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Research shows potential prebiotic qualities of enzyme-converted durum wheat

BY Jenna Duncan

NAPLES, READING, England, and BARCELONA Several new studies at universities in Europe have examined the possibility that enzyme-treated insoluble durum wheat could possibly be infused with prebiotic qualities, reports said.

Studies conducted by universities in Barcelona, Naples and Reading have examined adding Trichoderma enzymes to insoluble cereal fiber. Some results have appeared in a report published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Reports stated that the addition of the enzyme produced soluble feruloyl oligosaccharides, also containing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli-boosting properties in a “model gut system”—bacteria known to aid in digestion.

Researchers have stated that if the studies can confirm the prebiotic potential of durum wheat plus enzymes, this fiber could join the growing line-up of commerical prebiotic/probiotic health supplements.

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Farmer Bros. buys Sara Lee’s coffee business

BY Melissa Valliant

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. Farmer Brothers Company is acquiring Sara Lee Corp.’s U.S. Direct Store Delivery Foodservice coffee business for $45 million. The deal, which is expected to close in the beginning of 2009, will provide the coffee, tea and spice foodservice manufacturer with more than 20,000 more customers, Sara Lee’s Foodservice DSD coffee business sales and distribution staff, 60 “branch” facilities, a major Houston manufacturing plant and an Oklahoma City distribution and spice facility.

Purchased brands include Superior Coffee, Cain’s, Ireland, Justin Lloyd, McGarvey, Metropolitan, Prebica, Suntipt [U.S. only], Wechsler, Cafe Royal and Royal Kona. The two companies have agreed on a reciprocal co-pack plan for the supply of certain coffee and tea products.

“We are pleased to announce the sale of our Foodservice DSD coffee business, which is consistent with our commitment to simplifying our business to focus on areas where we have a clear, sustainable point of difference and can leverage our scale,” said C.J. Fraleigh, chief operating officer of Sara Lee Corporation in North America. “We remain committed to growing our Foodservice beverage business, with its leading liquid and roast and ground coffee positions, through our strong national sales force and distributor network.”

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Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. recipes bought by Kellogg Co.

BY Melissa Valliant

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. Kellogg Co. has purchased Mother’s Cake and Cookie Co.’s recipes and trademarks and plans on incorporating the cookies in its snacks business unit that already includes popular cookie brands like Chips Deluxe and Fudge Shoppe, the company announced Thursday.

The breakfast and snack food giant wants to expand the cookie sales of Mother’s Cookies, according to Kellogg president and chief executive officer David Mackay, and will be reintroducing various Mother’s Cookies products.   

Mother’s Cake & Cookie Co. had filed for bankruptcy protection in October, due to unaffordable food and fuel costs, and Archway & mother’s Cookie Co. Inc. did not intend to continue U.S. operations. Its iced animal crackers, sandwich cookies and wire cut cookies were some of its most popular products, and the brand was popular many Western states.

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