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Articles from 2016 In October


Plant Chicago's closed-loop urban farm shows less waste is possible

Plant Chicago Flickr Plant Chicago

­­­Plant Chicago has a message for the natural foods industry: zero waste is possible. The nonprofit established five years ago has been working to develop circular economies of food production, energy conservation and material reuse—meaning a conventional waste stream from one process is repurposed as an input for another. To demonstrate this concept in action, its food production space in Chicago is designed to be a net-zero, closed loop system. And next month, the facility will be offering tours during an Internet of Things (IoT) event. IoT Emerge will target the opportunities and challenges posed by IoT devices, platforms and services, and offer tours of four local companies to see IoT applications in real-world scenarios.

More than a dozen small food businesses, including a bakery, brewery and mushroom farm, operate at Plant Chicago’s The Plant, which expects to eventually divert more than 10,000 tons of food waste from landfills annually—and in the process, provide enough electricity to power at least 250 homes. Tours of The Plant allow visitors to see food production at these small businesses as well as the demonstration projects that help maintain the closed-loop system, including an aquaponics farm and algae bioreactor.

Kassandra Hinrichsen, Plant Chicago’s education and outreach manager, said the organization’s farmers market aims to boost food access in underserved areas. “We are looking to provide healthy, affordable, locally grown food to folks in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and beyond. We are able to make these foods accessible through accepting the [SNAP, or food stamps] card and doubling its value up to $25,” she said.

Through its demonstrations within the building, the organization also hopes to inspire and empower people of other businesses to consider the potential of their waste materials. "In the future, we plan on partnering with other businesses to assist in research for their companies to reduce and reuse their waste," Hinrichsen said.

Braughnwynn "Bibi" Jackson, IoT Emerge event and marketing director, said, "Our mission is to offer practical IoT education and insights, with an emphasis on Industrial IoT. These on-site visits, including lunch and learns, will allow event participants to see and hear the challenges and opportunities Internet of Things offers to companies in business today.”


IoT Emerge is produced by IoT Institute, a New Hope Network sister company.
When: Nov. 2-4, 2016
Where: McCormick Place, Chicago
Register here.

Can you really patent a natural ingredient?

Intellectual property is just another tool in the toolbox that helps companies protect their discoveries and innovations. But can you really patent nature? New Hope Network ingredients and supplements editor Todd Runestad sits down with Shaheen Majeed, marketing director at Sabinsa, for some legal insights.

Can probiotics save our skeletons?

probiotic bacteria

Probiotics may have potential as an inexpensive treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis, according to new research.

About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

To test whether probiotics could make a difference in bone density, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia State University removed the ovaries from a group of mice to induce the hormonal changes that occur with menopause in women. The researchers gave the mice a twice-weekly dose of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a type of bacteria found in some yogurts.

A month after their ovaries were removed, the mice that were not treated with probiotic bacteria had lost half of their bone density. The bone density in probiotic-treated mice, however, stayed the same. How did the probiotics fight bone loss? The researchers believe it has to do with their interaction with immune cells, according to an Emory Health Sciences release about the study. The immune system was known to be involved in post-menopausal osteoporosis, but the mechanism was previously unclear. The researchers found that in mice, the loss of estrogen is associated with increased gut permeability, which allows bacterial products to activate immune cells in the intestine. Then, the immune cells release signals that break down bone. The researchers think that the probiotics both tighten up the permeability of the gut and dampen inflammatory signals that drive the immune cells. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Movers & shakers - October 2016

Farmer-direct coffee company THRIVE Farmers welcomed Tom Minella to its leadership team as vice president of business development, bringing more than 25 years of restaurant marketing expertise to expand its restaurant and hospitality industry reach. Minella has worked with major food and beverage brands in the past including Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Red Bull.

Firmenich announced the election of Patrick Firmenich as chairman of the board of directors, after serving as vice chairman since 2014 and leading the company as CEO for 12 years between 2002 and 2014. He succeeds Yves Boisdron, who is retiring from the board after a decade in which he significantly contributed to the success of the company.

Nicole Glenn is the new vice president of marketing at Applegate. She was previously a marketing director for WhiteWave Foods, where she was most recently responsible for leading the Earthbound Farms organic produce business. Glenn's brand marketing experience also includes positions with Constellation Brands, Terlato Wines International and Procter & Gamble.

Mamma Chia announced the addition of four executive team members: Ken Vargha, executive vice president of sales and marketing; Lance Dermeik, vice president of operations; Steve Polzin, director of sales; and Brenda Quesada, director of R&D and technical services.

Bob's Red Mill President and CEO Bob Moore won the 23rd Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland.

Incubator and venture fund Sonoma Brands announced Jennifer Berliner as its first brand-specific hire for ZÜPA NOMA, the first brand launched by the company. Berliner will serve as director of marketing and will be responsible for defining brand messaging and setting marketing strategy for the "whole without the bowl" brand. Most recently, she led shopper marketing at top national retailers for three of PepsiCo’s $1.5B+ food and beverage brand portfolios: LiptonTea, Hydration and Frito-Lay multipack snacks.

Nora Pouillon, renowned pioneer of the organic food movement in the U.S., is planning to retire from her restaurant in order to devote more time to the industry she helped to launch. Approaching its 38th year in business, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country in 1999 and has been a beacon for restaurants pursuing organic certification.

Marketing, branding and public relations agency BrandHive hired Ryan Hogan as its media communications manager. He previously spent five years as communications director for Xclear, a leading manufacturer of xylitol products.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education under the Obama administration Arne Duncan has joined the board of directors for Revolution Foods. Revolution Foods serves more than 2 million freshly prepared meals each week to students in schools across the country and has a fast-growing line of innovative meal solutions available in more than 4,500 grocery stores including Safeway, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods. 

Natural Products Expo

Milton's Local owes pitch slam win to its farmers

Natural Products Expo East ® 2016 - James Faison Interview from Penton on Vimeo.


James Faison, a former corporate attorney, changed his course to continue the legacy of his grandfather, a second-generation farmer, Milton Faison.

In this video, the Milton's Local founder reflects on his win of the 2016 Natural Products Business School Pitch Slam at Natural Products Expo East.

[email protected]: The next big skincare ingredient? | Pepsi CEO recognizes insect protein trend

herbal skin care

How probiotics are fueling a toxin-free skincare revolution

For years, convention has dictated that people clean their skin of bacteria. But a growing body of science suggests that bacteria support immune system function, fights inflammation and more, and that trying to rid the body of them is the wrong approach. Companies like AO Biome are developing products that encourage growth of good bacteria on the body. UK-based Aurelia Skincare is using probiotics in anti-aging products. And beauty’s big players are entering the probiotics market, too. Read more at The Guardian…

 

Pepsi CEO names the snack food of the future: bugs

It may not be mainstream just yet, but Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi hinted that insect protein is on the company’s radar as an important trend to watch over the next decade. Read more at CNBC…

 

Majority of supermarkets don’t meet consumer demand for organic food, report shows

Although mainstream grocery stores are upping their organic offerings, less than half of the top 20 U.S. grocers don’t provide public information about their policies around organic food and pesticides, according to a new report by Friends of the Earth. Read more at Organic Authority…

 

Porridge, the food that built empires stages a savory comeback

Along with the popularity of ancient grains comes a culinary comeback for porridge in various parts of the world. Read more at NPR…

 

Food co-op adding locally grown eats to growing Stanley Marketplace area

The new Nourish Community Market is slated to open in the Denver suburb of Aurora some time in 2018. Two other co-ops in the Denver area are in the works—one of which is scheduled to open this year. Read more in Aurora Sentinel…

This week: Vital Farms spins off technology company | Former NFL player launches plant-based nutrition company

Almond Pro is adding to its catalog with the launch of Almond Protein Powder in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla. Each serving contains 19 grams of almond protein and 6 grams of natural fiber. It's made from the company's "pressurized extraction" technique, which it says reduces the amount of fat in almonds.

A new spinoff of Vital Farms, Ovabrite, in partnership with Israeli technology company Novatrans, developed a new technology designed to detect the gender and fertility of chicks during embryo development, so that hatcheries can remove male and infertile eggs before incubation and repurpose them for human consumption, in turn preventing the culling of male chicks post-incubation. 

Hydrosol, a supplier of customer-specific stabilizing and texturing systems, will present a line new products at this year’s Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai, including functional systems for desserts, milk and yogurt drinks, reconstituted cream cheese alternatives, and low-fat mayonnaise without starch.

Former NFL player Chris Manderino has launched LYFE Fuel. Its first product, Daily Essential shakes, are plant-based meal replacement shakes that contain organic greens, vitamins and minerals, CoQ-10, digestive enzymes, proteins, omega-3s and more. 

Sprout Foods is now packaging eight of its products in transparent pouches so parents can see what's inside, with plans to release 20 clear pouches by December.

Organic switchel maker CideRoad has added three new direct-store distributors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: BK Distributor, All Beverage and Mom's Beverage.

Rabobank announces FoodBytes! Boulder award winners

Rabobank, a premier global food and agribusiness bank, has announced that Mad Agriculture, The Honest Stand and FarmRaiser have been awarded the top prizes during FoodBytes! Boulder, a pitch competition meets networking event that brings food, agribusiness and tech startups together with investors, executives and industry leaders.

After having received over 150 applications from around the world, 20 companies were selected to compete for three esteemed awards—the Judges’ Choice Award, the Peoples’ Choice Award and the Highly Commended Award—which took place at the University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Fields’ Byron R. White Club.

“In our industry, growth is spurred from innovation,” said Manuel Gonzalez, North America Head of Startup Innovation, Rabobank. “I truly believe that the visionary companies here at FoodBytes! Boulder are the solution-seekers who will positively transform the food and agriculture sector over the coming years.”

Judges’ Choice Award: Mad Agriculture

From the impressive ten pitch company finalists, the esteemed panel of FoodBytes! Boulder judges were tasked with selecting the company they felt best demonstrated industry creativity, sustainable practices, growth potential and social innovation. Boulder-based company, Mad Agriculture, took home the honor. Mad Agriculture harnesses the nutrient recycling abilities of insects to turn food waste into a protein rich feed supplement, lessening dependence on unsustainable ingredients like fishmeal and soy. “Two years ago, we saw an obvious need for a solution to two growing problems—food waste, and the increasing cost of feed for farmers,” said Mad Agriculture co-founder and Boulder local Phil Taylor. “Receiving the Judges’ Choice Award at FoodBytes! Boulder—from some of the leading minds in food and agriculture—confirms that the need is real, and we’re thrilled to use this platform to further our work.”

As the Judges’ Choice Award winner, Mad Agriculture will receive:

  • Official invitation to attend Rabobank’s Client Appreciation Events at Cipriani Wall Street in December to pitch to the audience of C-Suite executives from leading F&A companies (flights and accommodation to New York included)
  • Legal consultation with Holland & Hart with members of their Agriculture & Food or Food & Beverage practices
  • Branding consultation with the experts at Nucleus Maximus, focusing on how best to reach consumers through branding and packaging
  • Consultation with Force Brands on how to effectively recruit and build your team

People’s Choice Award: The Honest Stand

FoodBytes! attendees were able to get in on the judging too, choosing The Honest Stand as the People’s Choice Award winner. The Honest Stand, founded in Denver, is a gourmet food company that uses whole foods that are non-genetically modified to produce gourmet products that are Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Soy Free, Yeast Free and Cholesterol Free. “Being named FoodBytes! Boulder Peoples’ Choice is an amazing recognition, by both our peers and some of the most influential people in our industry. The Honest Stand operates on the notion that delicious, gourmet food can actually be good for you, too, and we’re excited to continue bringing that message to the masses,” said founder Alexandra Carone.

As the People’s Choice Award winner, The Honest Stand will receive:

  • Official invitation to attend Rabobank’s Client Appreciation Events at Cipriani Wall Street in December to pitch to the audience of C-Suite executives from leading F&A companies (flights and accommodation to New York included)
  • Legal consultation with Holland & Hart with members of their Agriculture & Food or Food & Beverage practices
  • Branding consultation with the experts at Nucleus Maximus, focusing on how best to reach consumers through branding and packaging
  • Consultation with Force Brands on how to effectively recruit and build your team

Highly Commended Award: FarmRaiser

The Highly Commended Award is reserved for one of the talented 60-second pitch companies, and was awarded to FarmRaiser. FarmRaiser, a healthful take on the traditional bake sale, partners with local farmers and artisans to bring healthy, local food offerings to communities and students. “FarmRaiser’s goal is to help communities raise funds for important programs, by supporting the local food economy, with the ultimate goal of fostering a healthier next generation,” said FarmRaiser founder Mark Abbott. “Recognition at an event like FoodBytes! Boulder is so important—it helps us get our mission in front of a hugely influential audience.”

As the Highly Commended Award winner, FarmRaiser will receive:

  • Legal consultation with Holland & Hart with members of their Agriculture & Food or Food & Beverage practices
  • Branding consultation with the experts at Nucleus Maximus, focusing on how best to reach consumers through branding and packaging
  • Consultation with Force Brands on how to effectively recruit and build your team

Rabobank presented FoodBytes! Boulder in partnership with Food + Tech Connect and SF New TechWhole Foods is the Presenting Sponsor for the 2016 FoodBytes! events, which in addition to Boulder, took place in San Francisco in June and Brooklyn in March. Official sponsors Holland & Hart and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) played an integral role in the development of the event and mentorship of the demo companies. Branding gurus Nucleus Maximus and investment experts Boulder Food Group brought a local perspective as Boulder sponsors, along with local-favorites Westrock Coffee Company and Boulder Beer Company.

The finalist demo companies that presented during FoodBytes! Boulder included Biotech Services Senegal, FreshSurety, The Food Corridor, The Honest Stand, Mad Agriculture, N-CHROMA, One Hop Kitchen, Phenospex, ProveIt and Regrained.

The event also featured 60-second pitches from ten companies—a group that was hand-selected to open FoodBytes! Boulder. These companies included Alfrea, Algama, Alpine Start Foods, Anti-grain Foods, Cowlar, FarmRaiser, FROST’D, Good Spread, Urban Organic Veggie and Vive Organic.

Rabobank will be announcing the 2017 dates and locations later in the year.

 

Source: FoodBytes!

Unboxed: 10 new grain (and grain-free) natural products

A decade ago, wheat dominated the grain conversation. From cereals to snacks, this (often hybridized) ingredient was in a lot of packaged foods.

Sometime within the last five years, however, consumer interest in alternative grains exploded, leading food manufacturers to incorporate whole, minimally processed grains into their products for added nutrition, texture and sourcing story. Ancient grains are now dotted throughout oatmeal cups. Gluten-free grains are sprouted for improved bioavailability. Product formulations are even replacing wheat with nuts, beans and seeds—now making traditional grain-containing products entirely free from grains (notably, the grain-free "granolas" we spotted at Natural Products Expo East).

Here, find the newest natural products that explore the bounty of ancient grains and ingredients that are "healthing up" our staples.

Unboxed: 10 new grain (and grain-free) natural products

A decade ago, wheat dominated the grain conversation. From cereals to snacks, this (often hybridized) ingredient was in a lot of packaged foods.

Sometime within the last five years, however, consumer interest in alternative grains exploded, leading food manufacturers to incorporate whole, minimally processed grains into their products for added nutrition, texture and sourcing story. Ancient grains are now dotted throughout oatmeal cups. Gluten-free grains are sprouted for improved bioavailability. Product formulations are even replacing traditional grains with nuts, beans and seeds—now making traditional grain-containing products entirely free from grains (notably, the grain-free "granolas" we spotted at Expo West).

Here, find the newest natural products that explore the bounty of ancient grains and ingredients that are "healthing up" our staples.