Canadian peppers in the winter made possible with LED lighting

Cluster Hall January 28, 2021

Canadian peppers in the winter made possible with LED lighting

A Canadian company claims it is the country’s first to harvest peppers during the winter, thanks to the help of LED lighting technology. The project, run by Allegro Acres in collaboration with the Harrow Research Center of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), is proof that this kind Sollum Technology’s lighting can work on a large scale, according to the company. Red, yellow and orange commercial grade peppers were seeded in October and harvested in December, then shipped to grocery stores. Allegro Acres says 90 percent of the peppers from this first harvest were extra-large. There is a real belief that this new form of technology could be rolled out to other crops. “This Canadian first with Allegro Acres is great milestone for the greenhouse industry and confirms the commercial potential of our smart LED solution,” said Sollum Technologies’ President and CEO Louis Brun. “Harvesting high-quality greenhouse peppers in winter and […]

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Mars Wrigley introduces Snickers Peanut Brownie Ice Cream bar

Cluster Hall January 28, 2021

Mars Wrigley introduces Snickers Peanut Brownie Ice Cream bar

Mars Wrigley is expanding its range of frozen treats with the introduction of Snickers Peanut Brownie Ice Cream bars. The product marks the first time that Snickers Ice Cream and Snickers Chocolate have launched the same flavour variant, according to Mars, which unveiled the Snickers Peanut Brownie last year. The new offering features brownie-flavoured ice cream with chewy brownie bits, topped with a thin layer of caramel and peanuts, and covered in a ‘milk chocolate-y’ coating. “We’re thrilled to give Snickers Peanut Brownie fans even more to be excited about in 2021,” said Jayesh Shah, Mars ice cream marketing director. “This new treat will no doubt be a frozen aisle favourite for fans of Snickers, brownies and ice cream alike.” Snickers Peanut Brownie Ice Cream is beginning to roll out in the US and will be in stores nationwide by March 2021. The new offering will be available from mass, grocery and convenience […]

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China lifts coronavirus-related bans on two JBS meat plants

Cluster Hall January 25, 2021

JBS has announced that China has lifted pandemic-related bans imposed in 2020 on imports from two of its meat plants, according to Reuters. Located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, both plants saw outbreaks of Covid-19 among employees last year. China suspended imports from the JBS facilities in Três Passos and Passo Fundo – which produce pork and chicken products respectively – along with a number of other Brazilian meat plants, over virus concerns. The lifting of the bans has raised the number of JBS plants in the country that are authorised to sell meat to China to 25, JBS said in a statement cited by Reuters. The meatpacker added that none of its other Brazilian plants are currently restricted by China, the biggest buyer of Brazil’s meat exports. An investigation by Reporter Brasil recently found JBS to be among six Brazilian meatpacker firms that have bought cattle from farms […]

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Sugar Lab unveils new line of 3D printed chocolates

Cluster Hall January 25, 2021

Los Angeles-based digital bakery Sugar Lab has launched a new line of 3D printed chocolate truffles and bonbons for Valentine’s day. In collaboration with chef Melissa Walnock of the Culinary Institute of America, Sugar Lab has created rich chocolate ganache recipes that are complemented by 3D printed shells. Currently available on the company’s website, the Valentine’s line includes vegan strawberry-covered chocolate truffles and broken heart truffles in tahini and ginger varieties. Meanwhile, Sugar Lab’s bonbons are filled with chocolate ganache with s’mores and peanut butter and jelly profiles. As part of its Valentine’s line, the company has also developed candies, cupcake décor, cocktail garnishes and pastry shells that can be filled at home with mousse, ice cream or cake batter. With its offerings, Sugar Lab aims to demonstrate the potential for beauty and customisation of 3D printed confections. “Our goal at Sugar Lab is to pursue chef-led culinary innovations in […]

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Nescafé aims for 100% responsibly sourced coffee by 2025

Cluster Hall January 25, 2021

Nescafé aims for 100% responsibly sourced coffee by 2025

Nescafé has announced that it expects to have 100% responsibly sourced coffee by 2025, as it steps up its efforts to create a more sustainable coffee sector. The company’s target is up from its current achievement of 75% of coffee for Nescafé products being responsibly sourced – meaning that the coffee can be traced back to an identified farmer group and verified or certified by independent organizations. Nescafé has also committed to reduce and remove carbon emissions where it sources coffee and throughout its operations. The company says it will also use environmentally-friendly packaging as it looks to meet Nestlé’s 2025 packaging commitment and most recently its 2050 net-zero ambition. The pledge builds on Nescafé’s progress over the past decade since the launch of its Nescafé Plan, which aims to help improve farmers’ incomes, reduce the environmental impact of coffee farms and factories and increase the well-being in rural communities in countries such as […]

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Recipe for success: Five ingredients for a good food start-up

Cluster Hall January 19, 2021

Recipe for success: Five ingredients for a good food start-up

Start-ups are newly emerging businesses established by entrepreneurs in order to bring a unique product or service to market. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), at the start of 2020 there were 5.94 million small businesses (0-49 employees) in the UK alone – 99.3% of total businesses. Here,  takes a look at five qualities that can ultimately make a food or beverage start-up a success. An innovative idea A successful business usually starts with a unique idea – for example, a solution to a societal challenge. It is important that a new product or service conforms with today’s consumer needs. Does it offer convenience? World Food Innovation Awards winner, SAVRpak, won the ‘best convenience packaging’ category in 2020 for its patented packaging technology that can extend food freshness and shelf life. Does it offer functionality? For instance, Zeno Functional Foods won ‘best health or wellness food’ category in […]

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Unilever trials ‘travel factory’ in portable shipping container

Cluster Hall January 19, 2021

Unilever trials ‘travel factory’ in portable shipping container

Unilever engineers have developed a food factory that operates within a 40-foot sea container, providing a flexible production line that can be moved around the world. The digital factory is currently being trialled in the Netherlands, and from the end of this month, the prototype will produce liquid bouillon for Unilever’s Food Solutions business. In addition, Unilever says that production could potentially be expanded to mayonnaise, ketchup and ice cream in the future. The container is fitted with all-in-one utility capabilities, and requires just one electricity cable and a water hose to operate. According to Unilever, the unit covers the end-to-end production process – from raw materials through to packaging – to produce 300 tonnes of liquid seasoning per eight-hour shift. The flexibility offered by the ‘travel factory’ model will enable Unilever to respond more quickly to changing market demand and to take full advantage of local ingredients, as production can […]

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American Food Comapny Chobani unveils new ready-to-drink cold brew coffees

Cluster Hall January 18, 2021

Chobani food comapny has announced the launch of a range of ready-to-drink coffees, made with single origin cold brew and the brand’s oat milk and dairy creamers. The new coffee range will be available in four flavours: cold brew pure black, which is free from sugar and dairy; cold brew with sweet creamer, made with milk; cold brew with vanilla, also containing milk; and cold brew with oat milk. The range is said to be free from artificial flavours or sweeteners, and to contain only natural ingredients. “Nutrient-dense Greek yogurt and coffee have long been a perfect pair, fuelling our lives throughout the day,” said Peter McGuinness, president and COO of Chobani. “Chobani coffee is crafted from single origin 100% Arabica beans, geared for the passionate coffee drinker looking for cold-press brews, who loves the added taste of creamers made from farm-fresh milk and oat milk.” With an RRP of $4.49 […]

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‘E-nose’ could deliver perfectly cooked chicken every time

Cluster Hall January 15, 2021

Researchers from Skoltech (The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow) have found a way to use chemical sensors and computer vision to determine when grilled chicken is cooked just right. These tools could help restaurants monitor and automate cooking processes in their kitchens, and perhaps one day even end up in your ‘smart’ oven, say researchers. Safe to eat chicken How do you tell that chicken breast on your grill is ready for your plate? You probably look at it closely, check the colour and temperature, and smell it to make sure it is done the way you like it. However, if you are a restaurant chef or head cook at a huge industrial kitchen, you cannot really rely on your eyes and nose to ensure uniform results up to the standards your customers expect. As such, the hospitality industry has been actively looking for cheap, reliable and sensitive tools […]

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EFSA deems yellow mealworms safe for human consumption

Cluster Hall January 15, 2021

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has deemed yellow mealworms safe for human consumption, paving the way for insect-derived food products to be sold across Europe. The announcement marks a significant step for the future of insect-based food, as the EFSA’s scientific advice supports EU national decision makers who authorise the products for the European market. EU-wide approval would mean insect-based biscuits and burgers could appear on shelves across Europe, as well as enable mass production. Yellow mealworms mark the first insect to be approved for human consumption, following a safety evaluation by EFSA based on an application from French insect farmer Micronutris. The ‘novel food regulation’ came into force in 2018, and EFSA has since received a large volume of applications for insects including fresh and dried adult crickets, locusts and litter beetles. Over the last few years, the novelty of using insects in food has led to high interest […]

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