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5@5: A new natural food coloring made from avocado pits | When Big Meat meets plant protein

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.

Holy guacamole: Food-coloring startup gives avocado pits new life

Persea Naturals is taking a food product that's typically wasted—the seed of an avocado—and extracting from it a substrate that it can turn into a water-soluble orange coloring, an then adjust the color by tweaking the pH. Its AvoColor line has received funding through a Penn State research grant and the university's Fund for Innovation. Among the challenges with current natural coloring options is lack of stability and oil solubility (rather than water solubility). "All the current alternatives are extracted from materials that have inherent value themselves, and here we are extracting this from something that right now, doesn’t have any other value to it," says Greg Ziegler, the food scientist who discovered the technique. Read more at Centre Daily Times...


Is Big Meat the future of plant-based protein?

Tyson's recent investment in Beyond Meat drew criticism from consumers and industry alike. But some see the investment as a good sign that the plant-based foods movement is headed mainstream, and that corporate investment is the surest way to grow the movement. (Take, for example, how Dean Foods' acquisition of WhiteWave has brought plant-based milk to store shelves nearly everywhere). Read more at The New Food Economy...


The secret life of krill

This pink crustacean that many sea animals feed off of is also often collected by commercial fisheries and sold for fish food, or used to make omega-3 oils for humans. Now scientists and policymakers must figure out how to preserve krill populations with low levels of sea ice (krill feed on the algae that live on the underside) and the expiration of Conservation Measure 51-07, which limits how much krill large trawlers can take from areas of the South Atlantic, next month. Read more at The New York Times...


Food companies influence the U.S. Dietary Guidelines

A new ruling from a federal judge clarifies that there is "no meaningful standard" for how much industry influence is acceptable (or not) on federal advisory committees. Read more at Mother Jones...


Thousands of farmers and consumers demanding USDA Organic program overhaul

Watchdog group Cornucopia Institute delivered to the USDA thousands of letters from farmers and consumers as part of its attempt to strengthen the USDA Organic program. The group has suggested that corporate interests are influencing the standard and that it is not being fully enforced. Read more at Organic Authority...

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