VATIS Update Food Processing . Jan-Feb 2004

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Food Processing Jan-Feb 2004

ISSN: 0971-5649

VATIS Update Food Processing is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of Food Processing. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

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WHO policy on diet and health

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently finalized its Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, due to be presented at the World Health Assembly scheduled for May 2004. Statistics with WHO show that the incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer account for 60 per cent of the some 56.5 million preventable deaths worldwide every year. An expert group commissioned by WHO to assess the impact of diet on chronic disease has called for a limit in the consumption of saturated and trans fats, and salt. It has also been suggested that no more than 10 per cent of our daily energy intake come from sugar. This report formed the basis for six regional consultations on the diet and health policy, involving more than 80 countries between May and June 2003.

The finalized strategy does not include the precise recommendations for sugar intake but does retain much of the expert groups proposals, including a shift away from consumption of saturated and trans fats, limited intake of free sugars and salt, and increased consumption of vegetables and fruits. WHO suggests that these recommendations will have to be translated into national rules in light of the local health scenario and dietary guidelines.


New food safety rules in the Republic of Korea

In a bid to improve the safety of food and agricultural products, the Republic of Korea plans to adopt new food/agricultural safety regulations known as Good Agricultural Practice (GPA). Funds have been set aside by the Ministry of Planning and Budget for basic land/water surveys and studies prior to the actual launch of the rules. Apart from stipulating food standards and guidelines for standard cultivation methods appropriate for local conditions, GPA will also serve as a system to certify the safety of products cultivated under its recommendations and guidelines. The Food and Agriculture Organization and Codex Alimentarius Commission have reviewed GPA guidelines as part of their efforts to strengthen international mechanisms aimed at improving food safety.


CFTRI applies for 105 international patents

The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), India, has applied for 122 Indian patents and 105 international patents during 2002-03. The patents filed cover broader areas of food processing such as convenience foods, vegetables and fruits processing, plantation products and spices, equipment designs, meat-, fish- and poultry-based products, bakery products, fats, lipids and protein enriched foods, health and functional foods, and biotechnology products (enzymes). The institutes present patent portfolio has crossed 450 active patents.


New packing for chocolate bars

Cadbury India is to change the packing for its Dairy Milk chocolate bar following allegations that a batch had been infested with insects. As of January 2004, the chocolate bars would be packaged using a new impenetrable wrapper. The company has refuted allegations of infestation and blamed unhygienic storage methods adopted by distributors as the possible cause of such infestations.


Indian oilmeal exports

Indian oilmeal exports are expected to recover in the third quarter of the current financial year owing to increasing demand for compound feed as the global economy bounces back. According to Mr. B.V. Mehta, the Secretary-General of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, though oilmeal exports may not touch the high of 4.137 million tonnes (MT) achieved during 1997-98, it may reach 3.5 MT. Export demand for soya meal is predicted to expand in the next 2-3 months. Mr. Mehta said countries such as the Republic of Korea, Japan, Indonesia and China were looking to India to source their oilmeal needs for compound feed.

During the first half of the current fiscal, oilmeal exports declined to 0.412 MT from 0.547 MT during the same period last year. During 2002-03, oilmeal exports totalled 1.896 MT, down from 3.002 MT the previous year. While soya meal exports decreased from 2.59 MT to 1.333 MT, rapeseed shipments reached 0.455 MT from 0.313 MT. Last fiscal, groundnut meal exports were revived, though it was a meagre 15,225 tonnes. Besides, castor meal is also exported to countries like Taiwan and the Republic of Korea for use as an organic fertilizer.


Incentives for poultry and livestock in Pakistan

An eight-point incentives package, under the agricultural development programme for promotion of livestock and poultry, has been launched by the government in Pakistan. The incentives relate to:

  • Import of plant and machinery: Imported plant and equipment shall be subject to customs duty of 10 per cent, with complete exemption from sales tax. Capital structure of projects in the agro-food industry will be entitled to debt-equity ratio of 70:30;
  • Projects will be entitled for financing by all banks and DFIs. Expatriate personnel of the units will be allowed to import food items without duty or taxes, subject to a max. limit of US$2,000/y per person;
  • Parts and components up to 5 per cent of initial C&F value of imported plant and equipment shall be imported at 10 per cent duty, if imported together with the plant;
  • Import of breeding stock: will be allowed, subject to an import duty of 10 per cent;
  • Credit for locally made machinery;
  • Export of livestock and livestock products will be allowed;
  • Establishment of abattoirs is encouraged in the private sector; and
  • A project known as Strengthening of Veterinary Services in Pakistan Rinderpest Tradition Programme has been launched recently.

Financial assistance for agro-based industry

In Bangladesh, 35 agro-based sectors have been identified for investment by commercial banks. According to a circular issued by the Bangladesh Bank, loans provided in these 35 areas would be considered as agro-based industrial loans. Sending the list of industries to the banks, the central bank has stated that it will regularly monitor the amount of loans disbursed by the banks in those sectors. The banks have to submit reports by the 20th day of every month on the status of investment. Agro-based industries listed for investment include fruit processing, canned fruit, wheat, bread, biscuit and rice-based foods; mushroom and spirulina processing; dairy; potato and potato processing; edible oil, spices, salt, sugar cane and seafood processing; lentil, betel leaf and related spices; tobacco processing; agri-product processing and marketing; tea, herbal cosmetics, coconut oil, poultry and animal feed; shrimp and fish processing; seed production and preservation; jute products, rubber industry, distilleries, cold storage, plywood and tea-chest; packing and building boards; and paper.


Food processing park in Kerala

In India, a food processing park has been set up at Kakkanchery in Malappuram district of Kerala. Inaugurating the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corp. (Kinfra), the Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam pointed out that agriculture and food processing are the most important areas projected in the Vision 2020 document for transforming the nation into a developed country. Spread over 60 acres of land, Kinfra caters to the fruits and vegetables processing industries, milk products, poultry and meat products, grain processing, etc. The Central Warehousing Corp. has been allotted 4.21 acres of land for establishing cold storage facility in the park while the Quality Assurance lab will be set up in two phases.


Health benefits of citrus fruits revealed

In Australia, researchers at CSIROs health and nutrition division undertook an extensive review of international research on health benefits offered by citrus fruits. Their report details studies showing reduction of risks of some cancers by up to 40-50 per cent and a 19 per cent decrease in the risk of stroke. Citrus fruits have been defined as nutrient-dense foods with abundant vitamins and minerals, fibre and phytochemicals, without fat or salt, and they are not energy-dense. These fruits are a good source of folate for mums-to-be and also for others. A blood pressure control package (high potassium, low salt plus indirect body weight control), a cancer protective package (folate, fibre, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins C and A) and a heart disease protective package (phytochemicals, folate, fibre, antioxidants).

The report highlights the fact that major causes of death in the country are cardiovascular diseases (40 per cent) and cancer (27 per cent), making up 67 per cent, or two-thirds, of all deaths. Industry and government policies to lower these figures through dietary regimes are gaining importance. The report further stresses that several of the major diseases in Australia have a dietary component, including cardiovascular conditions like coronary heart disease and stroke, cancers of various types, obesity, dental caries, asthma, periodontal disease, iron-deficiency anaemias, cataracts (and macular degeneration), type 2 diabetes, diverticulitis, gall bladder disease, osteoporosis and depression.


Thai soya import policy

A government committee that oversees the soya bean and vegetable oil industry in Thailand has advocated that the present policy of unlimited soya imports and zero tariff rate should be continued. Under the proposed import policy for next year, soya bean importers will have to continue buying locally produced soya beans from farmers in a guaranteed price range before turning to imports. This initiative is aimed at protecting farmers from price falls amid unlimited imports. Soya bean imports will be used to produce edible oils, feedstuff and processed foods. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand is predicted to produce around 270,000 tonnes of soya beans in 2003-04.


Milking genetics for healthier food

Researchers at the University of California-Davis, the United States, are studying how milk works by scrutinizing genes that encode instructions for making it. Milk has been found to inhibit disease-causing bacteria as well as encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. It has also been shown to improve immune function, lower blood pressure and speed the uptake of hard-to-absorb nutrients, e.g. iron. It may even help in weight control. The new research consortium would receive financial support from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. The research project will compare milk genes in many species, with an emphasis on human genes.


Global dairy players in India

High growth rates for many dairy products have attracted multinational dairy companies to set their sights on the Indian market. In the organized dairy industry, growth rates are significantly higher, especially in value terms because of the trend towards more value-added products. These statistics for many dairy categories are much higher than the mature markets of the developed world.
Over 45 per cent of the countrys milk is retained at farm level in rural regions while another 42 per cent is handled by the unorganized sector. The rest goes for value addition by the organized sector. Besides the growth rate of this small category, another factor favouring new players is that 678 registered manufacturing units use 29 million litres/day capacity against installed processing capacity of 73 million litres/day. This could lead to partnerships that fetch marketing skills or technology for value addition. Many of them offer items such as yoghurt and speciality cheese, a small group when compared with ethnic Indian products, thereby stifling the case for national distribution and marketing costs.

Beverage and Food World, November 2003

Dairy market scenario in China

The burgeoning dairy market in China has drawn more than 60 major foreign companies over the years with prospects of strong sales. European firms have been successful in producing long-life and value-added products. Notable successes have also been scored in the infant formula market and yoghurts category. Despite rising sales across the board, most ice cream brands have found China a tough market. Bruising price wars have meant even lower margins inspite of heavy marketing expenditure and a lot of brand introductions.



X-ray inspection system

Anritsu Corp., Japan, is offering an X-ray inspection system to detect food contaminants, with improved cost efficiency. The high-sensitivity KD7305AW incorporates a 15-inch colour LCD touch screen panel featuring simultaneous display of graphic operation panel and image panel, thus providing various information for perusal at a glance. The conveyor part simplifies mounting/dismounting of conveyor belts, rollers and conveyor cover, and its open frame bottom structure prevents accumulation of dust, clearing the HACCP standard. Image processing technology employing Anritsus original algorithm helps detect metal spheres as small as 0.3 mm in diameter. For safety, manual insertion monitoring sensor and interlock stop X-rays when a wrong operation is made.

Anritsus KD7305A series offer enough variety to accommodate specific product types, including the KD7305AB (for non-package products like candy, freeze-dried food), KD7305ACW (for lightweight, small package products and unpacked food like meat) and KD7305ADW (for general package products, with extended conveyor length).

Contact: Anritsu Corp., 1800, Onna, Atsugi-shi, Kanagawa 243 8555, Japan. Tel: +81 (046) 2231 111.


Combating contamination

Dow AgroSciences, the United States, has obtained worldwide licensing rights from the National Research Council of Canada to market technologies that reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens. The company now has exclusive rights to specific antibody technologies being developed under a 2001 collaborative agreement with Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. Several inventions developed under the collaboration have great potential in combating two of the most common and challenging food-related health threats, E. coli O157:H7 in cattle and Campylobacter jejuni in poultry. Antibodies have also been developed, which, when administered to livestock, would attach to pathogens within the animals body. The antibodies are produced in plants, which could be administered either in the feed or extracted from the plant and given orally.


New technology to measure fat content in meat

Foss, Denmark, has developed a new system to analyse the exact fat content in entire batches of meat products. MeatMaster features dual X-ray technology, which uses electromagnetic radiation of a high frequency. This facilitates accurate determination of the fat content in meat, owing to a small difference in the X-ray absorption of lean and fat tissue.

Contact: Website:

Source Website:

New project to rein in contaminating pathogens

A European Community-funded project is all set to combat contamination by pathogens, following reports that 60 per cent of disease outbreaks are caused by tainted meats, fruits, vegetables and salads. The overall objective of Bugdeath project is to improve food safety through better control in thermal processing, in particular using High Temperature Short Time processing, heating and cooling cycles, as well as slow thermal processing. Organizers of this project state that their goal would be achieved by setting up more accurate models of microbial death in response to the processing. Food pathogens are mostly surface resident and as such surface pasteurization is crucial.

After a year of scrutiny, scientists report to have constructed accurate and very flexible apparatus that can heat or cool food between 5 and 120C in both wet and dry environments. The temperature cycles are repeatable within more or less 2C and the accuracy of measuring food surface temperatures is better than 1C. In addition, scientists have introduced a lux-gene into the test pathogens, allowing them to glow when alive. This enables quick measurement of the effect of thermal cycles as the bioluminescence fades when the treatment is effective. Researchers have also created heat transfer and microbial death models, which will be verified against data obtained from the apparatus designed within the project and combined to create a model for predicting the effect of temperature changes on the food surfaces to microbial death.

Beverage and Food World, October 2003

Test to screen milk

DuPont Qualicon, the United States, has added a new assay to its BAX line of diagnostic tests. The PCR assay detects Enterobacter sakazakii in infant formula, dry dairy and soya ingredients. FDA has identified E. sakazakii as an emerging foodborne pathogen that can cause sepsis, meningitis or necrotising enterocolitis in newborns, especially premature babies or infants with weak immune systems. DuPont collaborated with Nestles R&D centres in Switzerland and the United Sates to develop the PCR-based test for rapid detection of E. sakazakii in food and environmental samples.

Indian Dairyman, October 2003

Measuring vitamin B12

Researchers at Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Centre, the United States, have developed a new and improved technique for measuring the amount of vitamin B12 in foods and supplements, like vitamin pills. Apart from being faster than the most commonly used assay, the new approach can be used to individually detect all the various forms of B12, called cobalamins. The assay uses either of two standard procedures, capillary electrophoresis or micro-high-performance liquid chromatography, for separating the samples into various individual cobalamins. This is integrated along with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, which measures how much of each form of vitamin B12 is present. Contact: Ms. Nancy Miller-Ihli, USDA-ARS Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Centre, Beltsville, MD, United States of America. Tel: +1 (301) 5048 252, ext. 252.


Screen test for GM ingredients in food

Agilent has launched a new product for detecting genetically modified (GM) ingredients in a range of food products. Traditional DNA analysis tests samples using gel electrophoresis, which Agilent opines is clumsy and less than optimal for screening multiplex PCR products. When gel electrophoresis is optimized for rapid screening, marginal separation of multiple analytes is observed. For GM screening, Agilent 2100 bioanalyser provides several benefits over gel electrophoresis in terms of resolution, convenience and speed of analysis.

In the new method, scientists used an Agilent 2100 bioanalyser with DNA 500 LabChip to resolve and detect multiplex PCR products corresponding to GM DNA segments in corn and soya beans. The multiplex products were produced using Promegas Biosmart Allin 1.0 GM Screening System, a nested multiplex PCR assay. Resolution and sensitivity were sufficient to identify all the multiplex PCR targets and differentiate these targets from PCR artifacts. Agilent has also released an application note Nested Multiplex PCR for the Determination of DNA from GM Corn and Soya Beans using the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyser, to provide consumers and manufacturers with further information on this innovation.


New method detects pesticides in fruits and vegetables

In the United States, an ARS researcher has developed a new method to test for pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables. QuEChERS (short for Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) is a streamlined technology to extract pesticide residues from food samples and prepare them for analysis. It can replace current procedures that are time-consuming, expensive and labour intensive.

Contact: Mr. Steven J. Lehotay, Eastern Regional Research Centre, Wyndmoor, PA, United States of America. Tel: +1 (215) 2336 433.


Bacteria to protect cheese

A study undertaken by researchers in Germany reveals that the pathogen Listeria can be eliminated in unpasteurized cheese by adding the bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum at the time of production. Pediocin, a compound produced by L. plantarum, is thought to inhibit Listeria. However, it has been cautioned that as Listeria could develop resistance, L. plantarum must not be used continuously over a long time in a production line. Results of the study may have major implications for cheese producers, if the method could be translated into mass cheese production.

Indian Dairyman, October 2003


Whey-enriched snack foods

In the United States, researchers at the Agricultural Research Service have developed a new process to make nutritious snack foods using whey proteins left over from cheesemaking. The patent-pending technique utilizes a twin-screw extruder for making crunchy snacks to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers. By using whey, the process boosts protein in expanded snacks, such as corn puffs, cereals, cheese curls and energy bars, from the traditional average of about 2-5 to 35 per cent.

Most crunchy snacks are made from high-starch products like corn flour. An extruder, comprising a long, heated barrel with two mixing screws inside, cooks the starch as the screws mix and push it through the machine to form the snack food. Initial trials with whey, in a form called whey protein isolate (WPI), reduced the crunchiness, colour and texture of extruded snack foods. However, by managing temperature and moisture levels inside the extruder, WPI could be blended with corn flour to obtain crunchier snacks.

Contact: ARS Office of Technology Transfer, United States of America. Tel: +1 (301) 5046 905.


Trans fat-free food products

Lipozyme TL IM, from Novozymes A/S of Denmark, is an enzyme to make trans fatty acid-free bakery shortenings and margarine via enzymatic esterification and interesterification. It uses cost-effective technology that matches current solids profiles. By using the enzyme, oil processors can control the conversion and no trans fatty acids are produced. This simple, easy process yields a more natural and chemical-free fat. High consumption of trans fatty acids has been linked to higher risk of coronary heart diseases.


Taste-free potassium additives

Balchem Encapsulates, an encapsulated ingredients producer based in the United States, has launched three new microencapsulated forms of potassium for the food industry white and brown forms of dipotassium phosphate and potassium chloride. These products are designed to overcome common processing hurdles, particularly the unpleasant tastes, associated with the incorporation of these minerals into food items. The companys proprietary technology applies a uniform layer of a coating material to dipotassium phosphate and potassium chloride to stabilize and protect them during processing, and to mask any undesirable flavours. Potassium is vital for regulating pH levels in body fluids, blood pressure, muscle and nerve cells, osmotic pressure and water balance.


Extraction and purification of hydrosoluble carotenes

Researchers at Canadas Food Research and Development Centre have devised a process for extracting and purifying hydrosoluble carotenes from coryneform bacteria isolated from the surface of Gruyere and Beaufort cheeses. The process involves culturing of coryneform-type bacteria first in a proliferation medium and then in a production medium. The hydrosoluble carotenes are purified using ultrafiltration techniques followed by concentration. Partial characterization of the pigment has been accomplished. The light- and heat-stable pigment yields a range of colour shades, from yellow to orange, depending on the concentration.

Contact: Mr. Steve Bittner, Senior Advisor, Commercialization and Business Development, FRDC, 3600, Casavant Blvd. W., St. Hyacinthe, Quebec J2S 8E3, Canada. Tel: +1 (450) 7731 105, ext. 280; Fax: +1 (450) 7732 888.


Peeling high-quality pectin

In the United States, a researcher at Penn States College of Agricultural Sciences has developed a process to extract high-quality pectin from orange peels. The patent-pending process, flash extraction of pectin through steam injection, employs a high-temperature, high-speed procedure.
Pectin is a complex carbohydrate found in fruits. A food additive, it is commonly used to thicken jellies and fruit fillings for pies and other desserts. Pectin is presently extracted from lime peels, by slow cooking.

Contact: Mr. Paul Walker, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Tel: +1 (814) 8654 582.




Codex committee votes for upper safe limits

The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses agreed to abolish the 100 per cent Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA, measure for setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals, as proposed in a draft guideline. The RDA measure had been included under article 3.2.2 of the proposed draft guidelines for vitamin and mineral food supplements, established at previous Codex meetings. The decision to remove RDA as a measure for vitamin levels represents a major victory for those supporting alternative references for supplement levels, especially the use of risk assessment and upper safe levels.

Codex guidelines had specified as a first option for vitamin and mineral levels that the maximum level of each vitamin and/or mineral contained in a vitamin and mineral supplement per daily portion of consumption as suggested by the manufacturer should not exceed the recommended daily intake as determined by FAO/WHO. The second option on max. levels suggested that limits be guided by upper safe levels stipulated by generally accepted scientific data and daily intake of vitamins and minerals from other dietary sources. The article now states that the maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals in supplements per daily portion of consumption shall be set according to:

  • Upper safe levels of vitamins and minerals established by scientific risk assessment based on generally accepted scientific data, taking into consideration, as appropriate, the varying degree of sensitivity of different consumer groups; and
  • The daily intake of vitamins and minerals from other dietary sources.

Nutrition labelling in Malaysia


China issues new GMO permits

From 1 September 2003 onwards a select range of packaged foods, both local and imported, must carry nutritional labels in Malaysia. This measure is in line with guidelines stipulated by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The new regulations, gazetted in March 2003, state the prerequisites for making nutrition content claim, nutrition comparative claim and nutritional functional claims. It lays down the requirements and conditions for making nutrition claims for food products such as low fat, high protein, reduced salt, extra iron, etc. Health claims are not permitted. The following types of food have to carry nutritional labelling: bread; prepared cereal food; milk and powdered milk, including condensed milk, evaporated milk and cultured milk; canned products like meat, fruits, vegetables and fish; soft drinks, including botanical drinks, soya bean milk and soya bean drink; fruit juices; salad dressing and mayonnaise; and flour confection, including pastries, cakes and biscuits.

It is mandatory for four components to be labelled on the above food energy, protein, carbohydrate and fat. Energy value should be stated as kilocalories per 100 g or 100 ml of the food or per package if it contains only a single portion. Energy value may also be expressed as kilojoules. Information on the amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat should be given in grammes per 100 g or 100 ml or per package if it is a single portion. For ready-to-drink beverages, like soft drinks, the amount of total sugars must be provided. Other nutrients permitted to be labelled are vitamins and minerals listed in the governments Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) list and are present at not less than 5 per cent of NRV in a serving as quantified on the label.



Antimicrobial preservative

In the United States, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have formed molecular inclusion complexes of natamycin with cyclodextrins to improve the quality and shelf-life of shredded cheese. Natamycin is an antimicrobial preservative approved by FDA for use in the food industry. However, insolubility of natamycin in water which makes it difficult to apply to cheese surfaces, and degradation of the preservatives stability during ripening and storage of cheese are major hurdles. The breakthrough in molecular inclusion complexes is a promising solution to the aforesaid obstacles. According to Prof. Joseph E. Marcy, who along with Mr. John L. Koontz developed the inclusion complexes, In these inclusion complexes, we found that more than 90 per cent natamycin remained in the aqueous solution and it was significantly more stable than free natamycin. When addressing the issue of stability, we found that product packaging helped greatly lower natamycin photodegradation.


Cold pasteurization

Agbeta Inc., the United States, offers technology for cold pasteurization of foods. Cold pasteurization involves irradiating foods for a prescribed amount of time without any perceptible rise in the foods temperature. In electronic cold pasteurization, fresh, processed or frozen food is exposed to high-energy electrons or X-rays, which results in the reduction or elimination of bacteria, some viruses and fungi found on or within foods. In the case of fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, etc., this process can easily destroy fruit fly larvae, other insects and fungi. Also, the shelf-life of foods are extended.

The mechanism at work in this process starts with high-energy electrons being directed to food in the form of an unfocused beam that is caused to scan a pattern across the products as these are carried by a means of conveyance under the scanning beam. As high energy electrons strike the surface of the food being processed, they strike electrons in the outer valence bonds of atoms, sending the stricken electrons into another high-energy path until all of the original energy has been absorbed into the product. As electrons transit through the mass of food, many will strike DNA molecules of micro-organisms, eliminating the proliferation capability of these organisms. Foods thus become safe for consumption as the organisms are essentially dead. Electronic cold pasteurization is safe and does not affect the nutritional values of food. It can be used to process fresh, frozen, processed and ready-to-eat foods.

Contact: Agbeta Inc., United States of America. Fax: +1 (805) 5669 228.



Electromagnetic pasteurization

At Eastern Regional Research Centre, the United States, researchers have tested a patented and unique process for pasteurizing liquid foods. The continuous 2.45 GHz microwave process removes microwave energy as soon as it passes through the flowing liquid. It separates the effects of thermal energy from non-thermal energy. However, microwaves alone or radio frequency (RF) energy could not destroy micro-organisms at low temperatures.

The team has developed an experimental system that exposes low conductivity liquids to RF energy at a frequency range of 20-100 kHz and a field strength of 45 kV/cm. Preliminary results indicate that liquids can be pasteurized using non-thermal electromagnetic energy. Owing to power limitations of the energy supply, only low conductivity liquids may be treated. A more powerful RF design should enable higher conductivity liquids such as liquid egg and fruit juices to be treated.

Contact: Dr. David Geveke/Mr. Michael Kozempel, Eastern Regional Research Centre, NAA, ARS, USDA, 600, East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, United States of America. Tel: +1 (215) 2336 400.

E-mail: /


Microencapsulated ingredients improve preservation

Balchem Encapsulates, the United States, offers Bakeshure microencapsulated preservation ingredients to provide carefully controlled release and reaction of active substances. In bakery systems, the leavening, pH and preservatives are often at odds with each other, compromising the quality and shelf-life of the end product. While sorbic acid and calcium propionate can effectively extend the shelf-life of baked goods, they are active only within a specific low pH range. Another disadvantage is that these preservatives inhibit mould growth as well as yeast activity.
Bakeshure microencapsulated preservatives and acids can improve both preservative effectiveness and end product quality. The heat-activated coatings are designed to delay release of the active ingredient until it is most beneficial to the system, which results in improved dough rheology and leavening performance, as well as extended shelf-life. The ingredients also enhance product consistency, with the microencapsulation process yielding discrete particles that mix uniformly throughout a system.

Contact: Balchem Encapsulates, 52 Sunrise Park Road, NY 10958, United States of America. Tel: +1 (845) 3265 600.



Pasteurizing liquid foods

Researchers at the University of Guelph, Canada, are developing an electroporation method for the pasteurization of liquid foods. In this project, a 30 kV pulsed treatment system, pulse generator and food treatment chamber was designed and set up to process fluid materials of 148 ml batch volume. Of all the electrical conditions studied, electric field strength was the most decisive parameter with regard to microbial control as compared to pulse period and the number of pulses applied. Pure cultures of Pseudomonas fluorescens in various aqueous solutions were reduced in population by over 6 log cycles. Electric field strength at 10 kV/cm for 10 pulses of instant charge reversed was found to deliver effective microbial control. Fluid properties and electrode distance also influenced microbial reduction.

High voltage pulses also affected enzymatic activity. Over the voltage range of 4-26 kV, 30 pulses were applied to various enzyme solutions using 0.3 cm electrode distance and 2 s pulse period. Alkaline phosphatase appeared to be unaffected, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase exhibited a moderate 30-40 per cent reduction; lipase and glucose oxidase showed 70-85 per cent reduction. Lysozyme and pepsin exhibited a stimulatory profile under a certain range of voltages.



In-line powder disperser

Quadro Ytron has developed a pilot-scale in-line powder disperser that can be directly scaled to the larger ZC1 and ZC3 model dispersers. Processors find it difficult to achieve reliable scale-up from small bench-top stirrer mechanisms to large-scale production mixers. Scale-up of high-shear mixing applications means additional challenges, including high power requirements, mechanical limitations and designing a mixer with the ability to generate sufficient bulk tank turnover while maintaining the necessary shear to complete the application.

Mixer scale-up with in-line mixing eliminates several of the aforesaid problems. Besides the new ZC units being scaleable, in-line processing ensures single pass dispersion of even the most difficult-to-disperse powders into liquids, batch-to-batch consistency in quality, reduced batch times and energy needs, and totally eliminates air entrainment.

Contact: Quadro Engineering Inc., 613, Colby Drive, Waterloo, Ontario N2V 1A1, Canada. Tel: +1 (519) 8849 660; Fax: +1 (519) 8840 253.


New extrusion systems

Schaaf Technologie GmbH, Germany, offers new extrusion systems 6400, 9250 and 12000 series. The 6400 series is the small wonder from Schaaf family of extruders while models in the 9250 series are the original optimized extruders and systems in the 12000 series are of high capacity and flexibility. Key basic features of the extruders are:

  • Welded frame construction in stainless steel covered with stainless steel cover sheets for long structural life and excellent hygiene;
  • Special main bearing system with incorporated lubrication system to ensure long and trouble-free operation;
  • Complete internal power and control cabling for quick installation;
  • For use with standard Schaaf processing components screw, sleeve, turbo and die systems. Screws made with special alloy steels and sleeves, and double layered design for excellent wear resistant properties;
  • All the models are based on patented TURBO extrusion technology, which provides major improvements in machine operation and product control besides benefits in terms of improved throughput and lower wear parts cost.
Extruders in the 6400 series provide an excellent option for those who wish to enter the extruded foods market with minimal investment. They also offer a reasonably wide variety of raw material and product options. Machines in the 9250 series offer the most optimum combination of capacity, product flexibility and performance. Models in the 12000 series have the highest capacity, primarily targeted at manufacturers wanting to expand their production capacity.

Contact: Schaaf Technologie GmbH, Otto-Hahn Strae 36, 65520 Bad Camberg, Germany. Tel: +49 (6434) 91720; Fax: +49 (6434) 917 272.



New frying technology

In Denmark, under an R&D project titled Better food in large scale, researchers have developed and patented a processing method for continuous frying. The innovative method is in line with the current trend for wholly or partly ready low-fat, healthy, quality products. Prof. Jens Adler-Nissen at the Technical University of Denmark, one of the inventors, states that In order for the machine to fry continuously, it has to comply with three requirements: vegetable or meat cuts have to be transported through the machine in a controlled manner, they have to be turned consistently so that all sides fry against the hot surface, and the surface has to be kept clean during the frying process.

A start-up company, Gastroprocess Technologies ApS, has been set up based on the frying process.

Contact: Prof. Jens Adler-Nissen, The Technical University of Denmark, Denmark.



Volumetric filling

In Italy, Evergreen Packaging Equipment and AVE Industries have entered into a long-term strategic agreement that enables Evergreen to manufacture, sell and service rotary bottle filling equipment using AVE electronic volumetric filling, bottle handling and capping technologies. The pact allows Evergreen to provide the North American dairy, beverage and juice customers a superior offering for refrigerated products by integrating high speed, high performance bottle filling with Evergreens extended shelf-life and extended long life techniques and expertise.


Squid processing robot

Mayekawa Mfg. Co. Ltd., Japan, has developed a squid processing robot. Ika-Saku replaces manual primary squid splitting. A high degree of sanitation is achieved since the squids are processed entirely by mechanical means, which allows continuous water washing throughout the processing cycle. Squid intestines are removed without cutting the tentacles off the body. The body is then split with the tentacles attached. This facilitates a very large volume of squids to be processed automatically and the primary processed can be used in a wide variety of secondary products, including sashimi, semi-desiccated squid, cut meat, peeled meat, salted meat and smoked squid legs, among others.

In conventional methods, about eight workers are required to carry out manual squid splitting. Ika-Saku allows the work to be undertaken by a single worker, with subsequent processing performed by 2-3 workers. The robot measures 3.484 1.334 1.884 m (length width height).

Contact: Mayekawa Mfg. Co. Ltd., 2-13-1, Botan, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135 8482, Japan. Tel: +81 (3) 3642 8181; Fax: +81 (3) 3643 7094.


Separating discoloured rice

Buhler, a global technology group, offers Z-series of colour sorting system. Developed primarily for detecting discoloured rice, it can also be used with a variety of other food grains such as wheat, rye and oats, in combination with traditional cleaning equipment. Z-series colour sorters detect ergot, dark contaminants, germ discolourations, dark pebbles, and discoloured and unripe kernels. These systems can process up to 14 t/h of durum wheat, depending on the machine size. They incorporate high-performance cameras to detect minute dots or colour deviations of 0.3 mm and smaller. High-speed ejection nozzles at the machines outlet open nearly 300 times a second. Product tracking and automatic calibration produce a consistently high sorting accuracy and material throughput.


Vacuum drier

Chemac Equipments Pvt. Ltd., India, is offering a vacuum drier with mechanical rake for drying heat- and air-sensitive products in vacuum. The entire drying chamber is well machined to ensure close contact of the product with agitator blades, thus ensuring proper shuffling of the material and avoiding localized overheating. A leak-proof front opening door facilitates easy cleaning of the entire chamber. Top loading and bottom unloading facility provides for easy charging and discharging of the material. A cyclonic trap prevents fine dust of the dry material from getting into the vapour condenser. The condenser and condensate collection tank stop vapours from entering into the vacuum pump. An appropriate vacuum pump and accessories are provided to maintain the right vacuum in the unit.

The entire system is mounted on a steel frame. Food contact parts are made using AISI 304L, AISI 316L, Hastelloy, Uranus (DIN 1.4539) and other alloys. The drier offers perfect product homogeneity and batch uniformity. Capacity varies from five to 4,500 l.

Contact: Chemac Equipments Pvt. Ltd., M. J. Dsouza Compound, Saphed Pool, Saki Naka, Mumbai 400 072, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 2850 7109/7099; Fax: +91 (22) 2851 6986.



Beverage and Food World, November 2003

Enhancing fruit juice quality

Food and Biotech Engineers (I) Pvt. Ltd., India, is offering a concentration plant with aroma recovery for conserving fruit juices and increase their dry substances content. Since flavour is an important component of grading the quality of fruit juices, recovery of aromatic compounds is crucial. The compact plant features an evaporator and yields considerable energy savings.

Contact: Food and Biotech Engineers (I) Pvt. Limited, 291, Sector 37, Faridabad 121003, Haryana, India. Tel: +91 (129) 2278 058; Fax: +91 (129) 2272 011.



Beverage and Food World, October 2003)


Debittering grape fruit juice

In India, scientists at the Department of Chemical Technology have investigated into the efficacy of using the enzyme naringinase for eliminating bitterness from grape fruit juice. Studies have shown that a commercial naringinase preparation reduced 75 per cent of naringin content at an enzyme level of 1 g/l following incubation at 40C for four hours. Debittering by naringinase has no adverse impact on the nutrition quality of grape fruit juice.

Beverage and Food World, November 2003

Beverage emulsion without adding weighting agent

Food Research and Development Centre (FRDC), Canada, has developed technology to formulate a beverage emulsion, which provides suitable opacity and/or flavour to fruit-base beverages without the addition of weighting agents or density adjusters. The stable formulation does not physically separate into distinct phases. Adding this emulsion to the beverage in an appropriate concentration yields the desired opacity and remains physically stable after reconstitution. The absence of weighting agents allows production of foods with a healthier image and a less complicated list of ingredients.

Contact: Mr. Steve Bittner, Senior Advisor, Commercialization and Business Development, FRDC, 3600, Casavant Blvd. West Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec J2S 8E3, Canada. Tel: +1 (450) 7731 105; Fax: +1 (450) 7738 461.


Finest coffee flavour

Pokka Corp., Japan, has developed a variety of techniques to make the most of carefully selected ingredients. The patented deoxygenating method retains the taste and aroma of freshly brewed coffee by thoroughly eliminating oxygen, which is responsible for coffee oxidation, from the raw material. Another patented method, the ceramic far-infrared roasting process, roasts every coffee bean evenly. The first drip method uses only the first batch of the brew, which captures the pure coffee flavour. The far-infrared double roasting technique combines the far-infrared roasting method, which roasts right to the core of the bean, bringing out excellent aroma and crisp flavour, with hot-air roasting for body. Contact: Pokka Corp., Daiichifuji Bldg., 35-16, Daikan-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya 461 8648, Japan.


Enzymes to peel citrus fruits

Biocatalysts Ltd., the United Kingdom, is offering a range of enzymes to fulfil the requirements for peeling different types of citrus fruits. Peeling is a very labour-intensive process. Traditionally, the only alternative to hand peeling is to use either steam or lye, a strong alkali, or a combination of both. However, such methods have a tendency to affect the quality of the peeled fruit, often leaving undesirable off-flavours that impair the finished product.

Biocatalysts Pectinase 690L is highly effective in treating oranges, because of its ability to penetrate beneath the relatively thick skin of the fruit to dissolve the albedo (pith). Normally, the fruit is warmed during the process by passing it under a hot water spray, and the skin is scored or pierced to provide easier access for the enzyme. This enzyme can also be employed in the vacuum infusion process, wherein the fruit is placed in a wire basket and loaded into a vacuum bath containing a solution of Pectinase 690L in a water or citric acid buffer. The bath is subjected to vacuum pressure for 3-5 min, which causes gases present in the pith layer to be sucked out and replaced with the enzyme solution. The fruit is then put through an extended incubation period before it is peeled, washed and segmented. Other enzymes have been introduced to perform at lower temperatures in cases where the fruit cannot be warmed prior to treatment.

Contact: Ms. Caroline West, Promotions Manager, Biocatalysts Ltd., Treforest Indl. Estate, Pontypridd CF37 5UD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (01443) 843 712; Fax: +44 (01443) 846 500.


Advances Wales, Issue 41, 2003

Shelf-stable beverage concentrate

Food Research and Development Centre (FRDC), Canada, offers technology for formulating a juice beverage concentrate at 65-68 Brix for consumer use as well as industrial applications. The product sustains high opacity, and microbiological and physical stability (absence of phase separation), without the use of an evaporator. Both concentrates must be diluted six times before consumption. The industrial concentrate (after dilution) should be pasteurized to remain stable for a period of up to nine months at room temperature.

Contact: Mr. Steve Bittner, Senior Advisor, Commercialization and Business Development, FRDC, 3600, Casavant Blvd. West Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec J2S 8E3, Canada. Tel: +1 (450) 7731 105; Fax: +1 (450) 7738 461


Pulsing electric fields for safer and tastier fruit juices

Researchers at SIK, Sweden, have developed a process to obtain safer and tastier fruit juices than possible with conventional heat pasteurization. The patented method relies on cold pasteurizing by employing pulsing electric fields. This new technology has halved the cost of cold pasteurization, compared with first-generation cold pasteurizers.


Cold process juice treatment system

In the United States, Praxair Inc. is offering a new process for preserving the fresh taste of orange juice without applying heat. Better Than Fresh cold process juice treatment system is based on a breakthrough concept developed at the University of Florida. The key to the success of this system is the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a processing aid. At sufficiently high levels, GRAS-status CO2 becomes bactericidal to pathogens and spoilage micro-organisms. When applied at moderate pressure, it reduces pathogen population by more than 5-log, without any adverse effect on the flavour components that consumers perceive as fresh taste.

Contact: Praxair Inc., 39, Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury, Connecticut, CT 06810, United States of America. Tel: +1 (716) 8794 077; Fax: +1 (716) 8792 040.


Asian Food Information Center

The Asian Food Information Center (AFIC) helps the media, educators, health profesionals and scientists effectively communicate information on nutrition, health and food safety for public good across the Asia Pacific region.

For more information, contact:




New food packaging line

Dixie Foodservice, the United States, has added several innovative solutions to its new To-Go line, a family of five products, including PerfecTouch containers, Dixie Stoneware packaging, Adaptables packaging, Liddles Portion Cups and Quilt-Rap Bags. This packaging line is in response to carry-out challenges faced by operators such as food temperature retention issues, leaks and spills, and overall food presentation and image.

Stoneware is designed to enhance the appearance and appeal of To-Go packaging. Consumers can transport, refrigerate and reheat their meals in an oven or microwave. Secure fitting lids prevent spills, without a rim. The extra-strong plates and bowls are cut-resistant and soak-proof. PerfecTouch technology features a single-serve container for hot liquid foods. The material used in these containers helps retain the contents temperature inside while being cool on the outside. Liddles Portion Cups are six small containers attached to make filling, storing and serving sauces and dips easier. Each cup is perforated to easily break apart from the others as needed, promoting quick services. Since lids are attached to the cups, the number of operator stock keeping units (SKUs) is reduced, thus eliminating misplaced lids and resolving ordering issues.

Adaptables packaging is credited as the first take-away container designed with interchangeable tops and bottoms, aimed at reducing the number of SKUs. Quilt-Rap bags feature insulation that helps maintain the desired food temperatures longer than ordinary bags. They are leak-resistant and sealable.


MAP systems for baked goods

Multivac Inc., the United States, offers modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) systems to extend the shelf-life of baked products. The precision MAP technology, available on both thermoform-fill-seal rollstock and machines, generate customized packages that enhance brand integrity and consumer preference. R530 and R230 thermoform-fill-seal rollstock systems feature easily interchangeable die sets to yield a wide variety of eye-catching and functional designs like resealable zippers, peggable packages and compartmentalized trays. Multivac also offers a full line of tray-sealers, which produces MAP packaging from pre-formed trays in myriad shapes, sizes and materials, including standard or foamed film, coated board and aluminium.

Contact: Ms. Molly, Multivac Inc., United States of America. Fax: +1 (816) 8910 622.



New packaging technologies

Eurosicma has launched a range of new packing machine and feeder system technologies to meet the special needs of customers in the medium market bracket. Euro 76C/DS, which replaces the previous mechanical version, is designed for pillow-pack packaging of sweets, sugar-coated sweets and small pastilles. This totally electronic machine is upgraded with touches such as industrial PC, brushless motor and Can bus technology. With a capacity to pack 1,000 units/minute, the machine has a high size-changing flexibility, handling up to 25 per cent packing unit length variation.

The company also offers a MiniSmart Line, feeder 110, pillow-pack Mod. Euro 88/EL packaging unit combination, which comprises a completely automated feeding system for a variety of products like chocolate bars, wafers or covered biscuits and baked products in general. This system can handle up to 50 rows of products and goes through 300 units/min. Latest versions of packing machines for bubblegum, lollipops, noodles, biscuits, etc. are also available.


New packaging to ensure product quality

Tetra Paks TR/17 ESL packaging system offers the ultimate combination of hygiene-enhancing features in response to demands for gable top carton packaging that delivers excellent product quality retention, over longer shelf-life, throughout the product distribution chain. This system allows the products to retain their quality over a shelf-life of up to 90 days. Excellent shelf-life and maximum hygienic qualities are assured by a highly efficient carton sterilization unit. The servo motor uses advanced technology to maximize speed, flexibility and product safety. TR/17 ESL can handle four different carton sizes and fill volumes. Cartons featuring the exclusive Sahara Bottom are used. Ease of operation is assured through:

  • Single button product changeover;
  • Semi-automatic magazine carton loader saves on time and expenses;
  • An innovative on-board Clean-in-Place system allows high-pressure steam sterilization;
  • Sloped tabletop for quicker run-off of water; and
  • Self-contained automatic cleaning.

Dairy packaging machines

Serac, France, has expanded its product range by adding pre-formed cup packaging machines for milk products and desserts. The company is now offering continuous and step-by-step dosing units, multi-track linear machines and rotary indexed systems. Recently, there has been a distinct trend towards a variety of fresh products marketed in pre-formed containers, and it is continuing to grow.


Edible wraps

A researcher with the United States Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service has developed edible wraps from vegetables and fruits. The wraps add to a healthful diet since each wrap is comparable to a serving of a fruit/vegetable. Also, they can provide a glaze or a sauce for cooking. Available in a wide variety of flavours, including broccoli, carrot, tomato, mango, peach, papaya, apple, pear and strawberry, the food wrap is an edible film cut in pre-formed sheets or envelope-like shapes. Lipids, natural water repellents, are added to the wraps, making them water-resistant.

Beverage and Food World, October 2003

Horizontal flow pack wrapper

Packwell Equipments, India, offers a horizontal form-fill-seal machine for a variety of applications where high speeds are not required. Models PE 106 and PE 107 wrapping systems have adjustable forming shoulders, offer excellent flexibility and cover a range of package widths. The main drive is a DC motor with step-less speed adjustments, which accelerates the machine smoothly and can be set to any desired rate of production when installed separately or combined with other in-line processing equipment.

A standard photoelectric print registration controller guarantees correctly positioned and perfect printing on the package. The cross sealer is equipped with a height adjustment device that permits easy alignments of the cutting line. A strong and neat seam is feasible as heat is applied intensively and evenly across the entire sealing surface.

Contact: Packwell Equipments, 233, Gobind Udyog Bhavan, Bal Rajeshwar Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai 400 080, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 2560 3491; Fax: +91 (22) 2568 8916.



Beverage and Food World, October 2003

Tamper evident pouch

Nichrome India Ltd. offers Tamper Evident Sealing System, which produces a unique broadband double sealing on milk pouches. Two colour bands printed on the seal area, makes it impossible to cut open the seal and re-seal it without being noticed. The new system can be incorporated into existing Nichrome Filpack milk packing units at incremental costs.

Contact: Nichrome India Ltd., Safire Park Galleria 4, Pune-Mumbai Road, Shivajinagar, Pune 411 005, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (20) 4011 001; Fax: +91 (20) 4011 010.


Indian Dairyman, October 2003

Form, fill n seal systems

Rovema, a global leader in packaging systems, has unveiled its Vertical Intermittent Pouch machine (VVI-200), a new vertical form, fill and seal system designed for applications typically associated with horizontal units. Incorporating ten patented features, this system comes with fixed sealing jaws, rotated 90 to produce 3-sided, 4-sided and Doy style stand-up pouch products. An automatic format adjustment enables production of different pouch sizes at the push of a button, saving changeover time. About 80-250 mm pouch height and 50-200 mm pouch width can occur without forming set changes, yielding up to 100 pouches/min. The standard design with vacuum-assisted belts guarantees secure product transport for film structures up to 20 m. The closed system allows for compact and dust-free packaging.



Physical Principles of Food Preservation

This second edition examines the properties, conditions and theoretical principles governing the safety and efficacy of various food preservation, storage and packing techniques. It qualitatively and quantitatively formulates the principles of food preservation and storage stability. Step-by-step details on traditional and emerging preservation procedures have been provided, including dehydration, freezing, heating, concentration, irradiation, etc.

Contact: Culinary and Hospitality Industry Publications Services, 10777, Mazoch Road, Weimar, Texas 78962, United States of America. Tel: +1 (979) 2635 683; Fax: +1 (979) 2635 685.

Food Preservation Techniques

This book provides information on existing and new developments and how these can be combined to preserve foods. Topics covered include the use of natural antimicrobials, natural antioxidants, antimicrobial enzymes, edible coatings and combining natural antimicrobial systems with other preservation techniques.

Contact: Culinary and Hospitality Industry Publications Services, 10777, Mazoch Road, Weimar, Texas 78962, United States of America. Tel: +1 (979) 2635 683; Fax: +1 (979) 2635 685.

Handbook of Food Processing Equipment

This book covers the design, selection and operation of industrial equipment used in the storage, processing and packaging of foods. Quality and safety aspects related to food processing systems have also been emphasized. The systems are classified and described according to the basic operations, including mechanical transport, processing and separations, heat transfer operations, evaporation, dehydration, thermal processing, etc.

Contact: CTI Publications Inc., 2 Oakway Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093 4247, United States of America. Tel: +1 (410) 3082 080; Fax: +1 (410) 3082 079.



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