News and notes from industry suppliers.

Gaithersburg, MD—The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has put out reference materials for supplements that include Vaccinium berries. New to its library are a suite of quality assurance tools for the following dietary supplement ingredients: cranberry, blueberry, bilberry and mixed berry.

Buckinghamshire, UK—Elevated prices among commodities such as sugar are forcing food manufacturers to reformulate products with alternative sweeteners. Despite the general trend away from high-fructose corn syrup (HCFS), some companies are opting to use this sweetener in an effort to avoid the soaring price of sugar. Others are looking to up-and-coming sweeteners such as agave and stevia to sidestep the inflation.

University Park, PA—A recent report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition indicates that walnut oil and walnuts may improve one’s reaction to stress. Sheila G. West from Pennsylvania State university and her team examined how foods containing polyunsaturated fats (such as walnuts) can positively affect blood pressure at times of rest and during times of stress.

Retailers usually lease their retail spaces because the cost of owning, developing and maintaining real estate is beyond the budget of most. With limited capital, most retailers rightly focus on “Job No. 1”: retailing.

DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma received the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Nations Association of New York “for his outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility and in particular for DSM’s partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme.”

The second Natracare Sisters raised $320,000 to help “improve the health of women and babies by training women scientists and clinicians.” Sisters Susie Hewson, Natracare’s chief executive, and Theresa White cycled 450 km over five days in China as part of the Women for Women Cycle China challenge.

Rockville, MD—Based on results from a 10-year study tracking the retail industry’s efforts to improve food safety factors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concludes that the presence of certified food safety managers on site to oversee and enforce food safety practices in stores significantly increases compliance with food safety practices.

Washington, D.C.—In October, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the first report of a two-phase study examining nutrition rating systems and symbols on front-of-package (FOP) labeling. This first report details the nutrition science basis for FOP labeling systems and concludes that FOP labeling systems ought to reference serving size, calorie information, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium to effectively assist consumers in making healthful food choices.