In an effort to cultivate probiotic innovation in the functional food and beverage markets, Ganeden Inc., Mayfield Heights, Ohio, has announced it is seeking submissions for its Probiotic Innovation Jumpstart, an entrepreneurial program designed to help companies launch new products containing probiotics, the company says. The grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 to utilize GanedenBC30 probiotics in the product as well as guidance, assistance and expertise from Ganeden to develop and launch the product, it adds. Submissions are due on May 6. Three finalists will present their ideas in-person at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) show on July 16 in Chicago.


Monster Beverage Corp., Corona, Calif., announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire flavor supplier and long-time business partner, American Fruits & Flavors (AFF), Pacoima, Calif.  The transaction will bring Monster’s primary flavor supplier in-house, secure the intellectual property of Monster’s flavors and products, including Monster Energy drinks, and further enhance its flavor development and global flavor footprint capabilities, the company says. Pursuant to the terms of the transaction, Monster will purchase AFF for $690 million and, upon closing, will acquire $87 million of adjusted operating income for the 12 months that ended Dec. 31, 2015. The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, is subject to customary closing conditions.


Yorba Linda, Calif.-based Nutralliance appointed Felipe Chaluppe as its new director of sales for the Midwest region. His responsibilities include servicing food and pharmaceutical clients and reinforcing the company’s efforts to deliver the highest-quality, value-added ingredients to the market, the company says.


Naturex, Avignon, France, and Mazza Innovation Ltd., British Columbia, Canada, signed an exclusive agreement in which Mazza will use its PhytoClean extraction process to produce cranberry extracts exclusively for Naturex in its new facility in British Columbia.


The National Processed Raspberry Council (NPRC), Lynden, Wash., released a scientific study on the health-promoting potential of red raspberries. Components in red raspberries might have anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and metabolic stabilizing activity, according to a report published in the January issue of Advances in Nutrition. Containing 9 grams of fiber in a cup, red raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and are among the few plant foods that provide a source of ellagitannins and anthocyanins in the same package, the report says. The study suggests that the action of these  nutrients and phytochemicals in the body might help to reduce the risk of metabolically-based chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease: all of which share critical metabolic, oxidative and inflammatory links, it adds.


Sweden-based Probi Ltd. signed an agreement with Swedish biotech company Probac to acquire a license for two probiotic strains for use in food applications, primarily dairy products, the company says. The license covers the global market, excluding the Nordic countries. Additionally, the IP rights for two additional thermostable strains are included in the agreement, which will be used for future product development, it adds. The new strains will complement Probi’s existing lineup of clinically documented probiotics within the gastro, immune and iron absorption areas, including the strains used in chilled beverages such as ProViva and GoodBelly.