Semi-automatic tray sealing machine

The semi-automatic, hand turned rotary table heat sealing machine model PA 182 has benefited from a major redesign to improve operation, efficiency, maintenance and hygiene.

An extremely simple film feed path enables fast film reel changes with no tools required.

Heat sealing tools can be changed in only two minutes by unskilled operators with no tools.

A very robust structural and component design means greater reliability and reduced downtime.

The open construction has eliminated bug traps and made the inside of the machine very easy to clean.

The machine can accommodate trays up to 100mm deep.

This, and other tray sealing equipment, is available to hire or buy from MPI.

Single portion ice cream

Fonterra has addressed the consumer mega trend of portion control and released a range of Cadbury ice cream in single serve pots.

The new range of ice cream mini tubs is available in Cadbury Caramello, Dairy Milk Chip, Light Vanilla and Light Turkish Delight.

Jenny Gilbert, Fonterra Brands Senior Brand Manager comments “Fonterra has been investigating ways to change the ice cream category dynamics by tapping into consumer mega trends. Every time we speak to our consumers, they keep reinforcing the need for portion control, particularly when they indulge in a product.”

Ease and convenience are also desired by consumers, she said.

Working parents particularly look for something that the whole family can enjoy but that creates little mess.


Product concepts for fat burning carb

Products designed for increased fat metabolism and sustained energy release can bring manufacturers significant gains in this age of consumer’s pursuit of health and wellness.

The low glycemic carbohydrate Palatinose, from Beneo-Palatinit, has been scientifically proved to promote fat burning andis the only carbohydrate to provide a sustained supply of energy in the form of glucose, while at the same time promoting fat mobilisation.

Studies have shown that, both during activity and at rest, Palatinose increases the proportion of total energy requirements produced from fat enabling products containing this low glycemic sugar to play an important role in weight reduction and control.

Athletes derive dual benefits from the new functional carbohydrate: On the one hand, they profit from a sustained supply of energy provided by Palatinose™ in the form of glucose; on the other hand they can derive a greater amount of energy from their own body fat, preserving carbohydrate sources and improving performance.

The healthy fuel

Palatinose is ideally suited for products designed both to promote fat burning and supply energy, such as sports drinks, for example, or liquid meal replacements.

It can be either on its own to improve fat metabolism or combined with other ingredients, such as caffeine or green tea that are known to boost fat burning.

Multi-functional approach

Used in combination with L-Carnitin, Palatinose not only mobilises body fat, it also ensures that it is optimally converted into energy.

Together with appetite suppressants such as Fabuless, which is made from natural palm and oat oil, Palatinose not only promotes fat burning, it also reduces calorie intake.

Even simple Near Water product concepts containing Palatinose appeal to target audiences who wish to avoid drinks containing high intensity sweeteners but are still health-conscious and want to keep their body in shape. Beneo-Palatinit

Awards recognise brand owner innovation

The FOOD Challenge Awards 2008 is now accepting entries in each of its 10 categories.

The awards seek to recognise brand owners’ innovation and excellence in the food and beverage processing and manufacturing industries. Released a new product to market in the past year? Then why not enter and celebrate your team’s success.

The winners will be announced in July at a gala dinner held during FoodPro.

To express interest, please email

For an entry form, click here.

Further information can be obtained here.

New range of healthy kids’ snacks

The demand for healthy snacks has risen dramatically, and Whole Kids are taking advantage of parents desire to provide their children with healthy snacks and additions to their lunchboxes.

Whole Kids has introduced a new products including Organic Cheese and Low Salt Corn Chips and Organic fruit juices.

Monica Waters, Co-Founder of Whole Kids says, “We have seen the demand for our products grow 50% since back-to-school 2007. The demand increase has been across the board. Our original range is now stocked in over 500 stores including Harris Farm grocers, IGA supermarkets and most leading organic food stores. Plus we have introduced new products to meet the needs of parents whose kids are notoriously fussy eaters.”

Whole Kids products are free of preservatives, additives and genetically modified ingredients.

In addition, the company has recently launched a nut-free and gluten-free range.

“Our new range was actually developed in response to pleas from concerned parents. We‘ve had an overwhelming response to our products because people are just so grateful that they don’t have to search for nasty hidden ingredients.”

Whole Kids was founded in 2005 by Monica Waters and James Meldrum after spending several years researching the demand for healthier organic snacks for kids.

Whole Kids now stocks ten different products including juices, popcorn, fruit bars and corn chips.

Robag reduces rejects

tna offers a complete accumulation, distribution and packaging system especially designed for the fresh produce market.

tna’s robag 3 stainless steel vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) bagger, together with its unique “shaker” software, offers efficient and gentle packaging processes for all types of fresh produce from bulk packaging to single-serving salads and bagged salad kits.

Shayne De la Force, group marketing manager tna, explains why the robag 3 are ideal.

“Most VFFS flat jaw machines are limited by design to achieve the required pressure for high quality sealing of the packaging film. The unique rotary action of the robag® 3 compresses the film, forming a quality bonded seal.”

The robag’s sealing process dramatically reduces reject levels resulting in maximised output and increased product shelf life.

It is also engineered to facilitate fast changeovers so that new bag sizes and shapes are easily accommodated.

The special shaker software ensures a fast and smooth movement of the produce which generally has a very high coefficient into the formed bags which inturn dramatically improving throughput.

Stainless steel design allows easy washdown and operation in environments that are generally very wet.

tna’s advanced technology and software automate roflo’s totally gateless system, resulting in dramatic reductions in product damage.

Fewer moving parts result in total controllability, easy cleaning, and lowered maintenance and service.

tna provides a complete line of products from its well known robag VFFS Baggers; roflo Product Distribution and Accumulation Equipment; Seasoning Systems; Multihead Scales; Checkweighers; Date Coders; Metal Detectors, Case Packers; Palletizers; and Complete Processing Equipment.

Brewery bins manual temperature control

Siemens recently helped Bells Brewery in the US implement a state-of-the-art automated temperature control system for its tanks, using the Siemens Braumat PCS 7 Compact.

Precise temperature control is important to Bells’ 26 different beers, each of which is brewed at a different temperature.

If the temperatures are not controlled correctly the difference between the different brands of beer becomes less distinct.

The single-loop temperature controllers the brewery was using had drawbacks, such as that the record keeping was manual, labour intensive and prone to human error.

Siemens’ system had the ability to control all tank temperatures from one location.

PCS 7 Box compresses the functionality of a complete DCS into a compact industrial PC platform which features an integrated hardened controller that operates independent of the PC.

It is actually a hybrid PLC/DCS unit, providing the best features of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) integrated into an ideal crossover application suitable for the requirements of the hybrid industry.

It offers the world’s only platform that integrates new and existing automation systems (process, batch, discrete and safety) and devices (instrumentation, analytics, motors, drives, and safety instrumented functions) within a single platform.

Although Bell’s new system has just recently been installed, performance statistics are evident and significant. The new fermentation control system has allowed the brewery a quicker throughput, reduced laborhours, and the system is easy to operate.

Stainless steel hygiene at Inghams plant

Hygiene is a top priority at a facility which processes more than 40,000 tonnes of chicken a day.

ASSDA member and Accredited Fabricator Stainless Metal Craft has recently completed work on the design and fabrication of stainless steel equipment for Inghams’ processing plant at Edinburgh Park, north of Adelaide, and hatchery at Monarto, south of Adelaide.

The projects incorporate numerous custom-designed installations, including a series of 300mm wide channelled drainage at the processing plant in runs of 60m that will withstand the weight of forklifts, and slot drains with integrated sumps at the hatchery that will tolerate extremely harsh cleaning compounds.

The slot drains, in particular, required innovative tool work, because of the size and depth required.

Freezer coving (a hygiene requirement to prevent food from being caught where the wall meets the floor) is usually made from epoxy-coated concrete, but there was concern this would wear down with ongoing snap freezing of the chickens. Instead, about 180m of 3mm grade 316 were used.

Strict regulations within the food industry also determined the need for grade 316 stainless steel fire hose reel cabinets.

Mr Bunt said most of the stainless steel was supplied by ASSDA members Atlas Specialty Metals and Midway Metals.

Gently packages all produce

tna offers the robag 3 a complete accumulation, distribution and packaging system especially designed for the fresh produce market, a stainless steel vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) bagger.

The machine has “shaker” to gently package all types of fresh produce from bulk packaging to single-serving salads and bagged salad kits.

According to the company, the robag®’s sealing process dramatically reduces reject levels resulting in maximized output and increased product shelf life.

New cultures for soft cheese

Soft cheese is the fourth biggest cheese segment in the world.

Four new cultures are available from Chr. Hansen, aimed at producing soft cheese with improved acidification, flavour and texture.

The company also offers a full range of cultures including both acidification cultures and ripening cultures.

The new cultures are:

· Two thermophilic cultures, F-DVS GK-01 and F-DVS CZ-03, developed for helping soft cheese producers reach the acidification and texture needs of the Gorgonzola and of the Crescenza.

· Two mesophilic cultures, F-DVS TRADI-01 and F-DVS FRESH-01, contributing to obtain the unique acidification and flavour of cheese based on mesophilic production, e.g. Camembert and different blue cheeses. Mesophilic cultures thrive in temperatures between 15 and 35°C (59-95°F). Thermophilic cultures require between 35 and 45°C (95-113°F).

The new cheese cultures come in an easy-to-use direct vat set (DVS) packaging form invented by Chr. Hansen.

DVS is a highly concentrated and standardized frozen or freeze-dried dairy culture used for the direct inoculation of milk.

DVS cultures need no activation or other treatment prior to use and offer a number of advantages in terms of flexibility of use, consistent performance, no investment in bulk starter equipment and possibility of using customised culture blends.

Soft cheese is popular

The soft cheese market accounts for 12% of global cheese production and is the fourth biggest cheese segment in the world.

The main feature of the soft cheese segment is diversity; Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Argentine Port Salut, Crescenza are, among others all soft cheeses, and many more exist.

1.7 million tons of soft cheese is produced annually.

In southern Europe and in South America more soft cheese is produced than any other type of cheese and southern European cheese producers alone manufacture 0,8 million ton of soft cheese annually.

For further information, please contact Jean-Michel Lepetit

Increasing meat recovery

Ibex offers the high speed FF Pneumatic Trimmer, which operating at 15,000 rpm at almost 4 times faster than many pneumatic trimming systems..

The company developed the trimmer specifically to enable greater meat recovery from a carcass with less operator effort needed.

Ibex also offers a range of other meat processing equipment.


Aussie foods do well in US

The 33rd Winter Fancy Food Show 2008 is currently being held in San Diego, US, and Australian speciality food and beverages are again in the US spotlight with more than 100 products from over 45 businesses across Australia showcasing their products in the Austrade pavilion.

The speciality food show is one of the biggest of its kind, attracting over 16,000 buyers from food, wine, gift and department stores, supermarkets and restaurants globally.

Australia has emerged in recent years as one of the United States’ largest suppliers of value-added foods.

Key reasons are awareness of Australia’s diverse food flavours; commitment to green, sustainable practices and rigorous food safety standards.

Participating businesses include high quality goods like olive oils from Dandaragan Estate, Yellingbo Gold and Red Island; truffles, fruit pastes, sauces from The Wine and Truffle Company; chutneys, jams from Outback Spirit; honey, salt, antipasto and unusual confectionery from Australian Native Nut and Nutpatch Nougat; chocolate mousses and desserts from Nicholson Fine Foods and a range of indigenous Australian herbs and spices.

The United States is Australia’s largest trade and investment partner, with annual two-way merchandise trade between the two countries now worth more than A$47.7 billion.

Babicka Original Wormwood Vodka, winners of the 2007 FOOD Challenge Awards alcoholic beverages category are also participating in the event.

For further information on events being held during Australia Week please visit

Ingredients co. extends its reach

Bronson and Jacobs launched a new branch in Santiago, Chile, at the end of 2007.

The Specialty Chemicals Group of Orica Chemicals Latin America, became the latest member of the B&J family.

With locally employed staff in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, it significantly increases Bronson and Jacobs’ reach in this region.

Bronson and Jacobs has existing dairy, bakery and pharmaceutical accounts, and are targeting the beverage, confectionery, bakery, meat and cosmetics markets in this region.

Zebra series thermal label printers

Peacock Bros offers supplies Zebra Technologies’ new ZM series range of thermal barcode label printers, which offer an easier to operate form, increased connectivity, RFID readiness as standard and a number of available options.

As standard the label printers include the additional connectivity of USB 2 for faster and connectivity with most warehouse, manufacturing and business applications, with the option of adding a wireless ZebraNet 10/100 print server for simultaneous parallel and ethernet connections.

According to the company, the new ZM series of thermal label printer is a fast, reliable and affordable choice for label printing.

Peacock Bros

Register and win gift cards

REED Business information will soon launch five new weekly manufacturing e-newsletters and websites, covering materials handling, metalworking, safety, industrial IT and maintenance.

The sites will feature information and multimedia pertaining to each topic and a newsletter will be sent out from each site weekly.

Register your interest in subscribing to one of the newsletters and go into the draw to win one of 20 $100 Westfield Gift Cards!

Register here for your chance to win.

Enzyme aids product formation and shelf life

Hydrosol’s supplies a meat-binding system from the MeatZym series, a new development in the field of Stabilising Systems which makes it possible to create innovative convenience meat products conforming to all requirements of safety, quality, stability and economy from meat cuttings or minced meat.

Besides the classic minced-meat variants like rissoles and meat-burgers, dumplings and meat balls, meat slices and kebabs are becoming more and more popular as restructured products.

The MeatZym series is a compound consisting of cold-gelling proteins and hydrocolloids, individual emulsifying and stabilising components and additives with an antimicrobial effect, which assist shaping, gel formation and adhesion and prolong the shelf-life of the products.

How it works

The powdered product is mixed with water and worked into the meat mass.

The mass is then filled into skins or moulds.

Once gel formation is complete, the piece of meat can be cut and prepared for cooking as required. Meat slices can be marinaded or coated with breadcrumbs, for example.

MeatZym fresh is suitable for restructured meat products including steaks and escallops, kebabs, shashlik and canned goulash, and also fish fingers and chicken nuggets.

Tailor-made formulations can also be developed to meet customers’ specific requirements, enabling manufacturers to exploit the market with creative new products.

Hydrosol Produktionsgesellschaft is a member of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.

For further information, contact Anne Bünting.

Top 10 worldwide innovations

Each year, Datamonitor’s Productscan Online examines the year’s new food, beverage, health & beauty, household and pet products to identify the top ten innovations from around the world.

This year, eight of the top ten were food or beverage related:

1. Swiss Miss Pick-Me-Up Hot Cocoa Mix. The popularity of energy drinks is having an impact on other product categories as caffeine has moved into new categories ranging from potato chips to instant oatmeal. This new version of Swiss Miss contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee plus as much calcium and vitamin D as a glass of milk to offer the best of all worlds. It’s new in the USA.

2. Organic Batter Blaster Pancake & Waffle Batter. This pancake batter is sprayable and is packaged in an aerosol can for easy use. The refrigerated product makes organic, light and fluffy pancakes as well as light and crisp waffles in just minutes. The aerosol can packaging greatly reduces cleanup and the product is fast, easy and fun for the entire family. The product is new in the USA.

3. JT Fragra Functional Water. Bottled water is about more than just refreshment in Japan. Fragra refreshes the breath and leaves a pleasant fragrance of citrus fruit in the mouth. Officially referred to as a “near water” by virtue of its 1% juice content, Fragra uses an active ingredient called linalool for breath freshening. Linalool is a natural substance occurring in lemons, oranges and other citrus fruit.

4. Popsicle SlowMelt Long Lasting Pops. One of the pleasures of summer is enjoying an icy frozen novelty – before it melts. The Popsicle SlowMelt has been designed apparently lasts longer than ordinary pops to reduce drips and sticky fingers. This pop is also “good for you” as it contains fruit juice, vitamin C and features natural colours and flavours. It’s new in the USA.

5. Tetleys Twistea Tea On The Go. Nowhere are tea drinkers more particular about how they have it than in the UK. Enabling even those on the go to drink tea to their taste, Twistea features a Tetley teabag locked into a plastic cup. The consumer simply adds boiling water and twists the lid of the cup to customise the taste of the product and achieve the desired strength. The teabag remains in the cup and does not need to be disposed of separately.

8. Pur Flavor Options Water Filtration System Flavour Cartridges. Bottled water can be boring, and there are concerns about the waste associated with it (Chicago, in the US, has a new tax on bottled water). Pur Flavor Options is a new way to get flavoured water, right from the tap. Flavor Options mounts on to a water faucet and adds flavour to a drink at a finger push. The more you push; the more flavour is added to your glass. Each cartridge provides up to 75 servings of fruit flavour without any sugar, calories or dyes. New in the USA.

Ice-cream factory goes green

The rising cost of ingredients, as a result of drought, convinced Sydney’s Serendipity ice cream to change to carbon-neutral energy, thus saving the company money, reducing its effects on the environment and removing it from the vicious circle of climate change.

Serendipity flicked the switch on 100% renewable energy for its Marrickville factory making it the first ice cream producer to be carbon neutral for electricity consumption (source: AGL Energy).

Sarah Mandelson, CEO and co-owner of Serendipity, says this move had been in the offing for some time.

“We felt we had to do something about reducing our emissions, and it was actually cheaper than our tariff for coal powered energy,” Mandelson said.

The move to accredited green energy was made more urgent by the effects of climate change — or drought — on the price of cream, which has risen by 20.5% in the last two quarters.

As a result of the significant cost increase in the company’s main ingredient, a price rise for the product is inevitable at some stage.

The small company is committed to finding other ways to reduce its impact on the environment, Mandelson asserted.

The use of renewable energy will save 1510 tonnes of CO2.

Egyptian snack co. buys Aussie equipment

Senyorita for Snacks has engaged tna, a provider of snack food production and packaging equipment, to furnish its new production facility in Egypt.

More than 20 fully integrated systems featuring tna’s robag 3 baggers have been purchased by Senyorita for Snacks.

Each system will include a tna multihead scale, SmartDate 5 coder and metal detector to complete the packaging lines for potato and tortilla chips.

Installation of the highly efficient vertical form, fill, and seal (VFFS) equipment began in August, 2007.

tna established a regional office in Dubai in late 2004 to service the Middle East market from a local base.

Process control: integration, safety and traceability

In the past and, indeed, at present, a typical food manufacturing plant would be controlled by five or six separate systems, including one for batching, motion, safety and processing.

While this may get the job done, it is not often the most cost and time efficient way for a plant to run.

For instance, integrating the production process so that all machines communicate with each other becomes difficult, particularly since machines supplied by various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the one plant will be programmed differently.

It becomes time consuming and expensive for these multi-vendor systems to communicate with each other to ensure a smooth production run.

The integration of different control systems is possible, but a lot of engineering is often required for information to be exchanged between machines, representing an additional expense.

Streamlining production

Integrated control refers to a single platform that facilitates communication between machinery, supervisory systems, manufacturing execution systems, and a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, using industry standard communication networks such as an industrial Ethernet.

Automation companies Siemens and Rockwell Automation supply control systems that not only streamline processing equipment but offer single, multidisciplinary control systems that can be integrated into a company’s ERP.

Integration capabilities such as those offered by Siemens and Rockwell Automation, which include increasing machine and product safety, traceability, production efficiency, flexibility, product changeover times, and reducing machine downtime, meet the demands of food manufacturers.

Siemens’ Component-Based Automation System, for example, counters the difficulties associated with machine-to-machine communication.

“Put simply, our system looks at a machine’s electrical and mechanical parts as a component and creates a shell, or a predefined format, for communication between one machine and another,” Siemens business development manager Daraius Battiwalla explained.

“Once the OEMs provide those components, the system integrator only has to worry about one thing – connecting the appropriate inputs and outputs of the components so the data can be exchanged seamlessly.”

This replaces the complicated task faced by engineers connecting conflicting control systems and software platforms.

Return on investment

Integrated control offers manufacturers a good return on investment.

Having one system results in a low cost of ownership as a result of reducing integration costs due to simplified engineering, being able to carry fewer spare parts in inventory, having one software environment to buy, maintain and upgrade, and having fewer training costs for maintenance personnel.

Integration can also decrease product changeover times and the time taken to get a product to market.

It can also assist with scheduling and order execution, making production more efficient and profitable.

Rockwell Automation identifies flexibility in manufacturing as a major demand and challenge for food companies that rely on quick product changeovers to introduce new products to market.

“In the past if a beverage manufacturer, for instance, wanted to roll out a new soft drink line using the same machinery, but was just changing the product’s label and ingredients formulation, the changeover could take months,” Rockwell Automation field business leader for Integrated Architecture, Geoff Irvine said.

“However some of the companies we have been working with can now do this in a matter of minutes.”

“With integrated control systems, it’s a simple case of reprogramming the central control unit to produce X instead of Y, and the machines will take it from there.”

Multidisciplinary control

Rockwell Automation supplies a plant automation solution, known as the Integrated Architecture, which is founded on the Logix multidisciplinary control platform and FactoryTalk plant information system.

This enables one controller to look after different aspects of production including processing, motion and safety, reducing the cost of introducing numerous systems and training staff, while promoting seamless, simplified, and efficient production.

Unlike conventional programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that are typically designed for sequential control, the Logix platform is fit for sequential, process, motion, drive and safety control.

The system can also control the motion of robots that, for instance, gather the finished product at the end of the line and place it onto pallets.

It can perform safety functions on the same platform, preventing working injuries.

Siemens’ agrees that multidisciplinary control systems simplify production and offer manufacturers cost savings.

“We offer an integrated system for doing normal control as well as safety control from the one PLC,” Battiwalla said.

Track and trace

Both Siemens and Rockwell Automation recognise food safety and security as major priorities for food manufacturers.

Having the means to track a product throughout the supply chain, or trace a finished product back to its raw materials suppliers is vital, particularly for food companies exporting to the US, Europe, Japan and New Zealand.

An integrated system that links the data collected by the real-time process control system to a company’s ERP system to produce a concise, consolidated report that displays a product’s genealogy is essential for brand protection.

Siemens supplies a manufacturing execution system (MES) that sits on top of the control system and facilitates data exchange between the control system (real time) and ERP system (transactional).

The MES layer also tracks and traces through the supply chain.

“Once the batch process is completed, all the product information, including its raw materials, ingredients, and the process parameters and alarms, is recorded against the batch ID and is stored in the MES and then transferred into the ERP,” Battiwalla explained.

“In the incidence of milk contamination, the MES allows the manufacturer to identify the batch that has been contaminated, into which cartons the milk has gone and where it is sitting on the shelf, and they can do silent recalls.”

Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk system incorporates various software applications that provide different plant information and MES needs.

One of these is FactoryTalk Historian, a plug-in module that performs a tracking and tracing function at the machine level.

FactoryTalk captures data at a faster speed than a computer and feeds the information into the company’s ERP to produce an electronic report showing details of what is being made, and how.

In the event of a product recall this reporting mechanism performs a vital role and it can also assist in ensuring product consistency during the processing stage.

Rockwell Automation’s Irvine said that in biscuit manufacturing, for instance, the flavour of the biscuits can be altered by outside conditions such as temperature, resulting in the product having to be reformulated.

As FactoryTalk keeps a record of all processing data, the manufacturer can use it as a point of reference if, and when, a similar problem occurs.

Process control systems that not only integrate different functionalities into the one control platform and enable one machine to communicate with another, but which feed information into an ERP for reporting, are becoming increasingly sophisticated and in demand by manufacturers wanting increased product safety, flexibility and production efficiency.

When asked whether a company should invest in a good control system or good machinery Irvine said while it is important to have both, a good control system that is fully integrated will enable manufactures to get the most out of their existing machinery and process in general.