Carmit Candy Industries launches a new line of gluten-free chocolate clusters for healthy indulgence at Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim, March 7-9, booth #571. The new line will be available in multiple international markets.
“Our new line of gluten-free clusters targets both the mainstream market and the specific niches of people suffering from Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance and those following a gluten-free lifestyle,” explains Steve Grun, CEO of Carmit. “This has been a strong focus for Carmit over the past decade.”
Global confectionery launches with a “gluten-free” positioning increased by 46% in 2013 from 2012, according to Innova Database. While this indicates significant growth in gluten-free claims, gluten-free product-launch activity is still relatively niche for confectionery. Only 7% of confectionery product launches tracked in 2013 filled such positioning.
A cluster is a snack, based on a blend of ingredients that does not have a structured or consistent shape. The gluten-free clusters line includes a wide range of combinations of gluten-free cereals and dried fruits or nuts, and is covered in either chocolate or yogurt. The clusters can be custom packed in different sizes and shapes as private-label for marketers, restaurant chains and retailers, and for on-the-go packages or a multi-pack. All are designed to address a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle.
“We launched the line regionally and gained rapid success in food chains and health-food stores, culminating in our winning the prestigious ‘Product of the Year Award’ this week,” enthuses Adrian Sagman, VP of Export Marketing and Sales for Carmit.
A significant industry challenge is in how to blend cereals such as cornflakes and rice puffs with nuts and/or dry fruits, and bind them with 70% chocolate in a way that the inclusions are not dominated by the chocolate and maintain overall great taste and texture. To achieve this, Carmit conducted a number of trials to hit the perfect balance in percentage of each ingredient and viscosity of the chocolate. The final product is a remarkably rich, bite-sized cluster of crispy cereals and chewy dried fruits, covered in milk or dark chocolate.
Italian MEPs are stressing again this issue to the Commission, with the following pressing questions. The “illegal” marketing of Sambuca in UK is going on from several months, without any apparent intervention by the Member States interested.
Question for written answer to the Commission - Giancarlo Scottà (EFD) – 14th February 2014
Subject: illegal marketing of Sambuca
The criteria set out in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council stipulate that the spirit drink called Sambuca must be a colourless aniseed-flavoured liqueur, with a natural anethole content of not less than 1 gram per litre and not more than 2 grams per litre, and a minimum alcoholic strength by volume of 38%.
It is now more than six months since the Commission answered my Written Question E‐004582/2013, in which Commissioner Dacian Cioloş said the Commission would examine the issue and take the necessary action, including contacting the Member States concerned. However, recent investigations indicate continuing sales of products that are labelled as ‘Sambuca’ but do not in fact comply with one or more of the aforementioned criteria. There is, in particular, evidence of the widespread presence of bottles of coloured liqueur labelled as ‘Sambuca’ and flavoured with strawberry, banana, mint or liquorice. These counterfeits have negative implications in two ways: they are damaging the image of the real Sambuca, and they are attracting younger consumers because of their colour and flavour.
Reports continue to come in, particularly from the UK market, despite the two circulars issued by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) in July and September 2013, which alerted the supervisory authorities to the illegal marketing of bottles of counterfeit ‘Sambuca’.
Although I am aware that it is Member States’ responsibility to control spirit drinks and to take the necessary action to ensure that they comply with EU rules, can the Commission answer the following questions:
1. Does it have a record of the reports made, actions undertaken and results achieved so far by the Member States?
2. Is the newly formed task force on food fraud, operating within DG SANCO, up to date and taking the matter in hand?
3. What further action does the Commission intend to take to improve results in combating this illegal commercial practice, which, as stated above, is not only damaging the image of the real Sambuca but is also attracting younger consumers?
- Written answer of the EU Commission on counterfeit Sambuca (foodlawlatest.com)
- Written Q&A to EU Commission – Counterfeit Sambuca and the spirit drinks Regulation (fooodlawlatest.com)
EU legislation on plant health aims to better protect crops, fruit, vegetables, ornamentals and forests from quarantine pests (harmful organisms) by preventing their introduction into the EU or their spread within the EU. EU plant health legislation contributes to sustainable agricultural and horticultural production through plant health protection. It also contributes to the protection of public and private green spaces, forests and the natural landscape .
The EU plant health regime is established by Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The Annexes to this Directive provide a list of the harmful organisms which are regulated in the EU. The Annexes also list the requirements that plants, plant products and other objects need to fulfil in order to be allowed to be imported into the EU or to be moved within the EU, to prevent that quarantine pests are introduced or are spread by the trade/movement of those plants, plant products and other objects.
Today, Member State experts meeting at the Standing Committee on Plant Health endorsed a Commission proposal to update these Annexes. The goal aims at ensuring that the level of protection of plant health in the EU remains very high. This amendment includes: the addition of the bronze birch borer Agrilus anxius and the pepper weevil Anthonomus eugeniito the list of regulated harmful organisms for the whole EU, while the oriental chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus and the oak processionary moth Thaumetopoea processionea will be regulated only for a restricted part of the EU (protected zones). Three organisms are deleted from the list of EU quarantine pests (the camellia petal blight fungus Ciborinia camelliae, the brown rot fungus Monilinia fructicola and the plant virus Citrus! vein enation woody gall) due to their widespread presence in the EU and the availability of effective control possibilities to limit their impact. In addition, the import and the internal movement requirements for plants and plant products of over 50 plant genera/species or plant classes are upgraded to ensure that they are in line with the latest technical knowledge and therefore that they are effective in preventing the introduction into, and the spread within, the EU of quarantine pests.
(Source: DGSanco Website)
Here another answer of the Commission about trans-fats. It’s quite fresh (25th February 2014).
It’s clear from this answer that:
1) The Commission is following with great attention the FDA move about trans fats;
2) Probably the report of the Commission on trans-fats (art. 30(7) Reg. EU n. 1169/2011) will not be released in the next few weeks. My opinion is that it’s quite sure the Commission will wait the end of the comment period (4th March 2014) to see how FDA will proceed on this issue;
3) The Commission refuses to address the matter applying the precautionary principle, strongly invoked by MEPs, but I think a little bit out of context in this case.
Enjoy the healthy reading!
Question for written answer to the Commission - Rule 117 - Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE)
P-001091-14 (4th February 2014)
In October 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Federal Register Notice stating that, based on new scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels, partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of industrially produced trans fatty acids, or trans fats, are not generally recognised as safe for any use in food, based on current scientific evidence establishing the health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat. The Notice states that PHOs are therefore food additives which should be subject to a pre-market approval by the FDA.
The FDA decision is based on the latest scientific evidence which has demonstrated and confirmed the significant health risks posed by trans fats. These are responsible for the burden of diet-related chronic disease which the Commission aims to address.
Has the Commission been liaising with the FDA in order to update its policy and legislative response to the risks posed by trans fats?
Can the Commission provide an update on the progress made on the report on trans fats, which is to be submitted by December 2014 as required by Regulation 1169/2011? In light of the latest scientific evidence and the FDA Notice, is the Commission willing to bring forward the publication of this report?
Would the Commission consider applying the precautionary principle and take immediate regulatory action in order to restrict the presence of trans fats in processed food and to allow its use only after pre-market approval has been granted, as planned by the FDA?
P-001091/2014 - Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission (25.2.2014)
The Commission is aware of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Federal Register Notice on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), from October 2013, which includes FDA’s preliminary determination that PHOs, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use in food. The FDA has opened a 60-day comment period on this preliminary determination to collect additional data and to gain input on the time potentially needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fat should this determination be finalized, which was extended by 60 days, to March 8, 2014. The Commission has so far not yet liaised with the FDA but is continuing to follow the issue, including the results of the consultation and the final decision of the FDA.
The Commission is in the process of drafting the report on trans fats as required in Article 30(7) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers. In order to be able to include new data, the Commission is undertaking a consumer research study that will be finalised in 2014. Therefore, it is difficult to advance the publication of the report.
The issue of trans fat has been discussed during the negotiations of Regulation (EU) No 1169/20011. The co legislator has agreed that the Commission will submit afore mentioned report that would address all the pertinent questions. Therefore, there is no need at this stage to take a differing approach.
- Written Q&A to EU Commission – Joint answer on trans fatty acids (foodlawlatest.com)