May’s top stories: New study on almonds, UK companies may lose £12bn to fraud

University of Washington researchers found that replacing almonds and other tree nuts will reduce empty calories, Crowe Clark Whitehill and the CCFS revealed that food and drink companies in the country may lose £12bn a year to fraud. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from May 2017.


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New study suggests almonds offer more nutrition benefits than snack foods

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, US, found that replacing typical snack foods with almonds and other tree nuts will reduce empty calories, solid and saturated fat, as well as sodium in the diet.

Funded by the Almond Board of California, the study further revealed that the replacement will increase intake of key nutrients.

For this study, researchers used data of more than 17,000 children and adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and applied two food modelling patterns.


Report revealed UK food and beverage companies may lose £12bn a year due to fraud

A new research report released by the UK-based audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill and the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies (CCFS) revealed that food and drink companies in the country may lose £12bn a year to fraud.

The ‘Minimising Fraud and Maximising Value in the UK Food and Drink Sector 2017’ report highlighted the effects of fraud in the sector and suggests measures that improve profitability by cutting the cost of fraud.

Crowe Clark Whitehill forensic and counter fraud services head Jim Gee said: “Our latest report, shows that the sector could increase profitability by 43%, unlocking an additional £4.8bn.

“Our experience is that the cost of fraud can be reduced by up to 40% within 12 months. Some of the FTSE listed food and drink businesses could double their profits by reducing their fraud losses.”


Cloetta completed Candyking acquisition

Swedish confectioner Cloetta completed its previously announced acquisition of pick and mix confectionery supplier Candyking in a Skr325m ($36.7m) deal.

The transaction has a potential additional price of up to Skr225m ($25m).

With the completion of this acquisition, Cloetta expects to strengthen its position within the pick and mix category.


Arla opened global innovation centre in Denmark

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International dairy company Arla Foods opened its new global innovation centre in Aarhus, Denmark.

With this new facility, Arla intends to create new technologies and products by working hand-in-hand with chefs, scientists, consumers and customers.

At its new innovation centre, the company will focus on the development of value-added products as part of its Good Growth 2020 strategy.


DSM to invest in Amyris

Global science-based company Koninklijke DSM agreed to make a $25m investment in industrial bioscience firm Amyris.

The investment will enable the company to acquire a 12% stake.

The two companies have simultaneously entered an agreement to focus on products for the global health and nutrition markets, including vitamins and other nutritional ingredients.


Ajinomoto launched eight frozen food varieties across France

Global processed foods manufacturer Ajinomoto launched eight varieties of frozen Japanese foods in the French food and beverage market.

The company partnered a major retailer in the country to expand its presence and establish a sales channel in France

Positive feedback from the retailer indicating that the products have contributed to increased frozen food sales prompted the company to proceed with this full-scale launch of frozen foods, including gyoza and karaage.


2 Sisters Food Group invested in prepared meals facility in South Wales, UK

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UK-based 2 Sisters Food Group enhanced the production capabilities of its prepared meals facility in South Wales by introducing new technology and innovation with a £10m investment.

The facility in Rogerstone will feature a dedicated Oriental foods ‘pod’ and would strengthen the business’ Meal Solutions division.

2 Sisters Food Group meal solutions managing director Simon Wookey said: “The significant investment in Rogerstone will lay the foundations for the future and acknowledges the loyalty and capability of our colleagues in South Wales."


Insignia Capital acquired meat snacks provider Tillamook Country Smoker

US-based private equity firm Insignia Capital Group acquired branded meat snacks provider Tillamook Country Smoker (TCS).

The companies have not disclosed the financial details of the deal.

Insignia Capital Group CEO David Lowe said: "TCS has an outstanding track record of growth and a selection of high-quality, clean-label products."


Red’s opens new manufacturing facility in South Dakota, US

US-based frozen foods manufacturer Red’s opened its first manufacturing facility in North Sioux City, South Dakota.

The location of the new facility enable the company to source better ingredients and distribute its products across the US.

Red’s will produce all natural and organic frozen burritos, burrito bowls, enchiladas and taquitos at the plant, which also features a research and development kitchen that will be used by company chefs to create natural food ideas that will be later moved into production.


MIT researchers engineered shape-shifting food

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Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Tangible Media Group developed new food products that change shape when water is added.

The researchers have created food products similar to edible origami, in the form of flat sheets of gelatin and starch that assume 3D shapes when submerged in water, including that of macaroni and rotini.

These edible films can also be folded into the shape of a flower, besides into other unconventional structures.