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News briefs: Kraft, Kellogg and antioxidant nuts

By Charlotte Eyre , 30-Oct-2007

Kraft signs the legal documents to acquire Danone's biscuit unit; Kellogg's will increase its advertisement spend; and new research suggests that boiling nuts retains their antioxidant properties.

Kraft signs biscuit agreement with Danone

 

US food giant Kraft said yesterday that it has signed final agreements to acquire the biscuit business of France-based Groupe Danone.

 

 

 

The company first made the €5.3bn cash offer for Danone's biscuit division in July, as a successful acquisition would give Kraft, the number one biscuit brand in the world, greater access to the European and Asian markets.

 

 

 

Completion of the deal is subject to approval from the European Commission, as well as regulatory authorities in the countries concerned.

 

 

 

According to Kraft, both companies "anticipate that the transaction will close by the end of the year."

 

 

The proposed deal has been extended from the original date of 24 October to 9 November, the Commission said, because both parties have submitted undisclosed "new data" that needs reviewing.

 

 

Kellogg plans double digit ad spending rise

 

Cereal company Kellogg will increase money spent on advertising in an attempt to combat rising commodity costs, according to Dow Jones newswire.

 

 

 

The company yesterday posted a third quarter revenue rise of 6.4 per cent, but expects about 40 per cent of the full-year commodity inflation to hit in the fourth quarter, the newswire said.

 

 

 

Chief executive officer David Mackay said that the advertising will be particularly aimed at encouraging consumers to buy Special K cereal, Eggo waffles and Pop-Tarts in the US.

 

 

 

Kellogg's commodity costs are currently the highest they have been in seven or eight years, he added.

 

 

Boiling nuts quadruples antioxidants, says study

 

Boiled peanuts contain four times as many antioxidant phytochemicals than raw, dry or roasted nuts, according to a new US study.

 

 

 

"Boiling is a better method of preparing peanuts in order to preserve these phytochemicals," said head researcher Lloyd Walker.

 

 

 

Researchers from the University of Alabama's Department of Food and Animal Sciences said that the antioxidant qualities of the chemicals help protect human cells against diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

 

 

 

When boiled, water and heat release the beneficial antioxidants but don't overcook and therefore destroy them, Walker said.

 

 

 

"The trick is to keep these health benefits, not to process them out of the foods," he added.

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