04-Feb-2014 - Stark global statistics greeted us in January. They indicated an explosion in overweight and obesity levels in the developing world, with prevalence almost quadrupling, especially in North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, where obesity levels are now similar to those in Europe.
04-Feb-2014 - I was going to write about sugar being the new salt for the healthy diet campaigners. But I changed my mind when I looked at the government’s Change4Life so-called Smart Swaps online. What a muddle!
04-Feb-2014 - Sir, I am writing about Paul Gander’s article (‘Make the FIR fly ’), published in Food Manufacture, October 2013, p47.
06-Jan-2014 - Among the recommendations in the Elliott interim report on the horsemeat fiasco three stood out, not because they were necessarily the most important, but because they addressed issues that have long been matters of great concern to the industry. But it is a pity that it needed a report of this nature to provide an incentive for action.
06-Jan-2014 - Professor Chris Elliott’s interim findings of his inquiry into last January’s horsemeat contamination scandal were published last month.
06-Jan-2014 - The analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies reminds us of the long-term decline in calories purchased, falling by 15-30%, over the period 1980-2009, during which body weight has increased by 8.6kg and 7.9kg in men and women respectively. Clearly, ‘calories out’ in our increasingly sedentary lifestyles has a role to play in controlling obesity levels too. The analysis also revealed that squeezed budgets and substantial rises in food prices relative to other goods, during 2007-2012, has accelerated this trend.
05-Dec-2013 - The Countess of Mar in the House of Lords received a written reply from Earl Howe (Department of Health) on November 18 2013 on the question of the scientific evidence upon which government had based its policy to encourage people to eat less saturated fat.
02-Dec-2013 - Price – though very important – isn’t enough for the multiple retailers any more. In their quest for differentiation, other considerations, such as provenance, have become even more important.
05-Nov-2013 - Eight months after the horsemeat scandal, ingredient firms are still struggling to come to terms with the consequences. No-one in the industry would argue that the world has not changed in terms of traceability, inspections, audits and accountability.
05-Nov-2013 - The food industry should be warned. Sugar will be the next battleground after saturated fats. Some medical experts and lobbyists claim that high levels of sugar in processed food is a far more serious issue than sat fats.
30-Sep-2013 - Innovation is the lifeblood of Britain’s food and drink industry. But, as we all know, many new products fail for a variety of reasons.
02-Sep-2013 - Functional food companies are always on the lookout for the new areas of consumer demand, lifestyle trends and gaps in the market. So it's a bonus for sports nutrition firms that there are experts out there who are only too happy to tell them what they are looking for. James Collins, head nutritionist at Arsenal Football Club and director of performance nutrition, says there needs to be greater collaboration between sports nutrition firms and those working at the higher end of professional sport.
02-Sep-2013 - On-pack nutrition information has become reassuring to many, but changes are afoot that will require explanation. The new Food Information Regulation does not permit the use of children’s guideline daily amounts on kids’ ranges. The only option is to use the new Reference Intakes (RIs) for adults but this could mislead parents. The familiar allergen labelling boxes also have to go, with allergens highlighted in ingredients lists instead.
02-Sep-2013 - Does the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) really get the UK's food manufacturing industry?
02-Sep-2013 - The European Commission (EC) is calling for tenders for a study on mandatory origin labelling of milk, milk used as an ingredient and unprocessed meat other than beef, pig, poultry, sheep and goat meat. Presumably the latter is to cover game. What about insects, for which we are told there is a growing interest?
29-Jul-2013 - Last month's Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board meeting marked the last one at which Lord (Jeff) Rooker would preside as its chairman. While his replacement has yet to be announced, views on Rooker's tenure as chairman have been mixed.
29-Jul-2013 - British Retail Consortium (BRC) guidance on allergen labelling contains an endorsement from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), applauding the BRC for its "efforts to achieve greater consistency in allergen labelling and interpretation of the new provisions". Whoever drafted the FSA statement could not have read the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) draft guide to compliance, due for final publication later this year, which it has already said will change very little from the draft.
02-Jul-2013 - The government has at last published its hybrid front-of-pack (FoP) nutritional labelling scheme, to widespread applause from health campaigners, major retailers and some manufacturers - although not all - that have supported it.
02-Jul-2013 - Make no mistake about it, the fallout from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claims regime is still being keenly felt by functional food firms. The new system was nothing short of a culture shock and - even setting aside the wider arguments about whether it is the right science-based approach to regulating functional ingredients - there are plenty of individual battles still being waged.
02-Jul-2013 - From September 2014, lessons on food, cooking and nutrition are expected to become compulsory in English schools for five- to 14-year-olds.
02-Jul-2013 - As if there isn't already enough food labelling, a group of scientists is calling for the inclusion of the glycaemic index (GI) on food labels.
04-Jun-2013 - Even Prince Charles is now putting the boot in to the food industry. In a recent speech he simultaneously accused it of driving down quality and farm prices, while contributing to many of the planet's other major woes, such as unsustainability, reduced water quality and the degradation of soil.
04-Jun-2013 - Considering the years of haggling that led up to the adoption of the EU Food Information Regulation (FIR), you might have expected all possible aspects of interpretation to have been covered. Alas, no, as revealed by the questions that keep cropping up on the practicalities.
04-Jun-2013 - Sir,I write regarding the recent opinion column by Clare Cheney, headlined 'Nobody does IT better - except the Dutch' .
04-Jun-2013 - Sir,Did you really mean to insult food technology and the food industry? That's what you did by describing the fortification of children's snacks as 'sneaky'.