Tetra Pak outlines environmental plans

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Plant oils may reduce heart disease risk

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Consuming plant-derived sterols (or oils) may benefit those who are at risk of coronary heart disease, when combined with exercise.

New research conducted by a team from McGill University in Canada found that fat and cholesterol levels in the body can be reduced by combining the consumption of plant-derived sterols (or oils) with exercise.

The scientists assessed 74 non-active individuals between the ages of 40 and 70 and placed them in four different intervention groups: combination (consumed margarine containing plant sterols and exercised), exercise (consumed plant-sterol -free margarine and exercised), sterol only (consumed margarine containing plant sterols and did not exercise) and control (consumed plant-sterol free margarine and did not exercise).

"In comparison with plant sterols or exercise alone, the combination of plant sterols and exercise yielded the most beneficial change in the volunteer's cholesterol and lipid levels," said lead author and McGill doctoral student, Krista Varady.

"This combination therapy favourably altered their lipid profiles by decreasing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triacylglycerol levels and by increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels."

The study, supported by funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, is featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

(no further information)

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Foodservice set-ups boosted by TV chefs

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The number of new businesses being set up in the catering sector could be due to celebrity chefs, according to a new report today by Barclays.

By appealing to consumers and making dining out a trendy activity, TV chefs have helped towards increasing the number of people eating out more than once a week to one fifth of consumers.

In addition, people are increasingly experimenting with different cuisines and dishes, according to ic Wales.

Louise Fowler, marketing director of small business at Barclays, commented: "Food-obsessed Britons are increasingly adopting a lifestyle of eating out, with dining at a restaurant no longer just for a special occasion.

"What these TV programmes are doing is showing us the array of food on offer and this is having a knock-on effect on the choice and number of restaurants opening up."

For the first three quarters of 2004, the number of catering businesses set up, reached 16,000 and just under 11,000 were opened for the period the year before.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Thousands of Walkers' packets mislabelled

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has released a food alert today, warning about nearly 11,000 wrongly labelled Walkers crisps packets.

According to the agency, a number of packets of salt and vinegar flavour French Fries crisps have actually been mistakenly filled with the cheese and onion flavour variety of the snacks.

The agency is concerned that people who are allergic to mustard, wheat and milk may suffer a reaction to the cheese and onion flavoured crisps.

Bags affected are those that are sold individually, but the company has not been able to confirm where the packets have been distributed.

However it is thought the product is most likely to be found in smaller retail outlets, pubs and vending machines.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

EU trials innovative food labelling

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The EU has revealed that trials have been conducted for a new soluble label, which would indicate whether a product has been open to unsuitable conditions or if it has been tampered with.

Tests on the new food labelling are now nearly complete, according to Just Food.

According to researchers, a British electronics manufacturer, which is currently unnamed, will market the system by the end of the year.

It is hoped the labelling could be used commercially during the first quarter of 2005.

Working as a non-refixable security seal, the labelling also changes form in certain conditions if the moisture or humidity is not correct.

Customers can adjust resistance and the different levels to suit their individual needs.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Security tightened up in food industry

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


A new product has been designed to try and ensure terrorists cannot target the food supply.

According to Food Production Daily, supply chain safety is now an extremely important issue for the industry and regulations such as traceability laws planned in January in the EU are an example of typical protection measures.

One company, Operations Technologies has spent 18 months developing a software solution to offset the cost of new compliance standards with automated real-time data tracking and documentation.

Named 'SupplySync', the product is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2005 and will allow food firms to meet traceability requirements whilst still improving customer service and cutting administrative costs.

Operations Technologies' president claimed that the food supply is vulnerable, but by using a software such as this, considerable improvements in food chain security can be achieved.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Middle class ignoring healthy eating messages

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Britons are eating less and less healthily, particularly the middle classes, according to a new study.

Research by scientists at University College London shows that up to one-third of Britons, 20 million people, have increased their consumption of fried food, while the same number were taking less exercise.

The government has spent millions of pounds on healthy eating campaigns but they have failed to deter people from eating junk food, The Sunday Times reports.

The study looked at the eating and exercise habits of more than 11,000 "baby-boomers" for almost a decade and discovered that the consumption of vegetables had fallen, while the middle classes were eating more chips and fried food.

Over the eight years the study was conducted, 40 per cent of the men and women were found to have increased or maintained their intake of fried food and 17 per cent ate more chips. 40 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women had seen their fruit and vegetable consumption slip to less than one portion of either a day.

Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, London, said: "Health education is a discredited approach to changing people's diet and behaviour. If you want to improve public health, you need to take a much tougher line with food manufacturers and catering."

Spending on health promotion is at an all-time high and the food standards agencies in England, Scotland and Wales cost £150 million a year to run, with a further £80 million being devoted solely to promoting fruit in schools.

(no further information)

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Food companies criticised over salt levels in soup

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Many soups contain as much as half of the advised daily intake of salt and food makers must do more to reduce sodium levels, the UK food agency reports.

A study by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that, while many food firms continue with their commitment to reduce salt levels in processed foods, more action is needed.

A survey by the government-funded agency showed that some of the 77 soups tested contained as much as half of the 6g recommended maximum daily intake for adults and many more contained as much as a third of the advised intake.

The agency looked at the salt content in canned, fresh and dried soup, both branded and supermarket own-label and also at fresh, or chilled, soups which have grown in popularity.

Gill Fine, director of consumer choice and dietary health at the FSA, said: "We welcome the commitment that some manufacturers and retailers have made to reduce salt content in soups but the fact that such a popular and convenient food can provide more than a third of the daily salt limit shows that continued effort in this area is still needed."

The FSA recently launched a nationwide campaign aimed at dramatically reducing salt levels in consumer diets. Diets rich in salt are linked to high blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Further information: www.food.gov.uk

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Beef industry seeks end date for OTM ban

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The UK beef industry is calling on the government to provide clear information on exactly when the Over Thirty Months (OTM) rule will be changed.

The National Beef Association has asked the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to tell the industry when beef from cows born after July 1996 can move back onto the market and has called for a late summer 2005 start rather than an autumn one.

"There is much to look forward to and the industry will be able to take maximum advantage of this welcome development if it is given the earliest possible notice of when the change is due," the Association's vice-chairman, Keith Redpath told The Cumberland News.

Mr Redpath said he accepted that a 2005 start date would take a lot of work. The ban on the sale of cattle over thirty months old followed the BSE outbreak in Britain.

He added: "Everything depends on the dovetailing of a number of legal and administrative procedures the most important of which is the report by the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) on OTMS testing implementation which is expected in late April or early May.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

EU cod plans criticised by fisheries minister

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The fisheries minister has announced there is strong opposition against plans to close cod fishing grounds and that he will reject recommendations to close some grounds.

Ross Finnie is to head negotiations for Scotland when Brussels attempts to set catch limits for 2005 and claims that many EU countries support Scotland's position.

The European Commission is planning to close whole fishing grounds in the North Sea and is looking into proposals to make further cuts in days at sea, both of which have angered Mr Finnie.

In addition, areas of the Irish seas and off of western Scotland have also been recommended for closure.

It is thought the plans could have a "devastating effect" on the white fish industry and Mr Finnie claimed he did not accept scientific evidence provided.

According to the minister, the areas which may be closed will not help conservation and the cod-recovery plan set up two years ago should be allowed more time to take effect first.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

New director selected at Tesco

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Food retailer Tesco revealed today that is has chosen a new non-executive director for its board.

Carolyn McCall, who has worked for Guardian Newspapers for 18 years, will replace Veronique Morali.

Ms Morali is stepping down after four years on the company's board and will now focus on business commitments in France.

Tesco Chairman David Reid said: "I am delighted that Carolyn McCall is joining the Board of Tesco.

"In her 18 years with Guardian Newspapers she has helped build the Guardian brand and taken it into new areas. Carolyn's strategic and brand marketing experience will be an asset to our Board."

Ms McCall will begin her new position with effect from March 1st 2005.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Iceland changing focus back to frozen foods

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The reappointed boss of Iceland, Malcom Walker, has announced that the UK food retailer is to refocus its efforts on frozen food.

Mr Walker, who is set to become chief executive, is planning to sell his CoolTrader business to Baugur when he takes on his role.

He told Just Food: "It is a question of emphasis. Iceland's strength is in frozen food but it has been going down the convenience store route."

Iceland moved towards fresh produce and bread to increase sales and reap the benefits of the convenience retail trend, but found that sales continued to struggle.

Mr Walker now wants to return to the firm after the Baugur and Big Food Group deal, although certain issues still have to be finalised.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Coffee Republic reduces losses

Date: Wed, 22 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Coffee bar operator Coffee Republic has announced that losses for the six months to September 26th have narrowed.

The chain is coming to the end of a lengthy restructuring programme that has seen it close 23 outlets in the past year.

Coffee Republic reported that pre-tax losses for the six months came in at £880,000, down from £990,000 for the same period last year. Total sales were 22 per cent lower at £8.9 million, as expected following the closure of a number of sites.

The firm attributed its improved results to the popularity of its new deli outlets. A number of sites have been converted from standard coffee bars to delis as part of the overhaul and Coffee Republic said these outlets had seen sales rise by more than a fifth.

London-based Coffee Republic has been moving towards a deli format, offering fresh sandwiches and hot food counters as well as coffee and six of its 49 sites are now trading under the new format.

Chairman Bobby Hashemi said the format was popular with "time-pressed" people and he expected the majority to be converted in the next few years.

"We are fine-tuning the deli model and have evolved the concept to ensure that the offering continues to be differentiated and profitable," he said.

Further information: www.coffeerepublic.co.uk

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

European ministers reject GM crop application
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