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Landmark Egg Production Study Reveals Vast Reduction in Environmental Impact

A new study published in Poultry Science shows that while U.S. egg production has increased over the past 50 years, the industry has also been able to significantly decrease its environmental footprint. Researchers conducted a lifecycle analysis of U.S. egg production from 1960 to 2010 to evaluate environmental performance measures for the complete lifecycle from crops to hens to the farm gate. Study findings indicate that the environmental efficiencies are the result of a wide range of factors, including the reduction of natural resource use, improved hen feed, better disease control and advancements in hen housing systems.

“The U.S. egg industry has evolved remarkably over the past five decades by incorporating new technologies to protect natural resources,” said Hongwei Xin, agricultural and biosystems engineering and animal science professor at Iowa State University, director of the Egg Industry Center and the study’s lead researcher. “Egg farmers have improved their production practices, allowing them to provide an affordable source of high-quality protein while using fewer resources and producing less waste.”

Key results of the study found that compared to 1960:

  • The egg production process releases significantly less polluting emissions, including 71 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Hens now use 32 percent less water per dozen eggs produced.
  • Today’s hens use a little over half the amount of feed to produce a dozen eggs.
  • At the same time, today’s hens produce 27 percent more eggs per day and are living longer.

A Closer Look at the Findings
Due to increased feed efficiency, advancements in hen housing and manure management, egg farms now use less water and energy on a daily basis and release less polluting emissions. Every aspect of the egg production process, from cultivating feed to raising the laying hens, has led to a reduced environmental footprint.

  • Feed efficiency plays a key role in reducing environmental impacts. Due to advancements in nutrition and bird breeding, young hens now require 48 percent less food during the rearing period than they did in 1960 and the laying hens have 42 percent better feed conversion. Using 1960 technology to produce the 2010 egg supply would have required 78 million more hens, 1.3 million more acres of corn and 1.8 million more acres of soybeans.
  • Advancements in hen housing, such as improved building ventilation, temperature control, better lighting and a more secure housing environment, help to ensure that hens are protected from disease-carrying wildlife. These techniques have been widely adopted by egg farmers across the country, leading to healthier hens with lower mortality and higher rates of egg production. In addition, advancements in the development of preventative medicine to eliminate avian diseases have greatly improved hen health.
  • Manure management has played a role in minimizing the egg industry’s environmental footprint. The vast majority of manure from laying hens is recycled into crop production, providing nutrients for plants, contributing to healthy soils, saving energy and reducing commercial fertilizer use.

Looking Ahead
With the growing U.S. population and egg demand on the rise, egg farmers play an important role in providing an abundant and affordable source of high-quality protein.

“The U.S. population has increased by 72 percent over the past 50 years, but efficiencies in egg production have enabled us to meet the demands of the growing population with just 18 percent more hens, while also leaving a smaller environmental footprint,” said Bob Krouse, an egg farmer for Midwest Poultry Services in Indiana. “Egg farmers are now in a position to help fulfill the growing need for an affordable and nutritious source of protein in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Egg farmers are dedicated to providing safe, nutritious food while maintaining the highest quality care for their hens. At the same time, farmers understand the importance of protecting the land, water and air for their communities and future generations, and they are always looking to identify ways for continued improvement. Efforts to further improve feed efficiency, hen housing facilities and manure management will facilitate even greater environmental footprint reductions in the future.

The study was funded by the American Egg Board, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, the United Egg Association — Allied and the Egg Industry Center. To obtain data for 2010, researchers conducted anonymous surveys with egg farmers and collected data on 57.1 million young hens and 92.5 million laying hens. For more information visit www.incredibleegg.org or to read the full text of the study visit www.poultryscience.org.

Organic Hazelnut Oil to Join Award-Winning Stöger Seed Oil Line

DSCN0272Stöger Seed Oil is adding Organic Hazelnut Oil to a line that already includes the sofi Award-winning Cherry Seed Oil, Scovie Award-winning Chile Seed Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil and Tomato Seed Oil.

The Organic Hazelnut Oil will reach the market in February for a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a 3.38 fluid ounce bottle.

For more information, call 978.621.9494 or email marietta@culinary-imports.com.

Fischer & Wieser Extends Mustard Line

Fischer & Wieser has added three new mustard sauces to a line that was founded on its Sweet, Sour & Smoky Mustard Sauce in response to the growing popularity of mustard flavors.

 

Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods of Fredericksburg, Texas launched the mustards at the Winter Fancy Food Show, where the unique mustard flavor combinations created a buzz of excitement.
“Faces are just lighting up with enjoyment as people are tasting them and then coming back for a second and third taste,” said Case D. Fischer, CEO and President of Fischer & Wieser, as he engaged attendees at the gourmet booth.
One of the first observations is that the Raspberry and Wildflower Honey Mustard Sauce is an unusual color for a mustard—maroon—and there is a compelling story behind the color. “We knew we wanted to combine mustard with wildflower honey, but after cooking, we realized it needed something more,” Fischer said. “Then, we thought of adding raspberry, and the mustard came to life. It took on a remarkable flavor, texture and color, and we realized we had something special.”
The second new mustard sauce, Salted Caramel Mustard, brings three exciting flavors together and enables a wide range of usages. Fischer said, “In the tradition of honey mustard, it’s a sweet, savory mustard that is versatile. Many people would not think of combining caramel with mustard, and I’ll admit I was skeptical when we first thought about it, but it turned out to be an amazing sauce. The most unusual concepts sometimes become the biggest discoveries, and that’s one of the wonderful elements of the Fancy Food Show. So many great, out-of-the-box products like Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce are discovered here, and they go on to be celebrated and adopted to a point that we wonder why they took so long to think of.”
The Hickory and Cracked Black Pepper Mustard Sauce is the third new mustard sauce. “It’s awesome,” Fischer said. “It bears a sweet, peppery, smokey taste that we fell in love with. An industry peer tasted it and dubbed it the ‘Boston Baked Bean Sauce’ because it goes so well with pork. It looks great on any meat and cheese, and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce it to the market.”
The three new sauces join Fischer & Wieser’s existing mustard sauce—Sweet, Sour and Smokey Mustard Sauce—which has won two mustard medals from the National Mustard Museum over the past two years.
“It was our first mustard sauce and it’s a consistent winner,” he said. “We’re proud to now have four outstanding and diverse mustard sauces that people can enjoy and share.”
Fischer & Wieser products inspire culinary enthusiasts to try new things, and the gourmet company’s mantra, “Inspiring Your Culinary Adventure,” poignantly captures their influence on foodies.
“We have seen many of our gourmet sauces inspire great recipes over the years,” Fischer said. “With this launch, we’re looking forward to hearing about the new dishes our fans create.”

The Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce was picked out by the Winter Fancy Food Show Trendspotters as a prime example of a trending interest in dressed-up condiments, and it has excited the curiosity of the Gourmet News editorial staff as well. Fischer & Wieser’s Troy Sifford has promised to send along samples so we can try some experiments on prelimary ideas that have included bread puddings or a play on chicken and waffles. Stay tuned to GourmetNews.com for a report on the results.

The mustard sauces will be available on February 1, and the suggested retail price is $8.99. For more information on the new mustard sauces and Fischer & Wieser, go to jelly.com or call 1-800-369-9257.

New Flavor Extract from Star Kay White

DSCN0283Star Kay White has added Lime to its line of premium flavor extracts. Made from natural essential oils sourced from West Indian limes, the extract is now available in 2-ounce and 4-ounce bottles for retail sale and in food service packaging in pints, quarts, gallons and drums.

Certified non-GMO, there’s also no sugar added to the extract.

 

For more information, call 845.268.2600 or visit www.starkaywhite.com.

Top 2014 Specialty Food Trends Unveiled at Winter Fancy Food Show

The specialty food industry is once again leading the charge in new trends and flavors, all on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show. A panel of trendspotters named chocolate teas, seaweed chips, and truffle ketchup as just a few of the products that were all part of a larger trend towards thoughtful indulgence.

Sriracha, the fiery Thai chili sauce, was one of the biggest flavor trends – showing up in snacks, chocolates and jams. Mint has made a comeback as a popular flavor in a number of treats, reflecting a turn towards the revival of simple, familiar tastes. Snacks have evolved well past the common potato chip as the specialty food industry continues to seek out and deliver exciting flavors and unexpected ingredients for more mindful snacking choices. In a similar move towards healthful consumption, consumers can also look forward to more low-sugar beverages – a surprising twist given the trend in recent years towards alternative sweeteners.

“These trends capture the creativity of specialty food producers, and the care they put into crafting exciting taste experiences, whether they are reinventing familiar products with unexpected flavors or opening an audience to lesser-known ingredients,” said Denise Purcell, Senior Director of Content for the Specialty Food Association, and one of this year’s trendspotters.

The trends were identified from a careful review of more than 1,350 specialty food producers who took part in the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Exhibitors showed off the latest in artisanal cheeses, chocolates, vinegars, sauces, healthful foods, and more. This year’s panel of trendspotters, comprised of top food media and personalities, carefully explored the show’s thousands of products to determine the most promising trends of the coming year for this $86 billion industry. Here are the trends:

Sriracha’s Homecoming

  • The Jam Stand, Not Just Peachy, Sriracha Jam
  • Hope Foods, Hope Hummus Organic Sriracha Hummus
  • Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks, Simply Spicy Sriracha Tortilla Chips
  • The Popcorn Factory, Lite Works Popcorn! Sriracha

 Crunch Time

  • Vintage Italia, Pasta Chips, New Brands on the Shelf
  • Simply 7, Quinoa Chips
  • Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks, Pitaaah Chips
  • 479˚ Popcorn, Toasted Sesame + Seaweed Popcorn
  • Rhythm Superfoods, Super Food Chips

Low-Sugar Beverages

  • Califia Farms, Pure Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Xumma, Xumma Semi Sweet Cola, New Brands on the Shelf
  • Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale “66”
  • Numi Organic Tea, Indulgent Tea, Chocolate Earl Grey
  • Big Tree Farms, Coco Hydro

Mint

  • Torn Ranch, Dark Chocolate Mint Mélange
  • Silk Road Soda, Cucumber with Mint, New Brands on the Shelf
  • GoodPop All-Natural Frozen Pops, Hibiscus Mint
  • Seely Mint, Mint Patties
  • Victoria’s Kitchen, Mint & Licorice Almond Water

Condiments Dressed Up

  • Victoria Amory, Fine Herbs Mayonnaise
  • Stonewall Kitchen, Truffle Ketchup
  • Fischer & Wieser, Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce
  • Amoretti, Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil infused with Kalamata Olives
  • Lillie’s Q Barbeque Sauces & Rubs, Ivory

In addition to Denise Purcell, this year’s panel of trendspotters included Ashley Koff, RD, founder of The AKA List; Nancy Hopkins, Better Homes and Gardens; Kara Nielsen, food and beverage consumer strategist; Joanne Weir, host of PBS’s “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence”; and Jerry James Stone, blogger at Cooking Stoned.

The Specialty Food Association will be hosting a Foodie Chat with some of the trendspotters on January 27 from 8-9:30 PM EST that can be followed along via the #foodiechats hashtag.

Gratify Gluten-Free Pretzels

Osem USA Inc. has experienced tremendous retail success with the debut of its gluten-free snack line, Gratify Foods. These innovative snacks continue to make their mark on the specialty food scene at the Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show.

Gratify’s line of gluten free Pretzels are Certified by GFCO, contain non-GMO ingredients and offer a better taste at a greater value to gluten free consumers.

Here’s a look at the Gratify snack line up showcased at the 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show:

Sea Salt Twists: Grab a handful of the best in gluten free Pretzel Twists, dusted with pure sea salt and baked to crisp perfection.

Sea Salt Sticks: Crunchy, gluten free Sea Salt Sticks are the perfect shape for munching by the fist-full.

Sesame Thins: These nutty thins offer the traditional crunch of a pretzel in a shape that’s perfect for dips, spreads and other creative toppings.

Milk Chocolate Covered Twists: Milk Chocolate Covered Twists are a crunchy treat coated in a luxurious layer of rich-tasting milk chocolate.

Yogurt Covered Twists: Gratify gluten free Yogurt Covered Pretzel Twists combine the traditional shape and crunch of a pretzel twist with a cool and creamy yogurt topping.

Crackers: The newest product in the Gratify line-up, these crackers have a proven success in the gluten free market around the world.

“It’s challenging for anyone following a gluten-free lifestyle to find a line of snack foods that has outstanding flavor and is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization,” said Director of Marketing for Osem USA Inc., Kobi Afek. “Gratify snacks are a delicious answer for those snack fans who suffer from Celiac Disease or who adhere to a gluten- free diet and are looking for options offered at a reasonable price.”

The Gratify gluten free pretzel line carries a suggested retail price of $3.99-$5.99 and is available at retailers across the United States and online.

Pasta Chips from Vintage Italia

Pasta Chips are oven-baked chips made from, of all things, pasta. They’re crispy and flavorful, with 60 percent less fat than potato chips and 20 percent less fat than pita chips. These numbers bring additional value for the consumer, and that perception of extra value also conveys a benefit to the retailer, says CEO Christophe Hervieu.

Five flavors are available now. Suggested retail price for the 5-ounce bags is $3.99. The 1-ounce bag sells for $.99, and the 2-ounce bag for $1.99.

For further information, call 407.217.5910 or visit www. pasta chips.com

 

Bakery Emulsions from LorAnn Oils

DSC05251Bakery Emulsions from LorAnn Oils substitute 1:1 for flavor extracts in recipes, but they contain no alcohol so the flavor is truer and doesn’t bake out. “Use It just like you would an extract,” says LorAnn Oils CEO John Grettenberger. Sixteen flavors are available in both foodservice (16 fluid ounces, gallons) and consumer (4-ounce) packages. Four new flavors; blueberry, strawberry, cinnamon and pistachio; will be coming out in sprint 2014.

DSC05256LorAnn Oils

800.862.8620 or 517.882.0215

www.LorAnnOils.com

Crown Royal Introduces Extraordinary New Member to the Family

Crown Royal is making an extraordinary craft addition to its product line with the introduction of Crown Royal XO, an ultra-premium blended Canadian whisky, handcrafted by Crown Royal Master Blender Andrew MacKay. The unique blend of more than 50 of Crown Royal’s finest whiskies is finished in cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest, resulting in a complex expression of the signature blend.

A top-shelf craft addition to the Crown Royal portfolio, Crown Royal XO is an amber/topaz whisky deliciously balanced with hints of vanilla, spice and rich dried fruit, closing with an impeccably smooth finish.

Due to the brand’s great craftsmanship and history – the whisky was originally created to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939 – Crown Royal has often been referred to as a noble spirit. MacKay pays homage to this distinguished tradition with his handcrafted approach to creating the Crown Royal XO blend.

Crown Royal XO can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks to fully experience the liquid’s complex flavor, or as the key ingredient in a number of classic cocktail recipes. It will be sold at a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 750 ml bottle and will be available nationwide in early January.

The packaging for Crown Royal XO displays premium colors of gray and gold paired with a variation on the iconic bag, gray with gold embroidery accents. The unique bottle displays an extraordinary smooth silhouette with gold accents.

The launch of Crown Royal XO will be supported through print and online advertising as well as public relations, strong digital extensions and point of sale materials.

“Free Range” and “Pasture Raised” Officially Defined By HFAC For Certified Humane Label

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) announces new standards for products that are labeled Certified Humane® and either “Free Range” or “Pasture Raised.”  There is currently no legal definition for “Free Range” or “Pasture Raised” in the United States, therefore these terms are often used on poultry packaging with no unilateral definitions for the consumer to trust.  HFAC’s 28-member Scientific Committee has spent nearly two years reviewing all of the current research, which has resulted in new standards for the Certified Humane label.

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) has revised its laying hen standards, which now divide the “Free Range” section of the standards into “Pasture Raised” and “Free Range.”  The “Free Range” section was originally written for what is now defined as a “Pasture Raised” system; the revised standards add a third category for birds which are outdoors seasonally.  This change in standards means that Certified Humane producers wishing to use the terms “Pasture Raised” or “Free Range” on packages must now meet the requirements of the newly defined categories.

Dr. Ruth Newberry, Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, chaired the Poultry Committee within HFAC’s Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee and the producers had input, and the Standards Committee did the final review.  That process included review of animal research and visits to farms to review various outdoor systems.

The USDA’s (and industry standard) definition for “Free Range” is that birds must have “outdoor access” or “access to the outdoors.”  In some cases, this can mean access only through a “pop hole,” with no full-body access to the outdoors and no minimum space requirement.

HFAC’s Certified Humane “Free Range” requirement is 2 square feet per bird.  The hens must be outdoors, weather permitting (in some areas of the country, seasonal), and when they are outdoors they must be outdoors for at least six hours per day.  All other standards must be met.

HFAC’s Certified Humane “Pasture Raised” requirement is 1,000 birds per 2.5 acres (108 square feet per bird) and the fields must be rotated.  The hens must be outdoors year-round, with mobile or fixed housing where the hens can go inside at night to protect themselves from predators, or for up to two weeks out of the year, due only to very inclement weather. All additional standards must be met.

Pasture Raised and Free Range producers must meet all the standards in addition to those specific to the Pasture Raised and Free Range housing systems.

“Any product labeling terms that are important to consumers need to be clearly defined. The Certified Humane labeling program is in place to assure a trusted product for consumers who care about how animals are raised and slaughtered for food.” said Adele Douglass, HFAC’s Executive Director.  “While it takes time for the entire industry to adapt best practices, we at HFAC have the opportunity to break ground, and we do so every year as we revise and raise our standards.”

Without any legal definitions for the terms, HFAC’s previous “Free Range” standards were written for what is now defined as “Pasture Raised” standards and had a requirement of 2.5 acres per 1000 birds (108 square feet per bird), which is the standard space requirement based on the British Free Range Standard and was a recommendation of the Soil Association, an organization founded in 1946, which focuses on sustainable farming and preventing soil degradation.  As consumer demand has increased for Certified Humane products, HFAC realized a need to separate the terms to define farms that had “outdoor access” and create a standard for “Free Range” versus those that were actually “Pasture Raised.”

Currently, there are already three “Pasture Raised” egg companies on the program: Vital Farms (Austin, Texas), White Oak Pastures (Bluffton, Ga.) and Ayrshire Farm (Upperville, Va.).  The only 100 percent “Free Range” company to be on the program, so far, is Happy Egg Company (San Francisco, Calif.).

In addition to the revised best science-based standards that encompass both “Free Range” and “Pasture Raised” hens, HFAC’s current Animal Care Standards for Laying Hens include standards for the rearing of laying hens in barns either with or without outdoor access.  Cages of any type (including furnished cages) have always been prohibited.   The minimum space requirements for barn-raised chickens include clean air (less than 10 parts per million (ppm) of ammonia), 15 percent of the floor space must have litter for the hens to dust-bathe, perches must be provided at 6 inches per bird, and at least 20 percent of those perches must be elevated.  There are requirements for feeder space and drinker space, as well.  All animal byproducts are prohibited, as are antibiotics.

INDUSTRY DEFINITIONS & FINDINGS: HR 3798 Legislation, written and supported by both the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the US (HSUS), and introduced in the last Congress, defines “Free Range” as: “(1) ‘Eggs from free-range hens’ to indicate that the egg-laying hens from which the eggs or egg products were derived were, during egg production – - (A) not housed in caging devices; and (B) provided with outdoor access.”