VATIS Update Food Processing . Jul-Aug 2009

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Food Processing Jul-Aug 2009

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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Indonesian coffee exports down

Indonesia, the worlds second largest producer of Robusta coffee, shipped out 448,311 tonnes of the beans in 2008 compared with 321,703 tonnes in 2007. According to the Chairman of Indonesian Coffee Association, Mr. Hassan Widjaja, Exports were so high last year mainly because of good prices, but prices have fallen a lot. We are looking at an export fall of 20 to 30 per cent. Robusta is either blended with Arabica beans for a lower-cost brewed coffee or processed into instant coffee.

Prices in the main growing province of Lampung have declined more than 40 per cent after hitting a record of US$2.40 (Rp 25,750) per kg to track declines in London futures. The low prices have also made farmers reluctant to sell their beans. More job cuts in the United States, the worlds largest coffee consumer, were sending bearish signals to the coffee market, said Mr. Suherman Harsono, Chairman of the Lampung chapter of the Indonesian Coffee Association. Dealers stated many roasters were buying hand to mouth, and exporters in Lampung complained of a lack of buying interest just as the harvests progressed.

Localization: Key to globalizing Korean food

Experts who attended the 2009 World Symposium on Korean Cuisine at Seoul, the Republic of Korea, reached a consensus that localization will be key to successful globalization and commercialization of Korean cuisine. Late last year, the government adopted the long-term vision of globalizing Korean cuisine as it embraced the food industry as one of the countrys new growth engines. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which is at the helm of the initiative, aims to place Korean food within the worlds top five cuisines by 2017. Part of this goal will entail expanding the number of overseas Korean restaurant brands to 40,000 compared with the 2007 total of about 10,000. By 2012, the Ministry plans to raise the total exports of agricultural products and food to US$10 billion from the US$4.4 billion achieved in 2008. It also hopes to boost exports of food materials by US$ 3.5 billion by 2012, an exponential increase from this years US$90 million estimate. The symposium served to raise issues, with the objective of finding answers.

Thailands food exports

Mr. Paiboon Ponsuwanna, Vice-Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), has stated that Thailand is expected to earn about B720 billion from food exports in 2009, down from the B760 billion (US$22.57 billion) grossed last year. Mr. Ponsuwanna said that despite the global economic meltdown, demand for food and agricultural products exists and Thailand is capable of exporting more food to countries that are reluctant to import food from China due to concerns over melamine-tainted food products. However, food exporters must bear in mind that their average profit will decline more than 15 per cent, depending on the costs for individual food manufacturers. Thai food producers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises must consider the supply side and have an ability to verify food standards in order to create consumer confidence as the world is gripped with the ongoing economic meltdown. Other factors that Thai food manufacturers must strictly follow are to maintain food quality and price competitiveness.

Value-added cashew products

After more than 70 years of selling cashew kernel in bulk in both the domestic and overseas markets, the Kerala State Cashew Development Corp. (KSCDC), India, has imbibed the mantra of value addition. KSCDC has successfully implemented its strategy and reported a turnover of US$28.8 million in 2008-2009 as against US$7.2 million in 1978-1979. The positive results may help the firm wipe out its accumulated losses amounting to US$109.54 million, as on 30 September 2008. A significant step taken of late is to attract motorists/travellers. KSCDC has tied up with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited to sell its value-added products through the latters 8,400 outlets throughout the country.

Four value-added cashew products developed by the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, were introduced by KSCDC under the brand CDC Cashews. The products are cashew soup in powder form, cashew powder (which can be utilized for thickening dishes), Cashewvita (a health drink that can be added to boiled milk and is targeted at growing children) and Cashew Bitz (spicy cashew snacks that can accompany a drink). The branded cashews are packaged to international standard, which helps to increase shelf-life up to one year. Cashew noodles will be the next product aimed at the metros and overseas markets in Asia where the product is popular. The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade is carrying out a market study for the corporation in China and Russia and its report is expected early next year.

Mechanization of food production

In Viet Nam, a project to lower post-harvest losses in agricultural production has been submitted to the government by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The investment will be injected into projects and machinery/equipment towards mechanizing 80 per cent of land working, 50 per cent of sowing and 50 per cent of harvesting in rice fields. Half of the workload in the livestock breeding sector will also be mechanized. This project is aimed at improving agricultural output, as well as reducing the post-harvest loss of rice to 5-6 per cent, vegetables and fruits to 10-12 per cent and seafood to below 10 per cent by 2020. Towards achieving those targets several policies will need to be revised, including land regulations, import taxes and support for farmers purchasing farm machinery. A survey by MARD revealed that the rate of post-harvest losses in agricultural production remains high, with about 11-13 per cent in terms of rice production, 19 per cent in terms of maize production and 30 per cent of vegetable and fruit production.

Help for businesses to set up cold chain systems

In Pakistan, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is planning to put in place cold storage/cool chain infrastructure to prevent huge post-harvest losses while preserving the quality of fruits, vegetables and flowers. According to TDAP officials, the need for establishing such an infrastructure has been felt since long and was also envisaged in the trade policy of the current financial year. The government has provided an incentive to horticulture export enterprises through soft loans for cool chain and cold storage.

The cool chain and cold storage for horticulture products plan will be operational shortly. Business concerns selected for financial assistance under this scheme would enjoy various incentives. One specific proposal relates to exemption of custom duty on import of machinery and plants for cool chain system. Approximately 12 per cent of the 13.67 million tonnes of annual production of fruits and vegetables is lost due to primitive and poor techniques of handling between farms and the end-consumers. Improper post-harvest handling of agriculture produce results in quantity and quality losses in addition to rise in consumer prices. Worldwide average food grain losses have been put at 5 per cent.

Cooking oil: Key to combating vitamin A deficiency

In Indonesia, the Indonesian Fortification Coalition (KFI), a non-profit public nutrition organization, has proposed adding vitamin A to cooking oil as a solution to vitamin A deficiency (VAD) a long-neglected health issue that leads to the deaths of about 15,000 to 20,000 children each year in the nation. VAD, which is indicated by a low retinol serum count, first manifests as night blindness but can later lead to complete blindness and death. While the Ministry of Health has attempted to combat VAD by providing free vitamin A drops for children at its child health care posts throughout the country, research released in 2008 on basic health standards reveal that 28.5 per cent of the children were not covered by the government programme. KFI Chairman Mr. Soekirman stated that fortifying cooking oil with vitamin A would help to significantly reduce the risk of VAD and fortification would be a more effective and cheaper way to distribute vitamin A than free supplements provided at government health care posts.

The main sources of vitamin A are bright-coloured foods, such as carrots and yellow pumpkins, as well as spinach, melons, cheese, milk, butter and eggs. However, much of these are outside the price range of many Indonesians, almost half of whom live on less than US$2 a day. Adding vitamin A to cooking oil will increase production costs by only 0.1 to 0.15 per cent, with 0.5 kg of vitamin A for every 8 t of oil. Food fortification is not new in Indonesia iodine is added to salt, and flour is often fortified with iron, zinc and folic acid.

Food industry enjoying steady domestic growth

The Republic of Koreas food industry has been seeing steady growth, with instant noodles having emerged as the largest sector, a report released by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute states. However, despite the steady growth at home the balance of food trade is narrowing. Local food companies have been recording a rise in sales since 2003 when the total averaged US$18.2 billion (23.99 trillion won). The number of food companies has been on a steady increase since 2005, when the total was 19,097, to reach 21,002 in 2007. The trade account deficit for food products, however, has been widening since 2004, when the nation recorded a US$2.14 billion shortfall, growing to US$3.28 billion in 2007. At home, instant noodles (ramyeon) stood as the largest industry. The soft drink market ranked second, general processed foods ranked third and the vegetable/fruit-based beverage market ranked fourth. The health food industry has also been seeing rapid annual growth. Red ginseng-based products made up the largest volume of sales, accounting for 45.2 per cent.

Nationwide drive helps improve food safety monitoring

CIn China, a nationwide drive against illegal additives has resulted in improved food safety monitoring. The campaign involved nine departments, including the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) and the Ministries of Industry and Information Technology, Public Security, Supervision, Health, Agriculture and Commerce. This effort followed the melamine-adulteration milk and baby formula scandal, which left six infants dead and almost 300,000 ill.

Steps taken by GAQSIQ include examining food producers and products, as well as upgrading food processing facilities to reduce risks. GAQSIQ monitored over 83 food projects involving 31 food categories and cancelled 3,572 production permits held by 3,347 companies. The quality inspection and quarantine authorities also found problems in 1,792 batches of food from over 60 countries and regions the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union in the first quarter. The Ministry of Health investigated over 1.36 million companies that produced food or food additives. It received 1,394 complaints of the illegal use of food additives and prosecuted more than 1,274 firms. The Ministry of Agriculture reports that its three-month sample survey that began in December 2008 and covered facilities in major milk-producing provinces had not found any more melamine contamination.

Money grows on mango wastes

Researchers at the University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB) are developing technologies for the production of high-value food and non-food products from waste generated by mango processing industries. Five studies will be undertaken to develop technologies for the enzymatic extraction of essential oils from mango peels and seeds; bioethanol production; extraction of phenolic antioxidant; development of health drinks; and sensory, chemical, microbiological and stability testing of biotechnology-produced food and non-food products. Production of high-value products from wastes and by-products has the potential to lead to commodities that can be exported as an additional source of income for producers and generate employment. Mango is Philippines third top agriculture export next to coconut oil and fresh banana. The Philippines is ranked seventh among the worlds mango-producing countries.

TDAP offers one window to joint ventures in agri-food

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will be offering a one window facility to foreign investors willing to enter into joint ventures with local entrepreneurs in the agro-based sector. This was stated by Mr. Syed Mohibullah Shah, the Chief Executive of TDAP, at the inauguration ceremony of the 6th Plastic & Pack Pakistan and IFTECH Pakistan at Karachi Expo Centre. Mr. Shah expressed that Pakistan holds potential to export processed and packaged agri-food items worth US$80-US$100 billion in the next five years with the help of value addition under joint ventures. In addition, Mr. Shah pointed out that Pakistan has abundant milk, rice, wheat, fruits, vegetables and horticulture produce.

Food exports grow despite tightened belts

Despite the global recession, exports of fresh and processed foods from the Republic of Korea increased by more than 6.6 per cent. This scenario has raised hopes that food exports may become a major item driving the nations export-dependent economy. Food exports increased 11.2 per cent from US$2 billion in 2006 to US$2.2 billion in 2007, and 14.4 per cent to US$2.6 billion in 2008. This year, exports of rice, barley and corn meal, as well as mushrooms, chilli peppers, ganjang (soybean sauce) and gochujang (red pepper paste) have risen sharply. According to an official with the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency, Food exports are on the increase as the food industry is less vulnerable to the recession and Korean foods are considered safer and healthier after the Chinese melamine scandal. The government is working out various measures in order to standardize foods, find new markets, as well as provide financial support to food processors in efforts to boost exports.

In China, Korean sauces and condiments such as ganjang and gochujang are particularly popular. More than US$70 million worth of processed squid and over US$29 million worth of instant noodles were exported to China in 2008. Citron and honey teas made in the Republic of Korea are all a rage there as well, with over US$10 million worth of citron tea exported last year. Millions of dollars worth of mushrooms are being exported to China too. The volume of soju exports to Japan crossed the US$100 million mark last year and kimchi imports reached US$75 million. Sweet Korean pears are a hit in the United States, where they are widely used. Besides, US$20 million worth of dried laver, instant noodles and royal jelly were exported. The Republic of Korea exported over US$40 million worth of coffee products to the ASEAN countries.


Government eyes quality seal for food

The Philippines government is contemplating the adoption of a National Quality Seal (NQS) for food and other farm products for the local and foreign markets to ensure they pass safety and quality standards. The Department of Agriculture (DA) is taking the initiative to tack the seal on items such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains and nuts, livestock, poultry and animal by-products, cut flowers, fish and marine products, and non-food products such as organic fertilizer, coco coir and veterinary drug residues. NQS will guarantee that the DA has verified the products quality. The DA will be applying internationally recognized codes of agricultural and animal husbandry practices in crafting a set of product safety standards for the nations produce. NQS mark may be presented on a commodity or its package or displayed in the establishment provided that the producer exhibits compliance to the specific standard or quality system being implemented by the government. The seal can also be used hand in hand with other certification schemes.

Tighter controls on manufacturing process

In China, the Ministry of Healths new regulations designed at unifying standards of consumer goods and food manufacturing are expected to create considerable opportunities for suppliers of packaging technology. The regulations, initially focused on dairy products, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, food products and food additives, call for streamlining organizations responsible for monitoring and raising of standards for all product manufacturing. Manufacturers are to apply stricter tests on raw materials and implement tighter controls on the manufacturing process. Technology used in the processing, manufacture as well as packaging and labelling of all products ranging from food and beverage to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, home care and industrial products will be in demand, as firms install new plant and equipment in advance of enforcement of the regulations. Demand is anticipated to be particularly strong for technology used in monitoring, weighing and measuring, filling and packing, testing, labelling and coding systems used to trace product from source to customer.

Trans fat labelling bill approved

The Philippines House of Representatives has approved a bill protecting the public against the hazardous effects of artificial trans fats found especially in processed food products. House Bill 615 prohibits the sale of fats and oils, which contain trans fatty acids that exceeds 0.5 g per 100 g of oil or fat. This bill paves the way for consumers, especially the health conscious, to look for alternative healthy choices, which have no or lower amount of trans fats like the use of cooking oil. Mr. Luis Villafuerte, principal author of the measure, stated the amount of trans fats should be clearly stated in food labels. Mr. Villafuerte further added that the bill is promoting the use of coconut oil as an alternative to imported hydrogenated vegetable oils in the manufacture of processed foods and as cooking oil. The use of coconut oil would help prevent numerous diseases and lessen health care costs in the Philippines.

AQSIQ to pass food exports

In China, a new draft rule released to solicit public opinion stipulates that foreign producers planning to sell their food products to China have to register with inspection and quarantine authorities every four years. The food safety law mandates foreign food exporters should register with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) to ensure their products are safe. If products cause any major food safety incidents, or companies are found offering fake materials, their registration will be revoked. The draft rule also stipulates that importers of food products, on which China has no safety standards, will have to get a safety certificate from Chinas Ministry of Health before entering China. The State Council Legislative Affairs Office said drafting the 57-article rule is meant to ensure implementation of the food safety law, and the rule is expected to take effect together with the law.


Real-time, PCR-based kits and software improve detection

Applied Biosystems, a division of the United States-based Life Technologies Corp., announced the expansion of its portfolio of food safety testing tools with new kits and software to improve the detection of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. These solutions, which include MicroSEQ pathogen detection kits, PrepSEQ sample preparation kits and data analysis software, were developed to more effectively monitor the food supply for contamination. The tools accelerate identification of the pathogen by providing results within hours compared with days using other technologies. The MicroSEQ Salmonella spp. detection kit and MicroSEQ Listeria monocytogenes detection kit are enabled by a new innovation that combines fast real-time PCR-based molecular technology in a lyophilized or dried format that reduces the handling of samples. These kits are part of a complete workflow that is optimized for use with the firms 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR system. This is a simple, three-step process that enriches the sample, prepares DNA by removing inhibitors with either the PrepSEQ Nucleic Acid Extraction Kit or PrepSEQ Rapid Spin Sample Preparation Kit and runs the test employing RapidFinder Express software for improved data analysis. Contact: Mr. Anthony Petrucci, Life Technologies Corp., United States of America. Tel: +1 (508) 3837 961; E-mail:; Website:

Eliminating Listeria

Canadas largest independent chicken processor, Maple Lodge Farms, has unveiled a new high-pressure method of eliminating Listeria and other bacteria in sliced luncheon meats after the package is sealed. The technology from Avure Technologies will add about US$0.02 to every 100 g of product, between 1 and 2 percentage points depending on the product. The process applies water under extremely high pressure to the packaged product without any adverse impact on the product itself, while extending its shelf-life. Products subjected to this process are identified through a SafeSure sticker on the packages. The technology has the approval of Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Oxygen permeability test reduces costs and waste

A new method to measure the oxygen permeability of packaging films, developed at the Norwegian research institute Nofima, could potentially lead to significant cost savings for the food packaging industry and to less waste for the consumer. The Ambient Oxygen Ingress Rate (AOIR) method can measure the permeability of oxygen through films in finished packaging. Most existing techniques measure oxygen permeability of film before it has been incorporated into the package where the process of heating, stretching and forming can affect the films properties. The AOIR system allows the packaging to be optimized for the processor to get much closer to what is actually needed. Potential weaknesses in the package can also be discovered, for example, leaks at sealing points. Overall, the method allows the producer to optimize, simplify and redesign, all of which reduce costs and cut down on waste. The AOIR method has been incorporated into PermMate, a machine produced by Denmarks PBI-Dansensor. Contact: Mr. Karsten Kejlhof, Sales and Marketing Director, PBI-Dansensor A/S, Denmark. Tel: +45 (57) 667 792, 660 088; E-mail:; Website: www.; Or Mr. H. Larsen, Research Scientist, Nofima Mat AS, Norway. Tel: +47 (64) 970 254; E-mail:

New test to distinguish impure honey from the real thing

Researchers at Universit de Lyon, France, report the development of a simple test for distinguishing 100 per cent natural honeys from adulterated or impure versions. The new, highly sensitive test uses a special type of chromatography to separate and identify complex sugars (polysaccharides) on their characteristic chemical fingerprints. Owing to the high price of honey and its limited supply, some beekeepers and food processors fraudulently make and sell impure honey doped with cheap sweeteners, such as corn syrup. These knock-offs are almost physically and chemically identical to the real thing.

The effective and simple analytical method detects adulteration in honey through the analysis of polysaccharide profiles. In trials, samples were treated with reversed-phase solid phase extraction first to remove monosaccharides and oligosaccharides and second to concentrate simultaneously traces of polysaccharides. Further, a chromatographic separation employing anion exchange stationary phase and pulse amperometric detection was performed. Polysaccharide fingerprints (degree of polymerization from 11 to 17) were shown to be present in laboratory-doped samples, and not detectable or present at very low concentrations in the authentic honey samples. Application to acacia, mountain polyfloral and polyfloral honeys enabled the detection of fraud readily, resulting from deliberate addition of 1 per cent of corn syrup. Contact: Mr. Bernard Herbreteau, Universit de Lyon, Lyon 1, Laboratoire des Sciences Analytiques, CNRS UMR 5180, 43 bd 11 Novembre 1918, Btiment Raulin, F-69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France.

Rapid detection of melamine-contaminated baby food

New technology developed by a researcher at Purdue University, the United States, could allow for the rapid detection of even small traces of melamine in infants formula. With the help of infrared lasers and light spectroscopy methods, associate professor of food science Ms. Lisa Mauer was able to detect melamine in baby formula at 1 ppm in about five minutes or less. Melamine, a synthetic chemical used in plastics and other products, has been found in baby formula and other milk-based products imported from China. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, high doses of melamine are linked to cancer in some animals and are especially unsafe for infants. Federal guidelines allow for only 1 ppm of melamine in infant formula and up to 2.5 ppm in other products.


Natural sweetener paves the way to prosperity

Scientists at the Central Institute of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (CIMAP), India, have reported that cultivation of the stevia (Madhupatri) plant can yield good revenue opportunities for farmers and marketing entrepreneurs alike. Originally from South America, the plant is known to offer a range of medicinal properties apart from its suitability as a viable artificial sweetener. The sweetener, made from the aqueous extract of the plants leaves, has been used for centuries by tribes in Paraguay and Brazil, both as a sweetener and to treat digestive ailments. Recent medical research has shown that stevia could be used in treating obesity and high blood pressure. The sweetener extract in fact enhances glucose tolerance, making it an attractive alternative for diabetics and patients with carbohydrate-controlled diets. The active ingredient in the stevia leaf is steadily gaining greater patronage in the growing global natural food market.

Peanuts included in high protein snacks

Soybeans are the typical replacement for ground meat in patties. In the United States, researchers at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences report that patties made with black-eyed peas and peanuts can be just as good. Using black-eyed peas and peanuts is not new in countries like the Republic of Korea where they have been used for decades. When cowpeas or legumes are subjected under certain conditions to high temperatures, the proteins unfold and form chains just like in meat. Researchers decided to try and mimic pure soybean products by adding black-eyed peas and peanuts while at the same time creating a palatable product. The formulations can be easily varied to target specific markets and countries. Adding more peanuts is an easy way to add more protein and more fat. The patties are cooked between two plates that physically press the soybeans into a patty.

Purple yam food colouring

In the Philippines, the production of natural food colouring has become more environment-friendly after researchers at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) developed natural food colouring from ube or purple yam peels. Ms. Elsa Falco at the Industrial Technology Development Institutes (ITDI) Food Processing Division states the natural food colouring was developed from ube peels to reduce wastes in the ube industry. Researchers devised an extraction process and used a vacuum concentrating machine and spray drying technology to come up with powdered ube for food colouring. The extraction process includes getting the pigment for a natural violet colour. Spray drying is considered the most appropriate process for transforming juices and purees (as in the case of ube) into powder. The natural food colorant may be used in making ube jam, ube cake, pastries, candies, ice cream and ethnic food products such as puto (rice cake). Ube peels may also be used as raw material for producing cosmetics as it only requires low temperature. Synthetic food colorants use sodium metabisulphite or sodium erythorbate, which may cause allergic reaction, particularly skin irritation, gastric irritation and asthma. However, purple yam is a known root crop and is rich in carbohydrates. A good source of dietary fibre that helps prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, it also contains iron, vitamins B and C and the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Canola staking new ground as food additive

In Canada, Bio Extraction Inc. (BioExx) and Burcon Nutrascience Corp. are aiming to become the first in the world to produce high-value proteins for food from the part of the canola crop that has the lowest value. Protein isolates high-purity protein separated from plant meal command a price of C$6,000 to C$8,000 (US$5,470-7,300) per tonne, more than six times the price of animal feed-grade proteins. BioExx announced it has produced pilot-scale canola proteins for food that it plans to market commercially by 2011.

Vegetable protein isolates are a niche market that is currently dominated by soybean and whey. Food processing companies use them to boost nutritional value in products such as baby formula, sports drinks and juices. BioExx plans to produce protein as a food additive in early 2011 2.4 million kilograms of protein isolate and 4.8 million kilograms of protein concentrate (a slightly lower purity form) from its Saskatoon plant. The company is seeking approval from food regulatory bodies in Canada, United States and the European Union.

Encapsulation of food ingredients

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Science Centre, Australia, has obtained a United States patent for its technology for encapsulating food ingredients. Oxygen-sensitive oils or oils containing oil-soluble, oxygen-sensitive substances are encapsulated in proteins, which have been reacted with carbohydrates that contain reducing sugar groups. An aqueous mixture of a protein, preferably casein, and a carbohydrate, preferably a sugar, are heated within the range of 60C to 160C so that Maillard reaction products are formed in the aqueous mixture. The oil phase, up to 50 per cent by weight, is then emulsified with the aqueous phase to form micro-encapsulated oil particles. The formation of MRP may also be done after emulsification prior to drying. The emulsions can be utilized as food ingredients or dried to form powders.

Scientists boost ellagic acid bioavailability

Researchers at Jadavpur University, India, report that forming a complex with phospholipids could enhance the bioavailability of ellagic acid, a polyphenol with antioxidant activity. The ellagic acid-phospholipid complex more than doubled blood levels of the polyphenol compared with free ellagic acid. Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds with health benefits reported to range from improved cardiovascular health to protection against certain cancers and Alzheimers. Data from Leatherhead Food International (LFI) reveals that the world functional antioxidants market was increasing year on year by around 3 per cent and was valued at US$438 million in 2007. Europe, the United States, and Japan account for 90 per cent of this market.

Ellagic acid has a wide array of biological traits, such as radical scavenging, and chemopreventive, antiviral and antibacterial properties, explain the researchers. Although ellagic acid exhibits good antioxidant activity, it is metabolized by intestinal micro-organisms upon oral administration and rapidly eliminated from the body because of short plasma half-life, which makes it unavailable for sufficient nutritional benefit. To eliminate this, the researchers undertook a study to deal with the preparation and evaluation of a novel phospholipid complex of ellagic acid. A simple and reproducible procedure could produce the complex between hydrogenated soya phosphatidylcholine (HSPC) and ellagic acid (at a ratio of 4:1).

Coconut ingredient gets patent protection

Ingredient firm Sabinsa has been granted a United States patent for its branded coconut ingredient, which can be used in functional foods, dietary supplements and cosmetics to support healthy cell growth. The companys Cococin ingredient is made up of freeze-dried water coconut solids, which is said to be rich in essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The new patent (No. 7,300,682) protects Sabinsas derivation process and also gives the company exclusive rights to the ingredients composition and its uses in foods, beverages, supplements and cosmetic products. The ingredient is said to help support healthy cell growth and improve overall dermal health.

Sabinsa uses a proprietary lyophilization process that produces a stable composition of coconut water with its inherent biological activity preserved. The process is designed to produce an amorphous solid, which is easy to work into food and personal care formulations. The freeze-dried coconut water solids blend easily with dry products and also readily dissolve in water. Protein components and environment-sensitive actives are protected by the amorphous nature of the solid during subsequent processing. During storage, the material changes to the more stable, less hygroscopic, crystalline state. Sabinsa has also been granted an European patent for its Cococin ingredient. The EU patent EP1341547 protects process, composition and use in the European Union market.


Reducing oxygen levels in carbonated beverages

Vacuum Barrier Corp., the United States, has introduced its new Nitrojetter technology to the food and beverages market. Developed to reduce oxygen levels in carbonated beverages such as beer, the low-cost Nitrojetter helps extend the shelf-life of beverage products without affecting the taste or colour. In nitrogen jetting, liquid nitrogen steam is fired into the beverage through a special nozzle to cause a foaming action, which expels oxygen before the bottle is capped. Key benefits of the new system include reduced beverage losses with the elimination of foam overflow, reduced wastewater and the elimination of bacterial growth in the cap. Contact: Vacuum Barrier Corp., 4 Barten Lane, Woburn, MA 01801, United States of America. Tel: +1 (781) 9333 570; Fax: +1 (781) 9329 428; E-mail:

A world-first in organic juice

In Australia, an Australian Certified Organic juice manufacturer will become the first in the world to produce commercial single variety fruit juices using high-pressure processing (HPP) developed by Food Science Australia. Donny Boy Fresh Food Co. is proving that there is nothing backward about organic; on the contrary, the company has combined advanced technology with no artificial ingredients and sustainable farming to create a new breed of organic and health products. Furthermore, creating juices using HPP technology is a more gentle process than pasteurization currently favoured by the juice industry and one that allows subtle tastes to be retained.

HPP subjects food to pressures of up to 600 MPa, about 6,000 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level, using water surrounding the food package. This could leave food containing up to twice the levels of antioxidants than the pasteurized alternatives. Research has shown that as HPP does not disrupt chemical bonds, not only are the nutrient and flavour components of food left intact but the final product is likely to be fresher, with a crisper texture, higher nutritional value and fresher colour than thermally processed goods with no cooked flavour. Currently, HPP goods tend to be high-value specialized products with premium prices. Contact: Biological Farmers of Australia, Website:; Or Dr. Kees Versteeg, Research Team Leader, Food Science Australia, Australia. Tel: +61 (3) 9731 3431; Fax: +61 (3) 9731 3250; E-mail:
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Cost management software for the beverage industry

In India, Nettlinx Ltd., in association with Srikari Management Consultants, offers Costexcel, a new software package. This software can be used by the bottling industry, more particularly soft drinks manufacturers, to improve business operations and cost management. The software will also provide proper management information system (MIS) without impacting the enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the industry. According to Mr. K.N. Murthy, system architect at Nettlinx, the focus of developing the software was to ensure that the industry survives in times of economic slowdown. Contact: Nettlinx Ltd., 3rd Floor, My Home Sarovar Plaza, Secretariat Road, Saifabad, Hyderabad 500 063, Andhra Pradesh, India. Tel: +91 (40) 2323 2200/1035; Fax: +91 (40) 2323 1610; E-mail:

Food and beverage emulsifiers

Pepsico Inc., the United States, has obtained a patent for its new emulsifier. According to one aspect of the invention, the emulsifier comprises a primary emulsifying component and a secondary emulsifying component. The primary emulsifying component can include conventional emulsifiers like gum arabic, modified starch, high molecular weight water-soluble emulsifier or a combination thereof, while the secondary emulsifying component includes pectin. The ratio of the primary emulsifying portion and the secondary emulsifying component is tailored to impart the emulsifier with traits of gum arabic or modified starch while producing at least a two-fold increase in emulsifying capacity over conventional emulsifiers. Contact: Pepsico Inc., 700, Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577, the United States.


New safety technology for eggs

In the United States, scientists at the Agricultural Research Services Eastern Regional Research Centre (ERRC) have filed a patent on technology that can protect pasteurized liquid eggs from food safety threats, which include naturally occurring spoilage bacteria and pathogens. The existing pasteurization technology removes heat-sensitive pathogens, but some heat-resistant spoilage micro-organisms can survive. Crossflow microfiltration membrane separation (CMF) technology removes more pathogens than thermal pasteurization. It does so without affecting the eggs ability to foam, coagulate and emulsify, meaning that CMF-treated eggs can safely substitute for pasteurized eggs in angel food cake and other products where those characteristics are desired.

In a pilot-scale study, CMF was shown to remove about 99.9999 per cent of inoculated Salmonella enteritidis from unpasteurized liquid egg whites. The technology can be used to remove Bacillus anthracis spores from egg whites. Microfiltration can even protect milk from more common bacterial pathogens, thus potentially extending its shelf-life.

Sugar cane juice extraction and preservation

Researchers in Brazil have obtained a patent for their invention concerning a process to obtain and preserve sugar cane juice without adding preservatives and chemical additives, thereby retaining the original characteristics of colour and taste. Machines for grating and grinding are used, which avoid manual contact and lessen exposition to the environment. The juice thus extracted is pasteurized and then packaged in aseptic packs.

Longer shelf-life?

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa, has developed technology that promises to extend the shelf-life for plastic-packaged foodstuffs and beverages by up to 40 times. The Enviroclear barrier coating technology, which has been eight years in the research and development phase, is presently ready for further commercialization. Enviroclear extends the shelf-life of food and liquid products by reducing the movement of oxygen into and carbon dioxide out of the plastic barrier. It is applied to the outside of the package and does not in any way affect the product within. CSIR developed Enviroclear to be superior with regard to recycling and sustainability than current barrier technologies. It can be recycled in a dedicated facility or as a part of the normal recycling stream without risk of contamination. It can also be cleanly incinerated.

Enviroclear is currently licensed to Container Corp., Canada, which cites proven cost-effectiveness, hot-filling at temperatures up to 100C, greater impact strength and superior moisture barrier as just a few of the advantages that Enviroclear has over a number of other conventional packaging materials like glass, PVC or polystyrene. CSIR announced in March 2009 that Enviroclear has successfully passed the United States Food and Drug Administrations Food Contact Notification process. This internationally recognized quality system is designed specifically for packaging or processing materials that come into direct or indirect contact with foods.

Patent for dehydration method

Enwave Corp., the United States, announced that a patent application has been filed to protect its Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV) technology. The powderREV is a method of continuous bulk powder dehydration for liquid food and biological materials including food cultures, probiotics, other bacterial suspensions, viruses, proteins, enzymes and other temperature-sensitive materials. The powderREV process is designed to be biologically friendly, minimizing damage to food nutrients, live micro-organisms, viruses, toxoids and other biologically derived vaccine components. Post-dehydration bioactivity levels from the REV dehydration methods show REV-dried cultures are capable of achieving equivalent or better bioactivity for certain cultures versus freeze-dried samples. Contact: Mr. John McNicol, President and Co-CEO, Enwave Corp., United States of America. Tel: +1 (604) 6018 524; E-mail:


Foodborne pathogens genome exposed

Researchers at the United States Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service may speed the discovery of new ways to control Arcobacter butzleri. Water or food contaminated by this pathogen could make one fall sick, with symptoms that include nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, all of which can become chronic if left untreated. Since 2007, Mr. William G. Miller has employed genomic data in developing what is known as a typing method to differentiate A. butzleri from look-alike species, and to distinguish specific strains within those species.

Canada approves high oleic acid GM soybeans

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have approved a high oleic acid genetically modified (GM) soybean for cultivation, and foods containing the oil could hit the market by 2010 says DuPont, the United States. The high oleic trait, from DuPonts Pioneer Hi-Bred unit, means that the resultant soybean oil consists of 80 per cent oleic acid, more than three times the amount present in ordinary soybean oil. High levels of oleic acid have been shown to remove the need for hydrogenation, a process that increases stability and shelf-life but results in the creation of harmful trans fats. In the United States, this trait is being reviewed by the Department of Agriculture, but the variety will be field-tested in Canada this year. The high levels of oleic acid significantly increase the oils stability in food processing and frying. In addition, the high oleic trait has demonstrated a 20 per cent reduction in saturated fatty acids and the oil contains negligible amounts of trans fats. According to DuPont, the oil could have uses beyond food. The oils high stability in industrial settings can allow firms to develop renewable, environmentally sustainable options to petroleum-based products.

New method for mango classification

In Pakistan, scientists led by Dr. Kamran Azim at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, has devised a new DNA-based method for the classification of mangoes. The teams discovery will be helpful in the recognition of Pakistani mangoes at the global level and will be beneficial in fulfilling scientific and regulatory requirements for mango exports to technologically advanced countries. Dr. Azim has discovered more than 20,000 base pairs of DNA sequences of mangoes and the obtained genetic data, the blueprint of living organisms, has been submitted to the international GenBank. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan stands fifth among mango growing countries in the world.

Live probiotic in food

Advanced Bionutrition Corp., the United States, has obtained a patent relating to a probiotic delivery system that can be consumed as a snack food or added to a food product. In particular, the disclosure describes a crisp and tasty treat, which has viable probiotic micro-organisms preserved in a vacuum-dried matrix of sugars, proteins and polysaccharides. The probiotic remains viable in the treat for a longer time without the need for additional moisture barrier coating. The probiotic also remains viable in the gastrointestinal tract. A key benefit of the invention is that it is easy to scale and straightforward, without the need for additional coatings or several drying stages.

Preferably, the probiotic substance is provided in a dry form that is substantially free of water. It may be freeze dried, vacuum dried, air dried, or dried otherwise. The probiotic substance preferably comprises a protective mixture capable of maintaining the viability of the probiotic micro-organisms for extended periods of time in ambient temperature and humidity conditions. The probiotic substance provides gastric protection and a release mechanism of the probiotics along the intestinal tract at their site of action. Contact: Advanced Bionutrition Corp., 7155, Columbia Gateway, Suite A Columbia, MD 21209, United States of America.


Breakthrough in ultra-high barrier coating

Inmat, the United States, launched its Nanolok PT ADV-7 water-based coating formulation that provides a more sustainable, cost-effective option for transparent, high oxygen and/or moisture barrier food packaging. By reducing the amount of barrier material needed and using only non-hazardous materials, this technology enables food firms to manufacture long shelf-life products with reduced carbon footprint and environmental impact. Nanolok PT ADV-7 reduces both material and process costs compared with the lowest cost transparent high-oxygen barrier material, EVOH. The coating thicknesses in the range of 0.5-0.8 m provide better oxygen barrier than 10-20 m of EVOH and provide much better oxygen and moisture barrier when compared with PVDC-coated PET. These transparent coatings can be applied employing commercial roll coating equipment while providing performance competitive with more expensive vacuum and plasma deposited coatings. A unique feature of Nanolok coatings is that they can be applied at low thickness and high speed through standard roll coating equipment while achieving high-barrier levels at lower cost. This provides new options for film producers, converters and end users to design and produce more sustainable, cost-effective and high-barrier packaging. Contact: Dr. Harris A. Goldberg, Inmat, United States of America. Tel: +1 (908) 8747 788; E-mail:; Website:

New packaging for cheese

Tetra Pak, Sweden, has launched a new version of Tetra Tebel Casomatic that enables cheese producers achieve superior and more consistent product quality without compromising food safety while reducing operating costs and minimizing their environmental impact. Tetra Tebel Casomatic SC7 helps producers in the semi-hard cheese segment make superior quality whey and cheese with better accuracy when it comes to product traits like moisture content and weight. To further secure product quality, Tetra Tebel Casomatic SC7 comes with pre-defined and validated performance guarantees on hygienic conditions.

Tetra Tebel Casomatic SC7 is self-adjusting for optimal performance during its whole life cycle. Uptime can be increased due to improved hygienic condition of the production. With the Tetra Tebel Casomatic SC7, fresh water consumption during production and product waste after a full production cycle can be reduced compared with the previous generation. This means large savings, reduced cleaning and waste disposal costs and less impact on the environment.

Paper-plastic combo pack for take-away foods

Trend Plastpouchpack Pvt. Ltd., an India-based manufacturer of printed and laminated pouches for food packaging, has developed an eco-friendly and hygienic solution for packaging take-away foods by combining paper and plastic. The food-grade Paper-Poly pouch is oil resistant and retains the nutritive value of fast food items compared with currently available alternatives. Unlike food items packed in newspaper folds, paper bags and butter paper; the unique paper-plastic combination offers convenience of consumption, retention of food taste and texture, hygiene, recyclability, printability and cost-effectiveness. Most importantly, the pouch offers ease of packing fast food items thereby serving the needs of consumers of foods as well as packers. The pouch is specifically targeted for use by restaurants and fast food joints, which face difficulties while packaging popular food items.

The paper-poly pouch has a thin food-grade plastic layer on the inside (food contact layer) which prevents oil and vapour from escaping outside. This preserves the taste, texture and nutritive value of the food items while preventing oil seepage normally observed in other alternative packaging materials, leading to undesirable experiences. Moreover, the paper-plastic pouch is safe and hygienic. The pouch is heat-sealable, completely recyclable with a tear-open option for ease of food consumption. The single-side opening of the pouch can also be easily sealed using a household iron press. The company also states that the pouch can be fabricated into waterproof bags for special applications.

Advanced packaging system

Hefestus Ltd., Israel, offers Hercules, an automatic modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) sealing machine based on Shelf-life Booster (SLB), Hefestus proprietary packaging technology. SLB significantly extends product shelf-life while maintaining the appearance, texture and freshness. SLB is a new generation of energy-efficient MAP that improves production speeds and operational simplicity while opening new market horizons.

Frutos Secos de la Vega (FSV), Spain, turned to Hefestus to solve a shelf-life problem and installed Hercules. FSV is now reporting impressive cost reduction and extended shelf-life of its nut and dried fruit products. Problems related to products short shelf-life problem, including a large amount of returns and discards of expired products, were exacerbated for FSV by low-speed production and short time to market. Vacuum packaging could not provide a satisfying solution as it could destroy the products aesthetic appearance and texture while further slowing down the production pace. Contact: Mr. Ron Golan, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Hefestus Ltd., Israel. Tel: +972 (4) 6271 835; Fax: +972 (4) 6271 876; E-mail:; Website: www.

Ozone technology advance for packaged foods

Dr. Kevin Keener at Purdue University, the United States, has developed a method based on ozone to eliminate harmful bacteria on packaged foods such as spinach, tomatoes and whole fruit. This technology creates ozone inside the bags only after they are sealed rather than using an ozone generator to pump it in. The prototype system, developed in cooperation with research engineer Mr. Paul Klockow, produces a high voltage potential (12 kV) between electrodes consisting of coils of wire wrapped around dielectric (insulator) plates. The electrode plates are placed above and beneath a sealed food bag and, once the device is turned on, generate a room temperature plasma field inside, partly ionizing the air and producing ozone. While the outside of the package may increase slightly in temperature, the contents are unaffected.


Machine for dehydrating vegetables and fruits

Mr. Rankoth Pathirana, a Sri Lankan engineer and owner of Rankoth Industries, has devised a vegetable and fruit dehydration machine that can be operated without fuel. Dehydration is a popular method of preserving vegetables and fruits. The new machine will help entrepreneurs in the food industry to reduce production costs, and also to get an additional income by way of storing their products to sell during the season when items are in high demand. The rising fuel cost has become a dilemma globally. The machine operates using just sawdust, and the finished products are of a high standard and in a position to compete even with the international market.

Beverage filling machine for glass bottles

Zhangjiagang Huanyu Beverage Machinery Co. Ltd., China, offers glass bottle beverage filling machines. The series equipment can be used for glass bottle hot filling and sealing of green tea, black tea, wulong tea and fruit juice. The machine integrates washing, filling and capping. The design is scientific and reasonable. The operation and maintenance of the beverage filling machine is easy, with a high degree of automation. Contact: Ms. Alice Wang, Zhangjiagang Huanyu Beverage Machinery Co. Ltd., Zhen Bei Road, Leyu Town, Zhangjiagang City, Zhangjiagang, China. Mobile: +86 (1) 39156 98620; Fax: +86 (512) 5853 6926; E-mail:; Website: www.

Roasting machines

Ponderosa Roasting, the United States, a speciality manufacturer of coffee roasting machines, was named as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month. Ponderosa used Autodesk Inventor software to design and manufacture coffee roasting machines that give greater control over various aspects of the roasting process, ensuring that each coffee bean is optimally roasted. Using digital prototyping to create an accurate 3-D model with Inventor has already helped Ponderosa significantly streamline its design-to-manufacturing process. Ponderosa recently developed a custom, 15 kg roaster in just four weeks a process that previously would have taken nearly six months.

Working with Autodesk reseller partner Hagerman & Co. helped Ponderosa to rapidly experience the benefits of digital prototyping. Inventor softwares digital prototypes and sheet metal tools enable Ponderosa to combine manufacturing information such as punch tool parameters and custom-bend tables with an accurate 3-D model of sheet metal folding. In addition, Inventor software makes it easy to check for interferences between various assembly parts, helping to catch potential errors before the design reached the manufacturing floor. Contact: Ms. Stacy Doyle, Autodesk Inc., United States of America. Tel: +1 (503) 7073 861; E-mail:; Or Ms. Alyson Moses, Autodesk Inc., United States of America. Tel: +1 (312) 2977 430; E-mail:

Make it with ginger

Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), Sri Lanka, has developed technology for manufacturing ginger-based bioactive processed products. Ginger is a perishable commodity and prone to post-harvest loss if necessary curing and handling procedures are not followed. Optimizing oleoresin extraction procedures will also encourage and assist more sophisticated industries to fetch better prices and expand their business. Technologies for curing ginger, together with a curing machine were developed. Studies confirmed that the quality of the cured ginger sample is superior to the imported sample. The essential oil and oleoresin content of each variety with respect to different stages of maturity at harvest were determined thereby enabling identification of the suitable stage of maturity to harvest in order to yield the highest content of oil and oleoresin. A ginger peeler has been designed and fabricated for commercial application. Other products from ITI include ginger ready-to-serve drink, ginger milk, ginger tea and ginger crystals. Contact: Industrial Technology Institute, 363, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka. Tel: +94 (11) 269 3807, 269 3809, 269 8621, 269 8623; Fax: +94 (11) 2686 567; E-mail:

Energy-efficient clamp-on mixers

Teralba Industries Ltd., Australia, has developed Mixquip clamp-on mixer that uses low shear rate to deliver up to 65 per cent more agitation per kilowatt of power compared with conventional agitators and mixers. Mixquip clamp-on mixer can be mounted on all open-top tanks with capacities up to 8,000 land can mix any liquids with viscosities up to 15,000 cP. The Mixquip clamp-on mixer was developed to meet the demand for more energy-efficient mixers and agitators from the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and wastewater industries. The Mixquip energy-efficient range of clamp-on agitators and mixers come with stainless steel wetted parts. Contact: Teralba Industries Pty. Ltd., P.O. Box 1639, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 4626 5000; Fax: +61 (2) 4625 4591; E-mail:


Food Processing Technology: Principles and Practice

This third edition has been substantially rewritten, updated and extended to include the numerous developments in food technology since the 2000 edition. Widely regarded as a standard work in its field, this handbook introduces the range of processing techniques used in food manufacturing. It explains the principles of each process and the processing equipment used, explores operating conditions and the effects of processing on micro-organisms that contaminate foods, and examines biochemical properties of foods and their sensory and nutritional qualities.

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

Operations in Food Refrigeration

This recent addition to the Contemporary Food Engineering Series provides a thorough overview of issues involved in heat and mass transfer in refrigeration and freezing. In addition to covering the application of critical principles to the design and operation of equipment, this highly practical text covers quality issues related to maintaining the most adequate operation conditions for a wide variety of processed foods.

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

Advances in Fresh-Cut Fruits and Vegetables Processing

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this guide explores both basics and more recent innovations in fresh-cut fruit and vegetable processing. It even addresses scientific progress in the fresh-cut area and discusses the industry and market for these commodities. Also covered are regulations affecting the quality of the final products and their processing, the consumers attitude and sensory perceptions, and design of plants and equipment.

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


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