VATIS Update Food Processing . Nov-Dec 2010

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====<div id='item_heading'>Infrared Heating for Food and Agricultural Processing</div>====
====<div id='item_heading'>Advanced Drying Technologies, Second Edition</div>====
<html><table id='item_table' width=100% cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0><tr id='item_row'><td id='item_cell'><td class="_td_item"> In the wake of today&#146;s global energy crisis, drying research and development is on the rise. Following in the footsteps of the widely read first edition, this second edition is the direct outcome of the recent phenomenal growth in drying literature and new drying hardware. This edition provides an evaluative overview of new and emerging drying technologies, while placing greater emphasis on making the drying process more energy efficient. This thoroughly updated book addresses cutting-edge drying technologies for numerous materials such as high-valued, heat-sensitive pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and some foods. It has also introduced four new chapters on: spray-freeze-drying, fry-drying, refractance window-drying and mechanical thermal expression. <p>Contact: CRC Press, United States of America. Tel: +1 (561) 994 0555; Fax: +1 (561) 989 9732; E-mail:<br /><br /></td>
<html><table id='item_table' width=100% cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0><tr id='item_row'><td id='item_cell'><td class="_td_item"> In the wake of today&#146;s global energy crisis, drying research and development is on the rise. Following in the footsteps of the widely read first edition, this second edition is the direct outcome of the recent phenomenal growth in drying literature and new drying hardware. This edition provides an evaluative overview of new and emerging drying technologies, while placing greater emphasis on making the drying process more energy efficient. This thoroughly updated book addresses cutting-edge drying technologies for numerous materials such as high-valued, heat-sensitive pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and some foods. It has also introduced four new chapters on: spray-freeze-drying, fry-drying, refractance window-drying and mechanical thermal expression. <p>Contact: CRC Press, United States of America. Tel: +1 (561) 994 0555; Fax: +1 (561) 989 9732; E-mail:<br /><br /></td>

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Food Processing Nov-Dec 2010

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 food habits prompt enzyme surge in Asia

Westernized eating habits and the desire for convenient foods to fit into busy working lives are driving demand for food and beverage enzymes in South Asia, according to Mr. Krishnan G.S., President, Novozymes Asia. Novozymes has been present in India since 1983. Following its acquisition of Biocon in 2007, it now claims the leading position in the South Asian enzymes market.

Market segments that make most use of enzymes in India are beverages, brewing and bakery, according to Mr. Krishnan. “We see an increasing fast food culture, and that helps our business growth.” Under ‘fast food’, Mr. Krishnan includes all food products that fit with more Western style eating habits. This is prompted the emerging middle class, and as both parents are now more likely to go out to work they are seeking convenient foods to feed their families. People are also becoming more aware of quality issues and many enzymes are designed to improve sensory attributes or shelf life in food and beverage products. There has been a significant change in demand in the last five years. While most of the interest to date has stemmed from Western-style foods, it is possible that enzymes could also be used to make traditional Indian foods in the future. Mr. Krishnan foresees good potential for overall growth for food enzymes.

China conducts nationwide inspection on food safety

China’s food safety authorities have initiated a nationwide campaign to supervise local governments in tackling problems such as “gutter oil” (oil recycled from kitchen waste) and problematic milk powder. The Food Safety Commission of the State Council (the Cabinet) said in a recent statement that local governments had made progress since they launched the campaign last year and a new inspection would assess whether their work was “effective” in terms of food safety, food production monitoring systems.

The statement said the campaign would reinforce local government efforts in rectifying the nation’s milk powder industry, which was scarred by a melamine-tainted milk scandal. In July 2010, the State Council had ordered food safety authorities to eradicate “gutter oil”. Examination of the rectification and monitoring of community-level food safety issues and ensuring local governments dealt with consumer complaints also on the agenda of the Food Safety Commission.

Viet Nam’s seafood exports cross US$3.5 billion

In just the first nine months of this year, Viet Nam exported more than 969,200 tonnes of seafood products worth US$3.5 billion – an increase of 10.9 per cent in quantity and 15.4 per cent in value compared with the same period of last year. Viet Nam’s biggest seafood market is Japan with 18.4 per cent, followed by the United States with 17.9 per cent. The European Union is also a large market for Viet Nam: in the first nine months of 2010, the region imported more than 259,800 tonnes of seafood products from Viet Nam worth over US$826.7 million, an increase of 6.3 per cent compared with the previous year. In the same period, shrimp continued to lead the country’s seafood exports (up 22.1 per cent against that in 2009).

Near-site testing before export for Indian tea

The Tea Board of India has decided to set up a laboratory in Siliguri to control the export quality of the brew and test it to see if it meets international standards, a first-of-its-kind government initiative in the country that is expected to be a major boon for the export-driven Darjeeling tea industry. India, according to Tea Board figures, exports around 200 million kg of tea annually, worth around Rs 23 billion. About 70 pr cent of Darjeeling tea is exported.

The laboratory will be set up at a cost of Rs 94 million by Eurofins, a Germany-based company, and will be funded by the Ministry of Commerce. The project is expected to become functional by March 2012. Setting up such a facility is significant because all export commodities have to comply with international food safety standards. There have been instances when orders for tea exported from India, not necessarily Darjeeling tea, were cancelled after they reached offshore because of poor quality.

“Various quality parameters like minimum residual levels (of pesticides) in tea can be checked at the laboratory. Checks on biofertilizers and their components can also be evaluated,” said Mr. Amalkanti Roy Chowdhury, Joint Director of the Tea Board. The Siliguri laboratory will be set up at the Tea Park and once it is completed, the Darjeeling Tea Association would run it.

Further local processing of coconut sought

The Virgin Coconut Oil Producers and Traders Association of the Philippines (VCO Phils) is pushing for support for the development of a coconut industry that will maximize revenue and job generation from the country’s niche farm commodity, the coconut. The country’s coconut export revenue can quadruple if the potential of coconut were to be fully converted into value-added food-pharmaceutical goods, says VCO Phils. “Our export revenue of US$1 billion only comes (primarily) from coconut oil. But coconut oil is just one-fourth of the coconut. We throw away the rest the parts. If we (maximize use of) the coconut milk, water, and the flour, we can earn US$4 billion,” said Mr. Jun A. Castillo, founder of Coconut House. VCO Phils has already been receiving numerous orders for many coconut products for the United States, according to VCO Phils and Prosource President Ms. Teresa E. Santos.

The orders from the United States include coconut cream or milk processed into healthful dairy products better than animal dairy, coconut water (fat-free, potassium and electrolytes-filled) used as isotonic drink, intravenous fluid or dextrose, and fibre-rich coconut flour that has vast potential to partially substitute wheat-based flour. For the water, Pepsi Cola has already put up a plant in Quezon to tap the coconut water that used to be discarded by desiccated coconut producer Peter Paul, which uses 600,000 nuts per day, the VCO Phils sources said.

Halal food certification board on the cards in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government has moved to form a high-profile committee to recommend ways to establish a board for certification for halal foods following repeated appeals from processed food exporters. The traders have set a target to grab a portion of the US$660 billion global market for halal products. In April-September 2010 period, a dozen processed food traders received about US$250 million of export orders on condition that the products must be accredited with an authorized halal certification body. The Vice Chairman of Export Promotion Bureau will head the committee, with representations from the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Bangladesh Islamic Foundation, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute, and Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, besides the companies Bengal Meat and Meghna Condensed Milk. This body will take necessary steps to form a halal certification board. Its main task will be to monitor and issue certificates ensuring safe, genuinely certified and diversified halal products. The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has already prepared a guideline on certification and sent it to the Islamic Foundation for its perusal.

China launches anti-subsidy investigation on imported potato starch

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has announced that it would launch an anti-subsidy investigation on potato starch imported from the European Union – the first time the country is launching such an investigation to the European Union. The Ministry decided on the investigation after an application by the Potato Starch Specialty Council under China Starch Industry Association, on behalf of the nation’s potato starch industries, which requested a countervailing investigation on potato starch imported from the European Union. MOFCOM will carry out the investigation on the amount of the subsidy, the extent of its harmful effect on China’s potato starch industry, etc. and will make its ruling in line within the statutory time limit.

Rains and tax could hit Indonesian cocoa exports

As heavy rains damaged crops and disrupted transport, Indonesia’s cocoa bean exports took a hit, according to the Indonesian Cocoa Association. Indonesia is the third largest producer of cocoa beans in the world, the vast majority of which is produced by smallholders. Sulawesi, the main cocoa growing region, alone has more than 600,000 cocoa farmers. Shipments from south and central Sulawesi fell 21 per cent to 36,168 t in August from 45,552 t a month earlier, said the industry body. Exports were 47,527 t in August last year.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s 10 per cent tax on cocoa bean exports – which is meant to subsidize the local grinding industry – may encourage domestic cocoa bean processing but risk reducing cocoa output if growers have little financial incentive to improve crop quality, reports Bloomberg news service. According to the report, major global cocoa players said that the tax does change the economics of grinding in Indonesia, but Mr. Noel Janetski, President Director of PT Mars Symbioscience Indonesia, a unit of food manufacturer Mars, notes that “Farmers are businessmen. If there is not enough money for farmers, they will do something else.”

ADB helps improve Viet Nam’s farm produce safety

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) will help Viet Nam to carry out a project on improving farm produce safety in Hanoi. The project, Quality and Safety Enhancement of Agricultural Products and Biogas Development Project (QSEAP) with an outlay of over US$6 million, will get a loan of more than US$5 million from ADB. The project, which will run till 2015, is aimed at the sustainable production of vegetables and tea, providing jobs for the agricultural sector, as well as improving farm workers’ health and productivity, and developing biogas for daily use. It will help zone off areas for organic agricultural production in five communes in Hanoi, build infrastructure in these areas and provide training in safe farming and processing skills to farmers and businesses.


Industry-scale heat sterilization system

The French company Steriflow has produced its first industry-scale version of a heat sterilization system that rapidly shakes products to result in reduced processing time and improved food quality. The system, called Shaka, is based on a technology invented by Zinetec of the United Kingdom. The technology involves exposing a batch retort of products to high temperatures inside a cylindrical autoclave while simultaneously subjecting them to 150 shakes per minute. The autoclave has a diameter of 1,300 mm with a usable length of 1,400 mm.

The shaking motion cuts the time needed for the sterilization process by five to ten times compared with a static retort, a company spokesman said, thereby reducing the sterilization time from about 66 minutes to 18 minutes. The process also preserves far more of the micronutrients than static heat sterilization processes. The equipment can be used with many canned, flexible packed and bottled food products, and is most applicable to soups and sauces, ready-to-eat meals, spreads and dips, beverages, chopped vegetables and baby foods.

Nano-coatings cut milk fouling in plate heat exchanger

The application of nano-composites to gasketed plate heat exchangers can reduce milk fouling and cut cleaning time of the equipment by up to 80 per cent, according to new research in Germany. The joint study by Bremen University and GEA Ecoflex found heat exchanger surfaces treated with the nano-coating had low surface energy – and therefore wettability. This led to a greater resistance to the build-up of oils and waters – the so-called hydrophobic and oleophobic effects – in the equipment.

The study was launched in a bid to tackle typical dairy processing problems that can arise as a result of the wall wettability from two sides – the production time and the cleaning procedure. The deposits that build up means the plates need “regular and intensive cleaning” to meet hygiene and quality standards, said Dr. A. Bani Kananeh and colleagues. Deposits have the potential to damage product efficiencies through reduction in heat transfer from equipment and by increasing pressure drop. The study estimates that fouling in the dairy industry and the resulting cleaning of the equipment can account for up to 80 per cent of production costs.

The application of nano-coatings reduces the build-up of deposits by decreasing the surface energy of the metal and therefore boosts the system’s operational efficiency, the researchers said. The research investigated both the extent of milk adhesion and stability of the coatings on rectangular plates and small cylindrical ducts. A pilot plant that included a milk sterilizer was set up for the thermal treatment of the whey protein solution. Both a range of nano-coated and electro-polished plates were fitted in the heating section of the pasteurizer.

The researchers noted “significant differences” between the coated and uncoated plates – with the coated surfaces showing a reduced deposit build-up than the uncoated stainless steel plates. Polyurethane-coated plates showed the thinnest deposit layer. The study also found that the performance of the electro-polished plates in lowering deposit build-up was not only superior to non-coated plates but “were almost comparable to the coated plates”. The cleaning-in-place time of the coated plates was reduced by 70 per cent compared with standard stainless steel plates. The coatings must be further developed to be able to withstand the thermal and mechanical stresses in the industrial process, said the researchers.

New family of rapid tests to identify lice cell bacteria

NanoLogix Inc., the United States, has launched its new ‘Quick-Test’ product line for detection and identification of aerobic live-cell bacteria. Quick-Tests offer high-sensitivity analysis results in less time and lower costs than traditional technologies, the company claims. The new product line detects and identifies a multitude of live-cell bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Listeria, with the additional capability of rapid identification of yeasts. The results can be obtained in as little as a quarter of the time of conventional methods, in concentrations as small as a single cell.

Each Quick-Test kit is identified by the name of a specific bacterium – Salmonella, Listeria or E. coli – and designed to provide results for 50 individual tests of that targeted organism. Other bacteria Quick-Tests are available on request. Contact: NanoLogix Inc., 843 North Main Street, Hubbard, OH 44425, United States of America. Tel: +1 (330) 534 0800; Fax: +1 (330) 534 0826; E-mail:; Website:

Novel screening system slashes bacterial detection time

Mocon Inc., the United States, has launched a new screening system that is claimed to reduce significantly bacterial detection times for food processors and packers across a range of products. The GreenLight series provides same-day analysis of anaerobic bacterial counts in meat, poultry, seafood and dairy. Results can be obtained in minutes or up to 8 hours – a major time-saving compared with the 48 hours typically needed for traditional agar plate methods, said Mocon.

The smaller of the two models, Model 910, is suitable for in-plant use by food processors and packers that need to conduct less than 50 tests a day, according to Mr. Guy Wray, the company’s Marketing Manager. The higher-capacity Model 960 is designed for units with bigger throughout needs. Both models are compact and portable and come with a USB connection that can be used to interact with the dedicated computer software. The system determines whether a product contains live bacteria without specifying whether they are harmful or not. It provides a total viable count (TVC) or aerobic plate count (APC) of a food sample’s microbial load by using a vial or sensing assay. As bacteria in the test sample multiply and respire, they consume oxygen. The change in oxygen is used to calculate the original sample’s colony forming units (cfu) per gram for solids or per millilitre for liquids. The system provides data that show whether the TVC or APC reading in a product has – or has not – reached a processor’s or packer’s own ‘ship level’, explained Mr. Wray.

Testing of package’s integrity seal and leaks

Bestech Australia Pty. Ltd. manufactures its own line of seal and leak testers for packaged food and pharmaceutical products in cans, containers and flexible packaging. These machines ensure that seals have been made secure, allowing the manufacturer to be confident about product integrity and shelf life, while also providing a system of quality traceability.

With Bestech’s range of seal and leak testers, a wide range of package sizes and shapes can be accommodated without the need for adjustment. With the stainless-steel cased TSE6086, test times can be as short as 5 s for small packages. The tests are non-destructive, allowing the product to go back on to the line. The leak testers are easy to use and highly reliable, requiring only air and 240 V mains power.

An underwater vacuum leak tester, TSE2032, is also available, with acrylic casing to allow viewing of packs while subjected to an underwater vacuum test. Even small leaks can be located to enable adjustment of the sealing equipment. Contact: Mr. Sam Bhasin, Bestech Australia Pty. Ltd., Unit 7, #35 Taunton Drive, Cheltenham, Victoria, VIC 3192, Australia. Tel: +61 (3) 9584 1133; Fax: +61 (3) 9584 5477; E-mail:


FAO outlines first global aquaculture standards

After four years of discussion and debate, the first global guidelines for aquaculture, the planet’s fastest growing food sector, were adopted recently by a panel of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The guidelines – which are non-binding but provide a framework for certification – were adopted by the Sub-committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries and cover a variety of issues ranging from food safety to environmental impact to the socio-economic status of aquaculture workers.

“If the guidelines are followed in full by countries, certification will enable consumers standing at the fish counter to know whether the shrimp they are considering buying were raised without damaging a coastal mangrove swamp, whether the fish farm worker was paid a fair wage, and whether the shell fish is free of contamination,” according to FAO. “As the amount of farmed seafood produced rises, it is critical to minimize the negative impacts of aquaculture on the environment and society,” said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). “For example, chemicals used at fish farms can pollute the water, diseases can spread easily from farmed to wild-caught fish and accident rates at fish farms can be high.” But, as WWF notes, when done responsibly, aquaculture has a minimal impact on the environment and can be a viable way to raise healthy proteins for human consumption.

“These guidelines have been developed to bring some harmony to what is the fastest growing food sector in the world,” said FAO aquaculture expert Dr. Rohana Subasinghe. The guidelines call on governments to support capacity building for small and medium-sized producers so they can comply with aquaculture certification. “There are ways for small producers to operate within a modern certification system. For example, in India and Thailand, clusters of fish farmers share the costs of certification so they are not too heavy for each farmer,” Dr. Subasinghe said. The guidelines agreed need to be approved by FAO’s full Committee on Fisheries in January 2011 before they become final.

China launches stringent regulation on melamine

The Chinese government has called for stringent regulation on the production and marketing of melamine to prevent its use in the food and feed industry. Further, a real-name register system would be established to trace all melamine in the market from the wholesalers to the retailers, according to a notice issued by the General Office of the State Council. All dairy enterprises are to conduct melamine examinations on all products before distributing them in the market, while other food enterprises should conduct melamine examinations on all dairy products they bought and keep records of such products, the notice said.

The notice instructed administrative agencies to strengthen supervision on overall dairy product safety. In addition, local governments should send officials, as resident supervisors, to all dairy enterprises to enforce the safety regulations. The notice also called for a harsh crackdown on illegal dairy production and using melamine in milk products.

India’s honey standards approximate international levels

The permitted levels of antibiotics for honey in India are almost equivalent to international levels, the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) asserted in a recent statement. “In the matter of admissibility of antibiotics in honey, safety standards in India are similar to those in the European Union, Codex Alimentarius (collection of internationally recognized food safety standards) and the United States, where they are completely prohibited,” the statement affirmed. FSSAI said that standards for honey have been prescribed under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955. The Centre for Science and Environment, a voluntary group, had earlier published a study that reported high levels of antibiotics in some leading Indian and foreign brands of honey.

Rosemary extracts get European approval for food preservation

Rosemary extracts have received recognition as safe and effective antioxidants for food preservation, according to new directives published in the European Commission’s official journal. The directives specify the range of applications for which the extracts can be used, including fats and oils, bakery products, meats, dehydrated soups and potatoes, as well as nutritional supplements, such as fish oils. They also clarify that “dietary exposure resulting from the proposed uses and use levels were of no safety concern”, confirming the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the extracts safety.

Under the clarified rules, manufactures will need to label the ingredient: ‘antioxidant: extract of rosemary’ or ‘antioxidant: E 392’. Another importance of the directives is that they identify the two main components responsible for rosemary extracts’ antioxidant effect: carnosic acid and carnosol. Therefore, food and dietary supplement makers need to be aware of the levels of these components in the extract they use, said Mr. Baptiste Demur, Food Preservation Business Manager at Naturex.

China to amend regulation on use of food nutrition enhancer

The Ministry of Health of China has released draft amendments to the regulation on the use of food nutrition enhancers in a bid to standardize their use and ensure food safety. A statement from the Ministry said various problems had been found since the current regulation took effect in 1994, such as the absence of clear rules in nutrition enrichment and the lack of a unified classification system on the foods to which nutrition enhancers can be added. The use of nutrition enhancers in infant food was also not in line with the current infant food standards, it said. The statement said the amendments would follow the latest developments in relevant domestic and foreign rules and China’s specific situation. The draft also introduced a list of approved chemical ingredients of nutrition enhancers. The Ministry has invited the public to comment on the draft by 16 November 2010.


Stevia extraction process

PureCircle, the United States, has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the production process of its sweeteners derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. The company produces Reb A, among other steviol glycosides – the sweet components from the leaves of stevia plant – for commercial food and beverage manufacturers. The patent covers the isolation and purification of stevioside and rebaudioside A (Reb A), PureCircle said. To improve the taste characteristics, the mixture of glycosides and highly purified stevioside and Reb A are subjected to enzymatic glycosylation using biocatalysts produced by micro-organisms. The company has other patents on the extraction of Reb A, a high-purity, zero-calorie sweet component from stevia plant.

New technology for low-fat snack coating

Crisp Sensation Holding SA, Switzerland, has developed a new technology for a snack coating that has been scientifically proven to retain its crispness after preparation in both combination and microwave ovens. When kept warm for long periods, the ready-to-eat meals that use this new technology do not become soggy. In addition, crispy snacks with a much reduced fat content can be prepared easily in a microwave without using active packaging. Tests at the Food & Biobased Research Unit of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, have confirmed that snacks with Crisp Sensation coating keep their authentic taste and texture, even after storage of more than nine months.

The breakthrough technology is now ready for the market, opening up an array of new possibilities for breaded frozen food such as chicken nuggets, fish fingers and cheese or vegetable sticks. Prepared conveniently using the new technology, the snacks will offer a crisp initial bite, followed by a juicy and succulent core. As snack products using Crisp Sensation do not have to be fried by the before consumption and because of their unique manufacturing process, they end up with a much lower fat content than comparable products. Up to 70 per cent less fat can be achieved, according to Crisp Sensation.

The technology was tested by a taste panel who were given chicken nuggets with the new coating and nuggets from a Dutch market leader. The samples were prepared in microwaves with and without ‘crisp’ functions as well as in a convection oven. In all cases, the Crisp Sensation snacks were found to be significantly crispier than the reference products. Moreover, a break test and an acoustic crunch test showed that even after storage of more than nine months, the products maintained their technological and sensory properties. All of the ingredients used are in line with the guidelines of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Defatted cocoa powder best for low-fat chocolate

Formulating reduced fat chocolate using defatted cocoa powder may indeed by the ‘best compromise’ for confectionery producers, says a new study from Nestlé. According to new findings by the University of Nottingham and Nestlé Product Technology Centre in the United Kingdom, the widely used industry technique of using defatted cocoa butter to prepare low-fat chocolate is the most effective in terms of particle size and morphology. In addition, the study found that there is no added benefit of using highly defatted cocoa powder with less than 1 g of fat per 100 g, compared with regular defatted cocoa powder with 11 g of fat per 100 g.

The scientists, led by Dr. Bettina Wolf, Associate Professor, Biomaterials Science, at Nottingham University’s Faculty of Science, examined the potential of manipulating the cocoa ingredient for trapped fat reduction in chocolates. They substituted the cocoa mass with defatted or highly defatted cocoa powder (11 g/100 g or less than 1 g/100 g fat, respectively). Results showed that chocolate prepared with standard cocoa mass had a higher viscosity than the chocolates with reduced fat.

On the other hand, the highly defatted cocoa powder was also more viscous than chocolate prepared using the standard defatted cocoa powder. Scanning electron microscopy showed that particles in the highly defatted cocoa powder were smaller and more angular, thereby raising the number of particles and the total surface area to be coated by fat. “This explains the higher viscosity of the chocolate based on highly defatted cocoa powder and there is no benefit in using this very low fat cocoa solid ingredient,” the researchers stated. They concluded that standard defatted cocoa powder, as widely used by the industry, is indeed the best compromise in terms of free-fat, particle size and morphology while attempting to formulate low-fat chocolate of acceptable molten state viscosity.

Potential of functional antioxidant cheese explored

Fortifying cheese curds with polyphenolic compounds such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from tea may produce cheese products with enhanced nutritional value, indicates a joint study by scientists from Sungkyunkwan University in the Republic of Korea, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Canada. The ability of cheese to retain extracts of green tea or dehydrated cranberry powder differed based on the structure of the polyphenolic compounds in question, but adding at a level of 0.5 mg/ml was found to produce a product with very effective free radical-scavenging activity.

The researchers added a range of polyphenols, including catechin, EGCG, tannic acid, homovanillic acid, hesperetin and flavones, and natural crude extracts from grape, dehydrated cranberry and green tea to cheese curds. Different polyphenols were retained differently, based on their molecular properties and their water-solubility. In general, the researchers noted that effective free radical-scavenging activity was shown at a polyphenol concentration of 0.5 mg/ml. “The nutritional value of cheese product was improved by adding bioactive phenolic compounds to the cheese curd,” wrote the researchers led by Dr. Jaejoon Han from Sungkyunkwan University. “These results suggest that we may apply this approach to other dairy products for better quality and functionality of the products.”

Vegetarian Omega-3 from algae

LycoRed Limited, Israel, has launched Lyc-O-Mega 10 AL, a new vegetarian Omega-3. This ingredient, produced from the high quality DHA algae oil, is free from fish odour, which makes it especially suitable for vegetarians. Lyc-O-mega 10AL is designed especially for the bakery and confectionary industries. Trials have been conducted successfully in chocolates, crackers and bread that were fortified with Lyc-O-Mega 10AL. LycoRed’s microencapsulation process enables fortification of baked goods which traditionally could be fortified with fish-derived Omega-3. This vegetarian form of Omega-3, unlike fish oil, is both sustainable and suitable for vegetarians and also for children who are more sensitive to taste. Contact: LycoRed Limited, P.O. Box 320, Beer Sheva, 84102, Israel. Tel: +972 (8) 629 6994; Fax: +972 (8) 629 6310; E-mail:

Fermented meat flavour with new cultures

Cargill Inc., the United States, is launching a new range of meat ripening cultures for dry fermented meats like sausages and salamis, which are said to bring green, fruity flavour notes and save costs by working more quickly. Cultures are used in the manufacture of dried fermented meats for purposes such as: acidifying, texturising, colouring, flavouring and preserving. They are associations of lactic bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, with Staphylococcus. The new range, called Flavor Start D, is based on a combination of Geotrichum candidum, a strain that is traditionally used for dairy products, and standard meat ripening cultures (Staphylococcus sp. and lactic bacteria). The company says the specific notes produced bring a positive point of differentiation to products. They are also said to speed up flavour formation and reduce production time – a major focus for fermented meat manufacturers – while retaining all the sensory properties of traditional dried fermented meats.


Pycnogenol passes formulation test for fruit juice

Pycnogenol, extracted from the bark of French maritime pine, shows excellent stability against the harsh conditions of the stomach, says a new study by the National Research Institute for Food & Nutrition of Italy, and the Department of Food Science & Nutrition, and the Department of Research & Development, both in Murcia, Spain. The study reported that addition of Pycnogenol to fruit juices increased the polyphenol content before and after processing, following in vitro gastrointestinal digestion, and that it should be considered as “a good source of phenolic compounds to be utilized for fruit juice enrichment”.

“In vitro digestion of both Pycnogenol-enriched pineapple and red fruit juices led to a significant increase in detectable chlorogenic and ferulic acids, indicating that hydrolysis of more complex molecules occurs,” stated the researchers led by Dr. Carmen Frontela. The study appears to support the use of the pine bark extract to fortify fruit juices and enhance the polyphenol content of the product. It was carried out in collaboration with the Swiss company Hero, famous for their jams and other fruit preparations.

Dr. Frontela and her co-workers examined polyphenol contents in pineapple and red fruit juices alone or enriched with Pycnogenol. Their results showed that exposure to the in vitro digestion model reduced polyphenols in the non-enriched juice. However, polyphenol levels increased in both Pycnogenol-enriched juices. “Further work on the antioxidant activity of compounds released during gastrointestinal digestion must be carried out to confirm antioxidant effects in the gut,” they concluded.

Method for producing desalted milk products

The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has approved the patent application filed jointly by seven individual inventors and Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Japan, on a method for producing desalted milk whereby the content of monovalent minerals can be significantly lowered while preventing a decrease in divalent mineral content. The patent also covers desalted milk produced by the new method, a method for producing cheese and whey from the desalted milk, and the cheese and whey produced by the method.

Desalted milk, with a significantly lowered monovalent mineral content, is obtained by passing a starting milk material through a chlorine-type anion exchange resin, and then removing monovalent minerals contained in the starting milk material by a membrane separation method. Cheese and whey are produced by heating the desalted milk obtained to form a curd, and then subjecting the curd to solid/liquid separation. Contact: Morinaga Milk Industry Co., 33-1, Shiba 5-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1088384, Japan.

Microencapsulated citrus phytochemicals for beverages

Tropicana Products Inc., the United States, has patented methods for fortifying a sports drink with one or more citrus phytochemicals while concealing the bitter taste of these compounds in the beverage. These methods comprise microencapsulating the citrus phytochemicals and adding these phytochemicals to the beverage.

The beverage comprises water, at least one hydration improving substance, and at least one microencapsulated citrus phytochemical composition with the citrus phytochemical forming at least 60 per cent by weight of the total amount of the composition. The hydration improving substance may comprise at least one electrolyte, a carbohydrate, a betaine and glycerol. The beverage could be a sports drink, an isotonic beverage, a hypertonic beverage or a hypotonic beverage. The method provided for preparing a beverage comprises the steps of microencapsulating the citrus phytochemical composition, and mixing the microencapsulated composition with the ingredients. In certain exemplary embodiments, the step of microencapsulating the citrus phytochemical comprises core-shell encapsulation, complex coacervation, liposome formation, double encapsulations, spray-drying, and centrifugal extrusion.

Philippine coffee encapsulated

The Philippine barako coffee can now be found in capsule form. The convenient coffee format claims to produce the perfect cup of coffee, without the need for ground beans and strainers. Ms. Pacita U. Juan – who co-chairs the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., a private sector initiative that encourages entrepreneurs to go into the coffee business and create their own brands – said that ground coffee can lose its flavour in days, but the barako coffee capsules have the ability to preserve freshness and flavour for at least a year.

“A coffee capsule gives a coffee-lover the same taste and the same high-quality coffee sold at expensive coffee shops at affordable prices,” says K System GmbH, the Vienna-based manufacturer of K-fee cube coffee maker that uses the coffee capsules. One capsule contains 7.8 g of barako coffee, which is adequate for one cup of espresso. The K-fee cube machine takes up little space with a height of 22 cm, width of 32 cm and length of 24 cm. Each machine can accommodate a “quick change-over” from a large latte glass to a small espresso cup, and each detachable part of a K-fee cube is dishwasher-safe.

Method of making calcium-fortified beverages

Tropicana Products Inc., the United States, has secured patent on a method of making a calcium-fortified beverage. A calcium source is included that provides about 40-65 per cent of the calcium from calcium lactate and about 35-60 per cent of the calcium is provided from hydroxyapatite. It has been discovered that the combination of calcium lactate and hydroxyapatite provides a surprisingly good taste, or eliminates a negative taste attribute resulting from the calcium source. The calcium source present is sufficient to provide a nutritionally significant amount of calcium.

The beverage can be any type of beverage but preferably a fruit or vegetable juice beverage. It contains 80 I.U. or more of vitamin D – typically selected from the group consisting of vitamin D2, vitamin D3 and mixtures thereof – per 240 ml of the beverage. The beverage may further comprise a top-note flavour component in an amount sufficient to substantially mask the aftertaste of the calcium source, particularly from about 0.001 per cent to about 0.1 per cent by weight of the total beverage composition.

Nano-EGCG could take tea benefits into clear beverages

Modified whey protein could nano-encapsulate the green tea compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and slow its rate of degradation 3.2-fold, thereby offering nano-encapsulation potential for formulators, says a new study by scientists from The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Thermally modified beta-lactoglobulin, the major protein in whey, was found to nano-encapsulate EGCG and produce particles smaller than 50 nm. Such particles would have good transparency and could be added to clear beverages, report the researchers led by Dr. Avi Shpigelman. This nanotechnology would allow EGCG to be added to mineral water, tea beverages, soft drinks, fruit juices, dairy beverages and sport drinks.

Despite the potential health benefits of EGCG, its sensitivity to oxidation limits its use in the diet. The researchers therefore looked at the potential to use thermally modified milk protein to produce nano-vehicles for EGCG. The whey protein was heated to 85°C to denature the structure and produce a thermally modified protein with an association for the tea polyphenol 3.5 fold higher than the unmodified protein. In terms of their ability to protect the polyphenol from oxidation, the initial degradation rate was 33-fold lower for the nano-encapsulated EGCG, compared with unprotected EGCG. After eight days, the degradation rate was 3.2-fold slower.

The scientists proposed that the “heat-induced unfolding of the protein exposes some of the inner and more non-polar domains in the protein”, and EGCG binds to the exposed domains by “a combination of hydrophobic interactions and H-bonds, causing the formation of visible microfibrillar structures.” They wrote: “Steric shielding, immobilization and anti-oxidative properties of available free thiols seem to explain the protective effect of the co-assembled beta lactoglobulin–EGCG nanoparticles against degradation of this health-promoting green tea catechin.”


Edible protein film for food preservation

Researchers at the Food, Science and Technology Department of Karachi University, Pakistan, have come up with a new way to preserve fruits and vegetables. They developed an edible film-like substance made from wheat protein (gluten), which can be used for sealing and packaging perishable food substances, such as fruits and vegetables, so that their shelf life is significantly enhanced. The technology is being patented in the United States. Edible films, which are biodegradable and environment-friendly, are being increasingly used worldwide for food preservation.

Preventing contamination of smoked salmon

Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are helping to ensure that the smoked salmon is always safe to eat. They have also developed a first-of-its-kind mathematical model that can be used to select the optimal combination of temperature and concentrations of salt and smoke compounds to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of the product.

The studies are led by food technologist Dr. Andy (Cheng-An) Hwang with the ARS Eastern Regional Research Centre in Wyndmoor. Smoked salmon is typically sold in vacuum packages that have a refrigerator shelf life of about three to eight weeks, according to Dr. Hwang. Since pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes can live at refrigerator temperatures, it is important to get rid of these micro-organisms before those packages leave the processing plant.

Dr. Hwang, along with Dr. Vijay K. Juneja and other colleagues, are investigating ways that processors can use to protect the pleasing flavour and texture of smoked salmon while reducing or eliminating microbial contamination. In one series of studies, they added smoke compounds and salt to cooked salmon, and then inoculated the fish with L. monocytogenes. Next, the scientists exposed the salmon to a range of temperatures, from 40°C to 55°C, to simulate commercial smokehouse processing. These mid-range temperatures are higher than those used for cold-smoking, the most popular commercial salmon-smoking process, but are lower than those of the lesser-used commercial hot-smoking procedure. The scientists determined that every 5°C increase in temperature resulted in a 10-fold increase in rates of inactivation of L. monocytogenes. They then used the data from the study to create the mathematical model.

Innovative technology for gentle drying of fruits

The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (Fraunhofer IVV) has optimized a process for drying fruit under gentle conditions which results in the preservation of the natural shape, colour and characteristic odour/taste of fresh fruit. The end-product is crispy, homogeneously porous and has high mechanical stability. Vitamins and other valuable ingredients in the fruit remain unaltered.

The technology, which uses vacuum-expansion process and temperatures below 70°C, offers scope for a significant increase in the value of fruit as a raw material by converting it into high-cost food ingredients for premium foods, as well as for utilizing already ripe or overripe fruits that are no longer marketable. Contact: Mr. Andreas Stäbler, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, Germany. Tel: +49 (8161) 4910.

New coating extends shelf life of blueberries

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU), the United States, have developed a new coating that is going to make it easier for consumers to go to the store, buy some blueberries, and eat them straight off the shelf. Convenience – “a pre-washed, ready-to-eat blueberry product” – was their main goal when developing the new product, said Dr. Yanyun Zhao, OSU Food Science and Technology Professor. With this new technology, consumers will be able to choose between buying blueberries unwashed and having to wash them at home, or buying them pre-washed with this natural, edible coating and eating them as they please.

The OSU researchers say the shelf life of pre-washed blueberries with the coating is about the same as unwashed ones, and there is no loss of any health benefits. The process is simple. After washing, the berries are immersed in a coating solution for 30 seconds. Then, they are laid out to dry before packaging.

HPP increases shelf life of RTE products

Safe Pac Pasteurization LLC, the United States, offers high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) process to packers, food processors and manufacturers on a contract service basis. HPP is an all-natural, environment-friendly, cutting-edge process that uses intense hydrostatic pressure (about 6.9 kN/sq. m) to deactivate and destroy pathogenic bacteria and microbiological contaminant flora without compromising the taste or texture of the treated products.

An ideal solution for pre-packaged ready-to-eat (RTE) products including meats, soups, salads, sauces, fruit smoothies, shellfish and seafood, Safe Pac’s HPP process allows food manufacturers to offer safely packaged, minimally altered chemical-and-preservative-free goods to retailers. Best with moist foods without any internal air pocket, HPP places pre-packaged products in flexible containers (such as pouches and plastic bottles) into a high-pressure chamber, which is then flooded with cold water and pressurized for a short period, usually 3-5 minutes. As pressure is applied uniformly around and throughout the product, reaching all parts of the product simultaneously, treated foods retain their original shape and texture.

Unlike heat-based processes, the quality of HPP processed foods is similar to fresh food products, because pressure has little to no effect on low molecular weight components such as colour, flavour and vitamin content. As it is natural, preserving foods with water pressure, HPP meets organic standards.


Ergonomic packaging solutions

Romaco Group, headquartered in Germany, has introduced versatile packaging machines with a design that meets ergonomic requirements. The Promatic PC 4000 continuous horizontal cartoner designed according to strict ergonomic standards. Plastic-coated, toothed belts have eliminated all chains and mechanical gears. The special lightweight construction of the front machine body facilitates secure, quiet and clean processes for secondary packaging for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Four low-vibration servo motors provide an unusual degree of flexibility and quality: the folding cartons, for example, are picked up by suction cups and opened in an active movement. This concept results in much lower mechanical loads on the packaging. Promatic PC 4000 has a maximum output of 400 packs/minute.

The Unipac U 2060 automatic tube filler has an enclosed, ergonomic design and a footprint of less than 1.5 m2. Equipped with eight stations, the technology is ideal for filling semi-solids such as ointments, creams, gels and pastes in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. The products are filled into aluminium, laminate or polyethylene tubes, which are closed either mechanically by means of a series of folds or in a heat-sealing or hot air process. The system offers numerous configuration options for processing different product types and tube designs. The maximum output is 60 tubes per minute and is intended for small-to-medium sized batches. Contact: Romaco Group, Am Heegwald 11, 76227 Karlsruhe, Germany. Tel: +49 (721) 48040; Fax: +49 (721) 4804225; E-mail:

Active packaging keeps meat fresh for longer

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering & Packaging (Fraunhofer IVV) have developed an antimicrobial active packaging film that destroys the microbes on product surface, thereby extending the shelf life of fresh meat, fish, cheese and other cold cuts.

The new lacquer-based antimicrobial active film developed by Dr. Carolin Hauser, a food chemist at Fraunhofer IVV, incorporates a controlled release mechanism. An antimicrobial agent is released onto the product surface on direct contact. As only active agents that comply with the rules governing foodstuffs and are readily transferable onto packaging film are used in these films, Dr. Hauser elected to use sorbic acid, dissolved in a lacquer and deposited on a base film.

For her tests, Dr. Hauser used pork loin pieces. A day after slaughter, she contaminated each piece with around 1,000 colony-forming units of the Escherichia coli pathogen, and then wrapped some pieces in standard film and others in active film. After 7 days of refrigeration at 8°C, clear differences in colour were apparent. Microbial examinations revealed that the active packaging had successfully destroyed many of the germs on the actively-packed meat: the number of E. coli on those pieces had decreased to around a quarter of the original level. Contact: Dr. Carolin Hauser, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, Germany. Tel: +49 (8161) 491626; Fax +49 (8161) 491666

New bioplastics line for food applications

Mirel F3002, a new bioplastic thermoforming grade for food packaging applications, was launched recently by Telles, a joint venture between the United States-based Archer Daniels Midland and Metabolix. Mirel group of bioplastic materials are claimed to have physical properties similar to petroleum-based resins, but they are bio-based and biodegradable. The resins are made from sugar, and like most other bioplastics and organic matter the grade is not designed to break down in landfills. It will biodegrade in natural soil and water environments, and in composting systems.

Mirel F3002 is available for use in non-alcoholic food contact applications. The conditions range from frozen food storage to boiling water up to 100°C, including microwave reheating, said Telles. The new grade is suitable for a range of thermoformed food service and packaging applications, including cold and hot cups, cup lids, containers, tubs and trays for meats and vegetables, condiment cups and other disposable food packaging.

Bag-in-box cereal liner protects flavour and aroma

A new bag-in-box liner from Amcor Flexibles, the United Kingdom, for breakfast cereals is a game-changing innovation in that it offers odour/flavour as well as moisture barrier protection through the use of multi-layer packaging technology. Amcor Vodex, a co-extruded cereal liner with an integral barrier to hydrocarbon based volatiles, was over two years in development. The functional barrier is incorporated into the polymer at the extrusion phase; there is no secondary process involved in the development of the cereal liner. Recent tests have demonstrated efficacy of the multi-layer structure in preventing volatile migration from recycled or printed board cartons and ensuring retention of product aroma and flavour, he said. The liner has wider bag-in-box application potential and could also be used with a range of dried food products such as cake mixes or rice as an alternative to existing laminates.

High-speed packaging equipment for bulk liquids

The Liquiflex AV Series VFFS equipment from Bemix Company Inc., the United States, combines accelerated speed and performance with advanced engineering to simplify set-up, operation, changeover and maintenance. Liquiflex AV Series machines complement Liquiflex Advance bulk liquid pouch film from Curwood, the United States, a proprietary 13-layer structure that allows up to 30 per cent down-gauging compared with competitive film structures. Liquiflex AV Series equipment feature a space-efficient footprint and incorporates standard Allen-Bradley controls for proven, reliable operation and ease of service. They can accommodate a variety of products, pouch sizes and convenience features for ultimate flexibility. The machines are available in four servo-driven models, and can be easily customized for code dating, conveying, weighing systems or other enhancements.


Universal potato chip system

Heat and Control Inc., the United States, has announced a new product release, the Universal Potato Chip (UPC) system. UPC is claimed to be the world’s most versatile fryer system for potato, plantain and other snack chips. From hard-bite style to traditional chips, UPC allows the manufacturer to create personalized snacks for each customer. It utilizes independent fryer modules integrated into one continuous frying system. The temperature, dwell time as well as oil flow in each module can be adjusted to produce chips with specific texture, moisture and colour qualities.

UPC is claimed to be more economical and efficient than separate batch or continuous fryers producing the same capacity, using about half the energy of comparable batch fryers. It can also produce traditional style potato chips using little or no slice washing. The easy-to-use PLC control stores multiple recipes so products can be changed in minutes. Cooking oil is continuously filtered in each frying module for superior product quality. Contact: Heat and Control Inc., 21121 Cabot Boulevard, Hayward, California, CA 94545-1132, United States of America. Tel: +1 (510) 259 0500; Fax: +1 (510) 259 0600; Website:

High-capacity machine for peanut butter production

Comitrol® Processor Model 9300, from Urschel Laboratories Inc., the United States is a high-capacity, single-pass machine for the production of slurries, pastes and liquids such as juices, baby food, peanut butter, etc. Equipped with a 30.5 cm microcut head and impeller, the machine features continuous operation for uninterrupted production, and simplified design for easy clean-up and maintenance. Particle sizes ranging from coarse to fine emulsions are possible. Model 9300 is available with a 150 hp or 200 hp impeller motor. Contact: Urschel Laboratories Inc., P.O. Box 2200, 2503 Calumet Avenue, Valparaiso, IN 46384-2200, United States of America. Tel: +1 (219) 464 4811; Fax: +1 (219) 462 3879; E-mail:

Compact brewery

The new CombiCube B is a compact brewery from Krones Steinecker, Germany. In this plant, Krones Steinecker has brought together all the major process steps of a brew house in a compact unit. Output can reach up to ten brews per day, each brew size being 50-100 hl. The system features an intelligent combination of steps in the brewing process with multifunctional containers set in a space-saving layout. Depending on the mashing process chosen, a maximum of four vessels of CombiCube B are used as a mash tun, a mash-wort copper, a lauter tun or a mash-lauter tun, supported by a whirlpool. Depending on the version, the brewery has a footprint of only 97 m2 to 117 m2. The time-tested Botec Classic control concept, which controls all the processes during brewing, also helps to make the entire system intuitive and transparent. One employee is able to perform and monitor all steps in this unit. Contact: Krones AG, Böhmerwaldstrasse 5, 93073 Neutraubling, Germany. Tel: +49 (9401) 700; Fax: +49 (9401) 702 488; E-mail:

Filtration plant lowers dairy costs and lifts quality

A reverse osmosis filtration plant from GEA Filtration, Denmark, significantly reduces production costs and improves product consistency. The reverse osmosis process, a separation technique that uses a semi-permeable living cell membrane where only water can pass through, requires a hydraulic pressure higher than osmotic pressure to diffuse water in the opposite direction toward the higher concentration. The reverse osmosis plant is said to have low maintenance costs and significantly lower labour costs due to its fully automatic operation and avoid the need to handle milk powder. The plant from GEA Filtration has a small footprint, freeing up space within the dairy facility. It is quite simple to operate, and offers an impressive pay back period measured in months not years, claims the company.


Infrared Heating for Food and Agricultural Processing

In the past few decades, there has seen significant progress in understanding the infrared (IR) heating mechanism and interactions between IR radiation and food components. This book presents the latest IR heating technology applications, focusing on thermal processing of food and agricultural products. Its coverage ranges from basics to economic benefits, with an emphasis on novel applications. The chapters address such topics as: IR heating system design, drying, blanching, baking, thawing, pest management and food safety improvement. Where applicable, this guide reviews case studies to address specific industrial issues and the economic benefits of IR heating. The book is a well-organized resource for food processing engineers and also quality control and safety managers in food processing and food manufacturing operations.

Contact: CRC Press, United States of America. Tel: +1 (561) 994 0555; Fax: +1 (561) 989 9732; E-mail:

Advanced Drying Technologies, Second Edition

In the wake of today’s global energy crisis, drying research and development is on the rise. Following in the footsteps of the widely read first edition, this second edition is the direct outcome of the recent phenomenal growth in drying literature and new drying hardware. This edition provides an evaluative overview of new and emerging drying technologies, while placing greater emphasis on making the drying process more energy efficient. This thoroughly updated book addresses cutting-edge drying technologies for numerous materials such as high-valued, heat-sensitive pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and some foods. It has also introduced four new chapters on: spray-freeze-drying, fry-drying, refractance window-drying and mechanical thermal expression.

Contact: CRC Press, United States of America. Tel: +1 (561) 994 0555; Fax: +1 (561) 989 9732; E-mail:


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