Editor-in-chief Lauren R. Hartman provides a rundown of the March 2011 issue, which is filled with need-to-know information for bakers and snack food manufacturers.

Critical subjects somehow manage to thread their way into all of our issues and online products one way or another, but this issue ofSnack Food & Wholesale Bakery considers several. Whether it’s a hot topic such as the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which Judi Adams discusses in this month’s Nutritional Corner (page 50), or a special report on food safety (page 38), our March issue focuses on things bakers need to know.

The revised DGA, which helps form federal food and nutrition policies and offers rules that schools and food assistance programs can use, are meant to be interpreted by nutrition practitioners to provide easily understood nutrition guidance.

One topic that’s especially top of mind right now is food safety. There are few other aspects of our business that are more important and affect our daily lives as much. Our special report looks at this most critical subject, as foodborne illness is so common today, yet largely preventable if those in the global food chain could be held accountable at each step for controlling hazards that can cause illness. Our report examines the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA), something bakers and snack food manufacturers want to gauge in terms of how it will affect them and how it will change the way food is regulated. You’ll find viewpionts from the Food and Drug Administration’s Jenny Scott and various spokespeople at industry associations involved in the FSMA’s passage or development.

We also include a summary from a food safety workshop in February. Bakers and snack food companies can find more of these workshops being scheduled. They offer a wealth of information on equipment sanitation, new equipment designs, controlling pathogens, managing allergens and effective cleaning and sanitization procedures.

New developments are coming out in equipment, such as mixers (see our Production Technology article on page 62), which now are designed to be tougher and more high-performing than ever before, as well as product introductions in sweeteners, flavors, gums and starches in the Ingredient Technology article on page 52. From reduced-sodium flavorings, monosodium glutamate replacements and new flavor systems that provide heat stability or a creamy mouthfeel to synergistic gum and starch/gum blends that help create or enhance structural stability and improve the overall texture of the food, many of today’s ingredient solutions offer a host of can’t-miss characteristics.

In addition, frozen pizza manufacturers are creating unique products to meet demand with innovative and unfamiliar varieties. Check out our Market Trends article on page 32 for an outline of what pizza makers are doing to deliver fresh, creative pizza topping options such as Buffalo chicken, caramelized pears and cheeses that go beyond basic Mozzarella.

And here’s something else to munch on: If you’re heading to SNAXPO 2011, be sure to go to our website,
www.snackandbakery.com, as well as our snackandbakery.com print section (page 68), which will help prepare you for the latest advancements at the biggest show in snacks, March 20-23 at the J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla. Get great tidbits on what equipment manufacturers will be showcasing at their booths and find more pre-show coverage.

There’s plenty going on this spring, so climb out of that winter slumber and useSnack Food & Wholesale Bakery to help get you going.