ADM and Marel to accelerate alternative protein capabilities with new innovation center in the Netherlands

ADM has signed a joint venture agreement with Marel to build an innovation center in the heart of the Netherlands food valley at the Wageningen Campus. Subject to regulatory approvals, the center is anticipated to open in the second half of 2024. With customer collaboration at the core, this innovation center is designed for food manufacturers to work alongside food scientists, extrusion experts and culinary professionals to prototype, manufacture and market new alternative protein products, as well as leverage pilot plant production with novel processing techniques. “This center is another example of our continued investment in expanding alternative protein innovation that will help meet the needs of a growing global population,” said Allyson Fish, president of global alternative proteins for ADM. “Over the last year, we’ve expanded our European-sourced non-GM soy in Serbia, announced significant expansion of alternative protein production in the U.S., and entered into a strategic partnership with Benson Hill to scale and commercialize an innovative ultra-high protein soy protein.” “Partnering with Marel is another important step as we advance protein innovation for the EMEA region and beyond. We’re committed to meeting customer needs and powering continued profitable growth as we live our purpose by supporting a secure and sustainable global food system,” continued Fish. Through the center, ADM and Marel will offer a range of opportunities, including trainings and workshops, to inspire next-generation solutions with exemplary sensory experiences, ultimately supporting the increasing consumer demand for a variety of protein offerings. “This taste and texture-focused innovation center will further strengthen our customer-centric approach in new, emerging market segments,” said Jesper Hjortshoj, vice president of business development at Marel and president of Wenger (a subsidiary of Marel). “Our long-standing relationship with ADM is the foundation of this partnership, and with our downstream processing capabilities, the center will use equipment from Marel and Wenger, enabling unique innovation and creation from raw ingredients, through the extrusion process, right up to finished products.” Until the opening of the new taste and texture innovation center in 2024, ADM will occupy a temporary laboratory in the Plus Ultra II building, within the grounds of the Wageningen Campus to support customer development projects.

Finalists announced for Dragons’ Den style event launching at IFE

Four finalists will be vying for their chance to scoop up to half-a-million pounds in business investment from global food leaders Surya Foods at this year’s IFE. The UK’s leading trade show launched ‘IFE’s Big Business Break, with Surya Foods’ earlier this year – aimed at brands looking for their big break. Judges have now whittled entries down to four finalists who will go head to head on March 20th. The live pitching event will see the four brands, looking for a boost to take their business to the next level, vying for the chance to scoop significant investment. It could even set the stage for a UK national retail listing. An expert judging panel – including Mintel’s David Jago, World Foods expert, Noor Ali and Surya Foods Managing Director, Harry Dulai – will be putting the entrepreneurs through their paces. This year’s finalists are: Ecuadorian brand Dicorne, who entered its new superfood lupini bean snack, Cho Cho!; Cypriot brand The Mighty Kitchen, for its plant-based Mighty Chick*n Strips; British brand Mama Dolce, who entered its coconut-based ice cream Coconilla and Patagonian (Argentinian) brand Franui for its innovative frozen treat – fresh raspberries dipped in two layers of chocolate. IFE is the UK’s leading trade event for food and drink professionals attracting over 25k visitors. Over 1,500 innovative, global and cutting-edge food and drink manufacturers are set to converge on ExCeL in London from 20th to 22nd March this year to showcase their products. Harry Dulai, the MD of Surya Foods who co-founded the initiative, said: “We have been really impressed with the calibre of entries. We are always looking for great new products to add to our portfolio and new brands to work with. This is what inspired our partnership with IFE. “IFE is perfectly placed to connect us with new talent, it is literally the place new brands cut their teeth and take their first steps into the world of FMCG, so it is really fantastic to have received such a fantastic response in our first year. “I am really looking forward to seeing each brand’s pitch and deciding who we would like to extend this fantastic opportunity for growth to. “We are ready to invest up to half-a-million pounds in the right product. This could take the form of equity stake, investment in working capital, profit share, marketing and PR support or loan agreements to help a fledgling business break into the highly competitive UK FMCG market.”  IFE Event Director Philippa Christer added: “It was incredibly tough whittling down all the fantastic entries to just four finalists, but what a final four! It’s so exciting to see the innovation and creativity amongst the suppliers at IFE, not to mention a compelling brand and brand story, and I can’t wait to hear their live pitches at our New Products Tasting Theatre.” Surya Foods is behind several of the UK’s leading brands and holds the No.1 market position for Laila Basmati (No. 1 dry rice brand), Mai Thai (No. 1 Jasmine rice brand) and Thai Dragon (No.1 sriracha sauce brand). IFE’s Big Business Break will take place within IFE’s New Products Tasting Theatre – which is brand new for 2023. It allows exhibitors to pitch their products direct to senior decision makers from across the food and drink sector. The immersive experience has been created to enable food and drink manufacturers and brand owners to meet face-to-face with buyers, who can easily sample new and recently launched products. The successful pitcher will also receive marketing support from IFE and receive a complimentary stand at the 2024 trade show. IFE’s Big Business Break:; T & Cs apply: The four finalists will pitch to the expert panel of judges between 12pm and 1pm on Monday 20th March, 2023. The judging panel includes: Surya Foods Managing Director, Harry Dulai Entrepreneur Harry Dulai is heading up the expert judging panel. Surya Foods is the biggest supplier of world foods into supermarket giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. The company’s leading, authentic Laila basmati is the UK’s No.1 dry rice brand. Harry will be looking to give a promising start up a Big Business Break – with some serious investment on the table for the right product. Mintel’s Principal Consultant David Jago Mintel’s David Jago, Principal Consultant, will be on hand to share insight on the very latest food and drink trends. An expert in innovation with Mintel, a global market research firm with offices around the world, David is well placed to spot a trending product and share market analysis and recommendations to help shape fledgling brands. Noor Ali, World Foods expert Entrants will have the opportunity to pitch live in front of world foods expert, Noor Ali, and gain valuable feedback and support to help their business. Noor, who has held senior buying management positions with both Asda and Morrisons, has a career in national retail spanning two decades and is ready to share her expertise with entrants to help them navigate the national retail landscape.

Administrators appointed to York Gin Company

Howard Smith and Rick Harrison from Interpath Advisory have been appointed joint administrators to York Gin Company Limited. Founded in 2016 in the city of York, the company is an independent craft distiller of ultra-premium gin. It retails its products via an online shop, as well as two stores which are operated by a sister company, York Gin Company (Pavement) Limited. This company has not entered administration and continues to trade. Following the appointment of the administrators, the company ceased to trade, with its ten employees transferring to York Gin Company (Pavement) Limited. Howard Smith, Managing Director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “While the popularity of gin had surged in recent years, many craft gin distilleries are now having to grapple with soaring input costs, and fragile customer demand in the wake of today’s cost-of-living crisis. “For York Gin, these issues were compounded by the impact of recent rail strikes on footfall at its store in York Train Station, as well as a break-in in 2022 which saw its entire stock stolen.”

Kite Packaging launches ventilated pallet wrap

Kite Packaging, the leading UK packaging supplier, has launched an innovative ventilated pallet wrap ideal for packaging products that require ventilation to maintain their quality in storage and transit. This includes fresh produce, dairy products, meat, fish, beverages, and refrigerated and frozen goods. It is also intended for pharmaceutical and chemical products, animal feed and horticulture. The film is BRC certified, making it ideal for food products. Small holes in the film’s surface stops condensation from forming and becoming trapped within stretch wrap layers. It does this by allowing air to escape via the holes, preventing any moisture from forming and spoiling packaged goods. Ventilated pallet wrap is 100% recyclable and uses less material due to its perforated surface, offering a cost saving when compared to other films. Manufactured from blown film, it offers great puncture resistance and strength, keeping goods stable and well-protected on a pallet during handling and transport. It comes pre-stretched to the optimum elastic point to ensure high quality adherence to products and pallets, further strengthening its protective qualities. Ventilated pallet wrap is compatible with all machine and hand dispensers. To learn more about the products and services available at Kite Packaging, please visit

6 tips for proper handling of food grade products

Food safety is a must in all food-related businesses. It’s a requirement, especially when one out of six Americans suffer from food poisoning annually. Every year, 200,000 people in the U.S. also need emergency medical attention due to food allergies. Many of these unfortunate instances can easily be prevented when food-grade products are handled safely from farm to fork.

However, some restaurants and food manufacturers still don’t follow basic food safety protocols for various reasons. As a result, contaminants and allergens may mix with products, affecting consumers.

Proper handling of food-grade products keeps you, your team, and your consumers safe from liabilities and health issues. Keep reading for some tips to get you started on maintaining good quality food.

  1. Use Food Grade Packaging

Elements can contaminate any food stored in improper or unsealed packaging. Others may also shorten the shelf-life of your products. Thus, companies that manufacture food-grade items, especially in bulk, should use the correct type of packaging.

Proper food-grade packaging ensures the protection and quality of the contents during transport or storage. Paper is the least ideal option, even for dry products. So, consider switching to flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC) for all your food-grade products. FIBC manufacturers offer customizable packaging in various sizes. Additionally, you can augment your existing packaging with FIBC totes or liners for extra safety.

  1. Practice Proper Hygiene

Staying clean at all times is essential, primarily when you work with food. Proper hygiene is one of the fundamental practices you and your team must follow to adhere to food safety standards. In the food industry, investing in cleaning products and facilities ensures the cleanliness of everything going in and out.

As a general guide, staff should wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Doing this before handling food products prevents the spread of harmful bacteria. Avoid working with food when you’re sick. Even with proper hygiene and attire, you could contaminate everything you touch.

Food products will constantly interact with food contact substances (FCS) during manufacturing. Anything that comes into contact with food, including the work area, utensils, and production tools, may affect food-grade quality. So, every FCS in your establishment must also be clean.

When cleaning work surfaces or tools, consider using disposable paper towels. Using a cloth towel is still acceptable. But you must launder them in hot water regularly to eliminate bacterial growth.

  1. Avoid Cross-Contamination

Any food business owner understands the importance of separating different food products. Cross-contamination could result in accidental food poisoning or allergic reactions. One of its possible causes is using various ingredients on the same food production line. Thoroughly cleaning your machinery after every use may suffice. But investing in separate food processing equipment for your regular and allergen-free food products is best.

Cross-contamination doesn’t only happen during food production. It can also frequently occur in storage. The rule is to store cooked food separately from raw food in refrigerators. The latter must be placed on the bottom racks to prevent liquids from dripping to the former. If possible, consider using separate storage units for ready-to-eat and raw food.

Food products directly derived from animals are most at risk of contamination and contaminating other edible items. The food you must pay close attention to include the following:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Uncooked processed meats

Even the tools you use to prepare these raw products must differ from those for cooked food. Refrain from putting anything cooked on any FCS that has touched raw food. You’re only allowed to do this after you’ve washed the plates or surfaces with hot, soapy water.

As an additional precaution, rinse all raw vegetables and fruits under clean running water before storing them. Unclean produce may cause food poisoning due to bacteria and pesticides. Salmonella and E. coli are the top food safety threats that could inflict diseases when consumed.

  1. Cook Food At Optimal Temperature

Proper handling of food-grade products continues during the cooking process. Cooking food at the correct internal temperature helps kill lingering bacteria from the meat and produce. The best way to know if you’re cooking at the right temperature is by using a food thermometer.

Keep this temperature guide in mind when you have to cook your raw food products:

  • Poultry: 165°F (74°C)
  • Eggs: 160°F (72°C)
  • Whole or parts of beef or pork: 145°F (63°C)
  • Ground meat: 160°F (72°C)
  • Seafood: 145°F (63°C)

Remember to recheck the food’s temperature after cooking. If you’re in the food service, you know you can’t serve meals to customers unless they’re in a specific temperature range. Changes in internal heat may allow microorganisms to linger or alter the overall taste of the food.

  1. Store At The Appropriate Temperature

Food products for storage or transport must be kept colder to ensure freshness. Fridge temperatures generally have to be under 40°F or 4°C. Meanwhile, freezers must be under 0°F or -17°C. Sensors are ideal for checking the temperature of your cold storage units without constantly opening the latter. They could also alert you when temperatures go beyond what’s recommended.

Remember not to overstuff your storage. Excessive items in the fridge increase the temperature inside, diminishing the quality of your food-grade products. Regularly inspect all storage units for anything close to expiration or cross-contaminated food and dispose of it immediately.

When defrosting, avoid leaving the food product on a table or countertop. It’s advisable to thaw frozen food in the refrigerator, in the microwave, or under running water. Cook the defrosted food as soon as possible.

  1. Perform Regular Supply Chain Checkups

The final tip is to keep an eye on your supply chain. Even if you religiously follow food safety protocols, issues may still arise. Disruptions like health crises and weather conditions may affect your food-grade products’ quality. These problems can hurt your finances or medically harm consumers.

As such, check and maintain your supply chain regularly. Utilize apps for streamlined data collection and communication with your team. Strengthening your supply chain helps keep food in excellent condition from production to customer.


In businesses that focus on food and beverages, safety is a priority. Food is something that everyone in the world needs. So, if you value your reputation and the health of your customers, handle all your food-grade products well. Good food makes people happy. They’ll keep returning to you for your excellent services.

Agmatix partners with NASA Harvest to support uptake of sustainable agricultural practices

Agmatix, a start-up AgTech business specializing in turning agronomic big data into powerful models and insights, has partnered with NASA Harvest – NASA’s global Food Security and Agriculture Consortium – to support crop production in a sustainable way at the field level and mitigate the impact of climate change. A combination of ground sampling and remote sensing data will be used to support farmers in their transition toward sustainable agriculture. The methodology developed within this partnership will track farmer efforts to improve conservation management and guide them to improve their sustainability levels. “According to the World Economic Forum, sustainable agriculture practices must triple in order to prevent climate change. Currently, adoption is hindered by a lack of consistent and acceptable measurements at scale. Our collaboration will promote resilient agriculture beginning with smallholder farms in India and commercial farms in Brazil, and lead to further expansion worldwide,” says Ron Baruchi, CEO of Agmatix. “NASA Harvest is excited to partner with Agmatix to advance the use of satellite-based information to help inform on-farm decisions which can ultimately result in increased resilience while reducing waste,” says Inbal Becker-Reshef, NASA Harvest Director. NASA Harvest will provide its expertise on agricultural remote sensing and leverage tools developed by the consortium, which will then be combined with field data from Agmatix and processed using a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm. These data-driven insights can help farmers make field-level decisions that impact sustainability most effectively, such as cover crop selection and fertilizer application. “Our collaboration will help food manufacturers meet consumer expectations for more sustainably sourced products,” says Ron Baruchi, CEO of Agmatix.

Kismet Kebabs launch new vegan kebab

Over the past decade, there has become an undeniable shift towards Vegan and Plant-based foods. Traditional food lifestyles are being challenged and consumers are now on the search for new and healthy meat free alternatives.

History meets innovation UK-based kebab supplier Kismet Kebabs Ltd and thousands of other food outlets have chosen to embrace the change in lifestyle. By combining their high quality and successful product development, now everyone can enjoy delicious kebabs no matter your lifestyle choice.
Not only are Kismet developing meat free alternatives, but through innovative programmes, they are making positive contributions towards sustainability and aiding towards building a more environmentally friendly world.
As the UK’s best Kebab Supplier, Kismet continually strives for excellence and focuses their efforts in ensuring that their products cater for all. In addition to their extensive range of kebabs, they are offering a wide variety of meat free options including their NEW Vegan Pre-Cooked Kebabs.
Kismet Kebabs are also proud to announce that their Kismet Vegan Pre-cooked & Sliced Kebab is now officially registered and certified with the Vegan Society.
Join the Kismet plant-based revolution
Kismet Kebabs NEW Vegan & Plant Based Range includes:
  • Kismet Vegan Pre-cooked & Sliced Kebab
  • Kismet Plant-Based Kebab
  • Kismet Plant-Based Anatolian Chick*n Gyros strips
  • Kismet Plant-Based Plain Chick*n Gyros strips
Optimise your Vegan or Plant-Based menu with Kismet by visiting: or alternatively contact your local distributor for further information.

Corrugated packaging manufacturer acquires specialist sustainable corrugated tray producer

Cepac Group has completed the acquisition of a majority shareholding in EW Cartons Ltd, the specialist microflute corrugated food tray manufacturer. Located in Altham, Lancashire, EW Cartons Ltd is now being rebranded under the name Flutepac, as it is brought under the umbrella of Cepac Group. Adam Clifton, the previous owner, remains a shareholder and is appointed as Flutepac’s general manager. Flutepac’s portfolio of microflute corrugated packaging is entirely food safe, with its products being fully BRCGS AA accredited. The packaging solutions are utilised extensively for fresh produce, bakery items, ready meals and ‘food-to-go’ containers. Thanks to a wide range of available coatings, Flutepac’s products can be barrier coated, grease proof, moisture resistant and leak proof. The company also offers a range of food trays that can be placed straight into the oven. “As innovators and manufacturers of food tray packaging, Flutepac is now positioned as one of the UK’s most dynamic suppliers of microflute corrugated packaging solutions as part of Cepac Group,” says Steve Moss, Managing Director, Cepac Group. “Thanks to in-house corrugator equipment combined with innovative coating technologies, as well as a range of print options, customers serviced by Flutepac will benefit from using the most sustainable, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable food packaging available in the UK market and beyond.” As part of the ongoing development of the business, Flutepac will be investing in additional equipment over the coming months. “With our emphasis on food tray packaging, we already utilise industry-leading equipment from the German manufacturer, Heiber + Schröder,” explains Adam Clifton. “As we look to expand our position in the market, we are now in discussions with H+S for the purchase of additional pieces of equipment for future investment. Being part of the Cepac Group certainly enables us to invest rapidly in new machinery and further broaden our portfolio of offerings to customers throughout the UK and Europe.” “We are delighted to welcome Adam and the team of EW Cartons to the Cepac Group,” concludes Steve Moss. “We have ambitious plans for the Flutepac business, which will include new machinery, new offerings and at all times, best-in-class service.” Cepac were advised on the acquisition by Ian Marwood at Sentio Partners and Pete Wood and Aidan Barry at Addleshaw Goddard. EW Cartons were advised by Debbie King of Farleys. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The Lapwing Estate commissions Bilfinger to develop pioneering plant converting CO2 emissions back into solid carbon while producing food

The Lapwing Estate, a British food and farming company, has commissioned Bilfinger to build a pilot plant for their “reverse coal approach.” Bilfinger will be responsible for the technical planning, procurement and installation of the plant. Completion of the high-temperature pyrolysis plant in the English county of Nottinghamshire is planned for Quarter 4 2023.

The pilot plant is part of the “reverse coal process” developed by The Lapwing Estate. The aim of this process is to convert CO2 emissions back into solid carbon while producing food with measurable positive environmental and social impact.

To do this, peatlands are first rewetted and planted with willow coppice, allowing the peat to slowly rebuild, abating CO2 emissions from the land, and capturing atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis. Biomass is then rotationally harvested, chipped, and fed in the form of woodchips into the high temperature pyrolysis plant, which breaks down the biomass through thermal decomposition. This produces renewable heat, electricity and biochar.

When the biochar is buried underground (“reverse coal”), the raised land remains productive, and the heat and electricity are supplied to controlled environment (indoor) agriculture (CEA) which replaces land transferred to willow growth. This tackles the common criticism of many renewable energy projects, which is that land is lost from food production. 

The “reverse coal concept” was successfully verified in a feasibility study. The testing of the concept, which is now planned, is being financially supported by BEIS, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy within the scope of Phase 2 of the Direct Capture of Air and Other Greenhouse Gases program. Scientific support is being provided by the University of Lincoln and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.  

Bilfinger will be responsible for providing comprehensive technical planning, procurement and installation solutions for the plant. This will include designing the plant layout and technical specifications, detailed engineering, procuring the necessary equipment and components, and carrying out the installation of the plant in accordance with project requirements.

“We are excited to be part of The Lapwing Estate’s innovative CO2 reduction project and delivering the carbon processing plant design, supply and installation,” said Sandy Bonner, executive president for Bilfinger UK. “We see this as a positive opportunity for the future of Bilfinger UK and the environment.” 

“Reverse coal is a radical and transformative whole systems approach that transitions from traditional organic farming on degraded lowland peat, towards climate resilient, controlled environment agriculture,” said James Brown, CEO of The Lapwing Estate. “This approach offers a broad array of interlinked societal, environmental and economic benefits. We are happy to be able to rely on Bilfinger’s years of expertise and experience in building technically pioneering facilities for this forward-looking project.”

PPMA BEST celebrates huge success with its virtual STEM days

During 2022 PPMA BEST co-ordinator Matt Fox delivered 24 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) days up and down the UK, with even more schools booked this year. The PPMA BEST STEM days are designed to engage secondary school pupils in years seven to nine, to help them experience STEM subjects before they choose their GCSE subjects. Within the sessions, pupils enjoyed various activities such as designing and building an eco-factory roller loader; as well as showcasing their new product ideas. The project reached over 4070 pupils nationwide, of which over half were female, demonstrating that there is no gender barrier to starting a career in technology and engineering.  Students also had the opportunity to listen to industry leaders talk about their careers promoting the various positions, and roles available in the manufacturing sector. Science teacher and STEM Coordinator, Abdul Hamza said: “The delivery was exceptional, well timed and engaging. The pupils appreciated the activities and were stimulated throughout. Matt was outstanding when it came to the delivery and the pupils appreciated him. Overall, the pupils loved the STEM Day and came out of it feeling inspired. We cannot wait for next year to do this again with another Year group.” PPMA Business Education Skills and Training (PPMA BEST) was established in 2014. Since then it has assisted apprentices access vital funds to help them progress in their engineering career, whether it be to help them to buy tools, or pay living costs as they completed their studies. To find out more about PPMA BEST and future STEM day opportunities visit