Briefs: FSA executive, food fraud and the Stilton shake
appointed to the UK's Food Standards Agency, the industry prepares
to gather to discuss food fraud, and Stilton cheese gets a shake
Food safety appointment for former Arla executive The former chief executive of Arla Foods UK division is to take up the same role with the UK's Food Standards Agency from next year. From March 2008, Tim Smith will be responsible for helping to oversee policies relating to all aspects of safety in the country's food and beverage industries, replacing John Harwood, who has held the position since March 2006. FSA chairperson Deidre Hutton played down any potential concerns over the appointment of a figure with close links to the food industry, by claiming that Smith's industry experience and scientific background were the perfect qualities for the role "A scientist by background [Smith] has close links to both the retail and agricultural sectors and, of course, a great track record in running a major UK food business," she said. "We work closely with consumers, the scientific community and the food industry and having Tim as our chief executive will help reinforce these ties." Since graduating from Leeds University in 1979, Smith has spent his entire professional career in the food industry, according to the FSA. He remained at Northern Foods until 1994, working his way up to divisional director, before spending five years as the president of Sara Lee's UK operations. Food fraud seminar unveiled The make up of milk will be a key feature of a one-day technical seminar to combat food fraud announced yesterday by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Classifying milk speciation using lectin chip arrays will be one of the main topics of the seminar, which will focus on the use of analytical tools to uncover deliberate misdescription by food and beverage groups. The talks, which will take place on the 11 February 2008, will allow manufacturers throughout the food industry in the UK and Europe to discover the latest methods being employed to track and prevent food fraud. Over the last two years, the FSA says it has been in discussion over the best action to take on the issue, and will now report on the developments it has made. The meeting is expected to be of particular interest to those involved in the technical aspects of authenticity of food supplies, as well as local authority enforcement officers and public analysts. Participants at the event will also be allowed to outline any further issues that may have about fraud in the food industry. Other issues to be covered at the meeting will include the use of metabolomics and proteomics to prevent fraud and profiling tools to check authenticity of food. Further information is available from the FSA. Beverage time for Stilton The makers of Stilton blue cheese claim the product could very well soon be the next must have beverage ingredient, after the announcement of a new range of milk shakes derived from the product. England-based Moo Juce are taking the idea of "Food on the go" to a new level after developing a range of milkshakes that mix the famed blue veined cheese with everything from peanut butter, ginger, chocolate and mango. While some dairy groups are considering cutting out production of a number of varieties of cheese, the beverage offers a more unusual way of added value to dairy products. Secretary of the Stilton Cheese Makers' Association, Nigel White said that the Stilton shake had come on the back of growing market for products like smoothies. "Creating the Stilton smoothie, or smooth-shake as we like to call it, was no easy task," he stated. "But through vigorous blending and sampling, Moo juce were able to create not only one but four recipes that have been instant hits."