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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

USDA: Wheat Genome Sequence Crucial For Global Food Security

November 29, 2012 12:27 pm

U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists working as part of an international team have completed a shotgun sequencing of the wheat genome, a paper published in the journal Nature reported today. The achievement is expected to increase wheat yields, help feed the world and speed up development of wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value.

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No Immediate Lockout In Grain Shippers Union Dispute

November 29, 2012 12:25 pm | by STEVEN DUBOIS,Associated Press

Pacific Northwest grain shippers say there will be no immediate lockout at a half-dozen terminals along the Columbia River and on Puget Sound. The owners had given the International Longshore and Warehouse Union until midnight Wednesday to accept what they describe as their "last, best and final" offer. But Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the owners, said there would be no midnight lockout.

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Hostess Says It Has More Than 100 Interested Buyers

November 29, 2012 12:23 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Hostess Brands Inc. says it's in talks with more than 100 parties interested in buying its brands, which include Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. Those interested parties now include at least five national retailers such as supermarkets, a banker for the company said in bankruptcy court Thursday.

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Consumer Trends: 5 Canadian Restaurant Trends For 2013

November 29, 2012 12:07 pm

Shifting consumer preferences continue shaping Canada's foodservice industry, with numerous implications for restaurant operators in the coming year. Looking forward, Technomic sees these five trends as growing in importance in 2013.

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Kansas State Researchers Help Sequence Wheat Genes

November 29, 2012 9:40 am

Kansas State University researchers have helped create a genetic blueprint for many of the traits found in the most common type of wheat. Bikram Gill and Sunish Sehgal were part of an international collaboration that sequenced most of the genes of common wheat, also known as bread wheat.

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Survey: U.S. Economy Growing At Steady Pace

November 29, 2012 9:38 am | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER,AP Economics Writer

A pickup in consumer spending and steady home sales helped lift economic growth from October through early November in most parts of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. The one exception was the Northeast, which was slowed by Superstorm Sandy.

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Peanut Butter Plant Closure Angers N.M. Town

November 29, 2012 9:36 am | by JERI CLAUSING,Associated Press

Farmers are worried about getting paid for their peanuts, nearly a third of the plant's 150 workers have been laid off, and residents wonder what toll an increasingly contentious showdown between the nation's largest organic peanut butter plant and federal regulators could ultimately have on the region's economy.

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BPI Wants ‘Pink Slime’ Suit Back In State Court

November 29, 2012 9:33 am

Lawyers for a South Dakota beef processing company suing ABC News for defamation have asked a federal judge to remand the lawsuit back to state court. Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. for defamation over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime." The company is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.

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Watchdog: U.S. Should Explain Probe Of Halal Company

November 29, 2012 9:31 am | by RYAN J. FOLEY,Associated Press

A national civil rights organization called on U.S. authorities Wednesday to explain their investigation into a leading maker of food for observant Muslims, saying it is troubled by the secrecy surrounding the seizure of the company's bank account and records.

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Photo Of The Day: Sunland Shutdown

November 29, 2012 9:27 am

The FDA suspended the registration of Sunland Inc., which is the country's largest organic peanut butter processor. FDA officials found salmonella in numerous locations in Sunland's processing plant after 41 people in 20 states, most of them children, were sickened by peanut butter manufactured at the Portales, N.M., plant and sold at the Trader Joe's grocery chain.

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New Nutrition Score May Help Consumers Make Better Choices

November 28, 2012 12:31 pm

As part of an effort to help consumers better understand a food’s nutrition value, researchers at RTI International developed an algorithm that gives food an overall nutrition score that could make it easier for consumers to make healthy food choices.

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Post Reports Profit Despite Soft Sales

November 28, 2012 12:29 pm

Post Holdings Inc. on Wednesday turned a profit for its fiscal fourth quarter as the cereal maker wasn't weighed down by last year's costs for spinning off from Ralcorp and benefited from raising cereal prices. The St. Louis-based company earned $10.8 million, or 31 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

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Another Pest Found In Calif. Citrus Belt

November 28, 2012 12:27 pm

Another tiny pest capable of carrying and spreading a disease deadly to citrus trees has been found in California's citrus belt. California Department of Food and Agriculture spokesman Steve Lyle says an Asian citrus psyllid was discovered near Terra Bella in Tulare County. The psyllid was identified last week on a trap in a citrus grove.

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Green Mountain 4Q Beats Expectations

November 28, 2012 12:25 pm

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.'s shares soared 22 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the beleaguered coffee company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results and guidance that far exceeded market expectations. The Waterbury, Vt., maker of Keurig single-serve coffee makers said that it earned $91.9 million, or 58 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 29.

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Monster Shares Soar On FDA Letter

November 28, 2012 12:23 pm

Shares of Monster Beverage Corp. soared as concerns eased about increased regulation for the energy drink maker following a letter, made public Tuesday, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The letter, sent earlier this month, said that the FDA was studying energy drinks to see if they posed a risk when consumed by "vulnerable groups" such as young people, or in excess.

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Consumer Trends: Fighting Obesity By Eating Together

November 28, 2012 12:16 pm

We appear to be eating much more food, far more frequently, and mostly alone, than at any previous point in American history.  The physical act of eating together, or commensality, can serve to regulate food portioning and food consumption. Besides the calorie control factor, commensality also promotes other healthy practices.

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Natural Foods Company To Expand In Md.

November 28, 2012 9:47 am

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Tuesday that Protenergy Natural Foods plans to add up to 100 new full-time jobs by April 2013 and hire another 27 employees over the next five years as it increases production capacity to meet growing demands for its soups, broths and sauces.

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Study Linking HFCS To Diabetes Faces Criticism

November 28, 2012 9:45 am | by Lindsey Jahn, Associate Editor

A new study released Tuesday from the University of Southern California and Oxford suggests that diabetes occurs more frequently in countries with large amounts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in their food supplies. According to the study, type 2 diabetes occurred 20 percent more often in nations which commonly use HFCS in food.

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Judge Leaves ‘Pink Slime’ Case Over ABC Ties

November 28, 2012 9:33 am

A federal judge has recused himself from presiding over a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on one of the network's morning shows. Judge Lawrence L. Piersol recused himself from hearing the defamation lawsuit because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on "Good Morning America."

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ConAgra And Ralcorp Ratings Reviewed After Deal

November 28, 2012 9:31 am

Fitch Ratings downgraded its ratings on ConAgra Foods and two other rating agencies are reviewing their assessment of ConAgra and Ralcorp, following the food company's announcement Tuesday that it plans to buy private-label food producer Ralcorp for $5 billion.

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