Coca-Cola South Pacific has today announced that it has developed Snapchat lens for their summer campaign including one to go live on New Year’s Day which will allow users to interact with Coke in a new way.
“There are a number of ‘firsts’ in our summer campaign this year including the exciting launch of the Coca-Cola AU Snapchat channel,” Kate Wilson, Coca-Cola South Pacific IMC Manager (Sparkling) said.
“This platform provides us with the perfect opportunity to bring to life the campaign through an impactful, real-time and relevant connection point that resonates with our audience.
“We hope the campaign inspires young Australians and shows them a fresh and surprising side of our brand. “This year we’ve taken a different approach, challenging our consumers in surprising ways through music and artistic content as well as using social and digital to drive awareness amongst youth.”
The multi-million dollar integrated marketing campaign will feature in out-of-home, mobile and cinema, experiential marketing, PR, social and influencer engagement, as well as point of sale shopper marketing. Digital content will run across catch-up TV, Vevo and YouTube in 15 and 30 second cut-downs through programmatic advertising.
In a new twist to building awareness for Coca-Cola, street art murals will bring the campaign to life across iconic urban sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Sydney-based street artist Mulga has been working with Coca-Cola over recent months to create the murals and artwork that will feature across social media, online video, digital and OOH – including on the iconic Kings Cross billboard from this week.
Following a long and bitter dispute between Nestle and Mondelez, the owners of the Cadbury brand, Nestle has now lost its EU trademark for its KitKat bar after an EU court ruled the popular chocolate bar was not proven to be sufficiently of a “distinctive character.”
Nestle filed its application to register the KitKat shape in 2002 – which was originally launched in 1935 by Rowntree.
The EU General Court said last Friday that it was annulling the 2012 EUIPO decision to dismiss Mondelez’s claim, as the office had not yet proved the “distinctive character” of the chocolate bar shape in all EU member countries.
Thermo Scientific Orion and Thermo Scientific AquaSensors products are well-known around the world for excellence in water and liquid analysis in laboratory, R&D, government compliance, pharmaceutical, drinking water, wastewater treatment, food and beverage manufacturing, environmental, power generation, and general industrial processing markets.
The Orion and AquaSensors product lines include a full range of liquid sensing and measurement products that include:
Portable and benchtop pH, ISE, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen measurement
Laboratory electrodes and sensors for sampling pH, ISE, dissolved oxygen, ORP, conductivity, and temperature
Online process analyzers and sensors for measuring pH, conductivity, ORP, dissolved oxygen, dissolved ozone, chlorine, turbidity, sodium, chloride, silica, fluoride, and calcium
The meters, electrodes, buffers, standards, and solutions are designed for a number of applications and industries:
The hunt is on for fine wines across Australia worthy of raising a glass to, with entries for the prestigious Royal Queensland Wine Show (RQWS) opening today.
Chief Judge David Bicknell will lead a team of expert judges for his second year at the helm, as they sniff, swirl and taste their way through the nation’s top drops, at the first capital city wine show of the season.
This means the RQWS judges will be the first to critically review the 2017 vintage in Australia, setting the benchmark for the industry and letting wine lovers know which bottles to look for.
In keeping up with changes in consumer interest, a new dry red wine class called ‘current drinking light dry red’ has been introduced to the competition for 2017.
Bicknell said the new class is for current release dry red wines that are bottled early for current consumption.
“This should be a fun class where we will see modern ‘bar wines’ that have captured the imagination of the wine savvy public,’’ he said.
“Winemaking technique and variety are irrelevant, enjoyment is paramount and we will hopefully see a few natural and low sulphur wines in the mix as well.”
More than 1,800 wines from 243 wineries were entered into this year’s competition, which saw a sparkling take out Grand Champion Wine of Show for the first time in RQWS history and a pinot noir claim the Stodart Trophy, which is usually won by shiraz.
Entries must be in by April 21, 2017, with judging taking place from June 26 and July 7.
28 BLACK has released their 28 BLACK Pink Flamingo cocktail.
Featuring their new flavour – Pink Grapefruit Mint energy drink, the taurine-free beverage is designed as a mixer with what the company calls, “the taste of summer.”
Chrish Graebner, Level Beverages Managing Director said, “Our newest flavour to the range is by far my favourite and is a great mixer.”
The flavour is designed to cater for those who love a good tang and is also meant to be mixed with rum.
The company also said that 10 cents from each can of the 28 BLACK Pink Grapefruit sold will be donated to The McGrath Foundation which raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in young Australians.
The Chia Almond Natural Energy Ball is gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, contains 23.7 per cent protein per ball, 40 per cent of the required intake of Omega 3 and has no refined sugar, no artificial additives or preservatives.
Bounce Natural Energy Balls are available in eight additional flavours including Almond, Apple Cinnamon, Cacao Mint, Coconut Macadamia, Hazelnut Cacao, Maple Pecan, Peanut, Spirulina Ginseng and Superberry.
The New Year should see the Australian lamb and sheep market benefit from reduced supplies and positive demand from domestic consumers according to the Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) 2017 Sheep Industry projections.
MLA’s Manager of Market Information Ben Thomas said lamb slaughter is projected to be 22 million head for 2017, down 2% from the estimated 2016 level.
“While this is a decline year-on-year, 22 million head is still in line with the long-term growth trend observed over the past decade,” Mr Thomas said.
“Breaking the annual processing down to a quarterly basis, it is anticipated that the June and September quarters will be when supplies are the tightest. Lamb availability in the March quarter on the other hand, is likely to benefit from carry-over stocks from the final months of 2016, when extremely wet weather delayed many lambs coming to market.”
Assuming average seasonal conditions and a return to normal lamb marking rates, the numbers of lambs processed are anticipated to increase to 23 million head by 2020.
Thomas said Australian lamb production for 2017 is projected to ease 2% to 492,000 tonnes carcase weight (cwt), and while this is a year-on-year decline, the volume is in the realms of record territory.
“The Australian domestic market is anticipated to remain the largest consumer and account for 48% of production, or 237,000 tonnes cwt, with many encouraging signs coming from the market,” he said.
“For instance, domestic per capita consumption has stabilised in recent years, while at the same time the weighted average retail price has been increasing.
“To put this in perspective, domestic lamb retail prices in 2016 averaged just 10 cents shy of the record high set in 2011, at $14.51/kg, and per capita consumption is 8% higher now than what it was then.”
On the export front, Australian lamb shipments are anticipated to ease 4% year-on-year in 2017, to 220,000 tonnes shipped weight (swt).
“While this will be the third consecutive year of slightly lower exports, volumes are still in excess of 200,000 tonnes swt – a level breached for only the first time in 2013. The major markets are likely to again be the US, China and the Middle East,” Thomas said.
A recovery in lamb exports is forecast from 2018, with volumes expected to reach a record 235,000 tonnes swt by 2020.
“The longer-term export outlook should be underpinned by further growth in demand in Asia, especially China, the US and the Middle East, a lower Australian dollar, diminishing New Zealand exports, and Australia’s projected growth in production,” Mr Thomas said.
“Uncertainty surrounds the impact of Brexit on access to both the UK and EU. If negotiations result in expansion of Australia’s meagre sheepmeat access to these markets, it could provide a significant lift to exports and prices.”
Melbourne Moonshine Cáscara Moonshine is made from the dehydrated cherries of the coffee plant.
Traditionally discarded, Campos says it has worked with a small coffee farm in Costa Rica to keep and naturally dry the cherries, resulting in a fruity coffee variety that gives a more subtle tea-like taste.
Campos Coffee, the specialty roaster founded out of a small Newtown café, has always been focused on innovation in coffee, and realised the untapped potential of this previously under-utilised part of the coffee tree.
After months of testing to get the flavours right, the end result is a rich liqueur with cherry and raisin flavours, and hints of molasses, reminiscent of Christmas Cake.
Premium cider brands in West Europe recorded a compound annual growth rate of almost 8% between 2009 and 2015, far exceeding competing price segment categories which all posted declines, says consumer insight firm Canadean.
According to the company’s latest research, one of the most important trends currently being recorded in the West European cider market is the premiumization trend, which has led to consumers spending more on quality cider at the expense of discount and mainstream brands.
Premium brands, determined as brands which have a price index between 115%-149%, when using the leading mainstream brand as the benchmark, have witnessed positive results from this. However superpremium brands, those priced in the market at a 150% price index and above on the leading brand, have not yet benefited from this trend, with consumers still exhibiting some caution with their spending.
The impressive growth seen in West Europe was driven by strong performances in Spain (3%) and France (15%), as well as huge growth in the Republic of Ireland (107%), helping to offset the 1% decline in the largest market by volume, the United Kingdom.
Growth in Spain, the second largest premium cider market by volume, was a consequence of the increased demand for imported cider and ‘natural’ cider, which is generally associated with premium and superpremium price points. Natural cider in particular benefited from its popularity with young adult consumers, who find the concept of filtered cider with no added sugar to be appealing.
France’s market was largely in line with the rest of the continent, with volumes declining overall and premium offerings the sole growth point. Consumers in France are increasingly switching their cider drinking habits to quality over quantity, driving value growth.
The exceptional gains witnessed in the Republic of Ireland market for premium brands can be partly attributed to the recovering economy that has restored consumer confidence. Ireland was the fastest-growing economy in West Europe in 2015, and in a traditional cider drinking market, this proved fruitful for premium brands. Heineken also introduced its Orchard Thieves brand in 2015. After vigorous taste panel testing with Irish consumers, it has been designed specifically for the Irish palate, and entered the market with a high price point that more than doubled the volumes in the premium price segment.
Canadean states that premium cider will continue its consistent growth pattern in West Europe in 2016 due to rising consumer interest and willingness to purchase higher priced and quality ciders. Brewers quick to jump on this trend, as Heineken has been in the Republic of Ireland, could capitalize on this shift in consumer buying behavior by focusing on development of more unique and premium cider offerings.
Asahi Beverages, comprising some of Australia and New Zealand’s most successful beverage businesses, including Schweppes Australia, Asahi Premium Beverages, Independent Liquor and The Better Drinks Co., has awarded Dematic a contract to build a high bay warehouse storage facility.
The warehouse in Heathwood, Queensland, will consist of a satellite storage solution containing six aisles of six-deep satellite ColbyRack capable of storing 28,000 pallets.
The automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) will include six new Dematic RapidStore Storage Retrieval Machines (SRMs) with Dematic’s latest “free roaming” Automover satellite carts. The solution will also feature Skate Auto-loading Truck Docks, a pallet conveyor system, stretch wrapper, automatic barcode labelling, and a full case picking area.
“Dematic was selected by Asahi Beverages as their preferred logistics integration partner following an extensive tender process that assessed experience, comprehensiveness of offering, and local capability,” said David Rubie, Dematic’s Manager of Industry Logistics.
“We look forward to working with Asahi Beverages to deliver a supply chain solution that is a core component of their ongoing success.”
“Our new Queensland high bay warehouse is another major step forward in the transformation of our customer centric logistics network,” said Tracey Wagner, General Manager, Logistics and Customer Operations, Asahi Beverages.
“We are pleased to be working with an experienced integrator such as Dematic on this crucial program.”
As Christmas approaches and families begin planning their menu for the big day, RSPCA Australia is encouraging consumers to shop humanely at the supermarket.
Demand for ethically-produced ham, turkey and chicken is high at this time of the year, but with so many different labels on products it can be challenging to know which claims to believe.
“Four out of five Australians believe that it’s important that meat, eggs and dairy products sold in Australia are farmed in a humane and ethical way ,” said Hope Bertram, Humane Food Marketing Manager, RSPCA Australia. “Shoppers wanting to cut through the confusion should choose RSPCA Approved.”
First founded in 1996, the Approved Farming Scheme is part of the RSPCA’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of Australia’s most intensively farmed animals.
In the twenty years since the Scheme began, 805 million hens, pigs, chickens and turkeys have benefited from significantly better conditions on farm.
The commitment of retailers like Coles and Woolworths to sourcing RSPCA Approved chicken for their own brand ranges has seen the Scheme experience exponential growth in the last two years alone.
“When the Approved Farming Scheme started, there was far less consumer awareness around animal welfare in farming,” said Ms Bertram. “Now people are more conscious of the impact their choices have on farm animals.”
“RSPCA farming standards are grounded in science and go beyond legal requirements in ensuring that animals are farmed in a way that meets their physical and behavioural needs.
“By choosing RSPCA Approved, hens can nest, chickens can perch, turkeys can peck and pigs have space to roam.
“That’s why shoppers looking to purchase higher welfare food this Christmas should look for the RSPCA Approved label.”
Harris Farm Markets is removing all $1 per litre milk from its shelves across its 24 stores in New South Wales, in a bid to support the local dairy industry.
Harris Farm Markets will stock its own Farmer Friendly Milk range that will sell for $2.29 per two litres. The grocer is working with New South Wales-based farmer-owned cooperative processors who are transparent about their farm gate price, so they can ensure a fair price is being paid to dairy farmers with this new range.
Harris Farm Markets says that it believes milk is a beautiful, natural product and should be sold at a fair price that doesn’t see farmers selling their milk for less than the cost of production.
The retail price is reflective of the true cost of production, allowing Harris Farm to return 95 per cent of the sale price back to the cooperative and onto the farmers who own it.
Farmer Friendly Milk is a higher-quality milk (than its $1 per litre counterpart) with a higher butterfat content of 3.6 per cent, so it’s creamier, because there isn’t the price pressure on the processor to extract as much of the butter fat to create margin in other dairy products.
Harris Farm Markets Co-CEO Tristan Harris said the announcement this week comes after several months of planning to ensure the best product at the best price – for all parties – was going on shelf.
“We understand that people want good value on products that they use lots of every day. However, we believe most people don’t agree that it should be cheap at all cost, including the costs of lives and livelihoods of Aussie farmers,” Tristan said.
“We are charging $2.29 for two litres of milk. We still believe this represents great value for customers but not at the expense of farmers.
“As a family-owned business we knew we wanted to make a difference where we do have control, and after seeing the uproar from farmers, advocates and the public on $1 per litre milk earlier this year, we were compelled to change our approach to milk.”
The Farmer Friendly Milk is on shelves and available in the online store in two-litre bottles of full cream and lite options.
Harris Farm Markets said that it will continue to stock a wide range of milks from a variety of suppliers large and small, and continues to work with these suppliers on transparency around pricing to ensure a fair go for the participating farmers.
Australian sauce maker, Fountain, has today unveiled new packaging across its bottled sauce range, featuring new on-pack product information and imagery.
From December, the refreshed packaging will start to appear across the range, which includes a variety of sauces for every occasion, ensuring meals can be enriched with flavour at any stage of the cooking process, from start to finish.
The changes have been made based on loyal consumer insights that found home cooks prefer products to have clear labelling, in addition to useful tips and suggestions to help them to make decisions on which sauces to use at home.
The new coloured labels will now display key details such as whether a variant is gluten free or has no artificial colours and flavours and packaging has also been redesigned to demonstrate the comprehensive range of flavours, along with providing flavour inspiration to current and new consumers of the brand.
Although the packaging of the Fountain sauce range has undergone a makeover, brand manager at Fountain, Gillian O’Brien says that the trusted and much-loved Aussie recipes have not.
“At Fountain, we’re excited to unveil the new branding, which has been revamped to make the range easier to shop for and enable customers to make informed decisions.We can assure Australians that we have not changed any ingredients in the sauces that our consumers know and love – each sauce is still bursting with flavour.” she said.
The full range includes Hoi Sin, Hot Chilli, Mint, Satay, Soy, Soy & Honey, Spicy Red, Steak, Sweet Chilli, Thick Mint, Mild Mexican Chilli, Plum, Sweet & Sour, and Mustard, as well as its range of Tomato & BBQ sauces, which are available in a number of convenient formats.
In a recent report by McCormick, they identified five trends on flavours from around the world, especially the Middle East, seem to be the driving force of the trends.
Some of details of the five trends that they reported on were:
Innovation in breakfast meals and products with the addition of new ingredients and flavours will be emerging trends in 2017.
These include ancient grains and rice varieties that are gluten-free and in-line with the current free-from consumer demand, as well as the use of middle-eastern spices—that, according to them, will bring “intriguing and exciting” new flavours to the consumer palate.
On the end of meats, grilled meats and seafood will be the ‘in’ foods, married with bold sauces, rubs, and glazes such as Spanish green sauce, Mexican sauce, or with sherry wine and vinegar.
Spanish flavours will be at the centre of attention for manufacturers of meat products.
Rather than just seen as a breakfast ingredient, eggs are going beyond and are becoming commonly seen in lunch and dinner menus according to McCormick.
Besides the usual packaged hard and soft boiled eggs in convenience stores, cured, fried, and poached eggs also may offer opportunities for manufacturers to experiment with too.
It is also reported that Mediterranean cuisine is becoming more popular with consumers, especially when they use barberries—a key tart ingredient in Persian foods—or Baharat seasoning.
Pasta is the foundation for inspired new culinary traditions, as according to the reports, citing examples of Reshteh with Italian minestrone, or Turkish manti with Italian Bolognese.
Also another McCormick prediction is the up and coming trend in 2017 for sweet ingredients like syrups and exotic fruits which are being increasingly used to temper pepper’s bold taste.
These include date syrup, or exotic, tropical fruits such as dragon fruit, mangosteen, green mango and jackfruit.
By using a meat extract as ink, layer-by-layer, a food could be created that is as soft as butter and like meat, packed with nutrients. In a report by ABC news, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) was alerted to the possibility of 3D printed red meat after seeing it done with chicken meat in Germany.
Currently they have investigated a way to turn every last bit of meat from the bone into a high value product and believes it is feasible with a high protein ink or powder could be used in a 3D printer.
“You could have a sugar ink, fat ink and by using those different ink pots you could create a food that is catered to a specific calorific and protein value,”
Sean Starling, general manager of Research, Development and Innovation at MLA, said.
The 3D printed meat would be targeted at people who have trouble chewing and swallowing and suffer dysphagia, those nutrients are hard to get.
MLA had found in Germany has 3D printed food in 1,000 nursing homes, and 3D printed food would be more appetising than pureed food.
CSIRO looks at 3D printer created foods
“We believe the biggest opportunity is for people who have trouble consuming a full bodied steak, the aged and disabled, who can’t eat highly textured and highly interconnective muscle foods,” Starling said.
“We’re thinking you could still print a steak, you’ll get the perception of a steak, the taste of a steak, but it will be almost like butter to chew through and swallow.”
According to ABC news, the CSIRO’s team leader in Meat Science Dr Aarti Tobin said the combination of gels and starches with the meat ink will have to produce something delicious. Dr Tobin said the CSIRO Meat Science team had worked on recombined meat from a meat paste.
“The cubes were nice and soft, looked like diced meat, once you put it into your mouth you just pushed it against your palette and they fell apart and formed a nice poultice.”
Vegan Australia and the Animal Justice Party (AJP) have reportedly told federal politicians the best long-term solution to the dairy sector’s farm-gate pricing crisis is to phase-out the industry over a decade according to a North Queenslander report.
The two groups have submitted their views and suggestions into the Senate Economics References Committee’s current examination of the Australian dairy industry. In response, industry leaders have hit back saying the dairy sector employs “world-leading practices” while generating $4.7 billion in farm-gate value that enriches regional Australian communities.
The Senate inquiry was instigated in September in response to the dairy industry farm gate pricing crisis that ignited earlier this year and is scheduled to report its findings by February 24 next year.
Public hearings have already been held in Canberra on October 26 and in Melbourne on November 15 with a range of industry and government agencies giving evidence.
The inquiry’s terms of reference include examining the legality of retrospective elements of milk supply contracts and the behaviour of Murray Goulburn in relation to the late season claw-back of farm-gate returns to producers, revealed in April.
Vegan Australia’s rationale was that it said it was “very aware” agriculture was a fundamental part of society and it wanted to see the “continued prosperity” of farming and farmers but was recommended pursuing that goal could be achieved without the “use and exploitation of animals”. It envisions the long term solution to the dairy crisis is to phase out dairy.
According to the North Queenslander, they are hoping for the day that technology is able to offer what Vegan Australia terms as “superior alternatives” to dairy products.
Vegan Australia said Australian consumers may hold out some loyalty to the dairy industry, but others in countries like Australia’s largest export market China were, “unlikely to show the same loyalty”.
It said Chinese policy would also shift to domestic production using advanced technology as soon as it became more cost efficient than importing Australian milk.
Vegan Australia said government assistance should be given to current dairy farmers that wanted to transition to plant-based agriculture, as part of the 10-year phase-out.
The AJP’s submission accused the dairy industry of inflicting animal cruelty while causing harm to human health and the environment.
“The most responsible course of action for the government to take is to transition away from animal-based milk and dairy, to humane, healthy, and sustainable plant-based milks,” the AJP said.
“Instead of focussing on trying to rescue an unsustainable industry that is harmful to humans and animals, the government should be turning its attention to innovative transition solutions.
“Consumers are increasingly embracing plant-based milks and it is the position of the Animal Justice Party that the government should embrace this trend and promote plant-based milks as healthier, more humane and more sustainable industries.”
In response, the Australian Dairy Farmers said the industry’s quality and safety processes were “among the best in the world” and the nation’s dairy sector – comprising 6128 dairy farmers of which 98 per cent are family-owned businesses – made a “vital contribution to the national economy”.
“With a farm gate value alone of $4.7 billion, dairy enriches regional Australian communities,” it said.
“Dairy farmers have had a tough past season and it is pleasing to note that the outlook for dairy in the future is more positive with a rebalancing of supply and demand fundamentals globally taking place.
“While we are an industry that has been under intense pressure, we are also an industry that has the know-how and resilience to overcome adversity and thrive in the long term.”
In its submission to the Senate inquiry, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said the food and grocery manufacturing sector employed more than 322,900 Australians, paying around $16.1 billion a year in salaries and wages.
The AFGC said the sector’s contribution to the economic and social well-being of Australia “cannot be overstated” and the dairy export industry had “solid” long term prospects.
“In the long term, global demand for dairy products is expected to remain strong with some analysts predicting a 25 per cent increase in consumption by 2025,” the submission said.
“With continued consumption growth in the Asia region, including China, the medium to long term prospects for Australian dairy exports are solid.”
According to ARC, due to the essential nature of many of the products produced, the food & beverages industry is typically less affected by global economic conditions trends than many others, but is highly sensitive to government regulations that often determine how products are manufactured and where they can be sold.
Regional demographic changes also often have a major impact on this industry.
In general, new products, product innovation, and a growing population drive growth in the food & beverages sector. The growing middle class in emerging economies increases demand for more convenient processed foods as well as for more profitable luxury food and beverage products.
Today’s food and beverage companies strive to be able to respond to consumer demand for a wide variety of fresh, nutritious, convenient, and high-quality foods.
Many companies invest large amounts of money to develop new products. As many manufacturers operate globally, product packaging and labeling must meet country-specific requirements and regulations. In addition, product formulas need to be adapted to suit different consumer tastes.
As a whole, this sector has invested heavily in IT infrastructure in recent years.
These systems are expected to support information necessary to maintain quality standards, improve compliance, address food safety issues, and track product information.
Flexibility in both R&D and manufacturing are important to support frequent product changes and reduce product time-to-market.
We’re also seeing increasing pressures to reduce costs to remain competitive.
One area of concern is the potential effect of product recalls on a company’s reputation. Most companies are making targeted investment to both improve their internal controls to reduce the risk of product recalls and improving their ability to recall products, when necessary.
Cybersecurity is another challenge that the industry is addressing, largely through technology. Despite these challenges, food & beverage manufacturers are reasonably optimistic about their future prospects.
Executives believe that new products and line extensions, plus more autonomous operations and efficiency improvements will drive growth and help improve profitability in this largely low-margin sector.
AUSTRALIA’S most comprehensive stand-alone university course specifically for distillers is being considered to feed into the nation’s booming craft spirits industry.
The University of Adelaide is looking to introduce the hands-on short course as well as one in brewing. The university has also flagged plans to more than double the size of its training winery, which is already the biggest of its kind in Australia. The expansion plan includes space for a distillery and a small brewery.
Professor of Oenology and Director of the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production Vladimir Jiranek said the University of Adelaide’s winemaking degree touched on distilled beverages as an elective subject.
However, he said he did not know of any other leading universities in Australia offering specific courses in distilling.
“Back in the ’50s and ’60s a lot of Australian wine production and exports revolved around fortified beverages and so the University of Adelaide had a still that was used to support that side of the industry,” Prof Jiranek said.
“We’ve now added to that by purchasing a characteristic Australian pot still.
“The unique feature of our set up is that the scale is fairly small so it fits in nicely with the volumes that most craft producers are generating.”
The existing winery, opened in 1996, has been the centrepiece of a wine hub that has about 150 researchers from the university and co-located partners in wine and grape science – about 70per cent of Australia’s total research capability.
The planned expansion would more than double the size of the winery to cater for the growing interest in the course.
Prof Jiranek said although the revamped winery would be better placed to teach the short courses, the university was looking to introduce something sooner.
“I would actually hope that if we are going to introduce a distilling short course that we do it sooner rather than later. We have the facilities to do it now but it would be nicer down the track when we have better expanded facilities.
“We’ve never had a brewing facility so a small-scale brewery would be a real asset. It would help support what’s happening in the industry with the explosion of growth in craft breweries and cider producers around the place.
“I’m sure we could run a short course in either distilling or brewing without too much trouble and fill the class the first time around but it’s just a question of whether there’s the longer term interest and demand in Australia to justify it.”
Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have developed an innovative optical sensor using conventional tape, a low-cost and flexible material that can be easily acquired at stationery shops. It can detect variations of the optical properties of a liquid when is immersed. The sensor can be used to control both the quality of beverages and environmental monitoring.
Light from an LED is introduced in one of end of a piece of tape and the light that emerges from the other end is detected through a photodiode.
The light coupling to the flexible waveguide is mediated by a diffractive element using a grating with aluminum lines of nano dimensions; it is added to the tape through a simple process of “tear and paste.” Both ends of the waveguide can be easily adhered to the LED emitter and the light detector (photodiode).
Because of the flexibility of the tape, the waveguide can bend and is partially immersed in the liquid under examination. Due to the waveguide bend, part of the propagated light is lost by radiation.
This curvature loss depends on the refractive index of the surrounding medium. Thus, it is possible to detect variations of the refractive index of the liquid by photodiode measurement of the optical power lost during the path of light through the immersed waveguide.
The refractive index of a liquid solution is related to both its physical and chemical properties, including density and concentration.
Thus, researchers can assess, for example, the maturation degree of grapes by measuring the refractive index of grape juice; it could also detect the alcoholic content of certain beverages. The sensor can be used in the food sector for process control and beverage quality, and in the environmental sector for water quality control.
The materials and components used to develop this sensor are common and inexpensive. Additionally, the assembly of the three main components of the sensor is simple and there is no need for instrumentation or specialized tools.
Therefore, the assembly can be carried out by non-qualified personnel.
Dr. Carlos Angulo Barrios, the lead researcher for this project, says, “These features, along with the flexibility of the tape, make this sensor very advantageous regarding other optical instruments for the detection of refractive index more complex, rigid and expensive, especially in field applications and on-site analysis of liquids in areas of difficult access.”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-12-flexible-optical-sensors-quality-beverages.html#jCp
Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are growing faster than any time in the past 20 years. The increase is largely driven by the growth in food production, according to the Global Methane Budget released today. Methane is contributing less to global warming than carbon dioxide (CO₂), but it is a very powerful greenhouse gas.
Since 2014, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have begun to track the most carbon-intensive pathways developed for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
If these trends continue, methane growth could become a dangerous climate wildcard, overwhelming efforts to reduce CO₂ in the short term.
In two papers published today (see here and here), we bring together the most comprehensive ensemble of data and models to build a complete picture of methane and where it is going – the global methane budget. This includes all major natural and human sources of methane, and the places where it ends up in methane “sinks” such as the atmosphere and the land.
Methane is emitted from multiple sources, mostly from land, and accumulates in the atmosphere. In our greenhouse gas budgets, we look at two important numbers.
First, we look at emissions (which activities are producing greenhouse gases).
Second, we look at where this gas ends up. The important quantity here is the accumulation (concentration) of methane in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming. The accumulation results from the difference between total emissions and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere and uptake by soil bacteria.
CO₂ emissions take centre stage in most discussions to limit climate change. The focus is well justified, given that CO₂ is responsible for more than 80% of global warming due to greenhouse gases. The concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere (now around 400 parts per million) has risen by 44% since the Industrial Revolution (around the year 1750).
While CO₂ in the atmosphere has increased steadily, methane concentrations grew relatively slowly throughout the 2000s, but since 2007 have grown ten times faster. Methane increased faster still in 2014 and 2015.
Remarkably, this growth is occurring on top of methane concentrations that are already 150% higher than at the start of the Industrial Revolution (now around 1,834 parts per billion).
The global methane budget is important for other reasons too: it is less well understood than the CO₂ budget and is influenced to a much greater extent by a wide variety of human activities. About 60% of all methane emissions come from human actions.
These include living sources – such as livestock, rice paddies and landfills – and fossil fuel sources, such as emissions during the extraction and use of coal, oil and natural gas.
We know less about natural sources of methane, such as those from wetlands, permafrost, termites and geological seeps.
Biomass and biofuel burning originates from both human and natural fires.
Given the rapid increase in methane concentrations in the atmosphere, what factors are responsible for its increase?
Uncovering the causes
Scientists are still uncovering the reasons for the rise. Possibilities include: increased emissions from agriculture, particularly from rice and cattle production; emissions from tropical and northern wetlands; and greater losses during the extraction and use of fossil fuels, such as from fracking in the United States. Changes in how much methane is destroyed in the atmosphere might also be a contributor.
Our approach shows an emerging and consistent picture, with a suggested dominant source along with other contributing secondary sources.
First, carbon isotopes suggest a stronger contribution from living sources than from fossil fuels. These isotopes reflect the weights of carbon atoms in methane from different sources. Methane from fossil fuel use also increased, but evidently not by as much as from living sources.
Second, our analysis suggests that the tropics were a dominant contributor to the atmospheric growth. This is consistent with the vast agricultural development and wetland areas found there (and consistent with increased emissions from living sources).
This also excludes a dominant role for fossil fuels, which we would expect to be concentrated in temperate regions such as the US and China. Those emissions have increased, but not by as much as from tropical and living sources.
Third, state-of-the-art global wetland models show little evidence for any significant increase in wetland emissions over the study period.
The overall chain of evidence suggests that agriculture, including livestock, is likely to be a dominant cause of the rapid increase in methane concentrations. This is consistent with increased emissions reported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and does not exclude the role of other sources.
Remarkably, there is still a gap between what we know about methane emissions and methane concentrations in the atmosphere. If we add all the methane emissions estimated with data inventories and models, we get a number bigger than the one consistent with the growth in methane concentrations. This highlights the need for better accounting and reporting of methane emissions.
We also don’t know enough about emissions from wetlands, thawing permafrost and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere.
The way forward
At a time when global CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry have stalled for three consecutive years, the upward methane trend we highlight in our new papers is unwelcome news. Food production will continue to grow strongly to meet the demands of a growing global population and to feed a growing global middle class keen on diets richer in meat.
However, unlike CO₂, which remains in the atmosphere for centuries, a molecule of methane lasts only about 10 years.
This, combined with methane’s super global warming potency, means we have a massive opportunity. If we cut methane emissions now, this will have a rapid impact on methane concentrations in the atmosphere, and therefore on global warming.
However, current efforts are insufficient if we are to follow pathways consistent with keeping global warming to below 2℃. Reducing methane emissions needs to become a prevalent feature in the global pursuit of the sustainable future outlined in the Paris Agreement.