Gently packages all produce

tna offers the robag 3 a complete accumulation, distribution and packaging system especially designed for the fresh produce market, a stainless steel vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) bagger.

The machine has “shaker” to gently package all types of fresh produce from bulk packaging to single-serving salads and bagged salad kits.

According to the company, the robag®’s sealing process dramatically reduces reject levels resulting in maximized output and increased product shelf life.

New cultures for soft cheese

Soft cheese is the fourth biggest cheese segment in the world.

Four new cultures are available from Chr. Hansen, aimed at producing soft cheese with improved acidification, flavour and texture.

The company also offers a full range of cultures including both acidification cultures and ripening cultures.

The new cultures are:

· Two thermophilic cultures, F-DVS GK-01 and F-DVS CZ-03, developed for helping soft cheese producers reach the acidification and texture needs of the Gorgonzola and of the Crescenza.

· Two mesophilic cultures, F-DVS TRADI-01 and F-DVS FRESH-01, contributing to obtain the unique acidification and flavour of cheese based on mesophilic production, e.g. Camembert and different blue cheeses. Mesophilic cultures thrive in temperatures between 15 and 35°C (59-95°F). Thermophilic cultures require between 35 and 45°C (95-113°F).

The new cheese cultures come in an easy-to-use direct vat set (DVS) packaging form invented by Chr. Hansen.

DVS is a highly concentrated and standardized frozen or freeze-dried dairy culture used for the direct inoculation of milk.

DVS cultures need no activation or other treatment prior to use and offer a number of advantages in terms of flexibility of use, consistent performance, no investment in bulk starter equipment and possibility of using customised culture blends.

Soft cheese is popular

The soft cheese market accounts for 12% of global cheese production and is the fourth biggest cheese segment in the world.

The main feature of the soft cheese segment is diversity; Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Argentine Port Salut, Crescenza are, among others all soft cheeses, and many more exist.

1.7 million tons of soft cheese is produced annually.

In southern Europe and in South America more soft cheese is produced than any other type of cheese and southern European cheese producers alone manufacture 0,8 million ton of soft cheese annually.

For further information, please contact Jean-Michel Lepetit

www.chr-hansen.com

Top 10 worldwide innovations

Each year, Datamonitor’s Productscan Online examines the year’s new food, beverage, health & beauty, household and pet products to identify the top ten innovations from around the world.

This year, eight of the top ten were food or beverage related:

1. Swiss Miss Pick-Me-Up Hot Cocoa Mix. The popularity of energy drinks is having an impact on other product categories as caffeine has moved into new categories ranging from potato chips to instant oatmeal. This new version of Swiss Miss contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee plus as much calcium and vitamin D as a glass of milk to offer the best of all worlds. It’s new in the USA.

2. Organic Batter Blaster Pancake & Waffle Batter. This pancake batter is sprayable and is packaged in an aerosol can for easy use. The refrigerated product makes organic, light and fluffy pancakes as well as light and crisp waffles in just minutes. The aerosol can packaging greatly reduces cleanup and the product is fast, easy and fun for the entire family. The product is new in the USA.

3. JT Fragra Functional Water. Bottled water is about more than just refreshment in Japan. Fragra refreshes the breath and leaves a pleasant fragrance of citrus fruit in the mouth. Officially referred to as a “near water” by virtue of its 1% juice content, Fragra uses an active ingredient called linalool for breath freshening. Linalool is a natural substance occurring in lemons, oranges and other citrus fruit.

4. Popsicle SlowMelt Long Lasting Pops. One of the pleasures of summer is enjoying an icy frozen novelty – before it melts. The Popsicle SlowMelt has been designed apparently lasts longer than ordinary pops to reduce drips and sticky fingers. This pop is also “good for you” as it contains fruit juice, vitamin C and features natural colours and flavours. It’s new in the USA.

5. Tetleys Twistea Tea On The Go. Nowhere are tea drinkers more particular about how they have it than in the UK. Enabling even those on the go to drink tea to their taste, Twistea features a Tetley teabag locked into a plastic cup. The consumer simply adds boiling water and twists the lid of the cup to customise the taste of the product and achieve the desired strength. The teabag remains in the cup and does not need to be disposed of separately.

8. Pur Flavor Options Water Filtration System Flavour Cartridges. Bottled water can be boring, and there are concerns about the waste associated with it (Chicago, in the US, has a new tax on bottled water). Pur Flavor Options is a new way to get flavoured water, right from the tap. Flavor Options mounts on to a water faucet and adds flavour to a drink at a finger push. The more you push; the more flavour is added to your glass. Each cartridge provides up to 75 servings of fruit flavour without any sugar, calories or dyes. New in the USA.

www.productscan.com

Egyptian snack co. buys Aussie equipment

Senyorita for Snacks has engaged tna, a provider of snack food production and packaging equipment, to furnish its new production facility in Egypt.

More than 20 fully integrated systems featuring tna’s robag 3 baggers have been purchased by Senyorita for Snacks.

Each system will include a tna multihead scale, SmartDate 5 coder and metal detector to complete the packaging lines for potato and tortilla chips.

Installation of the highly efficient vertical form, fill, and seal (VFFS) equipment began in August, 2007.

tna established a regional office in Dubai in late 2004 to service the Middle East market from a local base.

Be first out of the stalls in 2008

The FOOD Magazine Challenge Awards recognise and reward food and drink processors that most successfully demonstrate product innovation and excellence.

Entries are now open!

Has your company launched a product onto the market in the past year? If so, then why not enter the FOOD Challenge Awards?

As a processor, nominating your company for a FOOD Magazine Challenge Award is an excellent way of recognising all the effort and hard work your company has put in over the past year.

Entry is free.

Why enter?

There is a considerable amount of associated free publicity in entering the FOOD Challenge Awards:

• Finalists will feature in at least one issue of FOOD Magazine, as well as on the website.

• Winners will feature in at least two issues of FOOD Magazine, as well as on the website, and follow-up features are likely.

• Winners are able to use the Awards logo on marketing literature and packaging.

The awards are open to all companies, regardless of size, that have a food or drink processing presence in Australia.

There are 10 award categories with entrants required to demonstrate product innovation in ingredients, processing, food safety, packaging, marketing and, where applicable, exports.

How to enter

Click here for an entry form.

These should be forwarded to The Editor as soon as possible.

When do entries close?

The deadline for entries is April 1, 2008, but early entries are strongly recommended.

Don’t delay

To register your interest, contact The Editor.

Save money in cheese production

An integrated compound enabling manufacturers to produce various products similar to feta at low cost in a simple standardised process not dependent on milk has been developed by Hydrosol.

The process can reduce the cost of raw materials by as much as half compared with traditional cheese-making methods.

The process works with milk fat and vegetable fat and is so flexible that the milk fat can be replaced by vegetable fat.

Manufacturers are not dependent on fresh milk and and seasonal fluctuations in the composition of fresh milk.

The formulation is based on milk powder, the Hydrosol milk protein/hydrocolloid compound, vegetable fat and water.

Convential cheese-making equipment necessary.

All that is needed for production is an emulsifying machine of the kind frequently used in the delicatessen products industry, such as a Limitec, Stephan Cutter or FrymaKoruma.

Formulations can be adapted to individual requirements and small batches can be produced according to different recipes.

The products can then be flavoured, if desired, with herbs and spices to give them a characteristic note.

The cheese has a firm consistency that cuts well, and the end product can be shaped to particular specifications.

On request, Hydrosol will develop customised formulations and provide comprehensive advice on the manufacturing process, production plant, packaging and cost management.

Hydrosol Produktionsgesellschaft, with its registered office in Ahrensburg, is a member of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.

For further information contact Anne Bünting, marketing.

Sesame street water

Sesame Workshop, the organisation behind Sesame Street, has created a program in response to the growing prevalence of childhood obesity.

The Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life program sets a benchmark in educational storylines, guiding guide pre-schoolers and their caregivers through lessons related to healthy eating, active play and issues such as hygiene and rest.

Australian FMCG manufacturers are supporting the program, including Aussie O with its Sesame Water featuring Sesame Street characters on its packaging.

Sesame Water contains 80% less sugar than most soft drinks, cordials and fruit drinks and is free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.

www.sesameworkshop.org

Vaalia’s omega-3 brainwave

Ingredients: Vanilla Mango: skim milk, milk, sugar, mango, milk solids, water, inulin (dietary fibre), maize thickener (1442), gelatin (halal), flavours, DHA algal oil (contains soy), food acids, (331, 296), colour, live yoghurt cultures

Shelf life: 40 days

Brand/product manager: Michael Goodhew

Packaging supplier: Carter Holt Harvey

Graphics package designer: Carpe Diem Design

Amcor’s healthy approach to packaging

There has been a heightened awareness across the community for some time regarding the importance of health and wellness.

Health and nutrition is one of the prevailing megatrends that are having a significant impact on consumer brand companies and retailers both here in Australia and New Zealand and elsewhere around the world.

Developing a deep understanding and insight of these market trends is seen by Amcor as critical in terms of responding quickly with new, innovative packaging solutions for customers.

This is certainly not the latest fad.

Amcor expects the focus on health and wellness to grow due to several factors — increasing concern regarding obesity, an ageing yet healthier and wealthier population, greater awareness of body image, rising ‘quality of life’ expectations, organic products moving to the mainstream and increased interest in functional and fortified products.

Some clear implications for packaging have emerged — information-rich labelling including nutritional benefits of the product, portion controlled formats, high product visibility on retail shelves, and wholesome image presentation.

Amcor is developing new packaging solutions to help make fresh produce more accessible to consumers by keeping it fresher for longer periods.

Amcor’s LifeSpan is a world-leading modified atmosphere technology that maximises product shelf life of fruit and vegetables.

Amcor’s global packaging reach facilitates the transfer of these advanced technologies, particularly in the flexibles packaging area of the local Australasian market.

Other recent examples of Amcor’s packaging innovation in response to the growing health and wellness trend are:

• Amcor SureFresh carton, a new generation high gloss black paper and film laminate carton, which combines superior strength with premium product appearance at point of sale for Australian fresh fruit and produce.

• Eco-Punnet, jointly created by Pacific Coast Eco Bananas and Amcor, that takes four or six red wax-tipped bananas (grown with less fertilisers and chemicals) in an informative retail pack, which offers enhanced ripening and greater product protection for consumers.

www.amcor.com

Spam is 70!

Ingredients: pork with ham, chicken, water, salt, modified potato starch, sugar, sodium phosphates, potassiumchloride, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrate

Shelf life: 3 years

Brand owner: Hormel

Brand/product manager: Scott Martin

Packaging supplier: Crown Cork and Seal, US

Graphics packe designer: Hormel Foods

Can recycling education passed to manufacturers

The Steel Can Recycling Council (SCRC) will wind up and hand over recycling education directly to can manufacturers and local government as a result of recent changes in the local steel industry, including the withdrawal of BlueScope Steel from local manufacture of tinplate for packaging, the increasing pressure from packaging imports and the increased awareness among consumers of the availability of steel can recycling.

Over the past 11 years the SCRC, through its promotional initiative Cansmart, has worked with a wide range of stakeholders including all levels of government, recycling contractors, can manufacturers, marketers, retailers and the Australian public to encourage and promote steel can recycling.

As a result of these partnerships and the Council’s direct investment of over $2.5 million, 94% of Australians now have access to steel can recycling services with existing secure and healthy markets and infrastructure to underpin the collection and recycling of post consumer steel packaging.

SCRC chairman Joe Stefano said “whilst it’s a sad day for those of who have been involved in steel can recycling over the years, the effectiveness and vibrancy of the campaign has built a wide awareness and effectively a nationwide access to steel can recycling.

“People no longer need to be reminded to recycle.

“Eleven years ago ‘the environment’ was not even an issue for most householders yet now household recycling is a basic household task.

“It is a timely moment for the organisation to be changing shape and we know that manufacturers and local government will continue to carry the mantle.”

A website will continue to provide information to the industry and consumers about steel can recycling and can be found at www.cansmart.org

For further information, contact Lisa Kinahan at lisa@tmte.com.au

Lady-like chocolates

Brand owner: Fyna Foods Australia

Brand/product manager: Melissa Daqunio

Packaging supplier: Colorpak

Graphics package designer: Motor Group

Health trend targets kids

Australian FMCG manufacturers are supporting a program by Sesame Workshop, the organisation behind Sesame Street, which has reacted to the growing prevalence of childhood obesity.

Aussie O is supporting the program with its Sesame Water featuring Sesame Street characters on the packaging.

Sesame Water contains 80% less sugar than most soft drinks, cordials and fruit drinks and is free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.

The Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life program sets a benchmark in educational storylines, guiding guide pre-schoolers and their caregivers through lessons related to healthy eating, active play and issues such as hygiene and rest.

www.sesameworkshop.org

Stay slim with healthy snacks

Shelf life: 12 months

Brand/product manager: Sharon Thurin

Packaging supplier: Perfection Packaging

Graphics package designer: Visual Jazz

Daily Intake Guide useful, say consumers

Take for example a box of breakfast cereal, the label is no longer just about the name of the product and claims of ‘fat free’ or a ‘healthy start to the day’, it’s about recognising that one serve provides x% of energy, x% of protein and so on.

It’s a program food manufacturers are voluntarily introducing and that consumers have been calling for as a means of providing simple information to clarify the role of foods within the average diet, known as the Daily Intake Guide.

Providing a standard system via its thumbnail presentation, the Daily Intake Guide promotes informed purchasing decisions through at-a-glance information about the composition of the product and its relevance to diet.

“Unfortunately, despite recent campaigns, many consumers remain unaware of daily nutritional requirements highlighting that a practical approach is needed to help promote these messages,” said AFGC director of corporate and consumer affairs Jo Thomas.

“Our research shows consumers understand the Daily Intake Guide and find it useful as a means of demonstrating the relationship between a serve of food and their daily nutritional requirements and allowances.

“It supports people when they are thinking most about the food they eat — at the time of purchase and prior to consumption — so they can quickly and simply relate it back to their daily intake.”

What does it all mean?

Labelling is one of the best forums the food and beverage industry can use to empower consumers to make informed choices which best meet their nutrition and activity needs.

Take for example the energy label which identifies that for every 60g serve of the food displaying this label, 10% of the daily intake energy requirement of the average consumer is met.

This means that in considering the remainder of their diet for the day the average consumer can select further foods to meet the remaining 90% of their energy requirements, as well as ensuring other nutritional requirements are met.

“Our research suggests people still find it difficult to understand what a kilojoule actually represents, yet we all know the impact too many kilojoules can have on maintaining healthy weight,” said Ms Thomas.

“With this in mind, the energy thumbnail with its percentage representation is a simple and effective way for consumers to understand the value of the food consumed and use this in relation to improving their overall diet.”

Using and supporting the guide

The complete Daily Intake Guide contains seven categories: protein, carbohydrates, sugars, fat, saturated fat, sodium and energy.

Manufacturers may display the complete Daily Intake Guide, or just the ‘energy’ thumbnail, recognising that size and style of packaging may limit use of the complete Guide.

The Daily Intake Guide is currently supported by more than 15 of Australia’s leading food and beverage companies, including George Weston Foods, Mars, Unilever, Kellogg’s, Nestle and PepsiCo.

“While a number of high profile organisations have already begun to promote the Daily Intake Guide, we urge all food manufacturers to actively and voluntarily support uptake of the program.

“It is only through the industry working together that we will have a truly consistent approach to labelling that informs consumers across all the products in their supermarket trolleys or in their fridge to allow informed nutritional decisions,” said Ms Thomas.

To assist in widespread education of the Daily Intake Guide, the AFGC has recently launched www.mydailyintake.net

For further queries about the Daily Intake Guide and labelling please contact AFGC Jo Thomas on 02 6273 1466.

Easy gourmet chicken

Ingredients: chicken, ham, cheese, flours (wheat, rye, soy), vegetable oil, thickeners, dried yeast, salt, wheat starch, sugar, wheat gluten, vegetable gum, emulsifiers, mineral salts, herb and spice extracts, colours, preservative, vitamin (thiamine)

Shelf life: 12 months from date of manufacture

Brand owner: Inghams Enterprises

Brand/product manager: Kayvin Li

Packaging supplier: Carter Holt Harvey

Graphics package designer: Morton Branding Consultants

Bitter sweet cordial

Ingredients: Lemon, Lime & Bitters Cordial: water, cane sugar, lime juice, food acid (citric), aromatic bitters, preservative, natural flavour, vegetable gum (xanthan gum)

Shelf life: 18 months

Brand owner: Buderim Ginger

Brand/product manager: Mark Stanley (retail marketing manager)

Packaging supplier: Print World

Graphics package designer: Eclipse Advertising

Sugar-free crush candies

BENEO-Palatinit’s Isomalt has been used for the development of a new kind of candy.

“Crush Candies”, the name given to an innovative, sugarfree product currently being manufactured and sold in Asia and Europe, are manufactured like classic, deposited hard boiled candies but differ in that they are cooled with liquid nitrogen, resulting in fine cracks being formed on the surface.

When sucked or chewed the candies disintegrate in the mouth, releasing flavour quickly and intensely.

Look and feel

The crystal clear “glass” surface that is achieved by using Isomalt results in individual cracks on the candies being clearly visible while achieving a smooth, even exterior.

Since Isomalt candies are stable and abrasion-resistant, no unwanted chippings occur after packaging, storage or transport.

Fruity flavours

Isomalt is derived from pure beet sugar and therefore has a mild, sugar-like sweetness about 50% that of sucrose.

It does, however, have more scope for flavour development.

Consumer tests conducted by BENEO-Palatinit showed that candies made with Isomalt are often considered more fruity.

This effect supports the novel release of flavour in crush candies.

www.beneo-palatinit.com

Support for the 4th year running

Amcor will sponsor the FOOD Challenge Awards’ Health and Wellness category again in 2008.

As a leading supplier of innovative packaging solutions in Australia and New Zealand, Amcor is proud to be again supporting the Food Challenge Awards.

Amcor is a global packaging manufacturer offering a broad range of fibre, metal, plastic and glass packaging products, along with packaging-related services.

Understanding the needs of today’s consumers requires great insight, expert knowledge and experience.

Amcor works closely with customers to understand their challenges and the markets in which they operate.

The recent establishment of Amcor’s Customer Solutions and Innovation Group will drive Amcor’s product leadership and innovation capability and raise its customer and market focus in the future.

The increasing importance of healthy lifestyles in Australia and New Zealand, as well as around the world, is having a profound influence on packaged food and beverage product development within the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Amcor’s innovation capability and broad product offering enables the company to meet the challenge of delivering on the ever-changing packaging requirements of brand owners and retailers in the growing health and wellness market.

Further information

What are the FOOD Challenge Awards?

Application form 2008

Categories and sponsors 2008

Winners 2007

Best in Show 2007

Best-buy cookies

Choc Chip Homestyle Cookies: flour (thiamine), milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, milk solids, cocoa butter, emulsifiers, flavours, dark compounded chocolate (sugar, vegetable fat, cocoa powder, emulsifier [soy lecithin, 492]), sugar, brown sugar, butter, margarine, preservative, antioxidant, vitamins, flavour, colour (beta carotene), egg, water, raising agent, natural flavour

Shelf Life: 10 months

Brand Owner: FoodWorks

Brand/product manager: Amanda Swanell

Email: amandaswanell@foodworks.com.au

Packaging supplier: Litho Superpak

Graphic packaging designer: Hayes Berry Tehan