Two methods that allow biscuit and snack food manufacturers to take advantage of rapidly rising demand for products with reduced fat contents have been developed by APV.
The company has also invested in facilities to allow customers to undertake full process and development trials.
Consumer preference is clearly for low fat products that do not compromise on taste and texture. The 'baked not fried' concept of production for snack products allows this to be achieved.
The key is the use of a conventional baking oven and an oil spray, rather than a fryer. This allows the oil content to be significantly reduced (typically from 35 to 40% to 5 to 15%); it also enables the product to benefit from the much wider range of textures that can be achieved during the forming and baking process.
Such products can be further enhanced by the use of 'designer' flavourings that are often introduced at the oil spray stage.
Existing biscuit production lines can be easily adapted for 'baked not fried' products, as a conventional hard dough cutting system needs only an oil spray unit, flavour applicator and a bagger to be added after the oven.
Low fat and no fat products are also a growing trend. Equipment and the process for such products are more complex but APV now offer systems that can handle biscuits with up to 50% less fat than conventional products.
As reducing the fat content in the recipe creates problems in the actual processing, an effective fat replacer must be used. More than 130 fat replacers have been tested already and no 'standard' has emerged so far but interested readers should contact the Baked Products Division at APV Baker Ltd, Manor Drive, Paston Parkway, Peterborough, tel:0173 328 3000.
More Developments at Leatherhead
We hear that in the next phase of the Food RA's 3 to 5 year programme of modernisation, the chemistry laboratories are to be relocated and refurbished to create a fully centralised department.
The RA's pilot-scale manufacturing capabilities for snack foods have recently been enhanced by the addition of an integrated frying and flavouring processing line.
Originally designed as a pellet fryer, in-house modifications have made this equipment more versatile. It can now be used for a range of frying applications, ranging from pellet flying to crisp production.
Portasilo Completes Tate and Lyle Contract
Portasilo Bulk Handling Systems of York recently completed a [pounds]2.9m. contract to supply and install a sugar storage and handling system for Tare and Lyle Sugars at the Thames Refinery.
This Portasilo contract formed part of one of the largest engineering schemes ever undertaken at the refinery - the total scheme cost some [pounds]15m.
The Portasilo scheme centred on two site-built 2500 tonne capacity sugar storage and conditioning silos, of mass-flow design, capable of taking granulated sugar from process at the rate of 125 tonnes an hour. The temperature of the sugar is in the range 40 [degrees] to 50 [degrees] C and relative humidity levels are up to 0.12%.
These are the largest steel fabricated vessels in the UK, with a diameter of 11m and height of 40m. They have been designed on the mass-flow principle to ensure a consistent discharge of sugar on a 'first in-first out' basis. These tanks also had to meet conditioning, recirculation, explosion protection and transfer criteria.
We are told the stainless steel mass-flow cone for the silos, incorporating plenum chambers at two levels for sugar conditioning and triple outlet points, is currently the only in the world on a silo of such a capacity, handling such a difficult product as sugar.
The Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association is now offering a new pesticide reporting service. Tailor-made reports are reproduced in response to individual customer requests using data held on the Campden Pesticide Database.
This database is updated as soon as new information becomes available, ensuring that every customer has an up-to-the-minute situation report.
Two types of report can be generated for specific crop/commodities: Maximum Residue Levels Reports specify UK, European Union and Codex MRLs on a crop-by-crop basis; Pesticide Approvals Reports list pesticide products approved for use in the UK, together with their active ingredients and MAFF approval status. These reports also provide useful information (supplied by the NFU) on off-label approved pesticide products.
Starfrost Equipment for Frozen Herbs
Lowestoft-based Starfrost Systems Ltd have gained a contract to supply Frozen Herbs Ltd of Eye with a specially designed version of their Starlite Turbo freezer.
As many readers will know, the Eye company manufacture individually quick frozen herbs for industry and have more than 1000 acres under cultivation.
This Starlite unit is highly suitable for freezing small particulate products and Frozen Herbs will be freezing 2000kg an hour of parsley and coriander natural florets, as well as a variety of other English leaf herbs, like basil, mint and rosemary The product will be fed into the unit at a temperature of +10 [degrees] and discharged at 26 [degrees] C.
Frozen herbs are very convenient from a handling and storage point of view.
A Starlite Turbo will effectively freeze product that was previously only considered suitable for cryogenic freezing. The use of the Star-D-Belt to filter the air leaving the product allows air flows of sufficient velocity to fluidize even small products, such as chopped herbs and yet retain the fines within the freezer and without the evaporator becoming contaminated.
Ro-Dor for British Beef
The British Beef Co Ltd, part of the Union International Group, have only been operating from their Padholme Road processing plant for five years.
Recently, they replaced an existing external facing timber door with a roller shutter door provided by Ro-Dor Ltd of Chilbolton near Stockbridge.
This single phase door measures 1.6m wide by 2.6m high and is finished in grey. Being constructed from PVCu, this door easily withstands pressure washing or hosing down.
Amending Solvents Regulations
Proposals to amend the Extraction Solvents in Food Regulations 1993 to include the use of cyclohexane as a permitted extraction solvent have been issued by MAFF.
The regulations have been amended, following the adoption of an amendment to EC Directive 88/344 to permit the use of cyclohexane in the extraction of flavourings up to a maximum residue limit of 1 mg per kg.
Krones Unit for H P Foods
H P Foods are about to take delivery of a Krones Autocol rotary self-adhesive labeller.
Designed to apply front, back and neckaround/shoulder labels to an initial range of 8 rectangular and oval polypropylene bottles, the Autocol is equipped with 3 synchronized pressure-sensitive label applicator heads. It also has disengagable infeed worms for maximizing bottle stability on entering the carousel and, prior to the infeed, a pressure reduction device to introduce spacing between the containers and minimize bottle-to-bottle contact.
Bowes Order More Ro-Dors
Bowes of Norfolk, the pork processors, decided a couple of years ago to replace the galvanised steel roller shutter on a loading bay with Ro-Dor PVCu roller shutter doors.
So pleased were Bowes with these doors that they ordered two more for distribution bays, and other roller doors, all in white, have been installed in the cold room, the production area and a recently completed extension.
In all, ten Ro-Dors are now in use at the Bowes plant. However, they then asked Ro-Dor Ltd of Stockbridge in Hampshire to fit their latest model,which is a faster acting PVCu RS door with a speed of operation of 0.8m a second. This model has the added benefit of being tough enough to be used as an external security door. Altogether six of these fast acting doors have now been fitted. All operate from inductive loops plus pull cord switches with an automatic timed closure. Four measure 3m wide by 3m tall, one is 2.5m wide and the same height and the final door is 2.5m wide by 3.5m high. All are finished in grey and can be pressure washed down when necessary.
Investment at East Kent
Reports tell us that East Kent Packers Ltd are about to install new grading plant. As readers will know, East Kent operate from a large controlled atmosphere packhouse and they are involved in the storage, grading and marketing of fruit for leading multiples.
Labels for Caviar
Sales of caviar to top UK hotels were up more than 25% in recent months as opposed to a year earlier.
This created a problem for Princesse d'Essenbourg et Cie, the London-based purveyors of fine foods and wines. The company, which imports three grades of caviar from the Caspian Sea, ran out of labels.
Fraser Labels of Richmond came to their rescue with the overnight production of more self-adhesive polyethylene labels. The design itself involves the use of an all-over grey ground colour over-printed in two colours and silver foil blocked, then overlaminated with a clear protective film.
Quality Assured Services Gains Further Approval
A further consultancy has been awarded approved status under the Royal Society of Health Hygiene Accreditation Scheme for the Food Packaging Industry.
Quality Assured Services of Royston, Herts is the fourth consultancy to achieve such status, following assessments by the Society's Audit Unit based at the Cardiff Institute, an associate college of the University of Wales.
The QAS point of contact for the Scheme is Tom Clifton, who is based at Tredington in Warwickshire.
Largest Egg Grader
Oasters have installed in their new packing centre a Cranbrook in Kent what is believed to be the largest egg grader in the world.
Manufactured by Staalkat in Holland, this unit will handle 150,000 eggs an hour and is the first machine of its kind to be manufactured throughout in stainless steel.
Another first for the egg industry is the use of a laser detection system to identify shell faults. We understand that every egg is scanned several million times by laser light to determine shell quality. This means the system works without contacting the eggs and is more accurate than existing crack detection equipment, we are assured.
Park Foods' Project Q
The Park Foods Group has under development a new product, code-named Project Q. This is a new potato product.
Apparently, their development will allow chips to be deep fried in just a minute that will mean the technique used for the manufacture of frozen chips will be considerably changed.
A new plant is to be opened at their Birkenhead premises and this will be capable of producing some 20 to 50 tonnes of product a day.
Clawson Upgrades Fleet
Long Clawson Dairy Ltd, the stilton and speciality cheesemakers, have upgraded their fleet both to cope with increased demand for their products and more milk intake capacity.
As a farmers' co-operative, Clawson continue to obtain the bulk, say 80%, of their milk supply from producing members but have recently added 14 new suppliers to their membership. This means there are now 43 members, which has necessitated investment in a 26 tonne six-wheel tanker that is capable of carrying 16,500 litres of milk to the dairy.
At the same time Long Clawson have purchased a new 17 tonne refrigerated delivery vehicle to help supply their range of cheese products to beth wholesalers and the depots of major multiples.
More Investment at Fletchers
A further [pounds]3.5m. investment in a store freezer is more evidence of the continued success of Fletchers Frozen Foods.
With nearly ten million bakery items being produced every week, the pressure on storage space had been growing steadily. To meet this need and provide for future expansion, they are to build a 6000 pallet store freezer on a five acre site.
This freezer is being built adjacent to the Sheffield bakery but initially, at least, they will not be able to fill all the space themselves and will thus be able to hire out space on a short or medium term basis.
Former Tech Formers for Snack Factory
Former Tech, the specialist vertical form fill seal machine shoulder assembly builders, have through their UK contact, Kelvin Woodard, recently supplied The Snack Factory.
Twelve formers have been provided for the use on the crisp and snack food manufacturer's VFFS machines specifically to carry out a private label contract on behalf of a leading supermarket chain.
The snacks for this contract are being packed in metallized-type materials and, in consequence, The Snack Factory needed formers that would not mark the packaging material. As readers will know, face-marking can easily appear on metallized materials if they are run over formers that are worn or have been mad e to a lower quality standard.
Laurens Automate with Comas
Laurens Patisserie Ltd of Newark have invested in the latest depositors from Comas of Italy to match the increasing demands for their products.
Three specially designed DR 500 depositors are now in continuous use, depositing sponge batter, choux batter, cream and smooth batter or jam to produce mini, small and large eclairs weighing from 10 to 38g, 12g cream puffs, profiteroles and their other specialities.
These depositors were recommended by European Process Plant Ltd of Epsom, the UK distributors for all Comas equipment. Each of these stainless steel units has three interchangeable dosing plates. with 4, 7 and 8 outlets, with sets of nozzles offering 8, 10, 12 and 15mm options.
Their 457 by 662mm baking trays are fed in and out of the depositing station by means of a rubber cord conveyor, which is adjustable for height.
These units are computer-controlled and can be programmed to produce up to 50 different selected deposits.
Safeline Upgrade Blendex Systems
The upgrading of quality systems at Blendex of Tyne and Wear has included the integration of three metal detection units into their automated production lines. These units were manufactured by Salford-based Safeline Ltd.
Blendex supply blended seasonings, curing compounds and preservatives to both manufacturers and butchers. The company also has a contract packing arm that specializes in dried foodstuffs.
Their Safeline installation includes an inclined detector which monitors polybags of powders of varying sizes and weights up to 227g. The detector is preprogrammed to recognize a wide range of powders and, since many have a high salt content, screen out 'product effect' automatically without loss of sensitivity.
On their bulk line, a Safeline sack detector works in tandem with a bagger to monitor large sacks before they pass to the palletizer.
Blendex Contract Packaging runs the new Safeline Series 35 conveyorized system between a VFFS bagmaker and cartoning equipment as a final check of the packaged goods. Here, the system's space-saving design and resistance to interference from nearby metals proved essential when slotting it into the existing production line.
Ucrete Floor for new Solway Factory
Solway Foods' new Factory 3 at Corby produces chilled snackfoods.
When designing this new factory the company attached considerable importance to the choice of flooring. As the transfer of food material along a production line can occasionally lead to accidental spillage, it was vital to have a slip-resistant floor. The flooring also had to remain unaffected by the ingredients that might be spilt, and be able to withstand the rigorous cleaning that is necessary to achieve the high standards of hygiene needed in 'high risk' areas.
Ucrete HF 100 flooring has been laid. It was trowel-applied to a nominal 9mm thickness on to a prepared substrate. The new flooring is non slip, resistant to corrosive materials and its monolithic nature minimizes the need for joints.
Some sq m of the flooring has been installed by Vodka Flooring (East) Ltd, an approved applicator of Crete material.
Multivac Machine for Dairy Crest's Pick' N' Mix
With retail sales of Pick' N' Mix cheese portions currently growing rapidly, Multivac thermoforming equipment has been chosen by Dairy Crest Ltd to produce the pack required for their new single portion of Blue Stilton cheese, which is now being sold in the Pick' N' Mix section at supermarkets.
A specially modified M855F machine, from Swindon-based Multivac UK Ltd, is now in operation at Dairy Crest's blue cheese plant in Hartington, producing the miniature packs. This M855F unit uses peelable preprinted film to produce the top web and unprinted film for the bottom web; the packs themselves measure 4 by 4 by 1cm with a 2cm overlap at the top. A 'knoppen' helps to keep the two films separate in one corner, making the pack easy to open.
In order to meet the requirement for a rigid, well defined pack, this M855F thermoformer is equipped with a plug assisted die, which ensures the film is evenly distributed and forms sharp corners, providing good protection and a quality appearance. The machine also incorporates the Multiprint hot foil printing system that dates stamps the top web of the pack in-line.
Marden Edwards Unit at Thorntons
Preparing for the Easter rush is now no problem for confectionery specialist Thorntons, thanks to Marden Edwards & Co of Wimborne.
In the past, Easter was hard work for Thornton's shop staff. Chocolate boxes were individually hand-wrapped in seasonal paper at the point of sale. Whilst having that hand-wrapped look, it was obviously time-consuming, so the manufacturers decided to install overwrapping machines to do the work.
Thorntons are now using two Marden Edwards overwrapping systems at their factory in Belper to gift-wrap their Temptations range of boxed chocolates in seasonal paper. An additional two Marden Edwards machines are then used to apply a film overwrap to the paper-wrapped box to protect the paper wrap during transit and storage.
The particular machines that the Wimborne-based engineers have now supplied are two ME12-30FF/6 paper overwrappers and two ME12-30FF/6 film overwrappers. The first machine in each line wraps printed kraft paper around each box and seals it with PVA cold glue, while the second overwrapper in the line puts a heat-sealable film wrap around the box.
These machines enable Thorntons to wrap some 12,600 boxes a day.
Afos Unit for Wensleydale
Wensleydale Dairy Products are now able to provide in-house smoking facilities for the growing demand for their smoked products, rather than relying on the spare capacity of other food smoking processors in the area.
The new smoking kiln, a Double Maxi from Afos Ltd of Hull, will meet foreseeable demands for their smoked cheese, as well as providing, on a sub-contract basis, the capacity to offer other local cheese producers and food processors hot and cold smoking facilities.
This compact, all-stainless steel Double Maxi unit is floor-mounted and coupled to a fully automatic Afos smoke generator that controls the burning of the oak and beech shavings to a preselected smoke density.
RVL Makes it Lighter for DBC
The Danish Bacon Co have just purchased a temperature-controlled insulated body from Refrigerated Vehicles Ltd.
This lightweight box body has provided not only long term load flexibility but, at the same time, increased payload by some 500kg.
As DBC carry fresh bacon, fresh meat, chilled products and dry goods, they needed separate chilled and ambient compartments for multi-drop deliveries. Thus, a movable bulkhead assembly was constructed to enable the company to alter the relative size of the compartments to cater for different load combinations.
To maintain the temperature between zero and 2 [degrees] C in the chilled compartment, RVL have installed a Carrier Supra 722 refrigeration unit. At the same time, a different type of seal system has been used on the movable bulkhead, incorporating a capping to which PVC extrusions are adhered. A flat bash-plate has also helped to prevent the problems of leakage through the sides of the bulkhead.
So a whole consignment can be pallet or cage-loaded, RVL of Easons Green, Framfield have incorporated gas-assisted struts that enable the movable bulkhead to be raised up to the roof.
Enterprise Unit for Lowe
Lowe Soft Drinks of Cardiff have recently ordered a capping turret from the Enterprise Croup of Barton Road, Pulloxhill in Bedfordshire.
This ten-head capper for 28mm plastics PP Caps will be turret mounted on to an existing filler. An important feature of the purchase was that the capping heads had easily adjustable torque. This is achieved by a single Allen screw with calibrated adjustment. By turning this screw, it is a simple matter to adjust the gap between the permanent magnets in each capping head.
For this particular application, the Arol Euro is being fitted with a pick and place device, to give positive placement on the bottle, and the bottles range from 33cl to 2 litres.
Lowe Soft Drinks already had a Baumer shrinkwrapper installed, and it was being serviced by Enterprise, so the company and its capabilities were well known to them.
Laser Coding for Cadburys
Proven success of Lumonics laser coding at Cadburys led the company to purchase four additional Xymark 7000 laser coding systems from the Hull-based company to cede their Easter egg range.
Cartons for the popular egg range, including Cadbury's Milk Tray, Cadbury's Roses, Cadbury's Time Out and Cadbury's Buttons, are being coded with 'best before' dates, lot marks and shift codes. Such a system, provides Cadburys with accurate product traceability and allows the company to meet the specifications of BS 5750.
Cadbury, which already had Xymark 7000 dot-matrix laser coding systems installed on their lines, chose the same units again because they offered clean, flexible operation. With a large variety of products to be coded, flexibility is essential, to avoid altering the coding head height for each carton change.
To further simplify operations, the systems have been adapted to function from a single control panel, and an additional panel has been linked in to provide operators with production line information.
Tetra Top Filler at MD
A high speed Tetra Top filling machine has been installed and commissioned at MD Foods Oakthorpe dairy.
This new machine, a TT/3, is designed to fill Tetra Top 1 litre cartons at a rated capacity of 9000 units an hour and is the first Tetra Top filling machine to be installed by MD. Initially, the output from this machine will be committed to the supermarket own-label business.
The company is already equipped with Tetra Pak filling equipment, including two Tetra Rex TR/7 machines, a Tetra Brik TB/9 units and end-of-line handling and distribution equipment for both returnable and one-way distribution systems.
As readers will know, the Tetra Top carton is fitted with a plastics ring-pull as an integral part of the plastics unit sealed to the top of the canon. This plastics unit, including the ring-pull, is formed in one continuous operation within the TT/3 filling machine and sealed to the body of the paperboard carton. All the operator has to do is to ensure the TT/3 is supplied with plastics granules to form the Tetra Top plastics top unit and printed reels for the formation of the body of the pack.
Labelling System for Saudi Arabia
Precision Labelling Systems Ltd of Leeming Bar, Northallerton recently secured a contract for the supply of four labelling systems to Halwani Bros and a single system to Gandour (Al-Jazira Food Co), both in Jeddah, through their agents Zultec Saudi Arabia.
The contract comprised combinations of stainless steel mobile conveyor units, to IP65 standard, complete with overhead and side-mounted applicators, also short overhead stabilizing belts to facilitate wrap-around and tamperproof label-ling of various sizes and shapes of glass bottle containing preserves and cheese products, and plastics Halawa containers.
Rotary turntables for batching labelled products were also incorporated in the installations.
Changes at Ormeau
Towards the end of January, Belfast-based Ormeau Bakery announced a significant cut in its labour force - one third.
This state of affairs has been caused by increasing loss that have been building up over the last five years.
As part of its operational changes, we understand the company plans to open a central distribution facility.
Ice Cream Manufacturer Cuts Waste Removal Costs
Cleanliness was the main motivation for the move to waste compaction by Richmond Ices of Northallerton.
They wanted to eliminate the build-up of waste, which is a potential health hazard. However, it was appreciated that their waste incorporated plastics cartons and the like - more air than solids. So, compaction was an obvious idea.
To solve their problem, Richmond purchased a Bergmann Roto-Compactor from Kenburn Waste Management of St Albans. Not only does this unit compact all their waste but it also saves money, as the cost of waste handling has been reduced by some 30%, as against the five skips they used to have on site.
More Western Influence in Dubai
We hear that McDonalds have opened their first outlet in the UAE at Dubai's Al Ghurair Centre. This 270-seater restaurant is said to be one of the largest outside the USA.
Gulf Agency Co is to open a new cold store in the Jebel Ali Free Zone. This 14,310sq m facility is being equipped with computerised mobile racking and will operate round-the-clock, providing client companies with more than 7000 pallet positions.
Belnor Workwear and Breadwinner Foods have made hygiene history by introducing lint-free garments for the employees at the Bread winner sandwich factory.
In a food preparation area, reducing lint in the air can play a vital role in halting the spread of air-borne bacteria.
The material being used for these garments is new to the UK but widely used on the continent. Despite a 50% cost premium for using this fabric, Breadwinner opted for lint-free uniforms for their staff. To offset some of the increased cost, they and Belnor have devised a uniform that is suitable for both sexes. Such a technique means they can hold fewer uniforms in stock.
Usually food preparation garments are made from a poly/cotton fabric, which not only releases microscopic lint particles into the air but also attracts and holds bacteria. The new material being used by Belnor Workwear Ltd of Hounslow is Twill 180 100% Pontella, which is less likely to attract bacteria and does not produce lint particles.
Tristar at Brakes
Brake Bros Foodservice has more than 800 products on offer to the catering trade.
With such a variety of products in their portfolio, the necessity for high speed, flexible manufacturing is obvious.
In 1989 Brake Bros acquired a factory in Flint and inherited a low speed ready-meal assembly line but it soon became obvious that faster and more flexible systems were needed.
At that time Dellepac Food Systems Ltd had a concept for a high speed lidding and sealing machine capable of speedy change-over between board lidding, hooding and heat sealing.
Brakes received the prototype and ran it at Flint for a year. This trial resulted in a few minor improvements being made before Dellepac were able to launch their Tristar unit. Brakes now run both their Tristar machines continuously and they each achieve throughputs of 50 units a minute with board lidding a variety of round, square and rectangular foils, foil hooding of oval foils and heat sealing CPET trays.
Billy Boy's Rider Contract
Rider Plc have won a five year contract hire agreement with Billy Boy Frozen Foods (Tonbridge) Ltd.
This agreement covers the supply and maintenance of eight Leyland Daf 45-130 7.5 tonne trucks.
These trucks, which are fully liveried to the customer's specifications, replace existing vehicles and account for 20% of their fleet.
Based at Billy Boy's Tonbridge depot, these vehicles will make around 40 deliveries a day in the South Eastern area. To cope with the demands of such an intensive schedule, they are fitted with Thermo King forced air refrigeration units.
Versatile Fasson Livery for BOC
A new versatile livery, adaptable to all their variously styled designated service operations, has been adopted by BOC Distribution Services.
The smart red, Fey and black graphics are all produced on Fasson's FasCal 900 QM by J G Fenn Ltd of Stoke-on-Trent. Among the variations are liveries for BOC Baker, BOC Euroshield and BOC Transvite, as well as that for BOC Distribution Services itself.
Doubling LongLife Production at Tanners
A major new installation, to double the production of longlife milk at Tanners Foods dairy in Sible Hedingham was commissioned at the beginning of this year.
The integrated processing and packaging plant was installed by Tetra Pak Ltd and includes cream standardization equipment, UHT processing plant, filing machines and new multi-packing equipment.
Centrepiece of this plant is the Tetra ThermAseptic/Flex. This is a new model of the TA/Flex (formerly Steritube), in which the lobes are self-supporting rather that relying for stability on a separate frame. We understand this new design cuts thermal stresses and saves up to 50% of floor space.
Cream standardization is carried out with an Alfast unit, that features cascade control for accurate measurement.
To package this additional capacity, Tanners are installing two Tetra Brik Aseptic TBA/8 fillers. These will be used to fill 500ml cartons for sale either as own label on under Tanner's own brand.
Equipment downstream of the fillers is also being modernised and expanded to provide a more efficient service for their supermarket customers. Two tray packers are being retained, the existing shrinkwrapper is being uprated and a new Multipacker 62 is being installed. This will allow the new lines to collate in units of 6 or 4 by 500ml cartons.
Europe's Largest Pasteurizer Cooler Flensted A/S of Denmark are that country's largest supplier of vacuum packed ready-peeled potatoes, along with other fresh packed vegetables.
When the company were investigating the production of pasteurized vacuum packed peeled potatoes, they approached Cabinplant International A/S of Haarby in Denmark. They wanted a system to pasteurize the vacuum packed potatoes and Cabinplant developed a pasteurizer cooler with a capacity of 1000kg an hour for them.
Such was the success of the product that Cabinplant were asked to increase the capacity of the unit, and this was done by a factor of 50%. In order to lower the costs and also not interfere with existing production, a separate cooling section was built and tailored to the existing machine. On installation, the existing machine was modified to become the pasteurizing section.
Demand for the product continued to increase and the capacity of the unit has now been increased to 3000kg an hour and the whole unit measures 66 by 4m.
In the pasteurizing zone the packs are sprayed with recirculated hot water, the temperature of which is maintained by means of live steam injection; some 200,000 litres an hour of water are recirculated. Energy reduction in the cooling zone is achieved by first stage cooling of the product in an evaporation zone by means of water recirculating through a cooling tower mounted above the building. Depending on ambient temperature, up to 70% of the total heat can be removed. Evaporation losses are made up by steam condensate from the pasteurizing zone, the remaining heat is removed by the use of chilled water in the 36m long cooling zone.
Chilled water passes over the product in 8 counteflow stages, the temperature rise in each stage being around 2 [degrees] C before it is recirculated via the chiller. This means that, during the entire cooling process, the water has the maximum temperature differential with the product. At the same time, water consumption is reduced to a minimum because the machine consumes no water at all except that being used for steam generation.
In the UK, interested readers should contact Cabinplant (UK) Ltd of Redbourne, Gainsborough.
Mentec Order from Thorntons
Thorntons Plc have placed an order with Mentec Ltd to supply and install a comprehensive business control system, which is based on a software package called Oracle-GEMMS.
This system was designed by Datalogix to satisfy Enterprise Information Requirements of process manufacturers and should continuously improve quality, service and overall efficiency.
SCI System for Mineral Water Company
Kerry Spring Water of Dingle, Co. Kerry market their mineral water in five sizes of bottle, both glass and PET, and in various pack sizes and configurations.
To meet their rapidly expanding market, they ordered a fully automatic SCI system from AssiDoman Medway, the Italian company's distributors in the UK.
The Kerry water is marketed in 250ml glass bottles and 500ml, 1.5, 2 and 5 litre PET bottles. Their multi-packs come in 2 by 2, 2 by 3 and 2 by 4 for the PET packs and are automatically collated by machine and wrapped in film only. The glass bottles are wrapped on a base card and in film.
The SCI AF 432/BF machine was recently commissioned at the Kerry plant and when operating with the new filling equipment, which is being installed shortly, will collate and shrinkwrap the packs at speeds of 30 a minute. This new machine also has the ability to produce multi-packs with the printed film in register with the pack.
Joint Venture Company to Provide Advice
A joint venture company has been set up to provide specialist business development advice and assistance.
The Food Industry Team includes professionals from a range of disciplines and can provide an integrated service covering all aspects of business and project development, from process management and space planning to energy audits, guidance on legislative compliance and advice on funding, construction and planning issues.
We understand the Team are able to assist all types of company in the food and drinks sector, be they in catering, manufacturing, wholesaling, distribution or retailing.
The three leading partners in the Team are Peter Buchan of Rider Nicklin, a multi-disciplinary firm that provides advice on working environments, Ian Stewart of Monk Dunstone Associates, who provide finance and project management advice, and Jennie Stokell of JS Management, who advise on process management.
Readers wanting more information should contact the Team at Northumbrian Way, Killingworth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, tel:0191-216 0999.
Willett Codes Norwegian Coffee
A new flexible packaging overprinter, the Willett 2730, is being used by NKL, the Norwegian Co-operative Society.
NKL, based in Oslo, where the coffee is roasted, ground and packaged, is the first coffee producer to which the overprinter is already established in UK confectionery companies.
The company uses the 2730 to code high quality silver coffee bags, made from aluminium foil and a polypropylene laminate, with 'sell-by' dates. Packaging time and lot codes are also printed at the same time, to provide traceability.
Because traceability is now so important, the 2730 unit is being connected to NIL's central database by Wailed Norway.
Torbed Unit for EAFI
A Torbed 750 reactor is now being used to pasteurize herbs and spices at the plant of East Anglian Food Ingredients Ltd in Clacton-on-Sea.
Installed last December, this automatic unit treats the firm's full range of whole or rubbed products at the rate of 250kg an hour.
As readers may know, this unit has been designed byAldermarston-based Torbed Services Ltd for the very fast heat transfer to food products, up to 350 C, without the use of oil or superheated steam.
EAFI carried out trials, which showed that in 50 seconds the Torbed unit reduced the total viable count of organisms on Sarawak black pepper from 32 million per gram of product to just 200,000.
Surveillance of Coffee for Ochratoxin
The Leatherhead Food RA is now conducting surveillance for ochratoxin A in green and roasted coffee beans on behalf of MAFF.
As some readers may know, ochratoxin A is found as a natural contaminant of plant products, including wheat, barley and beans.
Until recently, this mycotoxin had not been detected in coffee, and it was generally believed that caffeine inhibited the fungal growth necessary for toxin production. However, work carried out in both Switzerland and the Netherlands, using more sensitive detection methods, have shown that ochratoxin A does occur in coffee.
In this latest programme, scientists at Leatherhead will compare ochratoxin levels in normal and decaffeinated coffee, sampling from a variety of coffee types including Robusta and Arabic Mild from South and Central America and Africa, and Caribbean and Arabica dry-processed beans from Brazil.
Urschel Unit for Tinsley
Tinsley Foods of Holbeach St Marks, near Spalding have recently installed a new Urschel Model VSC cutter.
The installation of this new unit will allow the company to expand its output still further.
As readers will know, the VSC is capable of making segments, slices and square rectangular strips from vegetables like carrots, pickles and potatoes. This system employs the same type of cutting technology that, until now, has only been available from large scale watergun systems, say Leicester-based Urschel International Ltd.
Quality Award for Castlefields
Castlefield Foods, following 18 months of internal evaluation and focused improvement, has been registered with the ISO 9002 Quality Management System. The company, that procures meat and poultry by-products, tells us it is one of the first companies to be registered across all its sites.
Distribution Contract for MCG Closures
MCC Closures Ltd have awarded their national distribution contract to Inter-City Transport.
Inter-City will replace MCC Closures' own account fleet and provide a rapid response delivery service to drinks manufacturers throughout the UK for the delivery of aluminium and plastics bottle tops.
Inter-City, part of the Transport Development Group Plc, will distribute in excess of 1500 loads per year from MCG Closures's manufacturing facility at West Bromwich. To meet customers' demanding production schedules, Inter-City will operate around-the-clock.
With a network of eight strategically located depots throughout the country, major operational synergies result from this new agreement because Inter-City are already undertaking primary distribution for MCG Closures' customers.
Crown Computing's Britvic Contract
Britvic Soft Drinks have recently awarded a contract to Crown Computing doe their DC-Connect connectivity software, to improve supply chain management by developing links between the production line and Britvic's central As/400 computer.
Their new pallet labelling and bar-coding system means that when a pallet leaves the production line, all bar-coded data are captured using hand-held scanners, and passed immediately by DC-Connect to the central stock and sales order processing system.
Previously, operators had to input this information by hand.
Greenfield's Eggs Break Ground in Ireland
Greenfield Eggs Ltd of Smithboro in County Monaghan wanted to print on their eggs using edible fluids to create distinctive codes for an increasingly competitive market.
The solution to this problem was to use a Videojet Excel 170i ink-jet printer, which has the characteristics of providing small quality print, variable information and reliable coding.
Messages on eggs are now more common and include origin marks, logos and promotional brand identifiers.
With the addition of coding capabilities, Greenfield Eggs are now able to produce their own quality marks.
Presently, they are running 15 lines for eight different grades of eggs and use a 2-line 'best before' date code on grades 1, 2 and 3.
Greenfield installed the ink-jet printer along with a Moba egg grader and delivery system. The printer from Videojet Systems International of Welham Green, Hatfield was operational within a couple of hours of being installed and now runs up to 10 hours a day, across two shifts on a five day week.
Sessions Labels for Sun Ripe
Sessions of York are helping to brighten the products of Sun Ripe Ltd, the fresh fruit and juice suppliers.
Sessions have provided a colourful selection of self-adhesive labels for Sun Ripo's range of freshly squeezed juices and fruit desserts. The labels, printed in five colours, incorporate a bold design showing a lady squeezing fruit juice.
In addition, Sessions supply labels for their desserts, which are packed in portion pots with an in-lid spoon. This meant having labels with a non adhesive section to cover the spoon, which allows the consumer to tear back the label and remove the spoon with ease.
Capital Grants for Marketing Farm Products
Twenty two businesses stand to share nearly [pounds]5m. in grants designed to help them improve the marketing of farm products.
This [pounds]4.7m. award is part of the EU's Processing and Marketing Gram.
The companies concerned are involved in the production of cereals, eggs, fruit and vegetables, meat, potatoes or poultry and they were the successful ones from the 175 applications received. The sizes of the various grants ranged from nearly [pounds]600,000 down to just [pounds]25,000, we understand.
Russian Venture for GrandMet
We understand that Grand Metropolitan and VAO Soyuzplodoimport have agreed to jointly invest in fruit and drink projects for both the Russian and foreign markets.
Apparently, they plan to spend some [pounds]70m. over the next few years on production facilities, marketing and distribution of Russian food and drink.
Eventually, it is anticipated that some GrandMet food and drink products will be made in Russia.
New Filler for Giant Petfood Cans
Butchers Petcare Ltd of Crick have recently installed the latest version of the DRSP rotary filler from Hema Technologies of France, whose UK agent is F Jahn & Co Ltd of Burgoine Quay, 8 Lower Teddington Road, Hampton Wick, Kingston-upon-Thames, tel: 0181-977 8822.
This DRSP-3 filler is designed to handle large particulates and has been installed at Crick to fill their 800g and 1.2kg giant cans. The filler has been mechanically synchronized with their seamer to optimize line efficiency.
As readers may know, this DRSP unit incorporates a system whereby the product is filled over a siphon, with a secondary plunger to positively discharge the product into the can. This design enables the Hema unit to fill particulate pieces with a cross-section of up to 40mm. The siphon system also eliminates the possibility of product run-out when the machine is stopped. In addition, the specially designed vertical rotary valve offers the possibility of fully automatic in-place cleaning.