Friday Food News

melon drinksMELON, MOCKTAILS AND MORE: WHAT ARE THE TOP BEVERAGE FLAVORS THIS SUMMER?
Via Beverage Daily

Melon is one of this year’s hottest drink trends, with an array of exotic variations ready to tempt consumers, according to Treatt. Melon simultaneously fits the criteria of being both new and exotic, while still comfortable familiar to consumers, says the manufacturer and supplier of flavors. The idea of evoking positive emotions with beverages also continues to grow, with other popular flavors leaning towards nature and natural ingredients. Blossom, sophisticated ‘mocktails,’ and concepts evocative of home grown gardens are also trending in beverages.

REAL PUMPKIN IS LATEST STEP IN MOVE TOWARD REAL INGREDIENTS
Via AP

Starbucks and Panera are hyping reformulated versions of the popular drinks — which will include real pumpkin — in a fight to win over fans of the beverage in coming weeks. Starbucks Corp. is announcing a pumpkin spice latte that contains real pumpkin, one year after the company faced criticism for using artificial flavoring and caramel color in the popular drink. The company said this year’s version contains real pumpkin and no caramel coloring. A day after the Starbucks news, Panera said it had long used real pumpkin in its spice latte, but that it would remove artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors and preservatives. And it is introducing “clean” bottled beverages that are free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.

STARTUP DELIVERS UGLY PRODUCE TO YOUR DOOR FOR ONE VERY GOOD REASON
Via TechInsider

Over 6 billion pounds of fresh produce are left unharvested or unsold every year, and much of it is wasted simply for being blemished. A startup called Imperfect is trying to change the common perception of ugly produce by delivering it to your door. The service, which just launched fruit and veggie box deliveries in Oakland and Berkeley, California, charges about half of what you’d pay for comparable produce at the grocery store.


green smoothie

GREEN JUICES LEAD TO WIDER ACCEPTANCE OF BITTER BEVERAGES
Via BevNet.com

A growing consumer trend toward bitter vegetables such as kale and chicory is driving beverage makers to add flavors such as matcha and herb extracts to juices, cocktail mixers and
sodas. Reflecting the mainstream appeal of bitter flavors, turmeric and Asian medicinal herbs and roots were named as the top natural and organic food trends of 2015 by Sterling Rice Group.

CHANGE IN PROCESS OF DISINFECTING SPINACH, GREENS COULD REDUCE ILLNESS OUTBREAKS
Via Food Manufacturing

To reduce the risk of cross-contamination and foodborne illness in spinach and other leafy greens, scientists “are optimizing an inexpensive titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst that companies could add to the rinse water or use to coat equipment surfaces that come into contact with the leaves as they are processed. When TiO2 absorbs light, it produces a strong oxidant that kills bacteria,” according to the American Chemical Society. Greens are already commercially washed before heading to the grocery store. However, the chemicals meant to kill the bacteria are not always effective, because spinach leaves have grooves in them, which the chemicals do not always reach. Spinach or other leafy greens were linked to 18 food-poisoning outbreaks over the past 10 years, the American Chemical Society reported.

RECALLS OF ORGANIC FOOD ON THE RISE
Via New York Times

New data collected by Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses, shows a sharp jump in the number of recalls of organic food products. Organic food products accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled so far this year, compared with 2 percent of those recalled last year, according to data from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture that Stericycle uses to compile its quarterly report on recalls. In 2012 and 2013, only 1 percent of total units of food recalled were organic.

FOOD WASTE AND BEEF FAT WILL BE MAKING AIRPLANES SOAR
Via NPR

A growing number of biofuel producers are teaming up with farms, meatpackers and waste management companies to tap gassy waste to meet new demand for renewable jet fuel and diesel for vehicles. Lots of different agricultural feedstocks – from sugarcane to sweet potatoes — can be used in renewable fuel. But there’s a bonus if you use organic waste. Methane, a super potent greenhouse gas, is released into the atmosphere as manure and food decompose. And that gas and that waste are increasingly a liability for farmers.

NINE FOOD-RELATED COMPANIES THAT ARE CHANGING THE WORLD
Via Eater

According to Fortune‘s list of 50 companies that are changing the world, here are nine that are revolutionizing the food game. Featured companies include Whole Foods, Unilever, Costco and Starbucks, among others.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD MAY BE LESS BRIGHT THANKS TO NATURAL COLORINGS
Via Eater

From Subway to Kraft and Papa John’s, food companies are ditching artificial colorings left and right in an effort to appease consumers. However, replacing some of those vibrant colors in your cereal isn’t easy. The Chicago Tribune reports that companies like General Mills are having a hard time finding good, natural alternatives to traditional food coloring recipes. The full spectrum of natural hues takes time to develop and receive approval from federal regulators. Blue and green coloring didn’t become widely available until 2013, when the FDA finally approved the use of spirulina extract in gum and candy. Algae has also helped fill in the natural color gap.

images: melon drinks Hotel Gastronomico Casa Rosalia on flickr, green smoothie Breville USA on flickr

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