Legislation change heralds clearer food labelling in Japan

The October 1 re-designation of 11 classes of chemically modified food starches by the Japanese Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare requires food manufacturers to label these starches as ‘food additives’ rather than food on retail food packaging within 30 months.

National Starch Food Innovation regional vice president, Jeff Laurent, a leading supplier of starch to the food industry, said this change brings Japan into line with global labelling trends.

“The legislation change will provide consumers with greater transparency about the foods they eat and is in line with food labelling in many other countries,” said Laurent. “But its introduction will affect food manufacturers across the region.”

Recent research commissioned by National Starch in Japan indicated strong interest from both consumers and the food industry in food labelling, with consumers in particular becoming increasingly concerned about food safety and the ingredients in their foods.

“We are seeing a trend to more natural, ‘additive free’ foods around the world,” said Laurent.

“Our Japanese research clearly showed that less is more: consumers increasing want foods with fewer ingredients, with names they understand.”

National Starch Food Innovation anticipated the importance of offering ‘clean label ‘starches, launching the Novation range of starches to the Japan market.

This range gives manufacturers a wider choice of starches for a variety of foods while meeting the consumer demand for additive-free foods.

Made from various natural sources such as waxy maize, potato and tapioca, Novation functional starches offer the performance of modified food starches but with the advantage of a ‘no additives’ front-of-pack claim and simple ‘starch’ back-of-pack labelling.

These functional starches can be used in many processed foods including:

  • bento meals,
  • gravies,
  • soups,
  • sauces,
  • dressings,
  • fruit preparations,
  • dairy products, and
  • baby food.

Battle of the bottles

The non-alcoholic beverages sector is primarily made up of soft drink manufacturing, which, at 56.8% of the total industry revenue, is worth $3,314 million. This is followed by juice, accounting for 32.7% and bottled water, at $460.6 million, or 10.5%.

Carbonated soft drinks are the cash cows of the industry, providing the necessary funds to invest in growth products, such as high energy drinks which are a small but growing product segment. Presently, the fastest growing segment is sports drinks, which are designed to re-hydrate and replenish electrolytes after or during sport. Sports drinks make up a small portion of the market compared to beverage markets in other countries, and are hence expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

IBISWorld forecasts that in the five years to 2012-13, industry sales revenue will increase at an average annual rate of 2.5% to $2,832.2 million. However, the effect on this portion of the industry will be offset by increased competition from bottled water and fruit juice.

Because individual consumers usually drink multiple beverage brands, bottlers are able to promote by targeting specific needs. The distinction between different types of water, for example, can be blurred, and is often maintained as much by marketing and labelling, as by differences in actual properties.

Natural spring water and purified water have been the fastest growing beverage types, with spring water accounting for 47% of industry revenue, with purified water accounting for 12%.

Functional waters are ones which have additives (such as electrolytes, vitamins and minerals), intended to stimulate energy, alertness, or give some other benefit above that of hydration, or to stimulate faster re-hydration. These compete as substitutes for soft drinks, as they are flavoured but do not have a high sugar content, which is attractive to health conscious consumers. Included in this segment are sports waters, flavoured waters, near waters, and enhanced waters which all often have added vitamins. As the industry matures and consumers become more informed, these sub-segments should become more clearly defined in the market.

Surveys by the Australian Bottled Water Institute, which represents 85% of all water bottlers, shows that young singles and couples are the dominant drinkers of bottled water. Bottled water drinkers are in general found to be more health conscious, contemporary and socially aware.

The market is characterised by a high degree of new product introductions. Many major players are expanding on their range, producing two or three products. Often these products are at different price levels, or are designed to appeal to particular segments of the market.

There has been some criticism of the industry in that it contributes significantly to waste, as people purchase a packaged product which could be obtained from a tap. Furthermore, the import of bottled water draws criticism due to the energy cost of transportation for a product which is readily available domestically. Still, the value of bottled water to consumers is evident in their willingness to purchase the product.

Keeping options open

Multi beverage companies generally produce both water and juice and usually carbonated soft drinks, generally earning higher margins from water.

The fruit juice drink manufacturing industry has benefited from greater health awareness in the community, which has stimulated increased consumption of fruit juice. Fruit juice is seen as a convenient substitute for fresh fruit, as it contains all of the vitamins present in fruit (though significantly less dietary fibre). However, competition has been strong, while rising fruit prices, as well as PET bottle costs, have been downward pressures on profit margins.

IBISWorld forecasts that over the five years to 2012-13, the fruit juice drink manufacturing industry revenue will increase at an average annual rate of 4.3%, to $1,770.7, with the focus on health and wellbeing particularly driving growth of enhanced juices and premium chilled juices, which contain fruit juice without preservatives and added sugar.

The prevalence of private labels has increased within the juice manufacturing industry over current period. This development may be of concern to existing producers with strong brand loyalty, as competition from cheaper products erodes their profitability.

Consumers are increasingly concerned with the calorific content of the beverages they are consuming and juices are being produced with a lower calorific content than regular brands. Use of particular fruits with well known health properties has also been uses as a means of highlighting the health benefit of the juice. While these fruits generally constitute a small proportion of all the fruit used in the beverage, their inclusion is highlighted to emphasize the health benefit of the product.

Lena Zak is the editor of FOOD Magazine.

Colouring concerns aren’t black and white

Parents are voicing demands to ban six artificial colour additives that can increase hyperactivity from foods.

The six colourings — which are contained in widely available cordials, fruit juices, fruit snacks, yoghurts, lollies and ice cream — have already been recommended to be phased out by Britain’s Food Standards Agency as part of a proposed voluntary withdrawal program.

The Food Intolerance Network is releasing today a letter to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, signed by 100 ‘influential Australians’, signalling the group’s concern about the lack of response to the findings of last year’s study on the colourings.

The letter, which is intended to be the first shot in a planned eight-week campaign calling for the additives to be banned by 2010, asks the food authority to “take further action as a matter of priority.”

“This study has added to the existing scientific evidence linking food additives to behaviour in children,” the letter says.

“Critically, the study also showed these additives in combination posed a significant threat to children in general, not just those children with a history of hyperactivity.”

The signatories to the letter include naturopaths, nutritionists and the authors of health books, along with a handful of medical experts.

The study, published online last September by the British medical journal The Lancet, attempted to measure the effects on behaviour of the following food additives:

  • sunset yellow (also referred to by the colour additive number 110),
  • tartrazine (102),
  • carmoisine (122),
  • ponceau red (124),
  • quinoline yellow (104), and
  • allura red (129).

It found the 153 three-year-old children, and 144 eight- and nine-year-old children given one of two drinks containing different mixtures of some of the additives experienced small but significant increases in hyperactivity symptoms.

But because some of the additives were present in both drink mixtures, and both mixtures contained a widely used and naturally occurring preservative called sodium benzoate, the study could not establish whether this or any particular colouring was involved.

The campaign organisers are urging the FSANZ to call for a voluntary phasing out of the six additives by the end of next year, to introduce mandatory warning labels in the meantime, and to legislate to ban the additives completely by 2010.

But the campaign against the additives has drawn fire from some health experts, who claim it is misleading.

The director of the allergy unit at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Robert Loblay, was approached for his support, but wrote back accusing the organisers of making “serious misrepresentations” of the British study’s results.

Dr Loblay said only some children in the British study were affected, and rather than amounting to a “significant threat,” the changes were small and there was “nothing to indicate the changes observed were detrimental to schoolwork or other aspects of intellectual functioning.”

FSANZ spokeswoman, Lydia Buchtmann, said the agency had reviewed the Lancet study and found it “quite weak.” In addition, she said, a recent survey by the agency had shown the six colourings were present in Australian foods at much lower levels than in Europe.

There’s something about Sally

The new star of PotatoMagic’s family has been named Best in Show at the 2008 FOOD Challenge Awards, after taking out the Snack Foods Award.

“I was very humbled and elevated by the recognition of the Awards after so many years of hard work,” said CEO and project manager, Andrew Dyhin of the company’s win. “It was an absolute feeling of numbness and gratitude. To the FOOD Magazine team, all the competitors and everybody that supported us and helped us get there over so many years.”

Sultry Sally Potato Chips are baked, 97% fat free potato chips, made from Australian potatoes, and available in four flavours — Sea Salt, Thai Sweet Chilli & Lime, Salt & Vinegar and Cheese & Onion. The product was developed to address the need for a snack that met the increasing concern in the community about our high-fat diet. The chips were designed to be of real benefit in Australia’s daily fight against obesity, while providing an exciting, flavoursome and nutritious snack experience.

Inspired by Dyhin’s mother’s potato pancakes, the PotatoMagic R&D team set out to develop a unique product and a processing technique that would offer sustainability and environmental responsibility in resource use and production.

PotatoMagic Australia took up the product licence, enabling Australia to be at the global forefront of this exciting product innovation and development.

The ingredients used in Sultry Sally Chips are innovative in relation to their purity, nutritional value and functionality, minimising the need to enhance the flavour with additives. The ingredients, which are 100% Australian potatoes (of any variety), pure olive oil, pure sunflower oil, sea salt, and natural flavours (when available), serve as building blocks to challenge the obesity crisis.

Sultry Sally Chips contain up to 91% potato, compared with chips currently on the market, which can contain as little as 65% potato or less. The flexibility of the process also allows the use of a wide variety of potatoes, not just a few specific varieties, offering growers a better return while increasing sustainability, reducing food miles, and giving the manufacturer a wider supply base.

Throughout the processing, the potatoes are handled very gently to avoid leaching of nutrients and starch into the processing water. By minimizing leaching, the waste water becomes suitable for drip irrigation while virtually untreated.

From pre-processing, the potatoes go into the forming and baking oven process. This promotes purity of product and provides maximum nutritional impact by avoiding the need to add flour or other starchy material to the potato. Full flavour is maintained as the product provides a good mouth feel, shape, crunch and texture. Taking pure, nutritional potatoes, the skin is kept on to retain its beneficial fibre, vitamins and nutrients and to make a pure potato chip virtually without wasting any potato or its inherent goodness.Sultry Sally’s packaging also breaks with tradition, with a narrow footprint, and eye-catching design.

Winning the FOOD Challenge Awards just ahead of Sally’s official launch, has meant big changes for PotatoMagic. According to Dyhin, “the Award is making my life extremely difficult — orders are doubling!”

“We’re very humbled by the recognition we’ve received and very grateful for what it’s actually going to be doing for us going forward.”

Lena Zak is the editor of FOOD Magazine.

Don’t panic, it’s organic

Organic Bubs, the innovative new range of 100% certified organic meals for under fives, has been named Highly Commended in this year’s Challenge Awards Ready Meals category.

The menu, which boasts 25 tot-tested recipes, caters for everything from babies’ first puree, through to fun and healthy meals for preschoolers. The meals are freshly prepared and conveniently snap-frozen to retain original nutrients, texture and taste, and to provide retailers with 12 months shelf life.

Created from quality local fresh produce, they have no additives or preservatives, thickeners, fillers, colouring, flavouring, added salt or sugar, and no GMOs.

With new parents demanding quality and healthy choices for their children, Organic Bubs has tapped into an unfulfilled hole in the Australian retail marketplace. Busy parents who want to provide their babies with a nutritious organic diet, but don’t always have time to prepare home-cooked meals from scratch, love the Organic Bubs concept.

Organic Bubs is the nextgeneration of children’s food in Australia, with a company philosophy based on creating a love of healthy food in a child’s first five years, to build the foundations that will last a lifetime. Therefore, the quality and selection of ingredients is paramount.

For decades there has been almost no innovation in Australia’s baby food landscape. With a firm belief that the foods that children eat help to create who they are, Organic Bubs set out to positively affect the lives of children and their parents.

As a reward, parents, the media, retailers, and now the FOOD Challenge Awards, have embraced the innovative concept and brand wholeheartedly.

Lena Zak is the editor of FOOD Magazine.

Website compares label claims

A new website called Labelwatch.com allows consumers to compare label information on more than 25,000 brand-name consumer products.

Visitors to the site can research and compare foods on a wide range of criteria, including additives, ingredients, and nutritional facts.

The site was founded by Dianne Manning, who discovered the importance of reading ingredient labels while suffering a particularly unpleasant medical issue.

“For years I suffered with a chronic condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS),” Manning said.

“Doctors and medications failed, but eliminating a few foods and additives from my diet completely solved the problem.

“As a result I became an avid reader of packaged food labels. This was time-consuming, confusing and often misleading.

“I looked for an easier solution, but none existed. That’s when the idea for Labelwatch was conceived.”

On the site, ingredients are linked to a proprietary colour-coded ingredient glossary created with information from food labelling authorities such as The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Food & Drug Administration, and Foods Standards Agency UK.

Products that contain no ‘cautionary’ ingredients, as defined by the glossary, are awarded a special seal.

The site is free for everyone. By registering on the site, users can also create customised shopping lists of brand-name products.

The site also contains a Smart Shopping section that offers information about reading labels and food shopping; an in-depth database of Smart Recipe cards and videos; and information about Smart Living as it applies to dieting, beauty, fitness, and natural health.

Beyond consumers, Labelwatch expects to see the site utilised extensively by professionals.

“We’ve had a huge outpouring of support from the health & wellness community,” said Manning.

“Dietitians, physicians, fitness trainers and non-profit health organisations all see Labelwatch as a critical tool they can incorporate into their professional practice.”

Fancy a nice cup of tea?

Well, how about adding a lump of Dicofol (an organochlorine pesticide related to DDT), a touch of Endosulphan (an acutely toxic insecticide) and a dash of Ethion (a highly toxic organophosphate pesticide used to kill leafhoppers, aphids and scales)?

According to Oracle Organic Teas, that is what is allowed in a conventionally produced leaf tea.

Typically, artificial fertilisers and pesticides are used during the production process of both conventional and herbal teas. Add boiling water and you not only have a tea that has its taste profile affected, but may not be as good for you as you think.

The organic market in Australia is growing at a rate of 30% year on year, and with those kind of chemical additives it is no wonder a natural organic alternative is now becoming the mainstream.

Organic Tea is one category that has seen huge growth in recent times, particularly in the Cafe, Restaurant and hospitality segment as people are now becoming aware of the short and long-term harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The conventional way of growing tea in the long run is non stainable, as it leads to soil erosion and disease, not to mention the health hazard for the workers who pick the leaves.

Australia’s Oracle Organic has a range of fully certified organic teas at mass market prices. This means the tea is grown and processed without pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

Oracle Organic Teas are available in Black, Green, Chamomile and Peppermint flavours at RRP of $3.95.

Increasing fibre and reducing sugar

With growing consumer awareness and demand for products with ‘added fibre’ and ‘reduced sugar’, fructose and Litesse are ideal ingredients for use in many culinary applications, without compromising on taste and flavour.

In 2004-05, more than half of all Australian adults, or 7.4 million people, were either overweight or obese, an increase from 5.4 million in 1995. Obesity is linked to lifestyle factors such as increased consumption of foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats, as well as a reduction in physical activity. People with obesity have an increased overall risk of premature death, as well as a higher relative risk of developing type two diabetes; cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease; osteoarthritis; various cancers such as colorectal, breast, uterine, and kidney; and other health conditions.

The total cost of obesity in 2005, to the Australian government and society, was estimated to be $21.0 billion. In an attempt to curb the rising rate of obesity, the Australian government is currently promoting the ‘Working Together for a Healthy Active Australia’ campaign. The campaign provides guidelines and recommendations about nutrition and physical activity, allowing Australians to make better lifestyle choices and lead healthier lives.

As the cause of obesity is generally considered to be the consumption of high energy dense diets and a sedentary lifestyle, a reduction in energy density can be useful in aiding weight loss or helping weight maintenance. Strategies such as increasing the fruit, vegetable and cereal content of the diet can help lower the energy density. Alternatively, the use of low calorie bulking agents and dietary fibre ingredients can be considered.

Fibre is an essential part of the human diet and contributes to our overall well-being. Fibre-rich diets may help to reduce the risk of obesity, colon cancer and heart disease; and reduce the occurrence of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis and other digestive disorders.

It is recognised globally that most diets are fibre deficient, because the actual daily consumption of dietary fibre is short of that recommended by various healthcare professionals and authorities. It is recommended that Australians eat at least 30g of fibre per day, whilst in reality most Australians currently only eat around 20g of fibre each day. However, Australian consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about the health benefits of food and more selective with regards to their meal choices.

Developing Opportunities

Consumers are not only spending more on eating inside the home, but outside the home as well. Between 1985 and 2006 expenditure on food in Australian households increased annually by 10%, whereas expenditure on food consumed outside the home in restaurants, etc increased by 30% per year.

This comparatively large increase is consistent with consumers opting for ‘out-of-home catering’ in response to their reduced availability of time, social implications and greater spending capacity. Opportunities therefore exist for food manufacturers and retailers to provide consumers with a positive eating experience both in the home and out of the home, that will have a positive impact on their overall health.

New products developed with low, no or reduced sugar and added fibre claims are appearing every day around the world in a wide range of food applications. As consumer demand grows, products with claims associated with health and wellness are being developed for food categories such as soups, sauces, seasonings and condiments. New product launches around the world in the last three years have concentrated on no additives and preservatives, and low, no or reduced fat because they are most popular. This trend has also been seen in the table sauces and dressings categories, as well as the dry and wet soup categories.

What ingredients can Danisco offer?

In developing new products or reformulating existing one, it is important to consider the ingredients used. These will obviously have a strong influence on the taste and texture of the final food product.

Sucrose is a standard ingredient used to improve the flavour perception, increase the sweetness and to add bulk, whilst improving the mouth feel. There are, however, several alternatives to sucrose. For example, monosodium glutamate and yeast extract can be used to enhance the flavour perception,; and high intensity sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose can be used to increase sweetness without adding calories. However, a poorer mouth feel in the final product may result. Bulking agents such as polydextrose can also be used to compensate for the loss of mouth feel. Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, is also used to replace sucrose.

Fructose and sucrose are both sugars (defined as mono- and di-saccharides), and both contribute an energy content of four kilocalories per gram. However, as fructose is the sweetest sugar in nature, being up to 30-40% sweeter than sucrose, less fructose can be used to achieve the same level of sweetness, resulting in a calorie reduction. Another health benefit of fructose, which is of increasing interest, is its low glycaemic index of only 19, compared to sucrose at 657.

Fructose may also be used as an alternative to sucrose because of the impact it has on the flavour profile. For example, fructose enhances the flavour of fruit more than sucrose; fructose also enhances the flavour of vanilla, coffee and cinnamon. In culinary applications, fructose can be used to modify the tomato and herb flavour in tomato soup or tomato sauce. The level of fructose used will change the flavour perception of the herbs and tomato. In spicier sauces, such as chilli sauce and tom yum sauce, fructose can work to enhance the spiciness.

As well as its excellent sweetening and flavour-enhancing qualities, fructose has the ability to mask the unpleasant tastes of some other ingredients. Fructose is easily dissolved in water and can therefore be readily formulated into any type of soup, sauce or seasoning product. Fructose reduces the water activity of the product even more so than sucrose, making fructose a better preservative than sucrose at similar concentrations.

Sources of dietary fibre are low in energy and can be used as a nutritional tool to reduce calorie content whilst aiding satiety. Low calorie bulking agents such as Litesse polydextrose can help to lower the caloric density of products, with the goal of helping consumers ingest fewer calories whilst maintaining the texture and taste of a standard product. It contributes 1 kcal/g8 and is particularly suitable for formulating a wide range of products, including culinary applications. It can replace sugar and help reduce fat in many applications, but with significantly less calories.

In physiological terms, Litesse has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels and is metabolised independently of insulin, contributing only one quarter of the calories of sugar. In most major countries around the world, including Australia, Litesse has been recognised as a valuable source of dietary fibre for many years. Typically, it can be used at high enough levels in culinary applications so that fibre claims are possible. Litesse enables the formulation of nutritionally enhanced food products by replacing the bulk and functionality of sugar. It is pH and heat stable and is highly soluble and neutral tasting. Its low impact on viscosity and flavour allow a significant level of fibre to be added to a product without negative sensory impact.

Health & Wellness Award Finalists

The Health & Wellness Award finalists include Absolute Organic Chips, Certified Organic Balsamic and Caesar Dressings, Chocolistic Seed Bar, Dandaragan Estate Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Heinz Steam Fresh Mix & Match, Nutrient Secrets, Organic Bubs, Pitango Organic and Carbon Neutral Risotto Range and Fresh Curry Meals, Tick Approved Healthier Choice Pizzas and Wild Rocket, Baby Spinach and Salad Mix. FOOD Magazine congratulates all the finalists in this category.

Absolute Organic Chips

Eco-Farms’ Chips are made using Australian vegetables to produce a healthy snack without the use of pesticides or chemicals. The Chips are presented in colourful packages with a mat finish to create an environmental feel, and come in four organic flavours, including beetroot, sweet potato, sweet chilli & sour cream, and lime & cracked pepper.

www.ecofarms.com.au

Certified Organic Balsamic and Caesar Dressings

Providing healthy eating choices with fresh salads that are certified organic, gluten free, dairy free and egg free, Ozganics has developed original organic salad dressings that are fat free or low in fat, and delicious with any salad. Caesar Dressing is traditionally an egg and dairy-based dressing high in fat but Ozganics has created a tasty, visually appealing alternative, which is suitable for those on restricted diets and the health conscious. The Balsamic Dressing contains no added oil or fat and has a tangy fresh flavour.

www.ozganics.com.au

Chocolistic Seed Bar

A decadent cocoa and seed health bar which offers the public a truly unique and healthy snack that is free from all additives, fillers, hidden sugars, and other nasties, while, at the same time, being satisfying and delicious. The product caters specifically for a niche market of people with allergies and intolerances as well as those generally interested in health. With optimal health in mind, the bars are not cooked or heated. According to the company, the main ingredient is Lots of Love, giving the product its zest and delight.

www.chocolisticseeds.com

Dandaragan Estate Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This international award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is a 100% natural product that is processed within six hours of harvesting. Having won the “Best Foreign Olive Oil in Italy” award, the Dandaragan Estate range of olive oils is endorsed by leading international five-star chefs as part of their culinary prowess. These endorsements, along with the unique bottle, label and complimentary pourer supplied with each bottle, highlight Australia as the country of origin and the Oil’s position as a top-of-the-range, 100% pure Olive Oil.

www.dandaraganestate.com.au

Heinz Steam Fresh Mix & Match

A range of frozen vegetable, rice and protein meal components sold separately, but which can be combined together to create easy steam fresh meals, the Heinz SteamFresh Mix & Match offer a complete finished meal solution without the need to add in other components. With Mix & Match, the steam technology allows for greater taste, texture and colour retention, larger serving sizes, and control over which components the consumer wishes to use to create their finished meal.

www.heinz.com.au

Nutrient Secrets

Multi-functional foods are set to be the next big thing in the marketplace. Lots of ingredients which are naturally better for you, put together in small packages are the way forward. As with the original Slim Secrets range where a niche market was successfully found amongst a highly competitive one, the Nutrient Secrets bars cater for those more interested in nutritional value. Nutrient Secrets Smart Vanilla and Almond is a delicious, chewy snack bar full of nuts, with added flaxseed, ginkgo and a hint of vanilla flavour.

www.slimsecrets.com.au

Organic Bubs

A range of ready-to-serve children’s meals made from 100% certified organic fresh ingredients, Organic Bubs’ meals are prepared by hand in small batches, using home-style cooking methods such as steaming, baking and slow cooking. Using the finest Australian-grown produce from certified organic growers and wholesalers, ingredients are cooked fresh and immediately snap-frozen to lock in all their natural flavour, colour and nutrients, and to avoid over-processing.

www.organicbubs.com

Pitango Organic and Carbon Neutral Risotto Range and Fresh Curry Meals

Pitango are the world’s first fresh meal manufacturer to become carbon neutral with carboNZero certification. Using premium ingredients grown in the New Zealand’s south island, and importing premium organic ingredients from hand-picked sites around the world, Pitango’s gourmet meals are made with the highest quality ingredients, and are presented in stylish packages with artwork to emphasise the products’ unique benefits.

www.pitango.co.nz

Tick Approved Healthier Choice Pizzas

Crust Gourmet Pizza Bars have created a range of take away pizzas which have earned the Heart Foundation Tick of Approval. Crust’s range of Healthier Choice pizzas are the only take-away pizzas to have earned the Tick. The range was developed in close association with the Heart Foundation to meet its strict standards in terms of fat, saturated fat, salt and fibre content. The pizzas come in six flavours, comprising of vegetarian — Bruscetta, Roast Vegetable, and Baby Spinach; and non-vegetarian — Chicken & Avocado, Roast Chicken and Roast Beef.

www.crust.com.au

Wild Rocket, Baby Spinach and Salad Mix

Ladybird’s organic, pre-packed salads were created to fill a void in the marketplace for quality, quantity and continuous supply of organic salad mixes. Because leafy greens absorb chemicals far more readily than other vegetables due to their surface-area-to-volume ration, the ingredients in these salads, which are organic and not sprayed with pesticides, are far safer to eat. The salads are packaged in a new compostable material, made from corn, and creating a perfect, healthy fusion – inside and out.

www.ladybirdorganics.com.au

The Health & Wellness Award is proudly sponsored by Amcor.

www.amcor.com

Lena Zak is the editor of FOOD Magazine.

Soups & Prepared Foods Award Finalists

The Soups & Prepared Foods Award finalists include Beerenberg Coopers Ale Barbeque Sauce, Bertolli Provincial Pasta Sauces, Continental Side Dish Macaroni Cheese, Coriander & Mint Relish, Dine, Heinz Cook At Home, McCormick Slow Cookers, Organic Bubs, Ozganics Curry Sauce Range, Pilpel Vegan Soups, Darikay Pesto, and Darikay Curry Meal Solutions, Pitango Organic and Carbon Neutral Risotto Range and Fresh Curry Meals and Salads To Go. FOOD Magazine congratulates all the finalists in this category.

Beerenberg Coopers Ale Barbeque Sauce

Beerenberg decided that a sauce made with Coopers beer would be uniquely and truly Australian, bringing back the authentic flavour of a good old-fashioned Aussie barbeque. The end product is a sauce that has a malty flavour, and a rich fruity and spicy taste. The deep, dark colour is due to the presence of the ale.

www.beerenberg.com.au

Bertolli Provincial Pasta Sauces

A range of Pasta Sauces inspired by local specialities of different regions of Italy, the flavours include a Creamy, Creamy Tomato and Tomato Range, providing a strong quality point of difference from existing Bertolli products, a change from existing mainstream formats, and a premium alternative to core pasta sauce offers.

www.unilever.com.au

Continental Side Dish Macaroni Cheese

Continental’s range of kid-friendly products is the only macaroni cheese that has been approved with a Heart Foundation Tick. The macaroni constitutes 25% of the recommended daily calcium needs, and takes into consideration balanced meal guidelines, aiming to assist mums in giving their families healthy meals. The macaroni consists of three variants — Super Saucy, Cheese & Bacon and Nacho Cheese.

www.continental.com.au

Coriander & Mint Relish

Emelias Relish is free from any chemicals, gluten or additives. The relish is created by using fresh mint, coriander and spices and offers the market the clean, green taste of natural Australian produce. Emelias’ marketing has been achieved with the owners themselves travelling to every Australian town in order to showcasing the products they feel so passionately about.

www.emelias.com.au

Dine

The aim of the Dine cat food product re-launch is to delight consumers through enhanced flavour and format variety, improved cat acceptance, pack convenience, shopping experience and emotional connection. Variety of choice has been extended via the delivery of new product designs, and all pack formats now offer a peelable easy-open system.

www.dine.com.au

Heinz Cook At Home

This baby-friendly ingredients range can be stirred, baked or poured to create any number of new meal varieties. Consumers do their own preparations at home, adding the product to fresh vegetables, pasta or meat. This products taps into the market of low-users of canned and jarred baby foods and those who choose to prepare baby meals themselves.

www.heinz.com.au

McCormick Slow Cookers

These six dry recipe bases were developed by McCormick specifically for the slow cooking method, which is gaining great popularity. Ensuring optimal flavour and filling a market gap, these packets have all the herbs and spices already measured out. Just add the recipe base to the slow cooker appliance together with meat and liquid and let the appliance do the rest.

www.mccormick.com.au

Organic Bubs

A range of ready-to-serve children’s meals made from 100% certified organic fresh ingredients, Organic Bubs’ meals are prepared by hand in small batches, using home-style cooking methods such as steaming, baking and slow cooking. Using the finest Australian-grown produce from certified organic growers and wholesalers, ingredients are cooked fresh and immediately snap-frozen to lock in all their natural flavour, colour and nutrients, and to avoid over-processing.

www.organicbubs.com

Ozganics Curry Sauce Range

These Indian Curry Sauces – Butter Chicken, Roghan Josh, and Tikka Masala – hold Organic Certification, and are gluten, dairy and egg free. The flavour blends stand alone when cooking, offering a quick, easy and nutritional alternative in food preparation, and the in-house spice blends ensure product consistency and unique flavour results.

www.ozganics.com.au

Pilpel Vegan Soups, Darikay Pesto, and Darikay Curry Meal Solutions

Pilpel produces gourmet soups, curries and dips using the freshest vegetables which are hand-cut to create nutritious products with deep flavours. There is no compromise on quality, and no fillers used to substitute the best ingredients. The range of soups have all been awarded medals by Sydney Royal Fine Food, winning gold, silver and bronze.

www.pilpel.com.au

Pitango Organic and Carbon Neutral Risotto Range and Fresh Curry Meals

Pitango are the world’s first fresh meal manufacturer to become carbon neutral with carboNZero certification. Using premium ingredients grown in the New Zealand’s south island, and importing premium organic ingredients from hand-picked sites around the world, Pitango’s gourmet meals are made with the highest quality ingredients, and are presented in stylish packages with artwork to emphasise the products’ unique benefits.

www.pitango.co.nz

Salads To Go

Mrs Crockets’ salad range was developed for time-poor consumers looking for a healthy, convenient meal solution. The protein salads offer nutritionally balanced, tasty meals and the two varieties cater for a wide taste sphere, offering consumer choice – traditional ham and cheese salad with mustard dressing and a Thai-inspired flavour.

www.mrscrockets.com.au

The Soups & Prepared Foods Award is proudly sponsored by Flavour Makers.

www.flavourmakers.com.au

Lena Zak is the editor of FOOD Magazine.

Nanofood for the future

Once a far-fetched fantasy a long way into the future, nanotechnology is set to have a huge impact on our lives in the here and now. With developments of materials and devices that can monitor blood, detect environmental pollutants and store energy better, nanotech is becoming an integral part of our ever-changing world.

One of nanotech’s most immediate effects will be felt in our food with companies worldwide conducting research using nanotechnology to develop foods with new possibilities in tastes, textures, packaging and enhanced nutrient absorption.

A recent report by International lobby group, The Friends of the Earth (FoE) found that 104 foods, food contact materials and agricultural products containing nanomaterials are now on sale internationally.

Nanotechnology is now used to manufacture some nutritional supplements, flavour and colour additives, food packaging, cling wrap, containers and chemicals used in agriculture.

Some products containing nano-sized particles are already on the market. In America and Europe, nano-sized ingredients have been added to some fruit juices, processed meats, diet milkshakes and baby food.

“We know manufactured nanomaterials are already in some products found on Australian supermarket shelves and used in Australian kitchens,” FoE Nanotechnology Project’s report co-author Georgia Miller said.

“Packaging for Cadbury chocolates, antibacterial kitchen wipes and cleaning sprays, and refrigerators sold by Samsung, Hitachi and LG Electronics now contain manufactured nanomaterials.”

The nanofood sector is led by the US, followed by Japan and China. Asian countries, particularly China, are expected to be the biggest market for nanofood by 2010.

Food packaging using nanotechnology is more advanced than nanofoods, with products on the market that incorporate nanomaterials that scavenge oxygen, fight bacteria, keep in moisture or sense the state of the food.

Plastic incorporating nanoparticles of clay or oxides of metals such as zinc and titanium have already been used to package meats, cheese, confectionery, beer, fruit juice and soft drink overseas.

The fact that nano additives are already part of our products is leading to growing calls for better safety assessment and regulation of nanotechnology in food.

According to report co-author Dr Rye Senjen, the worry is that “Australian laws do not require manufacturers to declare whether or not their products contain manufactured nanomaterials, or to conduct new safety tests on nano ingredients.

“Australian regulators have no way to know how many nano foods may be on Australian supermarket shelves and no way to check whether or not they are safe.”

The UK government’s Central Science Laboratory’s Dr Qasim Chaudhry, says engineered nanosized particles and other structures are used to develop new tastes, textures, and nutritional qualities, as well as improving shelf life and traceability of food products.

The main concern to consumers from nanoparticles in food packaging is through their migration into food and drinks, says Dr Chaudhry. Currently, however, there is not enough information to adequately assess the risk of these additives and ingredients.

With this uncertainty in mind, hasty action should be avoided, especially where food and drinks containing nano-ingredients are likely to be consumed in large quantities by a significat proportion of the population.

Size counts

Complicating the issue is an ongoing debate about the exact size of particles that have the potential to cross into the body’s cells.

While the nanoscale usually refers to structures under 100 nanometres, FoE points to evidence that structures of 300 nanometres can actually also present risks and should be checked for safety.

It has also been shown that particles smaller than 70 nanometres can reach the nucleus of the cell and possibly disrupt the DNA.

Gut reaction

Because current regulations do not fully cover nanotechnology in food, the European food science professional body, the Institute of Food Science and Technology, recently recommended that nanoparticles be treated as new, potentially harmful materials, until testing proves otherwise.

An expert in international nanotechnology regulation, Monash University Professor Graeme Hodge, warns against a “gut reaction” to nanotechnology without considering and assessing all the evidence.

“Don’t panic up front,” he says, adding that the use of nanotechnology in some areas will be “quite benign.” According to the Professor, a host of standards guarding food safety are already in place. “We’re not coming at the question of nanotechnology from a blank slate,” he explained.

Professor Hodge has helped the Australian government to prepare a report on nanotechnology to identify possible gaps in Australian regulations. Australia is one of the few countries to have done this.

However, he does say that it is too early to know if new regulations are really required, especially since international standard-setting bodies are only now officially defining the characteristics of nanomaterials.

A federal health department statement on behalf of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said that “no policy has been developed in regards to a specific regulatory response to nanotechnology.

“FSANZ is not aware, nor has it been made aware, of any commercially sold foods in Australia that have been developed using nanotechnology.”

The statement says FSANZ is gathering information and discussing the food safety implications of nanotechnology with international bodies and is yet to determine if a risk assessment is required for nanotechnology in foods.

The statement continues by confirming that “robust regulatory arrangements to ensure the safety of food” are in place.

To nano or not to nano?

Few studies have been carried out on the toxic effects of nanoparticles, and most deal with the risks of breathing them in, rather than consuming them, says Dr Chaudhry.

Although one of the benefits of nano-technology may be to increase absorption of nutrients from food, there are infinite unknown consequences, such as a possible change in the balance of nutrients in the body.

“It is also of concern that the introduction into foods of nanoparticles designed to carry dietary supplements could lead to the introduction of foreign substances into the blood,” he explained.

An example of this problem is Nanosilver which is good at killing bacteria. However, no research has been published about the possible effects of Nanosilver on the beneficial bacteria in our bodies.

“There is an urgent need for research into the behaviour of foodstuffs, both manipulated and processed at the nanoscale and the properties of manufactured nanoparticles introduced into foods whether deliberately or as the result of contamination.”

Apart from the many safety issues and questions around this modern marvel, one thing is certain – nanofood will make it even more unlikely that people will eat fresh, sustainably produced food, bringing with it an endless array of debates about priorities for our modern lifestyles.

Lena Zak is the editor of FOOD Magazine.

True blue spirits of Australia

Hidden away in Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland, is the family owned Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Australia’s smallest operating pot-still distillery, world renowned for their use of native Australian flora in a unique range of alcoholic beverages.

The Mountain Distillery came into existence because the Ward family did not want to use chemical sprays on their fruit, which meant the produce did not meet with market requirements. There was far too much fruit for them to consume, so they needed to ‘convert’ it into something that would make the small property productive.

With the combination of rich red volcanic soils, fresh Spring Water, the abundant fruit of the Mountain and a heritage of Russian distillation knowledge, the answer came quickly.

The extra fruit was harvested, crushed and fermented. Those high in natural sugars were eventually developed into distillates that would then become schnapps and fruit brandies in the true Baltic style. At first a small 80-litre copper still was built and all the family’s concoctions were bottled in hand painted bottles.

Soon, however, they needed to build a much larger 300-litre still to keep up demand from sales at the cellar door. Word of mouth had propelled this tiny family business into a popular destination on the mountain.

Now Alla (the master distiller) uses the copper pot stills to create the superb spirit that is the essence and foundation of all TMD products, before beginning the arduous task of crafting each individual batch to perfection. The result is a flavour that honours the true nature of each ingredient without the use of any artificial additives. A taste reinforced by the countless judging panels from many of the world’s most prestigious spirit competitions and masses of loyal customers.

Since beginning operations in 1998, the Ward family have established a very enviable reputation as creators of high quality products, garnering their wares with many international awards and medals. Including the most recent gold medals received by the Australian Herbal liqueur and Moulin Rooz absinthe at the World Spirits Competition in Austria, a feat that has created history as the first Non-European absinthe to win in the continent of the liqueur’s birth.

With all this expansion and growing success Tamborine Mountain Distillery and the Ward family still open their doors for visitors from Wednesday to Saturday to enjoy some 50 plus products from their stable. Here the charismatic and animated patriarch, Michael, pours out tasters of the Australian Herbal liqueur while proclaiming to everyone present, “Don’t rub on ya chest, throw it down ya gullet!”

Michael’s pride in his product is well founded with over 68 international awards and medals and Tamborine Mountain Distillery is the most highly prized liquor brand in Australia. Now there is an opportunity to enjoy spirits and liqueurs that are not only of the highest quality but are also a true blue Aussie product.

Milk without permeate

In response to consumer concerns over the dilution of milk by permeate, a by-product of milk processing, A2 Dairy Products Australia confirms that the company does not dilute a2 Milk™ with permeate or any other liquids or solids.

On 21 April, Channel Nine’s A Current Affair aired a show which accused Australia’s major milk manufacturing companies of using permeate to dilute their milk.

A2 Milk™ is not genetically modified, is free from additives and is rich in A2 beta casein, the original form of the beta casein protein contained in cow’s milk. Studies suggest that milk containing high levels of this protein type may help some people further realize the benefits offered by milk’s many nutritional components.

Most milk available today contains a combination of A1 and A2 — a2 Milk™ is the only milk available in Australia which contains the highest certified and naturally occurring levels of A2.

www.a2australia.com.au

www.a2science.com

RTDs ban to hit grog stocks

According to the Asian Business News, the boost in federal taxes on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks on Saturday night will have an impact on the businesses of a small group of companies.

Brewers, Lion Nathan and Fosters are major manufacturers and distributors of these alcopops or Ready To Drink products (RTDs), as is Coca Cola Amatil which is the fastest growing newcomer.

For Lion Nathan, the impact will be minor because RTDs and liquor consist of a small part of its business: but it does distribute Bacardi. Fosters has a much bigger involvement, but beer and wine dominate its operations, while Coca Cola Amatil has been pushing heavily into alcohol through premium beer and dark sprits and could be the company most impacted in the short term.

News of the sharp rise in the tax from midnight Saturday will get the pencils out at broking houses and the various companies, as well as the major retailers and pub groups, such as Woolworths, Coles (Wesfarmers) and Metcash, and the various listed pub managers.

The increase is the first tax hike of the Rudd Government and there will be little opposition to it, despite the lobbying strength of some of the groups involved.

The increase is expected to raise more than $2 billion in extra revenue over the next four years and media reports yesterday said part of the extra funds would be used to fund Australia’s largest ever investment in preventive health, focusing on alcohol, smoking, diet and exercise.

The reports said the plan will be known as the National Preventative Health Strategy and the final cost (estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars) will be revealed in the May 13 federal budget.

That holds open the possibility that tobacco excise will rise to pay for part of the new program.

Under the tax increase, the level of excise charged on RTDs has been lifted from $39.36 per litre of alcohol content to $66.67.

It means RTDs will now be taxed at the same rate as spirits, closing a loophole introduced with the GST in 2000 by the Howard Government (and not closed) whereby the excise is lower when the product is purchased pre-mixed than when it is mixed fresh.

For all these RTD products aren’t company killers (not like the loss of the Victorian poker machine licences are for Tabcorp and Tattersall’s), but they were new growth, or the fastest growing product in their portfolios.

Whether the increase curtails sales in the medium to longer term is debatable, but the companies involved can’t expect any joy from the Federal Opposition to the move: binge drinking is now a major social issue and, like smoking, increasing the cost to the consumer is acceptable, even if it increases inflation.

Investors in Pacific Equity Partners funds which bought Independent Liquor in New Zealand last year won’t be too happy either. Independent is the largest producer of RTDs in Australasia. PEP paid well over $1.1 billion. PEP’s website said about Independent that “Independent Liquor (IL) is a leading manufacturer and distributor of alcoholic beverages, with a particular focus in the ready-to-drink (RTD) category, the fastest growing segment of the Australasian alcoholic beverages industry. Approximately 60% of IL sales are in Australia and 40% in NZ. Across the two countries, white and dark spirit RTDs represent 65% of sales.

“In NZ, IL has 3 of the top 6 dark RTD brands and 4 of the top 6 white RTD brands. Its main competitors in RTDs are Lion Nathan and Maxxiuum (distributor of Jim Beam). In Australia, IL has the close No.2 dark RTD brand and No.1 white RTD brand. Its main competitors are Diageo and Maxxiuum.

“Independent Liquor also produces a selection of beer, wine and spirits under its own brands, and is beginning to distribute licensed brands in some markets.

“Lion Nathan didn’t mention RTDs in its February trading update, while Fosters didn’t break down the contribution from the product for growth figures for sales of Beer, Cider Spirits/RTDs for Australia, Asia Pacific (as it did several years ago) in its interim report in the same month.

“AAP BCS EBITS increased 9.4% to $433.4 million with good growth in Australia and a lower contribution from the Pacific. EBITS included a $17.8 million profit on the sale of properties adjacent to the Abbotsford brewery site and $4.9 million in Australian logistics transformation costs.

“However in March, as binge drinking, especially by younger consumers, moved to the forefront of national debate, Fosters rushed out a statement on march 20 that started that “Foster’s today announced it would immediately move to cease the production and marketing of added energy and higher alcohol RTD (Ready to Drink) products in Australia.

“Foster’s will voluntarily cease manufacturing and marketing alcohol beverages containing ‘energy’ additives such as caffeine and taurine. In addition, the company has formally committed to a voluntary limit of two standard drinks (20 grams of alcohol) per single serve container and 7% alcohol by volume across its RTD product portfolio.”

Obviously it could feel the pressure growing.UK based global grog giant, Diaego’s Bundaberg Rum label in Australia, is a heavy marketer of RTDs to younger male consumers through its support for rugby union and cricket and extensive marketing during games. Diaego also controls global vodka brand, Smirnoff and the Johnny Walker brand of whisky and Bailey’s Irish Cream, among other products. Johnny Walker is a big advertiser during cricket games on Australian TV, aimed at young male viewers.

Diaego said in its February profit statement that “ready to drink net sales were down 1%. Strong growth of Bundaberg and Cola in Australia and Smirnoff ready to drink in Brazil and Africa offset most of the impact of the segment’s decline in North America and Europe.

“Coca Cola Amatil has made rapid strikes to building an alcohol division to go with its soft drink, fruit juice and water and food business. It is building capacity in premium beers and in RTDs.

The company, in its 2007 profit statement in February, said that “CCA’s rapidly-growing alcohol business generated over $300 million in revenue in 2007 from the sale of Pacific Beverages’ premium beers and the Maxxium spirits portfolio. The business also delivered solid incremental earnings to CCA including contract manufacturing revenue on the Jim Beam alcoholic ready-to-drink range, various Maxxium sales incentives and the premium beer sales by Pacific Beverages. In addition, CCA’s overheads were spread over a larger revenue base.

“The Maxxium portfolio, led by the Jim Beam & Cola range, delivered strong growth for the year, achieving volume growth of approximately 9% over the prior year when the brands were under other distribution arrangements. Jim Beam & Zero Sugar Cola has successfully captured over 60% of the sugar-free alcoholic ready-to-drink market since its launch in September.

“But there will be a cost, small, but noticeable this quarter and for the next few months, on the consumer price index. Alcohol was a small contributor to the strong CPI in the March quarter and the year to March: nowhere near the size of food or housing or transportation, but noticeable.

Australian Bureau of Statistics said in last week’s analysis of the CPI that “all four components in the alcohol and tobacco group rose this quarter with increases in beer (+1.6%), spirits (+1.2%), wine (+0.9%) and tobacco (+0.6%).

“The rises in tobacco, beer and spirits are due to the effects of the increase from 1 February in the Federal excise tax, as well as some pure price rises and the cessation of specials in some cities. The increase in wine is mainly due to the discontinuation of specials.

“Over the year to March quarter 2008, the alcohol and tobacco group rose 3.8%, with increases for the year ranging from 1.7% for wine to 6.3% for beer.

“Fosters shares sank further Thursday, down 8c to $5.05; Lion Nathan fell 18c to $8.57 and Coca Cola Amatil shares were off 25c to $8.”

A healthy boost for beverages

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

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

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

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

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

Fruitmark

js@fruitmark.com.au

www.oceansprayitg.com

www.oceanspray.com

Healthy, hip & now in Australia

Both a refreshment drink with low calories and a carbonated beverage low in sugar but high in minerals, Bionade has been labelled ‘the perfect beverage’ by retailers and consumers across Europe. It was recently awarded the prestigious ‘Beverage of the Year’ at the BevNET.com’s Best of 2007 awards.

Bionade is the latest evolution in high-end refreshment drinks, taking elements of soft drinks, sports drinks and mineral water to create a unique combination of natural ingredients that has caused a stir throughout Europe and the USA.

It is a non-alcoholic drink created with a fermentation process similar to beer and is purely organic without any additives. On top of that, it is a low sugar, carbonated beverage. While it is similar to lemonade, Bionade is fundamentally different because it is made from scratch through a completely organic process by the fermentation of water and malt.

With its uniqueness, it has established a new beverage class of its own, with wellness and fitness qualities associated with its high natural minerals in the form of calcium, magnesium, natural fruit and herbal essences. In addition to this, Bionade is gluten-free, has an attractive longneck bottle and comes in a set of four flavours — Lychee, Ginger and Orange, Elderberry and Herbs.

Hitting shelves in selected outlets and clubs around the Australia in March, Bionade was developed in a quiet German town in northern Bavaria. It has been brought to Australia by Dieter Wittmann, Managing Director of Jolly Products P/L in QLD, because of the uniqueness and huge success of the drink in Europe.

“Bionade is the hip drink in Europe’s best restaurants and night clubs because of its great taste and health qualities for people from 7 to 70,” said Wittmann. “But, best of all, it is also the perfect drink for children, as it is completely natural, without any artificial additives and very low in sugar.

“It started out as a completely idealistic product, but it ticks so many boxes that it has achieved everything we had hoped for, and more,” he added.

“Bionade is the most sought-after drink in Europe and it’s sure to take the Australian market by storm,” Wittmann added.

For more information contact:

Shelley Bates

shelleyb@vervecommunications.com.au

Susan Darwiche

susand@vervecommunications.com.au

Prue MacSween

prue@vervecommunications.com.au

www.jollyproducts.com

www.bionade.com

Promass F reduces wastage

Improving accuracy in flow measurement is of paramount importance for process companies that seek to minimise waste and improve efficiency. The latest release of Endress+Hauser’s Promass F offers unparalleled accuracy and reliability making it a leading Coriolis mass flowmeter suitable for use in most process industries. The company has now enhanced the software and the design, boosting its accuracy even further.

In measuring the accuracy of any flowmeter, and publishing the accuracy, it is important to understand what calibration philosophy is used – not all flowmeters are really as accurate as purported.

Endress+Hauser wet calibrate every Promass F flowmeter on a high accuracy flow rig. In wet calibration, a predetermined volume of water is allowed to flow through the flowmeter, and the mass of water, and therefore volume, is measured in a highly accurate, accredited weigh scale at the other end. The volume of liquid that has flowed through and been measured by the test meter is compared to the initial reference volume and the errors calculated. Wet calibration thus delivers the best possible accuracy when the flowmeter is put in actual use. Most other flowmeter vendors compare flow readings of their meters to that of a master meter. This method can unfortunately lead to inaccuracies as the master is calibrated at set intervals and its accuracy in between calibrations may be questionable.

Only a calibration on accredited calibration rigs is a credible calibration and Promass F’s new specification of 0.05% o.r. (of reading) is based on accredited calibration flowrig with an accuracy of 0.015%, ensuring that the accuracy stated is the accuracy achieved.

In the competitive and highly regulated food industry, batches need to maintain consistency and quality and this requires accurate measurement of the various ingredients. Inaccurate measurements may lead to bad batches that need to go through an expensive reprocessing process or worse, be discarded.

Coriolis flowmeters are often used for dosing – for example, chlorine in water treatment plants, flocculants in mining, or additives in the food industry. This dosing must be highly accurate, or else the end product will suffer in quality, and expensive additives may be wasted.

The new high accuracy Promass F can help to prevent wastage and reduce costs.

For more information contact:

John Immelman – Managing Director

Endress+Hauser Australia Pty Ltd

1300 363 707

02 8877 7099

email info@au.endress.com

www.au.endress.com

Cranberries fight food poisoning

Researchers led by Dr Vivian Chi Hua at the University of Maine in the US have found that adding natural cranberry concentrate to raw minced beef can significantly reduce the growth of common foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Listeria and Escherichia coli.

The findings may help the meat industry to lengthen the shelf life of products without chemicals additives and preservatives.

Meat manufacturers may be able to add natural cranberry concentrate to raw meat to reduce the risk of it harbouring harmful bacteria, thus lengthening shelf-life, avoiding waste and removing E-numbers from product labels.

In the trials, ground beef samples inoculated with four pathogens were treated with cranberry concentrate or sterile water as a control and kept at either 21ºC or 7ºC.

Pathogens and total viable bacteria were counted on days 1, 3, 5 and 7.

Results showed that compared to the control, cranberry concentrate significantly inhibited foodborne pathogens in ground beef at both 7ºC and 21ºC.

Other health benefits

Cranberries are well known for their unique anti-adhesion capabilities, which are responsible for protecting the urinary tract, stomach and mouth from harmful bacteria.

The anti-adhesion effect is primarily due to the unique structure of the proanthocyanidins (PACs) present in cranberries.

These compounds also deliver intense anti-oxidant activity, which helps to promote good heart health and flushes out harmful free-radicals.

The evidence to support the benefit of cranberries in reducing the risk of food poisoning strenghtens the fruit’s extensive range of nutraceutical effects.

For further information, click here.

Ocean Spray Ingredients

Growth in organic baby food

In the adult food market, a trend towards healthier, more natural products is evident from the emergence of new product ranges on the shelf that boast “no preservatives”, “fat free” and “organic”.

The same is true of the baby food market.

The baby grocery market, excluding formula, is currently worth over $105,000 in Australia with organics comprising 15%, according to Woolworths.

A Woolworths’ spokesperson commented that the trend away from over-processed foods has allowed for the introduction, and growth, of the organics sector.

“Other manufacturers have seen this trend and moved their mainstream products to a natural base, therefore adding the same nutritional content (no additives) as premium organic products but without the price tag,” commented the spokesperson.

The growth of organic baby food is unsurprising as there is a perception that produce grown in the presence of chemicals could be potentially harmful for a baby.

“The total wet organic baby food has experienced a growth of 37% for the quarter,” a Heinz spokesperson comment.

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.

Balluff-Leuze

sales@balluff.com.au