November 11, 2013

11/11/13: Philippines typhoon damage, US trans fat ban, Russian lysine plant

Rice harvests in the Philippines have been severely hit by the recent Super Typhoon Haiyan, reports the Bangkok Post. The storm, reckoned to have killed up to 10,000 people, has caused an estimated US$85m of farm damage, a significant blow to the livelihoods for farmers recovering from the disaster. Rice imports, which have been decreasing in recent years, are expected by the International Rice Research Institute to come in above the 1.1 million tonnes estimated for 2013/14 before the crisis.
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US bakers have been rattled by the government's unexpected decision to eradicate trans fats. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given them sixty days to come up with a solution to the possible consequences to the baking industry, if this act is approved. Trans fats have been increasingly connected to heart disease, high cholesterol and strokes in recent years, and many large companies have already heeded retailers' requests and removed trans fats from their products.
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Russia’s biggest poultry producer has announced plans for a US$250m lysine plant, due to become operational next month. Prioskolye claim the Belgorod factory will produce 20,000 tonnes of the amino acid per year, fulfilling 60 percent of Russia’s lysine sulphate needs. The plant, which will synthesise lysine from wheat grain, is expected to make its first shipment in early 2014.
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Twinkie: under threat? (Photo credit: Jenn Durfey)
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