Latest in a regular series of reports on food matters of interest to consumers, compiled by Consumers SA Executive member Elaine Attwood.

 First dietary fibre verified natural according to International Standards Organisation (ISO)

Major chicory root processor Sensus announced that their full range of chicory inulin and oligo-fructose products qualifies as natural according to the new ISO 19657:2017 standard. About a year after ISO set a new standard for food ingredients to be called “natural”, chicory root fibre is the first dietary fibre to achieve this verification.


Author:   Mrs. Anne Marie Bastiaansen 



Better Juice: The food tech start-up turning sugars into dietary fibres.

Better Juice has developed a process that can turn the natural sugars in juice into dietary fibres, an innovation than it believes could be a game – changer for the beverage sector. The health halo enjoyed by fruit juice has slipped somewhat, with concern over sugar consumption raising questions over how healthy fruit juices really are. The big problem with drinking juice, versus eating a piece of fruit, is that the juicing process releases the sugars and removes the insoluble fibres in fruit. Fruit juices on average contain 10 to 12% sugar and no dietary fibres. However, take away the fibre and the health implications of juice consumption become more problematic. Like all sugary drinks, the fructose in juice is absorbed immediately and evidence suggests that fructose in liquid form can contribute to health problems such as obesity or type II diabetes. And like any high sugar drink, juice consumption is linked to tooth decay.

“We developed a continuous flow sugar reduction process to reduce the simple sugars in an orange juice. It converts sugar to fibres and other non - digestible natural sugars to make juice healthier,”Better juice founder and CEO Dr. Eran Blachinsky told food Navigator. Better juice uses a non – GMO organism activity and a continuous protocol to convert sugars into fibres.


Author:   Katy Askew

Credit:    2018 - William Reed Business Media Ltd


Allergy ‘nightmare’: calls for crackdown on labelling of ice cream, cakes, cookies.

Ingredients lists of common supermarket products - including ice creams and biscuits – are often not declaring food allergens, prompting calls for a crackdown on labelling to protect vulnerable consumers. A Melbourne University survey revealed that in more than 60% of cases where consumers suffered an allergic reaction to packaged food, the suspected allergen was not listed in the ingredients. Australian law requires companies to declare all potential allergens in ingredients lists. These include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish, shellfish, soy, lupin  and wheat. Statements such as “may contain traces” or “may be present” found on many products are merely voluntary and are unregulated. There are on average, more than 30 food recalls every year, according to Food Standards Australia. 

Dr Robert Loblay, the director of the allergy unit at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in New South Wales, said he was not optimistic about improved regulation when it comes to food allergen labelling. “We already had a big national review of food labelling in 2009’ he said ‘(I suggested that) rather than stating that a product ‘may contain traces of’  - or some variation of that - that manufacturers be required to label their products as ‘may be contaminated with.’


AuthorL:  Alana Mitchelson

Credit:     The New Daily

From compost to cakes: Carrot pulp flour gives healthy reformulation green credentials 

Danish wholesaler Greens has developed a high fibre, baking–friendly carrot flour made from carrot pulp, a byproduct of the juicing industry, that previously went to compost. As part of an innovation pilot course at the Danish Technical University (DTU) wholesaler Greens Engroa challenged  engineering students to develop ways to optimise its production line and upcycle the carrot peel and pulp Through its in-house juicing and fresh produce operations, Greens generates around 100 times of biological waste every month. Although this byproduct is turned into biogas or compost, it could have higher value uses. By replacing 35% flour with the current powder, DTU students created a golden coloured bread with texture and structure that was similar to conventional bread. Between carrot peel, pulp and the tips which are trimmed, an estimated 26% of the carrot is peeled before used as a food product. This means that over one quarter of the vegetable, which is packed not just with fibre but with other nutrients such as beta-carotene, is usually thrown away. The researchers believe the same process could be used with other fruit and vegetables, such as onion and broccoli .


Author:   Niamh Michail

Credit:   2018 William Reed Business Media Ltd.

Australia and New Zealand set for retail sales of monk fruit sweetener by 2019.

Food standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) aims to permit the sale of monk fruit as a sweetener in the two countries by January 2019. Currently, monk fruit is only approved for sale as a fruit or drink flavouring. Following safety evaluations by FSANZ, monk fruit has been detremined to be safe for human consumption as a food additive, specifically as an intense sweetener. Monk fruit, or luo han guo, is a small fruit native to China and Thailand. It is difficult to store and visually unappetising in its fresh form. Traditionally, it is dried and used in herbal teas or remedies in traditional Chinese medicine, especially in China and Southeast Asia. It’s extract, which would be used to make the sweetener, is 150 to 200 times sweeter than traditional table sugar. This contains zero carbohydrates, fat, sodium or calories, making it perfect for manufacturers seeking a low-calorie ingredient.   Additionally, monk fruit sweetness comes from mogrosides, a natural compound that does not increase blood sugar, making it safe for consumers with diabetes. China previously banned the removal of monk fruit or its genetic material from its shores, in an effort to protect its monopoly over monk fruit cultivation, and thus  mogroside production. 


Author:  Pearly Neo

Credit:   William Reed  Business Media Ltd.

How ‘behind the scenes’ efforts can help address consumer food waste.

One third of food produced globally is wasted. In developed economies, the majority of waste occurs in the home. With the pressures of a global population and finite natural resources, this situation is not sustainable. Systems thinking is needed: collaboration, innovation and data sharing will be the key. Each year roughly 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted. This equates to a monetary value of almost 870 billon pounds. At the same time, food poverty is all around us. In the European union alone, an estimated 55 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day. Studies estimate that food waste in Europe generates 186 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually – 15% of the total impacts from the entire food supply chain. While most food waste occurs in the home – outside the food industry’s direct sphere of control, it is nevertheless incumbent upon the industry to figure out innovative ways of reducing consumer level food waste.   

The article goes on to demonstrate how some companies are dealing with the issue including Tesco which is the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data and has announced a joint commitment to adopting the sustainable development goal target 12.3 to halve per capita food waste by 2030.


Author:  Katy Askew

Credit:   William Reed Business Media Ltd.

NOTE: For full script of all articles please check the references. 

AuthorRay Dennis