Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new in products, companies and marketing. In this issue: weekly dairy product prices,Lifeway'sStarfruit Cafe,HP Hood's dairy recipe contest, breakfast and snacking trend reports,Frome Cheese Show seeks entries, food-related courses atRutgers,Green Dairy Summit set for China.

Welcome to Jim Carper's Dairy Case, a look at the new dairy products, companies and marketing efforts making the news.

Dairy Products Prices Highlights from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service

Butter prices received for 25 kilogram and 68 pound boxes meeting United  States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grade AA standards averaged $2.12 per  pound for the week ending June 18, 2011. The United States (US) price per  pound decreased 2.7 cents from the previous week.

Cheddar Cheese prices received for US 40 pound blocks averaged $1.95 per  pound for the week ending June 18, 2011. The price per pound increased  16.1 cents from the previous week. The price for US 500 pound barrels  adjusted to 38 percent moisture averaged $1.99 per pound, up 13.6 cents from  the previous week.

Dry Whey prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade standards averaged 52.6 cents per pound for the week ending June 18, 2011. The US price per pound increased 0.3 cent from the previous week.

Nonfat Dry Milk prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade or United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Grade A standards averaged $1.66 per pound for the week ending June 18, 2011. The US price per pound increased 0.4 cent from the previous week. Read more online.

Lifeway’s Starfruit Cafe Debuts Chicago's First "Flat Belly" Food Truck

Starfruit Cafe, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Lifeway Foods has a mobile food truck from which it will sell its new mango flavor frozen probiotic kefir product, containing 22 calories and 0 grams of fat per ounce. Kefir is a so-called "flat belly power food.” The locations will be announced daily via Facebook and Twitter.

Lifeway Foods president and CEO, Julie Smolyansky says, "We wanted to take advantage of the mobile food truck trend since it allows us to deliver our unique Starfruit product on the go.  It's a great way to satiate our customers and also gives us the flexibility to get our tart and tangy frozen kefir into the hands of future Starfruit lovers throughout the city. It's the perfect way to help social network-savvy Chicagoans beat the heat this summer!"

Other flavors include pomegranate, peach, cherry, chocolate truffle and birthday cake. Made with probiotic-filled Lifeway Kefir, Starfruit Cafe's frozen treats, custom parfaits and low-fat smoothies aid digestion, support immunity, promote weight loss, and help fight lactose intolerance.


HP Hood Seeks Dairy Recipes

New England dairy company HP Hood is accepting recipe submissions for the 3rd Annual Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off.  The contest, presented by Hood Sour Cream, is open to all amateur cooks from the six New England states. The grand prize winner will be awarded $10,000 and be featured in a recipe book.

Submitted recipes must be original and include at least one of the following Hood products: milk,  Simply Smart, cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, Country Creamer, egg nog and Calorie Countdown. There are five categories -- breakfast/brunch; soups/chowders; appetizers/side dishes; lunch/dinner (entree); and dessert.

Thirty semifinalists, five from each New England state, will receive $100 and be selected to compete at the Cook-Off held on Nov. 6 at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland, Maine.  An independent panel of judges will narrow the semifinalists to one finalist from each recipe category to compete for the $10,000 Grand Prize.  Dishes will be based on taste appeal, presentation/appearance and creativity/originality. Finalists who do not win the Grand Prize will be awarded $500.  Shaw's Supermarkets and Yankee Magazine are also partnering with the Cook-Off again in 2011.  Enter online at HoodCookOff.com.

In the news

Time reports on a new study by Harvard researchers suggests that the quality of your food matters more than its calorie count. See "The Best and Worst Foods for Healthy Weight."

Dairy comes out favorably. Professor Marion Nestle of New York University says the findings echo nutrition experts' advice for eating well. "The study has a clear and consistent message: if you want to gain weight, eat junk foods and drink sodas. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy foods. This means following basic dietary recommendations and choosing relatively unprocessed foods - vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, fruits. And don't drink too much alcohol.

Food trends: Americans’ snacking habits

Snacking, especially beverage consumption outside of a regular meal, continues to increase among Americans, accounting for more than 25% of calorie intake each day, according to research presented at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo.

Between 1977 and 2006, snacking in the American diet has grown to constitute "a full eating event," or a fourth meal, averaging about 580 calories each day, said Richard D. Mattes, Ph.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University. 

The amount of secondary eating and drinking – consumption while engaged in another activity – has also increased.  Between 2006 and 2008, time spent eating primary meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – remained consistent at 70 minutes. However, secondary eating doubled from 15 minutes each day in 2006 to nearly 30 minutes in 2008, and secondary drinking jumped nearly 90 percent from 45 to 85 minutes.

While snacking has increased in general, "there has been a significant increase in the amount of calories consumed through beverages," said Mattes.  Today, beverages account for 50 percent the calories consumed through snacking.

As many Americans don't equate beverages as readily with calorie intake, they are less likely to offset or take into account these calories, said Mattes.

In general, however, snacking is not linked with weight gain, according to G. Harvey Anderson, Ph.D., Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. "The literature does not support the intuitive notion that increased consumption of snack foods is an independent cause of obesity," said Anderson.  In fact for some age groups - young children and older adults, for example – "foods consumed outside a meal are important sources of nutrients as well as energy."

To further assess the impact of snacking on the American diet and health, a definitive definition of what constitutes a snack, as well as more information on what motivates individuals to snack, is desperately needed, said Nancy Auestad, Ph.D., of the Dairy Research Institute.

Nearly 100 percent of Americans in all age groups eat a snack each day, yet no standard definition exists on what constitutes a snack or what motivates individuals to snack, said Auestad.  Without a clear definition, consumers are "self-defining" snacks and snacking, "and the line between snacks and meals are blurred."

Snacking can be part of a balanced and healthy diet, said Auestad. "Good tasting snacks that provide dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium and potassium can help consumers meet recommended intakes."

What Would the Statue of Liberty Eat?

Lancaster County, Pa.-based Turkey Hill Dairy, maker of the nation's fourth best-selling premium ice cream brand, celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty with a new flavor and an essay contest for school children. Middle and high school students must answer the question, "What does liberty mean to me?" Two winners will  receive $5,000 scholarships. Turkey Hill Dairy will also introduce Lady Liberty Mint Premium Ice Cream in stores across the country. Donations from sales will go to support the new Peopling of America® Center at Ellis Island. The flavor features a combination of mint premium ice cream with chocolate cake crunchies and a crunchy chocolate cookie swirl.

Turkey Hill will also promote Lady Liberty's birthday through an online trivia contest and a bracket tournament to name the best immigrant movie in history. For more information about the campaign and the essay contest, visitwww.turkeyhill.com/ladylibertymint.Lady Liberty Mint Premium Ice Cream is available in stores where Turkey Hill Dairy Ice Cream is sold.

More food trends: breakfast habits

A Kellogg survey of breakfast and the morning mealtime routine reveals that while the vast majority of Americans feel breakfast is important, the reality of hectic mornings makes it difficult to fit the meal in every day. Among the key findings:

While more than half (54%) of all adults would like to eat breakfast every day, in reality only one-third (34%) actually do.

Nearly all moms (89%) want their kids to eat breakfast every day. However, 40 percent of moms report their child doesn't eat breakfast daily.

While nearly all toddlers and preschool-age children are eating breakfast, consumption of breakfast dips as American children grow older; 77 percent of young children eat breakfast every day, but the number falls to 50 percent in the middle-school years and 36 percent among high school students. 

Although moms report a desire to see their kids relax in the morning and concentrate on eating breakfast, many kids are too busy watching television, getting their homework done or getting ready for school to do so.

Kellogg says “the dynamic duo of cereal and milk is a leading, quick and tasty source of 10 nutrients important to growing bodies, including calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin D.” See more about the study.

Cheese contest seeks entries

The Frome Cheese Show has announced that it is going global and is inviting cheese entries from around the world. Now to be known as the Global Cheese Awards, the Frome Cheese Committee has taken the decision to expand the classes in order to enable cheesemakers from across the globe to enter. This will increase competition amongst entries and further establish the Awards as a showcase of the best cheese from around the world.

According to Nigel Pooley, Chairman of the Frome Cheese Committee, “Last years Frome Cheese Awards proved a phenomenal success  and further established its role as one of the prestigious awards that members of the Dairy Industry want to be associated with. We are very lucky to have such a wide array of fantastic cheese available in the UK, and we feel it is now time to share this cheese secret with the rest of the world.”

The Awards will now showcase the wonderful array of cheese from the UK alongside the many continental cheeses available in our shops and markets. 
For 2011 there will be 167 classes, open to both speciality and artisan cheeses as well as volume produced. Classes will include Best European, Best West Country cheese, Best Overseas and regional classes amongst others.  The new Global Supreme Champion Award Trophy is accompanied by £1,000 prize Money.
The Global Cheese Awards final judging will take place on the trade day of the Frome Agricultural and Cheese Show on Friday 9th September, followed by the Awards announcement and a trade lunch. This offers the opportunity to network with the great and good of the Cheese world, including experts, sponsors, buyers, judges and celebrities.

Enter online. Deadline is Aug. 10.


The Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education offers various food-related courses. 
Among them:

Introduction to Food Science, August 15-19, 2011

Get the best of a 4-year food science education in only FIVE days!  Learn the key points of food chemistry, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, color, sensory, nutrition and finally microbiology.  To meet your specific needs and goals, this course may be taken as a series of individual one-day sessions or as a complete five-day program.

Statistics for Food Scientists, 
September 16, 2011


This one-day intensive refresher course is taught by one of the food industry’s most experienced statistical specialists who knows the delicate art and science of mixing food and numbers. He and his colleague will help refresh your knowledge of fundamental concepts and gain a better understanding of common applications of statistics in food science through our case-based approach.  Not just for beginners -- even experienced professionals will benefit from this statistical refresher!

Sensory Evaluation
, September 14-15, 2011


In this program, you will examine the pros and cons of different sensory tests, set up testing procedures, and evaluate real products. You will develop the practical skills necessary to set up your own discrimination tests and create testing protocol, apply real test procedures and interpret what the results mean for your product.  Through hands-on demonstrations, you will also learn how to evaluate the sensory quality of food products using statistical descriptive analysis. A background in statistics is NOT required. Using easy-to-learn steps, you will be taught how to perform statistical tests and then progress to more complex assessment techniques. 

HACCP Plan Development for Food Processors
,October 4-6, 2011


Discover the basic concepts of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and learn what it takes to develop a thorough plan to better support you and your company. Our hands-on, three-day workshop will take you through the steps and teach you how to create and implement a successful HACCP program. By implementing a successful plan, your facility can avoid the costs and liability associated with food contamination. HACCP principles help your employees understand the reasons behind your food safety controls, making it easier for them to do their job. It also leads to faster, more thorough product inspections, helping your facility earn a reputation for effective food safety.

Better Process Control School, 
November 15-18, 2011

By attending our Better Process Control School, you will learn how you can reduce your susceptibility and minimize your liability. According to FDA regulations, each processor of low-acid and acidified low-acid canned foods, including pet foods, must operate with a trained supervisor on hand at all times. Similar USDA/FSIS regulations and training requirements are in place for thermally processed meat and poultry products. These regulations are designed to prevent public health problems in these types of foods. Our BPCS teaches the practical applications of the principles underlying these regulations.

Using Kosher Food Production to Enhance Your Business, October 24, 2011

Capitalize on the exponentially expanding kosher market by understanding both the opportunities and obligations of kosher food processing. The kosher food market - from manufacture, to sale, to marketing – has grown 12-fold in the last 50 years. Currently, over 50% of all food products on the supermarket shelf are kosher, and sales are projected to exceed $17 billion by 2013. Whether you are considering becoming kosher, or already are kosher and looking to optimize your operation, this course will clearly explain the benefits of kosher, what being kosher means to your facility (and your bottom line!), and how it can drive your marketing objectives.

China Green Dairy Summit 2011

The China Green Dairy Summit 2011 will be held in Huhhot, known as “China’s Dairy City,” Aug. 25 to 26. Senior officials and presidents from government bodies and industry associations, will meet top-level executives, technical directors, project leaders and professors from major dairy companies, milk source bases, dairy farms, and agricultural and animal husbandry research institutes. Topics to be discussed include the development trends of the global dairy industry, core technologies for constructing and managing modern and intelligent farms and solutions for dairy production, inspection and packaging. The confirmed speakers from the event include Liu Chengguom,  director Dairy Association of China, and Lesley Macleod, Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Innovation Australia. Register here.

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