Bakers Journal

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Industry News: March 2007


November 7, 2007
By Technical Talk:

Retail price of bread strong, Tough trading ahead for bakers, Tate & Lyle 2007 pricing rounds, Cargill seeks EU approval for sweetener

Retail price of bread strong
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that the average price paid for white pan bread held strong during December 2006, while the whole wheat bread average price again scored a record high.

Tough trading ahead for bakers
A U.K. analyst group forecasts a difficult year for the bakery sector, which has already felt the effects of a testing 2006.  High commodity costs and increased competition resulted in disappointing sales last year for many bakeries, and this year, high-profile acquisitions are predicted to squeeze out medium and smaller firms.  The profit margin is grim, with the analyst saying overall margins in 2006 were three per cent, and these will be squeezed in 2007, with at least a third of the companies in the sector losing money.

Tate & Lyle 2007 pricing rounds
While the pricing round for European food and industrial ingredients is at an early stage, Tate & Lyle reports satisfactory progress towards recovery of higher raw material and energy costs.  Against the background of a continuation of oversupply of sugar through September 2008, Tate & Lyle now believe that it is unlikely any recovery in sugar pricing will occur during 2007.  Total sweetener margins for 2007 are expected to be higher.  Tate & Lyle also expect to achieve higher total net margins on both value-added food and industrial ingredients.

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Cargill seeks EU approval for sweetener
A new sweetener, Xtend Sucromalt, has Cargill seeking approval under the EU novel foods, since the company claims it can bring slow energy release and low glycemic response to a wider range of applications.  Derived from sucrose and maltose, Xtend is designed to provide the full energy of sucrose.  Cargill says that because the ingredient is a syrup, it allows food and beverage manufacturers to apply the benefits of a sugar alternative to a wider range of products.

Low-glycemic products rising star
According to a market research firm, low-glycemic products are gaining more and more momentum, becoming more than a tool for diabetics.  The firm predicts that low-GI products will be worth $1.8 billion US in 2011.

New system eliminates trans fats in desserts
A new ingredients system, specifically targeting the foodservice sector developed by Tate & Lyle, could also be suitable for eliminating trans fats in desserts.  Made up of the firm’s specialty sweeteners and starches, Splenda Sucralose and Bakery Rebalance 706, the new systems are suitable for use with low trans fat shortenings or oils.  The firm’s formulations are currently available for desserts such as lemon meringue pie, chocolate brownies and apple spice cake.

2007 sweet for confectioners
By targeting trends, sweet makers hope to make 2007 profitable.  Healthy, natural and sugar-free ingredients are the focus of products, as well as developing innovations in the major areas of health and functional products.  U.K. machinery supplier Baker Perkins is addressing these trends with products designed to incorporate the sugar alternative xylitol.

Canadian bio-extractor expands
Bio-Extraction (BioExx) is set to expand into the U.S. and Europe, with its proprietary process, which allows for the optimum recovery of proteins and lipids.  Their process is novel since it allows for the preservation of heat-sensitive protein or lipid content at a low cost, compared with other services on the market.

Peanut flour, low fat, better texture
ARS researchers tested the thickening ability of standard commercial peanut flours when added to water, and heated to assess their performance during high-temperature processes.  Low-fat varieties – common ingredients in many baked goods – can improve texture and efficiency during the baking process.  Manufacturers will have a guide showing which peanut flours respond to particular heating methods in order to maximize texture and nutrition in the finished product.

Cookies with gluten-soy protein rather than carbs
USDA researchers have demonstrated a gluten-soy protein isolate combination has significant potential as a carbohydrate replacer in cookies, which could be targeted to the low-carb diet sector.  The presence of soy could also bring additional health benefits to this significant market.

FDA proposing gluten-free label
U.S. federal health officials proposed that foods made without a protein found in wheat, rye and barley could be labelled gluten-free, under a rule that has been posted for comment on its website.  The proposal would allow companies to voluntarily flag foods without the cereal protein, as well as on foods that have been processed to remove it.  The rule would not apply to foods that don’t ordinarily contain gluten, like corn and rice.

New health platforms offer tasty prototypes
Tate & Lyle has introduced a new formulation service that facilitates the addition of nutrients to food products, without compromising on taste.  An extension of its Rebalance service in 2005, focused on lower sugar, fat and calorie levels, the new prototypes were developed under the Enrich program and are nutrition-positive.  Each addresses one of three health platforms:  digestive health and immunity, obesity and weight management, and children’s health.

Better-for-you foods tops in 2006
Market researcher Mintel reports that food products with lower levels of “bad” ingredients, such as fat and sugar, have seen a sharp rise in popularity over the past year.  And, “food minus” items became big hits — those with reduced fat, calories, sugar and cholesterol.  The “minus” category was led by low- or no-trans fat and gluten-free products, with another major driver being the growing “ethical” food trend.  Organic continues to be a rising star.


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