The 19 best new products and technologies for food processors

Thursday, 01 March, 2012



A total of 19 innovative projects will be receiving either Gold or Silver International FoodTec Awards at Aunga Foodtec this year.

Gold Award winners

Produce washing for germ reduction and prolonged shelf life

The Vortex line by Kronen has been developed for the final treatment of vegetables (including leaf salads and root products) and fruit (eg, apples, grapes). The line features a tubular system with infeed and discharge openings. The precleaned products (fruit or vegetables) are transported into a hopper. Rotating nozzles located at the side gently and reliably flush the products into the system. The product is conveyed with water through the entire length of the tube and finally discharged. The products are moved on to a transport or vibration belt via a water slide. For germ reduction purposes and for enhancing the quality and shelf life of the products, chlorine dioxide or antioxidants can be added to the flushing water. The required contact time can be adjusted and controlled via the flow rate.

Kronen is represented in Australia and New Zealand by Reactive Engineering (www.reactive-eng.com.au).

Kronen, www.kronen.eu

Ultrahygienic belt drive with synchronous drum motor

SN062D is a new belt drive developed by Interroll Trommelmotoren GmbH that operates with a permanent magnet driven synchronous drum motor. This drive is ultrahygienic, environmentally friendly and an energy-saving solution aimed at the food and pharmaceutical industries. The stainless steel drive is completely housed-in and has been developed following the stringent EHEDG recommendations. Cleaning and disinfection times are reduced by up to 30%. In addition, it is only materials certified according to USDA/FAD requirements and Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 that have been used to ensure proper compliance with the strictest requirements.

Interroll Australia, www.interroll.com

HDHF hygienic gripper

The robot gripper system developed at the DIL is universally applicable, easy to clean and suitable for use in many food processing environments. The vacuum grippers ensure flexibility in the handling of food with irregular sizes. An underpressure applied between the gripper and the food surface holds the product securely. Contrary to other vacuum grippers, this one was designed and constructed following strict hygienic design requirements. A vacuum is generated in the gripper, eliminating the need for tubes or pipelines which can easily soil. All gripper parts are made of food-grade stainless steel or food contact plastics materials. The gripping concept is based on the universally applicable HDHF vacuum generator with product-specific gripper geometry.

German Institute of Food Technologies, www.dil-ev.de

Instant maize

Bühler AG has developed a process for the production of instant maize for the markets in southern Africa where corn meal mush is the most important staple food. The traditional preparation of mush is both time- and energy-consuming. With this innovative process, dried instant maize is produced that needs to be cooked only for two minutes. It comes very close to the traditional product in terms of taste, texture and mouthfeel. Due to the cost-efficient production process, the costs for the final products are only slightly above those of the traditional product. Consumers benefit from time and energy savings without any compromise of quality.

Buhler AG Australia NZ, www.buhlergroup.com

Manufacturer-independent process data acquisition

Increasingly, the transparency of internal processes is becoming a decisive factor for the compatibility of companies. One key element is the digital connection of production and management levels using manufacturing execution systems (MES). A successful MES builds on a systematic and standardised set of data and ensures proper data processing. There have been problems with the systems commonly found in the food industry because of the many different controls implemented by the various machine manufacturers. The Technical University Munich Weihenstephan Standards are an innovative concept for the process-spanning data acquisition in the food and beverage industry that is independent of the manufacturer of the controls. This solution will contribute significantly to enhanced quality assurance and increased efficiency.

Technical University Munich, www.tum.de

Hop yield enhancement

In traditional brewing, the extraction of bitter substances from hops is somewhat unsatisfactory. Losses can occur during wort preparation, fermentation, storage, filtration and filling. With the new unit for hop yield enhancement, significantly more of the bitter and aroma substances can be obtained. Basically, the unit consists of different components. Apart from merely bitter substances, hop products often also introduce aroma compounds from the hops into the beer. Therefore, a hop aroma distilling unit can expand the unit for hop yield enhancement. With the hop yield enhancer, breweries can increase their compatibility as well as improve the ageing stability and with that the quality of their beers.

Hertel GmbH, www.hertel.de

Continuous production system for sausages

ConProLink by Handtmann is the first globally available continuous production system for sausages, which makes visually appealing sausages with completely closed ends. The products are produced in one endless chain. Next, they are divided by twisting into individual sausages which can then be separated. The sausage meat is filled into the alginate casings in a coextruding process. The ConProLink system consists of two filling units and one twisting unit. One filling unit delivers the sausage meat and the other delivers the material for the casing for the subsequent coextrusion process. This system is an innovative solution aimed at automated production with high streamlining potential.

Handtmann is represented in Australia and New Zealand by Multivac (www.multivac.com.au).

Albert Handtmann Maschinenfabrik, http://www.handtmann.de/

Pasteurisation system with reduced thermal stress

The application of heat in food processing may result in detrimental effects on the colour, taste, appearance and nutritional value of the food product. In order to reduce these quality deteriorations, the MicroPast system has been developed to reduce thermal stress to a minimum and to shorten pasteurisation time to between eight and 12 minutes. This is made possible by applying microwave energy and using pressure and heat stable packaging. Combining both features eliminates the disadvantages of microwave technology through a targeted generation of steam pressure inside the packaging. Steam is injected immediately prior to closing the packaging to prevent the packaging from collapsing during cooling. The most demanding challenge during development was to ensure uniform heating of the entire product mass, which is needed for proper pasteurisation.

Creative New Food GmbH, www.cnf.li

Integration of high-pressure equipment into processing lines

High-pressure processing (HPP) can be used to improve the shelf life and safety of food without heat or preservatives within a few minutes. With this treatment, nutritional properties and taste are almost completely maintained. Multivac has succeeded in integrating HPP equipment into an automated packaging line on which modified atmosphere packaging can also be produced. In order to achieve this, the process parameters had to be adjusted to an optimum combination of product, packaging material and packaging concept. The amount of pressure can be freely adjusted during the high-pressure application, although it is important to allow for a short resting period during which the polymer from the modified atmosphere packaging can regenerate for stress reduction purposes.

Multivac Sepp Hagenmüller GmbH, www.multivac.com.au

Silver Award winners

Treatment of smoke gas in an air washer

Process air loaded with smoke fumes must not be discharged into the environment without prior thermal or electrostatic treatment. Both methods consume rather a lot of energy. Westfleisch Erckenschwick GmbH has developed a process in which the smoke fumes are passed through an air washer where the contaminants are washed out and clean air can be discharged. The process water accumulating in this process is passed through a biological filter in which selected and adapted microorganisms metabolise the fume components. In this way, the exhaust air from cold smoke equipment can be ecologically and economically optimised. The advantage of this sturdy process is that significantly lower amounts of primary energy are needed, which results in excellent cost-effectiveness.

Westfleisch Erkenschwick GmbH, www.westfleisch.de

Wort stripper

In order to control the evaporation of undesired aroma compounds from hot wort during brewing, Krones AG has developed the wort stripper Boreas which saves considerable amounts of energy and improves the quality of beer. The controlled stripping of undesired aroma compounds allows constant upstream brewing processes because the boiling process does not need to be adjusted for deviating raw material quality and the possible increase in dimethyl sulfide (DMS) levels. In addition, the boiling process can be optimised in terms of energy and time because the DMS formed during the process can later be reduced. Energy savings can be achieved due mainly to the low total evaporation rate. Lower rates of evaporation also go hand in hand with less warm water being needed for the previous stages in the brew house. The high stripping efficiency can be controlled precisely via the stripping gas flow. Due to the small footprint and the stand-alone construction, the system is easy to integrate and an interesting solution for medium-sized breweries as well as for industrial breweries.

Krones, www.krones.co.th

Raw sausage ripening system

The raw sausage ripening system Ferma Quick developed by Van Hees GmbH offers many advantages for industrial companies producing raw sausages such as salami and other processed meat products. The process is based on predrying achieved with the use of freeze-dried meat, highly functional premium additives and spices. In this way, the capabilities that hurdle technology offers for the production of high-quality and safe raw sausages can be utilised. The ripening time for raw sausages can be reduced from 14 days to just 48 hours without any weight loss occurring as a result of the drying process.

Van Hees is represented in Australia by CBS Foodtech (www.cbsfoodtech.com.au).

Van Hees, www.van-hees.com

Pectinase for cold-temperature wine production

Processing grape mash and grape juice at temperatures below +10°C has several advantages in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness. However, the pectinases commonly used in winemaking for the degradation of the water-binding pectin in grapes are no longer active at these temperatures. Based on current enological findings from the area of mash and juice treatment, Erbslöh Geisenheim AG has developed the enzyme preparation Trenolin Frio DF that is characterised by a high cold-temperature tolerance. It is an innovative pectinase product that can be used for the production of white and red wines. The most important benefits are the maintenance of the grapes’ quality, the higher quality of the final product and the cost savings due to energy savings.

Erbslöh is represented by IMCD Australia Ltd (www.imcd.com.au) and in New Zealand by SCIOS Ltd (www.scios.co.nz).

Erbslöh Geisenheim AG, www.erbsloeh.com

Cleaning system for modular plastic belts

Habasit AG has developed the EHEDG certified cleaning system HyCLEAN CIP (clean-in-place) for the cleaning and hygiene treatment of modular plastic belts. This system provides for the automated and easy, effective and cost-efficient cleaning of conveyor belts. HyCLEAN CIP is an ‘all-round’ cleaning system, which means that it cleans all of the surfaces and edges including the side that the product is transported on. The cleaning process includes washing, foaming, flushing and disinfection of the belts in an automated operation. The belts are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after a maximum of seven turns. The system operates at low water pressure of 5 bars. Compared to competitors’ products, the water consumption is clearly reduced, as are the operating and cleaning times when compared to manual cleaning. At the same time, user faults are minimised and water consumption is significantly reduced. The resulting advantages are higher standards of hygiene and better cost-efficiency.

Habasit, www.habasit.com.au

Pasta drier

In conventional pasta driers, large volumes of air must be heated and conveyed in order to reduce the moisture content of spaghetti from approximately 30 to 12%. Depending on the temperature and moisture content, the starch-protein structures such as the ones found in spaghetti will have differing physical properties. When using these intelligently, it becomes possible to achieve the same pasta quality with a drying process that is slow at the beginning but needs a shorter processing time. This is due to the fact that less time is needed at the end of the drying process because there is less internal tension to be reduced which would otherwise promote the pasta to break. With the new technology concept of the pasta drier developed by Bühler AG, the process air is guided in such a way as to allow economical heat recovery through the condensation of the discharged air. Compared to traditional processes, this equipment can save 130 kWh thermal energy per ton of spaghetti.

Buhler AG Australia NZ, www.buhlergroup.com

Sorting potatoes by chemical composition

The Sherlock separator by Insort GmbH is the first industrial sorting plant that can classify potatoes based on their chemical composition and allows them to be sorted into three different quality streams. The core of the plant is a highly sensitive camera system based on near infrared spectroscopy. The system delivers 3 x 3 mm spectral images on pixel-by-pixel basis in real time which are then converted into colour images following mathematical models. These images allow conclusions on the chemical composition of the object whose image has been taken. With this technology, all main defects and any type of foreign matter can be found and rejected with unrivalled precision. It also allows for the identification of potatoes with sugar ends because these would cause undesired and intense browning reactions during the production of French fries.

Insort GmbH, www.insort.at

Cleaning robot

The high levels of hygiene standards called for in the food industry require safe hygiene monitoring and ever more efficient cleaning processes. The cleaning robot Cleenius by Jürgen Löhrke GmbH can be used in high-risk areas in the food industry to ensure safe and reliable hygiene results. The robot can conduct complex cleaning operations even in confined spaces. It is supplied with energy and materials via a docking station. Due to its higher pressure stages, it can apply cleaning agents onto difficult surfaces. It is equipped with a lifting device that allows for the cleaning of high equipment, and it has a parking system for the off times with integrated self-cleaning and a gripper which allows materials to be moved and picked up in the processing plant.

Jürgen Löhrke GmbH, www.loehrke.com

Hygiene-compliant cutting technology

The modular designed universal plant U-300 by food technology Lummer is suitable for the cutting, decoration and packaging of baked goods and pastry products. It features a new cleaning concept for companies of all sizes. Traditional and newly developed machine components are combined into a properly interlacing production line, which complies with the hygiene standards of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) and food safety requirements. Rounded surfaces, as well as clearly defined dripping edges in combination with an open construction, are the features of this hygiene-compliant machine concept; the fully automatic cutting technology operates on ultrasonic principles.

food technology Lummer, www.foodtechconsult.de

In-pipeline contamination detection

The Food Radar Systems Look 100 sensor has been optimised, in particular, for emulsions and foods that are pumped through pipelines. The difference between this sensor and other detection systems for foreign matter is that it operates with microwaves. In this way, it can detect low-density foreign matter including hard and soft plastic pieces, wood and rubber particles as well as pits or stones from drupes. The system is equally suited to detecting glass, metal and stones with the detectable particle size being dependent on the homogeneity and composition of the respective food product.

Food Radar Systems AB, www.foodradar.com

The presentation of the International FoodTec Awards is a triennial event. Here, companies from the international food industry and its suppliers are honoured for their commendable innovation projects. The International FoodTec Award will be presented by the DLG in cooperation with the following partners: EFFoST (European Federation of Food Science and Technology), Koelnmesse, and the publishers Deutscher Fachverlag (trade journal Fleischwirtschaft), Th. Mann (trade journals EDM – European Dairy Magazine and DMW – Die Milchwirtschaft), Bücker-Fachverlag (trade journal FOOD Lab – Qualitätsmanagement, Analytik und Nachhaltigkeit) as well as LT Food Medien Verlag (Lebensmitteltechnik).

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