American food manufacturer Jeanette Harris would never have put two teaspoons of cardamom in a recipe for a dozen biscuits.
The spice is strong, polarising and typically associated with India and Asian cooking, not gluten-free chocolate chip biscuits.
“Humans have internal biases about these sorts of things, especially cooks and bakers — we have these ideas that these are the tried and true ways,” Harris says.
Two teaspoons of cardamom is not one of those tried and true ways. But when an artificial intelligence designed to optimise parts for airplanes and spaceships told her two teaspoons of cardamom was the right amount, she listened.
“And it tasted delicious.” Harris, who founded the Gluten Free Goat Bakery, worked with Google’s AI research team at the company’s Pittsburgh office and its chef to develop a biscuit recipe using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
“It was arguably one of the tastier applications for Google’s Hypertune project”, engineer Daniel Golovin says.
The thought to apply Google’s AI technology to baking biscuits started one day as employees sat around talking at lunch.
Greg Kochanski, a member of the team working on AI, worried that the technology would develop with only applications for large corporations, and leave behind small businesses. He proposed finding a real-world, small use for it…and the Google biscuit experiment was born.
The team first worked with John Karbowski, a chef at Google who teaches cooking to employees. Karbowski and the team began baking chocolate chip biscuits using recipes devised by the AI.
The artificial intelligence works by using a relatively small data set to create the optimal conditions based on any number of parameters. For the chocolate chip biscuits, the AI could determine the amount of specified ingredients, the temperature and time in the oven or other factors in the baking process. The AI takes data from test batches of biscuits and uses it to design the best batch.
“You’re not going to do this billions of times,” Golovin says of baking batches of cookies. “The trick is to do this as few times as possible.”
Some biscuits concocted by the AI were terrible — not enough butter, too much chocolate. Some had orange extract and cayenne pepper. Some were good.
Google employees taste-tested the biscuits, and their feedback was fed into the AI to help it make better decisions about the next batch. After many batches of biscuits — Google’s kitchen has five ovens — the team landed on the optimal, basic, chocolate chip cookie recipe. But they weren’t done there.
To challenge the AI, the team went to Harris, whose bakery specialises in gluten-free, vegan and soy-free treats. Harris gave the team an unfinished, chocolate chip biscuit recipe that she was developing.
The AI took control over four or five ingredients, including cardamom and Szechuan pepper, the latter of which it decided does not belong in chocolate chip biscuits and was zeroed out of the recipe. The rest of the recipe was left to Harris’ expertise.
It took the AI about 60 batches of cookies to nail the recipe…not bad for a computer starting from scratch, Harris says.
Both she and Karbowski say it was a bit unnerving to give the AI control over some of the baking process and decision making. “You have to kind of surrender to how you as a baker or chef instinctually react when we look at ingredients and just trust in the recipe that the machine puts out,” Karbowski says.
Neither Harris nor Karbowski actively uses Google’s AI in the kitchen, and they both say that the technology may not be the most beneficial to their small-scale operations, where test batches and tastings are possible.
Both could see artificial intelligence and machine learning benefiting larger baking and cooking operations. And neither is worried that artificial intelligence is coming for their jobs.
Instead, the technology will help them do their jobs better, they say. “AI brought into a kitchen — it’s a little scary at first,” Karbowski says. “But it really expands your mind.” Or at least, it can help you find the perfect amount of cardamom for your cookies.
This story first appeared in the Tribune-Review in the US.
Auckland-based petfood company Feed my Fur Baby is making waves across the Tasman for its award-nominated use of sustainable and innovative packaging design.
The company, which only launched in January and offers a subscription service for petfood using a unique algorithm to provide regular tailored meals to hungry pets, has been awarded high commendation in the Australasian Packaging Innovation and Design Awards.
In addition to some unique design features such as a removable window and a custom ‘portion-control scoop’, the packaging has been nominated for innovative use of cardboard in an industry dominated by thick plastic packaging, co-founder Ben Rennell says. “The global pet food industry has a significant environmental impact and large, plastic packaging is a major factor in this. We believe this has to change.”
The company avoids the use of secondary packaging in the supply chain, which means the same box is used to pack, transport, bulk store and ship to the end customer in the same packaging with no additional tapes or wraps.
“The team are now working on ways to improve the design and sustainability of the packaging, including multi-use use of the box to further reduce material usage and increase environmental efficiencies,” Rennell says. “We are also working towards product traceability to provide ethical transparency within the supply chain. Watch this space.”
More than 25,000kg of plastic waste is littered in New Zealand each day, and the pet food industry is worth $400 million in New Zealand.
Huge worldwide demand for premium natural pet food has prompted Mt Maunganui-based pet food company Ziwi to expand into the South Island this month, with the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Christchurch.
A global leader in air-dried technology and the largest New Zealand exporter of premium pet food, Ziwi is a rapidly growing $40m export-focused business and its first South Island operation will be based at Burnham.
Managing director Richard Lawrence says the new facility will double the company’s capacity within the next year, and employ more than 30 new people.
Ziwi’s slow and gently air-dried, quality New Zealand free-range meat and seafood has struck a chord with pet owners around the world wanting nurtrient-dense and digestible food for their pets, he says.
“With increasing pet ownership and a growing awareness of pet nutrition, consumers are demanding quality, nutritious meals for their pets and this has resulted in massive growth for Ziwi and the New Zealand petfood industry as a whole,” Lawrence says. “This investment in Christchurch comes on the back of three years of double-digit growth and signals another exciting chapter for the business.”
Along with the South Island expansion, Ziwi has partnered with ANZCO Foods to form a new joint venture operation producing pet treats and oral health products.
The New Zealand Natural Chews and Treats Company will also operate out of the Burnham site, producing a range of natural, premium products for export markets.
“This is ANZCO’s first foray into the pet food segment and it will be providing Ziwi with access to large quantities of premium quality, grass-fed products. The development of these treats and chews will enable the establishment of new international markets,” Lawrence says. “There is huge potential for growth and we can do it all with New Zealand-based, family-owned manufacturing operations and the very best of New Zealand suppliers.”
Ziwi exports to more than 20 countries, with its main markets in the USA, Australia and a rapidly growing China.
New Zealand pet food exports are valued at more than $120m, and have been growing at more than 10% compound annual growth rate for the past five years.
Ziwi is well-positioned to be a global leader in the industry, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chief executive Peter Chrisp says. “Pet owners all over the planet are increasingly focusing on their pet’s health and nutrition, and New Zealand’s sustainable and authentic supply chains can deliver these benefits,” he says. “So this expansion by Ziwi is not only good for New Zealand, but is good for the world.”
Some of Ziwi’s biggest independent pet food retailers from North America as well as China’s largest pet e-commerce site operator have already visited the new facilities.
ZIWI’S PRODUCTS FOR DOGS AND CATS:
- Are made of 100% meat, seafood and green mussels sourced from New Zealand
- Are air-dried, with each piece boasting 98% fresh meat, organs, bone and seafood
- Provides a minimum of 263 calories per scoop
- Have no grains, corn, soy, wheat or rice, no rendered meat, no GMOs, antibiotics or growth promotants.
Food manufacturers searching for industry-leading dosing/weighing, packaging, product inspection, palletising and robotics automation systems need look no further than the Diverseco group of companies.
Through Diverseco, you can source complete packaging line expertise and equipment from several of the world’s leading manufacturers within the one company.
From manually operated, single head bagging machines to fully automated, packaging and inspection lines that can package hundreds of items per minute, we possess the expertise, industry understandings and high quality equipment to meet and exceed your requirements.
Henkel operates globally and nationwide with leading innovations, brands and technologies. With ever-tightening food safety regulations, food safety has become one of our major focuses, and we offer a full portfolio of adhesive solutions for food-safe packaging. From product expertise to customer training, we can provide tailored solutions for your requirements, by working and collaborating with the entire supply chain – from raw material supply to end product use and application. Henkel has a core range of Low Migration Adhesives for indirect and direct food contact applications; from paper cardboard packaging to end-of-line carton packaging to flexible packaging. We can also provide equipment solutions to ensure efficient adhesive dosage when using Hotmelt Dispensing Systems. Furthermore, Henkel is ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 certified. Get in touch with us to see how we can help provide you with your adhesive food safety solution today.
2 Allens Road
Importers of Cooling Towers, Water Chillers, cooling and control equipment, Plastics processing machinery including loading, blending, drying, mixing, conveyors, and robots. INJECTION and BLOW MOULDING, and EXTRUSUION, MACHINERY.
Technical support and a back up of spare parts made possible by volume and commitment to looking after our customers long term. With continued supply of strong brands for more than 20 years with a good reputation. Large stock holdings and spare parts held in our Penrose warehouse.
We are here to help.
112A MAYS ROAD
PO BOX 12899
Wine and Beverage Systems Ltd
Importers & Suppliers of Wine Processing Equipment.
World Leading Exclusive European Agencies with Unique Patents including
Wine Pressing & Grape Handling (DIEMME ENOLOGIA), Filtration, Clarification, Wine, Brewing & Juice Processing (TMCI PADOVAN). Bottling / Filling, Wine, Beer, Oil, Spirits & liqueurs, Juices, Hot Filling (ALFATEK). Self Adhesive Labelling (CAVAGNINO & GATTI ). Labelling & Capsuling (ENOS EURO) . Capping Heads ( TECNOMAX). Washing/Drying (CAMES). Capping (ENOLMECCANICA). Filling, Honey & Spreads (TECONALIMENTARE). Filling & capping (Officine Pesce).
Processing & Handling equipment, pumps & Heat Exchangers (ENOVENETA). Depalletizing, Palletizing & Packaging (OMA).
100 Years (combined) Experience & Knowledge, 100 % Kiwi Owned.
After Sales Service & Support.
Extensive Spare Parts Department
No oxygen pickup/heating of product, Gentle Efficient Processing resulting in Superior Quality of your end product.
1/124 Tahunanui Drive
Altex Coatings Ltd is an authorised distributor of Flowcrete Australia in New Zealand.
Flowcrete has a strong reputation as a market-leading supplier of epoxy, polyurethane and MMA resin floor and wall coating solutions. Flowcrete Australia’s variety of food-safe polyurethane resin flooring products have been used as surface materials in the food and beverage industry for more than 30 years. The Flowfresh polyurethane technology provides superior chemical, slip, abrasion, thermal and heat resistance making it the perfect solution to the demanding environments in food and beverage facilities.
91-111 Oropi Road
PO Box 142
UV Solutionz are NZ and Australia’s specialists in the application of high output germicidal UVC technology as a non-thermal, non-chemical solution to microbial control in air systems, Foodtech/Packtech surfaces and water systems. We also offer systems for odour and grease reduction in industrial and commercial air extraction systems.
We offer consultancy, design and installation works in providing retrofit solutions of UVC technology to existing plant and machinery. UV Solutionz also offers an independent validation service to companies already utilizing UVC technology throughout NZ and Australia.
532 Kapiro Rd, RD1
For over 35 years Starline has produced reliable, easy-to-use, high performance dishwashers specifically designed for local conditions with the environment in mind. Offering a diverse range of machines manufactured right here in New Zealand, Starline dishwashers can be found in most small cafes through to productions kitchens around the country.
414 Rosebank Road
Dexion is a leading global storage solutions provider, delivering a range of industrial and commercial storage solutions for businesses large and small across every industry segment with a nationwide network providing superior racking, management systems and integrated solutions for warehouse and distribution.
We are Warehousing and Commercial Storage Solution experts specialising in:-
– Design and Installation of Pallet Racking,
– Food grade chiller Shelving Solutions
– Retail Shelving Systems
– Longspan Shelving Systems,
– Fully and Semi Automated Warehouse Systems,
– Warehouse Software Systems
423 East Tamaki Road
P O Box 58988
NZ’s number one biennial foodservice, food retail and hospitality trade event. Discover the latest equipment, learn industry trends, make vital new contacts, and network with your peers. Fine Food NZ will gather more than 300 exhibitors, 8,000 visitors across three days at the ASB Showgrounds, 24 – 26 June 2018.
ASB Showgrounds, 217 Green Lane West
Inhibit Coatings are specialists in scientifically proven antimicrobial coatings. Producing high quality antimicrobial acrylic, epoxy and urethane resin coatings for floor, wall and HVAC applications, Inhibit’s coatings are ideal for use in food and beverage facilities, where hygienic environments are a high priority.
C Block, 69 Gracefield Road
Lower Hutt 5010
Autoline Automation is New Zealand’s leading supplier of conveyor, robotic and automated handling solutions to a wide range of industries. Our experienced and dedicated team are strategically positioned to be able to service all of New Zealand. We are constantly scoping clients’ and providing leading solutions. From concept, through to commissioning, Autoline is able to provide you with a complete solution. We specialise in a full range of conveyors for the food and manufacturing industries. Our robotic solutions are cutting edge and with our recent acquisition of Carbines Engineering we are New Zealand’s largest supplier of welding robots. The T-slot profile systems are the most competitive available and feature a vibration proof connection system. Get in touch with the Autoline team today!
90 Nelson Street
PO Box 45-017
Full turnkey or bespoke electrical and automation systems integrators. Our team of 20+ engineers have broad experience with all major automation brands and across many industries. We enjoy working with our customer to deliver world class systems.
Services include: Machine/Process Safety Risk Assessments, Design & Delivery. Process Automation & Control. Materials Handling & Batching Controls. Functional Design. Electrical Engineering & Design. Project Management and Delivery. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). Overall Equipment Effectiveness Systems (OEE). RFID, Barcodes, Track & Trace systems. Production & Compliance Reporting. Electrical Panels and Install. Process Commissioning. PLC, HMI, SCADA, Industrial Networks. Production & Materials Handling Robotics. Industrial Cyber Security.
89 Carbine Rd
PO Box 112356
Prime Pump is a Kiwi company that, exclusively, brings the world’s best pump technology home.
Established over 10 years ago, we are an inter-generational company committed to the future of our clients’ companies, and their clients too.
Our pumps are used in a range of situations where lives, livelihoods, and the environment can be at stake. Because of that we feel a real responsibility to providing technology that delivers quality, efficiency, and reliability every day.
We are innovators and continue to look for ways to improve our service and add value to the products we sell and hire.
10 Chesterfield Street
PO Box 412
Specialists in Food & Beverage manufacturers audit cleaning, we ensure your production areas are clean and sanitised using proven cleaning techniques and Anti-Microbial Treatments. Teams are available 24/7, we provide a cost effective and efficient solution to suit your needs. At height and confined space work our strength, health and safety our priority.
• Industrial cleaning
• Industrial painting
• Food manufacturers audit cleaning
• Anti-Microbial Treatment
• Moss and Mould Treatments
• Building maintenance
• Floor maintenance
• Bird Proofing and Deterrents
Unit 2, 10 Dent Place
P.O Box 72081
Eriez’ range of metal detectors, magnetic separators and vibratory feeders, screeners and conveyors are designed for the specific needs of the food manufacturing industry. Products range from Xtreme Metal Detection systems and the RE7 Tube Circuit to the ProGrade line of magnetic separators which includes highly effective Plates, Grates, Traps, Tubes and Sight Glass Magnets in standard industry sizes. Strengths vary from 2000 to 12000 gauss. Eriez metal detectors can be combined with the strongest Rare Earth magnets to provide superior protection against both ferrous, nonferrous and work-hardened stainless steel. Eriez also offers audit, inspection and testing of equipment to ensure our customers are compliant with the HACCP International Food Standards. Eriez provides an extensive range of innovative equipment to protect product purity, from the moment ingredients enter your plant to the time the end product is shipped. Eriez is recognized as a world authority in advanced separation, conveying and inspection technology.
21 Shirley Way
61 2 4389 6199
61 7 3859 6869
61 7 4998 6999
Mackay Mail Centre
61 8 9356 5444
61 8 8340 9766
Supply Services Ltd is a leading supplier of engineering plastic materials, conveying & drive chains, sprockets and attachments for a wide variety of New Zealand industries.
To provide additional support to our customers we offer design, draughting and reverse engineering capabilities, which are fully supported by our own internal conventional and CNC machine shops. Welding and fabrication services are also available.
Supply Services Ltd is able to supply Food Grade plastic materials to meet FDA and EU10/2011 requirements, as well as to Medical and Pharmaceutical standards. Chains are available in plastic, 304SS, 316SS and Aqua Coat series.
We also manufacture accurate Change Parts for bottling machines using advanced digital measuring and scanning technologies.
For complete New Zealand coverage, we are located in Auckland, Mt Maunganui and Christchurch.
67 Newton St
Mt Maunganui 3116
PO Box 4002
Mt Maunganui 3149
029 770 3661
09 589 1704
021 999 625
07 575 0210
Mt Maunganui 3149
021 193 4114
03 341 7300
For over 30 years Auckland based JdeR Ltd have represented Cintropur® as the Oceania region agents importing directly from the factory in Europe. We stock the full range of quality systems, consumables, accessories and spare parts. We deliver Nationwide and have air and sea freight export capabilities regularly sending product to Australia, Pacific Islands and Asia.
Cintropur® a name that is synonymous with quality in the field of water filtration. Sold in over 50 countries worldwide the Cintropur® brand comprises of an extensive range of domestic whole house and industrial high flow and economical water filters, water treatment units and U.V systems for the removal of suspended particles, chemicals, chlorine, colour and bacteria from water.
Unit D, 400 Great North Road
P.O Box 47-409