June/July 2007 HealthBites

What's happening in the world of nutrition and health.

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General Seeks Troops

Minneapolis-based General Mills recently launched its new Worldwide Innovation Network (WIN), designed to expand and accelerate the innovation advances already under way inside the company. Through General Mills WIN, the company is seeking external partners with new products and technologies that will be complementary to its brands and businesses. The company is seeking patented or patent-pending products and technologies from inventors and small companies. Submissions are evaluated according to several criteria, with focus on the fit for a particular brand or product line; uniqueness; and expansion or growth potential. General Mills will continue to seek external partners who can deliver new products and technologies to grow its business. Prospective partners can contact General Mills online at www.generalmills.com/win or by calling 763-764-4946.


Good-for-you Trans Fat Developed

With the war on trans fats finding processors shunning them and major cities outlawing their use in restaurants, researchers at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture have developed a trans fat that could actually be healthy. Andrew Proctor, Ph.D., and graduate student Vishal Jain produced soy oil rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) by manipulating the molecular structure. CLA gives the immune system a boost and helps reduce the risks of cancer and diabetes. In fact, the researchers claim to have produced healthy potato chips. Future studies might include development of high-CLA salad oils and dressings.


Fight Against Trans Fat

Meanwhile, an international research team at the University of Guelph, Canada, has also developed a heart-healthy alternative to trans fats, as reported by the Canadian Television global media group. Seeking a way to turn heart-healthy oils into a solid that doesn't create trans fat, the team mixed vegetable oil, water, monoglycerides and fatty acids to form a gel that has the same structural and functional properties as trans and saturated fats. Additionally, the new oil formula has been found to release fats in a more controlled way. The patented technology should be available to manufacturers later this year.


Color Them Organic

ColorMaker Inc. (www.colormaker.com), Anaheim, Calif., and D.D. Williamson (www.caramel.com), Louisville, Ky., successfully petitioned the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) for the placement of natural colorants onto the National List of ingredients approved for use in foods labeled "organic" or "made with organic ingredients." The NOSB recently made its recommendations based on its careful consideration of fifteen (15) separate petitions filed by the companies, as well as other petitions filed by both buyers (organic food processors) and sellers (ingredient suppliers) of natural colorants. The NOSB recommended fourteen of the fifteen petitions filed by colorMaker and D.D. Williamson. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture will accept or reject the recommendations of the NOSB this summer. A favorable decision is anticipated.


Change for Change

Vending machines, once a last resort for junk food junkies with little time to eat and few healthy choices, could soon become a widespread dining source for the hungry-yet-health-conscious. Solana Beach, Calif.-based YoNaturals Inc. (www.yonaturals.com) is rapidly expanding their nationwide network of healthy vending machines, featuring more than 100 varieties of natural snacks and beverages. Look for the brightly colored machines in Medical facilities, Marriotts and major corporations -- as well as health clubs, schools, colleges and universities nationwide.


Fructose Maker Buys Pharmline

Gadot Biochemical Industries Ltd. (www.gadotbio.com), a leading supplier of crystalline fructose, citrate salts and enrichment minerals, is acquiring 85 percent of Pharmline Holding Inc. Pharmline is a processor and marketer of ingredients and premixes to the nutraceuticals market in North America with headquarters and production located in Florida, N.Y. The acquisition enables Israel-based Gadot to broaden its Enrichment Minerals product line, as well as other health ingredients offered to the nutraceuticals industry.

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