UK: Albert Bartlett is raising money to help vulnerable people

Eat potatoes to reduce povertyBritish potato suppliers Albert Bartlett have signed up to Sport Relief by pledging to donate 5p for every promotional bag of Rooster potatoes sold. [Sport Relief is a biennial charity event from Comic Relief, in association with BBC Sport, which brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and the world’s poorest countries.] The company said they were creating a number of sporting initiatives and campaigns to encourage its consumers and staff to get involved with Sport Relief, which runs from 17 – 23 March. Albert Bartlett head of marketing Michael Jarvis said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sport Relief and helping its work both to improve the lives of people in the UK and internationally and in getting the nation off the couch.” More

Experts push for potatoes to be re-assessed for their ‘clear’ nutritional and health benefits

Image result for potatoes are good for youFor decades, potatoes have been branded unhealthy and we have been advised to avoid consuming too many of them. But now, researchers say that consuming the popular tuber is actually good for you. In fact, they claim that you could eat potatoes, and nothing else, for the rest of your life and ‘remain pretty healthy‘. In a medical U-turn, scientists who reviewed a host of evidence are pushing for potatoes to be reassessed for their ‘clear’ health benefits. They have uncovered evidence in a 60-page report that the humble crop could slash the risk of having a heart attack and may even protect against dementia. Professor Derek Stewart, from the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, and co-author of the report said: “The studies we looked at found a whole raft of different benefits. If you have to live the rest of your life on just one thing, you could do it on potatoes and remain pretty healthy. There are not many crops you can say that about. …Other research has found a strong association with enhanced cognitive function in the elderly if they’re eating potatoes.” The full report can be downloaded as a pdf file. Or go to this page and follow the appropriate link.

‘Potato industry needs to present itself more confidently to consumers’, attendees at German event were told

On 6 February, the German Potato Trade Association welcomed around 500 guests from 16 countries to the traditional International Berlin Potato Evening. In his opening speech, DKHV President Thomas Herkenrath called for more attention to discussions on food and agriculture. “Potatoes are an important staple food and can best meet the high ethical demands of consumers and their desire for a healthy diet in cultivation, processing and distribution. The potato industry only has to present itself more self-confidently to the public in order to be perceived more positively by the consumer. This means listening carefully and analyzing the worries, fears and needs of our customers.” The new President of the World Potato Congress, Romain Cools, also addressed attendees. More

Australia: Turning potatoes into a convenience food

When consumers started to look for more convenient foods traditional staples such as potatoes became less popular. The pasta and rice marketers designed attractive packaging and sold the products well, while the humble potato didn’t really change at all and started to lose market share. “People began to overlook the potato and forget how versatile it really it is,” explains Susie Daly, potato producer from Daly Potatoes, Tasmania. “Schools no longer teach kids how to cook so many people don’t actually know what to do with them also these days people are busy they don’t want to stand and peel potatoes then wait for them to cook, they also want a bit of added flair.” “In addition to our gourmet potato salad rage which has been on the market for a couple of years, we have put together a range of simple potato dishes which are ready in a few minutes. They can be microwaved or heated in the oven, turning potatoes into a convenience food.” More

Potato range a nod to growing convenience sector

The rise in the popularity of convenient and easy to prepare produce items continues to make its presence felt in supermarkets. One potato producer has recognized this trend and has created a number of products to cover almost every aspect of preparing potatoes. Fresh Solutions Network, its members based across the US, created what they have named the “Side Delights” convenience range and potato kits. The Convenience range includes ‘Steamables’, ‘Bakeables’, and ‘Grillables’, and they also have Potato kits in ‘Roastables’ and ‘Flavorables’, each providing a different cooking method for potatoes. Molly Connors of Basin Gold, a member of Fresh Solutions Network, said the company began introducing the convenience range almost 10 years ago. Not only are consumers looking for a greater range of fast preparation and cooking options, but they are also buying smaller pack sizes. Hence why Connors said the company has opted for sizes designed to be used once. More

New ‘lady-friendly’ crisps go down like a sack of potatoes…

Image result for Doritos' New 'Lady-Friendly' Crisps Go Down Like A Sack Of PotatoesDoritos has announced plans to create new, quieter crisps especially for women, that will be downsized in order to fit neatly into our handbags. The mind-boggling “lady-friendly” creation, dubbed “Lady Doritos” on social media, is apparently the product of consumer research conducted by PepsiCo, the parent company of Doritos. Speaking to Freakonomics Radio, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said women “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public” or “lick their fingers generously […] they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces, and the flavour, into their mouths”. Meanwhile others on Twitter were quick to point out how ridiculous the concept of gender-specific food is. A lot of people on Twitter called out the concept of “Lady Doritos” as one big publicity stunt, and it has certainly got people talking… More

PepsiCo is developing women-only snacks because potato chips are so hard for girls

Image result for Pepsi is developing women-only snacks because potato chips are so hard for girlsPepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi has announced a turning point in the history snack foods. In an interview with Freakonomics, Nooyi revealed that the company would be launching lady snacks, finally allowing women everywhere to eat between meals just as men have done for centuries. Were you not aware that crunchy, crunchy chips were secretly, somehow insufficiently feminine? More the fool you. Talking about Doritos, the female executive pointed out that men and women eat the chips very differently. She said, “A lot of young guys eat the chips . . . and they lick their fingers with great glee,” while women, on the other hand, don’t. “They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public, and they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor in their mouth.”  More

US: Processing expansion impacts demand for Washington and Oregon spuds

French FriesExpansion in the processing industry will create new dynamics for Washington and Oregon potato production, the leader of Washington’s potato commission says. “We have incredible growing demand in Asia; we still have growing demand here domestically, and we’ve got to keep up with that,” said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission. “We’ve had international customers on quotas for several years now; we just have not been able to get them enough frozen potato products overseas.” Voigt gave an update during the annual conference for farmers from both states. The commission plans to focus on school meals, Voigt said. Currently, potatoes are on the menu 2.5 times a month for breakfast and lunch. “There’s an opportunity there for real growth,” he said. The commission is also working with Potatoes USA to connect potatoes with athletes. More

Scientists say eating potatoes could help combat dementia

People shopping at a market and person undertaking a brain examMove over goji berries and green tea and make way for the humble tattie. The latest research suggests potatoes can play a significant role in helping combat everything from heart attacks to cancer and strokes and now it seems they could even stave off dementia. Agricultural research scientists from Scotland’s James Hutton Institute (JHI) believe it’s time to put spuds back on the menu as a healthy and nutritious part of a balanced diet. The call comes from Professor Derek Stewart and his colleague Mark Taylor, who recently completed a new study reviewing the latest research into potatoes and nutrition for the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). “The studies we looked at found a whole raft of different health benefits. If you had to live the rest of your life on just one thing, you could do it on potatoes and remain pretty healthy. There are not many crops you can say that about. …Research has found a strong association with enhanced cognitive function in the elderly if they’re eating potatoes, although they haven’t yet identified an underpinning cause.” More

Pringles releases sukiyaki flavoured potato chips in Japan

In Japan, big international brands know how to keep their customers interested throughout the year, with exclusive limited-edition flavours and irresistible seasonal releases. Last year, Pringles decided to pay homage to Japan’s beloved fried octopus balls, with a takoyaki flavour limited for sale in the Kansai region, where the delicacy originated, and now the stackable snack chip giant is continuing with their regional releases, with a new flavour available only in the Kanto area. The Kanto-exclusive Pringles flavour is sukiyaki, a traditional Japanese hot-pot-style dish, containing slowly simmered vegetables and thinly sliced beef, which are typically dipped in a small bowl of raw egg after cooking and just before being eaten. Pringles is taking advantage of peak sukiyaki season (the winter months) by releasing their new flavour on 30 January. More

Europe: ‘Alarming’ acrylamide levels in crisps strengthen calls for mandatory limits

© iStockInvestigations conducted by Il Salvagente, a consumer Italian magazine, found seven out of the 18 tested samples had an acrylamide level above 800 micrograms per kilogram, exceeding benchmark levels set out by the European Union of 750 micrograms per kilogram. The highest concentrations were found in crisps made by French retail group Auchan, achieving an acrylamide level measuring 1600 micrograms per kilogram. Other crisp makers that fared badly include Lidl’s own brand at 1300, Amica Chips (1200), Pam (1000), San Carlo Classica (950), Coop (990) and Amica Chips Eldorada at 800 micrograms per kilogram. Results of the investigation were a matter of urgency for Floriana Cimmarusti, SAFE’s secretary general, who urged action to limit acrylamide levels for crisps but for other foods too. “Faced with the current exposure levels, we could benefit from more determination by setting a maximum level to reduce acrylamide in some products, starting with baby foods”, said Cimmarusti.  Continue reading

Family-run French business to present newly rediscovered potato varieties

Bayard, a family-run business based in France, has made it its mission to discover potato varieties. Using sustainable production techniques and recognised expertise, the company aims to educate consumers about the diversity of potatoes, along with their many different textures and uses. At the Fruit Logistica 2018 event (Berlin, Feb), Maison Bayard will present numerous newly rediscovered potato varieties such as Institut de Beauvais and Corne de Gâte, Agria, Anden Sunside, Blue Belle, Blue Star, Double Fun, Lily Rose, Miss Blush, and Juliette des sables. The company offers a wide range of packaging options, including microwave-ready packaging for their potatoes. Bayard products are available in upmarket grocery stores and now also online. For more information: Florent Bayard, (Source: FreshPlaza)