Browsing: Ingredients

Food science that fools hunger pangs

Feeling full for longer to satisfy appetites and help reduce snacking between meals is one of the solutions to reducing the amount of food we eat. Chemical engineers may have the answer as they develop special ingredients that have the potential to reduce hunger pangs once inside the stomach.

High fibre and protein rich diets are generally recognised for their ability to control hunger. However, modern food consumption has drifted towards softer textured foods, which are often high in fat and sugars.

The result is energy-rich, easily digestible foods that are unable to create a sense of feeling full and satisfied. It’s one of the factors contributing to rising obesity rates and an estimated 1.4 billion people being classed as overweight.

One solution is to design foods that alter its structure once inside the body. The process can help control the rate of food digestion and also trick the body’s sensory systems, especially in the digestive tract, to make you feel fuller for longer.

One of the most interesting developments in the field is the creation of ‘gels’ that form once inside the stomach. It’s a technically difficult area where control of the gel’s bulk, strength and longevity are affected by the unique pH environment found in the stomach.

However, an important step forward has been made by a research team of chemical engineers at the University of Birmingham in the UK, who have been able to improve the control of gel formation inside the stomach.

Their research, to be published in Food Hydrocolloids2, used gellan gum – an existing food ingredient found in products such as sweets, soft drinks and soya milk. They found that by altering the chemical structure of the gellan gum they could change the properties of the gels, including important factors like its bulk, brittleness and texture.

David Brown, chief executive of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), says: “Despite being a part of everyday life the science of managing appetites is a complex interaction of several factors and is not yet fully understood. However, the sensory signals from food, the digestive tract and the body’s energy reserves are all likely components affecting the desire to eat.

“Self-structuring gels like those researched by chemical engineers in Birmingham have a potentially important role in the future if we are to manage energy intake and address issues like obesity.

“Some theories suggest that the bulk created by the gels distend the stomach altering the sensory signals, as well as the size and structure of food as it enters the intestines. This is likely to extend the time taken to digest the food and may help to reduce snacking.

“Hopefully, this latest development by chemical engineers will help us to take another step forward to change lifestyles and improve the health and wellbeing of millions of people struggling to maintain a balanced diet.”

The role of chemical engineers in the food sector is explored in IChemE’s latest technical strategy, Chemical Engineering Matters. The strategy also includes actions chemical engineers are taking on other global challenges including water, energy and health.

Scientist to take up role in multinational food company

Dr Sophie Gallier

After nearly three years at the Riddet Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, Sophie Gallier is off to Danone Research in Utrecht, The Netherlands, to take up a role as Research Scientist. A French national, Dr Gallier says she is looking forward to being back closer to her family.

Encouraged by her supervisor, Dr David Everett at the University of Otago, to join New Zealand’s Centre of Research Excellence, Dr Gallier took up a postdoctoral position at the Riddet Institute.

“I believed that the Institute would offer me the opportunity to develop international collaborations and work with its nutrition team.”

During her time at the Institute Dr Gallier has been examining the impact of food microstructures on the digestion of natural lipids. The lipid structures under study are: walnut and almond oil bodies, and bovine milk fat globules.

“We have looked at the impact of initial food microstructures, then followed the microstructural changes in the stomach and intestine using in vitro and in vivo (rats) models,” she says.

Almond oil bodies were first studied in an aqueous dispersion system obtained by grinding almonds in water. This system was close to the bolus formed after chewing almonds. Almond oil bodies showed extensive flocculation in the stomach in vitro. The walnut study was completed with the assistance of summer student, Holly Tate.

In vitro experiments showed that walnut oil bodies flocculated and coalesced in the stomach and formed multiple emulsions in the intestine, a phenomenon that Dr Gallier had not observed before.

In her in vivo studies with bovine milk Dr Gallier showed that cream from pasteurised, homogenised milk was digested to a greater extent than creams from raw milk and pasteurised milk. The study also showed that fatty acid crystals formed in the intestine possibly due to the formation of soaps of saturated fatty acids and calcium.

Last year Dr Gallier collaborated on a project with Professor Rafael Jiménez–Flores at California State Polytechnic, building model systems to understand the changes occurring at the interface of milk fat globules under intestinal conditions.

A further human study with 42 participants is ongoing with Professor Manohar Garg at the University of Newcastle in Australia, who is also a Resident Fellow at the Riddet Institute. The study will measure postprandial effects of almonds, almond milk, almond oil and emulsified almond oil on cardiovascular risk factors. An animal study, with Dr Shane Rutherfurd of the Riddet Institute, is looking at the effect of initial microstructure on the gastric emptying rate, microstructural changes within the gastrointestinal tract and fatty acid absorption of almond oil bodies. Dr Gallier will remain involved with these projects.

So far Dr Gallier’s work has resulted in one paper on the characterisation of natural lipids, two papers on the digestion of bovine milk and cream, and two papers on the digestion of almonds and walnuts. Two reviews have been published on lipid digestion. Two book chapters and two more papers have been submitted.

Article courtesy of the Riddet Institute.

Fruity flavours favoured in new yogurt formulations

Fruity flavours favoured in new yogurt formulations

Fruit flavours dominate the yogurt market, featuring in over two-thirds of global launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of March 2013, rising to three-quarters of the USA total and nearly 70 percent in Latin America.

This encompasses a wide range of different types of fruit, from more traditional strawberry and peach to more unusual such as papaya, damson and coconut. Plain, natural or unflavoured yogurts are the second most popular option globally, featuring in about 12 percent of introductions, but again this varies, depending on regional and cultural preferences for plain yogurt, with levels rising to over 22 percent in Asia, but falling to less than five percent in the USA. Brown flavours, such as chocolate and caramel, took third place globally, ahead of vanilla.

”The yogurt market is generally showing good growth, and this is reflected in terms of new product activity, where levels are continuing to rise globally. With an increasingly competitive marketplace, the need for product differentiation has led to developments in flavours over recent years, most notably into more upmarket and complex options, often featuring a number of different ingredients, sometimes with formulations taken from other sectors of the market, such as desserts, bakery and confectionery,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. She also says that companies are trying to ring in the changes with increasing numbers of limited edition and seasonal options.

The split-pot concept has helped to move the level of flavour sophistication forward. This has allowed for the addition of sauces and purees, as well as inclusions such as chocolate or mini-biscuits, which can be used with plain or flavoured yogurt to add further interest in terms of texture.

Originally confined to dual-compartment pots, the market has now extended to include three-compartment pots, permitting wider options in terms of the number and type of ingredients that can be offered. Ehrmann has been a leader in this area with its Almighurt Nach Herzenslust (for our Heart’s Desire) range, first launched in Germany in 2011 in a heart-shaped three-compartment pot. The latest addition to the range in 2013 is Zitronen-KŠsekuchen & Knusperwaffeln (Lemon Cheesecake with Crispy Wafers) variant. This features vanilla yogurt in the main pot, and lemon sauce and crisp wafer pieces in the two smaller pots.

Meanwhile, flavour trends in the yogurt market in 2013 seem to be following a similar path to recent years, with the exotic, unusual and more complex featuring strongly across a range of countries. In the UK, Collective Dairy has even added value to a new natural yogurt variant sweetened with honey, by giving it its own identity under the Plain Jane name. Other range extensions featured the more exotic and upmarket, including Banoffi and White Peach & Raspberry, while a limited edition Papaya & Coconut variant replaced the previous Mighty Mango line.

In Germany, Stracciatella (with chocolate flakes) appears to be a new area of focus with introductions under the Landliebe and Activia brands in the first part of the year. Stracciatella is one of three new flavours added to the Landliebe premium range, along with chocolate and caramel, while Activia Creme Genuss is being marketed as the first ever Activia product to contain fine chocolate.

Blackcurrants can aid mental alertness

Blackcurrants can aid mental alertness

A recent study suggests that New Zealand blackcurrants can help manage your busy work day.

A study by Plant & Food Research has shown that an extract of New Zealand blackcurrants enriched in anthocyanins can help people stay more alert, reduce mental fatigue and work with greater accuracy whilst under significant mental stress.

In the randomised, double-blind study, 35 healthy young participants were asked to complete 70 minute computerised assessments designed to demand attention and to be mentally fatiguing, such as watching a series of random numbers and responding when three consecutive odd numbers appeared. The trial found that, compared to placebo, after taking the extract from Just the Berries Limited, participants worked more accurately without slowing down, and felt more alert and less mentally-fatigued after the test.

“We know that there are compounds in dark berry fruits, like blackcurrants, that have real effects on people’s health and wellbeing,” says Dr Arjan Scheepens, the study leader.

“We found that, compared to a placebo, taking an enriched blackcurrant extract before performing stressful mental tests helped trial participants maintain accuracy, and that their mental fatigue was significantly reduced. Our next stage is to identify exactly which compounds are creating this effect, and using this knowledge to develop new whole and processed foods or ingredients that deliver optimised performance.”

Just the Berries launched the product in May under the brand delcyan™ and market it as both a validated functional food ingredient and as a consumer product.

Organic cranberry powder with added health benefits

Naturex has launched Europe’s first clinically proven – and proanthocyanidin (PAC) standardised – organic cranberry powder targeting urinary tract health.

New Pacran® Organic is an extension to the existing range of Pacran ingredients, which are clinically proven to reduce the recurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Pacran ingredients are unique full spectrum whole cranberry powders, and are not based only on certain active extracts, such as PACs. Independent science demonstrates that full spectrum cranberry is more effective in helping to prevent UTIs.

Pacran® Organic was introduced to the European market for the first time at the Vitafoods Europe 2013 exhibition, which took place in Geneva this month.

“In Europe, organic dietary supplements are only a small part of the overall market. We firmly believe this is because there has been a lack of investment in gold-standard clinical research involving organic ingredients. With strong scientific substantiation behind it, we believe Pacran® Organic will enable our customers to tap into this fantastic opportunity,” says Dan Souza, senior director of sales and marketing – DBS Division.

Pacran Organic is part of the NAT life™ range, Naturex’s portfolio of ingredients offering scientifically proven benefits and unique compositions achieved through proprietary processes.

Naturex manufactures natural speciality ingredients for the food and beverage, nutrition and health and personal care industries. Headquartered in France, Naturex employs 1,400 people and has 15 production units located in Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, England and Poland), the USA (New Jersey and California), Brazil, Australia, Morocco and India. In addition, the group has several sales offices worldwide.

Naturex-DBS was created following the acquisition of Decas Botanical Synergies (DBS) by Naturex. The entity is responsible for the development of value-added ingredients for a range of sectors, including dietary supplements, functional foods, animal feed & nutrition, personal care and cosmetics, and oral health.

Affordable dairy ingredients may relieve child hunger

Affordable dairy ingredients may relieve child hunger

Dairy ingredients could be the key to effective, affordable foods for moderately malnourished children, according to studies presented by international food aid specialists at the first Arla Foods Ingredients food aid seminar held recently in Denmark.

But further research is necessary to determine the precise nutritional impact of dairy ingredients in convenient food aid products. To ensure their affordability, research also needs to identify the minimum dairy dose capable of improving the health status of children in hunger hit regions.

Globally, nutrient deficiency is the cause of stunted growth and development in 165 million children.

Interdisciplinary knowledge exchange

Some of the world’s leading food aid specialists from academia, business and NGOs attended the seminar in Denmark, where the latest knowledge was exchanged about formulating food aid products that satisfy new nutrition guidelines published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2012.

Speakers included Dr Mark Manary, professor of paediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and founder of Project Peanut Butter, which helps hundreds of thousands of malnourished children in Africa. Dr Manary welcomed the seminar as an important industry-driven initiative.

“Through this seminar, Arla Foods Ingredients gives people like me a chance to interact with people who know a lot about food. We have important knowledge to share with each other,” he says.

Promising studies with whey

Food aid is a relatively new focus area for Arla Foods Ingredients. Particularly, studies led by Dr Manary and Dr Kim Michaelsen from Copenhagen University have drawn the company’s attention through their investigation of two Arla Foods Ingredients products – whey permeate and whey protein concentrate.

Preliminary findings from a Project Peanut Butter clinical study underway in Malawi, for example, indicate that ready-to-eat supplementary foods made with whey permeate and whey protein concentrate speed up recovery from moderate malnutrition in children aged six to 59 months.

Henrik Andersen, Arla Foods Ingredients chief executive, says – “This work has raised our awareness of how we can contribute to the development of next-generation supplementary foods designed to overcome childhood malnutrition.”

Speakers at the seminar represented Project Peanut Butter, Copenhagen University, the US Dairy Export Council, Swiss humanitarian think tank Sight & Life, and Arla Foods.

Their presentations are available to view at

Kale reinvents itself with health, quality and availability focus

Kale reinvents itself with health, quality and availability focus

Kale, or borecole, part of the Brassica family of vegetables, is currently riding high in markets such as the US and the UK.

Its nutritional benefits and attractive colourful appearance are attracting a whole new range of consumers, boosted still further by rising levels of usage as a vegetable accompaniment by celebrity chefs. In line with this, the use of kale in a wide range of packaged food and drink products has also risen markedly in recent years, with a consistent increase in launch activity recorded by Innova Market Insights and the total number of global introductions more than trebling over the five-year period to the end of 2012.

Lu Ann Williams, research manager at Innova Market Insights, reports that kale, while a traditional vegetable of long standing in many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa and China, declined in popularity as a wider range of alternatives started to appear.

“More recently,” she says, “rising interest in healthy eating and winter-time availability have regenerated interest in its use, supported by a growing presence on restaurant menus and ongoing promotional activity by TV chefs.”

The US has seen a particularly high level of activity, accounting for over 60 percent of global 2012 introductions featuring kale recorded by Innova Market Insights, with activity across a wide range of product types, led by supplements, fruit and vegetable products, soft drinks and snacks.

Launches over the year varied from Pasta Prima’s Superfood Spinach and Kale Ravioli to Bex Brands’ Suja cold pressed juice blends, where the Glow and Green Supreme variants both feature kale in combination with other ingredients. Even leading soup company Heinz got in on the act with its Mediterranean-style Parmesan, Kale and Seared Italian Sausage Soup introduced during the year.

Launch activity has continued in 2013 with Fresh & Easy’s Eatwell range extensions including Kale Caesar Salad, Kale and Edamame Saute and Super Soup Mightily Green Vegetables (with kale, spinach, peas, green peppers and garlic).

The UK has also seen rising interest in the use of kale as a vegetable and an increase in household penetration and this has also been reflected in launch activity in prepared foods, particularly in seasonal launches in the soups sector. Chilled soups market leader New Covent Garden introduced its Winter Broth with Bacon & Curly Kale in early 2013, followed by free-from brand Soupologie’s inclusion of a Spinach and Kale with Roasted Garlic variant in its six-strong spring season range.

A more unusual application is kale chips, made with dried organic kale by Inspiral and now marketed under the Raw Kale Chips name in a range of savoury flavours, including Wasabi Wheatgrass, Baobab and Onion and Cheesie Purple Corn, all made with fresh, British kale, rich in antioxidants, calcium and vitamin A. They were joined in 2013 by the first sweet variants, Cacao and Cinnamon and Raspberry Maca. Kale chips are also available in the US from companies such as Rhythm Superfoods, a natural foods brand specialising in raw, vegan and gluten- free foods.

Clean label Natural Improvers toolbox set to transform baking

Clean label Natural Improvers ‘toolbox' set to transform baking

Arla Foods Ingredients has developed a ground-breaking ‘toolbox’ of natural improvement solutions offering bakers optimised production processes, better quality end-products, reduced waste and cleaner labels – all at the same time.

The Nutrilac® Natural Improvers range is a portfolio of multi-functional ingredients offering targeted benefits for producers of bread, cakes, biscuits and cookies and bakery fillings. All are made from natural and functional proteins derived exclusively from milk and can be listed on-pack simply as ‘milk protein’.

The new ingredients are designed to provide industrial bakers with smoother and more efficient processes, promising easier handling of dough, batters and fillings. They also provide excellent stability, with the ability to lock in the air whipped into batters and the water kneaded into dough, resulting in optimum freshness, texture and resilience throughout a product’s shelf life.

Shelf life itself can also be extended using Nutrilac Natural Improvers, because they help a product maintain perfect sensory properties for longer, cutting down on waste and increasing profit margins. The new ingredients can also improve the nutritional profile of a baked product by reducing fat content.

All of these substantial benefits are achieved using 100 percent natural ingredients, helping bakers maintain cleaner labels by avoiding the many synthetic improvement agents on the market today. The wide range of benefits provided by the ingredients offers manufacturers an excellent multi-functional alternative to gums, enzymes and emulsifiers, which are usually limited in their scope to a single benefit or function.

The new Nutrilac Natural Improvers are being launched now in Europe and China, with a global roll-out set for later this year.

Søren Nørgaard, senior manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, says, “We have long known that our existing protein-based egg replacement solutions provide a series of supplementary quality benefits. Our technologists have now taken those benefits and evolved them into a targeted toolbox which makes it easier for bakers to achieve great results every time, whatever their goal and whatever the product.”

“Our new Nutrilac® Natural Improvers offer bakers a huge variety of benefits that meet a comprehensive range of production needs, including optimised processes, better product quality and reduced wastage. They will appeal to consumers, too, because they will result in a healthier product with a cleaner label, free of the e-numbers and chemical names used for other improvement additives.”

There are four launch products in Arla Foods Ingredients’ new Nutrilac Natural Improvers toolbox, each offering specific benefits designed to meet the majority of bakers’ needs:

  • Nutrilac® CH-4650 – ensures a much more stable batter with better mixing tolerance, enhances cake surfaces by reducing stickiness, improves colour and appearance in cakes, and optimises creaminess by imitating fat in custard cream and other types of filling
  • Nutrilac® IM-8027 – a high-gelling protein designed to create excellent structure and strength in baked goods, providing optimum viscosity in most batter systems, greater water retention and excellent emulsification
  • Nutrilac® IM-5566 – provides softness in bread without reducing crumb resilience or elasticity, offers increased strength in cakes for better slicing quality, and stabilises aerated batter systems for higher volume and stability
  • Nutrilac® IM-7042 – offers improved mixing tolerance, produces a more stable batter and provides superb emulsification properties in a whole range of wheat-based baked goods, including bread

Caldic expands to Pacific regions

Caldic expands to Pacific regions

Caldic B V, distributor and producer of food ingredients and chemicals, continues its expansion and growth in the food ingredient market through the creation of Caldic New Zealand Ltd, based in Auckland.

This operation will focus on being an adding value link between supplier and customer, offering functional product solutions for the Pacific regions. The venture shows Caldic’s ambition to expand its global food ingredients business.

Caldic’s main activities are the distribution of chemicals and food ingredients. Currently the sales of food ingredients represent 45 percent of the total sales of the company, a number which has been steadily growing through acquisitions of Nealanders in North America and Sollaari Oy in Finland. With this establishment Caldic is reinforcing its vision and opens up a new market beyond its current core strengths in Europe, Asia and North America.

Caldic New Zealand will utilise its global partnerships to bring unique functional solutions and competitive commodity ingredients to food and feed manufactures. The focus is to combine this global reach with a tailored approach to the New Zealand market, offering a range of distribution services in a flexible customer centric business model. Key New Zealand market segments include dairy, beverage, bakery, processed convenience food, and animal feed.

This move allows Caldic’s principles access to a new customer base alongside a trusted partner in food ingredient distribution. According to Mr van Caldenborgh the Pacific regions were recognised by Caldic as “a key pillar for potential growth”.

The managing director of Caldic New Zealand, Mr S Crockett says – “We look forward to providing innovative solutions and services to customers within our target market segments, and new sales avenues for our principles. To achieve this we need to form strong partnerships with our suppliers, have a sound understanding of our customers and connect the two to create value for all stakeholders.”

Caldic is an international distributor and producer of ingredients and products for the food, chemical and technical industries, with branches all over Europe, Asia and North America providing a wide range of high quality products and related services to many industries. Caldic adds value for customers by supplying additional services and by being a reliable partner. Caldic imports and supplies food ingredients and provides extra value within the supply chain by offering personalised services. By distributing a complete range of food ingredients and natural products within all market segments, including technology and manufacturing services, Caldic meets the needs of the highly demanding food market.

Cutting salt and boosting taste

DSM's salt reduction toolbox allows manufacturers to reduce sodium in savoury products by up to 50 percent without losing taste or mouthfeel

DSM’s salt reduction toolbox allows manufacturers to reduce sodium in savoury products by up to 50 percent without losing taste or mouthfeel.

The toolbox is based on a unique five step approach that enables manufacturers to choose from a comprehensive portfolio of natural taste enhancers to develop foods that meet global sodium reduction targets and deliver the flavours consumers demand.

DSM’s sodium reduction toolbox includes a broad selection of 100 percent natural yeast extracts and process flavours to help manufacturers build unique and specific tastes for their product. Depending on the type of product and the salt reduction target, each of the ingredients in the toolbox can be added on its own or combined in five steps, which will enhance saltiness, restore the umami, add salty taste and achieve a homemade meat or vegetable flavour.

By activating taste receptors, particularly umami, in the mouth and throat, yeast extract-based flavourings can help compensate for the taste losses that are usually associated with salt reduction. Tests have also demonstrated that 60 percent of consumers preferred the combination of sodium reduced tomato sauce when combined with DSM yeast extracts, claiming that it tasted less sour and had a richer, more authentic taste than the full-salt version.

Rich in natural free glutamate, Gistex® HUM LS strengthens bouillon notes and enhances the umami character in soups, meat and fish products. Maxarome® Pure and Maxarome® Select contain highly neutral taste-enhancing nucleotides to provide a lingering salty taste in milder culinary flavoured products, while Multirome® LS contains less salt and requires only a third of the dose than other basic yeast extracts to deliver a long-lasting and well-balanced umami taste in soups, crisps and dressings. When paired with Maxavor® YE All Natural and the Maxagusto™ range of all natural process flavours, these ingredients can deliver authentic and intense chicken, beef, roast and vegetable flavours in a wide variety of low-sodium applications.

All the ingredients in DSM’s low-sodium toolbox are 100 percent natural, Kosher and Halal-certified, offering a natural and effective way of reducing sodium without compromising on taste.

“Sodium reduction remains a key priority for many of our customers,” says Dennis Rijnders, business line manager at DSM Food Specialties.

“Initiatives, such as World Salt Awareness Week have educated consumers and pushed the demand for low-sodium products to an all time high. However, many sodium-reduction solutions have not been able to deliver the taste consumers expect and manufacturers were often faced with difficult choices. With the DSM toolbox we’re now able to offer our customers a unique five step approach, allowing them to formulate healthy, yet delicious products.

“DSM has been processing yeast extracts since the 1950s, creating one of the broadest portfolios of culinary ingredients available. Our team of savoury application experts supports manufacturers across the globe to find the right ingredient solution for their specific needs and product, whether it’s soup, ready-made meals, savoury snacks, sauces or noodles.”

Researcher uses kumara to alleviate vitamin defiency


A Massey University PhD student has developed a complementary food for infants in developing nations that could help minimise vitamin A deficiency.

Francis Kweku Amagloh used sweet potato as the base ingredient for the food, which he hopes will address some of the micronutrient deficiencies in the vulnerable period when infants transition to solid food. Complementary or weaning foods are usually introduced into the diet at around six months.

After working for the World Health Organization, Dr Amagloh found infants in his home nation Ghana were mostly given cereal-based complementary food, prepared from white maize, that is devoid of vitamin A precursors. This spurred his interest in researching strategies to improve infant nutrition for his PhD.

His supervisor, Associate Professor Jane Coad of the College of Health, says it is a common problem in developing nations. “These children often falter in growth and get anaemia and vitamin A deficiency because the household-level weaning foods introduced don’t provide adequate micronutrients,” she says.

“In Ghana, like a lot of developing nations, the traditional cereal-based porridge is low in micronutrients and high in phytate, which binds to the iron and stops it from being absorbed.”

Using New Zealand kumara (sweet potato), Dr Amagloh developed a food product at Massey’s Food Pilot Plant that could be easily stored and rehydrated with water. It has low phytate and is high in vitamin A precursors and could serve as a good dietary source of vitamin A. The powder could also be manufactured easily in developing nations with locally grown sweet potatoes.

Dr Coad says Massey has unique capability across food and nutrition that allowed Dr Amagloh to complete the project. “We took this right across the breadth of expertise of the institute, so although Francis is a nutritionist, we used Massey’s expertise in food technology at the pilot plant and the expertise in postharvest technology and sensory evaluation.”

Dr Amagloh, whose study at Massey was funded by NZAID, is now back in Ghana with the University for Development Studies. He is seeking funding to carry out more research on the nutritional advantages of sweet potato and plans to continue collaborating with staff at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health in the College of Health. His PhD thesis was included in the Dean’s List of Exceptional Doctoral Theses.

“Although the sweet potato-based weaning food would positively contribute in reducing vitamin A deficiency among children, we cannot be certain if it will help reduce iron deficiency,” Dr Amagloh says. “This question will only be answered through an infant feeding trial.”

Tempeh – a healthy, fermented soy product


By Professor Steve Flint

Tempeh (pronounced TEM-pay) is a popular Indonesian food consisting simply of fermented soybeans, or occasionally other legumes or grains. The beans are tender cooked and fermented by Rhizopus oligosporus mould until the beans have been knitted together by dense cottony growths called mycelia.

Tempeh is usually sliced into thin patties or fingers and fried until golden brown. Used as a base ingredient for such products, tempeh has been described as reminiscent of southern fried chicken or seafood fillets with an aroma described as nutty, cheesy, or mushroomy. Tempeh is high in protein averaging at 19.5 percent, which compares well with chicken (21 percent) and beef (20 percent), and is the highest vegetarian source of vitamin B12 making it one of the best vegetarian alternatives to meat1. Even if you are not vegetarian, products like tempeh can offer a pleasant and healthy variation to the average diet.

Health benefits of tempeh Tempeh

Tempeh contains no cholesterol, is high in polyunsaturated fats, and has no salt, making it a very heart healthy replacement for meat. However, tempeh also has some other unique advantages to health that result from the fermentation process.

Tempeh is highly digestible, as the fermentation process releases enzymes that break down the components of the soy making them easily absorbed. Consequently tempeh has a higher nutritional quality than the soybeans used to make it1. The allergic response to soy proteins in sensitive individuals is greatly reduced in tempeh. This is because the proteins in soybeans are broken into smaller pieces by enzymes, and these smaller pieces cannot be recognised by the immune system. The immune response to tempeh is reduced by 66 percent compared to unfermented soy2, and thus people who are only mildly allergic to soy may be able to enjoy tempeh.

Another noted effect of soybean fermentation is the production of antioxidants3. The fermentation process results in a higher antioxidant content in tempeh than is naturally present in unfermented soybeans. The antioxidants are not as potent as commercially available antioxidants, but they are all natural and present in high concentrations. It is a widely held belief that antioxidants can protect against cancer because of their ability to deactivate free radicals.

A study on the effects of tofu intake on memory4, found that regular tofu intake resulted in a worse memory whereas regular tempeh consumption was linked to an improved memory. The mechanism for this has not been identified, but it is believed that the fermentation process is responsible for this marked difference. The Handbook of fermented functional foods (5) describes how some anti-nutritional factors of soybeans are inactivated, while beneficial isoflavonoids become easier to absorb after fermentation.

Tempeh is available in New Zealand but is not consumed widely. In recent years our students have manufactured tempeh and prepared products such as sausages and burgers using tempeh as the base ingredient. These products have been well received by sensory panellists. Tempeh is well worth considering as an alternative source of dietary protein.

1) The book of Tempeh. W. Shurtleff and Aoyagi, A. Ten speed press, 1979 173 pages.

2) Frias, J, Song, YS, Martinez-Villaluenga, C, De Mejia, EG, Vidal-Valverde, C. 2008. Immunoreactivity and amino acid content of fermented soybean products. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56(1): 99-105.

3) Lee, YL, Yang, JH, Mau, JL. 2008. Antioxidant properties of water extracts from Monascus fermented soybeans. Food Chemistry. 106(3): 1128-1137.

4) High tofu intake is associated with worse memory in elderly Indonesian men and women. Author(s): Hogervorst E (Hogervorst, E.)1, Sadjimim T (Sadjimim, T.)3, Yesufu A (Yesufu, A.)1, Kreager P (Kreager, P.)2, Rahardjo TB (Rahardjo, T. B.)4

Source: DEMENTIA AND GERIATRIC COGNITIVE DISORDERS Volume: 26 Issue: 1 Pages: 50-57 Published: 2008

5) Handbook of fermented functional foods. Edward R. Farnworth. Edition 2, illustrated. CRC Press, 2008. 581 pages.

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Christchurch bakery makes best bun

Kidds Cakes' award winning hot cross buns

A Christchurch bakery is the winner of the Great New Zealand Hot Cross Bun Competition. Kidds Cakes and Bakery on Cranford Street were unanimously chosen by the judges as the clear winner in the competition, which had 68 entries overall from around the country.

Kidds Cakes’ focus on flavour was rewarded, with the judges saying the use of lemon juice to marinate the fruits worked well for both the flavour and the texture of the buns. Chief judge Mike Meaclem of the Baking Industry Association of New Zealand says the buns had a lovely light texture, and a nice bold look to them with a perfect white cross.

The description of the buns, submitted with the entry, read – “Old fashioned hot cross buns hand crafted using a double fermentation process, with lemon juice marinated exotic fruits, a delicate blend of fresh spices, and a hint of citrus zest, finished with a sweet citrus glaze.” Their buns included sultanas, currants and cranberries.

The judges were Mike Meaclem, bakery tutor at CPIT, Dennis Taylor, a qualified chef and manager of the School of Food & Hospitality, Marcus Braun, patisserie tutor and winner of numerous awards himself, Tony Goddard, bakery tutor, and Ryan Marshall, culinary manager at the School of Food & Hospitality. The judging criteria were aroma, colour, texture but most of all flavour and the judges agreed that while there were a number of very good entries, Kidds’ buns were outstanding.

Kidds Cakes was presented with a Silver Trophy by BIANZ president Brendan Williams, naming them winner of the Great New Zealand Hot Cross Bun Competition. There are no runners up.

This was the inaugural Great New Zealand Hot Cross Bun Competition and Mr Williams and chief judge Mike Meaclem both see it as the start of a competition that will bring prestige to winners and come to be regarded as an essential part of the baking calendar.

Hot cross buns have long been a traditional part of the Christian festival of Easter where they are eaten hot or toasted. While the cross is taken as a symbol of the crucifixion, it is believed that the Greeks baked and consumed cakes with crosses on the top of them. Saxons made buns with crosses to honour the goddess Eostre – said to be the origin of the word Easter itself. The first recorded usage of the words hot cross buns was in 1773.

In New Zealand hot cross buns are an established part of both Christian and non-Christian Easter but they are now made well in advance of Good Friday to satisfy demand. The buns are characterised by the nature of the sweet bun, and raisins or currants.

Jamieson Laboratories relies on Impulse grader from Symetix

Jamieson Laboratories relies on Impulse grader from Symetix

As Canada’s oldest and largest manufacturer of natural vitamins and minerals, Jamieson Laboratories is a market leader that has earned that position by consistently providing innovative products of the highest quality, purity, and safety.

To help maintain their high standards, Jamieson recently installed an Impulse®/P high-capacity vibratory size grader from Symetix®. Jamieson’s Impulse/P automates the removal of broken tablets and fragments prior to packaging to improve product quality while reducing labour costs.

“Prior to Impulse/P, we were manually sorting tablets for breakage. We searched for an automated solution that would improve product quality and alleviate unnecessary labour at the same time,” says Andy Holwell, director of operations at Jamieson.

“What used to take a week to manually sort on an inspection belt can now be accomplished in an eight-hour shift, including clean up.”

Designed for solid-dose pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturers and contract packers, the Impulse/P vibratory size grader features a sanitary stainless steel bed and removable decks with holes that are perfectly sized for each product. Gentle electromagnetic power is combined with a high-throughput design to mechanically sort softgels and tablets.

Jamieson selected Symetix’s Impulse/P for tablets, a 48 inch (122cm) wide system that size grades up to 1,000,000 tablets per hour, while their subsidiary, International Nutrient Technologies, installed the 18 inch (46 cm) wide Impulse/P for softgels, which size grades up to 500,000 softgels per hour. Jamieson’s two-deck tablet system removes broken tablets and fragments, and the three-deck softgel system at International Nutrient Technologies removes twins, clusters, slugs, under-diameter capsules, and over-diameter softgels.

“Our goal was to achieve performance results that matched the sales pitch. Symetix told us that Impulse/P could remove 99 percent of broken tablets and fragments. We’re getting 99.8 percent removal. That level of performance can’t be accomplished with manual inspection, especially at those high speeds,” says Adriana Bodica, process engineer.

“The upper deck removes broken tablets and fragments, and the lower deck recovers usable tablets, which helps keep nuisance rejects – the loss of good tablets – to a very low and acceptable volume.”

The decks are removable – each tablet length to be graded has a corresponding set of dedicated decks, which assures repeatable grading. Jamieson has three sets of decks to handle their range of products.

“When we were validating Impulse/P, we did dozens of tests back-to-back to be sure the performance was consistent from one run to another. It is very repeatable,” says Ms Bodica.

Compared to a traditional diverging roller size grader, which introduces subjectivity because it needs to be adjusted by the operator, Impulse/P is perfectly repeatable and easy to operate. It’s also easy to clean and fast to changeover. An operator simply wipes down the stainless steel bed, snaps the decks that handle the new tablet size in place, and begins production.

“We have a roller grader elsewhere in the plant. By comparison, the Impulse/P is very gentle, and it can be changed over in about half the time,” says Mr Holwell.

Impulse/P features no sliding or rotating parts to wear. The oil-free electromagnetic drive is quiet and has no moving parts. In addition to gentle handling and high throughput, Impulse/P offers exceptional service life and very low maintenance.

“Any time we can eliminate lubricants, it’s one less thing we have to check, and it’s better for the environment,” says Mr Holwell.

“We’ve had no maintenance issues with the Impulse/P. There is nothing to maintain, really.”

With its large infeed hopper and an electronically-controlled infeed gate, Impulse/P can be easily integrated with upstream and/or downstream equipment or used as a stand-alone size grader handling batches. Jamieson uses their Impulse/P as a stand-alone unit. Producing almost 3 billion capsules and tablets per year on their 13 tablet presses that run 24 hours a day, five days a week, Jamieson’s operators assess product coming off the presses for breakage and either run the product through Impulse/P or not, prior to tablet coating and/or packaging.

Of the 250 products that Jamieson produces, several dozen are prone to breakage and typically run through the Impulse/P.

“For each product, we set up the parameters and store them in the system’s memory. Those parameters include how wide the gate opens and for how long, which regulates the product flow, because some products need to run a little slower than others,” says Ms Bodica.

Impulse/P features a touchscreen control panel with an intuitive user interface.

“It’s very simple to operate.”

“In the nutraceutical industry, the quality bar is constantly rising, and we are ahead of this curve because we voluntarily follow pharmaceutical manufacturing guidelines, which are higher than nutraceutical guidelines,” says Mr Holwell.

“We measure the success of Impulse/P based on its ability to sort out broken tablets and fragments. Equipment uptime also matters, but product quality trumps every other consideration. Impulse/P does a better job removing broken tablets and fragments than manual inspection. We’ve removed the human-error factor, and done so while reducing costs.”

The natural pharmacy of the world

GMANZ Executive in Korea – Hank Ensing, chairman, Mr. Eisen Shim, vice-chairman

Many owners of small NZ businesses are custom-designing some of their products for the Asian market.

New Zealand food manufacturers that create health products are ready to spring ahead to expand in Feb 2013. The business bridge is opening up for companies who are up-to-speed with New Zealand food technology and who are prepared to raise the bar to that of making New Zealand the natural pharmacy of the world.

Hundreds of new employees will be needed within these businesses to fill a range of jobs in New Zealand’s natural health pharmaceutical industry. GMANZ’s strategic move to develop New Zealand as the world’s pharmacy will substantially improve the financial standing of New Zealand families this year.

It’s big news for crop growers and almost any business capable of producing health products with native NZ ingredients. The GMANZ business bridge has been built for herb growers, industrial chemists and New Zealand business people to enable them to export a wide range of health products for animals and humans which contain certified and approved ingredients specifically grown in New Zealand.

The jobs are arising as enterprising Kiwis are creating products made from ingredients derived from NZgrown crops and NZ-farmed animals. Entrepreneurs in NZ can now use the newly established GMANZ business bridge to reach distributors throughout Asia.

The GMANZ business bridge is the solution to the challenge of exporting NZ-grown products to Asia.

Several GMANZ leaders, including Hank Ensing (GMANZ chairman) and Eisen Shim (vice chairman), have returned from Asia, having cemented the last GMANZ Flowersfew pillars of the GMANZ business bridge between NZ exporters and Asian distributors.

In February Korean distributors and Korean health industry leaders will be visiting New Zealand companies interested in exporting to South Korea using the GMANZ business bridge.

In addition, last-minute interest has some New Zealand businesses scurrying to be listed for a visit by these Korean distributors in order to plan customised products for export later this year.

The GMANZ delegation of Asian visitors will visit prospective exporters at their own business premises. They will meet in fields and factories, warehouses and laboratories.

It will be a tour of possible export suppliers and manufacturers across New Zealand in the natural health and well-being industry.

Several groups are coming to New Zealand in the first two weeks of February. The Asian leaders will tour New Zealand looking for suppliers and NZ companies wishing to join an export consortium and use the GMANZ business bridge to export to Asia.

Winning companies across New Zealand must lead out as highly responsible producers worthy of being ambassadors of a country capable of becoming the pharmacy of the world.

[email protected]


GMANZ (the Green Medicine Association of New Zealand) is a non-profit organisation with a unique study and research group for green medicine in Asia. GMANZ has a vision and mission of establishing New Zealand as the clean, green pharmacy of the world.

GMANZ advocates that one sustainable competitive advantage which sets New Zealand apart as the country capable of being the pharmacy of the world is our clean, green, environmentally sustainable county.

Our country’s role as a global pharmacy is a fragile position that needs constant protection.

GMANZ headquarters are in Hamilton, with strong links to research teams in Seoul Korea.

Dairy alternative drinks move beyond soya

Dairy alternative drinks move beyond soya

While dairy alternative drinks accounted for a relatively limited share of five percent of the total dairy launches recorded in the year to the end of October 2012, the market has seen considerable recent development.

This is being fuelled by its increasing popularity in the West, where it is moving out of the specialist health food arena and into the mainstream.

Soya milks traditionally dominate the sector and still featured in 78 percent of dairy alternative drink launches, either as a main or secondary ingredient. But there has been rising interest in the use of other plant-based alternatives, including cereals, such as rice, oats and barley, and nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. Rice was the second most popular ingredient after soya, but at a considerable distance, featuring in 17 percent of introductions. This is ahead of oats in 11 percent and almonds in 10 percent.

Almond milks have continued to grow in popularity. Their share of global launches has reached its present level of 10 percent from just three percent in 2005. Following the flurry of activity in almond milks in the USA in 2010 and 2011, a rise in interest was recorded in Europe, particularly the UK, in 2012. Former soya specialist Alpro is extending into the nut milks market with almond and hazelnut milks early in the year, closely followed by Kallo developing its Dream range of milk alternatives with Almond Dream, and then the mid-year arrival of USA almond company Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze range.

As well as single-source milk alternatives, there has been a rising use of blends, such as soya and rice, or multi-grain options. The move towards the combination of different non-dairy ingredient sources has been developing in recent years, and again the USA has been leading the way. 2012 saw the extension of Hain Celestial’s Dream dairy-free brand with Dream Blends, marketed as the ‘next generation of non-dairy beverages’ and featuring a combination of almonds, cashews and hazelnuts.

Dairy alternative drinks have traditionally been marketed on a health platform and this has continued, with three-quarters of launches recorded by Innova Market Insights featuring a health claim of some kind. The most popular positionings relate to lactose-free formulations, the use of organic ingredients, a low cholesterol content and an additive- and preservative-free ‘clean-label’ image. Over 35 percent of global introductions featured lactose-free labelling, rising to over 50 percent in North America and Europe.

Within the ‘active’ health or fortified arena, the use of added vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, was the most commonly used claim. Heart health claims, once frequently used to market soya milk, particularly in the USA, are no longer so much in evidence. This reflects regulatory concerns over claims, as well as disputes over their validity. About 6.5 percent of launches featured heart health claims in the 12 months to the end of October 2012, which was lower than the level of claims for digestive and gut health, at 7.5 percent.

Meat and potatoes become a healthy combination

Research suggests there is a beneficial relationship between red meat and potatoes

The relationship between red meat consumption and gut health is the topic of much confusion among the public and of debate among scientists. However a new study from Plant & Food Research may offer hope to those who love red meat but worry about the effect it may have on their gut, discovering more about the role vegetables may play in promoting healthy digestion of that next steak.

Scientists investigated the effects of red meat consumption with and without fermentable carbohydrates on the large bowel health in rats. The research, published in the Journal of Food Science, suggests that the impact of red meat consumption on bowel health may be reduced by consuming alongside fermentable dietary fibre, such as that found in potatoes.

Fermentable carbohydrates, including most fruits and vegetables, deliver a colonic energy source that produces less harmful by-products than the microbial breakdown of colonic protein for energy.

“The proteins we eat can influence the metabolism of microbiota in our gut and therefore our bowel health,” says Plant & Food Research scientist Dr Chrissie Butts.

“While most proteins are digested and absorbed by the small intestine, undigested protein reaching the large bowel is fermented and can result in potentially toxic compounds.

“Our research showed that by delivering dietary constituents that supported beneficial bacteria and restricting the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the large bowel we were able to have positive effect on the host’s health”.

The eight week study investigated the effects of cellulose, potato fibre, and potato-resistant starch on a range of gut health indicators in rats fed diets containing cooked red meat. The results showed that dietary combinations of red meat with potato fibre or potato-resistant starch had significant effects in the large bowel, including higher concentrations of beneficial bacteria and positive changes with respect to short-chain fatty acid concentration.

Future studies are now being planned to examine the efficacy of different types of non-digestible carbohydrates in maintaining colonic health during long-term consumption of high-protein diets.

The study was supported by Plant & Food Research’s own internal funding as part of a Strategic Science Investment. This improved understanding of gut activity and the interactions between food and gut microbiota provides the knowledge needed to make healthier food choices for large bowel health. In future, developing functional red meat products with fermentable dietary fibre may also help promote a healthy and balanced macronutrient diet.

Dairy giant focuses on growth and sustainability

Blue cheese

The decisions made by farmer shareholders over the past decade have laid a strong, durable foundation for Fonterra’s future growth and profitability, said Sir Henry van der Heyden at Fonterra’s Annual Meeting in Hamilton in December last year.

In his final chairman’s address, Sir Henry said when he took the job on, he wanted to make a difference and leave the Co-operative in a better position at the end of his tenure.

Taking stock of the changes within the industry over the past 10-15 years, Sir Henry reflected on the important decisions that had strengthened Fonterra’s global position and returns to farmers.

“It’s been one huge year after another and every one of them has made us stronger. “Together we’ve turned a collection of co-ops into the world’s top dairy exporter.

“Creating Fonterra was a massive leap of faith on two levels. We put our faith in a single integrated model – and we put our faith in it succeeding in an entirely deregulated market. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that we pulled it off,” he said.

“Fonterra came out of the blocks with $11.8 billion in assets. We have grown that by 28 per cent to $15 billion. That’s an outstanding performance.

“We have done what we set out to do – grow farmers’ wealth – and that’s come through in the value of your land, your shares and your earnings on the farm.”

Sir Henry said global demand for dairy was the strongest it had ever been and was growing.

“We need to use all of our muscle to push ahead and stay ahead. But we will do it our way. History has shown we are not afraid to make the big calls and make big changes without trading what is really important.”

Chief executive Theo Spierings said since Fonterra’s formation in 2001, the board and farmer shareholders had made the tough decisions required to position the Co-operative for growth.

“Establishing a Fair Value Share, achieving a transparent Milk Price, and introducing a dividend policy were the first three hurdles. This year, Trading Among Farmers has delivered permanent share capital and a stable capital base.

“Looking ahead, our business strategy is to grow volumes, grow value, generate more cash and improve our return on capital. To deliver on this, our future priorities are to shift more ingredients sales direct to customers and generate prices higher than global dairy trade, grow consumer and foodservice volumes, align our costs and spending so we have the money to invest in areas that will generate growth, and maintain a balance between environmental, economic and social sustainability.

“We have to start thinking differently about cost – and have already started doing this with our focus on reducing costs by $60 million this financial year. Building a durable co-operative for the future meant Fonterra had to align spending, to make sure resources were directed to the right priorities,” Mr Spierings said.

Report says naturality the dominant trend for 2013

Greek yoghurt

The influence of ‘naturality’ over food and beverage product development will continue to grow in the coming year, according to the latest edition of New Nutrition Business’s trend-spotting report.

10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2013 says naturality has become “the direction people want to go in” and will shape and drive the market in the coming year as companies across all categories seek to ride the naturality wave.

The new report highlights consumer research conducted by Kampffmeyer Food Innovation, a Germany-based supplier of grain ingredients. The research findings show that 74 percent of people surveyed thought that ‘natural’ meant ‘healthier’, illustrating clearly just how strongly the idea of naturalness is connected to healthier products in the minds of consumers.

Meanwhile, several product categories go from strength to strength off the back of the naturality platform, including:

  • Coconut water – sales are rocketing, powered by coconut water’s advantage – that it delivers ‘all-natural’ benefits. Germany-based Green Coco, Europe’s largest coconut water brand, experienced 60 percent sales growth in 2012 “without any marketing investment, no advertising”. In the US sales of coconut water jumped by more than 100 percent to at least US$200 million in the year to September 2012
  • Snacking nuts – The Wonderful Pistachios brand has become one of the most successful healthy snack launches of the last decade. Retail sales grew from zero to more than US$400 million from 2008 to 2012
  • Greek yogurt – The explosive growth of Greek yogurt in the US has been powered by the Chobani brand, with annual sales of over US$1 billion only four years after launch. Chobani’s success comes from many factors – one being its natural message. Advertising for Chobani carries the tagline: “Nothing but good”.

“Naturality was the top trend in 2012 and will remain so in 2013. Quite simply, it’s the direction people want to go in. Naturality resonates positively with consumers in multiple ways and it provides food and beverage companies with opportunities to market products that command a premium. Although its exact definition can be debated, naturality does not fall foul of health claims legislation – but still manages to convey wellbeing-related messages. ‘Natural’ is something defined in the mind of the consumer, not by technical or regulatory definitions – and natural for many people also means healthy,” says Julian Mellentin, author of 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2013.

“Naturality has, in effect, also become a ‘super-trend’ because its influence can be seen not just in its own right but across a whole host of food and beverage categories. It now affects the direction of several other key trends we have identified in our new report, including energy, dairy and digestive health.”

The 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2013 report identifies and analyses the ten major forces that will define the food and beverage industry in the coming year.

In full the key trends are:

  • Naturality
  • Energy
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Seniors
  • Healthy snacking
  • Packaging and premiumisation
  • Digestive health
  • Weight management
  • Immunity

“Several of the trends in this year’s report appeared in our top 10 last year, and we make no apology for that. Some trend lists change significantly from year to year, with new subjects appearing one year and disappearing the next. This is not the case with our list. We focus only on those trends that are underlying key drivers for our industry – not fads with no long-term meaning. This enables companies to formulate their innovation strategy around our trends analysis – as many companies tell us they do,” Mr Mallentin says.

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Raising the steaks

Green Meadows

A family owned producer of premium New Zealand grass-fed beef introduces an innovative website, export-quality beef cuts and farm to front door delivery.

Green Meadows Beef, a new family business that produces 100 percent grass-fed, free-range beef, is bringing a fresh approach to beef marketing and delivery so that New Zealanders can enjoy healthier, tastier and more ethically produced meat.

The Carey family founded Green Meadows Beef after realising that the best New Zealand beef is exported and never made available to the local market. The Carey family believe that Green Meadows Beef has a much better flavour, taste and colour compared to the beef presently available to New Zealanders.

“All of our animals are farmed ethically and fed their natural diet in the lush green pastures of South Taranaki,” says Nick Carey, director at Green Meadows Beef.

“They receive the best of care, which includes drinking household quality water from troughs filled by the local Cold Creek community water scheme. We believe it’s these details that give our beef its superior flavour and texture, as well as that beautiful vibrant red colour.”

To make it as easy as possible for New Zealanders to access the Green Meadows Beef products, the family ship free of charge throughout both the North and South Islands. They have also developed an easy to use website at for online ordering.

The Green Meadows Beef cuts have already been met with approval from New Zealand chefs, home cooks and food bloggers.

Delaney Mes, who is a food writer for Metro and also writes the New Zealand food blog, Heartbreak Pie, says: “The steak I cooked up was absolutely delicious. It’s good to see a product you can buy directly and that you know exactly where it’s come from. Consumers are certainly becoming more informed. When they eat meat, they want quality. People are also becoming more environmentally conscious and wanting to be less wasteful and use more parts of the animal, so having a wider variety of cuts on offer is ideal.”

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