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Destruction Of the Rain Forest – Not All Acai Products Are Equal

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The Amazon encompasses 1.2 billion acres on the South American continent’s north side of which the part is in Brazil and covers almost one half of that extensive country. Tha matter of fact is, the Amazon and its fertile ground for various plants and animals that thrive in its exotic climate, that the products from the Amazon are better than what we call organic – they are wild. Things that grow in the wild are strong in their own defense mechanisms to fight against insects and all manners of combatants, as a result. Amazon products such as the Brazil nut, guarana, and the Acai berry being recognised for their complex make up and concentrated nutritional values.

Destruction of rain forest!

Deforestation of the Amazon rain forest reached its highest in the years of 2004 and 2005. Satellite photos show loggers burned and cut down a near record over 10.000 square miles of rain forest in 2004 alone.

One of the main reasons is the world demand for heart-of-palm which is a Salad Garnish. It was known, poachers were illegally chopping down 5,000 to 10,000 palm trees a week. This was just to get the 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inch) section found near the crown of a 20 meter (65 foot) palm tree.

Just for this delicacy one poacher would have chopped down an average of 50 trees a day only to earn roughly $1 for every tree from which the heart-of-palm was removed. Once the heart is removed, the tree dies and rots.

The harvest of a palm tree that has grown for over 100 years has just enough of this delicacy to fill two 14-oz cans of heart-of-palm. This would retail in a supermarket for less than $5.00 per can. To feed salad bars and salad connoisseurs world-wide, is this worth such destruction of the palm and the rain forest? It is particularly a waste because the heart-of-palm has no particular nutritional value beyond its fiber.

This is not the case with the Acai berry which has significant nutritional density and the harvesting of it is a complete different approach.

Harvesting the Acai this way may safe the jungle!

Because of the huge interest and demand of the Acai berry, this has started to help the locals to realize that cutting down these precious palm trees just for a few inches of the top core of the tree was no longer a solution, and found that there are better options available. Every palm tree produces an abundant crop of Acai fruit twice a year. Within a few years, the value of the palm fruit itself exceeded by far the value of removing the top core of the palm just for the use as a salad garnish.

Therefore, a legitimate reason was found not to cut down those trees by harvesting the Acai berry another way.

Laborers now climb high into the 90-foot palm to collect what is known as the Black Pearl of the Amazon.

As these workers soon realized this type of reputed harvest every year or in some cases twice a year is a better way securing their jobs and increasing their earnings.

Harvesting the fruits from the palms is better for the environment because the palm will continue to grow for years. This was the way to stop unscrupulous loggers who destroy Acai palms for a quick profit.

This is opening another window of opportunity for the natives and showing them how to protect one of the best treasures they have, by saving the palm tree that gives so much towards people’s health.

Preparations after harvesting the Acai berry!

The Amazon River is long and wide and a boat can navigate it inland from the sea for over 3,218 km (2000 miles).

The river is providing the best opportunity to navigate barges for transporting and quick preparations straight after harvesting the fruit. The timing is crucial; if not properly cared for, the oxidation process begins and quickly spoils the delicate fruit.

Without a way to keep the fruit refrigerated or quickly being processed, it would deteriorate fast as just about every food does in the tropics. In the last decade or so, a reliable and cost-effective transportation infrastructure including large refrigeration facilities being established. The well equipped barges can navigate the river deep into the jungle picking up the harvest.

Barges equipped with such facilities where certain stages of processing been done and transported to cities close to the Amazon River. One of the most effective ways is to have the fruit flash frozen into large blocks and shipped to different destinations. Why flash frozen? This is the only and most effective way for the fruit to keep all its goodness and nutritional values.

The Power of Acai

As reported in the Journal of Agriculture and food chemistry, a study showing extracts from Acai berries triggered a self-destruct response in more than 86 percent of leukemia cells tested.

This study was one of the first of its kind performed by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science to show what people may gain from using beverages, dietary supplements made with the berries. There are many such reports of different health benefits. Therefore, there is no better reason for distributors and businesses being eager to use the name advantage of Acai.

Not all Acai products are equal

The label doesn’t tell it all. On the label it may say that it includes Acai, but how much does it contain? Also, was it preserved the way it should have been? Therefore, not all Acai products as shown on labels are the same, nor contain the right amount to have the effect it should have. How this berry is preserved and processed can have a dramatic effect on its overall quality.

Many labels on products listed as including Acai, but most have only a fraction of the Acai quantity and its antioxidant activity it should have. Some companies do not understand how important all the processing actions after harvesting is, or are just trying to save money in making shortcuts in the process.

About late 1990s university labs became more advanced in accurately measuring the amounts of specific nutrients in the Acai fruits and other foods. Only than methods of preservation being realized and became available, such as freeze drying that would contain its nutritional quality.

There are not many leading companies that have done their research and follow strict rules and guidelines into preserving and transporting this highly quality product without losing any of its nutritious values.

Processing and preserving the Acai berry

The key to it is that the benefits of the Acai berry is delivered in the most effective and concentrated form. A process of freezing the fresh harvested fruit to preserve the fruits nutrients being performed at a very low heat temperature; this process removes the moisture from the berry – leaving behind pure Acai powder.

The freeze-dried Acai powder, on a gram-for-gram basis, has an ORAC of 1.027, I spoke about in the previous article. That makes it one of the highest of any kind of fruits or vegetables.

A product has been found and developed with one of the best health benefits for anyone who wants to take advantage of it. Now, more than ever people are stepping up to accept responsibility for their own health and for the food they ingest. Scientific evidence shows that the most powerful health advantages come from mother nature, and using natural food as medicine is the most logical step.

Public health officials are urging consumers to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables every day to get the all important antioxidants. Unfortunately, most people have very little knowledge of what antioxidants are and why they are important.

The other positive step is changing the process of harvesting, saving the palm trees and protecting the Amazon rain forest. It is not only for taking, it is also for giving back.

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Pet Food Market – Trends, Industry Competitiveness and Future Outlook

Thursday, September 14th, 2017


The pet food market was valued at USD 74.9 billion in 2016. North America accounted for the largest share of over 35% of the global market in 2016. The second largest market is Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific with around 20% of the market share, thus, accelerating the trend of pet owners across the globe. In North America, the United States holds the major market share of pets and pet owners, which is expected to register a high CAGR, during 2017-2022 (the forecast period).


Flavors and textures are becoming bolder, more complex, authentic, and specific. The correlation of pet food and the modern formats blending freeze-dried bits, with kibble or treats, for texture variations, is making pet owners choose from a range of variety of shapes, textures, and flavors. Moreover, clean labeling continues to grow. Health conscious consumers look for permissible indulgences, like the smaller portion sizes of treats or candies with healthier ingredients like chia seeds or yogurt. Pet treats are developing, in terms of ingredients with functional or other nutritional benefits, which is allowing pet owners to indulge their pets free from guilt. New dog food products comprised of 80% of the global launches in 2015. The launches from September 2015 to September 2016, are keeping the health-related trend intact in new products by category. The share for cat food was around 68% globally. This trend of health and wellness has made good sales for the manufacturers. A few instances in this context are Hill’s Ideal Balance, a new range of dog and cat food that combines natural ingredients with Hill’s perfectly balanced nutrition, is now available in South Africa. CORE® RawRev, a new high-protein grain-free product, is launched by Wellness CORE®, a family of grain-free, natural animal nutrition company.


The high internet connectivity available in the major countries is boosting the use on e-commerce sites as an effective distribution channel. The notions of convenience, affluence or exclusivity, safety, and market awareness play a very crucial role in the developing nations. The unreliability of local goods, as indicated by the recent scandals, is also making people rely on foreign goods. These are made easily available through the e-commerce, further making the sales high. Owing to the industry’s two pet superstores, PetSmart and Petco, the e-commerce channel is exploding with the pet product sales. The late embrace of the market connectivity in the minor markets of small economies, such as Vietnam, Thailand etc., is a cause of infrastructure lag and almost negligible product awareness. These stores offer the nascent market advantages of low regulations and competition. The companies, as the e-commerce is strengthening, are negotiating the ever-changing internet landscape with the factors such as dealing with giants like Amazon that is deciding to sell through similar e-commerce websites and mergers & acquisitions. For instance, in April 2017, PetSmart announced that it will acquire, which heightened the consternation in the independent pet retailers. In response, Tuffy’s Pet Food, a manufacturer to independent and family-owned businesses, announced pulling out its products from Chewy, as it would be owned by the largest US pet store chain. Though Tuffy’s reports a very positive response, not every company detaches itself easily from any large e-commerce sites.


Though the consumers today are part-time vegetarians, they seem to do the opposite when it comes to pet food. The pet owners look for diet options, which focus on the carnivorous nature of dogs and cats, thus, driving the number of products with high and fresh meat claims. Despite the demand for carnivorous diets, veggies are still going mainstream and the producers are innovating their existing products. Free from” for all-the free from trend has been growing, since the past few years and has now hit the mainstream. Pet foods are being formulated with respect to the concerns of humans that include organic and non-GMO ingredients. These ingredients are used in low-carb recipes and have gluten-free claims on new cereal products that increased from one in 15 in 2011 to one in five in 2016. New product launches, with organic or GMO-free ingredients, are witnessing growth in the market. Organic and natural food sales are expected to increase 14.6%, annually, in next two years. For Petco and PetSmart, organic pet foods are bought at a 7.1% and 5.6% rate, respectively, with organic purchases at veterinary clinics at 5.3%. Brands communicate more about the production processes, due to the rising consumer interest in natural plus authenticity and transparency. This is true for the buyers, too, especially, for the ones seeking products in non-traditional formats such as raw, freeze-dried, frozen and baked. Balchem Corp., a global health, and nutrition company, introduced a new line of specialty nutrients and unique processing additives. The Omega Plus range was launched in the South Island in September 2016, after the two years of continuous R&D. In addition, Bob Martin launched Simply+, a range of products marketed as “nutritionally advanced food that provides dogs with all the essentials of a healthy diet”.


The domestic market is growing at an annual rate of above 30% in China and is poised to accelerate at the same rate by 2022, reaching CNY 150 billion and further, making it the third-largest market, worldwide. Moreover, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province inaugurated the first cross-border pet industry experimental zone in the city’s Jianggan District. The experimental zone will pilot the reforms on the regulation and approval of cross-border imports. It will explore the introduction of national standards in the industry and promote the exportation of domestically made products. Moreover, more than 35 enterprises, including the cross-border e-commerce sites like Tmall, Kaola Beibei, and related logistics & warehousing companies, have been established in the experimental zone. The zone, basically, enables one-stop services and aims to enroll open, transparent, and smart pet food import channels and regulatory policies. Similar efforts are being taken by the countries to focus on the growing pet population and trends. The market players are taking complete advantage of this situation and investing in R&D for innovative product launches.


1. Nestlé Purina launched a new production hall at its facility in Bük, in Hungary’s northwest, making the plant the largest production center in Europe and opened the USD 86 million factories in Brazil. This step is expected to boost the Nestlé Purina for more growth than the domestic market.
2. Carna4: Formulas Inspired by Health Food Trends. This manufacturer takes inspiration from the human health food sector to formulate innovative and whole-food recipes for dogs and cats.
3. PetLife Supersedes Expectations for the Acquisition of Dr. Geoff’s Real Food for Pets. PetLife Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a developer of a new generation of high potency veterinary cancer medications and nutraceuticals for pets, announced that it is acquiring Dr. Geoff’s Real Food for Pets™ and expansion plans for a national rollout.
4. German Company Entering Thailand. Interquell, a German-based dog, and cat food company, entered the Thai industry by forming a joint venture, named Happy Pet (Thailand) Co Ltd, with partner Technic Pet Holding, reported Pets International. Interquell holds 49% of the joint venture. Interquell owns the Happy Dog and Happy Cat premium brands.


How will face-to-face interaction boost the pet food market in Digital Age?
Is low thiamine cat food the cause for Australian cat deaths?
Gluten free foods, GMO foods making their mark in the pet food industry.
Edible insects creeping into pet food popularity.
Humanization and premiumisation on peaks in the pet industry.
Will the US and China continue their dominance in the pet food market? What are the emerging markets?
Will growing market connectivity in Asian countries of Vietnam, Thailand etc. boost the Asia-Pacific pet food market?