VATIS Update Food Processing . Jan-Feb 2010

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Food Processing Jan-Feb 2010

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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FAO stresses need for post-harvest grain management

Improved farm techniques coupled with farmers training at grassroots level can help reduce post-harvest food grain losses, which may translate into fall in food prices, said Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

A significant amount of the food produced in developing countries is lost after harvest due to poor post-harvest management and lack of mechanized farm techniques. The causes of such post-harvest losses, which some estimates suggest could range from 15 to as high as 50 per cent of the overall production, are manifold. These include harvesting at an incorrect stage of maturity, excessive exposure to rain, extreme temperature or drought, contamination by micro-organisms and physical damage that reduces the value of the product.

FAO believes that food losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the supply from the market. They also have an impact on environmental degradation and climate change as land, water, human labour and non-renewable resources such as fertilizer and energy are used to produce, process, handle and transport food that no one consumes. Food grain loss also aggravates hunger. Therefore, the agency stressed that with adequate investment and training food losses could be drastically reduced. Many of the losses, which can be significantly reduced if there is adequate training, occur because of erroneous transport and packing practices. FAO, collaborating with the World Bank and others, has trained thousands of people in three continents to handle harvested food properly. Another major problem is the inadequate and insecure storage facilities in many developing countries, where FAO believes that its interventions and collaborating donor agencies can make a significant impact.

To make technologies such as metallic silos accessible to small farmers, interventions also are needed in other areas. In many developing countries farmers cannot afford the materials to build the silos. Therefore, FAO has set up revolving funds and loans to facilitate the diffusion of better storage containers. Other interventions involve establishment of innovative institutional mechanisms such as warehouse receipt systems.

Investment in Indias food industry to shoot up

Investment opportunities in the Indian food industry are set to shoot up by a huge 42.5 per cent to US$181 billion in 2015 and to US$318 billion by 2020, according to a joint study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Ernst & Young. The study, Flavours of Incredible India Opportunities in the Food Industry, has noted that the food industry accounts for a 30 per cent of the consumers wallet.

Indian consumer spends 70 per cent of the current food expenditure on agricultural produce, the study says. Primary and secondary processed products get two-thirds of this, with fruits and vegetables being the largest consumption category, accounting for over 50 per cent of the total consumption. Milk, milk products, meat and meat products make up the remaining 30 per cent spend, and have been growing at a faster rate as compared with agricultural products.

The key drivers of the sector have been identified as an increase in per capita disposable income by 8 per cent over the last five years, leading in turn to an additional per capita spend on food by 20 per cent in the same period. The current per capita income on food is 1/6th that of China and 1/16th that of the United States. The study said the growth in food sector would help in re-organising the supply chain to reduce post-harvest losses, especially in fruits and vegetables that amount up to 25 per cent by value.
Source: economictimes.

Philippines aims to end coffee importation

The Philippines is all set to wipe out its annual coffee imports estimated at 35,000 tonnes by 2016, as the private sector and the government undertake efforts to modernize the coffee industry. Agriculture Secretary Mr. Arthur Yap revealed this timetable of a 10-year national coffee master plan, which was fine-tuned in 2007. Our goal is to increase local coffee production by 40,000 tonnes in seven to eight years to fill the shortage in the countrys supply of the popular beverage, said Mr. Yap in a statement.

Earlier, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has allocated around 350 million pesos (US$ 7.8 million) over a three-year period till 2010 to help the private sector, led by the Philippine Coffee Board, modernize the coffee industry.

Under the coffee master plan, DA will: intensify the production of planting materials; continue support for the establishment and maintenance of foundation groves and scion groves; heighten rejuvenation efforts to boost productivity; and enhance support for the development of organic farms. It will also transfer coffee-production technology through trainings, publications, etc., establish common service facility for processing of coffee, and collect market intelligence and hold promotional activities.

As part of efforts to expand coffee plantations all over the country, DA launched a coffee and cacao programme recently. The initial target of the programme is to plant coffee and cacao in 200 ha of farmlands. For the first year, DA will target the distribution of 200,000 pieces of coffee planting materials and another 200,000 pieces of planting materials for cacao. Each farmer-beneficiary will receive 100 seedlings.

Owing to low production and the increase in coffee consumption in recent years, the Philippines was forced to import as much as 35,000 tonnes of coffee every year, mostly from Viet Nam. Last year, the Philippines produced only 97,480 tonnes of coffee or 0.46 per cent lower than the harvest of 2007. Coffee production breached the 100,000 tonnes-mark in 2006.

Republic of Korea plans more food R&D

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea is committed to the globalization of Korean cuisine, or hansik. Recently, the Ministry announced that it would initiate an ambitious plan to nurture the nations food industry with the injection of 5 trillion won (US$4.3 billion) over three years, beginning 2010. According to the plan, overall sales for the Korean food industry, currently around US$86 billion in total, will grow 7 per cent annually to over US$ 130 billion in 2012. Exports of farm and fisheries products are also expected to jump to US$10 billion by then, from the current US$3.8 billion.

On the global stage, the food industry reaches US$4 trillion overall and is bigger than the auto and information technology industries. Growing interest and the importance of food safety across the world shows prospects are positive for more growth in this industry. The food businesses of the Republic of Korea, however, are not mature enough to compete globally. Of its 8,500 food makers, more than 90 per cent have less than 50 employees. Sales for the companies average at US$4.9 million, and averaged annual sales of restaurants and eateries are at about US$80,500, lagging behind both Japan and the United States by huge margins. Only eight local food makers post annual sales over 1 trillion won (US$860 million). Processed food exports amounted to US$1.9 billion in 2008, with some 40 countries ahead of it.

In such circumstances, R&D becomes significant. R&D will be used in processing various farm products into labelled food products. The Ministry plans to adopt several policies for the project. Budget for food R&D will be expanded to 1.2 per cent of overall sales from the current 0.34 per cent, while the groundwork will also be set for a food industry cluster complex. Industrialization for six traditional condiments and fermented foodstuffs will be paralleled in an effort to strengthen their global competitiveness. The Ministry will also establish a new institute for kimchi and seek the standardization of three Korean food items: chili sauce (gochujang) and bean paste (doenjang) and ginseng. Promotion of Korean food ingredients will follow to broaden their outbound shipments. Much of the promotional work will focus on kimchi, the exports of which have suffered of late because of hygiene and quality issues.

New food safety rules on the anvil in India

The Government of India is all set to introduce a new set of regulations from next year, replacing the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, with an aim to widen the scope of ensuring safety of food products. Under the existing provisions, small operators like street vendors cannot be licensed. The new regulations will require them to undergo a simple registration process at the base level, said Mr. P.I. Suvarathan, Chairperson of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The new set of rules aims to integrate the whole licensing system. Food processing will be classified as high-risk products (meat, milk, edible oil and the like) and low-risk products (such as rice). Companies that have inter-state operations will be brought under a common regulatory system.

Aquaculture Food Safety Centre in Bangladesh

An Aquaculture Food Safety Centre (AFSC) will be establishedto offer training on good aquaculture practices (GAP) in Bangladesh, Mr. Mashiur Rahman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs, stated recently. GAP management approaches will be applied throughout the shrimp value chain and focus on International Principles of Responsible Aquaculture to guarantee proper food safety, environmental sustainability, responsible labour standards and other social issues. The Poverty Reduction by Increasing the Compe-titiveness of Enterprises (PRICE) project will signa Memorandum of Understanding to develop AFSC, to be affiliated with the Fisheries Product Business Promotion Council, the Ministry of Commerces main private-public aquaculture body.

Theshrimp industry is the second major source of foreign exchange profits, which yielded about US$445 million in 2007-08. Bangladesh holds the potential to double its shrimp exports by 2015, Mr. Rahman affirmed. He expressed hope that the centre will significantly contribute to the training of workers who will be capable of helping shrimp products meet food safety requirements.

Vietnamese coffee exports increase 15 per cent

Coffee exports topped 800,000 tonnes, worth US$ 1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2009, the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) announced at its annual meeting in November. The whole years forecast is for exports to reach 1.15 million tonnes, bringing revenues of US$ 1.75 billion, Vicofa said. Coffee exports rose 14.9 per cent in volume year-on-year, but fell 19.2 per cent in value due to the effect of global financial crisis.

In Viet Nam, coffee currently grows on an area of 521,000 ha, which is 500 ha less than last year. Expected output of next years crop is to reach more than 1 million tonnes, a drop of 700 tonnes than previous crop due to nearly 7,000 ha of coffee trees damaged by recent storms.

Viet Nam exports coffee to 88 countries and territories and is the second largest coffee exporter in the world. However, according to a recent report by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), 75 per cent of Vietnamese coffee did not meet quality improvement standards. This has seriously damaged the fame of Vietnamese coffee on the global market, it said, adding that firms should improve the quality of their produce, as well as ensure food safety and hygiene.

Korean aid programme in the Philippines

As part of assistance to developing countries, the Republic of Korea has started to build four rice-processing complexes (RPC) in the Philippines to help Filipino farmers, according to the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The facilities are expected to help the Philippines develop its agricultural industry.

The RPCs under construction with support from the Korean government will help the Philippines to develop agriculture and reduce poverty, Mr. Kang Man-soo, a former finance minister and now special presidential advisor for economic affairs, was quoted as saying during the ground-breaking ceremony. The first complex, equipped with the latest processors, was established in Aurora Province, about 230 km from Manila, and processed rice of good quality, labelled KOICA Rice. The grain was well-received by local customers and thus, the Philippine government asked for additional facilities, KOICA said.


Indonesia stricter on fruit and vegetable imports

To help prevent imports of fruits and vegetables potentially carrying hazardous chemical residues, Indonesias Agriculture Ministry has imposed a ministerial regulation, effective from19 November 2009, requiring the products to meet international safety standards. Under the Agriculture Ministers Regulation No. 27/2009, importers are obliged to attach certificates mentioning that the imported fruits and vegetables do not contain dangerous chemicals as regulated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

We have made our own standards for all kind of fruits and vegetables, in line with FAO regulations, said Mr. Hari Priyono, the Ministrys Head of Agricultural Quarantine Agency. He said that the regulation aimed to protect Indonesians from consuming unhealthy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables grown using chemical fertilizers and pesticides or growth hormones and antibiotics sometimes appeared to be healthy but could contain hazardous and possibly toxic chemical residues, Mr. Hari explained.

Most countries have now finished preparing the standards and the Indonesian government has recognized them as safe fruits and vegetables exporters, Mr. Hari said. Commodities from such countries need to meet simpler procedures when entering Indonesia. Importers would only need to show the certification letters and the goods would be able to enter Indonesia right away after the letters are verified.

According to the regulation, countries that have not recognized Indonesias standards may still be able to sell the commodities in Indonesia, under certain conditions, such as submitting the fruit and vegetables for chemical tests. If the tests prove that the goods are not chemically safe, importers must send them back to the countries of origin. If they dont do that within a period of time, we will destroy the goods, Mr. Hari said.

Thai fish sauce benefits from new Codex standard

Fish sauce is one of Thailands major export products. However, importers have recently imposed stricter conditions on histamine content, based on Codex fishery products. The maximum histamine amount under Codex is 20 mg/g. Normally, Thai anchovies, tuna and mackerel contain lower histamine than the Codex requirement. However, the amount of histamine increases if fish start decomposing or if the sauce is too aged.

Thailands Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) and the Thai Fish Sauce Exporter Association are cooperating with Viet Nam to draft a fish sauce standard to propose to the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP) at the next meeting in Morocco. The draft proposes to raise the maximum histamine content from 20 mg/g to 40 mg/g. CCFFP has accepted ACFS proposal to increase the limit of histamine content to 40 mg/g, greatly benefiting the export of Thai fish sauce.

India to regulate trans fats in packaged foods

The Government of India has decided to limit the amount of trans fats in packaged foods. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) an autonomous statutory body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will come up with a draft. This is one of the steps the FSSAI is introducing to check the claims of processed food manufacturers. The government reasons that with more income in hand, Indians are increasingly consuming processed food that may have a high degree of trans fats. Scientifically, 0 per cent trans fats in fried snacks is not possible, though it can be reduced to a minimum. However, companies like PepsiCos Frito-Lay (Lays) and ITC (Bingo), among others, are selling products labelled as zero trans fats.

Mr. P.I. Suvrathan, Chairman, FSSAI, says that globally, most countries have put strict limits on trans fats levels in foods, following strictures from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO). Globally, the limit is 2 to 5 per cent of the total fat in a diet. FSSAI is also inclined towards those figures.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has already submitted a draft in this matter to the governments Oils and Fats Sub-Committee. It argues that the government needs a comprehensive study on nutrition and dietary patterns before formulating the guidelines. Putting a limit on trans fats is unviable... One can regulate trans fats in packaged foods, but what about open-served food? In India, only 2 to 3 per cent of ones daily consumption is processed food, says FICCIs Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Sameer Barde. He argues that though big companies may adapt to the new regulations, it will impact 80 per cent of the small companies involved in the business that employ a great number of people. Even the FAO/WHO Codex does not have any limit on trans fats as of now, Mr. Barde reasons.

Importation of GM rice variety approved

In the Philippines, the Court of Appeals has given the government clearance to allow the importation of the genetically modified (GM) rice variety Liberty Link Rice 62 (LLRice62).The appellate court reversed the temporary restraining order issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) prohibiting the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) from allowing Bayer Crop Science Inc. to import the rice variety for food, feeds and processing. The Court of Appeals ruled that RTC erred in ruling that LLRice62 is dangerous to health and the environment. It said such findings would have to be verified by the proper agencies. Nowhere in the assailed order did the trial court point out or elaborate on the alluded sampling of petitioners evidence, it observed.

Greenpeace had filed a petition for preliminary injunction before RTC to prevent DA and BPI from granting the application of Bayer to import the GM rice, which is allegedly modified to withstand high doses of glufosinate, a herbicide sprayed on rice fields to kill a wide range of weeds. However, the appellate court said Greenpeace failed to present evidence of their claim. It also rejected the groups claim that their right to information was violated because BPI and DA did not share with them information about Bayers application.
Source: www.


New test can rapidly trace pesticides in food

Scientists from McMaster University in Canada have come up with a fast, inexpensive dipstick test, which can identify traces of pesticides in food and beverages. Their paper-strip test is more practical than conventional tests, yielding results within minutes rather than hours by means of an easy-to-read colour-change, the scientists said. Mr. John D. Brennan, chemist and chemical biologist who led the research, noted that existing tests for detecting pesticides rely on expensive and complex equipment, taking hours to produce results. The new test strips, which yielded results in less than five minutes, could be particularly useful in developing countries or remote areas that may lack access to expensive testing equipment and electricity.

X-ray to reduce food-borne pathogens

A researcher at Mississippi State University, the United States, has developed a procedure that uses X-ray technology to reduce significantly the presence of food-borne pathogens like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Shigella and Listeria on leafy green vegetables. Mr. Barakat Mahmoud, an assistant professor of food safety and microbiology, said the procedure is a form of irradiation, only without the use of radioactive compounds like Cobalt-60 and Cesium-137 used to generate gamma radiation.

This is just an X-ray machine, electricity converted to photons, Mr. Mahmoud said. I believe consumers will accept X-ray more than gamma because everyone is more familiar with X-ray. He said his studies never exceeded X-ray doses of more than 2 kilogray for spinach and iceberg lettuce. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit for using X-ray on spinach or iceberg lettuce is 4 kilogray. We were able to reduce populations of food-borne pathogens by more than 1 million cells per gram, Mr. Mahmoud said.

Almost as important was that the X-ray process didnt change the colour or damage the surface of the product in any way. And, it doesnt just kill pathogens on the surface. X-ray can kill bacteria inside produce, Mr. Mahmoud revealed. He said his studies showed X-ray treatment extended the shelf-life of produce to 30 days from a microbiological perspective. After 30 days, there was presence of things such as mould and yeast. But, it only measured about 100 cells/gram for treated produce compared with 10 million cells/gram for the control group.

New E. coli test gets AOAC-RI validation

A new Escherichia coli O157:H7 test used with the RAPID LT Food Security System (FSS), which delivers results within an hour, has been validated by the independent AOAC Research Institute, based in the United States. The test developed by Idaho Technology, the United States, and accorded Performance Tested Methods Status uses real-time polymerase chain reaction technology to spot the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in food samples. The validation studies on uncooked spinach and ground beef prove that the RAPID LT FSS performed as well as or better than conventional culture methods and delivered the results more quickly. This platform enables detection of E. coli O157:H7 in less than one hour, just after eight hours of enrichment.

Microwave meter measures moisture of groundnuts

Scientists at the United States Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed microwave meter that instantaneously measures both moisture and density of unshelled groundnuts, making it easier and faster for producers and processors to determine these important quality indicators. The new apparatus measures density and moisture independently, eliminating an extra testing step and improving an earlier ARS technology that used radio frequencies to determine moisture content.

Moisture content is the most important factor in groundnut quality. Kernel moisture content must be less than 10.5 per cent; higher levels can lead to the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxins, which cause illness in animals and humans. Using the new technology, groundnut graders can determine kernel moisture content with only ~0.5 per cent standard error. ARS engineer Mr. Samir Trabelsi and retired ARS engineer Mr. Stuart O. Nelson at the ARS Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Centre, developed the microwave meter. The method is rapid, non-destructive and eliminates the need for shelling the groundnuts.

In the new process, in-shell groundnuts are loaded directly into the sample holder of the microwave meter, and an antenna transmits low-intensity microwaves into the groundnut pods. The microwaves pass through the pods and are received by another antenna. Alterations in the energy level and velocity of the microwaves, as they pass through the pods, reveal moisture content in the kernels and bulk density of the pods. A computer records moisture and density measurements, and compensates for those.

Food pasteurization boosts safety and cuts costs

A new pasteurization technology produced by Raytheon Company, the United States, claim healthier and safer food products produced with 10 per cent lower energy consumption. The process is chemical-free and does not utilize any ionizing radiation. Further, surface pasteurization can be accomplished after the food is packaged, increasing the safety of the products. Recurring costs could be less than one-tenth of the costs associated with low dose irradiation and chemical treatment, according to the company.

In the process, about 95 per cent of the energy produced in the form of heat produced by millimetre waves is directed to the food surface. In tests using samples of meat pre-contaminated with three harmful bacteria, the system killed all three in less than 16 seconds. The technology is also said to preserve food quality and to help economize on plant space. The technology can be incorporated into existing food processing lines, making pasteurization quicker than bulk pasteurization that uses ionizing radiation. Raytheon is currently seeking partners to commercialize the technology.


Heat-stable flavour system for baked goods

New technology can meet the trends for heat-stable natural flavours in baked products such as pasta, snacks, bread, biscuits and pastries, claims the Swedish developer Culinar AB. The heat stability and longer release profile of Culinars new flavour carrier system, Culinax, means it can also improve the flavour quality of low-fat products, such as snacks, and give flavourful freshness to long shelf-life products such as cookies.

Mr. Hkan Christensson, Marketing and Sales Manager at Culinar, explains that the flavouring of baked or extruded products is a significant challenge in that the molecules that are added to dough or batter are always in danger of being released and altered owing to high temperature during baking or extrusion, frequently resulting in taste-neutral final products. According to him, the Culinax system overcomes this problem, as its carrier system protects the flavour from undergoing evaporation or oxidation during production, and the flavour is only released on chewing. Mr. Christensson has reported that the system has been proven with the addition of a fruit flavour to a commercial product rice cakes proving that the product is heat-stable at high temperatures and through the successful addition of an orange flavour to a cake product.
Source: www.bakeryand

New high-protein soy nugget

In the United States, Solae LLC has introduced a new high protein soy nugget for nutritional bars, snacks, bakery products, cereals, etc. SUPRO Nugget 570 uses a patent-pending technology to create the first and only nugget in the marketplace that is 90 per cent protein on a dry weight basis, making it the highest containing soy protein nugget currently on the market.

The new nugget product offers formulation flexibility for food manufacturers to achieve high levels of protein while optimizing texture, nutrition and taste, says Mr. Kip Underwood, Solaes Global Marketing Director. In consumer sensory testing, concept bars using SUPRO Nugget 570 scored an overall liking 7.3 on a 9 point hedonic scale. Consumers attributed their overall liking response to appearance, flavour and texture. The nuggets do not contain gluten or lactose, making them an excellent addition to products targeted to those who are intolerant to gluten and lactose. Contact: Solae LLC, 4300 Duncan Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, United States of America. Tel: +1 (314) 659 3380; Fax: +1 (314) 659 5380; E-mail:

New applications for casein hydrolysates

Bitter-tasting casein hydrolysates may find more applications if spray-dried with gelatine and soy protein isolate, suggests a study at the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Microencapsulation of the protein hydrolysates in a mixture of gelatine and soy protein isolate significantly reduced the bitterness of the resulting ingredient, the researchers report. The product is water- and oil-compatible, and is relatively inexpensive. The scientists used SUPRO soy protein isolate (SPI) from Solae, Sweden, and bovine gelatine type B from Gelita Group, Germany, to encapsulate Hyprol casein hydrolysate produced by Kerry Group plc, Ireland. The casein ingredient is intended for use as a protein-source in infant products, and for enriching the protein content of food and beverages.

The researchers tested different SPI to gelatine ratios (such as 50:50, 40:60 and 60:40) to encapsulate the casein hydrolysate. The overall mix was either 20 or 30 per cent casein, with 80 or 70 per cent of the various gelatine-SPI mixtures. All the formulations formed microcapsules, said the researchers, and all reduced the bitter taste, the hygroscopicity and allowed controlled release properties of the casein hydrolysate. The capsule with the lowest casein content was considered most adequate, because of its higher encapsulation efficiency (more than 90 per cent) and lower hygroscopicity. The concentrations of the hydrolysate and of the carrier do not influence morphology, the researchers concluded. The particle ranged in size from 10.26 to 17.72 microns. When tested by a panel of 20 trained tasters, all of the microencapsulated samples were rated as less bitter than the free casein hydrolysate, said the researchers.

Complete vegetable protein production

GEA Niro, Denmark, is offering processing technology from individual items of equipment up to complete process lines to customers in the vegetable protein powder market. The company achieves this by employing the services of its partners in the GEA Group. The Joint GEA Force, as it is known, is providing the process design, process equipment, process know-how and the necessary training of staff for operating plants to transform high-quality, defatted soy bean flakes to high-quality soy protein isolate or concentrate powder. The process includes the production of nutritive fibres to improve the taste and mouth feel. Powder forms of proteins are created by atomizing the liquid into a spray of very small droplets and dispersing it into hot air. The water evaporation is virtually instantaneous, thus maintaining the product temperature well below levels that could cause heat damage and deterioration of the valuable constituents.
Source: www.foodingredients

Omega-3 emulsion for functional drinks

Dairy and beverage producers can incorporate long-chain omega-3 fatty acids into their products without compromising taste and stability with a new high concentration omega-3 emulsion, claims Lipid Nutrition, the Netherlands. According to the company, the minimum content eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) in the companys new Marinol omega-3 emulsion is 153 mg per gram (19 per cent) while total omega-3 minimum content is 187 mg per gram (22 per cent). These high concentrations make the product cost-effective in that it allows manufacturers to use less of the product, it claims.

The new emulsion ensures stability and taste of the final products in that it prevents lipid oxidation, the cause of off-taste and flavour in dairy and beverage applications. As omega-3 oils are difficult to mix with water, most manufactures have to prepare an emulsion, which is quite laborious. Lipid Nutritions ready-to-use emulsion helps avoid the risk of oxidation, and is also very easy to apply to liquid products.


Flavoured sugarcane juice in aseptic packs

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India, has secured a European patent on a process for preserving flavoured sugarcane juice in aseptic unit packs. The process allows the preservation of sugarcane juice containing 18-20 per cent soluble solids after suitable dilution. It comprises the following steps:

* Soaking the canes in water containing 0.1 per cent by weight potassium metabisulphite and 0.01 per cent by weight citric acid for a period of 2-4 hours;
* Washing the soaked sugarcanes and crushing the same to obtain sugarcane juice having 18-20 Brix, and filtering the juice;
* Adjusting the total solid content of the filtered sugarcane juice to 10-16 Brix by adding soft beverage water;
* Acidifying the sugarcane juice by adding 0.1-0.3 per cent by weight citric acid and 0.01-0.03 per cent by weight sodium citrate;
* Adding to the acidified sugarcane juice a flavour blend consisting of 0.05-0.20 per cent by weight of ginger oleoresin and/or 0.01-0.05 per cent by weight of essential oils of lime and lemon to obtain a flavoured sugarcane juice; and
* Blending the flavoured sugarcane juice and pasteurizing it at 90-110C for 30-180 seconds to obtain the flavoured sugarcane juice, which is filled into aseptic unit packs.

The process is claimed to preserve the natural taste of sugarcane juice without browning and off-flavours.

High-pressure fruit juice processing

Preshafood Limited, Australia, uses the latest high-pressure processing (HPP) technology in its modest plant to produce a range of additive-free fruit juices. Its flagship product, Preshafruit, won the award for best overall concept in 2009 Beverage Innovation Awards, edging out 340 entries from 40 countries. It also won the best new juice or juice drink category. HPP techniques were originally developed by Food Science Australia (now CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences), a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Government of Victoria.

HPP improves the way fruit juices and other food products are pasteurized. They are exposed to pressures about 6,000 times greater than standard atmospheric pressure, killing microbes such as yeasts, moulds and bacteria. In a typical HPP process, the product is packaged in a flexible container, such as a pouch or plastic bottle, and is loaded into a high-pressure chamber filled with water. Pressure is transmitted through the package into the food and the product is then stored. The process extends the shelf-life of chilled perishable products without affecting the foods colour, freshness, flavour and nutritional value. HPP products can stay up to 165 days, compared with 20-25 days shelf-life for flash-pasteurized juices. Preshafruit doesnt have added sugars or preservatives.

Checking grapefruit juice interactions with medications

Grapefruit contains furanocomarins (FCs), which inhibit the enzymatic activity needed by certain prescribed medications to enter the bloodstream. Grapefruit juice can thus interfere with the metabolism of these medications used for a wide range of conditions such as allergies, abnormal heart rhythm, depression, hypertension, infections, heart disease and high cholesterol. A fungus may help solve FCs negative interaction with these prescription drugs, according to studies by scientists from the United States Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

ARS chemists Mr. Kyung Myung and Mr. John Manthey and microbiologist Mr. Jan Narciso at the ARS Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory began the study using Aspergillus niger a fungus which causes black mould on certain fruits and vegetables to bind and break down FCs in grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice contains three main FCs. Mr. Myung found that A. niger either bound these FCs or enzymatically broke them down into other products.

Mr. Myung and his team also tested edible fungi, or mushrooms. They found that mushrooms such as morels, oyster and button mushrooms when dried, pulverized and added to grapefruit juice also removed FCs. That provides researchers with evidence that fungal proteins could be responsible for removing the FCs from the grapefruit juice.

Method for making clarified tea extract

Coca-Cola China Beverages Ltd., China, has filed for United States patent on a method of making a clarified tea extract to reduce the cloudiness of a beverage containing the clarified tea extract. The method involves producing an aqueous tea extract that contains tea insolubles, adding a food-acceptable acid and a salt to the aqueous tea extract simultaneously, holding the aqueous tea extract with minimal agitation to produce a precipitate, and thereafter clarifying the aqueous tea extract. The aqueous tea extract is prepared by adding a base to extraction water and contacting the base-containing extraction water with a tea source.

Process for manufacturing leaf tea from green tea residue

Conopco Inc. (doing business as Unilever), the United States, has applied for patent for process of manufacturing leaf tea from green tea residue. The process comprises the steps: expressing juice from fresh tea leaves thereby to produce leaf residue and tea juice wherein the amount of expressed juice is greater than 300 ml per kg of fresh tea leaves; subjecting the leaf residue to an enzyme deactivation treatment to prevent fermentation of the leaf residue; and drying the leaf residue to produce leaf tea. The inventors have found that green leaf tea thus manufactured from the residue has an increased efficiency of catechin delivery compared with conventional leaf tea. They believe that the damage caused by the expression process changes the microstructure/ morphology of the leaf such that, although the leaf residue has a reduced total level of infusible solids, the solids more readily infuse from the leaf residue into an infusion liquor.


Organic preservative- cum-disinfectant

BioSecur Lab Inc., Canada, has introduced Biosecur, an organic preservative and disinfectant for use with food products from food to table. Designed for use as a broad-spectrum preservative and disinfectant for food products and food processing, it kills more than 99.999 per cent of common bacteria just 15 to 30 seconds after contact, according to independent laboratory tests. The product proved effective against common pathogens at concentrations of only 0.5 to 2 per cent. Its broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy is effective against bacteria, fungi and yeast.

In addition to its disinfectant properties, Biosecur is reportedly a highly effective preservative derived from 100 per cent organic citrus fruit (it does not contain grapefruit). As a food additive, it disinfects and preserves fresh and processed foods before distribution to the market. Biosecur can control odours and colour in foods and replace potentially harmful chemicals used in the production and processing of foods such as sodium nitrite, benzoates, potassium metabisulphite and sodium metasulphite and chlorine. Biosecur is 100 per cent water-soluble, making it easy to use in standard manufacturing processes and formulations. (Source:

Waste olive extracts as natural meat preservative

Olive extracts derived from the wastewater of olive oil processing are rich in antioxidants that can function effectively as natural meat preservatives, according to a study conducted by scientists from Australias CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences and Argentinas National Council for Scientific and Technical Investigation. The polyphenol extract from the waste water of olive oils pomace significantly inhibited lipid oxidation in pre-cooked ground beef and pork, they reported. Olive oil pomace refers to the traces of oil left over after food-grade olive oil has been extracted from the flesh and pips of the fruit. This leftover oil can only be extracted by the addition of the toxic chemical hexane, and is banned for human consumption in Germany and Canada due to its classification as a carcinogen. Olive oil pomace may however be used to make soaps and for industrial purposes.

In the current study, researchers used the wastewater from olive oil pomace to isolate olive extract that was high in antioxidant polyphenols. This extract was then added to pre-cooked beef and pork at either 50 mg or 100 mg gallic acid equivalents per kilogram of meat. The researchers then measured the degree of lipid (fat) oxidation in the meat using the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) test. Researchers found that TBARS formation was reduced 47-66 per cent in pork treated with olive extract, and 63-83 per cent in the beef. This was a greater reduction than that seen from a natural antioxidant derived from grape skin, but proved less effective than an antioxidant derived from green tea.

New technology to boost food security

A new technology developed by a Filipino inventor, Mr. Hernie Decena, could assure adequate food supply in times of calamities. The new technology is called brine-immersion freezing (BIF). BIF is a method for preserving aquatic products, meat, fruits and non-leafy vegetables employing super-conductive liquid instant freeze. By preventing crystallization, liquid instant freeze preserves the freshness, flavour and texture of food products. BIF-processed fish and meat can be stored for two to three days in Styrofoam boxes without using ice, and up to six months when stored in freezers or chillers, it is claimed. BIF-frozen fish is claimed to taste as fresh or as good as newly caught fish when grilled or cooked in other ways.

One of the advantages that BIF has over conventional methods is that it takes as little as 3-30 minutes, depending on the type, size and volume of the product to be processed, while the air-blast system takes 3-4 hours. Another advantage of the new technology is its mobility and easy plug-in feature. A BIF compartment with a wheeled stand is only as big as a chest-type refrigerator or freezer, thus making it easy to transport and move around.

The BIF freezer is as easy to use as a microwave oven. Fish, meat, fruits or non-leafy vegetables start to freeze upon reaching the ideal freezing temperature of between -30C and -40C. Individual quick-freeze refrigeration usually handles about 500 kg of products within 20-60 minutes, with a power consumption of 500 kW/tonne, and requires at least 10 people and 150 m2 of space. BIF uses only 120 kW/tonne to freeze 500 kg of products in 3-15 minutes, and requires only four people to operate, and 40 m2 of floor space. BIF uses alcohol, which is a disinfectant and sterilizer, as a secondary refrigerant.
Source: businessmirror.

New biological control system for fresh-cut products

In Italy, after numerous years of research in collaboration with Microbiological Institute of Sacro Cuore, University of Piacenza, the firm Zanaglia & Zaniboni has developed a biological control system towards bacterial carriers in fresh vegetables for the fresh-cut sector. The procedure, based on the use of lactic acid bacteria, negates the need to use any chemical substances other than a bactericide during the washing of vegetables and before they are packed in envelopes or trays. At the same time, it gives a protective action to avoid the proliferation of bacteria and extending the shelf-life of the product.

The bacterial strain LC-34, isolated from carrot, belongs to the Lactobacillus casei species, which is widely used as a probiotic in functional food preparation. Although not normally used for bio-preservation purposes, L. casei is used as a probiotic. Prof. Marisa Vescovo and Prof. Gianluigi Scolari conducted the research for the specific bio-preservation application of the strain, with technical support from Dr. Carla Zacconi.

LC-34 GF is currently distributed in 10 ml phials as a frozen product and its application on ready to use vegetables by means of a spraying system has already been successfully adopted for two years by a major vegetable food company in Italy. Contact: Mr. Roberto Zaniboni, Zanaglia & Zaniboni Srl., Viale Europa 291/B, 41021 Fanano (MO), Italy. Tel: +39 (348) 226 5762, (348) 814 7099; E-mail:
Source: www.fresh


GM soybean increases omega-3 fatty acid in humans

Oil from soybeans modified through biotechnology increased levels of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in red blood cells according to recent research. This soybean oil could be an effective alternative to fish oil as a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, said Dr. William Harris, lead author of the study and chief of cardiovascular health research at Sanford Research and professor of medicine at Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, the United States.

Eating fish containing omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil contains two forms of heart-healthy, long-chain omega-3s, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, many dont like eating fish. Some plants, especially soybeans, produce oils that contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is another type of omega-3 fatty acid. The human body converts ALA to stearidonic acid (SDA), but in a very inefficient process. The body converts SDA to EPA far more efficiently, yielding more EPA per gram consumed.

The researchers sought to bypass the ALA-to-SDA conversion step in the soybean plant. They developed a new soybean variety by inserting one gene from another plant and one from a fungus to allow the soybean plant to produce SDA. The oil of the new soybean is enriched in SDA, and when consumed allows the body to produce more EPA than if it started with ALA. Dr. Harris and his colleagues conducted a double-blind study. The participants were divided at random into three groups, and each group received two packets of oil (7.5 g each) to put on food and two gel caps (500 mg each) to swallow daily. One group received SDA-enriched soybean oil (SDA) in packets and gel caps, while second group received EPA in gel caps and commodity soybean oil. The control group got only commodity soybean oil. At the end of the 12-week study, data from 157 volunteers who completed the study per protocol showed that the EPA levels rose 17.7 per cent in the SDA group and 19.7 per cent in the EPA group, both statistically significant changes showing that the SDA in the oil was converted to EPA in the body. Compared with ALA, which did not raise cellular EPA levels at all, SDA raised blood cell EPA levels with about 18 per cent of the efficiency of pure EPA. Further, in volunteers with high triglycerides, consuming SDA or EPA reduced fasting triglycerides by 26-30 per cent, compared with the control group: also a significant result.

Detrimental bacterial DNA spotting in wine making

In winemaking, beneficial bacteria ferment grape juice into wine. Sometimes, though, harmful bacteria also populate the fermentation vat, spoiling the wine in the process. Ms. Lucia Blasco of MTT Agrifood Research Finland, as part of her doctoral research, developed new DNA-based identification methods for marking rapidly and accurately detrimental lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria during the earliest stages of the wine fermentation process.

Ms. Blasco worked with different DNA fragments, or probes, that bind themselves to the DNA of detrimental bacteria allowing the detection of whole cells, and so-called specific primers, which are used to replicate bacterial DNA. She applied fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and 16S-amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) techniques in the DNA identification and compared how effectively bacteria marked with probes, or their DNA, can be identified using these methods.

The FISH technique, which utilizes fluorescence and can be used to directly identify individual bacterial cells in grape juice or wine, proved the most effective, says Ms. Blasco. Some lactic acid bacteria acidify the wine and give it an undesirably bitter palate and musty odour. Harmful lactic acid bacteria can also form biogenic amines in the wine which can cause headaches, allergic reactions and blood pressure fluctuations. At worst, they can be carcinogenic, explains Ms. Blasco. If harmful bacterial cells are identified early in the wine, their numbers can be kept to a safe level. The new bacterial DNA identification method developed is also suitable for industrial-scale application.

New stabilizer systems for fermented dairy

In the fermented dairy industry, modified starch has typically been used to bind whey and water, help the product withstand the rigours of transport and temperature fluctuations, and function as a protective colloid for the protein. Despite its good functional properties, however, modified starches must be declared in the ingredient statement, and the word modified carries negative connotations for consumers, as they (wrongly) associate it with genetic modification.

In response to this trend, Hydrosol Produktionsgesellschaft, Germany, has developed two new series of stabilizer solutions for use in fermented dairy products. The new stabilizer lines, called Stabisol J and Stabiprot, are designed to have the same functional properties as the starch in quark, yoghurt, cream cheese and sour cream products. Stabisol J comprises dietary fibres with hydrocolloids, such as pectin, and milk protein fractions. The fibres give texture and help bind water, while the proteins give a creamy mouthfeel and bind water, explains Mr. Theis Meier, Hydrosols Head of Applications Technology. The hydrocolloids, meanwhile, protect the milk protein and round off the flavour. As for Stabiprot, the range consists entirely of proteins.

Hydrosols system depends on a whole number of factors, including the application and production technology, the production environment and temperature, other ingredients in the formulation, and the level of fat. Therefore, it is tailor-made to suit the specific needs of a customer.


Multilayer food contact films

New multilayer films from resins supplier Cardia Bioplastics Ltd., based in Australia, are claimed to offer more sustainable food packaging that delivers longer shelf-life. The Cardia Biohybrid-based film range complies with the European Commission standard 2002/72 EC for food contact and offers longer shelf-life than conventional bioplastics and greater sustainability. Based on a blend of thermoplastic starch with standard thermoplastics, the new range provides excellent clarity and mechanical and processing properties, said Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr. Frank Glatz.

Packaging prevents leaching from bottled drinks

Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the United Kingdom, has won the Food and Drink INet Innovation Champion 2009 award for a packaging material that prevents leaching from bottled drinks and the contamination of food products. NTUs School of Science and Technology, which developed the packaging, solved the problem of leaching gases from bottled drinks by using nanofillers to enhance plastic-packaging materials by no more than a few nanometres. This nanoscopic technique doesnt affect the appearance of the plastic packaging and eliminates the need to use heavier materials such as glass. It has the potential to save huge amounts of energy needed for the processing and transporting of bottled beverages. The research has also led to the development of materials with antimicrobial properties that can be used in direct contact with food. Existing methods used to combat microbial contamination of food products are not suitable for plastic packaging. The NTU scientists overcame this problem by developing a special antimicrobial nanocomposite that can be used within these materials. The improved properties of this packaging are also expected to extend the shelf-life of food. Contact: Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU, United Kingdom.

The first-ever bottle-to-box recycling process

In the United States, Direct Pack Inc. (DPI) and Global PET have jointly launched the Bottle Box, which is the first ever food packaging product from the true bottle-to-box recycling process. It is an upscale and innovative range of packaging made from 100 per cent post-consumer PET beverage bottles. The product is known for aesthetics, sustainability and accessibility, and is claimed to provide a cost-effective green alternative to the current market food packages. Bottle Box food-grade containers are suitable for take-out, salad, snacks, deli items and entrees (not to exceed 73C). (Source:

Hot-fill PET container

Liquid Container, the United States, is launching a new generation of hot-fill, wide-mouth PET containers under the ThermaSet brand name. The line of stock and custom jars is the first to feature sustained hot-fill performance at 96C, making it ideal for viscous food items (apple and pasta sauces, jams and jellies and tomato-based products) that tend to fill at higher temperatures. The ThermaSet line is based on a proprietary process that substantially increases PETs glass transition point. The result is sustained thermal stability at 96C and shrinkage of less than 1 per cent (typical container shrinkage following the thermal cycle is1.5-4 per cent). Another benefit of the proprietary process is that it bestows an incremental improvement in barrier. The ThermaSet line also offers superior clarity, even when compared with other PET containers. ThermaSets structural design also includes a base that has been specially designed to absorb pressure and vacuum. This feature helps minimize distortion during cooling. Initially, food manufacturers will be able to choose from five different stock designs 18, 24 and 32 ounce round jars, and 45 and 48 ounce grip jars. Custom jars can also be designed using ThermaSet unique hot-fill technology. Contact: Liquid Container, 1760 Hawthorne Lane, West Chicago, IL 60185, United States of America. Tel: +1 (630) 231-0850; Tel: +1 (630) 562-5858; E-mail: sales@liquidcontainer. com.


Coffee classifier machine

Engineers in Brazil have invented a machine to grade coffee beans with electronic imaging, thus speeding up the time-consuming task and providing information that farmers can use to improve produce. Classifying 300 g sample of coffee with the human eye takes about 15 minutes depending on quality, but Mr. Helder Knidel and Mr. Leandro de Castro from NatComp hope their machine will do the job in 5 minutes. That would help ease backlogs of samples that can pile up on buyers sampling tables at busy times of year.

Mr. Knidel says the machine, about the size of a computer printer, is 96 per cent accurate in detection of defects compared with an average 95 per cent for the professional classifiers eye. Sampling by machine would help build trust between buyers and producers who occasionally disagree over the grade attributed to a coffee, which is used to set its price. The machine will also provide valuable feedback to the grower, detailing the type and frequency of defects. The developers have completed software to classify Arabica type coffee, the kind Brazil mostly grows. Software adapted to Robusta, a coffee used more in instant coffees and whose beans are smaller, is still under development.

Oven cuts costs for bakeries

A new continuous oven can cut costs for large-scale baked good manufacturers aiming to develop products to satisfy the growing demand for diversity and convenience, claims Double D Food Engineering, the United Kingdom. The energy savings provided by the new Solid Band Continuous Oven will benefit major players involved in the manufacture of high volume bakery products that are deposited directly onto belts for cooking such as biscuits, pies and sausage rolls.

The unit is modular so that it can be adapted to enable greater capacity when required by the individual processor. As Double D is a division of JBT FoodTech, the oven can be integrated with JBTs range of Frigoscandia freezers and coolers so that the entire depositing, baking, cooling and packaging process can take place without any contact from human hands. A sensor can be fitted at the start of the ovens continuous tunnel to trigger it to shut down when there is a gap in product delivery, thus ensuring further savings in utility costs.

The technology is the same as used in the companys Revoband Continuous cooker for food processing with the solid band featuring zones that can be independently controlled, and both top and bottom impingement allowing products to be baked to exact specifications. The system directs a stream of hot air directly at the product being cooked, from both above and below the travelling belt, thus providing excellent consistency and colour. The belt is easy to clean, as there are no small areas in the solid band where carbon and other foreign matter can get trapped.

Fluid mixing equipment

Energy efficient Mixquip fluid mixing equipment from Mixquip, a division of Teralba Industries, Australia provide effective mixing and blending for quality products and processing. These equipment have several advantages:

* Highly energy-efficient clamp-on mixers with a low shear rate, reducing power consumption by returning 65 per cent more agitation per kilowatt over against other conventional agitator units;

* Can be used to blend and mix any liquids of viscosities up to 15,000 cP;

* Can be fitted to all open top tanks of capacities up to 8,000 l and relocated to additional vessels;

* All stainless steel wetted parts; and

* The fluid mixers are suitable for various applications in food and beverage industries such as dairy, meat, wines, soft drinks, sauces and juices.

The fluid mixers are useful also in applications such as wastewater solid suspension, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics processing, mixing of flammable fuel and combustible products and processing fertilizers. Contact: Teralba Industries, P.O. Box 1639, Campbell Town, NSW2560, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 4626 5000; Fax: +61 (2) 4625 4591.


Soft Drink and Fruit Juice Problems Solved

This reference book provides solutions to a wide variety of queries commonly encountered by the industry professionals. It reviews issues relating to beverage ingredients, manufacturing product quality packaging and storage. The publication is arranged in a question-and-answer format so that information can be found quickly and easily. Written by authors with extensive industrial experience, Soft Drink and Fruit Juice Problems Solved is an essential reference and problem-solving manual for professionals and trainees in the beverage industry.

Contact: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Abington Hall, Abington, Cambridge, CB21 6AH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 891 358; Fax: +44 (1223) 893 694; E-mail:

Advances in Food Dehydration

As a centuries-old food preservation method, dehydration technology has advanced significantly in the past decades as a result of new methods, sophisticated analytical techniques, and improved mathematical modelling. Providing practical and expert insight from an international panel of experts, Advances in Food Dehydration covers these revolutionary advances and effectively supplies the knowledge base required to optimize natural resources and reduce energy requirements in order to meet growing demand for low-cost, high-quality food products. The book addresses the three biggest challenges associated with food dehydration: the complex nature of food systems together with the deep structural and physico-chemical changes that foodstuffs undergo during processing; the difficulty to define quality in quantitative terms and to develop appropriate control techniques; and the lack of realistic models and simulations to represent the phenomena.

Contact: CRC Press, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1235) 400 524; Fax: +44 (1235) 400 525; E-mail:


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