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30561. 22/06/2001
Unilever's new spread helps cholesterol reduction with soy sterols6/20/2001 - ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 19 /PRNewswire -- Patientsalready on statin medication can reduce their LDL (bad) cholesterolfurther by consuming a spread containing plant sterols, as part of a dietlow in saturated fat and cholesterol. The plant sterols, from naturallyoccuring soybean extract, work as part of the normal digestive process tohelp block absorption of cholesterol.According to a study published in the June issue of Atherosclerosis(1),the spread containing plant sterols, Take Control(R), actively reduced LDLcholesterol by 10 to 15 percent in both patients who tookcholesterol-lowering medication and in those who did not. HDL (good)cholesterol levels remained unchanged. The study was carried out at theRadcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, England, on 62 hypercholesterolemic patientsbetween 33 and 62 years of age. The subjects consumed 25 g per day of TakeControl over the eight-week trial period. Thirty of the patients were oncholesterol-lowering medication and 32 were not."These findings add to the weight of clinical evidence demonstrating thebenefits of consuming a plant sterol spread for all adults with raisedcholesterol levels -- whether or not they are on statins," said ErnstSchaefer, MD, professor of medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine,Endocrinology and Lipids Division. "Spreads containing plant sterolsprovide an additive effect on top of their medication when used as part ofa healthy diet. In some patients drug therapy might be avoided, and inothers it might allow treatment at lower doses."According to lead researcher Andrew Neil, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford,"These findings now show that spreads containing plant sterols are equallyefficacious in reducing total and LDL cholesterol in patients regardlessof whether they are taking statin medications or not. Patients who usethese spreads alongside cholesterol-lowering drugs can see greatercholesterol reductions than those achieved with medication alone."Take Control's active ingredient, plant sterol esters, was highlighted inthe National Cholesterol Education Program's (NCEP) new guidelines fortreating high cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease (releasedMay 15, 2001). In September of 2000, this active ingredient in TakeControl received FDA approval for early use of a heart-health claim.(2)Final approval of the health claim is expected at any time.Hundreds of studies conducted since the 1950s show the cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols.(3,4) In addition, Unilever hasundertaken 30 studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of theproduct, which clearly show that no other spread is more effective atlowering cholesterol.Unilever, the parent company of Unilever Bestfoods, is the world's leadingmanufacturer of margarines and spreads, with category expertise extendingback more than seven decades. Outside of the U.S., Take Control ismarketed under the brand name, Becel/Flora proactiv. More information onTake Control products can be found at www.takecontrol.com .
30562. 19/06/2001
Chicago Tribune (soyatech.com): Jun. 13--Archer Daniels Midland Co.,hoping to tap a growing market for health-oriented foods, is pressingahead with plans to launch a "fat-reducing" vegetable oil in the U.S.The Decatur-based grain-processing giant is joining forces with Japan'sKao Corp. to produce a cooking oil they contend is less likely than otheroils to be stored in the body as fat. The product, to be sold under anas-yet-undetermined name, is designed to let overweight Americans havetheir cake and eat it too.The oil ADM hopes to roll out in the U.S. is metabolized by the body in amanner different than other fats, ADM said. That quality, the companyemphasized, makes it significantly different from Procter & Gamble'sfake-fat olestra product, which was designed to pass through the human gutlargely undigested.Since P&G spent hundreds of millions of dollars to develop olestra, theproduct has had disappointing sales--in large part because of consumerconcerns over unwelcome gastrointestinal problems the product occasionallycreates.ADM, which has much more modest early-stage sales targets in mind for itshealth-oriented cooking oil, said the ADM/Kao product doesn't createsimilar side effects.Kao scientists developed the oil, and the Japanese company currently sellsit in Japan under the brand name Healthy Econa."In two years, it went from a laboratory product to the largest-sellingcooking oil in Japan," an ADM spokesman said.On Wednesday, ADM and Kao are expected to announce that they've formed anequally owned joint venture to produce and distribute the oil in the U.S.,Europe and certain other markets outside Japan. The venture will constructa pilot plant in Decatur, which will begin producing the specialized oilby November, according to the two companies.The product can be made using either soybeans or the oilseed known ascanola."We believe that DAG can become a major new product line for ADM," saidADM's president, John D. McNamara. Initial market forecasts, he said,indicate product sales could reach $150 million annually.But ADM and Kao are moving relatively slowly, waiting for certain U.S.regulatory clearances that the partners think will broaden the potentialmarket. "We've seen others get ahead of things in terms of marketdevelopment," said spokesman Larry Cunningham, in a laconic reference toP&G's ill-starred olestra rollout.ADM doesn't expect to introduce the oil before late 2002, and officialshaven't put a figure on the long-term sales potential for the oil, saidthe executive vice president, but "we know it's something that could makea significant contribution to the bottom line."For ADM, which generated total sales in the latest fiscal year of $12.9billion, a one-half share of the projected $150 million in sales wouldrepresent only a slight financial impact. But the joint venture increasesthe commodity-processor's nascent bid to push into the higher-marginconsumer segment.The alliance also increases ADM's presence in the still-evolving butpotentially lucrative market for "functional foods," in which foodstuffsare altered or enhanced so that they offer not just healthy nutrition, butspecific health benefits.Oat-bran cereals are already marketed for their ability to reduceblood-cholesterol levels, for example, and Johnson & Johnson makes thesame cardiac-health claims for its cholesterol-lowering Benecolmargarine-like spread.ADM currently produces a soy protein that some food makers use as anadditive in making nutraceuticals, including a food product aimed athelping women avoid developing osteoporosis. But to date, it hasn't solddirectly to consumers."If (the oil) is marketed even reasonably smartly, it could be incrediblypopular, Brian Wansink, an associate professor and food-marketing expertat the University of Illinois, told Dow Jones newswire recently. Wansink,who thinks the product could prove helpful to U.S. soybean farmers, alsosaid the oil "could be one of the biggest things to happen to the soyindustry in 15 years."The oil ADM will begin co-marketing with Kao is produced through a processthat substantially increases the amount of a naturally occurring compoundknown as diacylglycerol, or DAG. Because DAG is metabolized in the bodydifferently than other oils, ADM contends, the product is more likely tobe burned for energy rather than stored as body fat.In fact, ADM said, clinical studies conducted in Japan have suggested thatDAG oil in fact "may increase overall metabolism, helping to reduce theamount of fat already stored in the body."Such assertions underscore why nutraceuticals remain a controversialelement in the food industry. Drugs developed by pharmaceutical makersmust go through years-long studies that prove to the satisfaction of theFood and Drug Administration that the compound is not just safe, buteffective as a treatment. In contrast, products sold as food--even thosethat make limited health claims--don't have to clear such hurdles, andneed only be certified as safe to consume.The FDA ruled several months ago that Kao's DAG oil is "generallyrecognized as safe" in a crucial designation that cleared the way forlimited sale of the product in this country. The FDA's ruling permits saleof the product as a cooking oil and as a spread; the agency hasn't yetcleared the product for use in food processing, a segment AMD considersone of the most promising potential markets.The venture to be announced Wednesday, which fulfills a tentative letterof intent the two companies signed earlier this year, aims to use thestrengths of each partner, ADM said. According to McNamara, the president,ADM's principal contribution will be "our access to key markets and (our)vast production capabilities," while Kao's will be the technology itsscientists developed.ADM declined to provide details on how much financial funding the venturewill receive
30563. 19/06/2001
Biotech is improving farming, says English conferenceU.K. 6/18/2001(soyatech) - By 2020 there will be another two billionpeople, mainly in the poorest parts of the world. With population growthoutpacing the capacity to produce food, agriculture has reached acrossroads.Biotechnology has been around since mankind first experienced the joys ofhome brewing. Science has sidestepped the species constraints ofconventional reproduction to find more useful offspring such as the muleor hybrid crops. Horticulturalists have been modifying the genetic make-upof plants for years, in the hope of creating bigger and better crops.Genetic modification is a more specific way of doing this. Faced withdrought, rising temperature and soil infertility, in the years aheadsuccess depends on contemporary science intermingling with traditionalmethods, to enhance productivity without jeopardising ecological security.This was the issue for researchers gathered at Global Agriculture 2020 atthe John Innes Centre in Norwich in April this year.There are many success stories. Dr Luis Herrera-Estrella from Cinvestav,Mexico, is engineering crops to combat climate change and environmentalstresses. Plants are being engineered with 'drought-proofing' genes or totolerate salinity by making 'osmoprotectant' molecules such as trehalose.Others use nutrients more efficiently, reducing fertiliser usage, byexcreting organic acids that release phosphorus from metal complexes ininfertile acidic soils. Access to new technologies and software tools, canspeed up the search for genes involved with stress adaptation, offeringnovel approaches for crop design.Agriculture provides a livelihood for 55% of Indians but crops like urdand green gram frequently suffer losses of 70%. Transgenic technologyoffers a solution. In Mexico, virus-resistant potatoes boosted yields onsmall-scale farms by 46%, and income by 141%, at no extra cost because thetechnology was given by industry. And in Kenya, yields were up by 20-25%using sweet potatoes resistant to viruses or insects.Eight million hectares of cotton are cultivated in India, requiring 50% ofthe country's total pesticide consumption with dire consequences for theenvironment, biodiversity and human health. Despite this, rampant pestsand diseases reduce yields to half the worldwide average. But, fieldtrials of cotton engineered with a bacterial protein that protects againstinsect invaders, raised yields by 40-70% and needed fewer pesticides.At Professor Swaminathan's research institute in Madras, organic farmingflourishes alongside modern methods. A 'designer potato' with enhancedamino acid composition has been engineered to improve its nutritionalvalue. Tobacco that tolerates salinity is a precautionary measure againstthe rising tides a changing climate will bring. This trait can beengineered into food crops. Biological control methods, such as naturallyoccurring plant chemicals or the predator-eats-pest scenario, are alsoused to protect crops.Swaminathan is also encouraging rural communities to embrace new practicesto improve farming. But the technological explosion has seen a digitaldivide develop between those who have access to information technology andthe billions in rural regions of developing countries that do not, a kindof 'technological apartheid' as he calls it.The 'green revolution' of the late 1960s avoided widespread famine,largely by introducing high-yielding, modern semi-dwarf varieties of riceand wheat - shorter, stockier plants support the heads of grain betterthan their lankier relatives. Swaminathan advocates a new, 'evergreenrevolution' through the use of technology, to provide a sustainable globalagriculture and a perennial green revolution in which everyone can share,right down to the poorest farmer in the poorest part of the world.Malnutrition affects about 800 million worldwide - in India, 53% childrenaged under four are underweight, 47-90% are anaemic and millions sufferfrom vitamin A deficiency. 'Golden rice' engineered with vitamin Aprecursors was developed through public funding, not industry, to helpreduce blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency. With the sup port ofSyngenta, free licences for 'humanitarian use' were granted for allintellectual property rights and the rice is free for farmers earning lessthan Dollars 10,000.Widely grown, especially by peasant women, bananas provide 25% of theenergy needs for most Kenyans. Declining yields, due to environmentalstresses, pests and diseases, threatened food security and income for the80% of small-scale farmers in Kenya who provide 90% of the country's food.This prompted scientists from the ISAAA AfriCentre, Nairobi, to work withlocal farmers to offer culturally acceptable solutions. Propagating'clean' seedlings in tissue culture, sterile glass pots until they arehardy enough to transplant to the field has boosted yields.Esther Gacaugu is one farmer reaping the rewards - she has ploughed herincreased income back into her farm, expanding her orchard. She is now agroup leader and distributor of tissue culture-grown plantlets and canafford to educate her children.Progress has always been driven by myriad technological innovations andagriculture faces tough decisions if it is to supply nutritional food tofeed eight billion.Together with traditional practices, the advent of genetic engineering anda wealth of knowledge from genomics resources herald a new renaissance,allowing more food to be produced from less land using less water andfewer chemicals.To the eco-terrorists brandishing their banners shouting 'Save the world',isn't that what science is in a position to do?But as Professor Alan Gray, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,said: 'The future of agriculture may actually depend on the ability of thepersuaders.'-by Dr. Claire Cockcroft, Institute of Biotechnology, University ofCambridge.
30564. 19/06/2001
Higher Cargo Handling Capacity By Johor Ports
30565. 19/06/2001
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's crude palm oil (CPO) outputrose 6.87 percent to 985,063 tonnes in May this year from 921,709 tonnesin April, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said here Friday.Out of this, Peninsular Malaysia's production accounted for 630,575tonnes, up 6.47 percent from 592,247 tonnes in April, it said in astatement here today.
30566. 19/06/2001
Malaysia cuts supply by burning palm oil as fuelKUALA LUMPUR, June 13, Agence France Presse (AFP) - Malaysia has managedto cut palm oil stocks by 400,000 tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes after itstarted to burn the commodity to generate electricity from late April, areport said Wednesday.The move to use crude palm oil at power plants belonging to state-ownedTenaga Nasional has lifted the current depressed market, said AbdullahTahir, secretary-general of the primary industries ministry."We hope the project will succeed in reducing the national stock to onemillion tonnes by end of the year," Abdullah was quoted as saying by theBusiness Times newspaper.Abdullah dismissed reports of power generators being damaged by burningthe oil, saying that the initiative has been proven to be technicallyfeasible by both Tenaga and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.The newspaper said the program was limited because 80 percent of Tenaga'spower generators are currently gas-fired.Crude palm oil must be blended with either diesel or medium fuel oil forburning at power stations. Tenaga's power plant in the northern state ofPenang is the only one still powered by medium fuel oil.Malaysia, the world's largest palm oil producer, has watched with dismayas the price plunged from a high of 2,377 ringgit (626 dollars) a tonne in1998 to around 800 ringgit currently.The government has also begun a replanting project as part of efforts toreduce stocks and lift sagging prices.
30567. 19/06/2001
KUALA NERANG, June 15 (Bernama) -- A cabinet level committee meeting wouldbe held next Tuesday to formulate appropriate guidelines towardsstandardising funds that provide various aids for rubber and oil palmsmallholders, said Rural Development Minister, Datuk Azmi Khalid.
30568. 15/06/2001
Argentine soybean prices rise on low supplies
30569. 15/06/2001
30570. 14/06/2001
CPO Price Outlook This Year Less Encouraging
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