VATIS Update Food Processing . May-Jun 2005

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Food Processing May-Jun 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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Asia to play a major role in global food market

Food makers and their suppliers will do well to continue their drive into Asian markets, with a new report revealing the region will grow to achieve a 41 per cent slice of the global food retail market in 2020, a leap from 33 per cent in 2003. IGD, a market research and training body, estimates the global food retail market to be worth US$3,496 billion. By that time, China will become the worlds second largest food retail market, just behind the United States. In 2003, the Chinese food market was 35 per cent of the size of the United States market; by 2020 this figure will rise to a considerable 82 per cent. IGD forecasts that by 2020 the United States will account for 19 per cent of the global food retail market, a decline from 22 per cent in 2003. By contrast, the proportion contributed by China will nearly double during this period, from 8 per cent to 15 per cent.

Food manufacturers and ingredients suppliers are turning to the East to bolster eroded margins; and to keep up with their customers, the multiple global retailers. Their rising power is putting pressure on ingredients companies and end product suppliers to keep up with the pace, deliver products at competitive prices and guarantee supplies. The report predicts the global food retail market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8 per cent, to be worth US$6,353 billion in 2020. Growth is forecast for all global regions, with the largest annual growth in Central Asia (including India), Central & Eastern Europe (including Russia) and Asia-Pacific (including China).

Contact: IGD, Grange Lane, Letchmore Heath, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 8GD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1923) 857141; Fax: +44 (1923) 852531



Focus on ingredients for Chinas food safety index

A recent report from the Peoples Daily has stated that China is planning to compile its first dossier on food safety later this year. The Food Safety Credit Index will monitor the food brands sold in supermarkets and wholesale, and assess their safety standards, according to the paper. The aim of the index is to tackle cases of food producers releasing products that contain expired ingredients. The Index will be published once every three to six months.

Opportunities for global ingredients players have opened up in China on the back of a soaring Chinese food industry that has witnessed an explosion in sales. Valued at under 100 billion yuan (about US$12 billion) in 1991, sales reached well over 400 billion yuan (US$36 billion) just about ten years later. Driving the market is the increased spending power and changing eating habits of Chinas 1.3 billion people who are transforming the countrys food sector, both domestically and in foreign trade. Foreign brands of soft drinks, yoghurt, sausage, crisps, breakfast cereals, wine, jellies, and other foods and beverages comprise about 5 per cent of products in Chinese supermarkets, but many of those products are also manufactured with local ingredients, claims the United States Department of Agriculture.


China begins soybean futures trading

China is continuing its moves to liberalize trade and facilitate economic growth, and food producers have recently been given a particular boost with the start of futures trading for imported soybeans. China is a leading importer of soybeans from major producing countries such as the United States, Brazil and Argentina, with the vast majority used to produce soybean oil. In the first 11 months of 2004, China imported 18 million tonnes of the crop. Soybean prices reached a 15-year high in 2004 after poor harvests and an increase in Chinese imports as a result of its own shortfalls in production led to a draw-down in global stocks.

Futures trading allows soybean growers and processors to hedge against this price volatility and keep costs down. Dalian Commodity Exchange in the northeast of the country is the first of Chinas three commodity exchanges to commence soybean futures trading. It is expected that some 200 million tonnes of the crop would be traded through the exchange in 2005. Soybean is not the first crop to see futures trading in China. Earlier last year, the Chinese regulators permitted other agricultural commodities such as cotton and corn to benefit from futures trading. More commodities, such as sugar, are to be introduced to the three commodity exchanges in the near future.


Value addition in Indian food sector 7 per cent

In India, less than 2 per cent of fruits and vegetable production is processed currently, compared with 30 per cent in Thailand and 70 per cent in Brazil. Value addition in the domestic food sector is less than 7 per cent, says a report published by the Small Industries Development Organization. The amount of fruits and vegetables produced in the country is 66 per cent of the total quantity of food grains. It is estimated that this would go up to 80 per cent of the quantity of food grains by 2010.

The report says that a multitude of laws is throttling development of the food processing sector. Harmonising food laws would not only bring large integrated food procurement-cum-distribution companies but also help provide protection to the small-scale sector. The report suggests incentives like tax holiday for a period of 10 years to create an enabling environment. It is estimated that on an investment of Rs 1,000 crore (US$230 million) the sector can provide direct employment to 54,000 persons in comparison with 48,000 in textiles and 25,000 in paper industry. The report suggests that food processing must be raised to at least to 10 per cent of total fruit and vegetable production, involving an investment of Rs 140,000 crore (US$ 32 billion).


Indian food processing policy aims to double output

Indias draft national food processing policy 2005 has envisaged doubling of production and exports within the next five years. The document says that with increased availability of surpluses of raw produces, changing life styles, tastes and higher disposal income with consumers, the sector has an opportunity to clock in a growth rate of 7.3 per cent per annum (over the last decade, the sector has grown at 7.1 per cent per annum). It says that the sector is in the nascent stage constituting 14 per cent of manufacturing GDP. It calls for waiving of taxes in the whole perishable sector, elimination of agents and reduction in packaging costs.

The policy document has suggested various steps to augment the sector. Some of these are:
  • Changes in state laws for regulated markets for allowing private sector participation;
  • Contract farming;
  • Private sector participation in agricultural extension services;
  • Procurement of farmers produces by large food retailers or markets;
  • Improving post-harvest management, cleaning, grading, packaging and storage;
  • Expanding cold storage facility;
  • Upgrading manufacturing capabilities;
  • Upgrading of research labs and conducting R&D on ethnic foods;
  • Making warehousing receipts negotiable instruments, and instituting a system of accreditation of warehouses;
  • Making commodity markets stable, deepening future markets, and allowing banks, mutual funds and FIIs in futures trading and derivatives;
  • Meeting norms relating to Codex, HACCP, GMP and GHP;
  • Integrating food law and liberalizing labour laws.


Credit for Indian food processing sector

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) on Thursday launched a World Bank-led consortium of line of credit and technical assistance programme for the food processing sector in Pune. The multilateral consortium for small and medium enterprise financing and development projects consists of US$100 million from the World Bank and 43.5 million from KfW in Germany, besides a component of 20 million from DFID and 5 million from GTZ for providing technical assistance. SMEs interested in the finance and technology upgrading under the scheme will have to follow the best practices laid down by international agencies on environmental and social issues, said SIDBI General Manager (Pune), Mr. Randolph Rowe.


Korea formulates diet food to fights obesity problem

Government data show 27.3 percent of the people in the Republic of Korea are classified as overweight, with the figure expected to reach 40 per cent in 2010. Based on its own body mass index, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards concluded that more than 80 percent of those in their 50s are obese or overweight. Significant numbers in other age categories also were in the overweight classification.

Efforts to stem the trend are already on. Recently, the Korea Food Research Institute successfully conducted tests on humans of a new high-fibre diet product that allowed people to lose an average 500 g per week with no side effects. The state-funded institute said clinical tests conducted on 20 people for nine weeks resulted in the weight loss of around 4 kg, with body fat being cut by 1.6-2.6 kg on average. The diet product, tentatively called bye-fat, tends to hinder the absorption of fat and carbohydrates by the body and help people lose weight even with normal amount of food intake. It is made from 23 natural ingredients including coconut, French beans, grape seeds and chicory, and allows for controlled weight loss of about 500 g per week. This figure is considered ideal for sustained weight loss without causing health problems.


Philippines enters sugar export market

A record sugar cane crop, the highest in 20 years, has helped the Philippines become an exporter of sugar after years of imports. It expects to sell 160,000 tonnes overseas this year, according to the countrys Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA). The country has exceeded its production target for 2003-04, with a raw sugar output of 2.3 million tonnes for the year ended August 2004. The increase has been made possible due to productivity per hectare going up from 5.63 tonnes to 5.97 tonnes of sugar during the year. The country has in the past been importing sugar.

About 6 per cent of the sugar produced will be exported to the United States under a trade quota system, with 4 per cent going to other regions. The rest of the produce will be consumed locally. The countrys export run may not continue next year because of possible lower output but officials said the crop would be sufficient to meet the domestic requirements and exports to the United States. The Philippines discourages sugar imports and has in place a 48-65 per cent duty structure on sucrose imports for the beverage industry.


Post-harvest technology to aid Vietnamese farmers

The agricultural sector is set to increase the value of unprocessed agricultural products by three- or four-fold through the application of post-harvest technology. In order to achieve this target, the primary task of the sector is to combine the seedling selection with strict pre- and post-harvest quality requirements, said Dr. Nguyen Kim Vu, Deputy Director of the Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology. The second step is the application of an integrated pest management programme in food conservation.

The agricultural engineering sector has introduced new technologies that help the products maintain natural vitamins and other active elements. According to Dr. Vu, in the Mekong delta region, farmers have saved up to US$7 million annually by preventing post-harvest losses. Results from two surveys conducted in 1994 and 2004 showed that losses in rice conservation and husking were reduced from 13-16 per cent to 10-13 per cent. This means the new post-harvest technology has saved about 1 million tonnes of rice a year.

The rice and maize losses in open storage were up to 4.45 per cent in 1995. The use of ventilation storage by different agencies since then has helped reduce the losses down to 2-2.2 per cent and prolonged the storage time up to three-fold. Use of another advanced storage technology called tight-storage, where the products are kept in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide or nitrogen, is helping to keep rice in storage even up to 24 months without quality being affected. The losses have been brought down too, to under 0.1 per cent per annum. Loss in potato crops, which was about one-third of the output, has been cut down to under 10 per cent, and storage of commercial potatoes and potatoes seedlings has been raised to 4 months.



New test to check patulin risk to fruit

In the United Kingdom, researchers at the University of Strathclyde collaborated with industrial partner Adgen to develop monoclonal antibodies that bind uniquely to patulin in infected fruit, such as apples, pears and grapes. Patulin is a mycotoxin produced by certain species of Penicillium, Aspergillus and Byssochylamys moulds that may grow on a variety of foods including fruit, grains and cheese. A natural contaminant, patulin appears to occur mainly in apples and apple products. According to the United Kingdoms Food Standards Agency, it is a mutagen, immunotoxin and affects foetus development. The detection and estimation of the chemical had frustrated the food industry for years. The researchers claim their findings will act as a springboard for the development of a simple test based on the antibody: a test that will help the quick identification of fruit products contaminated with the mycotoxin.


Novel testing method for processed cheese

A new technique in processed-cheese testing developed in the United States offers cheese-makers greater ability to develop products with characteristics such as sliceability, texture and melting profile. The new process is the result of research sponsored by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), Chicago, and the Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota, with funding from the countrys dairy farmers.

The technique uses the Rapid Visco AnalyzerTM (RVA) to cook up batches as small as 25-30 g of cheese that display the same characteristics as industrial-size lots. It takes much of the guesswork out of making processed cheese, says Dr. Lloyd Metzger, Director of the DMI-sponsored Minnesota-South Dakota Dairy Foods Research Centre and inventor of the technique. RVA can accurately simulate the heat and stirring action of large-scale cheese-making equipment. This means that even very small processed-cheese batches melt and flow like cheese made in a manufacturing facility.


GRAS-status Campylobacter solution

SteriFx of the United States has developed an anti-microbial solution that is claimed to be effective against Campylobacter jejuni, a major cause of food poisoning in meat and poultry products. The Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) status of FreshFx allows for the direct use on food products as a secondary food additive. The anti-microbial solution is a clear, odourless, digestible, aqueous liquid that is non-toxic despite its low pH. It has been approved by the USDA for on-line reprocessing of poultry and as a meat and poultry processing aid and shelf-life extender.

Campylobacter is a genus of food-borne pathogen found in several raw or mishandled foods, including poultry. It is a major bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis. Doses as low as 500 organisms equivalent to one drop of raw chicken juice have been reported to cause illness. Among the Campylobacter species, C. jejuni is implicated in approximately 85 per cent of the cases with the remaining 15 per cent being caused by C. coli. Both are thermophilic bacteria that grow at 37-42C.

Contact: SteriFx, Inc., InterTech Science Park, 1868 Kings Highway, Building 120, Shreveport, LA 71103, United States of America. Tel: +1 (318) 425 2515; Fax: +1 (318) 425 1288.


Real-time quality control in malting plant

Holland Malt of the Netherlands, worlds largest barley storage and malting plant combination, has deployed a LogiSphere system from Sensite Solutions for continuous monitoring at its new Eemshaven plant. Continuous monitoring of barley stored is essential for the quality of the final product. For this, temperature sensors need to be placed in the barley itself, and hence the need for a wireless solution. The system installed keeps the barley at the optimum temperature at all times. The installation at Holland Malt is set up as a joint venture between the Dutch beer brewer Bavaria and the agricultural cooperative Agrifirm. The new malting plant will be able to produce 130,000 t of malt from approximately 165,000 t of malting barley, enabling the production of approximately one billion litres of beer per year.

Contact: Sensite Solutions BV, Kiezersgracht 23 b, 5611GC Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (40) 212 8700; Fax: +31 (40) 231 0639



New DNA sensors offer cost-effective food detection

New miniature sensors developed for analysing DNA have opened the possibility of accurately and quickly identifying bacterial strains in food-borne illnesses and saving manufacturers millions in product recalls and possible legal action. The sensors, developed by a team of researchers at the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain, have the same size and thickness as a fingernail and reduce the time needed to identify DNA chains to several minutes or a few hours, depending on each chain. What makes this discovery significant is that these sensors could cost just as much as a pregnancy test kit once mass production begins.

The researchers Salvador Alegret, Manuel del Valle and Maria Isabel Pividori, from the sensors and biosensors group at the UABs Department of Chemistry, developed the new sensors to identify a substance by chemically interacting with it and converting this interaction into an electrical current that can be measured. To detect DNA, the new miniaturized electrochemical genosensors have a probe containing DNA fragments that complement the DNA they aim to detect. When the probe is submerged into the sample, some of the DNA fragments from the bacterial cells join the complementing fragments from the probe, creating a measurable electrical current. The sensor converts this current into a visual signal. As the sensors are small and easy to manipulate, it is possible to assemble a set of sensors that can collect data simultaneously and deduce information about the bacteria in much less time than at present. For example, Legionella detection would take just thirty minutes instead of the current two days.



Soy-based egg replacer

Alleggra Foods Limited, the United Kingdom, is set to launch a soy-based egg replacer originally developed by Unilever as an in-house project to design an anti-cholesterol egg replacer. The product, called Alleggra, is composed of soy protein, whey protein, vegetable oil (sunflower oil but can be varied) and egg white. The GM-free product is marketed as a fully functional replacer of egg, and claims to have 75 per cent less saturated fat than an egg, with 10 per cent more protein. According to Mr. Gavin Hays, Chief Eexecutive of Allegra Foods, Alleggra is not only cholesterol free but is actively cholesterol lowering. Currently in two development trials with food makers for muffin and quiche products, the ingredient is set to be an end product on the shelves by May.


Bacterial approach to vitamin fortification

Emerging research on lactic acid bacteria is set to offer food companies a new method of vitamin enrichment that allows them to get around consumer concerns over added ingredients. Led by the Netherlands-based food science institute NIZO, research started in 2001 to investigate the production of healthy components in food as a result of bacterial activity. Researchers of the EU-funded NutraCells project showed that certain bacteria excrete substantial quantities of vitamins into their surroundings, often dairy-based food products. The bacteria studied do not consume much of the vitamins produced, instead leaving traces for the consumer of the end-product.

The food firms are looking at new bacterial combinations based on their vitamin production capacity. By selecting strains that are high producers of vitamins together with those that do not consume too much of the vitamin, manufacturers can enhance vitamin levels in their products naturally, said Dr. Jeroen Hugenholtz, principal scientist at NIZO and also Scientific Director of the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation. The first application might be in the dairy area, but the research could also be beneficial to producers of other fermented foods. Fermentation is widely used in foods consumed in the Far East while in Europe the process is key to traditional foods like sauerkraut or olives. It is also used in the increasingly popular milk alternatives based on soybeans or oats, which often contain added vitamins or minerals to bring nutrient levels.

NutraCells researchers have described how genes essential for folate biosynthesis in Lactococcus lactis were cloned and transferred to L. gasseri, changing it from a folate consumer to a folate producer. The bio-availability of this folate was confirmed in an animal study, finding that it was able to compensate for folate deficiency in the diet. This principle could be used to increase folate levels in many fermented foods, although its practical use by industry remains a long way off, given the current concerns over genetic modification.


Soy-based, but sans soy taste

Spectrum Foods, the United States, has introduced its Nexsoy line, a new generation of soy-based ingredients without soy taste. The products have improved flavour and aroma, besides unique functional properties. Most soybean ingredients are usually processed by a solvent-extraction method that relies on hexane to remove the oil from the beans. Although this process is efficient, it imparts the products a beany taste and aroma.

The Nexsoy process involves extruding soybeans at temperatures sufficient to cook the beans and disrupt the oil cells. The hot slurry is then fed into a mechanical press where the oil is naturally ex-pelled and the meal separated. The soybean oil is physically refined, unlike solvent-extracted oil refinement. The process retains naturally occurring anti-oxidants, resulting in soybean oil that has high stability without hydrogenation. The oil does not contain trans-fats, and has good colour and flavour. Besides oil, the Nexsoy product line currently includes low-fat soy flour and soy grits, soy and rice cereal bases, and a complete line of textured soy proteins, which are commonly used as the meat replacement component of meatless, vegetarian products.

Contact: Mr. Rob Kirby, Vice President, Marketing, Spectrum Foods, Inc., Nexsoy Division, 2520 S. Grand Avenue East, Springfield, IL 62703, United States of America. Tel: +1 (217) 391 0091; Fax: +1 (217) 391 0096



Food Product Design, November 2004

Flavour-enhancer as salt alternative

Condemned for contributing to the worsening health problems in the population, food makers are under orders to slash levels of common salt (sodium chloride) in their processed food formulations. But slicing salt, a cheap ingredient, from food products is a challenge for the food technologist and for the financial controller. The British arm of Ungerer, the privately held flavour supplier from the United States, recently launched two new flavour enhancements systems onto the European market. The products are aimed at manufacturers looking for salt alternatives that deliver the salty taste without adding sodium. The UnSal range, based on natural food extracts and declared as a natural flavouring on labels, can be used in combination with potassium chloride or sodium chloride. UnSal 20 delivers a 20 per cent reduction in the salt required to give an acceptable salty taste in a typical food recipe. UnSal 50 can be used to replace up to 50 per cent of salt levels. The firm will also supply tailor-made formulations for manufacturers.


Liquid encapsulation in chocolate powder

In Germany, a team of researchers working with Professor Eckhard Weidner, at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology has developed a method of encapsulating liquids in chocolate powder that can be strewn. The chocolate globules, only a few microns in diameter, hold tiny drops of aroma or even high-proof liquors inside them and can be stored just like normal bars of chocolate.

The method that the scientists employed involves deriving particles from gas-saturated solutions. The researchers mix-melt chocolate with a liquid aroma, simultaneously inserting carbon dioxide gas under high pressure. Next, they force the mixture through a nozzle into a container. The carbon dioxide instantly expands, vaporizing the melted chocolate into tiny droplets. The expansion entails a cooling process, which causes the chocolate droplets to solidify immediately, enclosing the liquid aroma inside them. The powder can be made finer by increasing the gas pressure. By applying pressure in the range of 30-150 bar, the researchers can produce tiny particles with a diameter of 10-200 micrometres. One advantage of this technique is that the aromas do not evaporate because they are instantly cooled to about five degrees or lower when the gas expands. Moreover, the carbon dioxide atmosphere prevents the flavouring agents from oxidizing.

Contact: Prof. Eckhard Weidner, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, Osterfelder Strae 3, D-46047 Oberhausen, The Netherlands. Tel: +49 (208) 8598 1102; Fax: +49 (208) 8598 1290



New application for controlled release encapsulation

TasteTech, the United Kingdom, has developed the application of its CR-100 controlled release microencapsulation technology to make it easier for cracker and savoury biscuit manufacturers to flavour their products. TasteTechs CR-100 encapsulation system is commonly used for retaining the delicate flavours of sweet and savoury spices through high-temperature baking. CR-100 process forms a hardened vegetable oil microfilm around the flavouring, protecting the flavour and ensuring its retention in the baking process until a desired temperature of 60-65C is reached. By doing so the technology considerably reduces the amount of flavouring required as well as the cost involved in the baking process.

Seasoning crackers and savoury biscuits is not easy because they have large surface areas and are baked at high temperatures where steam evaporation and distillation of flavour often occurs. CR-100 encapsulation process can encapsulate a variety of tasty flavourings including sun-dried tomato, cheese & onion and herbs.

Contact: Mr. Roger Stinton, Managing Director, TasteTech Ltd., Wilverley Industrial Estate, 813/815 Bath Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 5NL, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (117) 971 2719; Fax: +44 (117) 972 0052




China steps up food safety licensing

China has made it mandatory for producers of 28 different foodstuffs to apply for production licences as part of the governments ongoing measures to improve food quality and safety. According to Mr. Ge Zhirong, Vice Director of Chinas General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the latest regulations will require producers of 13 more different food products, including tea and confectionery, to apply for production licences. Some 15 different segments of the food industry including rice, flour, edible oils, meat, dairy, instant noodles, biscuits and beverages are already required to apply for licences.

The rules governing domestic producers run in tandem with those designed to assess the quality and safety of imported foodstuffs, and operate in much the same way. Whereas the previous regulations had focused on punishing food companies found guilty of selling sub-standard products which was scant consolation for the consumers who bought it the new rules are more preventive, attempting to stop poor quality products from hitting the market altogether. The rules certainly seem to be working. In 2004, some 92 per cent of the five basic foodstuffs covered by the first wave of regulations rice, flour, cooking oil, soy sauce and vinegar were deemed to be of acceptable quality, up 31 per cent on 2001 before the rules came into force, according to a report by China Radio International.


India to follow global food packaging norms

The Health Ministry of India plans to make it mandatory for all packaged foods sold in the country to conform to stringent international packaging norms laid out by a commission established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The government would adapt the Codex Alimentarius Commissions standards without compromising on its crux before implementing it in the country. This would apply to all food and drinks except water. Once implemented, it will apply to imported eatables too. Besides ensuring quality, it would also facilitate fair practices in food trade.

Indian Dairyman, February 2005

Russia drafts legislation on childrens food

Russias consumer rights authority has released details of a new legislation designed to regulate the market for foods targeted specifically at children. Russian manufacturers of childrens food are concerned that the lack of effective legislation governing their sector is stopping major international food groups from entering the market amid fears of a possible health-related backlash in the future. With Russian children benefiting from increasing disposable incomes, food companies are turning their considerable marketing might towards this sector. But with few apparent rules in place to protect them, there are concerns that children will risk serious health problems in the future if they are enticed into spending their pocket money on increasingly large quantities of unhealthy food. In response, new draft regulations governing the production of products targeted specifically at children has been published by the Russian authorities and will be offered up for public scrutiny over the next few months.

The document was drafted by the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights. The regulations define childrens food as food products targeted specifically at children up to 14 years old and which are formulated to meet the specific physiological demands of this age group. There are specific rules governing products aimed at babies, those aimed at pre-school children and those targeting school-age children. The document sets out what types of food product can be legitimately be presented as childrens food, including products based on milk, grains, fruit and vegetables, meat and fish. It also specifies how childrens food products should be made, establishing guidelines for companies in areas as diverse as plant design, water supply, ventilation, lighting, heating and equipment requirements. There are very strict requirements regarding raw materials and ingredients allowed for manufacturing childrens food.



Preservation of polyphenols in chocolate

Barry Callebaut of Switzerland has developed a new process designed to preserve polyphenols in cocoa beans which are often lost during normal chocolate processing. Research results have confirmed that polyphenols in cocoa beans offer valuable health benefits. Barry Callebauts Acticoa process for the preservation of polyphenols in cocoa covers several processing stages, from harvesting through the processing of cocoa beans to the finished product, chocolate.

The highest loss in terms of natural polyphenols takes place during the fermentation of cocoa beans. Therefore, part of the beans used by in the patent-pending Acticoa process is unfermented. Barry Callebaut chocolates have already started carrying the Acticoa symbol on packs, indicating a particularly high level of polyphenols.

Contact: Barry Callebaut AG, Westpark, Pfingstweidstrasse 60, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (43) 204 0404; Fax: +41 (43) 204 0400



Polymer-based oxygen scavenging film

Cryovac OS2000 film from Sealed Air Corp., the United States, is a polymer-based oxygen scavenging film that absorbs oxygen in modified atmosphere (MA) packages and also serves as a total oxygen barrier when activated, thereby helping preservation of packaged foods. The polymeric system binds oxygen through oxidation of the polymer chain or pendulant groups. OS2000 film is clear, moisture-independent and, unlike other oxygen scavenging systems, remains inactive until the scavenging reaction is triggered with UV light.

The secret to the Cryovac Oxygen Scavenging system lies in a discreet oxygen-scavenging layer (OSL), which is extruded into a multi-layer film. The technology incorporates an oxidizable polymer with a transition metal catalyst and a photo-initiator. The OSL is incorporated into the multi-layer film and is invisible to the naked eye. Other layers in the film include a sealant layer and bulk layers that impart mechanical and physical properties such as tear and puncture resistance, moisture barrier, stiffness, etc. The oxygen barrier, another major attribute of the film structure, can be included in the multi-layer co-extrusion or added through lamination of a skin layer.

Removal of headspace oxygen and prevention of its ingress has been shown to minimize common problems in food products such as colour degradation, microbial spoilage, nutrient loss, as well as flavour and odour changes. When used as a headspace scavenger, OS2000 film removes residual headspace oxygen including trapped oxygen that may emanate from the product. The active barrier properties of the film work to absorb ingress oxygen before it can reach the food product. Reduced oxidative reactions enhace product quality, providing fresher, more natural food products, without the use of chemical antioxidants.

Contact: Sealed Air Corporation, Park 80 East, Saddle Brook, New Jersey, NJ 07633, United States of America. Tel: +1 (201) 791 7600.


New dehydration-granulation method

Researchers at the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research, at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, have developed a new dehydration method that produces granulated food of the quality of vacuum freeze-dying at a fraction of the cost.

The Norwegian scientists achieved high quality at low cost feature of the method through the combination of two technologies. Firstly, a fluidized bed is used to dry the particles suspended in a vertical current of gas. This dehydrates them on all sides at once, shortening the drying time and increasing the capacity of the system. The process of dehydration in a chamber kept at sub-zero temperatures makes the food highly porous and gives it good capacity to absorb water again in the cooking pot. The second innovation is the use of air treatment in a heat pump. The drying air circulates in a closed loop connected to a heat pump and acquires the correct properties for drying when it meets the hot side of the heat pump. It is then dehydrated again as it passes through the heat pumps cold side, reducing energy consumption.

Norwegian company Dtech AS is building a large factory on the basis of the results obtained by the study. The new plant will supply the international food industry with dried maize and dried peas, ingredients that will end up in dried soups and powdered casserole dishes all over the world.

Contact: SINTEF, No. 7465, Trondheim, Norway. Tel: +47 (73) 593000; Fax: +47 (73) 593350.


Batch retort and sterilizing equipment

Packaging Technologies and Inspection, LLC., the United States, offers Barriquand Steriflow batch retort and sterilizing equipment, a water cascading technology that offers gentle retorting and sterilizing. The Barriquand Steriflow batch retort systems are used to retort or sterilize a wide variety of packages including cans, bottles, cups and pouches. Packages and cups are placed into specifically designed baskets to hold and preserve the product and the package during the retort process. The same batch retort system can be used for the sous vide process, pasteurization, sterilization or low-temperature cooking. The process basically involves controlling the water temperature and heat exposure.

The retort systems are designed to be integrated in an automatic processing plant, including automatic product handling, basket handling, retort chamber loading and unloading. They offer gentle, consistent and economic retorting, preserving the colour and consistency of the product, including delicate products such as fish. Only one operator is needed to monitor up to 18 Steriflow systems. These batch retort systems come in different sizes, from lab units to high capacity output units.

The Barriquand Steriflow sterilizer provides a solution for the thermal treatment of baby food, as it can alternate between rotary or static phases. Barriquand Steriflow has also designed a sterilization installation for new long shelf-life baby food products packaged in peelable plastic bowls. It is composed of two rotary systems allowing a minimum thermal process, preserving organoleptic qualities of the products. The sterilizers are included in a front wall in order to reach the high demand in terms of hygienic and HACCP.

Contact: Packaging Technologies and Inspection, LLC., 145 Main Street, Tuckahoe, NY 10707, United States of America. Tel: +1 (914) 337 2005; Fax: +1 (914) 337 8519



New food chilling method

Research on a new refrigeration technology, which is progressing at Brunel University in Middlesex, the United Kingdom, promises to both halve carbon emissions and cut energy bills by more than 30 per cent. Researchers working on this two-year project claim they have adapted the combined heat and power technique, which allows production of electricity and heat on-site from small gas-turbine generators, to include refrigeration. Using the new combined heat, power and refrigeration (CHRP) system, food companies would be able to feed waste heat produced by the generators into an absorption chiller, which could then provide the required temperatures for frozen and chilled foods.

The project team described initial feasibility tests as very encouraging. The researchers at Brunel, jointly funded by the government and a food industry consortium, believe three to five micro-turbines could use CHRP to deliver all the refrigeration needed at a typical large supermarket. The technology could be applied across the whole food industry such as in cold stores, food-freezing factories and freeze-drying plants. A special type of absorption chiller is currently under development at Brunel and the project team, led by former supermarket worker Doug Marriott and Brunel-based Professor Savvas Tassou, will spend the next few months focusing on the design of this and also associated heat exchangers. They will then transform part of the university into a mini-supermarket to test the complete system using micro-turbines built by Bowman Power Systems.



New food processing machine

Nikkiso Co. Ltd. of Japan is developing a new food processing machine capable of performing several key functions. The NBIP system uses pressure energy and has a double layer of cold isostatic press (CIP) pressure walls. Pressure is also applied from the exterior of the inner chamber using water pressurized up to 700 MPa (7,000 kgf/cm2). Because the apparatus uses no thermal energy, processing can be carried out without thermal changes. The machine is reported to be ideal for a wide range of uses, such as controlling enzyme reactions, decomposition and germination, deactivating oxygen, manufacturing protein gels, breaking down starch structures, sterilizing, and preparing partially cooked foods.

Contact: Nikkiso Co. Ltd., 3-43-2, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8677, Japan. Tel: +81 (3) 3443 3711; Fax: +81 (3) 3473 4963.


High-speed impact mill

The Mikro-ACM air-classifier mill from Hosokawa Confectionery & Bakery Technology and Systems, the United States, is a high-speed impact mill that offers grinding and classifying in a single machine. It combines the features of ultrafine grinding and internal classifying, and is available in a range of sizes from 3 to 450 kW. Soft to medium hard products up to a hardness of 4 Mohs such as powder coatings, resins, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, wax, coal and lime can be grinded to D97 = 10 m and steep particle size distributions can be achieved. Induced airflow through the grinding chamber together with an internal dynamic classifier wheel provides superior particle size control. The closed circuit grinding principle with distinct grinding and classifying zones offers optimum stability even under full load conditions. The co-axial arrangement of the classifier and rotor disc drive shafts produces a compact mill profile. The grinding chamber and the drive motors are mounted on a rigid steel base frame while the pulleys and drive belts are concealed within the base frame. Other design features include:
  • Instantly adjustable sharp classifier cut point;
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance;
  • Low specific energy requirements; and
  • Compact design.

Contact: Hosokawa Confectionery & Bakery Technology and Systems, 8707 W. State Street, Suite C, Boise, ID 83703, United States of America. Tel: +1 (208) 854 0755; Fax: +1 (208) 854 0757



Integrated food processor

Pursuit Dynamics plc., the United Kingdom, has launched PDX Sonic 25 a self-contained, fully integrated processing system that can reduce cooking times by up to 95 per cent and cleaning times by 80 per cent. The new system combines a 500-litre vessel, in-feed entrainment hoppers and a programmable electronic control system.

The PDX Sonic 25 replaces conventional multi-stage food production processes with a compact, self-contained production system that has a footprint of just 3.6 m 2.2 m 2.0 m. This fully automated batch processing system can mix, pump, homogenize and cook ingredients simultaneously. The process typically consumes 3 kg/minute of steam flow at 6 bar delivery pressure. The supersonic technology delivers phenomenal rates of heating for example, raising the temperature of 500 l of water from 15C to 85C in just 16 minutes. Even delicate particulates are not damaged and, unlike conventional methods of steam injection with high thermal gradients, thermal shock is reduced and cook-on eliminated. As a result, food quality is maintained while cleaning time is reduced.

Contact: Pursuit Dynamics plc., Unit 1, Anglian Business Park, Orchard Road, Royston, SG8 5TW, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1763) 250 592; Fax: +44 (1763) 250596



Fruit processing machinery

Shiv Engineers of Pune, India, designs, manufactures and commissions fruit processing machinery. It has carried out a turnkey project on a multi-fruit processing line with 2 tonnes/hour capacity. Shiv Engineers also supplies mango pulp filling and canning line for filling pulp in 3.1 and 5.1 kg cans. Equipment design and manufacture are as per customer requirements, following all standard engineering and quality norms. Besides design, manufacture and commissioning of fruit processing machinery, the companys project teams also provide associated services in marketing, raw material and packaging material procurement, label design, product development, mandatory documentation, and work force recruitment.

Contact: Shiv Engineers, Patel Avenue, Plot No. 165, Flat No. 1, Right Bhusari Colony, Paud Road, Pune 411 038, India. Tel: +91 (20) 2528 4631; Fax: +91 (20) 2712 7104


Beverage & Food World, March 2005

Simple machinery for food processing

The Food Technology Department of Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research has developed several simple food processing machines. Some of the machines are:
  • Tamarind extractor Separates pulp and seeds from tamarind juice, and has a capacity to produce 500 l/h of tamarind juice. Variable filters with decreasing mesh size form the key component of the machine. Easy to use and maintain, and powered by a 3 hp, 380 V AC motor.
  • Vegetable washing machine The stainless steel machine cleans 500-900 kg of vegetables per hour. Continuous washing process that uses a rotary drum and water sprays. Nylon brushes inside the drum rub out dirt from the vegetables. Each cleaning cycle takes only 2-3 minutes. A 2 hp motor rotates the drum, while two pumps (1 hp and 1 hp) sprays the water.
  • Potato peeling machine Automatic potato peeler with a minimum capacity of 500 kg/h, and a maximum flesh loss of 6 per cent. The machine body has 8 sets of rollers with a rolling speed of 180 times/minute. Each roller set is fitted with abrasive plates, hard brush and soft brush. A water pump is part of the machine.

Contact: Food Technology Department, Thailand Institute of Scientific & Technological Research, 35 Technopolis, Klong 5, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 10120, Thailand. Tel: +66 (2) 577 9000/9133; Fax: +66 (2) 577 9130/9009



Tray dryer for cashew nuts

The South Asian arm of Intermediate Technology Development Group, the United Kingdom, has developed a tray dryer for processing cashew nuts. The Anagi tray dryer comprises a drying chamber that includes six trays, a furnace, a heat exchange system, and a lever-operated mechanical jack for lifting/lowering the trays for loading/unloading. The drying chamber is made of chipboard or timber planks, lined with aluminium sheets both internally and externally to reduce the heat loss and ensure even temperature (800C) in the chamber. The flue gas from the furnace passes through a heat exchanger. The furnace can supply heat to the dryer for about 6-8 hrs. The incoming air from the bottom of the dryer gets heated and moves upwards through the trays in the drying chamber. The bottom-most tray is removed 2-3 hours after initial loading and a new tray added at the top, and thereafter the procedure is repeated every half an hour. Advantages of the Anagi dryer include:
  • Easily available fuel material such as paddy husk or saw dust;
  • Even drying of cashew because of controlled heat flow;
  • Simple lifting mechanism that permits the loding and unloading of trays while the dryer is operational, raising both productivity and quality; and
  • Low cost, ease of operation and maintenance, and can be assembled in small workshops.
    The dryer can dry 70-80 kg of nuts per day using up 30 kg of fuel and costs around US$380 to fabricate.



High-efficiency blending

Oden Corporation and the Micro Motion Division of Emerson, both in the United States, are re-launching Odens Mass/Blend Continuous Stream Liquid Blending Systems. The patented systems, which are designed for the late addition of liquid ingredients as well as the formulation of liquid products just before containers are filled, can be installed in diverse market applications in pilot plant and productions settings where liquids have to be blended. A primary target in the consumer sector is the global food and beverage industry.

The systems design allows cleaning-in-place, besides ease of programming, low system volume, and error-free operation. The systems feature Micro Motion T-Series Coriolis straight tube meters, which are self-draining, and increase blending efficiency and reduce production costs. They have large holding tanks that help avoid lengthy batch transfer times, resulting in an increased ability to quickly manufacture more product variants and to produce liquid products in short runs with fast changeover. The design relies on a rational control methodology, which maintains blending accuracy during stop-start events. The systems operate with all types of liquids low viscosity to high with a continuous stream flow capability of up to 400 gpm and can be custom-made according to individual production requirements.


Improved coffee aromas

In Switzerland, researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology and the company DMP have jointly developed a mass balance that accounts for gravimetrically measured roast loss in coffee. The technology improves understanding of the roasting process, and consequently shows how to retain more volatiles to better the aroma profile of coffee.

Carbon dioxide evolution and differentiation between evaporation of initial water and chemically formed water showed that chemical reactions leading to relevant amounts of carbon dioxide and water start at approximately 180C, report the authors of the study. The technology was able to measure carbon dioxide evolution in two different processes isothermal high-temperature short time, and low-temperature long-time roasting process. In addition, the mass balance tracked carbon dioxide release during storage. Carbon dioxide and steam concentrations were evaluated in exhaust air by non-dispersive infrared gas analysis.


Third generation filtration technology

GEA Filtration, the United States, is marketing a new technology that allows for simpler, more efficient and more economical separations for dairy, food and beverage applications. The Isoflux membrane, developed by Tami Industries of France, is a viable alternative to the fouling and inefficiencies caused by gel layer formation. It controls the permeate flux with a variable thickness active membrane layer that produces a uniform permeate flux along the entire length of the element, extending run times, maximizing separation efficiency, and minimizing both capital and operating costs. Current applications for this third generation membrane filtration technology are mostly in the dairy and juice industries, such as the removal of heat-resistant bacteria and spores, the reduction of fat in whey protein isolates, the fractionation of casein and whey proteins from skim milk, and the clarification of raw fruit and vegetable juices.

Contact: Niro Inc., GEA Filtration, 1600 OKeefe Road, Hudson, WI 54016, Wisconsin, United States of America. Tel: +1 (715) 386 9371; Fax: +1 (715) 386 9376



Natural catalytic drink

Shimax Inc. of Taiwan, China, offers SiRi Enzyme, a catalytic drink made from more than 100 extracts of fresh vegetables, fruits, vital plants and Chinese medicinal herbs. It is claimed to be rich in high-potency antioxidant enzyme (SOD), trace elements, folic acid, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins C and B5 and minerals. It is produced through advanced fermentation and extraction procedures without using preservatives, colouring matters or chemical additives. The drink is said to quickly improve ones immune system and physical health.



Recyclable moisture barrier packaging

Appleton, the United States, has introduced the MoistureBloc for Corrugated, a linerboard with a moisture barrier coating for food packaging applications. The product can be completely re-pulped and 100 per cent recycled, unlike typical moisture barrier boxes or roll headers that contain wax or poly-based coating, which prevent them from being easily recycled. MoistureBloc contains a patent-pending coating that provides outstanding moisture barrier protection and crack resistance, while being environment friendly. The linerboard product will run smoothly on existing converting equipment and is equivalent to 100 per cent clean old corrugated cardboard, a category of recycled waste that includes Kraft linerboard and container board cartons of corrugated paper.

Contact: Appleton, 825 E Wisconsin Avenue, P.O. Box 359, Appleton, Wisconsin, WI 54912-0359, United States of America. Tel: +1 (920) 734 9841


Aroma-measuring device for packaging

Iggesund Paperboards laboratory for sensory and chemical analyses in Strmsbruk, Sweden, has developed a unique device for measuring the quantity of aroma penetrating a material. How well sealed a packaging material and how much aroma is let out or in can determine how much flavouring needs to be added to a food which is to be packaged, or how the contents of packaging are affected by being stored in various environments.

Traditionally, people have mostly looked only at how oxygen, water and carbon dioxide act in combination with different packaging materials, but now we can measure practically all aromas if they are available in a solid or liquid form, explained Mr. Gunnar Forsgren, technical manager at the lab. The device can also measure the effect of four different aromas at the same time.

Paperboard from Iggesund Paperboard is used to package sensitive products such as food and confectionery products. Like other packaging materials, paperboard affects the smell and taste of the products by both giving off and absorbing aromas. Therefore, it is important that packaging materials have stable properties over time.
The laboratory for sensory and chemical analyses is a resource within Iggesund Paperboard that is used both for in-house quality control and on behalf of external customers. The laboratory is accredited for sensory analyses: the Swedish Board for Technical Accreditation (SWEDAC) supervises the laboratorys work and guarantees its quality.

New can seaming machine

Sommetrade, Spain, has developed Rocio, a new automatic seaming machine for food manufacturers requiring highly reliable seams for large can sizes. The machine features a container feeding system by an elastic strip with a lateral body forming system. This is designed to ensure that the can is pushed against the seaming turret, which at the same time, collects and transports the can and the end, synchronized by a turn unit.

The seaming group allows the installation of three seaming pulleys of different dimensions. Sommetrades technology offers a seaming cam with four tracks and a five turns per seam cycle. Depending on can sizes and headspace, a speed of 60 cans per minute is reached. The outlet of the seamed cans is made through a pneumatic pusher, which places them in a conveyor installed by the user. The Rocio seamer also features a liquid collection tray and safety guards that comply with EC regulations. It allows a complete change of tooling in less than 2 hours, and a change of heights in less than 20 minutes.

Contact: Sommetrade, Parque Tecnologico de Zamudio, Edif. 301 48170, Zamudio Vizcaya, Spain. Tel: +34 (94) 431 8611; Fax: +34 (94) 4318200


Wheat-based packaging concept

Plant physiologist Dr. Gregory Glenn of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Regional Research Centre, California, the United States, is working with EarthShell, an innovator of potato-starch-based foodservice products, to fine-tune manufacturing of wheat-starch-based disposables. The scientists are confident that these could provide a more environment-friendly option to polystyrene foam products, as biodegradable products are just as attractive, sturdy, convenient and leak-proof as their polystyrene counterparts.

The process begins with pouring the wheat-starch batter onto the heated mould, which is then closed and locked. Moisture in the batter generates steam that, in turn, causes the batter to foam, expand and fill the mould. The steam is vented and, when the baking is finished, the mould is opened, the product is removed and the cycle starts again. The entire process takes less than a minute. A water-resistant film, added later, helps the container keep its strength and shape.


Meat packaging machinery

The semi-automatic meat packaging machinery, designed and developed by Machinery Developments Ltd., New Zealand, is a specialized packing gear that handles irregular shaped and inconsistently sized cuts of meat. The Multi-Loader machine can load, on line, into vacuum bags all sizes of meat cuts produced from a carcass, at a rate of 20 packs per minute using just one operator. It reduces labour input, enables accurate traceability of individual cuts of meat, and maintains seal integrity by reducing seal and product contamination through minimal manual handling.

Contact: Mr. Richard Melville, Director, Machinery Developments Ltd., 3/8 Tagalad Road, Mission Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. Tel: +64 (9) 528 9452; Fax: +64 (9) 528 9407


Automatic shrink wrappers

Curech Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia offers three fully automatic shrink wrapping machines. CH-0830 is a sleeve-type packaging machine with vertical shrink tunnel. It is suitable for packaging products such as canned foods, gifts, toys, hardware and bathroom fixtures. CH-0625 is also a sleeve-type machine, but with a counter shrink tunnel, for packing large goods such as furniture, door panels and boxed articles. CH-8000 is a fully automatic PE shrink film packaging machine.

Contact: Curech Sdn. Bhd., No. 87, Block E, Subang Light Industrial Park, 47601 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel/Fax: +60 (3) 8023 5839





Regulation of Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals

This publication offers a comprehensive resource available today for information on regulatory aspects of the growing and economically important functional food and nutraceuticals industry. International experts with legal and/or scientific expertise address the full range of relevant topics from quality issues to organic foods to labelling, including innovative product development, global principles, inter-country trading issues and national regulations.

Emulsifiers in Food Technology

This book aimed primarily at food scientists and technologists, formulators, ingredients suppliers, and quality assurance personnel covers all the major chemical groups of emulsifier. Structures of emulsifiers are considered within each chemical group, together with their modes of action. The publication includes practical examples of process and product applications.
For the above publications,

contact: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1865) 776 868; Fax: +44 (1865) 714 591.

Using Cereal Science and Technology for the Benefit of Consumers

This collection of papers presented at the 12th International Cereal and Bread Congress provides a wide-ranging and up-to-date review of the latest advances in cereal science and technology with contributions from leading cereals institutes and individuals. It brings together all elements of the grain chain from breeding of cereals through the milling processes and on to the conversion of flour into products ready for the consumer at large.

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



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