Curious about Curios?

Wild Berry: Weet-Bix [wholegrain wheat (22%), raw sugar, salt, barley malt extract, minerals (zinc gluconate, iron), vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate)], raw sugar, brown rice flour, wheat gluten, wheat bran, lupin flour, vegetable oil, flavours, minerals (calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate), corn maltodextrin, salt, emulsifiers, milk protein, modified corn starch, vitamin E

(from soy)

Shelf life: Nine months

Brand manager: Steven Read

Packaging supplier: Aperio Group

Graphics package supplier: Morton Branding

New low-fat dressed salads

Asian Noodle Salad: Hokkien noodles (wheat flour, water, salt, canola oil, natural colour, mineral salt, preservative), dressing (sweet chilli sauce), lemon juice concentrate, soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), canola oil (antioxidant), roasted garlic, ginger, food acids, red capsicum, green capsicum, carrot, shallot

Shelf life: five days

Brand manager: Nicola Duhig

Packaging suppliers: Buckner — New Protein Leafies (labels), Alto — New Dressed Salads — Prepack format (tubs), Jet Technologies — New Dressed Salads — Prepack format (foil seals)

Graphics package designer: Tin Factory Creative

Buffalo chicken wings

Ingredients: chicken, flour, starch, gluten, salt, vegetable oil, sugar, water, egg, flavour (milk), ground and extracted spices, acidity regulators, yeast, mineral salts, milk solids, dehydrated vegetable, thickeners, colour, vitamin (thiamine)

Shelf life: two years

Brand/product manager: Kayvin Li

Packaging supplier: Carter Holt Harvey

Graphics package designer: Morton Branding

Proof is in the pudding

One year after acquiring the UK pudding producer Peak Puddings, specialist food company Taste of the Moorlands is beginning to realise its growth potential with the help of tray sealing equipment from Packaging Automation, distributed in Australia by MPI.

Its PA217 manual tray sealer from Packaging Automation has given the company important production capacity as volumes build since securing a contract to supply a major UK retailer.

Taste of The Moorlands has just completed a pack re-design with a new, stylish card sleeve to encase the plain film, heat sealed, two-portion thermoformed trays.

Products will be sold under the Peak Puddings brand name, which is in the process of being changed.

Taste of The Moorlands founder Sarah Gayton sees great potential for the business.

“When we bought Peak Puddings we already knew it had a super range of high quality products.

“It was well established supplying the local retail market and speciality outlets, including a stately home,” she said.

“Peak Puddings had already seen the benefits of heat sealing in terms of pack quality, product presentation and image with its investment in the PA217, so we had a great foundation and were already equipped to take the company onto the next stage in its development.”

The PA217 machine is just one machine from an extensive range of equipment on offer from Packaging Automation — from manual and semiautomatic machines, right through to high speed, fully automatic lines.

The tray sealer is hand fed trays with a capacity of 300g, the film is applied and sealed before card sleeves are hand applied.

The quality and consistency of finish and high hygiene standards achieved are also a significant benefit.

The hand operated, low-cost PA217 is ideal for smaller companies or those just starting out in tray sealing.

It can be used to seal film or board lids to preformed containers with a high force for a particularly consistent seal.

The operator places the film over the container, the top tool is lowered to form the seal and excess film is trimmed.

Peak Puddings’ award-winning range, which includes locally-sourced and organic ingredients, currently includes the delicious and extravagant sticky toffee, banoffee, ginger and apple and rich Belgian chocolate and orange puddings, as well as black cherry and almond sponge.

MPI Australia

Packaging Automation

Italian treats

Shelf life: nine weeks

Brand owner: General Mills

Brand manager: Kathy Sandiford

Packaging suppliers: Aperio Finewrap (top web), Labelmakers (label), Landor Associates

Baby food processors return to the simple life

There has been an evolution in the baby food segment in recent years.

Highly processed varieties are being replaced with healthier products, and smaller companies are emerging to tackle the growing organics sector.

The format of baby food is also changing, with newer companies moving away from conventional canning and developing chilled and frozen ranges that resemble home-cooked meals while still being a convenient alternative.

These processing methods claim to keep the product fresher and safer for the consumer.

Today’s baby food manufacturing is comprised of more simple, conventional cooking methods rather than complex, sophisticated processing systems.

“From a processing perspective, it seems like baby food manufacturers are going backwards instead of forwards in the sense that cooking is becoming less about high-tech equipment and processes,” Boost Foods director and chef Geoff McEwan said.

“I think the days of cans and bottles are gone and that the future is fresh, which means less processing.”

Gold Peg, a supplier of direct steam injection continuous cooking technology and systems, believes they are meeting the demands of baby food manufacturers that want to maintain the appearance and flavour of ingredients for appeal and taste, while guaranteeing safety.

“The RotaTherm cooker is energy efficient and decreases the impact on ingredients to facilitate an organic, home-cooked appearance, while still maintaining high bacteriological kill,” Gold Peg marketing manager Paula Bell said.


The simple, home-style approach to processing baby food is governed by two main considerations: nutritional value and food safety.

The taste and appearance of the food are important.

The focus on nutrition in baby food manufacturing is of particular importance, given that babies require higher levels of nutrients in their diets than adults to facilitate normal growth and development.

This and parents’ desire to maintain their babies optimum health has spurred an increase in the organics baby food sector, which Woolworths says now comprises 15% of the Australian baby grocery market, and has also impacted on the format and processing of baby food.

Cooking plays a major part in the retention of nutrient value in raw fruit and vegetables.

A book written by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University, USA, (1999) reported that food processing contributed to the health, safety, taste and shelf stability of a product though could also be detrimental to the nutritional quality of the food.

The time and temperature of processing, product composition and storage are all factors that substantially impact on the vitamin status of food, the book stated.

For instance in certain foods blanching, milling and extrusion can result in the loss of vitamins and minerals.

Chilled ready-to-eat baby food

Boost Foods, an organic baby food company, employs a manual, home-style cooking method for its Baby Boost brand.

The company was started in order to provide consumers with a convenient alternative to home cooked food that met similar taste and nutritional standards.

“The initial challenge we faced was how to replicate what is done at home by retaining all the vitamins and nutrients babies needs, and produce it on a commercial scale,” explained Geoff McEwan.

The result was a range of chilled baby food made from fresh produce.

Boost Foods takes a manual approach to cooking, utilising a thermal processing method in a steam jacketed kettle.

This is beneficial as it is able to monitor the profile of the food during the entire process, controlling the temperature and overall quality of the end product.

“We have adopted the ‘less is more’ approach and cook the product as little as possible,” McEwan said.

Thermal processing heats the product from underneath and from the side walls, resulting in fast cooking times and the retention of colour and flavour.

Minimal water is used for cooking which means nutrients are not drained with the water at the end.

The food is packaged in a soft pouch that has a shelf life of 100 days.

The pouch can be heated and the food served directly from it.

Food safety is ensured by pasteurising the product, as opposed to adding artificial preservatives and stabilisers.

Boost Foods maintains its labour-intensive cooking procedure still allows it to produce high volumes of product, but says it involves working harder for longer.

“Taking a manual approach as opposed to a mechanical may be more labour intensive but it’s also essential in ensuring the end product satisfies high nutritional and taste standards,” McEwan said.


Organic baby food company, Organic Bubs, also utilises conventional, manual processing methods to ensure its products boast high nutritional and safety standards.

The manual handling of the product and use of smaller, less industrial equipment allows the company to exercise control over the cooking temperature, as well as the taste and appearance of the product.

“We know there is sophisticated, industrial equipment on the market but we have a philosophy that if the equipment interferes with our quality standards then we will continue to do it by hand, despite the labour involved,” Organics Bubs director Anthony Gauldi said.

The innovative format of the baby food, being snap frozen, is also central to the company’s focus on nutrition and safety.

Having started manufacturing in May this year, Organic Bubs is currently the only company in Australia offering snap-frozen meals.

Frozen ready meals in the adult food category have been around for years, though have been slow to be taken up by Australian manufacturers in the baby food market given the perception by consumers that frozen is not healthy because it is not fresh.

Organics Bubs, on the other hand, believe that frozen is better than most fresh processing.

“If you can get fresh produce, process it straight away and blast freeze it, you can preserve the colour of the product, its nutrient content and its shelf life,” Gualdi said.

Blast freezing involves bringing down the temperature of the cooked food rapidly, from approximately 80 degrees to -22 degrees.

After cooking the product in steam injected kettles, the mix is put through a mouli to ensure there are no lumps in the product that the baby will not be able to swallow, and it is then manually scooped into PP5-grade plastic tubs.

One of the main benefits of steam injection cooking is that the product can be cooked at lower temperatures as it is cooked evenly throughout the whole pot and agitates as it goes.

“Making sure the food is not heated to high levels is essential to ensure more nutrients are kept in,” Gualdi said.

This method differs to that used by parents at home, as cooking on a stove involves heating food from the bottom up, but the end result — in terms of the taste, appearance and nutritional quality of the food — is similar due to Organic Bub’s hands-on approach.

Shelf-stable baby food

Heinz Australia, Australia’s leading baby food manufacturer comprising 78.9% of the wet baby food market, says its food recipes and the way they are developed also resemble home-made methods.

The company develops its recipes in 2kg pots which are only moved to 2000kg kettles for production once they have met its taste and nutritional standards.

Heinz employs a batch cooking method using continuous steam injection, with a specific volume of the recipe being cooked before being filled into individual vacuum-sealed glass jars.

A retorting process is then employed to finish the cooking and seal in jars.

Unlike conventional retort cooking, which often involves high-pressure steam to cook the product inside a can or jar and can result in over-cooking, the fact that most of the cooking is done in a kettle before filling results in the retorting process being less severe and helps to retain nutrients.

“Batch cooking ensures a high level of accuracy and control through carefully monitoring recipe preparation as well as ingredients and packaging components,” a Heinz spokesperson said.

The product is sealed in air-tight jars which preserves the product without adding anything artificial and prevents microbial contamination.

If stored in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry, the jarred baby food is shelf stable for at least three years.

The health and wellness trend has lead to new product development at Heinz under its Pure Start program.

Products in this range contain fresh produce, meat and grains, no preservatives, salt, colours or artificial flavours and now include varieties such as organics and vegetarian.

Consumer and retailer demand for less processed, more natural, and yet convenient baby food has resulted in a trend towards simple, conventional processing methods to ensure products retain high levels of nutrition and safety.

The types of baby food on offer will continue to evolve in line with consumer perceptions and tastes, and food manufacturers will continue to search for the best methods of meeting these demands, even if that involves less and less processing.

Cheese rolls rock!

Ingredients: pasteurised milk, salt, mineral salt, enzyme (rennet), cultures

Shelf life: 45 days

Brand owner: National Foods

Brand manager: Amelia Michael

Packaging suppliers: Labelmakers (label),Laleau (wrap)

Packaging graphics designer: Point 3

Heinz UK launches shelf-stable cups

The new shelf-stable microwaveable Snap Pot, a revolutionary packaging concept made possible by multilayer thermoforming, has been adopted by H.J. Heinz in the UK for its Beanz baked beans.

Produced by RPC Bebo Plastik, the Snap Pot marks a major change in the packaging of Heinz Beanz in the UK market:the beans have been available in a conventional metal can since the product’s launch in 1901.

Heinz is also adopting the Snap Pot package format for its Hoops pasta product, also sold in the UK.

The move was prompted by two important changes in eating habits that have occurred in recent years, Heinz says.

The first is a need for smaller portion sizes.

Research that Heinz commissioned suggests that single households in Britain have risen by 30% in the last 30 years to account for one in five of the population.

Similarly, with almost half of all meals now eaten alone, Heinz decided to create a new container size that would be suitable for this demographic.

The second factor is one of providing convenience in an increasingly busy world.

“Snap Pots are perfect for people with time-pressured lifestyles, who want a light snack without adding to the washing up or taking up of valuable fridge space storing the remainder of the can,” comments Heinz UK’s Nathan Ansell.

The microwaveable Snap Pot can be heated in one minute.

Heinz approached RPC Bebo Plastik to facilitate its move into plastic portion packaging.

The four individual 200g cups are integrated in a splittable four-pack.

The multilayer polypropylene/ethylene vinyl alcohol/PP barrier construction enables the pack to be stored in ambient conditons while maintaining the same product taste and freshness as a metal can, according to RPC Bebo Plastik.

Each Snap Pot is sealed with a film membrane lid, branded with the Heinz logo and ink-jet-printed with cooking instructions.

The package includes a paperboard oversleeve with an overall decoration covering the lids.

This article appears courtesy of Packaging Digest.

Bulk solution for coding and labelling

Imaje has responded to the call of bulk handling and processors with the release of the I2000 pallet and I9000 I4000 Series.

The I2000 print and apply label applicator provides a fast, fuss-free print and apply solution that runs with minimal human interaction and training, while delivering a high standard of performance under various environmental conditions.

The bulk handling industry has key criteria when acquiring new technology, primarily: simplicity of operation, robustness and reliability to ensure maximum up-time.

The I2000 combines revolutionary technologies with a user-friendly interface to optimise usability.

This approach to styling has won two worldwide design awards for its superior modular design and simple operation, as well as the innovative I9000 range of inkjet printers identifiable by their very friendly interface and no-fuss, no-waste and no-error cartridge system.

Some of the features that the I2000 has to offer are that the consumable’s service life is synchronised to minimise interruption to the customer’s workflow.

The I2000 is flexible enough that the rest of the production line can be designed without being limited by the positioning of labels onto the packaging.

Imaje 2000 Series is extremely versatile with tamp, wipe and blow applicators, with the ability to place labels onto the front, side, or on two adjacent sides of a case or pallet.

Keeping in mind the various products handled in bulk processing, the applicators work with extreme precision and handle all packaging, including fragile goods and pallets.

The compact design of the I2000 allows it to fit into tight spaces and the systems operate as either stand-alone applications or as part of a network.

With a print speed of up to 300 mm per second, the I2000 offers a complete print and apply solution suitable for demanding bulk handling conditions.

Being proactive and future-ready by nature, the design is able to adapt to the use of RFID labels for even faster handling and traceability.

Masterpieces made from milk

Tasmanian Heritage Traditional Camembert and Connoisseur Caramel Honey Macadamia ice cream were named 2008 Grand Champions, along with 18 class champions from almost every Australian state.

Premium dairy foods from across the country were celebrated at an awards ceremony at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne on February 5.

Now in their ninth year, the awards presented by Dairy Australia have become the foremost honour of the dairy foods industry.

This year, Roland Perrin, Professor in Food Technology at France’s National Dairy School, was on the judging panel.

Chief judge Neil Willman, supported by highly qualified technical experts, cheesemakers, providores, food media and chefs undertook blind tastings to ensure the credibility and integrity of the awards.

This year’s awards comprised more than 360 entries representing 90 Australian dairy manufacturers.

Australian Grand Dairy Award winners have the right to incorporate prestigious symbols on their packaging – helping consumers identify the ‘best-of-the-best’.

For further information, click here.

It pays to climb the career ladder

Danny Neale of Trafalgar in Gippsland has won the national Dairy Australia Education Excellence Award — Manufacturing, sponsored by Dairy Australia.

The win was announced at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards in the National Gallery of Victoria on February 5th, 2008.

Neale, 39, worked his way up the ranks from a casual cleaner at Fonterra, Cobden, to site operations excellence co-ordinator at Fonterra’s Darnum plant.

Along the way he worked as an evaporator and dryer operator, and in the warehouse and packaging departments.

In the previous 12 months, as a Production Technologist, Danny was responsible for process and plant optimisation and improvement, along with process troubleshooting and special projects.

In developing his dairy manufacturing career, Danny successfully completed Certificate II and III Studies in Food Processing and he recently completed the Diploma of Food Science and Technology at the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA), where he maintained a continually high level of academic achievement.

He was awarded the prize based on academic achievement and his potential for future development within the Australian dairy industry.

Danny received his $1000 award from Dairy Australia’s managing director, Dr Mike Ginnivan, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the dairy processing industry.

National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA)

Dairy Australia


IBC system helps coffee producer

Matcon was awarded a contract for the supply of the Materials Handling System for Chek Hup, a Malaysian company that owns the Chek Hup brand of White Coffee popular in over 15 countries, and when they experienced great international market demand.

This interest from the international market has caused an upsurge production, which has increased to over 80 tonnes per month, and Chek Hup needed to implement new systems.

Matcon used their regional experience in 3-1 powder processing to implement a Smart Drum IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) system of 300L capacity.

The Smart Drum system is a closed system in which the batch is contained in a sealed IBC. Each Smart Drum IBC incorporates cone valve technology, which is used to provide the necessary controlled feed into the packaging lines without the risk of segregation of the 3 to 1 after blending.

The Smart Drum system is used to transfer batches between the process steps, which include:

Bulk and minor Raw Material dispensing to an IBC

  • IBC Blending
  • Discharge of 3-1 Coffee into the Packing lines
  • IBC Cleaning – off line

The IBC system is a modular approach, which can be added to later, and this was an advantage to the coffee producer. Now that the Matcon system is in place, the Chek Hup factory output has increased from 80 tonnes to 110 tonnes per month and the factory is cleaner, reducing the time needed for cleaning and mopping.

Click here for further information.

National Packaging Covenant explained

If you are confused by, or would like to know more about, the National Packaging Covenant this is the course for you.

It sets out to clarify and demystify the National Packaging Covenant and explain a company’s obligations when becoming a signatory to the Covenant.

A large number of signatories are food processors, manufacturers or retailers.

Course outline

The course will primarily focus on what is required to fulfill the requirements of the National Packaging Covenant with particular emphasis how to create an acceptable Action Plan and subsequent Action Plan Reports.

In addition to discussing in depth the objectives of the Covenant, the course will workshop an actual Action Plan and Action Plan Report that has been assessed and placed on the National Packaging Covenant website for public view.

Some of the key elements to be discussed on this course include:

• National Packaging Covenant (NPC) Mark II Background and targets

• Product Stewardship

• Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

• Environmental Code of Practice for Packaging (ECoPP)

• Action Plans

• Online KPI Survey

• Annual Reports

• National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) for Used Packaging Materials

• The Assessment Process

This course would ideally suit those packaging professionals working at food manufacturing companies or at any point in the packaging supply chain that require a better understanding of the National Packaging Covenant and their obligations as signatories to the National Packaging Covenant.

The course will be presented by Robin Tuckerman FAIP who has more than 30 years experience in the Australian packaging industry and last year judged the Packaging Evolution Awards.

When: Tuesday 11th March

Where: Australian Industry Group, 20 Queens Rd, Melbourne

Time: 12.30pm arrival for a 1.00pm sharp commencement

Booking form.

Australian Institute of Packaging

Sensors for food processing

Balluff-Leuze provides optoelectronic sensors with seal protection and material resistance to modern industrial food systems (food processing, filling and packaging), and certified to ECOLAB and IP69K standards, that can withstand a exposure to high-pressure equipment and aggressive cleaning and disinfection agents.

The IP 69K protection rating guarantees seal-tightness against sprayed water, but does not encompass the use of chemical additives such as alkalis or acids. In contrast, the Henkel-ECOLAB-Test F&E no. 40-1 encompasses the immersion of sensors in cleaning agents for several weeks, using a wide-ranging portfolio of different cleaning products.

According to the company, Series 3B, series 8, series 18, series 25B, series 46B and series 96 Metal sensors are ideally equipped to meet increasingly stringent hygiene requirements in the food industry, including ever shorter cleaning intervals, longer application periods and higher concentrations of cleaning agents but also new cleaning procedures such as gassing with H2O2.


Woolies and AFGC investigate environmental impact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information email Rosie Schmedding at the AFGC.

Robag reduces rejects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gently packages all produce

tna offers the robag 3 a complete accumulation, distribution and packaging system especially designed for the fresh produce market, a stainless steel vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) bagger.

The machine has “shaker” to gently package all types of fresh produce from bulk packaging to single-serving salads and bagged salad kits.

According to the company, the robag®’s sealing process dramatically reduces reject levels resulting in maximized output and increased product shelf life.

New cultures for soft cheese

Soft cheese is the fourth biggest cheese segment in the world.

Four new cultures are available from Chr. Hansen, aimed at producing soft cheese with improved acidification, flavour and texture.

The company also offers a full range of cultures including both acidification cultures and ripening cultures.

The new cultures are:

· Two thermophilic cultures, F-DVS GK-01 and F-DVS CZ-03, developed for helping soft cheese producers reach the acidification and texture needs of the Gorgonzola and of the Crescenza.

· Two mesophilic cultures, F-DVS TRADI-01 and F-DVS FRESH-01, contributing to obtain the unique acidification and flavour of cheese based on mesophilic production, e.g. Camembert and different blue cheeses. Mesophilic cultures thrive in temperatures between 15 and 35°C (59-95°F). Thermophilic cultures require between 35 and 45°C (95-113°F).

The new cheese cultures come in an easy-to-use direct vat set (DVS) packaging form invented by Chr. Hansen.

DVS is a highly concentrated and standardized frozen or freeze-dried dairy culture used for the direct inoculation of milk.

DVS cultures need no activation or other treatment prior to use and offer a number of advantages in terms of flexibility of use, consistent performance, no investment in bulk starter equipment and possibility of using customised culture blends.

Soft cheese is popular

The soft cheese market accounts for 12% of global cheese production and is the fourth biggest cheese segment in the world.

The main feature of the soft cheese segment is diversity; Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Argentine Port Salut, Crescenza are, among others all soft cheeses, and many more exist.

1.7 million tons of soft cheese is produced annually.

In southern Europe and in South America more soft cheese is produced than any other type of cheese and southern European cheese producers alone manufacture 0,8 million ton of soft cheese annually.

For further information, please contact Jean-Michel Lepetit

Top 10 worldwide innovations

Each year, Datamonitor’s Productscan Online examines the year’s new food, beverage, health & beauty, household and pet products to identify the top ten innovations from around the world.

This year, eight of the top ten were food or beverage related:

1. Swiss Miss Pick-Me-Up Hot Cocoa Mix. The popularity of energy drinks is having an impact on other product categories as caffeine has moved into new categories ranging from potato chips to instant oatmeal. This new version of Swiss Miss contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee plus as much calcium and vitamin D as a glass of milk to offer the best of all worlds. It’s new in the USA.

2. Organic Batter Blaster Pancake & Waffle Batter. This pancake batter is sprayable and is packaged in an aerosol can for easy use. The refrigerated product makes organic, light and fluffy pancakes as well as light and crisp waffles in just minutes. The aerosol can packaging greatly reduces cleanup and the product is fast, easy and fun for the entire family. The product is new in the USA.

3. JT Fragra Functional Water. Bottled water is about more than just refreshment in Japan. Fragra refreshes the breath and leaves a pleasant fragrance of citrus fruit in the mouth. Officially referred to as a “near water” by virtue of its 1% juice content, Fragra uses an active ingredient called linalool for breath freshening. Linalool is a natural substance occurring in lemons, oranges and other citrus fruit.

4. Popsicle SlowMelt Long Lasting Pops. One of the pleasures of summer is enjoying an icy frozen novelty – before it melts. The Popsicle SlowMelt has been designed apparently lasts longer than ordinary pops to reduce drips and sticky fingers. This pop is also “good for you” as it contains fruit juice, vitamin C and features natural colours and flavours. It’s new in the USA.

5. Tetleys Twistea Tea On The Go. Nowhere are tea drinkers more particular about how they have it than in the UK. Enabling even those on the go to drink tea to their taste, Twistea features a Tetley teabag locked into a plastic cup. The consumer simply adds boiling water and twists the lid of the cup to customise the taste of the product and achieve the desired strength. The teabag remains in the cup and does not need to be disposed of separately.

8. Pur Flavor Options Water Filtration System Flavour Cartridges. Bottled water can be boring, and there are concerns about the waste associated with it (Chicago, in the US, has a new tax on bottled water). Pur Flavor Options is a new way to get flavoured water, right from the tap. Flavor Options mounts on to a water faucet and adds flavour to a drink at a finger push. The more you push; the more flavour is added to your glass. Each cartridge provides up to 75 servings of fruit flavour without any sugar, calories or dyes. New in the USA.

Egyptian snack co. buys Aussie equipment

Senyorita for Snacks has engaged tna, a provider of snack food production and packaging equipment, to furnish its new production facility in Egypt.

More than 20 fully integrated systems featuring tna’s robag 3 baggers have been purchased by Senyorita for Snacks.

Each system will include a tna multihead scale, SmartDate 5 coder and metal detector to complete the packaging lines for potato and tortilla chips.

Installation of the highly efficient vertical form, fill, and seal (VFFS) equipment began in August, 2007.

tna established a regional office in Dubai in late 2004 to service the Middle East market from a local base.