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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Farmers Check For Damage From Cold Snap

March 30, 2012 1:09 pm | by GEORGE M. WALSH,Associated Press

Fruit plants budding and blooming weeks earlier than usual were damaged by frigid temperatures this week, but farmers in the Great Lakes and Northeast say they're still assessing the toll and some crop loss won't be apparent until mid-summer.

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Idaho Lawmakers Pass Felony Animal Cruelty Law

March 30, 2012 1:05 pm | by ALEX MORRELL,Associated Press

The bill comes partly in response to instances where some animal owners facing financial difficulties failed to feed or properly care for livestock, including a high-profile case in 2011 involving dozens of starved and neglected sheep, goats, pigs, llamas and horses.

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New Wine Fermenters Have Vintners Thinking Sunny Side Up

March 30, 2012 1:02 pm | by MICHELLE LOCKE,For The Associated Press

Do you like eggs with wine? How about wine IN eggs? Sounds a bit dicey, but it's been happening more lately as winemakers embrace concrete egg-shaped fermenters as a way to add unique flavors to their wines.

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Whole Foods To Drop Unsustainable Seafood

March 30, 2012 12:53 pm | by MICHAEL HILL,Associated Press

Whole Foods Market said Friday that it will stop selling fish caught from depleted waters or through ecologically damaging methods, a move that comes as supermarkets nationwide try to make their seafood selections more sustainable.

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Consumer Trends: Chinese Consumers Embrace Healthier Drinks

March 30, 2012 12:41 pm

Mintel finds that while consumers in China are ready to switch to healthier alternatives of carbonated soft drinks, brands have yet to offer the product options to fulfill this demand. This is despite seven out of ten consumers (72%) trying to avoid drinks with artificial ingredients and 75% wanting to buy drinks with natural ingredients, highlighting an unmet need which could be satisfied by manufacturers.

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Raw Milk Quarantine Lifted At Calif. Dairy

March 30, 2012 10:09 am

A statewide quarantine on raw milk products from a Northern California dairy is over, though state health officials are still investigating. The California Department of Food and Agriculture on Thursday lifted the ban on products from Claravale Farm of San Benito County, one of two raw milk dairies in the state.

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Governors Examine And Eat 'Pink Slime'

March 30, 2012 10:07 am | by KRISTI EATON,Associated Press

Governors of three states got up close with "pink slime" Thursday, touching and examining treated beef at a plant and eating hamburgers made with it in a bid to persuade grossed-out consumers and grocery stores the product is safe to consume.

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New Cage Rules Impact Europe's Egg Market

March 30, 2012 10:05 am | by RAF CASERT,Associated Press

The European Egg Processors Association says that EU-wide production of eggs since the Jan. 1 legislative change has dropped by 10 to 15 percent, or about 200 million eggs a week.

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PepsiCo Receives Approval For Chinese Drink Maker Deal

March 30, 2012 10:02 am

The U.S. beverage and food company, based in Purchase, N.Y., said in November that it planned to swap its holdings in its mainland China bottling operations for a stake in Tingyi to beef up its distribution in the fast-growing Chinese market.

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Popular Pesticide Could Play Role In Bee Decline

March 30, 2012 9:59 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN,AP Science Writer

The new research suggests the chemicals used in the pesticide — designed to attack the central nervous system of insects — reduces the weight and number of queens in bumblebee hives. These pesticides also cause honeybees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives, the researchers concluded.

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Photo Of The Day: Europe's Easter Egg Quandary

March 30, 2012 9:49 am

Demand for eggs traditionally reaches its peak around the Easter holiday. This year, the egg industry has been hit by the European Union's new requirements for bigger, more animal-friendly cages for hens. The changes it brings have affected production and, combined with high feed cost, boosted consumer prices.

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Sweetener Group Urges USDA To Increase Sugar Supplies

March 29, 2012 1:06 pm

The Sweetener Users Association (SUA) today sent a letter to Acting Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, urging USDA to take immediate action on April 1 to ensure U.S. industry adequate supplies of sugar at reasonable prices by increasing the tariff rate quota (TRQ).

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Snacks Plant Closing, 230 To Lose Jobs

March 29, 2012 1:02 pm

Officials say 230 people will lose their jobs when the Bremner Food Group plant closes in Poteau. The company laid off 100 workers Wednesday night and says the plant will shut down on June 29. The plant produces snack foods, including crackers.

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Pa. Bill Allowing Wine Shipments Moves Forward

March 29, 2012 12:59 pm | by PETER JACKSON,Associated Press

A bill that would allow Pennsylvanians to have domestic wines shipped directly to their homes won the state Senate's unanimous approval Wednesday, but it faces obstacles in the House.

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S.D. Group Ends Attempt To Acquire Assets Of Sunflower Seed Co.

March 29, 2012 12:57 pm | by CHET BROKAW,Associated Press

A South Dakota regulatory commission has abandoned its attempt to seek the assets of a sunflower seed company that owes farmers in South Dakota and North Dakota an estimated $4 million.

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Starbucks Customers Petition For Bug-Free Beverages

March 29, 2012 12:50 pm

South Carolina resident Daelyn Fortney launched a campaign on Change.org following allegations that Starbucks quietly replaced ingredients in its strawberry flavoring to include cochineal extract, a product made from crushed insects.

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Consumer Trends: Craft Brewing Volume Jumps 13 Percent

March 29, 2012 12:41 pm

Craft brewers saw volume rise 13 percent, with a 15 percent increase in retail sales from 2010 to 2011, representing a total barrel increase of 1.3 million. “While the overall beer market experienced a 1.32 percent volume decrease in 2011, craft brewing saw significant growth, surpassing five percent total market volume share for the first time,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association.

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Puerto Ricans Build Island's Third Rum Distillery

March 29, 2012 10:13 am

The Club Caribe LLC distillery in Cidra is expected to open later this year at the site of a former pharmaceutical plant. The company is affiliated to Cc1, a Puerto Rican company that distributes Coca-Cola products locally.

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Northern Vintners Look To Improve Wine Quality

March 29, 2012 10:11 am | by DIRK LAMMERS,Associated Press

A $2.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant  has university researchers from a dozen states gathering information about cold-hardy grapes and teaching viticulturists and winemakers how to improve their products and market them to a wider audience. Led by Cornell University, the Northern Grapes Project will work with more than 330 wineries and 1,300 growers managing more than 3,000 acres of grapes from the Upper Midwest to New England.

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S.D. Governor Says China Trade Mission Will Benefit Agriculture

March 29, 2012 10:06 am | by CHET BROKAW,Associated Press

With 1.3 billion people, China has 20 percent of the world's population but only 7 percent of the world's farmable land, the governor said. South Dakota, with efficient, mechanized farms, can provide the food and other agricultural products China wants to buy, he said.

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