New milk protein cuts cheese maturation process

European dairy company, Arla Foods Ingredients has launched Nutrilac FastRipe, a natural milk protein that enables cheese-makers to reduce ripening times without impacting on product quality or shelf life.

Nutrilac FastRipe enables manufacturers of continental and cheddar-type cheeses to cut the maturation process from anywhere between one to six weeks, resulting in reduced overheads in terms of storage.

The product is made from Arla’s CH-4560 natural whey protein which is extracted from cows’ milk and supplied as a fully soluble powder that can be dispersed and blended quickly in cheese milk or water – resulting in no impact on the overall manufacturing process. Once the ingredient has been added, it accelerates the mechanism in cheese that causes it to ripen.

“We’ve tested Nutrilac FastRipe extensively in a range of cheese types and each time we’ve been delighted with the results,” said Claus Andersen, Cheese Category Manager at Alra Foods Ingredients.

“Ripening time is reduced by up to six weeks, without any negative impact on the end product. As a result, storage time is significantly reduced, and the cost savings can be huge. Importantly, the application of Nutrilac FastRipe to a recipe requires no alteration to the cheese process at all.”


Dumping tariffs should be invested in local industry, Xenophon

Peak industry body for vegetable growers, Ausveg, is calling upon the Federal Government to invest tariffs collected from ‘illegally dumped’ Italian tomatoes into affected local industry.

A similar program is currently in place in the United States, and Ausveg together with independent senator, Nick Xenophon say that the investment of these tariffs back into the industry would serve as a practical alternative to government funding for affected processors such as SPC Ardmona and Simplot, The Weekly Times Now reports.

William Churchill, Ausveg public affairs manager said that processors and growers need a level playing field to compete, a view echoed by Xenophon who has promised to introduce a private members’ bill.

"If a company is being hurt by dumped products, it's only fair it gets the duties collected by government," said Xenophon.

"This could give the government a revenue stream to assist industry that wouldn't be seen as direct assistance."

The Anti-Dumping Commission last week announced that it had increased the tariff for “uncooperative exporters” to 26.35 percent, a move welcomed by both growers and industry.


Special K tweaks its recipe for the first time in 50 years

Veteran of the breakfast cereal world, Special K has tweaked its recipe for the first time in 50 years to include a higher concentration of whole grain and fibre.

According to Dr Michelle Celander, senior nutrition and regulatory affairs manager for Kellogg Australia, the new formulation represents the changing needs of the brand’s consumers.

“This is the first time in the history of the brand in Australia that our food has undergone such a big change and we believe it is a positive step forward. 2014 is going to be an exciting year for Special K and this reformulation is the first step on a new journey for the brand,” says Celander.

“Our consumers are looking for a nutritious breakfast that helps them feel fuller for longer through the morning, but they don’t want to lose the Special K taste that they know and love.”

The new three grain recipe contains rice, wholegrain wheat and wholegrain oats, boosting Special K’s health credentials while retaining the consistency and taste of the original recipe.

In addition, the new recipe also contain 15 percent less sodium than previously and 5.8g of sugar per serve.

“Special K really has changed for the better,” says Accredited Practising Dietician, Nicole Senior. “It is enriched with essential nutrients that help unlock and utilise energy; the new recipe also contains eight vitamins and minerals including iron”.

The new cereal recipe will be used across all varieties of the Special K range including all snacks that feature the Special K flake.


VIC Opposition promises SPC $30m upon election win

Daniel Andrews, the leader of the Opposition in Victoria, has pledged $30 million to struggling fruit processor SPC Ardmona if it’s successful in the November election.

The grand gesture comes days after the federal government announced its rejection of the plea from Coca Cola Amatil (SPCA’s owner) for $25 million to assist the brand’s Shepparton cannery.

According to The Age, that $25 million could have prompted a further $25 million from the state government and also up to $161 million in investment from CCA.

Andrews said the state government’s $30 million promise is not a hand-out, but a partnership and will help SPCA buy new equipment and upskill its staff, before asking the premier, Denis Napthine, to match the Opposition’s promise.

''This company and the thousands of jobs that rely on it are too important to lose. Time is running out and it's now up to Denis Napthine to match our offer and support this company and the thousands of workers and growers,” Andrews said.

However, the state government refused, accusing the Opposition of grandstanding but said they would consider offering more assistance – on top of the $4.4 million offered last year – after further discussions with SPC.

'We're certainly not going to commit a blank cheque without a plan attached, which is what Labor has done today. It's typical Labor fashion to spend money you don't have and ask questions later,'' said Victorian treasurer Michael O’Brien.

The working conditions of staff were also put in the spotlight, with the federal government citing the company’s enterprise agreement with workers as a contributor to its reluctance to provide financial assistance.

It was reported that SPC workers are paid up to 58 percent above award wage levels and receive nine weeks’ paid leave.


Lead in Chinese products furthers push to can imports in hospitals

The call for stronger country of origin labelling and more rigorous testing of imported fruit has been strengthened by the detection of high levels of lead in Chinese canned peaches last year.

Tests on the fruit showed alarming high levels of lead – up to twice the amount that is legally permissible under the Australian and New Zealand food standard.

Both Commonwealth and Victorian health officials are currently investigating the reports with Liberal MP, Sharman Stone stating that the test results have further reinforced the notion that foreign food imports can carry “high risk” as they are not manufactured to the same strict standards that Australian processors adhere to.

Stone has been pushing for taxpayer-funded aid for Australia’s largest remaining fruit and vegetable processor, SPC Ardmona, stating that the government should be doing more to support local industry by using Australian peaches instead of imported in hospitals and aged care homes.

“I am deeply concerned fruit with dangerous lead levels could be served in hospitals, aged care homes or prisons and also concerned that if we lose our last fruit processor Australian customers may also no longer have a choice to buy Australian tinned fruit,” stone told The Guardian.

Major supermarket retailers, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi last year committed to sourcing only Australian grown fruit for their private label brands in a bid to support the struggling processor, however the company states that it still needs government support to survive.

The labor government had promised a $25m grant to SPCA, with the processor warning last year that it would be forced to close if the Abbott government refused to proceed with the funding.

The Weekly Times Now reports that the $25m assistance package for the processor Goulburn Valley plant will be reassessed tomorrow by Federal Cabinet.


US food manufacturers remove 6.4 trillion calories from the market

Leading food and beverage manufacturers including the likes of Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods Group/ Mondelez and The Coca-Cola Company have sold 6.4 trillion less calories in 2012 than they did in 2007 according to a recent independent evaluation.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the evaluation found that members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (which includes 16 of America’s largest food and beverage manufacturers) exceeded their commitment to remove 1.5 trillion calories by 2015 by over 400 percent.

The initiative has equated to a reduction of 78 calories per person per day in the US, marking the first time that calories sold by major companies in the US marketplace have been tracked.

“It’s extremely encouraging to hear that these leading companies appear to have substantially exceeded their calorie-reduction pledge,” said James S. Marks, MD, senior vice president and director of the Health Group at RWJF. “They must sustain that reduction, as they’ve pledged to do, and other food companies should follow their lead to give Americans the lower-calorie foods and beverages they want.”

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill combined data on foods and beverages sold by the participating companies, using the nutritional information of those products – all of which is available publicly or commercially.

“The companies whose sales we analyzed have a big influence over the foods and beverages almost every American eats and drinks every day,” said Barry Popkin, professor in the School of Public Health at UNC, who is leading the evaluation team. “The evaluation system we’ve created will enable to us to determine how changes to what’s sold influences what people consume.”

A full, peer-reviewed study is expected to be published later in the year.

The full list of companies committed to the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation pledge include

  • Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • ConAgra Foods (includes Ralston Foods)
  • General Mills, Inc.
  • Hillshire Brands (previously Sara Lee Corporation)
  • Kellogg Company
  • Kraft Foods Group/Mondelez
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • McCormick & Company, Inc.
  • Nestlé USA
  • PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Post Foods
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • The Hershey Company
  • The J.M. Smucker Company
  • Unilever


3D printed chocolate might be around the corner

3D Systems has announced a partnership with confectionery giant Hershey to bring 3D printed chocolate to the mainstream.

3D Systems showcased the ChefJet printer at the Las Vegas CES expo this month, which begin at around $US 5,000 and were developed by the husband-and-wife team at the The Sugar Lab. The ChefJet units print in sugar and chocolate.

“We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands,” said VP and chief R&D officer at Hershey Co., William Papa, in a statement.

“Mainstreaming 3D printing is fundamental to our success and we are fortunate to partner with Hershey, the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and confection to expand the 3D printing experience into delectable edibles,” said Chuck Hull from 3D Systems.

Reuters reports that there is no sign yet regarding when the multi-year agreement will produce anything, and that a company spokesperson has suggested Hershey would like to bring the printers to consumers rather than put them purely to commercial use.


Blow moulding basics

Stephen Barter from the Australian Institute of Packaging sheds light on the best ways to approach blow moulding and the influence it can have on a package’s effectiveness.

The strength and success of a bottle design, regardless of its contents, is in every case a direct descendant of the bottle shape. The shape – which includes the corners, handles, necks and panels – governs both the physical performance in filling and the degree of difficulty in moulding the bottle; the two are delicately connected and cannot be separated.

Useful pointers and guidelines when blow moulding:

  1. One of the important facts about moulding plastic is it shrinks as it cools; the longer it takes to cool the more it shrinks. The mould acts as a heat transfer mechanism removing the heat from the plastic at 190 degree celsius down to less than 70 degree celsius at which point the plastic is a solid state and no longer liquid.
  2. As the plastic takes the shape of the mould, the plastic becomes variable throughout the bottle, thicker cross sections shrink more than thinner sections inducing stress within bottle features and creating issues like buckled label panels. The best method to reduce this effect is to design contours to reduce thicker sections.
  3. Features can be added to the shape to improve mouldability and function and do not detract from the appearance. Features like corners act as hinge points for slumping and top-load weakness. Using variable radii in all the corners will increase structural strength; fixed radii will reduce structural strength.
  4. Bottle components:
    Neck – orientating the thread start over the part line (opposite the handle) will improve the capping process, the bottle is able to handle downward pressure from the capper when the thread start of the cap lands on top of the thread start of the bottle. In these conditions the bottle is able to bounce back after being hammered by the capper.

    Shoulder – making the bottle strong through the shoulder by keeping surfaces in the form of an upside down funnel and compound radii allows the top load to be dispersed down trough the bottle into the base. Compound curves reduce plastic and ovality in the neck finish, especially on oval shaped bottles.

    Handles – the closer to square or round for the handle crossection the easier the handle will be to mould. As the depth of the handle increases in relation to the handle width the risk of webbing increases, a major quality complaint.

    The above rule applies to blending the handle out into the bottle; try to avoid blending the handle by increasing the depth of the handle only without increasing the width in similar ratios.

  5. Panel features: 2D or conical curves in label panels make labelling easy. 3D curves in panels will lead to the labels lifting and bubbling. The reason for a conical shape in particular is the increase in the bottle topload strength.

    Bulging in the panel is difficult to control, especially with thin walled bottles. Start the design with bulge in the shape and work back by changing only the label panel back to a 2D curve.

    Imagine the bottle shape you have in mind and then partially blow up a balloon inside this bottle shape. Take particular note of the corner radii and then factor these into the shape of the bottle. These will not only improve slump resistance, it will also make the bottle a lot easier to mould.

  6. Base corners: base controls the topload strength and stability of the bottle on-shelf. Using a simple radius in the base corner will result in poor topload, slump resistance, base rock as well as difficult moulding. Compound curves are essential here.

It is paramount the bottle designer is aware that most design flaws cannot be ‘processed out’ by the moulder. Quite often an over-confident moulder can underestimate these details, which can significantly delay, and add substantial cost to new projects and the finished bottle weight – costs that may be carried for the life of the bottle.


Abbott government tipped to reject SPC Ardmona’s assistance plea

The Abbott government is allegedly close to rejecting food processor SPC Ardmona’s plea for funding amid fears that it could spark a ‘dangerous precedent’ for other companies in financial trouble.

Following discussion on Monday, ministers have stated that the processor is largely responsible for its cost pressures amid allegations that dozens of workers are on salaries of $120k, and are subsequently placing the onus on Coca-Cola Amatil, SPC Ardmona’s parent company to make a stronger case, The Australian reports.

The discussions were shaped by advisors who were allocated to the SPC case including former labor minister Greg Combet, and business leaders Catherine Livingstone and Dick Warburton.

Cabinet discussed its reservations about the assistance package, stating that its high costs were a result of union agreements with generous pay rises. The Australian reported that workers will receive a five percent pay rise over 10 months, while some team leaders will enjoy a 8.5 percent increase over the period.

The decision has been placed on hold until next year to allow time for a final report from the Industry Department and co-coordinating comments from Treasury.

Prime Minister Abbott commented, "government support cannot substitute for strong management, and strong management in a company under pressure starts with getting your costs down.

“…If you've got a problem in any particular area, you have got to tackle it and you've got to tackle it purposefully and you've got to be prepared to take responsibility for what you do rather than simply say it's all too hard, government's got to fix the problem."

The Nationals and rural Liberals have warned the government that up to 2000 jobs could be at stake in addition to the grim flow on effects that thousands of farmers will experience should the company’s Shepparton cannery close.

Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce also voiced his opinion stating that his concern was “not about the company, it's about the growers."

"The company is merely an article to make sure the best returns go back to growers at the farm gate. The rest of my discussions I will keep private and within cabinet," he said.


Naturally functional foods to lead the way in 2014: trend forecast [infographic]

According to the annual industry forecast, 12 Key Trends 2014, weight wellness, slow energy and naturally functional foods will be key drivers for growth opportunities within food manufacturing throughout the next 12 months.

The forecast which was prepared by Julian Mellentin, international specialist in global nutrition business, and published by New Nutrition Business, states that there is a ‘wealth of opportunities’ for growth within the food and beverage sector.

According to Mellentin, the ‘naturally functional’ category will lead the way in food trends for 2014. Evidence suggests that products within this category that boast naturally healthy ingredients can help create a ‘health halo’ of sorts which has the capacity to increase sales – sometimes significantly as was the case for coconut water and almond milk during 2013.

However Mellentin does caution the use the word ‘natural’.

“If you want to be successful, don’t use the word natural on your product. You run the risk of getting bogged down in a regulatory minefield,” says Mellentin. “There are plenty of other ways of communicating the naturalness of your product without ever using the word ‘natural’.”

Mellentin notes that sales of coconut water in the US surged from zero in 2007 to over US $390m in 2013 on the back of its ‘naturally healthy – nothing added’ image, while almond milk rose from close to zero in 2009 to US $407m in 2013.

The 12 key trends include:

  1. Naturally Healthy
  2. Dairy – rebirth as a natural whole food
  3. Protein
  4. Energy – coffee, energy drinks and the like
  5. Weight Wellness – everyday food choices that maintain health and wellness
  6. Snacking – convenient snack sized portions
  7. Slow Energy – low GI foods – sustained energy foods
  8. Sugar – Further demonization of the white stuff
  9. Permission to Indulge
  10. Free-From – Gluten free, dairy free, etc.
  11. Seniors – An ageing population is creating opportunities for science and smaller companies
  12. Kids’ Nutrition – Communication and emphasis on natural ingredients key to success




EU risk assessment concludes aspartame is safe for consumption

Following a full risk assessment of the artificial sweetener aspartame, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 40mg/kg bw/day is safe for consumption for the general population.

The re-evaluation of aspartame is part a programme set up by the Commission Regulation (EU) which involves comprehensive re-evaluations of all food additives approved prior to 2009.

In May 2011, EFSA was asked by the European Commission to bring forward the full re-evaluation of the safety of aspartame (E 951), which was previously planned for completion by 2020, due to concerns raised regarding recent studies.

The comprehensive assessment included a rigorous review of all available scientific research on aspartame and its breakdown products, including both animal and human studies.

EFSA stated that they examined all uncertainties related to the evaluation of aspartame to ensure that potential risks associated with aspartame were not underestimated.

The assessment concluded that aspartame does not harm the brain, the nervous system or affect behaviour or cognitive function in children or adults, nor does it pose risks during pregnancy. Researchers also ruled out a potential risk of aspartame causing damage to genes and inducing cancer.

The only exception that the researchers mentioned was in relation to patients suffering from the medical condition phenylketonuria (PKU), where the ADI is not applicable as sufferers require strict adherence to a diet low in phenylalanine.

Chair of EFSA’s Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Foods (ANS Panel), Dr Alicja Mortensen said that the assessment marks one of the most comprehensive reports of the sweetener.   

“This opinion represents one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever undertaken. It’s a step forward in strengthening consumer confidence in the scientific underpinning of the EU food safety system and the regulation of food additives”, said Mortensen.


Bees a key contributor to food security: study

A Swedish paper published in the Royal Society Journal found that bees have the capacity to significantly contribute to food security.

The study states that the pollination process increases crop shelf life, quality and yield – which can help to reduce the almost 50 percent of crops that are wasted between harvest and the supermarket, ABC Rural reports.

Queensland based professor of agriculture ecology, Helen Wallace says that pollination is incredibly important to the future of Australian agriculture.

"One thing we don't tend to do very much in Australian agriculture is we don't manage bees very well," said Wallace.

"I think we've got a long way to go, we're doing a big catch-up. I think we're starting to realise the importance of it, but again, I don't think there's been a lot of work done."

Australian beekeepers have been faced with numerous hurdles over the fast few years including the threat of varroa mite which has the potential to destroy entire bee colonies.

 In order to protect the nation’s bee colonies, the federal government has co-developed and launched the Pollination R&D Plan, as well as the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program, both of which are designed to prevent pests such as varroa mite from entering the country.


Mondelēz’ innovation strategy focuses on graduates

This year marks the first time that Mondelēz International has amended its graduate program since 2005 – resulting a switch that will see the company focus on becoming a training ground for the next generation of innovators within the Mondelēz portfolio.

The decision follows a three year ‘innovation transformation’ where all staff were encouraged to help discover the next big idea in food – be it a new product, a new taste or a new manufacturing method.

During the time since the innovation transformation has been launched, an impressive number of products were purpose-created to suit changing consumer preferences and emerging markets including the development of 30 new products in the last year alone.

The new and improved 18 month graduate program now includes innovation-specific elements through the recruitment and training process including; testing innovation-indicators for applicants and the introduction of innovation-focused theory and practice elements.

 “Innovation will be the key to Australia’s economic prosperity. Australia’s future strength will be derived from our minds not our mines,” said the director premium chocolate & dairy, research & development, Asia Pacific, Nicolas Georges.

“Iconic brands like Vegemite and Cadbury were both once new ideas, and we are now working to encourage every Mondelēz staff member – from the CEO and manufacturing site managers through to the graduates and everyone in between, to take ownership of developing the next big thing in food.

Georges says that while Mondelēz may not know what lies in the future of tastes, food and food manufacturing, he does know that innovation and creatively are key to developing winning products.

“Breakthrough products come from breakthrough thinking, and we are working from this year to make our graduates the ‘Innovation Generation’ – providing our future young leaders with the skills and strong foundations to strongly contribute to our company,” he said.

“Our vision for our graduates is that through their program, they will learn how to think like an entrepreneur and act as change agents for the wider business, bringing fresh perspectives to business problems or opportunities in their home function.”


HSBC study plays down dining boom expectations

HSBC has released a global research paper analysing future prospects for the Australian food and agricultural industry.

The report has cautioned against economic reliance on inflated ‘dining boom’ expectations, pointing out that increased foreign investment and limited natural resources could pose major hurdles in Australia’s ability to produce food on a much greater scale.

The notion of Australia becoming Asia’s food bowl has been a topic for debate over recent months as the emerging Asian middle class continues to rise and subsequently demand higher quality meat and dairy products.

The paper found that while demand for Australian food will continue to grow, it will never reach the same scale as mining, The Australian reports.

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said that at present, agricultural production accounted for just two percent of the Nation’s overall economic output, while the mining sector contributes over 10 percent.

"No one should expect us to go from a mining boom-led economy to, as suggested, a dining or even wining boom, because the rural sector is simply not big enough," said Bloxham.

"Even if our rural output doubled (as the National Food Plan projects) it would still be a fairly small proportion of the overall economy.

"However good its prospects are and the food story is; agriculture is unlikely ever to be big enough to take over from the mining story in terms of its economic contribution."

The report also warned that increased foreign investment in the Australian agricultural industry will determine how significant the sector becomes to the economy in the future.

Additional challenges listed in the report included limited access to resources such as arable land, water availability and soil fertility, as well as the adverse impacts of climate change on food production.

"There is a positive story here; as Asia's middle classes expand they will require more protein, in beef and dairy; some of that demand has already arrived but there is more to come," said Bloxham.

"I'm not saying the food boom isn't real, I just think we have to be careful not to overstate how big a share of the economy or national growth it can be."


SPC Ardmona offers aid to the Philippines

Victorian based cannery, SPC Ardmona has offered to supply canned food to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

SPCA contacted the federal member for Murray, Sharman Stone, stating that the company is prepared to supply canned food at cost price, and should the government be prepared to purchase a significant amount, SPCA will donate an additional $250,000 worth of product to victims of the Typhoon.

SPCA has asked Stone to propose its offer to the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, The Weekly Times Now reports.

“We have canned food in storage that is ready to go if our Federal Government is prepared to distribute this food as part of their aid package,'' said SPCA’s managing director, Peter Kelly.

"We've spoken previously about providing food as foreign aid instead of cash.

"For the benefit of people in the Philippines, I urge the Government to take this opportunity to put this initiative into action.

"Our employees stand ready to have our products prepared for shipping within 48 hours if the Government wishes to accept our offer to assist.''


Australian experts call to follow US lead in banning trans fats

Following an announcement from the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) last week, Australian experts say that Australia should also consider a ban on artificial trans fats.

The FDA has stated that the ban would aid in combating the rising rates of obesity and heart disease in the country and should it be approved, packaged food manufactures would be forced to ditch trans fats in favour of safer, mono or polyunsaturated fats.

Michael Moore, chief executive of the Public Health Association of Australia said although Australian companies have largely been proactive in their approach in reduce trans fats, a move to ban them would be highly beneficial to the heath of the Australian public, SMH reports.

“Trans fats have not been as big a problem in Australia as the US, as the industry moved reasonably quickly to withdraw them,” he said. “But from our perspective that's even more reason to move to ban them, to stop those [companies] that haven't done the right thing”.

Moore also adds that trans fats are not the only culprit when it come to health issues in Australia, adding that diets containing high levels of saturated fat and sugar also lead to serious health concerns.

Dr Rob Grenfell, national director of the Heart Foundation said that further transparency in labelling would also be a positive step forward, however not all trans fats could be banned as some naturally occur in some dairy products and meat.

“We believe consumers should be aware of what they are eating and this transparency [in mandatory labelling] will help push manufacturers to change to healthier oils and manufacturing processes,” he said.

“Food processing [in Australia] is different to that currently used in the US – for example, Australian margarines with the Heart Foundation Tick contain a maximum of 1 per cent trans fat, and most contain only 0.1 or 0.2 per cent,” he said. 


FSANZ calls for submissions on GM soybean application

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has assessed an application made by Dow AgroSciences Australia Ltd regarding the introduction of genetically modified soybean, and is now calling for submissions on the application.

Dow AgroSciences is seeking the approval of the genetically modified soybean line DAS-81419-2, which has been developed to resist several lepidopteron pests.

If approved, the Standard 1.5.2 – Food produced using Gene Technology, in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) would be amended to permit the sale and use of food derived from the GM soybean.

FSANZ has conducted a safety assessment of the soybean line and has stated that no potential public health or safety concerns have been identified.

“Based on the data provided in the present application, and other available information, food derived from soybean line DAS-81419-2 is considered to be as safe for human consumption as food derived from conventional soybean cultivars,” reads the FSANZ call for submissions statement.

At present, genetically modified soybean is not permitted to be grown within Australia, and is currently imported from the United States for stock feed. Imported GM soybean products such as soy lecithin and additive 322 are also widely used as an ingredient in processed foods such as confectionery, breads, potato chips and spreads.


Arla introduces new dry blend lactose

European dairy group, Arla Foods Ingredients has developed a premium-quality lactose suitable for dry blends that enables infant formula manufacturers to efficiently increase production capacities without compromising on safety or cost.

The new dry blend lactose can increase capacity by up to 25 percent on existing production lines as the lactose can be introduced to the manufacturing process after the heat treatment and drying processes take place.  This leaves significantly more space available for other ingredients during the initial wet blend stage.

“Our dry blend lactose makes it possible for infant formula producers to increase output and reduce costs without compromising food safety. In addition, it is a CO2-neutral way to achieve this, ensuring companies can maintain their sustainability credentials while boosting their bottom line,” said Luis Cubel, sales director for Arla Foods Ingredients; permeate and lactose business.

Arla is currently expanding its lactose production capacity to guarantee steady supplies by investing in new facilities in Denmark and Germany that will increase lactose volumes from 35,000 tonnes to 135,000 tonnes, of which more than two thirds will be lactose suitable for dry blends. 


Australian Made welcomes Anti-Dumping Commission’s preliminary report

The Anti-Dumping Commission has released its preliminary report and has indicated that the imposition of additional tariffs on dumped processed tomatoes is warranted.

The WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement allows countries to take action against imports from countries allegedly exporting at 'dumped' prices.

Australian Made chief executive, Ian Harrison welcomed the findings.

“We look forward to the final report validating these findings, but the fact remains, there is damage being done to the local industry, and Australia’s growers, every day until these safeguards are put in place,” said Harrison.

SPC Ardmona instigated the inquiry earlier this year, after the processor was forced to heavily discount its Australian grown processed tomatoes in order to compete with cheap imports.

 “Australia needs to be vigilant about the damage that can be done to Australian processors, and in turn Australian growers, given the time it takes to assess such claims,” said Harrison.

“There is a strong argument that the onus of proof should be shifted from the claimant to the importer to prove what is being sold has not been dumped, when a reasonable claim is accepted by the Anti-Dumping Commission.”


Spring Gully clears $1m in debt

It was only in July this year that South Australian pickle and sauce manufacturer, Spring Gully Foods announced that it was entering voluntary administration with debts of $4.9m.

Yesterday the company announced that is has successfully paid $1m back to creditors, and expects to have cleared its debt entirely with three year’s time.

Spring Gully made its first dividend payment of 20 cents in the dollar to creditors, and will make further payments of eight cents in the dollar every quarter until creditors have been fully paid, The ABC News reports.

Kevin Webb, Spring Gully’s managing director said that the company has undergone a number of operational changes to ensure that it does not fall into financial trouble again.

 "Just recently, this week in fact, we've employed a new operations manager, we have worked hard on our planning and scheduling of product coming down the line so that they don't stop, we've got better processes in place for some of the lines that weren't as profitable as they should have been," he said.