VATIS Update Food Processing . May-Jun 2006

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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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Food additive info service

A web-based version of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) has been launched by Codex Alimentarius. This new service available in English, French and Spanish will function as an important tool in streamlining the transition towards a general harmonization of global food laws.

GSFA sets forth the conditions under which food additives may be used in different food products. Only listed food additives are permitted for use in foods. Moreover, food additives that have been tested by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and found acceptable for use in foods are included in this standard. Additionally, the standard sets forth conditions under which the permitted food additives may be used in all foods, whether or not they have been standardized previously by Codex. Food categories or individual food items where the use of food additives are not allowed or are restricted are also defined and maximum levels stipulated.

GSFA On-line allows users to search the standard by food additive, such as name or synonym, by functional class of additives and by food category. /gsfaonline will also provide up-to-date information on the food additives provisions contained in the Codex GSFA to all users, including regulatory authorities, consumers and industry.


Southeast Asia offers opportunities for nutraceuticals

According to an international marketing analyst, the nutraceuticals market in Southeast Asia holds out immense growth potential, but companies must invest heavily in advertising to help consumers understand the health benefits. Strategic Analysis of the Nutraceuticals Markets in Southeast Asia, a report prepared by Frost and Sullivan, unveils that revenues generated from nutraceuticals in the region were over US$2,300 million in 2005 and is expected to reach US$4,805 million by 2012. The analysis focuses on six nations with varying levels of development of the nutraceuticals market Thailand, the biggest market in terms of revenue, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and Viet Nam, with combined populations of over 510 million people.

Despite the market being fragmented in the region, along with increasing market presence by local manufacturers, the main players continue to be multinationals like DSM and BASF. In Singapore, where consumers have higher purchasing power, the market is reported to be reaching saturation. On the other hand, in Indonesia and the Philippines many consider nutraceutical products as luxury items and assign low priorities for them when purchasing consumables.

Although differences clearly exist between each country, there does seem to be a trend towards specific products, like functional drinks. The report states that even in Singapores near-saturated market, the main potential for growth is in functional beverages. While the potential for dietary supplement makers or functional food and drink producers is clearly evident, analysts propose that lower levels of education about the products and scientific claims behind them pose the biggest challenge.


New funding for vitamin-enriched foods in Asia

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a non-profit group supported by several charities and the United Nations, plans to launch ten new programmes to supply vitamin-enriched food to developing countries in Asia. GAIN aims to boost long-term nutrition by creating successful food products that will remain on the market even after the initial round of funding. The initiative which involves setting up national fortification alliances, training food producers in fortification techniques and supporting marketing campaigns is likely to benefit the food makers involved and also raise sales of other fortified products. GAIN has already invested US$38 million in projects that launched fortified soysauce in China, fish sauce in Viet Nam, cottonseed oil in Cte dIvoire, wheat flour in Morocco and maize flour in South Africa.

The new programmes, backed by US$20 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will go to countries where there are large numbers of people affected by malnutrition, such as Egypt, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, said Mr. Jay Naidoo, chair of the GAIN board. The organization has not yet decided which countries the grants will go to, but said it will fund at least an additional 10 countries with grants of up to US$3 million. Countries are being invited to submit proposals.

According to industry analysts Frost and Sullivan, the total market revenue for vitamin A, C, E and calcium food fortification reached US$46.7 million in six southeast Asian markets during 2005. However, sales of these products would grow at an average of 10.1 per cent between 2005 and 2012, claims their report focusing on Malaysia, Viet Nam, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. Calcium-enriched products will see the fastest growth in this period at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5 per cent. This compares to a mere 1.8 per cent CAGR in Europe.


Iran accords priority to health food production

Mr. Mohammad Reza Jahansouz, Irans deputy agriculture minister, has expressed that providing people with health foods is the foremost priority on the Agriculture Jihad Ministrys agenda. He also stressed that a specialized committee has been formed to control the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the agriculture sector. The minister even noted that the area under cultivation of organic crops is very low. Sustainable production together with production of health foods are some of the most important obligations of the Agriculture Jihad Ministry he said.

Experts opine that the national food industry is capable of meeting the requirements for the World Trade Organization (WTO) membership. Irans Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (ICCIM) chief, Mr. Alinaqi Khamoushi, had earlier expressed that the nations food industries have the potential to post significant growth, stressing, however, that the slow pace of progress in the food processing industry is chiefly due to the eating habits of the people. Consumers tend to lean more towards traditional foods rather than processed ones. Also, the rate of wastage in the agricultural sector is a staggering 30 per cent. Food industry exports are expected to reach US$384 million in March 2006-2007.


Indian draft policy on food processing/agri business

The Indian Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, has stated that the Draft National Policy for food processing/agri business has been prepared keeping in view the constraints faced by the food processing sector. A Group of Ministers was constituted to scrutinize proposals relating to the promotion of agri business vision, strategy and action plan for the food processing sector.

The government had recently invited Rabo India Finance Private Ltd. to study inter alia constraints faced by the food processing sector, prepare a vision for the sector and recommend strategies to achieve the same. As per their report, major constraints being faced by the food processing sector include lack of adequate infrastructural facilities, deficiency in quality control and testing infrastructure, inefficient supply chain, inadequate processable varieties of farm produce, seasonality or raw material, high inventory carrying cost, lack of easy and concessional credit/lending by banks, high taxation, high packaging costs, affordability, cultural preference for fresh food, etc. All issues, including the draft policy, have been referred to the Group of Ministers.


Malaysia aims to play a bigger role in the halal industry

In a bid to become a major player in the fast-developing halal food sector, Malaysia is planning to establish a new agency for overseeing halal food governance. A Steering Committee, under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, has already been created to coordinate these activities. Though halal has become a major international market there are still no international standards and best practices, making it a complex area to regulate. This food market is estimated to range from US$150 to US$500 billion.


Vegetables and fruits processing in India

In India, fruits and vegetables used for processing in both the organized and unorganized sectors is estimated to be a mere 2 per cent of the total production. According to the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, the Ministry provides financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid for setting up fruit and vegetable processing units. In 2004-05, under the Income Tax Act, the government also allowed 100 per cent deduction of profit for the first five years and 25 per cent deduction for another five years for new upcoming units.


Quality control initiative launched in Pakistan

Mr. Ahsan Rauf, chief coordinator of the Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC), has stated that funds have been allocated to control the quality of consumer products over the next five years. According to Mr. Rauf, the allocated funds would strengthen the Consumer Association and National Physical laboratories as the manufacture and sale of unhealthy food and other products would be controlled. He said that the purpose of this council was to accredit industrial and testing labs according to international standards. So far 21 labs have been accredited, he added. Products accredited by the council would not be retested at an international level. The council will also accredit certification bodies to ensure performance standards.


Food processing industry in China

An increase in the demand for nutritional foods, high-quality protein foods, some basic high-quality but low-priced food staples, as well as dairy and dairy products have led to a rapidly expanding food processing industry in China. Large tractable lands in the country ensure ample source for growing food crops. Food resources are varied in number and type, widely available, and naturally grown without any adverse effects. The food products are unique in nutritional and medicinal values. China feels that these resources could be further developed so that variety could be added to the available foodstuff, that will help raise the peoples standard of living.

However, China faces some challenges in its food industry that range from meeting nutritional requirements for different consumers, increasing the availability of food with high-quality protein, vitamins and other minerals, as also providing some high-quality but low-priced food products. RNCOS, an upcoming research analyst group, has published a market research report after undertaking an in-depth study. Food Processing Market in China (2005) explains how the food processing industrys growth in the country has taken place with the availability or raw materials, changing lifestyles and flexible trade patterns.


Viet Nams seafood sector exports cross US$0.5 billion

Viet Nams Ministry of Fisheries reports that the country earned US$517.5 million from seafood exports as of April this year, an increase of 4.67 per cent over the same period last year. March alone contributed US$185 million to the total turnover, the ministry said.

The ministry intends to restructure state-owned seafood processors under a parent-subsidiary model in which the state only holds 51 per cent of the chartered capital and establish three seafood corporations of Viet Nam, Ha Long and Bien Dong, in a bid to raise production capacity and enhance the competitiveness of seafood exporters.

Alongside restructuring of seafood enterprises and food safety measures, the Fisheries Minister has also approved a draft plan on trade promotion for 2006-10 and on building a trademark for shrimp exported to the United States and Japan, which have strict requirements on antibiotic residues and toxic chemicals in seafood.



Infrared sterilizers for the bakery industry

Heraeus Noblelight GmbH, Germany, has developed a new series of carbon infrared emitters to assist bakeries in rapidly sterilizing tins, trays and equipment. Infrared disinfection allows plants to apply controlled heat at key areas. In bakeries, the first priority is the elimination of mould growth. Radiation emitters direct their heat where it is required and for only as long as needed. It prevents equipment as well as the baked products from heat damage while allowing for disinfection. The use of carbon infrared radiation allows heat to penetrate into porous materials or multiple spore layers. The machines which can be used to eliminate moulds from cake tins, trays and equipment employ radiation in the medium wavelength region with a high power density.

According to a study by the Bremerhaven Institute for Food and Bio-processing Technology, which investigated the use of the process for six months, infrared radiation was found to help large bakeries comply with hygiene standards. The research showed that with carbon infrared emitters there is sufficient disinfection of baking trays between 130C and 140C in less than 30 seconds. Spore reduction is achieved between 120C and 160C within 10-30 seconds, depending on the emitter power, wetness of the tray and desired speed of operation. Muslin tray cloths could also be dried using infrared. The devices have power densities up to 150 kW/m and a response time measurable in seconds.  The compact construction of an infrared emitter system makes it possible for plants to retrofit infrared disinfection into existing lines.


Automated defect removal

Key Technology, the United States, has launched an automatic defect removal system for potato strips that combines the wide footprint of ADR 3 with the high-speed accuracy of ADR 4 to achieve 20 per cent increase in production capacity. ADR 5s increased throughput, along with the advanced inspection features of Keys powerful G6 electro-optical platform, allows for new capabilities that help processors to optimize the balance between quality and productivity. ADR 5 enables processors to more accurately match product quality to specifications, maximizing product yield and profits.

ADR 5 combines high-resolution Vis/IR cameras, a patented belt conveyor, a patented rotary cutter and Iso-Flo high-speed vibratory conveyors to align, singulate, inspect and trim potato strips with unparalleled speed and precision. It eliminates manual inspection and trimming while improving cutting accuracy and good product recovery. ADR 5 inspects potato strips and automatically cuts out defects at production rates of up to 7.4 t/h.

Leveragine Keys G6 electro-optical foundation, ADR 5 provides the most sophisticated image processing in the industry. G6 features a powerful controller, modular vision engine and trichromatic cameras that combine more pixels and faster scan rates to achieve more complex and robust inspections. Matching the footprint of the firms popular ADR 2 and ADR 3 systems, ADR 5 allows processors employing these systems to easily upgrade while minimizing installation expenses.


New Salmonella assay yields results in less than a day

Tecra Unique Salmonella test kit from Biotrace International, the United Kingdom, is reported to provide results within 24 hours. The simple yet rapid method can detect Salmonella spp. in food and environmental samples in about 22 h. The kit contains all the reagents needed for the testing in ready-to-use, self-contained modules, with the positive and negative controls built-in. This makes the kit useful for running a single test as well as for testing multiple samples. Also, unlike many other rapid Salmonella assays, Unique Salmonella can be run manually. It can be fully automated using Biotraces Unique Pplus instrument.

The kit can even be used with Biotraces Quick-Enrich MBPW, a 225 ml sterile modified buffered peptone water pre-dispensed in a stand-up bag. The food sample can be added to the bag, mixed and allowed to incubate. The Salmonella test is part of Biotraces range of expanding kits. The company has test kits for Listeria, Campylobacter and Staphylococcal enterotoxins.


Multi-wave milk scanner

A scanner that uses a mixture of ultraviolet and infrared rays to probe the content of milk has been developed by Lune, Germany. The device allows dairy firms and scientists to more accurately analyse products and ingredients. The small and simplistic Spectro-Quad-Sensor has the capacity of utilizing eight different wavelengths across the spectrum, from ultraviolet to infrared, to provide on-line product analysis every 10 seconds. The new sensor can efficiently measure a range of qualities in milk, including protein, water, fat and lactose content. It can even assess mixtures and overall product characteristics, a feature resulting from the integration of four measurement methods transmission, scattering, fluorescence and refraction to build up an accurate image of the product. As such, Spectro-Quad could also help dairies achieve and maintain increasingly strict quality standards and adhere to more detailed labelling requirements, such as allergen labelling, laid down by regulatory authorities. Lune has applied for patents on its Spectro-Quad-Sensor.


Bacteria elimination programme counters food safety fears

Global Food Technologies (GFT) iPura system helps eliminate or reduce bacteria in products by inserting an additional clean step into production methods, through the distribution chain to the retailer. The additional food step is performed on-site by GFTs operators and service technicians who employ a bacteria elimination and shelf-life technology system, developed by GFT, along with specially formulated packaging. By creating a controlled environment in which food processing occurs (a clean step process) and a proprietary packaging method, the system reduces bacteria and creates safer food with extended shelf-life without altering texture, taste or appearance.

The additional processing and packaging step occurs in a clean room designed for the method. Processors who go in for an iPura food safety service contract with GFT are licensed to affix the iPura label on their products. Distributors, food service providers and grocers offering iPura products to their customers must also stick to the iPura pledge to maintain iPuras food safety standard throughout the distribution chain.


Oxygen assay for foods in plastic packaging

Wild, a German ingredients and solutions firm, has developed a new test that realistically determines how much oxygen will pass through food and beverage packaging during the products lifetime. This PET-proof procedure, which takes less than three weeks to simulate the effect of oxygen on a product in typical storage conditions, will enable producers to speed up and improve new product trials. Though the test has been primarily designed to determine the effect of oxygen on non-alcoholic beverages in plastic packaging, it is also suitable for all types of passive barrier packaging. The group has filed patent applications for PET-proof in Europe, Japan and the United States.


Single point texture and packaging inspection system

Zwick, Germany, offers a digital analyser with test fixtures and software that allows for food texture and food packaging testing to be performed on the same system through rapid testing fixtures changeover. The system has demonstrated its ability in evaluating the brittleness of wafers, sliceability of cheese and determining the freshness of bread in line with standard AACC 74-09. Zwick also demonstrated a practical solution for testing butter under controlled temperature conditions.

The latest version of the testXpert II intelligent and reliable texture testing software compliments the system with its standard and tailor-made test procedures. Moreover, the modular system allows for upgrading to accommodate future requirements, as such providing a very cost-effective solution.

Contact: Zwick, August-Nagel-Str. 11, Ulm D-89079, Germany. Tel: +49 7305 100.



Special salt substitute helps control high blood pressure

According to researchers in the United States, a low-sodium high-potassium salt substitute has significantly reduced blood pressure among high-risk subjects. Associate Professor Bruce Neal, director of the cardiac and renal division of the George Institute, reports that the new substitute offers a low-cost strategy for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

CVD is behind almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe and is estimated to cost the European Union economy an estimated US$202 billion per year. The American Heart Association has stated that 34.2 per cent of Americans (70.1 million) suffered from some form of CVD in 2002. The team investigated the influence of the new salt substitute on high-risk inhabitants of northern, rural China, where salt consumption is very high and elevated blood pressure levels are extremely prevalent.


New cocoa fibre process

Natraceutical Group, Spain, has developed a new alkalization process to make its soluble cocoa fibre suitable for use in functional milk products. Introduced last year, the fibre is already being used in functional foods on the market. However, until now it was not suitable for use in milk products as these require ingredients to have a pH close to neutral. The company is now collaborating with food companies to design product applications and has applied for a worldwide patent for its alkalization technology.

The soluble cocoa extract contains a high level of dietary fibre. Clinical trials conducted with the ingredient at the Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, the Instituto del Frio, indicated that regular consumption could help reduce the risk of heart disease, as it was shown to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol by as much as 54 per cent, and blood triglyceride by up to 40 per cent, when compared with a control diet. Other studies have suggested that soluble fibres aid digestion and metabolism of certain substances, while even aiding in lowering the risk of certain types of cancer, constipation, diabetes and obesity.


Food safety ingredient in powder form

The Dutch company Purac has launched a powder form of its sodium lactate and sodium diacetate ingredient to help meat and poultry firms meet stringent food safety targets. Purasals Opti.Form powder is a formulation of sodium salt from natural L(+)-lactic acid and sodium diacetate. It is primarily used in the meat and poultry industry to control Listeria monocytogenes. Purasal Powder S, a sodium lactate powder, was introduced last year. Both products can be used in fresh meat and cooked and emulsified products.

Just like the liquid Purasal Opti.Form, the powder version can be used for extending the shelf-life and enhancing flavour. Purac reports that the ingredient can even protect the colour of meat and poultry products. The powder is produced in Spain. Production is carried out in accordance with HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) principles.


Speciality flours to help overcome processing limitations

National Starch Food Innovation, based in the United States, has introduced a range of natural, grain-based ingredients capable of maintaining the positive attributes of traditional flours while expanding and improving the ways in which they can be used in packaged food products. Homecraft line of flour ingredients includes three functional wheat flours designed to address the functional shortcomings of native flours, such as the lack of freeze/thaw stability, sensitivity to processing and poor cold water thickening.

According to the company, the new ingredients can help food manufacturers in the general trend towards providing healthier and more wholesome products as they are minimally processed and so have a better, more balanced profile than typical function-providing additives. Moreover, Homecraft products are considered as ingredients and not additives. As speciality flours, the line claims to allow for a much wider range of processing and preparation options than feasible with ordinary flour, and would particularly benefit manufacturers of gourmet products.

Homecraft 730 claims to have a higher threshold of tolerance to viscosity breakdown than traditional flour, i.e. it can withstand intense food processing conditions. Express 760 is pre-gelatinized, allowing the use of the flour in products designed for cold water or reconstitute and microwave applications.


Patent awarded for purification process of natural colour

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Chr. Hansen for a Purification process to improve total yield of curcuminoid colouring agent. The patent pertains to a production process that improves the total curcuminoids yield from turmeric (and other substances that contain curcuminoid) by 30-40 per cent. Curcumin is the primary pigment in turmeric, a spice typically used as a food colouring agent in beverages, dairy products, cereal, confectionery, ice cream, bakery and savoury products. In dairy, turmeric is mostly used in cultured milk, flavoured milk drinks and desserts to obtain yellowish colours. True to its original usage as a spice, turmeric is added at high levels to fish, sausages, pickles, relishes, sauces and dry mixes.

Well-documented studies have proved the health benefits of curcumin include anti-inflammatory activity, cancer prevention, antimicrobial properties and heart health, including reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Turmeric, mainly grown in Southeast Asia, has been used for eons as a treatment for wounds and injuries in the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.


Animal-vegetable oil separation made easier

Alfa Laval has added two new models to its PX range of vegetable oil separators. PX 55 and PX 65 were developed for duties such as continuous de-gumming, neutralizing, de-waxing and washing of fatty oils both animal and vegetable. Oil is fed into the bottom of the separator bowl through a hollow spindle and enters the disc stack. With the bowl spinning at 7,500 rpm, centripetal forces direct the heavy phase and any sludge to the bowl periphery while the light phase oil flows into the centre of the bowl to be pumped for further processing. The heavy phase overflows the top disc and is pumped out of the separator while the sludge is automatically ejected through a series of ports. Alfa Laval offers machines ranging from 50-1,250 t/d of oil processing capacity. The units are designed for low noise and versions also exist for use in hazardous areas.


New food ingredient range

Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. (ONC), a supplier of MEG-3 brand Omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients, has introduced the Powder-locTM brand for its revolutionary microencapsulation technology used in MEG-3 food ingredients. Powder-loc is a patented process that microencapsulates oil in a gelatin matrix with double shell protection for inclusion in foods. Older technologies use single shell protection, which can break and expose oils during food processing.

Powder-loc is a more superior technology as the oil is protected within a multi-shell inner matrix and a protective outer shell surrounding it. Powder-loc creates double protection for the oil from both oxidation and the stress of food processing. It can withstand high temperatures even during pasteurization. Moreover, Powder-loc has double the nutritional density of competitive technologies because of the loading capacity of the double shell matrix, making it the most cost-effective ingredient of its kind.

Powder-loc has contributed to the successful commercialization of seven different types of food with the MEG-3 brand food ingredient. These foods are breads, milk, yoghurt, tortillas, orange juice, nutrition bars and confectionery products like candy chews. The MEG-3 brand food ingredient has been commercialized in twelve nations.

Contact: Ms. Lori OConnell, ONC, Canada. Tel: +1 (902) 4803 210




China prohibits CO processing

Chinas latest quality standard for raw foods has banned tuna products processed using carbon monoxide (CO). Placing frozen fish slices or lumps into a sealed plastic bag and smoking it with CO is a common method for preserving tuna in the country. CO-processed tuna appears to be fresh red and may be preserved for up to several years by maintaining a refrigeration temperature of -60C. Though the CO process does not directly harm the human body, the smoked tuna could mislead consumers. Normally, tuna cannot be kept fresh for more than 15 days at -18C.


Food safety laws overhauled

In India, the 2005 Food Safety and Standards Bill (introduced in the Loka Sabha in August 2005) seeks to integrate the various food safety laws in a bid to strengthen protection of consumers. It also proposes to set up the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSA) for regulating the food sector. FSSA would stipulate scientific standards for food safety, including specifications for ingredients, contaminants, pesticide residue and biological hazards. The standards will be enforced by the Commissioner of Food Safety of each state through designated personnel.

The Bill forbids the use of food additives, processing aid, contaminants, heavy metals, insecticides, pesticides, veterinary drugs residue, antibiotic residues or solvent residues. The Bill provides for a graded penalty structure where the punishment depends on the severity of the violation. Offences such as manufacture of food that causes injury, its distribution, sale or import is punishable with imprisonment.


Food standard certification

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has launched the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) Certification programme in accordance with IS/ISO 22000 standard. The certification scheme, ISO 22000:2005, for food safety management systems would benefit organizations in the food chain and provide a framework of internationally harmonized requirements for the global approach needed. The standard was developed within ISO by experts from the food industry, along with representatives of specialized international organizations and in close cooperation with the Codex Alimentarius Commission.


Stringent meat import quarantine regime

In the Republic of Korea, the government plans to tighten the inspection and quarantine system for imported meat. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the number of personnel and divisions in the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, which is responsible for keeping tabs on imported meat products and livestock, is being increased. The number of experts will be increased to 605 from the current 519, and another 80 quarantine experts are to be hired shortly. Extra workers will keep track of animal disease developments in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Moreover, the Ministry said, tighter inspections will allow Seoul to better track imported beef from the United States and elsewhere so it will not be sold as a locally grown product. Imports are often sold as local beef as it garners higher prices.


Three-pronged approach tackles tainted vegetables

A three-pronged strategy has been formulated to prevent vegetables containing pesticides from reaching market shelves in Hong Kong. Devised by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is implementing the strategy, which includes the following steps:

  • It has in place an accredited farm scheme;
  • It has a list of registered pesticides to control their use; and
  • Inspections are carried out at import, wholesale and retail levels.



New decanter and milk processing machines

GEA Group, Germany, has launched several liquid filling and processing machines through its subsidiaries. Tuchenhagen Dairy Systems is offering a system for processing raw milk to obtain a UHT product. UHT-Technik appears like a hollow block of stainless steel pipes. To eliminate blockages, the special design of the pipes ensure that fibres and other particles do not get stuck within the piping. Westfalia Separator, another GEA subsidiary, has introduced a decanter for small-scale wine and juice producers. These decanters, unlike presses, allow for continuous operation, which is expected to reduce workload and, thus, the variable unit-based production cost associated with the industry. CE 205, a continuously operating scroll centrifuge, was developed for medium-size plants and has a capacity of up to 2 m3/h.

Another new machine is the Standomat Prospec, designed to continuously regulate the fat content in milk. It is also able to measure and regulate other milk constituents. Two other machines are available for cold or warm milk processing. The MSE 500 has a capacity of up to 50,000 l/h at 4-20C. The separating capacity of MSE 230, for warm milk processing, is in the range of 20,000 to 30,000 l/h. Both MSE 500 and MSE 230 have a self-cleaning bowl.


High-pressure homogenizer

Micron Engineering Group, India, provides high-pressure homogenizers for the dairy and food industry. The basic principle of homogenization is the control of fluid velocity through an adjustable restricted orifice. In milk, fat globules are broken down to less than 2 m so as to ensure better consistency of the product. In fruit juices and ready-to-serve beverages, homogenization helps avoid separation of water and pulp, thus providing rich texture and consistency.

Contact: Micron Engineering Group, 1063, Bhadup Ind. Estate, Pannalal Mill Compound, L.B.S. Marg, Bhandup, Mumbai 400 078, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 2589 0751/5597 1054; Fax: +91 (22) 2589 0751


Beverage and Food World, January 2006

Steam fusion cooker

Gold Peg International, Australia, has developed a steam fusion test cooker to assist companies in developing new food products. The company reports to have adapted its JR RotaTherm system for running R&D trials on sauces, soups, fruit, dairy desserts, meat, cheese and other products, with minimal wastage while changing formulas during the processing of such foods.

RotaTherm Continuous Cooker is a flexible direct steam fusion cooker. The JRX RotaTherm test version of the cooker has six direct steam injectors to fuse steam with the food product. It has a general throughput range of 200-800 kg/h. Production runs can last up to 8 h. Extended run times and increased automation is feasible by upgrading to an X model.


Industrial grinder for processing fresh/frozen meat

Union Food Machinery and Equipment, the United Kingdom, has introduced an industrial grinder for processing entire blocks of frozen or fresh meat. Manufactured by Austrian food equipment giant Laska, WWB 200 SuperGrinder is the sole system available in the market that is capable of handling both fresh and frozen products. With a maximum capacity of 1,000 600 300 mm blocks of frozen meat, and greater for fresh produce, the product is well placed to help manufacturers meet the demands of the barbecue season.

A solid, specially moulded feed worm handles the preliminary chopping of frozen meat while fresh meat is treated gently. The feed worm regulates automatically to ensure that optimum quantity of product is fed into the working worm. As such, frozen and fresh blocks of meat can be minced directly to 3 mm in a single working process.

Contact: Union Food Machinery and Equipment, 6 Faraday Court, Park Farm, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 6XY, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1933) 676 187.


Double seamer

Cantech Machines, India, offers can seaming-reforming machines, that comply with international standards, for canning fruits and vegetables. The latest Double Seamer is an improved type of seamer, which is appropriate for short runs on a commercial scale or where a large range of cans is required to be closed. Seaming is performed in two stages. During the first operation, the curled edge of the round container interlocks with the flange of the end body. In the next step, the seam profile is completed, providing a compact seam that will be hermetic during subsequent handling. Changes in can height, with diameter remaining the same, involves baseplate adjustment only.

Contact: Cantech Machines, 13, Vora Bhavan, 1st Floor, Opp. Maheshwari Udyan, Matunga (C.R.), Mumbai 400 019, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 2409 6086/6853; Fax: +91 (22) 2409 6086



Beverage and Food World, January 2006

Batch sifter designed to meet food safety standards

Kason Corp., the United States, offers a dust-tight batch sifter constructed with stainless steel housing. Conforming with the most stringent food, dairy and pharmaceutical standards, the sifter scalps oversized  particles down to 38 m from dry bulk powders or solids-laden slurries and may be disassembled without tools for sanitizing. The sifter comes in 18, 24 and 30 inch diameters and can be equipped with single/twin imbalanced-weight gyratory motors. It includes vertical quick-disconnect clamps and continuously ground and polished welds. The gyratory motor imparts multi-plane inertial vibration to the spring-mounted screening  deck. On-size particles pass through the screen in a vertical discharge path at higher rates than with circular screeners having centrally mounted gyratory motors and horizontal discharge paths. Oversized material can be removed either manually or using vacuum. The company offers wire mesh screening material in 304, 316 and magnetic 400 series stainless steel. The screens are mounted to support rings using food-safe epoxy.



Tomato powder

IIT-Kharagpur, India, is striving to unearth the key for the successful conversion of tomato into a long-lasting powder form. A team of researchers is working on the process at the post-harvest technology centre. First, raw tomatoes are skinned and de-seeded to facilitate extraction of tomato juice. Then, solids from the juice are used to form a concentrate, which is then dried to obtain a free-flowing powder as the end product. This process is called as foam-mat-drying technology.


New brewer

In the United States, Tassimo plans to shortly introduce a new model to its successful Tassimo Premium Hot Beverage System range. Tassimo is the only machine that allows consumers to prepare an assortment of hot beverages, including coffee, tea, espresso, crema, hot chocolate, latte and cappuccino. Unlike competitive single-serve brewers, Tassimo uses real milk to create the dense foam or steamed milk for cappuccinos and lattes, as such eliminating the need for a complicated steam wand or frothing attachment.
The company is also scheduled to launch the Maxwell House Cafe Collection of T DISCS, which feature 100 per cent Arabica custom-blended coffees and beverages that are roasted and ground exclusively for Tassimo. Varieties include House Blend Regular and Decaf, Colombian and French Roast coffees, Cappuccino (Regular and Decaf), French Vanilla and Latte with real milk. Additional Tassimo varieties slated for release in August include Yuban Rainforest Alliance, Twinings Green Tea and Chamomile Orange Tea. All Tassimo T DISCS, including Gevalia beverages, Twinings teas and Suchard hot chocolate, can be used in both the Tassimo and the Tassimo Premium Hot Beverage Systems.

Contact: Ms. Terese Kelly, DVC, United States of America. Tel: +1 (973) 7756 474


Or Mr. Larry Baumann, Kraft Foods, the United States. Tel: +1 (914) 4253 890



Fruit processing enzymes

A new range of enzymes has been launched by Danisco to help fruit juice makers save on costs while enhancing quality, as they look to target growing consumer demands for healthier soft drinks. Pektozyme enzyme range is specifically meant for apple, pear and citrus fruit processing. According to Danisco, its new pectolytic enzymes would help increase both yield and quality in the production of fruit juice concentrates.

In citrus fruit processing, the enzymes promote the release of release of juice and solids from the whole fruit. It also reduces the risk of the juice jellifying at the time of concentration and storage by reducing pectin content and viscosity. In apple and pear processing, pectinase can be added to the fruit mash to lower viscosity, leading to higher yields.


Clear fruit juice clarification

Clarification of fruit and berry juices has till now been a major obstacle in the production set-up. Latest membrane designs and larger capacities point towards ultrafiltration (UF) as the production technology of the future for quality clear juices. After extraction and depectinization, the cloudy juice is continuously collected in a circulation tank before being pumped to a Tetra Alcross UF membrane filter module, developed by Tetra Pak. The permeate clear juice is bled off and collected in a buffer tank before further processing. The retentate is continuously circulated over the membranes and circulation tank. When the insoluble solid level in the juice reaches a set value, it indicates that the retentate concentration in the circulation tank is high. Water is then added into the loop for washing out the remaining solids from the retentate in order to increase the juice yield.

The Tetra Alcross UF membrane filtration is a proven technique in many installations worldwide. It is an economic methodology that excludes or minimizes addition of fining agents, filter aids, etc. If the juice contains strong colour, microfiltration can be utilized for eliminating colour losses. A standard UF membrane set up comprises up to 14 parallel membranes assembled on a stainless steel frame together with frequency controlled pumps, valves and other control equipment. The membrane is manufactured utilizing an organic material with a specific pore size. One module can have an active filter area of up to 500 m. The capacity of a module is always designed to suit required feed capacity. Larger membrane packages are on its way and will make it possible to produce Tetra Alcross modules with still higher capacities.


Homogenization of fruit concentrates

German fruit juice producer Eckesgranini and equipment developer Ytron Process Technology have developed a new method of homogenizing fruit juice concentrate. The Ytron-Z homogenizer is suitable for processing juice, premixes and concentrates between 12Brix to approximately 60Brix. It works by passing one or more liquid phases, as well as unsuspended particles, through a rotor-stator system. By controlling parameters like slot width, number and distance of the shear slots, number of rotor-stator sets used, rotational speed and flow rate, dispersing or homogenizing effect can be infinitely adjusted. This approach offers the advantages of not blocking filling valves or nozzles with fibres while producing minimal viscosity increase. It also eliminates potential filling problems and requires less energy.


New technology for juice processing

A new rapid pasteurization technology developed by Tetra Pak has been reported to slash production costs and time by combining pasteurization and mixing, while retaining more nutrients in the end product. The new Tetra Therm Aseptic Sensa is claimed to be capable of halving production costs and slice a quarter off production time compared with conventional juice processing methods.

The Sensa processor employs Tetra Paks newly patented Rapid Heating and Cooling technology (RHAC), which manages to both pasteurize the juice concentrate as well as continuously blend this concentrate with cold aseptic water to produce the end product. The rapid heating system also enables more flavours, vitamins and aromas to survive the pasteurization process and make it through to the finished juice. RHAC heats and cools the concentrate in around a fifth of the time required by a standard tubular heat exchanger.

In the Sensa system, steam is injected directly into the juice concentrate, instantly reaching pasteurization temperature (about 90C). Sterile cold water is then added further down the line to cool the juice and blend it into the final product. The blend is then fed through an aseptic buffer vessel and on to a filling machine. The processor can perform easy product changes as a result of continuous blending, leaving only a small hold-up volume. A short stoppage at the filler end is also workable. The juice can be held in an aseptic state without affecting quality. The machine has a capacity to handle 3,000-9,000 l/h.


High-intensity cooling technology for beverages

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) of the United States has launched CoolTekTM, a high-intensity cooling technology that uses proprietary molecules developed through extensive research into human cold perception. CoolTek imparts a unique sensation for a clean, refreshing, energizing taste and flavour. It enlivens many beverages, besides food, confectionery, chewing gum and pharmaceutical products. CoolTek technology is not mint-derived, though it enhances mint flavour systems, and is ideal for non-mint flavour systems as well. The cooling sensation lasts and builds without a menthol burn aroma or flavour and without impacting other flavours. CoolTek has the ability to control the release of the cooling both the amount and when it is experienced depending on the end product.

This technology was originally marketed in the confectionery category, where it was an instant success. CoolTek is now used in products such as fortified flavoured water, iced tea, kids juice, and energy drinks. It is a totally flexible technology that can be adjusted to create the perfect flavour profile.

Contact: International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., IFF Global Headquarters, 521 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, United States of America. Tel: +1 (212) 765 5500; Fax: +1 (212) 708 7132



Barrier coating for plastic bottles extends shelf-life

A new barrier coating for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) provides a better method to extend the shelf-life of beverages than currently available technologies. Researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa, have developed a barrier that is 30 times superior to ordinary PET.

Most conventional high-barrier applications require multi-layered packaging, combining PET with high barrier plastics like ethylene vinyl-alcohol, Nylon 6 or Nylon  MXD6. Oxyplete is based on a double-layered outside coating. Before application, the plastics surface is activated through either an oxyfluorination procedure, corona discharge or plasma treatment followed by spray or dip coating and drying.



Natural enzymes improve product texture

Scientists in the European Union report to have uncovered new natural enzymes that improve the texture of high-protein food products, thus reducing the need for certain product-enhancing ingredients. The enzymes are particularly suitable for low-fat, low-calorie products and can be used in a variety of baking, dairy and meat applications.

The three-year CROSSENZ project, conducted between 2002 and 2005, was coordinated by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) with project partners including experts in enzymology, food science, biochemistry, enzyme production and consumer studies. The new cross-linking enzymes work by binding together biopolymers or protein and carbohydrate molecules, a reaction that significantly heightens the texture and mouthfeel of products, explained project coordinator Prof. Johanna Buchert. By using these enzymes, food manufacturers can exploit the intrinsic components in the food matrix to obtain good texture. This means that the amount of certain ingredients or additives normally used can be reduced states Prof. Buchert. The oxidative enzymes, obtained from edible plants and natural microbes, can link food biopolymers in an entirely different way to transglutaminase, which is presently utilized to enhance bread volume and improve the texture of products like yoghurt, ice cream, cheese and tofu. Efficient production systems for the enzymes have also been developed, reported scientists, adding that large-scale production is feasible.


New cheese ripening enzyme

DSM Food Specialties has launched a new cheese ripening enzyme that is reported to accelerate flavour development while eliminating the bitter off-taste often formed during cheese maturation. Designed to lower costs and improve efficiency by speeding up the cheese maturation process, DSM stated that trials with its new product has effectively demonstrated a three month reduction in cheddar cheese maturation time. Moreover, as Accelerzyme CPG is a pure enzyme, it is also the first reliable product on the market that allows for consistent results. In addition, Accelerzyme CPG is being marketed for its ability to eliminate bitter peptides that may be formed during the cheese maturation process by culture bacteria or other enzymes.


Probiotic fruit juices

Researchers from New Zealands fruit science company HortResearch is scheduled to shortly complete the public release of the worlds most extensive collection of apple DNA sequences. Crucial new genetic data on apples could help revolutionize the produce industry by unlocking the secrets of taste, health and colour. The release comprises over 50,000 apple gene sequences referred to by scientists as expressed sequence tags (ESTs). These are DNA sequences from active genes in the plant; genes which govern characteristics such as fruit colour and taste. By identifying and studying only these active genes, researchers claim they have been able to avoid the high costs and long time frames associated with full genome mapping projects.

Identified by HortResearch scientists over a six-year period, these apple ESTs hold the secret to discovering how gene function controls all aspects of fruit development, including taste, colour, vitamin content and even how fruit fight plant diseases. Fruit breeders can use this information to create new apple varieties, tailored to suit consumer tastes, health requirements and the demand from industry for fruit less prone to disease.


Breakthrough makes food more palatable

In Japan, a food technology research centre in Hiroshima has developed a method of softening food while retaining its shape. The breakthrough will help improve the lives of elderly people who have difficulty chewing or swallowing. Although the food can be eaten without chewing, the taste
aroma and nutition remain unchanged. Horoshima Prefectural Food Techonology Research Centre plans to commercialize popular dishes packed in a pouch. The centre hopes that their products will help elderly people who rely on liquid food regain the joys of eating.


Probiotics isolated from dairy

Researchers at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, have isolated three strains of bacteria from dairy sources that have desirable probiotic properties and could be applied in the food industry. The team screened 29 different strains of Lactobacillus from diverse dairy sources like raw cows milk, feta cheese and brine, cheddar cheese and sour milk.

In vitro investigations examined the stability and resistance of all the strains to low pH (acidic conditions), bile salt hydrolysis and antibiotics. The tests were in-line with guidelines from the FAO/WHO selection criteria for candidate probiotics. Of the tested strains, L. plantarum ACA-DC 146 and L. paracasei subspecies tolerans ACA-DC 4037 (extracted from Kaseri cheese), along with L. casei Shirota ACA-DC 6002 from Yakult were identified to possess the desirable probiotic properties.


Crispier and tastier apples

Reseachers from New Zealand's fruit science company HortResearch is scheduled to shortly complete the public release of the world's most extensive collective of apples could help revolutionize the produce industry by unlocking the secrets of taste, health and colour. The release comprises over 50,000 apple gene sequences- referred to by scientists as expressed sequence from active genes in the plant; genes which govern characteristics such as fruit colour and taste. By identifying and studying only these active genes, researchrs claim they have been able to avoid the high costs and long time frames assciated wih full genome mapping projects.

Identified by HortResearch scientists over a six year period, these apple ESTs hold thesecret to discovering how gene function controls all aspects of fruit development, including taste, colour, vitamin content and even how fruit fight plant diseases. Fruit breeders can use this information to create new apple varieties, tailored to suit consumertastes, health requirements and the demand from industry for fruit less prone to disease.


DNA amplification promising for food safety testing

In the United Kingdom, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research (CCFRA) has developed a new technology that allows for rapid and inexpensive identification of microbes. Based on polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, amplification of DNA sequences, this technique has been validated for Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Clostridium species. Researchers automated ribotyping for characterizing micro-organisms below the species level and this method can be used for identification. To complement the technology, scientists could develop an identification system based on the capture of PCR-amplified DNA sequences on to DNA micro-arrays.


Culture for Indian yoghurt

Chr. Hansen, Denmark, has developed a new dairy culture specifically designed for making dahi a traditional ethnic yoghurt consumed in India. DAC-03 is the latest addition to the companys freeze-dried cultures portfolio. It is particularly suitable for use in India, where the distances for transportation and infrastructure may mean that distribution of frozen cultures is not appropriate. Dahi is not specifically classified as a health food but is more of a basic food in the Indian diet.



Form-fill-seal machines

Propac Industrial P/L, Australia, offers HF (Hot Fill) series of vertical form-fill-seal machines that have been designed specifically for packaging pumpable/liquid food. Typically, the product is fed into the machine at up to 92C with air being expelled from the bag through a unique dedicated assembly. This system is ideal for cook/chill food service applications, with products being packed in bags up to 10 kg in weight. Particulates up to 35 mm in diameter can run through the system without damaging the product. Everything from yoghurt, cooked pasta, sauces, pickles in brine and fruit in syrup can be packaged.

The company also offers a horizontal form-fill-seal machine. The horizontal wrapper has been designed specifically for packing fresh and delicate products.

Contact: Propac Industrial P/L, Unit 2 61 Prince William Drive Seven Hills NSW 2147, Australia. Tel: +61 (02) 9674 9261; Fax: +61 (02) 9674 9267.


Aseptic bottle

Tetra Pak has launched an aseptic carton bottle, a container with a plastic transparent top. Aptiva, reported to be the worlds first aseptic carton bottle, combines the advantages of plastic with the aseptic filling qualities of carton packaging. Designed as an alternative to plastic containers, Tetra Aptiva Aseptic has a carton-based sleeve with a plastic top and screw cap. The plastic top allows customers to see the products contents. Moreover, the Aptiva system requires less than half the capital investment compared with a plastic filling line of similar capacity. Operating savings range from 20 to 50 per cent lower than Aseptic Polyethylene Terephthalate (APET) and Aseptic High Density Polyethylene (AHDPE) plastic bottles. The Aptiva is manufactured on Tetra Pak A5, a newly designed filling machine, which would be available in two versions portion packs and family packs. The filling and forming process for the A5 uses rolls of carton-based packaging material and pre-made plastic top-and-cap assemblies.



Handbook of Fruits and Fruit Processing

This compendium, a result of the efforts of over 40 respected academicians and industry experts, is an indispensable resource listing the scientific principles and technological methods used for processing fruits of all types. It describes fruit processing from four perspectives a scientific basis, manufacturing and engineering principles, production techniques and, finally, processing of individual fruits.

Contact: Blackwell Publishing Services, Singapore Pte. Ltd., 600 North Bridge Rd., #05-01 Parkview Square, Singapore 188 778. Tel: +65 118 188.

Orientation for Food Professionals

Primarily intended for novices entering the food processing industry, this guide contains practical and useful tips to solve various problems that occur in the industry. The variegated problems and solutions to these have been systematically discussed. Charts have been used to facilitate better understanding.

Contact: The Amalgamated Press, 506, Hamam House, 5th Floor, Mezzanine, 36, Ambalal Doshi Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 2265 0268/4184; Fax: +91 (22) 2264 1275


Flavour in Food

This book summarizes the latest research on how flavour develops in food, consumer perceptions, etc. Topics include flavour measurement and the ways in which flavours are retained and released.

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



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