Authentic Indian dhals

Foods Pacific Ltd, based in Fiji, have produced a range of ready-to-eat vegetarian based dhals, under their Taste of India brand.

Available in six different styles, the dhals are low salt and low fat, with some variants dairy free. Featuring lentils, split peas or kidney beans in mild, yet spicy flavours, the dhals have proven a huge success in New Zealand and Foods Pacific Ltd anticipate a similar interest here in Australia.

Microwave friendly in 400g punnets, Taste of India dhals are a complete meal on their own, or ideal as an addition to both Indian and western meals.

All packs feature delicious recipes under the lid, prepared by well-known New Zealand chef, Graeme Wilkinson. The range really is where East meets West in a full-flavoured and authentic meal.

Distributors are currently being sought and it is anticipated to have the product soon available throughout Australia.

For further information contact:

Foods Pacific Ltd

Sourav Sinha

sourav@foodspacific.com.fj

www.tasteofindia.co.nz

Microwave technology for food processing

Industrial Microwave Systems, L.L.C., the producer of patented microwave systems, announces the first commercial process licensing and installation of its Cylindrical Heating System. This system, developed by IMS, employs an aseptic process created through the joint efforts of IMS, North Carolina State University Department of Food Science, and the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (South Atlantic Area).

This new microwave technology, which features a unique, ultra-rapid method of heating aseptic and extended shelf life pumpable food products in a tube, has been installed for Yamco, L.L.C., a North Carolina company. Yamco will officially open a new food manufacturing facility on 26 March, 2008, and showcase this technology for the processing of low acid sweet potatoes.

The IMS Cylindrical Heating System enables liquid, semi-liquid, and pumpable foods and beverages to be uniformly and volumetrically heated on a continuous flow basis while pumped through a tube. The patented technology employed by the IMS cylindrical heater provides uniform spatial and temporal delivery of high-intensity thermal energy to the flowing components, solving the problem of ‘hot spots’ in traditional thermal processing technology.

This results in benefits that allow manufacturers currently using conventional heat exchangers an opportunity to greatly improve product quality while reducing floor space and increasing operational efficiency.

For Yamco, the installation of the IMS Cylindrical Heating System will enable it to produce a superior, nutrient-rich, shelf-stable sweet potato product that can be sold as a premium food ingredient for use in products such as baked goods, nutraceuticals, and infant formulations. Because the pumpable food product is heated so quickly and evenly, the unique thermal process allows for ultra-rapid sterilization with minimal product degradation.

Extensive testing of the heating system and process at North Carolina State University has ensured the delivery of an aseptic sweet potato puree that exhibits maximal nutrient and colour retention and minimal flavour loss. The capability of producing such a superior sweet potato product presents an advantageous opportunity for North Carolina farmers, who account for 40% of the United States’ annual sweet potato production.

A joint U.S. patent for the ultra-rapid heating process has been filed by IMS, North Carolina State University, and the USDA. The three parties worked together to test and develop the total aseptic process and packaging system. When issued, the patent, as it pertains to sweet potato puree processing, will be exclusively licensed to Yamco.

For more information about the Cylindrical Heating System and other innovative microwave technologies for industrial use,

email info@industrialmicrowave.com

or visit www.industrialmicrowave.com

NZ’s primary sector graduates

A record number of qualifications related to New Zealand’s important land-based industries will be awarded at Lincoln University’s 2008 Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch Town Hall on Friday 4 April.

From a total of 725 degrees, diplomas and certificates, a 10-year high of over 26 percent relate to areas such as agriculture, viticulture, wine science, food science, horticulture, farm management, forestry and organic husbandry.

“The increase in qualifications connected to New Zealand’s primary industry sector is good news for New Zealand’s land-based economy,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Roger Field.

“It clearly reflects the breadth of employment opportunities which characterises the sector today and the range of associated careers we prepare people for at Lincoln University – from on-the-land producers, to research scientists, industry consultants and advisers, to agribusiness personnel, bankers and specialists in many other allied areas.

“The primary sector is now vast and complex with an immense variety of satisfying and financially rewarding career choices open to those with appropriate tertiary qualifications.

“Also good news is an increase in qualifications being awarded specifically in the physical and applied sciences – up 3% on last year to more than 22% of our total. Postgraduate qualifications are up by the same amount too, equalling 22% of the total (which) includes 21 PhDs.”

Also being awarded at the ceremony for the first time is the honorary degree, Doctor of Social Science honoris causa. The recipient is former international opera singer and past CEO of New Zealand Cricket Christopher Doig of Christchurch. Since standing down from NZ Cricket, Doig has been involved in sports marketing and sponsorship and he has recently returned to the world of opera as executive chair of the new Christchurch-based company, Southern Opera.

The honorary degree Doctor of Science honoris causa will be conferred on Christchurch businessman Graham Kitson, Chairman of the JATRA Group of companies, who has combined science and business in an outstanding enterprise marketing New Zealand food products in Japan. A Lincoln University alumnus whose whakapapa is Ngai Tahu, Kitson has also been involved in assisting a number of Maori trusts and incorporations with business and export development.

The 75th award of the University’s prestigious Bledisloe Medal, for alumni and staff who have advanced the interests of New Zealand, will be made to Hawkes Bay farmer/agribusinessman Sam Robinson, a past Chairman of the Hawkes Bay meat company Richmond Ltd (now amalgamated with PPCS) and past winner of the Hawkes Bay Farmer of the Year title.

The University’s Alumni International Medal, for international alumni who have advanced the interests of their home countries, will be awarded to Giles Rowsell of Hampshire, England, a prominent farmer, chair of farmer organisations and lobbyist for farmer interests in the United Kingdom. In addition to farming, Rowsell is a prominent figure in British equestrian eventing and was Competition Controller for Eventing at the Atlanta and Athens Olympic Games.

The Lincoln University Graduation ceremony starts at 2.00pm and, weather permitting, will be preceded by an academic procession through central Christchurch from the Arts Centre to the Town Hall.

The ceremony will be presided over by the Chancellor of Lincoln University Tom Lambie, himself a Lincoln graduate.

For further information contact:

Ian Collins

Communications Group, Lincoln University, Canterbury

collinsi@lincoln.ac.nz

www.lincoln.ac.nz

Pressure detection & diagnostic function

Ifm efector introduces a new line of pump diagnostic pressure sensors that detect potential pump damage caused by cavitations, trapped air or gas, blockages and deposits.

The PIM sensor can perform two functions in one, housing: pump monitoring and pressure detection. The sensor continuously monitors a pump to provide numeric indication of the operating system pressure and offers independent continuous diagnosis of the pump’s condition.

Operating as a pump diagnostic sensor, the PIM sensor measures the high-frequency pulsations of a properly operating pump and stores it as a reference. If changes occur in the system, the pulsations will change. These changes are immediately detected by the sensor. If a critical pump condition occurs, such as cavitations, the sensor will provide an alarm signal to a controller.

Ifm’s condition-based pump monitoring sensor increases machine uptime and reduces damage caused by poor pump operating conditions. In addition to monitoring a pump, any disturbances around the pump such as trapped air in the medium, clogged filters, deposits in pipes or improperly opened valves are also monitored.

The sensor and its teach function are quickly setup using the numeric pushbutton display. The sensor’s display alternately provides the numeric system pressure and the operating state of the pump via a trend display that graphically depicts the operating state of the pump.

The sensor’s second output can be configured as a switching output with hysteresis or window function or as a scalable analogue output. Due to the high overload resistance of the ceramic capacitive measuring cell, the sensor is especially suited for switch-off in case of overpressure. FDT programming software enables the display of the measured values, analogue output, limit values and the parameter setting of the thresholds for diagnosis.

The stainless steel PIM pressure sensor is designed for sanitary applications. A variety of M12 connectors suitable for these conditions are available from ifm.

Ifm efector provides customers with German engineered and manufactured sensor and control solutions for automation. Their product ranges include position sensors and object recognition, fluid sensors and diagnostic systems, bus systems and identification systems, control systems and connection technology.

For more information on the efector PIM, including a virtual product demonstration, visit www.ifmefector.com.au/pim

Brewer pleads guilty to safety charges

Fosters Australia Limited has pleaded guilty to two workplace safety charges following the death of a worker on 13 April 2006.

The charges were laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

Magistrate Barbara Cottrell was told a Wantirna man was crushed between a handrail and the door of a machine which took empty bottles from pallets before they were filled with beer at the company’s Abbotsford plant.

A plea hearing is scheduled for 24 July 2008 at the Melbourne County Court.

The charges:

1 – Failure to provide or maintain plant or systems of work that were so far as reasonably practicable safe and without risks to health contrary to section 21(1)&(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

2 – Failure to provide such information, instruction and supervision as was necessary to employees to enable those persons to perform their work in a way that was safe and without risks to health contrary to section 21(1)&(2)(e) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

Highest volume sorter yet

Key Technology introduces Manta(TM), a new, state-of-the-art high volume, high performance sorter featuring a two-meter wide scan area that increases throughput within a space-saving footprint.

Handling up to 27 metric tons (60,000 pounds) of processed vegetables or fruit per hour, Manta offers high resolution scanning to detect and remove the smallest defects and foreign material. In addition to processed vegetables and fruit, Manta is being developed for other industry applications.

Designed for exceptional versatility and superior sanitation, this innovative sorter increases production capacity while maximizing product quality and food safety.

With the highest number of sensors and image processing modules of any sorter on the market, Manta maintains the high resolution of the finest narrow-belt sorters on its wider, higher capacity frame.

Designed for flexibility, Key can configure Manta with up to eight top-mounted colour or Vis/IR (visible infrared) cameras and up to two top-mounted FluoRaptor(TM) fluorescence-sensing lasers. Optional bottom-mounted sensors can be added to meet the specific needs of each application. Extreme modularity allows Manta to be easily reconfigured in the field, which enables processors to confidently select a camera/laser arrangement today knowing that the sorting system can grow if their needs change.

Manta’s dynamic design supports on-belt viewing as well as off-belt, in-air viewing, which can also be modified in the field at a later date if needed.

Using Key’s proprietary colour cameras, Manta recognizes each object’s size and shape as well as millions of subtle colour differences to remove defects based on user-defined accept/reject standards. Adding FluoRaptor to Manta expands the sorter’s inspection capabilities by reliably detecting foreign material (FM) and extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) based on differing levels of chlorophyll. Combining colour and laser sorting on one platform provides the most comprehensive sort available today.

Manta features a 2-meter (79-inch) wide scan area and handles up to 27 metric tons (60,000 pounds) of product per hour in a footprint that is similar to Tegra. Compared to Optyx 6000, which easily handles 10 metric tons (22,000 pounds) of product per hour, and Tegra®, which typically handles up to 14 metric tons (30,000+ pounds) of product per hour, Manta dramatically increases throughput while maintaining optimal performance.

“Bonduelle, one of the largest vegetable processors in Europe, has purchased a Manta to be installed in early 2008. Their Manta sorter will be configured to handle a range of vegetables including peas, multiple varieties of beans, multiple forms of carrots, and also potatoes, turnips, and more,” noted Key Technology Processed Vegetable and Fruit Industry Marketing Manager Bret Larreau.

“Every customer that has seen Manta in operation in our test facility has been impressed with its performance, simplicity and ease of use. We are excited that in addition to Bonduelle, we have multiple Manta sorters being installed in various plants around the world for the upcoming 2008 processing season.”

Simplicity is a guiding principle in the design of Manta. To ease installation, Key designed Manta to be self-contained and complete. Unlike other sorters that require additional elements such as separate cooling systems, water filters, and air dryers, Manta incorporates all the necessary components in one system. Simply connect air, water, power and start sorting.

Sanitary design concepts are incorporated in the design and construction of Manta. Fewer horizontal surfaces where debris can build up and no overlapping surfaces that can trap bacteria make Manta less susceptible to sanitation problems. With stainless steel construction, water-tight double-gaskets on doors, a sealed control panel, and easy access to areas needing cleaning, Manta is designed to operate reliably in the harshest environments and easily withstand high pressure washdowns.

Ease of use, despite the sophistication of the underlying technology, sets Manta apart from other sorters on the market. The icon-based graphical user interface (GUI) is easy to learn and use, reducing operator training and simplifying optimum operation. Product settings can be stored and retrieved for fast product changeover. The GUI can reside locally and can be accessed remotely via its OPC-compliant infrastructure, enhancing the flexibility in the operating environment and easing access for remote factory troubleshooting and application assistance. Sophisticated real-time and on-demand diagnostics help avoid costly downtime and detect conditions that could compromise inspection.

To ease maintenance, Manta features an open design and fewer, larger cabinet doors that provide greater access to the sorter’s electronics and hardware. Quick release components allow Manta’s belt to be changed quickly and easily.

Based on Key’s powerful G6 electro-optical platform, Manta offers the most advanced image processing in the industry. Featuring a modular design and proven, high performance connectivity standards such as Camera Link(TM), FireWire® and Ethernet, Manta ensures forward compatibility to maximize a food processor’s long-term return on investment.

For further information contact:

Anita Funk

Key Technology

afunk@key.net

www.key.net

Global price increases for packaging

Scholle packaging has announced a global price increase across all segments of their flexible packaging product range for dairy, wine, beverages, food, processed fruit and industrial products.

According to the company, the packaging industry can no longer absorb the sustained increases in petroleum derivatives particularly related to flexible packaging feedstocks and fuel used for distribution.

Rather than compromise on their commitment to their customers, Scholle packaging have decided that it is necessary to institute a comprehensive price increase in tandem with their cost-saving Lean enterprise processes.

“Value for our customers is one of the core principles of the Scholle Corporation. As such, we are continually dedicated to providing innovative products that are practical solutions for our customers’ needs,” says Scholle Packaging Asia Pacific’s Managing Director Michael Edwards.

Scholle’s latest advances include new aseptic flexible packaging technologies and Jerribox®, an environmentally responsible alternative to rigid pails.

Headquartered in Elizabeth West, South Australia, Scholle Packaging has delivered industry-leading flexible liquid packaging solutions for retail, institutional and industrial markets in Asia-Pacific for more than 30 years.

Scholle, the global leader in bag-in-box packaging, continues to leverage its manufacturing footprint and resources to supply to the global marketplace and is committed to enhancing their customers’ products by providing unprecedented innovation, quality and customer service.

For more information contact:

Stephanie Bond

Scholle Industries Pty, Ltd.

08 8255 4366

apenquiries@scholle.com

www.scholle.com

Support for Fosters Group & Lion Nathan

Last year Diageo Australia made the decision to voluntarily move production to two standard drinks or less across all their single serve ready to drink (RTD) products, creating a maximum standard drinks serve of two.

This decision is part of wider efforts by Diageo to work with their stakeholders – including consumers, hoteliers, retailers, and the community to build a culture of responsible drinking in Australia.

According to the company, introducing this limit will equip consumers to better manage their rate of consumption and build greater understanding of RTDs.

In addition, it has been, and will continue to be, Diageo’s standard practice to exclude Taurine as an ingredient in any of their products. Part of their global policy is that the use of caffeine is approved only up to levels permitted for soft drinks.

Diageo Australia Managing Director Eleanor Craig said, “I am delighted to see other producers of RTDs taking these steps. Diageo Australia made the decision to introduce the two standard drink limit last year, and via our industry association Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia, we are lobbying for FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) to extend the mandatory labelling of energy drinks to also include those ‘so-called’ energy drinks that contain alcohol.

“While not publishing these moves broadly, we have found our customers and stakeholders to be very receptive. We applaud the decision that other producers are moving towards these measures.”

Following the decision to introduce the two standard drink limit, Diageo is currently in the process of implementation throughout the production process to ensure availability as soon as possible.

Diageo is committed to building a sustainable industry by promoting, and where possible leading on responsible drinking. Last year Diageo launched the mid-strength RTD segment with the launch of the Super Dry range. Initially launched at sports stadiums, this RTD range has now been launched nationally despite adverse taxes that actively discourage the production of mid-strength spirit-based RTDs.

Diageo calls on the government to review the tax rates for midstrength RTDs to be aligned with those for mid-strength beer. The Super Dry range is 3.5%ABV and the 375ml can amounts to one standard drink. This extension to the RTD portfolio offers consumers greater choice and addresses a variety of different occasions.

Diageo is fully committed to promoting responsible drinking and bringing about positive attitudes to alcohol – simply put the company says “we want every Australian to enjoy our brands responsibly.”

For further information contact:

Ron Ainsbury

Diageo Australia

Ron.Ainsbury@Diageo.com

02 9931 9802

Cleo Smeeth

Diageo Australia

Cleo.Smeeth@Diageo.com

02 9017 7402

www.diageo.com

Australian wine industry lecture

Dr Jim Fortune will present a food and agriculture lecture on the “Change and maturity in the Australian Wine Industry” at The University of Western Australia.

Although the Australian wine industry is hardly a youngster, in the last couple of decades it has rewritten the rulebook about the global wine trade. In achieving this, it has introduced millions of new customers globally to the interest and fascination in wine as a beverage.

Along that path, older industry players, regional innovators and more recent adventurers have contributed to the challenge of working with a wide range of environments, grape varieties and approaches to winemaking.

There is no better example than WA to support an illustration of taking an old and wild type plant, the grapevine, and seeking to get it to grow and understand its performance across environments that have more of a history with general grazing agriculture.

The other feature of wine, that has strongly differentiated it from much of agriculture, is that it really has only one end point, a glass in front of the consumer. This may come in a variety of labels and brands, but requires a strong team effort by a quite complex value chain to really deliver.

Biography

Dr Jim Fortune grew up in WA and having completed an agricultural science degree at the University of Western Australia (1977), did an obligatory period of time in the “north” on the unrelated area of gas pipelines before heading to New Zealand to undertake a PhD in Agronomy at Massey University (1986).

Strong interests in plant and animal agriculture continued into the academic arena in NZ, Victoria and back in WA. A return to UWA in the late 80’s saw a six year period spent as a Lefroy Fellow and CLIMA Fellow where the general focus was how to feed sheep in Mediterranean environments. This linked nicely with understanding more about annual and perennial plants.

Little did he know that the time spent working with tagasaste would actually come in handy when thinking about another woody perennial, the grapevine.

A shift to Adelaide University and farming systems eventually translated into a move into research administration via the CRC system. In 1998, that saw a move to GRDC in Canberra, followed with a return to Adelaide in 2003 as Executive Director of the Grape & Wine R&D Corporation.

Recently he has been enjoying “spreading his wings” back to broader agriculture and the wine industry as a consultant.

Dr Jim Fortune will present his lecture at the Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia on Friday March 28th between 4 to 5pm at the Law Lecture Theatre, Room 1.06 (1st Floor).

For further information contact:

Institute of Agriculture, UWA

08 6488 4717

ioa@fnas.uwa.edu.au

www.ioa.uwa.edu.au

Dr Jim Fortune

jfortune@bigpond.net.au

Water treatment growth down under

One of the world’s leading water treatment groups, Eimco Water Technologies Limited (EWT), is expanding its activities Down Under through its acquisition of AJM Environmental Services Pty Ltd.

AJM is one of Australia’s leading providers of wastewater/water re-use technology into the food and beverage market, as well as specialising in the design, manufacture and construction of industrial, energy, oil industry and infrastructure plants for wastewater treatment, potable water treatment and sludge dewatering.

EWT’s Vice President, Michael Froud, said the acquisition of AJM would form a foundation stone of EWT’s strong push into the industrial wastewater and water re-use sectors within the region -“With more than 40 highly experienced staff and an expanding network of subsidiary companies and representation throughout SE Asia, The Middle East and beyond, AJM already provides comprehensive sales and service support from offices conveniently located in all major cities in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“AJM’s expertise and specialties are an outstanding fit with GLV’s Water Treatment Group (Eimco Water Technologies), which, since being set up in 2004, has achieved revenues of more than $A250m million a year. The group is experiencing robust growth driven by organic growth and acquisitions such as this latest excellent organisation,” said Mr Froud.

Commenting on the strategic value of this acquisition, GLV’s President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Verreault described the key advantages it brings to GLV as follows:

  • It enhances GLV’s offering and know-how in the provision of wastewater re-use solutions;
  • It enables the Company to integrate new-generation technologies that are complementary to those of the Water Treatment Group, although specifically tailored to the needs of the food and beverage industry: one of the industrial segments experiencing the greatest and fastest growing demand for wastewater treatment and re-use technologies worldwide. The integrated solutions offered by AJM in this niche market, notably include dissolved air flotation and biological systems that are highly efficient in terms of operating costs and recycled water quality, when combined with membrane technology. For instance, AJM is currently implementing a 4ML/day integrated water re-use system for a large food processing company in Australia, that will allow it to re-use more than 70% of its wastewater while achieving a level a purity superior to that of drinking water;
  • The acquisition of AJM provides GLV’s Water Treatment Group with a broader operational base in Australia, a high-potential geographic market for water treatment solutions providers, considering its strong economy and lack of water resources.

AJM has a dynamic and qualified team working primarily in product engineering, project management and sales, and shares the same entrepreneurial culture as GLV. Its three founding officers and major shareholders are joining GLV’s Water Treatment Group and will contribute to the ongoing growth of this segment of its operations in Australia and on the international scene. The acquisition of AJM meets the Water Treatment Group’s objective of better balancing its revenues between the municipal and industrial segments. AJM was founded in Sydney in the 1990s on the foundation of each of the proprietors’ 20 years experience in designing and constructing industrial wastewater treatment plants. AJM Director Adrian Minshull says an integral component of AJM’s initial success was based on the development of a broad range of high quality proprietary equipment, such as dissolved air flotation systems, oil separators, clarifiers, belt presses and several other common process tools found in wastewater treatment operations.

“AJM’s acquisition by EWT will back this experience with global resources and expertise, providing unprecedented growth potential and great opportunities for Australian skills in applying world’s best technologies,’ says Minshull.

Eimco Water Technologies specialises in the development and global marketing of equipment used for treating municipal and Industrial water and wastewater, as well as large scale water intake projects, ranging from power stations to oil refineries and desalination plants.

Eimco Water Technologies announced last month that it is introducing to Australia an advanced hydro-optic disinfection (HOD) process that is environmentally friendly and leaves no disinfection by-products.

Atlantium Technologies Ltd’s chemical-free process won the 2007 international Institute of Food Technologist’s award for its innovative Hydro-Optic Disinfection (HOD) systems, which can replace traditional disinfection methods, such as chlorine, ozone and pasteurization.

Atlantium out-of-the-water UV disinfection systems are used to treat water and wastewater involved in industrial, energy and municipal processes, including food and beverage groups. Eimco Water Technologies is master distributor for Atlantium Technologies, which have already been adopted by some of the world’s leading food and beverage manufacturers including major Australian companies.

Founded in 1975, GL&V is a world leader in liquid/solid separation technologies used in a large number of industrial, municipal and environmental processes. The Process Group (Dorr-Oliver Eimco) offers an extensive selection of liquid/solid separation solutions intended for metal and ore processing, as well as industrial and environmental processes used in various other markets such as pulp and paper, energy, chemicals, petrochemicals and food processing.

The Water Treatment Group (Eimco Water Technologies) specializes in the development and marketing of equipment for the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater, drinking water and process water used in various industrial processes, as well as water intake screening solutions for power stations and refineries.

For further information contact:

Michael Froud

Eimco Water Technologies Vice President

02 9482 6500

michael.froud@glv.com.au

World’s first carbon-neutral meals

Fresh food innovator Pitango has gained CarboNZero status by becoming the first company in the world to sell carbon neutral meals, an achievement that will further accelerate this already fast-growing export business.

The Auckland firm has launched ready-to-eat organic or free range risottos, curries and porridge carrying its new carbon neutral branding, building on the success of its existing range of fresh organic soups and organic dips.

At the heart of Pitango is a passion to create fresh, healthy and convenient food that tastes great, says marketing director Yasmin Shenav, who set up the business with husband Ofer in 2000.

“It is very important for us as an export business to look to the global picture. We are always searching for ways to bring more value to our products and becoming carbon neutral is about the bigger environmental picture. We are not only providing better food, we are helping bring about a better world.”

Shenav looks after Pitango’s sales and marketing while Ofer, a trained chef, is the brains behind Pitango’s healthy and flavoursome branded retail products.

Exports now account for about 60 percent of sales. Australia is Pitango’s major market. The company is also expanding into Asia and the USA, selling to supermarkets through agents and distributors who have the expertise, networks and passion to grow the Pitango brand.

Pitango was ranked by Deloitte’s as one of New Zealand’s 50 fastest growing companies last year, a reflection of its 50 percent-plus annual growth, says Shenav. It’s a trend Pitango expects to continue, supported by its new carbon neutral status, new product range and market expansion.

Michael Fountaine, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise sector manager food and beverage, says Pitango’s fast growth can be attributed to the company seeing a need in the marketplace – in this case the consumer’s concern for creating a better more environmentally-friendly world – and developing new products to meet that expectation.

He says Pitango has received support from NZTE, including an Enterprise Development Grant, which has allowed them to research in-depth the needs of present and new markets.

Pitango gained its CarboNZero certification through a programme managed by Landcare Research, one of New Zealand’s leading providers of solutions for sustainable development.

The process took six months and required a lot of effort and money, says Shenav. It involved measuring Pitango’s emissions, developing a programme to manage and reduce those emissions and mitigating total emission output – in Pitango’s case by investing in renewable fuels in New Zealand.

Reducing emissions has seen Pitango make changes throughout the business, from distribution – most of its products are now sent by sea rather than air – to using recyclable materials and reducing energy consumption.

Pitango achieved its carbon neutral status late last year, about the same time it was certified organic by Australian Certified Organic. It also won the 2007 New Zealand Organic Exporter of the Year Award. Shenav says Pitango is proud of both its environmental and business achievements.

“We’ve created something good for our family, our loved ones and for the planet. And we are helping consumers feel that too every time they buy a Pitango product.”

For more information contact:

Yasmin at Pitango

info@pitango.co.nz

www.pitango.co.nz

www.aco.net.au

FOOD Challenge winner wins again

Babicka original wormwood vodka has won the bronze medal at this year’s San Francisco World Sprits Competition, one of the leading spirit competitions in the world since launching six years ago.

More than 700 spirits were entered for 51 countries in2007 making it the largest spirit competition in America. The strong field of judges involved in the awards (who are from a variety of backgrounds including drinks journalists, ‘mixologists, retailers, restaurateurs, spirit educators and major buyers)has helped build a reputation for the competition in a relatively short space of time.

However, this is not the first award which Babicka has won. Last year the vodka won two competitions, taking out the Alcoholic Beverages category in the FOOD Challenge Awards 2007 and winning a silver medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Babicka is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Arran Russell and Alex Clarke who said of the award: “To win an award of this stature is amazing, we know we have a great product but to be up against brands like Grey Goose which sold for $2.1 billion and Ketle One which sold 50% of business for $900 million, (and also that they spend millions of dollars on research and development) and receive a bronze in our first year of business is truly phenomenal considering Babicka is owned and created by two Sydney-siders.

“We have really made our mark with this 3rd medal (the first in America). We are now ready to take on America the largest spirit market in the world.”

Babicka is a totally unique wormwood-infused Vodka replicating a 500-year-old Czech witches recipe, and has become a cult favourite since launching in Australia in 2006, promising a Vodka experience like no other.

‘Babicka’ is the Czech term for an extraordinary band of sixteenth century peasant grandmothers with a mysterious reputation for witchcraft. Gathering wormwood and other herbs from the wilds of Czech Lands to create charms and tonics to supplement their meagre income, the Babicka recipes represent some of the earliest vodka formulas ever created.

For more information visit:

www.babickavodka.com

Halal Training

As the Halal industry’s trade facilitator and solution provider, International Halal Management Pty Ltd (ILHAM) focuses on the promotion of the halal industry in Australia.

The promotion covers two main spheres:

1. Promotion of Australian halal products internationally,

2. Promotion of foreign halal products in Australia.

As a producer market, with highly conducive environment for business and world class infrastructure, Australia has the potential to participate substantially in the halal industry.

ILHAM works with matching producers with distributors, organising the Halal International Conference and Exhibition Australia, providing market information and updates through the Australia Halal Quarterly, expert consultancy and market branding.

The scheduled training programme is important to all interested parties who would like to better their involvement with the growing Halal industry. The session includes theory and application, lecture and discussion.

Date – Mon 28 & Tue 29 April 2008 (9am – 5pm)

Venue – Global Learning Centre, Hume City Council, Broadmeadows, Victoria

Who Should Attend – Manufacturers, Managers, Executives who would like to have a better understanding of Halal

For more information contact:

ILHAM Australia

03 9383 1427

info@ilhamaustralia.com.au

www.ilhamaustralia.com.au

World of food in Asia

Thailand is taking the THAIFEX event as an opportunity to demonstrate to international visitors its capabilities to become Asia’s premier centre of international expositions on food-related products, services and technologies.

The event, staged in a 40,000sqm venue will feature over 2,100 booths from 1,100 exhibitors who are all leading food entrepreneurs from Thailand and overseas. Food industry professionals and interested people from around the world will also be welcomed and encouraged to participate in trade negotiations at the event.

The Director-General of the Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Rachane Potjanasuntorn, revealed that, “Undoubtedly, THAIFEX will be one of the grandest and most significant food expositions in Asia.”

Organized by the partnership of the Department of Export Promotion, Thai Chamber of Commerce and the world-class German event organizer Koelnmesse, the event will take place May 21st-25th, 2008 at IMPACT, Bangkok, Thailand.

The event aims to offer a one-stop shopping experience for the latest and the very best in food innovations including the following:

· Food Catering – presents a range of modern kitchenware with sophisticated technologies, service businesses in the food industry;

· Food Technology – showcases advanced machinery used in food production;

· Hospitality Services – displays hotel equipment and provides helpful advice on hotel businesses;

· Retail and Franchise – offers consultation on retailing technologies and restaurant franchising in overseas markets.

Rachane noted that, “Last year’s event was indeed an overwhelming success with almost 100,000 international visitors. The great success in the past, of course, leads to even greater expectations for this year’s event. This annual food exposition has already become a much-awaited event for food industry professionals around the world. Here, potential buyers will have a chance to meet and discuss face-to-face with leading food entrepreneurs from Thailand and beyond, including those from England, USA, Switzerland, France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Russia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sinapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

“It is truly a grand event not to be missed by buyers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and businesspeople from the food industry, especially those wishing to establish business connections with leading Thai food entrepreneurs whose reputation is highly regarded worldwide.”

For more information visit:

www.worldoffoodasia.com

New CompactLogix L45 for motion control

The new Allen-Bradley CompactLogix L45 controller from automation group Rockwell Automation delivers scalable and integrated motion control. Controlling up to eight axes of motion, the CompactLogix L45 is ideal for OEMs and end-users with small- to mid-range applications, or machine builders looking to standardise on a single integrated motion control platform.

An extension of the Logix control platform, the CompactLogix L45 is ideal for small integrated motion and distributed control applications, and helps lower system costs, simplifies installation and eases maintenance. The newest member of the Logix family of controllers also supports the use of multiple network cards, including DeviceNet, ControlNet and EtherNet/IP.

This flexible communications functionality provides seamless interaction and flow of information from the smallest plant-floor device, up through the enterprise business system. The new CompactLogix L45 leverages the same control engine, development tools, network and operator interface technologies, and communications services as the Logix control platform. Controller applications are developed using Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software, allowing users to move seamlessly from one control application to another with no additional program development or training.

Rockwell Automation Australia and Rockwell Automation New Zealand are subsidiaries of Rockwell Automation, Inc – a leading global provider of industrial power, automation control and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage in their businesses. The company brings together leading global brands in industrial automation which include Allen-Bradley® controls and services and Rockwell Software® factory management software. Its broad product mix includes control logic systems, sensors, human-machine interfaces, drive controllers, power devices, and software.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., the company employs about 19,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries. In Australia, the company’s technical resources and national network of distributors provide technical and logistic expertise to ensure its customers meet their manufacturing productivity objectives.

For more information contact:

Ross Vaughan, Rockwell Automation Marketing Communications Manager

03 9896 0300

rvaughan@ra.rockwell.com

Australia: www.rockwellautomation.com.au

NZ: www.rockwellautomation.co.nz

X-Ray food inspection system at foodpro 2008

Accuweigh will be displaying AST’s XP-3000 series X-Ray food inspection systems at the food & beverage industries most prestigious event, foodpro 2008, being held in Sydney during July.

Everything about AST’s XP-3000 series x-ray inspection system promotes the ability of exceptional heavy duty use; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every component of the x-ray inspection systems is over-engineered to ensure a long and trouble-free operating life.

AST’s x-ray inspection systems are capable of high speed scanning of large and dense products like 27kg cartons of frozen meat and heavy blocks of cheese which most opposition units can’t handle. Smaller products are handled with exceptional ease as the X-Ray outputs on the XP-3000 series are up to 150kV, 900 watts.

These systems are designed for harsh environments utilising a powerful industrial PC allowing an unlimited number of products to be pre-programmed, comprehensive product reporting, full image storage, viewing of stored images while scanning still in progress, LAN and on-line support through VPN plus many more important features.

AST’s x-ray systems are very user friendly for operators but are also designed to run unattended, at full production speeds. Various models are available, including a dual channel system for inspecting two product lines simultaneously.

For demonstrations, visit Accuweigh at stand 5090 during foodpro 2008, which runs from Monday July 21 to Thursday July 24, 2008, at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For further information contact:

Jeremy Hembrough, Accuweigh Branch Manager

jeremy.hembrough@accuweigh.com.au

www.accuweigh.com.au

Cost-effective labelling system

At this year’s interpack show OYSTAR Erca-Formseal will be presenting the new generation of its EF400 standard packaging machine.

Designed for a format of 4 x 6 125-gram cups and a capacity of 40,000 cups per hour, two main enhancements really stand out: The machine’s forming station has an in-mould labelling system consisting of four moulds, mounted on a horizontal shaft, and the detection of defective products of the EF400 is simplified. This lets the labels be introduced in two steps while the moulds are in a horizontal position.

An advantage is that the labelling unit has a footprint only half the size of the one before. Other advantages of an in-mould labelling system include a perfect label positioning on the whole pack, up to 20% savings on plastic, a higher vertical pressure resistance of the cups and the ability to perform a label height change over within minutes.

A unique feature of the new EF400 is simplified detection of defective products via Ethernet. The control system is installed in an ELAU unit that monitors both the axes of the servo drives and input/output via a PROFIBUS network. The control system is connected to the MDS supervision PC (Maintenance Diagnostic System) via an Ethernet link.

The customers of OYSTAR Erca-Formseal come from the dairy and the food & beverages industry. Buyers of the EF400 benefit from reduced investment and operating costs. OYSTAR Erca-Formseal is thus making a major contribution to optimizing total cost of ownership and sustainability.

OYSTAR Erca-Formseal, which invented form/fill/seal technology 50 years ago, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of machines for packaging liquid and pasty dairy products. Over 2000 efficient thermoforming systems from OYSTAR Erca-Formseal are now in use in over 60 countries. Thanks to their flexibility for handling different formats, due mainly to modern in-mould technology, they continually enable new product marketing approaches.

The Process and Packaging Group is one of the world’s leading providers of packaging equipment and technology, process know-how, and packaging services . Its product portfolio includes granulating, drying, tablet coaters and presses, blister machines, tube fillers, and cartoners, tray and case packing machines, palletizing equipment, as well as aerosol filling machines, wrapping machines, filling and sealing machines for pre-formed cups and bottles, form-filling and sealing machines for sachets and cups and chub machines.

OYSTAR also possesses extensive know-how in the key areas of dairy products, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. This expertise forms the basis for the OYSTAR Group companies’ specialization in optimizing, designing, and constructing whole packaging machinery lines.

The EF400 from OYSTAR Erca-Formseal can be viewed at interpack (in Düsseldorf, Germany on April 24-30, 2008) at the booth of the OYSTAR Group (Hall 6, Booth C 80).

For further information please contact:

In Australia and NZ – SUTTON GROUP Ltd

tim@suttongroup.co.nz

www.suttongroup.co.nz

www.oystar.erca-formseal.com

The future of coding

The advent of bar codes 30-odd years ago indelibly changed supply chains. Today, technology advances are not so radical, but the data they can offer a company can radically change how that company understands its business.

Matthews’ Identification Systems group (IDS) manager Mark Dingley, describes changes now in marking and coding as an “evolution”, rather than a “revolution”.

“Changes now increasingly facilitate integration and ease of use of equipment, ensuring different points of information application are co-ordinated. For instance, inputting information at a central point, ensures a seamless, accurate information matrix, and eliminates the possibility of human error on the production line.

“Many other benefits also flow from all devices being linked back to a central PC via Ethernet cable or wireless — and such devices can include primary coding equipment, primary scan or database lookups, generic carton coding gear, SSCC label printers and so on. Code formats can be downloaded to all devices, with all equipment set up with one action, from the same database.

“EPC – or RFID – is another area where we are seeing incremental change. The development of smart labels, for instance, and improvements within that technology, have seen their applications expand.

“For example, at Auspack 2001, Matthews demonstrated an RFID Label Print and Apply machine on our stand – Australia’s first RFID-ready printer. At the time, RFID ‘smart labels’ cost $5US each, and there was precious little interest in this technology for FMCG applications. A year later at Interpack 2002 in Germany, scouring 15 exhibition halls revealed one solitary stand displaying a smart label – the only item related to RFID – and it was locked behind glass!

“Step forward to 2004, and at Pack Expo in Chicago, an entire exhibition hall was dedicated to RFID; while at the most recent Interpack, hundreds of companies exhibited their RFID solutions.

Dingley goes on to explain that “The length of time this technology has been in the market naturally has its associated downward impact on cost. They no longer cost $5US each, which also aids in technology uptake. Due to strong demand, we recently ran a series of live demonstrations of our EPC/RFID solutions, including our fully integrated IDSnet ‘RFID-ready’ software solution.

“Pleasingly, because this is what we have always pushed, businesses are increasingly looking to these systems for the business intelligence they offer, not just for compliance. Evolution in middleware, which Matthews constantly researches, helps here too.”

Knowledge gains also expand application breadth.

“Knowing that businesses need to fully integrate their production line to their ERP systems, allows them to extract the key value from EPC.”

But don’t think bar codes are dying – far from it.

“New application areas for bar coding are most certainly still evolving,” Mark says. “Until relatively recently, most supply chain applications of bar codes had been confined to the long-life and dry goods area. Now there’s a focus on chilled and dairy products to adopt bar code identification standards for logistics and traded unit items, which have now been in place for many years within the long life food and consumer goods sector.”

Other bar code evolutions include 2D bar coding, which allows more information to be encoded on a much smaller physical area. A good application here is with small container items, where there’s the possibility to provide increased detailed data – say of ingredients in the case of pharmaceutical products.

“Matthews also works closely with GS1 to add more value in delivering innovative supply-chain solutions to members, industry and government organisations,” continues Mark. “In recent years, we have been delivering innovative implementations of the EAN.UCC system protocols – such as interfacing with major ERP systems to gather critical real-time data to use on SSCC pallet-labelling stations. GS1 has told us it sees what we are doing here as a practical application of higher-level logistics solutions.

“Our alliance with both GS1 and the Automatic Data Capture Association support our industry awareness of bar coding and what is required to deliver innovative solutions, so we’re at the leading edge of bar coding.

“We’ve also found that our research into middleware drives our work. The future of coding will be in that: the software, the automation, the engineering, the overall installation – all this enables turnkey capability. And that, allows coding to be the gateway to global commerce, through data synchronisation and information flow.”

For more information contact:

Matthews Intelligent Identification

1800 333 074

info@matthews.com.au

www.matthews.com.au

Fluoride decision

The bottled water industry has welcomed the decision by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to recommend that bottled water companies be permitted to voluntarily add fluoride to selected brands.

Australasian Bottled Water Institute (ABWI) Executive Director, Tony Gentile said “The bottled water industry is in the business of providing choice and convenience to its consumers. This recommendation, if adopted by the Australia New Zealand Food Regulations Ministerial Council (ANZFRMC) will enable us to provide our consumers with an additional choice when purchasing bottled water.

“ABWI members recognise that in today’s marketplace, consumers want choice. The current food laws do not allow us to add fluoride to bottled water. The recommendation if adopted will allow bottled water companies to provide side-by-side alternatives allowing consumers to purchase fluoridated bottled waters or non fluoridated ones as they can now.

“We understand that many of our consumers currently purchase bottled water as they wish to avoid consuming fluoride and it is important that they always be given a choice. Fluoridated bottled water brands will be clearly marked as such on the front panel of containers,” added Tony Gentile.

The bottled water industry has often come under attack with suggestions that as spring water is not fluoridated, it was a contributing cause of dental decay in children. This suggestion was totally repudiated by Tony Gentile who said that there was absolutely no evidence of this being the case. With Roy Morgan market research indicating that in fact bottled water does not replace tap water but is chosen by parents as an alternative to other packaged beverages.

“The convenience and safety of bottled water is recognised by our consumers who value its availability as a calorie-free beverage choice,” concluded Gentile.

The recommended maximum levels for the voluntary addition of fluoride to bottled water are the same as those currently permitted for municipal water supplies. The application was lodged by the industry with support from the Australian Dental Association.

For further information contact:

Tony Gentile

Australasian Bottled Water Institute

0412303757

abwi@bottledwater.org.au

www.bottledwater.org.au

Enter the FOOD Challenge Awards today!

Entries for the FOOD Challenge Awards are closing soon!

If your company has released a new food or beverage product over the past year, enter the FOOD Challenge and gain the industry recognition your product deserves!

Entry forms can be found by clicking here.

All finalists will be featured in FOOD Magazine, on the FOOD website and in the online newsletter.

A gala dinner will be held in July alongside FoodPro, at which the winners will be announced – all finalists attend free!

If you would like to attend the dinner, or find out more information, contact Ashley Buncher, events co-ordinator.

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