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VATIS Update Food Processing . Sep-Oct 2003

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Food Processing Sep-Oct 2003

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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Contents

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IN THE NEWS

Report on diet launched

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched an independent expert report on diet, which will serve as the basis for developing a global strategy to combat chronic diseases. The report Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases contains the best presently available scientific evidence on the relationship of diet, nutrition and physical activity to chronic diseases. It examines cardiovascular diseases, several forms of cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and dental disease. The report concludes that a diet low in saturated fats, sugars and salt as well as high in vegetables and fruits together with regular physical activity, will have a considerable impact in the fight against death and disease. According to Dr. Jacques Diouf, FAO Director General, the report will help both FAO and WHO to devise strategies, promote nutritious diets and healthier eating habits. This report is based on the collective judgement of a group of 30 independent experts with a global perspective, who worked with around 30 of their peers to review the best currently available evidence on diet, nutrition and its effects on chronic ailments. 


Website: www.foodingredientsfirst.com 

Emerging food markets

The developed markets of Europe and the United States account for nearly 60 per cent of worldwide food sales, estimated at US$2,850 billion in 2002. However, with many markets reaching maturity, several major manufacturers are now seeking opportunities elsewhere to achieve sales growth and profitability. The last decade witnessed high levels of growth in the food and drink markets of less well-developed regions, especially in nations such as China, Russia and India. With a food retail market approaching US$275 billion, China now accounts for almost 10 per cent of worldwide sales and value sales are expected to reach US$460 billion by 2010. Other nations like India and Russia are also beginning to experience significant growth and have been identified by many of the worlds largest food groups as important markets for the future.


In a report on Emerging Food Markets, Leatherhead Food International reviews key growth areas within the food and beverage industry in many of the worlds developing countries. The report features 27 nations located in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Far East and Africa, India and the Middle East. A variety of product markets have been addressed, including bakery products, beer, confectionery, convenience foods, dairy products, snack foods and soft drinks. The report delves into the development of the food and beverage industry in many of the worlds emerging markets, highlights most recent economic performance, food retailing patterns and key growth areas, market and consumption data for several product sectors and potential opportunities for export in the developing markets. 


Contact: Leatherhead Food International. 


E-mail: publications@leatherheadfood.com


Website: www.leatherheadfood.com or www.foodaust.com.au 

Tariffs exempted on fresh fruits and vegetables

A bilateral agreement has been signed between Thailand and China to remove tariffs imposed upon fresh fruits and vegetables. This pact is believed to pave the way for expanding free trade in other aspects between the two parties. Scheduled to come into effect from 1 October 2003, the agreement is regarded as part of the negotiations to set up a free trade zone between ASEAN and China. 


Website: www.alibaba.com 

Advances in the production of milk powder

In France, powdered milk manufacturer Ingredia plans to incorporate a connoisseur process from Invensys to improve production quality and efficiency. A project team comprising engineers from Invensys and Ingredia will implement Advanced Process Control on the evaporation and drying process used by Ingredia for milk powder production.


Invensys is the market leader in the application of commercial Advanced Process Control for drier and evaporator processes. Many processes in the food manufacturing industry, such as production of milk powder, coffee, sugar, powdered foods, snack drinks and soups as well as in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry like production of resins, cosmetics and powdered colourants use evaporation and drying processes to arrive at a finished product. Ingredia is a leading producer of functional dairy ingredients, specializing in the technologies of milk cracking, drying and recombination. Through its separation technologies ultrafiltration, microfiltration and chromatography Invensys offers a wide range of liquid, concentrate and powdered food ingredients on a global basis. 


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com  

Latest food policy initiatives in Australia

At a meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, important policy decisions were taken. Firstly, the Council agreed to a process for harmonizing the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) setting procedures of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and the Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ). The strategy is based on harmonization of administrative processes, monitoring and review of the harmonized assessment process and, subject to satisfaction with the new processes, the issuing of a single MRL. Meanwhile, the phase-out of ethylene oxide (EtO) use in Australia to treat herbs and spices is now complete. The Council stated that it has been assured that 100 per cent of products from the Australian Food and Grocery Council, representing 99 per cent of trade by volume sold in Australia, are no longer treated with EtO as alternatives like steam sterilization, batch selection and good manufacturing practices are employed.


In 2000, Australia and New Zealand were among the first countries in the world that implemented genetically modified (GM) labelling requirements. Ministers had requested that these requirements be reviewed in three years to assess the international scenario. The Council agreed to several terms of reference and consultation questions for the review. This included the decision that FSANZ will conduct the review and prepare a report for the Council. As part of this process, FSANZ will prepare a review of GM food labelling legislation or regulation internationally (proposed and existing), with special attention on the European Union, the United States, Canada and APEC nations. It will then compare the present Australia-New Zealand GM labelling requirements with those of the above-mentioned countries. Lastly, in addition to summarizing developments in the Codex Alimentarius with respect to a GM food labelling standard, FSANZ will be charged with preparing a summary of implementation of the GM food labelling standard in New Zealand and Australia, and report on compliance and enforcement with the standard to date.


The last decision concerned iodine deficiency. In light of the progress undertaken in relation to the Tasmanian Iodine Supplementation Programme and emerging evidence of mild iodine deficiency in Australia and New Zealand, the Ministerial Council supported the implementation of a national iodine nutrition study, which is hoped to provide further evidence of any emerging deficiencies. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

New markets for Indian tea

Tea manufacturers in India are looking at newly emerging markets like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, besides the European Union, as world tea prices have dipped from US$20 to US$1.5 per kilogram. Iraq, with around 5,000-6,000 t demand for tea, is seen as a very important market. However, preferential import tariffs and low production costs have enabled countries like Kenya, Bangladesh and Viet Nam to raise tea production. Though Kenya and China are major competitors, the international market is now realizing that Indian tea is far better. The quality and wide variety is being appreciated by international tea connoisseurs who are once again favouring Indian tea. 


Beverage and Food World, July 2003

Transgenic rice yields high-protein flour

Researchers at the Academia Sinica, Taiwan, have uncovered a new strategy to obtain high-protein rice flour, following studies on starch bioprocessing methods. Rice contains abundant starch and high-quality protein. It is commonly used in food and beverage industries. Generally, rice seeds contain 6-10 per cent (w/w) protein and 70-80 per cent (w/w) starch. Separation of protein and starch allows for the processing of high-protein rice flour, while starch hydrolysates into different products.
n order to simplify the production process and improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency of starch bioprocessing, researchers highly expressed a thermotolerant and bi-functional starch hydrolase, amylopullulanase (APU), in transgenic rice seeds. The seeds were then heated at high temperatures, resulting in rapid hydrolysis of starch and the concentration of soluble sugars increased significantly with incubation time. The team found a correlation between APU activities and the starch-to-sugars conversion rates: the more the APU present in the seeds, the faster the rate of starch hydrolysis to sugars. According to the team, the transgenic seeds can be processed to simultaneously produce high-protein rice flour and sugar syrups for human use. Furthermore, a similar approach could be applied to other cereals, like maize, which could offer much lower production costs. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com  

GM food is safe

The danger from GM food is a non-existent threat which is used by unprincipled politicians to scare an ignorant population, expresses Mr. Konstantin Skryabin, Director of the Bioengineering Centre of the Russian Agricultural Academy. Mr. Skryabin stated that compared with selection techniques from the past, genetic engineering is much less dangerous. He also opined that the future of humankind rests in the hands of genetic engineering and molecular biology. Plants need to be altered so that they contain enough protein, fats, hydrocarbons and vitamins to feed people.


The main producers of GM crops are the United States, Argentina, Canada and China. GM crops are grown in a total of 16 countries. Although European nations do not, on the whole, grow GM crops, they use them extensively in the food industry. Cultivation of GM crops is presently forbidden in Russia. However, two types of potato have passed the state registration process and received bio-safety certificates. 


Website: www.rosbaltnews.com 

APEDA certification for farm products

In India, the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Authority (APEDA) has come up with a certification mark to raise the confidence of international buyers. The certification is granted on the basis of compliance with hygiene standards, implementation of quality assurance systems like ISO9000, food safety systems such as backward linkage, residue testing of pesticides and contaminants, HACCP, laboratory facilities and nature of complaint. Only exporters whose products conform to the above-mentioned parameters will be licensed to use the trademark Quality Produce of India. This scheme will initially cover products such as meat, rice, fruits and vegetables. 


Indian Food Packer, March-April 2003

Increasing demand for Indian speciality coffee

Indias speciality coffee exports for 2002-03 stood at 6,844 t, a sharp increase from 4,884 t in 2001-02 and 4,098 t in 2000-01. Speciality coffee are high-quality varieties that fetch a premium well above the commodity rates, often based on the packaging, marketing and promotion efforts. The premiums are based on their origins, eco-friendly farming or fair trade practices that help farmers and labourers. Current export markets are West and North European countries, particularly Norway. While Italy is an emerging market, the United States is seen as a strong potential market for the future. 


Beverage and Food World, July 2003

Spicy relief for IBD

Researchers at the Jack Bell Research Centre of Vancouver General Hospital, Canada, report that an Indian spice ingredient may provide an inexpensive, well-tolerated and effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Curcumin, a component of the traditional curry spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), is also used in mustard sauce. The spice ingredients anti-inflammatory properties as well as its role in reducing colonic cancer in animal models have already been established. Though effective agents for IBD treatment are available, they are costly and have some side effects.
Researchers used the dinitrobenzene sulphuric acid (DNB) murine model of colitis, which has been previously validated. Seven weeks-old mice had inflammation induced with instillation of 100 l of DNB (60 mg/ml) in 50 per cent ethanol with control animals receiving 100 l of 50 per cent ethanol alone. The mice were then kept in position for 30 seconds before being returned to their cages. On the fifth day, post-induction was conducted for evaluation of colitis. Test groups of five mice had curcumin added to their diet at a concentration of 0.25 per cent beginning five days before the DNB instillation. Animals were weighed daily after induction of colitis.


Study results revealed a clear reduction in the amount of weight loss in animals pretreated with curcumin. The spice ingredient was found to enhance intestinal cell function in DNB-induced colitis, while mucosal ulceration or thickening of the walls and significant infiltration with inflammatory cells in the DNB-treated animals were all reduced in those animals treated with curcumin. It was also observed that in mice treated with curcumin there was a clear reduction in DNA binding, thus proving that curcumin does indeed inhibit NF-kappa B activation in the colon in vivo. These findings indicate for the first time that curcumin affects an important transcriptional mechanism in the gastrointestinal tract. Finally, though curcumin is safe up to levels as high as 10 per cent (100,000 ppm), it is effective at a concentration as low as 0.25 per cent, a dose that was well tolerated without any reduction in dietary intake. 


Website: www.nutraingredients.com 

Chinese manufacturers pledge for non-GM products

In China, food producers have publicly committed themselves to not sell genetically modified (GM) food. About 32 companies producing 53 brands have agreed to sell only food products that are free of transgenic ingredients by presenting formal statements to Greenpeace confirming that they do not use GM ingredients in their products. Some of the well-known brand names among the group include Lipton, Wrigley, Wyeth, Mead Johnson, Lee Kum Kee, Pearl River Bridge, Amoy and Vitasoy.


Website: www.ens-news.com

SAFETY/QUALITY CONTROL

Boost for fish processing

At Reading Scientific Services (RSSL), the United Kingdom, researchers have successfully developed new techniques for identifying fish meat, including canned and processed fish. About two years ago, RSSL research uncovered that it was possible to identify the species of fish by analysing certain genes. Though at that time this method covered a limited number of fresh fish varieties, researchers have now not only increased the number of fresh fish on which the technique can be used but have developed an entirely new approach that can be used on canned and processed fish. 


Contact: Reading Scientific Services Ltd., Lord Zuckerman Research Centre, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 234, Reading RG6 6LA, the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0118) 9868 541


E-mail: enquiries@rssl.com.


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com 

Analyser for oils and fats

Foss, Denmark, has launched a new oils and fats analyser aimed at improving both productivity and quality. Nearly 25 t/h of edible oil can flow through a typical vegetable oil refinery plant, which is why frequent data analysis on the oil in the production process is so important. Any variation in production flow can mean a lot of re-work and ultimately, loss of time and profit. Traditional analytical methods require about 1.5 h while the Foss analyser delivers results within two minutes. It can even provide a continuous stream of results fed directly to a PLC system. Key parameters measured by the Foss Oils and Fats Analyser include free fatty acid (FFA), phosphorus, moisture and iodine value. Vegetable oils that can be monitored include sunflower oil, rape seed oil, palm oil, soya bean oil and others. Results are presented in exactly the way needed for achieving full control of production. 


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com  

Genetics-based screening

DuPont has re-launched its BAX detection system as a tool for preventing Enterobacter sakazakii n powdered infant formula, and dry dairy and soya ingredients. The genetics-based screening method identifies bacteria and pathogens in food and food processing equipment. Several international food safety agencies have identified Enterobacter sakazakii as an emerging foodborne pathogen that can cause meningitis, sepsis or necrotizing enterocolitis in newborns, particularly premature infants or infants with weakened immune system.


DuPont scientists collaborated with the Nestle Research Centres in Switzerland and the United States to develop the detector for Enterobacter sakazakii in food and environmental samples by employing DuPonts BAX detection system. This system provides fully automated, genetics-based technology for identifying bacteria and pathogens with better than 98 per cent accuracy and fast results. The system test provides reliable next-day results, even on samples with low levels of contamination of Enterobacter sakazakii. The automated system requires little space and looks like a desktop computer. 


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com 

Checking for consistency

Izobretatel, Russia, has designed and patented a new device that assures rapid and cost-effective analysis of the consistency of various food and non-foodstuffs for future standardized replication. Though special devices are available for precise viscosity analysis, they are normally expensive and complicated. While consistency is important for a lot of small businesses manufacturing edible products like syrups, creams and ketchup, or inedible products like glues, shampoos and balsams, production engineers at these businesses do not necessarily need to know the exact viscosity. What they require is to ensure that the consistency is standard for a certain kind of product. The new Consistence Express Analyser nozzle has been developed specifically for this purpose.


The analyser measures about 0.25 0.25 0.10 m and weighs less than 1.5 kg. Equipped with seven removable nozzles to meet varying needs, the analyser is capable of digitally expressing the consistency of condensed milk or pastry within 3-4 seconds. The nozzle, which is able to memorize the whipping action, is immersed into a product and rotated. Higher the viscosity, stronger the resistance to the nozzle rotation, and vice versa. Indications on the device panel are proportional to environment resistance. Consistency of the substance under analysis corresponds to a certain digital value, specific to the chosen nozzle, which is highlighted on the panel. A single recording of the viscosity of the environment, with its correct consistency, is adequate and the digital value is indicated by the device. Thereafter, matching the viscosity of a sample with that of the standard is just a routine matter. The range of viscosity that can be digitized by this analyser is quite extensive. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

Assay to detect SARS in food

The Institute of Import and Export Commodity Examination Technologies, China, has developed a SARS testing process dedicated to animal and plant food products. Applied with controlled viruses separation and RTPCR techniques, the assay can perform a quick collection and separation analysis of SARS viruses injected into food samples for experimental purposes. The validated process can also be used to test for SARS in live animal and plant products. 


Website: www.most.gov.cn 

Detecting inhibitors in milk

Australasian Medical and Scientific, Australia, offers AIM BRT-MRL milk antibiotic residue kit. The AIM test is a standard microbial inhibition assay based on Bacillus stearothermophilus and uses a non-reversible redox indicator Brilliant Black to demonstrate the end point. This test, designed to detect inhibitors in milk, is highly sensitive to -lactam antibiotic residues as well as inhibitors from the sulphonamide, macrolide and aminoglycoside groups. Apart from cost benefits, the kit is easy to use without the need for additional reagent steps. 


Contact: Australasian Medical and Scientific. Tel: +61 (02) 9436 0444. 


Indian Dairyman, July 2003

Texture analyser

Stable Micro Systems, the United Kingdom, has developed a new high-speed, high-force, heavy-duty texture analyser. With 500 kg maximum force capacity, the TA.HDplus texture analyser is said to be the most powerful and flexible instrument for assessing texture in the food industry. This latest model has enhanced high-resolution functionality to allow for minimum speeds of 0.01 mm/s, while higher test speeds, up to 20 mm/s, are feasible. Speeds can also be varied in proportion to the height of the sample, so that the products can be tested at a constant strain rate in compression or tension. Other design features include:

  • A simple keypad is integrated into the main body of the analyser to save desk space;

  • Peripheral instruments can be plugged for multichannel data acquisition, facilitating the use of other measurement devices;

  • Increased flexibility is achieved through the multi-stage test programming facilities, as the user can define individual arm movement sequences at various speeds and distances; and

  • A fully integrated fourth generation Texture Exponent 32-bit software offers consistently accurate and quantifiable textural data. This set-up allows thumbnails to preview specific files, long file name support, dockable and customizable toolbars together with a comprehensive system for graphs, reports and project files, and a multi-language facility.

Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com 

MRI technology for cheese

Researchers at the University of California-Davis, the United States, have successfully adapted magnetic resonance image (MRI) technology for cheese. The technique forms a non-destructive evaluation tool, which uses sophisticated scanning processes to examine an item without taking it apart or cutting it open. The images obtained can be compared on-line with the regulations and then separated according to different grades. Evaluation of the holes or eyes found within Swiss cheese can reveal a great deal about the cheese quality. 


Indian Dairyman, August 2003

Foodprocessingmachinery.com

Foodprocessingmachinery.com is a vertical food industry portal designed to bring together buyers and sellers of food processing machinery, supplies and services. The site is one of the best source for information about and for food processing technology suppliers. It is an online resourse that enables food industry professionals to network with one another and find all the latest news and trends in food processing.


For more information, access: http://www.processfood.com

INGREDIENTS

Oil extraction from fresh spices

In India, researchers at the Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, have developed a novel technology for extracting oils and oleoresins from spices. This process does away with the need for drying spices, thus facilitating enhanced yield (by up to 30 per cent) at a lower cost and premium quality with fresh aroma. Initially developed for extracting oil from ginger, RRL extended the patented technology to cover other fresh spices like turmeric, chilli and pepper. 


Chemical Weekly, 8 July 2003

Low-calorie fat replacer

Danisco plans to launch a new low-calorie fat alternative aimed at the European confectionery and bakery industry. The patented Salatrim would be sold under the brand name Benefat. Unlike traditional fat replacers that typically cannot match the taste profile of fat, Benefat fulfils the desired quality of taste. Moreover, it does not contain trans-fatty acids, which through legislation is sought to be reduced as much as possible. Products containing Benefat are targeted at adults who want to fight obesity but still be able to enjoy a treat now and then. 


Website: www.foodingredientsfirst.com 

Functional cooking oil

In Canada, Prof. Peter Jones at McGills School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition has completed two studies on a new blend of cooking oil that reportedly enables people to improve their metabolism, lower cholesterol and, in some cases, lose weight. During two clinical trials undertaken at Macdonald Campus Mary Emily Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, Prof. Jones et al. tested an oil made of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) versus long chain triglycerides (LCT). MCT oil or functional oil is a blend of tropical oils (67 per cent), olive oil (13 per cent), coconut oil (6 per cent) and flaxseed oil (5 per cent).


Trials were conducted over two periods of 27 days on men and women who were about 11.4 kg overweight. The trial periods were separated by washout intervals of four weeks. Participants ate a typical northern diet during the trials, meaning breakfasts could include everything from French toast with maple syrup to yoghurt, while dinners might consist of spaghetti with meat sauce, raw celery with carrots and a date square. On the first and last day of each trial period, the participants were subjected to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain 40 cross-sectional images of their bodies to see where the fat was located. It was observed that on a functional oil diet, participants had decreased their total body volume and upper body fat. Prof. Jones explained that the functional oil is not stored in the body as fat. It is directed towards the liver for combustion and burned as energy. By combusting, rather than absorbing the functional oil, male participants lost an average of 2.2 kg/month, while the female participants experienced heightened metabolic rates. A major benefit for both sexes was a significant reduction in cholesterol levels (over 13 per cent). 


Website: www.nutraingredients.com 

New yoghurt flavours

Danisco, one of the worlds leading flavour houses, has captured the cool, invigorating taste of yoghurt in a new range for beverages and bakery filling. The mildly fermented yoghurt flavours are all equipped with carry-through properties that ensure optimum taste experience in the final product. Danisco yoghurt flavourings have long been used to fine-tune the taste of yoghurt, particularly when whole milk powder is substituted with skimmed milk powder in low-fat products. In raw milk, where the milk flavour may be too strong for consumer preferences, yoghurt flavours can be added as a flavour enhancer or to mask off notes. Application opportunities with juice, jelly, creamy fillings and more are drawing yoghurt flavourings into a realm of exciting new combinations. For example, in drinking jelly with its low content of milk powder, Daniscos yoghurt flavourings provide mouthfeel and milkiness for a full flavour sensation. 


Website: www.foodingredientsfirst.com 

New process locks in flavour shelf-life

International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF) Inc., the United States, offers technology to improve top note retention, resulting in fresher flavour profiles. CapLock is a proprietary extrusion technology that provides resistance against moisture absorption during typical handling in food manufacturing facilities. It also provides protection against moisture absorption during storage in products like bagged tea leaves. CapLocks typical particle size distribution is 250-850 m. It retains more of the top notes since the process does not remove water. In addition, the technology yields denser, larger particles than feasible with spray drying, so there is less opportunity for diffusion.


According to IFF, the particle size distribution provides strong mixing distribution traits in a wide variety of applications. CapLock, in its standard form as a quick water-soluble matrix, is available for products such as instant beverage powders, instant ice tea powders and tea leaves. CapLock High Melt, a special formulation, is suitable for confectionery products processed at high temperatures. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

Enriched bacon and bread

In Australia, researchers have devised a way to add an essential nutrient, found in fish, into popular foods like bread and bacon. The team employed microencapsulation technology to convert tuna oil into a fine white powder, mask the smell and flavour as well as protect it from oxidation. The oil, rich in Omega-3 DHA, is then added to the food product. Omega-3 DHA is very important for the brain and heart. The new technique was awarded the 2003 Food Industry Innovation Award by the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Inc. 


Website: www6.lexisnexis.com 

Bioactive whey protein isolates

Proliant Inc., the United States, offers Iso-Chill 9000 and Iso-chill 9010 instantized whey protein isolates (WPIs). These products are manufactured by a novel chilling or low-temperature microfiltration process, providing undenatured protein with a full balance of bioactive whey protein fractions, including immunoglobulin, lactoferrin and glycomacropeptides. Functional benefits of the WPIs include clean bland flavour, white colour, high solubility, high clarity, and excellent heat and acid stability over a pH range of 3.0 to 8.0. Iso-Chill WPIs are ideal for acidic, heat-treated, high-protein, clear RTD beverages, nutritional neutral beverages, drinkable yoghurts and instant dry-mix beverages, as well as high-protein nutritional and sports bars. 


Contact: Proliant Inc., 2325, North Loop Drive, Ames, IA 50010, United States of America. Fax: +1 (515) 2967 110


E-mail: usoffice@proliantinc.com 


Website: www.proliantinc.com 

New cooling technology

International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF) Inc., the United States, has launched a high-intensity cooling technology that makes use of proprietary molecules developed through extensive research into human cold perception. CoolTek imparts a unique sensation for a clean, refreshing, energizing taste and feel that invigorates flavour. The new technology enlivens many food, beverage, confectionery, chewing and pharmaceutical products, adding fun and originality. Suitable for both mint and non-mint flavour systems, the cooling sensation lasts and builds without a menthol burn, aroma or flavour and without impacting other flavours in the system. Depending on the end product, the release of the cooling effect, both the amount and when it is experienced, can be controlled. 


Website: www.bakeryonline.com 

Multiple flavour enhancer

At the University of Munster, Germany, researchers have uncovered a flavourless compound that enhances salty, sweet and savoury tastes. This chemical is the first known to heighten more than one type of flavour. Alapyridaine, the new compound, was isolated from beef stock. The discovery could aid the quest for foods with reduced levels of salt, sugar and monosodium glutamate (MSG). 


Human tongues have five types of taste receptor: salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. The most recently recognized umami detects meaty or savoury taste, stimulated by foods that contain MSG. During trials it was observed that the tastes of umami, sweet and salty liquids, and mixtures of all three, were intensified when spiked with the tasteless alapyridaine. The taste enhancer, however, has no effect on sour taste (such as lemon juice) or bitter taste (such as caffeine).


Website: www.nature.com

STANDARDS/REGULATIONS

New and revised Indian food standards

IS 10232:2003 General rules for the preparation of initial suspension and decimal dilutions for microbiological       examination of foods (first revision), Gr 3.
IS 15286:2003 Sensory analysis Methodology Guidelines for the preparation of samples for which direct sensory analysis is not feasible, Gr 1.
IS 15315:2003 Sensory analysis Methodology Flavour profile methods, Gr 3.
IS 15316:2003 Sensory analysis General guidance for the design of test rooms, Gr 5.
IS 15317 (Part 1):2003 Sensory analysis General guidance for the selection, training and monitoring of assessors: Part 1 Selected assessors, Gr 7.
IS 15317 (Part 2):2003 Sensory analysis General guidance for the selection, training and monitoring of assessors: Part 2 Experts, Gr 5.
IS 15285:2003 Sensory analysis Methodology Initiation and training of assessors in the detection and recognition of odours, Gr 7.


Standards India, Vol. 17, No. 1 & 2, April and May 2003

Food standards in Australia

 

Registration mandatory for importers in Singapore

Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ) has confirmed that it applies a risk and evidence-based approach while developing food regulatory measures, paying particular heed to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Chief scientist Dr. Marion Healy affirms that over the past several months FSANZ staff have participated in meetings of Committees/Taskforces of the CAC that resulted in guidance, which may impact on the way FSANZ develops/reviews food standards and undertakes other functions. With regard to risk analysis, the proposed risk analysis principles to apply within the framework of the Codex Alimentarius are being finalized by the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP). Principles are proposed for thehree stages of risk analysis risk assessment, risk management and risk communication and if adopted, it is expected that Codex Committees and Taskforces will apply the principles. A broad framework for applying risk analysis to foods derived from biotechnology, together with guidance on conducting safety assessments for foods developed using recombinant plants and recombinant organisms are also ready. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

European Commission tightens controls on aflatoxin

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, Singapore, has announced that all those importing processed food from 1 April 2003 onwards will be required to register with the authority. At present, only importers of fresh food such as meat, fish and vegetables are subject to registration. The new rule is intended to enhance the food safety surveillance system and help track down food sources. The registration will also facilitate quick tracing and recall of food imports, if necessary.


Website: www.alibaba.com 

China imposes new rules on seafood imports

The European Commission (EC) has reviewed measures that it had taken to ensure aflatoxin-contaminated Chinese peanuts, Iranian pistachios and Turkish figs, pistachios and hazelnuts do not enter the European Union. According to EC, the new measures are designed to expand and reinforce those already in place. According to the United Kingdoms Food Standards Agency (FSA), recent data from Member States on the levels of aflatoxins in consignments of pistachios and pistachio products imported from Iran have shown that there has been no improvement in the situation since the original regulations came into force. As such, the EC Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has agreed that there is a continuing need for re-testing all consignments for aflatoxins, as well as other measures imposed by the initial Commission Decision.


The EC Decisions 2003/551/EC, 2003/550/EC and 2003/552/EC stipulate that consignments be subjected to sampling and analysis should only be detained for a maximum of 15 working days from the point of entry into the Community before release on to the market. Member States are also required to submit a three-monthly report to EC on all analytical results of these official controls. The rulings also give details of the procedure to be followed for any consignments that are subsequently split. FSA has stated that the EC Decisions will be kept under review in the light of information and guarantees provided by the authorities of China, Turkey and Iran. Further, results of tests undertaken by Member States will be considered as part of the review process to assess whether there is a continuing need for special measures. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

Cocoa content in chocolates

In China, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has framed new regulations for seafood imported after 30 June 2003. The Regulations on Inspection and Quarantine of Import and Export Aquatic Products require imported aquatic products to comply with new certification, labelling and packaging requirements. Every imported consignment has to be accompanied by an inspection and quarantine certificate issued by export countries in Chinese, French and English. This certificate should contain information that is specified in the regulations. The inner and outer packings must be new, non-toxic, complete and in good condition. Labels on the inner and outer packing should contain clearly specified information like common name, methods of catch and so on, in Chinese and English. Consignments that do not comply with the new rules would either by returned or destroyed. 


Website: www.alibaba.com

PRESERVATION

Liquid ice extends fish shelf-life

In Spain, researchers at the Institute of Food Technology, University of Santiago de Compostela, are evaluating a new liquid freezing technique following successful results in preserving a range of fish, including turbot, horse mackerel and hake. Liquid ice, a mixture of freezing water and ice, is reported to work well for a range of seafood since it adapts to the surfaces and freezes quickly to yield a highly efficient preservation effect. In the specific case of turbot, this technique managed to raise shelf-life by nearly 50 per cent. The liquid ice is made using filtered sea water, which can be readily pumped into the vessels, making the process more hygienic and easier to handle than conventional methods. 


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com 

Extending shelf-life

TasteTech, the United Kingdom, has developed controlled release microencapsulated sorbic acid that has proved to be an ideal replacement for calcium propionate, a common mould inhibitor. The new cost-saving method can keep bread fresh and mould-free for a couple of weeks.


Sorbic acid cannot generally be used as a suitable alternative as it destroys yeast. However, TasteTechs technology works by coating the sorbic acid within an invisible microfilm of vegetable fat to create a free flowing powder that can be easily blended with dry ingredients prior to baking. A controlled release mechanism ensures that the sorbic acid is not released from its encapsulate until the bread is baked past 60C, after the yeast has stopped working. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

Ingredient chilling technology

BOC Gases, the United States, offers ingredient chilling technology to help bakers cope with the summer heat. Overheated flour causes problems with the quality and consistency of dough, which increases wastage and decreases yield. BOCs integrated bulk ingredient chilling system improves bakery product consistency by maintaining uniform and accurate ingredient temperatures even in extreme heat. The system eliminates fluctuations in ingredient temperatures, resulting in less waste, greater batch-to-batch consistency, reduced operating costs and increased efficiency. Moreover, the systems automated cryogenic process also reduces, and often eliminates, the need for ice in dough formation. 


Contact: Ms. Kristina Schurr, BOC Corporate Communications, United States of America. Tel: +1 (908) 7711 510


E-mail: kristina.schurr@boc.com 


Website: www.businesswire.com 

New preservation technology

A food processing technique developed in Italy is reported to sterilize and seal foods such that the food products have a minimum shelf-life of nine months, without refrigeration. InnoFood holds proprietary rights to the food processing technology developed by Modofood. Over 90 per cent of the nutritional value is maintained and the organoleptic qualities (taste, texture, colour and aroma) are said to be completely preserved. This method can be applied on prepared foods, fresh fruit, milk, raw fish or beef and virtually any food or beverage.


The process begins with the preparation of fresh recipe ingredients, mixing and loading them into the portioning line. From that point, the entire process is automated. The ingredients are released into containers, as specified by the recipe, which are then hermetically sealed while exchanging inert nitrogen for oxygen, thus eliminating the possibility of food degrading. Following the sealing and gas exchange, containers pass through the tunnel in which a patented, electromagnetic microwave process eliminates all bacteria in the food, making it sterile, yet not affecting taste or nutritional content. The next stage of the process cools the containers and, after exiting the tunnel. each container is stored for 15 days, to ensure sterility. 


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com  

Stabilization of processed plant products

Researchers at the Food Research and Development Centre, Canada, have designed a biological control process that utilizes a mixture of organic acids to stabilize and standardize processed plant products, including the new use of propionic acid as a preservative for vegetable products. The process entails development of stabilizing agents to reply to the problem of spontaneous or secondary fermentation or inadequate lactic acid fermentation. Optimal quantities of a mixture of organic acids, at specific incubation temperatures and pH, will inhibit food spoilage micro-organisms. This organic acid mix, used as a preservative, was developed over extensive use of fermented products. Targeted products should be acidic, such as lacto-fermented products or products to which acidic fruit juice is added.


Contact: Mr. Steve Bittner, Senior Advisor, Commercialization and Business Development, Food Research and Development Centre, 3600 Casavant Blvd. West, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec J2S 8E3, Canada. Tel: +1 (450) 7731 105; Fax: +1 (450) 7738 461. 


Website: www.res2.agr.gc.ca 

Preserving raw milk

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is promoting an alternative method to refrigeration for preserving raw milk, in an effort to aid small-scale dairy farmers and milk processing units facing limited accessibility to urban markets. The lactoperoxidase system, or LP system, involves adding thiocyanate and hydrogen peroxide to reactivate the antibacterial effects in raw milk, which can raise the shelf-life by several hours to more than a day, depending on the ambient temperature. At present, China and Cuba are using the technology regularly.


Website: www.kuenselonline.com 

Microwave technology for additive-free foods

In the United States, Boeing has donated patents to Washington State University for microwave technology. Microwave Vacuum Dehydration process, or MIVAC, will now be used to produce new, flavourful, dried fruits and vegetables that are free of additives. MIVAC integrates microwave energy and vacuum to dry food quickly, resulting in lightweight dried products that retain their original colour, flavour, shape and nutritional value. This process yields food quality superior to that of freeze-dried products but at a cost that is only a little more than traditional air-dried process. Potential applications include cereals, snacks, nutritional bars and other reconstitutable fruit-based items. 


Contact: WSU, United States of America. Tel: +1 (509) 3359 170.


Website: www.boeing.com

MEAT & POULTRY PROCESSING

New in-line processing system

SureBeam Corp., the United States, has been awarded a patent on an in-line processing system that forms food products, such as ground beef, into optimal configurations for irradiation processing. This system is designed to achieve higher efficiencies in processing by configuring products to take advantage of the electron beam technologys strengths while also providing flexibility for product packaging. The system has been designed to be smaller while being able to process more food in less time. It is unique in that it will allow food products to be processed in optimal thicknesses that allows for the most efficient throughput for an electron beam system. Food products using the present electron beam system may require packaging changes to accommodate the process. However, since the in-line system irradiates the food product prior to final packaging, it will significantly minimize changes to current packaging configurations and the cost associated with it. 


Contact: Mr. Mark Stephenson, Corporate Communications, SureBeam Corporation, United States of America. Tel: +1 (858) 7956 300


E-mail: mstephenson@surebeam.com 


Website: www.biz.yahoo.com 

Screening for nerve tissue contamination

Researchers at the University of Arkansas, the United States, have developed a new method for detecting nerve tissue in ground meat. The team employed Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to examine ground beef contaminated with spinal cord tissue that can accidentally contaminate meat as it is removed from vertebrate bones close to the spine. Nerve tissue potentially infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) can thus be prevented from tainting meat. BSE prions reside in cerebral and spinal tissue and have been linked to deaths from variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans.


Using ELISA a complex, lengthy and expensive technique that examines only tiny samples of meat at a time to detect nerve tissue in ground meat is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Researchers decided to investigate attenuated total reflectance FTIR (ATR-FTIR), a form of infrared spectroscopy, since it directly examines the meat sample, is non-destructive and takes only two minutes to perform. However, this technique needs further development before it can be used commercially.


Website: www.sciencedaily.com 

Milk protein to fight meat bacteria

aLF Ventures, the United States, has obtained FDA approval to spray a milk protein on beef carcasses to fight pathogens such as E. coli. Spraying lactoferrin on raw beef carcasses inhibits the growth of E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter and prevents them from attaching on to meat surfaces. FDA issued its endorsement in response to a petition filed by aLF Ventures asking the agency to affirm lactoferrin is safe for consumers. The firm submitted scientific data showing that the use of lactoferrin is safe for individuals who are allergic to milk. According to the company, the amount of added lactoferrin that remains on the beef after spraying is comparable to the amount that naturally occurs in beef. 


Website: www.foodingredientsfirst.com 

New processing developments

Innovative technology is helping efficiency and creating new opportunities for product development in sausage manufacture. Vemag Maschinenbau GmbH, Germany, has developed a revolutionary mincer-filler that combines the attributes of both machines and may rival bowl-choppers. This technical coup has required the development of new types of mincing plates, with 30 per cent more apertures, and mincing knives. Other refinements include definition and control of the optimal product flow and pressure in relation to the speed of knife rotation for the best product quality and the use of high pressure for mincing. This system also allows homogenization of finely comminuted forcemeats normally done by emulsifying machines after bowl-chopping.


Several systems are available for automatic removal of bones from ground meat at the mincing stage. They may be classified as peripheral or central. The central removal system uses the tendency of hard particles to accumulate in the centre of the grinding plate. A channel allows the movement of hard particles towards the hub and an external pipe removal. The peripheral removal system operates by propelling hard particles towards the periphery of the knife-plate interface where they are eliminated through a removal tube located in the barrel. Soft and hard particles are separated at the knife-blade interface by high pressure. However, both systems require further technical developments as processors still come across excessive amounts of lean meat being removed with the hard particles and too much gristle left with minced meat.


Another company, BE-Maschinenmesser GmbH, has developed serrated knives that use less energy and limit the increase of temperature of the forcemeat. Holed knives made from special patented steel have an even more radical design. They are more flexible than standard knives, use even less energy during the bowl-chopping process and reduce the increase of temperature of the forcemeat. Townsend Engineering Co. has developed a new linking system able to link natural, collagen or cellulose casings at high speed. Besides speed, the Flexlinker offers the benefits of rapid changeover and increased length and weight control. The firm has also proposed an integrated collagen casing production system for high-speed manufacturing of sausages. Devro, the United Kingdom, has launched a casing made with pork collagen. Traditional collagen casings are sourced from beef hide. However, concerns over BSE and demands from pork processors have created a market for this new casing. 


Website: www.meatnews.com 

Automated detection of bone fragments

Accurate detection of bone fragments and other hazards in de-boned poultry meat is important to ensure food quality and safety for consumers. Though X-ray imaging is widely used for internal inspection, traditional X-ray technology has limited success with high false-detection errors mainly because of its inability to consistently recognize bone fragments in meat of uneven thicknesses. Researchers at the University of Maryland, the United States are in the engineering phase of developing high-throughput automated operations towards a processor friendly system for poultry units. The team has already developed synchronized X-ray and laser operating systems, simultaneous image processing algorithms and related software engineering. 


Website: www.meatnews.com 

Double pasteurization

Swift, the United States, has implemented a new double pasteurization system at six of its beef processing facilities. This system features 71C water spray at two separate times in the production process to virtually sterilize the carcass. These steps are supplemented by a sanitizing pre-wash using water and organic acid, steam vacuuming, final wash and organic acid rinse to create the industrys most comprehensive food safety production process. The double pasteurization process raises the exposure time of the carcass surface to the water, which is heated to temperatures sufficient to kill bacteria. The temperature of the water and time of exposure are two key factors in the effectiveness of the system in eliminating bacteria. Swift was also the first major meat processor to implement a test-and-hold process in which the company tests 100 per cent of all beef trimmings used to make ground beef for potential contamination by E. coli O157:H7. 


Website: www.meatprocess.com 

New process yields high-value products

ECA Technology, France, offers PMF development process for structuring any and all types of meat and muscle groups into tender and bound meat that can be easily portioned. The patented technique results in excellent profit margins by adding value to low-cost muscle groups of the carcass. It utilizes tougher pieces of meat like the chuck and brisket or difficult to portion cuts such as pork loin ends or white turkey breast bone meat and converts them into tender and flavourful end products that can be sold as steaks and speciality portions. The PMF process creates a product that mirrors whole muscle with or without the addition of salt, albumin or non-meat binders and additives. 


Contact: ECA Technology, BP 32 - 49610 Murs-Erigne, France. Tel: +33 (2) 4157 9717; Fax: +33 (2) 4157 7755.


Website: www.eca-technology.com

FOOD BIOTECHNOLOGY

Genetically modified E. coli yields plant-based product

In France, researchers from the Universit Louis pasteur, Stragbourg, have engineered bacteria to produce bixin, a plant product used in many foods and cosmetics, after uncovering natures genetic recipe for the pigment. Bixin is produced by a single, heavily fruiting, small tropical tree, Bixa orellana. The team first unravelled how the plant itself produces bixin. Apart from isolating the three necessary genes, they demonstrated that lycopene is the physical precursor to bixin. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit their red colour. The next step involved was replicating the biosynthetic pathway in an organism.


Researchers chose E. coli already engineered to produce lycopene and added the bixin genes. When these organisms growing in test tubes began to produce bixin, they did not change colour as the lycopene had already turned the single-celled bacteria red. According to Mr. Bilal Camara, one of the researchers, tomatoes could become bixin factories. The three bixin genes would each have to be added to separate plants which would then be crossed to obtain breeds with the full complement of bixin genes. Alternatively, a vector allowing insertion of several genes could be used. 


Website: www.eurekalert.org 

Food profiling technology

Axaron Bioscience, Germany, offers a transcription profiling technology for the food industry. iGentifier is designed to identify genes and biochemical pathways. With the European Commission heavily regulating GM foods, this technology would be a blessing to many food producers striving to monitor genetic and biochemical content of both processed and whole foods. Key benefits of iGentifier over conventional technologies are robustness, sensitivity and reliability. Combining the advantages of fragment display with tag sequencing methods, iGentifier detects the most subtle changes in gene expression, ensuring time and cost-effective transcription analysis exceeding the limits of microarrays. Users gain from high-quality data regardless of species, sample numbers or tissue of interest. The technology can be customized for the customers existing genomic platform or as a complete service solution. 


Contact: Axaron Bioscience AG, Im Neuenheimer Feld 515, D 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Tel: +49 (0) 6221 454-6


E-mail: iGentifier@azaron.com 


Website: www.iGentifier.com or www.foodproductiondaily.com 

Detecting toxic bacteria

Scientists from IrnA, Avignon, France, have developed new methods to detect enterotoxins from Bacillus cereus. This breakthrough paves the way for identifying genes responsible for the production of emetic toxins or vomiting toxins. B. cereus, a spore-forming foodborne pathogen, causes gastroenteritis, diarrhoeal syndrome or emetic syndrome, via several enterotoxins and an emetic toxin. The virulence is highly dependent on the specific strains, and to-date no methods exist to differentiate between these.


The main objectives of the European-funded study are to identify highly virulent food poisoning strains of B. cereus and to propose methods and tools to reduce their incidence in foods. In the first six months of the study, researchers developed new and highly sensitive immunological methods to detect the diarrhoeal toxins. The scientists have also identified genes responsible for the production of emetic toxins, allowing the development of a PCR method to detect the emetic strains. 


Website: www.foodnavigator.com 

Fermentation process for plant products

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is offering a controlled fermentation process for traditional plant products, adapted for use with garlic stored in oil through the development of a unique multi-strain starter culture. This process entails the adaptation and use of a multi-strain starter culture, typically used for fermenting plant products, specifically for parts of the garlic plants (stems, flowers) macerated and stored in oil. The multi-strain starter produces lactic and acetic acids from sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose) found naturally in plants and converts a portion of the fructose into mannitol, while improving the products organoleptic traits. 


Contact: Mr. Steve Bittner, Senior Advisor, Commercialization and Business Development, FDRC, 3600 Casavant Blvd., West St-Hyacinthe, Quebec J2S 8E3, Canada. Tel: +1 (450) 7731 105; Fax: +1 (450) 7738 461; Or Mr. Gary Caldwell, President, Caldwell Bio Fermentation Canada Inc., 189, Chemin de la Riviere, Martinville, Quebec J0B 2A0, Canada. Tel: +1 (819) 8494 378; Fax: +1 (819) 8492 000. 


Website: www.res2.agr.gc.ca 

Isolating DNA in food

In Israel, a scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science has developed technology called biobarcode, a short piece of DNA that does not have a biological function, which can be inserted into the gene sequence of a GM organism when it is created. Anti-GM groups could use this to label what they believe to be potentially dangerous foods. The biobarcodes may even be used by pro-GM groups to protect their GM patents as well as seed sellers who sell superior seeds. 


Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, Vol. 62, May 2003

DNA test for food allergens

Genetic ID has developed a series of tests to detect the presence of allergens in food products. The new Quick-Check allergen test series can detect as little as 1-2 allergen marker-molecules within the DNA found in a food sample. Allergen testing is an important aspect of quality assurance as up to 3.5 per cent of adults and over 5 per cent of children under the age of three suffer from food allergies. Reactions range from mild unpleasant symptoms to deadly anaphylactic shock.


According to the company, Quick-Check allergen test series is sensitive and capable of detecting accurately minute traces of an allergenic substance, even in the presence of highly complex food matrices. This is feasible as DNA is less likely to be broken down by food processing and remains detectable. The assay can detect major allergens listed by the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe, including peanuts, soya, wheat, and tree nuts such as almond, hazelnut, pecan and walnut. The series can also detect all categories of seafood, including fresh and salt water fish, clams, oysters, mussels, shrimps and lobsters.


Website: www.foodproductiondaily.com

PUBLICATIONS

Phytochemical Functional Foods

Plant foods are rich in micronutrients, but they also contain an immense variety of biologically active, non-nutritive compounds that contribute to colour, flavour and other traits. This book assesses the evidence for their health benefits and reviews key issues involved in successful product development.

Taints and Off-flavours in Food

Off-flavours and taints are defined as unpleasant odours or tastes, the first resulting from the natural deterioration of a food while the second from contamination by some other chemical. The book begins with chapters on sensory and instrumental methods for detecting and analysing taints and off-flavours. A number of chapters discuss the various causes of off-flavours, from those caused by microbial action and oxidation to those caused by the Maillard reaction and interactions between food components. Its authoritative coverage will make this guidebook a standard work for the food industry.


For the above publications, contact: Woodhead Publishing Limited, Abington Hall, Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AH, England, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (01223) 891 358; Fax: +44 (01223) 893 694


E-mail: wp@woodhead-publishing.com


Website: www.woodhead-publishing.com  

Plants Diet and Health

This guidebook covers in detail the full range of substances in foods considered to have positive and protective health effects. Contents include detailed information on major foods and beverages, the content and role of protective substances within them, the effects of food processing and public health issues.


Contact: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., C/o. Marston Book Services, P.O. Box 269, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4YN, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1235) 465 500; Fax: +44 (1235) 465 555


Website: www.blackwellpublishing.com 


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