FoodBev Media’s Gwen Jones rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including:
Monster Beverage wins approval for Bang Energy acquisition
Monster Beverage has won US bankruptcy court approval to acquire Bang Energy owner Vital Pharmaceuticals (VPX Sports) out of Chapter 11 for $362 million.
Monster and VPX Sports entered into an asset purchase agreement on 3 July 2023 under which a Monster subsidiary would acquire all of Bang Energy’s assets.
The acquisition includes Bang’s performance beverages and related businesses and a beverage production facility located in Phoenix, Arizona, US.
The sale means Bang will survive bankruptcy, however, it follows VPX Sports’ plans to make more than 450 of its employees redundant.
WHO declares aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic” but safe to consume in moderation
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its review of the health impacts of aspartame, declaring the non-sugar sweetener as “possibly carcinogenic” but safe to consume in moderation.
The assessments were conducted by the WHO’s cancer research arm International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). JECFA has reaffirmed the acceptable daily intake of 40mg/kg body weight.
The IARC and JECFA conducted independent reviews to assess the potential carcinogenic hazard and other health risks associated with aspartame consumption. Both evaluations noted limitations in the available evidence for cancer and other health effects.
IARC classified aspartame as possibly carcinogenic to humans on the basis of limited evidence for cancer in humans, specifically, for hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer. This was the first time that IARC has evaluated aspartame and the third time for JECFA.
US Senate calls on FDA to investigate Prime Energy
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called on regulators to investigate Prime Energy drink – a product marketed to children and teenagers to quench thirst that contains 200mg of caffeine.
Schumer sent a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Robert Califf, calling on the organisation to investigate Prime and its energy drink for health claims, high caffeine content and marketing.
Prime, a beverage brand launched last year by YouTube creators Logan Paul and KSI, contains more caffeine content than a cup of coffee, a can of Coca-Cola and a can of Red Bull, according to Schumer.
Schumer said a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 34 milligrams of caffeine, and an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull has 80 milligrams. Contrastingly, a 12-ounce can of Prime Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine.
Mondi to acquire Hinton Pulp mill, plans €400m expansion
Packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi has agreed to acquire the 250,000 tonne per annum Hinton Pulp mill in Alberta, Canada, from West Fraser Timber for $5 million.
Mondi will enter into a long-term partnership with West Fraser as part of the transaction to access local fibre from a well-established wood basket.
The packaging manufacturer plans to invest €400 million in the expansion of Hinton, primarily for a new 200,000 tonne per annum kraft paper machine, anticipated to be operational from the second half of 2027.
Beneo launches barley beta-glucans ingredient Orafti β-Fit
Beneo has launched its first barley beta-glucans ingredient, Orafti β-Fit.
The ingredient offers various health benefits, such as positive impacts on heart health and blood sugar management.
Beta-glucans are viscous and soluble dietary fibres that make the food thicker and delay its passage through the large and small intestines as a result.
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