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Russia says it is revelling after 2014 Western food embargo but could an end be in sight?

Russia's ban of food imports from Europe has been in place since 2014 but Donald Trump's election to the White House could mean an end is in sight. We take a look at what the embargo has meant for Russian food manufacturers, foreign firms with operations there and ordinary consumers.

Olam flexes its ‘soft power’ through approach to certification

The world of produce certification has shifted considerably in recent years, with a raft of new sustainability marks entering the market and “raising the benchmark of what is happening on the ground”.

Path to obesity explained by response to ‘natural cannabis’: Mouse study

The body’s ability to produce its own ‘natural cannabis’ may be responsible for fueling the chronic overconsumption of foods high in sugar and fat that contribute to the obesity epidemic.

Crikey! Fruit fly flour beats crickets for cost, says Israeli start-up

Move over crickets and mealworms - Israeli start-up Flying Spark is farming and processing fruit fly powders and oils that are cheaper than other insect ingredients but with a similar nutritional and taste profile.

Ferrero defends palm oil in Nutella with advert against 'unfair smear campaign'

Ferrero has launched a TV advertising campaign defending its use of palm oil in its flagship product Nutella, saying palm oil is currently suffering "an unfair smear campaign" in Italy.

EU court quashes Intellectual Property Office ruling in olive oil trademark battle

In a trademark battle between olive oil producers Sovena and Mueloliva, the European Court has quashed a decision by the EU Intellectual Property Office, allowing Sovena to use its Fontoliva brand.

Portion control tools a ‘simple and inexpensive strategy’ to tackle obesity

Defining portion sizes using tools such as special tableware can help promote modest weight loss among obese people who are following a strict dietary plan, say Cambridge scientists.

Mediterranean diet linked to increased brain volume, say scientists

The traditional Mediterranean diet of fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish and wine could prevent neurological degeneration in later life, say researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

Azelis eyes African middle class with Ivory Coast investment

Ingredients specialist Azelis has set its sights on Africa’s growing middle class with a new import and distribution office in the Ivory Coast.

Nutritionally ‘aggressive’ feeding strategy boosts premature baby health

An 'aggressive' approach to boost protein, vitamins, electrolytes and calcium can help development and growth of premature babies, researchers have found.

Total oil call: Petrochemical giants want food industry leftovers for biofuels

Suez and Total are calling on Europe's food industry to sell its used cooking oil for biofuel conversion, after pledging to increase the amount that is collected and recycled by 20%.

Opinion

Ethical certification promises much - but it's been a tough year

Back in 2014 I interviewed Hans Jöhr, who at the time was corporate head of agriculture at Nestlé. We had a (refreshingly) open discussion about certification schemes. Some of them are “cheating consumers” and “cannot help farmers be better farmers per se”, Jöhr told me, as he elaborated on the comments he’d just made to a few hundred people at a summit in London.

Irish researchers say green pastures mean better dairy products

Irish scientists say there is evidence that pasture-fed cows do produce better products.

Grease lightening: Trans-fat-free soybean oil produced

Researchers have developed a novel processing technology that prepares soybean oil without producing unhealthy trans-fats, which they say could help reformulation efforts.

News in brief

Algae and alternative protein players in €1.2bn EU food project

A pan-EU sustainable food project sees Israeli astaxanthin supplier Algatechnologies, champion of pea protein Roquette and Dutch nutrition giant DSM among its 50 partners that will invest close to €1.2bn over the next seven years. 

Olam rejects green washing and 'black box' palm oil claims

Agri-food giant Olam has defended its palm oil operations against accusations they are a 'black box' of secrecy that funnels palm oil linked to deforestation from rogue traders to global brands like Unilever and Nestlé. 

Swap out red meat but keep the fatty fish to reduce heart risk, says study

Switching red meat for vegetables or potatoes could significantly lower your risk of myocardial infarction, but swapping out fatty fish for veggies could increase your risk, say researchers.

Confidence in secure commodity supply chains 'misplaced'

Confident there’s enough soy, palm oil and beef to go around and your policies can weather the risks ahead on everything from climate change and deforestation to reputation and regulation? Think again, say the authors of two new reports.

New supplier set to make waves on the bio-marine scene

Start-up Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland (BII) hopes to become a major new supplier of lipids, protein and calcium powders following an initial €15m investment in its plant.

‘Yo-yo diet’ weight gain may be caused by gut bacteria

Rapid post-diet weight gain, often referred to as yo-yo dieting, could be a result of obesogenic gut bacteria which remain even after weight loss, say researchers who hope their findings could help to stop weight gain after dieting.

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