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People are spending less on vets and more on food

From the Globe and Mail

All Good Dog Food Co. came out of nowhere. When I got my dog 3 1/2 years ago, he was like my child, so making dog food is so personal for me. When you are a new parent, you want to do what’s best for your children. He didn’t want to eat anything. He was suppose to eat eight cups a day and was eating maybe 1 1/2. I tried 11 types of kibble. So I called a bunch of my friends that are vets and asked what I can do. They said “Start cooking for your dog.” So that’s what I did. I didn’t cook for myself but I formulated a home-cooked diet for Dash.

It spun into a business. I was making the food in my spare time, which was zero, and once we hit six to seven dogs, we rented out a catering kitchen. Then we outgrew that just through word of mouth. When we got to 150 dogs, we opened up a brick-and-mortar [store]. Then we opened our own manufacturing facility, a high-end catering kitchen that only makes dog food.

People are spending less on vets and more on food. From an industry standpoint, people are more into preventative measures and doing more research into how they are feeding their dog, so we can slide right in and position ourselves in a way that hits this market. There are lots of people who home cook for their dog right now and question what’s in their kibble. Those are our customers.

Learn more about pet food processing solutions from Tri-Mach Group here.
Read the full article here.

Food sector bright spot for AGT

From the Western Producer

AGT Food and Ingredients posted record sales and profits last year, thanks in a large part to the non-traditional part of its business. The company generated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $101 million on sales of $1.7 billion. The 16 percent increase in EBITDA was due largely to the strong performance of the company’s food ingredients and packaged foods division.

AGT president Murad Al-Katib told investment analysts that the company will be adding production capacity to its food ingredients plant in Minot, North Dakota. It is increasing fibre processing and granulated pulse flour production at the plant and installing a fourth production line. Both projects will be operational by the first quarter of next year.

An estimated 80 percent of the pulse flour, protein, starch and fibre products produced at the Minot plant are used to make pet food. Most of them are made by processing yellow peas, which are the cheapest of all pulses.

Al-Katib said the company is about to make the transition into fababean and lentil-based ingredients for the human food sector.

Learn more about bulk food processing solution from Tri-Mach Group here.
Read the full article here.

This groundbreaking technology will soon let us see exactly what’s in our food

From the Washington Post

Imagine a scanner the size of a grain of rice, built into your phone. You go to the grocery store and point it at something you want to buy. If it’s an apple, the scanner will tell you what variety it is, how much vitamin C it has and how long it has been in cold storage. If it’s a fish, you’ll learn whether it’s really orange roughy or just tilapia being passed off as something more expensive. If it’s a muffin, the device will tell you whether there’s gluten in it.

Although you won’t be able to do it tomorrow, this isn’t some kind of distant Jetsonian vision of the future. I’ve held the rice-size scanner in my hand; it was built for only a few dollars. I’ve seen bigger, more robust versions of the scanner do the things that your smartphone will be able to do, probably during the administration of the president we’re deciding on right now.

Every substance reflects (and absorbs) light in a different way, and the graph of that reflected light is a kind of optical fingerprint. Except it’s better. Although the whorls and lines in our fingertips don’t say anything inherent about their owner (See that swirl? Doesn’t mean you’re smart.), the peaks and valleys of the optical fingerprint do. That peak there is vitamin C. That other one is sugar. This pattern means gluten.

Identifying a food and its characteristics based on the scan is a twofold job: First, you simply match the optical reading to a library of known objects; second, you read the topography of the graph to zero in on specific characteristics. The two together can tell you an awful lot about what you’re scanning.

Read the full article here.

Food processors get a kick start with Food Starter

From Food In Canada

With nearly 20,000 new food products introduced to the market each year, consumers have a lot of choice. Each new product represents countless hours of hard work perfecting the product, conducting market research, meeting regulatory requirements and making critical business decisions.

Food Starter is a new venture that provides a launch pad for the discovery, creation and success of new food products and companies in Toronto.

Launched in 2015, Food Starter is a hands-on incubator program for entrepreneurs who want make a breakthrough in the food market. The 20,000 square foot facility provides access to shared production and packaging facilities, business advisory services and a structured training program to help entrepreneurs build and grow their food processing business.

“Food Starter focuses on helping early-stage food processors commercialize and scale the development of their food products so they can become successful in the marketplace and create sustainable jobs,” says Dana McCauley, Food Starter Executive Director. “Our programs bring together all the necessary pieces and people to develop a successful, saleable food.”

McCauley and her team provide clients with customized services including essential business skills, access to commercial and industrial equipment and assistance fielding the regulatory landscape.

Read the full article here.

Report Card on Ontario Food and Beverage Processing Industry Innovation Tells the Story

From Newswire.ca

Food and Beverage Ontario has released two reports on innovation in the Ontario food and beverage processing industry. Reports have indicated that there are several value-creating physical and on-line innovation resources available in Ontario to processor businesses across the province but coordination and communication continue to be key to uptake.

Complementary on-line innovation resources are also available and are largely concerned with information on government programs and funding and advisory services for businesses. Report highlights:

  • Processors cite product innovation as their top innovation priority, however they rank innovation technology and methods as the overall industry priority.
  • The greatest challenge limiting a company’s ability to innovate was identified by over 50 per cent of the respondents as financial resources and time.
  • Companies that seek out external support equally prefer both in-person contact and websites.
  • Processors are asking for innovation resources to be better coordinated, easy to navigate and to access.

“We have been working hard for the last year mapping resources and building a provincial innovation network with key stakeholders,” said Norm Beal, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario. “Now it’s time for FBO to implement a coordinated plan that will make it easy for Ontario’s 3,000 plus processor businesses to locate exactly the innovation support they need to be more competitive.”

Read the full article here.

Camelina: A viable complementary crop

From the Manitoba Co-operator

Boasting a short growing season, minimal input costs and drought tolerance, 
camelina may be a decent complementary option for Manitoba producers.

“The interesting thing about camelina from an agronomic point of view is that it is a low-input crop. If you compare it to something like canola, where the seed cost can be $40 to $50 an acre, camelina seed cost is below $20 an acre,” said Jack Grushcow, founder and CEO of Smart Earth Seeds, which has been working with camelina for more than 10 years. “Producers have a lot of acres to plant and have to lay out a lot of cash every year. If they complement even 10 per cent of their regular production into camelina, it just reduces overall expense.”

A member of the Brassicaceae family, camelina is also known as false flax or German sesame and is similar to canola. It has excellent yield potential over an 85- to 100-day season and grows well in cool temperatures. Camelina requires less moisture than canola and is resistant to blackleg and some strains to downy mildew.

“Its season is 10 days shorter than canola, which means it can be grown farther north than a typical canola crop and you can combine it earlier, avoiding frost,” Grushcow said. “It is also resistant to many of the pests and diseases that bother canola like flea beetles and alternaria. We have had crops where canola has grown beside camelina and flea beetles pretty much wiped out the canola but hasn’t touched the camelina.”

“Camelina has one really important thing going for it and that is the omega-3 content, which is about 40 per cent of the total fatty acid. Compared to soybean oil, which is very minimal, less than five per cent — this is similar to canola as well,” said Stefanie Hixson, post-doctoral fellow with the department of chemistry and biology at Ryerson University.

There is a growing demand for products high in omega-3. According to the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids, daily intake of 500 mg of omega-3 is recommended for optimal cardiovascular health. A world population of seven billion would amount to an annual requirement of more than 1.25 million tonnes. Part of that demand could be supplied by meat with its omega-3 content boosted by camelina in the feed.

Read the full article here.

North America Expected to Have the Highest Food Processing Equipment Market Share by 2020

From Digital Journal

Persistence Market Research Pvt. Ltd is released new forthcoming report on title “Food Processing Equipment Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020”. The report finds that Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing markets for food processing equipment. The market is driven by increasing demand of processed food products in emerging and developing countries including India, China, Indonesia and Thailand. In Asia Pacific region, China accounts for the largest market in food processing equipment. According to Italian Trade Commission, the total market size of the Indian food processing industry is expected to be reaching around USD 330.0 billion by 2014-15.

In North America region, the U.S. accounts for the largest market in food processing equipment. Growing awareness level regarding new food products, rising economy, investment on research and development over food processing equipment are some of key reason, which drive the food processing market in European region. Global food processing equipment market is expected to grow in single digit growth during forecasted period 2014- 2020.

Learn more about Tri-Mach Group’s sanitary Ever-Kleen® line of processing equipment here.

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Research predicts the food and drink trends of the future

From FoodBev.com

The Innovation Group, the innovation and futurism unit of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, has predicted some of the key trends for the food and beverage industry of the future.

In its latest trends report, which also includes statistical data from Sonar, it made findings such as that more than half of US and UK millennials use technology such as apps and wearables to maintain a healthy diet.

Innovation Group worldwide director Lucie Greene said: “Today’s food and drink consumers are more sophisticated than ever before. Our research shows that both US and UK consumers are placing increasing importance on food and drink as an experiential luxury and reflection of their personal identity. We also found that millennials, despite their well-documented economic challenges, are demanding higher-quality food, visual stimulation, and technologically enhanced experiences.”

Trends for the future of the food and drink industry

  • Food and health coming together
  • Technology changing the way we eat
  • The rise of “post-artisan”
  • Sharing our food with others
  • Cannabis in beverages
Read the full article here.

The Hottest – and Weirdest – Ingredient Trends at IFT

From FoodNavigator USA

Can the world’s smallest vegetable give other sources of plant protein a run for their money? Will consumers accept ‘synbio’ ingredients, and will the rare sugar allulose be a hit? FoodNavigator-USA hit the show floor at IFT to find out what’s hot, what’s not and what’s next in food formulation.

See the full slideshow here.

How we created Canada’s first ethically sourced pet food

From the Globe and Mail

My time working in the pet industry changed me in many ways – I became a vegetarian and my commitment to animal welfare deepened. I also began to contemplate the food I was feeding my dogs, questioning the disconnect between loving our pets and feeding them factory farmed meat.

This transformation gave way to a desire to change the standards for farm animal welfare in the pet industry. Along with my husband Isaac and brother-in-law Derek, we created Open Farm, the first ethically raised and sourced pet food. Our goal is to drive positive change in the pet industry with respect to farm animal welfare and sustainability, while creating much cleaner and higher quality food for pets.

A critical part of building an ethically driven food was to provide complete transparency and accountability to pet owners so they could better understand where their pet’s food is coming from. We knew that in order to do that, we needed to work with independent, industry-leading partners to audit and certify our supply chain. To date, our partners include Humane Farm Animal Care, Ocean Wise and Terracycle.

Our goal is to drive demand for humanely farmed meat and move as many farm animals as possible to a humane system of meat production. We needed a partner that put the farm animals first, and had a high level of expertise and oversight in the field. For this reason we chose to partner with Humane Farm Animal Care, the organization responsible for the Certified Humane label. HFAC’s standards are extensive, cover the entire life of the animal, and were developed by industry leading vets and animal scientists to provide farm animals with space, a healthy diet, gentle handling, and the ability to engage in their natural behaviours.

Read the full article here.