Food & Beverage Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:48:46 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 Food & Beverage 32 32 Food colouring goes natural Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:43:31 +0000 Chr. Hansen has the natural products, along with the expertise, and experience to help food and beverage manufacturers deliver consumers visually enticing products.

Food and beverage manufacturers go to a lot of trouble to ensure their products meet consumers’ aesthetic expectations. After all, if it weren’t for food colouring, hot dogs would be grey, margarine would be white, and red gummies wouldn’t exist.

But why do they bother? After all, isn’t food all about taste?

No, says Lisa Flower, marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand at Chr. Hansen. “People eat with their eyes – and the visual appeal of a food is strongly linked to its colour,” she told Food & Beverage Industry News.

“Colour has an important role to play in the first impressions that are made. Colour also plays a role in the expectations of the consumer of the food. In fact, it can even be the reason a consumer chooses one product over another.”

While historically most food colouring has been artificial, things have changed. Natural food colouring is one of the major trends in the industry.

“The release of the 2007 Southhampton study on the impact of certain artificial colours on children’s behaviour really fast-tracked this conversion,” said Flower.

Though contentious, the study suggested a link between artificial colours and hyperactivity in children; and prompted the European Union to require some colours to carry the statement: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children” on labelling.

Although there is no such labelling requirement in Australia and New Zealand, the move away from artificial colouring has also taken hold here.

Aldi, Woolworths and Coles responded to the demand by ensuring all of their private label products did not contain artificial colours. And most manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand have also converted their products to natural colours.

According to Flower, there is now another option for brands who want even cleaner labels.

“This is known as colouring foodstuffs. While natural colours are typically extracts from a natural source and may attract an E-number (a European code used to list permitted food additives on labelling), colouring foodstuffs are concentrates of the juice of a fruit or vegetable and can simply be labelled as this, for example red beet concentrate or sweet potato concentrate,” she said.

Chr Hansen

Chr. Hansen offers a spectrum of natural colours (including curcumin, paprika, cochineal, annatto and beta-carotene) and colouring foodstuffs (including red beet, sweet potato, black carrot and spirulina).

All are either extracts or concentrates of the colour from a natural source. These could be from fruits, vegetables and even fungi, algae, seeds or insects.

These products are suitable for everything from beverages and confectionery to cheese, desserts and ice cream.

While acknowledging that it is sometimes difficult to replace an artificial colour with a natural one, Flower maintains it doesn’t have to be.

“There are some formulations and interactions between ingredients that make conversion tricky or more expensive to implement. But with the right conversion partner, you can find the natural colour or colouring foodstuff alternative that makes sense for your brand and product and gives your consumers what they are looking for,” she said.

Chr. Hansen considers itself well placed to be such a partner.

“Natural colours lend themselves to most applications, although it is very important to consider the different factors such as processing conditions, temperature, light exposure, pH, acidity and the other ingredients to ensure the right colour is selected for the product,” said Flower.

“Chr. Hansen has a highly experienced sales and technical team based in Australia along with global application centres that offer full technical support to customers to assist  conversion and application questions.”

The first step in this process involves establishing if the client is looking to avoid E numbers completely, or is simply looking to avoid artificial colours.

Further questions revolve around what colour and shade the client is looking to achieve, the desired shelf life of the products, the type of packaging to be used and storage conditions; as well as processing conditions like high temperature, time, pH and other ingredients, fortifications or flavours used in the formulation.

Corporate activity in food & beverage sector remains high Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:30:53 +0000 Continue reading Corporate activity in food & beverage sector remains high ]]> Deal making momentum from the second quarter of the year was carried forward into the third quarter. A total of eight acquisitions were announced in the third quarter, with the pipeline for the remainder of the year looking strong.

Acquisitions announced

Brisbane based Blue Sky private equity acquired a majority stake in Adelaide based Sunfresh Salads. Sunfresh Salads is a major supplier of ready to eat meals, fresh salads and frozen products to retail and foodservice in South Australia and Victoria.

Unilever Australia announced the acquisition of Toowoomba based Weis ice cream. The Weis ice cream range will complement Unilever’s existing brand portfolio which includes Ben & Jerry’s, Grom, Talenti and Streets.

Light Warrior, the investment fund set up by former Swisse Wellness CEO, Radek Sali, has made an equity investment in Hydralyte as part of a capital raise. The proceeds from capital raise will be applied to fund Hydralyte’s US expansion.

Bindaree Beef sold 51 per cent of the company to the Hui family and Archstone Investment Co in return for a significant investment in Bindaree Beef. The Hong Kong based Hui family acquired the shareholding in Bindaree Beef after Shangdong Delisi walked away from a deal to acquire 45 per cent of Bindaree Beef in 2016.

The Kin Group, back by Raphael Geminder, acquired the Cobs Popcorn business from founders John and Ravit Walys. Recent investments made by the Kin Group includes Green’s Foods and The Cake Syndicate.

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Listings on the ASX

There have been no listings of food and beverage businesses on the ASX in the months of July and August 2017.

The number of new listings, especially smaller IPOs of food and beverage business, have reduced significantly in 2017 mainly due to a lack of institutional funds interested in smaller IPOs.

Deal activity notably remained high in the third quarter of 2017 and we expect this high level of activity to continue for the remainder of 2017.

Ben van der Westhuizen and David Baveystock are directors of Comet Line Consulting, an advisory business that specialises in acquisitions and divestments within the Australian food and beverage industry.

Unlocking your trapped data with IO-Link Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:12:15 +0000 Continue reading Unlocking your trapped data with IO-Link ]]> Designed for simplicity and universality, the communications protocol IO-Link isn’t the latest thing, but there are plenty of factories that are missing out on what it offers.

There is sometimes a little confusion about IO-Link – the first global standard for communicating with sensors and actuators.

To begin with, it is not a proprietary solution, which is the first thing that needs clearing up, believes Freddie Coertze, Field Technical Support Engineer, Networks and Controls at ifm efector Australia.

“It’s a nice thing to actually buy into from a customer point of view; the main reason is you’re not locked into one supplier,” Coertze told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

“So you can use different manufacturers’ IO modules, sensors, whatever, as long as they’ve got IO-Link in it.”

Secondly, though the buzzword Industry 4.0 might call up something futuristic in your imagination, IO-Link – one of the essential connectivity solutions required for this – is very much here and now. In fact the Company Coertze works, ifm efector, for has been making IO-Link-enabled sensors for almost a decade.

IO-Link can help users get much more data out of their sensors and unlock some of the “trapped data” currently held prisoner in the sensor.

“We can basically link a sensor up to your SAP [a major ERP software provider] interface. To be able to do that is a benefit, because let’s say your sensor is starting to fail,” explained Coertze.

“As an example, let’s use an IO-Link-enabled pressure sensor. It’s working all good, giving my pressure values, everything is fine, but if that pressure valve becomes invalid I can get a message from my sensor saying I am no longer healthy.” This is achievable via the sensor’s error messages monitored by the IO-Link master and passed up to the PLC or Controller.

In such a case, a diagnosis can be made via information sent through the sensor – which may have failed due to overheating – via the PLC to the enterprise system. A job ticket is produced and a floor worker can change the failed device.

Further to this, a network using IO-Link does not have to be shut down in its entirety and a production line or machine can keep running, provided it is safe to do so.

Right from installation, in fact, an IO-Link-enabled sensor can begin displaying its usefulness. It can display three types of data, the first of these being service data: data about the device itself, including part number and manufacturer details.

The other two types of data are event data (such as notifications and flags, for example in the failed pressure sensor example) and process data (whatever the sensor is supposed to be reading).

Crucial data can be accessed remotely – very much essential in any Industry 4.0 cyber-physical representation of a factory and its workings.

“You can basically see all of your sensor parameters in there. You can see – even with a simple pressure switch – for instance – not just an on/off signal,” said Coertze.

“And that means if I connect it to an IO-Link input I enable more out of my sensors. I can basically get a floating value and my resolution is much higher because if I wanted to create an analog, I’ve got to scale it between 4 and 20 milliamps. Where now I can have the real value.”

The simplicity of IO-Link was being enthusiastically embraced by younger engineers, he added.

“New engineers moving into the field, you can see they are more adapted to technology and can really see the benefit of this,” he said, continuing “if you can basically screw an M12 connector on a sensor, you can basically do IO-Link – it’s really not that difficult.”

The benefits of the newer types of data made available can save money, and apply to even the most traditional of manufacturers.

One example is in energy monitoring, a purpose which Coertze’s company covers (along with condition monitoring) through its partnership with SAP and its cloud platform.

“For example, in most manufacturing environments you need to have compressed air. So let’s say I’ve got leaks in my compressed air lines which I never knew about, that means my compressors will be running inefficiently 24/7,” he said.

“So we want to use that sort of SAP environment to collect data… Our sensors can collect data for us and that means I can measure the input of all my airlines and I can see on the end that I’m losing all my air.

“And that means I can collect all of my data into a Historian, I can transfer the data into SAP, and draw a report.

For more information, click here.

NZ Tamarillo products heading to US Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:56:54 +0000 Continue reading NZ Tamarillo products heading to US ]]> New Zealand’s Tamarillo Co-operative has signed a major deal with a distributor allowing Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar to be sold in the US and Canada.

The first of shipment of tamarillo pulp has left Whangarei for US-based food producer and distributor, Serious Foodie. Tamarillos are processed into pulp and vinegar concentrate in New Zealand and exported to Serious Foodie in bulk. Florida-based Serious Foodie then makes the pulp into Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar.

Serious Foodie specialises in developing gourmet products for the home chef.

It introduced Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York at the end of June, receiving great feedback and so has started production. Serious Foodie Tamarillo Marinade and Tamarillo Vinegar will sell online, at US farmers’ markets and be distributed to gourmet supermarkets and stores across the US and Canada.

New Zealand Tamarillo Co-operative Director and Manager, Robin Nitschke said, “It was a rewarding achievement after working on the deal for two and a half years.”

Serious Foodie first contacted the co-operative more than two years ago interested in expanding its range of high-end specialty products. It believed an exotic fruit like the tamarillo would appeal to their discerning customers.

As well as the US deal, the Co-operative is working on other export opportunities. Robin Nitschke said vinaigrette and relish will shortly be shipped to Brisbane and negotiations are under way for vinaigrette concentrate to be introduced to European and Asian markets in a variety of products.

Robin Nitschke, with five other grower members, established the Tamarillo Co-operative three years ago. “Our aim is to have more influence at the beginning of the supply chain by channeling fruit through one merchant and then providing more choices to add value to the fruit at the end of the supply chain,” said Nitschke.

Robin Nitschke said that after gaining recognition in 2016 as finalists in the NZ Food Awards Artisan category, supermarkets, specialty food outlets and food service companies have had good demand for the co-operative’s For the Love of Tams, Tamarillo Relish and For the Love of Tams, Tamarillo Vinegar Dressing.

Victoria to ban single-use plastic bags Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:41:32 +0000 The Victorian Government will ban single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags, after it first consults with businesses and the community on how best to implement the policy.

Experience in other jurisdictions shows that banning lightweight plastics ban can lead to undesirable results, including increased use of heavier duty plastics, which can have an even greater environmental impact.

That is why the Labor Government will work with the community on how to best manage plastic pollution, and deliver a workable scheme that doesn’t unfairly impact on consumers, retailers, industry or the environment.

Plastics in the environment break up into smaller and smaller pieces over time, becoming increasingly difficult to manage. They can end up in our waterways, lakes and oceans — contributing to litter and posing a significant hazard to our marine life.

Reducing the number of plastic bags we use is an important part of addressing the overall impacts of plastic pollution in Victoria.

The 2015/16 Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index reported that Victoria has the lowest litter count in the country for the fifth year in a row.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 builds on this success, providing $30.4 million over four years in new funding to improve the ways we manage waste and recover resources.

“Banning single-use plastic bags will slash waste, reduce litter and help protect marine life in Victoria’s pristine waters,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

“We will work closely with Victorian communities and businesses to design the ban, we’re proud that we’re doing our bit to reduce the impact plastic bags have on our environment.”