Fountain squeezes in new packaging just before Xmas

Australian sauce maker, Fountain, has today unveiled new packaging across its bottled sauce range, featuring new on-pack product information and imagery.

From December, the refreshed packaging will start to appear across the range, which includes a variety of sauces for every occasion, ensuring meals can be enriched with flavour at any stage of the cooking process, from start to finish.

The changes have been made based on loyal consumer insights that found home cooks prefer products to have clear labelling, in addition to useful tips and suggestions to help them to make decisions on which sauces to use at home.

The new coloured labels will now display key details such as whether a variant is gluten free or has no artificial colours and flavours and packaging has also been redesigned to demonstrate the comprehensive range of flavours, along with providing flavour inspiration to current and new consumers of the brand.

Although the packaging of the Fountain sauce range has undergone a makeover, brand manager at Fountain, Gillian O’Brien says that the trusted and much-loved Aussie recipes have not.

“At Fountain, we’re excited to unveil the new branding, which has been revamped to make the range easier to shop for and enable customers to make informed decisions.We can assure Australians that we have not changed any ingredients in the sauces that our consumers know and love – each sauce is still bursting with flavour.” she said.

The full range includes Hoi Sin, Hot Chilli, Mint, Satay, Soy, Soy & Honey, Spicy Red, Steak, Sweet Chilli, Thick Mint, Mild Mexican Chilli, Plum, Sweet & Sour, and Mustard, as well as its range of Tomato & BBQ sauces, which are available in a number of convenient formats.

Amcor unveils new PET stock bottle for dairy products

Amcor Rigid Plastics has launched a new collection of crystal clear polyethylene terephthalate (PET) stock bottles and preforms for dairy, aseptic, and high-pressure processed (HPP) liquid beverages.

Amcor’s new stock bottle and preform collection represents one of the industry’s largest lines of dairy-specific products providing significant design flexibility based on a wide range of package shapes and sizes.

“Along with consumer appeal, our comprehensive PET package portfolio for dairy and juice provides brand owners and manufacturers with convenience and reduced product line complexity, enabling efficient and cost-effective product management, “ said Alex Warren, manager of marketing and strategic business development for Amcor’s Beverage Business Unit.

These premium bottles are aesthetically-pleasing, easy to handle, and meet the needs of on-the-go consumers. They are spill-proof and offer higher quality and better sealing than competitive containers. Convenient sizes meet today’s busy consumer lifestyles and enable healthier, controlled portion sizes.

The large, comprehensive product line enables multiple applications and one-stop shopping for manufacturers thanks to the availability of three shapes, four bottle capacities, three finishes, and three filling types, according to Amcor.

Multiple applications for each SKU enable efficient and cost-effective product management. The stock bottle collection also offers compelling shapes and sleek premium designs which help brand owners achieve differentiation on the store shelf.

The new dairy bottle portfolio delivers high performance and is designed to maximize process efficiencies while applying industry-leading technologies including the lightweight Bericap Aseptic finish.

Superior sealing is achieved due to the tight tolerance of the finish, product spoilage is virtually eliminated, and secondary packaging and distribution costs are reduced. For brand owners and co-packers, Amcor’s superior vacuum absorbing technology provides bottle stability even during challenging altitudes and temperatures encountered during transportation and distribution.

 

Nice to meat you: 3D printed meat is on its way

By using a meat extract as ink, layer-by-layer, a food could be created that is as soft as butter and like meat, packed with nutrients. In a report by ABC news, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) was alerted to the possibility of 3D printed red meat after seeing it done with chicken meat in Germany.

Currently they have investigated a way to turn every last bit of meat from the bone into a high value product and believes it is feasible with a high protein ink or powder could be used in a 3D printer.

“You could have a sugar ink, fat ink and by using those different ink pots you could create a food that is catered to a specific calorific and protein value,”

Sean Starling, general manager of Research, Development and Innovation at MLA, said.

The 3D printed meat would be targeted at people who have trouble chewing and swallowing and suffer dysphagia, those nutrients are hard to get.

MLA had found in Germany has 3D printed food in 1,000 nursing homes, and 3D printed food would be more appetising than pureed food.

CSIRO looks at 3D printer created foods

“We believe the biggest opportunity is for people who have trouble consuming a full bodied steak, the aged and disabled, who can’t eat highly textured and highly interconnective muscle foods,” Starling said.

“We’re thinking you could still print a steak, you’ll get the perception of a steak, the taste of a steak, but it will be almost like butter to chew through and swallow.”

According to ABC news, the CSIRO’s team leader in Meat Science Dr Aarti Tobin said the combination of gels and starches with the meat ink will have to produce something delicious. Dr Tobin said the CSIRO Meat Science team had worked on recombined meat from a meat paste.

“The cubes were nice and soft, looked like diced meat, once you put it into your mouth you just pushed it against your palette and they fell apart and formed a nice poultice.”

Animal rights groups cheesed off over dairy production

Vegan Australia and the Animal Justice Party (AJP) have reportedly told federal politicians the best long-term solution to the dairy sector’s farm-gate pricing crisis is to phase-out the industry over a decade according to a North Queenslander report.

The two groups have submitted their views and suggestions into the Senate Economics References Committee’s current examination of the Australian dairy industry. In response, industry leaders have hit back saying the dairy sector employs “world-leading practices” while generating $4.7 billion in farm-gate value that enriches regional Australian communities.

The Senate inquiry was instigated in September in response to the dairy industry farm gate pricing crisis that ignited earlier this year and is scheduled to report its findings by February 24 next year.

Public hearings have already been held in Canberra on October 26 and in Melbourne on November 15 with a range of industry and government agencies giving evidence.

The inquiry’s terms of reference include examining the legality of retrospective elements of milk supply contracts and the behaviour of Murray Goulburn in relation to the late season claw-back of farm-gate returns to producers, revealed in April.

Vegan Australia’s rationale was that it said it was “very aware” agriculture was a fundamental part of society and it wanted to see the “continued prosperity” of farming and farmers but was recommended pursuing that goal could be achieved without the “use and exploitation of animals”. It envisions the long term solution to the dairy crisis is to phase out dairy.

According to the North Queenslander, they are hoping for the day that technology is able to offer what Vegan Australia terms as “superior alternatives” to dairy products.

Vegan Australia said Australian consumers may hold out some loyalty to the dairy industry, but others in countries like Australia’s largest export market China were, “unlikely to show the same loyalty”.

It said Chinese policy would also shift to domestic production using advanced technology as soon as it became more cost efficient than importing Australian milk.

Vegan Australia said government assistance should be given to current dairy farmers that wanted to transition to plant-based agriculture, as part of the 10-year phase-out.

The AJP’s submission accused the dairy industry of inflicting animal cruelty while causing harm to human health and the environment.

“The most responsible course of action for the government to take is to transition away from animal-based milk and dairy, to humane, healthy, and sustainable plant-based milks,” the AJP said.

“Instead of focussing on trying to rescue an unsustainable industry that is harmful to humans and animals, the government should be turning its attention to innovative transition solutions.

“Consumers are increasingly embracing plant-based milks and it is the position of the Animal Justice Party that the government should embrace this trend and promote plant-based milks as healthier, more humane and more sustainable industries.”

In response, the Australian Dairy Farmers said the industry’s quality and safety processes were “among the best in the world” and the nation’s dairy sector – comprising 6128 dairy farmers of which 98 per cent are family-owned businesses – made a “vital contribution to the national economy”.

“With a farm gate value alone of $4.7 billion, dairy enriches regional Australian communities,” it said.

“Dairy farmers have had a tough past season and it is pleasing to note that the outlook for dairy in the future is more positive with a rebalancing of supply and demand fundamentals globally taking place.

“While we are an industry that has been under intense pressure, we are also an industry that has the know-how and resilience to overcome adversity and thrive in the long term.”

In its submission to the Senate inquiry, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said the food and grocery manufacturing sector employed more than 322,900 Australians, paying around $16.1 billion a year in salaries and wages.

The AFGC said the sector’s contribution to the economic and social well-being of Australia “cannot be overstated” and the dairy export industry had “solid” long term prospects.

“In the long term, global demand for dairy products is expected to remain strong with some analysts predicting a 25 per cent increase in consumption by 2025,” the submission said.

“With continued consumption growth in the Asia region, including China, the medium to long term prospects for Australian dairy exports are solid.”

Regional demographic changes impacting on food makers

According to ARC, due to the essential nature of many of the products produced, the food & beverages industry is typically less affected by global economic conditions trends than many others, but is highly sensitive to government regulations that often determine how products are manufactured and where they can be sold.

Regional demographic changes also often have a major impact on this industry.

In general, new products, product innovation, and a growing population drive growth in the food & beverages sector. The growing middle class in emerging economies increases demand for more convenient processed foods as well as for more profitable luxury food and beverage products.

Today’s food and beverage companies strive to be able to respond to consumer demand for a wide variety of fresh, nutritious, convenient, and high-quality foods.

Many companies invest large amounts of money to develop new products. As many manufacturers operate globally, product packaging and labeling must meet country-specific requirements and regulations. In addition, product formulas need to be adapted to suit different consumer tastes.

As a whole, this sector has invested heavily in IT infrastructure in recent years.

These systems are expected to support information necessary to maintain quality standards, improve compliance, address food safety issues, and track product information.

Flexibility in both R&D and manufacturing are important to support frequent product changes and reduce product time-to-market.

We’re also seeing increasing pressures to reduce costs to remain competitive.

One area of concern is the potential effect of product recalls on a company’s reputation. Most companies are making targeted investment to both improve their internal controls to reduce the risk of product recalls and improving their ability to recall products, when necessary.

Cybersecurity is another challenge that the industry is addressing, largely through technology. Despite these challenges, food & beverage manufacturers are reasonably optimistic about their future prospects.

Executives believe that new products and line extensions, plus more autonomous operations and efficiency improvements will drive growth and help improve profitability in this largely low-margin sector.

University of Adelaide to offer courses for distillers and brewers

AUSTRALIA’S most comprehensive stand-alone university course specifically for distillers is being considered to feed into the nation’s booming craft spirits industry.

The University of Adelaide is looking to introduce the hands-on short course as well as one in brewing. The university has also flagged plans to more than double the size of its training winery, which is already the biggest of its kind in Australia. The expansion plan includes space for a distillery and a small brewery.

Professor of Oenology and Director of the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production Vladimir Jiranek said the University of Adelaide’s winemaking degree touched on distilled beverages as an elective subject.

However, he said he did not know of any other leading universities in Australia offering specific courses in distilling.

“Back in the ’50s and ’60s a lot of Australian wine production and exports revolved around fortified beverages and so the University of Adelaide had a still that was used to support that side of the industry,” Prof Jiranek said.

“We’ve now added to that by purchasing a characteristic Australian pot still.

“The unique feature of our set up is that the scale is fairly small so it fits in nicely with the volumes that most craft producers are generating.”

The existing winery, opened in 1996, has been the centrepiece of a wine hub that has about 150 researchers from the university and co-located partners in wine and grape science – about 70per cent of Australia’s total research capability.

The planned expansion would more than double the size of the winery to cater for the growing interest in the course.

Prof Jiranek said although the revamped winery would be better placed to teach the short courses, the university was looking to introduce something sooner.

“I would actually hope that if we are going to introduce a distilling short course that we do it sooner rather than later. We have the facilities to do it now but it would be nicer down the track when we have better expanded facilities.

“We’ve never had a brewing facility so a small-scale brewery would be a real asset. It would help support what’s happening in the industry with the explosion of growth in craft breweries and cider producers around the place.

“I’m sure we could run a short course in either distilling or brewing without too much trouble and fill the class the first time around but it’s just a question of whether there’s the longer term interest and demand in Australia to justify it.”

Auspack continues to grow processing for 2017

Processing machinery will continue to be a critical focus for AUSPACK 2017 with an impressive list of companies that have already signed up to exhibit and with an inaugural Processing Day held on Wednesday March 8, 2017.

According to Mr Luke Kasprzak, Portfolio Director – Industrial Division, Exhibitions and Trade Fairs, ‘companies such as TNA Australia, Heat & Control, Walls Machinery, Krones and JL Lennard are just some of the processing exhibitors returning in 2017,’

“In addition we have international processing companies such as Haver & Boecker and FB Propak as well as local Viking Food Solutions and first time exhibitors Aurora Process Solutions also exhibiting next year,” Mr Kasprzak said.

Within Packaging and Processing Week, AUSPACK will also feature an inaugural PROCESSING DAY on Wednesday March 8, 2017. “Multiple processing events will be held throughout the day with dedicated educational sessions, workshops, meetings and networking gatherings.

Processors and processing machinery suppliers will discuss issues industry is currently facing and learn how latest technology can help them to overcome those.”

“The processing equipment side of AUSPACK continues to grow with more processing content then ever before. This will add true value to the visitor experience at the show so we encourage anyone involved in processing to register and attend this main event for processing and packaging industries.”

AUSPACK 2017 will be held on the 7-10 March at the Sydney Showground and free registration is now open. To register, please visit www.auspack.com.au

Flexible optical sensors to control beverage quality

Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have developed an innovative optical sensor using conventional tape, a low-cost and flexible material that can be easily acquired at stationery shops. It can detect variations of the optical properties of a liquid when is immersed. The sensor can be used to control both the quality of beverages and environmental monitoring.

Light from an LED is introduced in one of end of a piece of tape and the light that emerges from the other end is detected through a photodiode.

The light coupling to the flexible waveguide is mediated by a diffractive element using a grating with aluminum lines of nano dimensions; it is added to the tape through a simple process of “tear and paste.” Both ends of the waveguide can be easily adhered to the LED emitter and the light detector (photodiode).
Because of the flexibility of the tape, the waveguide can bend and is partially immersed in the liquid under examination. Due to the waveguide bend, part of the propagated light is lost by radiation.

This curvature loss depends on the refractive index of the surrounding medium. Thus, it is possible to detect variations of the refractive index of the liquid by photodiode measurement of the optical power lost during the path of light through the immersed waveguide.
The refractive index of a liquid solution is related to both its physical and chemical properties, including density and concentration.

Thus, researchers can assess, for example, the maturation degree of grapes by measuring the refractive index of grape juice; it could also detect the alcoholic content of certain beverages. The sensor can be used in the food sector for process control and beverage quality, and in the environmental sector for water quality control.
The materials and components used to develop this sensor are common and inexpensive. Additionally, the assembly of the three main components of the sensor is simple and there is no need for instrumentation or specialized tools.

Therefore, the assembly can be carried out by non-qualified personnel.
Dr. Carlos Angulo Barrios, the lead researcher for this project, says, “These features, along with the flexibility of the tape, make this sensor very advantageous regarding other optical instruments for the detection of refractive index more complex, rigid and expensive, especially in field applications and on-site analysis of liquids in areas of difficult access.”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-12-flexible-optical-sensors-quality-beverages.html#jCp

Methane from food production – the next wildcard in climate change

Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are growing faster than any time in the past 20 years. The increase is largely driven by the growth in food production, according to the Global Methane Budget released today. Methane is contributing less to global warming than carbon dioxide (CO₂), but it is a very powerful greenhouse gas.

Since 2014, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have begun to track the most carbon-intensive pathways developed for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The growth of methane emissions from human activities comes at a time when CO₂ emissions from burning fossil fuels have stalled over the past three years.

If these trends continue, methane growth could become a dangerous climate wildcard, overwhelming efforts to reduce CO₂ in the short term.

Methane concentration pathways from IPCC and observations from the NOAA measuring network (Saunois et al 2016, Environmental Research Letters). The projected global warming range by the year 2100, relative to 1850-1900, is shown for each pathway.

In two papers published today (see here and here), we bring together the most comprehensive ensemble of data and models to build a complete picture of methane and where it is going – the global methane budget. This includes all major natural and human sources of methane, and the places where it ends up in methane “sinks” such as the atmosphere and the land.

This work is a companion effort to the global CO₂ budget published annually, both by international scientists under the Global Carbon Project.

Where does all the methane go?

Methane is emitted from multiple sources, mostly from land, and accumulates in the atmosphere. In our greenhouse gas budgets, we look at two important numbers.

First, we look at emissions (which activities are producing greenhouse gases).

Second, we look at where this gas ends up. The important quantity here is the accumulation (concentration) of methane in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming. The accumulation results from the difference between total emissions and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere and uptake by soil bacteria.

CO₂ emissions take centre stage in most discussions to limit climate change. The focus is well justified, given that CO₂ is responsible for more than 80% of global warming due to greenhouse gases. The concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere (now around 400 parts per million) has risen by 44% since the Industrial Revolution (around the year 1750).

While CO₂ in the atmosphere has increased steadily, methane concentrations grew relatively slowly throughout the 2000s, but since 2007 have grown ten times faster. Methane increased faster still in 2014 and 2015.

Remarkably, this growth is occurring on top of methane concentrations that are already 150% higher than at the start of the Industrial Revolution (now around 1,834 parts per billion).

The global methane budget is important for other reasons too: it is less well understood than the CO₂ budget and is influenced to a much greater extent by a wide variety of human activities. About 60% of all methane emissions come from human actions.

These include living sources – such as livestock, rice paddies and landfills – and fossil fuel sources, such as emissions during the extraction and use of coal, oil and natural gas.

We know less about natural sources of methane, such as those from wetlands, permafrost, termites and geological seeps.

Biomass and biofuel burning originates from both human and natural fires.

Global methane budget 2003-2012 based on Saunois et al. 2016, Earth System Science Data. See the Global Carbon Atlas at https://www.globalcarbonatlas.org.

Given the rapid increase in methane concentrations in the atmosphere, what factors are responsible for its increase?

Uncovering the causes

Scientists are still uncovering the reasons for the rise. Possibilities include: increased emissions from agriculture, particularly from rice and cattle production; emissions from tropical and northern wetlands; and greater losses during the extraction and use of fossil fuels, such as from fracking in the United States. Changes in how much methane is destroyed in the atmosphere might also be a contributor.

Our approach shows an emerging and consistent picture, with a suggested dominant source along with other contributing secondary sources.

First, carbon isotopes suggest a stronger contribution from living sources than from fossil fuels. These isotopes reflect the weights of carbon atoms in methane from different sources. Methane from fossil fuel use also increased, but evidently not by as much as from living sources.

Second, our analysis suggests that the tropics were a dominant contributor to the atmospheric growth. This is consistent with the vast agricultural development and wetland areas found there (and consistent with increased emissions from living sources).

This also excludes a dominant role for fossil fuels, which we would expect to be concentrated in temperate regions such as the US and China. Those emissions have increased, but not by as much as from tropical and living sources.

Third, state-of-the-art global wetland models show little evidence for any significant increase in wetland emissions over the study period.

The overall chain of evidence suggests that agriculture, including livestock, is likely to be a dominant cause of the rapid increase in methane concentrations. This is consistent with increased emissions reported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and does not exclude the role of other sources.

Remarkably, there is still a gap between what we know about methane emissions and methane concentrations in the atmosphere. If we add all the methane emissions estimated with data inventories and models, we get a number bigger than the one consistent with the growth in methane concentrations. This highlights the need for better accounting and reporting of methane emissions.

We also don’t know enough about emissions from wetlands, thawing permafrost and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere.

The way forward

At a time when global CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry have stalled for three consecutive years, the upward methane trend we highlight in our new papers is unwelcome news. Food production will continue to grow strongly to meet the demands of a growing global population and to feed a growing global middle class keen on diets richer in meat.

However, unlike CO₂, which remains in the atmosphere for centuries, a molecule of methane lasts only about 10 years.

This, combined with methane’s super global warming potency, means we have a massive opportunity. If we cut methane emissions now, this will have a rapid impact on methane concentrations in the atmosphere, and therefore on global warming.

There are large global and domestic efforts to support more climate-friendly food production with many successes, ample opportunities for improvement, and potential game-changers.

However, current efforts are insufficient if we are to follow pathways consistent with keeping global warming to below 2℃. Reducing methane emissions needs to become a prevalent feature in the global pursuit of the sustainable future outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The Conversation

Pep Canadell, CSIRO Scientist, and Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project, CSIRO; Ben Poulter, Research scientist, NASA; Marielle Saunois, Enseignant chercheur à l’Université de Versailles Saint Quentin; chercheur au Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace; Paul Krummel, Research Group Leader, CSIRO; Philippe Bousquet, Professeur à l’université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, chercheur au Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (LSCE), membre de l’Institut de France, auteur contributif d’un chapitre des deux derniers rapports du GIEC, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines – Université Paris-Saclay , and Rob Jackson, Professor, Earth System Science and Chair of the Global Carbon Project, Stanford University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Beef jerky brand moo-ving at a rapid rate

Launched in 2012 by northern NSW-based company New World Foods is a snack food company on the move.

According to Managing Director  and the brains behind the brand, Don Nisbet, he always had the ambition to develop a range of snack food products and a legends brand.

Around five years ago, the Local Legends concept came into his head.

“The Bob Marley album Legend inspired me to create the brand as he’s obviously a legendary guy. The first concept artwork featured Mohammed Ali on the back of the packs because the idea was to associate legendary people with the brand.

“A lot of these people came from a difficult background and went on to become household names but we wanted a brand that could connect local people too so as it transpired we brought that in” he said.

The company has seen growth year on year of 25 per cent plus including expanding internationally.

Nisbet and his team became involved with a local grassroots AFL club and enlisted a legendary player, Danny Frawley, to launch the brand.

The company was set up to on the basis of every unit sold meant money was donated back into football allowing the Local Legends brand to connect to local people.

According to Nisbet, jerky is an honest, wholesome and funky product that fit the existing brand.

“I’ve been running New World Foods for many years and with protein being such a necessary staple, it was the perfect tie in to give the brand a healthy image” he said.

“I spent a lot of time looking at the whole sport supplement space and seeing products that called themselves health foods but were loaded full of synthesized protein.

“What we’re offering is a very natural protein” he said.

The company has seen growth year on year of 25 per cent plus including expanding internationally.

As of this month, Local Legends Original Beef Jerky is the brands’ highest selling unit. The company recently signed a deal with Snack Brands Australia to be distributed into their network ensuring increased exposure.

For the future Don said his intention “was to make Local Legends the leading meat snack brand in the country. We’re going to take the brand into other areas including some exciting new products and, in the next calendar year, the brand will take on a refreshed look.”

Packaging & supply chain bodies pack Xmas hampers worth $120,000

Last Friday , over 170 people from the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the Australian Packaging & Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) and the QLD Supply Chain and Logistics Conference (QSCLC) spent their Christmas Party packing over 1100 hampers for Foodbank to provide to those in need during the holiday season.

The hampers included 800 family hampers, 200 ladies packs and 110 children’s packs. The total value of the hampers was over $120,000 worth of items that were either donated, or the funds raised for, by the industry.

According to the AIP, the hampers would not be possible without the continued support from the industry including Campbells Arnotts, Colgate, Ego Pharmaceuticals, Edex, Tip Top GW Foods, All Purpose Transport, Office Max, BDO, APPMA, Orora, Linde Forklifts, Tip Top Foodservice -GW Foods, Coles and Department of Housing and Public Works.

Over the last five years, the team has packed 5400 hampers to the value of close to $660,000 for people in need and looks forward to even more hampers in 2017.

Twinings releases new tea blend

Twinings has released a new blend, Twinings Morning Tea, created by Master Tea Blender Philippa Thacker and 10th generation Twining, Stephen Twining, due to hit shelves late January 2017.

“Speaking with dozens of Australian women during my recent tour around Australia, I discovered what women really wanted from a cup of tea was refreshment, and this was the inspiration for creating the new, Twinings Morning Tea said Ms Philippa Thacker, Twinings Master Tea Blender.

“Morning Tea is a blend of both high and low grown Ceylon teas from the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. The high grown teas impart a refreshing character to the blend whilst the low grown tea gives colour, flavour and body, said Ms Thacker.

“Twinings Morning Tea has a clean flavour with no aftertaste, and can work equally well with a little milk, simply black or with a slice of fresh lemon”, concluded Ms Thacker.

SA wine industry leads way on solar uptake

Dozens of wineries in Australia’s premier wine state are harnessing the sun’s power for purposes beyond growing grapes.

South Australian wineries are embracing solar energy at twice the rate of other business sectors, installers say. Yalumba Wine Company in the Barossa Valley is just weeks away from completing one of the largest commercial solar system installations in South Australia and the largest to date by any Australian winery.

It will have taken more than three months to put the 5384 individual panels in place at three sites: Yalumba Angaston Winery, Yalumba Nursery, and the separate Oxford Landing Winery.

When fully operational, the 1.4 MW PV system will produce enough renewable energy to reduce Yalumba’s energy costs by about 20 per cent and cut its annual CO2 emissions by more than 1200 tonnes, equivalent to taking 340+ cars off the road.

“It is an exciting project and one that will deliver us significant savings, as well as being consistent with our corporate focus on sustainability,” said Managing Director Nick Waterman. Yalumba is currently the leader of the pack, but it is an increasingly large pack.

No one keeps a detailed list, but wineries with systems in excess of 100kW include D’Arenberg, Seppeltsfield, Peter Lehmann, Angove, Torbreck, Wirra Wirra, Jim Barry and Gemtree. Many smaller wineries are installing smaller systems.

In the Adelaide Hills, Sidewood has flicked the switch on a 100kW solar system as part of a $3.5m expansion project at its Nairne winery.

With the support of an $856,000 grant from the South Australian Government, the system will provide more than 50 per cent of the winery’s annual consumption.

Sidewood has also become the largest sustainable winery in the Adelaide Hills after receiving full Entwine Accreditation for all four of its vineyards in September.

There was a brief lull in solar installations after the current Federal Government scrapped the financial support provided under the previous government’s Clean Technology Investment Program (36 of the 80 projects funded in South Australia in 2012-13 were in wineries) but things are moving again.

David Buetefuer is Director of Sales and Business Development for The Solar Project, which has worked with a number of local wineries including D’Arenberg, suggests four reasons for this: the wine industry is starting to recover from a slow patch; the price of electricity is at an unprecedented high; the cost of solar is coming down; and there are new ways to get started.

Yalumba, for example, has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with energy supplier AGL, which is installing and maintaining the system and will own the energy produced.

This will be sold to Yalumba at a rate comparable or lower than its current per kilowatt hour rate. Another alternative is a rental model under which, as Buetefuer puts it, the bank owns the system. In both cases, the winery does not have to find the capital up front and the system is off balance sheet.

“It’s an interesting time because all three models now work – power-purchase, rental and straight purchase – whereas not that long ago the only people buying solar were those who had the available capital and could justify payback times of five, six or more years,” Buetefuer said. “It’s opened up a lot more opportunities.”

Buetefuer said the wine industry recognised the benefit of harnessing solar power at its most productive period of the year, which coincided with the summer to autumn vintage when the demand for electricity was at its peak in wine production.

“One of the defining features of the industry is the long-term planning that goes into establishing vineyards and infrastructure to support wine production well into the future,” he said. D’Arenberg’s chief winemaker Chester Osborn agrees.

He said one of the important things for the winery last year was reducing peak demand from the grid. “A big portion of our electricity cost comes from our peak requirements which we only need for a couple of months a year, but get charged for every month,” he said.

“We have reduced our power bill by 40 per cent and we are hopeful that the advances in battery technology will lead to further efficiency improvements.”

D’Arenberg’s 200kW system in McLaren Vale was the largest in a winery in South Australia when installed at the end of 2013.

The company made the investment so it could generate 20-30 per cent of its power from solar energy and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent. Among the most publicly visible solar installations in South Australia are the two arrays that line the road to the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre in the Barossa.

They not only produce all the energy the winery needs, they feature in quite a few visitor photographs.

South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual wine production, including iconic brands such as Penfolds Grange, Jacob’s Creek, Hardys and Wolf Blass. From The Lead

Small manufacturers will get into the zone at foodpro

Australasia’s iconic food manufacturing event, foodpro, will be partnering with Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) in a brand new initiative: The Supply Chain Integrity Zone.

Security in the supply chain is vital to the food manufacturing process with traceability and audit compliance a priority; however smaller manufacturers often find it costly to comply.

The majority of technologies for traceability are often geared to larger manufacturers, which causes obstacles and barriers for smaller players in the industry.

In response to this, foodpro and FIAL have launched the Supply Chain Integrity Zone, a new initiative focusing on solutions available for small manufacturers who produce pre-packaged goods for sale to the consumer.

Companies across the various stages of the supply chain will be represented, allowing visitors to discuss end-to-end solutions with suppliers best suited for their business.

The zone will also include a series of seminars covering the latest technology, capabilities and insights.

“The Supply Chain Integrity Zone is a really important and exciting addition to foodpro” says Peter Petherick, foodpro Event Director.

“Foodpro has supported Australia’s manufacturing needs for 50 years, and it’s important we continue to respond to the industry as it changes. It’s become clear that there are an increasing number of smaller manufacturers whose needs, although similar to the bigger companies, must be met in more specific ways. The new zone serves a purpose for solutions and importantly, for discussion and engagement. With a focus on improving traceability and supporting audit compliance, the benefit to the industry will be incredible.”

The zone will feature companies that offer solutions specifically for smaller manufacturers who produce less than 10,000 units a week with a focus on areas including: materials in, processing integrity, packaging integrity, shipping & receivables and quality management solutions for traceability. FIAL is directly supporting the zone with the objective of increasing industry capability and compliance.

FIAL was established to foster commercially driven collaboration and innovation in the Australian food and agribusiness industry.

They are industry led and take a collective approach to ensure productivity, profitability and resilience in the food and agribusiness sector. Along with the partnership with FIAL, foodpro 2017 will also host wider discussions around innovation and the food industry with the annual AIFST (Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology) Convention.

Over 400 delegates are expected to attend the Convention’s 50th year to hear about topics such as the future nutritional needs, technology driving innovation, regulations related to imports as well as a roundtable discussing financing innovation and growth in the food industry.

For more information see: https://www.foodproexh.com/

PET bottle making stability increased with less energy

Production lines for still beverages utilising nitrogen dosing can now also take advantage of the Sidel StarLite PET bottle base with the launch of the Sidel StarLite Nitro version.

The new base ensures bottle resistance and stability, even under extremely high temperature conditions, while also providing benefits in terms of both lightweighting and energy saving.

The new non-petaloid StarLite Nitro base utilises a unique shape that significantly increases base resistance and stability.

This means the new base design can simultaneously increase PET bottle rigidity by enhancing resistance to the internal pressure created by nitrogen dosing, even in harsh conditions, while lowering package weight and energy consumption.

It also offers packaging design differentiation and optimised aesthetics, importantly without compromising product safety. The StarLite Nitro base takes all the benefits of the StarLite base, introduced in 2013 for the production of still and carbonated beverages bottled in PET, which has been recognised as the ‘Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative’ at the 2013 Global Bottled Water Awards.

The Sidel StarLite Nitro base ensures improved PET bottle quality without compromising strength and increases stability throughout the entire supply chain. It enables producers to increase bottle resistance to deformation in any production environment.

“The large and stable surface upon which the bottle stands, combined with other structural elements within the bottle design, enables the formed PET bottle to better withstand the internal pressure caused by the addition of nitrogen and improves bottle stability during conveying, depending on the wall thickness of the base,” says Vincent Le Guen, Vice President, Packaging & Tooling at Sidel.

PepsiCo gets gender equality award

PepsiCo Australia has been awarded the Workplace Gender Equality Agency ‘Employer of Choice for Gender Equality’ citation for the third year in a row.

The Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation has been given to the top 100 organisations in Australia that meet the stringent criteria for best practice in promoting gender equality. PepsiCo Australia is leading the way for the food and drink industry – and the only FMCG company on the 2016 citation list.

This accolade is in recognition of PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment and effort to workplace gender equality through encouraging work life quality and flexibility in the workplace; supporting women at all levels of the organisation to progress into more senior positions; and ensuring pay equity within the business.

CEO of PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand, Robbert Rietbroek said: “We are delighted to have received this recognition for the third year in a row – and the only FMCG to do so. We recognise the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive workforce where both men and woman can thrive.

“When it comes to supporting female talent we have a strong track record, with over 40% of senior roles across the business filled by women and almost half of our ANZ executive leadership team are female. We value and actively promote flexibility and work life quality across the organisation.”

To signify PepsiCo Australia’s ongoing commitment to gender equity, CEO Robbert Rietbroek became a Pay Equity Ambassador earlier this year, to signify his personal commitment to ensuring that PepsiCo people processes are free of bias to achieve equity and pro-actively manage pay equity.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said: “WGEA data shows there is progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces, but it is too slow. It is only through more employers adopting leading practices to promote gender equality in the workplace that we will see the pace of change pick up.

“That’s why it is so encouraging to see more than 100 organisations meet the very high standard required to receive the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation this year.

“I congratulate all the 2016 citation holders for their commitment and recognition of the strong business case for gender equality. I hope to see continued growth in this community of leading practice employers.”

Oxygen permeability tester for food and package makers

Bestech Australia has introduced the OX2/231, an oxygen permeability tester to determine oxygen transmission rate of film and package products, including plastic films, composite films, sheeting, plastic bottles, plastic bags and other packages.

This is important to ensure the food product maintains a long shelf life. It comes with 2 test modes for both films and packages for accurate tsts.

The tester can test 3 specimens at once, and then export test results for analysis. An easy-to-use menu interface with LCD display ensures viewing and exporting data is convenient. The OX2/231 is recommended for the following packages:

• Films – Plastic films, aluminium foils, etc

• Sheeting – Engineering plastics, rubber and building materials

• Package Caps

• Plastic Pipes

• Blister Packs

• Wine bottles

• Contact Lenses

Heineken’s partnership with Royal Croquet Club extended

Following a successful Sydney debut last weekend, Heineken is set to bring its Heineken Saturday event to the rest of Australia, and in turn, extending the partnership with the Royal Croquet Club.

The next stop for the event of the beer brand will be Melbourne on 17 December, before rolling out at Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane over the first half of 2017.

Nada Steel, Marketing Manager, Heineken Lion Australia, said, “Bringing Heineken Saturday to Sydney for the first time proved to be a big success. As part of our ongoing commitment to deliver unique world class Heineken experiences for our 18-29-year old consumers, we are excited to extend our relationship with Royal Croquet Club and take Heineken Saturday across Australia.”

Eliminating waste in the fisheries industry

Every year 340,000 tonnes of usable whitefish by-product are discarded into the sea. But the fisheries industry has now identified ways of halting this practice.

The fishing company Nordic Wildfish has been assisting in the development of a new technology that can make use of the entire by-product from whitefish such as cod, pollock and haddock.

Instead of discarding the heads, guts and the rest of the fish, they can all be incorporated into a hydrolysis process that separates the bones, leaving a kind of “soup” to which enzymes can be added and valuable oils and proteins extracted.

“The entire process takes place on board the trawler, which has only been at sea for two months,” says Anders Bjørnerem, R&D Director at Nordic Wildfish in Norway.

So this technology is entirely new? “Yes. No one has done this before, and it’s very exciting. We’ve already been nominated for the 2016 Innovation Prize awarded by the technical journal Teknisk ukeblad,” says Bjørnerem.

Non-sustainable food production Nordic Wildfish is located on the island of Valderøya, west of Ålesund, Norway, and has been working closely with the research-company SINTEF for some time to promote technological development.

“As much as 92 per cent of marine whitefish by-product is not utilised,” says Bjørnerem. “Commonly it is only the fillets that are processed to become food. This is not sustainable food production. As we approach 2050, the demand for food on this planet will increase by as much as 70 per cent due to high levels of population growth.

The industry must make it its goal to utilise the entire fish,” says Ana Karina Carvajal, Research Manager at SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture.

According to a report published by SINTEF in 2014, 340,000 tonnes of whitefish by-product are discarded annually. SINTEF believes that this material has major commercial potential if it can be processed to produce high quality end-products such as ingredients in animal feed and food for human consumption.

Teamwork is key On board the trawler Molnes, whitefish by-product is processed using enzymatic hydrolysis to produce valuable proteins, amino acids and fish oils.

Many technologies have been developed and adapted for installation on board the refurbished trawler. “Excellent teamwork between researchers and the industry will enable many new systems for better exploitation of the fish to be implemented within the next two to four years,” says Carvajal.

“We’re very pleased to see that some segments within the industry have already taken the first steps towards more sustainable food production,” Carvajal says.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-11-fisheries-industry.html#jCp

Asahi releases Mist Wood Gin

Asahi has introduced Mist Wood Gin, designed as an alternative to sparkling, wine and spirits.

Employing principles of apothecary when creating the flavour combinations, Mist Wood Gin challenges the preconceived gin experience by steering away from the traditional tonic-based mixes. Instead, English pot-stilled gin is used and then matched with curated fruit, citrus and bitter flavours to create new taste sensations.

With four varieties available – Apple, Orange and Bitters, Grapefruit and Lime, and Elderflower and Lime, each blend combines contemporary flavours that result in what the company called “a sophisticated ready-to-drink beverage.”

The Mist Wood Gin range has to date won two gold medals at the 2016 Global Spirits Masters.

With the Apple and Grapefruit and Lime both being awarded top prize, the Orange and Bitters and Elderflower and Lime varietals also took out silver medals within the pre-mixed category.

Gin is fast becoming the beverage of choice as it surges in popularity – rapidly encroaching on a territory dominated by vodka, gin has experienced a 20 per cent growth in the average number of monthly drinkers nationwide, the company said.

Containing a 5 per cent ABV in 320ml bottles, Mist Wood Gin is available in in 4 packs, or 6 x 4 pack cases.