R&D  News


Autocrat, a family-owned coffee roaster and coffee extract manufacturer based in Lincoln, R.I., announced the purchase of a custom state-of-the-art extraction system. The system “substantially increases” Autocrat’s coffee-extract volume capacity, allowing the company to meet the growing demand for coffee extracts in ice cream, dairy beverages and other products.
Chr. Hansen Inc., Milwaukee, and Noveon Hilton Davis Inc., Cincinnati, entered into a joint sales and marketing agreement under which the companies will provide “cost-effective” color solutions for custom applications in beverages and other foods. According to the companies, the cooperation will allow Chr. Hansen to provide U.S. and Canadian customers with an expanded line of color systems, including synthetic colors, color blends and natural colors from Noveon Hilton Davis.
Danisco’s flavor division, Danisco Flavours, recently moved its global headquarters from the United Kingdom to Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. The central European location “will further strengthen the supply chain management capabilities” of the division’s global operations and “leverage existing corporate assets,” says Danisco. Jos Kleppers, former president of flavours and fragrances worldwide for Sensient, recently was appointed president of the Danisco Flavours Group.
FiberGel Technologies Inc., Mundelein, Ill., signed an agreement to supply the Z-Trim zero-calorie fat substitute to Nestlé on a long-term basis. Developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Z-Trim product is a multi-functional fiber food ingredient that can reduce the fat and calories in cheese and dairy dips/spreads, dressings, baked goods and many other foods “without affecting taste or texture.” FiberGel Technologies owns the worldwide rights to Z-Trim for all fields of use.
Paris-based Rhodia completed the first phase of its improvement plan by concluding an agreement for debt refinancing with its 23 creditor banks. The agreement, says the company, maintains existing lines of credit and establishes a new “medium-term” credit line secured by group assets.
Dr. Phil Tong, a professor at California Polytechnic State University’s Dairy Products Technology Center, was awarded more than $500,000 for two projects designed to develop new knowledge and applications for dairy ingredients. According to the university, Dairy Management Inc., Rosemont, Ill., granted the funding through resources administered by the California Dairy Research Foundation. A portion of the money will be used for a pilot ultra-high-temperature processing system to enable research and development related to extended shelf-life dairy products.
Bellevue, Wash.-based SCOLR Inc. entered into an asset purchase agreement to sells its probiotics development and manufacturing business to a company formed by Steven Moger, SCOLR’s vice president of operations, chief financial officer and general manager of the probiotics division. Moger will resign from his position as an officer of SCOLR in connection with the closing.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say they have adapted a technique primarily used in laser eye surgery to cleanly slice cheddar cheese into very thin, but nicely shaped slices. Xiaochun Li, a mechanical engineering professor at the university, and graduate student Hongseok Choi used a new class of lasers that emit light in the ultraviolet range. Such lasers cut through a process called photoablation, which occurs when a laser produces photons with energies that exceed the energies of the bonds holding molecules together.
Cargill Inc., Minneapolis, completed its acquisition of The Duckwork Group (TDG), based in Manchester, England. TDG, a flavor company that supplies the food and beverage industries in the United Kingdom and the rest of Western Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East, will become part of Cargill’s Food System Design (FSD) platform. Meanwhile, Cargill Food & Pharma Specialties, also part Cargill Inc.’s FSD platform, announced the commissioning of North America’s first erythritol manufacturing plant. The $60 million facility, located in Blair, Neb., produces the Eridex™ brand of erythritol, “an all-natural non-caloric bulk sweetener with a taste similar to sugar.”
Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced the retirement of Joseph A. Levitt Esq. as director of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN). Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., a microbiologist who has been with the FDA since 2000, was named as Levitt’s successor.
Rainer K. Grimm was appointed interim chief financial officer of Holzminden, Germany-based Symrise GmbH & Co KG. Grimm, formerly chief financial officer with several other German companies, replaces Karl-Heinz Barz, who left the flavor and fragrance company for personal reasons on Dec. 31, 2003. The global company’s U.S. arm, Symrise Inc., is headquartered in Teterboro, N.J.