FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, June 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Food processing companies strive to provide consumers with top quality produce, however, an occasional foodborne illness outbreak is bound to occur. Typically, when an outbreak occurs food processors try to limit the damage by recalling product from shelves at retailers. In 2018, there were 20.55 million products recalled, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Primarily, salmonella was the main cause of more than half of the products recalled as beef-related products accounted for 13.18 million of the total recalled products. Generally, most consumers contract salmonella through contaminated meats or dairy products. However, consumers can also get it by eating foods that have been cross-contaminated. The most common symptoms of salmonella are cramps, bloody stools, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. While most cases last under a week, severe instances can result in bowel disruption for several months. And the most severe cases can result in death if the infection spreads into the bloodstream and then to other sites of the body. On the upside, Salmonella can be prevented with simple measures such as avoiding raw products, refrigerating products, thoroughly washing your hands, and keeping the kitchen space clean. However, in some instances, an outbreak can occur due to the processor's mistakes. For instance, the manure a processor may use to grow products can be contaminated, resulting in a mass infection. As a result, many companies have moved into food safety and began to develop technologies to help prevent outbreaks. The food safety industry is becoming a massive market because of the need to protect consumers from infectious contractions and the demand for fresh and clean produce is constantly growing throughout the world as more consumers are becoming conscious of what they eat. According to data compiled by Allied Market Research, the global food safety testing market was valued at USD 13.14 Billion in 2017. By 2025, the market is expected to reach USD 23.20 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 7.3% from 2018 to 2025. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC: PBIO), 3M Company (NYSE: MMM), Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN)
Foodborne infections can be easily prevented at home or at restaurants by following simple safety procedures. However, some cases can be caused by food processors themselves. Food processors are beginning to adopt new machinery that helps detect and sense possible contamination within the products before they are shipped out commercially. Most health departments conduct routine inspections at restaurants or retailers, but the process can be slow and often delayed. And consequently, the outbreak could have already spread before the inspector discovered it. Now, some companies have partnered with reputable institutions to develop advanced and innovative technologies such as machine learning algorithms to prevent an illness outbreak. Moreover, some companies are also using science to prevent bacterial infections. For example, high-pressure processing (HPP) has become a common technological process that food processors have adopted. HPP is a cold pasteurization technique by which the products are put into a vessel and subjected to a high level of pressure by water. The immense pressure can inactivate the vegetative flora like bacteria, virus, yeasts, molds, and parasites present in the food. Universal Pure conducted a survey and discovered that 85% of retailers are pressured by the demand for fresh food and 78% say that they're favoring companies that produce fresh products. The demand is now so high that more than 60% of retailers say they're stockpiling more refrigerated and fresh products, while 48% say they're looking to expand their refrigerated product selection. The growing demand for fresh products has also led to an increasing awareness of HPP machinery and processes. Universal Pure uncovered that 60% of producers and retailers were familiar with HPP in 2016, but by 2017, the percentage grew to 74%. "The survey results demonstrate that HPP is a preferred technology for food safety, food quality and shelf life," says Mark Duffy, Chief Executive Officer for Universal Pure. "Consumers want better-for-you foods that are fresh, tasty, preservative-free and safe, and HPP can help deliver these results."
Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) announced yesterday that, the achievement of the first major milestone in its collaboration with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences ("CFAES") of The Ohio State University ("Ohio State"). The primary program goal is to develop and make available for commercialization a continuous-flow manufacturing process to prepare foods and beverages with superior sensory and nutritional qualities, while delivering long, room temperature shelf stability without requiring refrigeration or chemical additives. The Company believes it can achieve this highly sought-after consumer demand through scale-up of its innovative and patented Ultra Shear Technology ("UST") platform.
A four-year, $891,000 grant awarded to scientists at CFAES by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture ("NIFA") is supporting this collaborative program. PBI was granted a $318,000 sub-contract to build a working benchtop instrument and a pilot plant floor model, both based on the Company's patented UST platform. The delivery of the working benchtop instrument was the first major milestone identified by the collaborators.
Dr. Edmund Y. Ting, Sr. VP of Engineering at PBI, said: "We are very excited to have met this first major milestone. We believe our proprietary UST platform can be used to make the higher quality, more nutritious, longer-lasting foods that consumers now demand. The UST-based bench-top instrument - together with the larger scale, floor model, higher capacity instrument we are now developing - will be used to generate the fundamental food science quality and safety validation data that we believe will enable future process adoption by industry and acceptance by the regulators."
Dr. V.M. "Bala" Balasubramaniam, a CFAES professor of food engineering who is leading the collaborative project, commented: "Today's consumers demand food that is nutritious, minimally processed, and pathogen safe. They also want food that tastes and looks good, while being free of synthetic ingredients. We believe the UST platform has the potential to offer food manufacturers the ability to process safe wholesomebeverages, nutritional drinks, sauces, condiments and pumpable liquid foods."
The total "clean label" (no artificial ingredients or chemicals) food market is currently estimated at $62 billion in the U.S. and $165 billion worldwide (Nunes, 2016). This market is comprised of several unique food processing methods, including high pressure processing ("HPP"). The global HPP food market is estimated to reach $27.4 billion in 2023 and $51.1 billion by 2027 (https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/hpp-keeps-food-safe-while-extending-shelf-life/).
Richard T. Schumacher, President and CEO of PBI, stated: "Food processors have been seeking new minimal heat processing technologies that can provide extended shelf-life, while meeting "clean label" requirements that also satisfy consumer expectations. Many clean label foods are currently processed using costly, batch oriented HPP techniques, including juices, seafood, meats, baby food, guacamole, fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, these HPP food products all require refrigeration after processing. Commercializing a minimal heat processing technology that can produce shelf-stable (without refrigeration), high quality, ready-to-eat foods such as coffee, tea, broth, condiments, sauces, dairy products (e.g., milk, liquid cheese), and other such liquid foods would be a breakthrough. This is the primary goal of the project, which we believe can be attained through scale-up of our innovative, patented UST platform."
The OSU-PBI UST research team will be advised by an industry advisory board representing food processors and regulatory agencies. Food processors interested in joining this effort should contact Dr. Bala Balasubramaniam or Dr. Edmund Ting.
About Pressure BioSciences, Inc: Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) is a leader in the development and sale of innovative, broadly enabling, pressure-based solutions for the worldwide life sciences industry. Our products are based on the unique properties of both constant (i.e., static) and alternating (i.e., pressure cycling technology, or PCT) hydrostatic pressure. PCT is a patented enabling technology platform that uses alternating cycles of hydrostatic pressure between ambient and ultra-high levels to safely and reproducibly control bio-molecular interactions (e.g., cell lysis, biomolecule extraction). Our primary focus is in the development of PCT-based products for biomarker and target discovery, drug design and development, biotherapeutics characterization and quality control, soil & plant biology, forensics, and counter-bioterror applications. Additionally, major new market opportunities have emerged in the use of our pressure-based technologies in the following areas: (1) the use of our recently acquired, patented technology from BaroFold, Inc. (the "BaroFold" technology) to allow entry into the bio-pharma contract services sector, and (2) the use of our recently-patented, scalable, high-efficiency, pressure-based Ultra Shear Technology ("UST") platform to (i) create stable nanoemulsions of otherwise immiscible fluids (e.g., CBD Oil and water) and to (ii) prepare higher quality, homogenized, extended shelf-life or room temperature stable low-acid liquid foods that cannot be effectively preserved using existing technologies.
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3M Company (NYSE: MMM) captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. 3M Food Safety recently announced a new test called the Aerobic Procedure for Lactic Acid Bacteria. This procedure enumerates lactic acid bacteria in food and environmental samples by integrating a unique combination of the 3MTM PetrifilmTM Aerobic Count Plate, a pH indicator and MRS (deMan, Rogosa and Sharpe) media. 3M Food Safety is the leader of innovative solutions that help the food and beverage industry optimize the quality and safety of their products to enable consumer protection. At every step, 3M Food Safety provides solutions that help mitigate risk, improve operational efficiencies and impact the bottom line. The new procedure is the result of a long-term relationship with Kraft Foods, headquartered in Northfield, IL, USA. Kraft Foods approached 3M Food Safety to create a new procedure as an easier solution for monitoring shelf-life and environmental samples for food products, such as raw and ready-to-eat (RTE) meats. Use of this procedure was recently approved for internal validation by Kraft Foods quality, and 3M Food Safety is now releasing this method for global food manufacturers. "This new procedure will be a great tool for companies wanting to assess quality, and ensure product consistency and a longer shelf-life," said Bob Young, Senior Technical Specialist, 3M Food Safety. "This collaboration is also a great illustration of 3M's commitment to working hand-in-hand with our clients to find solutions that help them achieve their goals."
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world's largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Tyson Foods recently announced it selected FoodLogiQ, the leading SaaS provider of food safety compliance, whole chain traceability, and supply chain transparency solutions, and its FoodLogiQ Connect's Manage + Monitor product for global supply chain visibility, streamlined supplier management, and quality issue tracking and reporting. Tyson Foods' selection of FoodLogiQ Connect for its supplier management needs was a natural progression of a developing relationship, according to Dr. Scott Stillwell, Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Tyson Foods, Inc. Tyson Foods' food safety team recently joined a number of well-known food industry leaders as a participant in FoodLogiQ Lab's new Blockchain pilot. Meanwhile, the Tyson Ventures team, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, is one of several prestigious companies to provide investor funding to FoodLogiQ during its B round of investment. Both teams were impressed by the FoodLogiQ product and its focus on mapping the world's food supply chain. "Tyson Foods and FoodLogiQ are aligned in our commitment to food quality, safety and transparency," says Stillwell. "We're both innovators within the food industry, always staying in front of emerging food and technology trends, and both believe in providing superior products to our customers. Tyson Foods strives to work with business partners who help us elevate and enhance our performance, and we look forward to working with FoodLogiQ."
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) is a restaurant company featuring a portfolio of differentiated brands that include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V's. Darden Restaurants, Inc. recently announced an animal welfare policy that encourages higher welfare outcomes for farm animals in its supply chain. As part of the policy, Darden intends to form an external Animal Welfare Advisory Council that the Company will leverage to continually ensure its animal welfare program is based on best available science and industry-wide practices, including developments in outcomes measurement and reporting. Darden's Animal Welfare Policy encourages higher welfare outcomes for farm animals in its supply chain. This includes improved outcomes in the animals' physical and mental well-being such as increased mobility, increased displays of natural behaviors, reduced injury and mortality rates, and reduced stress and fear. "After a thorough and thoughtful process, which included extensive benchmarking and input from a variety of stakeholders, we are adopting an Animal Welfare Policy to articulate Darden's position and values around the treatment of animals in our supply chain," said Susan Connelly, Senior Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs for Darden. "Today's announcement builds on Darden's Food Principles, which outline our commitment to our guests in the areas of sourcing, food safety, sustainability and animal welfare."
The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world's third-largest quick-service hamburger company. WorldAPP, provider of Form.com, announced last year that it had been selected by The Wendy's Company to support the company's commitment to leading innovation and operational excellence in the Quick Service Restaurant industry. Wendy's® will implement a custom version of Form.com, the powerful and flexible mobile data collection platform, to enhance and improve customer experience evaluations in restaurants. The Wendy's Company will use the mobile evaluation platform to measure and improve quality, food safety, and consistency in the field. Wendy's leadership will analyze data gathered from these evaluations to drive calibrated strategies that improve experiences at individual restaurants. The Company will use this data to promote system-wide operational excellence and continuous improvement. "At Wendy's, we're always looking for new ways to create a better experience for the customer," said Frank Leary, Vice President of Customer Experience at The Wendy's Company. "I believe that starts by providing franchise and company operators with the tools they need to accurately evaluate and coach their restaurant teams to drive operational excellence."
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