Guinness ensures a great craic

In the run up to St Patrick’s Day, Diageo Australia, owner of the Guinness brand, will invest over $300,000 in brand activities.

More that 50,000 Guinness hats will be given out to consumers in 800 venues nationally, throughout the month of March.

Further increased visibility will include outdoor banners and Guinness branded t-shirts for bar staff in supporting venues, as well as high visibility display materials.

St Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, 2008, and the lead-up is a key sales period for Guinness with 21.5 per cent MAT volume sold in February and March, 13 per cent of that in March.

Incremental Guinness sales versus baseline sales over February and March account for 29%, while in March alone incremental sales account for 56% versus baseline sales.

The “Great Guinness Pour” Trade Competition will see bar staff judged in state heats around the country in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day with state winners flown to Sydney for the national final on March 3rd.

The national champion will win $1759, symbolic of the year Guinness was established in Ireland.

A comprehensive overview of all St Patrick’s Day Guinness promotional activity and participating venues can be found on the new Australian Guinness website, live on February 18th, 2008.

It pays to climb the career ladder

Danny Neale of Trafalgar in Gippsland has won the national Dairy Australia Education Excellence Award — Manufacturing, sponsored by Dairy Australia.

The win was announced at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards in the National Gallery of Victoria on February 5th, 2008.

Neale, 39, worked his way up the ranks from a casual cleaner at Fonterra, Cobden, to site operations excellence co-ordinator at Fonterra’s Darnum plant.

Along the way he worked as an evaporator and dryer operator, and in the warehouse and packaging departments.

In the previous 12 months, as a Production Technologist, Danny was responsible for process and plant optimisation and improvement, along with process troubleshooting and special projects.

In developing his dairy manufacturing career, Danny successfully completed Certificate II and III Studies in Food Processing and he recently completed the Diploma of Food Science and Technology at the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA), where he maintained a continually high level of academic achievement.

He was awarded the prize based on academic achievement and his potential for future development within the Australian dairy industry.

Danny received his $1000 award from Dairy Australia’s managing director, Dr Mike Ginnivan, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the dairy processing industry.

National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA)

Dairy Australia


Network communication software

Key Technology introduces new OPC-compliant network communication software for all G6 optical sorters and automatic defect removal (ADR) systems.

These are the only sorters in the food processing industry that provide OPC-compliant communication software for plant-wide networking, allowing processors to improve operations.

The new software allows the G6 systems to easily interface with plant networks, extending machine monitoring and communication control capabilities beyond the plant floor to the control room. According to the company, interfacing G6 sorters and ADR systems with the plant network increases automation, reducing operator error.

Machine monitoring allows the plant network to read various settings on the user interface, monitoring both machine status and product data.

The quality of incoming product, as defined by the rate of occurrence of any number of specific defect categories, can be monitored over time and charted to identify trends.

The new communication software provides data to the network, so that networks can be programmed to alert operators or administrators if certain predefined conditions occur.

Specific machine functions can now be controlled remotely or automatically. Product changeovers can be automatically achieved via the network by recalling the product set-up file from memory.

The new OPC-compliant network communication software is available immediately for all G6 sorters and ADR systems, which include the company’s current family of Optyx and Tegra sorters and ADR, 5 as well as legacy sorters and ADR systems, and other company’s sorters that have been upgraded with the G6 electro-optical platform.

According to the company, applications include fresh, frozen, and dried fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, potatoes and potato strips, snack foods, confections, coffee, and seafood, as well as tobacco and recycled plastics.

Click here for further information

Leaders in fish

The National Seafood Industry Leadership Program 2008 commences on 15th of April 2008 in Port Lincoln and concludes on the 17th of September 2008 in Canberra.

The National Seafood Industry Leadership Program 2008 is delivered through funding from The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) and developed by Leading Industries.

The National Seafood Industry Leadership Program 2008 is the only national industry specific leadership program and was initially designed in consultation with seafood industry people.

The course focuses on developing skills that participants can apply at three levels — personal, business and national industry, they will be encouraged to implement plans associated with these areas and will work on a nationally strategic project.

The content of the program ensures that participants are exposed to handling conflict, effective communication, efficient meetings, high performance team building, managing change and media training.

Participants will develop an understanding of how to impact positively, resulting in constructive outcomes for the national industry.

In program 2008 will be delivered through three residential sessions:

  • First Residential, 15th to 17th April 2008, Port Lincoln
  • Second Residential, 15th and 16th July 2008, Sydney
  • Third Residential, 15th to 17th September 2008, Canberra

Program costs are $500.00 per participant, which includes most meals, training materials and learning support throughout the six months of the program.

For further information, contact Jill Briggs.

IBC system helps coffee producer

Matcon was awarded a contract for the supply of the Materials Handling System for Chek Hup, a Malaysian company that owns the Chek Hup brand of White Coffee popular in over 15 countries, and when they experienced great international market demand.

This interest from the international market has caused an upsurge production, which has increased to over 80 tonnes per month, and Chek Hup needed to implement new systems.

Matcon used their regional experience in 3-1 powder processing to implement a Smart Drum IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) system of 300L capacity.

The Smart Drum system is a closed system in which the batch is contained in a sealed IBC. Each Smart Drum IBC incorporates cone valve technology, which is used to provide the necessary controlled feed into the packaging lines without the risk of segregation of the 3 to 1 after blending.

The Smart Drum system is used to transfer batches between the process steps, which include:

Bulk and minor Raw Material dispensing to an IBC

  • IBC Blending
  • Discharge of 3-1 Coffee into the Packing lines
  • IBC Cleaning – off line

The IBC system is a modular approach, which can be added to later, and this was an advantage to the coffee producer. Now that the Matcon system is in place, the Chek Hup factory output has increased from 80 tonnes to 110 tonnes per month and the factory is cleaner, reducing the time needed for cleaning and mopping.

Click here for further information.

National Packaging Covenant explained

If you are confused by, or would like to know more about, the National Packaging Covenant this is the course for you.

It sets out to clarify and demystify the National Packaging Covenant and explain a company’s obligations when becoming a signatory to the Covenant.

A large number of signatories are food processors, manufacturers or retailers.

Course outline

The course will primarily focus on what is required to fulfill the requirements of the National Packaging Covenant with particular emphasis how to create an acceptable Action Plan and subsequent Action Plan Reports.

In addition to discussing in depth the objectives of the Covenant, the course will workshop an actual Action Plan and Action Plan Report that has been assessed and placed on the National Packaging Covenant website for public view.

Some of the key elements to be discussed on this course include:

• National Packaging Covenant (NPC) Mark II Background and targets

• Product Stewardship

• Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

• Environmental Code of Practice for Packaging (ECoPP)

• Action Plans

• Online KPI Survey

• Annual Reports

• National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) for Used Packaging Materials

• The Assessment Process

This course would ideally suit those packaging professionals working at food manufacturing companies or at any point in the packaging supply chain that require a better understanding of the National Packaging Covenant and their obligations as signatories to the National Packaging Covenant.

The course will be presented by Robin Tuckerman FAIP who has more than 30 years experience in the Australian packaging industry and last year judged the Packaging Evolution Awards.

When: Tuesday 11th March

Where: Australian Industry Group, 20 Queens Rd, Melbourne

Time: 12.30pm arrival for a 1.00pm sharp commencement

Booking form.

Australian Institute of Packaging

Health and wellness trend not slowing obesity

In a report entitled ‘Obesity, Dieting, Exercise And The Future Of Food And Drink — Understanding consumer attitudes and behaviours’, independent market analyst Datamonitor explores the contradiction between consumers’ attempts to eat more healthy foods and the rising obesity levels.

Datamonitor’s survey of European and US consumers reveals approximately 65% of Europeans and Americans made active attempts to eat more healthily in 2005 to 2006.

Rather than focusing purely on the elimination of ‘bad’ nutrients from their diets, consumers are also embracing the concept of ‘positive nutrition’ — focusing on the inherently good content within food and drinks.

Indeed, while consumers do not underestimate the importance of cutting down on fat, sugar and salt, they also believe a healthy diet involves eating fresh food and drink (90%) and eating from a diverse range of foods (66%).

Although consumers want to eat healthily, they do not want to sacrifice taste and pleasure. This attitude, in part, is driven by the widespread belief that healthy food tastes inferior. This is especially relevan, as consumers are eating out of home with greater regularity — a time when the desire to eat healthily is most likely to be compromised.

Datamonitor’s Productscan tracking reveals dietary products and healthy alternatives are witnessing the largest growth in the food and drink market, in terms of new product releases.

In particular, products in 100-calorie-pack formats are becoming increasingly popular, allowing shoppers to enjoy great taste without having to worry about the consequences of bad nutrient consumption.

Simultaneously, indulgence-based products continue to be popular in the food and beverage market, as manufacturers recognise that the inability to compromise between health and enjoyment means eating and drinking is becoming more occasion orientated.

For further information, contact Denis Mason.


Detect metal contaminants

Sartorius has produced a metal detector sensitive to all types of metal, including magnetic particles, high-alloy steel particles and non ferrous metals (copper, brass, lead etc), in a diverse range of products to help minimise the risk of metal contaminants being found by consumers in food or damaging process machinery.

The detector works through a relay activated when metal is detected and its potential-free switch-over contact can be used for any control processes, such as stopping the processing machine or conveyor belt, activating marking devices or ejectors. Once a particle is detected the contaminated product is ejected.

According to the company, the automatic self-monitoring and quality assurance routines ensure the highest possible safety and the stainless steel housing (AISI 304/BS 304) meets the highest requirements of hygiene in accordance with HACCP.

For further information, click here.

Sartorius AG

Sensors for food processing

Balluff-Leuze provides optoelectronic sensors with seal protection and material resistance to modern industrial food systems (food processing, filling and packaging), and certified to ECOLAB and IP69K standards, that can withstand a exposure to high-pressure equipment and aggressive cleaning and disinfection agents.

The IP 69K protection rating guarantees seal-tightness against sprayed water, but does not encompass the use of chemical additives such as alkalis or acids. In contrast, the Henkel-ECOLAB-Test F&E no. 40-1 encompasses the immersion of sensors in cleaning agents for several weeks, using a wide-ranging portfolio of different cleaning products.

According to the company, Series 3B, series 8, series 18, series 25B, series 46B and series 96 Metal sensors are ideally equipped to meet increasingly stringent hygiene requirements in the food industry, including ever shorter cleaning intervals, longer application periods and higher concentrations of cleaning agents but also new cleaning procedures such as gassing with H2O2.


Baristas champion coffee in Asia

In testimony to the rise of Western style coffee in Asia, the first ever Asia level Barista Championship will be held in Singapore from April 22 to 24, 2008.

Participants from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand will compete for the title of ‘Asia Barista Champion’.

The baristas will be judged by a panel including four sensory judges, four technical judges and a head judge.

During the Championship, each competitor will be required to serve each of the four sensory judges, a single espresso, a single cappuccino and a single blended signature beverage of his/her choice, for a total of 12 drinks during the period of 15 minutes or less.

The Asia Barista Championship is jointly organised by Singapore Exhibition Services, organiser of FHA2008; Kerry Ingredients Asia and the Singapore Coffee Association.

Coffee is a growth market in Asia, with consumers showing an ever greater appreciation and demand for specialty coffee.

NZ report on Australian food & bev

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has issued a report on Australian food and beverage trends and concerns, highlighting how manufacturers in New Zealand can benefit.

The report — Market Profile – Food and Beverages in the Australian Market — says New Zealand products that can deliver fresh, healthy, natural snacks and meal solutions are well placed to tap into the Australian trends and concerns.

As well as the well known trends towards convenience, health and wellness and casual dining, the report links the demand for healthy products to the rise in demand for organic products.

Sales of organic food are estimated at about $500 million a year, the report states, and the Organic Federation of Australia estimates that the sales are growing at 24% to 40% a year, while Australian production is only growing at 6% to 15%.

As well as market entry strategies, the market profile includes information on the market structure, the regulatory environment, the competitive environment and further sources of information.

Click here to read the report.

Insulate wine and other perishables

Ospack, a shipping container insulation specialist, has developed a new thermal liner to regulate the temperature and humidity that wine and other perishables are exposed to during transport in non-refrigerated shipping containers.

The company learnt of the Foster’s Group’s need to insulate its wines throughout all changes in climatic conditions, as they are transported between continents.

The first Insul-Dri container had used polymer coated bubble wrap, rayon and food-grade LDPE laminated corrugated board, so the two companies then worked together to improve the quality for exports.

Food Science Australia leant their support and helped with the testing of the new insulators at the test facility in North Ryde.

The insulating containers were then tested shipping wine from Australia to Oakland, California, proving that the containers were successful, and robust enough to be reused.

The company can tailor the product to different needs and environments.

Pouch-cooling success

A company with a pasta cooling challenge has used Lyco Manufacturing’s equipment to solve their problem.

21st Century Foods in the US produces fully cooked, microwaveable main courses, catering to the time-poor families of today.

The company’s meals consist of pasta or rice in a pouch, and a pouch containing the sauce. The consumer then microwaves both and mixes them together.

Once the meals have been cooked, both the pasta or rice and the sauces must be cooled. However, the pouches containing the meat sauces are relatively small and delicate, and require gentle handling when being cooled from 170 degrees to around 20.

21st Century Foods used Lyco’s pouch cooler as it gently agitates the pouches and mixes the sauce within them, eliminating hot spots, while also keeping the pouches of sauce intact.

For the accompanying pasta, the company chose the supplier’s cooker-cooler, which can both cook and cool in one machine.

For further information, click here.

Colours prevent contamination

Food safety and hygiene in food processing areas extends further than just bacteria and pathogens.

With food safety and hygiene the number one issue for food processors, Fletcher International provides a new range of coloured food handling equipment, particularly useful in the baking industry, as well as other food industries.

A range of strong and durable plastic products including wheeled ingredient bins, tubs, mobiles, dollies and troughs, and sundry equipment are now available in a wide choice of colours.

The products assist companies in product segregation, for example in the case of nut and non-nut products.

The coloured tubs and lids mean that should the lids of one tub containing nuts/nut products be switched with that of another tub containing nut-free products it would be clearly spotted by workers, avoiding contamination of the nut-free product and a product recall situation.

The company says it is able to produce coloured containers in small quantities quickly and competitively.

New technology speeds up cleaning

Changeover times on food lines are important for maximising efficiency, particularly in the case of short runs.

A new cooker/cooler technology, called Clean-Flow, developed by Lyco Manufacturing, utilises Lyco’s rotary drum system which provides water injection for agitation that keeps the product in uniform suspension while moving through the unit, minimizing the cleaning change-over on short runs to as low as 15 minutes, and on a totally automated mode without the need for manual labour.

This can accommodate for as many as two product change-overs per hour, or 16 change-overs per shift, allowing for maximum flexibility and efficiency in lean manufacturing for food processors.

The Clean-Flow design begins with a very accurately made screw similar to that used in a screw blancher.

It resides in a stationary wedge-wire screen that encapsulates the screw from the 3:00 to 9:00 o’clock position. The tolerance between the screw and the screen is less than one-half a grain of rice.

The water agitation injected through the screen keeps the product off the floor of the screen, where it is maintained in total suspension.

Damage to fragile product is a fraction of one percent, and even less than in a rotary drum.

Clean-up time is reduced from hours to minutes in the Clean-Flow design because the screw is totally exposed for cleaning.

During clean-up the screen is released from its fixed position, and is continually rotated 360 degrees around the screw alternately exposing the interior and exterior of the screen to Clean-in-Place manifolds located in the cover of the machine.

The screw can be rotated at the same time as the screen, again exposing all surfaces to the cleansing water sprays.

Clean-up times depend upon the types of product being run. Vegetable matter is relatively easy to remove, but products with starch – such as pasta, rice and sugar – take longer to clean.

Clean-up times can be reduced as much as 75% compared to conventional rotary drum blanchers.

For more information on Lyco Manufacturing.

Scales made with hygiene in mind

Sartorius offers the Combics Food Scale, manufactured in accordance with the guidelines set out by the European Hygienic Equipment Design Group (EHEDG), and specially made for easy cleaning and disinfecting, are made entirely of high-alloy AISI type 304 stainless steel (grade 1.4301).

The platform is optionally available in electropolished AISI type 316 Ti stainless steel (1.4571) and the surface roughness of all components that can come into contact with food is lower than 0.8 ìm.

According to the company, the food scale has been developed specially for applications in which openness and product contact are the order of the day, where the strictest standards for sterility reign, and where intensive cleaning with large amounts of water is the norm (as for processing meat and fish).

Woolies and AFGC investigate environmental impact

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and Woolworths Limited have announced a joint study into ways of measuring the climate change impact of food, beverage and grocery products.

The study will help industry and government better understand and evaluate the concept of carbon footprinting in the Australian context.

Woolworths has recently committed to significantly reducing its direct greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use, refrigeration, transport and waste but believes that emissions associated with its supply chain are also important.

This industry partnership has been established to investigate the production, processing and packaging of the products sold by Woolworths.

AFGC Chief Executive Dick Wells said that it was vital that the food, beverage and grocery industry engages with all stakeholders in a properly informed debate.

The AFGC had been monitoring overseas practices on carbon footprinting and felt it was time for Australia to look to their own actions.

In late 2007 Woolworths published ‘Doing the Right Thing — Sustainability Strategy 2007 — 2015’, which sets out the company’s sustainability priorities in the areas of climate change, water, product sourcing, packaging, waste and environmentally friendly store design.

Available at, the strategy outlines the company’s environmental targets.

AFGC member companies are committed to reducing the industry’s footprint on the environment whilst maintaining product quality and safety. Since 2003 the energy use per kilogram of finished product has fallen by 14%, greenhouse emissions have reduced by 29% and water use has reduced by 21%.

For further information email Rosie Schmedding at the AFGC.

Increasing batch-to-batch stability

Endress+Hauser offers the Deltapilot S, which incorporates the ConTite measuring cell, to monitor liquid levels in the food and beverage industries.

During sterilisation, the Deltapilot S deviates only 3.5mm H20, resulting in only a .35% error.

The Deltapilot S is available with 4 to 20mA/HART technology, Profibus PA and FieldbusFoundation interfaces and all industry standard process connections.


Foodland rejects GM

Independent supermarket chain Foodland SA has rejected the use of genetically modified (GM) food material in its Foodland range of products.

It has also called for better labelling of branded and fresh products to ensure consumers can choose whether or not to buy other goods containing GM foods.

Foodland SA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Russell Markham, said the decision was made after feedback from customers.

“Our customers have overwhelmingly indicated that they do not want GM ingredients in our Foodland products,” he said.

“None of our Foodland range currently contains GM ingredients and we feel it is important to assure our customers that all our foods will remain GM free in the future.

Mr Markham said the labelling issue was particularly important given moves by some State Governments to lift bans on the commercial growing of GM foods.

“If Governments are prepared to allow GM foods to be grown commercially, they must give the customer the right to decide whether or not to consume them,” he said.

“This means having clear and unambiguous labelling laws and these laws need to be in place before any decision is made to lift bans on commercial growing.

Mr Markham said Foodland currently had 160 Foodland branded products, ranging from dairy to frozen and grocery items. More than half of these are manufactured in South Australia.

Foodland’s stance follows decisions by Australia’s largest food company, Goodman Fielder, and Australia’s largest lamb exporter, Tatiara Meats, to exclude GM products.


50th anniversary for US company

In 1957, Richard R. Rosemann, founder of Roto-Die, later to become RotoMetrics, began designing and manufacturing simple rotary dies in St. Louis, Missouri in the US, for the earliest flexographic press manufacturers. In the 50 years that followed, those first innovative Roto-Die tools helped create a new global industry.

RotoMetrics not only helped to create an industry, but has remained frontrunners by helping the industry to grow, prosper and thrive; from offering hardened blades and chrome-plated dies in the 1960s, through adding fully hardened tool steel dies, print cylinders and other rotary tools to our product line in the 1970s, to becoming the first manufacturer of rotary tooling to automate their processes by adding CNC machining capabilities, which ultimately replaced the pantograph for die manufacturing.

With the opening of RotoMetrics International in the U.K. in 1989, RotoMetrics became the first manufacturer of rotary tooling to open an international office. Locations in other countries followed, leading to the global presence RotoMetrics enjoys today, with offices and representatives in Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and India.

For obtain further information, click here.