R&D News

Splenda marketer McNeil Nutritionals has struck back against the Sugar Association and its members and the trade group’s public relations firm, charging them in a lawsuit with making false claims to harm the sweetener’s reputation. The Sugar Association and the makers of competitor NutraSweet had sued Fort Washington, Pa.-based McNeil, alleging it has led consumers to believe Splenda is a natural sweetener because it is made from sugar.
St. Louis-based The Solae Co. has reached a settlement in an isoflavone concentrate patent infringement lawsuit the company filed in 2003 against Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Decatur, Ill., and Amerifit Nutrition Inc., Bloomfield, Conn. The lawsuit claimed products marketed by both companies directly infringed on Solae’s patent rights. According to the terms of the settlement, ADM agreed to purchase Solae’s global isoflavone concentrate business including its isoflavone concentrate patent portfolio for an undisclosed sum.
The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company that makes proprietary, corn-based plastic resins marketed under the NatureWorks® PLA and Ingeo™ fiber brand names will be known as NatureWorks LLC. The name change follows Cargill’s decision to acquire Dow Chemical Co.’s interest in Cargill Dow LLC, a joint venture formed in 1997 to commercialize polylactic acid biopolymers. The newly named company will function as a stand-alone entity owned by Cargill. Cargill is the original inventor of polylactic acid, a polymer derived from natural plant sugars and marketed as NatureWorks PLA and Ingeo fibers.
Milwaukee-based Chr. Hansen has strengthened its presence in China by establishing a factory that mixes and manufactures food color solutions, tailor-made for the Chinese market. This comes after officially establishing a sales office in Beijing last year. The factory will be located in Tianjin. In other company news, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Chr. Hansen for liquid starter cultures with improved storage stability. The new patent is the latest in a number of patents the company owns on starter cultures and lactic acid bacteria, as well as patents on colors, enzymes and other ingredients.