New technology speeds up cleaning

Changeover times on food lines are important for maximising efficiency, particularly in the case of short runs.

A new cooker/cooler technology, called Clean-Flow, developed by Lyco Manufacturing, utilises Lyco’s rotary drum system which provides water injection for agitation that keeps the product in uniform suspension while moving through the unit, minimizing the cleaning change-over on short runs to as low as 15 minutes, and on a totally automated mode without the need for manual labour.

This can accommodate for as many as two product change-overs per hour, or 16 change-overs per shift, allowing for maximum flexibility and efficiency in lean manufacturing for food processors.

The Clean-Flow design begins with a very accurately made screw similar to that used in a screw blancher.

It resides in a stationary wedge-wire screen that encapsulates the screw from the 3:00 to 9:00 o’clock position. The tolerance between the screw and the screen is less than one-half a grain of rice.

The water agitation injected through the screen keeps the product off the floor of the screen, where it is maintained in total suspension.

Damage to fragile product is a fraction of one percent, and even less than in a rotary drum.

Clean-up time is reduced from hours to minutes in the Clean-Flow design because the screw is totally exposed for cleaning.

During clean-up the screen is released from its fixed position, and is continually rotated 360 degrees around the screw alternately exposing the interior and exterior of the screen to Clean-in-Place manifolds located in the cover of the machine.

The screw can be rotated at the same time as the screen, again exposing all surfaces to the cleansing water sprays.

Clean-up times depend upon the types of product being run. Vegetable matter is relatively easy to remove, but products with starch – such as pasta, rice and sugar – take longer to clean.

Clean-up times can be reduced as much as 75% compared to conventional rotary drum blanchers.

For more information on Lyco Manufacturing.

Scales made with hygiene in mind

Sartorius offers the Combics Food Scale, manufactured in accordance with the guidelines set out by the European Hygienic Equipment Design Group (EHEDG), and specially made for easy cleaning and disinfecting, are made entirely of high-alloy AISI type 304 stainless steel (grade 1.4301).

The platform is optionally available in electropolished AISI type 316 Ti stainless steel (1.4571) and the surface roughness of all components that can come into contact with food is lower than 0.8 ìm.

According to the company, the food scale has been developed specially for applications in which openness and product contact are the order of the day, where the strictest standards for sterility reign, and where intensive cleaning with large amounts of water is the norm (as for processing meat and fish).

Woolies and AFGC investigate environmental impact

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and Woolworths Limited have announced a joint study into ways of measuring the climate change impact of food, beverage and grocery products.

The study will help industry and government better understand and evaluate the concept of carbon footprinting in the Australian context.

Woolworths has recently committed to significantly reducing its direct greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use, refrigeration, transport and waste but believes that emissions associated with its supply chain are also important.

This industry partnership has been established to investigate the production, processing and packaging of the products sold by Woolworths.

AFGC Chief Executive Dick Wells said that it was vital that the food, beverage and grocery industry engages with all stakeholders in a properly informed debate.

The AFGC had been monitoring overseas practices on carbon footprinting and felt it was time for Australia to look to their own actions.

In late 2007 Woolworths published ‘Doing the Right Thing — Sustainability Strategy 2007 — 2015’, which sets out the company’s sustainability priorities in the areas of climate change, water, product sourcing, packaging, waste and environmentally friendly store design.

Available at, the strategy outlines the company’s environmental targets.

AFGC member companies are committed to reducing the industry’s footprint on the environment whilst maintaining product quality and safety. Since 2003 the energy use per kilogram of finished product has fallen by 14%, greenhouse emissions have reduced by 29% and water use has reduced by 21%.

For further information email Rosie Schmedding at the AFGC.

Increasing batch-to-batch stability

Endress+Hauser offers the Deltapilot S, which incorporates the ConTite measuring cell, to monitor liquid levels in the food and beverage industries.

During sterilisation, the Deltapilot S deviates only 3.5mm H20, resulting in only a .35% error.

The Deltapilot S is available with 4 to 20mA/HART technology, Profibus PA and FieldbusFoundation interfaces and all industry standard process connections.


Foodland rejects GM

Independent supermarket chain Foodland SA has rejected the use of genetically modified (GM) food material in its Foodland range of products.

It has also called for better labelling of branded and fresh products to ensure consumers can choose whether or not to buy other goods containing GM foods.

Foodland SA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Russell Markham, said the decision was made after feedback from customers.

“Our customers have overwhelmingly indicated that they do not want GM ingredients in our Foodland products,” he said.

“None of our Foodland range currently contains GM ingredients and we feel it is important to assure our customers that all our foods will remain GM free in the future.

Mr Markham said the labelling issue was particularly important given moves by some State Governments to lift bans on the commercial growing of GM foods.

“If Governments are prepared to allow GM foods to be grown commercially, they must give the customer the right to decide whether or not to consume them,” he said.

“This means having clear and unambiguous labelling laws and these laws need to be in place before any decision is made to lift bans on commercial growing.

Mr Markham said Foodland currently had 160 Foodland branded products, ranging from dairy to frozen and grocery items. More than half of these are manufactured in South Australia.

Foodland’s stance follows decisions by Australia’s largest food company, Goodman Fielder, and Australia’s largest lamb exporter, Tatiara Meats, to exclude GM products.


50th anniversary for US company

In 1957, Richard R. Rosemann, founder of Roto-Die, later to become RotoMetrics, began designing and manufacturing simple rotary dies in St. Louis, Missouri in the US, for the earliest flexographic press manufacturers. In the 50 years that followed, those first innovative Roto-Die tools helped create a new global industry.

RotoMetrics not only helped to create an industry, but has remained frontrunners by helping the industry to grow, prosper and thrive; from offering hardened blades and chrome-plated dies in the 1960s, through adding fully hardened tool steel dies, print cylinders and other rotary tools to our product line in the 1970s, to becoming the first manufacturer of rotary tooling to automate their processes by adding CNC machining capabilities, which ultimately replaced the pantograph for die manufacturing.

With the opening of RotoMetrics International in the U.K. in 1989, RotoMetrics became the first manufacturer of rotary tooling to open an international office. Locations in other countries followed, leading to the global presence RotoMetrics enjoys today, with offices and representatives in Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and India.

For obtain further information, click here.

Semi-automatic tray sealing machine

The semi-automatic, hand turned rotary table heat sealing machine model PA 182 has benefited from a major redesign to improve operation, efficiency, maintenance and hygiene.

An extremely simple film feed path enables fast film reel changes with no tools required.

Heat sealing tools can be changed in only two minutes by unskilled operators with no tools.

A very robust structural and component design means greater reliability and reduced downtime.

The open construction has eliminated bug traps and made the inside of the machine very easy to clean.

The machine can accommodate trays up to 100mm deep.

This, and other tray sealing equipment, is available to hire or buy from MPI.

Single portion ice cream

Fonterra has addressed the consumer mega trend of portion control and released a range of Cadbury ice cream in single serve pots.

The new range of ice cream mini tubs is available in Cadbury Caramello, Dairy Milk Chip, Light Vanilla and Light Turkish Delight.

Jenny Gilbert, Fonterra Brands Senior Brand Manager comments “Fonterra has been investigating ways to change the ice cream category dynamics by tapping into consumer mega trends. Every time we speak to our consumers, they keep reinforcing the need for portion control, particularly when they indulge in a product.”

Ease and convenience are also desired by consumers, she said.

Working parents particularly look for something that the whole family can enjoy but that creates little mess.


Product concepts for fat burning carb

Products designed for increased fat metabolism and sustained energy release can bring manufacturers significant gains in this age of consumer’s pursuit of health and wellness.

The low glycemic carbohydrate Palatinose, from Beneo-Palatinit, has been scientifically proved to promote fat burning andis the only carbohydrate to provide a sustained supply of energy in the form of glucose, while at the same time promoting fat mobilisation.

Studies have shown that, both during activity and at rest, Palatinose increases the proportion of total energy requirements produced from fat enabling products containing this low glycemic sugar to play an important role in weight reduction and control.

Athletes derive dual benefits from the new functional carbohydrate: On the one hand, they profit from a sustained supply of energy provided by Palatinose™ in the form of glucose; on the other hand they can derive a greater amount of energy from their own body fat, preserving carbohydrate sources and improving performance.

The healthy fuel

Palatinose is ideally suited for products designed both to promote fat burning and supply energy, such as sports drinks, for example, or liquid meal replacements.

It can be either on its own to improve fat metabolism or combined with other ingredients, such as caffeine or green tea that are known to boost fat burning.

Multi-functional approach

Used in combination with L-Carnitin, Palatinose not only mobilises body fat, it also ensures that it is optimally converted into energy.

Together with appetite suppressants such as Fabuless, which is made from natural palm and oat oil, Palatinose not only promotes fat burning, it also reduces calorie intake.

Even simple Near Water product concepts containing Palatinose appeal to target audiences who wish to avoid drinks containing high intensity sweeteners but are still health-conscious and want to keep their body in shape. Beneo-Palatinit

Awards recognise brand owner innovation

The FOOD Challenge Awards 2008 is now accepting entries in each of its 10 categories.

The awards seek to recognise brand owners’ innovation and excellence in the food and beverage processing and manufacturing industries. Released a new product to market in the past year? Then why not enter and celebrate your team’s success.

The winners will be announced in July at a gala dinner held during FoodPro.

To express interest, please email

For an entry form, click here.

Further information can be obtained here.

New range of healthy kids’ snacks

The demand for healthy snacks has risen dramatically, and Whole Kids are taking advantage of parents desire to provide their children with healthy snacks and additions to their lunchboxes.

Whole Kids has introduced a new products including Organic Cheese and Low Salt Corn Chips and Organic fruit juices.

Monica Waters, Co-Founder of Whole Kids says, “We have seen the demand for our products grow 50% since back-to-school 2007. The demand increase has been across the board. Our original range is now stocked in over 500 stores including Harris Farm grocers, IGA supermarkets and most leading organic food stores. Plus we have introduced new products to meet the needs of parents whose kids are notoriously fussy eaters.”

Whole Kids products are free of preservatives, additives and genetically modified ingredients.

In addition, the company has recently launched a nut-free and gluten-free range.

“Our new range was actually developed in response to pleas from concerned parents. We‘ve had an overwhelming response to our products because people are just so grateful that they don’t have to search for nasty hidden ingredients.”

Whole Kids was founded in 2005 by Monica Waters and James Meldrum after spending several years researching the demand for healthier organic snacks for kids.

Whole Kids now stocks ten different products including juices, popcorn, fruit bars and corn chips.

Robag reduces rejects

tna offers a complete accumulation, distribution and packaging system especially designed for the fresh produce market.

tna’s robag 3 stainless steel vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) bagger, together with its unique “shaker” software, offers efficient and gentle packaging processes for all types of fresh produce from bulk packaging to single-serving salads and bagged salad kits.

Shayne De la Force, group marketing manager tna, explains why the robag 3 are ideal.

“Most VFFS flat jaw machines are limited by design to achieve the required pressure for high quality sealing of the packaging film. The unique rotary action of the robag® 3 compresses the film, forming a quality bonded seal.”

The robag’s sealing process dramatically reduces reject levels resulting in maximised output and increased product shelf life.

It is also engineered to facilitate fast changeovers so that new bag sizes and shapes are easily accommodated.

The special shaker software ensures a fast and smooth movement of the produce which generally has a very high coefficient into the formed bags which inturn dramatically improving throughput.

Stainless steel design allows easy washdown and operation in environments that are generally very wet.

tna’s advanced technology and software automate roflo’s totally gateless system, resulting in dramatic reductions in product damage.

Fewer moving parts result in total controllability, easy cleaning, and lowered maintenance and service.

tna provides a complete line of products from its well known robag VFFS Baggers; roflo Product Distribution and Accumulation Equipment; Seasoning Systems; Multihead Scales; Checkweighers; Date Coders; Metal Detectors, Case Packers; Palletizers; and Complete Processing Equipment.

Brewery bins manual temperature control

Siemens recently helped Bells Brewery in the US implement a state-of-the-art automated temperature control system for its tanks, using the Siemens Braumat PCS 7 Compact.

Precise temperature control is important to Bells’ 26 different beers, each of which is brewed at a different temperature.

If the temperatures are not controlled correctly the difference between the different brands of beer becomes less distinct.

The single-loop temperature controllers the brewery was using had drawbacks, such as that the record keeping was manual, labour intensive and prone to human error.

Siemens’ system had the ability to control all tank temperatures from one location.

PCS 7 Box compresses the functionality of a complete DCS into a compact industrial PC platform which features an integrated hardened controller that operates independent of the PC.

It is actually a hybrid PLC/DCS unit, providing the best features of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) integrated into an ideal crossover application suitable for the requirements of the hybrid industry.

It offers the world’s only platform that integrates new and existing automation systems (process, batch, discrete and safety) and devices (instrumentation, analytics, motors, drives, and safety instrumented functions) within a single platform.

Although Bell’s new system has just recently been installed, performance statistics are evident and significant. The new fermentation control system has allowed the brewery a quicker throughput, reduced laborhours, and the system is easy to operate.

Stainless steel hygiene at Inghams plant

Hygiene is a top priority at a facility which processes more than 40,000 tonnes of chicken a day.

ASSDA member and Accredited Fabricator Stainless Metal Craft has recently completed work on the design and fabrication of stainless steel equipment for Inghams’ processing plant at Edinburgh Park, north of Adelaide, and hatchery at Monarto, south of Adelaide.

The projects incorporate numerous custom-designed installations, including a series of 300mm wide channelled drainage at the processing plant in runs of 60m that will withstand the weight of forklifts, and slot drains with integrated sumps at the hatchery that will tolerate extremely harsh cleaning compounds.

The slot drains, in particular, required innovative tool work, because of the size and depth required.

Freezer coving (a hygiene requirement to prevent food from being caught where the wall meets the floor) is usually made from epoxy-coated concrete, but there was concern this would wear down with ongoing snap freezing of the chickens. Instead, about 180m of 3mm grade 316 were used.

Strict regulations within the food industry also determined the need for grade 316 stainless steel fire hose reel cabinets.

Mr Bunt said most of the stainless steel was supplied by ASSDA members Atlas Specialty Metals and Midway Metals.

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

Increasing meat recovery

Ibex offers the high speed FF Pneumatic Trimmer, which operating at 15,000 rpm at almost 4 times faster than many pneumatic trimming systems..

The company developed the trimmer specifically to enable greater meat recovery from a carcass with less operator effort needed.

Ibex also offers a range of other meat processing equipment.


Aussie foods do well in US

The 33rd Winter Fancy Food Show 2008 is currently being held in San Diego, US, and Australian speciality food and beverages are again in the US spotlight with more than 100 products from over 45 businesses across Australia showcasing their products in the Austrade pavilion.

The speciality food show is one of the biggest of its kind, attracting over 16,000 buyers from food, wine, gift and department stores, supermarkets and restaurants globally.

Australia has emerged in recent years as one of the United States’ largest suppliers of value-added foods.

Key reasons are awareness of Australia’s diverse food flavours; commitment to green, sustainable practices and rigorous food safety standards.

Participating businesses include high quality goods like olive oils from Dandaragan Estate, Yellingbo Gold and Red Island; truffles, fruit pastes, sauces from The Wine and Truffle Company; chutneys, jams from Outback Spirit; honey, salt, antipasto and unusual confectionery from Australian Native Nut and Nutpatch Nougat; chocolate mousses and desserts from Nicholson Fine Foods and a range of indigenous Australian herbs and spices.

The United States is Australia’s largest trade and investment partner, with annual two-way merchandise trade between the two countries now worth more than A$47.7 billion.

Babicka Original Wormwood Vodka, winners of the 2007 FOOD Challenge Awards alcoholic beverages category are also participating in the event.

For further information on events being held during Australia Week please visit

Ingredients co. extends its reach

Bronson and Jacobs launched a new branch in Santiago, Chile, at the end of 2007.

The Specialty Chemicals Group of Orica Chemicals Latin America, became the latest member of the B&J family.

With locally employed staff in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, it significantly increases Bronson and Jacobs’ reach in this region.

Bronson and Jacobs has existing dairy, bakery and pharmaceutical accounts, and are targeting the beverage, confectionery, bakery, meat and cosmetics markets in this region.

Zebra series thermal label printers

Peacock Bros offers supplies Zebra Technologies’ new ZM series range of thermal barcode label printers, which offer an easier to operate form, increased connectivity, RFID readiness as standard and a number of available options.

As standard the label printers include the additional connectivity of USB 2 for faster and connectivity with most warehouse, manufacturing and business applications, with the option of adding a wireless ZebraNet 10/100 print server for simultaneous parallel and ethernet connections.

According to the company, the new ZM series of thermal label printer is a fast, reliable and affordable choice for label printing.

Peacock Bros