Food ingredients super group

Food ingredients companies Orafti, Palatinit and Remy have formed the newly created Functional Food Group BENEO, and are known individually as BENEO-Orafti, BENEO-Remy and BENEO-Palatinit.

‘Connecting nutrition and health’ is the group’s united mission and with the combination of three major players into one group it will ensure BENEO becomes one of the industry’s preferred innovative partners.

The decision to unite the strengths of Orafti, Palatinit and Remy has come in response to the rapid changes that have been experienced across the worldwide foods market.

Palatinit develops manufactures and markets ISOMALT, the No 1 sugar replacer in hard candies worldwide and the only one made from real sugar.

It recently introduced Palatinose, the only low glycaemic carbohydrate that provides prolonged energy in the form of glucose to the body.

Orafti is the world leader in the production of chicory ingredients.

Its products include active food ingredients such as inulin and oligofructose.

Remy is a world market leader in the production of rice derivatives like starches, flours, proteins and recently also stabilised rice bran.

The company’s product portfolio also includes Nutriz, a rice concentrate that is used in non-dairy drinks and desserts.

With a business vision for the next ten years already in place, the combination of Orafti, Palatinit and Remy under the group name BENEO, is a major step in providing partners and end users alike with new food ingredients.

Walls Machinery: Anritsu’s KD74 series

Walls Machinery has released Anritsu’s KD74 series, an X-ray inspection system that delivers superior contaminant detection, stability and ease of operation for use in the meat, frozen food, ready meals and confectionery industries.

Utilising advanced sensor and novel image processing technologies, the X-ray inspection system can detect ferrous and non-ferrous materials as small as 0.3mm in diameter, and non-metallic contaminants including bone, shell, glass and plastic.

According to the company, the machine has a function for detecting missing and broken product in food packaging, and a masking function to mask items such as metal clips that should not be detected.

Walls machinery

Foreign exchange for SMEs

The SME market now has a new no-frills, low-cost foreign exchange website which is a stand-alone site providing real-time currency quotes, enabling immediate execution and low-cost transactions.

XYLO, backed by Westpac, has been developed specifically to enable SMEs to gain access to competitive wholesale foreign exchange rates with low international payment fees.

“XYLO has been developed in response to a growing demand in the SME segment for efficient and low-cost foreign currency transactions,” XYLO Business Sponsor Mike D’Silva said.

XYLO is a specialist site that provides customers with direct access to the wholesale foreign exchange markets.

The additional support of Westpac’s existing payment processing channels enables XYLO to offer rates that are among the lowest in the market.

Insect control

Vapormate, an environmentally friendly insect control product, ideal for controlling pests in stored grain, fresh produce and food processing equipment, has been developed by BOC.

Vapormate replaces various applications of methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting gas.

The product is currently only manufactured in Australia by BOC, a member of the Linde Group, which intends to commercialise the product globally.

According to the company, the production of Vapormate represents a viable, economical and safe replacement for many quarantine chemicals.

The product is non-flammable, unlike methyl bromide, and is a ‘softer’ chemical.

Therefore, vapormate overcomes numerous OH&S issues, and dramatically reduces exposure risks for workers.

Vapormate also has no known insect resistance.

BOC has been granted a number of Australian and international patents as a result of the development of its full range of pest control products.

For further information, contact BOC.

Automated temperature control systems

New Zealand-based food technology company IBEX has won the New Zealand Deloitte/Unlimited Fast 50; Fastest Growing Manufacturer Award, Fastest Growing Exporter Award and 3rd Fastest Growing Company in the country.

Central to IBEX’s success is the development of its automated temperature control system (TCS), a revolutionary patented technology developed in New Zealand that enables producers to freeze or chill product cost effectively, while it is automatically tracked and sorted to any predetermined output.

The TCS integrates several tasks that happen concurrently.

Sorting and tracking product during the chilling or freezing process saves time and space, reduces product damage and provides full product tracking.

The system is also said to allow better inventory management systems, reduced cold storage areas and improved product quality.

IBEX offer these systems at no capital cost, based on a fixed price per kilo process.

In countries such as Brazil, now an agricultural super power, IBEX has secured almost 50% market share in four years and is now dealing with all the major beef and poultry producers.

For further information, contact IBEX.

Multitest-i test frames and software

SI Instruments provides Mecmesin Multitest-i test frames and software measure loads from 2N to 25000N using intelligent load cells capable of collecting data at 2000 readings/second.

The machines are suitable for compression testing, deformation testing, extension testing, materials testing, packaging testing and top-load testing, among other things.

According to the company, the software is easy to use and ideal for routine analysis or sophisticated test routines.

SI Instruments

Adjustable incline conveyors

ADM Packaging Technology has released a stainless steel modular incline conveyor that can be used with vertical form fill and seal flexible packaging machines and other applications to transfer products from a low-lying position to new working heights.

The horizontal section of the conveyor is available in different lengths and the incline section is designed to offer an angle adjustment of 15° to 45°, enabling the belt to match existing equipment including metal detectors, check weighers, pack-off tables and automatic packing stations.

According to the company, the conveyor’s brake release castor wheels allow the unit to be easily transported to different areas of the plant by a single operator, saving valuable production time.

ADM Packaging Technology

+61 3 9484 8791

Automating temperature data logging

Whether it is being implemented to improve quality control, reduce staffing levels or comply with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach to food safety, more and more companies are automating temperature logging.

HACCP takes a systematic preventive approach to food safety that aims to prevent physical, chemical and biological hazards before they occur instead of traditional ‘produce and test’ quality assurance.

Potential food safety hazards are identified at every stage of food production so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCP’s), can reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realised.

All Australian states have adapted HACCP as part of their food safety guidelines and this trend is at least partly responsible for the movement towards automation, says Global Cold Chain Solutions managing director Andrew Meyer.

“A temperature logger is a temperature probe that remembers to take a reading and record it whenever you tell it to.

“They’re very good for replacing all the tedious manual paperwork that HACCP entails.

“For food processors the first CCP is usually the loading dock where materials come in, the next is storage, such as a fridge or freezer,” Meyer said.

If the product is being cooked, the core temperature of the cooking apparatus needs to be maintained at a certain temperature to kill any bacteria.

“The temperature ranges between 60°C and 85°C, depending on which State the facility is in, but it’s also dependent on the type of food being processed,” Meyer said.

“Chicken and seafood manufacturers, for example, will go above 85°C.

“The next stage is the cooling, which needs to be done reasonably quickly to stop the bacteria growing, and then there are the storage and transport stages,” Meyer continued.

At all these points the temperature needs to be monitored and at its most basic it can be done manually with a probe and a chart.

But companies are increasingly putting data loggers in at the control points.

The most basic data loggers need to taken back to a computer and downloaded, but they can be set to alarm if the temperature goes above or below a certain level.


While many companies continue to use these basic data loggers, there is a trend towards wirelessly networking data loggers into existing systems.

Arrow Scientific managing director Louis Petrin explained.

“Companies are trying to reduce staffing levels and human error so they’re looking to automate as much as possible, particularly [by installing] loggers that transmit temperature information to the desktop.”

These systems allow a process manager or operator to see the status of any control point from their desk and the data is also archived onto hard disk or tape to refer back to in the event of a problem.

Wireless capability is also a major trend,” Petrin said.

“Wiring itself is difficult to do in a plant environment so anything that can be done to make it wireless is looked upon favourably.”

A lot of these systems also have features such as remote access via a web browser, and the plant manager will get an alarm via SMS and/or email if the temperature falls or rises beyond a certain range.

Systems that are networked into the control systems in a feedback loop to maintain optimum temperature offer another level of sophistication.

Bürkert Fluid Control Systems managing director Chris Hoey believes that many companies are going further than the level required by HACCP because they are looking at product quality, repeatability and risk management.

“Integrated systems which allow one person to control the batch process, filling process and traceability through a common interface are becoming more readily available and much more affordable,” Hoey said.

“So mid-sized companies, and even smaller ones, are looking to automate as the best way to achieve the required quality.”

Mainland’s new cheeses

Ingredients: pasteurised milk, cream, salt, cultures, enzyme (rennet)

Brand owner: Fonterra Brands (Australia)

Brand manager: Tina Randello

Packaging supplier: Admark (Blue Cheddar), Film Chem (Creamy Blue)

Graphics packaging designer: Dow Design, New Zealand

Buying a temperature logging system?

  • Is the temperature logger going to be in contact with food? If it is it will need to be of an appropriate grade material.

  • How many points need to be monitored and how far away are the points from the operator console, PC, etc.

  • Do some bottom-up planning. Where is the system now? Where does it need to be in five years time? Is the system modular so that it can grow with the company?

  • Is the software simple to use, and does the company have a range of different loggers with a common interface?

High-speed data acquisition system

Davidson Measurement has released LDS Test and Measurement’s Dimension 4i, a data acquisition system combining high speed, gap-free data recording with real time FFT analysis.

The 16 channel Dimension 4i is capable of streaming all channels to its removable hard drive at 200kS/s per channel and can simultaneously process frequency domain measurements at more than 80kHz real time bandwidth.

According to the company, the Dimension 4i’s 15”, high resolution touch screen display allows the user to navigate through test setup, display customisation, measurement, analysis, data export, and on-board report generation in a simple, logical sequence.

Davidson Measurement

+61 3 8586 7908

Cupcakes go pink

Ingredient: sugar, wheat flour, beverage whitener (glucose syrup solids, coconut oil, sodium caseinate, emulsifiers, anti-caking agent, soy lecithin), vegetable fats and oils (emulsifiers), antioxidant, raising agents, thickener, wheat starch, non-fat milk solids, natural flavours (contains milk), salt, colours (annatto, beet juice), vegetable gum (xanthan)

Shelf life: 12 months

Brand owner: Green’s

Brand manager: Kylie Sullivan

Graphics package designer: The Grain

Looking for a conveyor belt?

Q. What types of conveyor belts do Intralox supply?

A. Intralox supplies all types of modular belting to the food industry, including flat belts, radius belts, spirals, inclines and declines.

In addition we have a large range of surface finishes, flights, side guards and co-injection moulded rubber surfaces to ensure the belt is optimised for your application.

From hygienic, easy to clean products designed for raw product handling to those for case and package handling, such as the Series 400 Angled Roller, Intralox has belts to meet the differing needs of food processors and packers.

Q. How do the belts benefit food processors handling raw product?

A. Intralox’s EZ Clean Family of products, including SeamFree — the widest seamless plastic module range available on the market — cater to the ever-increasing hygiene and sanitation requirements in food industries.

All belts in the EZ Clean family are moulded from non-porous, non-absorbent plastics, which contain no pockets or recessed areas in the underside that can harbour debris.

Combined with the EZ Clean in Place system and Angled Sprockets, the belts can be cleaned using significantly less water compared with manual cleaning.

Q. How do the conveyors address challenges faced by food processors?

A. With sanitation and hygiene being extremely important in the food industry, Intralox strives to provide the most innovative solutions to meet these needs and, in many cases, regulatory standards.

Intralox also recognises there are other concerns in the food industry that must be met and has developed belts to reduce product adhesion, marking and contamination.

In addition to these challenges, Intralox aims to provide its customers with a product that will have a long life and provide little or no downtime.

Intralox’s customer service team is divided into industry specialists who are trained to serve a particular industry and are available 24/7 for customer’s needing assistance.

Q. What advice can you offer food processors in the market for conveyor belts?

A. Food processors should choose a belt that has a long life, will provide the least amount of downtime and is backed by a knowledgeable customer service team to assist with all their needs.

Based on 30 years experience and feedback from customers, Intralox has learned that without comprehensive service, most modular plastic belt users would lose more profit in downtime, maintenance and replacement costs, and production delays than they currently pay for belting purchases.

Intralox is more than a belt supplier, it provides the best possible advice and guidance to assist customers in their conveyance application.

When purchasing a conveyor, the total cost of ownership is important to consider.

It is easy to look and settle for the cheapest belt, but the most important thing is to find one that will cost the least over time.

Coloured waste bins

Actisafe has developed colour-specific waste handling bins that can be colour customised to identify specific contents while meeting corporate colour objectives

The quadrants on the base of the bins enable safer handling, eliminate risk of operator injury, and ease forklift mounting, facilitated by robust fork guides and a self-locking return mechanism, ensuring general safety and efficiency during production.

According to the company, the ActiWaste bins can be tailored to specific requirements such as the inclusion of heavy-duty castors for maximum manoeuvrability, oil drain taps, specialised fork guides, lifting eye bolts and fork locking systems.


1300 852 397

Packaging reflects product shape

Ingredients: wholegrain cereals (oats, wheat), salt

Shelf life: 9 months

Brand owner: Uncle Tobys

Brand manager: Jane Truong

Packaging supplier: Amcor Cartons

Graphics package design: Cowan Design

Mouthful of chicken

Ingredients: chicken, flour (wheat, rice), milk solids, salt, gluten (wheat), vegetable oil, water, starch (wheat), vegetable powders (onion and garlic), mineral salts, soy protein concentrate, flavour (milk), thickeners, ground and extracted spice, yeast, flavour enhancer, raising agent, emulsifiers, antioxidants, vitamin (thiamin)

Brand owner: Inghams Enterprises

Brand manager: Kayvin Li

Packaging supplier: Carter Holt Harvey

Graphics package designer: Morton Branding Consultants

Vacuum packaging machinery

As food manufacturers’ turn to packaging formats that increase product shelf life, reduce storage space and are cost effective, the vacuum pack is in greater demand across various industries, including the food and beverage sector.

Vacuum packing allows products to be kept fresher for longer and opens up packaging design opportunities including high-quality printed graphics and innovative pack shapes.

According to machine suppliers Perfect Packaging, vacuum packing is ideal for retail packaging and is also a useful way to provide food service items.

“More cost effective than large cans, the pouches can be supplied with resealable zippers for convenience, are easier and safer to handle than cans and flexible packs reduce the enormous storage and disposal space that is required for cans,” Perfect Packaging business development manager Gary Anderson said.

Finding the right machine

When it comes to choosing between the multitude of vacuum packing machines available to food manufacturers, machinery supplier Perfect Packaging suggests three things: plan for tomorrow, not for today; keep flexibility as the key factor in any machine purchase; and avoid expensive agreements that force you to purchase the vacuum bags from the machine supplier.

As the food industry becomes a place of increasing competition and consolidation, packaging design, portion sizes and product composition are factors that must be considered when procuring new equipment.

Ranging from simple, manually operated hood machines to sophisticated, high-speed machines, vacuum packing machines are suited to small or large scale operations and now have the technological capabilities to meet a host of applications — be that packing peanuts, prepared meals or olives in brine.

High-speed automatic machinery

Perfect Packaging’s range of continuous motion rotary vacuum carousels from LeePack in Korea is suitable for numerous pack sizes and shapes, as well as a range of processed food products including vegetables in oil, meat, pasta and prepared meals.

The carousels work in a rotary motion, picking up pre-made pouches that are stored in a magazine or in-feed conveyor, transferring them by grippers to the filling stations and then moving them into one of the rotary vacuum chambers where a vacuum is created and the pouch sealed.

“As the LeePack carousels work with pre-made packs, manufacturers can be flexible in their pack design,” Anderson said.

“We have a lot of clients in the can filling industry that are limited to putting all their products into the same round can.

“With a flexible pouch machine, stand-up pouches, flat four-sided pouches, traditional vacuum bags and shaped pouches can all be handled on the same machine, allowing for flexibility and fast change-over times,” he continued.

Using pre-made packs, as opposed to forming the pouch in line, reduces the time required for changing from one pouch size to another or from one pouch design to another.

“All you do is take the old stock off the in-feed magazine, introduce a new design or different sized pouch and it’s ready to go again,” Anderson said.

The LeePack carousels offer a variety of different filling methods, enabling food items traditionally stored in cans, such as fruit pieces in syrup or soups, to be vacuum packed in a flexible pouch.

With the rapid growth in prepared meals, the requirement for double shot dosing, adding two different items at the point of packaging, has increased.

The LeePack machines have up to three filling stations, allowing for combinations of solids, liquids and powders to be filled into each individual pack.

“We recently installed a machine at a company that produces semi-dried vegetables in oil,” Anderson said.

“There seems to be more and more interest in the prepared meal sector and technological advances in vacuum packing machinery, like the high speed range, is at once meeting this need and driving the trend.”

Vertical pouch packaging

Cryovac, a specialist in perishable food packaging technologies, uses a process called vertical pouch packaging (VPP) to pack products such as fruits and vegetables in brine into hygienic and highly resistant flexible pouches, extending product shelf life.

According to Cryovac, the extreme external pressure created in a vacuum packing machine can cause bubbles to form in the pack and can cause the liquid to be sucked out or evaporated.

As such, VPP does not create a vacuum but an airless pack.

The process involves vertically loading hot or cold products such as a metre-long tube of fruit and syrup into Cryovac’s VPP Onpack 2070 packaging system.

This is instead of loading horizontally, as is necessary with a rotary chamber vacuum machine.

Rollers then squeeze the excess product out of the seal area and seal the pack immediately to create a hermetic seal.

Manually operated machinery

Depending on the size and production specifications of a company, manually operated vacuum packing machinery may be a better option than high-speed automatic machinery.

Vacutec, an Australian supplier of complete vacuum packing systems, offers a range of Euro-Pak equipment, including small bench-top units for delis and large double chambered machines for high quantity outlet applications.

Fitted with Busch vacuum pumps and equipped with specifically designed computer programs that offer nine different settings for nine different products, the Euro-Pak range is ideal for small- to medium-sized food companies and is suitable for different pouch sizes.

The nine-setting program function allows for simple and precise operation by multiple users and ensures that different products are vacuum packed appropriately.

“Tailoring the settings ensures the vacuum pack performs at an optimum level, achieving maximum shelf life and preventing surface spoilage during transport or storage,” Vacutec managing director Peter Steinmann said.

The ability to individually program packing requirements for various items means a number of people can use the same machine with ease, saving time and making production more efficient.

Reliable pumps

Vacutec highlights the importance of considering the quality of the vacuum pump when determining the best vacuum packing machine for a particular operation.

Described by the company as the heart of the machine, they recommend a high-quality pump, such as those used in the Euro-Pak range, be chosen over cheaper alternatives.

A reliable pump will last the lifetime of the machine and reduce maintenance costs.

“Despite being highly sophisticated, Busch pumps operate on a simple principle,” Steinmann said.

“As there are less moving parts inside these pumps compared with others, there is less chance of them breaking down.

“If the pump dies, you might as well throw away the entire machine, particularly if it is a bench-top model,” he said.

With cheaper pumps it is not uncommon for them to break down within the first two years of use.

However, the Busch pumps are said to last the lifetime of the machine, approximately 10 to 15 years for a small bench-top model and longer for the double chambered machines.

With food prices increasing in Australia and as the food sector continues to consolidate, vacuum packing can reduce costs along the supply chain and provide products with a point of difference.

As a result, competition in vacuum packing machinery has significantly increased during the last five years in line with demand.

Vacuum system for cleaning beverage tanks

KHS has launched its vacuum clean-in-place (CIP) system for the efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly cleaning of beverage tanks at temperatures of up to 50°C.

The new system eliminates the mixing of cleaning media during media changeover, and the subsequent loss of cleaning agents, by using a vacuum system that is installed on the CIP frame, offering considerable savings and a reduction in fresh water consumption.

According to the company, the volume of the tanks can be reduced by up to 50% compared with its previous CIP solution, resulting in reduced tank costs, lower power consumption and reduced space requirements.


New flowmeter

Endress+Hauser has launched the Promass 831 Coriolis flowmeter, a multivariable meter that independently measures mass flow, temperature, density and viscosity.

Suited to a range of applications requiring minimal shear stress to fluid and low pressure loss, the flowmeter continuously measures inline viscosity to ensure the desired level is achieved, resulting in minimum product waste.

According to the Endress+Hauser, the Promass 831 Coriolis flowmeter’s real time measurement capability enhances production speed by eliminating delays caused by processing lab results and is ideal for use in food manufacturing plants.

Food safety training

Advancing Food Safety (AFS), a registered training organisation, is offering regular training sessions on a host of food safety and HACCP-related issues for food companies throughout Australia during November and December.

Training accommodates all levels of knowledge and experience and course topics range from introductory HACCP and microbiology through to food safety auditing and quality assurance management training.

Held in all captial cities, the courses are practical and give participants the skills required to implement systems in their workplace.

For course and registration details, or a training course schedule email AFS.