News from industry food companies.

Founded in 1994, Garden of Eden (www.edengourmet.com) is a premier gourmet grocer with six locations in New York and New Jersey. The stores are stocked floor to ceiling with over 10,000 gourmet items, showcased artistically in beautiful displays. This month, our Gourmet Guru Jaime Chailland, director of HR and development, talks about what it takes to be a top-notch gourmet store in the tri-state area.

gourmet foods

A new report on the specialty food market presents a bounty of information on this broad and growing category. The report was based on consumer responses to a variety of survey questions about their buying and other habits. It defined specialty foods as those that are distinctive and of premium quality, often made by small or local manufacturers or having ethnic or exotic flavors.

monsanto

Washington, D.C.—A controversial provision that critics named the “Monsanto Protection Act” was stopped in its tracks when it was removed from the spending resolution Congress was engrossed with in late September. U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) successfully pushed to have the item in question, Sec. 735, removed from the Senate version of the bill. The provision was set to expire at the end of September 2013.

diabetes whole grains

Omaha, NE—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed ConAgra Foods, Inc. that it will allow a qualified health claim linking whole grains with reduced risk of type-2 diabetes. The decision comes after the company petitioned the agency in 2012 to use a similar claim in its own wording. The new allowable health claim wording is very cautious, however, and FDA will assess on an individual basis whether any instances of the claim on food packaging are misleading to consumers.

organic

Baltimore, MD—Products certified organic in the United States will now be accepted as such in Japan, and vice versa, per an agreement between the countries. The new organic equivalency agreement was announced at a ceremony at the All Things Organic conference, during Natural Products Expo East.

In many quarters today, sugar and artificial sweeteners are squarely in the crosshairs. One need only look at the vehemence with which New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought to restrict soda sizes to see an outline of the trend: many public health officials and individuals are trying to reduce intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Earlier this year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest sent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a petition urging the agency to address safe sugar limits in food (1).

Everybody needs omega fatty acids, so luckily, today’s market has something to suit all lifestyles and preferences. “It is clear that, for non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, vegetable sources of omega-3 are the best option,” says Carolina Chica, manager of nutrition research and regulatory issues for Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc., Kearny, NJ.

New from Simply 7 is a pomegranate type of its baked snack chips made with all-natural gluten-free ingredients. These vegetarian chips come in three main varieties: hummus, lentil and now pomegranate, and each type comes in at least three flavors, including Sea Salt, Creamy Dill, Tomato Basil and White Cheddar. Simply 7’s chips contain no trans fat, preservatives or artificial colors or flavors.