Natural colours sales overtake artificial colours for the first time

Global sales of natural colours overtook sales of artificial or synthetic colours for the first time in 2011, according to new research from global market researcher Mintel and global food researcher Leatherhead Food Research.

In 2011, global sales of natural colours were almost US$600 million, up by almost 29 per cent on 2007, demonstrating an annual growth of more than 7 percent. The increase in sales means the overall food colours market share held by natural colours is up from 34 per cent in 2007 to nearly 39 per cent in 2011.

 

Iconic Australian brand available for purchase

Australian brand Rosella will close down after nearly 120 years as an operational business. The company, which produces the iconic Rosella Tomato Sauce, will close its Sydney operations in the next few weeks and the company’s 70 remaining staff will lose their jobs. However, a new opportunity exists for someone wanting to buy the brand rather than the factory business.

The Rosella brand is one of Australia’s best-known brands for tomato sauce, as well as soups, chutneys and relishes.

Rosella’s parent company, Gourmet Food Groups, was placed in receivership in November 2012. Ferrier Hodgson partners were appointed receivers of the company, following an estimated $50 million debt with the National Australia Bank. Ferrier Hodgson said the closure of Rosella comes after efforts to sell the business have been unsuccessful.

“The loss of jobs is disappointing but unavoidable due to the scale of losses the business was sustaining on a weekly basis,” said Ferrier Hodgson receiver Jim Sarantinos. “We had hoped that a suitable buyer would have been able to breathe new life into the business and preserve these jobs. We have exhausted all options for a sale and, unfortunately, we have no alternative but to cease trading.”

Earlier this month, another Gourmet Food Groups brand, Waterwheel Industries, which produces Waterthins and Waterwheel biscuit brands, was sold to Green’s General Foods.

Ferrier Hodgson will now turn to selling the brands within the Rosella group including Rosella, Aristocrat, Blue Banner, Galiko, Stromboli and The Curry Makers.

 

Australian nut industry pleased by new dietary guidelines and latest research findings

nuts for lifeThe Australian nut industry has welcomed the NHMRC Australian Dietary Guideline’s recommendation that Australians increase their consumption of nuts by 350 per cent. The guidelines suggest that up to 30g of nuts a day – or a small handful – is beneficial to health.

The Australian nut industry body Nuts for Life says the recommendations is supported by further research the Spanish research group PREDIMED showing that a Meditteranean diet including nuts reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

“It is satisfying to see that the NHMRC Australia Dietary Guidelines now acknowledge the important role nuts play in the diet by recommending a regular 30g handful of nuts. This latest revision of the dietary guidelines puts the final nail in the coffin of low-fat diets as the preferred option for a healthy diet. At last healthy fat foods are back on the menu,” said Dietitian and Nuts for Life manager, Lisa Yates.

American research

Meanwhile, a study undertaken by Novotny and others, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2012 found that the energy content of nuts and how they are digested by the human body had in the past been poorly understood. The study found that the calorie value for almonds had been overestimated by about 20 per cent previously, which might have contributed to concerns about nuts being part of a regular diet.

The study concluded that the way calorie intake is currently measured is problematic because it doesn’t assumes that nutrients are digested in the same way by the human body, regardless of what food they are found in. The researchers found that almonds have fewer calories than previously thought because the fat in the nuts is not easy for the body to digest and so some fat will be excreted.

European research

Research from Europe has also highlighted other health benefits and promoted the regular consumption. The research by Dr Emilio Ros and others from the Spanish group PREDIMED supported the health protective qualities of nuts over other foods.

“There are the six large observational studies consistently showing heart disease protection with increasing nut intake, and there have been 30 or more short to medium term clinical trials consistently showing that nut diets, including any variety of nut, lower blood cholesterol,” said Dr Ros.

While visiting Australia recently, Dr Ros recommended an increase in nut consumption for various health benefits.

 

Heart Foundation challenges Gillespie’s new book ‘Toxic Oil’ message

toxic oilAustralia’s National Heart Foundation has challenged a new book about the ‘dangers’ of eating vegetable oils.

The book, ‘Toxic Oil’, published today by Penguin Books Australia by lawyer David Gillespie claims that eating seed oils is bad for health, despite advice to the contrary given by health agencies and government.

Gillespie writes that the human body has not evolved to digest polyunsaturated seed oils and that humans should instead be eating ‘more natural’ saturated and monounsaturated fats from animal and other sources.

Gillespie’s previous books, ‘Sweet Poison: why sugar makes us fat’ and ‘Big Fat Lies: How the diet industry is making you sick, fat & poor’, were both bestsellers, and attracted supporters and critics from within the food industry and nutrition health sectors.

The Heart Foundation has strongly refuted the claims about the negative health effects of seed oils.

“There is no single cause of chronic diseases, including heart disease,” a statement issued today by the Heart Foundation said. “However there is scientific consensus that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, in particular polyunsaturated fat, reduces your risk of heart disease”. The organisation said it was dangerous, misleading and wrong to say otherwise.

“The considerable weight of evidence for the recommendation of a dietary shift from saturated fats to unsaturated fats for positive health effects is insurmountable,” The Heart foundation said. “This position is also held by the world’s leading health organisations, such as World Health Organisation, British Heart Foundation and American Heart Association. In addition leading professional and government organisations, such as the Dietitians Association of Australia, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and National Health Service UK (NHS UK) support this dietary transition.”

There is consistent research to suggest that polyunsaturated fats reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, and increase the ‘good’ cholesterol, which helps to lower the risk of heart disease.

The Heart foundation recommends a balanced diet eating a variety of foods, including fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, oily fish, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes and oils. “A healthy diet is just that – balanced,” they said. “It does not involve cutting out any food group entirely.”

 

For these stories and more, visit the Australia Food News Website.

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