Sweets make you popular, online ads tell kids

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Centrus International's Soleris Connectivity software is designed to compliment the company's rapid optical system, and can be configured to send alarms to managers through fixed or mobile phones for remote analysis.

Featuring automated system control, data analysis capability and automatic detection, the information can also be securely delivered to multiple viewers inside or outside the laboratory if desired.

Managing director of business operations at Centrus, Dominique Sorgeloos, explained that the technology would enable decision-makers in the food processing industry to act faster concerning the safety of batches of meat, dairy or beverage products.

"Soleris Connectivity software speeds the flow of vital test results from the laboratory to key decision makers, allowing them to make fast choices in real time that ensure product safety and quality," he said, according to FoodProductionDaily.

The system can be integrated with laboratories' own existing data systems, with additional capabilities including a manual backup function and a hardware security device.

Further information: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/productnews/news.asp?id=62128&k=software-sends-out

BRC calls for GM-free soya from Brazil



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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called on the Brazilian soya industry to stop using genetically modified organisms (GMOs), thereby winning the approval of a group of food companies in the UK.

The BRC is looking to establish a sense of trust in the supply of non-GM soybean from Brazil as the nation's farmers begin to make arrangements for next year's crop.

A large amount of soya is imported into the UK for use in animal feed, but the labelling regulations concerning GM content do not extend to products for animal consumption.

Peter Riley of the alliance GM Freeze welcomed the move, saying: "It is important that the BRC ensures that its message is heard loud and clear in Brazil - by farmers and other players along the soya supply chain," according to the Green Consumer Guide.

However, he also accused some food companies of "resting on their laurels" over the issue of GM-free soya for animal feed.

"If food companies act now, the costs of such action can be kept to a minimum and they will help guarantee GM-free food for the future," he said.

Further information: http://www.greenconsumerguide.com/index.php?news=2748

Food firm fined for re-labelling



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The UK's food labelling practices have come under the spotlight again, after a food company was fined over £20,000 for illegally altering the "best before" date on 85,710 packs of biscuits and over 1,500 bottles of Baileys Irish Cream.

Trading standards officers found that the original dates were replaced with new laser-printed labels without securing the permission of the food manufacturers.

The "best before" date on multi-packs of Jacob's Club Orange biscuits was changed from July 31st 2004 to July 20th 2005, and the "best tasted before" date on the Baileys bottles was amended by over four years, brought forward to May 2005 from March 2001.

Truman Advance Group, including two directors, pleaded guilty to six counts of breaching trade description and food labelling laws before Nottingham Magistrates Court.

Managing director, John Truman, 58, was fined £750, with court costs amounting to £1,500, while works manager, Andrew Marshall, was ordered to pay £1,500 in both penalties and court costs.

The total paid out by the company was £9,000 in fines and £6,000 in costs.

Although it is illegal to sell food after its "use by" date, a "best before" date can be changed by a product's original manufacturer.

The practice of changing labels is becoming more widespread in the food industry, as it continues to face an estimated £3 billion yearly surplus.

Julie Lennard, food researcher with consumer group Which?, told the Telegraph: "Problems arise when use by and best before dates are changed and proper records are not kept of what has been done."

Further information: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=P8&xml=/health/2005/08/30/nfood28.xml

Wine company enters trademark top ten



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The proportion of UK trademark registrations that were made for food and drink products increased by 3.5 per cent to 4,227 in 2004, with a wine retailer entering the top 10 for the first time.

There were 49,193 new UK trademark registrations for the year in total, a figure itself up five per cent compared to 2003.

A further 1,697 food and drink trademarks were registered in the UK by foreign companies under the Madrid protocol, representing a 5.1 per cent increase on the number for 2003.

By sector, meats, meat extracts, fish, poultry and game trademarks rose by 3.7 per cent, and coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice and others by 4.7 per cent.

While beer ale, porter and mineral and aerated waters rose by 3.7 per cent, wines spirits and liqueurs lost share, declining by two per cent.

Nevertheless, Canada-based Western Wines entered the patent office's top 10, with 42 registered trademarks for wines being imported into the UK.

At the same time, Unilever maintained its second place position in spite of its number of registrations dropping from 104 in 2003 to 93 last year.

Trademark registrations can be taken as an indication of a sector's business confidence, says FoodProductionDaily.

Further information: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/news/news-ng.asp?n=62200-unilever-patents-trade-mark

BRC packaging standard translated into Chinese



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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has announced that it will be translating its Food and Global Standard - Food Packaging and other Packaging Materials - into a Chinese Simplified version.

The news should be welcome to the UK's food companies, as the guide will enable them to buy in the confidence that products meet packaging standards across the industry.

The translation should also be useful to food companies that do business with speakers of Cantonese, Mandarin or Taiwanese, enabling them to work more effectively with their suppliers.

"As the global reach of the BRC Standards increases, we have recognised the need to publish appropriate Global Standards in languages that will assist suppliers outside the UK," said the BRC's head of technical services, Kevin Swoffer.

"The publishing of the Simplified Chinese version is a significant development as it extends best practice into the growing Far East market," he added.

The standard is most applicable to manufacturers of food packaging for retailers' own labelled products and branded products.

High-speed camera finds faults with produce



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A new camera has been developed to help food producers detect misshapen or wrongly coloured produce on the production line.

Sick says that its IVC-3D Vision Sensor camera is able to pick up on any irregular food items as they pass along the production chain, regardless of variations in the speed, reports FoodProductionDaily.com.

With more emphasis on faster production, it is hoped that the camera will enable more automated food production, which will in turn reduce human error and improve quality.

The camera can scan 5,000 products a second, and its sensors can measure products' shape and positioning, as well as the amount being produced.

The IVC-3D uses three-dimensional technology, which gives the camera greater versatility and enables it to scan a wider range of objects than the two-dimensional detectors currently used in the industry.

The equipment can also be used to perform dual tasks along the food production line, as it can be used as a quality control device but also record the volume of food produced with its laser detection system.

Further information: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/productnews/news.asp?id=62137&k=smart-camera-detects

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