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FDA Updates Calcium Labeling Rules

FDA is proposing to allow new claims on foods and dietary substances containing calcium and Vitamin D to show their potential to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The proposed rule would allow manufacturers to include new information on their food and supplement labeling and to eliminate other data.

The action is a response to an existing health claim petition submitted by the Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness, and The Coca-Cola Company.

The ruling will allow a claim for calcium and Vitamin D together and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. It will drop references to sex, race and age since the benefits apply to all people. It will also drop the technical description by which calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and the requirement that the claim states that there are limits to benefit of calcium intakes above 200% of the Daily Value.

Del Monte Foods Kills the Sugar

Del Monte Foods launched its No Sugar Added peaches, pears and fruit cocktail, reducing calorie count by 50 to 70% over its standard sugar versions packed in heavy syrup. Available in both canned and plastic varieties, the product is sweetened with Splenda sweetener.

It's a Dog's World

Packaging professionals attending November’s PACK EXPO International voted the sleek package designed for Nestlé Beneful Prepared Meals dog food as the winner of the first PACK EXPO Selects awards program. The PACK EXPO Selects program was the latest addition to The Showcase of Packaging Innovations, a special pavilion sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company.

The Nestlé Beneful Prepared Meals package was designed to appeal to pet owners, incorporate barriers needed for extended shelf stability and provide the performance to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of the retort process. The final product is thermoformed of a proprietary, clear, seven-layer polypropylene/ethylene vinyl alcohol coextrusion designed to achieve specific barrier and performance requirements. An inner seal locks out air and other elements to protect nutrients.

Global Automation Infrastructure Needed

Many leading food manufacturers recognize the need for a vastly improved and more global automation infrastructure than currently exists in even the most automated facilities, says a study from the ARC Advisory Group.


Implementing Best Practices

Applying a best practices strategy in parallel with an automation strategy can enhance your competitive edge.


Supply Chain Savvy

Demand-based production is making progress in food and beverage plants, but optimizing the supply chain will require greater cooperation at the retail level.


Westward Expansion

Backhoes and crane rigs have been as common a sight at Dannon’s western facility lately as inbound milk tankers and outbound tractor-trailers. The 10-year-old West Jordan plant is in the midst of its largest expansion ever. The project, which is slated for completion of its first stage of expansion in 2008, will add five new lines to the five currently in place, and will nearly double throughput as Dannon works to grow the yogurt market in the United States.


Aseptic Processing and Packaging: Two Peas in the Continuous Pod

Whether finished goods are shipped chilled or at ambient temperature, aseptic technology is gradually expanding its foothold in the US market.


People, Plant and Industry News

Andre J. HawauxjoinedConAgraas executive vice president and chief financial officer in November after working forPepsiCoand its bottlers for 25 years. His most recent post with Pepsi was general manager of one of the major US business units of Pepsi America. He also previously served as chief financial officer for Pepsi North America and has experience in field, corporate and general management positions.

Forty-fiveSmithfield Foodsfacilities in 19 states have earned honors from theAmerican Meat Instituteand the Virginia Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards for environmental stewardship efforts during the past year.

H.J. Heinz Co.Chairman, President and CEOWilliam Johnsonreceived the Marco Polo Award, considered to be the highest honor bestowed by the Chinese government on a foreign business leader. At the same time Johnson announced that the H.J. Heinz Foundation plans to contribute more than $1 million to introduce its global non-profit micronutrient supplement program to improve nutrition and combat anemia among infants and children in isolated Chinese communities.

Hormel Foods Corp. is purchasingSaag’s Products, a processor and marketer of branded, premium-quality sausages, specialty smoked meats and condiments.

Cesco Magneticsis moving its manufacturing operations to a new manufacturing plant in the Austin, TX, suburb of Georgetown. They company expects the new facility to double production capacity, improve workflow, increase productivity and shorten turn-around time.