Bakers Journal

Industry News: April 2007

November 6, 2007
By industry news

Golden baking anniversary for Queen’s Bakery, Syscan’s RFID market first, Clearly Canadian “snacks” organically, Students receive PMMI scholarships, Bioproduct R&D facility gets $3m, Bioresource research facility opens in P.E.I., FDA proposes gluten-free labelling, DuPont reinvests for biotech, genetics, FAO favours 2007 cereal harvest, Global demand pushing price of bread to 10-year high, Asian bakery-café chain takes on U.S.

goldenGolden baking anniversary for Queen’s Bakery
John Silveira, of Bakemark Canada, wrote that Peter Bundscherer in Hinton, Alta., is approaching his 50th year in baking.  He began in Germany, and after his apprenticeship, and achieving his Master Degree as Baker, he immigrated to Canada.  He worked in Toronto until 1981 when he moved west, opening the Queen’s Bakery and Café with his wife, Annemiek, naming it after the chess piece.  They were married on the large chessboard he created, which also functioned as a live theatre in their local community.  Bundscherer can trace bakers in his family ancestors back to 1712, although, sadly, he is the last in the family to be carrying on this admirable tradition.

Syscan’s RFID market first
Syscan International Inc. has had its patent approved for its new ICE (I Communicate Effectively) technology.  ICE technology is a market first in low-power, dynamic wireless communication networks.  Syscan believes that ICE is a significant leap forward in the evolution of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification); not only for the company’s selected verticals in agriculture and pharmaceuticals, but throughout the entire spectrum of RFID.

Clearly Canadian “snacks” organically
Clearly Canadian Beverage Corporation has acquired DMR Food Corporation, the leading seller of organic and natural snack foods in Eastern Canada – under the name, “Sweet Selections.”  “This acquisition accelerates our efforts to further establish Clearly Canadian as a provider of healthy, good-for-you, products,” said Brent Lokash, President of Clearly Canadian.  “We see a great upside in Sweet Selection’s business over the next several years as retailers are placing a major emphasis on organic and natural products.”


Students receive PMMI scholarships
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), the leading global industry resource and trade association, introduced a PACK EXPO scholarship program in August 2006, to financially support students at packaging schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.  The latest school to announce its student recipients was the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, N.Y.  Each year, more than $100,000 U.S. is provided to packaging students, member employees and packaging schools.  For more information about PMMI’s scholarship program, e-mail

Bioproduct R&D facility gets $3m
POS Pilot Plant in Saskatoon, Sask., works with the biodiesel and natural health products industries and has received three million dollars from federal and provincial governments, as politicians look for a way to extract more profitability from some of the country’s lagging agricultural and commodities sectors – such as grains and fisheries.  The POS Pilot Plant is a not-for-profit contract research and development facility that specializes in product development and analytical services for components in consumer goods, including nutraceuticals and functional foods.

Bioresource research facility opens in P.E.I.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has officially opened the NRC Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH) in Charlottetown, P.E.I., for the study of plant- and animal-based compounds, and their potential uses for health problems.  More than 13 million dollars will be poured into the research facility, so local bioresources for functional purposes can be explored, providing incentives for industries in Atlantic Canada.  In particular, NRC-INH will be looking at infection and immunity-related issues, neurological problems and complications related to obesity.

FDA proposes gluten-free labelling
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published proposed rules for defining “gluten-free” in the labelling of foods, recognizing the growing incidence of celiac disease, and increasing demand for gluten-free products.  Gluten is a protein found in most grains, causing an allergic reaction in people with celiac disease.  The FDA’s proposed rules prohibit the use of many of the foundation ingredients of bakery formulas, including wheat (durum, spelt and kamut), rye, barley and crossbred hybrids of these grains (triticale).  Oats represent one ingredient not considered prohibitive within these rules, despite conflicting scientific studies about oats’ effect on people with celiac disease.

DuPont reinvests for biotech, genetics
United States agricultural giant DuPont is reinvesting $100 million US, in a move to increase the firm’s innovation and meet the growing demand for grain.  The company’s plant genetics and biotechnology platforms will be boosted – which follows an earlier, aggressive reorganization of its nutrition and crop protection businesses.

FAO favours 2007 cereal harvest
A favourable outlook for world cereal production in 2007 could help ease price pressures on the food industry.  The FAO said that expanded plantings in Europe and North America, and generally satisfactory weather conditions, could help stabilize global cereal output. In addition, the European Commission recently reported that this year’s total EU cereal harvest remains in line with those of the past five years.

Global demand pushing price of bread to 10-year high
The chair of the Bread Bakers Guild of America warned that bakers may be forced to raise the priced of bread and other baked goods substantially due to the soaring price of flour.  “After years of steady rates, the price of flour has skyrocketed over the past six to nine months,” said the BBGA chair.  “Bakeries already operate on extremely slim margins, and this ongoing increase in the price of flour has put a stranglehold on bakers, leaving them little choice but to raise prices.”

Asian bakery-café chain takes on U.S.
Bakerzin, Singapore’s popular café-bakery chain, has opened its first outlet in the U.S., and in what many would consider, an unlikely market – Tucson, Ariz.  Bakerzin’s concept as a mid-priced café, selling French-style cakes and pastries can be found in New York and Los Angeles, but it’s new to Arizona.  The Tucson outlet is the first of 500 planned outlets in the U.S.

Saccharin ban under re-evaluation
Health Canada has been prompted to review its 30-year ban on saccharin, the artificial sweetener linked to bladder cancer, after new studies and information have raised questions about its reported carcinogenic nature.  “We’re in the process of reviewing that information to see if we should allow it or keep it banned or change its regulatory status,” said HC spokesperson, Paul Duchesne.

Hayhoe sells to P&H
From one family to another – after almost three-quarters of a century in the business, Hayhoe Mills have sold their family operation to New-Life Mills Ltd., a subsidiary of Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. (P&H), another family-owned, Canadian business.  Hayhoe built its name and reputation as an innovator in the milling industry through the milling of soft wheat, organic wheat, whole grains and specialty products.  P&H has a century of history in the Canadian agri-business, with grain sourcing ability across Western Canada and Ontario.  In addition to sourcing wheat, P&H has its own proud flour milling history:  Ellison Milling Co. in Lethbridge, Alta., and New-Life Mills in Hanover, Ont.

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