Amcor develops PET jar for cold-fill dairy products –

The transparent 200ml PET jar consists of a wide-mouth opening and aluminum-PET-aluminum closure with a 65mm over cap in clear polypropylene (PP) was developed for Danone’s La Serenísima’s yogurt, sold in Argentina.

Market demand

Martin Darmandrail, new business development director, Amcor Argentina, said the yogurt market in Latin America continues to grow as companies develop products to appeal to health-conscious consumers.  

The company optimized the two-step reheat process to produce the wide-mouth jars using a Matrix blow-molding machine ­for high-volume yogurt containers.

In a market historically dominated by thermoformed PP and polystyrene containers, we’ve shaken things up with a yogurt package with the durability, freshness, performance, manufacturing, and sustainability benefits of PET,​” said Darmandrail.

The La Serenísima jar features engraving, a finely finished base, and a body-wrap label. To protect the contents, it has a 55mm finish with aluminum-PET-aluminum-foil barrier seal and an ultraviolet blocker.

In Argentina, Danone has launched La Serenísima Original-brand yogurt in six flavors (natural, natural sweetened, strawberry, blackberry, lemon and ginger, and sweet squash) and will extend commercialization of the product to the rest of Latin America.

Stork filling line

Danone has installed a Stork filling line and plans production rates of 40 to 50 million units per year.

Maximiliano Sassone, R&I director, Danone Argentina, said the design of La Serenísima Original, is inspired by the first yogurt made by La Serenísima 55 years ago, which revolutionized the category in 1963.<html><body>

We select the ingredients, including milk from Argentine family farms, and pay respect to every step of the original process, creating a 100% natural product without preservatives, so our consumers can connect to their memories of the original product,​” he said. 

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Canada's 2019 Food Guide May Include Significant Cuts To Dairy Products – Barrie 360

The Canadian Food Guide has come a long way since its initial release in 1942. Over the years Canadians have seen many changes to the document that combines the findings of nutrition and health sciences to help you make healthy food choices.

Canada’s Current Food Guide, released in 2007.

In the latest version of the food guide, to be released this year by Health Canada, one of the main four food groups will be significantly minimized. In the previous food guide, it was recommended the average Canadian consume 3-4 full servings of dairy products daily. That recommendation will potentially be cut back to just 1 serving.

Nut-based beverages have become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional milk beverages. Image courtesy of Ripe Juicery via Instagram.

As a healthier alternative, the draft suggests proteins like legumes (i.e chickpeas and lentils) and unsalted nuts. The updated version also encourages water over milk.

Related: Best Vegan and Plant-Based Eateries In Barrie

One more visually obvious change to this new edition of the Food Guide is the absence of the rainbow colour format separating the food groups to which most people have grown accustomed. Instead, 28 different foods will be identified that should or could be eaten every day to contribute to a well-balanced diet. There is no mention of how much of each should be consumed.

Although some argue the  Canadian Food Guide doesn’t strongly affect most people’s food choices, the change to decrease the focus on dairy products has sparked conflicting reactions.

Boon Burger

Barrie has seen an increase in plant-based eateries such as Boon Burger, Ripe Juicery and The Vegan Pantry.

Agriculture Canada along with large meat and dairy companies worry about the negative implications the new guide could have on their industry. However, those who choose to eat more plant-based argue that in trying to protect the bottom line of such industries, these groups suggest short-term economic interests take precedence over the health of Canadians.

The final version of the guide is still yet to be released. However, the drafts presented indicate changes on the horizon for Canadian nutrition that may or may not promote further increase in plant-based diets.

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Russia and China approved lists of exporters of dairy products – TASS

© Egor Aleev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Russia and China have approved the lists of 10 Russian and 10 Chinese companies that received the license to supply dairy products to China and the Russian Federation, respectively, the Russian agriculture watchdog (Rosselkhoznadzor) reported.

The list of Russian manufacturers of dairy products that have access to the Chinese market is posted on the website of the General Administration of Customs of People’s Republic of China. Rosselkhoznadzor plans to place a list of approved Chinese exporters on December 29, the agency said.

The Russian regulator also plans to publish a sample of veterinary certificate for dairy products obtained from cattle, sheep and goats, subjected to heat treatment, exported from China to the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union. A sample of a veterinary certificate for milk and dairy products intended for export from Russia to China is also published on the website of the Chinese department.

The listed enterprises are allowed to supply their dairy products from the day of the lists’ publication, according to the regulator.

Earlier, the head of the Russian agricultural watchdog Sergey Dankvert said that the department plans to conduct laboratory monitoring of food products from China in connection with the suspicion of the presence of antibiotics in some products.


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Could lactic acid bacteria added to dairy products reduce cholesterol? –

The development of products with health benefits is a key research priority for the food sector, providing an opportunity for the dairy industry as the global market of functional foods is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years.

In an Italian study, published in December’s Journal of dairy Science, 58 potentially probioticLAB were tested for their ability to survive in vitro digestion and reduce cholesterol in a medium containing cholesterol and bile acids.

The authors note that plant stanols and sterols, which lower serum concentrations of cholesterol, have been incorporated into foods, but they are expensive. Over the years, the probiotic activity of LAB has been studied, and LAB have been associated with improved lactose intolerance, increased natural resistance to infectious disease in the gastrointestinal tract, the suppression of cancer, and better digestion and skin health.

Other studies have shown some LAB can lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Raw milk cheeses represent a notable source of wild LAB strains that can have health-promoting properties in addition to giving the cheese its unique characteristics, the researchers said, adding that dairy products such as cheese and dairy-based desserts are excellent natural and clean-labeled delivery systems for probiotic inclusion in the diet.

However, the authors note, few attempts have been made to use LAB to reduce cholesterol in foods, particularly in dairy products, as a potential alternative to the more expensive chemical and physical processes, which can lead to texture alteration and flavor removal.<html><body>

Study details

The best-performing strains, showing the ability to reduce cholesterol in vitro more than 40% (an arbitrarily chosen threshold), were further tested in cheese-making trials in addition to the starter culture. To prepare the inoculum for cheese-making, the strains were inoculated in UHT caprine milk, incubated at 30°C for 18 h, and added to vat milk to a final concentration of approximately 107 cfu/mL.

Experimental cheese-making trials were conducted by Il Boscasso cheese factory (Ruino, Pavia, Italy). Each experiment consisted of a control vat and vats inoculated with single adjunct LAB cultures. Briefly, the vat containing 10 L of goat raw milk (3.5% fat; wt/wt) was warmed to 34°C.

Fifty-eight LAB strains belonging to six species usually involved in cheese production as starter or adjunct cultures were evaluated for their cholesterol-lowering potential.

Seven strains of the 58 tested demonstrated the highest removal ability in MRS/M17 broth supplemented with cholesterol and bile salts, giving rise to a noteworthy reduction of the cholesterol level in broth, ranging from 42 to 55%. The strains included cocci and rods belonging to different species: 1 Lb. casei (VC199), 2 Lb. paracasei ssp. paracasei (SE160 and VC213), 2 Lb. plantarum (VS166 and VS513), 1 E. lactis (BT161), and 1 E. faecium (VC223).

The seven best-performing LAB survived in the cheese to sufficient numbers (higher than 108 cfu/g) to potentially deliver the probiotic effect. The researchers also stated all the strains appeared stable and vital after 24 h of incubation in the presence of bile salts and under conditions mimicking the gastrointestinal tract.

The survival and growth of LAB that assimilate cholesterol in the intestine are important in that it decreases dietary cholesterol absorption from the digestive system into the blood and could thus have the potential to aid in the control of serum and liver cholesterol.

The experimental data available indicate the constant consumption of probiotics can effectively reduce serum cholesterol by more than 1%, the authors said, thus encouraging the development of new functional foods as complementary therapy.

They add that cheese and dairy products are efficient food carriers for probiotics because of their high fat content and their high buffering capacity that enhances bacterial survival through the intestinal tract.

Potential for strains

The researchers said their results demonstrate that the seven potential probiotic LAB strains possess desirable properties in terms of cholesterol-lowering activity, opening the way to their incorporation into novel functional foods.

The authors said they could be used for the production of probiotic cheese and other dairy products such as fermented milk or a dairy dessert with reduced cholesterol content and with interesting functional properties.

Further studies are needed not only to explore the mechanisms by which LAB strains modulate hypocholesterolemic effects, but also for a proper safety assessment to prevent potential adverse reactions, the authors said.

They add in vivo studies are needed to generate more direct evidence of the cholesterol-lowering clinical efficacy of strains as a probiotic formulation or as a fermented milk or cheese, and in vivo studies could also be used to evaluate the effective dosage and frequency of treatment required to exert hypocholesterolemic effects.

Source: Journal of Dairy Science

Lactic acid bacteria with cholesterol-lowering properties for dairy applications: In vitro and in situ activity

Authors: C. Albano, S. Morandi, T. Silvetti, M.C. Casiraghi, F. Manini, M. Brasca


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Dairy Outlook: Milk Price Recovery Will Be Here, Eventually – Dairy Herd Management

Farming requires a certain amount of optimism. No matter how bad it gets, things will turn around in six months. As the picture gets painted for the 2019 dairy forecast, that appears to be the case as the second half of the year will likely be when producers start to see price recovery.

Actually, looking back six months, prices were destined for recovery before tariffs on dairy products put in place by three of our top four largest customers—Mexico, Canada and China—derailed progress. As production continued to sail along, that drop in sales to those three countries plus the negative demand ripples in the market from that decision caused prices to lag throughout the remainder of the year. 

But it looks like prices are starting to rebuild. “Futures prices indicate that price relief is indeed about six months away,” says Mike North, president of Commodity Risk Management Group. 

The factors determining if and when that price recovery happens is simple supply-demand economics. 

Supply continues to be an issue with production still improving at just over 1% growth on a year-over-year basis. That continual growth still acts as a governor on any sort of price improvement. 

“We thought supply would back down given the tough financial times,” says Scott Brown, an economist at the University of Missouri. “Yet the data we have today in front of us suggests that’s very slow to do. In fact we have some states that are actually growing in terms of capital inventories.”

Supply will continue to hold down price improvement until something dramatic happens in the marketplace. That could come in the form of a smaller cow herd, North says. The latest USDA reports show that dairy producers have sent about 100,000 more cows to slaughter in 2018 than last year. According to North, historically when that many head have been culled we see the impact on prices in about 6 to 12 months.

“Demand aside, a lot of the movement toward really high prices that we have seen historically have come at the back end of extreme culling during very hard financial times,” North says. “We may already be there. Let’s face it, it’s been rough. With some of the adjustments by USDA to cow numbers, we may be already testing some of that philosophy.”

The rather static state of the milk supply means more pressure will be put on the demand side of the equation, and any forecasting of changes to global demand for U.S. products centers on tariffs. The tariffs haven’t helped demand, in fact our tariffs on China are having a negative impact on that country’s ability to purchase product on the global market, which puts a significant wet blanket on global demand.

“If we could remove the steel tariffs from Mexico so they would start buying our cheese without tariffs, that would be great,” North says. “And then if China came back to the table with any kind of zeal that would be a really big opportunity.”

The relative strength of the U.S. economy should support continued growth in domestic demand, as lower unemployment and higher wages puts more money in consumer products to spend more time in restaurants and buy higher value dairy products. 

“Frankly that domestic demand side has really pulled us,” Brown says. “Having the lowest unemployment rate in decades has just been the fuel that we needed to help us in a large supply situation.”

In the short term, economists are predicting a situation with 2019 milk prices similar to where prices were at in 2018, with improvement happening later in the year. “We’re forecasting maybe $1 higher than 2018,” says Brian Rice, founder and co-owner of Rice Dairy, a dairy brokerage firm. “We don’t see anything dramatically changing the supply-demand balance sheet. Things could change, but we don’t have the data that shows us that yet.”

Looking farther into the future, even with the stubborn supply situation and demand uncertainties, it’s likely producers will see $20 per cwt milk prices within the next five years. “I’d bet the over on an 85% certainty that prices will hit $20 within the next five years,” Rice says. “When is the big question, but there is a high probability that we’ll hit that in the next five years.”

To learn more about the dairy economy going into 2019, watch the U.S. Farm Report segment where Rice, Brown and North share their perspectives:


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Ekosem-Agrar launches EkoNiva range of dairy products in Russia –

Russian milk producer Ekosem-Agrar has launched its new EkoNiva umbrella brand for dairy products.

Introduced exclusively in several Moscow stores of the German retail chain Globus, the range will consist of products such as fresh milk, kefir, sour cream, curd, butter, yogurt and cheese.

Ekosem-Agrar production facilities for approximately 600 tonnes of daily processing capacity are currently being optimised to expand the range. The company plans to introduce the line in several other Russian supermarket chains in the coming months.

Stefan Dürr, CEO of Ekosem-Agrar, said: “Setting up our own milk processing facilities is the logical next step in our growth strategy. This enables us to guarantee the quality of our products across the entire supply chain, respond more flexibly to price fluctuations in the milk market and tap additional revenue and earnings sources.

“Our new brand will write a new chapter in the history of EkoNiva and will hopefully convince Russian customers of the high quality of our products ‘made in Russia with German quality assurance’.”

Under the slogan “EkoNiva – milk of which we are proud”, Ekosem-Agrar said it aims to address the growing number of quality-conscious Russian consumers.

Dürr added: “We want to win customers by being authentic and honest. Everyone wishing to know how and where our milk is produced is welcome to visit one of our more than 20 modern dairy cow facilities in Russia at any time.

“We want to allow people in this country to experience milk production and agriculture as an industry of the future. Our Academy of Dairy Sciences has already attracted more than 40,000 visitors, among them many school classes. This is an essential part of our young talent development programme for EkoNiva’s team comprising currently more than 9,000 employees.”

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FDA to extend feedback period for dairy product labeling –

As more dairy alternatives gain popularity, more brands are labeling their products with names like ‘almond milk’ or ‘vegan cheese,’ using dairy terms even if the item does not contain any dairy.

The dairy industry wants the non-dairy market to use words like ‘alternatives’ or ‘substitutes’ in its labeling as it says consumers are getting confused.

After committing to cracking down on labeling by reviewing and modernizing the standards of identity for dairy and non-dairy products, the FDA opened up a request for information period at the end of September.

It was originally supposed to close November 27 for the public to submit either electronic or written comments on the ‘Use of the Names of Dairy Foods in the Labeling of Plant-Based Products’​ document.

But after people requested more time to provide their feedback, the FDA decided to extend the comment period by 60 days.

“FDA believes that the extension would allow adequate time for interested persons to provide input without significantly delaying any potential further action on these important issues,”​ the administration said.

Setting the standards

In the document the FDA details its reasoning for engaging with the public and outlines what it’s looking for in the responses.

“We are interested in learning how consumers use these plant-based products and how they understand terms such as, for example, ‘milk’ or ‘yogurt’ when included in the names of plant-based products,”​ it said.

“We also are interested in learning whether consumers are aware of and understand differences between the basic nature, characteristics, ingredients, and nutritional content of plant-based products and their dairy counterparts. We are taking this action to inform our development of an approach to the labeling of plant-based products that consumers may substitute for dairy foods.”​<html><body>

The FDA provided a list of five categories with corresponding questions to guide responses and gather as much information about the dairy and non-dairy industries as possible.

“We invite comment, particularly data and other evidence, about:

(A) The current market conditions and labeling costs of plant-based products

(B) consumer understanding, perception, purchase, and consumption of plant-based products, particularly those manufactured to resemble dairy foods such as, for example, milk, cultured milk, yogurt, and cheese

(C) consumer understanding regarding the basic nature, characteristics, and properties of these plant-based products

(D) consumer understanding of the nutritional content of plant-based products and dairy foods and the effect, if any, on consumer purchases and use

(E) the role of plant-based products and dairy foods in meeting the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines (Ref. 1).”

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Consuming fermented dairy products is associated with a healthier life-style and greater adherence to the … – Gut Microbiota for Health (press release)

This post has been written by Guillermo Mena-Sanchez and co-authored by Nancy Babio and Jordi Salas-Salvadó, from published article Mena-Sánchez G, Babio N, Martínez-González MÁ, et al. Fermented dairy products, diet quality, and cardio-metabolic profile of a Mediterranean cohort at high cardiovascular risk. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018; 28(10):1002-11. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2018.05.006.

Fermented foods have been used for thousands of years and they come about through extensive microbial growth. These foods are known for improving shelf life, safety and organoleptic and nutritional properties when compared with the original food substrates. Furthermore, fermented foods that retain living cultures (e.g. yogurt and some cheeses) may reduce the risk of some diseases. Although the impact of fermented foods on human health enjoys a positive perception, well designed studies that objectively evaluate their health benefits remain scarce.

A new cross-sectional study, led by researchers from CIBEROBN centre at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (Spain) in collaboration with another 23 research groups from the PREDIMED-Plus clinical trial, has found that consuming fermented dairy products is associated with a healthier life-style and greater adherence to the Mediterranean Diet.

This observational study evaluated the associations between consuming fermented dairy products, diet quality and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) components in 6,572 Mediterranean men and women (mean age 65 years) who were overweight or obese and suffered from MetS.

Participants who consumed higher amounts of fermented dairy products and especially yogurt showed greater adherence to the Mediterranean Diet. Likewise, they reported higher levels of consumption of healthy foods including fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts and wholemeal bread, while consuming lower levels of white bread, alcohol and cookies. These participants also smoked less, which suggests that consuming fermented dairy products is a possible marker of a healthy lifestyle.

In line with these findings, another previous study by our research group found that yogurt consumption is inversely associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) incidence, which supports yogurt consumption as a diet quality indicator. These data also add to previous studies supporting the beneficial effect of yogurt on risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, high levels of cheese consumption were associated with a low risk of hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL-cholesterol plasma levels. These results were observed when comparing participants located in the highest quartile of cheese consumption (±50 grams/day) with those who consumed smaller amounts of cheese. In the case of yogurt consumption, total, low and whole-fat yogurt intake was not associated with any of the MetS components.

The results obtained in this observational study can be explained by the intrinsic components of fermented dairy products. Yogurt and cheese are actually nutritionally dense foods, with a matrix of nutrients that make them unique. These fermented dairy products, and especially cheese, typically have a high content of good quality protein and calcium bioavailability. Fermented dairy products also typically contain other sources of minerals, vitamins and bacteria with potential benefits for human health. Furthermore, the increased bioavailability of insulinotropic amino acids and peptides, as well as the bacterial biosynthesis of vitamin K2, have been proposed as potential mechanisms that explain the results of this observational study.

As we did not analyze participants’ gut microbiota in the study, we are not familiar with the role played by cheese and yogurt bacterial strains in modulating the gut microbiota as a mechanism of action. However, adherence to the Mediterranean Diet was recently associated with higher bifidobacterial counts and higher levels of total short-chain fatty acids, which might explain the gut microbiota’s partial role in mediating the Mediterranean Diet’s health benefits.

The different ways the studies looking at fermented dairy products have been designed means we cannot elucidate how fermented foods contribute to human health. Clinical trials and large prospective epidemiological studies are required to confirm our findings, along with studies specifically designed to address the impact of food fermentation on health outcomes.

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Claim that fermented dairy products reduce heart attacks leaves us feeling sour –

Our Review Summary

dairy productsThe study described in this news release is a 20-year observational analysis of a very specific subgroup: Men from Eastern Finland, ages 42-60. The research question is: how do fermented dairy products (like yogurt, kefir, sour milk, cottage cheese, and quark) compare with non-fermented dairy (mostly milk) when it comes to the risk of heart attacks?

The authors of this study of just under 2,000 men report that men who consumed more low-fat/fermented dairy had lower rates of heart attack compared with men who consumed less of those products.

But we get no sense of just how much difference there was between the groups, the volumes of dairy that had to be consumed, or what limitations of the study might make the findings debatable. Further, the release engages in some cause-and-effect language when describing fermented dairy products’ potential affect on cardiovascular health but these kinds of claims can’t be supported by an observational study.

Fortunately, the news release does not use unjustifiable language, and does make it clear that the mechanisms of action behind the study’s findings are not completely understood.

Why This Matters

There is an emerging assumption that fermented dairy products might be “pro-biotic” and, therefore, “heart-friendly.” But, at this time, that remains purely speculative.  There’s currently no proof that any alleged pre-biotic or pro-biotic — or dairy product, for that matter —  protects against heart disease.

Because CHD is a key cause of sickness and death, it is important to understand dietary patterns that might prevent or postpone the disease.  Although this research is interesting, it is not conclusive because of issues discussed below.


Does the news release adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

Main findings mentioned include:

  • Men who ate more fermented dairy products had lower rates of CHD.
  • Men who ate more non-fermented dairy had a higher rates of CHD.
  • However, consuming high-fat/fermented dairy products (ie. cheese) was not associated with CHD.

Readers are given no sense of just how much the risk is increased or decreased in these groups.

The only data provided from the study is this:

The risk of CHD was 26% lower in those men who consumed the highest amount of low fat (<3.5%) fermented dairy (compared to the lowest consumption group).

It would be difficult for many readers to put that number into context without knowing how much low-fat/fermented dairy was consumed.

Some data contained in the study might have helped put the numbers in context. According to the tables in the published manuscript, there is a modest reduction from 14 CHD events per 1,000 person years in the low intake group (of fermented dairy) to 10 CHD events per 1,000 person years in the high intake group (of fermented dairy).

Does the news release seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

There are three major limitations of this study that aren’t mentioned.

First, this is a prospective cohort study that can’t completely control for other health variables in the subjects being responsible for some of the changes observed.

Second, the use of a food questionnaire (even with some supervision by nutritionists) is not a completely reliable way to document dairy intake; especially when trying to pinpoint amounts and subtypes of dairy.

Finally, the cohort studied (Eastern Finnish men, ages 42-60) is a very specific subgroup. This limits the generalizability of the results.

The news release addresses none of this.  In the published manuscript the authors describe differences in smoking rates and other dietary patterns in the men who consumed more or less of the dairy types.  These other differences could have accounted for all of the differences in this observational study.

Does the news release establish the true novelty of the approach?


The news release claims that the new research gives more weight to earlier study findings. It states:

“earlier studies have shown that fermented dairy products have more positive effects on blood lipid profiles and on the risk of heart disease than other dairy products.”

And that

“The new study provides further evidence on the health benefits that fermented dairy products may have over non-fermented ones.”

Links to the earlier studies would have been helpful. As yet, it’s still speculative to claim that fermented dairy products lower the risk of CHD.

Total Score: 3 of 8 Satisfactory

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