Benson Hill Biosystems Raises $60 Million to Improve Food and Ingredients

Business, Food

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, today announced the first close of its $60 million Series C financing. The round is led by GV, with participation from new investors Activant Capital and Tao Capital Partners. Existing investors Alexandria Venture Investments, Fall Line Capital, iSelect Fund, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, and S2G Ventures also participated.

“With its data-driven approach to crop improvement, Benson Hill has significant potential to impact the next wave of productivity gains across food and agriculture,” said Andy Wheeler, General Partner at GV. “The broad applicability of Benson Hill’s technology platform — combined with the executive team’s expertise in photosynthesis and genomic selection — creates new opportunities for farmers and the food production industry at-large.”

Benson Hill empowers organizations of any size across the agri-food value chain to benefit from the most advanced tools in seed innovation. Benson Hill’s CropOS™ computational platform and suite of breeding and genome editing tools leverage the natural genetic diversity of plants to improve the sustainability, nutrition and flavor profiles of crops with greater speed and precision than previously possible, dramatically reducing the costs and timelines to develop new products.

“Developing foods that are nourishing to our bodies, responsible to our planet and that taste great is not a trade-off, it’s an opportunity,” said Matthew Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill Biosystems. “By combining biology with machine intelligence, our platform provides a novel approach to crop improvement. With this round, we have expanded our base of investors who recognize the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers.”

The funding will be used to further advance CropOS™ and expand product development capacity to deliver a portfolio of improved crops with and for companies across the food and agriculture value chain.

“Consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food choices creates opportunity across many crops and ingredients, and plant genomics is a proven lever that has been severely underutilized in most crops,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director at S2G Ventures. “Benson Hill delivers the full suite of solutions a company needs to create differentiated products and capture this growing market, whether they are a seed company, food manufacturer or food retailer.”

New York-based food processors agree to stop food preparation operations due to food safety violations

Food, Safety

Two New York-based food processing companies have agreed to stop preparing food products, which include a variety of ready-to-eat foods and certain salt-cured and pickled fish, because the facility’s food preparation areas were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono), until the companies can comply with federal food safety laws and regulations.

On July 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan for the Eastern District of New York entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the U.S. and Euroline Foods, LLC, Royal Seafood Baza, Inc.; the companies’ co-owners Eduard Shnayder, Syoma Shnayder and Albert Niyazov; and a manager, Oleg Polischouk.

Euroline Foods, LLC and Royal Seafood Baza jointly own a food processing facility, and the consent decree prohibits the defendants from receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding, labeling and/or distributing foods at this facility, or any other facility that receives, prepares, processes, packs, labels, holds and/or distributes food that presents a L. mono hazard, in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) until the defendants meet certain requirements. The consent decree does not, however, prevent defendants from receiving, holding and distributing food that remains completely sealed and enclosed by a container, and is in compliance with the FD&C Act, or from operating retail food establishments (i.e., grocery stores).

“FDA investigators found widespread L. mono contamination at the Euroline and Royal Seafood facility,” FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said. “With this agreement, the company will not be able to bring any contaminated products or potentially contaminated products to market. Conditions where their products were being produced were unacceptable, and the FDA took action to protect Americans.”

According to the complaint, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA inspected the defendants’ facility in 2015, 2016 and 2017. These inspections revealed that the defendants failed to comply with the FD&C Act and its implementing regulations, including the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (“HACCP”) regulations and Current Good Manufacturing Practice (“CGMP”) regulations.

In 2015, the FDA issued a warning letter to Royal Seafood Baza after a facility inspection identified violations of HACCP and CGMP regulation requirements. During the 2016 inspections, the FDA’s investigators conducted environmental sampling and found L. mono from the seafood and vegetable processing environments, as well as continuing inadequate sanitation practices by the company’s employees. L. mono is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause listeriosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness. People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women and developing fetuses are particularly susceptible to listeriosis. While the company subsequently conducted a voluntary, nationwide recall of its ready-to-eat herring products for L. mono concerns and defendants made assurances that they were correcting its violations, the FDA’s subsequent inspections revealed that the company had not implemented adequate corrective actions.

The consent decree requires defendants, among other things, to retain an independent laboratory to collect and analyze environmental and finished food samples for the presence of L. mono, retain a qualified independent expert to assist the company in developing a program to control L. mono and ensure compliance with CGMP requirements, and take other corrective actions if they wish to resume food preparation operations at the facility or any other facility that receives, prepares, processes, packs, labels, holds and/or distributes food that presents a L. mono hazard.

Should the defendants be permitted to resume or permit food preparation operations at its current facility in the future, the FDA maintains oversight over such operations under the consent decree and may order the defendants to take corrective actions if the agency discovers further food safety violations.

Individuals who have eaten products purchased from the company should contact a health care professional if they experience any symptoms of listeriosis. In addition, consumers are encouraged to contact the FDA to report problems with FDA-regulated products.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines, and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Studio Movie Grill Launches SMG Access™

Food, Movies

The first and only loyalty program of its kind in movie exhibition committed to impacting one million lives through the power of film and sharing a meal



Studio Movie Grill (SMG) is the leader of the in-theater dining concept operating 314 screens in 30 locations nationwide. For the last 18 years, SMG has contributed millions of dollars in corporate giving and in-kind donations to local charities and non-profit organizations committed to making a difference. Once again, SMG is leading the way with its new loyalty program, SMG AccessTM.

SMG AccessTM, launched nationwide in June, is the only theater loyalty program focused on positively impacting community members in need through local organizations. SMG AccessTM is a purpose-first loyalty platform where members earn points on every movie ticket purchased at Studio Movie Grill. When a reward is earned, a movie and meal is donated to an outreach program. SMG has witnessed firsthand the power of movies to inspire and change lives.

SMG AccessTM provides a groundbreaking and purposeful way for guests to support outreach programs in their neighborhoods. “It’s great to see a loyalty program that gives back to the community,” said Vinele Grana, Vice President, Worldwide Exhibitor Partnerships, Sony Pictures Entertainment. This month, SMG AccessTM members will launch the program nationwide by donating 1,500 movies and meals to the following organizations in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, which opens nationwide on July 13th. This on top of the 200 movies and meals donated for Lionsgate’s Uncle Drew. Studio Movie Grill looks forward to announcing additional studio partnerships this year.

Dallas, TX


Plano, TX


Scottsdale, AZ


Bakersfield, CA


Rocklin, CA

ROCKLIN USD – Special Ed Dept.

Chatham, IL


Upper Darby, PA


Marietta, GA


Holcomb, GA


Tampa, FL


Tampa, FL


How it Works:
Every time a guest earns 1,000 SMG AccessTM points they will receive a $10 eBonus Card, which can be used for movie tickets, food and non-alcoholic beverages at any SMG location. Every time a reward is earned, SMG will donate a movie and meal to a local nonprofit in that community. Going to the movies has never been more meaningful and loyal guests can join SMG on its mission to impact one million lives.

As a conscious business, SMG is committed to creating a positive wake for all five of its stakeholders. Honoring its commitment to Opening Hearts and Minds, One Story at a Time™, SMG’s legacy programs include Special Needs Screenings, Chefs for Children program and annual Opening Hearts & Minds Award, which strive to help families and acknowledge local heroes. SMG AccessTM further differentiates Studio Movie Grill and allows loyal guests to actively participate in helping support its mission to open hearts and minds, one story at a time.

More information can be found at

Investing in innovation in Canada’s egg industry

Business, Food

Canada’s hardworking farmers are the backbone of Canada’s economy, ensuring families across Canada and around the world have safe, high-quality food on their tables. The Canadian egg industry is a vital part of the Canadian economy, contributing over $1 billion a year and employing 17,000 people.

Today, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment for the egg industry to assist in the development of an electronic scan to determine the gender and fertility of eggs, helping to increase the capacity and efficiency of hatcheries. The Government of Canada is providing $844,000 to the Egg Farmers of Ontario to study ways to minimize waste and take a major step forward to address animal welfare matters.


“The Canadian egg industry is driving our economy and creating good jobs. The Government of Canada is proud to support the Egg Farmers of Ontario for this first-of-its-kind study that will make Canada a world leader in animal welfare. This investment will help pilot a solution that will be welcomed both in Canada and around the world and will keep the egg industry strong and growing.”
–       Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay

“Animal welfare is high on the radar for consumers today.  This investment will help Ontario egg farmers humanely and efficiently grow their businesses and stay competitive.”
–       Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

Ontario egg farmers deliver eggs that are safe, nutritious, and top-quality.  This investment will help Ontario’s egg industry take a major step forward on animal welfare, for less cost and with less waste.”
–       Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre

“With today’s announcement, the government has taken a significant step in supporting innovation in Canada’s egg sector. This investment in cutting-edge research offers new technology and processes that will help continuously improve and strengthen the entire egg supply chain—in Canada and around the world.”
–       Roger Pelissero, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Egg Farmers of Ontario is a not-for-profit organization that supports the control and regulation of the production of eggs and pullets in Ontario.
  • The current project is likely to lead to the commercial adoption of the imaging technology that enables eggs to be non-invasively scanned soon after they are laid.
  • This project is supported by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a funding initiative that helps the farming sector to remain competitive by piloting solutions to new and ongoing challenges.

Associated links

A Century After Umami’s Discovery, Its Benefits Continue to Expand

Food, Health

Umami, known as the savory taste, was discovered more than a century ago, yet recent research continues to document the benefits of umami. Currently underway is a year-long recognition of umami’s 110thanniversary since its discovery in 1908.

At one event this year, participants at the Asian Congress of Dietetics (ACD) will discuss the latest research on umami, including its dietary significance, during an ACD lunch symposium on Friday, July 6. The symposium ties in directly to the theme of the 7th ACD, which is “The Rise of Nutrition and Dietetics in Asia,” being held July 6-8 at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The principal speaker at the lunch symposium will be Dr. Snigdha Misra, who is chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at International Medical University, in Malaysia. Dr. Snigdha will present the latest research demonstrating that umami improves the palatability of foods and stimulates appetite regulation, supporting nutrition among the elderly. Dr. Snigdha also will discuss how foods with umami seasonings are effective in reducing sodium intake and can help maintain normal blood pressure.

Dr. Snigdha notes, “The elderly face challenges in appetite due to decline in taste sensitivity. The addition of excessive sauces or dressings may make food appetizing, but could be detrimental to health due to the high sodium content. Umami enables food to be flavorful while lowering the sodium content of the food and stimulating appetite.”

According to the International Glutamate Information Service (IGIS), sponsor of the symposium, “It is fitting that ACD is focusing on the rise of nutrition in Asia. It was in Japan that 110 years ago Professor Kikunae Ikeda identified the ‘glutamic taste’ after isolating it from kelp broth. Dr. Ikeda was the first scientist to identify the unique properties of glutamate. He named the taste of glutamate ‘umami,’ which has a distinctive taste that is different from sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is now recognized as one of the five basic tastes. Dr. Ikeda’s driving goal was to improve nutrition of the Japanese with his umami seasoning.”

The IGIS is a non-profit organization communicating science-based information about umami, glutamate, and monosodium glutamate (umami seasoning). For more information, visit

SOURCE International Glutamate Information Service

Cineplex Popcorn on Uber Eats? It Doesn’t Get ‘Butter’ Than This!


Delivery Service Now Available Through 60 Theatres Across Canada

Free Cineplex Store Movie Rental with All Orders Tomorrow Through Monday


Cineplex, a leading entertainment and media company, today announced an expanded partnership with Uber Eats that will bring its famous popcorn and other popular concession items and combos to the doorsteps of Canadians across the country. Whether it is date night, an evening in with friends, or a mid-week treat, movie-lovers can now bring the Cineplex experience home with the help of Uber Eats.

Starting today, popular concession items – including popcorn, candy, soft drinks, hot dogs and nachos – are available for delivery through 60 Cineplex theatres in communities across British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

“Cineplex has a long history of investing in innovation and today we are extending that approach beyond the walls of our theatres and into our guests’ living rooms,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “Following a very successful pilot program in eastern and southern Ontario earlier in the year, we are so pleased to officially expand our partnership with Uber Eats to bring a special part of the movie-going experience into Canadian homes.”

In addition to individual concession items, movie-lovers can also choose from a variety of convenient, pre-bundled combos available at the touch of a button. By far the most popular menu item during the pilot, the ‘Cineplex Movie Night In Combo’ is exclusive to Uber Eats and provides movie-lovers with a free Cineplex Store HD movie rental, as well as two medium popcorns, two medium candies and two medium drinks for $28.99. It’s a pretty sweet (and savoury) deal.

To celebrate the partnership, Cineplex is offering movie-lovers in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario a free Cineplex Store HD movie rental with all Uber Eats orders from June 29-July 2, 2018. The Cineplex Store is your at home or on the go digital movie watching destination with thousands of digital new releases and catalog titles from major Hollywood, Canadian and International studios. Visit for more information on delivery zones and promotion details. To find out which Cineplex theatres offer delivery through Uber Eats, simply download the Uber Eats app and enter the name of your city.

Why Yangzhou fried rice was served at the Trump-Kim dining table?


Every movement and fine detail of the recent first meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un has been dissected online. For one, during their working lunch, one of the dishes they shared is a specialty that originated in China. That dish was Yangzhou fried rice.

Many countries around the world have different varieties of rice dishes, from Spain to Thailand to India, each with its own distinct features. And the Yangzhou fried rice dish from China carries its particularly exquisite quality of fine dining. It typically uses the highest quality long-grain rice, with fresh eggs as the main ingredient, complemented with no less than eight other ingredients, including soaked sea cucumbers, Chinese cured ham, batter-coated prawns, fresh bamboo shoots and green peas. The dish is presented in an array of subtle and vibrant colors, bringing together a pleasant blend of fresh and salty flavors on the palate. Different from other fried rice dishes, traditional Yangzhou fried rice dish usually does not include special sauces to enhance its color or flavor; master chefs create the dish with its own unique, mouth-watering aroma.

Being one of China’s most iconic specialties, Yangzhou fried rice is offered in most Chinese restaurants around the world, as well as within China. Many people have learned to appreciate Chinese cuisine through this “gateway” introduction of Yangzhou fried rice. It is also enjoyed by many world leaders.

In the year 2013, the United Nations appointed Yangzhou fried rice, along with other Chinese specialties, as the official cuisine on offer. They received special compliments from the U.N. Secretary General at the time, Ban Ki-moon. And in 2014, during a visit to China, the American first lady Michelle Obama specially requested Yangzhou fried rice as the main dish for an official banquet held in her honor. Yangzhou fried rice was also one of the favorite dishes of attending officials during the Beijing APEC summit in 2014.

Then, during the Trump-Kim meeting, Yangzhou fried rice was once again chosen to represent Chinese gourmet food culture, put on display before the top American and DPRK leaders, as well as the whole world. It was reported that a special “XO sauce” or top-shelf soy-based seasoning sauce was introduced into the cooking process on this occasion. This unique version of the dish represents the potential for creativity and cultural awareness within the traditional dish.

Yangzhou fried rice was named for the city of Yangzhou, which in past eras served as the transit point of merchant ships traveling between the north and south. As a result, Yangzhou cuisine has a unique character with its mixing together of flavors and ingredients. Yangzhou fried rice carries with it a rich, historically refined process of preparation techniques as well. It is a fine representation of the qualities of inclusiveness, harmony and creativity in Chinese gourmet cooking, which has made Chinese culture famous around the world.

China Mosaic

Why Yangzhou fried rice was served at the Trump-Kim dining table?

Channing Tatum to Sign Bottles of Born and Bred Vodka at Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection in Hummelstown

Food, Movies

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced that actor Channing Tatum will sign bottles of Born and Bred Vodka at Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection in Hershey Square Shopping Center, HummelstownDauphin County, on Wednesday, June 27, at 6:00 PM.

Channing Tatum began his acting career in 2004 and has starred in and produced several franchises including the “Jump Street” and “Magic Mike” films. Other starring roles include “Foxcatcher,” “Hail Caesar!,” “Hateful 8,” and “The Vow,” among others. He has also ventured into other businesses, producing and co-directing Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas and creating Born and Bred Vodka in a partnership with the Grand Teton Distillery.

Born and Bred Vodka ($24.99, code 49159) is made from Idaho potatoes and glacial water from the Grand Teton Mountains. Distilled 20 times, every small batch is hand-crafted and charcoal-filtered for a smooth taste.

Channing Tatum will sign up to six pre-purchased bottles of Born and Bred Vodka per person; no other items will be autographed. Every person in line must have at least one bottle of Born and Bred Vodka purchased at the Hummelstown Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection on Wednesday, June 27. No one under 21 years of age may participate in this bottle signing. Attendees may not bring large bags, purses or backpacks to the event.

WHAT: Channing Tatum to sign pre-purchased bottles of Born and Bred Vodka

WHEN: 6:00 PMWednesday, June 27, 2018

WHERE: Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection, Hershey Square Shopping Center, 1158 Mae St., Hummelstown, PA 17036





Renowned for being a specialist chocolate indulgence café, The Chocolate Room ventures into curating customized menu for various special occasions such as birthday parties, kitty parties and other private eventsFor over 10 years India’s most famous chain of chocolate café is delighting its customers with irresistible treats and has been creating a new wave of chocolate culture worldwide.

The Chocolate Room recently expanded the brand by launching TRENCH, a Resto-Café which incorporates modern design and the very best of Pan Asian, Mexican, Spanish, Italian and Indian cuisine. With the success of 250 plus distinctive cafes pan India by The Chocolate Room India group, TRENCH also aims to redefine the city’s restro cafe experience.

The Chocolate Room represents the art of bringing a unique chocolate and food concept to the table for their customers. They have become very experimental with the food choices that they promise to offer, coupled with innovative presentations that speak volume of their expertise in chocolate and food business. By venturing into curating a customized meal for the private parties, The Chocolate Room has added another feather to their hat.

With the most delicious and aesthetic food, complete with the prettiest interior and the best ambience, TRENCH is here to make your birthday even more special with their customized party menus with packages starting from the price of Rupees 699 per person!

Clearbridge BioMedics’ ClearCell(R) FX1 system achieves U.S. FDA listing

Food, Governance

Clearbridge BioMedics today announced that it has successfully registered its target cell enrichment device, the ClearCell® FX1 system, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Class I Medical Device, for in vitro diagnostic use. This registration marks a significant milestone in providing a reliable liquid biopsy solution for clinical research in the United States. The ClearCell® FX1 system has also previously attained CE marking to be used as an in-vitro diagnostic medical device in Europe and China Food and Drug Administration-approved Class I Medical Device status via the company’s MGI partnership.

The ClearCell® FX1 System is a leading, automated, label-free liquid biopsy device for the enrichment of target cells from blood. The system incorporates the innovative microfluidics CTChip® to isolate and retrieve intact, viable target cells from a patient’s blood sample.

Commercially launched in 2015, the ClearCell® FX1 System has since been installed in laboratories worldwide and empowered numerous liquid biopsy studies. In 2017, it was chosen to be part of the prestigious CANCER-ID consortium, where leading cancer institutes and researchers use the technology to better understand the underlying biology of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The objective of such efforts is to generate new insights into the disease, to develop innovative cancer therapies and improve patient management protocols. The technology enables seamless processing of both CTCs and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from the same patient sample for subsequent analysis, allowing comprehensive cancer profiling.

“We believe, the ClearCell® FX1 System will play a critical role in the development of new therapies by providing label-free, intact and viable cells for analysis. Successfully listing the unit with the U.S. FDA for in vitro diagnostic purposes will accelerate research and the adoption of diagnostics from the tumor cells obtained. We will continue to work with our partners and the authorities to further validate the system, for use in cancer diagnostics, personalized therapy management and patient monitoring,” said Michael Paumen, CEO of Clearbridge BioMedics.

In the U.S. the ClearCell® FX1 system is sold directly through Clearbridge BioMedics Inc. In EMEA and Asia, the platform is currently available in more than 22 countries through distribution partnerships. In China, it is available through a strategic partnership with MGI, an associate of BGI.

About Clearbridge BioMedics

Clearbridge BioMedics Pte Ltd specializes in developing innovative systems with applications in oncology research and diagnostics. Clearbridge BioMedics has won numerous awards and garnered global recognition for its novel Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) detection platform technology, the ClearCell® FX1 System. The ClearCell® FX1 system, when used in conjunction with its biochip and associated accessories, utilize state-of-the-art, non-invasive liquid biopsy to process blood samples for enrichment of CTCs. This enables the real-time analysis of disease before, during, and after treatment, which has become increasingly critical in the new era of targeted cancer therapies.