Food Business News - March 24, 2015 - (Page 20)

Nestle pursuing nutrition-based autism treatment Continued from Page 1 microbiota (also known as gut flora), and what we could deliver with probiotics, and autism," he said. "Now, we need to prove that. We are going to work on that. Do we have the solutions? Not yet. But we are convinced that in the future you are going to talk a lot about this initiative that I have the honor to found." While the company did not and still does not know exactly where this venture may lead, Mr. Cantarell said Nestle is convinced nutrition will factor in addressing health issues. In helping establish the business from the ground up, Mr. Cantarell had projected the venture would be organized in two years and a product portfolio and pipeline would be built in five. The effort currently is in its fifth year. "And I believe in ten years we will be able to demonstrate leadership, the leadership being the acceptance of the world that we have been able to create a new area of expansion of nutrition working in areas like gastrointestinal diseases, like brain health," he said. Mr. Cantarell devoted a considerable part of his presentation to the establishment of Nestle Health Science, a strategic initiative he called "disruptive innovation." He cited autism as a possible target for new product development for the company. Nearer term, he said the Nestle Health Science division under the leadership of Greg Behar was growing rapidly in its Luis Cantarell segment consumer care segment. "We've launched an initiative called Meritene," he said. "This is a brand that is going to travel all over Europe in this consumer care. This is for aging people." Products sold under the Meriteme Engeris brand include shakes that are a vitamin, mineral and protein fortified drink mix with skimmed milk and sweetener; and soup, a mix of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. In the nutrition area, Mr. Cantarell said the company is looking to address metabolic issues associated with obesity. Even more ambitious, perhaps, is what he called the division's "newborn," - Novel Therapeutic Nutrition - segment. "We are a minority investment in a company that is going to lead microbiota therapeutic solutions for microbiota problems called Seres Health," he said. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Seres is a clinical-stage drug company discovering and developing treatments for diseases of the microbiome (microorganisms in a particular environment). The company's lead drug, SER-109, is for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (C.D.I.). C.D.I. is a problem associated with antibiotic use and affects over 700,000 people a year, leading to 14,000 deaths. The company is hoping to move the drug into advanced clinical trials. Other investments or acquisitions cited by Mr. Cantarell include Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., San Diego; Pamlab, Inc., Covington, La.; and Accera, Inc., Broomfield, Colo. Nestle also has invested in Flagship Ventures in Boston. A type of venture capital firm, Flagship includes a unit dedicated to "systematically originating and launching transformative companies that can shape the world's future." Perhaps even more basic, Mr. Cantarell said Nestle has committed more than 500 million Swiss francs to the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland, focused on research of the genome and epigenetics, defined as the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. FBN Stevia slow to penetrate confectionery market DUIVEN, THE NETHERLANDS - Despite widespread concerns over excessive sugar consumption, less than 7% of global confectionery launches last year were sugar-free, a similar penetration level to that in 2013, said Innova Market Insights, a Duiven-based research firm. Across the confectionery category, sugar-free products accounted for 1% of chocolate launches, 7.5% of non-chocolate launches and more than 63% of new chewing gum products. In the hard candy market, sugar-free products represented nearly one-fifth of introductions. As stevia has gained regulatory approval in more markets, including the United States, Australia and the European Union in the past five years, the sweetener is sweeping into more food and drink markets, with the exception of confectionery. Just over 1% of confectionery launches 20 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® in 2014 included stevia as an ingredient, well behind such markets as soft drinks and tabletop sweeteners. "Formulation problems and the bitter aftertaste of stevia are felt to have held back product activity in some instances," said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, "but some sectors have found this less of an issue, particularly licorice sweets and medicated confectionery, and improved formulations are now being introduced to allow more products in other areas." The United States leads the way with sugar-free products accounting for 11% of total confectionery launches in 2014. Stevia was featured in 2.6% of introductions, which, while modest, is twice the global average. Recent launches featuring stevia include Coco Polo and ChocoRite chocolate bars, Ricola Liquorice Pearls, SteviDent's Stevita chewing gum, Rap Protein Gummies and Sencha Naturals Green Tea Mints. Meanwhile, strides are being made in Europe. Last year, Wrigley launched its first European confectionery product featuring stevia with the introduction of Extra Professional Mints in fruit and classic mint varieties. The products debuted in Germany and are set to roll out in 20 European markets. Though Wrigley has used stevia in chewing gum sold in Japan, where the ingredient has been approved for use for decades, the launch marked the company's first multi-country introduction of a stevia-sweetened product. Fears over the safety of certain artificial sweeteners should further propel plant-based alternatives like stevia into the spotlight, Innova said. Moreover, new sweetener systems now offer solutions for improving the taste profiles. FBN March 24, 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - March 24, 2015

Food Business News - March 24, 2015
Inside General Mills’ new approach to innovation
Nestle pursuing nutrition-based treatment for autism
Dairy Business News - Inclusion innovation: More than a chip or a chunk
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Flexibility is needed to meet new opportunities
Kind raising the bar with innovation
McDonald’s to unlock power of local regions
Lancaster Colony acquires flatbread maker
SodaStream going after Keurig
Six forces shaping natural, organic product development
Stevia slow to penetrate confectionery market
C-Suite insight: C.P.G. at a crossroads
Kroger’s Simple Truth sales hit $1.2 billion for year
Private equity firm buys American Beverage Co.
Washington - Dietary Guidelines coming into focus
Market Insight - A `normal’ year for U.S. crops?
Health and Wellness - Shining a health halo over protein
Meat industry criticizes D.G.A.C. recommendation
Ingredient Innovations - Number of proposed pho alternatives widens
Still no timetable for final GRAS rule
Company Profile - Mondelez gaining momentum
New Food Products
Natural Products Expo West/Engredea
Ingredient Market Trends - Millers forecast soft red winter wheat crop at 381 million bus
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - March 24, 2015