Have we finally entered the age of the Chato?

Potato has long been in the staple diet for the Australian diet. However, with rising global consumerism and increasing concerns over food security, the market looks to be turning towards alternative and more sustainable food sources.

Australian inventor Andrew Dyhin from PotatoMagic in Melbourne has claimed to have achieved a breakthrough to save wasted potatoes.

In 12 years of what he has coined as “intense research”, Dyhin has developed what he has coined the “chato” that looks like a block of cheese, melts like cheese but all potato. Furthermore, according to Mr Dyhin, the potatoes are peeled and processed with no added ingredients making it a reportedly eco friendly process.

The “chato” can be melted or sliced like a cheese, cut into cubes and served as a salad, or mixed with water and additional ingredients to make any consistency of liquid including dips, aoli and custard.

With over roughly 75000 tonnes of potatoes wasted annually in Australia, Dyhin sees an opportunity to push the “chato” product into a commercialisation phase and attract investors with a target to set up a pilot production plant within a year.

“Food security is a very important issue and we need to look at products that have more yield per hectare, like potatoes.”

“And also how we use that yield. Something like 25 per cent of all potato that is grown doesn’t make it to the plate, mostly because it’s not pretty enough for the shelves,”  Dyhin said.

“While he’s proud of the work he’s doing, he said the bigger issues at play are food security and the environment, and chato could help feed the future population of Australia and the world.”

“We need to find alternatives to animals and intensive agricultural practises. With chato we can take any potato, especially the ones that will just be thrown away, and make something that’s delicious and versatile. We can make the most of what we have,” added Dyhin.

Safe and fearless for Safe Work Month

Every October, Safe Work Australia Month is held to raise awareness of the importance of workplace safety. In 2013-14 there were 106,565 serious workers’ compensation claims made  and tragically, 190 workers lost their lives while working in Australia in 2015 . Workplace health and safety is of vital importance for all employees and employers, yet some professions face additional risks that can be difficult to prepare for. Fearless™ is a personal safety system that helps keep workers safe wherever they are. It is of particular benefit to ‘lone workers’ such as mobile staff, nurses, construction and salespeople.

Developed by Calamity, Australia’s highest-rated security monitoring provider, Fearless offers mobile protection to staff and helps businesses quickly comply with some of the toughest WHS requirements. Fearless is accessed through an app on a piece of technology everybody already carries – their smart phones. In a dangerous situation, or when staff fail to ‘check-in’ as expected an alarm can be raised through the app. Calamity’s 24/7 monitoring centre is alerted and has access to the user’s location as well as using the phone for audio and camera evidence, allowing live operators to initiate a suitable response. The alarm can either be activated manually or automatically when a countdown timer reaches zero. The system is cloud-based so even if the phone is destroyed or stolen the user can be protected.

Professions that require employees to travel offsite regularly, or who work irregular hours can face added occupational risks that can be difficult for management to prepare for. A survey of health professionals, teachers and police working in rural and remote Australia found that 57% had experienced verbal abuse from community members in the past 12 months and 21% had experienced physical violence . In situations that can compromise a person’s feeling of safety, such as finishing a nursing shift late at night or needing to visit a stranger’s house for an appointment, Fearless can offer much needed peace of mind.

While travelling, Journey mode can be activated on the app, providing live updates to emergency contacts or employers if necessary. Meeting mode can be set for a potentially risky meeting or while alone. An alert is raised if a countdown timer reaches zero without being reset by the user. In situations where injury or personal immobilisation is a possibility, such as off-site construction, Man-Down is a function which offers additional protection by flagging any sudden deceleration, non-movement or impact.

Fearless has been purposefully built to assist in emergency situations and to dispatch help as quickly and efficiently as possible if needed. Businesses owners and managers feel at ease knowing that their staff are prepared for the worst case scenario or simple day to day risk. “Fearless has far-reaching applications in so many workplace scenarios,” says Daniel Lewkovitz, CEO of Calamity and designer of Fearless. “It has been carefully constructed to ensure employers can comply with Work Health and Safety requirements and offers peace of mind to anyone who may feel unsafe in their personal or professional life. Fearless takes a proactive approach to safety, as users can switch it on before any potentially dangerous situation, such as travelling to a meeting, and it will let others know you arrived safely without anyone needing to remember to ‘text their boss’. The technology is the best on the market and this tool saves lives.”

Technology is the most effective way to ensure staff feel safe and is essential for collecting evidence of sound, image and location if needed. As jobs have become increasingly flexible and more people work irregular hours and at different locations, Fearless is the most efficient tool to protect staff.

 

Single fresh food safety standard set to simplify sector

A uniform Australasian food standard looks set to replace to the range of state based regulations.

The Produce Marketing Association of Australia & New Zealand (PMA) is preparing to launch the unitary standard in October, the ABC reports.

It will be phased in over two years.

PMA technology manager Bennett said Australia’s major supermarkets and certifiers support the new standard because it is based on the global standard for food safety.

He added that the PMA framework also met Australian retailers’ needs for about 60 additional elements from direct food suppliers, and that it will reduce duplication in documentation and audits.

PMA owns the intellectual property to the standard.

Solution to workplace safety in Sydney

The largest workplace health and safety event in Australia will gather at Sydney Showground Olympic Park on 6-8 September 2016.

More than 4,000 Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) professionals across manufacturing, government, construction, healthcare, transport, distribution and engineering will attend Safety in Action, a three day event featuring over 20 free seminars on insights and priorities for employee safety.

“Already this month, 109 Australian workers have been killed at work, highlighting the urgent need for national improvements to prevent the number escalating,” says Keith Barks, General Manager at Informa Australia.

Running parallel to Safety in Action will be the Safety Institute of Australia’s National Convention, a two day conference featuring global and Australian safety leaders who will address the theme of “Disruptive Safety”. The convention program will include presentations from Bernard Salt and challenge leaders to change their thinking about safety.

A free Safety in Action seminar series will feature keynote speakers, discussing this year’s theme “Keep your workplace safe”. Speakers include: beyondblue, Coca-Cola, SafeWork NSW, Myosh, OzHelp Foundation, AccessEAP and Aframes Safety.

Companies exhibiting include: beyondblue, Myosh, ATOM, Mix Telematics, Royal Life Saving, Chemical Safety International, Sydney Safety Training and SAI Global. A full list of exhibitors can be found here.

Exclusive to Safety in Action will be Australia’s largest cleaning and hygiene show CleanScene. Presented by the National Cleaning Suppliers Association (NCSA), the co-located event will feature a number of exhibitors catering for cleaners, commercial, industrial and facility managers and government agencies.

Where: Sydney Showground Olympic Park, 1 Showground Road, Sydney

  • Tuesday           6 September 2016 10am – 4pm
  • Wednesday     7 September 2016 10am – 4pm
  • Thursday         8 September 2016 10am – 4pm

Roadmap to guide the way to workplace safety

SafeWork NSW has launched a new work health and safety Roadmap for NSW which sets a number of ambitious targets to reduce the rate of injury, illness and fatalities in NSW workplaces.

The Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022 is a six year plan to make the lives of NSW workers and business owners healthier, safer and more productive.

Under the vision ‘Healthy, safe, and productive working lives’, the Roadmap aims to reduce work-related fatalities by 20 per cent, serious injuries and illnesses by 30 per cent and serious musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses by 30 per cent through engaging and empowering workplaces to manage health and safety more effectively.

The manufacturing sector has been identified in the Roadmap as one of the State’s highest risk industry sectors and Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said they will implement targeted programs to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses within the industry.

“Over the last ten years, fewer people are being seriously or fatally injured in NSW workplaces,” Mr Dunphy said.

“There has been a 49 per cent decline in fatalities and a 39 per cent decline in serious injuries and illnesses which can be attributed to a number of factors, including changing attitudes towards work health and safety, as well as the development of best practice, industry transformation and technological developments.

“And while NSW had made good progress towards meeting national safety targets, the rates of work-related of injuries, illnesses and fatalities were still too high.

“Over the last three years there were 14,886 major workers compensation claims in the manufacturing industry.

“And when we consider that the more than 30,000 serious workplace injuries and illnesses last financial year cost the NSW economy more than $17 billion or 3.7 per cent of gross state product, it’s clear that we must do more.

Mr Dunphy said the Roadmap focussed on building the ability of businesses to better manage work health and safety.

“Over the next six years SafeWork NSW will develop and deliver a range of innovative initiatives in partnership with employers, workers, peak bodies, associations, and community leaders to protect workers and increase the competitiveness and confidence of NSW business,” he said.

“This will be underpinned by a number of elements, including good safety practices supported by committed leadership, consultation, workers who look out for each other and safe design.

“We will seek to limit musculoskeletal injuries, mental health disorders and exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials.

“We are also committed to significantly reducing the number of injuries involving quad bikes, forklifts, machine guarding, working at heights and electrocution.

“These innovative programs will be developed through data driven insights and information sharing with stakeholders so that practical solutions to current work health and safety risks can be found.”

Mr Dunphy said NSW was the nation’s leading economy and the manufacturing sector should be the safest in the country.

“While our workplaces are amongst the safest, healthiest, and most productive in the country, the Roadmap challenges us to look out for each other and improve workplace health and safety across the State.”

New country of origin food labels are finally here

Australia’s new country of origin food labelling laws come into effect today, helping Aussie consumers find out more about their food.

The Australian Made Campaign’s (AMCL) famous Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) kangaroo logo will feature on most new labels, along with a bar chart showing what proportion of the ingredients come from Australia.

It’ll give shoppers a better understanding of how much of their food is sourced locally. The new system is compulsory for all food products produced for sale in Australia.

“The new system is compulsory for all food products produced for sale in Australia. Consumers will gradually start to see the new labels roll out, with a two year phase-in period to allow companies to redesign, reprint and apply the new labels before the 30 June 2018 deadline, when the new system will become mandatory.

Companies will still be allowed to sell products with the existing labels after 1 July, 2018 providing the labels were applied before the cut off date.”

Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, said the scheme will greatly improve clarity and consistency for Australian consumers.

“A tighter system for food labelling, coupled with a better understanding of that system by consumers, will give Aussie shoppers more confidence in what they are purchasing and provide Australian farmer and manufacturers with a much needed leg up,” Mr Harrison said.

“It removes that old phrase which nobody liked, ‘Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients.” AMCL believes the widespread use of the AMAG logo will also strengthen the logo’s connection to Australia and help boost sales of genuine Aussie goods in domestic and export markets.

Exported food is not required to carry the new labels so businesses wanting to use the AMAG logo on their products can do so under a licence with AMCL.

Shoppers will also continue to see the AMAG logo on all other types of Aussie products with AMCL to continue administering and promoting the logo as a voluntary country of origin certification trade mark.

Taking the lead in food safety

With food safety and the presence of food-borne hazards such an important issue in today’s food and beverage industry, manufacturers around the world are taking note of Atlas Copco’s recent accreditation to ISO 22000, the first air compressor company to do so.

While not defining air quality as such, ISO 22000 is an important food safety management system that has been developed to ensure food safety throughout the supply chain.

Peter Furolo, Atlas Copco’s Product Manager – Oil-Free and Medical Focus, said Atlas Copco is the first compressor manufacturer to receive ISO 22000 certification for its production facility in Antwerp, Belgium, which manufactures energy-efficient oil-free air compressors, blowers, gas generators, dryers, filters and vacuum plants.

“This accreditation gives customers the peace of mind that they are working with an organisation that completely understands the importance of food safety. Atlas Copco has invested its considerable resources to ensure it is a reliable and trustworthy supplier to the food and beverage industry.”

He revealed that Atlas Copco pioneered the development of oil-free air technology nearly fifty years ago. “And remain a company of innovators and leaders in the air compressor industry.”

Furolo pointed out that Atlas Copco was also the first air compressor company to meet ISO 8573 Class 0 certification for all its oil-free compressors (screw, centrifugal, piston, scroll, combined screw-piston, water injected screw and tooth).

“Of course many of our competitors have followed us with Class 0,” he said.

“Now we are the first air compressor company with ISO 22000 accreditation. It is something that is needed in the industry, and no doubt our competitors will eventually follow us again.”

He said Atlas Copco sets the benchmark for good practice in the compressed air industry, providing its food and beverage customers with assurances regarding quality, safety and reliability of its products.

“This certification provides the food and beverage industry with confidence that they are working with a supplier that conforms to the latest international standards regarding food safety.”

Furolo said ISO 2200 has become more widely known in Australia over the past few years and he expects that it will become common place across the food and beverage industries very soon.

“The big multi-national food companies that operate in Australia are the drivers for ISO 22000 awareness. They lead the local industry by example and I believe that the rest of food and beverage companies will quickly follow suit.

“In today’s modern world where the important, regulations on food standards are essential.”

He explained that ISO 22000 specifies the requirements for a food safety management system where an organisation in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.

“After intensive workshops and thoroughly executed audits by Lloyd’s Register, we were able to demonstrate that Atlas Copco complies with the highest standards in the food industry with its oil-free compressors and blowers.”

He went on to explain that ISO 2200 is based on the ISO 9000 system, but is very specific regarding food safety hazards.

“While not about the quality of the compressed air in particular, the standard includes an understanding of the whole business operation from an operational and a service point of view, including the implications of using spare parts and other critical components in a compressor that could cause hazards.”

Furolo said the same HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and procedures, as used in the top quality food and beverage companies, have been implemented in the design and production of the company’s oil-free compressors, blowers and dryers.

With compressed air coming into contact with the end-product in many applications, or even forming an active part of the food, he said it is vital this air should not generate any risk of contamination.

“It is for this reason Atlas Copco decided to invest in this vital food safety certification. As innovators, we are always searching for better ways to serve our customers,” Furolo said.

He explained that Atlas Copco manufacturers a wide range of oil-free compressors that all comply with the Class Zero standard and are all designed for critical applications that require 100% oil-free, clean air.

“Our range includes the well-known Z range, plus the SF range of rotary scroll compressors and the innovative AQ water injected screw compressors. Plus we also manufacture the powerful ZD PET blowing compressors.

“At Atlas Copco, we are committed to sustainable productivity for all our customers,” Furolo concluded.

Food and beverage companies must address safety concerns

Recent statistics from the United States Small Business Association show nearly 90 per cent of businesses fail within two years of experiencing a disaster.

According to risk and insurance experts David Goodall and Peter McGee, companies in the food and beverage industry that have adopted a ‘do nothing’ strategy, only to find out when being assessed by manufacturers.

“With a turnover in excess of $111.2 billion annually, food and beverage is one of Australia’s most important industries and we have a global reputation for our quality and consistency, but how prepared are we to navigate the multitude and changing risks that participants in this industry face on a day to day basis?” Goodall said.

“But while salads wrapped in plastic, warm sushi riddled with salmonella, all make us gag,
that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the ripple effect that can also create damage throughout the
entire supply chain. Our message is, no matter how large or small your business, know all your
risks, plan for them so you can rethink your insurance and ensure all bases are covered.”

The discovery of horsemeat in processed beef products sold by a number of UK
supermarket chains in 2013 resulted in a series of product recalls and threw a spotlight on
the food industries supply chain in UK and throughout Europe.

As much as 100% of beef products were found to contain horsemeat; other beef products
were found to contain pork. The scandal revealed a major breakdown in the traceability of
ingredients in the food supply chain and exposed additional potential risks.

When you consider the supply chain for Comigel, one of the food manufactures at the
centre of the scandal, it’s easy to see why the wheels fell off. Romanian abattoirs
supplying Dutch and Cypriot meat traders, who send product to various parts of France.
Since the story broke in January 2013, it has spread to 13 other European countries and
authorities are seeking an EU-wide solution.

This issue not only ha an impact on consumer confidence, there is a significant financial
fallout for the companies involved.

Track & Trace software

EyeTrace was developed to prevent forged products to enter the supply chain and guarantees their traceability. 

EyeTrace makes the inspection of security features on the packaging easier and it identifies every single package and offers a homogeneous control unit.

The new guideline defines two security features: one for checking authenticity and identification of every single package and one to inspect if the package has been opened already and for that a glue dot or perforation will be applied. 

With EyeTrace the visual inspection can be made easier, because an industrial camera and the EyeVision image processing software can detect more than the human eye. 

Especially as EyeVision can also read codes (bar code, QR, DMC,). This is important, because the „Unique Identifier“ for distinct identification is going to be a 2D bar code. 

With the code reader function, EyeTrace can read:

•    code 
•    serial number
•    a national number for the reimbursement of costs
•    charge number
•    expiration date

Besides the code reader function, EyeTrace can be extended with other commands of the EyeVision software.

Safety stainless steel air knives

Spray Nozzle Engineering supply a range of Silvent air knives that can be constructed to specifically meet any requirements.

Using an open pipe to supply compressed air can result in excessive noise levels and compressed air wastage. To combat this, Spray Nozzle Engineering supply a range of safety air nozzles which drastically reduce compressed air noise and usage.

Silvent flat nozzles and air knives are used in plants throughout the world to clean, dry, sort or cool processes during manufacture.  Silvent has a full range or stainless air knives for both food and industrial applications, as well as pre-made manifolds for ease of installation. This lowers the sound level, reduces energy consumption and increases the efficiency of the drying process.

The Silvent 374 nozzle creates a coned air stream of 335mm at a distance of 150mm with a wide striking surface – a clear advantage when wide objects must be dried, sorted or cleaned. With the blowing force at 38.0N with a length of 269mm, the Silvent 374 air knife is also capable of withstanding high ambient temperatures and corrosive chemical environments, as well as satisfying the hygienic requirements of the food processing industry.

Most often used in air knife applications, the Silvent 374 nozzle can reduce noise levels by up to approximately 80% and compressed air usage by up to 37%.

SprayNozzle Engineering is the exclusive supplier of Silvent’s safety air nozzles, safety air guns and safety silencers in Australia and New Zealand.

SAI Global appoints new food safety expert

SAI Global has announced the appointment of Dawn Welham as Global Technical Director and Thought Leader, continuing to expand its expertise in Retail, Food and Agribusiness industries.

With a wealth of experience across food product safety, public health, consumer protection and occupational health and safety, Dawn will use her expertise across 100 countries, with a focus in Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Europe, and continue growing the company's capabilities in product safety.

Businesses are focusing more on embedding product safety processes and culture as food provenance, safety and integrity become more important to consumers.

According to Dawn, SAI Global is taking a leading role in providing risk management solutions to Retail, Food and Agribusiness industries, to ensure product integrity and safety.

"True technical leadership is about putting systems in place to make sure customers get what they pay for. They pay for quality, legality and safety, and my new role will be focused on all aspects of this compliance for many large businesses around the world," Welham said

"An effective technical system is one which takes the complexity out of compliance, but also creates a competitive advantage for the business. This is paramount to the way SAI Global works and is the part that makes my new role very rewarding and exciting."

FSANZ detects ‘potentially concerning’ amounts of phthalates in food from packaging

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has found worrying levels of plastic softeners in samples of popular foods.

Fresh bread, takeaway hamburgers and meat pizzas are some of the foods in which chemicals may have migrated from packaging into food are a low risk to public health and safety.

Out of the six takeaway hamburgers tested for the phthalate DEHP, four contained between 67 and 180 per cent more than the amount permitted under European Union laws to be released from packaging into food, which is 1.5 milligrams a kilogram.

In samples tested for the phthalate DINP, Food Standards found a takeaway hamburger sample had 14mg a kilo and a pizza topped with meat and vegetables had 16mg a kilo –both exceeding “tolerable daily intake” levels.

According to Food Standards chief executive Steve McCutcheon, the Australian Total Diet Study into chemical migration from packaging into food detected very low residues of some chemicals in a small number of samples.

“After undertaking a very conservative safety assessment on these very low levels, FSANZ has concluded there are no safety concerns,” McCutcheon said.

“The screening study identified that further work was required for two of the chemicals tested for [phthalates] and FSANZ will be sampling a wider range of foods for these chemicals so a full dietary exposure assessment can be undertaken.”

Phthalates are plasticisers that can be found in PVC tubing, gaskets, cling wraps, printing inks, paper and cardboard packaging and laminated aluminium foil.

A University of Michigan study published in the medical journal JAMA Paediatrics found increased levels of some phthalates in urine during pregnancy correlated with higher odds of premature birth.

Catherine Itman, a research lecturer in physiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, said Food Standards' results were "potentially concerning", considering the conclusions of various animal studies.

"However, we must recognise firstly that we are exposed to phthalates from many different sources, so it must be considered whether the phthalates present in some foods do substantially contribute to our overall phthalate exposure," Itman said.

"Secondly, we actually have very little direct information about the human health impacts of phthalates, as most toxicology studies have been performed using concentrations that do not reflect typical exposure levels and our knowledge of the effects of exposure to combinations of phthalates or phthalates plus other chemicals is wholly inadequate," Itman said.

"Until more is known, we should be cautious with regard to how much phthalate exposure we consider to be acceptable."

NZ government objects to Australia’s new country of origin food labels

New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries has said it is concerned about the cost for the nation’s food producers to comply with Australia’s new proposed country of origin labelling laws.

Announced in July 2015, the proposed laws will require food sold in Australia to include a labelling statement identifying where the food comes from.

Supporter of the labelling reforms, Australian Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce has however said that New Zealand has nothing to worry about.

The labelling changes are currently being considered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with its members (which includes New Zealand) allowed to provide feedback on the possible changes up until 5th February 2016.

The general Australian public have until the 29th January 2016 to submit their opinions to the Country of Origin Labelling Taskforce.

New Zealand previously exempted itself from Standard 1.2.11 in the Australia-New Zealnd Food Standards Code that required mandatory labelling of country of origin information in Australia.

Other criticisms of labelling changes

Australia’s consumer advocacy group CHOICE and the horticulture growers representative body, AUSVEG are each amongst the organisations that welcomed the new labels with reservations when they were announced in July 2015.

At the time of the announcement, these groups said that consumers will not really know where ingredients come from, since it will only be optional to list the actual country of origin for many important ingredients that come from outside Australia.

Country of Origin Labelling changes overview

The amendments to Australian Country of Origin Labelling include the following:

  • The introduction of a new Information Standard, requiring businesses to provide clearer information about the origin of food;
  • Removal of the Food Standards Code country of origin standard (Standard 1.2.11);
  • Changes under the Australian Consumer Law to be better aligned with the new Information Standard; and
  • Changes to the Commerce Regulations country of origin marking provisions –similarly to better align with the new Information Standard and the revised Australian Consumer Law. 

Global public health organisation NSF International acquires New Zealand food safety company

Global food safety organisation NSF International has acquired the Burwater Pacific Group, a leading food safety training, auditing and consulting business based in New Zealand.

With hopes to expand food safety and quality services to a broader New Zealand and Australia food manufacturer and retail market, NSF International will work closely with the Burwater Pacific Group to provide its services for clients in New Zealand.

According to NSF International Senior Vice President, Tom Chestnut, the NSF Burwater team will utilise their 100 years of combined food safety experience to continue to lead food safety operations throughout New Zealand and Australia with assistance from technical experts around the globe.

“The addition of the Burwater Pacific Group to the NSF International Global Food Safety and Quality Division enables us to provide global auditing, certification, training and consulting services to the New Zealand and Australian food industry for our multinational retail customers and complements our current operations in the Asia-Pacific region, where we have offices in Korea, China, Thailand and India,” Chestnut said.

Regional Director for NSF International in New Zealand and Australia, Nigel Burrows, says that NSF welcomes the expertise, strong reputation and shared commitment to food safety that the Burwater Pacific Group brings to NSF International’s food safety and quality business.

“The opportunity to have access to the technical expertise of NSF’s Food Safety and Quality services will benefit New Zealand and Australian Food businesses on a local and global level. We are extremely excited to be part of NSF International as their global leadership in Food Safety and Quality will benefit our existing and new clients,” Burrows said.

As a result of the acquisition, multinational food businesses will have their food safety auditing, certification, training and consulting needs supported throughout New Zealand and Australia. 

Services offered via NSF Burwater include:

·        Technical Consulting – Services for new product launches including product development, label review and development, food control plans and HACCP development, micro and chemical sampling, internal auditing, training and product development.

·        Auditing services – Franchise compliance and operational standards review and audits as well as global standards and third-party regulatory audits including high risk food categories.

·        Training and development – Consultation, coaching and formal training in all areas from basic food handling to food safety program development and allergen management. 

Food & beverage cleaning nozzle

Built to last with a replaceable white EPDM rubber grip, the heavy-duty hose nozzles from Tecpro Australia are designed to take all the knocks and shocks of everyday food and beverage manufacturing. 

They easily handle up to 16 Bar of water pressure (232 PSI) and can accommodate hot water up to 80°C.  The EPDM rubber cover minimises heat transfer, which makes the nozzle more comfortable for members of the cleaning team to hold. 

The nozzle delivers a high flow, adjustable water pattern that ranges from a narrow jet to a conical spread with a simple twist of the nozzle head. Twist in the opposite direction and it shuts off securely without leaking.

The high quality, white EPDM rubber grip can be easily replaced once worn without the need to purchase an entire new nozzle.

First Australian grown frozen berries hit shelves

Australia now has 100 per cent locally grown frozen berries available on local shelves.

‘Matilda’s’ was launched by third generation strawberry farmers Matt and Ruth Gallace after dozens of people contracted Hepatitis A from eating contaminated frozen mixed berries, which were imported.

Until now commercial quantities of Australian frozen berries haven't been available.

Launched in-store on the 1st December, the berries are sourced from Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, which has been in the Gallace family for fifty years, and has 800 acres of land in Victoria and Queensland.

Raspberries and blueberries will be sourced from New South Wales and Tasmania.

The berries are all handpicked, washed and snap frozen in an entirely new purpose-built facility in the Yarra Valley.

Matilda’s co-founder Ruth Gallace says the fact that they’ve built the factory from the ground up, and the packing site is exclusively for fruit, means there’s no risk of cross contamination.

“In many cases nuts are processed on the same site used to process other foods, which causes great concern for parents who have children with allergies.  My daughter has anaphylaxis and I’m only too well aware of the need to ensure there is no chance of contamination.  The beauty of having our own site means it’s only used exclusively for fruit, so there is nothing else processed on site.”

Ruth said the origin of each product is completely transparent too and is labelled on each and every bag, so consumers know which region the berries came from.

“We’re really proud to be able to provide a product which really challenges the current food labelling system.  There needs to be far more transparency as to food origin, how it’s processed and packaged.”

Ruth says it’s now up to the consumer to show they want a wholly Australian product and to ask for it at their local retailer.

“Demand will now be driven by the consumer, and the people really do hold the power, if you ask for the product, your retailer will order it in.”

Matilda’s frozen strawberries hit quality independent supermarket shelves in Victoria on 1st December including Leo’s, IGA’s, FoodWorks’ and LaManna’s across the State.  They will be in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia in coming weeks.

Halogen Moisture Analyser

Mettler Toledo has launched its newest halogen moisture analyser, the HC103, which measures moisture content in minutes, enabling fast response times for quality control and in-process control. 

A large colour touchscreen, graphical user guidance and real-time drying curve make the HC103 easy to use, even for untrained operators. Whether you work in a busy laboratory or a harsh production environment, the compact design saves space and the robust construction guarantees a long instrument lifetime.

With touchscreen operation and an intuitive user interface, the HC103 is easy to use. Operators can access drying methods directly from the home screen with just 'One Click'. Just add the sample to the weighing pan, tare and press start. 

As the drying program is running, a real-time drying curve is displayed on the screen to provide an overview of the progress. Operators can clearly see if the measurement is on target and are able to intervene quickly in the production process where necessary.

There is no need to manually record the results as the HC103 can generate result reports in the form of PDF or CSV files in addition to standard printouts. These can be conveniently transferred via the RS232 or USB ports to fulfill documentation and traceability requirements. In addition, new drying methods are easily uploaded to the HC103 via the USB port. 

Mettler Toledo provides a collection of validated drying methods for over 100 different samples.

New escape release for the safety system ESL

The Euchner ESL is a compact door handle for monitoring and protecting safety guards such as doors and flaps on installations and machines.

It is equipped with the proven transponder coded safety technology CES to ensure maximum safety according to EN ISO 13849-1 (Cat.  4/PLE e) and provide the best protection against tampering.

It contains a handle and interlocking unit to allow a very quick and easy unlocking of the safety guard from the inside, even when the handle is locked.

The escape release engages when it is actuated which prevents renewed closing of the safety door. The detent knob must then be actuated to close the safety door and switch the safety outputs on again. This prevents unintentionally starting the machine or installation.

The escape release can be attached to all common profile sizes and can be easily fixed, using just two screws. No mechanical modifications need to be made for mounting and it can be retrofitted at any time. This provides the essential flexibility for protecting safety doors.

PLC delivers safety for food manufacturers

Food industries that require a high standard of functional safety to commission machines or installations can streamline safety functions and other tasks through a single PLC.

According to Ifm, its SmartPLC uses a sequential setup of functions and teach processes to simplify the process of commissioning machines or installations in a bid to improve safety. 

The food packaging industry, in particular, has aimed to combat issues of safety and efficiency and the food manufacturing industry as a whole is increasing measures to ensure the safety and quality of items in order to avoid consequences on consumers’ health.

If an issue occurs somewhere along the production line or during the packaging or warehousing stages, businesses can suffer production losses and reputational damage.
Standards Australia recently released parts relating to the Safety of Machinery series, in which an industry-wide need for technology and safety control systems was identified.

A breach in food safety regulations or standards similar to the Food Standards Australia & New Zealand Food Standard Code can result in harsh financial penalties and the producer may face both recalls and a tainted reputation.

The revised safety control systems adhere not only to increasingly stringent functional safety standards, but can also improve productivity and operational efficiencies.

To achieve this, the industry has implemented machinery, equipment and safety systems that can deliver on functionality and reliability to distribute products safe for human consumption.
Ifm’s SmartPLC is designed to achieve a high standard of functional safety by placing a growing focus on machines –improving productivity and making operations more efficient in the process.

Engineered to combat the safety and productivity issues facing the food industry, the SmartPLC simplifies the commissioning of machines or installations by simultaneously reducing the risk of tampering with systems and avoiding downtime and lost productivity.

Streamlining the process of solving safety-related applications while having the ability to perform many other tasks means the SmartPLC has plant-wide controls to promote safety within the food manufacturing industry.

 

Eliminate contamination with new cleaning head

 
Now available from Tecpro Australia, the Sanitor Tank Cleaner is designed to provide the highest possible standard of hygiene and sanitation.
 
Specifically designed to comply with the highest standards of sanitation and hygiene, the Sanitor is constructed completely from 100 per cent AISI 316 Stainless Steel. It features a streamlined external design to ensure no residue can build up and contaminate the wash. The Sanitor’s advanced design also eliminates the need for ball bearings. This greatly increases unit life while preventing the possibility of contamination associated with bearing degradation.
 

The Sanitor features a clever pressure regulation system, which ensures constant, slow rotation at pressures ranging from 2 to 20 Bar, with flow rates from 24 L/min. This low jet peripheral velocity is optimised to maintain high impingement and allow longer chemical dwell times for improved cleaning efficiency.
 
The Sanitor is ideal for burst rinsing or prolonged washing with the precision slots in the rotating barrel producing strong impact fan jets that scrub the vessel in a 360º wash pattern. The wide operating pressure band makes the unit suitable for a variety of small to medium-sized vessels, including food and beverage storage tanks, transport containers and chemical reactors.
 

Lightweight and extremely compact, the low wear design requires minimal maintenance.  It has a 3/8” BSP connection and requires a minimum manhole/flange opening of 32mm for unit insertion. At a pressure of 10 Bar, the Sanitor has a cleaning radius of 2.4m and wetting radius of 3.6m. It is suitable for working temperatures up to 95º C and ambient temperatures of up to 140º.
 
The highly flexible and durable Sanitor is the perfect tank cleaning solution for the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, coatings and transport industries, or wherever rigorous standards of hygiene and product purity are essential.

 

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