT 2018 Food Expo in Chicago last week. The relatively small trade show floor was a reminder of how many previous exhibiting companies have been swallowed up over recent years, in order to be integrated into the likes of DSM (e.g. Martek, Ocean Nutrition Canada and Fortitech), Kerry (e.g. Ganeden, Red Arrow and Biothera), ADM (Wild Flavors) and IFF (Ottens Flavors and David Michael). Naturex (currently being acquired by Givaudan) could be the next to disappear from a show floor, amid a consolidating ingredients world, where questions must soon be raised about a growing lack of competition and diversity in ultimate holding companies. 

Swedish investigation: Frozen strawberries linked to Hepatitis A virus

11 Jul 2018 --- Public health officials in Sweden are probing an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Sweden. Thirteen people are thought to be infected with the virus from a batch of frozen strawberries that were imported from Poland. The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten), the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) and local authorities are involved in the investigation which comes after eleven confirmed cases and two suspected cases were reported.

“Natural” laser labels: Eco-friendly packaging option for fruit and vegetables hits Dutch shelves

08 Jun 2018 --- Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo has launched a so-called “natural label” on a selection of its organic vegetables range, marking a move into the mainstream for the technology. The “natural label” is achieved through the use of laser technology that makes it possible to display the indication of “organic” directly onto the produce, without the need for additional packaging material. The method holds potential for further retailers who are looking to reduce plastic packaging and reduce their environmental footprint.