Company News

Cargill joins ARA market
Cargill Health & Food Technologies is entering the arachidonic acid business through a joint venture with Wuhan Alking Bioengineering Co, the No. 1 ARA producer in China serving the Chinese infant formula business.

Organic seal of approval
Botanical Laboratories has earned organic certification from Quality Assurance International. A manufacturer of homeopathic, herbal and other dietary supplements, the company obtained the FDA?s Good Manufacturing Practices label for its products in September 2003.

Letting go of the GMOs
National Starch has expanded its crop identity-preservation program and implemented a broader identity-tracing program to verify the non-GMO status of the company?s ingredients. The program covers all of the company?s food ingredients made from corn in the US.

Phosphates going solo
Bain Capital has acquired the speciality phosphates business from Rhodia and launched operations as an independent business under a new corporate name — Innophos Inc. It will be operated by the same management team that oversaw operations under Rhodia, with Randy Gresswill serving as chief executive officer. The company will be headquartered in New Jersey.

Pond joins species specialists
Rich Pond has been appointed managing director of Reading Scientific Services, a British firm that is able to identify more than 50 species of fish and 20 species of other meats in foods using ELISA and DNA-based technology. Pond, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, has held marketing positions with Warner Lambert, Pfizer and Cadbury Schweppes.

A drink to world peace
Zhena?s Gypsy Tea, an organic tea company whose line is sold in 6,000 US stores, has partnered with the activist organization Code Pink to develop a raspberry Earl Grey tea that will benefit Code Pink?s peacemaking efforts. Named in response to the ?red alert? system developed following the 2001 terrorist attacks, Code Pink funds women-based groups committed to ecological preservation, and ending world hunger and warfare. Sold in bulk and tea bags, eight of Gypsy Tea?s tea blends have earned fair trade certification by TransFair USA, the only nonprofit third-party certifier of fair trade practices in the US.

BioProducts buys itself
New Zealand-based BioProducts has been sold to a group of employees and directors in a management buyout. It was formerly an AgResearch Ltd subsidiary. The company launched in 1996 offering deer velvet extracts rich in natural growth factors. The new management team has acquired a fish oil business, SeaDragon Marine Oils.

Privately labelled hemp
Manitoba Harvest is now offering a private label services and bulk product sizes for its line of hemp food products and ingredients. The Canadian company?s offerings include hemp seed oil, hemp seed nut (shelled hemp seed), hemp seed nut butter, and hemp protein powder.

On the rise at Ribus
Ribus, a manufacturer of certified organic rice bran extract ingredients, appointed Kathy Barr as managing director of traditional products. She has 25 years? experience in manufacturing. Matt Burridge has joined the company as managing director for the organic and natural food division.

Award winners at HIE
DSM?s PeptoPro took the gold award at Health Ingredients Europe in November, with a French-produced fat-binding extract NeOpuntia coming in second. The bronze award was given to Ingredia for its stress-relieving peptide Lactium.
PeptoPro contains casein fragments that stimulate insulin release in the body, allowing glucose to be absorbed faster from the blood into the muscle cells. The ingredient will be marketed in a new range of products worldwide by Europe?s biggest sports nutrition company, Haleko.
BioSerae, which started producing its NeOpuntia cactus extract in 1999, is aiming to step up competition in the global chitosan market with its 100 percent natural fat-binding fibre.
Ingredia?s Lactium is the result of 12 years of research, investigating the relationship between milk consumption and its calming effect on babies. The company used a well-known digestive enzyme to develop its patented milk casein hydrolysate. Potential applications include sleeping aids and products to ease symptoms of people trying to stop smoking or dieting.

New leadership at Biopolymer
Steven Karel, the chief financial officer and chief operations officer of Biopolymer Engineering, has been named chief technology and operations officer. Prior to joining the Minnesota company, Karel worked as the CFO and COO of a wireless telecommunications company in the Ukraine. The company has also named Julie Streed, vice president of finance, as chief financial officer. She previously managed her own consulting business specialising in finance.

Plant to pump up output
Nurture Inc is expanding its Montana production facilities to increase its capacity three-fold. The firm makes OatVantage, a clinically proven cholesterol-reducing ingredient that helps manage blood glucose levels and increases satiety for weight management. Sales of the ingredient grew more than 400 percent in 2004, the company reports.

Biolut names lutein distributor
Biolut SA de CV of Mexico has appointed Blue California, an ingredients manufacturer in California, as the exclusive distributor of its lutein product line. All of the Biolut lutein products have kosher parve certification and are guaranteed to be free of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, and have been granted GRAS status.

New manager of omega-3s
Developer and marketer of nutritionally advanced oils Source Food Technology has appointed Santosh Padki as vice president and general manager of its omega-3 division. Padki earned a master?s degree at Virginia Tech and an MBA at Northwestern University. Previously, he worked as brand manager and marketing director for ConAgra Foods.

Fibred appoints CEO
The Fibred Group, manufacturer of FI-1 Soy Fibre, named Dwight G Triplett as chief operating officer; he had been serving as resident consultant for the firm since June 2003. Over the years, Triplett has managed the growth of many global brands, including Pepsi, Healthy Choice and Hunt?s.

Plant expansion in Malaysia
Danisco Flavours will double its flavour production in Asia with the construction of a new production facility at its existing emulsifier and functional systems plant in Penang, Malaysia. The new facility will replace the present site in Singapore. Construction will begin immediately, at the cost of $3 million, and is expected to be complete by mid-2005.

A food industry ?Crusader?
The founder and president of NOW Foods, Elwood Richard, was awarded the NNFA Crusader Award for decades of commitment to furthering the industry. NOW Foods is a family owned and operated natural products manufacturer and distributor founded 35 years ago in Illinois. The National Nutritional Foods Association, founded in 1936, represents the interests of manufacturers and retailers of a wide variety of natural products.

Organic Center picks first CEO
The Organic Center for Education and Promotion has appointed R Mark Davis as the organization?s first chief executive officer. He will be charged with overseeing scientific research, marketing programs and outreach efforts at the centre. Davis has 17 years of experience leading private-sector corporations and non-profit groups. Most recently, he was CEO of Heritage Harbor Corp in Rhode Island.

New sales office in Germany
The Scholle Corp has opened a sales office in Weinheim, Germany, that will sell bag-in-box packaging to markets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The office, a registered GmbH, will supply bags ranging from 2 to 1,000 litres. Bag-in-box offers advantages over rigid packaging, including cleaner filling, space efficiency, lower costs, no clean and return, and less packaging waste.

Factory stretches its wings
Stretch Island Fruit Inc has expanded its Allyn, Washington, manufacturing plant, doubling its production capacity and bringing the total square footage to 16,000. The $2 million expansion included equipment upgrades to improve production efficiencies and manufacturing software. The 28-year-old company manufactures 100 per cent natural fruit snacks with no added sugar.

Fish oils now kosher
Ocean Nutrition Canada?s MEG-3 brand of omega-3 oil and powder food ingredients has earned kosher certification. The Orthodox Union certified the ingredient at production facilities in both Mulgrave and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

In Global Dispatches (November 2004) it was stated that inulin had been added to the Horizon and Mountain High yoghurt brands. In fact, these two brands contain NutraFlora short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) and not inulin. FF&N regrets the error.

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