Tetra Pak outlines environmental plans

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Clapham House makes third acquisition

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Restaurant company Clapham House Group has purchased the Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) chain, which has six outlets across London, for a reported £10 million.

The acquisition of GBK is Clapham House's third since its creation and the chain has acquired the entire issued share capital of Wisconsin UK, which trades as Gourmet Burger Kitchen, for an initial consideration of £2.6 million in cash and a further earn out consideration capped at £7.4 million, based on the chain's performance over the next two years.

The Clapham House Group, run by David Page and Paul Campbell, the former CEO and finance director of PizzaExpress respectively, also owns The Bombay Bicycle Club and Real Greek restaurant chains.

GBK's existing senior management team, Greg Driscoll, Brandon Allen and Adam Wills, will retain operational control of the business. The burger chain was founded four years ago with the aim of creating "a range of nutritious, delicious and sophisticated burgers using quality fresh ingredients."

Mr Page, executive chair of Clapham House, said: "During the six months to September 30th 2004, we have successfully integrated The Bombay Bicycle Club and The Real Greek into Clapham House and both these businesses are trading well.

"Having now completed our third acquisition, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, just over a year since the company's admission to AIM, we will focus our resources on growing these formats through site expansion and further improving their profitability."

Further information: www.claphamhousegroup.com

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

Tetra Pak outlines environmental plans

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Consumer packaging giant Tetra Pak has updated its environmental policy and has pledged to run its business in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.

The Swiss-Swedish firm said its revised environmental policy, which comes into force on January 1st, sets goals for continuous improvement in development, sourcing, manufacturing, and transportation.

"Our environmental policy describes our environmental engagement at every step in the consumption and production chain - from society to raw materials," the firm announced in a statement.

Tetra Pak said that recycling will be a major pre-occupation in the future, adding, "We are committed to facilitate and promote local collection and recycling activities for post-consumer carton packages." An increasing number of packaging firms have become environmentally aware and are launching products made of 100 per cent recycled materials, Food Navigator reports.

"We endeavour to support our customers on finding environmentally acceptable solutions for their packaging material waste. And in terms of product development: all our packages shall be suitable for recycling," Tetra Pak declared. "New developments will include, when needed, the development and identification of appropriate recycling technologies."

Tetra Pak claims to that in 2003 93 per cent of the waste generated at the company's plants was recycled and a just 3.6 per cent was sent for final disposal (landfill or incineration without energy recovery).

The packaging company also plans to promote renewability, improve energy efficiency and open lines of communication on key environmental matters with the communities in which it operates.

Further information: www.tetrapak.com

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

New food grade wrapper unveiled

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


George Gordon Associates has launched a seven-axis, servo-controlled, food-grade wrapper with wash-down capability.

The company claims that its new AccuWrap FG-2000W concept is one of the most user-friendly wrappers in the industry.

The modular design, wash down capability and small footprint mean that the system is easy maintenance.

The AccuWrap food grade inverted horizontal wrapping system is being targeted at food applications such as pizzas, food trays and individually wrapped jumbo cookies, Food Navigator reports.

The new system machine is designed for high speed production and greater efficiency, allowing food particles to fall through and removal of all modules providing the maximum in accessibility for cleaning.

The system features independently adjustable servo control of linear fin sealing, main cross sealing, rotary knife, conveyors and unwind for a number of food packaging applications and is highly automated.

Further information: www.ggapack.com

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

Heart protection benefits found in Israeli fruit

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


New research has suggested that consumption of an Israeli fruit called pomelit can help to lower blood cholesterol levels and boost blood antioxidant activity.

According to researchers, findings could help food firms promote the fruit as a key product to protect heart health.

The fruit is between a pomelo and a grapefruit and could help prevent heart attacks and blocked arteries, according to Nutra Ingredients.

Similarly fruits such as grapes, pomegranate, kiwi and berries are all being studied for their heart health benefits.

The market for foods helping prevent heart diseases is continually growing and sales are predicted to reach £145 million in 2007 in the UK alone.

Participants in the study for the University of Jerusalem were split into three groups and given varying levels of the fruit and its juice, with those given the highest amount showing the better heart protection qualities.

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

Drinking water helps balance blood pressure

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Researchers from Imperial College London and St Mary's Hospital have released a new study, which claims that drinking water can help people who suffer from low blood pressure.

By drinking two glasses of water, people can raise their blood pressure, which can offer a possible solution to people with low blood pressure who faint while standing.

Professor Christopher Mathias, the senior author of the research, comments: "This surprising discovery that water can have such an effect on blood pressure could help us to treat both sufferers of autonomic failure, and many people who suffer from low blood pressure generally, especially those who faint."

A total of 14 patients with autonomic failure were studied for the project and those who had consumed water before standing experienced an increase in blood pressure.

"While autonomic failure itself is generally not life threatening, it can have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life," Professor Mathias added.

The findings could offer a new market for bottled water manufacturers.

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

Pesticide level name and shame list planned by EU

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The EU has revealed plans to create a 'name and shame' list to highlight EU food retailers, producers and traders who break rules on pesticide residue limits.

According to Just Food, those firms who regularly break rules concerning their food products will be revealed, after a call for such a list from MEPs.

New legislation would cover all such rules across the EU and include 160 food commodities and 1,000 pesticides.

The environment committee wants companies to be displayed by national food regulators online.

If the proposals are supported the plans will be written into a new directive on setting maximum pesticide residue levels for food and feed.

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

Cadbury Schweppes is Britain's 'most admired'

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Cadbury Schweppes has been named the UK's most admired company

The confectionary and drinks giant ousted last year's winner Tesco after announcing record results and projected profits of £2 billion this year.

Tesco has won the "most admired" accolade four times, but this year slipped to fourth place, behind Unilever and BP, scoring low on community and environmental responsibility. The supermarket chain's chief executive Sir Terry Leahy retained the title of Most Admired Business Leader.

The poll of the UK's biggest companies across 22 market sectors was conducted by Nottingham Business School for Management Today magazine. Firms rate each other on a range of criteria, including quality of management, financial soundness, quality of goods and services, innovation and corporate social responsibility.

Brewing and pubs group Greene King rose from 113th to 11th place this year, while supermarket group Morrisons, down from 9th to 75th place.

It is the second time that Cadbury Schweppes has won the Most Admired award and it has rarely been outside the top 10 since the award was established.

Cadbury Schweppes chief executive, Todd Stitzer, said the accolade was the result of "unrelenting focus on working together to create brands people love".

Further information: www.cadburyschweppes.com

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

Food labelling 'may be extended to caterers'

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) has refused to say whether or not the catering industry will be exempt from its new system for labelling food.

The "traffic light" scheme aims to highlight healthy food to consumers and simplify the current food labelling system. Under the proposals, food would be labelled as 'high', 'medium' or 'low' in fat, salt, sugar and saturates, with red, amber and green labels. More detailed labels will also compare content with recommended daily intake.

An FSA spokeswoman said: "The system could apply to catering. It would be complicated to implement, but nothing's been decided yet."

The agency has stated that any decision on whether or not the labelling system is to be applied to the catering sector will be taken after consumer trials are completed next summer, Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine reports. The FSA has also stressed that the any decision will be taken in conjunction with stakeholders.

The British Hospitality Association deputy chief executive Martin Couchman claimed that the 'traffic light' system would be "irrelevant" to the industry and insisted that consumers eating only "green light" foods risked not having a balanced diet.

Further information: www.food.gov.uk

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

EU food agency releases GM guidance

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The European Union's food risk assessment agency has produced a new guidance document for GM ingredient suppliers.

A panel of experts at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has put together a comprehensive guidance to applicants wishing to introduce GMOs or derived products to the EU market, Food Navigator reports.

Before any genetically modified organism (GMO) or GM derived product can enter the EU market, it is required to pass a strict series of safety tests.

"Upholding its commitment to involve stakeholders in the risk assessment process, the guidance document has substantially benefited from comments received during a four-week period of public consultation as well as feedback received during a stakeholder consultation held in May 2004," EFSA said in a statement.

The guidance document covers the full risk assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed, although risk management of GMOs (traceability, labelling, co-existence) are 'outside the remit of the GMO Panel'.

The European Commission requested the guidance after pushing through approval of GM sweetcorn, supplied by Swiss biotech firm Syngenta in May this year, the first approval granted for a GM product since 1998. MON810, a biotech maize engineered by Monsanto to be resistant to the European corn borer, was the second product to be cleared shortly afterwards.

EU consumers remain sceptical about the safety of GM food and most food makers are opting to leave GM ingredients out of their products.

Further information: www.efsa.eu

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

Christmas food safety tips released by FDF

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


As part of moves to raise awareness of food safety and hygiene, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is to launch a fun quiz and top cooking tips on its website throughout the festive period.

A special fun quiz will be available to consumers to test their knowledge of food safety and the site will help consumers avoid food poisoning from undercooked turkeys or unsafe foods.

According to recent studies, 20 per cent of food poisoning outbreaks are poultry related and the majority of them occur within December.

Details and information will be displayed on the foodlink website, www.foodlink.org.uk.

A specially created list of 12 top Christmas tips will also be on offer - including storage, cleanliness, thawing meat and correct use of utensils.

The FDF claims that over one in ten consumers cook Christmas dinner for over ten people, which is often a key factor that leads to undercooked meat or incorrect temperatures for various dishes.

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

Green tea may combat prostate cancer

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


An extract found in green tea could help tackle prostate cancer, new research has found.

A study published in the December 1st issue of Cancer Research revealed that the polyphenols present in green tea help prevent the spread of prostate cancer by targeting molecular pathways that shut down the proliferation and spread of tumour cells, as well as inhibiting the growth of tumour nurturing blood vessels.

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, documented the role of green tea polyphenols (GTP) in modulating the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) driven molecular pathway in prostate tumour cells in a mouse.

"Consumption of GTP led to reduced levels of IGF-1," said lead researcher Hasan Mukhtar.

"GTP also led to increased levels of one of the binding proteins for IGF-1, the insulin growth factor binding protein-3.

"These observations bear significance in light of studies that indicate increased levels of IGF-1 are associated with increased risk of several cancers, such as prostate, breast, lung and colon."

GTP modulation of cell growth via the IGF-1 axis coincides with limited production or phosphorylation of key cell survival proteins, including PI3K, Akt and Erk1/2, the research indicated.

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

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