Most people are familiar with the little number on the bottom of recyclable plastic bottles. However not everyone knows what those numbers mean about the materials used in the packaging. Many polymers can be used to produce rigid packaging but poly(ethylene terephthalate) — known as PET — is the primary plastic material used to produce bottles for beverages, such as carbonated soft drinks, water or juices. That’s because of PET’s excellent clarity, moderate gas barrier, and good recycling, mechanical and sensorial performance. In order to differentiate the most commonly used plastic packaging materials present on the market and help recyclers facilitate the recovery of post-consumer plastics, the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) introduced a resin identification coding system called “SPI code” in 1988. At that time, six resins had been considered the most used plastics in producing rigid packaging, and a number from 1 to 6 was assigned.... Read more

Co-Authored by Tara Acharya, Senior Manager, Global Health Policy, PepsiCo // Undernutrition is one of the world’s most serious and least addressed global health and development problems. As a global food and beverage company, PepsiCo believes it can play an important role in reducing the human and economic costs of the issue. Women and children are undernutrition’s biggest victims and, along with other development challenges, undernutrition causes an estimated 3.5 million preventable maternal and child deaths a year.  Folate deficiency, which contributes to premature birth, low birthweight and neural tube defects in infants, plays a crucial role in undernutrition. The human body requires folate to manufacture erythrocytes, synthesize DNA, and to regulate normal growth. The recommended daily intake for young women is 400 mg. Poor overall nutrition and lack of access to folate-enriched food products present a critical barrier to women in developing countries. As part of the... Read more

Last week, PepsiCo sponsored the American Dietetic Association’s annual Food & Nutrition Conference in Boston, an event that drew more than 10,000 food and nutrition experts to engage in discussions about global nutrition. By bringing together leading dietitians, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health care providers and food companies, events like this hold significant potential for the advancement of public health. Read more

Morgan Brennan talks about, “CEO Indra Nooyi’s new vision for the industry’s leading corporation,” in this 2:35 minute video on Forbes.com. Ms. Brennan interviews PepsiCo’s Derek Yach for the piece. You can see the entire video here. Read more

Taste receptor technology recently landed at PepsiCo in the form of a development agreement with Senomyx Corp. (SNMX), a biotechnology company that is a leader in applying taste receptor technology to real-world solutions.  As PepsiCo’s primary expert in taste receptor research, I’d like to start the discussion on taste receptor technology and how it will transform our collective future. Detecting environmental nutrients and toxins are one of the most fundamental and primordial biological functions. Life evolved a host of mechanisms to communicate chemical information from the environment to elicit cellular responses that provide an advantage in avoiding or seeking the chemical signatures of foods, mates, toxins, etc. The proteins involved in sensing are the super family called G protein Coupled Receptors or GPRCs. Even photosynthetic bacteria have a GPCR called bacteriorhodopsin that capture a photon of light and cause the bacteria to swim toward the light source.... Read more

Last week, several colleagues and I attended TEDMED in San Diego. It was my first time at the conference and, as you'll see in the video below, I enjoy conferences like TEDMED because I believe that I have never stopped being a student. I went to San Diego to listen, learn, and meet as many people as possible. At TEDMED you get the latest ideas and cutting edge thinking from a variety of different disciplines. Read more

Several weeks ago, I attended UC Davis’s Bioavailability conference in Pacific Grove, CA where researchers from around the world presented on numerous topics relating to micronutrient bioavailability that revealed exciting new research underway. Iron was a centerpiece of many discussions because it is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide, technically challenging to fortify, and complex interactions control its bioavailability. Various mechanisms in the body regulate iron homeostasis by sensing dietary iron content, iron storage levels, and erythropoietic iron requirements and then adjust iron absorption and transport accordingly (Sharp P., Srai SK. World J Gastroenterol 2007;13(35):4716-4724).  In the lumen, specific iron transporters and/or dietary factors help reduce ferric iron to ferrous iron for absorption into the cell system, while others are responsible for duodenal iron transport and homeostasis. Day-to-day variability in iron absorption is governed by the presence of iron “enhancers” and/or “inhibitors” in the diet. Numerous enhancers... Read more

During her keynote at last year’s World Food Prize, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi stressed the need for public-private partnerships, a recognition that has been mirrored at meetings of entities such as the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization. Last week’s 2010 World Food Prize furthered the idea, with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announcing the creation of the Feed the Future Private Investment Center. Shah described the project as “a new public-private partnership hub that… will expand on existing relationships with multinationals and local businesses, and facilitate engagement with new private sector partners.” It is therefore fitting that PepsiCo officials were present at the event to continue Nooyi’s outreach of the year before. The World Food Prize allows for networking with experts in the agriculture, health, and nutrition fields, and it contributes to company knowledge of how to put our goals and commitments into... Read more

As Mehmood Khan wrote last month, the inaugural PepsiCo Academy of Science awards were held in September. He said we'd be telling you more about some of the innovations we recognized and today it's my pleasure to highlight some of the R&D behind our Nimbooz™ product. By way of background, about one percent of beverages consumed in India are in packages - the other 99 percent come from street vendors or are prepared in the home. Despite this tradition, the on-the-go consumer in India still has a need for a packaged beverage. Read more

Our chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi, made an exciting announcement today about the newly established Global Nutrition Group (GNG) and I wanted to take a moment to recognize this historic step for the company. It is no secret that we are making efforts to triple our business in our “good-for-you” (GFY) product portfolio by 2020. Public health is a focus for every one of our stakeholders – consumers, investors, and regulators. With the GNG, we have the opportunity to define a new leadership role in foods and beverages based not only on taste, but on science-based health, wellness and functionality. Our mission is to establish PepsiCo as the leading provider of GFY food and beverages that are great tasting, wholesome, accessible, affordable and advantaged by science. The R&D organization will remain with me to complete the transformation that will enable efficient technology transfer across all of PepsiCo’s businesses. In... Read more