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research

Unilever

If you are looking to do some contract research for serious players in the food industry, here is an opportunity.

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It's exciting when the third-largest consumer goods company in the world and one that has a serious focus on Africa and on sustainability calls for assistance. They put it like this

We're looking for new designs and technologies that help us improve the way we make our products. There are a series of challenges which we're already working on, and where we'd like to work together with partners. We call these our ‘wants’.

These wants, such as preserving foods naturally, better packaging, sustainable washing and natural red colourants are listed on the webpage along with a link for potential suppliers to develop their ideas.

I believe this is really worth following up, it might lead to a relationship where your science backed by local knowledge are of great benefit to Unilever.

Medical Research Council Likely to Stop Research on Food Safety

It seems that the MRC will be refocusing its research efforts into the top ten causes of death in South Africa. Their work on nutrition and carcinogens is likely to be effected by this change.

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This has already eliceted response given the existing malnutrition and food security problems in poorer communities. However, the needs here probably call for more focus on the implementation of existing technology and the addressing of socio economic issues than scientific research.

One of the main focusses of the MRC's work is aflatoxins which are a particular problem in rural areas and in food and feed safety. Again the first requirement is probably the transfer and effective implementation of existing technology.

In both areas the level of scientific research required can probably be reduced without immediate detriment to the efforts to improve nutrition and safety, so long as the the transfer and implementation of existing technology is properly handled.

Food Studies Journal – Free Online Information

This Journal is worth signing up to and watching. While it does not appear to be large and also covers a wide range of topics it is already a source of useful information.

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ISEKI_Food Association, is an international peer-reviewed open-access journal featuring scientific articles on the world of Food in Education, Research and Industry. This journal is a forum created specifically to “improve the dissemination of Food Science and Technology knowledge between Education, Research and Industry stakeholders.” Core topics range from raw materials, through food processing, including its effect on the environment, to food safety, nutrition and consumer acceptance. To enrich this forum the journal is also open to other food-related topics such as food policy and food anthropology.

 

Make Research Proposals to General Mills

General Mills, a very large US food company, has added an portal to its website where it calls for partnerships with food science and technology researchers.

 

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from: General Mills
(click image for full story online)

 

The site calls for researcher’s proposals based on their own innovative ideas and offers a collection of some 50 General Mills ideas in which it would welcome ideas and proposals.

The one downside is that this is an open site and your inputs will not be confidential.

The extract below is what they present on colour retention in drying to give an idea their approach. It is also possible to register and join their innovation network.

GENERAL MILLS NON-CONFIDENTIAL BRIEF
Response Due Date:

Open

Action Steps:

Step 1: Click on the link above to submit a proposal.

Step 2: Create your non-confidential proposal to submit to General Mills.

Step 3: When you are finished, provide your contact information and click submit and your proposal will be sent to General Mills.

Step 4: General Mills will review your proposal within two to three weeks and together we will decide on appropriate next steps, if any. Examples include:

* Proof of concept

* Licensing agreement

* Possible supply agreement

* Investment

* Joint venture

* Other

Financials:

In Step 4 ,General Mills is willing to fund proof of concept demonstrations for up to $50,000.

Non Confidential Disclosure:

By submitting a response you represent that the response does not and will not be deemed to contain any confidential information of any kind.

Natural food-grade approaches or technologies to significantly reduce or eliminate color and flavor changes in dried fruit

Innovation Need:

General Mills, a 15+ billion dollar (U.S.) food company, has the following challenge: Natural technology that eliminates color and flavor changes in dried fruit during storage (9 months).
Dried fruit (especially dried dice apples) have been used as a particulate in products like snacks and cereals. Currently, unless treated with sulfites or with a combination of citric acid and ascorbic acid, dried fruit browns and develops an off- flavor during shelf-life. Neither of those options is considered natural. We seek a proposal that presents a natural technology to eliminate or significantly reduce color and flavor changes in dried fruit like dried dice apples during the product shelf-life.

Possible Approaches:

* Natural extracts

* Blends or single ingredients derived from natural sources

* Novel technology or process

 

Biscuits in the Boardroom

This research came to the conclusion that serving the right biscuit in the boardroom contributes to clinching business deals!

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from: Food and Drink Europe
(click image for full story online)

 

Some of the pearls in the report are:

.. 58 per cent said biscuits can “positively influence a company’s first impressions”.

.. biscuits were deemed the second most important aspect when hobnobbing in the boardroom, coming behind only the type of tables and chairs provided. Biscuits were prioritised over the lighting, technology and artwork in the room.

The classic chocolate digestives proved to be the professionals’ preferred biscuit. However, its top status meant it was also considered the biscuit of choice to soften the blow when delivering bad news for 18 per cent respondents.

Shortbread came in second for the boardroom’s top biscuits, followed by oat biscuits such as Hobnobs, jam rings and then Bourbons.

.. 28 per cent saying they would refuse a biscuit if it looked too crumbly.

— 48 per cent said they would dunk, while 52 per cent frowned on the act. However, men (55 per cent) are rather more likely to dunk than women (45 per cent).

.. half of professionals would not take more than two biscuits during the meeting, with only 18 per cent saying they would stretch to three.