From the rich fertile soil of Tonga to delicious baked goods enjoyed around the world, Heilala Vanilla is much more than just an ingredient. For many, these humble vanilla beans represent a sustainable future, employment, and a sense of pride and purpose.
Heilala Vanilla began when New Zealander John Ross flew to Tonga after the 2001 Cyclone Waka tore through the Pacific and left a trail of destruction in its wake. He organised a team of retired builders, electricians, and plumbers from his Papakura Rotary Club to join him on the island of Vava’u to help rebuild infrastructure.
When Ross heard concerns about the island’s future, he suggested reviving the cultivation of vanilla and so the Heilala Vanilla journey began.
Now Ross’s daughter, Jennifer Boggiss, oversees the business and it continues to be recognised for its focus on sustainability and community engagement.
“Sustainability means different things to different people and organisations,” says Boggiss. “To us it’s all about being connected to our purpose which is to empower vanilla growing communities in Tonga and ensure sustainable livelihoods for future generations.
“The communities of Tonga are the lifeblood of our business, and we believe that providing sustainable livelihoods can be achieved through two pillars.
“One is vanilla growing. You can have an impact on community by providing them with income from growing vanilla. The second one is through empowerment. Providing people with processes that will assist them to grow the best vanilla in the world. This includes training, demonstration plots, research, and all the other things that we do.”
Vanilla bean vines grow 20 degrees on either side of the equator and are suitable for smallhold farmers. It is also an especially desirable crop for women as it isn’t particularly physically demanding.
“The vanilla growing practise is very much hands-on in the traditional way and typically grown alongside other crops for the farmer,” says Boggiss.
“From a resilience perspective, if you have droughts or cyclones you don’t want to be reliant on one crop on a farm, so it goes really well alongside other crops. It also is a long-term crop so when you plant it you don’t get anything until the fourth year.”
Once the beans have been harvested, dried under the hot Tongan sun, and cured, it is imported into New Zealand and processed at the Heilala Vanilla factory in Tauranga. Here it undergoes vanilla extraction and turned into vanilla pastes, powders, sugars, and more.
“Some vanilla growers dry it the fast-tracked way, but we still do it traditionally because that’s where the full flavour profile of the vanilla bean is developed,” Boggiss says.
To ensure the company is staying on target in all areas of the business, Heilala Vanilla published its first impact report last year in September 2020 and will repeat this annually.
This includes detailing community initiatives Heilala Vanilla is involved in to compliment the vanilla growing business.
When COVID-19 arrived, the team couldn’t visit Tonga as they normally would, so they had to turn to other ways of supporting the farmers.
“In the last 12 months we have had three projects to deliver on that purpose [of empowering farmers],” Boggis says.
“One was sending two million vegetable seeds to our partners in Tonga who put them into nurseries and then distributed them to households.
“We also sent a container load of desks and chairs for classrooms that didn’t have furniture to two communities that we are part of.”
In the early days of the pandemic the Heilala Vanilla team realised they had the ingredients used in the vanilla extract process necessary to make hand sanitiser which they then sent to three hospitals in Tonga.
Boggiss says over the next year the company is looking to extend its focus on the community and look at the environmental impact “because it goes hand in hand”.
The company has also applied for its B-Corp certification. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
“It is all about how you balance people, planet, and profit,” Boggiss says. “We have submitted our B- Corp assessment, in which we had a really high score, and now we are waiting for certification. In the meantime, we are operating with the mindset that we are a B-Corp company. It was something that really resonated with us because it was who we are and what we stand for anyway. It wasn’t like we had to change everything we had to fit in with it.”
Boggis says she is grateful the company started with a sustainable reason for being.
“If I was advising someone starting out, I would ask them to question what their sustainability drive is. It’s much easier to set it up at the beginning than to get 10 years down the track and have to change things. For us, it’s always been part of who we are.”
The story of Remarkable Cream liqueur is just that – remarkable – and it has a 40-year family history.
It all began in the 70s when Bill Cameron, founder of ‘Robbie Burns Liquor’, attempted to make New Zealand’s very own cream liqueur.
When his attempts fell short, he instead decided to import ‘Conti-Cream’ from Australia, but his heart was still set on a locally made cream liqueur that would rival the Irish.
In the year 2000, his son Neil Cameron, who had followed in his father’s footsteps, successfully developed a recipe for a liqueur with New Zealand cream as the hero ingredient.
This product was sold in the South Island and enjoyed for many years by a small but enthusiastic bunch of customers.
Neil continued to make these cream liqueurs in central Otago and Dunedin, supplying locally, until he was forced to stop for health reasons.
Now Neil’s son William, is carrying on the family tradition, and has perfected the recipe for the cream liqueur to highlight the very best New Zealand ingredients, including a blend of fresh cream, butterscotch, and smooth whey vodka.
Despite growing up around his father’s recipe and spending hours helping to make it, Wills had never tasted much of it himself, so it wasn’t until he took a few bottles up to Auckland that he realised the potential it had to give other cream liqueurs a run for their money.
“I got it out to shops, and everyone went crazy for it,” he says.
It soon became clear that the New Zealand Food Innovation Networks’ Auckland-based FoodBowl facility was the perfect combination of accredited facilities and processing equipment that Wills needed to make his product.
To give it the chance it deserved, Neil decided to move up to Auckland to better support William, despite living and producing in Otago for most of his life.
Wills realised proper marketing and design would be required to match the quality and provenance. So, he set about designing his own branding featuring, appropriately, the iconic Remarkable ranges that the family had grown up skiing.
“When I first met The FoodBowl’s business development manager, Al Baxter, said: ‘It looks old fashioned Will, but not in a good way,’ which I completely agreed with,” says Wills.
But The FoodBowl wasn’t really set up for manufacturing alcohol, so progress was slow, and a year passed before production was able to get properly underway.
“There were lot of hurdles,” says Wills.
Finally in February 2021, all the necessary approvals had been granted and processing could begin.
However, the nature of the product itself requires very specific parameters and a specialist homogeniser, so it wasn’t to be smooth sailing just yet.
Production began with running the product through The FoodBowls’ machine only for the team to discover the product required processing so specific that is initially failed. Eventually, with some tweaking and experimentation, they managed to get the product stable.
After this slight setback, Wills decided to purchase and import his own 1m3/h high-pressure homogeniser. This would solve all his stabilising problems in the future, and he could lease it out to other manufacturers who might need it for a variety of reasons.
And with this decision, his secondary business Homogenise Now, was borne.
“Our main barrier to production for the cream liqueur has been access to a homogeniser with higher pressures than is required for milk and other dairy. In addition, while producing at The FoodBowl, we had some challenges with their machine which was a difficult position as in New Zealand there is no company that can bring a homogeniser to a site for ’emergency’ uses, or for validation/pilot runs.
“That is one good thing to come out of the challenges, as we are setting up the homogeniser (with pumps and filters etc) on a mobile setup to solve that problem for others.”
Wills has also been working with ProduCo food safety and regulatory compliance specialists, so other manufacturers can rest assured it is up to standard if they need to bring it onto their factory premises.
The FoodBowl’s Al Baxter says he is pleased to see a product being launched with a New Zealand story and provenance in the branding.
“Wills was great to work with – very professional and patient. He was very focussed on getting the job done properly and overcoming technical challenges.”
Not only that, but the product also has good export potential, says Baxter.
With all the hurdles the Cameron men have faced over the years to make such a technically difficult product, Remarkable Cream holds a special place in the family history.
“My dad has had health issues for the last few years. When he made the last batch of the previous product, he’d been very unwell and only just managed to pull it off,” says Wills.
“He made the batch, the pipes blew, and 500 litres went on the ground. He thought this was the end of the product. It had really broken him.
“To now see it coming back and hearing the great feedback he’s really happy and proud.”
Despite all the challenges, Wills isn’t one to cry over spilt milk, and remains more determined than ever to give Remarkable Cream the chance it deserves.
“There’ve been so many times that the business has been right on the edge. The product is hard to make, but to get it made properly is a really good feeling.”
To learn more about Homogenise Now visit: www.homogenisenow.nz
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have been increasingly seeking health and wellness products. In response to this, CSL Centro Sperimentale Del Latte has developed Florganic Probiotics.
A growing market
According to the 2018 Organic Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) Market report, New Zealand’s total organic products market is valued at around $600 million, and has grown by 30% since 2015.
A global leader in probiotic manufacturing, CSL says their new product is designed to give food and beverage brands an opportunity to capitalise on this increasing demand for clean, natural and organic products.
“The New Zealand industry can benefit from not just local consumer interest in organic products, but also increased interest from international markets where organic foods continue to be a strong desire for health-conscious consumers,” says CSL Asia Pacific chief executive officer John Goebel.
“We believe the Florganic Probiotics range is innovative in its production and certification as it helps organic-focused brands to further deliver on their brand promise.
“Unlike probiotics which are not certified organic products, the Florganic Probiotic range still delivers clinically studied strains with the added quality appeal of being a certified organic product.”
Available in a powdered blend form, the probiotic range can be added to milk powders, supplements, infant formula, health and wellness powder, drinks, liquid drops, yoghurts, chocolate and meal replacement shakes.
The benefits of probiotics
Defined as living microorganisms, probiotics can provide a range of health benefits when consumed in certain quantities.
Well-documented lactobacillus strains, such as a Synbio® blend, Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 are on offer in the Florganics range. A leading Bifidobacteria strain is also available in the certified organic offering of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactic BLC1.
Probiotic strains such as these have a number of health benefits, including:
- Immune system stimulation
- Lowering of blood ammonia
- Reduced serum cholesterol
- Strengthened mucosal barriers
- Alleviation of lactose intolerance
- Improved synthesis of B vitamins.
Probiotics in diary products
A number of studies have shown that probiotic bacteria have an improved survival and efficacy when delivered through milk, compared to any other medium.
Yoghurt, ice cream and cheese can also be made with the incorporation of probiotics. However, they don’t all respond the same.
Special care must be taken to ensure that the growth of an added probiotic culture in fermented milk products does not compromise the sensory profile of the product. This means that extra diligence must be taken during the prototype development, as well as during commercial production.
Meanwhile, ice cream can accommodate probiotics for a longer period (one year or more when stored at the correct temperature) than any other dairy product due to its frozen format. Cheese can also be an ideal carrier of probiotic additives thanks to a high fat and low water content – an ideal condition for probiotics.
Ingredion Incorporated, a leading global provider of ingredient solutions to diversified industries, announced the Singapore Food Agency added Reb M Stevia leaf sweetener to the list of permitted food additives.
Reb M is a non-caloric stevia sweetener that provides sweetness with a clean, sugar-like taste and enables food and beverage manufacturers to reduce sugar, without sacrificing taste.
Reb M stevia leaf sweetener is a non-caloric, high-purity stevia sweetener with a clean, sugar-like taste, without the bitterness associated with some stevia sweeteners. The unique production process starts with the stevia leaf and uses a patented bioconversion process to achieve high quantities of Reb M, economically unattainable from traditional stevia extraction methods. Reb M was commercialised in 2017, achieved Non-GMO Project verification, and has been approved in many regions around the world.
Ingredion, a global provider of ingredient solutions, has announced the launch of Purity Bio starches.
Comprising Purity Bio 301 organic tapioca starch and Purity Bio 805 organic rice starch, the new range improves viscosity for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel in liquid-based food and drink applications, while also supporting a clean and fast flavour release. Organic and gluten-free, it is also ideally suited for use in products with corresponding on-pack claims.
The introduction of Purity Bio is tailored to meet the needs of customers in the Asia Pacific region, both in terms of product development and operational efficiency.
“Not only does the new range offer the technical functionality to elevate product textures across applications, its organic certification also enables manufacturers to capitalise on demand for clean and ethically produced products. When it comes to the baby food category, for example, where the organic platform is driving growth Purity Bio range of products is the ideal option to create products with both the smooth texture and clean label consumers prefer,” says Valdirene Licht, senior vice president and president, Asia-Pacific.
“In addition, by providing manufacturers with a local source of organic starch – as opposed to a US or EU supply – we are able to shorten delivery, turnaround and response time by around a third or more.”
Midlands Apiaries, a New Zealand producer of genuine Mānuka honey, has announced its affordable ‘black label’ brand, Mount Somers, is set to be sold in New World supermarkets across the country for the very first time.
Discerning honey lovers who appreciate fine gourmet spreads and ingredients, can now enjoy uniquely distinctive honey flavours, and more new additions for a wholesome taste experience. The launch marks an introduction of the largest selection of one-of-a-kind flavour profiles in the honey industry. Naturally produced and in their raw form.
Mount Somers will enter the retail market with six delicious new flavours including vanilla, caramel, orange, lemon, lime, and ginger. These decadent treats offer a sweet lovely taste, naturally produced and processed refined sugar free. Mount Somers’ newest range also includes ‘Cook and Bake’, a convenient option dedicated to passionate home bakers and chefs. The new exciting range also extends to offer Mānuka monoflorals in UMF 5+ and 10+, Rata, raw Kamahi honey, Forest Dew and Clover
Differentiating itself from the likes of high in artificial processed sugar spreads, the new Mount Somers range is guilt free and natural, without losing any sweet flavour. The unique and special thing about honey, especially the Midlands range, is that instead of being filled with nasties like sucrose which is refined and processed, the Mount Somers range is only full of natural sugars, not to mention the feel-good versatile properties that are part of the Mānuka experience. This new range of flavoured spreads is set to be ideal for baking, in hot drinks or on toast in the morning.
As I take the helm of NZ Food Technology for a period of time, I’m excited at what the future landscape of Kiwi food is about to bring.
Pressure to produce more per acreage – in my view – is a great thing, opening up fresh opportunities for New Zealand food and beverage manufacturers. The flow-on effect in terms of contribution from businesses outside of the actual food/beverage manufacturer is what NZ needs to get ahead. We need to produce, more. An opportunity for one business in the making of a product provides work for many other businesses that are able to contribute to the source business/project being a success – from ad agencies to engineers.
Hot topics and trends in food and drink are popping up everywhere. Evolution is on an exponential curve. In this issue we talk about new proteins, market trends and the likes… and you can add that to the previously well documented opportunities within food and beverage markets: legalisation of hemp seed as food, the rise of insect power, super powders, fermented foods, raw and more. Health will be huge in 2019 and beyond.
It’s our job at NZ Food Technology to present you with such opportunities and to put you in touch with innovative suppliers of ingredients and machinery, services and solutions to ensure your business has access to all it can to be that success.
Myself, I’m off to eat a Brazil nut for my selenium fix. But just one.
Stephanie Seege is on a crusade. Her date-sweetened chocolate range suitable for vegans, people with allergies, intolerances, religious requirements and diabetics has been blocked by EU law from being called chocolate… and she’s doing something about it.
kAAKAO is what most people would call heaven-sent.
A chocolate that looks like chocolate, tastes like chocolate and melts in your mouth like chocolate but with only 25g of sugar per 100g, with a low glycemic index and as little naturally occurring sugar as in one medium-sized green apple… it makes eating indulgently almost good for you.
When frustrated Nordchocolate Oy founder Stephanie Seege – dogged by food intolerances her entire life – decided to make her own sweet products for restricted diets, she knew there was a way to make highly indulgent chocolate that tasted the same or better than what was already on the market – but free from traditional sugar, allergens and other ingredients. And that became the Finish food technologist’s downfall.
The new chocolate is made with cocoa, cocoa butter, coconut milk and dates. Those ingredients seem traditional, but the combination hasn’t been used in chocolate-making until now.
According to European legislators, the name ‘chocolate’ is by definition a combination of cocoa and added sugar. Whilst dates contain naturally occurring fructose and glucose, they are not considered sugar and therefore kAAKAO is not chocolate. Seege is outraged.
“An organic chocolate bar made with four premium ingredients that can’t be called chocolate?! It’s a great example of how confusing current food labelling laws are,” she says. “How are consumers supposed to understand what we make? We want to change that.”
So she decided to make kAAKAO a leading light in driving revisions to the EU laws, which presently constitute what she calls a challenging barrier to the market.
“The laws are also prohibitive to consumers’ demands for healthier choices,” she says. “Experts and factory owners said it was impossible to create a chocolate sweetened with dates. Years were spent developing the recipe and sourcing new ingredients. I’m not going to lie to you – people scoffed, they laughed, they told me it couldn’t be done, because no one had. It took some experimentation, some mixing and remixing of ingredients. Blending and re-blending until I got my confection to perfection.”
The code was finally cracked together with a Swiss partner, thus breaking tradition in the art of chocolate making and paving the way for a new ‘not-chocolate’ category.
The impossible turned possible – creating the same chocolatey taste and texture that people are used to, but without using any traditional sugar and by rethinking all the remaining ingredients as well.
UK-based Seege says it is vital to raise awareness around food labelling and to teach consumers how to decipher what they are about to eat or buy.
She will use her brand’s legal problems to showcase the issue.
“We are currently trying to create change with the help of media,” she says. “A while back, we tried changing our tax class, arguing that we shouldn’t be taxed as chocolate if we can’t call our product that. It wasn’t well received. Therefore, we are creating buzz around the ridiculous situation by getting people talking about it and raising awareness around food labelling laws. If people start understanding how confusing they are, we hopefully will push legislators to rethink the current laws.”
Cornish Kern, an alpine-style cheese made by the UK’s Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, has been crowned World Champion Cheese at the 30th annual World Cheese Awards, after just a few years in development. This buttery medium-hard cheese, with a deep aroma and caramel notes, rose to the top among 3,000 entries that were judged in a single day at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November. The 30th anniversary edition of the awards formed part of this year’s Taste of London Festive Edition and saw entries from a record breaking 35 different countries.
The winning Cornish Kern now takes its place in the history books alongside previous champions of the largest cheese-only awards scheme on the planet, having impressed the World Cheese Awards’ international panel of experts at every stage of the judging process. Cathy Strange, global executive coordinator for Whole Foods Market in the USA, championed the cheese during the final round of judging, describing the cheese as: “Visually stunning, with its standout dark rind and the quality of milk is really evident in this cheese. It has an amazing age and a complexity, which keeps on coming. This is a super cheese and I would be glad to have it on any table.”
The rest of the International Super Jury, representing nations including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Norway and South Africa, concurred, awarding Cornish Kern the highest score of the final judging stage.
Sarah Barnes, technical manager at Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, who collected the award in London, explains; “I’m on top of the cheese world! Throughout the course of the day our Kern went through so many layers of judging, going from 3,001 to 66, to the top 16 and then World Champion and the judges said some wonderful things about our cheese. Cornish Kern is a new concept so to see it come to this is so exciting for the company, and a great start for this cheese’s career.”
Cornish Kern was awarded 75 points out of a possible 80 by the Super Jury of 16 judges, just ahead of an Italian Blu Di Bufala made by Quattro Portoni Caseificio in second place with 69 points. In joint third, were an Austrian Capellaro from Almenland Stollenkaese and a South African Dalewood Huguenot made by Dalewood Fromage, both scoring 67 points.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, commented: “The competition was immense this year, with more nations represented than ever before, so bravo to Lynher Dairies for taking the top gong on this truly international stage. Cornish Kern is a perfect example of cheesemaking at its finest, so it’s wonderful to see this small team receive such recognition for their craft and a heartfelt pat on the back from the global cheese community. Taste of London Festive Edition has provided a wonderful backdrop for us this year, with some of the finest food and drink around under the same roof as the world’s best cheese, and it has given us great pleasure to return to London to celebrate three decades at the heart of the cheese world, before the World Cheese Awards sets sail again for pastures new in 2018.”
Entries made their way by road, rail, air and sea, via 12 consolidation points located in every corner of the globe, which channelled cheeses into London from nations including Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia and South Africa. The 230-strong judging panel brought together more nations than ever before, representing six continents and 29 different countries, from South Africa and Japan to Mexico and the USA, to taste, nose and grade all 3,001 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to winning cheeses.
With the top 16 cheeses selected, the audience then gathered at Taste of London Festive Edition to watch the International Super Jury debate the world’s best cheeses. Made up of top names from the global curd community, featuring cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers, including Roland Barthélemy, President of Guilde des Fromagers in France, Norwegian cheesemonger Siri Helen Hansen-Barry, Claudia Bowman from McIntosh & Bowman Cheesemonger in Australia and Mary Quicke from Quicke’s in the UK, the final panel made their cases for their chosen cheeses live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.
Look out for further announcements of this year’s special trophy award winners later this week.
Taste of London Festive Edition took place at Tobacco Dock in London from 16-19 November. For more information, visit https://london.tastefestivals.com.
World Cheese Awards 2017 – the background
- The World Cheese Awards is organised by the Guild of Fine Food
- 2017 was the 30th anniversary edition of the competition, marked by events including The Cheese Bar serving a special Macaroni Cheese dish at Taste of London Festive Edition and award-winning gelato maker, Swoon, unveiling two limited edition cheese flavours, both using previous World Cheese Awards winnersTop of Form
- The planet’s biggest ‘cheese-only’ competition – no yoghurt, cream, butter or other dairy
- 3,001 cheeses from 35 different countries entered – including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the USA
- 230 judges from across the globe travelled from 29 different countries to nose, taste and grade the cheese
- Judging broadcasted live on World Cheese TV
- A Super Jury of 16 judges decided the final winning World Champion Cheese
How the judging works
Judges work in teams of three or four, identifying any cheeses worthy of a bronze, silver, gold – or no award. They are looking at the rind and the body of the cheese, its colour, texture, consistency and, above all, its taste.
Each of the 66 teams then nominates one exceptional cheese as the Super Gold from their table. These 66 cheeses are the best in the world and are judged a second time by the Super Jury of 16 internationally recognised experts, who will each select a cheese to champion in the final round of judging.
The Super Jury then debates the final 16 in front of a live consumer and trade audience, before choosing the World Champion Cheese live on World Cheese TV, with cheese lovers across the globe tuning in for the drama.
For further information, please contact any of the following:
Sam Brice at Freshly Ground PR
+44 (0) 7961 635960
Amy Brice at Freshly Ground PR
+44 (0) 7717 893123
Tortie Farrand at the Guild of Fine Food
+44 (0) 1747 825200
Taste Festivals will be hosting 20 restaurant festivals in 2017, setting a new benchmark for food and drink events worldwide. Taste Festivals is owned by IMG Culinary, a division of the Events and Federations business unit of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company. All information is correct as of the time of release.
The German giant – which last year achieved a turnover of $1153m – has recently produced its second sustainability report in its goal to combine economic success with ecological and social responsibility. “We are highly committed to the environment, and sustainable action is deeply rooted in our corporate philosophy,” chief executive Dr Franz Josef Konert says. The company is the world’s foremost innovator and producer of collagen proteins, with 21 plants spread across all five continents. Its collagen proteins are used as gelatins in food and pharmaceutical products, and the company invests in new energy-saving technologies and improved production processes on a regular basis. Some measures in the report include the recovery of water from production, the use of electricity from renewable energy sources, and the utilisation of residues from gelatine production as compost.
It also presents the development of some important key figures – for example, despite an increase in production volume, the energy consumption, quantity of fresh water used, wastewater volume and emissions such as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) have all reduced. GELITA marketing and communication head Michael Teppner says in addition to the continuous improvement of production processes, the company also focuses on the development of innovative products. “The quality of our products also helps to conserve natural resources, such as when they are used in fertilisers or detergents, and they contribute to health and well-being.” When processing animal raw materials (by-products of meat production such as cattle hide or pig skin) for gelatine and collagen peptides, the issue of fats, functional proteins and minerals also arise.
GELITA has developed complex processes to produce quality products from these materials – fertiliser, animal feed or biofuels, for example. “Our modern manufacturing processes mean that the raw materials are almost completely utilised in a sustainable and efficient way,” Teppner says. Sustainable economic management also includes dealing with employees in the right way. Occupational health and safety are top priorities at the company, such as improving work processes or investing in safe facilities.
The company has a continual decline in the number of work-related accidents at its sites, despite an increase in the number of employees globally. Social commitment does not end at the factory gate: in 2016, the company supported 96 projects worldwide, ranging from sporting events and aid for socially disadvantaged people to educating young people. The commitment includes cooperation with schools and study trips or music lessons for talented children and youngsters. “Sustainable commitment at GELITA, however, means more than just material support. Our employees themselves get actively involved in providing help”, Teppner says. www.gelita.com
Cadbury New Zealand’s temporary relaunch of Caramilk – first available in 1994 – has been an unprecedented success here and in Australia for the company, with desperate Aussie Caramilk lovers paying upwards of $NZ42.50 for one $NZ3 block on Ebay. The limited edition relaunch has also spurred a petition over the ditch for the chocolate – a solid bar made of blended caramelised white chocolate – to be made available again in Australia, with petition founder Trent O’Toole saying, “Cadbury New Zealand have struck gold while many Aussie men-children like myself look on through tears of jealousy. After a night crying in my sleep as I lay in a foetal position, I woke up with a newfound purpose. It’s time for Cadbury Australia to sit up and take notice!” The chocolate, made by cooking milk and sugar together and blending it with cocoa butter – has been available for a month, after a successful five-year Facebook campaign by Caramilk lovers. It has now sold out across the country. The launch coincided with the company calling on local manufacturers to take over production of Jaffas, Pineapple Lumps, Buzz Bars and other Kiwi treats, as manufacturing at the Dunedin Cadbury plant will finish next year.
We may not have heard much about Cyclone Enawo in New Zealand, but the influence of the severe weather system that struck Madagascar earlier this year has certainly had a profound impact on the vanilla industry and those wanting to buy it here.
In March, the cyclone struck Madagascar’s north-eastern areas at speeds of up to 300km per hour, and decimated the crucial vanilla industry there. More than half of the homes were destroyed, 78 people were killed and two of the largest vanilla-producing areas were flattened.
As a result, the price of vanilla has soared in the wake of the eastern African country’s grappling with damage wrought by the cyclone. In fact, the industry is in crisis, and there is a severe shortage of vanilla beans across the globe…something that Formula Foods here in New Zealand is warning local vanilla buyers about as it attempts to stretch out its limited supply of the resource.
Vanilla pods grow from tropical vines, which take around three years to mature and produce beans. The cultivation process is a strenuous procedure, with each vanilla orchid hand-pollinated within 12 hours of flowering. Once the bean develops and is picked, it is dried for up to six months before it can be used to produce vanilla extract.
Madagascan vanilla beans – known as Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla – are reputed to produce the best vanilla extract in the world. Unfortunately, the cyclone has had significant implications for the production of the world’s second most expensive commodity after saffron.
Formula Foods says the crisis – made worse by increasing demand internationally – means the price of vanilla beans has increased substantially, with pods trading at an all-time-high of $600 per kg. Madagascan vanilla’s pricing has also increased massively.
The company currently has a limited supply of Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla extract, and is now supplying it and vanilla natural blends in quantities suited to assist as many customers as possible and to stretch the supply as far as it can. “Formula Foods is determined to continue our efforts to offer competitive pricing for all our flavours,” the company says. “We have developed alternative options to co-incide with the recent vanilla price increase.
“The natural vanilla extract blends are significantly less expensive than the extract, and can be used as a bridge product until vanilla extract is available at more affordable prices. Pricing of vanilla extract is still likely to rise, as any price reduction is far away and only subject to the supply of good quality beans.”
Fonterra’s NZMP dairy ingredients business has made a splash at China’s largest food ingredients trade show in Shanghai, launching three dairy ingredients and bringing New Zealand’s dairy story to life for customers through a 360° immersive virtual reality experience.
One of the world’s foremost food ingredients events, the three-day Food Ingredients China 2017 event attracted more than 100,000 customers from all over the world. Fonterra announced the launch of NZMP Gold Whole Milk Powder for UHT, NZMP Cheese Powder and NZMP Butter Concentrate products at the event.
Fonterra president NZMP Greater China, South and East Asia Teh-Han Chow says the ingredients have been developed in response to strong customer demand for innovative, high quality dairy nutrition solutions. “China is an important market and it was great to launch the ingredients at Food Ingredients China, with many of our key Chinese customers in attendance.” NZMP Gold Whole Milk Powder for UHT helps customers improve manufacturing efficiency for UHT milk products by reducing the rate of product fouling and improves shelf-life stability, while delivering a natural, creamy flavour.
NZMP Tasty Cheese Powder is made from natural cheese, milk solids and other functional ingredients and is specifically formulated to deliver a consistent full-bodied cheddar cheese flavour and functionality that can be used in a variety of convenience applications such as pasta and sauces, home meals and dips. Butter concentrate, made from cream and milk fat, is a natural ingredient that can be used in a wide range of food products, bringing a concentrated caramelised aroma and taste to foods. Visitors to the NZMP stand were invited to participate in the virtual reality experience, using a headset to follow the journey of New Zealand dairy from its farm origins through to the shipping of NZMP ingredients to overseas markets.
Chow says that NZMP has been quick to use the cutting-edge technology, which is only just entering the mainstream as a communications tool, to bring the Fonterra dairy story to life. “We are always keen to use new technology to expand the way we connect with our customers and enable them to see for themselves how NZMP transforms farmers’ milk into world-class dairy products for customers around the globe.” Visitors were also invited to taste food samples made with NZMP products such as cheese, milk powder, cheese powder and milk proteins. “Fonterra has a long history of partnering with Asian food and beverage companies, and participating in the Shanghai event was a great way to share the company’s expertise in science and innovation with the region,” Chow says.
The advanced controlled production facility, created in response to surging demand for gluten-free products domestically, will increase the site’s annual $60m exports, and the company says robust quality assurance systems will mean unlocked new potential of offerings. New Zealand’s chief executive Veronique Cremades says the international research and development programme will now allow Nestle to create high-quality gluten-free products that taste great and maintain texture. “Careful product development means a wide range of products will be made gluten-free, including a selection of Maggi products sold in supermarkets for at-home use, and a wide range of Maggi flavour boosters, recipe bases, gravies, sauces, soups and Nestlé Docello dessert mixtures used in professional food service,” she says. For the one in 100 New Zealanders diagnosed with coeliac disease, a strict lifelong gluten-free diet is essential, and Nestlé professional country manager Eleni Gonzalez says gluten-free products are also increasingly sought after in the hospitality sector. “Given the need for some people to eliminate particular foods or ingredients, together with an increase in other dietary preferences, food service and dining out-of-home has become more complex,” she says. “The chefs who are our customers tell us that a wider gluten-free range will remove the need for special menu items, saving money and time. While we have been increasing our gluten-free range for some years, capacity constraints have limited the range. This new facility gives us significant additional capacity, with room to grow.” Nestlé’s Cambria Park site has seen 55 years of innovation since it opened in 1962. Now the regional hub for Maggi, the factory produces Maggi and Nestlé Docello culinary products for home and food service, as well as a number of confectionery products.
A healthy diet including lean meats significantly improves depression and anxiety symptoms, a breakthrough study has found after a 12-week randomised controlled trial looking at the effects of a healthy diet in the treatment of the disorders. According to the Deakin study, a diet of wholegrains, vegetables, fish and lean red meats that spurns sweets, refined cereals, fried foods and sugary drinks shows simple dietary changes can be used as a possible treatment. The healthy diet is based on a modified version of the Mediterranean diet, and is higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates than current nutritional guidelines. Study author Felice Jacka says the diet recommends lean red meat three or four times per week, with a third of those eating healthy foods in the trial reporting improved mood and depression symptoms. However, dietitian Sarah Hanraham says obsessing over single nutrients can be harmful. “When we diet, we often put too much focus on cutting out certain foods, but this can lead to micronutrient deficiencies when we do not eat enough.”
Environmentally advanced technologies available in Australasia are helping transform effluent from crops from an environmental liability into a profit centre.
The anaerobic digestion technologies – recently applied to a major South East Asian pineapple producer – extract biogas from crop-processing wastewater streams to simultaneously raise water quality while generating methane to replace fossil fuels used in production processes. GWE says the technology involved in this case study applies not only to pineapple production but also to a wide range of Australian and New Zealand food industries, including livestock and horticultural operations dealing with fruit and vegetables, grain crops and any agribusiness with a biological waste stream.
The waste-to-energy project undertaken by the world’s largest integrated pineapple operation Del Monte Philippines has exceeded even the high effluent quality targets originally set for the job. The Global Water Engineering wastewater treatment installation at the Cagayan de Oro pineapple canning plant has achieved 93% organic pollution removal in its anaerobic reactors, producing in the process enough green energy (methane rich biogas) to power two 1.4 MW generating electrical power generator units or gensets.
Furthermore, the effluent from the anaerobic digestion step is polished in an activated sludge-type final treatment step to satisfy the local discharge effluent standards. The company – which accounts for about 10% of the world’s annual production of processed pineapple products – will benefit from environmentally clean electricity to replace fossil fuels typically used in electrical power plants.
And the waste heat from the gensets is also used to heat up steam boiler feed water, which is a further reduction of fossil fuel use in the factory, the company’s chairman and chief executive Jean-Pierre Ombregt says.
Del Monte Philippines processes more than 700,000 tons of pineapple and papaya a year to produce more than 100 food and vegetable variants, making it one of the largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food products for the US retail market through its affiliate DMFI, as well as private label products.
Ombregt says benefits of the company’s new wastewater and green energy plant mean that it can replace fossil fuels with green energy, and given the high prices of electricity from the grid (and the sometimes erratic supply), the plant will achieve rapid return-on-investment payback of around two-to-five years.
“The plant has substantially exceeded even the high environmental goals set by the company for the treating of more than 13,000 cubic metres a day of wastewater, or nearly five million cubic metres a year,” Ombregt says.
Process results are substantially better than the guaranteed levels of the project, with anaerobic effluent achieving ca. 40 mg/l COD (93% removal) and final effluent achieving 70 mg/l COD, or a further 83% removal.
“This is remarkable in an operation so large. In terms of the positive environmental impact and the virtually free electricity gains going straight to the bottom line, this is an exemplary project for food, beverage and agribusiness processors worldwide.”
Global Water Engineering’s anaerobic technologies have been successfully deployed on diverse organic and agribusiness waste streams produced by industries including food and beverage processing, starch and fermentation, pulp and paper, and many other types of agro-industry. The company’s New Zealand representative Michael Bambridge from CST Wastewater Solutions says applications here include meat, dairy, fruit processing and brewery production.
“Biogas from waste water is an outstanding source of base load power. As part of a renewable energy mix – complementing wind and solar generation, for example – electricity generated with biogas is highly reliable and consistent,” Bambridge says.
“As the major component of natural gas, methane is an environmentally attractive alternative to fossil fuels.”
The most recent study of Australasian business attitudes to environmental issues, commissioned by CST Wastewater Solutions, finds industry is convinced about the potential financial viability of sustainable energy and water initiatives, if sanguine about the failure rate in Australia and New Zealand so far, Bambridge says.
Additive Solutions is a leading provider of ingredients to the food, nutrition, animal nutrition and rendering industries. Its customers can count on a reliable supply of high quality and effective ingredients because the company leverages its ingredients expertise and collective experience to find ingredients solutions that work.
Being part of the global Barentz network, Additive Solutions makes it a priority to excel in delivering outstanding ingredients and solutions for all product categories. Customers can count on its reliable supply of high quality and effective ingredients.
The company’s infant formula and dairy offerings include ARA/ DHA powdered and liquid encapsulates, nutritional oils and powders FOS/GOS, powdered OPO, fat soluble vitamins, colostrum, customised nutritional premixes, spray dried minerals, amino acids, probiotics, nucleotides and specialised dairy powders.
Broader dairy offerings also include an extensive range of Sacco cultures, probiotics, enzymes, protective cultures and dry film coatings for all cheese and yoghurt offerings.
Additive Solutions is also a leading supplier in the dairy, bakery, bar and cereal markets – including extruded and gun-puffed crisps and grains, natural soluble/insoluble and gluten free fibres, bake stable inclusions, cereals, bar layers, binding syrups/sweeteners, lecithin, fruit and vegetable offerings, sweet and savoury sauce powders and new clean label natural antioxidants for rendering and fat-based applications.
Whether your business is bakery, cereals, confectionery, meat and fish, vegetarian, soups and sauces, snacks, savoury, drinks, dairy, health and wellbeing or infant nutrition, Additive Solutions has a complete portfolio of specialty and basic ingredients available.
Like no other ingredients partner, the company understands that you are constantly working on your product pipeline by developing innovations and improving your existing products – which Additive Solutions is able to support with its highly experienced staff, and Barentz product development and applications centres.
For all your customised ingredients needs, contact Additive Solutions to discuss its extensive product range and services. Call (09) 239 2266;
Email: [email protected] or
At the forefront of traditional Kiwi favourite flavours and colours, Formula Foods Corporation has more than 29 years of servicing the food industry…and that’s why the company understands its clients’ needs.
With its manufacturing plant based in Christchurch, the company is always on hand to offer customers a wide range of services including customised flavours and colours, shelf life testing and unique FLAVRCOL pastes used in the baking industry, providing enhanced taste and unbelievable consistency without preservatives.
Formula Foods’ cutting edge technology and resources allow it to develop specific flavours for customer profiles both in New Zealand and for export markets. Its R&D team can produce flavours to advance any business, working hard toward bringing customers’ flavours to life and anticipating new trends within the food industry.
All sectors of the food and beverage industries are under increased pressure to rapidly develop and launch new and innovative products, and an essential aspect of product development is to set a suitable shelf life. Formula Foods uses effective and accurate techniques to accelerate product aging, verifying shelf life in a condensed time-frame, reducing time to market and the development life-cycle.
From Formula Foods’ perspective, it is now formulating exciting and promising new pastes for gelatos and concentrating on spray-dried powder flavours which will enhance any recipe.
Combining dried fruits and nuts in food is an international trend that not all New Zealand food manufacturers have capitalised on.
Dried fruits and nuts together add sweetness, texture and taste to a vast array of foods. Dried fruit is more layered and complex than fresh fruit and, combined with nuts, not only adds texture but offers an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals.
Nuts and dried fruits belong together. As an example, sweetened dried cranberries bring attractive points of colour, great taste, sweetness and a healthy profile. With the crunch and richness of walnuts, almonds or macadamias, they are an excellent combo for trail mixes, cereals, main meals, baked goods, cookies, desserts and much more.
Almonds or almond flour, for instance, adds a healthy alternative to white flour, is gluten free and creates opportunity to produce a value-added product line. Today, consumers are actively involved in managing their diets, increasingly looking for nutrient-dense foods to help support an overall healthy lifestyle. Almond flour easily transitions from traditional flour in recipes without compromising taste or texture, and offers a smooth mouth-feel and contains all of the health benefits of whole almonds – high in protein, fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats.
Food manufacturers can only benefit from the long shelf life and stability of dried fruits and nuts, compared to fresh options. When you consider the origins of dried fruits and nuts, and the fact they come from every continent, you will be adding global flavours, colour and texture to your food. By enriching products with this winning duo, you will create memorable flavours and give New Zealanders the opportunity to travel with their paletes.
The variety of dried fruits and nuts available in New Zealand is vast, therefore the opportunity for food manufacturers to create amazing combinations is huge. An excellent example of food combining is what bakers have produced with bread using seeds and grains to balance the flavour.
There have already been foods produced using combinations like chocolate, almonds and cranberries that create a unique flavour. Now is the time for New Zealand food manufacturers to let their creative juices flow, using dried fruit and nut combinations that will excite consumer’s taste buds.
More than 80% of parents want their offspring to eat natural food and drinks in a balanced diet, but the same can’t be said for households without children, according to a global consumer study.
The survey, in which 5000 consumers in ten countries worldwide were canvassed for their views, found that the vast majority of parents are actively avoiding synthetic additives when buying foods for their children. However, just 67% of respondents with no children at home said they personally look for more natural food and drinks.
Topping the list of ‘nasties’ that parents avoid are preservatives, artificial colours and sweeteners…in fact, more than 60% of parents say it is ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important that products do not contain those ingredients. Labelling with ‘natural flavours’ or ‘natural colours’ are two of the most important criteria when selecting food for their children.
These characteristics are considered to be more important than product being ‘low fat’, ‘low sugar’, ‘organic’ or containing ‘no added sugar’, according to the research by TNS Global, which says artificial additives have a significant influence on the purchase decisions of parents.