We chat with Benoit Tavernier, product manager specialty rice ingredients at Beneo; Julia Somerdin, co-founder and CEO of Labby; Michael W. Hodin, PhD, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging and Dr Patrick Kamphuis, senior medical affairs director for Nutricia; and Alex Kinne, applications engineer, and Mike Munnelly, field marketing manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
And we also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton from StoneX.
Labby secures funding for raw milk testing solution
Massachusetts-based Labby Inc, an early-stage startup specializing in AI-enabled optical sensing solutions for raw milk testing, has raised $480,000 in seed funding from AgriTech Capital, a strategy and investment firm specializing in innovation and technology in the agribusiness sector.
Labby said with its solution, farmers and dairy processors now have a way to quickly and easily test raw milk, gaining visibility into animal health, milk quality, and feed efficiency, enabling them to optimize their operations.
This is the first seed round for the company and the financing will help with the development of Labby’s products, including the next generation of its handheld solution and in-line sensing integration unit. A handful of dairy farms in North America will start piloting the technology before the end of the year. In addition, Labby will use the funds to build out its operations and expand the team.
Labby participated in the Techstars Lisbon Accelerator in 2020 and Dairy Farmers of America innovation program in 2019 and was a MassChallenge finalist in 2018. The two co-founders are MIT alumni from the Media Lab and the System Design & Management program.
“Over the last decade, farming has undergone a technology transformation; however, when it comes to milk testing, little has changed, and the process remains slow, inefficient, and cost-prohibitive. Our practical solution provides rapid, affordable, and laboratory-grade milk testing in real-time. Now every dairy farm can gain visibility into animal health, milk quality, and feed efficiency, enabling them to optimize their operations," Julia Somerdin, co-founder and CEO of Labby, said.
“Labby is leading a revolution in milk mining, bringing insights into the known unknowns of dairy, and as a result, supporting more sustainable farming. That’s why we are excited to join the Labby journey," Aidan Connolly, president of AgriTech Capital, said.
“If dairy farming wants to increase profitability, then it must embrace next-generation technology rather than waiting to be disrupted. Farmers need intelligent solutions that deliver actionable insights. Labby’s innovative solution will transform milk testing and provides farmers with the data to make informed decisions that help optimize yields, keep animals healthy, and reduce costs,” said Jamie Zimmerman, Dairy One’s CEO and general manager.
New metal detector enhances foreign object identification for food processors for improved safety and operational efficiency
Detection of foreign objects such as metals is a high priority for food processors, especially when in 2019 alone the United States Department of Agriculture reported that 17m pounds of food were impacted by recalls due to “extraneous material.”
The Thermo Scientific Sentinel 1000 Selectscan Metal Detector system features two technologies intended to help food and personal care manufacturers achieve a higher level of safety and quality.
Selectscan enables the user to select the ideal frequency, from 50 to 1000 kHz, is designed to optimize the probability of detecting ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel foreign objects. Autolearn guides the user through product set up to optimize operational efficiencies and detection performance to support plant production goals. Combined, these features reduce the risk of costly contamination events, scrap, rework and recalls.
“Quality assurance personnel are the first and last line of defense to ensure consumer safety and protect against a product recall. They often manage multiple production lines, ensuring equipment is set up for optimal detection results in a fast-moving manufacturing environment. Rapid changeovers are commonplace and the new Autolearn feature allows them to be up and running in minutes,” said David Lamprey, senior product marketing manager with Thermo Fisher’s product inspection business.
“Protecting consumers while supporting our customers’ compliance with global food safety standards and retailer codes of practice is our business priority.”
In addition to providing enhanced metal detection, the Sentinel 1000 Selectscan has an IP69K rating for manufacturing environments that require high-pressure sanitation.
Beneo launches instant functional rice starch for clean label applications
Beneo, a manufacturer of functional ingredients, has announced the launch of its new precooked functional native rice starch, Remypure S52 P.
It allows food manufacturers to produce clean label food preparations, such as cold processed sauces, dressings, dairy desserts and bakery fillings with an instant functional native rice starch.
Beneo said the new ingredient delivers soft and creamy textures and product stability, even under harsh processing conditions such as shear and acid.
Remypure S52 P is available globally, enabling food producers to further embrace the clean label trend, using rice starch. As consumers continue to avoid products that contain artificial ingredients, transparent and simple labels are on the rise worldwide. Recent Mintel research has shown that one in four food and beverages launches carry a clean label claim and this increases to one in three for sauces and seasonings.
Also, Beneo’s own consumer research showed half of UK and three out of five German consumers “intentionally avoid foods and/or beverages with artificial ingredients and look for natural products instead.”
Applications such as food dressings, sauces and dips, bakery fillings, or dairy desserts, traditionally have to withstand acidity and/or high shear during preparation, and it can be challenging to maintain optimal functionality under these conditions. The company said the Remypure S52 P pre-cooked starch performs as well as modified starches in cold processing conditions that involve low pH and/or high shear, whilst being clean label at the same time.
Beneo said its market research shows rice is seen as a familiar and healthy ingredient by the large majority of consumers. Furthermore, it brings added creaminess and mouthfeel to any recipe, thanks to the unique characteristics of the rice starch granules.
Benoit Tavernier, product manager specialty rice ingredients at Beneo, said, “With the increasing demand from consumers for transparent product labels, we are always looking for ways to help our customers meet these market demands. Remypure S52 P has been developed for food producers searching for an instant clean label texturizer for food preparations that can withstand harsh process conditions, whilst giving an additional creamy aspect to the texture of the end product.
“It is the first rice starch of its kind on the market for this type of application and has already been well received in a range of taste tests. With the now extended Remypure range of functional native rice starches, BENEO is well set to support existing and potential new customers in their development process of various new clean label products.”
New report on the role of nutrition in COVID-19 recovery, aging and health
A new report published by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and Nutricia examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older people’s health and well-being.
During the pandemic, the role of nutrition for health has come under scrutiny, but still remains under-addressed. The report reinforces the need for integrated care pathways that incorporate nutrition and physical exercise to better support the health of older people now, but also after the pandemic.
More people are reaching an older age than ever before, representing a demographic change that will impact almost all aspects of society. The year 2020 was also earmarked as the start of the ‘Decade of Healthy Aging,’ brought into the spotlight more because of the pandemic and the challenges to growing older in good health.
Those over 60, particularly those people with underlying medical conditions are among the most severely affected by Covid-19. Also, lockdown measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus often had unintended yet severe consequences for their social well-being.
The report notes that it has become increasingly clear that an individual’s health status upon contracting Covid-19 is crucial for how well the person emerges from it. The value of building “health capital” has generally been understood, but the importance of nutrition to overall health, in particular as we age, is not as broadly recognized.
Michael W. Hodin, PhD, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging, said, “One cannot overstate the central role nutrition plays in healthy aging. Simply put, there is no healthy aging without healthful nutrition. That truth resonates even more profoundly in a time of a global pandemic and should guide the efforts of healthcare systems and policymakers who should redouble efforts to support health and resilience of older people before, and after a serious health incident.”
Older people can become malnourished because of health incidents, a disease or the conditions such as frailty, sarcopenia or cognitive decline. The report said malnutrition is often under-recognized, or is too often (and wrongly) considered to be a normal part of aging or the disease progress.
One of the consequences of malnutrition is an impaired immune system, leading to a greater incidence of infection while harming the ability of the body to recover.
On average, 31% of patients admitted to hospital is malnourished; undernutrition is even more prevalent among older people and affects up to 52.7% of older people hospitalized with Covid-19.
Dr Riccardo Caccialanza, head of the Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Unit at the IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy, said, “Every effort should be made to avoid or at least reduce underfeeding in hospital in order to limit the deleterious consequences of malnutrition on patient outcomes. This is crucial for older patients who are disproportionally affected by Covid-19.”
Nutrition is an essential component of recovery from severe disease, and nutritional care should be continued after hospital discharge as the body works to restore health. Dr Patrick Kamphuis, senior medical affairs director for Nutricia said, “The pandemic underlines the need to address malnutrition in older people across care settings. At Nutricia we believe adequate screening and management of malnutrition should be an integral part of care systems so everyone has a chance to age in good health and have the benefits of good nutritional care.”
The white paper looks at the integrated care pathways that are necessary, not only in the current context of the pandemic, but more broadly in aging societies to enable the 2bn people over 60 by 2050 to live longer healthier, and more active lives.