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PepsiCo swoops for PopCorners owner BFY Brands | Food Industry News

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PopCorners to join PepsiCo portfolio

PepsiCo, the US snacks behemoth behind Lay’s and Doritos, is to acquire BFY Brands, home to the brand PopCorners.

The deal, announced for an undisclosed sum, will see PepsiCo “further deliver” on its “vision to offer consumers more positive nutritious options”.

Owned by private-equity firm Permira since 2015, BFY Brands has two manufacturing facilities in New York state. The company’s product portfolio includes snacks sold under PopCorners sub-brands such as Flex Protein Crisps and Flourish Veggie Crisps. Employing around 750 staff, BFY Brands is also a contract manufacturer of popped snacks.

“BFY Brands offers distinctive products that deliver the great taste and ingredients consumers are looking for,” Steven Williams, the CEO of PepsiCo’s North America foods business said. “Their production capabilities will support the growth of our existing, more-nutritious snack brands.”

In its own statement, BFY Brands said its manufacturing sites will remain in Middletown and Liberty, New York. BFY Brands said it “expects to continue its current expansion plans” under CEO Paul Nardone, as well as president and chief commercial officer Dan Morgan.

“Our goal has always been to bring innovative and delicious better-for-you snacking options to more consumers around the world, and joining the PepsiCo family will allow us to do just that,” Nardone said. “With the fastest growing brand among better-for-you salty snacks, we look forward to leveraging PepsiCo’s world-class resources and distribution platform for this next chapter.”

The statement pointed to the “tremendous success” and “rapid growth” BFY Brands has seen since Permira acquired the business, pointing to, as examples, the doubling of staff from 350 and the expansion of sales of PopCorners.

Nardone added: “With the support of the Permira funds, we have transformed from our manufacturing heritage to become a leader in better-for-you snacking.”

Permira set up BFY Holdings in 2015 with the acquisition of Medora Snacks and Ideal Snacks Holding, two US companies focused on healthier products. Middletown-based Medora was the owner of brands including PopCorners popcorn and PopCrinkles, while Liberty-based Ideal Snacks Holding was a contract manufacturer. Permira bought the businesses from founder Zeke Alenick.

From the just-food archive in 2015: Interview – Permira’s plans for new US snacks assets





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EFSA opens comment period on Ochratoxin A health risks

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The European Food Safety Authority is seeking feedback on work examining the public health risks of Ochratoxin A in food.

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin naturally produced by fungi such as the Penicillium and Aspergillus mold species. It is found in foods including grain products, preserved meats, fresh and dried fruits, and breast milk.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) previously assessed the topic in 2006. Experts concluded OTA accumulates in the kidney and is particularly toxic to the organ. EFSA set a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 120 nanograms per kilogram (ng/kg) of body weight.

The main contributors to OTA dietary exposure were cereal products, wine, beer, grape juice, brewed coffee, cocoa and cocoa products, and pork. Estimated exposure levels for average people varied between 15 and 20 ng/kg of body weight per week and for high consumers between 40 and 60 ng/kg of body weight per week.

Consultation on the draft opinion
More recent data suggests OTA may be genotoxic and carcinogenic. In such cases, EFSA experts calculate a margin of exposure (MOE) for consumers. The higher it is, the lower the level of concern for the public. The MOE is a ratio of the dose at which a small but measurable adverse effect is observed and level of exposure to the substance. The estimated MOE for OTA is below 10,000 across most consumer groups, suggesting a possible health concern.

EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) launched a public comment period on the draft scientific opinion. Comments can be submitted until Jan. 24, 2020.

Maximum levels for Ochratoxin A are established at EU level for unprocessed cereals, dried vine fruits, a variety of coffee and coffee beans and wine and grape juice ranging from 0.5 to 10 µg/kg but it has recently been found at high levels in food for which no maximum levels are set.

OTA is rapidly absorbed and distributed but slowly eliminated and excreted leading to potential accumulation in the body.

A total of 72,350 measurements of concentrations of OTA in food, submitted within the last 10 years by 29 European countries and one industry association were used for assessing dietary exposures. Almost half of the data came from Germany and the Netherlands.

Possible health concerns
The highest mean concentrations of OTA were in the categories plant extract formula, flavorings or essences containing licorice extracts, and chili pepper. The top contributors to chronic dietary exposure were preserved meat, cheese, and grains, and grain-based products. Dried and fresh fruit such as grapes, figs, and dates were important in some of the toddlers and other children’s groups. Non-chocolate confectionary was a significant source of exposure in countries where licorice-based sweets are commonly consumed.

Calculated MOEs for non-neoplastic effects were above 200 in most dietary surveys for average and high consumers, so of low health concern. However, they were below 200 in the age groups of infants and toddlers and other children indicating a possible health concern for these groups.

Calculated MOEs for neoplastic effects in most of the surveys were below 10,000 and indicate a possible health concern for some consumer groups.

The CONTAM panel made six recommendations including more occurrence data on OTA in cheese paste versus cheese rind are needed as are more studies on the sequence of events at the carcinogenic target site in the kidney and reliable and representative investigations of levels in human breast milk.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)



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You simply can’t beat crispy, garlicky potatoes that are roasted to absolute per…

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You simply can’t beat crispy, garlicky potatoes that are roasted to absolute perfection! This just so happens to be one of the most popular recipe on our blog. So if you haven’t tried them yet, we suggest you add them to your menu this week! 😍 We’d love to hear if you give them a try! ⁠⠀
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Photo by: @playswellwithbutter⁠⠀
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HSN | AT Home 12.06.2019 – 09 AM

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