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fresh fruit

5@5: Can food waste keep produce from spoiling? | The attack on carrageenan

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

An (edible) solution to extend produce's shelf life

The team at California startup Apeel Sciences hopes to eliminate the need for wax and other tricks used to keep fruits and vegetables fresh over time, as well as cut down on food waste from spoilage. They use leaves, stems peels and other plant materials to create thin, edible barriers that shield crops from stressors, which they say can extend the shelf life of certain fruits and veggies as much as five times. Venture capital firms like Adreessen Horowitz have pumped millions into the company, which has just started selling its products but has been testing them on cassava root grown in Africa. Read more at The New York Times...


Carrageenan backlash: Food firms are ousting a popular additive

Just a few years ago, the market for the seaweed-derived thickener was soaring. But carrageenan's glory days may be cut short. The movement away from carrageenan is being led by a group of activists who believe it's linked to health problems like intestinal inflammation, although the FDA, European Commission and World Health Organization all say it's safe. Companies in the natural and organic space are formulating without it, and the National Organic Standards Board recently voted to ban it from certified organic food production. Read more at NPR...


Chipotle shakes up its leadership team: Co-CEO Moran to step down

As it struggles to rebound from a string of food-safety incidents, Chipotle will proceed with a sole CEO: founder Steve Ells. In an email to employees, he wrote, "There’s no question that the last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us ... We are already working hard to develop a plan to simplify our field operations, and we will improve the Restaurateur program and strengthen our people culture." Read more at Fast Company...


Healthier food not quite what Pepsi customers want

It didn't find success with healthier chips a decade ago, but Pepsi is going to try again with a new product called Off the Eaten Path Mosaic Veggie Crisp set to launch next year. It also found consumer backlash from trying to replace aspartame with sucralose in its Diet Pepsi and is behind in its goal of tripling revenue from nutritious products this decade. But the company is still increasing profit margins and sales, buoyed by its less-healthy offerings. Read more at MarketWatch...


Van Jones thinks you should hire the formerly incarcerated

Restaurants and other foodservice operations generally offer lots of entry-level jobs with high turnover, making the food industry a prime one to offer employment opportunities to former inmates. Dave's Killer Bread is just one company that's well-known for doing this, and its foundation is working to get more companies on board. Read more at The New Food Economy...

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