AIFST supports student food development

The student creators of a high fibre, gluten free pumpkin and spinach snack and a chocolate banana ravioli dessert are this year’s finalists in the seventh annual Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) Student Product Development Competition with the winner to be announced at the ‘Our Food Our Future’ 41st annual AIFST Conference in July 2008.

For the final judging on Monday 21st July 2008, the two finalists will undertake a detailed final report, oral presentation, poster display and provide product samples.

Finalists share $1500 in prize money from the competition’s main sponsor, Earlee Products; and can also win an additional $1000 for the best meat innovation from Meat and Livestock Australia, $1000 for fruit or vegetable innovation from SPC Ardmona and $500 from Sensory Solutions for the best application of sensory techniques in their product development presentation.

Open to undergraduate student members of the AIFST, the competition is intended to promote professionalism and innovative thinking, while providing an opportunity for students to showcase their originality, talent and team skills.

“The competition is a great opportunity to get hands on experience in product development,” said Choc Banana Ravioli team leader Yvonne Lake.

“It also gives us valuable exposure to food industry representatives, which is a great leg-up for employment opportunities,” she added.

The AIFST Convention encompasses the latest information and hot topics of interest to food and packaging manufacturers and their suppliers, service industries such as hospitality, primary industry representatives and food marketers.

Held in co-location with FoodPro exhibition over four days, different aspects of the food industry including regulatory issues, business development and the future of food will be held under the microscope.

Focusing on the role of education and training in the food industry will be respected international speakers, Frank Yiannas (manager of Walt Disney World’s food safety and health department) and Professor John Floros (president of the US Institute of Food Technologists).

AIFST was established in 1967 to represent individuals involved in the Australian food and allied industries. Committed to building professional standing in the sector, AIFST has developed a strong reputation for facilitating networking, communication and education in the food industry.

The 41st annual AIFST Convention will be held at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre, Darling Harbour from 21 — 24 July 2008.

For further information on the AIFST Student Product Development Competition or to register for the AIFST Convention, visit www.aifst.asn.au/annualconvention.

Jimmy the Greek

Jimmy the Greek is synonymous with Australia’s premium Mediterranean dips, all prepared to authentic recipes and using only the very best ingredients.

For over a decade, food critics have raved about the smooth, lightly smoky taramosalata, the minted Greek-style yoghurt tzatziki, the rich Kalamata olive tapenade, the whole-egg mayonnaise garlic aioli and the sensational JTG hommous and babaghanouj.

Now Executive Chef James Konstantinidis, the name behind the name, has expanded his Jimmy the Greek range with four new additions. As always, James has invested talent and time to develop these exceptional sauces and pita crisps to satisfy the most discriminating gourmet.

Jimmy the Greek Style Caesar Dressing

Rich, classic Caesar, complete with anchovies for full-bodied character. Repeat consumers have called it “the best on the market, the only Caesar we will buy”.

Greek Style Souvlaki Barbecue Sauce

Robust, complex marinade/sauce that includes honey, finely chopped chillies, orange juice, red wine vinegar, soy and other ingredients. Perfect for meats, fish and vegetables, and great for grill cooking.

Basil Pesto

Perfectly balanced blend of basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil, with a fresh homemade quality and taste.

Pita Bread Crisps

The ideal dipping bread for Jimmy the Greek dips. Great base for finger foods and hors d’oeuvres

In February 2008, James Konstantinidis joined forces with Chef Enda Hughes, Director of Ascent Patisserie, NSW’s leading supplier/ distributor of freshly handmade desserts and savoury pastries. Enda, whose career includes time with Paul Merrony and the QE 2, also was involved with Mosman’s Game Gourmet, specialist boutique deli.

The new alliance brings together a passion for quality recipes matched by a passion for excellence in customer service. Jimmy the Greek products will now be available in top stockists, including speciality stores, Harris Farm Markets, Norton Street grocers, IGA stores and gourmet delis.

For further information contact:

Wendy Lloyd Jones

wlj@austarnet.com.au

www.jimmythegreek.com.au

Ongoing commitment to waste management

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has called on Environment Ministers to reject calls for a national container deposit system ahead of discussions at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council meeting in Melbourne on Thursday 17 April.

AFGC Chief Executive Dick Wells said that industry supports an informed debate that considers all the economic, social and environmental aspects of waste management policy but was not supportive of simplistic responses to complex problems.

“While there have been calls from South Australian Minister Gail Gago for the establishment of a national container deposit system, this would address only 3% of the entire waste stream and would duplicate systems that already exist for recycling bottles and cans through kerbside collections.

“The current co-regulatory arrangements through the National Packaging Covenant have commitment from all sectors of industry and the majority of state and local governments and where there has been active involvement we are clearly seeing results.

“For example, Victoria is now recycling 24 kg more packaging per capita per year than South Australia – without a container deposit system.

“We’ve also seen considerable improvements in NSW and Queensland, who have been the actively involved through the Covenant in identifying projects to recover a wide range of packaging, not just bottles and cans,” Wells said.

Wells said that through the proactive engagement of industry and governments, the Covenant is now targeting solutions to increase glass recovery and improve recycling in the commercial and industrial sector.

“The AFGC, through its commitment to the National Packaging Covenant and the Packaging Stewardship Forum (PSF), is also working with partners across Australia to increase the recovery of food and beverage post-consumer packaging and to reduce littering.”

Wells said the AFGC looked forward to constructive and ongoing commitment from industry, government and those NGOs who are interested in working together to develop new and innovative solutions to managing packaging waste in the new millennium.

Environment Ministers are meeting on Thursday 17 April at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council meeting to discuss a range of issues including waste management policy.

For more information contact:

Rosie Schmedding

AFGC

info@afgc.org.au

A flavour treat for any night of the week

Beerenberg Farm, Australia’s premiere producer of home-style jams, marmalades and sauces, is launching four new products this April to liven up any week night meal.

The new Spicy Seafood Sauce will add some zing to a seafood platter while the Peppercorn Sauce is a perfect match with steak and the Takatala Chutney or Caramelised Onions an excellent addition to an antipasto platter or as a side to a roast lamb dinner.

The new products will be widely available from the end of April.

“Rustling up a satisfying dinner just got a whole lot easier — a meal served with the latest Beerenberg sauces and condiments will be the perfect treat any night of the week,” said Beerenberg Managing Director Anthony Paech says.

“The Spicy Seafood Sauce provides an additional kick compared to our Seafood Sauce and will liven up any seafood dish. And the Peppercorn Sauce has been perfected to provide the ideal accompaniment to a juicy steak.”

Paech said that Beerenberg’s Takatala Sauce was one of the more exotically named products in the range and, with its nineteen herbs and spices, had something of a cult following.

“Our Takatala Sauce is made from a recipe given to us by a Zimbabwean farmer and over the years has attracted a bit of a cult following for its sweet yet mildly spicy flavour. The new Takatala Chutney has the sweet and spicy taste of the Takatala Sauce but contains generous portions of fruit and vegetables which give it a wholesome, homemade look and taste.”

The Spicy Seafood Sauce, Takatala Chutney, Carmelised Onions and the Peppercorn Sauce take the Beerenberg range to a total of 57 products. All are made from carefully selected farm ingredients, using traditional recipes with no added artificial flavour, colour or preservatives.

Beerenberg’s products are sold locally, exported to the Asia Pacific, used in five and four star hotels and restaurants, and on Qantas flights.

For further information contact:

Anthony Paech

Beerenberg Farm Managing Director

admin@beerenberg.com.au

www.beerenberg.com.au

Australian-made HFT polymer conduits

A range of high grade polymer electrical and safety conduits is now available from EC&M Electrical Pty Ltd. The EVCCO HFT Conduit Range combines low smoke, halogen-free flame-retardant properties into a rigid conduit that’s lighter and easier to install than metal conduits.

Environmentally-friendly, these Australian-made conduits contain no safety hazards that can leach into the soil or be released into the atmosphere by fire. The conduits contain no known toxins.

EVCCO HFT conduits have been tested to AS2053:2001. They are used to carry electrical cabling in both surface and sub-surface applications. The conduits can be used within safety equipment such as aspiration systems and air sampling systems, for protection against smoke and toxicity.

Being halogen-free means there are no waste disposal issues. The material can be re-used and recycled safely, as well as used in landfill, or incinerated, without any danger to the environment.

EVCCO HFT conduits come in three forms: Enviro HFT, a low smoke, halogen-free (LSOH) conduit which confirms to UL94HB; STD HFT flame-retardant, halogen-free conduits which are low smoke and conform to UL94VO; and HiPo HFT (high performance) flame-retardant, halogen-free, low smoke conduits that conform to UL94VO. HiPo conduits have been formulated for long-term UV-resistance for applications that require this feature.

The conduits exhibit high temperature resistance, low toxicity and are non-corrosive. In the event of a fire, the conduits give off minimal flue gases. The range is complement by both standard glued-type fittings and high performance fittings to IP67.

The conduits can be wherever the visibility of the exit signs, in the event of a fire, is an important consideration, including industrial plants, lifts, refineries and other industrial installations.

Applications where there is a high concentration of people, assets or where the risk of high cost production interruption is critical are also ideal for these conduits.

For more information contact:

Jack Kenyon

EC&M Electrical Pty Ltd

jkenyon@ecm.net.au

The rarest beverage on earth

The Mandailing Province of West Sumatra’s highlands has been hailed as one of the world’s premium coffee growing regions since the Dutch East Indies Trading Company began their plantations during the 17th Century.

The strains of Arabica grown in this region produced such exceptional coffee, that it gave the Dutch a total monopoly on the global coffee trade for over 200 years. Prized throughout Europe, this strong, black, rich, sweet coffee — Kopi Jawa, or Java, was then lost to the world and thought to be extinct due to the dissolution of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company, numerous local political struggles, the Leaf Rust plague of the 1880’s and eventually WWII. The plantations and the coffee trees were literally swallowed and strangled by the jungle.

In 1999, on the highest ridges of Mandailing Estate, a few original rare Typica Cultivar Arabica were discovered. A handful of ancient Arabica trees which had grown to giant proportions over centuries – alive and flourishing in the jungle: thought to be extinct — the last of their kind.

Since their rediscovery, they have been painstakingly replanted and now the legend of Mandailing Estate single origin Arabica Coffee has been reborn.

But this time they have a little friend!

Mandailing Estate is one of the most remote and untouched regions of Sumatra. The rainforest jungle is teeming with life… gibbons, tigers and luwaks. Luwak is the Indonesian word for Civet Cat. It’s a native to the highlands of Java and Sumatra and a relative to the Indian mongoose – famous for its lightning fast reflexes and ability to kill cobras and other snakes.

Pronounced siv-it, the civet is a furry mammal resembling a long (13-38 inches; 33-97centimetres), slender cat, with a more pointed snout, a fluffier tail, and shorter legs.

Lucky for the Civets, the Dutch decided to grow coffee in its backyard, because the civet cats took an instant liking to eating coffee cherries and they are famously finicky, only eating the ripest and most perfect cherry. They are known to investigate an entire coffee bush and eat only one cherry, only bothering to eat the berries that are perfectly ripened, with just the right amount of water content and acidity in the parchment.

When the civet cat digests and processes the cherry, its gastric juices and enzymes change proteins within the bean thereby resulting in the most perfectly processed coffee on earth. A gastric process unique to the civet!

While others have attempted to reproduce this effect with caged civets, Mandailing Estate offers the truest and wildest Kopi Luwak available — The rarest beverage on earth: the most complete single origin available.

For more information contact:

accounts@mandailingestate.com.au

www.mandailingestate.com.au

Factory fetches a saucy NZ$3.25m

New Zealand’s sauce and condiment manufacturer Groenz Limited (formerly French Maid Foods) has sold its Hutt Valley manufacturing property on a lease-back arrangement for $3.25 million.

The 2476-square metre industrial building houses the company’s manufacturing plant, warehousing, research and product development facilities and offices on a 3527sqm site at 131 Gracefield Rd, Lower Hutt.

The company, which has owned the property since 1992, has taken a new six-year lease with rights of renewal, at an initial yearly rental of $300,000.

Bayleys’ Wellington commercial and industrial director Mark Hourigan, who sold the property with Fraser Press, said it attracted nine tenders and was bought by a Lower Hutt family trust.

Hourigan says Groenz would be investing the proceeds of the sale to expand its business.

The complex is one of Seaview’s best industrial buildings with Groenz completing a $4.25 million factory upgrade to position it for future growth, he said.

The revamped factory would enable Groenz to more than double the capacity of its plant, while maintaining its ability to produce both small and high volume runs, Hourigan said.

Groenz operates 24 hours a day, producing in excess of 300 varieties at any one time across its three brands, French Maid, Kiwi Style and In-House Systems.

It supplies three of New Zealand’s major fast-food chains with sauces, and also exports to Australia.

New requirements for shipping wine to US

New Zealand’s Wineries are no longer able to ship samples to the United States by citing an importer’s “Basic Importer Permit”, unless they have a COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) or a COLA Waiver.

The TTB (The Trade & Taxation Bureau of the US Treasury — formally the ATF) now requires all alcoholic beverage samples being imported to the US, either for use at trade shows or to solicit orders from the trade, to have a COLA, or a waiver to this rule.

Importantly, clearance of samples is contingent on all bottles in a sample shipment being affixed with: “Sample” or “For Sampling Purposes Only”; “Contains Sulfites”; and inclusion of the Surgeon General’s Health Warning.

Contact: more information on the process and guidelines on waiver requests may be found online at https://www.ttb.gov/itd/importing_samples.shtml.

For further information contact:

Eric Johnson

NZTE Washington, DC

eric.johnson@nzte.govt.nz

Packaging Automation seals the deal

When London based Taiko Foods needed a new tray sealing machine to accommodate increased production of its Dim Sum range, the food company had no hesitation in choosing Packaging Automation (UK) Ltd equipment for a second time.

Taiko Foods has purchased a PA182 tray sealer to cope with increased orders for its ready meals from UK high street retailer Waitrose, and is pleased with the result — which the company says cuts production time by 50%. Taiko first contacted Packaging Automation around five years ago when it wanted a new machine to cater for growing demand for its products and, after extensive trials, the PA217 was chosen as the best machine for the job.

However, with the sale of its Dim Sum and Sushi dishes taking off, Taiko’s sales and marketing manager Derek Lewis explained that it turned to Packaging Automation again to provide the additional equipment needed to help the company seal the extra thousands of packs a day it now produces.

He said that “the PA182 is a fantastic machine and is working superbly. When we needed new tray sealing equipment we did not consider any other suppliers but went straight to Packaging Automation because we believe they are the best in the business.”

Lewis also explained that the consistency of seal provided by the PA182 was ideal for Dim Sum. “The PA182 is a very good sealing machine, which has helped us halve production time. It seals the product very well. In fact, everything about Packaging Automation is very good, from the quality of the machines to the standard of service we have received. If we needed another machine we would go straight to PA. We always recommend them when we are in discussions with other companies.”

The PA182 tray sealer is one of Packaging Automation’s most popular machines and is in use worldwide. It accommodates trays up to 120mm deep as standard, and can seal and trim film from a reel on to trays of CPET, polypropylene, PVC, board and foil. Its hygienic design eliminates bug traps and the compact design with small footprint means it can be used in smaller production areas. It is easily portable and can quickly be moved from one production line to another if required.

Packaging Automation UK Ltd was established in 1963 and is the UK’s leading manufacturer of tray sealing machinery for the food industry. In 2004, the company signed an exclusive distribution agreement with MPI for the distribution of the full Packaging Automation range of equipment in Australia. MPI, based in Sydney, is one of Australia’s foremost suppliers of packaging systems, with over 40 years experience in the industry.

For further information contact:

Naresh Aggarwal

MPI Sales Director

nareshA@mpiaust.com.au

www.mpi.aust.com.au

Positive outlook for WA pork industry

At a time when the pork production sector is hurting, the industry’s representative body in WA, the West Australian Pork Producers’ Association (WAPPA), is adopting a positive, pro-active approach to building a more healthy, vibrant industry.

Speaking after WAPPA’s first general meeting for 2008, Cuballing producer and WAPPA President, Graeme Dent, said the industry would bounce back, grow exports, lift domestic demand, build human capital, return to profitability and be sustainable.

“While this may seem like a big ask, I’m confident the core group of producers in WA have the personal commitment, financial incentive and encouragement of their processors to not only stay in the business, but consolidate their positions,” he said.

Existing industry positives and points of difference with competitors included WA’s very high herd health status; warm winters conducive to growth and productivity; proximity to key Asian markets — especially Singapore; and unmatched close working relationships with processors.

“When added up, these things paint an optimistic picture of our future, despite high input costs and unfairly high levels of imports that threaten that future,” Dent said.

Commenting specifically on the Productivity Commission findings, he said that global trade in a whole range of agricultural products was continually distorted by subsidies, both direct and indirect, provided to Australia’s major competitors and importers — Demark, Canada and the USA.

“Despite all of this, the WA pork industry has performed exceptionally, maintaining more than 20% of national pork exports into the Asian region and up to half of Australia’s fresh pork into Singapore.

“The Productivity Commission Inquiry was futile, so we’ll now get on with the job of focusing our attention on opportunities that exist in Asia, while encouraging our industry to broaden its marketing base and develop efficiencies based on the skill and expertise of our WA researchers, scientists and farmers,” Dent said.

www.wappa.com.au

Sultry Sally potato chips will seduce

Potato chips are a firmly entrenched favourite when it comes to savoury snacks, and now thanks to Australian ingenuity Sultry Sally is set to turn the potato chip market on its head.

Available in four classic flavours – Rock Salt, Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar, Cheese & Onion and Thai Sweet Chilli & Lime – Sultry Sally potato chips are not only 97% fat-free, but are preservative and gluten free as well. Made from real Australian potatoes (with their skins left on) they are produced using a new baking process entirely unique to Sultry Sally.

Sultry Sally Director, Tim Pethick, says that “our ground breaking baking process allows us to take out most of the fat, but none of the flavour. The result is a spectacularly satisfying snack without any guilt.”

The Sultry Sally branding adds a new dimension of desirability to packaging in the snack food category. Reminiscent of post war Vargas Girls, the Sultry Sally logo reminds of the simple glamour of days gone by.

Sultry Sally will be available in shops in June with RRP $3.99 for 125gm packet.

PCIS offers radiation-free carton inspection

Detection Systems have released their second generation of Package Contents Inspection Systems (PCIS). The ultra compact second generation is easy to install, simply dropping over existing product lines and occupying minimal line length. PCIS uses radio waves to detect items with wrong count, wrong fill level, and wrong position or orientation as they are conveyed down a production line at high speed while inside sealed cartons.

Series 4400, for inspecting cartons of bottles, jars or cans, is the first of the second generation to be released. PCIS sees through the outer packaging, whether cardboard or shrink wrapped plastic or other, to reveal the true picture of the contents inside the carton. Bottle opacity and fill liquid colour do not affect performance. PCIS technology offers accurate inspection as it focuses in on each item inside the package. It has no speed vs accuracy trade-off, so ultra high production rates are easily accommodated.

PCIS equipment uses safe, low energy radio waves to reveal the true picture of the internal contents. No special handling or shielding requirements are required. PCIS equipment is ultra reliable, typically only requires a single factory calibration, and has negligible running costs.

Models as short as 50mm are available, to fit almost any production line. In some cases PCIS can even be installed inside existing packaging machines.

Several more models from the second generation will be released during coming months.

For further information contact:

Lachlan Maher

Detection Systems Pty Ltd

Lmaher@detection.com.au

www.detection.com.au

Have your calcium and absorb it too

Soy Life Milk now contains Vitamin D, which is proven to assist the body in absorbing dietary calcium.

Good nutrition is important during life to build and maintain adequate bone mass. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb dietary calcium, assisting in bone growth and integrity and promoting strong teeth. It also helps regulate the amount of other minerals in the body such as phosphorus, which plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy heart and nervous system.

Soy Life milk now provides 12.5% of the Recommended Dietary Intake of Vitamin D in every serve, as well as at least 38% of your daily calcium needs.

The Soy Life fresh milk range includes: Original, Low Fat and Hi Cal+. There are also yoghurts available in delicious flavours including Vanilla Crème, Apricot & Mango, Boysenberry and Blueberry. Fresh new-look packaging for milks and yoghurts will be on shelves from March 2008.

The new milk formulation with added Vitamin D has the best taste yet, perfect in smoothies, coffee, on cereal or just to enjoy on its own.

Since they are 100% dairy free, Soy Life products are suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those wishing to exclude lactose, gluten and dairy from their diet. And for those who are becoming more aware of what we’re putting into our bodies, it is good to know that Soy Life products are made from non-genetically modified soy, with no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours. They are also lactose, gluten and cholesterol free.

All Soy Life products are rich in soy protein and full of phytoestrogens — plant chemicals that are believed to have many benefits, including antioxidant effects.

The new-look packaging makes the products easier on the environment because the milk cartons do not have plastic spouts, and the yoghurt cups are made from polypropylene rather than polystyrene. Polypropylene is collected for recycling by more councils throughout Australia and takes less energy to produce than polystyrene.

The new formulation with new-look packaging is available now.

www.soylife.com.au

Heat Resistant Hygiene Range

Manufactured by Harold Moore (HM), The Heat Resistant Hygiene Range has been specifically developed for the food processing industry and adds a new dimension to the claims of using “all due diligence”.

The Range is produced from a specially formulated material based on high impact food contact approved polypropylene and is available in Black. The high heat resistant nylon can withstand temperatures of up to 240 C.

The HM Heat Resistant Range is suitable for a wide range of applications e.g. manufacturing boiled lollies, cleaning processing equipment, etc . The products are easily cleaned and can be used in any food production area.

The range includes stirrers, scrapers and paddles and is cost effective against stainless steel.

For more information contact:

Nayla Pty Limited

nayla@nayla.com

www.nayla.com

Health and taste go hand in hand

Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century, while cardiovascular disease remains the biggest cause of death in both the developed and developing world — killing around 12.7 million people each year.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the prevalence of obesity has tripled in many European countries since the 1980s, and the number of those affected continues to rise at an alarming rate. Raised blood pressure, WHO reports, is the biggest single cause of cardiovascular disease and the current high intake of salt is the major determinant of this.

Little wonder that the Salt and Sugar Reduction Symposium 2008, organized by CMPi, attracted such a strong attendance. Some 120 delegates from 22 countries travelled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the beginning of April to learn about the latest developments in food reformulation to reduce or replace sugar and salt, with speakers drawn from both the public and private sectors.

Danisco’s application manager, sweeteners and pharmaceuticals, Mette Sveje, said that “consumers are more aware of their daily total sugar consumption than their daily fat consumption, and there is growing concern about the amounts and types of sugars consumed.” Various initiatives are underway, both government- and industry-led, to reduce average salt and sugar consumption, but to remain acceptable to the consumer, food profiles cannot simply be improved — food must still taste good! While health and well-being are increasingly important to the average consumer, taste remains key and the conference’s speakers detailed various methods facilitating the achievement of both, without compromise.

Dr Paul Sheldrake, market manager with Avebe Food, says: “The general market trends of Health and Wellness, Natural and Safe, Premium and Indulgent, and Versatile and Convenient are consistent with the trends for reduction in salt and sugar as part of healthy and balanced products and a diet where there is focus from food manufacturers on offering key value propositions.”

The last decade has seen the number of products launched in Europe with a “low” or “reduced” sugar position far exceed those labelled “all natural”, demonstrating growing consumer interests, and this trend can be expected to continue. But salt and sugar remain key elements of our diets, and delegates heard just how important communication with the consumer is to facilitate healthy purchases, and how messages must be conveyed in a way that the consumer will understand.

Day two of the symposium comprised master classes examining the safety aspects of reducing salt and sugar, and natural alternatives, which looked at the range of emerging technologies, methods and products employed to make products cleaner. The event received the generous sponsorship of Armor Proteines and DSM, with representatives from both companies being on hand to answer both salt and sugar related questions.

CMPi’s head of conferences, food and pharmaceutical ingredients, Mandana White, commented: “We were excited and encouraged by the response to this event, and we’ve had a lot of requests for a follow-on meeting next year. The food industry is certainly taking its role in helping public health seriously, and looking to the ingredients industry to help it find solutions.”

For further information, contact:

Mandana White

mawhite@cmpi.biz

www.saltandsugar.org

Barley price increase affects premium beer

The premium beer market has been the strongest growing Australian beer market segment in recent years, showing a growth of 15% annually since 2001. The plethora of specialty, craft, boutique beers and micro labels that have entered the domestic market stand testimony to that trend and have certainly added to booming figures and broadened the variety available to our more discerning drinkers.

However, Barley prices have sat at a raised level ever since the poor yields of the past year’s crops pushed prices up, (now at A$500/mt from around the A$300/mt during better yields) forcing breweries to dig considerably deeper for their beer-essential ingredient.

As the world’s second largest barley exporter, the country’s overseas demands (largely China’s brewing industry) have pushed the prices up for our breweries, leaving growers and brewers alike hoping for a much better yield for the 2008 crop. Approximately 40% of Barley grown in Australia is committed for the brewing sector, while overseas demands usually have us export 80% of our production. And due to the poor crops, further price increases are expected by about A$5/mt month.

“The growing demand for boutique and craft beers has sure shown its impact on our need for malting barley production” said boutique label Snowy Mountains Brewery’s director Kevin O’Neill, who last week collected a Silver Medal for his Crackenback Pale Ale at the Australian International Beer Awards.

”The increases on barley prices have translated into higher production costs for breweries — affecting the small and micro labels more heavily than the bigger ones. We use all grain barley in our beer, as do most micro breweries. Some of the global manufacturers substitute it for corn, cane sugar and rice.”

Although not necessarily reflected in retail prices at this stage, the strong growth of the Australian premium and boutique beer market shows that drinkers are a lot more discerning these days and don’t mind spending the extra dollar or two to drink a uniquely flavoured boutique beer rather than the mass produced variety.

“Australian beer consumption is now the lowest since 1960 giving further proof to the trend from ale drinkers to choose quality over quantity” said O’Neill.

For further information contact:

info@snowybeer.com.au

www.snowybeer.com.au

Oil’s not just for cooking

Tellurian Biodiesel, a leading independent distributor and marketer of sustainable high-quality biodiesel, has entered into a joint venture with Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers to the quick-service restaurant industry, to recycle used cooking oil into biodiesel that exceeds industry specifications.

The new venture, Encore BioRenewables, plans to launch its first biodiesel production facility in Southern California in early 2009. The company plans to open additional processing plants throughout the U.S. as the market develops for their product. These plants will be sited near locations which aggregate used cooking oil from restaurants. Encore will recycle this material in the production of a more sustainable biodiesel fuel.

The high-quality biodiesel produced by this closed-loop solution will be sold to trucking companies, municipal fleets and to GSF to fuel its distribution fleet, which services its customers in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Encore BioRenewable’s first plant will begin production at a rate of five million gallons of biodiesel annually. The facility’s output will be expanded as American demand for renewable biodiesel continues to increase with the country’s accelerated transition off of foreign oil.

Tellurian’s recently announced acquisition of Superior Process Technologies, which is expected to close in late spring, will provide Encore BioRenewables with a proprietary process to turn low-grade raw materials into high quality biodiesel that exceeds both ASTM and EN quality specifications at prices competitive with petroleum diesel.

In addition to used cooking oil, Encore BioRenewables will convert other recyclable domestic fats and oils into high-quality biodiesel. The company projects production of at least 100 million gallons annually, once its national network is fully operational.

“With this progressive venture, Golden State Foods is taking a leadership role in the widespread adoption of sustainable biodiesel, a cleaner, domestic, renewable fuel ready to help keep America’s trucking industry rolling,” said Joe Gershen, president of Encore BioRenewables and Tellurian’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We look forward to working with our new partner to introduce this innovative biodiesel initiative to the marketplace.”

GSF’s corporate vice president of finance, Bill Sanderson, said: “GSF first approached Tellurian more than four years ago, seeking guidance in converting cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. We’re delighted to have formed this alliance and have found Joe Gershen and the entire Tellurian team to be among the most knowledgeable biodiesel experts in the field and terrific strategic partners.”

“The initiative,” Sanderson added, “provides us with a wonderful opportunity to help our customers accomplish their environmental and social responsibility objectives.”

About Tellurian Biodiesel, Inc. With offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Tellurian supplies the food service, manufacturing, entertainment and technology industries with biodiesel and biodiesel education. It has worked with several municipal fleets as they transition to using biodiesel.

With a dedication to the environment and a focus on the use of recycled materials whenever possible, Tellurian is developing biodiesel production facilities throughout the United States. It has gained a national reputation for its commitment to quality, value, service and sustainability.

https://tellurianbiodiesel.com

www.goldenstatefoods.com

Ferrero wins case against fake Rochers

Italian chocolate maker Ferrero has won a case against a Chinese firm making fake Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Reuters reported that the Chinese firm, Montresor, was ordered by China’s Supreme People’s Court to stop making the chocolates, and pay “symbolic” damages of 500,000 yuan to Ferrero.

“It is already hard for Italian companies, and foreign ones in general, to get into China, overcome resistance put up against foreign products, build up a commercial network and invest in the country, only to be faced with a strong and invisible enemy such as the counterfeiting industry,” the South Morning China Post newspaper quoted Ferrero as saying.

Ferrero started the legal action against Montresor and its counterfeit ‘Tresor Dore’ chocolate five years ago.

www.ferrero.com

A healthy boost for beverages

Set to stay, the health and wellness trend is influencing many global new product launches and changing the priorities of beverage manufacturers in all corners of the globe. By increasing the nutritional profile of their products and limiting the unhealthier components, manufacturers are rising to the overwhelming consumer demand for healthy products. In this competitive climate, the key challenge is to maintain or improve the taste profile of new products while making them healthier than traditional equivalents.

Many manufacturers are turning to fruit as the answer. Consumer perception of fruit is very positive, especially since non-natural ingredients and additives receive such bad press. Fruit ingredients add taste, colour and improve the nutritional profile of most applications.

Smoothie operator The appeal of smoothies has rocketed over the last couple of years and beverage manufacturers are looking for the healthiest fruits around to differentiate and boost the selling power of their products. Cranberry purée is a competitive ingredient for smoothies, which offers an interesting colour, taste and texture. It can also be blended with other fruit purées easily and the distinctive cranberry flavour and naturally high pH enhances most other tastes.

Cranberry purée contains no preservatives or added sugars and delivers both sensory and nutritional value to a smoothie. A number of launches across Europe, the United States and the Asia-Pacific region have included cranberry and despite increased demand for more exotic fruits, cranberry remains as popular as ever among consumers and smoothie manufacturers alike.

For further information on how cranberries can be used in your products, contact:

Fruitmark

js@fruitmark.com.au

www.oceansprayitg.com

www.oceanspray.com

Container cooling system for safer unloading

Using an assortment of its own technologies, air movement specialist Fanquip has developed a movable ‘container cooling system’ that regulates the internal temperature of transport containers to keep workers comfortable and safe during industry-approved manual handling tasks.

In some cases, it is economically unviable for a company to have automation to empty out transport containers; particularly if the delivery frequencies are low, quantities are small, or individual units are irregular or physically tiny in size.

Therefore, an element of manual handling is involved to complete the job; but this used lead to another potential occupational health and safety problem which Fanquip has been able to resolve.

Particularly in the summer months of the year, the internal temperature and transport container is significantly hotter than the already hot outdoor environment — and this can be very uncomfortable for employees assigned to this task.

The inaugural installation was made recently by a company that wants to keep its staff cool as they unload rubber products from 40-foot containers.

This user specifically stated it didn’t merely want fan-blown air distributed throughout the container, it demanded thermostatically controlled, ducted air that also uses a temperature controller.

Fanquip’s container cooling system is permanently mounted wherever required; in this instance, the unit is in the receiving dock area.

It is aided by movable arm that can be manoeuvred from one position to another to comfortably hook up to any container access point regardless of where the vessel rests.

Cool air is produced by the air-conditioning module and then moved through flexible ducting by an industrially rated Fanquip blower.

The system is adaptable to any size of transport container. The size of the air conditioning unit as well as the length and diameter of ducting is relative to each application, therefore ensuring the container cooling system is configurable to just about every situation of this type.

For more information contact:

Fanquip

1800 224 308

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