Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chocolate oligopoly in USA wants to change chocolate's definition to not include cocoa butter

From Oligopolywatch

According to a Bloomberg article ("Hershey Battles Chocolate Connoisseurs Over Selling `Mockolate'". April 24):

The Chocolate Manufacturers Association, whose members include Hershey, Nestle SA and Archer Daniels Midland Co., has a petition before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to redefine what constitutes chocolate. They want to make it without the required ingredients of cocoa butter and cocoa solids, using instead artificial sweeteners, milk substitutes and vegetable fats such as hydrogenated and trans fats.

The reason for the requested change is the great expense of cocoa butter, a required ingredient. Big Candy would like to substitute cheaper stuff, included the dread tarns-fats.
There's been little public reaction to the little-publicized proposal, and that's just fine with the chocolate-makers. They'd like to "help" the overtaxed Food and Drug Administration to draft new rules, especially while there is still time in a big business-loving Bush administration.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mixed news for sensory panels seeking IOOC accreditation

Every year, the IOOC releases a list of the panels allowed to give sensory evaluation for the council for the next year.

Bad news for California, mixed news for Australia, good news for New Zealand:
The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) has released the list of accredited organoleptic panels qualified to classify olive oil for the year 2006/2007. A notable absence is the Australian Olive Association Panel which has been leading the development of the taste element of Australian olive oils for almost a decade. The panel has had a major impact on the organoleptic development of Australian olive oils through the participation of its members in most of the recognised national olive oil competitions. A new panel, administered by Peter Olsen of the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries in Wagga Wagga, has been added to the list for the first time. In New Zealand the panel supervised by Margaret Edwards for Olives New Zealand has been accredited while the United States will be without a panel for another year, the California Olive Oil Council panel not achieving recognition.

Here's the list of panels from the UN agency, the International Olive Oil Council