Kerry closing Melbourne ingredient factory

Ingredient maker Kerry is closing its manufacturing plant in Melbourne, leaving up to 100 employees out of work.

The National Union of Workers says the Ireland-based company will move at least 75 per cent of its production to Asian factories.

The Altona factory, in the Melbourne’s west, will close for the last time on March 31 2013, and the production of products including bases for milkshakes, donuts and biscuits to Malaysia.

“These are high-wage jobs, high skilled jobs and they were good quality middle class jobs in the western suburbs,” National Union of Workers secretary Tim Kennedy said.

“The problem for these people is that the work for them in the future will be casual work here and there.

“There is just no confidence in the manufacturing industry in Victoria.”

Kerry’s factory closure is further indication that the manufacturing sector in Australia is struggling more than ever, he said.

 

“This is not just a job emptying bins at the footy,” he said.

“Some of the equipment is going to New South Wales but the bulk of it, about three quarters is going back to Malaysia.”

Kerry Group says some employees impacted by the closure would be offered jobs at the company's New South Wales and Queensland operations.

"Whilst manufacturing remains a very competitive environment in Australia and international markets, these decisions enable Kerry to provide sustainable business growth by leveraging the offering at our existing sites within the region," Kerry Ingredients and Flavours Asia-Pacific president Mark McCormack said in a statement.

"Whilst Kerry will continue to invest in and expand our presence in Australia, this is a consolidation of a number of acquisitions made over recent years."

"We'll now be focusing on redundancies and making sure that happens promptly and it happens well, and we'll also be looking at reskilling and retraining the workers."

Blooming delicious: Edible Blooms Cake Pops

Product Name: Cake Pop Blooms

Manufacturer: Edible Blooms

Ingredients: Butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs, flour, buttermilk, water, dark chocolate, brownie mud mix, lemon cake, lemon jam, californian blonde mix

Shelf life: Best eaten within two days if they are un-refrigerated or four days if they are kept refrigerated.

Packaging : Ceramic bases are sourced from Apack.

Product Manager:  Lauren Faulkner, 0421166148

Website: www.edibleblooms.com.au

What the company says: 

Edible Blooms make cakes pop with new gourmet dessert range

Popular gifting site, Edible Blooms has taken its offering up a notch this month, launching into gourmet desserts with a deliciously decadent range of Cake Pop Blooms set to wow sweet tooth connoisseurs across the nation.

The Cake Pop Bloom brings together the uniqueness of the rose bud inspired design and the sophistication of three carefully selected, flavour-rich cakes plus one very special ingredient – the Edible Blooms signature bouquet treatment.

From the moist chocolate mud cake, lathered in a creamy Belgian milk chocolate, to a decadent red velvet cake, set in rose-tinted white chocolate, and a creamy lemon delicious cake dipped in Belgian white chocolate – the Cake Pop Bloom leaves nothing to the dessert junkie’s imagination. 

Edible Blooms Managing Director, Kelly Baker-Jamieson said the idea was born from a family gathering at her cousin’s home early this year.

“My cousin Karla had made cake pops as a nice, neat, mess free dessert, and whilst my mouth watered, my brain was also ticking over as to how we could work this delicious cake concept into our range of unique edible bouquets,” she said.

The cake pop concept originated in the US, where bakers began reviving old, unsold cake cut offs and leftovers, freezing them and coating them in an icing or other sweet exterior.         

Having made their comeback in America over the last year, cake pops are due for resurgence in Australia and Edible Blooms are first in line to take the concept to a new, more indulgent level.

Baker-Jamieson said, once re-introduced to the foodie scene in Australia, cake pops would become the new, modern take on cupcakes as a trendy gifting and dessert option.

"Cake pops could easily replace cupcakes as the centre piece of a high tea spread, a birthday party gift or a colour coded baby shower treat,”

“Not only are the cake pops delicious, but they offer a bite size alternative to the often half eaten cupcakes, as well as half the mess!”

To view the Edible Blooms Cake Pop Bloom range, please visit www.edibleblooms.com.au

Nestlé Indian factory expansion to create 250 jobs

International food giant Nestlé is making some changes to its businesses in India and the US.

The capacity of its Goa factory in Indonesia will be expanded as part of a three-year US$125 million investment plan in the key emerging market.

Switzerland-based Nestlé said the factory improvements will create 25o jobs.

 “We have been in India for 100 years and have factories in eight locations across the country,” Jean-Marc Duvoisin, global head of human resources at Nestlé said.

 “India is important for us and we have deep roots here."

In the US, Paul Grimwood, Chief executive of Nestlé UK & Ireland, has been appointed to the role of Chairman & CEO of Nestlé USA.

The appointment comes after the current chairman and chief executive Brad Alford, announced plans to retire in October this year after 32 years with the company and seven as chairman and chief executive.

Grimwood has been in his current role for over three years and prior to that, was the head of the  Nestlé UK Confectionery business for three years.

Rocklea Road ahead: Darrell Lea in administration

The largest Australian confectionary retailer, Darrell Lea has gone into voluntary administration.

The company was founded in 1927 and employs about 700 people across its Sydney-based manufacturing facility and its retail network encompassing 1800 retail outlets and 69 licensed and owned stores across Australia, New Zealand and the US.

Mark Robinson, Jack Bournelis and Daniel Walley of PPB Advisory have been appointed as Voluntary Administrators of the business, following an ongoing review of the business by Directors over Darrell Lea’s ability to meet its ongoing financial obligations.

 “We are undertaking an urgent review of the business with a view to preparing Darrell Lea for sale as a going concern,” Robinson said.

“The owners of the business have agreed to provide some short term financial support whilst we undertake this process.

“We will work with all stakeholders including employees and their representatives, licensees, customers and suppliers to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.”

PPB Advisory says it will update stakeholders as soon as possible, and more information will become available at a press conference at 2:30pm this afternoon.

 

Whispering sweet nothings: the evolution of the confectionary industry

Willy Wonka was really onto something with his candy factory.

Not only did he realise that making confectionary will bring a smile to the faces of those who eat it – hell, it will get a bedridden man dancing around like he’s Patrick Swayze at the mere idea of it – but he was also an innovator.

Yes, you read that right, this article is singing the praises of Willy Wonka (“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it, anything you want to, do it…wanta change the world? There's nothing toooo it”) because confectionary is a beautiful thing.

It is one of the most innovative, creative and interesting industries, filled with people just like Willy Wonka, who unfortunately don’t have his chocolate factory, but on the upside do have his imagination and passion for invention.

“Australia has a very good confectionary industry, we have great products and some really good marketing and there are some fantastic smaller brands bubbling away which is a great thing,” Anne Barrington, Product Manager at Keith Harris Flavours & Colours, Bronson & Jacobs told Food Magazine.

“There are some really great gourmet items coming up through the really boutique brands.”

Three dimensional confectionary

The confectionary industry is always expanding, becoming more creative and experimenting with different flavours.

“The main trends we’re seeing are in the chocolate and gummy lolly markets at the moment, which are both pretty dynamic,” she told Food Magazine.

“We’re seeing a lot of sensory things coming through that give you multi dimensional textures and flavours, like the tingling cooling effect and fruit pieces coming through.

“Things that are giving the consumer almost a three dimensional experience with a products are certainly being seen in the chocolate market, which is really tapping into that gourmet part of the market and very much capitalising on very good media on antioxidants with the dark chocolate. 

Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations, which combines a number of different textures, flavours and experiences in one mouthful, launched this month, bringing home Barrington’s point about the increase in sensory experiences in the confectionary market.

“Marvellous Creations was developed in response to Australians telling us they want a chocolate experience to share as part of the family occasion, which is fun, magically exciting and unexpected,” Ben Wicks, General Manager Chocolate, Kraft Foods, told Food Magazine.

“We identified a real opportunity to create a product that is ideal for family sharing and brings everyone together at the end of the day.

“We know that families love the occasional surprise and delight in the unexpected. Marvellous Creations is the ideal way to bring a moment of unexpected joy in the everyday.”

The Marvellous Creations range offers consumers three variations, which may seem like strange combinations at first, but have been met with intrigue in the consumer market.

There’s the peanut, toffee and cookie combination, the jelly and Crunchie bits blend and the jelly, popping candy and beanies offering, all covered in famous Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate.

“We tested a number of different flavour combinations with consumers, and had overwhelming positive response to these,” Wicks explained.

“All three variants are performing extremely well, however Jelly Popping Candy Beanies is proving to be particularly popular after just four weeks on shelves,” Wicks told Food Magazine.

The strangest of combinations

Barrington explained that often, combinations of flavours that might sound odd or a little off-putting, in fact turn out to be very popular.

“Certainly the celebrity chef’s and the food shows are bringing a lot of interest into flavours and how they can work together, which means a lot of consumers are more willing to try new things,” she said.

“What we’re also seeing is a lot of different flavour trends coming through, we’re seeing savoury flavours coming into chocolate, thinks like bacon and lime and salt, salted caramel.

“We’re talking about pretty gourmet boutique brands here, but often what we see is that these things bubble away in the boutique market for a while and then it hits the mainstream once it has been accepted and received by consumers.

“It’s how the consumer accepts those new flavours, and often the gourmet boutique brands are the testing ground for new flavours.

“We’re seeing spices coming into chocolate and even into the gum lolly market, as well as some cinnamon and herbs even!

“Herbs and spices are pretty new, but people are familiar with new things coming into chocolate, we’ve seen some floral flavours, like rose. as well.

And while the confectionary industry often seems to stand on its own and march to the beat of its own drum, Barrington explained to Food Magazine that it is not actually as isolated you may think.

“There confectionary industry also often looks to the beverage markets to see some of the flavour trends going on there, because there is quite a lot of alignment,” she said.

“You might see a lot of berry flavours making their way into the beverage market and being very popular and them confectionary makers might try them in their products.

“One of the biggest trends is the expansion of berries of all types, cherry, blackberry, blueberry.

Food scientists and confectionary experts are always hard at work trying to perfect the flavours available to consumers, ensuring they are as realistic as possible.

“There will always be the favourite flavours, which are the basic flavours in confectionary; raspberry, vanilla, lime, but a lot of those flavours have gotten a  lot more sophisticated in their profiles and particular in the flavour experience, they are much truer to type nowadays,” Barrington said.

“Twenty years ago, mango flavour was what they determined mango to be, which was actually nothing like what a mango tasted like.

“Now that mangoes are so readily available and so popular here, the flavour is more true to the fruit, because it has to be.”

How flavours are changing

Beyond the creativity of the industry, and the seemingly endless combinations thought up by confectionary producers, Barrington told Food Magazine the biggest change has not been about adding things, but rather removing.

She’s talking about artificial colours and flavours, which have almost ceased to exist in not only the confectionary industry, but throughout much of the food sector.

“The biggest change across all sectors has been the natural flavours in products aimed at children,” she said.

“Twenty years ago I would say the bulk of flavours were artificial, or synthetic.

“So absolutely, the natural flavours have expanded.

“Back then, the availability to raw flavours was poor but over the last eight to 10 years, the situation has reversed and the major developments in the industry are focused on natural flavours.”

Barrington said greater understanding of the impacts of additives on health has led to widespread developments and improvements to how the flavours are colours are made.

“Now we have a lot more access to natural flavouring materials, whereas before it was very difficult.

“There is a code for how it is determined and there are very strict laws around natural flavouring and labelling your product as such.

“FSANZ [Food Standards Australia New Zealand]has changed the terminology so it is now referred to as a ‘synthetic’ flavour, rather than artificial.

The Australian confectionary industry follows the International Organisation of the Flavour Industry (IOFI) Code of Practice to ensure the health, quality and ingredients of products.

The health factor

While the enjoyment of confectionary cannot be understated, the industry is, understandably, scrutinised as the rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases rise.

In a move sure to upset chocoholics everywhere – but perhaps please their doctors – Mars announced plans in February to stop shipping chocolate bars that exceed 250 calories per portion.

It will mean the king sized chocolate bars made by the confectionary giant, including Snickers, M&M’s, Mars, Milky Way and Dove will effectively be unavailable by the end of 2013.

Even a regular sized Snickers contains 280 calories, but the company advises that it includes three serving sizes.

A king-sized Snickers contains 510 calories.

The family sized blocks of chocolate produced by the company will still be available, as they are intended to be shared.

Some critics came out swinging, accusing Mars of reducing chocolate size to save money on expensive cocoa, but the company said in a statement that it is another move by the company to create healthier products for its consumers.

The company has previously announced aims to reduce sodium levels in all Mars products by 25 per cent from 2007 levels, stop marketing chocolate products directly to children under 12 and it also started displaying calorie counts on the front of packages, eliminating trans fat and reducing saturated fat.

"Mars has a broad-based commitment to health and nutrition, and this includes a number of global initiatives," the company said in a statement.

Initiatives like Mars’ are increasing fast, but not as fast as people’s waistlines.

Of the most pressing concern is the rapidly increasing occurrences of childhood obesity, and as such, there have been calls from medical associations and parenting groups to have all advertising of junk food to children stopped.

A report in May found that children are seeing 60 per cent less junk food advertising during their television programs, following suggestions from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) that the practise should be stopped, and calls from health groups to ban ads aimed at those under 12.

In 2009 the AFGC suggested that high sugar, fat and salt (HFSS) foods should not be advertised during television programs aimed at children.

Following the suggestion, however, HFSS advertisements aimed at children did not decrease, but rather in some instances actually increased.

The AFGC maintains this rise was the result of scheduling error, but health groups including the Cancer Council, Parents Jury, Australian Medical Association and the Australian Greens called on the government to step in and ban the practise.

The AFGC said the suggestion to ban cartoons in advertising HFSS foods to children was “unnecessary” last year.

The AFGC then released figures in May to support its suggestions, which found the advertising of HFSS foods during children’s programs has fallen to 0.7 per cent between March and May 2011, down 60 per cent from the previous year.

The independent research by the Australian advertising information service Media Monitors was revealed in the RCMI Activity Report 2011, monitored free-to-air television – including digital channels – across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney 24/7 for 92 days.

The figures prove that the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI), which was started in 2009, is working, according to AFGC Acting Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison.

Under the RCMI, 17 leading food manufacturers have committed to no advertise to children under 12, unless the ads are promoting healthy dietary choices and a healthy lifestyle.

 “The latest advertising figures confirm that adverts are not running during TV programs aimed at children,” Annison said.

Annison said the AFGC is pleased the food industry has made decisions to protect children with industry codes.

“Industry looks forward to continuing discussions with Government and public health advocates to ensure the RCMI is aligned with community expectations, remains practical for industry to implement and is successful in supporting better diets and health outcomes for all Australians.”

Barrington said that while the health and nutrition, particularly of children, is always of concern, confectionary should always be seen and marketed as a ‘sometimes’ food, and should be enjoyed at those times.

“Confectionary is a hard one because if people want chocolate, they want chocolate!

Certainly in that category, consumers won’t compromise on that.”

Well then, back to the factory for the Oompa Loompas!

 

The 50 Day No Sugar Challenge: could you do it?

The impact of sugar on our health and weight (and brain) has become more commonly known in recent times, and soon thousands of Aussies will start on the challenge to eliminate sugar from their diet for 50 days.

The 50DaysNoSugar Challenge, created by personal trainer Natalie Carter, starts on 1 July, and urges people to cut the white stuff.

The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness of how many food and drinks products contain excess sugar, encourage healthy eating and curb sugar addiction.

But it won’t be easy. Experts say a sugar addiction is no easier to overcome than a heroin addiction, and more of us are addicted than we think.

The initiative was run successfully last year, and in 2012, Carter is embracing popular social media to encourage people to share their journey and help each other out, by encouraging participants to post snaps of their sugar-free food creations on Instagram and Facebook.

Junk food ads aimed at children fall 60 per cent

Children are seeing 60 per cent less junk food advertising during their television programs, following suggestions from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) that the practise should be stopped, and calls from health groups to ban ads aimed at those under 12.

In 2009 the AFGC suggested that high sugar, fat and salt (HFSS) foods should not be advertised during television programs aimed at children.

Following the suggestion, however, HFSS advertisements aimed at children did not decrease, but rather in some instances actually increased.

The AFGC maintains this rise was the result of scheduling error, but health groups including the Cancer Council, Parents Jury, Australian Medical Association and the Australian Greens called on the government to step in and ban the practise.

The AFGC said the suggestion to ban cartoons in advertising HFSS foods to children was “unnecessary” last year.

The AFGC has today released figures to support its suggestions, which found the advertising of HFSS foods during children’s programs has fallen to 0.7 per cent between March and May 2011, down 60 per cent from the previous year.

The independent research by the Australian advertising information service Media Monitors was revealed in the RCMI Activity Report 2011, monitored free-to-air television – including digital channels – across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney 24/7 for 92 days.

The figures prove that the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI), which was started in 2009, is working, according to AFGC Acting Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison.

Under the RCMI, 17 leading food manufacturers have committed to no advertise to children under 12, unless the ads are promoting healthy dietary choices and a healthy lifestyle.

 “The latest advertising figures confirm that adverts are not running during TV programs aimed at children,” Annison said.

Annison said the AFGC is pleased the food industry has made decisions to protect children with industry codes.

“Industry looks forward to continuing discussions with Government and public health advocates to ensure the RCMI is aligned with community expectations, remains practical for industry to implement and is successful in supporting better diets and health outcomes for all Australians.”

How sugar is damaging your brain

We know sugar is not very good for our waistline, but new research out of the US has found the negative impacts of sugar may extend even further: to your brainpower.

And don't think that because you don't add sugar to your coffee you're immune, because you're probably consuming more than you think.

An American study on lab rats, which appeared in the Journal of Physiology, found that a diet with consistent amount of high-fructose corn syrup effectively ruined their memories.

Researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) fed two groups of rats a solution with the syrup as drinking water for six weeks.

Corn syrup is produced using enzymes and acids sometimes used to break down corn starch into fructose, glucose and simple sugars.

The chemical composition of corn syrup closely resembles table sugar, sucrose.

It is made up of half glucose and half fructose.

High fructose corn syrup commercially used comes in two rations, 45 percent glucose to 55 percent fructose used in soft drinks, 58 percent glucose to 42 percent fructose used in sweetening ice cream, desserts and baked goods.

They have the same number of kilojoules.

High-fructose corn syrup is a common ingredient in processed foods, particularly soft drinks, condiments, baby foods and other snacks, and has gained interest over recent years as doctors and dieticians warn against consuming too much of the additive.

Earlier this year, a US study found that a tax on high-sugar drinks could save 26 000 American lives per year.

It is estimated that the average American consumes 45 gallons of sweetened drinks each year, while the US Department of Agriculture estimates they that more than 18 kilograms of just high-fructose corn syrup each year.

While both groups of rats were fed the high-fructose corn syrup, only one also consumed flaxseed oil, an omega-3 fatty acid, which has been shown to improve brain balance and function, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Prior to consuming the corn syrup, and for one group the flaxseed oil and DHA, the rats were given a five-day training session in a complicated maze.

After six weeks of consuming the additives, they were placed back in the maze to see if their abilities to manoeuvre it was the same, with some frightening results.

“The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity," Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.said.

"Their brain cells had trouble signalling each other, disrupting the rats' ability to think clearly and recall the route they'd learned six weeks earlier."

Of even more concern, further examination found that those rats who were not fed the DHA supplements appeared to have developed a resistant to insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates brain function, which Type 1 diabetics lack, while those with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin but is less efficient at moving sugar out of the bloodstream than healthy people.

Many years ago, Type 2 diabetes was often referred to as “sugar diabetes,” as it was known to be caused by lifestyle factors including obesity, high consumption of sugar and fat and low levels of exercise.

"Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss," Gomez-Pinilla said.

And it’s not just memory that feels the effect of the sugar, with  thoughts and emotions also impacted as the fructose interferes with insulin’s ability to regulate cells.

"Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," Gomez-Pinilla said.

"Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body.

“This is something new."

While it is not clear what the equivalent amount of high-fructose corn syrup a human would have to consume to suffer the same consequences in the brain, the study does raise questions and concerns over the amount of the additive we are consuming without knowing it.

"Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," Gomez-Pinilla said.

"Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information.

“But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimise the damage."

Do you think Australians need more education about high-fructose corn syrup? Do we need better labelling around this additive?

Image: High-fructose corn syrup

When it comes to juice, keep it simple, stupid

Fruit juice used to be simple. You got some fruit, squeezed it until liquid ran out and then drank it. But then, things got complicated.

Somewhere along the way, juice producers realised they could make those expensive fruits go further: put less of it in the bottle, but sell it for the same price. Genius!

Often additives like water, sugar and orange flavouring are mixed with the real stuff that looks like juice, and is stocked in supermarkets with all the other juices, but can only technically be called a "fruit drink."

Then there's "reconstituted" juice, which is a way of adding water to dry solids from which the water has been evaporated.

Taking the moisture out of the fruit, by using heat, is a way to make transportation easier and ensure availability all year round, but can result in many of the nutrients being extracted.

But as people become more aware of the impact of obesity and the part that food and drink consumption plays in that, there is more demand than ever for proper, traditional fruit juice.

Its juice like it used to be, only better.

When nudity is perfectly acceptable

Ten years ago, Nudie Juice was launched by a man affectionately known as 'Tall Tim," and since its initial days, which came off the back of Tim Pethick's obsession with making fresh juices for his family, it has grown into a well-known and trusted brand with state-of-the-art juicing facilities, thousands of stockists and countless "Nudie addicts."

"Our proudest moments are often the unprompted bits of feedback that we receive from our consumers," Richard Glenn, Nudie's National Sales Manager told Food Magazine.

"We are continually amazed by the amount of people who take the time to contact us and tell us how much they love Nudies, their experience of their first nudie, or what they think of our new products.

"We call these people 'Nudie addicts'.

"Last week we even received a picture from a lady who had embroidered a quilt with pictures of all of our nudie characters on it, impressive stuff!"

The ever-increasing number of 'Nudie addicts,' is clear evidence that consumers are looking for quality products, free from preservatives but full of goodness.

Before Nudie entered the market, there weren't any mainstream juicers doing what Pethick was in his kitchen each morning, when he rose early to make up fruit juice and smoothie concoctions for his wife and daughters (and of course, himself), and so an opportunity was born.

After some deliberation, Pethick decided the best name for his company was one that summed up what his fruit was all about: nothing but the fruit, hence 'Nudie.'

From little things, big things grow

In 2003, when the company launched, there were only three people, including Pethick, one stockist, one blender and one small office in Sydney's Balmain.

They went through 256 pieces of fruit in the first week, and sold 40 bottles, mostly to family and friends.

They even went doorknocking, gave out samples and delivered Nudies personally so people could taste the goodness for themselves.

Now, more than 70 people are employed by the company, and it has over 5000 stockists throughout the country, including supermarket, cafŽ and convenience store chains, as well as independent retailers and food service operators.

Nudie goes through about 3 000 000 pieces of fruit per week these days and has a state-of-the-art juicing facility in South East Sydney.

And they're not stopping there.

"Within the last 18 months we've delivered some really strong innovation to the market," Glenn said.

"We spend a lot of time speaking to consumers and identifying trends to ensure that our product offering remains relevant.

"Our Nothing But range which was launched to address the growing consumer concerns around the use of concentrates and added ingredients in many of the other juice products on the market at the time.

"We launched with Nothing But 21 Oranges and Nothing But 20 Apples, taking nudie into the larger 'take home' segment of the market for the first time.

"In addition to the Nothing But message, we are also able to make the claim that we can get the product from farm to bottle in 72 hours, and that it is 100% Australian.

"For every 2L bottle, our farmers in regional NSW pick 21 oranges (give or take a few) and squeeze them, they then deliver this juice to our factory in Sydney where we lightly pasteurise the juice and bottle it.

"We add nothing else to the juice and the whole process from beginning to end takes no more than 72 hours.

"We believe that the quality of the fruit we use and our strict discipline around this process allows us to have such a great tasting juice, which is currently the most popular chilled juice in the Australian grocery market.

"Based on the success of these lines we have since expanded the range into a 1L and 500ml offering and have also added 3 new variants to the range."

A more informed consumer

Glenn told Food Magazine the company is always looking to innovate their products and ensure they are delivering what consumers want.

"We then became the first beverage company in Australia (and possibly the world) to add chia seeds to a beverage," he continued.

"As well as being the highest plant based source of Fibre and Omega 3, chia seeds also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

"We saw this as a great opportunity to create a nudie with chia seeds as a way of providing breakfast for people on the go, and have partnered with The Chia Co in Kimberley, WA to create the product."

Glenn believes the always-increasing demand for Nudie products is proof that consumers are becoming more educated about additives and their negative impacts, and turning towards healthier options.

"There has certainly been a lot of media coverage surrounding some of the added ingredients which exist in the market, and consumers seem to be better educated when it comes to choosing beverage products.

"A lot of food brands do seem to be increasing their focus on communicating what their products do not contain, which tends to suggest that this message is resonating with consumers across many areas of their grocery shop."

Keeping the good stuff

Another juice producer that is listening to the consumer demand for more fruity goodness and less additives is the Wild About Fruit Company, which produces two ranges of Low GI juices that are free from any nasties and full of flavour and health benefits.

The Wild Child "super-juices" and Wild About Juice ranges are based on apple juice sourced from orchards in the Yarra Valley and created with a "pure fruit" philosophy.

"There are no preservatives, no added sugar or water and no trendy boosts," the company told Food Magazine.

A few years ago a third generation orchardist in Victoria's Yarra valley, Ben Mould, wondered:  "Could an apple juice be made that actually tasted like a crisp orchard fresh apple, and also contain as much of the nutrients from the apple as possible?"

Knowing that crushing the apple caused oxidization, damaging the apple's delicate nutrients, which are found mainly in the skin, Mould had to develop something pretty clever.

Mould said that while most people have experienced the taste of commercially made apple juice – sickly sweet confectionary flavour that leaves a nasty after-taste, few had experienced good quality, sustainably juiced, delicious tasting real apple juice.

Even many home juicers damage the cells of the fruit and remove a lot of the apple's antioxidants.

Then, Mould's patented juicing process, which uses the whole apple, maintains the antioxidants of the fruit and has a low glycemic index (GI) was born.

Well, an apple a day does keep the doctor away!

The company says its Wild about Juice contains twice the nutritional value of the fruit than any other fruit juice on the Australian market and an independent nutritional analysis on apple juices and apple-blended products in Australia confirmed that the unique processing method employed by Wild about Juice which processes the whole fruit retains the naturally occurring phytonutrients and flavonoids contained in apples.

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

The company's  Wild about Juice  range of healthy juices straight from the Yarra Valley are 100 per cent Australian, with absolutely no additives and is the first and only juice in Australia to be given a low GI rating.

The GI rating refers to the different ways certain carbohydrates behave in the human body and their effect on blood glucose levels.

Low GI foods and drinks  produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels,  which  helps people lose and manage weight,increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood cholesterol levels.

They also leave you feeling fuller for longer, give added endurance for exercise and help re-fuel following exercise.

This 100% Australian, family-owned and operated business has been growing apples & cherries in the Yarra Valley since 1930.

Owner-operator Mould said the patented juicing process is healthier and more environmentally friendly than other juicing techniques.

"This special process extracts and retains the goodness from the fruit by also juicing the skin which contains more fibre and antioxidants than the flesh," Mould Explained.

"Wild about Juice promotes natural nutrition, as it has no preservatives or additives, and this juicing process also leaves minimal waste, making it highly sustainable."

The four powerful antioxidants that remain in the fruit through the revolutionary juicing process are catchins, a potent form of antioxidant which are good for coronary and cardiovascular health, flavanols that help in the protection of cancer and supports cardiovascular health, chalcones, known for their anti-inflammatory attributes and Phenolic Acids (Chlorogenic),  one of the most potent natural antioxidant groups known.

The Wild Child flavours consist of Green Cleanse; Antioxidant Energy; Mango Passion Veggie Detox, which are all made with using nature's own superfoods, and nothing else.

The Green Cleanse, for regeneration and rejuvenation contains apple, mango, banana, spinach, wheatgrass and spirulina to naturally detox and cleanse the body, while the Antioxidant Energy contains apple, pomegranate, blackcurrant, acai, and goji berries, in what the company describes as "the ultimate blend of the world's finest super-fruits and a natural source of antioxidants to boost energy and fight free radicals."

As these companies continue to grow, and the demand for proper, healthy juices increases, the market will see more innovation and creative combinations, and as Glenn told Food Magazine, the most important aspect for Nudie moving forward is commitment to what they do and why they do it.

"As a relatively young business just in our 10th year now, it's hard to say what the next 10 years hold in store.

"We will just make sure that we stick to the values which have got us to where we are today and continue to do what's been working for us so far."

As people become more aware of the impact of obesity and the part that food and drink consumption plays in that, there is more demand than ever for proper, traditional fruit juice.

Bundaberg Sugar’s $40 million investment to survive carbon tax

Bundaberg Sugar has invested $40 million on upgrading a mill in southern Queensland to avoid increases in financial payments when the carbon tax is officially introduced.

The company’s Millaquin mill will undergo massive changes to its operations, in a move general manager David Pickering says is a sign the industry is growing.

"Probably the biggest improvement is that the lower moisture bagasse means that the boilers burn more efficiently, which means there’s les CO2 into the atmosphere and also less emissions generally from the boiler stacks," he said.

"The carbon tax is coming in from the first of July, so we want to make sure that we’re operating below the threshold.

“This will allow us to produce more bagasse, which is a renewable energy, rather than coal.

"That means that we, in the marketplace, can remain competitive with our product."

Other companies that are already struggling to survive in the Australian food sector will be hoping the government has listened to requests from the peak industry body for financial assistance.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC)’s submission calls on the government to accelerate depreciation provisions for food manufacturers to purchase new plant equipment that will improve productivity and energy efficiency to deal with the impact of the carbon tax.

It submitted it’s recommendations last month, which also included the introduction of a Supermarket Ombudsman to oversee the predatory pricing and anti-competitive behaviour by Coles and Woolworths.

Cadbury officially Australia’s favourite chocolate

The results are in, the favourites have been identified, and it’s really no surprise that Cadbury is the most popular chocolate in Australia.

Roy Morgan Research conducted a study to find the leading chocolate brands in the Australian market, and in 2011, Cadbury came out on top in both the chocolate box and chocolate bar category.

It surveyed 18 641 Australians aged 14 and over between January and December last year, then projected the number to represent the national population.

It found that in 2011, more than 2 million Australians over 14 would have purchased a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar “in the last four weeks,” and almost 900 000 would have bought the Fruit & Nut variety.

Behind both the Dairy Milk and Fruit & Nut manufactured by Cadbury as third most popular was the Lindt Dark bar, which was bought by approximately 648 000 “in the past four weeks.”

But fourth and fifth place were both achieved by Cadbury, with the Caramello purchased by about 614 000 people and Cadbury Hazelnut bar by 588 000.

And if there was any proof needed that Australians have a sweet tooth, the research found that over 6.7 million Australians purchased a chocolate bar “in the last four weeks.”

In the lead-up to chocoholics’ favourite time of year, Easter, Cadbury is looking forward to capitalising on its popularity.

“Cadbury looks set to enjoy a big Easter break as the data shows many of their products are the most popular among Australians,” Cadbury’s Norman Morris said.

“In 2010 Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate became Fairtrade Certified, and in 2011 they released the first Fairtrade Easter egg.

“This has given consumers a Fairtrade choice among mainstream chocolate brands, and possibly led to increased market share because of it.”

Do you think the study’s finding’s represent the favourite Aussie chocolates? Does the fair-trade certification impact your choices?

Amazing looking foods you can’t eat

 Last week we reported on research which found that seeing images of foods makes them more enjoyable when you eat them. But what if the food in question looks absolutely delicious, but you can’t eat it because it’s…not actually food?

In a sequence titled Inedible Food Porn in the Daily Life website, amazing artwork made from everything from soap to ceramics are shown…and they all look good enough to eat.

These nuggets and chips might look delicious, but you probably wouldn’t want to eat them…they’re soap.

This hearty breakfast is actually a balloon artwork creation.

And with Easter on the brain, you are probably thinking about biting into some delicious chocolate bunnies like this. But we would suggest not these ones, because they are ceramic. The Easter sugarload already increased those pesky dental bills, and you would definitely need a trip to the dentist after these ones.

Talk about dangling the carrot!

Check out all the photos here.

Worker loses finger, food manufacturer fined $60 000

Food manufacturer Healthy Snacks Australia has been fined $60 000 after an employee had a finger partially severed by a machine.

The Australian food producer plead guilty in the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court this week to one count of failing to provide a safe system of work and proper instruction, training and supervision.

The worker had crawled under a machine that was used to manufacture and pack health bars, to clean its rollers.

The court heard that crawling under the machine to remove the guarding was common practise in the factory.

During the time the worker was cleaning the machine, it would remain on so that the rollers could be cleaned.

But on 29 June 2010, when the worker was performing the task, the cloth she was using became stuck and as she tried to pull it out, her other hand, which was resting on the machine so she could balance herself, became stuck between the rollers.

The moving machinery severed part of her middle finger.

The investigation by WorkSafe determined that Healthy Snacks Australia failed to undertake any risk assessment associated with the use of the machine, or ensure employees did not clean the machine while it was operating and while it was possible to access dangerous moving parts.

It also found the company did not provide any standardised or consistent training and supervision to workers who cleaned the machine or provide employees with standard operating procedures, including cleaning procedures for the machine.

It received a $60 000 fine without conviction and was ordered to pay an additional $3430 in costs to WorkSafe.

WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Acting Director, Mary Chojnacki said the company had failed to ensure some fundamental requirements.

“A serious injury and a $60,000 fine could have been prevented if appropriate steps were taken to adequately guard and supervise the machine while it was being cleaned, something that would have cost far less,” she said.

“If there are instances where machines can operate without guarding, employers need to fix this as a matter of urgency. Not doing so is just not worth it.”

“Despite the obvious risks it is unfortunately all too common for machines to be kept running while they’re being cleaned. Every time that happens, there is a risk of serious injury or death.”

“WorkSafe takes incidents like this seriously.

“In this case, the company was investigated and charged in just eight months.”

“This sends a strong message to all employers that safety must be a priority.

“The consequences can be not only immediate for the worker but for businesses, an unwanted court appearance and potential fine.”

“WorkSafe actively enforces the law. Since July last year, 79 prosecutions have commenced compared with 56 in the previous corresponding period.”

Last year WorkSafe’s Michael Birt told Food Magazine that the food industry is a major hotspot for injuries and accidents.

“The food manufacturing industry is one of the targeted industries in 2010, 11 and 12, because it isn’t getting there,” he said.

“We’re running a campaign this year targeting eight high risk industries, and food manufacturing is one of the eight, along with other related industries road ytansport and warehousing and storage.”

And just last month a spokesperson from WorkCover NSW told Food Magazine that the rates of incidents does not seem to be declining.

“Generally speaking often there is a reluctance from an organisation to want to engage with any regulators, whether its WorkCover or another food industry body,” the spokesperson said.
“But we strongly encourage companies to be proactive.
“We would much prefer they be proactive and talk to us so we can come out there and give our input.

“I know it is difficult and we are always working strongly to change the perspective of what we do and we are very keen to engage with industry.

“I think it’s a bit back to front.

“If an organisation could cause someone to be seriously injured or worse, killed, it is only in their best interest to talk to us and avoid any injuries and the costs and damage to reputation that would cause.

“It’s all about gaining competitive advantage these days between companies so people need to embrace safety and be proactive about it.”

Mariner wants 20% stake in Capalino Honey

Following its purchase of over 12 per cent of Capalino Honey shares last week, Mariner Corporation now has its sights set on having a 20 per cent stake in the company.

Mariner has written to all the shareholders in Capilano Honey Limited, with an offer to pay up to AU$1.50 per share, which would mean another $925 000 investment from company, which specialised in international real estate until the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), when it changed its business plan.

The stake in Capalino is just one of many food company acquisitions by Mariner.

Mariner sells Farm Pride and Peanut Butter Company shares

 Mariner Corporation has announced it has sold its stake in Farm Pride Foods Limited.

In an announcement on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) this morning the company, which has offices in Boston, London and Tokyo, as well as Australia, said it has handed its 12 per cent stake back to the market.

The sale will represent a $196 786 increase in Mariner’s finances, which acquired a stake in Capalino Honey earlier this week.

Mariner, which significantly changed its business structure and focus as a result of the Global Financial Crisis, (GFC) said the Capalino purchase was one part of the company’s move towards Australian food companies.

“The acquisition is the final part of a series of 4 acquisitions from GPG for a total consideration of $3 160 000, as announced to the market on 2 February 2012, and follows other recently announced Mariner Settlements of a 19.83% stake in Peanut Butter Company of Australia Limited, a 12.02% state in Farm Pride Foods Limited and a 19.65% stake in Tasmanian Pure Foods Limited,” it said.

Surprisingly, another ASX announcement this morning said Mariner has sold its 19.83 per cent stake in the Peanut Butter Company of Australia for $315 000.

 

Q&A with Gordon Slater, Byron Bay Cookie Company chairman

Gordon Slater, chairman of local manufacturer Byron Bay Cookie Company, speaks to Manufacturers’ Monthly about the company’s transition from hand-made to machine production, and the important role exporting plays in its future growth plans.

What’s the best thing about being chairman of Byron Bay Cookie Company?

The best thing about being the chairman of Byron Bay Cookie Company is getting involved in all aspects of the business, from product development to operations and sales & marketing.

Plus I get to try a lot of different cookies!

How much time do you spend at your manufacturing facilities?

I split my time between our bakehouse in Byron Bay and our new head office in Sydney Chifley Towers which now employs a strategic team of 5 (and growing).

Our cookies are still baked in the original bakehouse in Byron Bay where we bake hundreds of thousands of cookies weekly!

We employ between 50 and 100 staff; this fluctuates throughout the year and we’ll bring on more casuals to cover our peak production periods.

We also have an office in London, UK and a presence in the US.

What’s the one piece of technology/equipment that Byron Bay Cookie Company could not manufacture without?

Over the last couple of years we’ve made sure to put the right equipment in place to remain innovative and ahead of our competitors.

Our cookies were originally hand made which gave us a certain point of differentiation, however limited us in terms of long term growth.

We’ve since made key equipment purchases enabling us to scale up production whilst remaining true to our traditional baking methods.

Byron Bay Cookie Company began in a farm-style kitchen and is now recording 17% year on year growth. Was this the plan from the get-go?

Our plan has always been to manufacture a superior quality product but more importantly, we understood very early on that we had found a niche for a great-tasting treat that can be enjoyed with a coffee and uses natural, locally-sourced ingredients.

As such we were the “original café cookie” and pioneered the concept of cookie jars in cafes and delis across Australia.

Whilst the café market remains at the core of our business, we’ve managed to maintain growth by expanding into the retail market and by acquiring other brands such as Luken & May biscuits and Falwasser crispbread.

How important are export markets to the longevity of your business?

Export markets have been key to our expansion from day dot.

The very first export market we conquered was the UK over 10 years ago.

This was a calculated risk at the time and we learned a lot from it as a business.

We first started shipping our cookies from Australia; however as customer demand grew we made the strategic move to embark into a joint venture with a local bakery so Byron Bay Cookies are now made in the UK for the European market.

The next market on our list was Japan and it’s interesting to see how each market reacts to different products.

Whist the Dotty is our number 1 seller in Australia and in the UK, it’s our Fig & Pecan that tops the list in Japan, and the Triple Choc Fudge in the US.

We’re always on the lookout for new export markets, and as such are planning on increasing our presence at key tradeshows overseas.

Byron Bay Cookie Company is a classic example of what Australian manufacturers do best: quality over quantity. Can you comment on this?

From the very beginning our mission was to bake great cookies using the finest quality ingredients. By enforcing quality through each step of the production process, we managed to create a highly loyal customer following and we grew from there.

The challenge over the years has been to remain innovative whilst maintaining the same quality and taste that took us where we are today.

Do you think the Australian government does enough to help the manufacturing industry?

The Australian government has put in place some great programs which we have taken advantage of over the years.

At the end of the day, it’s up to us entrepreneurs to keep challenging ourselves and continually push for more innovation and creative ways to take the business further.

Which other Australian manufacturers do you admire, and why?

Australian fashion manufacturers have done a tremendous job with growing their brands overseas; Billabong is the perfect example.

A great product will only take you so far; ultimately it’s about creating and nurturing a strong brand that will take us that extra mile and deliver returns.

You are also a practicing orthopaedic surgeon: does your surgery have the best lolly jar ever?

Without a doubt! It’s important for us to put our product forward at any given opportunity.

You know the saying, ‘never trust a skinny chef’? You own a cookie company: how come you’re so slim?!

I have my personal trainer to thank for this!

The biggest challenge is the constant travelling that I do (and the constant product testing!).

It’s all about balance and great time management.

I’ve always been very driven in business and this is something that I apply to my personal life and discipline as well.

 

The strangest toothpaste flavours ever invented

Dentists are always telling us to brush our teeth after we eat, but does following up a can of Coke with some Coke-flavoured toothpaste count?

A series of the weirdest toothpaste flavours posted on Buzzfeed shows the imaginative thought processes of creators around the world.

Sick of mint flavoured toothpaste? Maybe try Oreo flavour, or even get the taste of cupcakes while you brush.

Big night out with the girls, and in desperate need of a hair of the dog? Well, brush with champagne-flavoured toothpaste and maybe follow it up with the flavours of a greasy breakfast, without the calories, by reaching for the bacon flavour.

The full list also includes pickle, blueberry and whickey flavours.

Have you seen any weird toothpaste flavours? If you have, take a picture and share it with us on our Facebook page.

More sex, healthier colonies: how queen bees’ promiscuity benefits the hive

Bringing a whole new meaning to being a busy little bee, scientists have discovered that the more promiscuous a queen bee, the better the hive’s honey.

Scientists from Wellesley College in Massachusetts in the United States have examined the inner workings of beehives to find out more about their bodies, food and digestion.

They found that when queen bees were more willing to spread their love around during mating season, a more diverse symbiotic microbial community would result, and they would have reduced loads of bacteria from pathogenic groups and more probiotic bacteria.

Honey bee colonies have suffered in recent years, as a result of changing environments, which has resulted in a decline in honey, spurring the scientists to discover what’s really going on behind closed doors – or closed beehives.

The US has experienced a decline of about 30 per cent in honey volumes since 2007, a concerning figure considering it is responsible for about $US15 billion in value to the food supplies.

Microbiologists at Indiana University, led by Irene L.G. Newton and Heather R. Mattila, compared two groups of bee honey colonies in their research.

The first group had promiscuous bees who had been inseminated by 15 different male bees, which had created genetically diverse populations.

But in the second, the queens mated with only one male bee each and therefore were genetically uniform.

They obtained bacteria samples from across the colonies and compared their findings, which uncovered that diverse honey bee colonies showed a much wider variety of active bacterial species, with 1,105 species.

Only 781 species were found in uniform worker populations and active bacteria in these colonies consisted of 127 per cent more potential pathogens, while diverse colonies had 40per cent more potentially beneficial bacteria.

The scientists also found four different types of bacteria which are known to aid in food processing in other animals dominated bacterial communities in colonies, many of which had never been reported in honey bee colonies.

Like humans who consume probiotics for health benefits, bees were also found to have Bifidobacterium, which is found in yogurt.

They also discovered Succinivibrionaceae, a group of fermenters in cows and other similar animals, Oenococcus and Paralactobacillus, used by humans to ferment wine and food.

“We’ve never known how healthier bees are generated by genetic diversity, but this study provides strong clues,” Mattila said.

“Our findings suggest that genetically diverse honey bees have the advantage of broader microbial communities, which may be key to improving colony health and nutrition—and to understanding factors that can mitigate honey bee decline.”

The impacts of queen bees’ promiscuity has never been studied in this way previously, Newton explained.

“We found that genetically diverse colonies have a more diverse, healthful, active bacterial community,” he said.

“Conversely, genetically uniform colonies had a higher activity of potential plant and animal pathogens in their digestive tracts.”

Mattila has been investigating the benefits of genetic diversity in honey bees for seven years, and the latest discoveries are by far the most significant.

“It is our first insight into a means by which colony health could be improved by diversity,” she said.

“It shows one of the many ways that the function of a honey bee colony is enhanced when a queen mates promiscuously, which is an unusual behavior for social insects.

“Most bees, ants, and wasp queens mate singly and produce colonies of closely related, single family workers.

“Honey bee queens are different in this regard, and this behavior has resulted in extremely productive colonies that dominate their landscape.”