VATIS Update Food Processing . Nov-Dec 2009

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Food Processing Nov-Dec 2009

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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New regional seafood group

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Seafood Federation is a newly formed federation of seafood producers, processors and exporters from ASEAN countries. The Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) has been extended an invitation to join the group. According to SEAI President Mr. Anwar Hashim, We are definitely interested in joining the group since it will give us access to better technology, food safety assurance, logistics and marketing. And when India and China join the group, it could become quite a powerful force accounting for 70-75 per cent of global seafood production. Though the ASEAN Seafood Federation was formed mainly as a private producers and processors group, this body has the blessings of the ASEAN Secretariat. The founding members and signatories of this entity include the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Boost for seafood businesses

The European Commission (EC) recently decided to allow an additional 30 Vietnamese seafood processing businesses to export their products to the European Union (EU). According to Viet Nams National Agriculture and Fisheries Quality Assurance Directorate, four new businesses will be allowed to sell seafood in Japan. The Republic of Korea and China have agreed to grant licences to four more Vietnamese businesses. This initiative by EC raises the total number of Vietnamese businesses exporting seafood to EU to 330. Japan has opened its door to almost 450 seafood producers while China allows products from over 400 enterprises, Brazil permits 60 and Russia allows 30.

Strict regulation of food exports

Chinas Ministry of Commerce will provide training on the quality and safety standards for key export markets in an effort to ensure the safety of its food exports. Assistant Minister of Commerce Mr. Lu Jianhua said the Ministry would further improve service for food exports, watch for changes in key export markets and provide risk alerts as needed. The Ministry is supporting industry associations to compile handbooks for key export destinations, and will continue to organize overseas exhibitions for qualified food and drug exporters. To strengthen food and drug exporters self-discipline, it is formulating blacklists of offenders and setting up an industry credit system. The Ministry is also working with other government agencies to set up a system to trace the exported products, help enterprises recall unsafe food items and compensate for any losses.

CSIRO toasts to best new juice

In Australia, fruit juices developed with the assistance of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have won the prestigious Beverage Innovation Award in Germany. Preshafood Ltd., formerly Donny Boy Fresh Food Co., won the first prize in the Best new juice or juice drink category and the overall prize for Best new concept across all 24 categories. The firm was also a finalist in the Best newcomer brand or business category. The fruit juices were produced using high-pressure processing technology wherein pressures about 6,000 times the average air pressure at sea level are applied to pasteurize food products. Contact: Mr. Lloyd Simons/Ms. Pamela Tyers, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, Locked Bag 10, Clayton South, Victoria, VIC 3169, Australia. Tel: +61 (3) 9731 3311/9731 3484/9731 3200; Fax: +61 (3) 9742 0201/9731 3201; E-mails:

Adding nutritional value to snack foods

The National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), India, has developed extruded milk solids and sorghum-based products that can add value to snack foods. The process may inactivate anti-nutritional factors that may be present and largely destroys micro-organisms, thereby extending the product shelf-life. Sorghum can be used effectively in milk solids to make extruded breakfast food. Sorghum extrusion products have not yet been produced on a commercial scale. Hence, NDRI scientists studied sorghum-based extruded breakfast foods, especially with high shelf-life.

Popped sorghum or roasted sorghum were blended with skimmed and whole milk powders (SMP/WMP) at 20, 30 and 40 per cent, and sugar at 8 per cent was added in all the trials. Temperature of extrusion was kept constant at 120C. Formulation with roasted sorghum has SMP-sugar in 10:6.1 ratio scored higher than the other formulations, in terms of appearance and overall acceptability. The composition of the breakfast foods is as follows: 4.5 per cent moisture, 17.96 per cent protein, 1.5 per cent fat, 2.48 per cent ash, 2.6 per cent fibre and the total carbohydrate by difference was 71.25 per cent. Results of storage studies showed that the product in aluminium and HDPE rigid containers and multi-layered flexible pouches stored well up to eight months without significant changes in sensory characteristics. NDRI is scouting for potential industry partners for technology transfer.

System to trace seafood origins

The Government of Viet Nam has drafted new procedures that will allow the origins of seafood to be traced through the entire cycle from farms to export firms. Initially, shrimps and tra catfish in the Mekong Delta will be traced. Mr. Tran Bich Nga, Deputy Head of the National Quality Control of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, stated that importers had urged the government to apply international tracing standards to check products thoroughly and professionally. With processors, purchase agents, farmers and breeders asked to clearly record origins and addresses, poor quality products can be withdrawn, allowing seafood quality to be improved. According to an official from the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, with Viet Nam exporting seafood to 145 nations and territories, having procedures in place to trace the products would enable Viet Nam to build global brands.

New food safety reporting system in China

In China, the State Food and Drug Administration has launched a food safety reporting system and offered it for public consultation. The new system is designed to ensure food safety accidents or potential food safety accidents at the regional level are reported swiftly and accurately. Any food-related accident that involves more than 30 people must be reported to the local food administration department within 6 hours. Accidents involving more than 100 people or cause more than one death and those that occur in schools or during national events will have to be reported to the local health department and the food and drug administration of a higher level within 6 hours. They must also be reported to the State Food and Drug Administration. Regional (above county level) food and drug administrations have been empowered to look into food service providers who are obliged to provide food samples and information. They will be allowed to take some provisional measures including, but not limited to, isolating the food and materials that may be related to the incident, sealing contaminated tools and disclosing information about the accident. The rules require food service providers to report any food related accidents within 2 hours to the local supervision departments and to take effective measures to coordinate the investigation of the accidents.

Earlier last year, China had announced plans to launch a food safety commission to oversee the nations entire food monitoring system. The new commission is expected to focus on the nations macro food safety strategies and the division of responsibilities in times of emergency. It will not have any representatives from the food industry. Technical support for the organization is expected to come from three existing organizations State Food Safety Science and Technology Commission, State Food Safety Risk Assessment Commission, and State Food Safety Standard Commission.

New rice products

In the Republic of Korea, several leading food companies are hoping to take full advantage of the governments move to reduce the price of rice used in processed food and liquor by whipping up new products featuring the nations dietary staple. Top food maker CJ Cheiljedang launched three new instant rice products for its frozen line CJ Pressian, including chicken breast fried rice and shrimp fried rice. The company also plans to launch rice cereal bars and fermented rice beverages. CJ Cheiljedang was the first company to launch an instant rice product (called Hetbahn) in 1996. The firm buys roughly 7,500 tonnes of rice directly from local rice farms.

In the face of declining rice consumption in the country, the government had announced that it would lower the price of rice utilized in processed food by 30 per cent as part of a broader move to increase consumption. Some estimates peg the price of local rice at around three times that of the imported variety. Nongshim, the leading local ramen manufacturer and an active player in the instant rice market, purchased 2,500 tonnes of rice from local farms last year and some of its most popular products are rice ramen and rice chips. Kooksoondang, a maker of traditional alcoholic beverages including makgeolli (Korean rice wine) said it is planning to increase rice purchases to 300 tonnes annually compared with the current 200 tonnes.

Banana plant waste converted into useful products

Navsari Agriculture University (NAU), India, has successfully converted unusable portions of the banana plant into useful products (including an edible candy with nutritional values) under a project entitled A Value Chain on Utilization of Banana Pseudostem for Fibre and Other Value-Added Products. NAU professors developed an edible candy with high fibre and nutritional content using the central core of the pseudo stem. The other products include fibre for the textile and paper industries and organic liquid fertilizer. The project goal focused on efficient use of every part of the banana tree.

Viet Nam to build nations largest food complex

Vissan, Viet Nam, has unveiled plans to build the nations largest food processing complex at a cost of 700 billion dong (US$39 million) on a 22.4 ha site in Long An province. The complex will include a slaughterhouse, a food processing system, freezer units and waste treatment facilities. Key products include Chinese sausage (with production estimated at 1,200 tonnes/year) and tinned food (total 2,500 tonnes together with hot dogs and pork pies). Construction is slated to commence at the end of 2010 with an operational deadline set for late 2012. According to Mr. Bui Duy Duc, Director-General of Vissan, the company will arrange to take care of ISO, HACCP and other standards of hygiene food safety.

Joint commission for agro-industrial revolution

Pakistans Prime Minister Mr. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has announced that a joint commission comprising representatives from the centre and provinces would be set up to revolutionize agro-industrial activities in the nation. After inaugurating the Agro Food Processing Facilities (AFP) project at Industrial Estate Area Multan, Mr. Gilani also announced to establish an agro-based industrial park in Multan. Mr. Gilani said that AFP Multan is a good example of cooperation between the central and state governments for the benefit of the people. If this initiative proves a success, the government will replicate it in other parts of the country, he said. The modern food processing plant is the only facility in the country set up by the joint contributions of the central and state governments on the basis of public-private partnership. The plant has the capacity to process 10 tonnes/hour of mango and 5 tonnes/hour of guava, strawberry and apple. Vegetables like tomato and carrot can also be processed at the rate of 5 tonnes/hour.

Reservation for jute bags

In India, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to retain 100 per cent reservation for jute bags for packaging sugar and food grains by government procuring agencies. The continuation of 100 per cent reservation under the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA) of 1987 has put to rest all speculation of a possible 25 per cent dilution suggested by the Centres Standing Advisory Committee. The dilution proposal had led to an unprecedented situation resulting in a progressive decline in prices of raw jute and jute products. The Indian Jute Mills Association, the apex body of the jute industry in the country, had strongly objected to the dilution proposal keeping in view the interests of more than 4 million jute cultivators and 2.5 million jute workers across the country.


New food safety standards

China is working on a new system of food safety standards that is expected to guarantee peoples health and be more compatible with international norms. According to the Vice Minister of Health Mr. Chen Xiaohong, The Ministry of Health is now working together with other government agencies to formulate a system of food safety standards, as required by the countrys new food safety law that went into effect on 1 June this year. The system will integrate existing food safety standards, eliminate areas that overlap or contradict each other, and establish new standards for areas that previously lacked regulation. The priority areas are: amount of pathogenic micro-organisms, pesticide residue, micro-organism residue, heavy metals and pollutants in food products, as well as the use of food additives. An expert team on food safety standards is also in the offing.

Mr. Xiaohong promised transparency in the making of the new system and encouraged experts and enterprises to submit suggestions. The system will also be subject to the opinions of international organizations and other countries, in line with a request from the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition to the implementation of the new law, the Ministry is stepping up efforts to establish an efficient food safety coordination mechanism, improve the health emergency response system, and establish a food safety risk monitoring and assessment system. Also, a database is under construction to facilitate the flow of information between the different government agencies that are involved in food safety administration and supervision.

New food and drug agency evolves in the Philippines

In the Philippines, President Dr. Arroyo recently signed into law Republic Act (RA) 9711 empowering the newly created Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seize without any court order health products found violating the law. RA 9711 replaces the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) with FDA. BFAD was originally the food and drug authority under RA 3720, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1963.

Under the new law, the FDA Director (now an Under-Secretary) can declare any person who disregards any of his/her orders to be in direct contempt. Fines and penalties for violating the law have also been raised. The new law authorizes FDA to retain all its income from various sources, apart from having an annual budget from the central government. That provision would give FDA the necessary funds to regulate products and establishments. RA 9711 would help eliminate unregistered and unsafe products in the market. At present, FDA has about 400 inspectors in Metro Manila but needs 600 more inspectors. FDA has labs in Muntinlupa and Davao City; a lab in Cebu is not yet operational.

China tightens supervision of food advertisements

In China, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce has released a new rule to tighten up the supervision of advertisements of food products. As per the Food Advertisement Supervision Rule, China will severely punish publishers of misleading food advertisements advertisements that lie about or overstate the performance of a particular food product, especially healthcare food products; those related to disease control and prevention; advertisements released without approval; those linking food products to a government employee, medical institution or doctor, or that use the image of experts or consumers to verify the effectiveness of a food product; advertisements released as news reports or health information releases; and even those implying that a food product has been recommended by person in authority.

The rule requires that the media must be accountable for monitoring food product advertisements. A monitor system will be set up to implement the dynamic supervision of food advertisements. In addition, the industrial and commercial department will enhance its efforts in publicizing illegal food advertisements and remind consumers about such misleading advertisements. An advertisement may be suspended if an investigation on the product is required.


New method detects live E. coli

In the United States, University of Missouri food scientists have come up with a method to detect live Escherichia coli cells in ground beef in 12 hours. The two-step method can distinguish between dead and living E. coli cells. Dead cells will not make you sick, but just 10 live cells can inflict a severe intestinal illness, explains Prof. Azlin Mustapha. The research employs a technique called real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) a quick, reliable method to detect and identify pathogens in food. However, PCR cannot differentiate viable from dead microbial cells. Therefore, to prevent false-positives, the researchers stain samples with the dye ethidium bromide monoazide, which cannot penetrate live cells but can enter dead cells and bind to the DNA molecules, thereby making them insoluble as well as invisible to PCR tests. Contact: Mr. Robert E. Thomas, Information Specialist, University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group, United States of America. Tel: +1 (573) 8822 480; E-mail: thomasr@

Pea starch film protects foods

Researchers the Department of Food Science of University of Manitoba, Canada, have developed bioactive edible films and coatings from the starch of yellow field peas to improve food quality and safety. The bioactive material delivery matrix is a neutral food-grade material that can contain or incorporate various kinds of bioactive parts.

One system that Dr. Jung Han developed is a wet pea starch gel coating for direct application to the surface of perishable foods in order to isolate the food from the environment and reduce microbial contamination. This starch coating layer contains natural preservatives, antibiotics or herbs and spice extracts that are antimicrobial agents. It kills harmful bacteria without changing the population of good bacteria, like lactic acid bacteria. Dr. Han has even developed a spray coating product that can be applied directly on chicken carcasses to prevent cross-contamination of micro-organisms. It can easily be applied with the inside-outside body washers currently used in the poultry industry. Also, a micro-encapsulation process using pea protein has been developed. The edible micro-encapsulation material can be used to protect -carotene and fish oils, as well as preserve flax seed oil for the health food industry. Furthermore, a biodegradable plastic has been developed using the pea starch.

Simple, rapid test to detect tainted milk supply

In the United States, Mr. Amer Abu Ghazaleh from Southern Illinois University-Carbondales College of Agricultural Sciences and Mr. Salam Ibrahim, a food microbiologist at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, have shown that the combination of certain bacteria and a common purple dye can reveal the presence of toxins in milk in just a few hours.

The team focused on bacteria that ferment lactose (milks sugars), producing lactic acid as they go. They began with a few bacterial strains they already had and cyanide. Experiments demonstrated that not only could the toxin slow or stop lactic acid production but this effect increased with the toxic load. Further, the effect appeared in under 4 hours. Researchers then added purple dye to samples containing both toxins and bacteria and to samples containing only bacteria. After 8 hours, dye in the non-toxic milk turned yellow, indicating the presence of increased lactic acid, while dye in the toxin-laden milk remained purple. However, the test does not identify what sort of toxin is in the milk, it only indicates that there is something wrong (like an alarm). With funding from the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, the study is being expanded to include a wider range of bacteria and toxins.

Detecting allergens in food

The Food Safety Department of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Germany, is working on the development of a rapid test for detecting allergenic substances in food. Within the framework of a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, analytical methods for official food control and the food industry that are capable of detecting the tiniest traces of allergens in food within minutes are to be developed by the beginning of 2012. At present, there are only two official methods to detect allergens in the laboratory and these are time-consuming and can only be carried out with the corresponding analytical devices.

One goal of the project coordinated by BfR is to develop a method in which extracts of the food to be examined are applied to a test strip to obtain results within 10 minutes, whether it contains an allergen and, if so, which one. The test can be done on-site. In addition, new modern analytical methods are being elaborated to reliably identify the genetic make-up of the allergenic substances even in highly processed food. Furthermore, the methods would be sensitive enough to detect allergens even in the parts per million (ppm) range.

Edible apple film wraps

Researchers from the University of Arizona, the United States, have used cinnamaldehyde and carvacrol in edible apple-based film wraps for protection against Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. Lead researcher Ms. Sadhana Ravishankar says, The use of edible antimicrobial films offers several consumer advantages, including prevention of moisture loss, control of dripping juices (which reduces cross contamination), and prevention of foreign odour pick-up as well as the reduction of rancidity and discoloration.

Carvacrol is the main ingredient of oregano oil, while cinnamaldehyde is the main ingredient of cinnamon oil. A study has revealed that carvacrol is a stronger antimicrobial agent against both Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 compared with cinnamaldehyde on chicken breasts at 4C. At 23C, the S. enterica population reductions were similar for both carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde but higher for carvacrol against E. coli O157:H7. Carvacrol was also a stronger antimicrobial agent against L. monocytogenes than cinnamaldehyde on ham at 4C and 23C. Further, the antimicrobials containing apple films were effective against the natural microflora present on raw chicken breast.


Latest soy fibre ingredient for tortillas

Solae LLC, the United States, has introduced a soy fibre ingredient for tortillas and flat breads Fibrim 1270. This new ingredient provides a complete natural moisture management system, enabling increased water absorption and yield, extended shelf-life and enhanced sensory experience. Fibrim is a complex blend of insoluble fibre, soluble fibre and protein. The unique functional ingredient is processed for no flavour impact, excellent water absorption and consistent functionality. Fibrim offers a multitude of functional benefits, including increased yield, enhanced blending and binding during manufacturing process, extended shelf-life, improved microwaveability, increased freeze-thaw stability, controlled water activity and reduced stickiness, and tortilla cracking and hardening.
Source: www.earthtimes.orgfibre

Natural white food colouring

Chr. Hansen, based in Denmark, has introduced a natural alternative based on calcium carbonate classified in Europe as a food colour (E170) and as a natural colour by the Natural Food Colours Association NATCOL. Currently, calcium carbonate is classified as a food additive in the United States and can be applied as a coating agent. CapColors White 100 WSS-P is an extension of the CapColors range that use encapsulation technology for increased resistance to light, pH and oxidation, making them perfect for applications where bright colour is essential.

Processes for producing isomaltose and isomaltitol

Researchers in Okayama, Japan, report an invention that provides a new process for producing isomaltose and isomaltitol, and their uses. The invention achieves the object by establishing a process to produce isomaltose comprising a step of contacting a saccharide, having the alpha-1,4 glucosidic linkage as the linkage of non-reducing end and a glucose polymerization degree of at least two, with an alpha-isomaltosyl-transferring enzyme and an alpha-isomaltosylglucosaccharide-forming enzyme derived from a specific micro-organism; a process to produce isomaltitol using the isomaltose produced by the above process; saccharide compositions comprising isomaltose and/or isomaltitol produced by the invented processes; as well as their uses.

Transparent gel advance

Research undertaken at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, reveals that a clear hydrogel made from xyloglucan and chitosan may offer an innovative thickening agent and carrier of food flavours or colours. Hydrogels are liquid or semi-solid materials that can absorb water or other liquids like a sponge. CSIRs non-toxic and transparent hydrogel also possessed antimicrobial and texture properties that make it very promising for food applications. The hydrogel is transparent, colourless, thermostable and biocompatible with ordered structure. The cost-effective gel is made from renewable resources.

Essential oils from spices possible allies in food safety

In the United States, researchers at the Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago, report that oregano, allspice and garlic essential oils can be effective, natural barriers against Escherichia coli, Listeria and Salmonella. The new study reveals that oregano oil is the most effective antimicrobial, followed by allspice and garlic. Researchers at Processed Foods Research and Produce Safety & Microbiology units of Western Regional Research Centre from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) studied the oils effectiveness by incorporating them in thin, tomato-based antimicrobial coatings known as edible films. In addition to its flavour properties, tomatoes are said to possess many beneficial nutritional and bioactive components that may benefit human health. Edible tomato films that contain antimicrobials may protect food against contamination by pathogens. Testing was done by laying the films on top of bacteria and by exposing bacteria to vapours arising from the film.


Cocoa-containing beverage with high polyphenol levels

Barry Callebaut AG, Switzerland, has patented a process for producing a beverage comprising a cocoa material having an enhanced level of polyphenols. The process involves the following steps:

Adding a base to an aqueous phase to adjust the pH to between about 6.5 and 7.5;

Mixing ingredients into the aqueous phase to give a dispersion, the ingredients including cocoa material having an enhanced level of polyphenols;

Performing thermal treatment on the dispersion, comprising heating the dispersion to over about 85C for at least about 5 seconds; and

Cooling the treated dispersion.

The aqueous phase is milk (and conveniently, the milk is a low-at milk). Advantageously, the aqueous phase is water. Preferably, the base comprises potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide and/or potassium carbonate. The cocoa material having a heightened level of polyphenols is cocoa powder. Contact: Barry Callebaut AG, P.O. Box 8021, CH-Zurich, Switzerland.

Soy isolate for beverages

Solbar Industries Ltd., Israel, has launched a new ready-to-use stabilized calcium-fortified soy protein isolate for pH-neutral beverages. Developed in cooperation with Purac, the Netherlands, Solpro 958QS combines synergistic properties of non-genetically modified soy protein isolates, calcium source and natural stabilizers for a single-pack solution. The unique formulation solves all of the typical issues faced by ready-to-drink manufacturers eliminating precipitation, chalkiness or gritty mouthfeel, non-homogenous distribution of calcium and protein coagulation. The product contains calcium on par with that of milk, a major breakthrough for lactose-sensitive consumers of all ages. Solpro 958QS has been tested in several UHT preparations, receiving the approval of expert flavour panels. Contact: Mr. Gary Brenner, V.P. Marketing & Development, Solbar Industries Ltd., 2 Hahadarim Street, P.O. Box 2230, Ashdod, Israel 77121. Tel: +972 (8) 8632 111; Fax: +972 (8) 8561 455; E-mail:; Website: (Source:

Carbonated fruit juice powder

The Taedonggang Foodstuff Processing Factory of Pyongyang, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, is producing quality carbonated fruit juice powder of various kinds. The factory has developed a new type of carbonic acid gas collector and settled technological problems arising in all processes from processing, mixture and drying of raw materials to the packing of goods, and thus put the technological process of manufacturing carbonated fruit juice powder on a higher scientific basis. It has successfully produced various kinds of carbonated fruit juice powder by an industrial method.

High-quality apple juice

Apples are more juicy when they are processed using its integrated enzyme solution, claims the Danish company Danisco. Pektozyme MAXJuice process secures juice manufacturers up to 20 per cent more yield at the highest possible quality. Processing efficiencies provided by the MAXJuice process help apple processors overcome quality variations in apple supplies and free up processing bottlenecks optimizing processing and profits.

The integrated solution comprises very powerful enzymes from Daniscos Pektozyme range, each designed to boost performance at every step of the way, from juice extraction to ultrafiltration. Pektozyme POWERMash pectolytic enzymes prepare apple mashes for pressing. The resulting juice extract has a particularly low pectin content and viscosity, making them ideally prepared for depectinization and clarification and allowing high filtration rates. Processors can take extraction to the next level with MAXJuice. This specific enzyme enables residual juice to be extracted from apple pomace that is otherwise regarded as waste. MAXJuice also prevents haze development in juice concentrates. Depectinization of all juice extracts can be expertly managed employing Pektozyme POWERClear. Contact: Ms. Birgitte Haber Borch, Food Enzymes, Danisco, Denmark. Tel: +45 (89) 435 077; E-mail: birgitte.haber.borch@danisco. com.


Food dehydration technology

EnWave Corp., Canada, has signed confidentiality accords with over 15 food production companies in North and South Americas, Europe and the Republic of Korea to determine the advantages of using its nutraREV food dehydration technology in a range of product areas including mushrooms, herbs, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, snack chips, shrimp, salmon and pet treats. EnWave is working closely with these firms to replace expensive and less efficient freeze drying machines or to develop new products for the food ingredients and snack food markets.

The nutraREV technology competes directly with freeze drying, the current standard used to ensure long shelf-life and maximum nutrition retention in dehydrated food. This process uses a combination of vacuum pressure and microwave energy to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, herbs and seafood at, or below, room temperatures. It takes minutes or hours to dehydrate products rather than days, requiring approximately one-third the energy of freeze drying at one-sixth the capital cost. Products dried with nutraREV technology retain excellent colour, flavour and texture with similar nutrients and shelf-life to freeze drying. Also, products can be dehydrated to a variety of moisture contents as required.

Mango seeds offer protection

At the University of Alberta, Canada, Ms. Christina Engels has found a way to convert the throwaway kernels of mangoes into a natural food preservative that could help prevent Listeriosis outbreaks. The findings can also apply to other fruit seeds like grapes, according to Ms. Engels.

Pure tannins, a plant component extracted from otherwise useless mango kernels have proven their inhibitory effects against various strains of bacteria including Listeria, a potentially deadly pathogen. Ms. Engels research focuses on a way to recycle wood-like mango kernels that are usually thrown away or burned. Ms. Engels states, Through processing kernels for their tannins, businesses have a way to completely utilize allfruit parts and therefore increase their profit.

Coconut oil extract guards against food bacteria

Researchers at Zhejiang University, China, have studied the use of monolaurin as a non-traditional preservative in food products by combining it with common antimicrobials in varying concentrations and testing it on bacterial strains like Esherichia coli and on food components such as soy protein and water-soluble starch. Results have shown that monolaurin combined with the binding agent ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is effective against E. coli and Bacillus subtilis but not against Staphylococcus aureus. When combined with the antimicrobial nisin, monolaurin is synergistically effective against all three bacteria. Furthermore, researchers studied monolaurins interaction with food components and found that its antibacterial effectiveness was reduced by fat or starch but was not affected by protein. Lead researcher Mr. Hui Zhang opines, These results contribute to a better understanding on the use of monolaurin as a non-traditional preservative for antimicrobial purposes in food products. Monolaurins antimicrobial effects can be increased if used in combination with other preservatives.

Essential oils as preservatives

At the University of Yaounde, Cameroon, the food preservative potential of essential oils from three aromatic plants Cymbopogon citratus, Ocimum gratissimum and Thymus vulgaris as well as their fractions were studied against two mycotoxigenic strains each of Aspergillus ochraceus, Penicillium expansum and P. verrucosum. The fungicidal activity was determined and stated as a Number of Decimal Reduction of the colony forming units (NDR cfu) per ml. The influence of pH variation on this activity was also studied. It was found that the NDR cfu varied with the essential oils and its concentration, the pH of the medium and the strain tested. The essential oils from O. gratissimum exhibited the highest activity against the six fungal strains under the three pH tested. T. vulgaris and C. citratus essential oils were less active against the Penicillium species tested and A. ochraceus, respectively. Potassium sorbate did not present any activity at pH 6 and 9. At pH 3, its NDR cfu was the lowest against the six fungal strains. At the same pH and at 4,000 ppm, the three essential oils presented an NRD cfu > or = 6 against strains of A. ochraceus and P. expansum. Contact: Mr. J. Nguefack, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde I, Box 812, Yaounde, Cameroon. E-mail: jnguefack@gmail. com.

Food preservation process

A group of Brazilian researchers has invented a new process for the preservation of different foods. This process extends the processed foods shelf-life without the addition of preservatives and the use of freezing or cooling. Furthermore, the process helps retain the natural characteristics of the processed food, for example, flavour and texture. The process for preserving different foods comprises the following steps:

Packing food in a package;

Heating the food/package system keeping the food in contact with the atmospheric air external to the package;

Changing the gaseous composition inside the package containing food;

Closing/sealing the food package; and

Thermal treatment of the closed/sealed package containing food.

Protecting omega-3 formulations

In Canada, new research at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia Agricultural College has reported that the shelf-life of omega-3 formulations can be enhanced with the addition of the antioxidant polyphenol quercetin found in onion, apples and tea. Quercetin performed better than the synthetic antioxidant butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) in bulk fish oil, and better than vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) in an emulsion system. Naturally sourced flavonols such as quercetin glycosides can be used as effective antioxidants for stabilizing omega-3 PUFA-containing foods and nutraceuticals while providing potential additional health benefits. This latest study indicates that formulators can use the flavonol as a natural alternative to synthetic additives.


Pili pulp oil extraction process

In the Philippines, the Sorsogon provincial office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has developed a new technology that provides a simple method of producing oil from pili nut pulp. This method involves simple cooking and filtration tools that process oil extracts from freshly harvested pili nuts using minimal heat. As this process retains the aroma and natural green colour of pili pulp, the resulting oil is considered to be of premium or virgin quality. Pili pulp contains an essential oil that can be used as salad dressing, shortening and the base for canned sardines and other food preparations. Results of chemical and nutritional analyses of pili pulp oil compared with olive oil reveal that pili oil has more -carotene content, a source of vitamin A and carotenoids and phytosterols.

Pest-resistant Bt brinjal

In India, researchers at the University of Agricultural Science (UAS) have genetically engineered six Bt brinjal varieties to manage fruit and shoot borer pest. The pest-resistant transgenic varieties were developed under a centrally funded project spread over five years, using a process similar to the one used in the development of Bt cotton. Bt brinjal incorporates Cry1Ac gene expressing insecticidal protein targeting the pest larvae. When ingested by the larvae, the gene is activated in the insects alkaline gut and binds to the gut wall that later breaks down allowing Bt spores to kill the larvae.

Ripening fermentation for food

Researchers in the Republic of Korea report an invention related to a food ageing fermentation apparatus. More specifically disclosed is a food ageing fermentation apparatus comprising: a micro-organism culturing tank to store a micro-organism culturing chip seeded with the micro-organism having the water containing ratio of 40-70 per cent so as to maintain the temperature of 40-70C by means of fermentation heat of said micro-organism culturing chip; and at least one fermentation tank for storing foods to be fermented, said tank being installed in said micro-organism culturing chip and made of porous ceramic material formed with fine holes, for the purpose of preventing the rot of the food while excluding the preservative, shortening the fermentation period and at the same time improving the fermentation efficiency through ageing and fermenting the food in short period under the high-temperature environment while excluding the heat source such as electricity or gas, and, furthermore, extracting the crude liquid of high concentration.

Patented technology to produce food and fuel

The United States-based PureVision Technology Inc. and Australias Microbiogen are offering new technology capable of producing biofuel and protein products simultaneously in biorefineries. PureVisions patented fractionation process separates cellulosic biomass into three streams inside one pressurized reaction chamber. The extraction method removes and recovers the hemicellulose and lignin in two liquid fractions, leaving a solid fraction containing relatively pure cellulose or fibre. The fractionation process produces Mibcrobiogens non-genetically modified yeast organism that will be utilized in the fermentation process and also has the ability to clean the waste stream generated by it.

New oat variety

A new milling oat variety developed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) with funding from the Grains Research and Development Corp. is set to find favour and flavour with grain growers and consumers alike. The Yallara variety is being hailed not only for its improved, creamy taste but also for its ability to beat crop disease. Yallara is resistant to leaf and stem rust diseases that can cut oat yields by between 40 and 100 per cent in seasons when these diseases are prevalent. This, together with the appealing creamy taste achieved by SARDI, positions Yallara as an exciting new variety that has the potential to reap significant returns for growers.


Food contact polypropylene

PolyMirae the joint venture of LyondellBasell, the Netherlands, and Daelim, the Republic of Korea has developed a new polypropylene (PP) resin for food contact applications such as baby bottles and containers. Clyrell RC5056 is suitable for food containers because of its high chemical inertness, durability, transparency and resistance to high temperatures. The resin is suitable for various processing methods, including injection moulding, injection stretch blow moulding and injection blow moulding. Furthermore, the resin has a very low haze value of 9, compared with 18 for other standard PP random copolymers, and offers a potential cycle time reduction of 10 per cent. Also, Clyrell RC5056 is easy to process and provides an attractive cost/performance ratio.

New pouch filling technology

Waldner Firmengruppe, Germany, has developed new technology for pouch filling and sealing. The highly efficient pouch transfer system comprises two servo-driven pouch transfer modules that simultaneously index single rows of pouches to the pouch loading station. Two rows of pouches are loaded and secured into individual pockets via servo-driven transfer, resulting in proper positioning within the pouch transport/filling system. Each stage of this process ensures highly efficient control and handling of the pouch, filling accuracy and finally ultrasonic sealing. With speeds of up to 1,200 pouches per minute, Waldners technology offers solutions for high productivity/high volume pouch filling applications. Additional benefits are:

Positive pouch control;

Ultrasonic sealing leak-free pouches;

Direct discharge into retorts;

Minimum personnel;

High productivity; and

Lower cost per pouch.

Contact: PTI Inspection Systems, 145 Main Street, Tuckahoe, New York 10707, United States of America.

Fruit and vegetable wraps

At the United States Department of Agricultures Agricultural Research Service, researchers led by Ms. Tara H. McHugh worked with entrepreneur Mr. Matthew de Bord to develop a patent-pending process to make fruit and vegetable wraps. The team collaborated under the terms of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. Colourful, paper-thin sheets of edible fruit and vegetable wraps add elegance and appeal to appetizers, desserts and so forth. Made from fruit and vegetable purees and other natural ingredients, the wraps and a related product meltable sheets that form flavourful glazes are strong yet pliable, making them easy to work with. The wraps contain at least 75-90 per cent vegetables/fruits, are low in fat and calories, and free of additives, preservatives or artificial flavours or colours. They may help introduce kids to the many flavours of fruits and vegetables.

Baby food packaging launched

RPC Cobelplast, the United Kingdom, is positioning its plastic tub manufacturing capabilities as a more cost-effective and flexible alternative to glass-formed baby food packaging. According to the firm, the new packs are well placed to meet the growing demand for aseptic baby food packaging, thanks to a combination of design flexibility, safe handling, excellent long-term product protection and cost-effectiveness. Advances in aseptic form-fill-seal technology have led many top baby food brands to replace glass packs with alternatives such as plastics packaging that are user-friendly, microwavable for convenient reheating and shatterproof for consumer safety. RPC Cobelplast states that the lighter weight of plastics compared with glass can also lessen the strain on the supply chain, reduce energy and produce fewer emissions.

The firms expertise in co-extruded PP/EVOH/PP sheets gives potential customers the necessary protection against contamination: EVOH provides an effective oxygen barrier and PP protects from moisture ingress, resulting in a combination of materials giving products a shelf-life of up to 12 months. RPC Cobelplast stated it can produce bespoke barrier sheet for form-fill-seal applications, a material flexible enough for a number of design options to be thermoformed, including ergonomic cup shapes that let parents to feed babies directly from the packs. Packs can be manufactured in either transparent or coloured plastic, while re-closable lids are an option and can be supplied by RPC Bramlage.

New biodegradable film

In the United Kingdom, Ultimate Packaging has developed a biodegradable printed laminated film in a joint venture with Innovia Films and ink manufacturer Sun Chemical. The film, called Ultigreen, is designed to biodegrade in domestic and industrial compost bins and, according to the firm, is suitable to package all types of fresh foods, meats and non-food products. The company is using Sun Chemicals biodegradable inks to reverse print Innovias NatureFlex film, which is then laminated using a biodegradable adhesive. The new Sun Chemical hybrid inks allow total print coverage on food packs and the biodegradable adhesive applied to bond these two Innovia materials means that this product can be classed as being made totally from biodegradable components, said Mr. Derek Gibson, Ultimate Packagings technical manager.

Aseptic cap boosts efficiency

Silgan White Cap Europe/Asia, headquartered in Germany, has developed a closure cap designed for cold and aseptic fill applications. Key benefits of the closure cap are a triple seal function and new pull up controls that help maximize production efficiency and security. The closure of the 38 mm CVT Plasti-Twist closure system, the latest in the firms Plastic Twist range, is designed for aseptic fill of products such as juices, health drinks, fresh milk and health drinks. It is suitable for use with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles.

The linerless cap is compression moulded in polyethylene and features a D-tamper evident band. The special triple-seal function provides three contact sealing areas for the closure as well as the container top, inner and outer ensuring a hermetic, airtight seal. Pull-up controls correspond to controls on PET bottles. This offers immediate non-destructive visual scrutiny of good closure application, thus helping to maximize production efficiencies. The cap has a matte finish, providing producers enhanced printing opportunities for additional branding and personalization of the closure.

Bioplastics lengthen shelf-life

Flevostar, the Netherlands, has reported that the shelf-life of potatoes can be extended by at least 50 per cent using bioplastic packaging. According to research by Flevostar, it takes considerably long before potatoes turn green when using the recycled bioplastic because the packaging filters specific wavelengths of light. Director and owner Mr. Jaap Kodde stated, We started with the application of bioplastics because we want to stand out for our quality. After we solved the initial problems, it was surprising to find that the potatoes had a much longer shelf-life with no adverse effect on the quality. We also found that by using bioplastic no condensation formed inside the packaging because the packaging breathes. Droplets of water that come into contact with a fresh product such as potatoes lead to faster rotting and reduction in quality. The recycled bioplastics are based on corn and the package can be converted into biogas or compost or burnt.

Full packaging line integration capability

ARPAC Group, the United States, offers three fully integrated packaging lines, a beverage line, a food line and a pick-to-order fulfilment line. The firm manufactures end of line packaging systems consisting of shrink bundling, shrink wrapping, corrugated tray and case packing and pallet stretch wrap systems. ARPAC can assist customers in implementing a lean packaging line within their own production environments. This includes the wide use of robotics for palletizing and pick and place operations, traditional palletizing systems and SCADA monitoring systems. The Shelf Life Booster is the latest in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). ARPACs beverage line features the latest BPMP-5000 multipacker with an updated tunnel design for optimal package appearance. Contact: ARPAC Group, 9511 West River Street, Schiller Park, IL 60176, United States of America. Tel: +1 (847) 6789 034; Fax: +1 (847) 6717 006; E-mail:; Website:


Robot for meat and poultry

Adept Technology Inc., the United States, offers its new robot for high-speed food handling. Adept Quattro s650HS is the only USDA-accepted parallel robot available for processing meat and poultry. It sets a standard for the packaging industry in the areas of speed, flexibility and hygienic capabilities. Designed to provide food packagers the highest possible speeds for raw food handling without compromising cleanliness and hygienic standards, Quattro s650HS is now available with a fixed platform option for more flexibility with higher payload products. The Quattro line is specifically designed for high-speed manufacturing, packaging, material handling and assembly applications. The Quattro features a four-arm kinematic, enabling higher speeds, faster accelerations and exceptional performance across the entire work envelope. The powerful compact controls and embedded amplifiers make installation easy while reducing workspace needs. Contact: Ms. Lauren Bucher, Adept Technology Inc., United States of America. Tel: +1 (925) 2453 400; Fax: +1 (925) 9600 452; E-mail:
Source: www.

Dairy milk analyser

Graintec Scientific, Australia, has released its MIRIS dairy milk analyser (DMA) to determine fat, protein, lactose and total solids levels. Several manufacturers still use either time-consuming chemical analyses (Gerber, Kjeldahl) or expensive analytical instruments. The alternative MIRIS DMA integrates mid IR, a tested and certified analysis method, in combination with a patent-pending technique. From a single sample, the DMA can analyse milk or cream for fat, protein, lactose, solids not fat (SNF) and dry matter (total solids). Components are measured in one step and the results are shown in 60 seconds. Other features include small, robust construction, ease of operation and reliability due to the elimination of all moving parts. The MIRIS DMA also has high accuracy with a measuring range that covers anything from low fat milk to cream (50 per cent fat). The results are displayed to two decimals points and can easily be transferred to a computer. Contact: Graintec Scientific, Australia. Tel: +61 (7) 4638 7677; E-mail:; Website:

Intermediate storage of bottles

Autefa Automation, Germany, offers a system for intermediate storage of extrusion blow moulded dairy milk bottles. This system eliminates the requirement for packaging materials, palletizing and handling of bottles when they are produced using the typical hole-through-the wall manufacturing system common to the fresh milk markets in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Autefas system automatically stores empty bottles in sealed trays, thereby ensuring cleanliness and then allows the bottles to be drawn down on an as-needed basis to meet the needs of the milk filling lines, irrespective of container size. The system virtually eliminates all labour needs from the blow moulder through to the filler. The flexible system can be custom designed to fit existing warehousing or optimized for minimum floor area in a new facility. Storage of two days or more production can be achieved. Contact: Mr. Barton Porter/Mr. Geoff Kelly, HBM Plastics & Packaging Technologies, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 8814 3100/(3) 9646 3153; E-mail: barton@; Website: www.

Sorting out defective agricultural products

Researchers at the United States Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have investigated imaging and physical methods to sort agricultural products for defects. The presence of pits in processed cherries is a concern for both processors and consumers, in many cases causing injury and potential lawsuits. A simple, fast and economical X-ray inspection system has been developed by modifying a traditional X-ray detector. This has reduced the data collection process from a two dimensional image to a simple one dimensional signal, resulting in faster and simpler processing and classification of the resulting signal compared with conventional imaging and processing. This simplification reduces the size and complexity of the X-ray detection system significantly, leading to lower cost and greater ease of implementation.

New vegetable cutter

TranSlicer 2510 cutter, from Urschel Laboratories, the United States, can uniformly slice a variety of food products at high production capacities. It replaces TranSlicer 2500 in the companys line-up, with useful features to ease maintenance, increase positive product flow and decrease operational costs. The machine accepts the same types of products: input of compressible food products up to 203 mm in diameter or firm, round products like cabbage up to 171 mm in diameter (larger cabbage heads if cut in half). There are more sloped surfaces on the machine including the redesigned electrical enclosure and bottom feed pan along with new sturdy stainless steel guard locks. The TranSlicer 2510 offers greater accessibility with increased hinged compartments and panels to ease maintenance and lower cleaning time. Contact: Urschel Laboratories Inc., PO Box 2200, 2503 Calumet Avenue, Valparaiso, Indiana 46384-2200, United States of America. Tel: +1 (219) 464 4811; Fax: +1 (219) 462 3879; E-mail:

Assessing ripeness and decay

In Germany, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institutes for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) and for Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM) have developed a metal oxide sensor to test food ripeness and decay. The micro-sensors resemble tiny golden spiders, and instantaneously detect changes in food ripeness or the first signs of decay and transmit the data on-line to wholesalers. As such, a warehouse foreman will know when the fruit is just about ripe and ready for shipment.

According to Dr. Mark Buecking, Department Head at IME, We brought together various technologies based on the use of metal oxide sensors, similar to those installed in cars, for example, to close ventilation vents when driving through a tunnel. IPM developed these sensors further. If a gas flows over the sensor at temperatures of 300C-400C, it will burn at the point of contact. The subsequent exchange of electrons changes the electrical conductivity. Before the gas reaches these sensors, it has to go through a separation column with polymers. Certain substances are filtered out here. The prototype of the analysis equipment already exists. Researchers say the system measures the volatile substances just as accurately as conventional equipment used in food laboratories.

Intelligent beverage pasteurizer

Tetra Paks new generation of Tetra Therm Aseptic Drink pasteurizers assure lower environmental impact and higher operational efficiency by letting beverage producers cut water consumption by up to 80 per cent, energy by up to 30 per cent and product losses by up to 30 per cent compared with other solutions on the market. Tetra Therm Aseptic Drink is a cost-efficient and flexible unit for processing a wide range of beverages. The introduction of an advanced automation system enables these new generation units to secure unsurpassed operational efficiency and life-cycle performance. Each unit can be customized to meet specific customer demands, is hygienically designed for easy and thorough cleaning, and is pre-tested before shipping. Self-diagnostics assure optimal performance at all times. In addition to self-diagnostics, these pasteurizers suitable for tea drinks, juices and nectars, still drinks and enhanced water, including new wellness drinks with high value-added sensitive ingredients offer a range of other advanced automation features.

The pasteurizers are also compatible with the Tetra PlantMaster control system that enables additional intelligence functions like full traceability, with unit history, batch control and review of all previous actions. These are important aspects that cut the risk of human error and contribute to food safety. A new balance tank, heat exchangers and deaerators sharply reduce water and energy consumption as well as product loss. Energy use is further cut thanks to improved energy recovery through double hot-water circuits. Tetra Therm Aseptic Drink is an outstanding unit in the Tetra Vertenso beverage production solutions the new name for Tetra Paks capability to apply its expertise for developing and delivering customized elements and lines that fulfil the needs of beverage producers, enabling them to achieve outstanding operation.


Biofilms in the Food and Beverage Industries

The first part of this book considers fundamental aspects such as molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation by food associated bacteria and the methods for biofilm imaging, quantification and monitoring. Part II then reviews biofilm formation by different micro-organisms. Part III focuses on significant issues related to biofilm prevention and removal. Contributions on biofilms in particular food industry sectors, such as dairy and red meat processing and fresh produce, end the collection.

Contact: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Abington Hall, Abington, Cambridge, CB21 6AH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 891 358; Fax: +44 (1223) 893 694; E-mail:

Food Stabilisers, Thickeners and Gelling Agents

Stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents give foods structure, flow, stability and eating qualities desired by consumers. This publication is a highly practical guide to the use of polymers in food technology to stabilise, thicken and gel foods, resulting in consistent, high quality products. The information is designed to be easy to read and assimilate. New students will find chapters presented in a standard format, enabling key points to be located quickly. Those with more experience will be able to compare and contrast different materials and gain a greater understanding of the interactions that take place during food production. This concise, modern review of hydrocolloid developments is a valuable teaching resource and reference text for all academic and practical workers involved in hydrocolloids in particular, and food development and production in general.

Contact: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd., Customer Service Department, 2, Clementi Loop #02-01, Singapore 129809. Tel: +65 64632400; Fax: +65 646 34604; E-mail: csd_ord@wiley.


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