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    Quick Bytes - Business News At A Glance
 
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Fonterra Invests NZ$72 Million In Cheese Plant
Strong growth from the foodservice catergory driven by Asia is part of the motivation for the investment.
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Unilever Food Solutions Launches Academy
Training programs will be developed by the academy to increase productivity from frontline to back-end. rule1
Nestlé Invests In Egyptian Ice Cream Factory
The US$28.86 million investment will help extend the company’s services in one of its biggest markets.
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Del Monte Pacific Acquires Consumer Food Business
Operator of one of the largest pineapple plantations in the world, the company will benefit from wide access in the US.
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Barentz Strengthens Asia Presence With Philippines Office
Operating from Manila, the company will focus on establishing itself as a supplier to food and nutrition companies in the country.
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Survey Shows Consumers Affected By Food Prices
The Singapore office is part of a multi-phase plan to expand the company’s global presence.
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Watch out for the revamped APFI website coming by the end of 2013.

The new website has been repackaged to offer greater accessibility to the information you need. Watch out for exclusive digital content featuring special insights and industrial knowledge. Look out for a more intuitive experience coming your way!

 
    Must Read APFI Articles!
 
The Clean Label Evolution pic3
 

In the quest for healthy, tasty products, modern consumers attach increasing importance to the origin of the ingredients used to produce their food. From oils to fats, to seasonings and condiments, they want authentic taste through natural flavour ingredients.

In their annual trend-spotting, research groups Mintel and Datamonitor identified natural and clean label flavours and ingredients, as well as low salt, fast innovation, adventurous and ethnic tastes, stability of quality and mitigation against fluctuations. Mintel further reports that consumer focus is definitely on ‘natural’ nutrition and products incorporating inherently natural, fresh, wholesome, balanced nutrition are increasingly popular in the savoury goods sector.

Leading the way towards natural foods across the Asia Pacific region is China, a country known for its lax food safety standards but is now working to shake off the negative image.

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Going With The Flow pic5
  Image by Christian Cable, Lancaster, UK

The cooking and cooling of prepared foods is an area of particular interest for food processors that incorporate pasta, rice, vegetables and dry beans into their food products. Uniformity in cooking and cooling is critical to achieve a refrigerated, frozen or canned meal that will have the desirable texture and taste when it is later reheated for consumption.

The blanched pasta cannot be too stiff or too soft. The fettuccine, linguine, tagliatelle and spaghetti cannot be stuck together or damaged. The cooked rice should keep its texture, have the right amount of free starch or stickiness and maintain its kernel integrity. Dry beans should not be bursting or split. And vegetables should have the desired firmness and consistency. Without a highly effective cooking and cooling capability, these products cannot be obtained with a high degree of uniformity.

Along with improving the precision of cooking and cooling parameters, food processors are always looking for ways to reduce process costs, and, more recently, achieve a higher level of sustainability in their operations.

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    Process & Packaging
pic8 Automation Leads The Way

Automation is a key factor in industrial-scale manufacturing for achieving high production volumes. Packaging automation also creates other benefits, and it can therefore, be an interesting alternative for small and medium-sized production companies as well.

Partial or full automation is common in industrial-scale production of consumer products, in which a large proportion of the process stages is taken over and completely controlled by machines and automation components.

However, despite the sophisticated technical possibilities available, there is still a range of simple or very monotonous tasks within the whole packaging procedure, which is still performed manually in many companies. These include, for example, the infeed and loading of products into the pack, the converging of packs or their later loading into boxes as outer packaging.

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