Innovation in food & drink manufacturing on show at IFE Manufacturing
The first edition of IFE Manufacturing will come to ExCeL London on 21-23 March as the UK’s dedicated showcase of end-to-end food & drink manufacturing and product development. The show will be a hub of innovation in the food & drink manufacturing and packaging sectors, welcoming major food & drink brands, packaging and manufacturing directors, technical directors and more to discover the latest products and trends in the space. Emma Verkaik, Membership & Marketing Director of show partner the British Contract Manufacturers & Packers Association, says: “At a time when the value of outsourcing has never been more important in the supply chain, IFE Manufacturing could not be more timely. “It provides all the elements required to help businesses grow successfully, as well as giving brand owners and retailers an opportunity to talk to the BCMPA about their outsourcing needs and to find potential manufacturing solutions.” Manufacturing and packaging innovation IFE Manufacturing will showcase a wide range of suppliers at the forefront of the food & drink production supply chain. The show’s Official Show Sponsor, Infor, will be discussing how its range of solutions for the food and beverage industry is helping organisations innovate and increase productivity, enhancing transparency across the supply chain and improving sustainability while laying the foundations for growth. “At IFE Manufacturing 2022, we’ll be discussing how our solutions deliver crucial farm-to-fork transparency and traceability, underpinning sustainable practices that reduce food, energy and water waste,” says Marcel Koks, Infor Food & Beverage Industry & Solution Strategy Director. “At the same time, our industry-specific functionality supports ongoing innovation in recipe and formulation development, facilitating product labelling compliance on a global scale. “With Infor solutions, food and beverage businesses can handle product recalls effectively and efficiently, while achieving the comprehensive business visibility and resilience needed to manage even the most challenging of supply chain disruptions.” Elsewhere at the show, compostable packaging will be high on the agenda as a viable solution to food & drink’s sustainable packaging challenges. Suppliers including BioPak and TIPA Compostable Packaging will be showcasing bespoke packaging solutions, while TIPA Regional Sales Director Gary Tee will be taking to the stage on the show’s Innovation Platform to discuss how the company developed flexible packaging that on one hand is fully compostable and at the same time mimics conventional plastic. Footprint will also be on hand to discuss its pioneering plant-based fibre packaging solutions with extended barrier properties to replace rigid plastics, meaning it’s capable of meeting the 12–18-month shelf-life requirement for frozen foods. Visitors to the show can also meet with JBT Automated Systems, a leading global supplier of Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems for material movement in manufacturing plants, warehouse facilities & hospitals, and Leybold – Pioneers in Vaccuum, provider of modern vacuum technologies for industry food production, processing and packaging. The latest trends in food production IFE Manufacturing’s Innovation Platform has a comprehensive seminar programme across the three days of the event, covering the most vital trends and opportunities in the world of food production and manufacturing. In ‘NPD Sessions sponsored by BCMPA: Working with 3rd party contract manufacturers to meet buyer demands’, BCMPA’s Emma Verkaik will be joined by Cyril Guillemart of The Alexir Partnership, Olly Reynalds, Managing Director of Sauce Shed, Food Product Development Consultant Nick Henson to discuss readying a product for further development and scalability, and what it takes to build effective, long-term partnerships with manufacturers. On 22 March, Danny Bayliss of Campden BRI will give a presentation entitled ‘Is technology the route to a more sustainable future?’, which will examine some of the ways in which technology can streamline and improve the manufacturing process in the food & drink sector. Later that day, an all-star panel will take to the stage to discuss ‘Vegan manufacturing in its purest form’. Parm Bains, Co-Founder of SHICKEN, Matthew Glover, Managing Director of Veg Capital, Esther Pearson, Managing Director of Clive’s Purely Plants, Scott McCulloch, Co-Founder of The Vegan Kind and Charlie Fisher, Global R&D Director at Wicked Kitchen will discuss implementing vegan standards across a manufacturing supply chain and the challenges of truly vegan manufacturing on a large-scale. IFE Manufacturing takes place alongside IFE, International Food & Drink Event, The London Produce Show and Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC), creating the UK’s largest gathering of food, drink and hospitality professionals. View the full seminar programme and list of suppliers, and register for your free pass to attend, at ifemanufacturing.co.uk.
Gin research is just the tonic for distillers
A University of Nottingham researcher is appealing for gin producers to get in touch to help support a research project into the breadth of flavour profiles within the UK gin market, that could help distillers with new flavour development and flavour quality. Dr Hebe Parr, a research scientist in the Flavour Research Group, is looking to establish flavour profiles of gins from the UK by separating, identifying, and quantifying the flavour compounds in the samples by Gas Chromatography. Understanding the flavour composition of a gin range can help with product development by identifying unique aspects of the range. This form of flavour analysis can also identify undesirable flavour compounds, enabling the targeted reduction of their perception. The Food Innovation Centre at the university has spearheaded the appeal to gin makers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. But now the appeal is being widened across the UK in the hope that gin producers from further afield will join the research project. Dr Parr, a beverage flavour development specialist, said: “We are looking for 5ml samples of as many gins as possible, but my target is around 1,000 different gins. The samples will not be consumed and will be used for instrumental analysis only. We can share a summary of this analysis with the producer of the gin.” The samples can be purchased if required and Dr Parr can either visit the distillery or producer or arrange delivery of sample bottles with a prepaid return label. She is looking for samples from distillers and gin producers of all sizes; no manufacturer is too small. “If it’s commercially available, I would like a small sample of it,” added Dr Parr, who completed her PhD in the flavour of roasted malts in beers at the University of Nottingham in 2020 and will spend the next year on the research project into gin flavours. From 2020 to 2022, the number of UK gin distillers increased by 15%, fuelling the surge in consumer demand for gin. With well over 6,000 brands worldwide, UK gin distillers are compelled to innovate to remain relevant in this dynamic industry. The Flavour Research Group is part of the International Flavour Research Centre at the University of Nottingham conducting world-leading research in food and flavour chemistry. The Food Innovation Centre, based at the Bioenergy and Brewing Science building at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, offers free support to eligible small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire under the Driving Research and Innovation project – a three-year project that runs until the end of December 2022. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the D2N2 LEP, the project is run by the Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, in conjunction with the Chemistry Innovation Laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and in association with the Midlands Engine. It is a unique collaboration project that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized businesses. Richard Worrall, who heads the Food Innovation Centre, said: “We have a number of amazing gin producers in the East Midlands, who we were delighted to put in touch with Dr Parr and we are looking forward to hearing how the research develops as producers and distillers across the UK come on board.” If you are willing to supply samples of your gins for research, please get in touch with Dr Parr on email@example.com.
Salad grower chooses Sandwich for vertical farm
GrowUp Farms, a UK-based grower of salads, is building a vertical farm at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent. Using 95 per cent less water than conventional growing methods, without the need for pesticides and directly powered by renewable energy, GrowUp says its farm will bring fresher, longer-lasting salads to supermarket shelves all year-round. GrowUp Farms and sustainable infrastructure company Generate Capital, have announced an investment exceeding £100m to transform British food production by accelerating delivery of GrowUp’s energy-efficient vertical farms, starting with the farm in Kent. Generate Capital is a Public Benefit Corporation that builds, owns, operates and finances sustainable infrastructure projects. The San Francisco-based company, which also has a team in London, has more than 2,000 projects operating around the world in sustainable energy, agriculture, transportation, water and waste. Salads from the GrowUp farm are expected to save up to three million lorry miles per year by avoiding imports, and will create new permanent, skilled jobs in Kent and elsewhere. The company will soon start to recruit a 40-strong workforce to operate its energy-efficient vertical farm. Kate Hofman, who co-founded GrowUp in 2013, said: “Discovery Park gives us access to on-site low carbon renewable energy which enables us to produce competitively as well as focus on our environmental impact. Being located in Kent means we have a local economy and workforce that specialises in food production and distribution.” Commenting on the arrival of GrowUp Farms, Mayer Schreiber, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Park, said: “This investment will bring game-changing technologies to Kent, making a sustainable difference to how we feed ourselves. “GrowUp has joined our growing community of companies – such as HyPoint with its hydrogen fuel cell technology – who are literally transforming their respective industries and supply chains to make our planet more sustainable.”
Sustaining the ‘pour’ and saving water
Bell’s Brewery knows beer. With the eight different beers they brew year-round and even more seasonal and specialty brews, you could say they have a passion for making high-quality, consistently satisfying beer. Walking through Bell’s state-of-the-art brewery in Comstock, Michigan, visitors are dwarfed by the lines of massive stainless steel tanks – some a story or two high. More observant eyes will notice the significantly smaller sensors and transmitters providing vital data enabling operators to control the multiple ongoing brewing processes. Of all the sensors inside Bell’s Brewery, however, only one is highlighted with a bright LED indication ring – the VEGAPOINT 21. This point level switch is special for a couple of reasons. It’s the first of its kind to be installed in the United States, and it’s located on a foam trap tank in the newest addition of the growing brewery. The foam trap – achieving the perfect pour With every batch, beer ingredients ferment, and as they ferment, carbon dioxide (CO2) forms. The right amount of CO2 is good for beer. It’s a sign of healthy fermentation, which turns sugars into alcohol and gives it the sudsy quality we all know and love. During this process, however, excess CO2 forms, and it needs a place to go. That’s where the foam trap comes in. The CO2 gas can’t be directly vented into the cellar space where people are working because it would create a dangerous work environment. The CO2 can’t be directly vented outside, either, because beer foam commonly travels with the gas. Instead, as pressure builds in the fermentation vessel, the excess CO2 and some foam travel into the foam trap. As the excess CO2 and the foam fill the foam trap vessel, the foam is suppressed by spraying water on top of it with a spray ball. At the same time, a valve at the bottom of the vessel opens and drains the excess water. Without any instrumentation on this vessel, the spray ball would constantly run water, whether excess foam was present or not, only to eventually flow down the drain. Operating the foam trap this way wastes water, and Bell’s saw this as an opportunity to reduce their water consumption. Operators worked with their sustainability department to find a solution. A new innovative, sustainable solution Brewery operators recognized they only needed to spray water when the foam rose too high, but they also needed to maintain a certain water level to prevent any CO2 from escaping through a side vent pipe and into the cellar space. To achieve overall control of the process, they needed two point level switches – one that could switch the spray ball on when it sensed the foam was too high and another that would switch the spray ball on if the water level dropped too low. At the same time, VEGA was preparing to launch a new set of compact, affordable point level switches specifically designed for the food and beverage industries. The VEGAPOINT series of capacitance switches hadn’t been launched yet, but VEGA Americas had a few early samples available. After learning about Bell’s Brewery’s latest challenge, VEGA recommended the upcoming VEGAPOINT 21 to ensure the water level remained at a safe level. The VEGAPOINT 21 is a capacitance point level switch for the detection of water-based liquids. Capacitance technology measures a medium’s ability to hold an electrical charge, which gives sensors using this technology the unique ability to differentiate between liquid and foam. Plus, the VEGAPOINT sensors come equipped with a three-wire transistor output – perfect for controlling the spray ball. Bell’s installed the new VEGAPOINT 21 at the side of the foam trap vessel, and since every VEGAPOINT sensor is equipped with secure Bluetooth connectivity, installers quickly configured and set up the sensor using their smartphone. With accessibility right at the sensor, setup was easy – no need to make multiple trips between the sensor and the controls system during commissioning. And finally, the VEGAPOINT 21 comes equipped with a bright LED ring, which can be seen from any direction and in any light. Operators can choose from 256 different colours to coincide with their process status: process is running, sensor is switched, or process error. With a quick look, operators can see the colour of the light and know what’s happening with their process. This final feature was especially helpful to Bell’s Brewery, adding another layer of safety to the foam trap. When the LED is on, operators know the tank’s water level is at a safe level, and thus preventing any CO2 from escaping into the cellar space. Conserving water wherever possible With the sprayer recently automated using the VEGAPOINT 21, Bell’s was using less water, and operators were confident the water inside the foam trap remained at a safe level. The VEGAPOINT 21 was able to differentiate between the foam and the water in the tank, only switching the spray ball on when it was necessary. By installing sensors and automated valves and programming all their foam traps to run this way – instead of 24/7 – Bell’s Brewery has saved 15 million gallons of water. The foam trap is a small, but important, process. And for Bell’s Brewery, no process is too small to improve upon. Every day, they focus on brewing the best beer possible using systems and processes that provide economic, environmental, and social benefits. By working with VEGA, a company dedicated to helping industries operate more efficiently through innovative solutions, Bell’s Brewery created an opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint even further. VEGA Controls Ltd E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.vega.com/uk Tel +44 1444 870055 Fax +44 1444 870080
NewCold focuses on a sustainable distribution vision by commissioning 100% electric refrigerated trailers from THT New Cool
As part of NewCold’s Sustainability strategy the company is taking active steps to mitigate the effects of its operations on the environment. Accordingly, NewCold has commissioned several 100% electric, THT New Cool refrigerated trailers, which do not require a diesel engine to drive the refrigeration and as such, produce no CO2 emissions or particulates, while operating in complete silence. NewCold is working closely with its customers to improve their sustainable footprint and the New Cool trailer trials are a “very visible step” towards that outcome. One of the main components of New Cool’s 100% electric refrigerated trailer is an energy- producing axle. When the trailer slows down, energy is generated by the axle which is stored in an aluminium-encased battery pack. The energy is then transferred to the electric-powered refrigeration system to cool the load inside the trailer. According to NewCold, the positive environmental impact from using one electrically-powered trailer against its diesel-powered equivalent, has the same pollution-reduction effect as electrifying 141 passenger cars. Also, 30 litres less diesel is consumed per day when using a THT New Cool reefer (as opposed to using a conventional refrigerated trailer) which is equivalent to approximately 100 kg of CO2. This does not include fuel for the truck, but only concerns the daily fuel to run the trailer’s TRU (transport refrigeration unit). Plus, for each trailer operated on behalf of a NewCold customer around 400 loads, including approx. 13,400 pallets, are distributed each year. This amounts to a reduction in carbon output of around 20,000 kilos per annum.
6X: VEGA’s simple radar formula for better processes
VEGA has ushered in a new era in level sensing with the radar sensor VEGAPULS 6X. With VEGAPULS 6X, VEGA radar “thinks” in a new way. The result: A new level radar sensor that can measure in virtually every conceivable application. The time when users had to choose their level instrument from a multitude of different types are now history. Traditionally, the search for a suitable level sensor begins by thinking about things like: what solution would be best for my application, how can I ensure I choose the correct and most reliable device for a successful outcome for my project? Of course radar offers great answers for these questions. The customer already knows their own process, the details of product properties and processing to be controlled, the temperature ranges involved, the standard needed to be met and installation fittings that are available. But, until now, choosing a radar-based level instrument was a laborious task, matching these process details to myriad radar frequencies, part numbers and options on offer. Now the process is being completely transformed by VEGA with its new VEGAPULS 6X. One device for all and a new selection and ordering method that is customer-application focused. It enables complete, correct configuration and even pre-calibration of the specific sensor required – for any application, whether for liquids or bulk solids. “Ultimately, it’s not the sensor that counts, but what the users can achieve with it in their individual processes,” says Florian Burgert, who, as a product manager, has been closely involved in product development from the very beginning. “Just knowing that they’ve chosen the best possible measurement solution and that they’ll reach their goal faster with it, makes a big difference in their everyday operations.” With over 1 million instruments in use worldwide, the success story of today’s world market leader in radar level measurement began 30 years ago. In the meantime, VEGA’s sensors have optimized millions of industrial processes. The story includes milestones such as the world’s first two-wire radar instrument and the first 80-GHz radar sensor for liquids on the market, which revolutionised radar level sensor performance for customers. Behind this success are the many people who share a common passion: “At VEGA we don’t do a hundred different things, we concentrate on what we do best: Radar,” says product manager Jürgen Skowaisa, speaking for all of them. All-round protection The new VEGAPULS 6X offers the best that is technically feasible today: a self-diagnosis system that immediately detects damage or interference, that ensures significantly high availability and safety, it also has new radar-chip technology, with expanded application possibilities and simpler operation. The radar features SIL certification, and the matter of cybersecurity has also been fully taken into account: compliance with security standard IEC 62443-4-2, which specifies the strictest requirements for secure communication and access control. The value lies in making it easier for users to select their device and monitor their industrial processes. The ultimate purpose of VEGAPULS 6X is just that – through maximum simplification. It is one sensor that can handle virtually any application. In the future, the customer will no longer have to worry about the technology, frequency or instrument version. Even setup and commissioning has been reduced to a minimum, requiring now just a few clicks and basic application parameters. In many cases, all application-specific settings can be made in VEGAPULS 6X before it leaves the factory, so it’s just left for the user to install, connect, done: it doesn’t get any simpler. More information available at www.vega.com/radar
Ebro Foods to purchase InHarvest through US subsidiary
The Ebro Group, through its US subsidiary Riviana Foods, has reached a binding agreement to purchase the assets comprising the business of InHarvest. InHarvest is a company with a strong presence in the industrial (B2B), Food Service and Private Label businesses for premium specialities in rice, quinoa and grains in the United States. This acquisition includes the two plants operated by InHarvest in Colusa and Woodland (California), strategically situated in the rice-growing areas of western United States, where the Ebro Group does not yet have any factories. The business employs approx. 140 workers and posted a turnover of USD 50.3 million in 2020. The agreed transaction price is USD 48.75 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in early April 2022.
4 hygiene tips for your food business
According to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), there are four main hazards you need to know while operating a food business. These are chemical, physical, and microbiological hazards and allergens. For the most part, you can easily avoid these hazards by practising good hygiene standards. The hygiene issue is not a new challenge in the food and beverage industry, and it’s recommended you read more on how it can affect your business. It’s important to note that practising proper hygiene in your food business is key to safe products. Cross-contamination is also likely to occur in an unhygienic workplace. This can cause illnesses and put your business at risk. Food Poisoning When operating a food-related business, one of the primary efforts you should focus on is the prevention of food poisoning cases. An individual can account for any food consumption for a two or three-day period. Therefore, it can be easy to establish when they may have had contaminated food. Thus, maintaining any food item’s processing, preparation, storage, packaging, cooking, and service records can be an excellent practice. In case of a food poisoning incident, such records can help you quickly identify the causal point. Using these records can also help establish if you need to change any practices while handling food products. However, you can prevent such lengthy and costly incidences. Let the following hygiene tips be your guide to maintaining a good reputation in your food business:
- Provide Staff Training On Best Hygiene Practices
- Ensure Proper Handling And Storage Of Food
- Clean and Disinfect Surfaces
- Wash Your Hands Regularly
- After every visit to the toilet
- Whenever entering the food preparation area
- After handling raw food
- Before starting preparation of any food
- After a sneeze or a cough
- When moving from one food item to another
Kraft Heinz and TheNotCompany create partnership to accelerate AI-driven plant-based innovation
The Kraft Heinz Company and food tech start-up TheNotCompany (NotCo) have established a joint venture designed to reimagine global food production and advance toward a more sustainable future. The joint venture, which will operate under the control of Kraft Heinz as The Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC, will leverage the strengths of both companies. NotCo brings its patented, first-of-its-kind technology and proven artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, while Kraft Heinz offers its iconic brand portfolio and scale, to develop superior plant-based versions of co-branded products at a level of speed, taste, quality, and scale yet to be seen in the industry. Kraft Heinz and NotCo believe that working together they can accelerate adoption of plant-based foods. While interest for plant-based foods is surging, barriers in taste, variety, and availability remain. Utilizing technology and an agile approach to innovation, NotCo has made significant progress in addressing these consumer needs, developing plant-based replacements for animal products with simpler ingredients that don’t sacrifice taste, functionality, or consumption experience. “The joint venture with TheNotCompany is a critical step in the transformation of our product portfolio and a tremendous addition to our brand design-to-value capabilities,” said Miguel Patricio, CEO of Kraft Heinz. “It helps deliver on our vision to offer more clean, green, and delicious products for consumers. We believe the technology that NotCo brings is revolutionizing the creation of delicious plant-based foods with simpler ingredients.” “When we started NotCo, it was our goal to make our technology a catalyzer for a more sustainable food system not only for us, but for other brands and manufacturers who share the same ambition,” said Matias Muchnick, co-founder and CEO of NotCo. “Today is an exciting milestone for the plant-based industry and shows the power of technology’s role in driving mainstream adoption. We’re thrilled to partner with Kraft Heinz and their iconic brands and work hand-in-hand on building a more sustainable food system.” The Kraft Heinz Not Company will be headquartered in Chicago with research and development facilities in San Francisco and will focus on plant-based innovation across numerous Kraft Heinz product categories. Lucho Lopez-May, who is currently CEO, North America of NotCo, will become CEO of The Kraft Heinz Not Company. Mr. Lopez-May was previously CEO of Garland Food, and prior to that, president of strategic growth channels at Danone North America.
Elephant Gin unveils 15% lighter bottle, reducing carbon footprint by 60 tons per year
2022 sees Elephant Gin advance towards a net zero carbon emissions target with the unveiling of a new eco bottle. As the popularity of the brand grows, having recently won World’s Best Gin at the Spirits Business Gin Masters Award 2021, Elephant Gin’s carbon footprint is in sharper focus than ever. Already recognised for their work with African elephant conservation, the team has carefully selected a glass manufacturer to produce its bottles as sustainably as possible, completely dispensing with plastic, reducing the bottle weight by 15% and using 65% waste glass. Reducing the weight of the bottle has reduced Elephant Gin’s CO2 footprint by 60 tons per year. The move saves CO2 emissions with the lower use of raw materials and with reduction in weight when transporting to retailers and consumers. The bottle’s iconic design hasn’t been compromised for its eco-friendly makeover however, the bottles are still hand-filled at Elephant Gin’s distillery, and you’ll still find the bottle embossed with a coat of arms and adorned with handwritten labels and distinctive maps of Africa. Elephant Gin Founders, Tessa and Robin Gerlach, were inspired to create their range of premium gins following their adventures in Africa. They strongly believe that this generation has a responsibility to protect the future of African wildlife and are diligent in their approach to fundraising and working with conservationists to ensure meaningful change. To date, Elephant Gin have raised over 1million Euros for African elephant conservation, and the team is diligent in its approach to sustainability. Tessa says, “Climate neutrality can only be achieved by taking a common path, from the glass manufacturer to the beverage producer and right through to the consumer. Being sustainable is a shared responsibility. This is the key to reducing emissions and thus preventing global warming.” Robin adds, “We can therefore reach out to our customers and make Elephant Gin more consumption-friendly for them. A great start to the new year and another milestone towards B-Corp certification.” The new bottle will be used across the Elephant Gin range from March 2022. The Stats
- Reduced weight 500ml Elephant Gin bottle
- Reduced bottle weight is 500g, down from 580g
- Proportion of used glass
- Up from 15-25% to 60-70%
- The CO2 savings due to reduced weight and a higher proportion of used glass are around 57tons per year (calculations based on Elephant Gin’s annual bottling)
- The CO2 savings during transport from the glassworks to the Elephant Gin distillery is around 1.1tons