Calcium fortification in ice cream

Aquamin F, a naturally derived seaweed mineral, was evaluated as a calcium fortification agent in a 10% fat ice cream application against a non-fortified control in an independent study carried out by Leatherhead Food International.

Overall, it was concluded that the differences between the control and test ice creams were small and that Aquamin F was suitable as a calcium fortification agent in ice cream.

Potential advantages of incorporation of Aquamin F in ice cream included:

• Calcium fortification

• Firmer texture than the control

• Good mouthfeel characteristics

• No visible ice crystal formation after heat¬shock in comparison with control

• Smooth appearance

• Acceptable flavour characteristics

• Slower melting characteristics

For further information, click here.

Tailor-made vitamin premixes

The market for functional foods is growing.

The fortification of food and drinks with micro-nutrients offer consumers important benefits: a healthy diet combined with convenience.

SternVitamin, a member of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, develops and produces vitamin and mineral premixes that are tailor-made to customer requirements.

Its premix plants for high-quality ingredients and food supplements in Germany has three fully automatic blending lines with the latest process control and visual display equipment, enabling it to handle throughputs from 100 to 6000kg/hour.

At the beginning of 2008, a modern pharmaceutical-type container blending plant is expected to be commissioned in a new, independent extension to the factory.

Custom-made solutions

As opposed to offering standard products, SternVitamin’s research department develops each vitamin and mineral mixture individually and tests it thoroughly for use in relevant foods.

When making up new premixes, attention is given to synergisms between nutrients and also to cost-effectiveness and optimum processing characteristics of the products.


In applications technology, interdisciplinary cooperation with the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe forms the basis of a high level of innovation.

Its modern Technology Centre, recently enlarged to an area of more than 2000 square-metres, houses a vitamin and micro-nutrient laboratory, a trial bakery, enzyme and milk laboratories, and technical trials departments for delicatessen specialties, meat and lipids.

Blow Thru Sieve improves quality

Russell Finex’s Blow Thru Sieve check-screens dry, free-flowing powders and granular materials without disrupting processing lines.

Inserted directly within vacuum or pressure pneumatic conveying lines, product is conveyed under pressure into the sieve through a tangential inlet ensuring high throughput rates are achieved with minimal pressure losses.

Three applications where the Blow Thru Sieve is most effective are:

1. Check-screening incoming ingredients during tanker unloading to ensure down stream processes are free from contamination.

2. Screening materials while they are pneumatically conveyed at any point throughout the production process.

3. Screening product before it is dispatched, ensuring customers received contamination-free products.

The Blow Thru Sieve eliminates the needs for auxillary equipment such as cyclone receivers, airlocks, receiving hoppers and blowers that are generally required when using standard atmospheric pressure sieving units.

Coopers does well from foreign beer

Coopers Brewery has announced a record $19.5 million profit for the 2006-07 financial year on the back of growing beer sales in Australia and overseas.

The result represents a 53.5% increase over the 2005-06 profit of $12.7 million, although that figure was impacted by costs associated with the defence of the attempted takeover bid by Lion Nathan in 2005.

Coopers Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said turnover in 2006-07 had reached a record $141 million, 8.2% above the $130 million in 2005-06.

Cooper said much of the company’s strong performance nationally could be attributed to the efforts of Coopers’ distribution company, Premium, which is responsible for distribution across Australia, apart from South Australia and the Northern Territory. Premium Beverages is majority owned by Coopers.

Premium Beverages also distributes Budweiser in Australia as a result of an agreement with Anheuser-Busch.

The Budweiser range was supplemented in October last year with the introduction of Michelob ULTRA, a world-recognised premium beer.

Handling bulk ingredients

When it comes to bulk storing ingredients, manufacturers must be able to integrate a system into their production areas seamlessly and efficiently. Celia Johnson speaks to Matcon Pacific business development director David Newell.

Q. What are the main trends in ingredients handling?

A. The method of preparing a batch, which normally involves the decanting of numer­ous 25kg bags and manually scooping minor ingredients, is usually very labour intensive.

Therefore, automating the formulation of the ingredients to prevent operator error and provide batch traceability is a significant trend.

There is also a trend away from decanti­ng raw materials from bags and towards receiving the pre-mixed ingredients in bulk from the supplier, which not only makes the plant more efficient but reduces the manu­facturing cost per kilogram.

Q. What are the main challenges associated with handling and storing ingredients?

A. Reducing dust contamination in the pro­duction area is a major concern and challenge when it comes to handling and storing ingre­dients.

The use of traditional bulk storage sys­tems, such as bulk bags, is the main cause of the problem.

The bags are often left sitting on the floor of a warehouse, become contaminated with dirt from the floor and are then taken into the production area for processing, placing the product at risk of contamination.

Suppliers of bulk storage systems are also challenged to provide manufacturers with systems that can easily be integrated into the production area while also providing inter-company transportation of pre-mixed products.

The bulk storage system needs to ensure the ingredients or premixed products are dis­charged efficiently in a contained way, without traditional flow problems such as segregation of a pre-mixed batch, bridging or rat-holing.

Q. How are these challenges being over­come?

A. Ingredients manufacturers may choose to incorporate a closed-system approach, com­bining a typical packaging system such as a CHEP or TNT container with a compatible hopper design that can be discharged or dosed into the production mixer.

Similarly, an Intermediate Bulk Container system (IBC) could be used for this purpose.

Once the container or IBC has been dis­charged it can be cleaned off-line or trans­ported back to be filled.

Q. What are the latest innovations and equip­ment that will benefit manufacturers?

A. Operator errors in ingredient preparation can be prevented and product recalls low­ered with an automated or semi-automated approach to ingredient formulation.

By using an IBC to discharge the product automatically, not only is the loading of the mixer simplified but the availability of the mixer for mixing more batches is increased, as compared with manual loading.

The IBC is loaded onto a discharge station above the mixer and will discharge the for­mulated batch in a controlled and hygienic manner.

The discharge station incorporates a pneu­matic actuator and an internal vibration to provide guaranteed discharge of even the most difficult flowing products.

The Matcon Flexi-Batch recipe formula­tion system is a way of formulating the batch to a known recipe by using a moving batch container located under the ingredients.

The ingredients can easily be changed or increased according to the production demands.

The Variable-Lift Matcon Discharge Hop­per provides a high accuracy dosing of the ingredient, typically down to 50g in a 100kg batch, while being a single machine cuts down on cleaning time.

Matcon’s IBCs are manufactured from FDA-approved polyethylene material and incorporate cone valve technology.

RVO supplies Matcon equipment in Aus­tralia.

Coles announces salt policy

Coles will be discussing its salt reduction policy in public for the first time at the Australian Divsion of World Action on Salt and Health’s (AWASH) salt reduction and children event on 31st January 2008.

The Chair of the UK Food Standards Agency, Dame Deirdre Hutton, will be talking about the UK government salt reduction strategy.

ABC health correspondent, Norman Swan, will be chairing a debate.

Representatives from the manufacturing and catering sectors of the food industry will also be invited to participate.

More details on the event will be given closer to the date.

On the shelf: organic salad

Ingredients: Organic Salad Mix: seasonal baby leaf salads; red and green oak, red and green coral, mignonette, red chard and mizuna

Shelf life: 10 days

Brand/product manager: Steve Skopilianos


Packaging supplier: Biopak

Graphics package designer: Dzign Diezel Group

Manufacturer cuts emissions

Food manufacturers are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, including the rising cost of ingredients.

As such, it is becoming more vital that the food industry does its part to cut carbon emissions.

Australian-owned Spiral Foods recently demonstrated its commitment to the environment and support for food producers, announcing it has become 100% climate neutral.

Working with neutralising company Climate Friendly, Spiral Foods’ carbon emissions were calculated, including electricity, air travel, car and truck use, car rentals and taxis, paper and freight.

An equivalent value of gold standard carbon credits have been invested in renewable energy generation.

“We have worked with Climate Friendly to invest in globally-recognised gold standard carbon credits, supporting projects that work toward displacing polluting energy sources like coal usage,” Spiral Foods director James Wilson said.

“We feel this is the most effective way we can take action to stop global warming and protect our food future.”

Now in the next stage of their climate change policy, Spiral Foods is also committed to investigating and implementing ongoing energy efficiency measures for its Sydney and Melbourne offices and warehouse operations, and believe this is one of the most important parts of reducing the company’s overall environmental impact.


Spiral Foods:

Climate Friendly:

HACCP certification and testing equipment

HACCP director Martin Stone gives reasons as to why food manufacturers should become HACCP certified, including barriers to implementing a program and auditing no-nos, and identifies developments in food safety equipment.

Top 5 reasons to be HACCP certified

1. External verification

Certification is a clear declaration that a food manufacturer maintains stringent food safety standards.

2. Verification can open up markets for distribution

Many companies will not buy from a manufacturer unless they are HACCP certified.

3. Achievement and recognition for the business

4. Increased export potential

5. Reduced risk of costly food recalls and foodborne illness

Top 5 barriers to implementing a HACCP program

1. Time

2. Technical ability

3. No buy-in (mandate) from senior management to put it in place

4. Getting support

5. A poorly written, non-practical system

If a system is not practical, common sense and easy to use it will not work. Companies should get HACCP systems professionally developed.

Top 5 HACCP auditing no-nos

1. Being unprepared

Documentation should be ready for the auditor.

2. Having a dirty facility

Sites should be clean and have no obvious pest problems.

3. False or missing records

4. Misleading documentation that does not reflect actual practices

5. HACCP systems that are not maintained

Top 5 developments in food safety technology

1. Improved instrumentation

2. Data loggers to record temperatures

3. Automation of factory equipment

4. Rapid microbiological testing methods

5. Allergen detection systems

Foodborne illness

HACCP director Martin Stone identifies the Top 5s of foodborne illness.

Top 5 foodborne bacteria

1. Salmonella species

2. Listeria monocytogenes

3. Campylobacter jejuni

4. Escherichia coli

5. Norovirus

Top 5 causes of foodborne illness

1. Incomplete cooking (kill-step)

2. Poor refrigeration

Failure to store food at the correct temperature throughout the supply chain.

3. Food cooling rate

Some food is left warm for too long.

4. Cross contamination

5. Poor hygiene

Workers who have a foodborne illness or touch their face and hair can contaminate product.

Top 5 measures for preventing foodborne illness

1. Appropriate controls

Companies should implement a HACCP program and follow it.

2. Put appropriate controls in place for key processes including cooking and cooling

HACCP will ensure this but if a company does not have a HACCP program, these measures still need to be implemented.

3. Personal hygiene

Ensure workers maintain high standards

4. Suppliers’ practises

Suppliers should comply with food-safe standards. Once the manufacture has an effective and safe system in place, the biggest risk to the business is from suppliers.

Avoid buying from those without food safety credentials.

5. Cleaning and sanitising processing areas and equipment.

This is of the utmost importance.

Food safety issues

HACCP director Martin Stone identifies the five top food safety issues facing Australia’s food manufacturers.

1. Foodborne illness

Incidences are increasing in Australia at exponential rates due to better reporting systems, greater awareness and reporting of incidences, and changing dietary habits including the move towards more complex, processed foods and eating out.

Food is also travelling further for longer periods of time.

Increased handling of food in a longer distribution chain means more opportunity for food safety to be challenged.

2. Importing food

This can be a risky business, especially if food is being imported from countries that do not have food safety controls.

While food production and imports from China and India, for example, may keep costs down, the controls in these countries differ from those in Australia.

There needs to be appropriate food safety controls during the manufacturing stage.

3. Uniformity in laws and requirements

Not all food processors have a food safety program in place.

There is no uniform government mandate saying something needs to be in place.

While there is the Food Standards Code, there is a lack of understanding of the Code’s requirements.

4. Pest control

There are potential food safety risks when dealing with chemicals on-site.

Both the chemicals themselves and their ability to lose potency can contribute to the risk of contamination.

5. Poor auditing

There is a large variation in the skill and ability of non-HACCP auditors in determining real food safety issues.

Some auditors are too focused on minor issues within documentation and as a result they lose site of what is actually important: making food safe.

This situation results in companies looking good on paper but being less good in terms of their manufacturing facilities and practices.

Tackling the skills shortage is an innovative online employment company aiming to assist the skills/labour shortage within the food industry, among others.

The new online service aims to revolutionise the way company’s source temporary or casual labour, by effectively matching people seeking extra work to employers looking for people to instantly fill one-off, under-staffed shifts.

How does it work?

  • A job seeker creates a profile on the PloyMe site, outlining their skills, experience, availability and the geographical location in which they would like to work
  • An employer/job advertiser will load an advertisement onto the site when they need to fill a shift
  • The patent pending system matches a short list of candidates that the job advertiser can communicate to via SMS
  • The matched job seekers receives a job offer for a designated shift via SMS to their mobile phone
  • The first job seeker to reply ‘yes’ via SMS gets the job
  • Full contact details of the job seeker are sent via SMS to the job advertiser’s mobile phone and they will also receive the full contact details of the job advertiser
  • The two parties are able to engage each other directly and the job advertiser/employer pays the job seeker/employee directly

Placing an advertisement costs $25 plus $0.30 per SMS.

The service is free for job seekers.

Special offer

PloyMe is offering 50 FOOD Magazine readers a voucher valued at $50 to use on the PloyMe website.

To claim your voucher for two free ads email Ployme with your full contact details and state this offer.

A voucher (with a promotional code) will then be sent to you.

Australian reds praised

The head judge of the recent Wrest Point Royal Hobart International Wine Show made the following comments about the quality of Australian wine and its place in the international market.

“The [Australian] wine industry has realised that it needs to develop a wider offering to maintain its leading position in international markets. For instance, we need to be able to offer more than the big, ripe reds of ten years ago.”

“This year’s Wine Show saw some elegant, well balanced and fruit driven reds. These wines will help to spear head a new chapter for Australia in international wine markets,” said Dr Tony Jordan, chief executive officer of the Domaine Chandon, Cape Mentelle, and Cloudy Bay wineries.

The awards comprised 2791 wines from 57 Tasmanian wineries, 19 wineries in New Zealand, and 206 interstate wineries.

Jordan noted that cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz, viognier, and chardonnay classes were noticeably stronger this year, showing the attention wine makers are paying to these varietals.

In particular he noted that Tasmania featured strongly in pinot noirs, rieslings and sparkling wines.

Tasmanian wines received a total of 137 medals.

Click here for more information on the Wine Show.

Success for confectioner

The Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia (CMA) announced that John Borell, managing director of Melbourne-based confectioner GKC Foods, is the 2007 recipient of the Alfred Stauder Award for Excellence, a prestigious award that recognises an individual’s contribution to the industry by way of research, product development and innovation, or marketing.

The award was announced at the CMA’s annual business forum ConBiz, held at Kingscliff, NSW, during October.

Other nominees included:

  • Edward Best (formerly of Cadbury Schweppes)
  • Frank Miller (formerly of Cadbury Schweppes)
  • Professor David Buisson (Assistant Dean, Queensland University of Technology)
  • Consultant John Lee (Confectionery Consulting, Apercu)
  • John Skingle (National Sales Manager, Allsep’s Confectionery)
  • Norm Lewin (Founder, Lewin’s Confectionery)
  • Jacques Vasseur (Director, The Sugarless Company).

On winning, Borell said: “It is very humbling to be thought of so highly by my peers within this industry.”

“The thing I have really enjoyed about being a part of the CMA and the confectionery industry is the collegiality that exists amongst us all. We are naturally competitive, but we are also supportive of each other.”

Positive outlook for pork

The Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) 2006/07 Annual Report suggests that significant returns on industry and government investments will create a more competitive pork industry in coming years.

The Pork CRC commissioned 42 projects in the reporting period and published and commercialised a comprehensive evaluation of Australian canola seed meal.

CEO of Pork CRC, Dr Roger Campbell, said this resulted in annual feed cost savings of $2.08 million for one of the industry’s biggest end users.

A project to develop closed loop supply chain arrangements between grain growers and pork producers resulted in further savings, he said.

New boning line

A $4 million pork boning line has been installed at PPC Linley Valley Fresh Wooroloo plant.

The new line incorporates best practice techniques and the latest pig processing technologies.

The WA Minister for Agriculture and Food, Kim Chance said in a globally competitive marketplace for food and agricultural produce, this type of forward thinking and attention to meeting the demands of customers will be critical if WA companies are to maintain their export successes against strong international competition.

Chemical-free pest control

Celia Johnson

When it comes to vectors in food production areas, regulatory codes such as the Food Standards Code and state government food acts are clear and simple: a food premises must be pest free.

“If you’re going to operate within the law you need to be very serious about pests, especially in those locations with a propensity to rats, mice or cockroaches,” said HACCP director Martin Stone.

While pests like cockroaches are well known vectors of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, that can potentially harm consumers if not controlled at the food processing level, treating pest problems with conventional chemical methods can also cause contamination in the food chain.

“From a food safety point of view, some of the chemicals used in pest control are quite toxic so you do not want to be in a situation where you are treating pests but leaving residual chemicals in your food,” Stone said.

Non-toxic pest control

Non-toxic pest control methods are widely implemented in Europe and more Australian manufacturers are realising the benefits of managing pests without the use of chemicals.

“Cross-contamination is a real fear and a risk manufacturers are not willing to take,” Adams Pest Control general manager Peter Taylor said.

“Although a person would need to consume a very substantial amount of the chemical to react to it, making the situation virtually impossible, using non-toxic methods reduces the possibility of cross contamination to zero — which is the better option.”

Goodman Fielder’s Country Life Bakery, a client of Adams Pest Control for over 10 years, said that when it comes to pest control solutions, non-toxic methods are essential to maintain the quality and safety of its products.

“Being a food company, we don’t want to have anything on site that could potentially contaminate products,” Country Life Bakery QA manager Jennifer Hall said.

“While some food companies do use toxic baits inside, we have moved to non-toxic solutions in order to reduce the risk as much as possible.”

Holding four international certifications, including ISO 2000 food safety standard (HACCP certification), Adams Pest Control offers clients consultation, implementation and review services to maintain high levels of on-site hygiene.

The company works with clients to establish what it is they want to achieve and then considers the constraints prohibiting them meeting their goals.

“We design pest-control strategies with the company depending on what standards they are trying to meet, whether it is the British Retail Consortium (BRC) standards or the American Institute of Baking (AIB) standards,” Taylor specified.

“We then construct a plan, including servicing frequencies, and implement it,” said Taylor.

Adams Pest Control can develop both chemical and organic solutions depending on the particular needs of a company.

“Organic producers were the first to implement non-toxic methods, but we are also able to meet this market in Australia having developed organic methods for our European clients that need to meet more stringent standards,” Taylor explained.

Mouse-traps and mobiles

Instead of using rodenticides, Adams Pest Control uses rodent-bait stations that transmit activity over the mobile network.

The mechanical trap is essentially a mouse trap but it is electronically controlled and incorporates three levels of sensors.

If the device remains open it means there are no pests, if it does not close all the way it means there is something in the trap and if it closes completely the trap has not caught anything, indicating a malfunction.

“When [the trap] catches a rodent, it kills it and transmits a message back to a mobile phone, which is important because if you have a dead rodent you need to be aware of it,” Taylor said.

“The rodent’s body can decompose on-site escalating the cross-contamination issue.”

Adams Pest Control has also introduced a new product in Australia called Cryonite, a carbon-dioxide freezing apparatus that kills small insects, cockroaches and silverfish on contact.

“It’s a contact spray but has no residual quality and leaves no stain behind,” Taylor explained.

“It is also non-toxic and uses recycled carbon dioxide so it’s not adding more into the atmosphere.”

Country Life Bakery replaced all its inside toxic bait stations with mechanical traps approximately four months ago and now only uses the baits on the outside of the building.

“We will also begin using Cryonite shortly which will be really efficient inside the bakery where there is food and food contact areas,” Hall said.

Web-based monitoring

As well as providing pest solutions, Adams Pest Control continually monitors a company’s sites and compiles web-based reports that can be accessed by both the company and its clients.

In this way, web-based reporting acts as an important pest-monitoring system, and is an important communication device between food companies and their clients, ensuring pest problems and solutions remain transparent and traceable.

“We look after a manufacturer of a food additive in Australia that supplies a multinational US-based company and because they use Adams’ Pestweb, our internet reporting service, their client no longer has to come over to Australia at the same frequency to do an audit on that site because they can access the web-based report from the US,” Taylor said.

According to Country Life Bakery, Pestweb is effective in keeping the company up-to-date with pest problems and identifying pest trends on-site, enabling them to implement appropriate solutions and preventive measures in consultation with Adams Pest Control.

Despite the obvious merits of non-toxic pest control solutions, HACCP regards exclusion and the use of baits on the perimeter of sites as the best method.

“The food industry needs to focus on keeping pests off the premises in the first place and use bait traps on the perimeter to prevent them coming back in,” Stone said.

Whatever method is employed, it is imperative that foodstuffs are kept clean and safe at every stage of the supply chain.

Tamarind ingredient available

Ingredient Resources supplies Treattarome Tamarind 9860, a fruit-based ingredient with a spicy, nutty, chocolatey sweet taste.

The distillate is all-natural and wholly distilled from tamarind (Tamarindus indica) seeds from the tamarind fruit, a brown, pod-like fruit that contains soft acidic pulp and hard seeds.

Ingredients Resources say Tamarind 9860 has uses in the flavour profiles of Indian, Asian and Latin American prepared foods and ready meals.

Compact basic label printer

Metromatics supplies Wolke’s m600 thermal inkjet system, which consists of two products: the m600 Basic and the m600 Advanced.

The m600 Basic has printing speeds of up to 300m/min and a resolution of 600dpi, and comes with Label Designer software.

According to the company, the m600 Basic model is compact and handy, with its keypad being oriented towards that of a mobile phone.

NZ food exporters praised

Taranaki-based Yarrows (The Bakers) and IBEX Group of Companies were successful in the recent New Zealand Export Awards in Auckland.

Yarrows, a family owned business that exports six to eight containers of products to clients across the globe daily, including the subway sandwich chain, won the 2007 Food and Beverage Exporter of the Year Award and IBEX took out the DHL Supreme Exporter of the Year.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chief executive Tim Gibson congratulated the seven 2007 Export Award winners.

“These companies represent a vibrant mix of successful export businesses; companies that have identified a gap in the marketplace and cultivated their point of difference to produce and distribute quality goods effectively in international markets, using a variety of business models.

“We need to see more New Zealand businesses following their lead and operating internationally in order to increase our global business footprint,” he said.




Latest flow control solution

The latest in paddle-wheel flow meters for continuous flow measurement and control has been released by Bürkert Fluid Control Systems.

The product has been developed with standardised components and a modular design principle which enhances the flexibility of the range, delivering more options and cost-effective customised solutions to consumers.

The Type 8012 ‘star’ flow meter is suitable for a wide array of applications in water and waste treatment, cooling systems, general manufacturing and OEM applications.

With threaded, butt weld-ends and clamp ports, the 8012 integrates economically into pipe systems without any additional piping.

The compact ‘star’ flow meter operates under both magnetic and optical measurement principles, with the presence of optical sensors capable of detecting smart flow direction and programmable limit values.

It delivers a measurement range 0.5 to 1200L/minute with in-line pressure of 10 bar or 16 bar with alternative fitting material options.

Fluidic fittings are available in stainless steel, brass, PVC, PP or PVDF.