Palm oil oversupplied even as warning sounded over labeling | New sensory test proves more efficient for General Mills | Hot, dry weather takes toll on Argentine soybeans, corn
March 6, 2013
INFORM SmartBrief
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Industry Update
Palm oil oversupplied even as warning sounded over labeling
Palm oil prices have been depressed because of oversupply, including record inventory in China. However, producers may be able to find additional uses to fuel consumption, said Chris de Lavigne of Frost & Sullivan. Separately, a Dutch product agency warns that EU labeling rules could lead to reduced consumption. Bloomberg (3/5), Reuters (3/5), Bloomberg (2/28)
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New sensory test proves more efficient for General Mills
General Mills has replaced its triangle sampling test with a tetrad sensory test that eliminates Type I and II testing errors, reducing the need for product reformulation. The tetrad test asks subjects to make two pairs of identical-tasting food items from four samples, said John Cowden of General Mills. The new test is also less complicated to administer, requiring fewer subjects, fewer samples and less time, he said. (free registration) (2/28)
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Hot, dry weather takes toll on Argentine soybeans, corn
Argentina's soybean crop is expected to decline 7.7%, to 48 million metric tons, according to analyst reports. The impact of extended hot, dry weather has caused "irreversible" harm to the corn crop, which is estimated at 20 million metric tons, down 11% from earlier analyst forecasts. (2/27)
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Other News
Food, Nutrition & Health
USPSTF issues recommendations on vitamin D and calcium for women
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that evidence regarding vitamin D and calcium supplementation at high doses for fracture prevention is not clear enough for the task force to make a recommendation. However, evidence indicates there is no benefit to taking vitamin D and calcium at low doses to prevent fractures among postmenopausal women. There was little harm associated with low doses of the supplements, but possible risks include an increased likelihood of kidney stones. Read the USPSTF fact sheet. Family Practice News (2/25), HealthDay News (2/25)
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LDL cholesterol target expected to be revised
For the first time in a decade, the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is expected to reconsider its clinical guidelines for LDL cholesterol. Statins have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular events, but it has not been proven that reducing LDL with other pharmaceuticals has an impact, some cardiologists say. ?We can?t just assume that modifying the risk factor is modifying risk,? says Harlan Krumholz of Yale University. Nature (free content) (2/26)
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Science, Trends & Technology
What's next after Mediterranean diet study?
A recent study that suggested the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet high in olive oil has scientists excited about the possibilities of clinical trials for other types of diets. "As we go on, we realize we know less and less [about diets]. We can despair and just make things up, or we can celebrate and say we have a real opportunity to grow here," says Dr. Michael Lauer of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (3/2), (Philadelphia)/The Public's Health blog (3/5)
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Other News
From the Inform News Desk
Information statement on dioxins in food and feed
The U.K.'s Institute of Food Science and Technology has published a new information statement on dioxins. Dioxins are a group of relatively stable lipophilic organic substances. They are formed in small amounts during the combustion of organic materials and also in the manufacture of certain chemicals. They may be present in foods and feeds at low but measurable values and in highly variable amounts, and they have been associated with a number of possible negative biological effects. IFST’s information statement provides an overview of dioxins, their formation and occurrence in foods and feeds, public health significance, legislation, methods of detection and industry good practices.
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Safety app reviews online
If you are charged with overseeing your company’s safety program, here’s an online resource for you: weekly reviews of safety apps from the Safety Awakenings website. The site also provides links to downloadable safety books for iPads, PowerPoint presentations and form templates.
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Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."
-- Alexander Graham Bell,
Scottish-born American inventor
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AOCS advances the science and technology of oils, fats, surfactants and related materials, enhancing the lives of people everywhere. As the AOCS member magazine, Inform offers global news and features about vegetable oils, fats, surfactants, detergents, personal care products, and related materials. If you are interested in writing an article for the magazine, please contact Managing Editor Kathy Heine at
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