Annual review: Industry continues innovation charge amid inflation, climate change and malnutrition fears
23 Dec 2022 --- NutritionInsight looks back at the biggest industry developments of the year. From the US infant formula shortage to rising inflation, it was a year filled with upheaval and opportunity. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions saw the return of physical trade shows, while the War in Ukraine caused food shortages and nutritional deficiencies around the world.
Titanium dioxide ban comes into force, companies have six months to adjust
The ban on titanium dioxide as a food additive came into force across the EU after it was deemed as “not safe” by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Dr. Nina McGrath, area lead for content production at the European Food Information Council, told us that the decision by the EFSA in 2021 was not met with any objections by either the European Parliament or the Council of the EU.
FDA allows qualified health claims for magnesium’s impact on high blood pressure
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that it no longer intends to object to using specific qualified health claims regarding the consumption of magnesium and a reduced risk of high blood pressure – hypertension. The move followed a petition sponsored by the dietary supplement trade association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and other organizations on behalf of the Center for Magnesium Education and Research.
Plastic health crisis: NTNU links toxic chemicals in everyday products to global obesity
Toxic substances were found in plastic consumer products as they might have “severe consequences” for human obesity levels, as commonly used in plastic products might negatively impact human metabolism. The study was carried out by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and found that chemicals from one-third of the plastic products investigated in the study contribute to fat cell development in laboratory experiments.
US “flooded” with questionable quality supplements, ACCP calls for more FDA regulation
The American College of Clinical Pharmacology (ACCP) argued that regulatory bodies in the US lacked oversight of nutraceuticals, leading the market to be flooded with questionable supplements, creating insecurity for healthcare providers, patients and manufacturers. Coupled with the organization’s position that healthcare staff lacked critical knowledge of supplement products, the ACCP called for action to improve industry and education for professionals and consumers.
FrieslandCampina Ingredients predicts gut health and aging well will drive innovation in 2022
FrieslandCampina Ingredients released a report revealing five trends to drive the evolution of supplements and F&B for the year. One of those trends was to shape the future of nutrition, which aimed to help brands pinpoint areas for innovation and NPD in the active, performance and medical nutrition markets.
“Mandatory measures only way”: South Africa slashes salt level successfully in 5 years
Early evidence emerged that South Africa’s mandatory salt restriction has effectively reduced salt consumption, according to a published study. The research spanned almost five years and monitored salt levels before and after the mandatory reduction targets were implemented in 2016. The findings showed a reduction of approximately 0.82 g of salt per day in young adults and prompted calls by Action on Salt, a UK-based organization, to implement similar rules in the UK.
FDA investigates Abbott infant formula after reports of illness and one death
The US, Canada, Australia and China sent out warnings to the public over Abbott infant formula products after the FDA announced it was investigating four consumer complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections. “All four cases related to these complaints were hospitalized, and Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case,” the FDA said.
“Precarious time” as inflation and supply chain issues push consumers to make tough decisions
A UK and US survey revealed that brands in premium nutrition categories were said to have to work harder to retain their customers as companies and consumers felt the onslaught of the supply chain crisis and inflation. We spoke with Richard Clarke, managing director at Ingredient Communications. “We are entering a very challenging time in the consumer goods industry. Many shoppers already have to make tough decisions about whether they can afford a product that perhaps appears not to be strictly essential.”
UK experts call for update to “woefully inadequate” alcohol labeling following sugary wine revelation
Health experts in the UK called on the government to make information on nutrition values like calories and sugar content mandatory on alcoholic drinks, bringing them in line with all other F&B products. They highlighted that other countries in the EU lack relevant regulations. “Alcohol was exempt from food and non-alcohol drink labeling under European legislation, and this law has not changed since the UK left the EU,” Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, told us.
“Deeply troubling” marketing landscape across infant formula, WHO flags
A World Health Organization (WHO) report revealed that the infant formula industry is “marred with systematic and unethical marketing strategies to influence parents’ infant feeding decisions.” According to the findings, even healthcare professionals are roped into tactics that promote formula over breast milk. However, industry stakeholders told us they adhere to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
Companies close down Ukraine operations as WHO warns of looming health crisis
As the Russian offensive on Ukraine gained momentum, the impact on people and businesses worsened. Reports of baby food shortages had already emerged with pleas for help, while numerous companies in Ukraine had shut down operations out of safety concerns. Attempts for a diplomatic breakthrough in a 90-minute call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron left the latter saying “the worst is yet to come,” according to a French official.
UN warns of global food system “meltdown” as Ukraine conflict rages on
Furthermore, the war in Ukraine left an impact beyond the country’s borders, with fears of starvation and famine concerns exacerbated in developing countries. “We must do everything possible to avert a hunger hurricane and a meltdown of the global food system,” said United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres.
New USDA program bolsters nutrition security to slash chronic disease and health care costs
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled its Action on Nutrition Security program as the country grapples with poor nutrition as a leading cause of death and high food insecurity within communities. The department said that 85% of health care spending is related to diet-related chronic disease, while 600,000 US consumers die each year due to diet-related diseases.
“Shroom boom” spurring mushrooms for digestive health, details Prenexus Health CEO
Medicinal mushrooms offered a “tremendous promise” for the digestive health category, according to US-based Prenexus Health. The prebiotic ingredient manufacturer argued that more options are needed in the marketplace to satisfy growing consumer demand.
Rampant nutrition misinformation undermines food as medicine movement, flags report
Misleading nutrition information spread distrust in the food as medicine approach, according to a comprehensive report by the Center for Food As Medicine and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center. At least 60% of US consumers turned to the internet as a source of medical information, revealed the analysis, where “baseless trends and sensationalist news create opportunities for misinformation to proliferate, providing information that may sometimes be dangerous.”
FDA investigation reveals Cronobacter sakazakii traces in Abbott infant nutrition facility
The FDA inspected the Abbott nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan, and found five positive environmental subsamples for Cronobacter sakazakii. The investigation comes after previous reports of illness and death linked to the company’s infant formula.
Kellogg’s takes UK gov to court over its milkless calculation of breakfast cereal nutrition
Kellogg’s took the UK government to court, arguing that the Nutrient Profile Model – used to calculate which foods are high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) – doesn’t consider that breakfast cereals are almost always eaten with milk. Foods deemed HFSS was said to be hit with marketing restrictions this October in the UK, as promotions were said to be banned in locations such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends, and online equivalents.
Supplement industry selling “gas station heroin?” US legislation seeks greater transparency amid backlash
Legislation tabled at the US Senate aimed at giving the FDA more regulatory powers over the supplement industry sparked a wave of ire and support across the nutrition world. Organizations such as The Natural Products Association (NPA) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) opposed the move. At the same time, the CRN endorsed the legislation and highlighted that it brings needed transparency to the market.
“Exploitative” formula milk marketing must come to a halt, WHO report flags
In a report, the WHO accused the infant formula industry used every trick in the book to gain access to pregnant women and mothers, using marketing techniques that “should have been prevented.” Dr. Laurence Grummer-Strawn, unit head of the food and nutrition action in health systems team at the WHO, told us that women and families need unbiased information on infant feeding. Still, there is no way that governments and public health organizations can compete with the industry.
WHO warns EU obesity at “epidemic proportions” that “knows no borders”
More than half of the EU’s adult population is overweight or obese, according to a WHO study, which prompted more vigorous calls for stricter regulations and better nutrition labeling. “Obesity knows no borders. In Europe and Central Asia, no single country will meet the WHO Global noncommunicable diseases (NCD) target of halting the rise of obesity (by 2025),” said Dr. Hans Henri, WHO regional director for Europe.
Women are underrepresented in heart-disease research, warns American Heart Association
An American Heart Association (AHA) report found that women were underrepresented in heart disease research and stressed that urgent changes are needed in women’s heart health. According to the AHA, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Between 2015 and 2018, 44% of women aged 20 years and older suffered from cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure.
Abbott set to reopen production facility as US scrambles with infant formula shortages
Infant formula producer Abbott reopened its infant formula plant facility in Sturgis, Michigan, US, two weeks after receiving clearance from the FDA. This move was implemented as part of a consent decree with the FDA that detailed the necessary steps to reopen the site for production, including meeting the agency’s food safety standards.
Lawsuits filed against Abbott Nutrition for alleged death and illnesses linked to infant formula
Abbott Nutrition also faced lawsuits across the US concerning its “tainted” infant formula powders produced at its Sturgis, Michigan production site. Parents whose infants consumed recalled infant formula sued the company after reports the baby formula was linked to four hospitalizations and two deaths.
UN warns: “No food crisis solution without reintegrating Ukraine and Russia”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that food produced by Ukraine and Russia must be reintegrated into world markets despite the war in a bid to steer out of the food crisis. His comments came as the UN was in a flurry of activities to find a solution that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain through its ports, which Russia blocked.
Millions of children at risk of death from severe malnutrition, UNICEF warns
UNICEF warned of an imminent “explosion of deaths” in the Horn of Africa, stating that almost eight million children under the age of five are at risk of death from severe wasting in 15 countries. The agency stated that the number was increasing by the minute as a result of drought, the ongoing effects of the pandemic and soaring food prices – intensified by the war in Ukraine. “There is no time to waste,’ said UNICEF executive director, Catherine Russell. ‘Waiting for famine to be declared is waiting for children to die.”
“Just eat less”: Outrage over UK’s Boris Johnson’s food strategy defense
The UK’s long-awaited food strategy aimed at improving nutrition was met with widespread criticism by campaigners, who lambasted the government for siding with industry rather than attempting to boost public health. “It appears that the government’s wish to stay on the right side of highly profitable, multinational food companies prevents them from taking the kind of interventionist action required to achieve positive change in our food system and protect the nation’s health,” said Mhairi Brown, policy and public affairs manager at Action on Salt & Action on Sugar. Meanwhile, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson drew outrage when he said, “Of course, we’ve got to champion healthy eating, we’ve got to help people to lose weight, there are all sorts of ways of doing that. The best way to lose weight, believe me, is to eat less.”
Psychedelics: Magic mushrooms merging into supplement industry?
As consumers increasingly turned to supplements for mood amid increasing anxiety and depression levels, there was an observed interest in psilocybin – the psychedelic compound in “magic” mushrooms, which was increasingly spotlighted for mental health. The wave is spurred research across universities, including Johns Hopkins Medical Center, which landed a first federal grant of almost US$4 million for psychedelic treatment. At the same time, companies experimented with how to best utilize mushrooms in a manner that was legal – until regulatory developments caught up with consumer demands. “Psychedelics are becoming more mainstream as more and more people are discovering their potential,” said Del Jolly, co-founder of the psychedelic research nonprofit, Umbo and Unlimited Sciences. “Mainstream media are now highlighting studies, major universities are building research arms dedicated to psychedelics, and people can research for themselves online.”
Abbott shuts down infant formula production for the second time during formula shortage crisis
Abbott stopped producing EleCare specialty formula at its Sturgis plant in Michigan, US, after parts of the plant flooded following heavy thunderstorms. The move delayed production for weeks when the country was already grappling with a nationwide shortage. At the same time, the FDA announced Mead Johnson Nutrition/Reckitt would be exporting 4.5 million pounds of base powder from Singapore this month. The product was to be used to produce about 5.7 million cans of formula, amounting to more than 66 million full-size, 8-ounce bottles. “We have informed the US FDA and will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production,” the company stated. “This will likely delay production and distribution of new products for a few weeks.”
FDA investigate another baby death following Abbott infant formula consumption
The US FDA began investigating another death, which was potentially linked to Abbott infant formula. The revelations came amid an ongoing probe over two infant deaths and a number of hospitalizations linked to the company products, which led to a temporary halt to Abbott’s infant formula production and the finding of unhygienic conditions at its Sturgis, Michigan plant. The information of a new fatal case came to the attention of the FDA on June 10 but was not made public until the agency issued a press release almost 12 days later.
Global warming can impact omega 3 availability, ocean researchers flag
Climate change could result in a decrease of omega 3 acids available for both fish and humans, a study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) revealed. Scientists took water samples from the subtropical regions to the Antarctic shelf and found that ten of the major classes of lipids formed by plankton became less abundant in warmer waters. “The future decrease in omega 3 fatty acids we predicted for organisms at the bottom of the food web could ultimately affect the availability of these key nutrients in human diets,” said Dr. Benjamin Van Mooy, oceanographer and senior scientist.
Kellogg’s loses UK court challenge on high-sugar cereal promotion ban
Kellogg’s UK lost the battle against the new national health policy that banned the promotion of sugary cereals, such as through “buy one, get one free” deals. The company – whose brands include Corn Flakes, Coco Pops, Special K and Frosties – argued against the government’s decision to categorize its cereals as “less healthy” because it did not consider the milk usually added to breakfast cereals. The company did not appeal against the ruling, which proponents of the anti-obesity and sugar reduction movements celebrated.
Healthy diets out of reach: Inflation, war and COVID-19 driving malnutrition, report warns
An FAO-led report said that if not adequately addressed, 670 million people would face hunger and malnutrition. World hunger rose significantly during the pandemic, destroying goals set by the United Nations in 2015. Food security experts asserted that the only way to keep 8% of the world population experiencing malnutrition by 2030 is to repurpose current economic subsidies and strategies that address the problems of conflicts, climate change and rising inflation. “We are still witnessing the negative impact on food security and nutrition of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain it, and the war in Ukraine has made the situation even more challenging,” Cindy Holleman, senior economist at FAO, told us.
Roe v. Wade aftermath: Herbal alternatives to abortion increasing after Supreme Court overturn, experts fear
After the US Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, women increasingly turned to botanicals as an alternative to abortion. The decision caused an uproar across the country and beyond its borders after several states moved to ban medical abortions at an early stage of pregnancy. Consequently, social media platforms drove misinformation on herbal abortions. “If they were more reliable and safe, more herbalists and midwives like myself would be using them widely. We don’t because they aren’t non-toxic,” Dr. Aviva Romm, midwife, author, herbalist, and Yale-trained MD, Board Certified in Family Medicine with Obstetrics, told us.
Nutrition industry braces for winter of discontent as cash-strapped consumers prioritize energy crisis
With Europe fearing a permanent cut-off from Russia’s energy supplies, nutrition companies attempted to combat soaring electricity costs and plan for a winter of possible gas rationing. We spoke to industry players who expressed a prominent fear that cash-strapped consumers may focus on necessary products – with questions on where supplements may lie on their criteria.
Climate change accelerates child malnutrition as study reveals link to heat exposure
A 15-year study across five West African countries showed that increased temperatures could worsen nutritional intake. The findings revealed a link between heat exposure, child malnutrition and poor economic outcomes. We spoke to the development economist and lead researcher of the study, Sylvia Blom, who said, “what’s concerning about this is that as temperatures rise, more children will be exposed to these dangerous levels of extreme heat.
Profit and power: Organizations decry formula industry marketing in the midst of humanitarian emergencies
According to statements issued by the WHO and the South African Breastmilk Reserve, the formula industry was accused of engaging in “profit-driven” and “unethical” marketing practices in emergency and conflict situations. The suggested practices ranged from donations, which the WHO said is a form of marketing, to social media blanketing.
Human breast milk may hold potential to cure range of diseases by manipulating gut microbiome, study reveals
Research published in the Journal of Cell Host & Microbe furthered interest in human breast milk and its therapeutic applications for the gut microbiome. The findings suggested potential therapeutic benefits for microbiome imbalances and other diseases. The publication came as the US-based National Institute of Child Health and Human Development seeks to explore bioactive ingredients for infant formula.
CBD products at risk of ban in Hong Kong this year, companies face precarious future
The Government of Hong Kong pushed for the prohibition of cannabidiol (CBD) – a natural relaxant compound sourced from cannabis – in personal care and nutritional products, including any topical or ingestible forms, via legislation. The Narcotics Division said that one of its next steps is to allow a reasonable time, such as three months, for the industry to dispose of the products before the amendment comes into force this year.
US to overhaul nutrition policy after 53 years, radical systemic changes needed
The US task force on hunger, nutrition and health submitted a consensus report with recommendations to the White House on improving nutrition, ending food insecurity and reducing diet-related diseases across the country. Policy proposals included increased resources to the FDA, tax incentives to industry and improved nutrition education.
Experts sound alarm over UK stepping back on nutrition food policy
UK-based researchers expressed increasing worries that the country is losing its focus on dietary advice and how vital it is to stem obesity. The government will scrap recently-introduced health and nutrition policies. Fears mounted because UK Prime Minister Liz Truss said to be about to do a U-turn on a policy that banned the promotion of HFSS foods.
“Pending nightmare not seen this century”: Half a million children facing malnutrition in Somalia as famine appears inevitable
UNICEF warned of a “staggering increase” in the number of children in Somalia expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition. While facing droughts, high food prices and conflict, the emergency showed no signs of letting up. According to the FAO, famine would occur without action in the short future. “To give some terrifying context to this latest number: 340,000 children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition at the time of the 2011 famine. Today we are faced with 513,000 children at risk of death,” said UNICEF spokesperson James Elder.
Give to the rich, take from the poor: Corporate tax cuts will exacerbate UK’s obesity crisis, warn health groups
The British Pound dropped to a record low of £1.07 to US$1 following the UK government’s budget announcement – the first under Prime Minister Liz Truss. Even though the soft drink tax remains untouched, several health organizations denounced the new budget, stating that the tax cuts would burden lower-income families, potentially putting healthy and nutritious foods out of reach.
Inflating health concerns? Europe’s new leaders sideline junk food taxes amid cost of living crisis
New political leaders in the UK, Italy and Sweden looked to reject taxes on unhealthy foods amid historically high inflation lowering the purchasing power of the low and middle classes. The UK’s previous Prime Minister, Liz Truss, came under pressure from health groups to maintain the tax on sugar in soft drinks and uphold anti-obesity plans. However, political opposition that previously supported taxes on unhealthy foods faltered amid dizzyingly high food inflation of 13.1%. Truss’ government delayed the ban on junk food TV advertising before 9 pm and paid-for online advertisements until 2024 – after an initial pushback to 2023.
President Biden addresses food insecurity at White House conference: “If you can’t feed your child, what else matters?”
The White House addressed some of the biggest health problems affecting the nation. Though it acknowledged severe issues affecting the population’s nutrition and health – including access to healthy food, poverty, and a lack of resources and necessary information – it placed a majority of the onus for solving these problems on America’s citizens, companies and organizations. The first part of the national strategy was to ensure people have access to healthy and nutritious food.
Global hunger red alert: World Food Programme warns food insecurity has doubled, requests financial support
The World Food Programme (WFP) reported a rapid accelerated red alert on global hunger and malnutrition levels. Compared to 2019, acute food insecurity increased from 135 million to 345 million people. Moreover, resources hit “rock bottom,” and the organization called for US$24 billion in financial contributions to alleviate food insecurity for 153 million people this year. The organization further stressed that 50 million people across 45 countries were on the edge of famine.
Hidden hunger: Micronutrient deficiency found to impact preschool children and reproductive women worldwide
A study revealed that half of the preschool-aged children and two out of three women of reproductive age are experiencing “hidden hunger” – nutrient and mineral deficiency of either zinc, iron, folate or vitamin A – globally. We spoke with Ty Beal, research advisor of knowledge and leadership at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Beal said, “women of reproductive age have increased iron requirements, and folate deficiency during this period can increase the risk for neural tube defects in a developing fetus during pregnancy.”
World Menopause Day: British Nutrition Foundation warns cost-of-living crisis amplifies menopausal symptoms
On World Menopause Day, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) revealed that the cost-of-living crisis had created barriers to managing the symptoms of menopause for women across the UK, primarily due to the emotional and financial impacts. It also found that many women are unaware of the symptoms of menopause and the effects caused by the associated decrease in estrogen levels, revealing a need for more education on the subject.
Make way for magic mushrooms: Colorado to vote on psychedelics legalization amid mental health crisis
The US State of Colorado prepared to vote on whether to legalize healing centers using magic mushrooms for treatments amid surging mental health concerns worldwide. The voting included decriminalizing possessing, growing and sharing hallucinogenic plants and fungi for personal use. “We are facing a worldwide mental health epidemic, and new treatment methods are critically needed to overcome the shortcomings of traditional treatments. Psychedelics have the potential to shift this trajectory positively,” Matthew X. Lowe, director of research for Unlimited Sciences, told us.
Trick or treat? Health organizations urge FDA to ban red dye number 3 in candies
As Halloween approached, parents worried about how much sugar their children would consume from candy. Scientists and experts claimed the real threat might be a known potential carcinogen in some sweet treats: the color additive erythrosine – commonly known as red dye #3. Some professional and health-related groups called for banning it in the US. Though it has been illegal to use the color additive in cosmetics, makeup or externally applied pharmaceuticals since it was outlawed in 1990, the potentially carcinogenic chemical was still found in over 2,800 food items, including candies, cakes and seasonal items, according to Food Scores.
NYC’s public hospitals prioritize plant-based meals as science points to improved health outcomes
New York City rolled out culturally diverse plant-based meals as the primary option for patients. It’s 11 public hospitals cited scientific research, which suggested that plant-based eating offers improved nutritional and health outcomes against animal-based diets. The dinner program expanded on the health care system’s plant-based lunch default program – launched in March this year – which boasted a 95% satisfaction rate. Each year, NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) serves about 3 million meals for lunch and dinner. Almost half of all inpatients were eligible for plant-based dishes, and 60% have chosen them since the plant-based default program launched.
Fungi in focus: Psilocybin study shows promising results for treatment-resistant depression
Mental health company Compass Pathways led a landmark study across 22 international sites and ten countries to understand the effects of psilocybin on depression. They found that a 25 mg dose of psilocybin combined with psychological support reduced depression symptoms significantly for participants with treatment-resistant depression – the condition of not responding to at least two antidepressants. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of fungi.
To yeast and beyond? Scientists explore 3D printing for astronaut nutrition and sustainable food systems
Researchers from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, looked into creating a nutritious food system with three components: a 3D printer, yeast and science. Their vision, published in Nature Communications, focused on nutrition for space travelers through the innovation of meals with the same texture, taste and nutrients as those produced on Earth. By using modified yeast cells, the scientists said that 3D-food printing could be used to customize nutritious and environmentally sustainable meals for astronauts.
“How do we do this?” WHO warns climate change failure will wreck nutrition security at COP27
The WHO released its I-CAN report (Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition), which stressed that nutrition insecurity would further exacerbate. The WHO report warned that 30% of the world’s population faces micronutrient deficiency, 647 million people are obese, and 828 million are undernourished. The impact of climate change further threatens food security and nutrition through “a variety of forces.” Parallel to this, at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, representatives from different governmental agencies came together to discuss how to make progress toward the Paris Agreement.
US Treasury Department enforces standardized alcohol labeling after consumer group pressure
The US Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) agreed to implement rules proposed by a coalition of consumer groups that standardized alcohol content, calorie and allergen labeling on all beer, wine and distilled spirits. Additionally, the agency began looking into rulemaking for ingredient labeling to become mandatory. The TTB was sued in October this year for failing to act on a petition received in 2003 where consumers urged the agency to make alcohol labeling as transparent as food and non-alcoholic beverages.
FDA discovers fraud in 10% of US honey, prompting import alert
Data released by the US FDA on economically motivated adulteration (EMA) of imported honey, revealed that 10% of the tested samples were violative. The agency’s assessment found that more than 70% of the honey consumed in the US was imported. The agency further reported that entry of many violative shipments into the US had been refused, and associated companies and products were placed on an import alert. The agency estimated that food fraud affects 1% of the global food industry at a cost of about US$10-$15 billion a year.
Highly nutritious meat substitutes on the market cannot be absorbed by the human body, study flags
A study from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, showed that plant-based meat alternatives commonly found in supermarkets hold high phytate levels. These antinutrients inhibit the absorption of minerals in the human body, making it impossible to absorb the products’ high iron contents. The study analyzed 44 meat substitutes sold in Swedish supermarkets, mainly made of soy and pea proteins. It also included fermented soy products of tempeh and mycoproteins – fungi.
War in Ukraine: World Food Program prioritizes nutrition security amid Russian missile attacks
A UN spokesperson warned that missile attacks in Ukraine had damaged the country’s energy system, resulting in millions of people living without electricity while temperature levels dropped below freezing. The WFP stressed that its main priority for December is to respond to the immediate needs of those worst affected with life-saving assistance, including food supplies to alleviate nutrition insecurity.
Chr. Hansen and Novozymes write history as Denmark’s largest merger, scaling up production
Enzymes manufacturer Novozymes bought Chr. Hansen to expand in the nutrition industry. The merger resulted in a US$12.3 billion deal, writing history as the largest Danish merger on record and will close by the end of 2023. “The combined group will have increased scale and efficiency and more capabilities to unlock significant growth opportunities by translating needs into transformational solutions for our customers and consumers,” Anders Lund, executive vice president for Consumer Biosolutions at Novozymes, told us.
Kerry and WFP team up on Project Amata to bring milk to Burundi’s school-age children
The WFP partnered with Irish nutrition player Kerry in an effort the company said had already brought milk to over 3,000 children through a school meal program, which is part of Project Amata. The project launched in 2020 with the aim of improving food security and nutrition through dairy in the Gitega province of Burundi and further endeavored to reinforce the “milk value chain” to make sustainable and safe dairy products available in those areas.
By Beatrice Wihlander and William Bradford Nichols
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