VATIS Update Food Processing . Jul-Sep 2013

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Food Processing Jul-Sep 2013

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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Government to continue technology upgradation scheme

The cabinet committee on economic affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, for continuing the scheme of technology upgradation, establishment and modernization of food processing industries during the 12th Plan period.

The scheme has been one of the most popular of the plan schemes of the ministry. A large number of applications were received, which could not be accommodated within the allocated budget during the 11th Plan. The scheme envisages back-ended subsidy by way of grant-in-aid. The committed/ spillover liabilities of the 11th Plan would be considered for sanction by continuing the scheme during 12th Plan (2013-17). The scheme has been subsumed effective from April 1, 2012, under the centrally sponsored scheme of National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) in the 12th plan for implementation through State and UT Government.

New food processing technology for entrepreneurs

Department of livestock products technology in College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), India, has developed and transferred three main technologies to four budding entrepreneurs. Manish Kumar Chatli, Head, department of livestock products technology, said that the processing technology of the ggg jam prepared from eggs as base materials and offers a nutrition alternative to existing fruit jams in the market and have protein content of 16-18% in comparison to 2-4% in fruit jams. This has been transferred for manufacturing and marketing to ML Kansal of Kansal and Kansal Agro Farms, GT Road, Kohand, district Karnal, for Rs 100,000 on single user basis.

Second technology of Ready-to-eat meat snacks products such as meat cutlets, meat croquette, meat samosa, etc. is transferred to Balwinder Singh, PP Chicken Corner, Dashmesh Nagar, Moga on multiple user basis for Rs. 30,000/- only. The third processing technology of the development of Emu Meat Products such as pickle, burger patties, nuggets, balls/koftas is transferred to Gurpreet Singh Emu farming and Research Private Limited, Bhatinda, Ludhiana and Balihar Durka, Chief Financial Services, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshaher) for Rs. 30,000/- each.

These technologies were transferred in the presence of G. Vajralingam, Financial commissioner, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development and Dr. Vijay Kumar Taneja, Vice Chancellor, GADVASU. According to the vice chancellor, new technologies can be beneficial for the animal industry personnel’s, farmer’s, budding entrepreneurs who want to start or develop their business and unemployed youth, who want to take animal husbandry as a business. He said that transferring the technologies basically for the benefit of the Punjab farmers and small entrepreneurs. Hence, a very nominal fee has been charged from the requesting parties.

Sri Lanka cabinet approves measures for food safety

Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a series of measures to ensure the safety of the consumer food imported to the country following the report submitted by the cabinet sub-committee appointed to probe the contamination of imported milk food. The cabinet at its meeting held on August 15 appointed a cabinet sub-committee headed by Senior Minister for Human Resources D.E.W. Gunasekara, Minister and consisting of six other ministers to examine the contamination of imported milk powder with the agrochemical dyandiamide (DCD) and Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination with Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.

Based on the recommendations made in the report the cabinet has decided to implement several measures to ensure the safety of the food products. The cabinet has approved to improve the capacity of local laboratories to meet the emerging demands including those at the Medical Research Institute and Industrial Technology Institute (ITI). They recommended purchasing a Liquid Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (LC/ MS/MS) for the ITI due to the claim by the New Zealand scientists that that ITI did not have the right equipment to test the DCD in milk powder samples.

The Ministry of Health has been directed to publish a detailed newspaper advertisement in simple language to inform the public on the background of the issue. The Ministry is also required to introduce a system of labeling to identify the products free of DCD and Clostridium bacteria and safe for consumption and inform the public of the system to ensure that public is getting safe food. The Ministry of Health, the Consumer Affairs Authority and the Industrial Technology Institute are required to closely collaborate on the food safety issues. Action will also be taken to introduce a methodology to carry out Food Safety Hazards Tests prior to clearance of goods by the Customs, jointly by the Sri Lanka Customs, the Medical Research Institute and the Industrial Technical Institute in keeping with international standards.

China targets food industry shortcuts

China will examine the country’s food industry to root out dodgy practices that result in substandard products reaching customers, according to a cabinet circular. Featuring an agenda on the government’s food safety work for 2013, the state council circular called for an overhaul of food safety loopholes in the sectors of planting, breeding, slaughter, production, distribution, catering as well as import and export.

Among the inspectors’ key tasks, there will be a particular focus on illegal additions of inedible substances into food and misuses of additives. Secret sites for food production will be eradicated. The cabinet also ordered greater efforts in checking for banned items being added to animal feed, agricultural chemicals, and veterinary drugs, as well as the use of agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs beyond prescribed scopes. China will furthermore improve inspection of licensed slaughter houses as well as related quarantine efforts, according to the circular.

China to speed up food-tracking system construction

China will speed up the construction of a national electronic food-tracking system as part of efforts to boost food safety supervision. Featuring an agenda on food safety work for 2013, the State Council circular urged efforts in making infant formula, ingredient milk, meat, vegetables, liquor and wine, as well as dietary supplement products traceable.

National product standards for honey and edible vegetables as well as relevant standards of testing methods will also be improved by the end of 2013. Calling for efforts in forming a food safety credibility system, the cabinet urged a “blacklist” system to be set up to publicize names of firms who fail to be honest in its business, a move intended to promote self-discipline initiatives in the food industry.

Thailand to promote food safety in schools

The Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, has launched a pilot project in nine provinces with an aim to promote food safety in schools and nurseries and to push Thailand to become ASEAN’s leader in food standard. Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health Suphan Srithamma said the food safety project was the collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The project is to make sure that food is safe throughout the process, from raw materials to distribution. The Public Health Ministry’s food safety project has been piloted in schools and nurseries in nine provinces across the country, namely Chiang Mai, Lampang, Nakhon Sawan, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Songkhla and Phuket. The ministry’s ultimate goal is to reduce food poisoning and diarrhea in young students by the year 2016.

Thailand’s industry ministry pushes for Thai food hub

Thailand’s Industry Ministry is moving forward toward bringing into reality the plan to materialize the Northern Food Valley project — an ambitious undertaking to upgrade Thailand’s north as a processing hub for agricultural produce and organic food, a high-ranking official said.

Industry Permanent Secretary Witoon Simachokedee said the cabinet has allocated Bt80 million to launch the scheme, including a supply chain of raw materials, food production, processing, marketing and management. He said the ministry will cooperate with academic institutions in applying research on technology and innovation to strengthen the food processing industry in the North covering Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son, where more than 500 food processing factories are located. Mr. Witoon said the Netherlands has provided technical and academic assistance in developing the project which will also expand to Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast and Prachuab Khiri Khan in the South. The first region industrial promotion centre has joined hands with the Chambers of Industry in Chiang Mai and the North held an agro industrial and organic food exhibition at Central Plaza, Chiang Mai Airport, July 31-August 4.

Philippines targets safety system for food exports

The Phillipines Department of Agriculture (DA) is aiming to obtain country recognition for the import and export of Fresh Food of Plant Origin (FFPO) system in Indonesia to help boost food exports to this country. Relevant documents have been submitted by the DA to align and make our FFPO acceptable to Indonesia. The move also hopes to avert any possible negative impacts of the implementation of Indonesia’s horticultural import regulations that started in 2009.

At stake are about 100 Philippine fresh fruits and vegetables that are already in Indonesia’s regulated list, including fresh bananas, pineapples and shallots. These are the country’s main food exports to Indonesia valued at $2.47 million in 2012.So far, the countries that have applied and been approved the recognition are the United States, Canada and Australia. Among ASEAN countries, it is Thailand, one of the biggest fruit exporters to Indonesia that is keen on getting the recognition.

Viet Nam food processing industry given financial support

A signing ceremony for a 1.5 million Euro (US$ 2 million) export promotion program for Vietnam’s food processing industry took place on Wednesday in Ha Noi, with the goal of improving export competitiveness and creating a favorable business environment for Vietnamese food processors.

Joop Scheffers, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Viet Nam, said traditional Vietnamese commodities such as rice, coffee and pepper had successfully penetrated world markets. However, entering the European market was a more significant challenge due to the increasing demand for products with sustainable organic farming or Fairtrade certification (Fairtrade is a product certification system that allows people to identify products that meet agreed environmental, labour and developmental standards).

Do Thang Hai, director of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, says the program would help make high added value products more marketable and improve their quality so they met export requirements. Of the programme’s budget, 1 million euros (US$1.3 million) came from the Centre for the promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) and sthe remainder came from Viet Nam, including the cost of participating in annual food exhibitions in Europe.

Early warning food safety system for Viet Nam by 2016

The Prime Minister of Viet Nam Nguyen Tan Dung, has approved an early warning food safety system for the country, which would be fully in place within three years and operating at three levels, namely, national, central-provincial-municipal, and grassroots. Under the system, the national level center will collect and analyze information from central-provincial-municipal warning centers as well as grassroots centers and provide appropriate feedback.

The related central-provincial-municipal centers will be located at the Department of Safety, under the Ministry of Health; the Department of Agro-Aqua-Forestry, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; the Department of Science and Technology, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Department of Food Safety and Hygiene. Grassroots centers will be set up at Departments of Food Safety and Hygiene; Administration for Standardization, Meteorology and Quality Control under the Ministry of Science and Technology; General Customs Department under the Finance Ministry; the Viet Nam Association for Standardization and Consumer Protection, and Preventive Health Centers.

Based on data received, centers will release early warnings on food safety and related risks whenever needed. Once the project is fully operational, emergency food safety cases will be brought under control quickly and effectively including Total Diet Studies (TDS), which will be the primary source of information on various chemical contaminants and nutrients in a diet, and potential dangers to customers, and health risks arising from popular food items in Viet Nam.

The Ministry of Health will coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and related agencies to set up a managing board as well as a central warning center with other centers. Domestic and international medical experts will be recruited for the project as well as training courses will be organized for local staff. Expense for the project will come from the National Target Program on Food Safety, for the period 2013-2015, and from local budget, donations and loans. By 2016, the early warning food safety system will be fully operational in the country.


FAO and WHO agree on food standards for healthier diets

The UN food standards body Codex Alimentarius, has agreed on new standards to protect the health of consumers worldwide. Codex also adopted codes on the prevention and reduction of ochratoxin A, a carcinogenic contaminant, in cocoa, guidance on how to avoid microbiological contamination of berries and on use of claims for food that is labelled “non-addition of sodium salts” including “no added salt” on food packages to assist consumers in choosing a healthy diet.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission, jointly run by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), sets international food safety and quality standards. This year the Commission adopted two important codes: prevention and reduction of ochratoxin A (a carcinogenic contaminant) in cocoa and of hydrocyanic acid in cassava, both important products for developing countries. The Commission adopted a number of commodity standards that will protect consumers from fraud and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

The Commission also adopted the nutrient reference values on sodium and saturated fatty acids, which are nutrients associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to be included in the Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling. The Commission also adopted the revised and updated Guidelines on formulated supplementary foods for older infants and young children to ensure the health and nutrition of the vulnerable population group.

Indonesia issues regulation for food imports

The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) issued Regulation No. 63/2013 (Reg. 63), which amends specific information in MOA Regulation No. 50/2011 regarding imports of carcass, meat, offal and processed meat products. It also states that chilled, prime cuts of beef shipped via air freight only are exempt from the current quota system maintained by the MOA and the Ministry of Trade. The only eligible ports of entry are the international airports in Jakarta, Medan and Denpasar. The key points in the regulation includes:
 Import quotas for frozen beef carcasses, meat, and/or offals originating from beef cattle shipped via ocean freight will be retained;
 Import recommendations (RPP) for those products will be determined by technical meetings among Directorate General level officials from related ministries and will be coordinated by the CMEA; and
 RPP allocations per importer will be determined by considering the storage capacity, capability to import, import experience, absorption of local beef production, ownership of special transportation equipment for meat, contracts with industry and/or food service sector, and compliance in implementing the provisions of related legislation.

In addition to Reg. 63, the MOA issued Decree No. 4338/2013, which appoints a state owned company to import beef carcasses, meat, offal and its processed beef products and to stabilize beef prices. This decree will remain valid through December 2013.

China announces rules for food safety

A fresh regulation on the safety assessment of foodstuff was released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, China. Foodstuffs specified in the regulation include animals, plants and microorganisms that are not in the country's traditional recipes, and includes components extracted from them. According to the regulation, if the safety of the licensed foodstuff does not meet science and technology updates or if there is evidence showing the food not to be safe, the commission must assess the safety of the substance for a second time. If the licensed food material fails to meet safety rules in the re-examination, the commission will revoke the licenses for such foodstuff.

Bangladesh approves food safety bill

The Bangladesh cabinet approved the draft of the Food Safety Bill, 2013, keeping provision of maximum five years imprisonment or Tk 500,000 fine for adulteration of food, reports UNB. The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Briefing reports after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M. Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan termed the proposed law as comprehensive and modern, which defined many aspects of food security. Under the proposed law, an institutional framework will be established to ensure food safety, he said.


Researchers develop E. coli test for food processing facilities

Medical, agriculture and computer science researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, have teamed up to develop a test that will make Canadians feel safer about the meat they put on their tables. The testing device, which is the size of a large shoe box, can detect pathogenic E. coli while meat is still at food processing facilities. The test is more sensitive at picking up E. coli strains, faster at pinpointing results, and less expensive than other tests that are currently used.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher Linda Pilarski, and Lynn McMullen from the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES), lead the U of A team fine tuning this E. coli test, Their U of A colleagues include Michael Gänzle from ALES and Faculty of Science researcher Patrick Pilarski from the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning. Xianqin Yang will collaborate from the Lacombe Research Centre operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in central Alberta. The test will be easy to use on site at food processing facilities — users will place a sample of meat in a machine, push a button, and results will be available in less than an hour. The device makes millions of copies of the genes in the meat sample to determine if E. coli is present. “It’s like a molecular Xerox machine”, says Linda Pilarksi. “It’s an exciting application that allows us to test for E. coli toxins and genes that allow bacteria to stick to meat.

Linda Pilarski, a researcher in the Department of Oncology, the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine Pathology says “It’s a fantastic collaboration that demonstrates research makes an impact in the day-to-day lives of Albertans and Canadians.

New DNA test to identify substances in food

Scientists at Mainz University, Germany, has developed a novel screening procedure for accurately determining the amount of animal, plant, and microbial substances in foods. Almost all foodstuffs contain the genetic material of those animal and plant species that were used in their preparation. Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Genetic Security Research and Consulting at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Germany, have developed a novel screening procedure that provides for highly sensitive, quantifiable analysis of animal, plant, and microbial sub-stances present in foodstuffs. For this, the researchers have adapted the latest techniques of DNA sequencing, which are otherwise currently employed in human genetics to unravel the genetic information of thousands of patients.

“The innovative aspect in comparison with conventional DNA detection methods such as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR for short, is that by means of bioinformatic analysis of all biological DNA data available worldwide we can identify the presence of material from species that we would not otherwise expect. And, using a simple digital method of counting short snippets of DNA, we will also probably be able to determine the relative incidence of individual species-related material more precisely than was previously the case,” explained molecular geneticist Professor Dr. Thomas Hankeln, who developed the method in collaboration with bioinformaticist Professor Bertil Schmidt, Ph.D. and colleagues at the German and Swiss food control authorities.

“All-Food-Seq” by its developers has already attracted the attention of food inspection experts. “This method is very interesting in connection with efforts to promote the molecular traceability of food,” said Hermann Broll of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin and Dr. René Köppel of the Zurich Cantonal Laboratory in Switzerland. The method developed by the Mainz scientists is thus to be validated in comparison with conventional detection tech-niques in the near future. Contact: Professor Dr. Thomas Hankelnm Institute of Molecular Genetics, Genetic Security Research and Consulting, Johannes Gutenberg University, D-55099, Mainz, Germany. Tel: +49-6131-39-23277; Fax: +49-6131-39-25846.

Researchers develop ‘instant’ food safety test method

Researchers have developed a new method for instantly testing harmful chemical substances in food, the National Science Council, Taiwan (Province of China) said. The council said that while many cases concerning food safety have been reported in recent years, chemical testing takes some time to produce results. The research, funded by the council, was led by Shiea Jen-taie, a professor at the National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan’s Chemistry department. The team has so far designed three types of ambient mass spectrometry devices that can test chemical substances — including melamine, plasticizers, maleic acid, triclosan, preservatives and pesticide residues — added into food.

He said although the sensitivity of their method is not as great as conventional methods, it still has the ability to provide instant results for testing large quantities in a short period of time. The method has already obtained patents in the US and Taiwan (Province of China), and the team is now designing a portable device, so that food samples can be tested directly on site, such as at market places, without having to be sent to laboratories. However, he said as the device is still rather expensive and the method has not obtained certification, it may take at least a decade before the method becomes widely applicable.

One-step test to detect toxins

A one-step test created from technology originally developed for the U.S. Department of Defence by ANP Tech in Newark, the United States, to detect biological agents/ pathogens in water is making its way into Delaware grocery stores. ANP is the sole supplier for DOD biological toxin-testing in water. Today, the firm has put a laser-sharp focus on the global consumer market for its easy-to-use pesticide test kits. Its business is split into thirds defined by work for the government, the consumer market and in drug development. “The latter turned out to be a much larger market than its originally intended use for the DOD,” Yin said. “Due to the ongoing public concern about pesticide contamination in food and water sources, particularly for fresh produce, dry fruits and tea and coffee, ANP is seeking to help consumers by providing them a safe and easy way for them to test their purchases prior to consumption.”

Food safety test for harmful dye

It may soon be easier to protect consumers from dangerous condiments thanks to an electrochemical method developed by Chinese scientists that can spot the toxic azo dye, Orange II. Orange II is commonly used in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), wood stains and the textiles industry. However, the dye is sometimes illegally used to restore the red colour in food commodities — including chilli sauces from China and Indian sweets — despite its adverse health effects if eaten. Orange II is thought to cause liver damage as well as reduce red blood cell levels. Checking for Orange II in foodstuffs is therefore essential to maintain food safety.

“Currently, the determination of Orange II uses techniques such as chromatography-mass spectrometry and polarography,” says Tian Gan at Xinyang Normal University, China, who led the work. ‘Although these techniques are either sensitive or selective for Orange II, they usually require complicated instrumentation, are very time consuming and are unsuitable for in situ analysis.’Gan’s team have taken a step towards a quicker and more practical method by making a titanium dioxide-modified graphene electrode that can help detect the electrochemical signals of Orange II. They were able to spot the dye at nanomolar concentrations in ketchup and chilli product samples.
Gino Bontempelli, an expert in electrochemical sensors for environmental and food analysis at the University of Udine, Italy, questions the selectivity of the sensor. ‘Almost all azo dyes are characterised by the presence of at least one phenol moiety, which acts as the electrochemically active group, and consequently all azo dyes are expected to be oxidised at quite similar potential values.’

Researchers develop nanotech food test

University of Missouri, the United States, announced a new method to detect silver nanoparticles in fresh produce and other food products. Though not mentioned by researchers, it’s conceivable that the protocol could be modified to test for chemtrail dispersants, as well, since the particles dispersed are in the nano-size range, measured in billionths of a meter. “Our goal is to detect, identify and quantify these nanoparticles in food and food products and study their toxicity as soon as possible,” said Mengshi Lin, associate professor of food science in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Lin’s team immersed pears in a silver nanoparticle solution similar to a pesticide application. They washed and rinsed the pears repeatedly over four days and found silver nanoparticles still attached to the skin, and some that had even penetrated the pulp. “The penetration of silver nanoparticles is dangerous to consumers because they have the ability to relocate in the human body after digestion,” Lin said. Food research scientist Ellin Doyle noted that, “Nanoparticles are readily taken up by many types of cells in vitro and are expected to cross the blood-brain barrier that [normally] excludes many substances that might harm the brain.”


Acid whey concept named ‘Best Beverage Ingredient’

An innovative processing solution that enables manufacturers of traditional Greek strained yoghurts to profit from their acid whey waste stream has been named ‘Best Beverage Ingredient’ at the Beverage Innovation Awards, held at the Drinktec trade show in Munich on 19 September 2013. Based on Arla Foods Ingredients’ Nutrilac® protein, the new process allows companies to use their acid whey to make value-added dairy products, such as high protein fermented beverages, whey smoothies and fermented desserts. However, Arla Foods Ingredients has developed a unique and simple process using Nutrilac® protein, which is derived from milk, to turn acid whey into a range of dairy products that can be sold at a high margin on consumer markets. The result is a fresh tasting and nutritious product that is a good source of calcium, protein and essential amino acids. In addition, using acid whey in this way eliminates the storage and transportation requirements associated with other methods of disposing of it.

After collecting the award at Drinktec, Carsten Valentin, Senior Director — Functional Milk Proteins at Arla Foods Ingredients, said “We’re very pleased to win this award and delighted the judges have recognised the ground-breaking nature of our new acid whey concept. It is an important development for the Greek yoghurt industry and win-ning this award reflects the hard work and skills of our superb development team.” Contact: Lars Vestergaard Nielsen, Marketing Communication Manager, Marketing and Communication, Arla Foods, Denmark. Tel: +45-893- 819-97, Fax: +45-893-810-00, E-mail:

Food scientists develop ingredients to reduce hunger pangs

Chemical engineers in the United Kingdom, may have found the answer to feeling fuller for longer and help reduce snacking between meals, as they develop special food ingredients that have the potential to reduce hunger pangs once inside the stomach. High fibre and protein rich diets are generally recognised for their ability to control hunger. However, modern food consumption has moved towards softer textured foods, which can be high in fat and sugars. These energy-rich, easily digestible foods may not create a sense of feeling full and satisfied.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham, the United Kingdom, have suggested that one solution is to design foods that alter their structure once inside the body. The process could help control the rate of food digestion and also trick the body’s sensory systems, especially in the digestive tract, to help people feel fuller for longer. The researchers have developed an improved technology, called “gellan gum”, which is an existing food ingredient, found in products such as sweets, soft drinks and soy milk, that forms a “gel” once inside the stomach. They found that by altering the chemical structure of the gellan gum they could change the properties of the gels, including important factors like bulk, brittleness and texture. The University of Birmingham gellan gum research is due to be published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids.

US researchers creates functional food ingredients for army

North Carolina State University, the United States, has gained support from the U.S. Army to create functional food ingredients from fruits and vegetables that will be used to develop healthier, more portable combat rations for soldiers. Researchers with the university’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI), located at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, are infusing protein powders and flours, the kinds found at health and nutrition stores, with health-promoting compounds from kale greens and muscadine grapes. The research addresses a critical military challenge on how to provide balanced diets (inclusive of fruits and vegetables) to troops in the field that will have taste appeal while still maintaining shelf life, portability and health-protective functionality. The answer, PHHI researchers believe, lies within a proprietary technology they’re using to develop nutrient-enhanced food ingredients, which can then be used to make drinks, power bars, cookies and other healthy snacks for soldiers.

A primary barrier to the seemingly straightforward solution of having soldiers eat more fruits and vegetables has been storage and transportation. Most fruits and vegetables have a short shelf life, It starts with fresh produce. Using a proprietary technology developed by N.C. State and Rutgers Universities, Germany, PHHI researchers extract healthy compounds from muscadine grapes, like anthocyanins, the pigments that give produce its blue, purple or red color and combat chronic diseases and cancer, as well as compounds from kale, like glucosinolates that provide cancer-fighting properties. The kale and muscadine extracts go through a series of steps to remove unneeded sugars, fats and water, which reduces the final product weight and makes it easier to concentrate the health-promoting compounds. The resulting juice mixtures are combined with protein powders or flours — soy-based for the muscadine mix and hemp for the kale — to create healthy, shelf stable functional food ingredients. This process makes for a low-calorie, lightweight and flavorful ingredient for food rations, according to Dr. Scott Neff, a PHHI research associate involved in the project.

Low salt ingredient

A low salt ingredient, developed by a University of Nottingham, the United Kingdom, subsidiary company and which is now marketed by Tate and Lyle, has won a prestigious international award. Tate & Lyle’s SODA-LO™ Salt Mi-crospheres won the “Most Innovative Health Ingredient of the Year” at the NuW Excellence Awards 2012 which were held at Health Ingredients Europe in Frankfurt recently. SODA-LO™ was developed by The University of Notting-ham’s Eminate business. Eminate works alongside the University’s Technology Transfer Office to take applied research from University academics and develop commercially viable products and services. In October 2011, Eminate signed a worldwide license agreement with Tate & Lyle which gave the latter responsibility for com-mercialising the SODA-LO™ salt reduction technology on a global basis, including manufacturing, product development, sales and marketing.

The SODA-LO™ Salt Microspheres have been created using a technology that turns standard salt crystals into free-flowing crystalline microspheres. These smaller, lower-density crystals efficiently deliver salty taste by maximising surface area relative to volume, this enables salt content to be reduced in food without loss of flavour or structure. Further tests have demonstrated that the use of SODA-LO™ enables salt levels to be reduced by up to 30 per cent in foods such as bread, pizza bases, pastry, savoury pie fillings, cheese and baked snacks, without loss of flavour or structure. It also reduces salt levels by 25 to 50 percent in various applications including baked goods and salty snacks. Contact: The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Tel: +44-115-748-4555.

Antioxidant with a long shelf life

Scientists from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a nanomaterial that protects other molecules from oxidation. Unlike many such active substances in the past, the ETH Zurich researchers’ antioxidant has a long shelf life, which makes it just the ticket for industrial applications. The problem in using antioxidants is that many of these molecules are not actually very stable in themselves. For instance, they are oxidized in the presence oxygen and gradually lose their antioxidant effect. Researchers under Yiannis Deligiannakis, a visiting professor at the Institute of Process Engineering, have now developed a special nano-antioxidant that is considerably more stable than its conventional counterparts, which means it can be stored more easily and is effective in smaller amounts. The ETH Zurich scientists’ nano-antioxidant is composed of a silicon dioxide nanoparticle and the naturally occurring antioxidant gallic acid, whereby the two parts are firmly bonded.

“Gallic acid is one of the molecules with the best antioxidant activity,” explains Georgios Sotiriou, who was involved in the project as a postdoc at the Institute of Process Engineering before moving to Harvard University. However, as with other antioxidants, gallic acid molecules soon lose their effect, especially since they like to latch onto other gallic acid molecules and thus deactivate each other. By combining them with the silicon dioxide, however, the researchers were able to suppress this process. After all, the large nanoparticles compared to the gallic acid molecules prevent the latter from interacting with each other: for reasons of space, they are no more capable of doing so than passengers in two hot-air balloons are of reaching out and touching each other.

The researchers have now patented their new product and are currently in talks with industrial partners with regard to licensing. The scientists do not expect any major hurdles as far as the safety of the molecule is concerned both gallic acid and the silicon dioxide nanoparticles are deemed harmless, have been approved by the authorities — including for use in food — and are in active usage. The scientists thus expect tests to confirm that the combination molecule is also safe for cosmetics and food.


Oxygen-reducing technology for improved shelf life

Clariant Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina, the United States, answered U.S. consumers’ demand for improved food safety and quality with Oxy-Guard, an oxygen-reducing technology that helps prevent the growth of mold, fungus and bacteria in dairy products, frozen meals and beverages.
Oxygen is the primary cause of food degradation, affecting flavor, color, smell and texture. It can also deteriorate food’s vitamin and nutritional value. Oxy-Guard packaging inserts contain a combination of salt and iron powder, that when combined, can maintain oxygen levels at less than 0.01% inside sealed packages. As the salt absorbs moisture from the packaging, the iron begins to oxidize, initiating the oxygen absorption process. Plus, Oxy-Guard technology is said to extend product shelf life from one week to several months compared to packaged food that does not utilize an oxygen scavenger. Contact: Clariant Corporation, 4000 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC-28205, USA. Tel: +1-704-331-7000.

Researchers take help from natural sources for meat preservation

Jeff Sindelar, associate professor and extension meat specialist at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, the United States, and other UW researchers are testing a wide variety of microbe-inhibiting natural extracts for meat preser-vation. Part of this involves ‘challenge testing’ — adding infectious microbes to the meat to make sure that a given ingredient prevents the growth of bacteria throughout processing and storage. If substantial numbers of microbes grow, that ingredient is ruled out. Successful tests have already led to new products. Cherry powder combined with celery powder “is already being adopted by processors that make organic and natural meats because of how effective these ingredients are in improving meat safety and quality,” notes Sindelar. And the search for other natural additives continues.

New microwave food preservation method

Recently, a team of researchers led by professor, Juming Tang at the Washington State University (WSU), the United States, developed a microwave system that’s designed to help increase the shelf life of food products. Known as Microwave Sterilization Process, this newly developed method would allow food products to stay fresh for a longer period of time without spoiling. As you may already know, food waste is a huge problem not only in the U.S., but throughout the world as well. According to a 2012 report done by CNN, around 40% of food in the U.S. is thrown out. Thankfully, however, WSU’s new Microwave Sterilization Process could help reduce these numbers once it becomes more widely used.

WSU researchers didn’t just happen to stumble along the Microwave Sterilization Process method, but instead they’ve been working on collectively for around 15 years. Back in 2006, they began submitting patents to the U.S. patent office to help protect their concepts. They were granted the patents and thus continued to improve and tweak their original design. Following the patents submitted by the team, the next step was to get approval by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). If the Microwave Sterilization Process is going to be used commercially, it must first receive approval by the FDA. Thankfully, the FDA approved the team’s Microwave Sterilization Process, giving it the green light for commercial use.

Microwave Sterilization Process is considered a thermal food processing method since it heats the food to a higher temperature. It’s important to note, however, that it essentially cooks the food from the inside using microwave waves. Traditional ovens cook food from the outside, which is effective but also doesn’t create as much heat inside. Microwaves, on the other hand, blast the food with a short stream of waves that cook them from the inside out.

There are a couple unique benefits to using the Microwave Sterilization Process on food, one of which is its ability to kill off potentially-harmful microorganisms and bacteria. The intense heat generated from the waves naturally destroys these microscopic pests, greatly reducing the chance of food-borne illness. Other advantages include a better taste, looks more appealing, easier to package, longer freshness and even more nutritional content retention. Of course this is really just scratching the surface on why WSU’s Microwave Sterilization Process is such a profound development in the food processing and manufacturing industry. Let’s hope the word spreads and more companies start using this process.

A new method to extend shelf-life of food products

FOOD freshly® from Agriculture & Food Consulting GmbH, Germany, has managed to extend the shelf-life of fresh cut apples to over 30 days. As a major leader in the preservative business, FOOD freshly® is able to provide a 3-step approach (3-P Concept), which enhances the shelf-life and the quality of fresh cut produce. Optimizing the 3 P’s “Pre-Sanitizing”, “Process Water” and “Pres-ervation” leads to a significant increase in quality and to reduced production costs. Since almost 20 years FOOD freshly® provides the products, the know-how, and the technology to improve the 3 P’s within the fruit processing industry. The company says, “After introduction of our freshness retainer in EU, Canadian and US markets, we would like to confirm all our customers that the formulations of our freshness retainer do not in any manner violate/infringe the patents of any other competitors.

We had complete an analysis report drawn upon our freshness retainers formulations by our the German patent lawyers Loesenbeck, Specht, Dantz und Partner, Bielefeld, and our US patent law-yers Henry M. Feiereisen LLC, New York, to be a double check and safety reason for our worldwide client. This analysis report covers the areas of patent in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. We will gladly provide our customers with the patent lawyers’ confirmation on demand.” Contact: Sukhdev Singh, Agriculture & Food Consulting GmbH, Schnatsweg 56, DE-33739, Bielefeld, Germany.

UV light in food storage could double shelf life

A team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) demonstrated that low irradiance ultra-violet (UV) light exposure of strawberries in low temperature and very high humidity — typical home refrigerator conditions — can delay spoilage over long periods. The researchers developed a novel device incorporating light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that emit UV at wavelengths found in sunlight transmitted through Earth’s atmosphere. The results, presented at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO: 2013), are significant because previous attempts using traditional UV light sources for storage of produce resulted in severe drying, and it was unknown if the advantages of long exposure to low-level UV light would be effective against rot. LEDs are now commonplace thanks to their long life and energy efficiency, and their ability to span the wavelength range from near UV to infrared. The full UV spectrum, however, had presented challenges for LED manufacturers — until recently. SETi developed a special technology to fabricate UV LEDs across the entire UV spectrum from UVA to UVC. This flexibility allowed them to tune the emitted light to the wavelengths most effective for this application.

Using strawberries purchased from a local supermarket, Britz’s team placed one batch in a dark refrigerator and one batch in a refrigerator exposed to UV-LEDs. Results showed the UV-treated berries had their shelf life extended twofold — up to nine days mound-free — over darkened berries, as judged by weight, moisture content, concentration of select phytochemicals, visible damage and mold growth. Based on these encouraging results, the team is now working to commercialize the technology for home refrigerators. Spoiled and wasted food is a huge problem in the world today. Earlier this year, a report estimated that 2 billion tons is thrown away each year, up to half of all food produced globally. This new technology could go some way towards reversing this trend, which is vital to ensure that 9 billion people are adequately fed by 2050.

Codex Pesticides Residues in Food Online Database

This database contains Codex Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides and Extraneous Maximum Residue Limits adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission up to and including its 35th Session (July 2012). In the data base a user can obtain information on Codex Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) and Codex Extraneous Maximum Residue Limits (EMRLs) both for pesticide/commodity combinations. Names and definitions of commodities are found in the Codex Classification of Foods and Animal Feeds. The foods listed shall not contain more than the MRL or EMRL (in mg/ kg) of the pesticide residue (defined in each individual case in the definition of residue) at (a) the point of entry into a country or (b) at the point of entry into trade channels within a country. This maximum limit shall not be exceeded at any time thereafter.
For more information, assess:


Lidding extends shelf life of premium chilled goods

A new, ultra-high performance lidding film able to double the shelf life of premium chilled ready meals is available from KM Packaging Services Ltd., the United Kingdom, a provider of heat sealable lidding films used on a wide range of premade food trays, tubs and pots for ambient, frozen or chilled prepared convenience foods. The polyester-based film laminate not only fully achieves performance requirements and seal security, it also extends product shelf life to 28 days, twice that of many chilled ready meals currently available. The lidding material is suitable for sealing to externally lacquered aluminum foil trays and can withstand rigorous retort manufacturing processes while maintaining reliable seal integrity and peelability for ease of consumer preparation.

Charles Smithson, KM Packaging managing director, says premium chilled ready meals are quite a challenge for both manufacturers and retailers. “The product not only has to achieve technical excellence, its visual appeal must justify its premium pricing,” says Smithson. The meals are bought by a more discerning consumer and are intended to pass for home-made or purchased as a special treat. Contact: Graham Holding, 44 West Street, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4EF, United Kingdom. Tel: +44-01-832-274-898; E-mail:

Innovative vacuum skin packaging

Maple Leaf Farms, North America’s leading producer of quality duck products for retail and food-service markets has announced that it is transitioning to vacuum skin packaging for all retail raw duck breast and duck leg products. The new packaging, the culmination of a three-year research and development effort, offers a myriad of benefits to consumers and retailers. Research conducted by Brand Amplitude shows strong consumer acceptance for the new packaging. Seventy five percent of consumers preferred the visibility of the new vacuum skin pack in a side-by-side com-parison with the existing carton. These results were consistent across age group, gender, duck purchase frequency and Maple Leaf Farm customer versus non-customer. The vacuum skin pack-aging outperformed the carton on all positive descriptors — taste, health, premium product, gourmet product.

Escalating consumer interest in preparing duck at home led to the packaging transition. “The new packaging provides a means for consumers to examine the entire product, which is an important factor when purchasing raw food, particularly high-end proteins,” explained Cindy Turk, Director of Duck Marketing for Maple Leaf Farms. The new packaging technology, which has been on the market for several years, offers numerous benefits including:
 A clear view of the entire product so consumers can inspect quality and size;
 “Easy peel” corner for convenient package opening;
 Cooking instructions under the flip up label; and
 Reduced packaging materials by 17%.

For retailers, the new packaging creates a more appealing presence on the shelf and offers multiple display options. The products can be displayed upright in customized trays or on a pegboard for multiple display possibilities. The new vacuum skin pack duck products can offer retailers a point of differentiation and excitement for their customers.

Linpac create pack for vacuum skin film technologies

Europe’s leading multi-material packaging manufacturer, LINPAC Packaging, has worked in partner-ship with machine manufacturer Mondini and film manufacturer Bemis to create a pack which combines the extended shelf life benefits of vacuum skin film technologies with the presentation and protection benefits of rigid preformed trays for Booths Fresh. After admiring VSP solutions on offer at other retailers, Booths decided to move from modified atmosphere packaging for some of their meat products and asked LINPAC to develop a solution for them.

LINPAC Packaging’s continual innovation programme has enabled the company to develop a com-petitive alternative to the standard sheet skin packs traditionally used in vacuum skin packing. To suit the various cuts of meat currently on sale LINPAC had developed three application styles for use with rPET, PP and EPS trays:
Normal vacuum skin pack (below the flange protrusion);
Protruding vacuum skin pack (slightly above the flange protrusion); and
Super-protruding vacuum skin pack (High protrusion above the flange).

Chris Elliott Technical Sales Manager at LINPAC Packaging, said: “Our innovative vacuum skin pack rigid solutions provide enhanced consumer appeal, shelf space efficiency and maximum protection to products during transit and in store. The preformed tray gives a higher quality look and feel to packs and this, combined with the extended shelf life provided by these packs, means our customers are getting the very best from their packaging. Within the first three months, sales of meat had increased by 80% on some premium products and food waste was down significantly due to the extended shelf life qualities offered by VSP.

Innovative packaging for dried food applications

An exciting new packaging development project has commenced, seeking the creation of a biode-gradable, multi-layered packaging for dried food applications. The project is being led by Hat-zopoulos S.A, a Greece based SME in the field of flexible packaging. This new collaborative project has been supported by €1.2 million of funding from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. The bio-based alternative to the current solutions available for Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) will provide a cost-effective and fully recyclable solution to the dried food industry. The commercial drive for such a product is provided by the growing global demand for dried foods.

Dried food has many advantages such as cheaper transportation costs, longer storage life and ease of use. The tailor-made BioActiveLayer material will also maintain product quality and assure food safety, providing a shelf-life of up to 24 months. The BioActiveLayer project plans to enhance the novel paper-based, bio-degradable, multi-layer structure by increasing the paper moisture barrier (by applying blends of waxes and resins). Dr. Lefteris Tourasanidis, Project Coordinator within Hat-zopoulos S.A, said: “Dried food is forecasted to rapidly grow in popularity, possibly due to its ability to be transported cheaply, its longer storage life, and ease of consumption. Another area of concern is the similar rise in associated waste levels.” Contact: A. Hatzopoulos S.A., Arkadiou plant, 19, Arkadiou Str.-57009, Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel: +30- 231-075-4525.

New packaging that extends shelf life

The shelf-life of South Australian pipis will be lengthened thanks to a new packaging system devel-oped by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). Pipis (Plebidonax del-toides), also known as Goolwa cockle in South Australia, is a small saltwater clam endemic to Australia. They are currently only sold fresh on the domestic market, but the new packaging system may make it available in new interstate and international retail and food service markets. South Australian Minister for Science and Information Economy Grace Portolesi said the project is being granted AU$12,333 (US$ 11,713) in funding by the government as part of the Innovation Voucher Program to support innovative local businesses, Adelaide Now reports. “The new packaging will help South Australian fisheries maintain their reputation for fresh, high-quality and reasonably priced seafood,” Portolesi said. “This project will also help reduce waste in the fishery, increase the sustainability of harvests and improve environmental performance.”

Goolwa Pipi Marketing Company director Tom Robinson said the project has the potential to benefit up to 12 or more businesses, harvesting around the Coorong area. This new system is one of many key program that are part of the State Government’s Manufacturing Strategy for South Australia, and it supports the work of the Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment strategic pri-ority, he stated. Roger Edwards, The Goolwa Pipi Harvesters Association chairman, said the project supported the industry’s reform strategy and is meant to ensure its licence holders remain sustainable. The idea is for it to help the industry deal with the pressure and competition coming from other domestic and imported clams.
Source: http://www.


New device to test food for radioactive content

Researchers in Japan have developed a device that can determine radioactive content levels in fish and other food products without having to destroy them first in order to test them. The device could prove a possible savior for fishermen and farmers who are suffering due to concern their produce may be contaminated by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Keizo Ishii, a pro-fessor of radiological engineering at Tohoku University, Japan, and his co-workers introduced their radioactive content detector at the Ishinomaki Fish Market, where their new apparatus is on loan. Workers at the market tested the new apparatus on cod, flounder and other fish.

The device, consisting of a 12- meter-long conveyor belt and sensors underneath, is configured to gauge the weight, size and radioactive content of food samples as they pass over. Thereafter, it automatically sorts the produce or fish by their radioactive content into three categories: up to 50 becquerels per kilogram; between 50-100 becquerels per kg and more than 100 becquerels per kg. The device can test some 1,400 samples an hour, even if the products differ, the researchers said. Central government guidelines and current testing methods require food samples to be pulverized, with the exception of rice, to get accurate radioactive content readings. The Ishinomaki Fish Market will test its fish using both the conventional method and the new device until its use is approved by the central government.

New packaging machine

WeighPack Systems Inc., the United States, introduces the Breezy Bagger. The Breezy Bagger is a compact machine designed and built with a tilting function that allows users to pack, wrap and bag many type of products both vertically and horizontally. Designed specifically to package all types of shaped products into either a laminated or polyethylene material, this new bagger is easy to use, is very flexible and extremely versatile. The Breezy Bagger offers many technological benefits. The unique pivoting function allows the machine to tilt from a horizontal position to almost vertical. The product being wrapped or bagged can be hand loaded or fed automatically with many types of ancillary machines and methods. The bag width and length are fully adjustable with no change parts and no forming shoulder and tube. The hand crank adjustment for pack width can adjust from 2 inches wide to almost 12 inch. The bag length can vary from two inch long to 36 inches.

Another unique feature is the length sensing detection and operational logic. The Breezy includes three choices of logic including one that adjusts to the length of product each and every cycle. The Breezy will detect the length of product and make the bag according to the length of product. The benefit to the user is cost saving on materials on product that may vary in length as well as random filling of product through the machine. An operator can feed a product of 6 inches long for a few minutes, and then feed a product 12 inches long with absolutely no adjustment. The other sequences of operation allow to produce a fixed bag length either above or below the seal jaws. The Breezy Bagger includes many complete choices to best suit the product being wrapped or bagged. The Breezy Bagger can cycle and produce up to 30 packs per minute and is relatively inexpensive. An end user can achieve a quick ROI by using roll stock instead of pre made bags. The Breezy Bagger is a machine that is so versatile that every packager can find use for this new technology.

Compact packaging machine for product collation

Developed by Cermex, France, the Cermex VersaFilm shrink packaging machine without a sealing bar offers a diagonal infeed system, pin-gating selection, pneumatic selection channels and a regulated flow selection system for product collation. A removable cassette enables the machine to handle all types of collations and products, including unstable products and nested product bundles. A compact servo-driven injection table delivers product lapping in single, dual or triple lanes, with thermal sealing under the bundle. Available options include stacking modules, easy-open packs and modules for integrating cardboard supports. Contact: Cermex, France, E-mail:
Source: http://www.


Functional ingredients from algae for foods and nutraceuticals

Algae have a long history of use as foods and for the production of food ingredients. There is also increasing interest in their exploitation as sources of bioactive compounds for use in functional foods and nutraceuticals. Functional ingredients from algae for foods and nutraceuticals reviews key topics in these areas, encompassing both macroalgae (seaweeds) and microalgae.

The book is a comprehensive resource for chemists, chemical engineers and medical researchers with an interest in algae and those in the algaculture, food and nutraceutical industries interested in the com¬mercialisation of products made from algae.

Handbook of food powders: Processes and properties

Handbook of food powders explores a variety of processes that are involved in the production of food powders, the further processing of these powders and their functional properties.

The Handbook is a standard reference for profes¬sionals in the food powder production and handling industries, development and quality control profes¬sionals in the food industry using powders in foods, and researchers, scientists and academics inter¬ested in the field.

For the above two books, contact: Woodhead Publishing Limited, 80 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ, UK. Tel: +44-122-349-9140, Fax: +44-122-383-2819, E-mail:

Packaging for food preservation

Packaging and Food Preservation addresses three main topics: mass transport properties of packaging for food applications, development of active pack¬aging, and new strategies to prolong food shelf life. More specifically, the book discusses several mathematical models, relevant research on active packaging, and case studies that highlight the best combination of technologies to prolong the shelf-life of principal food commodities.

Contact: Springer Customer Service Center, Haberstr. 7, 69129 Heidelberg, Germany. Tel: +49- 622-134-50; Fax: +49-622-134-54229;


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