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Articles from 2015 In January

Vitamin E critical during first 1,000 days

Vitamin E critical during first 1,000 days

Getting enough vitamin E is critical for very young children, old people and women who are or may become pregnant, according to a new review of multiple studies.

The study, published in Advances in Nutrition, comes in the wake of a year “when critics have raised alarms about excessive vitamin E intake while in fact the diet of most people is insufficient,” says the study’s author, Maret Traber, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and national expert on vitamin E in a release from the university. The study was noted on

"It's important all of your life, but the most compelling evidence about vitamin E is about a 1000-day window that begins at conception," Traber said. "Vitamin E is critical to neurologic and brain development that can only happen during that period. It's not something you can make up for later."

In her review, she outlined recent findings about the micronutrient. One was the importance of vitamin E during fetal development. Inadequate vitamin E was found to be associated with increased infection, anemia, stunted growth and poor outcomes during pregnancy for both the infant and mother. Another was the correlation between adequate vitamin E intake and dementia later in life.

"Many people believe that vitamin E deficiency never happens," Traber said. "That isn't true. It happens with an alarming frequency both in the United States and around the world. But some of the results of inadequate intake are less obvious, such as its impact on things like nervous system and brain development, or general resistance to infection."

Probiotics unite behind one voice

Probiotics unite behind one voice

Member companies of International Probiotics Association (IPA), Global Alliance for Probiotics (GAP) and Yoghurt Live Fermented Milks Association (YLFA) are joining forces to create a single broad representative platform—a European branch of IPA, called International Probiotics Association Europe (IPA Europe).

The creation of a European branch of IPA will reinforce IPA as the global voice of probiotics and is a natural evolution from an increasingly successful collaboration between these associations, which together represent about 60 companies.

Commenting on the merge, George Paraskevakos, president of IPA, said: “IPA, GAP and YLFA are three of the few associations with probiotics as its core focus; combining their strengths will result in a stronger and wider outreach in Europe.”

With the establishment of a new European Commission and new European Parliament, the probiotic industry needs more than ever to speak with a single voice to improve the business environment for the sector in Europe. IPA Europe will seek to expand further, and is open to membership applications from companies. The first objective of IPA Europe will be to reengage and enhance the dialogue with the EU authorities, and one of its key priorities will be to push forward the open discussion on the regulatory process for probiotics in Europe. Further information will be announced in the coming weeks.

Court backs FTC: POM Wonderful ads were deceptive

Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez issued the following statement in response to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the FTC’s deceptive advertising case against POM Wonderful, its parent company, and its principals.

“Today’s decision by the D.C. Circuit is a victory for consumers. It is in keeping with established law that advertisers who market products for serious health conditions must have rigorous science to back up those claims. The court specifically recognized that this applies to food and dietary supplement marketers such as POM. It also held that requiring a randomized, well-controlled human clinical study for future disease benefit claims is an appropriate remedy based on POM’s conduct.”

The D.C. Circuit affirmed a January 2013 FTC decision that the marketers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements deceptively advertised that the products could treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, and were clinically proven to have such benefits. The court did not uphold the FTC order requirement for two randomized well controlled human clinical trials by POM. However, the court did affirm the FTC’s order requiring POM to have at least one such study before making disease prevention or treatment claims and held out the possibility that two might be warranted in other cases.

POM Wonderful filed an appeal with the court in March 2013, challenging the Commission’s January 2013 decision and order, which found that the POM marketers had made deceptive claims in 36 advertisements and promotional materials for the pomegranate juice and supplements. The Commission issued a final order requiring POM’s future disease treatment and prevention claims to be supported by at least two randomized well-controlled human clinical trials, and other health benefit claims to be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.


Starbucks goes (coco)nuts

Starbucks goes (coco)nuts

What could possibly more exciting than the perennial appearance of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks?

A Pumpkin Spice Latte made with coconut milk.

Yes, the coffee giant is testing coconut milk at select stores in Los Angeles, Cleveland and Oregon, reports Reuters.

It’s a sign of the growing popularity of dairy alternatives. Starbucks has nearly 11,800 stores in the U.S. They did not reveal how many of them will be going coco. The bean behemoth has been serving soy milk since 1997.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of Dunkin’ Donuts revelation that they’ll be including Blue Diamond’s Vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk to their coffee creations.

Across the country, almond milk sales are going nuts. White Wave reports that sales of Silk Almondmilk drinks shot up by 52 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous period in 2014.

Why isn’t Starbucks showing the almond industry some love? What’s with the preferential treatment for coconuts? A Starbucks spokeswoman told Reuters that the chain is not testing almond milk at this time due to the "critically important safety of our customers with nut allergies."

Those people should step away from the Almond Croissant Blossom. Though it does pair delightfully with the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

UK herbal groups endorse Botanical Adulterants Program

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) and the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA) have recently endorsed the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, an international consortium of nonprofit organizations, analytical laboratories, industry members, professional scientists, and others that advises industry, researchers, health professionals, and additional communities about the various challenges related to adulterated herbs and botanical ingredients in commerce.

NIMH, which was founded in 1864 and is “the UK’s leading professional body representing herbal practitioners,” gave notice of its support in a letter dated Dec. 15, 2014, from NIMH President Laura Stannard to Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) and general manager of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. In the letter, Stannard said of the decision: “The NIMH is happy to support the Botanical Adulterants Program. In lending our name to the program we hope that other professional associations will follow our lead. The adulteration of medicinal plants is an issue of grave concern for all herbalists and everyone involved in herbal medicine worldwide.”

BHMA, founded in 1964, promotes the advancement of “the science and practice of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom. It promotes the use of herbal medicinal products manufactured to pharmaceutical standards to ensure consistently high quality and effectiveness for the consumer.” 

The BHMA’s support for BAP was confirmed on Jan. 7. In an email to Blumenthal, BHMA Chairman Dick Middleton, PhD, commented: “The BHMA is delighted to endorse and support the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. The principle objectives of the Program are pivotal to the ongoing development of high-quality herbal health products in the US and related markets, including the United Kingdom. The core thrust of the program involving education and training will also lead to the increasing global availability of high-quality herbal materials to herbal product manufacturers. This will help to create more robust, high-quality supply chains.”

Adulteration refers to the accidental or intentional substitution or dilution of a material with an undisclosed or lower-cost ingredient, thereby giving the consumer a false sense of the value or quality of an ingredient or product containing such an adulterated ingredient.

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is a coalition of three American nonprofit groups: ABC, theAmerican Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), and the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), with more than 130 other American and international parties supporting and cooperating with the Program.

“We are most grateful and encouraged by the strong show of support for our Program that we have received from our herb colleagues in the United Kingdom,” said Blumenthal.

“There is a long and robust history of the rational and responsible use of herbs as a form of self-care and health care in the UK, going back centuries. Support for our educational efforts about how to detect adulteration and fraud in the herbal market will not only help enhance the quality of herb products in the UK, but will provide greatly welcome added impetus and cooperation to the international educational efforts of our Program,” Blumenthal added.

NIMH’s endorsement of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program follows similar endorsements made by other professional organizations, including the International Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (known by its German acronym, GA) and the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP), both highly respected international organizations composed of leading medicinal plant research experts. The GA and ASP are the two largest organizations of professional researchers in the field of medicinal plants and drugs of natural origin.

“As people continue to use herbal medicines, the role of qualified practitioners in supporting them in making informed decisions is essential. This has never been more important than now with the ongoing challenge of adulterations of ingredients used in the products. The endorsement of this program by organizations with the expertise and reputation of the NIMH and BHMA will only strengthen access to high-quality herbal medicines globally,” said Michael Smith, ND, member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicines and the ABC Advisory Board.

Other endorsements of the Botanical Adulterants Program by health care-oriented organizations include those from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

BHMA’s endorsement also follows the endorsements of other leading trade organizations, both internationally and in the United States. Internationally, these include the International Dietary/Food Supplement Trade Alliance (IADSA), the Australian Self Medication Industry, Complementary Medicines Australia (formerly the Complementary Health care Council), the Australian Tea Tree Oil Association, and, just recently, Natural Products New Zealand. 

In the United States, the trade associations underwriting the Botanical Adulterants Program include the Consumer Health care Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association, and the United Natural Products Alliance.

To date, the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program has published five extensively peer-reviewed and referenced articles on the history of adulteration, the adulteration of the herbs black cohosh and skullcap, and adulteration of extracts of bilberry fruit and grapefruit seed. These open-access articles are available on the Program’s webpage: The Program also publishes a quarterly newsletter, “The Botanical Adulterants Monitor,” that highlights new scientific publications related to botanical authenticity and analysis to detect possible adulteration, recent regulatory actions, and Program news. Further, the Program recently released its first in a series of Laboratory Guidance Documents to help industry and third-party analytical laboratories determine the most effective analytical methods for detecting adulteration and authenticating botanical raw materials and extracts. The first of these was published on skullcap, an herb subject to documented adulteration. Additional publications from the Program are scheduled for release in the coming months.

Researchers question safety, necessity of vitamin drinks

What’s the deal with vitamin drinks? Do we need them? Are they harmful?
As more companies spike their water, juices and sports drinks with vitamins, the New York Times discusses recent research exploring whether these drinks deliver too much of a good thing.
Reporter Anahad O’Connor notes a July study in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition that found many people exceed the safe limits of nutrients as recommended by the Institute of Medicine. And, she sites a study this month in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism that analyzed 46 drinks sold next to bottled water in supermarkets and found that many contained vitamin B6, B12, niacin and vitamin C in quantities “well in excess” of what experts recommend.
The lead author of that study, Dr. Valeri Tarasuk, a nutrition science professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto, told the Times the vitamins added to these drinks are already plentiful in the average person’s diet, so their inclusion in the beverages is almost completely unnecessary. “It’s very hard to figure out the logic the manufacturers are using to do this fortification,” she said. “There’s no way that the things that are being added are things that anybody needs or stands to benefit from.”
But can all those vitamins hurt us? We don’t know. “With these products, we’ve embarked on a national experiment,” Tarasuk said. The Times article notes the risk, in particular, of consuming too high a level of fat soluble vitamins that accumulate in tissue and could effect the liver. The article also presents experts’ concern about drinks with too much antioxidants, which can throw our systems off kilter.
Why hasn’t been anyone been worried about the effects of these vitamin-packed elixirs? We’ve been too busy villainizing sugar. “This extreme micronutrient addition has fallen under the radar,” Tarasuk said.

BENEO showcases bubblegum & chocolate lentils

BENEO showcases bubblegum & chocolate lentils

As a leader in functional ingredients, BENEO is using ISM 2015 to present its range of tooth-friendly children’s confectionery product concepts. At the show, BENEO will be showcasing on stand bubble gum and chocolate lentil concepts that have successfully undergone scientific testing with plaque pH-telemetry. Both products are tooth-friendly and fully digestible due to the inclusion of BENEO’s carbohydrate, Palatinose™, which completely replaces sucrose in the formulation.

With 83 percent of consumers globally paying high attention to oral health, products made with the tooth-friendly carbohydrate, Palatinose, are set to become increasingly popular. The non-cariogenic benefits of Palatinose have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration and EFSA 13.1 health claim approvals. Being the only tooth-friendly, low glycemic and fully digestible carbohydrate, Palatinose is ideal for food producers looking to explore new avenues in children’s confectionery. This is an area where standard sugar-free formulations are less desired, because children are particularly in need of balanced carbohydrate energy. The concepts at ISM 2015 have been clinically tested using plaque pH-telemetry, which is the worldwide-established method of testing tooth-friendliness.

The bubble gum concept at ISM 2015 has a pleasant banana flavor and can be produced using existing bubble gum technology. Its reduced stickiness facilitates processing and cleaning and offers high form stability to manufacturers. The added benefits of incorporating Palatinose in BENEO’s chocolate lentil concepts are a smooth coating and a pleasant crunch, while the core provides a similar mouthfeel and taste to conventional chocolate.

All of this, combined with the low glycemic properties and sugar-like sweet taste of Palatinose enriched products, delivers the potential to innovate for confectionery manufacturers looking for nutritional and technical benefits, without sacrificing taste.

Katja Reichenbach, product manager of Palatinose at BENEO, commented: “According to the World Health Organization, more than 60 percent of school children worldwide suffer from dental cavities. This figure shows the urgent need for confectioners to offer innovative solutions for sweet-toothed youngsters. We are pleased to present our tooth-friendly tested bubble gums and chocolate lentils with Palatinose. The positive results of the pH-telemetry show once again that Palatinose is the ingredient of choice when it comes to tooth-friendly confectionery—especially for children.”



Fruit d'Or debuts Oral Cran

Fruit d'Or debuts Oral Cran

Reflecting its mission to take cranberry beyond urinary tract health, Fruit d’Or, the world’s largest grower and processor of cranberries, has launched Oral Cran, an ingredient expressly for the natural oral care market. The cranberry powder is specially formulated and processed as a branded cranberry ingredient for the oral health care industry.

Oral Cran contains all-natural, whole food cranberry powder, no preservatives or excipients. Oral Cran is organic, non-GMO and can be used by people of all ages to achieve long-term oral/dental health. Oral Cran is a healthy alternative to enhance oral health and help fight against bad breath.

“It’s a beauty secret for healthy teeth. You can see the difference and feel the results over a couple of applications,” comments Stephen Lukawski, director of sales and business development.

Oral Cran, which has a neutral taste, is meant to be combined with toothpaste on the toothbrush for brushing teeth. Lukawski states that testimonials from others who are using the cranberry powder on their teeth has been very encouraging and most promising. He adds that he also brushes his own teeth with Oral Cran and has noticed, “My teeth look whiter as stains have been reduced, and Oral Cran does not cause your teeth to turn red! My mouth feels cleaner and even my breath is fresher."


Barry Callebaut debuts FullFill Factory concept

Barry Callebaut debuts FullFill Factory concept

Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high quality chocolate and cocoa products, presents its latest service offering at the ISM 2015 in Cologne: the Barry Callebaut FullFill FactoryTM. Designed to answer the increasing need of personalization and flexibility for both small and large food manufacturers alike, the FullFill Factory creates added value through a broad array of personalization options with base products as well as added colors, flavors, and texture.

"The FullFill Factory caters to the demand for personalized concepts present in all market segments, being mainly confectionery, bakery and ice cream. With the FullFill Factoryour customers can easily and promptly adapt to the constantly changing consumer environment and market trends. Our solution provides all the means necessary to reach that goal," says Sofie De Lathouwer, marketing director FM Western Europe at Barry Callebaut.

Four-step solution 
The personalization process is made up of four possible steps: the customer chooses the desired base product (being chocolate, compound or a filling) and has the possibility to add color(s), flavor(s) and/or texture. The FullFill Factoryprovides great flexibility in its color and flavor offerings for all food manufactures thanks to the convenient 1 kg format of cocoa butter based flavor and color components, called FullFlavors and FullColors respectively. The Color Master ensures convenient use and guarantees consistent results, time after time. A comprehensive variation of these components and the ease in which they can be mixed, melted and dosed, ensures the FullFill Factory concept offers the most convenient and personalized creativity solution.

Components can be blended with the customer's own equipment or with the Barry Callebaut FlexMelter. This is the world's first flexible melting and blending container for solid and liquid chocolate, compounds and fillings. The FlexMelter is created to support the process of blending in smaller batches or quantities, while avoiding contamination issues with normal production lines. Besides, Barry Callebaut can also produce the complete product in-house and deliver the finished product to its customers.

Barry Callebaut's expertise supports customers’ creativity
"We wanted to add a new service supporting the talent and ideas of all food manufacturers: creativity should not be limited by a company's size. More than a practical tool, the FullFill Factory is a service to enable our customers to offer their desired product to the marketplace," says Sofie De Lathouwer. "Not only do we provide our customers with concrete means and components to experiment and realize their favorite recipe, we also share our savoir-faire to make sure their creation is feasible, top-quality, and legally compliant."

There are certain legal regulations for the use of colors and some flavors in manifold applications. The Barry Callebaut's FullFill Factory concept offers a unique selling proposition to its customers by adding the support that calculates the legally allowed doses to comply with EU legislation; customers no longer have to worry if their products are compliant with the latest regulations.


5@5: Organic personal care market could reach $13.2B by '18 | GMO labeling & consumer confusion

5@5: Organic personal care market could reach $13.2B by '18  | GMO labeling & consumer confusion

Natural news headlines for the week of Jan. 26, 2015

Sprouts seeking '5-o'clock' shoppers Jan. 26, 2015 by Jon Springer via In an effort to better accommodate convenience minded shoppers at dinnertime, Sprouts Farmers Market is investing in additional grab-and-go options... Jessica Alba talks business and the future of The Honest Company Jan. 14, 2015 via The Business Journals "We're launching feminine care, organic cotton non-toxic, with the first comfort applicator and panty liners that are all really safe absorbent materials," Alba says in this interview. "We're also launching...View "Natural news headlines for the week of Jan. 26, 2015" on Spundge