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Global Probiotics Council announces grants for probiotic research

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The Global Probiotics Council, a committee formed by Groupe Danone and Yakult Honsha, on Monday announced the availability of two grants for the second annual Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research.

Each Young Investigator Grant will provide $50,000 over one year. This year, the grant focus is on the role of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota in health and disease. The grants are designed to contribute to the advancement of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota research in the United States and to attract promising, young researchers into this field of study.

“Groupe Danone and Yakult Honsha are committed to benefiting human health by advancing research on probiotics,” said Sven Thormahlen, executive vice president of research and development for Danone Research. “We established the GPC to raise awareness of probiotics and their health benefits through science-based education.”

Researchers applying for this grant must be interested in understanding the health benefits of probiotics and the relationship between probiotics, gastrointestinal microbiota and the body.

Probiotic research is a key expertise of Danone Research, the companies stated. Over the past 90 years, Danone has amassed a collection of approximately 3,500 lactic bacteria strains or “cultures.” In addition to taste and texture, some of these cultures provide probiotic health properties. Such is the case of Bifidobacterium animalis DN 173 010, used to produce Activia, and Lactobacillus casei DN 114 001, used to produce DanActive.

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General Mills planning $100 million expansion of its Albuquerque facility

BY Melissa Valliant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Breakfast cereal manufacturer General Mills is dishing out $100 million toward the expansion of its Albuquerque plant, according to Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez in his state of the city address Tuesday. The 17-year-old facility, which currently employs about 190 workers, will have 160,000 square feet added, as well as an additional 60 employees. The plant will mainly manufacture snack products, and employees will make an average salary of $40,000.

The Albuquerque plant was chosen for expansion over six to eight other cities because of its low business costs and productive work force. GM needs to first acquire industrial revenue bonds from the city for the project before it can move forward with the expansion. The company anticipates hiring the new employees and beginning expansion near the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010.

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Price Chopper opens store in South Burlington, Vt., promotes EatingWell resources

BY Melissa Valliant

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. Price Chopper Supermarkets opened a 37,000-square-foot super center Tuesday in South Burlington, Vt. In accordance with the grocery store chain’s recent agreement with the EatingWell Media Group, various EatingWell recipes, health guides, cookbooks and magazines will be displayed throughout the store, and health tips and information will be added to the Healthy U page of Price Chopper’s Web site.

The new, South Burlington store will also be included in the grocery’s recently developed “Fuel AdvantEdge,” savings/reward program, which gives buyers 10 cents off every gallon of gas for every $50 of food purchased from Price Chopper. The store is hiring approximately 150 full and part-time employees.

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