Monthly Archives: November 2010

How Fair is Fairtrade Chocolate?

There seems to be an outcry in the UK, because it has come to light that chocolates labeled Fairtrade may actually contain no Fairtrade cocoa (cocoa produced by disadvantaged third world farmers) because all cocoa is mixed before distribution to manufacturers.

Millions of chocolate bars labelled Fairtrade contain none of the ethical chocolate | The Sun |News.jpg

from: The Sun
(click image for full story online)

While this may be the case and is quite disturbing, I still believe the labeling of a product as Fairtrade when only a portion (now shown to be an unknown portion) of one of the many ingredients in an organic chocolate bar allows the supplier to use the Fairtrade logo!

The ingredient list, gives cocoa butter as only the third ingredient after sugar and wheat flour for Kit Kat and sugar and milk for Dairy Milk Chocolate. So way less than one third of the ingredients are actually Fairtrade ingredients, if 20% (which is extremely optimistic) of UK cocoa were Fairtrade it would be a maximum of only 6%. So why can the bar as a whole be termed a Fairtrade Chocolate Bar?

Ten Trends for 2011

Yes I had said I wasn’t going to present trends as everyone else was and I was not sure how useful these trends are to many manufacturers serving African markets but

Food industry news & trends, new food development, food ingredients, food packaging, consumer food trends - Innova_ Top Ten Trends for 2011.jpg

from: Foodstuff South Africa
(click image for full story online)

But this set looked a bit different and I am actually posting it as much as a way of introducing Foodstuff South Africa as to present the trend. Anyway the 10 items identified by Innova and described by Foodstuff South Africa are:

  • Processed is Out
  • Offering Real Value
  • “Proven”
  • Personalised nutrition
  • Return to Softer Claims
  • Getting “Connected”
  • Culinary Expansion
  • New Relaxation Paradigm
  • Fruit and Vegitable Revival
  • Try a Little Respect
  • Selling the Technology
  • Don’t know what you make of these but get more details at Foodstuff South Africa.

    Summary of Leatherhead’s “The Global Market for Food Colours” Report

    This is a short, 2 page summary of a report by Leatherhead on the world food colourant market. | Food colouring – a global overview.jpg

    from: FoodBev
    (click image for full story online)

    As well as information on the market and market trends the summary lists, with brief explanations, the four largest suppliers and the food groups where colourants are used. Amongst the interesting information in the summary is:

    global market for food colours expected to reach US$1.6bn by the middle of the next decade – up 10% compared with present levels

    demand for natural colours has increased by almost 35% in value terms since 2005

    natural varieties’ share of the global food colours market increased from about 31% in 2005 to 36.2% in 2009

    challenges exist to the use of natural colours, and not least is their stability

    One would have to approach Leatherhead for more detailed information.

    Ever Wondered What Super Fruits Are?

    Have you ever wondered if the was really a good defintion of super fruiots – this short article might help you make up your mind.

    Superfruit Nutrition.jpg

    from: Food Product Design
    (click image for full story online)

    For me these three quotes clarify a lot

    ..there is no regulatory or scientific definition of a superfruit..

    ..superfruit” is often used to describe novel fruits that are great sources of nutrients, antioxidants and anticipated health benefits.

    “In reality, all fruits are superfruits, because each one has a different set of nutrients and antioxidants and, therefore, potential health benefits.”

    On top of this the measurement of antioxidants is complex and our knowledge of their health benefits limited.

    But read the article and see what you think.

    A Practical & Understandable Food Quality Manual For Small Processors

    While it is true that the food quality requirements that will apply to your business are a function of your consumer and the local regulations, this manual written for Romania within the context of the EU market, offers a very useful view of food hygiene, safety for small processors and online food safety course.

    Clip of web document covering Food Safety & Hygene

    from: Fundatia-Adept
    (click image for full story online)

    The manual consists basically of the answers to 23 frequently asked questions, that cover a wide range of topics. It also presents the range of regulation and where to source them, gives an example of an application form and label information.

    It also 3 issues that guide how a small business would approach having for the first time to apply regulation in their business.

    1. The small producer is responsible for the health of those who consume his products. The two main principles are food hygiene and food traceability.

    To continue selling your food, you must fulfill certain food safety rules, which include: registration, and meeting production standards

    2. The new regulations are simplified for small producers, especially in areas with specific geographical disadvantages.

    Small producers do not need to meet the same production standards as industrial producers. This is EU and Romanian Government policy, to help small producers survive:
    • the authorities will be flexible as regards the utensils and safety measures which are imposed on small producers, as long as they meet minimum food hygiene conditions
    • requirements will be adapted in order to support traditional production methods and to support producers in areas with specific geographical disadvantages.

    3. Funding and free advice are available to help small producers to meet their new obligations, to continue their activities and to prosper in the EU.

    Together these form a system under which small processors who were previously not covered by hygiene regulations can enter the formal system.


    Chocolate Designed For The Hawker – Interesting Foods

    This is one of the few products that seems to be focussed specifically on informal trading and the poor.

    Cadbury launches new ‘Shots’ of joy in South Africa __ Totally MAd.jpg

    from: Totally MAD
    (click image for full story online)

    The outer candy shell is designed to ensure that the product remains solid and round in the hot conditions of the hawkers table and it will sell at 75c (around 10 US cents) and be available to the hawker in an affordable pack size.

    Sounds really good but is it good to eat when the chocolate is melted, 75 c is still quite an amount in poor areas and what is the cost per unit of chocolate.

    If these factors don’t limit its popularity it will be very interesting to follow!

    Improved Tamarind Beverage Process – Scientific Paper Series

    This is a paper looking at the potential of a less used Nigerian traditional drink produced from Tamarind


    from: AJFAND
    (click image for full story online)

    The paper looks at different recipes based on the level of the added Ginger, Clove and Pepper. It presents taste and analytical results along with traditional and improved process descriptions.