VATIS Update Food Processing . Mar-Apr 2005

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Food Processing Mar-Apr 2007

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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World-class Agro-Industrial Park to be set up in India

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Sistema Italia Export, an Italian consortium, for developing a world-class Agro-Industrial Park in India. Once developed, this park will become the focal point for the entry of the very best Italian food processing industries in joint venture with Indian partners. Planned and designed according to the latest and most advanced specifications, the park will create a unique and competitive environment to process Indias high potential agricultural products targeting quality improvements, European Union food and safety norms and higher value addition through technology and know-how transfers, better food chain processes and linkages to effectively increase Indias productivity and quality in both the local and international markets.

The Sistema Italia Hyper Food City-India is set to be ensconced as the food processing centre par excellence, paving the way for a substantial increase in high-quality product exports to the Asian, Middle-East and European markets. The park, spread over 1,200 acres, will have an investment of 900 million euros. The park facilities will include: individual product refrigeration centres, EU certification, quality control, chemical and veterinary laboratories; environmental and general services; in-house banking and insurance offices; and cereal and milk silos. About two million tonnes of food will transit through the park each year for processing. The park will cater to the agricultural production of nearly 400,000 small farmers linked and networked into its logistical and outreach services.


Dutch grant for egg processing

The Netherlands government is extending a grant to the Philippine Egg Board (PEB) for purchasing an egg processor that will enable PEB to freeze, liquefy, pasteurize or powder eggs for institutional and export markets. The grant will be in the form of egg processing equipment, as this also involves PEBs joint venture with a Dutch company. The new equipment will enable egg producers to fulfil local demands from airlines, restaurants and hotels currently supplied by the United States and bird flu-free countries. The latest expansion is part of PEBs goal to increase the countrys egg consumption to at least 200 eggs per person per year from the present 92, one of South-East Asias lowest compared with Japans 328 per person.


Processed food gaining popularity in Viet Nam

A study undertaken by the Canadian governments Agriculture and Agri-Food Ministry has found that in Viet Nam the appetite for processed food is growing among 60 per cent of the population aged 25 and below. Official trade data reveals that Viet Nam imported US$252 million of consumer-ready foods in 2003. The actual level of consumer-ready imports is higher given the countrys porous borders and under-invoicing problems. In addition, retail sales have increased steadily.


Boom time for Chinese retail food sector

Deregulation of the retail market in China is set to provide significant opportunities for international food retailers as restrictions, which had hitherto limited foreign players to joint ventures, are lifted. Key players such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco would be eager to increase their foothold in China, where a fragmented food retail sector combined with outstanding market growth are further indications that point towards significant prospects. Metro has announced plans to add 12 outlets to its existing 21 warehouse cash and carry operations in the country. Carrefour has even more outlets than Metro and in turn has a slightly higher turnover than the German retailer. It is planning to open an additional 21 Champion discount stores, thereby bringing the total to 74 hypermarkets in the country.

Adding to the competition is British retailer Tesco. Its joint venture with Taiwanese retailer Ting Hsin has received a strong response in the market, with 30 hypermarket outlets. At present, the biggest international retailers in China are Carrefour and Wal-Mart. However, with Wal-Mart poised to expand aggressively during 2005, many industry experts feel that it will take the lead. Also, the leading domestic player Lianhea is expected to grow rapidly.


Electricity-free food production

Malnutrition Matters, a Canada-based NGO that focuses on food technology applications in developing nations, has developed a production system for food applications. The VitaGoat system does not require electricity or running water. It uses pedal power for grinding and mashing, along with an innovative, energy-efficient steam boiler and cooking section. This unit comprises four main components:
  • A cycle grinder, which is adjustable for various foods, and operator size and strength;
  • An energy-efficient steam boiler, which burns almost any local fuel such as wood, gas, dung chips or other biomass;
  • A pressure cooker, which gets steam injected from the boiler; and
  • A filter press for separating soya milk or juices.
    VitaGoat system provides dry or uncooked products such as flour, meal and peanut butter, and cooked products like soya milk, fruit and vegetable purees, sauces and juices. A food preservation vessel can also be incorporated.

Contact: Malnutrition Matters, 498, Rivershore Cres., Ottawa, ON K1J 7Y7, Canada. Tel: +1 (613) 7426 888; Fax: +1 (613) 7458 258



Mixed fortunes for Russias flour sector

A recent survey undertaken by Market Advice, a Moscow-based consultant, has unveiled that the Russian flour sector is presently going through mixed fortunes with many producers struggling to compete while others are performing well. Most respondents opined that customers preferred to buy flour produced according to Russian state standards, suggesting a high level of confidence in the quality of flour thus obtained. However, about 25 per cent answered that industrial buyers preferred to buy flour made to specific technical standards for further refining or processing. Such customers were also interested in verifying gluten content, granule size and whiteness of the flour, while others gave particular importance to price.

Most of the companies surveyed by Market Advice stated that they had worked continuously throughout 2004, suggesting a flour sector in good health. However, some companies flagged up periods of down time caused by a decline in sales, indicating that the good times are not shared by everyone. Flour millers are not yet concerned about rising competition from foreign players, with just a handful of non-Russian companies operating, and focusing on the premium end of the market.


New food safety criteria

China will bring out a series of technical standards to minimize pesticide residues and other hazards in food and fabrics. Sixty-nine national standards are being finalized to mitigate chemical residues and other hazards in agricultural products during the course of production, processing, storage and transport. Mr. Fang Qing, Vice-president of the China National Institute of Standardization, states that unprecedented efforts to establish technical benchmarks and testing procedures for primary agro-products in China cater to the publics appetite for safer farm produce and higher quality. It even facilitates implementation of a market access system for food products and serves the countrys intention to expand agricultural trade.

The standardization work is being headed by the Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals along with 18 other institutions, including Wuxi Scientific Researching and Designing Institute of the State Administration of Grain Reserve, and the Cotton Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The huge standardization work, initiated in November 2003, is scheduled to be completed this year, with most standards effective within the year. The standards will guide producers and processors to work in a way that strikes a balance between social and economic benefits and environmental protection. Half of the standards in the pipeline set maximum residue limits (MRLs) in rice, corn and tea, target hazardous substances like ochratoxin (a cancer-inducing toxic compound) that may taint wheat, soya bean and peanuts when stored and transported, and puts a ceiling on heavy metals in irrigating water. In particular, 21 standards will detail MRLs for new pesticides that have been used on crops in recent years. Technical regulations for food and fabric storage and transport are in line with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system.


Freezer storage spurs growth of seafood in China

In China, the market for frozen fish and seafood looks set for sustained growth over the next four years. A recent market report from Access Asia revealed that the market for frozen seafood and fish had doubled in the six years from 1997 to 2003. Changing consumer tastes combined with the evolution of freezer storage have led to new seafood and fish products appearing on the market. Although consumption of frozen seafood and fish is still in its infancy in China, urban areas are continuing to embrace the segment with gusto.

The Access Asia report also highlights the fact that increasing wealth combined with the greater choice of foods brought about by Western-style supermarkets is encouraging Chinese consumers to become more adventurous in their culinary tastes. At present, the market for frozen seafood and fish accounts for about a 25 per cent share of the total market for frozen foods. Though growth has been dynamic in recent years, logistical matters relating to transport and distribution have held back growth potential. Growth for the frozen foods segment is projected to run at 30 per cent up to 2008.


China makes strides in food safety sector

The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has stated that major breakthroughs have been achieved in the food safety sector key testing techniques, instruments and control system. The latest developments include 18 instruments for testing pesticides, veterinary drugs and toxins, and 25 assays for the quarantine examination of veterinary drugs, pesticides, toxins, food additives and feed additives. Kits for testing bird flu and Newcastle Diseases Virus (NDV) drastically reduce testing time, and find application in nine quarantine bureaus. The test kits have been used in over 20 export-oriented cattle and poultry farms.

In addition, the food safety project has rolled out 54 techniques for the quarantine examination of pesticides, veterinary drugs, food contamination and toxins. Of these, the dioxin testing technique and associated testing criteria have won international recognition. The project also developed multi-residue testing techniques to identify 180 pesticide elements in tea, rice and fruit juice. Furthermore, an import and export monitoring, pre-warning and risk analysis and control system has been developed. This is the first such system in the country and is based on statistical analysis and in-depth digging of a large quantity of food safety data collected from import and export. In an effort to accelerate technology integration and applications, 10 demonstration zones have been created.


High-tech processing for Chinese farm produce

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), China, about US$59.85 million has been invested in developing advanced technologies on farm produce processing. MOST initiated 29 projects, which attracted 82 companies, research institutes and universities for R&D. During the 2001-04 period, scientists and technologists invented 211 new agricultural species, materials and equipment. The research teams also applied for 120 patents, with 31 already being granted. Experts have achieved remarkable progress in membrane separation technology, sterile filling technology, normal temperature squeezing technology, concentration technology and freezing chain technology. Some well-received products such as refrigerant meat, protein separated from soya and condensed apple juice have also been developed.


Chinas dairy industry expanding

China hopes to boost the global dairy industrys output over the decade by expanding production to meet its own demands. Consumption of milk and other dairy products is growing in the country. Chinas dairy production has been posting double digit growth annually since the late 1970s. China currently produces 16.25 million tonnes of dairy products annually. Mr. Wang Huaibo, Vice-Director of China Association of Dairy Products Industry, states that with the sustained growth of Chinas economy and betterment of peoples life, per capita annual consumption could reach 18 kg by 2015.


Malaysia is halal food hub

Malaysia has been globally recognized as the worlds halal food hub, despite its cosmopolitan, multi-religious nature. Certification of halal food has been conducted throughout the country since 1982 by the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia. The Codex Alimentarius Commission has cited Malaysia as the best example in the world in terms of justification of halal food.

Meat from permissible animals like poultry and cattle must be slaughtered in accordance with Islamic rites to render them halal. Such food also conform with stringent standards in hygiene and sanitation, and must not be harmful to health. Halal food certification refers to the examination of food processes, right from preparation, slaughtering, ingredients used, cleaning, handling and processing, down to transportation and distribution. The concept of halal is truly from the farm to the table, and must be nutritious and prepared from permissible ingredients in a clean and hygienic manner.


Indian food processing sector

In India, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is presently operating a scheme for technology upgrading and modernization of the processed food sector. Under this scheme, financial aid is provided at the rate of 25 per cent of the project cost in general areas and 33.33 per cent in difficult areas, subject to a maximum of about US$113,000 and US$169,500, respectively. The scheme covers fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, poultry, fisheries, oilseeds and horticultural produce for value addition and prolonging their shelf-life. As this scheme is project-specific, it does not take into account area, state or community while grants are disbursed.



Fill-level monitoring technology

Thermo Electron, the United States, offers ultra-safe high-speed technology for monitoring fill level and closures. Designed to enable food producers achieve greater cost efficiencies, Inscan X-ray system can detect product underfills, overfills, and missing or misapplied closures. In addition, this system helps fulfil European Union rules, which oblige manufacturers to take total responsibility for the products they produce by ensuring safety and quality. Inscan system is especially suitable as an accurate measurement and quality control solution for beverage lines. Operating at speeds up to 2,400 containers/min, the system utilizes patented two-dimensional X-ray imaging software to capture detailed images.

In the absence of radioactive gamma rays, Thermo Electrons process monitors multiple parameters to simultaneously inspect fill level, net content, under- and overfill; liquid and foam differentiation; pressure detection and missing or misaligned lid, cap or crown. InView closure inspection system rejects containers with non-conforming closures, thereby preventing downstream stoppages and potential consumer complaints. Extending the ability of Inscan is an optional filler valve monitoring and tracking system that uses the captured data and synchronizes it to a specific filler valve automatically detecting potential fill-valve performance issues.


Pathogen detection

Innovative Biosensors Inc. (IBI), the United States, reports that its biosensor technology can detect Escherichia coli O157:H7 within 5 minutes, compared with the 48 hours required by conventional techniques. The new system is based on Canary, a biosensor technology designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and exclusively licensed to IBI. E. coli is a major food pathogen that could lead to severe complications ranging from haemorrhagic colitis to death in humans.


Certified metal detection system

Safeline Inc., the United States, offers its latest metal detection conveyor system, which meets the stringent Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee (BISSC) Sanitary Standards for the bakery industry. Notable features of Safelines metal detection system include:
  • Stainless steel construction;
  • Continuously welded joints free of imperfections;
  • Self-draining product contact surfaces;
  • Easy accessibility to product contact surfaces for cleaning; and
  • Food contact areas fabricated using standard materials approved by the 3A Sanitary Standards Committee.

Safeline metal detectors offer advanced, microprocessor-based technology that features digital signal processing. These units have automatic set-up that adjusts to optimum performance by passing sample products down the line. The Automatic Balance Control (ABC) feature maintains the highest sensitivity levels despite temperature fluctuations, electronic ageing and product build-up. False rejects are minimized with a rigid coil system that virtually eliminates vibration interference.

Contact: Mr. Oscar Jeter, Safeline Inc., 6005, Benjamin Road, Tampa, FL 33634, United States of America. Tel: +1 (813) 8899 500; Fax: +1 (813) 8810 840.


Advanced vision engine for sorting systems

In the United States, Key Technology Inc. has developed a new modular electro-optical foundation for Tegra and Optyx optical sorting systems. G6 incorporates an advanced, modular vision engine and an array of new, high-performance monochromatic, colour and VIS/IR cameras. The new G6 architecture guarantees the industrys best migration path, assuring customers to generate maximum long-term return on their sorting investment. The G6 platform features proven, high-performance connectivity standards like Camera Link, FireWire and Ethernet to maximize the underlying technologys flexibility. The open-source Linux Operating System provides inherent security and ensures long-term development and support. With greater operational versatility and reduced risk of obsolescence, G6 sorters optimize sorting performance and provide a foundation that prepares users for future improvements to enhance defect removal and recovery rates.

G6 platforms modular design allows customers using both current and legacy sorting systems to take advantage of technological advancements by upgrading the applicable module rather than forcing a redesign or replacement of the entire sorter. G6 incorporates Keys proprietary field-programmable gate arrays chipset technology, which puts the power of an entire electronic rack in a single chip. With twice the number of filter stages, G6 facilitates enhanced subtle feature identification and more robust detection of flaws.

Contact: Key Technology Inc., 150, Avery Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362, United States of America. Tel: +1 (509) 5292 161; Fax: +1 (509) 5271 331.


Bacteria-fighting film

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Germany, have applied a technique used in medical science to develop a bacteria-fighting packaging that can be used on liquid products like milk. The team uncovered that instead of adding preservatives to food, they could be coated on to the packaging film. The coating layer is applied utilizing special techniques and materials based on substances like Ormocers. These plastics contain elements of inorganic glass and organic polymers.

Packaging materials for liquids have to be sterilized before they are allowed to get into contact with foodstuffs. However, the process temperature may be too high for certain plastics. Scientists have now optimized the process by using ionized gas so that it only takes 1-5 s. As such, environmental protection regulations can be fulfilled while lowering energy consumption by a factor of up to 1,000.

Beverage and Food World, November 2004

Improving food safety

In the United States, researchers at the Agricultural Research Services Eastern Regional Research Centre, have developed a technique to detect heat-resistant toxins in foods such as ham, milk and eggs. The biosensor-based procedure identifies chemical signals from toxin-producing bacteria and provides information about their specific biological activities. Bacteria produce toxins under stressful conditions, e.g. when they are too crowded, denied food or are fighting against antibiotics. Generally, conventional heating and processing kill foodborne bacteria but do not destroy their toxins.

Research chemist Ms. Marjorie B. Medina focused on Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins A (SEA) and B (SEB). The biosensor test employs so-called surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to detect toxins. SPR uses light reflected off thin metal films. Attached to these films are toxin or antitoxin/antibody molecules. When these molecules bind to the film surface, they change the way light refracts. These changes in light intensity, monitored by an optical detector, provide a measure of how much toxin, if any, is present in a food sample. A potential use for the method would be to detect enterotoxins in liquid whole eggs.

Contact: Ms. Marjorie B. Medina Eastern Regional Research Centre, 600, East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, United States of America. Tel: +1 (215) 2336 400; Fax: +1 (215) 2336 777.


Going with the grain

A benign and efficient separation method developed by food technologist Mr. Harmeet Guraya at ARS Southern Regional Research Centre, the United States, could help rebuild the nations rice starch and protein production industry. Rice starch with its tiny granule size, neutral taste and soft mouthfeel is used in a wide range of foodstuffs. However, a cost-effective and eco-friendly process for obtaining rice starch had been elusive. The conventional process relies on the action of a corrosive alkali, sodium hydroxide, to slowly dissolve rice protein and release the starch.

The approach developed by Mr. Guraya is based on the application of very high pressure, which is supplied by a special homogenizer known as a microfluidizer, to physically split apart the starch-protein agglomerates. A single pass through the equipment yields many small, individual particles of starch and protein homogeneously dispersed in a watery matrix. Starch and protein components can then be separated by traditional density based separation processes.



Chips to prevent absorption of bad cholesterol

Researchers at Brandels University, the United States, report to have devised chips that curb absorption of bad LDL cholesterol. These sterol-enriched chips block the bodys absorption of LDL. The team has described LDL cholesterol reductions averaging 15 per cent among 10 people. In trials, volunteers were not able to distinguish between the special chips and those without the additive. Phytosterols can be extracted from plants like soya beans and have long been used as a cholesterol-lowering additive in some margarines. The American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Programme recommend their use in food to help lower cholesterol.


Vitamin-enriched cheese

Cheese-makers can now produce cheeses that appeal to children and teens with kid-friendly flavours and colours, and satisfy health-conscious adults who are looking for a delicious way to get their vitamins. A high-pressure injection technology developed by Mr. Carl Brothersen of Western Dairy Centre, Utah State University, the United States, to infuse cheese with wild colours and flavours can also be used to obtain vitamin-fortified cheese that taste just like regular cheese.

Vitamins D, B6 and folic acid in liquid form were injected into Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. After a 330-day ageing period, it was found that the vitamins did not have a marked impact either on the ripening process or flavour of the cheese. Moreover, the cheese microflora did not eliminate the vitamins. Highest vitamin loss recorded was 40 per cent for folic acid in mozzarella and the lowest loss was zero per cent for vitamin D in mozzarella.


Textured whey protein

Researchers at the Western Dairy Centre of Utah State University, the United States, are developing an extruded whey protein meat extender. Whey protein is ideally suited for application as a meat extender since it is readily available, inexpensive and a complete protein source with high consumer acceptance. The team has developed a textured whey protein (TWP) product from whey protein concentrate (WPC) by employing thermoplastic extrusion. Extruding a blend of 80 per cent WPC and 20 per cent cornstarch, along with subsequent drying, forms protein-rich particles resembling small chunks of meat. At a food plant, these chunks could be rehydrated and mixed into meat. The extrusion process requires low processing temperatures and incorporates a modified screw and paddle configuration. A special cooling die limits expansion of the ingredient as it exits the extruder. The resulting TWP is an excellent meat extender. Also, 100 per cent (meatless) TWP patties were prepared and evaluated, with favourable results.


Food-grade tryptophan

Nizo Food Research B.V., the Netherlands, offers a new process to manufacture L-tryptophan, an amino acid that is reported to eliminate some of the safety risks associated with the standard production method for the ingredient. L-tryptophan has several food applications, including clinical nutrition and supplements for bodybuilders.

Researchers used the milk protein a-lactalbumin as the starting material for their new process. a-lactalbumin contains more tryptophan residues in its molecule than any other dairy protein. A key problem was finding a set of food-grade enzymes to hydrolyse a-lactalbumin sufficiently, according to Dr. Kees Olieman, a Nizo scientist. The difficult part was that some peptide bonds close to tryptophan are quite resistant to enzymatic hydrolysis. Scaling up chromatographic isolation and removal of the solvent after chromatographic isolation of tryptophan posed further challenges. However, the resulting product can be considered safer than the one produced through fermentation. The enzymes and conditions were tested in small-scale laboratory experiments and significant steps are essential before the process can be undertaken on an industrial scale.

Contact: Nizo Food Research B.V., P.O. Box 20, 6710 BA Ede, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (318) 659 511; Fax: +31 (318) 650 400



Alpha-lipoic acid fortification

Degussa Food Ingredients GmbH, Germany, has developed an a-lipoic acid formulation for use in a variety of food products. a-lipoic acid plays an important role in the body by maintaining healthy antioxidant levels and has gained popularity in recent years as a dietary supplement. It is also increasingly finding application in foods for diabetics. However, formulating the ingredient in foods has been severely limited by its stability, which sharply declines under key processing conditions like heat and powder blending, and its irritation on the throat, making it most common in capsules.

Degussas new a-lipoic acid has been microencapsulated on a molecular level with a-cyclodextrin produced by chemicals group Wacker, giving it a much-improved shelf-life and taste. The patent-pending formula also helps manufacturers who previously used overages to reduce costs. a-lipoic acid has gained GRAS status for food applications in the United States and is approved for use in foods in Japan.

Contact: Degussa Food Ingredients GmbH, Dr.-Albert-Frank-Strasse 32, 83308 Trostberg, Germany.




New delivery mechanism

Cavis MicroCaps, Germany, has developed a novel process that allows for efficient ingredient delivery. The membrane technology comprises several layers of natural material that coat microspheres containing ingredients for food or feed applications. The Multi Layer Capsules made using algae, silica, calcium and oil are also suitable for encapsulation of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fatty acids. In the case of fatty acids, companies can add oil-based ingredients to a dry application without facing the usual formulation issues when adding oil to dry matter.

Compared with other encapsulation technologies, Cavis membrane technology offers significant advantages. The new process is based on polyelectrolyte complexes used in products like contact lenses but as yet not used in the food industry.

Contact: Cavis, Gesellschaft fr Immobilisierungs-Systeme mbH, Carl-Zeiss-Str. 51, 55129 Mainz, Germany. Tel: +49 (6131) 953 02-0; Fax: +49 (6131) 953 02-13




Award for FiberAid innovation

Market analyst Frost and Sullivan has awarded its 2004 Product Innovation award to Larex for the development of soluble prebiotic Arabinogalactan (AG) FiberAid, which can be added to food and beverage products to boost fibre content. FiberAid AG is said to have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal system, slowly fermenting to increase beneficial microflora like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria while lowering endogenous pathogens. A branched polysaccharide, AG is extracted from western larch (L. occidentalis) and tamarack larch trees using the companys patented water-wood-and-steam process. The soluble, tasteless and odourless ingredient is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use with food and is recognized by the FDA as a source of dietary fibre.


Improving sour cream texture

Chr Hansen, Denmark, has introduced a new culture to improve the texture of sour creams and buttermilk. Designed to improve mouthfeel and viscosity, XT-313 and a phage-unrelated, texturing mesophilic culture bring back the high texture and viscosity that may disappear when fat is removed. The less fat the sour cream or buttermilk contains, greater is the texturing that can be handled by the new culture. This latest product is delivered frozen in 500 g cartons.


Whole-grain rice bread

In the United States, a researcher at the Agricultural Research Service has developed a whole-grain rice bread mix for home bread machines. The new rice bread qualifies as whole grain by providing the high-in-fibre bran fraction of the grain and also boasts a texture comparable to that of whole wheat bread. Members of the Louisiana Celiac Sprue Association report that the whole-grain rice bread is superior to commercial rice breads available on the market. Additionally, it is free of other potentially allergenic ingredients like milk and eggs.



New standard for fresh milk

An industrial standard that redefines fresh food has put Chinas burgeoning dairy industry in turmoil, especially in light of experts suggestions that the standard will give foreign milk producers greater opportunities to expand in the Chinese market. Released by the Standardization Administration of China in early 2004, the standard is scheduled to enter into force from October 2005. It defines fresh food as not having been processed. This in effect means pasteurized milk will no longer be designated as fresh milk. The move comes amid a proposal by the Dairy Association of China (DAC) to have a milk identification standard adopted nationwide. Under the DACs proposed standard, pasteurized milk would be considered fresh.

The difference in opinion over the term fresh milk has unveiled the potentially serious stand-off between two groups within Chinas dairy industry. The national brands use ultra-high temperature (UHT) processed milk to promote their products. UHT milk, commonly branded as pure milk, can be stored for up to six months. However, local dairy producers mainly produce pasteurized milk, which must be kept refrigerated and cannot be stored beyond a few days. Nutritionists opine that pasteurized milk and UHT milk are similar in terms of proteins and vitamins but pasteurized milk contains more active ingredients like antibodies from cows.


Sugar-free infant milk powder

Thailand has banned the addition of sugar to milk powder for infants. This step is intended to help prevent children from sweet addiction, which may lead to several health problems. Issued by the Ministry of Public Health, the regulation prohibits sugar and other natural sweetening substances, like honey, from being added to modified milk powder and other formulas for infants and young children. Failure to comply with the new rule would lead to a penalty fee along with revocation of the manufacturing licence.

Sugar-added milk has raised tooth decay among 5-6 year olds in the past 20 years, up from 74 per cent in 1984 to 87 per cent in 2001. The number of overweight children has increased from 8 per cent in 1995 to 12 per cent in 2002.


Codex standard for reconstituted orange juice

An international task force met in Brazil, under the aegis of Codex Alimentarius, to reach an agreement on defining standards for reconstituted orange juice, the worlds most widely sold fruit juice. In international trade, a large part of the commodity is shipped as frozen concentrate and reconstituted once it arrives at the destination. Discussions hinged on how much water can be added to the concentrated juice and still be labelled as orange juice. The final recommendation by the committee put the range between 11.8 and 11.2 Brix, measure of the sugar content. The standard also contains a footnote that allows countries such as Australia, Portugal and some Asian and South American countries to sell their orange juice at less than 11.2 Brix on the world market since Brix values may be naturally lower in these parts.

Beverage and Food World, November 2004

Integrated food law in India

The Indian government plans to introduce an Integrated Food Law to ensure consumer safety. The proposed legislation aims to ensure proper management of food safety systems and make them transparent. It is also intended to meet the requirements of international trade and the Indian food and trade industry. The law will set up a single line of command from the present multi-level and multi-departmental control. Accordingly, there will be a single window for all issues relating to food safety and standards, regulations and enforcement.

Entitled Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005, the draft bill provides for civil penalties for minor offences and criminal action for serious violation. Food business operators would have to ensure that imported and processed food reaching the consumers fulfil the domestic food laws. The legislation has been necessitated because of the multiplicity of food laws.



Preserving probiotics

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the United States, have developed a preservation technique that will enable long-term preservation of biological materials. At the core of this process are simple sugars that help brine shrimp and other organisms survive lengthy dehydration. Incubation in a defined mixture of sugars and other compounds has the potential to protect a host of biological molecules, bacteria and mammalian cells during freezing, drying, storage and re-wetting. This techniques first proven use has been to preserve bacteria marketed as probiotics, micro-organisms that when consumed confer health benefits like boosting the immune system and aiding digestion. Rhodia Inc. holds a license to the technology and has developed a versatile system for extending the room temperature shelf-life of freeze-dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, the companys top-selling probiotic product.


Refrigeration and food process machines

Patkol Plc., Thailand, designs and supplies a wide range of ice machines, cold storage, individually quick-freeze (IQF), food process machines as well as dairy and beverage equipment. Patkols range of ice making systems featuring easy operation long-life, low-cost and low energy consumption include tube ice maker (1,500-80,000 kg/d), block ice plants (10,000-400,000 kg/d), nugget ice maker (60-200 kg/d) and flake ice machine (2,500-5,000 kg/d).

All types of cold storage and refrigeration systems are available. A typical system features ASME approved pressure vessels, low energy requirement, simple operation and maintenance, and 10 to -60C temperature range. IQF machines include spiral freezer, fluidized bed freezer, tunnel freezer and tray tunnel freezer. Custom-designed food processing lines could also be provided to suit individual requirements. The specialized processing lines are made for high production output with minimum labour and are well suited for frozen foods like shrimp, tuna, vegetables, etc. Other products in Patkols stable include a complete range of liquid food processing lines, including UHT, sterilization and pasteurization process. Turnkey refrigeration and food processing systems are also available.

Contact: Patkol Plc., 20/14-15, Moo 10 Chalermprakiat Rama 9 Rd., Nongbon, Pravate, Bangkok 10250, Thailand. Tel: +66 (2) 3281 032; Fax: +66 (2) 3281 058




Cryogenic freezers

Linde Gas, France, has launched a new range of cryogenic freezing applications, which are believed to offer food producers a comprehensive choice. Capable of handling relatively straightforward dry products as well as sticky wet applications, the company claims to provide the ideal machine. Cryoline MT offers improved hygienic conditions. Each tunnel has built-in technology that informs users exactly what is going on inside. A report can be printed on demand.

Lindes linear cryogenic tunnels can be divided into stainless steel belt tunnels and plastic belt tunnels. Plastic belt tunnels are ideal for sticky or wet food products like meat, fish or ice cream. The tunnels can be enlarged by adding modules, depending on individual requirements. The tunnels can cool products from below and also by spray from above. Other tunnel types provided by the company include spiral tunnels, cabinet freezers for batches and rotating tunnels which ensure that small sticky pieces do not adhere together.

Contact: Linde Gas s.a., Baou-Roux, Unite de production, RN 202, 06670 La Roquette Sur Var, France. Tel: +33 (4) 9208 6400; Fax: +33 (4) 9208 6418.


Shelf-stable process

In Australia, an advanced shelf-stable process has been developed by Innovative Foods Australia, along with Tatiara Meat Co. and Meat and Livestock Australia, which has enabled the Australian red meat industry reap substantial gains. IFL technology uses modified retort process to gently shelf stabilize foods for an unrefrigerated shelf-life. This process has enabled lamb shanks from Australia to reach pub tables throughout the United Kingdom. Lamb shanks (in mint sauce or red wine and rosemary sauce), which are portion-controlled in a single serve and come in a plastic pouch, have a shelf-life of up to 12 months without requiring freezing or refrigeration. The product is shipped in food-grade containers without chilling or freezing, thereby lowering costs and facilitating more flexible distribution and storage. Five more products are being developed on the same lines for export.


Sliced apples kept fresh!

Fresh Appeal Ltd., New Zealand, has developed technology that uses a completely natural process to ensure fresh sliced apples stay fresh for up to 21 days. This unique solution employs a robust, simple and effective physical disinfection process to wash the sliced produce while simultaneously eliminating pathogens and microbes that can discolour and spoil the fruit. The only additives are vitamins and minerals. Neither preservatives nor chemicals are used. Fresh Appeals technology has been patented in 141 countries around the globe and keeps apples crisp, flavoursome and fresh. Suitable for both organic and non-organic fruits, this technology can also be applied to a wide variety of fresh fruits and produce.

Contact: Mr. Steve MacKay, Marketing Director, Fresh Appeal Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand. Tel/Fax: +64 (9) 2389 114



Pasteurization plants

Zeuzer India is offering dairy, food and beverage industries with custom-designed solutions, quality assurance and product requirement. The product range includes plate heat exchangers, sanitary centrifugal pumps, conveyors, filters, storage tanks, vats, milk tankers and HTST pasteurization plants.

HTST pasteurization plants are used to process milk, cream, mixed fruit juices, coconut milk, etc. Ranging in capacities from 500-10,000 l/h, these plants are supplied with float balance tank, feed pump, flow regulating valve, control panel and interconnecting piping.

Contact: Zeuzer India, X-5, M.I.D.C., Opp. Philips India, Bhosari, Pune 411 026, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (20) 7128 999; Fax: +91 (20) 7128 333




Twin-screw extruder

Buhler AG, Switzerland, has unveiled the latest model in its range of extrusion systems. BTSK-30 is a co-rotating twin-screw extruder that is suitable for laboratory use and corresponding production capacities. The company states that this latest addition makes its toolbox of extrusion systems one of the most comprehensive in the industry. In addition, the entire BTSK extruder model range is now fitted with an internally cooled housing. Every housing can be efficiently cooled with water through cooling bores, facilitating more efficient operation and higher capacities. Furthermore, the torque per shaft has been raised to 135 Nm, which is available over the entire r.p.m. scope. The machine has a 37 kW motor.

BTSK-30 is the first machine that is operated by means of a touch panel.

Contact: Buhler AG, Postfach 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (71) 9552 389; Fax: +41 (71) 9553 851



Processing cassava roots into cassava grates

In the Philippines, researchers are developing a batch-type spinner for removing water from fresh cassava grates and an LPG-fuelled rotary drum drier. The equipment will form part of an improved cassava grates processing system along with the existing Philippine Root Crops (PhilRootcrops) grater. The grater, with its cylindrical or circular blade made of punctured metal plates, transforms fresh cassava roots into grates at a rate of 100 kg/h, powered by a 1 hp electric motor. As intermediate product from cassava roots, cassava grates are used as an ingredient in cassava cake, cookies and suman. Fresh cassava roots are grated, pressed or squeezed to remove excess water and then dried. The batch-type spinner has a capacity of 200 kg/h as against the screw-type presser, which is laborious and has a capacity of only 20 kg/h.


Chocolate processing equipment

Production Techniques, New Zealand, is offering chocolate processing equipment, ranging from melters, temperers and depositors to cutting, penny-stacking and high-boil sugar and caramel plants. The latest addition to the companys stable is a sophisticated button-and-chip depositor with servo controls. This equipment deposits chocolate or compound chips, wafers, buttons or drops in a precise and controlled manner on to a constantly moving belt. A precise lift table with height, lift and drop speed control is a unique feature of the unit. An accurate weight controller on each nozzle adds further precision to the process, as do a suck-back for the elimination of tailing and on-screen live control for product size and shape. Up to 24 nozzles per piston can be fitted for high volume output.


Low-cost robotic arm

Researchers at Staffordshire University, the United Kingdom, have developed a low-cost robotic arm that features excellent mobility and an accuracy that rivals industrial fixed robot arms. The team had earlier designed the Handy1, a low-cost, pre-programmed robot with restricted movement. Envisioned to overcome these limitations while not costing more, Flexibot is a more flexible alternative to current industrial robots. Several arms can work simultaneously from a socket network, and their mobility as well as the ability to be programmed to undertake multiple tasks means that one can do the work of several fixed robots.

Flexibot takes the form of an arm, joined in the middle and at either end, with grippers at either end, that can travel across a grid or chain of sockets and operate effectively from each. The arm moves along in a manner similar to an inchworm, plugging one end into a socket and then reaching over and plugging into the next. The first end detaches, and the arm is ready to operate from its new position. Using a network of sockets built around a room, the Flexibot can navigate and travel at will, even going upstairs and across ceilings. The prototype is 1.1 m in length, accurate to within one-tenth of a millimetre and can pick up a weight of 2.8 kg. The scaleable model can be designed in bespoke dimensions to fulfil a particular task.



Cholesterol-lowering beer

Aventure, Sweden, has developed a process that yields beer with cholesterol-lowering properties. The patented brewing method uses oats, instead of barley, and a special enzyme technology results in a product rich in -glucans, fibres shown to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. This is the first in a range of healthy beers, with others in the pipeline.


Fluid processing technology

Pursuit Dynamics has signed an agreement with the United Kingdoms subsidiary of Coca-Cola Enterprises to supply innovative fluid processing technology for the production of soft drinks. PDX 25 is said to deliver dramatic process efficiency and quality upgrading to the liquid foods industry. According to the company, this system is capable of reducing cooking times by up to 95 per cent and cleaning time by up to 80 per cent.

The patented PDX system simultaneously heats, mixes and pumps. It can be used to transport fluids with high solids content, entrain different materials, heat ingredients or blend recipes. Moreover, with no moving parts to clog or block, PDX is CIP compatible and provides the potential for reduced cleaning times compared with traditional processing equipment.

Contact: Pursuit Dynamics plc., Unit 1, Anglian Business Park, Orchard Road, Royston, SG8 5TW, United Kingdom. Tel/Fax: +44 (1763) 250 592/596



Beverage reduces weight

Coca-Cola Japan, in collaboration with Shiseido Corp., has launched a cosmeceutical beverage that is based on the idea of aroma therapy for weight loss. The new Body Style Water, launched under the Aroma Works brand of body lotions and beverages, is a zero-calorie, grapefruit-flavoured caffeinated bottled water. It contains trehalose, seaweed extract and niacin to help moisturize the skin. Body Style Water has no fat and only 0.6 g of carbohydrates.



Improving flour quality

The focus of new research in the United States is on improving the quality of flour ingredients. Researchers are studying hundreds of different proteins in wheat kernels. The role of proteins range from storing carbohydrates to protecting kernels against insects. It is popularly believed that knowledge regarding the way proteins work and the impact of heat, soil nutrients and other environmental conditions on proteins could lead to better flours.

The proteome, which scientists at the Agricultural Research Service are compiling, is a catalogue of wheat-kernel proteins, just as a genome is a directory of all the genetic material in a plant or animal. Gluten proteins are the most abundant and well-studied. However, there is not much data about the so-called metabolic proteins that occur in much smaller quantities and are essential to a kernels growth. For example, wheat plants need metabolic proteins to form gluten proteins and produce starch.


DNA-based trackers

On-going pressure from consumers for quality meat ingredients is driving food technologists to investigate biochemical mechanisms for tender meat. Researchers at the Meat Animal Research Centre (MARC), the United States, have uncovered that the enzyme -calpain and the variation of the protein calpastatin, both have a major impact on meat tenderness. Calpastatin determines how much calpain is active and how tender the steak will be. The MARC team is employing genetics to identify DNA markers that can track variations in the calpain gene. Efforts are also on to determine DNA tests that can predict the likelihood that a given animal will produce tender meat. Scientists have sequenced the gene that produces -calpain in both tender and tough cattle, marking differences that can be used as DNA markers. However, there could be many other genes, with each having a relatively small effect.



Automatic tube packaging line

Subnil Packaging Machines, India, offers Limbus series of automatic tube filling and closing systems. These compact rotary systems fill material in metal or plastic/laminate tubes and close it safely and symmetrically. Limbus 80 has been designed as a medium speed tube-filling machine and conforms to cGMP standards while Limbus 150 is a high-speed, twin-head model. Key features include the pump unit, which is a compact design with bearings fitted on both sides to avoid friction between the dosing valve and the housing in which it is encased. Bottom-up filling ensures there is no air entrapment. A cam, made as per the filling product, effects vertical movement of the tube. Limbus 35 is a smaller, semi-automatic version of Limbus 80, wherein the feeding of the tubes into the machine has to be done manually. This system has a capacity of 35 tubes/min.

PRO series comprises horizontal cartoning units with a capacity of 120-300 cartons/min. These are well-suited to handle items such as tubes, bottles, vials, ampoules, droppers, blister strips, pencils, inhalers, film rolls, bearings, soaps and several other products falling within the wide range of the machine. Features include a rotary pick-up, which ensures controlled loading of the cartons into the chain. The pre-breaking function enables the use of lesser quality cartons. Pusher rods are fitted on slides, held between bearings to guide the rods and offer less resistance. Position indicators assist a quick, tool-less changeover. B-Cart series of intermittent cartoning machines function like the PRO series except that the former systems have a maximum capacity of up to 60 cartons/min. Designed mainly as a blister cartoner, various products that require an intermittent motion for collating products before being cartoned can be handled. Verline vertical cartoner is designed for products that cannot be loaded automatically.

Colwrap is a bundling machine that collates cartons in any configuration, wraps it with BOPP film, folds the film at the pack ends in envelope type format and seals them from three sides to form a multipack.

Contact: Subnil Packaging Machines, Dani Wooltex compound, CST Road, Kalina, Mumbai 400 098, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 5693 8111/2652 0111; Fax: +91 (22) 2652 0112



Innovative filling and packaging solutions

Buhmann Systeme GmbH, Germany, offers an integrated product range featuring the possibility of achieving filling to packaging in a single, complete machinery line. Servofill AFL series in-line filling and closing machines are available in 1-8 lane versions. It can be equipped with filling stations for particulate, liquid, pasty, dry and multi-component products. This range integrates chainless cup transfer, touch screen interface with graphical operator guidance and can be equipped with various stations. AFL series has servo-driven stations in conjunction with IPC control system and an output of up to 28,800 cups/h.

Servofill AFR rotary turntable filling and closing machines are built in one to four row versions. These models can be equipped with filling stations for liquid, pasty, particulate, dry or multi-component products. The external drive of the rotary table ensures accurate positioning and allows double-sided support (suspension) of all stations. It also features space-saving layout and high-dynamic servo-drives together with PLC control system and menu-driven operation. The AFR series has a favourable cost/performance ratio and an output of up to 12,000 cups/h.

Servowrap WP, 3-in-1 wrap-around, tray and casepacker is suitable for four-sided trays, wrap-around blanks and pre-glued cartons. It has a modular structure with easy-to-clean, balcony type design and a magazine for flat or pre-glued cartons. The casepacker features high-dynamic servo-drives in conjunction with PLC control system and menu-driven operation. Other notable aspects include extremely quick format changeover, hot-melt adhesive application and an output of up to 2,400 cartons/h. The company also offers Servokart KA/DA carton and lid erector, and end-of-line automation.

Contact: Buhmann Systeme GmbH, Jakob-Lang-Strae 16, 88171 Weiler im Allgau, Germany. Tel: +49 (8387) 9201-0; Fax: +49 (8387) 3571



Form-fill-seal systems

Sandiacre Packaging Machinery Ltd. and Rose Forgrove of the United Kingdom design and manufacture form-fill-seal machinery. Horizontal form-fill-seal units (flowrappers) are Forgroves forte. Forgroves main product range of flowrapping machines are used to package a wide range of products such as bakery, confectionery, snacks, frozen produce as well as fresh produce, dairy, paper, medical and hardware. The companys product stable includes:
  • Merlin Mechanical comes in standard and high-speed versions.
  • Minerva Electronic has multi-axis servo drives and full electronic controls. It is extremely flexible and can run at speeds up to 250 ppm.
  • Minerva PC is equipped with a Pentium-based PC for effective control of all machine features, including full graphical interface for easy operation, unlimited product size memory for a myriad of product recipes, on-screen statistics/diagnostics that minimize downtime to simplify the wrapping process, communication with management data systems and a modem to aid diagnostics process and simplify machine upgrades.
  • Integra PC is a top of the range, reciprocating jaw motion machine producing high integrity seals on modified atmosphere packaging applications.
    Sandiacre machines include vertical form-fill-seal systems, block top machinery, volumetric feed systems and automatic case packers for food and non-food applications. Its range includes intermittent and continuous motion technologies.

Its automatic case packers are used to transfer pre-filled pillow packs from a form-fill-seal machine, and orientate and arrange them into layers and formats that make optimum use of the available volume of cases. Products handled include frozen produce, fresh produce, detergents, snacks as well as pet food, confectionery, cereals and liquid products.


Weighing and packing machines

Multihead weighers from Ishida Europe Ltd., the United Kingdom, are computer-controlled units based on the principle of combination weighing to facilitate packaging of dry and frozen/chilled products faster, more accurate and highly efficient. The latest generation of multihead weighers offer high weighing speeds, consistent pack weights and minimum product giveaway. The weighers can easily be specified to weigh into bags, trays or cartons, with target weights ranging from 5 g to 10 kg. Single and mixed product applications, up to eight products, can both be handled.

DACS-W series of checkweighers ensure bags and cartons consistently contain the right amount of product, while guaranteeing that over- and underweight packs are rejected. This range can handle a large variety of pack types and sizes ranging from 3 g to 50 kg at speeds up to 330 weighments/min. Also, a new range of weigh-price-labellers has been built to suit food packing environments where performance, hygiene, reliability and quick changeover are paramount. The FDP 3000 machines are manufactured to a robust stainless steel specification and feature fully automatic label positioning at the touch of a button. Speeds of up to 90 packs/min and weights up to 4 kg can be accurately and consistently weighed and labelled.

Ishida also offers pack handling systems. Ishida FPS uses a programmable, multi-axis, pick-and-place module, which can pick up primary packs, like flexible and rigid packs or whole product, and place them into secondary packaging systems, like cartons, cases or Euro-trays. A simple, cost-effective design and the use of low-maintenance moving parts make FPS an affordable solution with the potential increase in packing speed and labour cost-savings decreasing typical payback periods to a matter of months.

The company also provides bagmakers, tray sealers and complete packaging lines.

Contact: Ishida Europe Ltd., 11, Kettle Woods Drive, Woodgate Business Park, Birmingham B32 3DB, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (121) 6077 700; Fax: +44 (121) 6077 666





Can Functional Foods Prevent Disease?

This book investigates the role of functional foods in helping prevent certain diseases and as such promote a healthier society. Part 1 examines the importance of diet in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, with chapters on fat-soluble nutrients, antioxidants and iron intake. While Part 2 focuses on the role of phytochemicals in mitigating cardiovascular disease, including chapters on isoflavones and plant sterols, Part 3 addresses issues relating to the control of dietary fat, including the use of polyunsaturated fatty acids and fat replacers. The final part reviews the use of starch and other functional ingredients in controlling cardiovascular disease, with individual chapters on cereal -glucans, grain legumes and food fermentation by lactic acid bacteria.

Contact: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Abington Hall, Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AH, England, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 891 358; Fax: +44 (1223) 893 694



Market Opportunities for High Value-Added Whey Fractions

This report unveils how new market opportunities are developing at a rapid pace globally. It focuses on market and business issues pertaining to the most promising whey fractions, i.e. lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, colostrum/IgG, a-lactalbumin, -lactoglobulin and glycomacropeptides. Covering markets in Europe, Asia, the United States and Oceania, the report delves into the following topics: market size and expected growth, price developments, current applications and trends, producer profiles, end user segments and key users, drivers and barriers, and regulatory issues.

Contact: Mr. Tage Affertsholt, 3A Business Consulting, Denmark. Tel: +45 7021 0098; Fax: +45 8613 5066




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