VATIS Update Food Processing . Apr-Jun 2013

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Food Processing Apr-Jun 2013

ISSN: 0971-5649

VATIS Update Food Processing is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of Food Processing. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

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Flavour companies taste growth in India

Givaudan, the Swiss flavour and fragrance company, has started tweaking exotic flavours of products like blueberry cheesecake and black currant to suit the Indian palate, hoping to benefit from the fast-growing processed food market in India. Mr. Tansukh Jain, Givaudan’s Country Head for Flavours, said: “Speed is very important to this market. Customers don’t want to miss out on any trends and so they expect us to come out with the right support in terms of concepts, ideas and products.” Rapid urbanization, higher disposable incomes and the resulting lifestyle changes have made India an attractive playing field for many global players looking away from the saturated United States and European markets. About 50 per cent of India’s population being under the age of 25 years and an increase in the number of nuclear families further boost opportunities for food companies. The Indian processed food market, worth about US$80 billion in 2012, is expected to double by 2020, according to the market research company Frost & Sullivan. The United States-based International Flavours and Fragrances and Germany’s Symrise have also been tasting growth and stepping up operations in the country.

Improvization has become necessary to win over the Indian consumer who wants to try new things. Other than the indulgent global flavours, there is high demand for traditional and regional Indian tastes. Givaudan’s innovation centre hosts an industrial kitchen to prepare popular dishes like pav bhaji or biryani that are later analysed. The flavours created in the labs are then tested on consumers in a sensory science area. While exotic flavours are made “bolder” to woo local buyers, presenting ethnic flavours in new formats like packaged nimbu pani (lime juice) or masala oats is another trend in the space. Givaudan’s sales in India grew in the high-single digits. According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Ms. Chaitra Narayan, the value of the Indian food flavour market is estimated at around US$230 million and is expected to grow at a rate of 8-9 per cent over the coming 3-5 years. International companies account for about 80-90 per cent of the market.

Coconut processing centres to be set up in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to establish coconut processing centres in major coconut producing provinces in an attempt to boost the income of farmers. Agriculture Secretary Mr. Proceso J. Alcala stated that the main source of funding for this project will be the coco levy funds. But while waiting for the funds to be made available, DA has already allocated around P250-300 million (US$5.79-6.94 million) for establishing at least five agri-industrial estates. The agri-industrial estates will cover 1,000 ha, and several coconut processing centres would be constructed in these estates. The government plans to put up small processing centres that costs P50 million (US$1.15 million) in each agri-industrial estate. “The idea is to include the farmers in the processing of the raw materials they supply and give them a portion of the income derived from selling the end product,” Mr. Alcala stated.

Most coconut farmers sell the coconut coir or copra (dried coconut meat) to middle men who in turn sell it to processing plants that turn the raw materials into finished products. “Before, once the farmer sells the coir or copra to the middle man, he gets a small amount and that is it,” Mr. Alcala pointed out. “With this project, we want the farmer to take part in the processing phase and therefore allow him to get a share out of selling the end product.” Once a coconut agri-industrial estate has been set up, the department will invite private investors to establish medium- to large-scale processing plants to further boost farmers’ income. DA will also seek help from the private sector to manage the government-owned small coconut processing plants to ensure their profitability.

China sets major tasks for improving food safety

China’s State Council has identified major tasks for government authorities to improve food safety this year. The State Council said in a circular posted on its website that although the general food safety situation in China has improved over the past year, the country needs to intensify efforts in the area as food safety incidents still occur occasionally. The government will conduct inspections and overhauls on major food safety hazards in the process of planting, breeding, slaughtering and product circulation, as well as in the catering sector. It will also intensify the crack-down on food-related violations, strengthen the emergency response mechanism to address food safety incidents, and release related information to the public in a timely manner. Important tasks for the year also include improving the supervision mechanism and food-related standards, regulations and rules.

Malaysia is still the regional hub for halal ingredients

Malaysia continues to be a regional sourcing hub not only for halal food and beverages but also for halal ingredients in health and services. Mr. Mohd Aminuddin Sham Tajudin, Director of Food, Biotech and Halal Trade and Services Promotion Division of Malaysia External Trade and Development Corporation (Matrade), said that there have been signs of growing demand for halal products other than halal food and beverages. “Among the products that are in demand by foreign companies are medical products like halal gel and capsules as well as franchising opportunities,” stated Mr. Tajudin.

Indonesia to develop downstream seaweed industry

The Indonesian government and the Indonesian Seaweed Association (ARLI) are collaborating to develop downstream seaweed industries to create more added value from this marine commodity and to create job opportunities. Measures were being taken to maximize the potential from increasing seaweed production in Indonesia, according to Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Mr. Sharif Cicip Sutardjo. “This programme will create more added value by processing seaweed into various intermediary and end products, and so we can export not only the raw material but also the products.”

The Minister claimed that the development of downstream seaweed industries had attracted Rp 165 billion (US$17 million) in investment from four companies this year, besides creating jobs for more than 600 people. Seaweed can be processed into more than 500 food and non-food products. The Ministry has targeted national seaweed production of 7.5 million tonnes this year, up 30 per cent from last year’s 5.2 million tonnes. For 2014, the Ministry aims to produce 10 million tonnes. As for seaweed products, the Ministry is targeting 205,000 t this year, in the form of alkali-treated carrageenan, semi-refined carrageenan, refined carrageenan, jelly, alginates and other formulated products. Indonesia has the potential to cultivate seaweed on 1.1 million hectares. The country’s biodiversity of seaweed species is vast, amounting to more than 555 species – 45 per cent of all seaweed species worldwide. “The benefit of cultivating seaweed is that it can be harvested in only 45 days and can be planted at any time, in any weather, all through the year,” the Minister stated, calling for a greater contribution from scientists to develop the commodity.

According to Mr. Safari Azis, Chairman of ARLI, in addition to developing seaweed processing industry, ARLI has also called for increased use of seaweed as an ingredient for various local industries in place of chemicals, as a natural emulsifier, thickener and coagulant. ARLI expects more industries to use seaweed and is also campaigning for an increase in its consumption. At present, from the over 555 species of seaweed that grow in Indonesia, only three species are cultivated – Euchema cottonii, Euchema spinosum and Gracilaria sp. Most of the cultivation areas are in the eastern parts, including Bali, Sulawesi and Maluku. ARLI has targeted increasing exports from 169,000 t in 2012 to 180,000 t this year. Competing with the Philippines and Thailand in the global seaweed market, Indonesia is struggling with high transportation costs for the commodity.

Bangladesh aims at a single agency to ensure food safety

The Bangladeshi government plans to set up a single agency to prevent widespread food adulteration and to ensure food safety in the country. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting at the cabinet division. Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) will be formed by amending the Pure Food Ordinance, 1959. The draft amendment to the ordinance was discussed and a provision for a maximum of 10-year jail term was recommended for adulterators of food. According to the draft structure, BFSA will have a board comprising a Chairperson and five Members, who will be appointed for a five-year term. There will be two committees – Scientific Committee and Inter-sector Collaboration and Coordination Committee – under the board. A Chief Executive Officer will run BFSA and it will have five divisions: Surveillance & Enforcement Division, Food Safety Laboratory Division, Quality Assurance (Codex) Division, Risk Assessment & Communication Division, and Resources & Support Division.

At present, various ministries (like Ministries of Health, Food, Commerce, Local Government and Rural Development), city corporations and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute are operating independently for ensuring quality of food and preventing food adulteration as per their own regulations. The lack of cooperation among these agencies is hampering effective measures to ensure food quality and safety. The staff working under different ministries to ensure food quality and prevent adulteration will be transferred to BFSA. As per the draft structure of BFSA, there will be teams for surveillance, inspection as well as prosecution. Executive magistrates will work under BFSA and will exercise executive authority. The amendment to the ordinance will be finalized at an inter-ministerial meeting, and will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

Nepal’s food safety policy in the offing

The government of Nepal is all set to introduce a Food Safety Policy to make local bodies responsible for keeping an eye on the market for substandard products. The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), the present supervisory body, will be off the task of monitoring contamination and sale of substandard goods. The proposed policy under consideration of the Ministry of Agriculture Development will provide technical support to municipalities and district and village development committees. “We want to stay away from monitoring and limit our role to providing technical support through the new policy,” said DFTQC Director-General Ms. Jeevan Prabha Lama. DFTQC has also proposed an action plan to the Ministry of Agriculture Development for its approval. As per the draft policy, district development committees and municipalities will monitor warehouses and food outlets, while the Department of Commerce and Supply (DoCS) will watch manufacturing and transportation. DFTQC and DoCS will both assist local bodies to enhance their capacity for monitoring.

The Department of Agriculture will be responsible for monitoring food quality at the farm level. “Checking the amount of pesticides used and the health status of animals and plants before being harvested will fall under the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture,” said Ms. Lama. The Food Safety Policy is also aimed at promoting the food business in line with the standard set by the World Trade Organization (WTO). As per DFTQC, the policy will enforce WTO’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures to ensure food hygiene by checking the health of animals and plants on the farm. In addition, the policy will require that disease-free areas be maintained on farms and inspect food processing and use of pesticides and permitted additives in food preservation. Market monitoring conducted by DFTQC in response to increasing public complaints about adulterated and sub-standard food products found 34 unsatisfactory specimens among the 700 examined in the first eight months of the fiscal 2012-2013. DFTQC says that sub-standard products continue to be sold in the market because of the absence of an effective policy and regulatory mechanism.

Action Month in Viet Nam for food safety and hygiene

In Viet Nam, the Ministry of Public Health recently launched an Action Month for Food Quality, Safety and Hygiene 2013 at a ceremony in the Dong Nai province. Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan said that over the past years, relevant ministries, agencies and localities have taken drastic measures to ensure food hygiene and safety, but the results have failed to meet the expectation. The number of food safety and hygiene violations has not decreased, posing challenges for authorities. The Deputy Prime Minister underscored two pressing issues in particular – sub-standard food safety and hygiene at company canteens and the smuggling of poultry, especially in the context of the Avian influenza threat, including the more common H5N1 type A and the recently emerging H7N9. Mr. Thien Nhan highlighted the theme of the Action Month, which aims to stop illegal transportation and trading of poultry and improve food safety at canteens operated by enterprises.

Thailand jumps on halal bandwagon

Thailand’s trade authorities are working closely with local food manufacturers to establish a halal food industrial estate in the south of the country, a region with a large Muslim population. The estate would cater for both local and the growing global halal food business. The global halal food industry is pegged at US$2.1 trillion, according to Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation. The industrial park will be located in Thailand’s southern province of Pattani.

“We will be working with local businesses as well as halal institutes to develop the halal food manufacturing base here. We are keen to offer halal Thai food to the Middle East, Malaysia and other Muslim countries,” said Mr. Chareef Yimai, International Business Promotion Officer at the Board of Trade of Thailand. The Board hopes to encourage food companies of all sizes to develop food processing of popular Thai cuisine in that area, Mr. Yimai said. “We want to help food manufacturers and provide them with market information and opportunities, as well as educate them on halal food processing techniques,” he added. Businesses will be also helped in procuring investment loans, guided in land development and utilization, and offered assistance in other logistical issues.


Beijing food safety regulation takes effect

In China, a new food safety regulation issued by the Beijing municipal government has officially taken effect. The new regulation provides for tighter supervision and control of street food vendors and on-line food retailers, and harsher punishment for violators. The regulation allows, as amended after protestations, on-line stores that possess both Business Licence and Food Circulation Permit to run on-line trade of baby formula. Dairy industry analyst Mr. Song Liang at Productivity Promotion Centre of Commercial Circulation, said that the amendment was inevitable since the on-line shopping platform has become an important avenue for purchasing baby formula in recent years. On-line sales take up about 10 per cent of the 50-60 billion yuan (US$8.2-9.8 billion) worth annual baby formula sales volume in China, he said.

Viet Nam tightens food advertising laws

The regulations on advertisements for food under the management of Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health were promulgated through the Circular 08/2013/TT-BYT dated 13 March 2013 (Circular 08). According to Circular 08, food that must be registered include functional food, micronutrient-fortified food, mineral water, bottled water, food additives and food processing aids, and food packaging materials during food preparation, production and trade. Along with the prohibited acts under the Law on Advertisements, Circular 08 provides for several special prohibited acts: for instance, advertising foods through articles written by doctors, pharmacists and medical workers claiming that certain food can treat diseases; and using of the images, the reputation and documents from health agencies and medical workers, and gratitude letters written by patients, to advertise foods. The Circular 08 came into effect on 26 April 2013.

The advertisement content must be in compliance with Article 4 of Circular 08. Advertisements on functional foods must state that “This product is not a medicine or a substitute for medicine” in Times New Roman font, size 14. To be granted a certification of food advertisement content with respect to functional food and micronutrient-fortified food, organizations or individuals must submit their dossiers in accordance with Article 6 of Circular 08 to the Food Safety and Hygiene offices are responsible for certifying all food advertisements that claim health effects. They also clear applications to hold seminars to introduce new foods, as covered under Articles 8 and 9 of Circular 08.

Sri Lanka brings new regulations on food hygiene

Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry has prepared regulations to ensure the hygiene of food sold in the country. The Health Minister Mr. Maithripala Sirisena presented the regulations to the Parliament recently. The proposed regulations will lay down strict rules on the location of food establishments, processing, selling and handling of food. The regulations would also make it mandatory for people handling food items to receive certification from a medical officer registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council and would have to undergo periodic medical examinations until they perform the duty of a food handler. The regulations will also prohibit the location of food manufacturing and food processing establishments in environmentally polluted areas, areas prone to flooding and infestation by pests, and areas where waste material cannot be effectively removed.

China to unify, clarify food standards

China will speed up its improvement of food safety standards and finish clarifying existing food standards by the end of 2013, according to a circular by the State Council. The circular, released on the website of the national government, also mentions other food safety efforts this year, including intensifying supervision of various sectors of the food industry, handing out severe punishment for food safety violations, as well as improving the credit system to promote industry self-regulation.

Apart from improving laws and regulations, procedures and mechanisms for food standards will also be improved to make their formulation more transparent. The clarification process will focus on comparisons between and analysis of various food standards, after which proposals will be made on whether the standards should continue or be integrated or abolished. China has more than 5,000 standards on food quality and hygiene, made by different government departments – some of them overlap, while some contradict one another. A national centre on food safety will be set up to consolidate these standards, a practice in line with countries that have good food safety regulations. After the consolidation, the standards will be “unique and compulsory,” the website says.


New technique may speed up food contamination testing

From bird flu to mad cow disease, numerous food scares have made global headlines in recent years. A technique developed by a group of researchers in the United States may make food contamination testing faster and accurate. “Quickly stopping the spread of toxins saves lives,” said lead author Dr. Sangho Bok, a post-doctoral fellow working under the guidance of Dr. Shubhra Gangopadhyay in the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering. The new technique uses nanoparticles to make detection a 100 times more sensitive than the standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method currently used. Also, the time needed to detect a threat is reduced from 4-6 hours for ELISA to only one hour for the new technique.

Dr. Bok’s testing method detects a toxin that causes food poisoning, a chemical known as Clostriudium botulinum neurotoxin A. Engineers and biologists at the University are now seeking to adapt the test to detect many other dangerous chemicals. Study co-author and research professor Dr. Keshab Gangopadhyay aims to manufacture the nanoparticles used in the new detection technique at the Nanos Technologies LLC that he has founded.

Scientists develop DNA test to detect ingredients in foods

Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, have adapted the latest techniques of DNA sequencing to develop a novel screening procedure that provides for highly sensitive and quantifiable analysis of animal, plant and microbial substances present in foodstuff. In pilot studies, researchers at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Genetic Security Research and Consulting were able to use the new DNA method to detect the presence of a 1 per cent content of horse meat in products, and to determine the actual amount with a high level of precision. The researchers found even slight traces of the DNA of added mustard, lupin and soya in a test sausage prepared for calibration purposes, something that could also be of interest with regard to allergy testing of foods.

The innovative aspect in comparison with conventional DNA detection methods, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is that by the use of bioinformatic analysis of all biological DNA data available worldwide, one can identify the presence of material from species that would not otherwise be expected, the scientists state. Furthermore, using a simple digital method of counting short snippets of DNA, “we will also probably be able to determine the relative incidence of individual species-related material more precisely than was previously the case,” the researchers wrote. Because of its potential, the new method – dubbed “All-Food-Seq” by its developers – has attracted the attention of food inspection experts.

Enzyme coating kills bacteria in food packaging

At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the United States, researchers have developed a method to kill pathogenic bacteria during food handling and packaging. The development represents an alternative to the use of antibiotics or chemical decontamination in food supply systems. Using nature as their inspiration, the researchers successfully attached cell lytic enzymes to food-safe silica nanoparticles and created a coating with the demonstrated ability to selectively kill Listeria. The coating kills Listeria on contact, even at high concentrations, within a few minutes without affecting other bacteria. The lytic enzymes can also be attached to starch nanoparticles commonly used in food packaging. By using different lytic enzymes, this novel method can be engineered to create surfaces that selectively target other deadly bacteria, such as anthrax, as well according to Mr. Jonathan Dordick, Vice President for Research and the Howard P. Isermann Professor at Rensselaer, who helped lead the study.

In-package plasma process effectively kills bacteria

Exposing packaged liquids, fruits and vegetables to an electrical field for just minutes might eliminate all traces of food-borne pathogens on those foods, according to a study at Purdue University, the United States. Prof. Kevin Keener’s method uses electricity to generate a plasma, or ionized gas, from gases inside the food package. This creates a wide variety of bacteria-killing molecules including ozone, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen peroxide and others. These molecules only exist for a few hours and then revert back to the original atmospheric gas, leaving a bacteria-free product. Prof. Keener and researchers at the Dublin Institute of Technology demonstrated that the method works well to kill bacteria in growth media. Their experiments have shown that bacteria on these surfaces were eliminated with 20 seconds of treatment and 24 hours of exposure to the gases it creates. Prof. Keener said that the cost of the process should be comparable to current chemical and heat treatments used to sanitize foods. “Even in the most resistant bacteria-growing media, 45 seconds of treatment gave us complete elimination of the E. coli,” he stated. “Under a microscope, we saw holes forming in the cell walls of the bacteria.”

Adapting the technology for liquids could allow development of portable devices to clean drinking water in areas with contamination or that lack other purification methods. It could also allow food processors to bottle juices without first heating them, a process widely used to kill bacteria that can alter products. In Europe, especially, new methods are being sought as alternatives to washing foods in chlorine baths. “Chlorine water works well on hard surfaces. But there can be issues if bacteria get inside organic matter on the produce, making chlorine ineffective,” Prof. Keener stated. The researchers are working with National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology at Dublin City University, Ireland, and Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible (IRIS), Spain, to develop a pre-commercial system for larger-scale decontamination testing.

“Results from recent testing of E. coli bacteria in liquid suspensions demonstrated significant bacterial reductions with no heating or visual colour change,” Prof. Keener said. This suggests that atmospheric cold plasma treatment may achieve a cold pasteurization process for liquid foods to extend shelf-life and improve safety, he added. The research was funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework programme. These results are part of a larger European Union project called SAFE-BAG.

Multi-analyte array for detecting antimicrobials in honey

Antimicrobials are used in the food production industry not only to treat infections but also as growth promoting compounds. The use of certain antimicrobials has been banned in food producing animals in many countries, and maximum residue limits (MRLs) have been set to monitor antimicrobial usage. A reliable and cost-effective screening method is required within the honey testing industry to ensure that the produce is safe for consumers. Randox Food Diagnostics Ltd., the United Kingdom, has developed Antimicrobial Array IV (AMIV) to detect multiple antimicrobial compounds in single honey samples on the Evidence Investigator screening analyser. Unlike other commercially available kits that provide qualitative determination only, the AMIV testing platform is able to discriminate between compounds providing a quantitative concentration. Advantages of the AMIV array include:
  • The test platform can detect 37 aminoglycosides and macrolide compounds;
  • The only commercially available test kit for Apramycin, Josamycin, Paromomycin, Amikacin, Hygromycin B, Tobramycin, Desmycosin and Tylosin;
  • Detects both marker residue and metabolites;
  • Rapid sample preparation – simple dilution in buffer;
  • 630 tests in under 2 hours; and
  • Excellent sensitivity.

Contact: Randox Food Diagnostics Limited, 55 Diamond Road, Crumlin, Co. Antrim, BT29 4QY, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (2894) 442 413; Fax: +44 (2894) 445 912; E-mail:; Website:

Bench-top PEF systems for R&D

SteriBeam Systems GmbH, Germany, has developed bench-top semi-automatic and fully automatic pulsed electrical field (PEF) systems for research and development (R&D) in non-invasive sterilization of liquid foods, juices and pharmaceutical liquid products, as well as for extracting nutrients from vegetative cells. These systems have many advantages compared with conventional PEF systems. One advantage is having two processing chambers: one for liquids and another for gel and shredded products, as well as for meats tendering. Another advantage is the wide range of variable operating parameters – strength of electrical field, pulse energy/pulse current, pulse duration, pulse shape and pulse repetition rate. The values range from the most common to the most advanced pulse parameters. These versatile PEF systems, suitable for industrial or pilot installations, are reportedly the least expensive on the market, yet have the highest performance to price ratio. Contact: SteriBeam Systems GmbH, R. Wagner Str. 77, Kehl, Baden-Wurttemberg, D-77694, Germany. Tel: +49 (7851) 899 330; E-mail:; Website:


Asparagus waste can become functional ingredient

According to researchers from the Instituto de la Grasa Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain, it is possible to take the by-products of asparagus processing and use them as functional ingredients. Previous studies of asparagus’ bioactive components have revealed that the by-products are rich in many of the phytochemicals located in edible part of the spears. The main components responsible for asparagus bioactivity are phenols (flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids) and saponins.

The researchers have developed a process for obtaining added-value compounds from the by-products of asparagus processing using hydrothermal treatment of the samples. Two fractions are separated after the hydrothermal treatment, consisting of an aqueous functional extract containing most soluble bioactive compounds from asparagus by-product, and a fibrous residue that, after being dried, constitutes the asparagus bioactive fibre. The process includes a column purification step using an adsorbent polymeric resin, which allows partially purified aqueous extracts to be obtained, and enriched into specific compounds such as phenolics and/or saponins. Preliminary results have shown that the distinct products obtained from asparagus by-products are of interest for their biological activity and are suitable for being used as functional ingredients. Based on their antioxidant capacity, it could be proposed that their regular use could help in the prevention of several diseases related to oxidative damage.

Hexane-free rice protein extraction

Axiom Foods, the United States, leads the way for allergen-friendly, hexane-free whole-grain brown rice ingredients with its natural rice protein extraction method, developed to help food, beverage and nutraceutical product manufacturers boast clean and allergen-free nutritional ingredients for their consumers. The company’s proprietary method for extracting protein from all layers of the whole-grain rice including bran, germ and endosperm, is a low-heat, hexane-free enzymatic process. Ingredients are tested throughout growing, harvesting and processing for various certifications such as organic and gluten-free. Its methodologies for extracting are also applied to other plant proteins such as pea, sacha inchi and flax as well as other superfoods. A clinical trial of Axiom’s signature, hexane-free and non-GMO Oryzatein® rice protein, has shown that plant-based rice protein rivals dairy-based whey for muscle building, fat reduction and muscle repair, it is claimed.

Enhancing yoghurt with healthful fibre from oats

Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) say that small amounts of ß-glucan, a fibre-rich component of oats, can be added to low-fat yoghurt without noticeably affecting the texture or other key characteristics of this increasingly popular dairy food. Oat fibre is of interest to foodmakers and nutritionists because studies with volunteers have shown that it can lower serum cholesterol. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) food technologist Mr. Mukti Singh, research chemist Mr. Sanghoon Kim and their colleagues experimented with adding oat ß-glucan to low-fat yoghurt mix. The mix is made up of low-fat milk and a selection of common, safe-to-eat bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus or various Bifidobacterium species that ferment milk.

The scientists aimed to study how much fibre could be added without altering the texture, viscosity or other aspects of the microscopic structure of the yoghurt, or its colour, pH or fermentation time, for example. In experiments conducted at the ARS National Centre for Agricultural Utilization Research, the research team added zero, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, or 0.5 per cent purified oat ß-glucan to low-fat yoghurt mix. The team determined that up to 0.3 per cent highly purified (95 per cent pure) oat ß-glucan, translating into 0.3 g of ß-glucan per 100 g of yoghurt mix, could be added without significantly altering key yoghurt qualities. The addition of 0.4 per cent or higher changed the yoghurt’s colour, contributed to unwanted hardening and slowed fermentation. The 0.3 per cent level of fortification totals out at 0.75 g of fibre, or about one-quarter teaspoon per 8 oz of yoghurt.

Finding beneficial compounds in whole-grain rice varieties

Scientists and their collaborators at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have provided information about the composition and potential bioavailability of nutritious compounds in a representative group of five rice varieties. The findings could help breeders select for these traits from among 18,000 rice samples, called accessions, at the National Small Grains Collection in Aberdeen, Idaho. Although often thought of as white or brown, rice is categorized into seven colour classes, based on bran colour, and darker varieties are thought to have higher amounts of some phytochemical compounds than lighter varieties. The studies were led by research chemist Mr. Ming-Hsuan Chen at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Centre in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

Rice bran, an outer layer of whole-grain rice, is a rich source of the phytochemical known as gamma-oryzanol, and of two forms of vitamin E: tocopherols and tocotrienols. These nutritional compounds have been linked to preventing oxidative damage in foods and to having a wide spectrum of biological activities that could be beneficial to human health. The USDA team used analytical methods to determine the profiles of tocopherols, tocotrienols and gamma-oryzanol in white, light brown, brown, red and purple bran. They found a wide variation in the concentrations of the two forms of vitamin E and of gamma-oryzanol. The team also analysed other phytochemicals – specifically phenolics and flavonoids – in the same five colour classes of bran. The study indicated that red and purple rice brans had higher phenolic and flavonoid concentrations than other lighter-coloured rice brans analysed. The researchers also identified one purple rice bran variety that was high in phenolic compounds as well as vitamin E and oryzanols.

Fibre supplement and food preservative from winery waste

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU), the United States, have discovered how to turn the pulp from crushed wine grapes into a natural food preservative, biodegradable packaging materials and a nutritional enhancement for baked goods. Wineries typically pay for the pulp to be hauled away, but a small percentage is used in low-value products such as fertilizer and cow feed. “We now know pomace can be a sustainable source of material for a wide range of goods,” said Professor Yanyun Zhao, a value-added food products specialist with the OSU Extension Service.

Pulp comprising stems, skins and seeds is known as pomace and is packed with dietary fibre and phenolics, which have antioxidant effects. OSU researchers dried and ground the pomace to create edible and non-edible products such as powdery food additives. Because the phenolics in pomace also control microbial growth and prevents fats from deteriorating, OSU researchers added the powdery fibre to yoghurts and salad dressings to extend shelf-life by up to a week without changing taste and texture. They also used pomace to prepare colourful, edible coatings and films for vegetables, fruits and other food products. They contain antioxidants, seal in moisture and control the growth of some bacteria. Further, the researchers added pomace powders, which are gluten-free, to muffins and brownies. They replaced up to 15 per cent of flour in the recipes with it and thus increased the fibre and antioxidants content in the baked goods. The researchers found that the methods for making products from pomace vary depending on whether the pulp is from red or white grapes. That is because winemaking processes differ for each variety, and they produce pulp with different levels of sugar, nitrogen, phenolics and other compounds.

The sweeter substance from oats

OatSweet® is a natural sweetener derived from oats. Produced using a patented and proprietary natural process by Oat Tech Inc., the United States, it addresses many of the drawbacks of other nutritive sweeteners. It has a clean flavour profile with subtle honey and caramel notes and is suitable for a wide variety of food applications from cereals to baked goods to beverages. As oats does not allow separation of the starch to make natural sweetener, Oat Tech uses a process that forms the sugar in situ, without separation of the oat component. Thus while the components that give oats its grainy flavour, the syrup retains proteins, fibres and lipids, besides the sugars maltose and glucose. OatSweet currently comes in two forms – 42DE and 60DE (42 per cent and 60 per cent as sweet as dextrose), but the sweetness can be customized as required. In future, the product may be available in powder form. Contact: Oat Tech Inc., 2040 W Main Street, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701, United States of America. Tel: +1 (800) 650 9061; E-mail:; Website:


New natural coating for stone fruits

In Italy, Decco Iberica Post-cosecha, in partnership with the Post-harvest Technology Centre of the Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research (IVIA), has developed a new natural coating for stone fruits within the DeccoNatur line. The ‘Naturcover’ coating reduces loss of weight and firmness during the fruit’s commercial life, resulting in products with maximum quality and freshness. Ms. Bernardita Perez Gago, a researcher at IVIA, explains that stone fruits, such as plums, nectarines or peaches, have a short post-harvest shelf-life and that temperature control is the most effective tool to extend it. The use of coatings such as “waxing” is a common practice to prevent deterioration problems during post-harvest storage of some fruit and vegetables, such as citrus, apples, pears, melons and mangoes. These coatings create a barrier to water vapour and oxygen, reducing transpiration and thus preventing weight loss by dehydration.

Formulated with Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substances (such as hydrocolloids and natural waxes), natural coatings have more relevance in fruits consumed with the skin, towards which consumers are more sensitive. Decco Iberica Post-cosecha has formulated a series of fruit coatings utilizing food additives authorized by the European Union, the United States and Asia. The Naturcover coating, developed in partnership with IVIA, reduces both weight and firmness loss by up to 40 per cent, depending on the fruit, variety and storage time.

Packaging to extend food’s shelf-life

Scientists in the United Kingdom have developed a new method of packaging food that will make it safer for consumers and increase the shelf-life of foods. Dr. Declan Diver and Dr. Hugh Potts of Glasgow University’s School of Physics and Astronomy have prototyped a system to rapidly, safely and temporarily turn some of the oxygen inside the sealed packaging into ozone, a very effective germicide. The product’s effectiveness as a germ killer also extends the foods’ shelf-life by at least one extra day. It is being brought to market by a university spin-out company called Anacail.

The efficacy of Anacail’s prototype has been proven at leading test labs in the country. Tests have indicated an increase in the shelf-life of products including bread and muffins, and a significant reduction of many pathogens in poultry including Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas. According to Dr. Ian Muirhead, Anacail’s Chief Executive Officer, “Our product is safe and easy to use, does not require any change in current packaging of food products to be effective and it does not require any chemical additives – the sterilization effect comes directly from oxygen via our plasma head.”

The system works when a plasma generated by a retractable device held briefly against the surface of plastic or glass packaging splits the bonds between oxygen molecules inside the packaging and reforms them as ozone. The ozone naturally converts back into its original dioxygen state after a couple of hours – more than adequate time for any mould, fungi or bacteria on the packaging’s contents to be destroyed without adversely affecting the taste of the product.

Natural food preservative

Seebio Biotech Inc., China, offers BionatFP LZM95 (Lysozyme), a natural food preservative. The use of lysozyme in the food processing industry is connected primarily with its application as a natural preservative that is widely used for the preservation of: meat, fish and their products; milk and dairy products; and fruit and vegetables. The pharmaceutical industry uses this enzyme in the manufacture of adjuvant drugs for antibiotics and analgesics in viral and bacterial infections, in the treatment of leukaemia and neoplastic diseases. Lysozyme is also used as a diagnostic agent, being an indicator of the occurrence and the progression of pathological changes in humans and animals.

Lysozyme is used in some “over-the-counter” drugs to increase the natural defences of the body against bacterial infections. Lysozyme is also added to infant formulas to make them more closely resemble human milk (cow’s milk has very low levels of a lysozyme enzyme). The most important food application of lysozyme is in the cheese industry. Lysozyme is used to prevent a problem known as “butyric late blowing” that occurs during the ripening of certain European-type cheeses. This problem is due to the contamination of milk by Clostridium tyrobutyricum a natural, spore-forming bacterium. Contact: Seebio Biotech Inc., 11-502, Lane 299, Bisheng Road, Zhangjiang High Tech Park, Shanghai 201204, China. Tel: +86 (21) 5027 2975/76/77/78/79/81; E-mail:,; Website:

New microwave food preservation

In the United States, a team of researchers led by Prof. Juming Tang from Washington State University (WSU) has developed a microwave system designed to help increase the shelf-life of food products. The Microwave Sterilization Process allows food products to stay fresh for a longer period of time without spoiling. WSU researchers have been working collectively for almost 15 years. Back in 2006, they commenced submitting patents to the United States patent office to help protect their concepts. They were granted the patents and thus continued to improve and tweak their original design. Following the patents submitted by the team, the following step was to get approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Microwave Sterilization Process is going to be used commercially and has received FDA approval.

Microwave Sterilization Process is considered a thermal food processing method since it heats food to a higher temperature. It is important to note, however, that it essentially cooks food from the inside using microwave waves. Traditional ovens cook food from the outside, which is effective but does not create as much heat inside the food. Microwaves, on the other hand, blast the food with a short stream of waves that cook them from the inside out. A unique benefit of using the new process on food is its ability to kill off potentially harmful bacteria and other micro-organisms. The intense heat generated by the waves naturally destroys these microscopic pests, greatly reducing the chance of food-borne illness. Other advantages include a better taste, more appealing look, easier to package, longer freshness and even more nutritional content retention.

Sourdough research yields sweet results

Researchers at the University of Alberta (UAlberta), Canada, have found a way to replace artificial preservatives in bread to make it tastier. After analysing strains of mould fermented in sourdough bread, Professor Michael Ganzle, Canada Research Chair in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, Ph.D. student Ms. Brenna Black and Dr. Jonathan Curtis, a professor of lipids research, were able to isolate natural compounds that can help keep bread fresh without altering its flavour. Ms. Black, who led the research as part of her thesis, found the results especially tasty, as the sourdough research broke new ground.

The UAlberta research is the first to link certain compounds – hydroxy fatty acids – to antifungal activity and to demonstrate that these compounds are formed in the production of fermented foods. “We were able to put known compounds in quite a new context,” Prof. Ganzle stated. The findings also have the potential to be used in replacing or supplementing fungicides used in treating crop seeds and protecting crops. Ms. Black, working under the supervision of Prof. Ganzle and Dr. Curtis, did all the baking and analysis, and found the results blissful. “The sourdough bread (without preservatives) is beautiful. It smells better. It looks nice, more golden.”


Low-fat chocolate made with fruit juice

Scientists at the University of Warwick, the United Kingdom, devised a way to halve the fat in confectionery while retaining the “chocolatey” feel. Their discovery could lead to “skinny” chocolate bars made with fruit juice instead of fat. The secret is juice in the form of micro-bubbles that preserve a texture that is firm to bite yet melts in the mouth. Lead researcher Dr. Stefan Bon said, “We have established the chemistry that is the starting point for healthier chocolate confectionery.” Using fruit juice or diet cola to make chocolate also reduced overall sugar content.

The technology works with all kinds of chocolate – dark, milk and white. The Warwick team has made chocolate infused with apple, orange and cranberry juices. “Fruit juice-infused candy tastes like an exciting hybrid between traditional chocolate and a chocolate-juice confectionery,” Dr. Bon added. “Since the juice is spread out in the chocolate, it does not overpower the taste of the chocolate...The opportunity to replace part of the fat matrix with water-based juice droplets allows for greater flexibility and tailoring of both the overall fat and sugar content.” Chocolate contains healthy antioxidant plant chemicals known as flavonoids, but also high levels of unhealthy fat and sugar. A 2 oz serving of top-quality dark chocolate contains 13 g of fat – one-fifth of the total daily amount recommended for someone consuming 2,000 calories a day.

Coca-Cola seeks to patent new sugar-free fibre drink

Coca-Cola Co., based in the United States, is seeking to patent what it says is a novel sugar-free beverage with fibre. In its patent application filed in the United States, Coca-Cola notes that fibre is an essential component to the human diet and that fibre supplements and/or food additives have been marketed to consumers for a variety of nutritional and health purposes.

The new drink can be frozen and can be used in any known beverage dispenser. The fibre content of the beverage concentrate is between about 0.1 per cent and 30 per cent weight/volume, with the highest preference being from 15 per cent to 25 per cent, the application notes. The new beverage can be either carbonated or non-carbonated. Non-carbonated varieties could include coffee, tea, cocoa, fruit juice, vegetable juice, fruit flavoured beverages containing and not containing pulp, sports beverages and flavoured water.

Whey-fruit-based energy drink mixes

Researchers at the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), India, have investigated the development of whey-fruit-based energy drink mixes using D-optimal mixture design. The study deals with two such energy drink mixes developed using freeze drying. D-optimal mixture design with two factors at five levels was used for the optimization of ingredients. The responses studied were overall acceptability and acidity of the formulations. The whey-to-grape juice and whey-to-pomegranate juice ratios selected based on response analysis was 49:51 and 40:60, respectively. The energy drinks were freeze-dried, packed in pouches of paper/aluminium foil/polythene, and stored at ambient temperature as well as 37°C. Periodic evaluation revealed that whey-grape and whey-pomegranate energy drink mixes had a shelf-life of 9 and 8 months, respectively. The addition of caffeine at 200 ppm level did not impart any adverse change in sensory quality. Contact: Mr. Varghese K. Shiby, Freeze drying and Animal Products Technology Section, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Siddharthanagar, Mysore, Karnataka, India. Fax: +91 (821) 2473468; E-mail:

Fruit juices in innovative packaging

Refreshment Republic Inc., the Philippines, has formally launched its original juice drink called “Chooga”. Chooga is made from the puree of Philippine fruits and from imported fruit juices. It comes in five delicious flavours: mango, sweet tamarind, orange, pineapple and pomelo, the company’s best seller. Chooga is available in 250 ml packs, sold at only 9 pesos (US$0.21). Compared with other juice brands, Chooga is said to offer higher juice content, and is healthier and more nutritious than other competing products in the market.

“Chooga is a creative spelling of the English phrase “chug-a,” which means “to enjoy and swallow without pausing,” said Mr. Willy Arcilla, company Chairman and President. It is the first beverage brand to use the Wise Pack, a patented invention designed by the company’s founder, Mr. Wilson D. Go, added Mr. Arcilla. With lower-priced packaging, consumers pay more for the juice – and not the bottle. The Wise Packs are 100 per cent recyclable – and the company has committed that all plastic packaging the company is able to recover after use shall be recycled and utilized to make school chairs.


Squeezed grass turned into food packaging

Scientists in the United Kingdom are turning grass found on garden lawns into food packaging for use by supermarkets. Researchers at Bangor and Aberystwyth have developed a technique where the sugar is squeezed out of ryegrass and the leftovers are moulded into shape. Packaging trays for soft fruits such as pears and plums, as as well as cosmetic products, can be created using the moulding technology. The project is funded with £600,000 by the Welsh government. The Sustainable Ryegrass Products (STARS) project will be jointly led by the BioComposites Centre at Bangor University and the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University. The supermarket chain Waitrose, a partner to the project, is expected to use the techniques to create more sustainable packaging for its products.

Mr. Robert Elias, Commercial Manager of BioComposites Centre at Bangor, said the grass containers developed were “of higher quality, more resistant to damage and easily composted after use”. Researchers said the project highlighted the need to support the rural economy and that apart from finding a new use for excess grass cuttings the plans could minimize land wastage. Prototypes are expected to be ready in three years and the product should be on the shelves a year later. The study will also examine other possible uses of ryegrass, such as fuel for transport.

Hemp and flax-based packaging for the food industry

The consortium for the European Traysrenew project has presented the results of research into the development of a thermo-transformed tray, together with lid, for packaging poultry meat. The tray is based on a biodegradable composite material reinforced with natural hemp and flax fibres. Aided by the 7th R&D Framework Programme of the European Union, Traysrenew is a project developed over the past two years and led by the Spain-based Termoformas del Levante company, within a consortium involving several other entities.

This initiative, aimed at research into and the development of, a solution for packaging of poultry meat products focused on the creation of an innovative system of food packaging capable of substituting materials for conventional food containers based on non-renewable resources by a thermo-transformed tray and lid, employing for the research a biodegradable composite material reinforced with natural hemp and flax fibres. The new materials enable enhancing the current properties of bioplastics through the development of a composite material that not only attains the properties of conventional materials but also, in some cases, improves them.

The new materials, for example, have good barrier properties, being able to meet the preservation requirements of meat products such as chicken under the same conditions as other materials made of non-renewable sources. The new materials and the containers made of them also meet food quality and safety standards stipulated for poultry meat products, a segment chosen as a sample for this research project given its potential growth.

Reliable packaging for chemical-free food

Plastic food packaging is made of multiple layers designed to act as a barrier to micro-organisms or oxygen. “Each of these layers is made by a different manufacturer. Still, at the end of the chain, the food manufacturer who sells the packaged product is solely responsible for food safety,” remarks Mr. Olivier Vitrac, a researcher at the Genial joint research unit of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA-Agroparistech), France. Scientists have been addressing the issue of such potentially harmful molecules diffusing from one layer to the next in food packaging, susceptible to ultimately contaminate the food it comes in contact with. This work was performed under the SafeFoodPackDesign project,coordinated by Mr. Vitrac and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR).

The SafeFoodPackDesign project goal is to build tools to help packaging manufacturers assess the diffusion risks of potentially harmful molecules, at every stage of the packaging’s life – from manufacturing to final use, including transport and storage. For example, piling up plastic cups designed to hold, say, Chinese soup, results in putting the inked external layer in contact with the inner layer of the cup immediately underneath. As a result, ink molecules move towards the inner layer, which will eventually be in contact with the food. “In this case, the most critical step regarding chemical risk is with no doubt storage,” Mr. Vitrac explains. The first task of the project team has been to build a database of materials utilized for packaging to document their molecular content. Now, the team is ascertaining the diffusion speed of these molecules, in order to build predictive models. By December 2014, the project team is expected to have developed an open source software, based on a method used in aeronautics called Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis, or FMECA, to identify all critical points on the packaging lifecycle where contamination could occur. A first version is already available. This new tool is expected to change the way plastic food packaging is designed and handled.

Biodegradable food packaging material

In the Philippines, a team of scientists at the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) has developed a biodegradable food packaging material that protects food and extends its shelf-life while being kind to the environment. According to DOST, the new packaging technology will not only help address the disposal of food packaging wastes but will also benefit the packaging and plastic industries in the country.

Dr. Blessie A. Basilia, Chief of ITDI Material Sciences Division, stated that the biodegradable food packaging material was made possible through nanotechnology, in which things are structured at the atomic and molecular levels. The biodegradable film is made from starch and clay, both locally available materials. Clay comes in layers tightly held together and it is processed first so that it can blend effectively with starch. Clay is treated with ions in a process called ion exchange, resulting in wider spaces between the layers of clay. This treated clay is called organoclay – or Nanoclay, its commercial name. Nanoclay is blended with thermoplastic starch made from corn starch to help increase the latter’s strength. The clay-plastic blend goes through the same process and equipment in making petroleum-based plastics. The resulting product passed the migration test required for packaging films, meaning that the materials in the product will not contaminate the food it is in contact with.

Cellulose-based materials in food packaging

By developing cellulose packaging material to be used in atmosphere packaging techniques, the European Adcellpack consortium is aiming to create an alternative to the use of oil-based packaging materials in food packaging, especially for cheese. The need for the development work arises from the increasing amounts of non-renewable oil-based packaging waste. A consoritum comprising small and medium enterprises and research centres will develop a new renewable solution that will maintain the freshness of a product and assure its food contact safety. To increase the amount of bio-based food packaging materials, the European Adcellpack consortium is developing a thermoplastic wood-fibre-based packaging material for trays used primarily in packages of sliced cheese. The new material will be designed to suit modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). MAP structures are usually based on non-renewable multilayer materials but these are difficult to recycle.

The use of bio-based materials is a promising alternative in the packaging industry for reducing the environmental impact and the use of non-renewable resources. Materials based on cellulose can be an outstanding alternative to substitute materials currently used in MAP. A fully sustainable solution will be developed that will maintain the freshness of the product and assure its food contact safety. The solution will provide actual or improved shelf-life through the use of cellulosic materials and biodegradable polymers, with simplified production. Adcellpack is a two-year project that began at the beginning of November 2012. The consortium comprises four small and medium enterprises, a large enterprise, and two research centres. Contact: Mr. Antonio Monsalve, Marketing Department, Itene - Packaging, Transport & Logistics Research Centre, Spain. Tel. +34 (96) 1820 000; E-mail:; Website: www.adcell


Onion peeling system

M&P Engineering, the United Kingdom, has begun production of an updated version of an onion peeling system using a technique developed in-house over 40 years ago. The mk3 onion peeler has been updated to take advantage of current manufacturing techniques and to comply with the latest electrical and safety requirements. M&P’s large onion peeler tops, tails and peels onions of 45-115 mm diameter. The compact unit can peel up to 110 onions per minute without water, producing a finished product indistinguishable from hand peeled ones.

The machine uses a compact, simple mechanism, ensuring reliability, easy installation and maintenance requiring no specialist knowledge. The dry peeling process allows for lower water usage. The machine can peel a wide range of sizes and shapes of onions without the need for change parts. The machine does not damage the product, meaning the onion will give maximum yield from further processes like slicing or dicing. At the heart of the onion peeling system is the skinning process that does not grab or skewer the onion to peel it; instead it uses an air vortex chamber. Contact: Ms. Pamela Nugent, Managing Director, M&P Engineering, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (161) 8728 378; E-mail:; Website:

New generation X-ray detection systems

The NextGuard X-ray detection system from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the United States, is designed to help food packagers and processors meet increasing global calls for more thorough product contamination inspections. The system can detect metallic as well as glass, rocks and other dense foreign objects. X-ray systems remain better suited for fresh packaging operations because in metal detectors, some commodities interfere with the results. Commodities including spinach have high iron content and experience difficulty passing through metal detection machines. Operator must desensitize the detection system to evaluate such commodities.

“The iron content in spinach makes no difference as the X-rays see right through it. Detection capability will be significantly better,” said Mr. Bob Ries, Product Manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s metal detection and X-ray inspection systems. The price of NextGuard system begins at US$40,000, which is less expensive than metal detection machinery. Typically installed at the end of the line as a final safety check, the system works better detecting product contamination in smaller bags.

Tray sealing machine

Ishida Co. Ltd., Japan, offers QX-1100 Flex tray sealers for hygienic and high-speed sealing of trays in most sizes and shapes. Split dual-lane models take 50 per cent less floor space than two single-lane machines and deliver up to 15 cycles/minute with modified atmosphere packaging. Each lane can operate independently with different trays and speeds. High-capacity single and twin-lane tray sealers also require minimal space. The 1100 Flex tray sealer is engineered to cut the time required for set-up, changeover and sanitation. Operators can easily change trays, film and sealing tools using automatic and quick-release features. Self-draining curved surfaces, absence of exposed cables and motors, and no-tools removal of belts and conveyors allow fast, comprehensive wash-downs and hygienic operation. For higher productivity, each sealing tool can be designed to suit an application. The film reel is double the normal size for longer production runs. Individual sealing heads automatically disable (with an operator alert) in the event of a knife or heater issue. Tray feed automatically adjusts to keep production running. Contact: Ishida Co. Limited, 44 Sanno-Cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8392, Japan. Tel: +81 (75) 7714 141.

Pressure processor pushes potential

In New Zealand, Massey University’s food pilot plant is using a new machine to test high-pressure processing of food products. Massey University lecturer Dr. Jon Palmer says the machine’s ability to pasteurize at low temperatures brings huge potential for the industry as treated fresh products do not need refrigeration. The machine uses high pressure and low temperatures and can reach up to 1,000-7,000 times atmospheric pressure for 2-15 minutes. “What this allows us to do is kill bacteria without the temperature so vitamin and mineral content remains quite high and the quality of the food product will remain high,” Dr. Palmer says. The machine with 2 L capacity is useful for testing high-end products such as salmon, pesto and juices.


Microbial Production of Food Ingredients, Enzymes and Nutraceuticals

With the new trend towards the use of natural ingredients in foods, there is renewed interest in microbial flavours and colours, food bioprocessing using enzymes and food biopreservation using bacteriocins. Part I of this publication reviews developments in the metabolic engineering of industrial micro-organisms and advances in fermentation technology in the production of fungi, yeasts, enzymes and nutraceuticals. Part II discusses the production and application in food processing of substances such as carotenoids, flavonoids and terponoids, enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics, bacteriocins, microbial polysaccharides, polyols and polyunsaturated fatty acids. This book is an invaluable guide for professionals in the fermentation industry, as well as researchers and practitioners in the areas of biotechnology, microbiology, chemical engineering and food processing.

Contact: Woodhead Publishing Limited, 80 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 499 140; Fax: +44 (1223) 832 819; E-mail:

Handbook of Food Powders: Processes and Properties

Many food ingredients are supplied in powdered form as reducing water content increases shelf-life and aids ease of storage, handling and transport. Powder technology is therefore of great importance to the food industry. This book explores a variety of processes that are involved in the production, further processing and the functional properties of food powders. Part I introduces processing and handling technologies for food powders and includes chapters on spray, freeze and drum drying, powder mixing in the production of food powders and safety issues around food powder production processes. Part II focuses on powder properties including surface composition, rehydration and techniques to analyse the particle size of food powders. Part III highlights speciality food powders including chapters on dairy powders, vegetable and fruit powders and coating foods with powders. The Handbook is a standard reference for professionals in the food powder production and handling industries, development and quality control professionals in the food industry using powders in foods, and researchers, scientists and academics interested in the field.

Contact: Woodhead Publishing Limited, 80 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 499 140; Fax: +44 (1223) 832 819; E-mail:


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