April, 2021 Archive
Experts have warned the baking industry against adding folic acid to flour or bread, linking an excess of the vitamin with increased risk of cancer.A new paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that fortified folic acid is broken down by the liver, however when eaten in its natural form, for example in green vegetables, it is broken down in the stomach.The authors of the study claimed that if the liver received too much folic acid then it would be released into the blood undigested. An excess in the blood stream has been linked to bowel and breast cancer.In June this year the Food Standards Agency (FSA) had agreed that a form of mandatory fortification of flour or bread with folic acid should be recommended to UK health ministers as part of a package of measures to help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) in new born babies.Fortification could prevent between 77 and 162 NTD pregnancies a year.However, uncertainty regarding cancer risk had already led the Agency to order further research from the Scientific Advisory Group on Nutrition (SACN), which guided its decision to recommend fortification (see British Baker, October 26, pg 4).An expert group of members of SACN and cancer experts, is now examining two studies on colorectal cancer risk which were not published at the time of SACN’s original report.Previously, the SACN concluded that evidence for a relationship between folic acid and cancer risk was unclear.
French flour company Moul-Bie is planning a major increase in the number of craft bakeries taking part in its Ronde des Pains marketing and merchandising scheme in the UK.The company, part of French miller Grands Moulins de Paris, hopes to raise membership of the scheme in the UK from the current total of 60 bakeries to 100 by the end of the year.Ronde des Pains supports artisan bakery retailers by providing POS material and personalised signage. Members also have access to displays, merchandising equipment and uniforms at preferential rates, as well as a range of artisan flours.Over 1,500 bakeries in France are part of Ronde des Pains, which first launched in the UK in 2005. The scheme also runs in Germany and Italy. Moul-Bie director Michel Nguyen told British Baker that around £100,000 has been invested in expanding the organisation’s membership outside France.
Sugden, which specialises in hot plate baking equipment, has launched the Forpak ’Grouper’ Stacker Model GS range, following the formation of a strategic partnership with the Forpak Division of US-based company MultiSource.The GS Stacker creates and counts vertical product stacks, which are then fed onto a continuous conveyer that can feed automated packaging equipment or manual packing. The system allows an indexing product accumulation conveyor to be incorporated to act as a time buffer between baking and packing operations. It is suitable for stacking products such as cookies, Welsh cakes, pancakes and crumpets.A ’Grouper’ GS II model is also available for products with a larger diameter of up to 457mm, such as pitta bread and pizza bases. A paper feed option is available on both models.[http://www.sugden.ltd.uk]
Costa Coffee has been voted the best coffee chain by customers who rate its friendly staff and tidy stores more highly than its main rivals.Costa beat Caffe Nero into second place and Starbucks and Coffee Republic, in third and fourth respectively, to the title, as a result of consultancy firm him!’s Coffee Chain Customer Tracking Programme. This asks customers to rate their experience after visiting a particular branch on topics such as quality of drinks, choice of food, time spent queuing, atmosphere and overall value for money.Costa scored 9 out of 10 for friendliness of staff, and cleanliness of counter and tables, which helped it take the top spot from the previous year’s winner, Caffe Nero.Will Vernon, Costa’s head of operational skills and brand standards, said he was delighted to have been voted best coffee chain of the year. “We pride ourselves on our customer service and the welcoming store experience we offer our customers.”He said all Costa stores were accredited to strict brand standards and were frequently audited, focusing specifically on coffee excellence, cleanliness and store environment. “Costa relaunched a new service excellence programme last year and had a big push specifically on speed of service so it is fantastic to receive this kind of recognition by our customers this year,” added Vernon. him! aims to repeat the study in 2009, which aims to identify sales and profit opportunities for retailers and suppliers.
The company said these figures reflected the significant impact of higher commodity prices and production costs in 2008.Maple Leaf Bakery in Rotherham was also affected by higher production costs due to a new bagel oven commissioned to replace an oven destroyed by fire earlier in the year. According to the statement, these costs were partially offset by an $8.3m insurance payout in the fourth quarter. However, sales in its frozen bakery division were up 8.3% for the year, despite Maple Leaf experiencing a decline in sales of its premium speciality bakery products.Canada Bread’s overall sales for the fourth quarter rose 13.1%, and sales for the year increased by 12.9% to $1.7bn. The company said the rise reflects higher selling prices and contributions from acquisitions.Richard Lan, president and CEO, said: “The recent decline in commodity prices, combined with price increases helped to restore margins in the fourth quarter.”Canada Bread Company Limited is 89.8% owned by owned by Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Its frozen bakery division, made up of its North American and UK frozen bakery businesses, including Maple Leaf Bakery UK, which owns the New York Bakery Co brand, saw adjusted operating earnings fall 48.6% to $21.1m, from $41.1m in 2007. Canada Bread’s frozen bakery division has seen profits fall almost 50% despite an overall increase in sales for the year.
6-8 SeptemberSpeciality & Fine Food Fair 2009Location: Olympia, Londonwww.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk8 SeptemberBaking Industry Awards 2009Location: Park Lane Hilton hotel, Londonwww.bakeryinfo.co.uk14-19 SeptemberNational Cupcake WeekLocation: Nationwidewww.bakeryinfo.co.uk
Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has slammed supermarkets, coffee shops and sandwich chains for selling Christmas bakery products that contain high levels of salt. The pressure group, which argues that salt is responsible for raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of strokes and heart disease, surveyed 87 products in seasonal ranges. These included sandwiches, salads, pies and desserts. The highest salt product found on the high street was the Christmas Full Works Sandwich from EAT, which contained 4.2g salt per portion, over two-thirds of the daily maximum salt intake for adults. Other sandwiches with high salt levels included Marks & Spencer’s Three Wise Sarnies (3.07g), the Co-op Festive Triple (2.6g) and Subway Chicken and Stuffing (2.5g).CASH was also critical of some sweet treats, pointing out that a Costa Christmas Chocolate cake had 0.94g salt per portion the equivalent of nearly two packets of crisps. “The huge level of salt seen in some of the products is particularly shocking when you consider that many children may be eating these products,” said Katharine Jenner, nutritionist and CASH campaign manager. “To offer new high-salt options on the menu, when the nation is trying to reduce its salt intake, is quite simply irresponsible.”
Employees accrue annual leave during periods of sickness absence. But a new case seems to offer you a tactic that can limit the impact. So how does it work?The case of HM Revenue & Customs v Stringer 2009 was not welcomed by employers. Firstly, the House of Lords left many questions about sickness absence and annual leave entitlements unanswered. But in a shock move, it also ruled that employees could mount claims for unpaid holiday pay via an unauthorised deduction-from-wages claim. In theory, these could go back up to six years.One year on and a recent tribunal case, Kahn v Martin McColl 2010, suggests that employers can get around this. So what happened? Khan (K) had been on long-term sick leave. Upon resigning, he claimed:1) two weeks’ holiday owed to him from the 2008 leave year; and2) all of his 2009 holiday entitlement.He was only paid for 2009.K then lodged an unauthorised deduction-from-wages claim to recover his holiday pay from 2008. In response, Martin McColl (M) argued that, as he had been paid his accrued holiday entitlement for 2009, the last unauthorised deduction had been pushed back to the end of the 2008 leave year. As this type of claim must be submitted within three months, M said K was out of time.The tribunal accepted this argument and rejected K’s claim. It is unlikely that this will be the last we hear on this subject, but for now, this latest case is a victory for employers and offers you a helpful new tactic when dealing with a claim of this sort.Although this is a tribunal ruling so it won’t be binding on other cases it suggests that claims for several years’ worth of accrued holiday pay can be defeated simply by paying the amount for the most recent leave year. Arguably, you only need to go back three months to stop the time limit from running but as yet this is untested.
Hovis avoids strikeStrike action looks to have been averted at Hovis’ Avonmouth bakery after management and union leaders entered into negotiations. The Bakers’ Food & Allied Workers Union had planned to ballot members on industrial action following proposed changes to shifts, payment and holidays, but decided to enter further discussions at the last moment.Waitrose’s cake boxWaitrose will launch a new cake box product in the run-up to Christmas containing all the ingredients required for Delia Smith’s iconic Christmas Cake recipe. It will contain the right amounts of ingredients for the cake, including flour, pre-soaked fruit and black treacle.Rowe’s to the rescueCornish bakery Rowe’s said it answered an emergency call from the set of Brad Pitt’s latest movie, World War Z, to supply cast and crew with 700 Cornish pasties and 500 sandwiches when the original catering plans were hampered by rough seas. Filming is currently taking place on a ship in Falmouth harbour.Bertinet successThe Bertinet Bakery saw its second successful year at the Soil Association Organic Food Awards 2011, winning the baked goods category with its sourdough. Two new products, the Bertinet Baguette and the Bertinet Burger Bun also received commendations.
Supermarket group Morrisons – which last night scooped the In-store Bakery of the Year accolade at the Baking Industry Awards – has unveiled an 8% rise in underlying profit.Despite a challenging trading environment, which the Bradford-based chain expects to continue for “some time to come”, underlying profits in the six months to 31 July lifted to £442m from £410m.Morrisons said it was the fifth year in a row it had outperformed the rest of the grocery market, as its half-year turnover jumped by 7.4% to £8.7bn and like-for-like sales increased by 2.2% over the period.Profit before tax was £449m, up from £412m,The company said longer opening hours, its focus on fresh produce and initiatives such as its price crunch campaign helped draw in a record average of 11.5 million shoppers to its stores each week.The company recently opened its first convenience store as part of new chief executive Dalton Philips’ strategy to grow the business. He has also pledged to launch an online shopping operation after earmarking £3bn in investment to catch up with web-savvy rivalsPhillips said: “In addition to growing sales and delivering good profit growth, we also made great strides in developing the business for the future. We have opened our first convenience store, invested further in our unique production capabilities, increased efficiency across the group, gained valuable insights from our trial stores and taken our first steps towards becoming a multichannel retailer. I am confident we will make further good progress in the second half.“As we entered 2011, we expected that the consumer would remain under pressure throughout the year, and planned our business accordingly. During the first half, the trading environment has, as expected, been challenging and we anticipate it to continue to be so for some time to come. Despite this, our performance to date, our growing customer base and our ongoing focus on tight cost control throughout the business give the board confidence that we will deliver our expectations for the year.”>> Morrisons embarks on new drive for apprentices