Monash University's new method of removing deadly bacteria from drinking water

Engineers at Monash University have come up with an improved method to remove potentially deadly bacteria, such as E. coli, from water using graphitic carbon nitride and sunlight.
The international team, led by Professor Xiwang Zhang in Monash University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, combined graphitic carbon nitride with polyethylenimine (PEI) to destroy harmful pathogens E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis from water within 45 minutes and 60 minutes respectively.
This new photocatalyst method is low cost and metal-free, which prevents secondary pollution of leached metal ions during the filtration process.
If upscaled, this solar-driven method could significantly improve the treatment of large volumes of water. It also has the potential to be integrated into current solar water disinfection technology in countries with limited access to fresh water.
Published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Zhang said integrating their photocatalyst into solar water disinfection technology could nearly ensure complete and rapid disinfection in a more sustainable way.
“Infectious diseases caused by waterborne pathogens threaten the health of people worldwide,” said Professor Zhang, who is also the Director of the ARC Research Hub for Energy-efficient Separation.
“Graphitic carbon nitride has gained broad attention as a metal-free photocatalyst for water disinfection. However, it has limits in its capacity to remove pathogens completely using photocatalysis.
“What we’ve been able to do is fuse graphitic carbon nitride with PEI to boost photocatalytic properties of this material and test it on waterborne bacteria.
“We discovered the PEI functionalisation can, in effect, tune the photochemical reactions on graphitic carbon nitride. We found that the positively charged PEI on graphitic carbon nitride could promote the contact between photocatalyst and bacteria cells (negatively charged surface) via electrostatic adhesion, which can enable reactive oxygen species to kill the trapped bacteria cells.”
A previous study published by the research team in ACS Catalysis found PEI on graphitic carbon nitride provided a trap site for photoinduced holes. Through this, PEI can tune the photochemical reactions to generate more reactive oxygen species for bacteria inactivation.
Through this process, PEI changes the surface charge of the composite photocatalyst to be positive; in nature, the surface of bacteria cells is negatively charged due to the specific moieties of their cell structure.
As such, the positively charged PEI on graphitic carbon nitrate can promote contact between photocatalyst and bacteria cells via electrostatic adhesion. In this way, PEI traps the bacteria cells in water. The trapped cells are then killed by the generated reactive oxygen species through photocatalysis.
Through this process, under solar light irradiation, the research team was able to remove 99.99 per cent of E.coli from water in 45 minutes, and the same percentage of Enterococcus faecalis within 60 minutes.
“This PEI functionalisation process is simple. It can be shared with desperate communities across the world after further research is conducted on the development of photocatalysis devices,” said Zhang.

No easy options for MDB water recovery

A new study examining the impacts of water recovery in the southern Murray-Darling Basin has found both buybacks and on-farm efficiency programs result in higher prices.

ABARES Executive Director Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds said the study separates the effects of water recovery on water allocation prices from seasonal variations in water supply and expanding perennial crops.

“Seasonal conditions are the primary driver of annual variation in water prices,” Hatfield-Dodds said.

“Both direct water buybacks and on-farm infrastructure programs put upward pressure on water prices. ABARES finds that total water recovery to date, on average, has added around $72 per megalitre to allocation prices.

“On-farm infrastructure programs provide significant benefits to the farmers that participate through better productivity and profitability. That means they want more water and will pay a higher price.

“This extra demand puts more upward pressure on allocation prices than an equivalent amount of water buybacks. ABARES finds the price effect of on-farm irrigation infrastructure projects is about double that of buybacks, per unit of water recovered.

“If the water recovered through on-farm programs had instead been recovered through buybacks, then the total price effect would be an increase of around $63 per megalitre, rather than $72 per megalitre.

“The study also found that off-farm infrastructure projects and rationalisation of irrigation networks are best placed to avoid price effects, but are typically more expensive than buybacks and may be difficult to negotiate.”

Other factors putting pressure on water market prices include the expansion of high-value, water-intensive crops such as almonds.

“High-value crops are estimated to add $25 per megalitre to allocation prices—likely to increase a further $15 per megalitre as those plantings mature in coming years,” Hatfield-Dodds said.

“Estimated price effects are sensitive to assumptions about seasonal conditions and wider economic drivers.”

Water allocation prices likely to fall across the southern Murray-Darling Basin

The latest Water Market Outlook report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) indicates that water allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling are likely to fall in 2020–21.

ABARES executive director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds said water prices at the start of 2019–20 were high compared to the historical average.

“This was driven by low opening allocation volumes, exceptionally dry and warm conditions across the sMDB and poor seasonal outlooks for 2020–21,” Hatfield-Dodds said.

“As a result, prices averaged $543 per ML in 2019-20 which is the highest level since the height of the Millennium drought in 2007-08.

The latest ABARES Water Market Outlook provides a range of possible allocation prices for 2020–21 under wet, average, dry and extreme dry seasonal conditions.

Under the wet and average scenarios, price are likely to fall sharply reflecting a significant improvement in the volume of water supply in 2020–21, with ABARES estimating average annual prices of between $207 per ML and $287 per ML.

Lower water prices across the southern basin would see production in industries most sensitive to changes in water prices, such as rice and cotton, rebound strongly in 2020-21, from the low levels observed in 2019-20.

“Prices under the dry scenario are modelled to decrease moderately to $450 per ML, reflecting a marginal improvement in water supply compared to 2019-20,” said Hatfield-Dodds.

“Under the extreme dry scenario prices are modelled to increase slightly, to $544 per ML, as most regions are modelled to have less water available.

“The promising Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook aligns most closely with the average scenario in the report, however it’s important to remember there’s still much uncertainty.

“Conditions better or worse than the scenarios tested are possible, which would result in prices higher or lower than those estimated in the latest outlook.

“Another significant determinant driving prices in 2020–21 will be where water is located, compared to where water demand is highest with recent increases in demand for irrigation water in regions below the Barmah choke.

“Inter-valley trade limits are expected to be binding, leading to higher prices in regions that import water.”

To accompany the Water Market Outlook, ABARES has prepared a dashboard visualisation, allowing users to explore the forecasts in dept

Water allocation prices likely to remain high

The latest Water Market Outlook report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) indicates that water allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling are likely to remain high in 2020-21.

“In 2019, rainfall in the Murray-Darling Basin was the lowest on record. These dry conditions have resulted in water allocations in NSW and Victoria being well below average in 2019-20,” said ABARES head of farm performance and resource economics David Galeano.

“Current water prices reflect those low allocation levels with prices across the sMDB in 2019–20 averaging $673 per ML to February 2020.

“While prices are high, the volume of carryover water available has helped to keep prices below the highs of the Millennium Drought in 2007–08 and 2008–09.”

The latest ABARES Water Market Outlook provides a range of possible allocation prices for 2020–21 under wet, average, dry and extreme dry seasonal condition scenarios.

Under the dry and extreme dry scenarios, total water availability in the southern basin in 2019-20 would be below levels observed during the worst of the Millennium Drought, with ABARES estimating average annual water prices of between $735 and $776 per ML.

In the average and wet scenarios, a shift to better seasonal conditions will improve the total volume of water availability, with ABARES estimating average annual water prices of between $293 and $435 per ML.

“While the current Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook suggests an almost equal likelihood of rainfall above or below median levels, it’s important to remember there’s still much uncertainty. Conditions better or worse than the scenarios tested are possible – and hence water prices could be higher or lower than those estimated in our latest outlook.

“A significant determinant driving prices in 2020–21 will be where water is located, compared to where water demand is highest with recent increases in demand for irrigation water in regions below the Barmah choke.

“This along with water trade limits, including the new water trade limits for the Goulburn-Broken catchment, is expected to result in price differences between regions above and below the Barmah choke,” Galeano said.

ABARES has released the data behind the Water Market Outlook, along with an accompanying dashboard visualisation, allowing users to explore in depth some of the key data underpinning the water trade model.

Terms of reference released for Murray Darling Basin water market

The Coalition Government has today released terms of reference for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry into the Murray Darling Basin water market.

The inquiry, which delivers on a Coalition Government election promise, will look at options to improve the transparency and efficiency of the water market.

It will also examine changes in water use, carryover water, trade between water valleys and systems and the effect of water speculators on the market.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that water was the lifeblood of communities in the Murray Darling Basin and it was important that the market operated in a transparent and effective manner.

“As with any market it is important to take a look at how it is performing and whether it is operating as intended and to the benefit of communities who rely on the Basin.”

Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Government had listened to the concerns of farmers in delivering on this election commitment.

“I promised this thorough inquiry after hearing from farmers as I travelled up and down the Basin,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Farmers told me they had concerns around changes in water use, trade between valleys and the effect speculators have on the water market.

“It’s important to make sure the market is operating as intended – our regional communities depend on it. We need a transparent market in which farmers have timely access to accurate information.

“I invite farmers to participate in this inquiry.”

The Government has asked for an interim report to be delivered early in 2020 with a final report by the end of 2020.

An outline of the terms of reference for the inquiry can be found via the Treasury website.

New alkaline water launches

Introducing Aqualove, a new alkaline and eco-friendly water product to meet the growing demand for products that assist with neutralising the body’s PH balance.

Home-grown in the iconic Blue Mountains, Aqualove is infused with alkaline minerals enhances an active lifestyle.

With alkaline water rapidly flourishing in the USA, Sydney’s Ricky Herbert and Garrett Jandegian spent months researching and developing Aqualove to meet the local burgeoning interest for an easily accessible alkaline water with a great taste profile.

Ricky Herbert, Drinkpreneur and Director at Aqualove said, “we noticed an evolution of traditional water over in the States, and set out to create a superior alkaline drink, enriched with mineral content to ensure it contains an alkalinity of 9-10 on the pH scale.”

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline something is and ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being highly acidic and 14 being highly alkaline. For optimum health, our bodies need to maintain a good level of alkalinity of between 7.2 and 7.6 pH

“We’ve noticed a clear shift in consumer demand towards healthier, lower calorie categories and wanted to create a fun, innovative and sustainable product in line with our lifestyle that we believe will resonate with our consumers,” said Herbert.

The rainbow branding reminiscent of the pH scale, offers a unique and creative point of difference to other alkaline products on the market and connects with consumers in a way that reflects today’s social media driven culture.

“We wanted to create a thirst for a product that positively impacts the body, mind and planet, with a chic design that inspires consumers to view it as an accessory that forms part of their image,” said Herbert.

The sleek bottle design is a nod to innovation and ergonomics – Aqualove’s biosphere packaging technology increases the biodegradation of the bottles to just five years, playing to strengthening human interest in environmentally friendly products.

 

Water tech company Xylem to host Newcastle training day

Xylem, a  global water technology company focused on addressing the world’s most challenging water issues, has announced it will host an Training Day at its Newcastle location on Thursday 21st, September.

The Newcastle branch will open its doors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be hosting product presentations, facility tours and product exhibitions throughout the course of the day.

“We are very excited to welcome industry associates to our Newcastle branch to showcase our local capabilities” said Ray Longmire, Regional Manager – East.  “We have planned a tight agenda packed with presentations, training and networking sessions.”

Xylem’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services, and agricultural settings.

With its October 2016 acquisition of Sensus, Xylem added smart metering, network technologies and advanced data analytics for water, gas and electric utilities to its portfolio of solutions.

The combined company’s nearly 16,000 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions.

Veolia partners with Farm Waste Recovery

Veolia has secured a three-year deal with Farm Waste Recovery (FWR), part of the Industry Waste Recovery (IWR) group.

The deal will see Veolia provide collection, transport and recycling services of polypropylene packaging for their closed-loop network across Australia.

Established in 2015, FWR is the flagship program supported by cornerstone businesses, Incitec Pivot Fertilisers and Impact Fertilisers, and helps industries and farmers recycle agricultural packaging and product waste in a sustainable manner.

Leveraging Veolia’s waste collections and management expertise, IWR will work with industry stakeholders to significantly reduce the number of landfilled polypropylene bags, also known as flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bags, many of which cause environmental damage by polluting fields, waterways and roads.

This initiative will allow businesses to pre-purchase the packaging, which then can be used and dropped off at collection sites, to be further transported and processed by Veolia.

Danny Conlon, Executive General Manager of Veolia Australia and New Zealand, said the new partnership demonstrated Veolia’s unwavering commitment to providing sustainable waste management solutions, with a specific focus on environmental excellence.

“We saw an incredible opportunity in partnering with an industry leader that is tackling the challenge of packaging waste head on, in particular an issue as widespread as FIBC waste. IWR has ambitious recovery targets and together, we will deliver an environment-friendly solution to recycle an otherwise wasted resource,” Conlon said.

Mr Conlon added, “Our partnership with IWR is part of a wider, united targeted approach to waste management.

The significant rise in the use of polypropylene bags and its associated waste has prompted IWR to develop a solution that encourages the development of long-term collection and disposal practices.

Stephen Richards, Managing Director of IWR, confirmed FWR operates on a closed-loop supply chain and involves a cross-section of industry operators, like Veolia, as well as farmers, manufacturers and associations, which has led to gaining the support of governments and councils.

“To date, IWR has successfully recovered 1,123,928 kgs of plastic which has been turned it into re-usable plastic and is targeting the recovery of 12,000,000 kgs of plastic by June 2020,” he said.

“Partnering with Veolia will enable national coverage to all of our new and existing customers, and we see this collaboration as a step in the right direction for our group.”

Conlon echoed the sentiment, “Over the next 12 to 24 months, carefully managing the recovery and reuse of FIBCs will be crucial, and we will work very closely with IWR to ensure their targets are met every step of the way.”

Aqualove alkaline water

Aqualove, a new alkaline and eco-friendly water product intended to meet the growing demand for products that assist with neutralising the body’s PH balance has been released.

Home-grown in the Blue Mountains, the product is infused with alkaline minerals enhances an active lifestyle.

With alkaline water rapidly flourishing in the USA, Sydney’s Ricky Herbert and Garrett Jandegian spent months researching and developing Aqualove to meet the local burgeoning interest for an easily accessible alkaline water with a great taste profile.

“We noticed an evolution of traditional water over in the States, and set out to create a superior alkaline drink, enriched with mineral content to ensure it contains an alkalinity of 9-10 on the pH scale,” said Ricky Herbert, Drinkpreneur and Director at Aqualove.

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline something is and ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being highly acidic and 14 being highly alkaline. For optimum health, our bodies need to maintain a good level of alkalinity of between 7.2 and 7.6 pH

“We’ve noticed a clear shift in consumer demand towards healthier, lower calorie categories and wanted to create a fun, innovative and sustainable product in line with our lifestyle that we believe will resonate with our consumers,” said Herbert.

Water analysis sensors for food makers

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:

  • General laboratory testing
  • R&D
  • Government compliance
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Power generation
  • Drinking water
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Food and beverage testing
  • Environmental
  • General industrial processing

 

Icelandic Glacial Water

Icelandic Glacial is the premium natural spring water, bottled at the source from Iceland’s legendary Ölfus Spring, which was formed more than 5,000 years ago and is shielded from pollution by an impenetrable barrier of lava rock.

The spring produces water is so pure that nothing is added or taken away. As a result, Icelandic Glacial possesses exceptional balance featuring a naturally low mineral content and a naturally alkaline pH of 8.4.

Icelandic Glacial is further distinguished as the world’s first certified carbon neutral natural spring bottled water for product and operation. Icelandic Glacial uses 100% natural green energy to fuel its production delivering a premium bottled water to discerning consumers around the world while maintaining a “net zero” carbon footprint.

Icelandic Glacial produces both sparkling and natural spring water.

Manufacturer: Icelandic Glacial

Launch date: July 2016

Ingredients: Natural Spring Water & Carbon Dioxide

Shelf Life: 2 Years from Production Date

Packaging: PET Range: 330ml, 500ml, 750ml Sports Cap, 1 Litre & 1.5 Litre

Country of origin: Iceland

Brand Website: www.betterchoicebeverageco.com.au

Council partnership shows how ultra-filtration can benefit Australia’s water resources

Municipal councils all over Australasia are seeking optimum ways to address challenges posed by water resources declining both in quantity and quality under pressure from local populations and the needs of industry and agricultural users.

Such demands are compounded further as environmentally and health-aware public authorities simultaneously seek to deliver quality water services while playing their part in conservation by making best use of their areas’ shared water resources.

One council that has successfully used advanced ultra-filtration technology to deliver a high standard outcome for its district is Wakool Shire Council which draws its water from the Murray River and treats it in the small town of Tooleybuc, NSW, right on the border with Victoria.

Working together with CST Wastewater Solutions’ delivery partner Envirotech Water Solutions, Wakool Shire Council replaced the old plant with a new ultra-filtration plant to provide potable water for Tooleybuc’s town water supply. The entire plant was installed in just 2 weeks of on-site work and achieved results exceeding Australian standards.

“It was an outstanding outcome to be able to work with the council to complete the work so efficiently within a narrow timeframe. Wakool Shire Council are very happy with the installation, which uses technology widely applicable to the many councils facing similar issues,” says Mr Damien Abbott, Business Development Manager – Victoria, CST Wastewater Solutions.

“Another big advantage for councils like Wakool is that on-site attendance and maintenance is very low, with only one day a week being required. This produces both cost-efficiency and OH&S benefits,” said  Abbott.

TooleybuconeLR

The new plant has a capacity of 0.5 ML/day (over 20 hours) with a peak flow of 6 l/s. The water is treated for turbidity, colour, protozoa and viruses using CST’s advanced ultra-filtration technology. The technology reduces turbidity from 8 NTU to <0.1 NTU and colour from 15 to 5. Australian drinking water standards specify that acceptable drinking water needs to be <5 NTU and <15 true colour*, so the Tooleybuc plant well exceeds these standards.

“Improving turbidity by over 80 times and significantly reducing the colour to exceed Australian Standards is an excellent result for the project, which is widely applicable to councils and municipalities across Australia,” said  Abbott.

The Pentair X-Flow ultra-filtration plant installed at Tooleybuc is a new generation of low-pressure membrane filtration technology engineered to produce water from all kinds of water sources using ultra-filtration (UF) and, more recently, Nano-filtration (NF).  X-flow’s strength is the integration of critical process steps to ensure a Fill Circle Membrane Technology partnering approach encompassing all key process and operational steps including membrane manufacture, engineering design, installation and commissioning support and ongoing operational support.

*Based on Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Version 2.0 (Updated December 2013)

Do we really have to wash fruit and vegetables?

There is a growing demand for fruit and vegetables across the Western world, thanks to increased awareness of their nutritional and health benefits. But we’ve always been taught they might not be safe to eat straight out of the supermarket, and they have to be washed first. Is this the case? And what might happen if we don’t?

What’s in a veggie?

Fruits and some vegetables are often consumed raw, fresh-cut or minimally processed, which is often why there are concerns about their safety. Fresh fruits and vegetables and unpasteurised juices can harbour disease-causing bugs (knows as pathogens) such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (strains of E.coli). They can also contain pesticide residues and toxic compounds produced by moulds on the surface or even inside tissues of these foods.

Fresh fruits and vegetables may also contain allergens, which may be naturally occurring or contaminated, that can cause severe discomfort to people suffering from an intolerance. Of the potential risks, contamination with tiny bugs or organisms called microbes is the most prevalent.

The ingestion of very small numbers of dangerous bugs may not be harmful as our immune system can fight them off. But problems begin when the body’s defences fail, causing these “bad bugs” to multiply and spread throughout the body.

In recent years, fruits and vegetables such as sprouts, celery and rockmelons were identified as potential sources of food-borne pathogens. They are more susceptible to being contaminated. This has caused a number of health and social issues and major economic losses worldwide.

Last year there was an outbreak of listeriosis in the US, a disease caused by the ingestion of bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, linked to commercially produced, prepacked whole caramel apples. Thirty-five people from 12 states were infected with the disease, and three people died.

 

There could be more than caramel lurking in there. from www.shutterstock.com

 

In May 2011, Germany experienced the largest epidemic of hemolytic–uremic syndrome (a disease characterized by anemia, acute kidney failure and low platelet counts), caused by Shiga-toxin–producing E.coli associated with fresh produce such as fenugreek sprouts. Over a period of about three months nearly 4000 fell ill with symptoms such as headache and diarrhoea, and a further 800 contracted hemolytic–uremic syndrome. Authorities reported 53 deaths.

In the US in 2011, cantaloupes become contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. One-hundred and forty-six people in 28 states were sick and 30 died.

While Australia is considered one of the safest food suppliers in the world, a significant number of foodborne illnesses are still reported every year. The government-funded organisation OzFoodNet reported 674 outbreaks of enteric illness, including those transmitted by contaminated foods, in the last quarter of 2013 alone.

Does washing help?

The washing of fruits and vegetables is one of the most important processing steps at the industrial level. Washing is designed to remove dirt and dust and some pesticides, and to detach bugs. Washing improves not only the safety and quality, but also the product’s shelf-life.

However, the quality of water used for washing is crucial. Washing water can serve as a source of cross-contamination as it may be re-used during harvesting and processing stages. Washing with sanitising agents is much better; washing removes microorganisms by detaching them from the products, and sanitising kills them.

 

Washed and ready to use? Safer to wash it again. Screenshot from Woolworths website, CC BY

 

Although this first stage of washing can significantly reduce the level of pathogens, infiltration of pathogens into cracks, crevices, and between the cells of fruits and vegetables has been shown to be possible.

Once positioned in these niches, pathogens may survive and multiply by the time the infected produce is consumed. Therefore pre-washed produce may not be 100% safe. Peeling can help to get rid of bugs on the surface, but it also risks cross-contaminating the inner part of the product.

Cooking temperatures kill most of the pathogenic bugs, but the compounds produced by them (metabolites) may be heat-tolerant and can cause serious health issues. Washing may help to remove some of these compounds, but not necessarily all.

What to do

The risk of eating contaminated produce is much greater now than it has been in previous centuries because primary production, processing and trade of fruits and vegetables occur in diverse climates and within different countries' rules and regulations and food processing systems.

Most of these foodborne illnesses are preventable. Washing in clean running tap water significantly reduces the level of E. coli bacteria on broccoli and lettuce, although it doesn’t completely eliminate it. Therefore washing fruits and vegetables using clean water at home – including pre-washed products – before consumption may help minimise the risk of foodborne infections.

Never eat or buy produce that looks spoiled, however be aware produce that is contaminated may look, taste and smell similar to the produce that is safe to eat. Make sure kitchen surfaces are clean and use the correct temperature and time for cooking.

Washing fresh produce is an important part of ensuring your favourite fruits and veggies are safe to consume, but also be sure to pay regular attention to the media for any outbreaks or updates related to fresh produce safety.

The Conversation

Senaka Ranadheera, Early Career Research Fellow, Advanced Food Systems Research Unit, College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Food industry wash-down hose

The Gates Terminator hose can be used in all types of wash-down applications such as meat (abattoirs) and poultry processing plants as well as general food manufacturing facilities. 

The Gates Terminator hose is a tough hose with a rugged cover for high abrasion resistance and extended service life where constant flexing and bending is required.

Gates Terminator hose features:

1.    Safety Yellow Abrasion resistant Nitrile rubber cover – factory workers can see this hose due to the yellow cover whereas other wash down hoses that have a white cover can fade and become hard to see. This is a safety issue.
2.    A working pressure of 501psi
3.    A temperature range of -40C to +100C
4.    Is available in a range of various ID ranging from 6.4mm to 50.8mm
5.    Is available in reels up to 213m depending on the ID size 
6.    Excellent weather and ozone resistance and non-conductive at 1000 volts D.C.

Coca-Cola shakes up the water category with new releases

Coca-Cola South Pacific has announced the launch of two new dynamic products, which are aimed at providing consumers with new and enhanced choices in the water category. 

Powerade Sports Drops and Pump Drops have both launched into market, designed to evolve the burgeoning water segment and tap into significant growth opportunities.

Powerade Sports Drops is a customised offering providing 'on the go hydration' and is primarily targeted at unlocking the significant market opportunity around the 'on the go' exercise occasion. The target audience for the product is focused on active males across a broad age range.

Available in Mountain Blast and Berry Ice flavours, Powerade Sports Drops powers water by enhancing hydration with the addition of electrolytes to replace those lost through sweat. As part of the overall strategy for the master Powerade brand, marketing activity will reinforce the consumption occasions to consumers at point-of-purchase, backed up by a range of striking point-of-sale merchandising solutions.

Pump Drops is a flavoured drops offering designed to deliver added value to the bottled water category by driving flavour innovation. It is the first water enhancer to launch in Australia under an existing water brand, as opposed to standalone offerings or new brands. 

The product is targeted at 18-34 year olds who are conscious about their health, as well as those seeking more variety from their water consumption. Pump Drops adds a sugar free flavour blast to water and is available in three different flavours: Strawberry Kiwi, Mixed Berry and Pineapple Coconut.

The launch comes off the back of the success of the launch of liquid concentrate water enhancers in the US, which resulted in driving category volume growth and a 15 per cent increase in the flavoured water segment. In-store point-of-sale activity will be a key driver of the product marketing push as the Pump brand seeks to drive further growth.

Tracey Evans, Hydration Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola South Pacific, said: "The launch of our new Drops products further extends our commitment to present more choice when it comes to the beverages we offer, providing more innovative options to meet the consumer demand of our respective target audiences.  We see growth potential for both products similar to what we have already seen in the US, making this a very exciting time for water in the Australian market."

Food safe cleaning cloth

Rubbermaid’s HYGEN Microfibre is an innovative microfibre cleaning system proven to remove 99.9 per cent of microbes, including C. diff, a bacteria that can cause illness and infection. 

It provides superior cleaning performance and improved productivity to help stop the chain of infection and eliminate the food source for live pathogens. 

The Rubbermaid HYGEN Microfibre system features built-in scrubbers that enable complete dirt removal without smearing. 

It is also compatible with bleach and can be used for dusting or wet cleaning to provide a superior clean.

Food & beverage cleaning nozzle

Built to last with a replaceable white EPDM rubber grip, the heavy-duty hose nozzles from Tecpro Australia are designed to take all the knocks and shocks of everyday food and beverage manufacturing. 

They easily handle up to 16 Bar of water pressure (232 PSI) and can accommodate hot water up to 80°C.  The EPDM rubber cover minimises heat transfer, which makes the nozzle more comfortable for members of the cleaning team to hold. 

The nozzle delivers a high flow, adjustable water pattern that ranges from a narrow jet to a conical spread with a simple twist of the nozzle head. Twist in the opposite direction and it shuts off securely without leaking.

The high quality, white EPDM rubber grip can be easily replaced once worn without the need to purchase an entire new nozzle.

Why meat is important in the global battle against food insecurity

The increase in the world’s population has led to challenges in maintaining a balanced diet in both the developed and the developing world. More than two billion people worldwide suffer from “hidden hunger” or micronutrient deficiency.

The inadequate intake of essential micro-nutrients is detrimental to the mental and physical development of children and reduces the productivity and work capacity of adults.

Over the last two decades, there has been a significant reduction in food insecurity with the number of hungry or undernourished people decreasing from 18.7% to 11.3%. But globally food insecurity continues to be a daunting challenge. The prevalence and severity of food insecurity varies at regional, national and household levels. At least two-thirds of the food insecure households in the world are found in developing countries.

The current food security threats go beyond insufficient food quality. Nutritional value, safety and the distribution of the available foods all have an impact. In addition, outbreaks of food-borne illnesses and mass food contamination have been frequently reported as threats to food safety – a consequence of the rising pressure to rapidly increase food production.

Good quality meat has the potential to reduce food insecurity and poverty. It should be considered a tool to eliminate “hidden hunger”. This would require making sure it is evenly distributed across the world.

But there are several limitations that may contribute to the slow progress of using meat to conquer food insecurity worldwide.

A bad side to eating meat?

Science has shown that lean meat is good for you. This is because it contains properties that positively moderate lipid profiles in the body. This in turn has a positive impact on long-term health by producing polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Some polyunsaturated fatty acids can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood and can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer. Linoleic acid contains fat fighting, insulin lowering properties which suppress the development of cancer in different areas of the body. This is the case even at relatively low dietary levels.

This is true of lean, unprocessed meat. Processed meat is a different story. A recent report by the World Health Organisation classifies processed meat as a carcinogen in the same category as plutonium and alcohol. It cautions that eating 50g of processed meat a day, which is the equivalent of up to two slices of bacon, increases the chance of developing colo-rectal cancer by 18%.

The same report acknowledges that meat is a rich source of nutrients and that eating meat and meat products also has health benefits. The moderation of meat consumption rather than eliminating it from one’s diet remains the most reasonable recommendation.

The poor can’t afford meat

The biggest problems around the consumption of meat relate to, on the one hand eating too much, and on the other cost and distribution.

South Africa provides an interesting case study. As living standards have improved, people’s diets have got better. This includes more meat and fruit and vegetable consumption. The increase in the amount of meat being eaten is linked to an increase in average income over the last two decades.

The increased demand for meat has led had two consequences: an increase in meat-related health threats such as cardiovascular diseases among the wealthy; and a rise in prices, making it less affordable for the poor.

South Africa, as a nation of fervent meat eaters, ranks 11 out of 15 top meat eating countries in the world, with over 50.7 kg of meat being consumed per capita each year. At the same time, most South Africans are not eating the food-based dietary recommendations of 80g to 90g lean cooked meat per day. This is because just over half the South African population is categorised as food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity and cannot achieve the recommended intake.

Other factors influence meat consumption

Despite its contribution as a complete nutrient source, meat has a bad reputation. Although scientific research has shown its multiple health benefits, consumers still question its safety.

And a large proportion of the worlds’ population adheres to religions with strong traditions around food consumption, especially meat. Consumption is often limited by intrinsic factors or lack of adherence to specific production, slaughter and processing methods.

In addition, organisations have been set up to speak against meat consumption in the name of animal protection, declaring it more a luxury than a need.

It is critical to consider these perspectives in the discourse on global food security.

The consumption guide

It is important for consumers to pay attention to the quality and quantity of the meat they consume. And how they prepare it. Setting personal health goals, such as consuming just enough to meet the average nutrient requirements, is key.

Chicken as a meat source can be viewed as a short term stepping stone. Chicken consumption has increased dramatically over the years, mostly due to its health qualities and lower cost.

Misconceptions about meat and its affect on health need to be tackled head on. Human beings were born omnivores. Meat has been part of their diet through the ages. This is one of the reasons it should be considered as part of any diet, as well as part of the solution to food insecurity.

The Conversation

Voster Muchenje, Professor of Meat Science, University of Fort Hare and Yonela Njisane, PhD student in the Department of Livestock and Pasture , University of Fort Hare

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Nestlé tops category in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

A 'zero water' factory in Mexico, a UK confectionery factory that turns waste into renewable energy are just two examples of the kind of work that has helped Nestlé achieve an industry leading score of 99 out of 100 in the 'Environmental Dimension' of the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

The DJSI is a globally recognised independent benchmark that measures company performance across three dimensions: Economic, Environmental and Social.

With an overall score of 89 out of 100 in the DJSI ranking, Nestlé was among the top performing food product companies. In the Index’s 'Environmental Dimension', its score of 99 is the highest in the industry, which underlines its commitment to water stewardship and environmental sustainability.

For instance, Nestlé says it is committed to achieving water efficiency and sustainability across its operations, and one example is the introduction of 'zero water' technology at its dairy factory in Jalisco, Mexico, which allows the plant to operate without using any local groundwater.

The UK provides another example of new, more sustainable production processes: an anaerobic digestion system at Nestlé's Fawdon confectionery factory turns confectionery waste into renewable energy and clean water.

Nestlé's status as the leading Nutrition, Health & Wellness company was recognised with a top score of 100 for Health & Nutrition in the Index, a testament it says, to work done in areas including product innovation and renovation.