VATIS Update Food Processing . Nov-Dec 2004

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Food Processing Nov-Dec 2004

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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WHO/FAO risk assessment on Listeria monocytogenes

The World Health Organization (WHO), together with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), has completed risk assessment on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods marketed by retailers. The WHO/FAO Secretariat on Risk Assessment of Microbiological Hazards in Foods has pinpointed the role risk analysis can play in controlling this deadly pathogen in the food chain. Often associated with consumption of foods like soft cheese and processed meat products that are kept refrigerated for a long time, infections with L. monocytogenes in pregnant women may lead to abortion and stillbirth. In infants and persons with a weakened immune system, the hardy organism could cause septicaemia and meningitis.

The assessment suggests that most cases of listeriosis result from the consumption of high number of L. monocytogenes in RTE foods that do not meet the stipulated criteria of 0.04 or 100 CFU/g. In fact, the probability of becoming ill after eating the food pathogen is greater for members of susceptible population groups, e.g. pregnant women and infants. The final report concludes that Risk assessment provides a valuable resource for risk managers in terms of the issues to be taken into account when managing problems associated with L. monocytogenes. Another study undertaken by researchers at Cornell University, the United States, has uncovered that strains of the deadly pathogen could persist for up to a year or longer.


Sweeteners in demand

According to global market analysts Freedonia, artificial sweeteners sector in the food additives market will record a dramatic growth, owing to increasing demands for functional foods. While nutraceuticals and food preservatives are next on the list, flavours will retain its place as the largest product segment. The need for food additives in the United States is projected to rise by 4.8 per cent, with gains spurred by increased levels of food production and growth for value-added products, including high-intensity alternative sweeteners and nutritional additives like vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts.

The alternative sweeteners market will grow at a rate of 8.3 per cent a year. Recent introduction of high-intensity sweeteners e.g. zero-calorie sugar derivative sucralose has been accepted by the market. Though sucralose is permitted in 40 nations, it has only been accepted on to the EU25 market through an amendment to the 1994 EU Sweeteners Directive (94/35/EC). The report has forecast strong gains for bulk nutraceutical additives. Sales are predicted to rise by 6.5 per cent each year until 2008. The present growth rate for food preservatives is expected to continue at 5.7 per cent a year.


Viet Nam moves toward WTO standards

A seminar was organized by Viet Nams Directorate for Standards and Quality focusing on acquainting scientists with the principles of ISO quality management system in microbiological testing of foods. This event was part of the Market access support through the strengthening of capacities related to Metrology, Testing and Conformity programme funded by UNIDO. Under the programme, a series of activities will be undertaken to enable Viet Nam expand its potential for food exports, which requires processors to fulfil quality and safety principles identified by trade agreements with the World Trade Organization.


Japanese firm acquires green tea company

Taiyo Kagaku, a functional food ingredients firm based in Japan, recently acquired Wuxi Green Power Bio-Product, a Chinese green tea extract manufacturer. This merger makes Taiyo Green Power the worlds largest manufacturer of green tea extract and the only one to use a pharmaceutical cGMP-certified facility to produce extracts for the food, supplement and pharma industries.

Taiyo pioneered the development of green tea catechin extracts and the production of isomerically pure L-theanine (Suntheanine). The new business will also maintain the exclusive Chinese licence to technology developed by Procter and Gamble, originally granted to Wuxi Green Power. It is said to produce extracts with superior sensory traits while maintaining a high concentration of polyphenol antioxidants.


Asian appetite for biscuits on the rise

A report published by Euromonitor reveals that during the 1998-2002 period the savoury biscuits market was 30 per cent while the demand for sweet biscuits was 16 per cent. The sweet biscuits market in Asia is set to grow rapidly mainly due to the continuing strength of the Chinese market. With rising incomes and people leaning more and more towards snack food products, the sweet biscuit market is gaining popularity.

Growth in other parts of the Asia-Pacific region is also evident with new launches coming thick and fast. In the Republic of Korea, Haitai has launched Crispy Biscuits. Packed in shelf-stable carton board, the 84 g pack contains crispy biscuits with a chocolate flavoured cream filling sprinkled with peanut bits. Ingredients include egg, butter, palm oil and peanut paste. Monde Nissin is slated to launch Kriskits Crispy Honey Orange biscuits in the Philippines. Targeted at adults, this snack contains fortified wheat flour, coconut oil, palm oil and skimmed milk powder. In Australia, Masterfoods will add a new variety to its popular line of biscuits based on Mars chocolate bars. Bisc and Milky Way biscuits feature the companys well-established Milky Way chocolate bar, combined with 48 per cent biscuit and 24 per cent milk chocolate. Redwood Agencies Winnie the Pooh Cookies will be introduced in New Zealand. These shortbread biscuits come in cocoa and honey flavoured varieties, which are available in 225 g pack sizes.


Koreas coffee market comes of age

Deutscher Kaffeeverband, the German Coffee Association, reports that the market in the Republic of Korea is proving to be dynamic for exporters of coffee as the population continues to embrace the fashion and trends prevalent in the western lifestyle. Coffee is now becoming an ever-popular alternative to the nations traditional hot beverage, tea. Growth in coffee consumption has also been attributed to Koreans increasingly travelling overseas, both for business and tourism. By the end of 2001, over 500 coffee shop outlets had been established. Korea imports coffee mainly from Brazil, Honduras, Columbia and Indonesia, all taking between a 9 and 11 per cent share of the market.


Development fund for processed food sector

In India, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI), along with SIDBI, initiated the idea for a Processed Food Development Fund in the year 2000. The objective was to facilitate provision of credit to projects in the food processing sector and financial assistance to small-scale industries to enable them set up units in the processed food sector. During 2003-04, MFPI entered into MOUs with the Export-Import Bank of India, ICICI, NABRD and SIDBI. The State Bank of India has also evinced interest in entering into a similar MOU. In the latest report on demands for grants, the Parliaments Standing Committee on MFPI has directed the ministry to ensure that the MOUs are implemented in letter and spirit. The Committee has also expressed that other schemes of the ministry be covered by similar MOUs at the earliest.


Fish quality reference developed

The United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed Standard Reference Material (SRM) 1946 to enable fish processors accurately determine the quality of their products. The new SRM will enable the food industry to comply with nutritional labelling needs and also assist researchers in evaluating risks associated with the consumption of commercial fish. This is the first NIST SRM with certified values for three of the more toxic varieties of PCBs. SRM 1946 also has a certified concentration for methyl-mercury, a neurotoxin that tends to accumulate in fish and is the subject of federal advisories warning pregnant women to avoid eating certain fish. Another first for the NIST food-matrix SRM is inclusion of the values for omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Other components on the SRMs certificate are nutritionally significant mono-, poly- and unsaturated fatty acids.

The reference material comprises five bottles of frozen, homogenized trout from Lake Superior. Each has carefully measured values for about 100 chemical constituents. Food laboratories can validate their analytical methods and instrument performance by using them to analyse the SRM and compare their results with the NIST values. The level in the SRM is near the Environmental Protection Agencys maximum advisable concentration in freshwater/estuarine fish tissue. More than 40 federal, state, academic, industrial and foreign laboratories performed measurements that contributed to the assigned values for the SRM.


Chinese food market opens up

Concerns regarding the safety of food products in China have opened up opportunities for foreign manufacturers in this sector. Raw materials and food ingredient products have the edge over other products. The following goods are in great demand: tree nuts, dried fruits, poultry products, seafood, cereals, livestock and livestock products, bakery ingredients, sweetcorn, juices and concentrates, infant formula milk powder and confectionery.

Economists at the United States Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report that a series of food safety problems in China during the previous year has led to increasing approval for imported products and brands produced by foreign joint ventures. Another factor fuelling this growth is that at present only 25 per cent of Chinese food production is processed, compared with about 80 per cent in developed nations. Several foreign companies have benefited from the growing demand for high-quality processed food products. FAS states that the food processing industry in China is growing at double digit rates in excess of 10 per cent.


Database on potential carcinogens available

Researchers at the University of Barcelona, Spain, have compiled an extensive database of harmful compounds formed during food preservation and cooking. The primary goal of this project is to help better understand potential carcinogens in food products and assist food makers in quantifying dietary exposure to such compounds. The database includes 207 food items listing concentrations of nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines, 297 food products with the concentration of heterocyclic amines (HA) and 313 items comprising polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

PAHs are a group of over 100 different chemicals formed during incomplete combustion of coal and oil, or other organic substances such as tobacco and char-boiled meat. Grilled or charred meats, contaminated cereals, flour, bread, vegetables, fruits, meats as well as processed or pickled foods are some possible sources of PAHs. The database provides the name of the food, cooking method, preservation method, how thoroughly cooked, temperature and time, quantity, analytical method and sampling method, year of publication, author and nation. In some cases, different sources provide information relating to the same food item.


New flavour technology targets tea market

TasteTech, the United Kingdom, has developed new technology that would enable tea makers to bring out fresh products to target the growing segment of teetotallers who are switching over from black tea to herbal or fruit teas. Flavour granules designed by TasteTech ensure that the flavour does not escape through the tea bag during packing, storing or delivering. In conventional spray dried flavourings, when the tea is infused and passed into water, the carrier system gum arabic or maltodextrin goes with it. TasteTechs technology prevents the carrier system from getting into the beverage.


New legislation to control food wastes

In the Republic of Korea, the Ministry of Environment recently introduced a set of rules to monitor food wastes in the country. The Comprehensive Measures for Food Waste Control, strives to mitigate food waste discharges while maximizing recycling. Specific waste reduction and recycling targets to be achieved by 2007 are reduction of waste food discharges from 11,397 t/d in 2002 to 10,302 t/d and enhancing recycling from 63 per cent (2002) to 77 per cent by 2007.

Measures initiated by the ministry to attain these targets include encouraging voluntary actions by the business sector, promoting joint education/PR programmes with civil groups and providing incentives to those who demonstrate exemplary examples of waste reduction. Furthermore, the ministry will increase the number of households subjected to Separate Food Waste Discharge System from 11.1 million to 16.92 million by 2007. New waste treatment facilities will be set up and some existing ones upgraded. The present 80 plants capable of treating 2,598 t/d will be raised to 130 plants with a capacity to treat 6,781 t/d.


Growth in Indian food processing sector

In India, a study undertaken by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) projects an investment of US$11.27 million in the food processing sector during the current 10th five-year plan. In case the GDP growth touches 8 per cent per annum during this period, the investment projected is US$16.72 million. Commissioned by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, the study estimates that direct employment in the food processing sector will grow at 1.25 per cent annually while indirect employment would be 2.38 times. The ministry formulates and implements policies and plans for the food processing sector within the overall national priorities and objectives.


Assistance for the food processing sector

In India, as of 31 March 2004 the Ministry of Food Processing Industries provided financial assistance to 19 rice mills, 10 flour mills, two pulse mills and 11 oil mills. Financial aid is provided for setting up, modernization and expansion of units before they are commissioned. The assistance provided include the latest and eco-friendly technology, which ensures enhanced recovery, quality improvement and other benefits.



HACCP for raw frozen shrimp products

Researchers at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, have developed new hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) for raw frozen head-on and headless shrimp products. This system complies with HACCP principles stipulated by the National Advisory Committee on microbiological criteria for food. Two critical control points (CCPs) have been identified, as well as critical limits and correction actions proposed to CCPs for the raw frozen shrimp products. The CCPs are related to receiving raw materials and dipping in chilled 200 ppm Na2S2O3 solution (<5C). The control methods include:
  • Supplier certification for use of drugs;
  • Pre-testing of raw shrimp before receiving;
  • Supplier certification on pond quality, fishing gear and utensils;
  • Maintain correct concentration of chemicals and purity of water;
  • Monitoring residual level of Na2S2O3 and recording;
  • Involvement of qualified personnel (Quality Manager, Quality Controller);
  • Keeping record on dipping time and product analysis; and
  • Rejecting orders with careful monitoring.

Contact: Dr. U. Edirisinghe, Department of Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.


Techwatch Lanka, Vol. 3, No. 3, April 2004

New biosensor

Researchers at Purdue University, the United States, have developed a new biosensor to detect Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats. The biosensor can identify this potentially deadly bacteria in less than 24 h at concentrations as low as 1,000 cells/ml of fluid. In the words of one of the developers, Associate Professor Arun Bhunia, The selectivity, sensitivity and rapidity of the sensor represents a vast improvement over the types of test kits that are currently available commercially.

The optical biosensor uses light to detect the presence of the target organism or molecule. The device consists of a small piece of optical fibre coated with an antibody, which specifically discerns L. monocytogenes, captures it and binds it to the fibre. This enables accurate detection even in the presence of other types of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella or E. coli.


Metal detector ensures food safety

Sartorius, Germany, offers a metal detector which can isolate ferrous and stainless steel contaminants within aluminium foil wrapped products. Named Observer, this new device could revolutionize food safety at the processing and packaging stages. Moreover, it is impervious to interference by metal parts in the surrounding environment. This is achieved by the detectors calculating operations that eliminate noise or stray fields in the signals received by the highly sensitive built-in sensors. Apart from testing aluminium packaged products, this system can also identify the production flow in stainless steel pipes.

Techwatch Lanka, April 2004

High-speed analysis of foods

NDC Infrared Engineering has introduced an updated version of its at-line analyser Infralab 710, designed to achieve accurate measurement of multi-component food parameters. This system facilitates single or multi-component measurements of critical parameters like moisture, fat and protein in a wide range of foods, including biscuits, cheese, coffee, dairy powders and snack foods. The new analyser performs high-speed measurements, in seconds, unlike other off-line lab tests that require hours to yield results. Designed with the food industry in mind, the device has no food traps and is sealed to IP65, permitting it to be cleaned to food hygiene standards easily.

Infralab 710 is user-friendly and easy-to-operate with intuitive software, for consistent data collection and analysis. Potential application areas include manufacturing cheese, dairy powders, coffee, snack foods and biscuits, and food ingredients like colourings, flavourings, dried fruit and breadcrumbs. The company also offers a range of non-contact sensors and systems for measurement of moisture, fat, protein and continuous web process variables like coat-weight and film thickness.


On-line CO2 analyser

Thermo Electron, the United States, has launched a new on-line carbon dioxide (CO2) analyser that enables fizzy drink manufacturers to detect CO2 contamination early. It is also suitable for other applications involving CO2 use, e.g. food products packed in modified air packaging. Pulsar EX CO2 Quality Assurance system forms a cost-effective means to raise product quality and protect brand investment. This highly sensitive device monitors contaminant levels in beverage-grade CO2 by automatically sampling at multiple stages along the line, from point of delivery right through to point of use, ensuring that the final products quality is unaffected. Contaminants can be monitored with minimal human intervention while ensuring optimum performance.

Pulsar EX has room for four analyser modules. Each rack system is equipped with a common power input and a shared sample input panel. Sample lines for vapour and liquid are also available. The simple-to-use unit provides continuous updated on-screen results and system status, including that of the alarms, which are adjustable for impurity concentration, trends and system malfunctions.

Contact: Thermo Electron Corp., 81, Wyman St., Waltham, MA 02454, United States of America. Tel/Fax: +1 (781) 6221 000/207.


Monitoring food freshness

Tecpak, a manufacturer of polypropylene (PP) packaging in New Zealand, has created a modified environment that demonstrates the state of PP encased foods after three, six and 12 months on the shelf. This breakthrough enables producers to assess the impact of oxygen on their products colour or taste during its shelf-life. Tecpaks 19 month R&D project was supported by a grant from the government funding agency.



New whole-wheat flour

ConAgra Food Ingredients, the United States, has launched a wheat flour that allows consumers to enjoy the freshness, sweeter taste and smooth texture offered by refined flour products in 100 per cent whole-wheat products. The breakthrough Ultragrain White Whole Wheat blends nutritional benefits of whole grains with the taste, texture and finished baked qualities of refined flour. A patent-pending milling technique of ConAgra and special flour milling equipment retain whole-grain nutrients, while simultaneously delivering the fine texture of popular white flours. Ultragrain features a lighter flour colour, softer and smoother texture, and a reduced visibility of bran specks, which are often found in other whole-wheat flours.


New design protects paprika in acid formulations

TasteTech, the United Kingdom, reports that a new application for a current technology will benefit makers introducing paprika and turmeric colours into cooked sauces. A major obstacle faced while incorporating natural ingredients into food products is the ingredients delicate profile, unlike artificial colourings which are robust and stable. The firms proprietary controlled release technology has been employed to allow paprika and turmeric to survive the harsh conditions of an acidic low pH dressing. The protective microfilm of vegetable oil prevents the delicate colourings from being affected by acidity. The spices are released only when the sauce is cooked.


Countering the effects of irradiated food

Researchers at the University of Arkansas, the United States, have devised a solution to counter the effects of irradiation on food. While irradiation eliminates pathogens from the food product, it can also cause some undesirable sensory results like changes in colour, unappealing odours and off-flavours. Application of grape and green tea extracts help eliminate certain side effects of irradiated chicken, e.g. texture and discoloration.

The team uncovered that by infusing grape seed extracts and green tea extracts into skinless, boneless chicken breasts, before irradiation, unwanted alterations are minimized. Furthermore, the plant extracts do not negatively affect the chickens water-holding capacity, a critical factor for meat quality. Grape seed and green tea extracts are reported to be cost-effective as they are only 8 per cent water being introduced into the meat in very small quantities. Tests have also shown that the extracts can extend the meats shelf-life to 12 days. In addition, it was found that a synthetic compound known as TBHQ helps reduce oxidation.


New enzyme

Denmark-based firm Daniscos cooperation with Genencor International, the United States, has resulted in the development of a new enzyme for use in cake production. Grindamyl POWERSoft doubles the shelf-life of cakes by retaining their soft mouthfeel, not allowing them to become dry or sticky. Danisco will now focus on marketing the enzyme and customers will strive to implement the solution in their bakeries.

Contact: Danisco A/S, Langebrogade 1, P.O. Box 17, DK 1001, Copenhagen K, Denmark. Tel: +45 3266 2000; Fax: +45 3266 2175



Coconut milk powder

Shriram Coconut Products Ltd., India, offers Palmo coconut milk powder that provides superior flavour and aroma enhancing properties. Manufactured from fresh coconuts, hygienically processed and spray dried to the consistency of fine powder, this product does not contain any preservatives or artificial flavours. Soluble and easy to process, the coconut milk powder can be added directly without the need for reconstitution or reduction in the particle size. It can be used in coconut milk-based products like chocolates, sweets, toffees, yoghurts, desserts, beverages, biscuits, cakes, cookies, patties, waffles, doughnuts, macroons, soups, sauces, salads, marinates, etc.

Contact: Shriram Coconut Products Ltd., P.O. #1, Dindigul Road, Batlagundu 624202, Tamil Nadu, India. Tel: +91 (4543) 262 234/381; Fax: +91 (4543) 262 572



Beverage and Food World, September 2004

Low-calorie dairy fat replacer

Cerestar has developed a new maltitol syrup application for dairy makers looking to reduce calories in their health-positioned product range, especially fruit yoghurts. Depending on the quantity of sucrose replaced, up to 40 per cent reduction in the calorie count of dairy products could be achieved using C*Maltidex M 16311. In addition, the fat replacer enhances qualities already inherent in the product. C*Maltidex can be used to give a lighter, fresher and more healthy feel to reduced fat dairy products. When used in ice creams, C*Maltidex has a freezing point depression factor comparable to sucrose. Moreover, C*Maltidex has a low glycaemic index.

Beverage and Food World, September 2004

New soya bean oil

Bunge Ltd. and DuPont have launched a new soya bean oil that enables food processors to minimize or eliminate trans-fatty acids in their products. Nutrium Low Lin soya bean oil is the first product available under the Nutrium brand created as part of an alliance between the firms. The oil, extracted from Pioneer soya variety 93M20 developed by a subsidiary of DuPont, is reportedly low in linolenic acid (< 3 per cent) and offers better natural stability and increased shelf-life. When used for frying, linolenic oil eliminates the need for partial hydrogenation.


Vitamin-enriching rice extrusion process

Buhler, Switzerland, offers an extrusion process that allows white rice brokens to be enriched with vitamins. The resulting rice pellets can easily be customized in terms of colour, shape and size. Even the composition of their component substances and cooking characteristics could be manipulated. Depending on the specific process applied, the extruded product may serve as instant rice pellets, quick-cooking pellets or as a product for admixture to natural rice.

Rice brokens obtained during whitening are finely ground and transformed by cooking extrusion into rice-like grains. A vitamin mixture is integrated in the extruded grains themselves, thereby conserving most of the sensitive vitamins during storage, washing and cooking. This technology would be of great value, for developing nations where fortified foods are one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing deficiencies. A production plant based on the new technology is being constructed in China.

Website: fpr_pub.htm

High-gelling protein from soya

In Canada, researchers at McGill University have developed a simple process to prepare protein products from ground defatted soya beans. The primary product is a protein isolate with high solubility and gelation properties. This freeze-dried product is a cream-white, free-flowing powder that is highly soluble in water and has unique thermal gelation traits and cold-set gel properties. The process also yields an isoelectric protein isolate similar to commercial soya protein isolates as a secondary product. Residue obtained during extraction, a tertiary product, can be used as animal feed. The extraction solvent can be recycled for subsequent extractions; it accumulates high-energy solids (oligosaccharides) and can find use alone or in combination with the extraction residue.

The soya protein preparation can replace whey protein in cases where non-dairy protein products are required and is ideal for fortifying both soya-based and non-soya-based protein food products.

Contact: Ms. Angela Crampton, Canada. Tel: +1 (514) 3983 356; Fax: +1 (514) 3988 479


 Or Office of Technology Transfer, 3550, University St., Room 104, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2A7, Canada. Tel: +1 (514) 3984 200; Fax: +1 (514) 3981 482.



New and revised Indian food laws

A list of the latest standards on food in India is given below:
  • IS 5960 (Part 17):2004 Meat and meat products - Methods of Test: Part 17 Determination of starch and glucose content Enzymatic method, Gr 5.
  •  IS 11021:2004 Methods for determination of dimethoate residues in food commodities (first revision), Gr 2.
  • IS 15460 (Part 1):2004 Vanilla [Vanilla fragrans (Salisbury) Ames]: Part 1 Specification, Gr 3.
  • IS 15460 (Part 2):2004 Vanilla [Vanilla fragrans (Salisbury) Ames]: Part 2 Test methods, Gr 3.
  • IS 15463:2004 Meat as well as meat products - Enumeration of Escherichia coli - Colony count technique at 44C using membranes, Gr 5.
  • IS 15478 (Part 2):2004 Meat and meat products - Sampling and preparation of test samples: Part 2 Preparation of test samples for microbiological examination, Gr 2.

Standards India, Vol. 18, No. 5, August 2004

New rules for beer ads

In Russia, the new laws introduced by the government have restricted advertisements of beer in the country. Basically the law states that such ads cannot be trivialized, cannot be linked to sports or good health and must carry a warning about the effects of alcohol on health. Also, the ads should not imply that beer consumption is related to social, sporting or individual success, or that beer can quench thirst or it is beneficial for the health. Beer ads are banned from health magazines, the environment or education, and any billboard posters must be at least 100 m and out of sight of educational institutions, hospitals, cultural centres or sports complexes. In addition, a warning on the effects of beer on health should take up at least 10 per cent of the advertising space.



Processing under pressure

Food Science Australias Innovative Foods Centre has adopted a new process to preserve foods without altering their flavour and freshness. Based on the use of heat and high pressure, the High Pressure Sterilization Plant features a 35 l pilot-scale vessel for demonstration. The plant allows scientists and industry bodies to produce enough treated product to:
  • Validate the inactivation of Clostridium botulinum spores;
  • Develop low-acid shelf-stable foods like ready meals, dairy/cream-based sauces and vegetables;
  • Conduct shelf-life determinations;
  • Carry out small-scale commercial production of foods and beverages;
  • Validate kinetics of microbial and enzymatic inactivation under different operating conditions for a variety of products; and
  • Investigate the effect of high pressure with mild heat on chemical and biochemical changes within food components, how these changes affect texture and structure of foods, and changes in sensory attributes of pressure treated products.

Contact: Dr. C. Stewart, Food Science Australia, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 9490 8522; Or Dr. Kees Versteeg, Food Science Australia, Australia. Tel: +61 (3) 9731 3431



Breakthrough in freezing

Asymptote, the United Kingdom, has obtained a European patent for its breakthrough in freezing technology that makes frozen food taste better. The company has uncovered a way to control the size and location of ice crystals during the freezing process, thus minimizing cell damage that could influence the taste of frozen produce. Furthermore, the new development can be implemented in conventional freeze tunnels with minimum alterations.

In developing the patented freezing procedure, Asymptote worked alongside a major processor of tropical fruit. In store tests, consumers were not able to tell the difference between fresh and frozen fruits.

Contact: Asymptote, St. Johns Innovation Centre, Cowley Rd., Cambridge CB4 0WS, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 421 161; Fax: +44 (1223) 421 166



Grain storage technology

In China, an environmentally friendly and pest-free grain storage technology has been developed. Based on ozone controlled atmosphere storage and grain mass 3-D ventilation to control the moisture content of stored grain, the process has been successfully tested at different grain depots. Experts believe that this method will provide a reliable way to reduce and eliminate the ageing of grains and ensure grain security. China has an annual grain production of 450 million tonnes, half of which needs drying treatment.


New process raises shelf-life of fruits

In India, researchers at IIT-Delhi have developed a coating technology to improve the shelf-life of perishable items like fruits and vegetables. The patent-pending biodegradable emulsion/formulation, raw materials for which are available only in India and Thailand, increases the life of vegetables and fruits, together with refrigeration or irradiation, for up to 30 days. According to Dr. H.M. Chawla, one of the researchers, the new formulation provides better results than currently available wax-based coatings, which give an artificial appearance.

The coating material is eco-friendly, non-toxic and provides a natural shine to the produce. It can be applied on clean unhurt vegetables and fruits through spray or dip coating techniques. The substrates when washed in the emulsion leave a very thin film on the produce and inhibits post-harvest changes caused by aerial oxidation. The research work received support from the Indian ministries of Science and Technology, Environment and Forest, Food Processing, and Rural Development. Several agri-biotech companies from the United States and Asia have evinced interest in adopting this novel technology.



New filling system

KHS, Germany, has developed a new mechanically controlled filling system specifically for the wine and spirit industry. Designed for use in plants with about 6,000-12,000 bottles/h capacity, the Innofill (U)NMF-P filling system is available in five different models. It is rugged, easy to use, highly flexible and gentle to the product. The system works with minimum oxygen pick-up, thus preventing loss of product flavour, and inhibits microbial contamination. It also reliably avoids loss of carbon dioxide during filling.


Moulder offers shelf-life benefits

APV Baker offers a new four-roll dough moulder that provides industrial bakers with several benefits, not least the extension of product shelf-life. The sheeting roll configuration can lead to volume and cell counts increases of around 10 per cent as well as ensure an improved crumb structure. This in turn promotes better spreadability, a whiter loaf, up to 18 per cent softer loaf and a strong, straight sided shape that fills the tin well, particularly crucial for sandwich producers. The moulder features centralizing rollers prior to sheeting that contribute to the control of size and shape by ensuring that the dough is presented in a consistent manner to the sheeting roller.

The moulder offers a low-cost route to the premium quality market for plant bakers; the moulding head can be retrofitted to most existing moulders or supplied as part of a complete new system. If production expenses are a priority, the moulder provides the opportunity to significantly reduce the cost of key ingredients like yeast, without sacrificing quality.


New volumetric filling system

Krones, Germany, offers its latest volumetric filling system for water and a new PET-Asept system. To ensure accurate filling of non-carbonated water, VO-DM-PET uses flow meters, diaphragm valves and electro-pneumatic controls for all phases of the filling process. While the smooth, hygienic product path ensures easy cleaning, the neck handling system guarantees gentle treatment of lightweight PET bottles. PET-Asept filling system is for cold aseptic filling of high- and low-acid products in plastic containers. Featuring Isolator technology, an airtight sealed tunnel system that surrounds only the bottle path, this system assures microbiological safety while providing simplified handling for consumers. A sterile atmosphere is maintained in the Isolator through HEPA filters.

The company has also launched a complete package of after-sales customer care for bottlers and plant managers. This service covers everything from installation and commissioning through to training, parts, preventative maintenance and line optimization. Under the life cycle service programme, stock parts can be shipped within 24 hours and handling parts within six weeks. Emergency parts, comprehensive component rebuild, repair and exchange facilities are also offered.


Aseptic cold filling plant

KHS Maschinen-und Analgenbau, Germany, has introduced its third-generation of modern aseptic cold filling (ACF) technology, which employs wet sterilization for filling non-refillable plastic bottles. The company also offers Alfill method of dry sterilization. Both systems ensure maximum microbiological safety, thus allowing consumers to have choice between the traditional wet sterilization and dry sterilization methods.

The new ACF plant equipment features only 20 per cent of the original volume, compared with the first generation ACF plants, within the critical isolator zone. The concept of minimized glass isolator with an additional sanitary safety room guarantees long-term maximum microbiological security. Surrounding partitions separate interior areas of the rinser and filler carousel from the actual isolator. The filtered return air flows through these separated areas back to the filter units in the plenum. The reliable ACF unit requires minimal external intervention.

Contact: KHS Maschinen-und Analgenbau, Aktiengesellschaft, Juchostr. 20, 44143 Dortmund, Germany. Tel: +49 (231) 5691 339; Fax: +49 (231) 5691 226


Beverage and Food World, September 2004

Centralized frying systems

Sadanand Approtech Pvt. Ltd., India, offers a centralized frying system for manufacturing traditional Indian snack foods. The frying unit comprises a remotely placed Thermic Fluid Heater in which heat is generated by automatic liquid fuel/gas-fired burner systems. This heat is picked up by the thermic fluid, which is circulated through a piping network using a pump. The thermic fluid is then returned to the heater placed outside the production area. Notable benefits include 30 per cent savings on fuel, 5-7 per cent more savings on vegetable oil than traditional Burner-Bhatti method, consistently uniform product quality and quantity, excellent hygienic conditions in production implements and frying mediums, and comfortable and healthy working environment.

Contact: Sadanand Approtech Pvt. Ltd., B-34, Mininagar, S.N. Dube Road, Dahisar (E), Mumbai 400 068, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (22) 2896 0492; Fax: +91 (22) 2810 348



Beverage and Food World, September 2004

New fryer

Heat and Control South Asia Pvt. Ltd., India, is offering indirect heated fryers that ensure superior temperature control and filtration to deliver high capacities of uniformly finished coated, bone-in and formed products. Continuous full-flow oil circulation keeps fines in suspension, making them easier to remove. All the oil in the frying system is circulated through a filter at about one minute intervals, thus minimizing fines accumulation and oil degradation. In addition, 25-40 per cent savings in oil is possible, compared with direct-heated fryers of an equivalent size. Since no heat transfer radiators are immersed in the pan, these fryers require oil sufficient enough to cover the product, producing a faster oil turnover rate and a product with long shelf-life.

Contact: Heat and Control South Asia Pvt. Ltd., A40 (Old A26), 6th Street, Anna Nagar (E), Chennai 600 102, Tamil Nadu, India.




Flavour balance for orange juice matrix

Researchers have made significant strides in designing precise flavour profiles for better quality citrus juices that will ultimately reduce costs for manufacturers while offering consumers with an accurate taste of freshly squeezed orange juice. During the production of orange juice, when frozen concentrates are being made using condensing process, aroma compounds evaporate. The 40 detectable aroma compounds, blended into mixtures, are then sold to companies as flavour packs by ingredients companies, who reconstitute the juice with water prior to marketing.
In the United States, researchers at the Agricultural Research Service have identified the thresholds of 14 different flavour profiles, i.e. how much of the component has to be present for the consumer to taste it. This is just half way through the goal to map the 40-odd aroma compounds. To date, the team has isolated odour and taste thresholds for compounds thought to be key contributors to orange juice flavour.


New microwave processing eliminates hot spots

Emerson Process Management, the United States, offers a long-life dissolved oxygen sensor for use in carbonated beverage processing. Capable of withstanding caustic clean-in-place cycles, the new Rosemount Analytical Model Bx438 sensor monitors trace levels of dissolved oxygen in beer and other carbonated beverages. A robust steel-meshed, double-layer membrane enables the sensor to cope with high pressure and temperature while maintaining high diffusion rates.

Accuracy is ensured through the sensors unique membrane design and zero polarization voltage set point. Several competitive dissolved oxygen sensors set the polarization voltage to 670 mW, however, this set point may lead to offset readings due to carbon dioxide effects at low oxygen concentrations. The Bx438s zero polarization set point is the industrys most accurate dissolved oxygen readings. Since changes in flow rates have minimal impact on measurements, the sensor experiences minimal drift in low flow and no flow environments. The simple-to-use device comes standard with a VP 6.0 connector head for easy installation and is compatible with Xmt-A, 5081-A and 54eA devices.

Contact: Emerson Process Management, 2400, Barrancca Pkwy., Irvine, CA 92606, United States of America. Tel: +1 (949) 7578 500; Fax: +1 (949) 8639 159



New insights into enzymatic reactions

Researchers at Leicester University, the United Kingdom, report that a new phenomenon occurring at the atomic level dictates how enzymes work. This study, vital for catalysis within industry, reveals that chemical reactions can process through energy barriers. The team discovered that passage through, rather than over, the barrier can occur a process that relies on quantum mechanical effects like tunnelling. Mr. Michael Sutcliffe, one of the researchers, states that Quantum tunnelling is akin to traversing a landscape by tunnelling at the foot of a hill rather than walking over the summit. This hitherto unknown phenomenon could revolutionize brewing and meat tenderizing processes. In brewing, auxiliary enzymes are used to increase efficiency, control the brewing process and produce beer of a consistently high quality.



DNA tool raises cheese quality

Researchers in France are using new DNA tools to enhance the quality of raw-milk cheeses. It has been found that refrigerating raw milk for as little as 24 h can reduce the level of bacteria responsible for development of desirable qualities in raw-milk cheeses while raising the levels of undesirable contaminants and foodborne diseases. Precise description of microbial dynamics is now possible because of new molecular approaches based on direct analyses of DNA (or RNA) in its environment without microbial enrichment. An analysis of bacterial populations in fresh raw milk and raw milk refrigerated for 24 h revealed that the dominant bacterial population in fresh samples was Lactobacillus lactis, a species of bacteria commonly used as a starter culture for many cheeses. In the refrigerated samples, a significant decrease in L. lactis population was observed. Moreover, they detected increases in a variety of other bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, the common pathogen that causes deadly infections.


Assessing non-specific inhibition of L-lactic acid

In France, a team of researchers has developed and characterized a bioreactor that uses bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus) encapsulated in Ca-alginate beads coupled with an L-lactate biosensor. The biosensor comprises a carbon paste electrode modified with enzymes horseradish peroxidase (HRP), lactate oxidase (LOD) and ferrocene (FcH) as redox mediator. Measurement of L-lactate is based on the signal produced by the product of enzymatic oxidation of L-lactate with LOD.

Optimization studies were undertaken using the bioreactor together with an L-lactate electrode operating in a flow injection system to assess the ability of encapsulated bacteria to ferment carbohydrate solutions. The possibility of utilizing the developed method to assess the fermentation capability of milk samples was evaluated. Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitro propane-1,3-diol) was selected to simulate the effect of an inhibitory agent of milk fermentation. Results indicate that evaluation of the amount of L-lactate quantity produced through the bioreactor could be used as a measure of inhibition of lactic acid production in milk samples.


New beer fermenting system

Scheiblich Brewing Co., Germany, offers Aubras fermenting system, developed by brewmaster Mr. Axel Heiliger, for producing beer. In the new process, yeast works quicker as it is fixed to the ceramic lining of a stainless steel cylinder, thus reducing fermentation time. Moreover, the yeast lasts longer than in traditional processing, where yeast degenerates after three brews and starts to affect the beers quality. Additionally, the closed system requires roughly 30 m2 of space while traditional systems may require up to 300 m2.


Milestone achieved in wine production

First Venture Technologies Corp., Canada, reports to have achieved a breakthrough in commercializing yeast strains that minimize or prevent the formation of ethyl carbamate (urethane), a naturally occurring carcinogen, in some fermented foods and alcoholic beverages. Trials undertaken at the Wine Research Centre, the University of British Columbia, revealed that urea, one of the precursors in ethyl carbamate formation, is eliminated from wine produced using First Ventures red wine yeast strain PRW04a. According to the company, the genetically stable PRW04a yeast strain has fulfilled its highest expectations.

First Venture has also succeeded in transforming a white wine yeast (PWW04a) using its urea degrading technology. This is the third strain developed for commercialization in 2006. Test results from fermentation trials employing First Ventures brandy yeast, PBR04a, should be available by the fourth quarter. Transformation of sake yeast is also underway.

Contact: Mr. Howard J. Louie, President and CEO, First Venture Technologies Corp., Canada. Tel: +1 (604) 6482 200; Fax: +1 (604) 6482 201




New packaging system

Multivac Inc., the United States, is offering R140 rollstock system, the companys smallest system which measures 10 feet in length. Ideal for small processors, this system provides the same quality and reliability as the entire Multivac produce line. R140 is fully versatile for flexible and semi-rigid film and can be expanded to include options such as a cleaning programme, gas-flushing for MAP packaging and photoelectric registration. It also integrates easily with other equipment like slicers, coolers and labellers.

Contact: Multivac Inc., United States of America.



Non-stop shrink-wrap technology, the United States, offers two new continuous-motion shrink-wrap machines designed to reduce processing time and minimize the need for line stoppage. SW-2000 belt in-feed is designed to tame the temperamental shrink-wrap process while SW-3000 flight-lug machine features on-the-fly tracking adjustment and side-seal/cross-seal systems that never require cleaning. SW-2000 and SW-3000 systems deliver 60 and 75 packs/min, respectively, and are ideal for end-of-the-line wrapping where uptime is at a premium, changeovers frequent and packages come in all shapes.

Polyolefin, PVC and LDPE films can be used in both systems, which operate on demand, so intermittent motion packaging is accommodated as easily as continuous motion. The adjustment-free rotary side-seal system, common to all Lantech shrink machines, cuts and seals simultaneously at minimum temperature to avoid melting films on components that could degrade performance or cause line stoppage. The unique system needs setting of only temperature. Two different wheels, adjacent to each other, trim and fuse the side seal. Since trimming does not require any heat, the seal head can be threaded and checked cold for operator convenience. Likewise, the sealing wheel does not cut the film, so temperature can be set for the minimum necessary, eliminating the tendency for the film to melt on the sealing surface.

Contact:, 11000 Bluegrass Parkway, Louisville, KY 40299 2399, United States of America.


MAP technology

In the United Kingdom, Packaging Automation has installed a fully automatic modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) system at the factory of ethnic snacks producer Spurway Foods. Designed to achieve greater processing efficiency, the Vision 182MAP-V heat-sealing machine can be installed easily. Kerry Foods, a leading supplier of value-added foods to major supermarket chains, has also installed Packaging Automations PA2016 heat-sealing machine, which is equipped with MAP capabilities. The semi-automatic machine incorporates an automatic index rotary table.


Coating improves food packaging

A nanocomposite coating process has been developed by a consortium of European technical institutes and technology firms  to improve food packaging. Designed to interact with food to reduce oxygen levels or add flavourings and preservatives, the Solplas aerosol-assisted atmospheric plasma (AAAP) technique could put European companies ahead in the market for antimicrobial packaging materials. Existing barrier coating technologies on polymer films can be roughly categorized into atmospheric and vacuum-based. Atmospheric techniques involve application of a lacquer followed by thermal, UV or electron-beam irradiation post curing. Vacuum coatings can be made utilizing aluminium, or, for clear packaging, inorganic metal oxide (MeOx). Usually, more specialized coatings are a combination of the two.

Nearly 50 per cent of the coated polypropylene food packaging market uses clear polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC). However, environmental concerns about PVdC have stimulated developments in other materials, such as multi-layer combinations of lacquers and MeOx coatings, but these technologies are complex and expensive.

Contact: Dr. Dirk Vangeneugden, Project Co-ordinator, VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Materials Department, Surface Technology Group, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium. Tel: +32 (14) 335 620; Fax: +32 (14) 321 186



New packaging from old garbage

A researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, has demonstrated a process to produce eco-friendly packaging from garbage. The bags are impermeable to oxygen and, to some extent, liquids. Mr. Mikael Gallstedt studied three organic materials chitosan, wheat gluten and whey to determine the feasibility of adapting them to function as packaging material. While chitosan is a substance extracted from the shells of insects and crustaceans, wheat gluten is attained after removing the starch in flour and whey is a common by-product of cheesemaking.

Other innovations in packaging have also been reported edible wraps made of vegetables and fruits, and plastic wrapping that incorporates basil. These products are said to be water repellent and contain the equivalent nutritional value of a fruit or vegetable. Made from concentrated puree of fruits or vegetables, vegetable oil is added to ensure they are waterproof and the film is then cut into preformed sheets or envelope shapes. The herb basil, long known for its bacteria-fighting properties, is being incorporated into plastic wrappings to preserve foods.


Breakthrough in liquid packaging

PacDrive SCL-055 from Elau Inc., the United States, is a purpose-built system combining servo motor and drive in the same trapezoidal enclosure. This system is ideal for direct integration into rotary tables used in filling, capping and labelling of liquid products. The SCL motors IP67 rated sealing and Hart Coat surface treatment are resistant to liquid intrusion as well as corrosive chemicals required for aseptic filling. A reinforced bearing handles greater than normal radial loads, so that the motor can be directly coupled with a belt drive. The motor, enclosure as well as drive electronics are highly engineered to provide the necessary torque and thermal dissipation needs. The motor design has an excellent performance-to-size ratio, low electrical losses and a high-resolution encoder with electronic type plate (Sincos,1 million increments/revolution). RMS holding torque is 1.0 Nm, peak torque is 4.4 Nm and rated speed is 3,000 rpm. Up to 99 of new SCL-055 servo motor/drives can be controlled by a single PacDrive controller.

Contact: Elau Inc., 165 E. Commerce Dr., Schaumburg, IL 60173, Illinois, United States of America. Tel: +1 (847) 4904 270



New innovation in packaging

In Germany, researchers at Linkoping Technical University and Chalmers University have developed a completely new and environmentally friendly packaging product. Xylophane, based on the renewable material xylan found in grain, straw and wood, is a new film with immense potential in packaging sensitive products like foods and drugs. Since this oxygen-resistant film is made using a waste product and practically for free, it would be considerably cheaper than existing products. The patent-pending innovation won the Innovation Cup award.


Counterfeit-proof packaging

Teikoku Piston Ring of Japan has developed a hologram identification label, which brings anti-counterfeiting packaging to new levels. The label takes the worlds first Lippman hologram heat transfer foil, developed by Dai Nippon Printing (DNP), and stripe-transfers it to the surface of an adhesive label. The Lippman hologram features images which change according to alterations in the frame of reference in both vertical and horizontal directions, making it possible to record and replicate images with richer 3-D and depth perspective qualities. The image in presently used holograms changes in only one direction. An initial drawback of the Lippman hologram was its poor heat resistance and segmentation durability. This hurdle was overcome in collaboration with Nippon Paint by developing a new photo-polymer material, thus leading to the worlds first heat transfer foil. It is extremely difficult to counterfeit the Lippman hologram as specialized devices are needed.



Food Authenticity and Traceability

The first section of this book deals with analytical techniques applied to food authentication. Both established and developing procedures have been discussed as are chemometrics and data handling. The second part relates these methodologies to particular food and beverage products like meat, cereals, wine and dairy products. The area of traceability is reviewed in detail, taking into account the development of efficient traceability systems and their application in practice to areas such as animal feed and fish processing.

Detecting Pathogens in Food

An ideal detection method should include qualities such as sensitivity, specificity, speed and suitability for on-line applications. This book brings together a distinguished team of contributors to review the latest techniques in microbiological analysis and how they can best be used to ensure food safety. Topics covered include role of microbiological analysis in food safety management, validating individual detection techniques and ensuring the quality of analytical labs, etc.

Proteins in Food Processing

This book reviews the role of proteins in enhancing the nutritional, textural and other qualities of food products. Part 1 delves into protein sources, examining caseins, whey, muscle and soya proteins and proteins from oil-producing plants, cereals, and seaweed. Part 2 illustrates the analysis and modification of proteins, with chapters on testing protein functionality, modelling protein behaviour, extraction and purification of proteins and reducing their allergenicity.

For the above publications, contact: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Abington Hall, Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 891 358; Fax: +44 (1223) 893 694

E-mail: wp@wood


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