ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
In 2009, the flavorings extracts and flavoring syrups industry was valued at $33.4 billion and was growing. Today, IFANCA certifies Torani and Monin both manufacturers of flavoring syrups, sauces and blended drink bases. As the café culture rises in popularity, so does the demand for Torani products which are available in over 50 markets around the world and blend seamlessly in coffee and espresso-based applications.
According to SymphonyIRI Group, a market research firm that analyzes shopper scanning data in the US, Torani was the number one consumer brand in flavored syrups, as of December, 2011.
"(In addition to the USA), we have a strong business in the Pacific Rim, particularly in Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore, all of which have fairly developed specialty coffee communities. The Middle East region is also a significant specialty coffee market. The café category and demand for our products is particularly high in Saudi Arabia and we also have great importer partners in Europe and Mexico," says Amy Ware, Brand Director, Torani.
According to Bob Hager, VP Marketing at Monin, a 100 year old company, "the most popular Monin syrups are always vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, chocolate, as well as, fruits such as pomegranate and strawberry".
How does Monin decide which syrup flavors to develop, we asked?
"With well over 100 different flavors our approach is twofold. (We see) Is there a trend that has sustainability or an international flavor we seeing moving to the US? Secondly, is there a flavor profile a specific account is interested in? An example of a trend is our recently launched pie flavor syrups. Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie and Blueberry Pie were introduced in the fall as a result of America’s love affair with pies, and their ever increasing popularity. They became an instant success," says Mr. Hager. Luckily for halal consumers, all Monin syrups are halal certified, so they can try every single one.
"The halal status of flavored syrups can be a concern because many of them may contain alcohol. If the ethyl-alcohol concentration is too high this may mean that the syrup is not halal. Some syrups may contain flavors from alcoholic beverages. This may mean that no matter what the concentration, the syrup will not be halal," says Mujahid Khan, Food Scientist at IFANCA. "It is our job to make sure that the chemical ethanol is below our acceptable threshold and that no alcoholic beverage is mixed into the syrup."
IFANCA Delegation at 1st International Conference On Halal Food Control In Saudi Arabia
February 12-15, 2012: An IFANCA delegation, including Dr. Muhammad M. Chaudry, Dr. Mian Nadeem Riaz, Mr. Rachid Belbachir and Mr. Adil Khan, was present at the 1st International Conference on Halal Food Control in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Hosted by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the conference brought together both the scientific community and religious scholars from across the globe to explore ways to make halal standards an international benchmark. The conference served as a platform to encourage the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences between countries on halal food.
Dr. Chaudry, President, IFANCA, reviewed the current status of literature about halal. Despite living in an age of information overload, when it comes to halal, we still have a dearth of accurate information, he said. Intended for a wide audience comprising consumers, researchers, regulators and the food industry, his talk covered the availability of literature on critical halal issues such as manufacturing technologies in creating unique ingredients and products; use of novel ingredients in re-designing conventional products and producing imitation products. He also discussed interventions to enhance nutritional characteristics; marketing and international trade aspects of halal foods; and the use of alcohol in food processing, non-alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic beverages that still contain alcohol.
Dr. Riaz, Director, Food Protein R&D Center at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, spoke on the Halal Status of Food Additives. He introduced his talk with a definition of food additives and acknowledged that producing some products would not be possible without them. However, there are additives that are questionable with respect to their halal status, he said. "Some common additives are derived from sources that are not halal, for example, pigs, and animals slaughtered contrary to Islamic requirements. Even when the food additive is listed in the ingredients statement, the source of the additive is not. For the food industry to serve the halal market properly, it is very important that they know the halal status of additives," he said. He also shed light on current additives that are not required to be listed on the ingredients label, for example, processing aids and anti-caking agents. Because of how they are processed, some foods may unintentionally be contaminated with non-food additives that are not halal such as food grade equipment lubricants, he said.
In attendance were industry representatives from a wide range of institutions including attendees from diary and non diary, red meat, halal food franchise, bread, chocolate, biscuits, beverages, organic produce, supermarkets, and much more. Others in attendance were representatives from hotels, restaurants, as well as halal certification agencies.
Forty-seven Brazilian companies from sectors such as halal food, beverage and agribusiness; machinery and equipment; and construction, aim to boost trade ties with potential buyers from Saudi Arabia. Organized by the Brazilian Trade And Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and the Brazilian Ministry of Development, the mission is designed to bring investors, trading partners and distributors from both countries to the table. Brazilian private companies and governmental institutions presented projects in sectors such as infrastructure (ports, railroads, energy) and real estate (retail, hotels, logistics) to an audience of potential co-investors and partners. Apex-Brasil President, Marcio Burgas, said these efforts were part of a mutual desire to strengthen economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Brazil and promote opportunities for business.
According to one financial report, "rising food prices are stoking global inflation with many agricultural commodity markets driven higher by bad weather in key producing countries". A key component of that statement are the words 'bad weather', which includes the lack of snow across the USA this winter.
Visitors to the United States often remark that Americans can be obsessive about the weather, from the frequent weather updates to the many conversations about the temperature. But this winter, the weather has become fodder for serious discussions. According to David Robinson, director of the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University, "the U.S. has had the 11th least extensive December snow cover in the 46-year satellite record, this winter."
It's dry, and not just on the surface. Deep down underground it's dry; down where farmers will need moisture next spring, says Brian Buhr, a University of Minnesota Agricultural Economist. When there's no snow, there's not enough water that goes into the underground reserves nor is the ground insulated from the cold.
"You're gonna get very deep frost. And when you get that deep frost, of course, some of those spring rains, then, don't have the opportunity to soak into that subsoil," said Buhr. Dry soil can translate into diminished crop production, which in turn will result in higher grocery prices.
"Which can be good for producers, but if we don't have the crops to sell, of course, that doesn't help. But, consumers eventually bear some of the cost of those lower crop production levels," said Buhr.
Snow also protects year-round crops such as alfalfa against the cold. A shortage of alfalfa would mean dairy farmers paying hire prices to feed their cows, resulting in higher milk prices on grocery shelves, he adds.
Brussels, February 2012: The Halal Food Council of Europe (HFCE), an internationally recognized halal certification and consulting organization based in Belgium, has announced that it is planning to open satellite offices in Paris and Ankara to meet the increasing need for halal certification by the food industry in those countries. Currently, HFCE services clients in those countries out of its offices in Brussels. New offices will streamline and facilitate the halal certification process focusing on linguistic considerations. The main goal of these offices will be to enhance the process of export of halal-certified products to the Middle East and the Pacific Rim countries. With offices in Ankara, HFCE will be the only halal certifying body in Turkey that is recognized globally.
HFCE is a multiple-disciplinary non-governmental, educational and community service organization, registered in Belgium to operate throughout Europe. HFCE has a staff of 16 professionals including six graduates in food related disciplines, collectively proficient in nine languages.