Category Archives: ..Agribusiness/tech

How Big is Food Waste?

Food Waste is the food which is produced  but not eaten, because it is either lost or discarded.

Meat Loss Infographic

Shockingly the meat lost (and the greenhouse gas has still been produced) is equivalent to 75 million cattle a year. This information is that of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation from 2013. Although there may have been some change given the efforts that have been made, I am sure the figures are still substantially as shocking as they were then.

The picture for other products is just as bad – you can click the images to reach the infographic online, where it is more legible.

fao-food-waste-campaign-201301_jpg_2-040x1-525_pixels

 

 

 

Keep Your Pinch of Salt Handy

As it becomes easier and easier to publish information in a credible looking way, I wonder if its for the good or not?

Patented__Pixie_Dust__Sterilization_Method_Introduced_for_Aseptic_Packaging_-_Quality_Assurance___Food_Safety


In November 2015 there were lots of stories, many very similar to each other, published on Pixie Dust. Only one that I saw really remarked on the technology and tried to evaluate it, the others seemed to cut and paste what I suppose was a press release. For me it “sounds to good to be true” – you add a small amount of a cheap substance which sterilises the container and its contents in a fail safe process. There is mention of a patent with more patents being developed and Performance Packaging looking for international partners. But what exactly is the patent and how far was the process of finding partners.

Even so the headlines use words like launched, introduced, offers, solution …… leaving readers with the impression it as available. But 6 months later there seems to have been nothing for months and no one has reported on follow up.

I am following up to try and see where this interesting technology is now.

Meat Processing for Small Businesses – Free Online Information

Here is another example of valuable technology information that is available for free from the FAO.

click the image to download the manual

click the image to download the manual

The manual covers meat science, processing, processing equipment, ingredients and formulations in detail with little mention of other business topics such as distribution, marketing and quality. The book is some 400 pages long is well illustrated with drawings and photographs.

 

Food Processing Pages With The Apple Look

My posts on this blog for many years have been written on Apple computers and tablets. I am very much an admirer of Apple and its minimalist approach to design of both hardware and applications. They introduced the clean, light and almost austere look to computer screens which has since become a kind of standard part of succesful user interfaces. So I was struck by the new site of Alfa Laval.

Apple Like Website

click image to visit website

To me its really beautiful and very Apple like. However at the same time it has some really good content which I am likely to share in future posts. For example this flowchart of a milk pasteuriser

click image to visit website

click image to visit website

This flowcharts are interactive linking to father information about the equipment including specifications, diagrams and even animation videos.

As usual I need to note that this information is linked to the equipment of Alfa Laval, which I am not passing any judgement on oe recommending. I do, however, believe that the value of clear information like this outweighs the fact it is linked to the supplier

Sustainable Biogas in Meat Processing

This Australian article shows the state of the art in biogas recovery and consumption.

While biogas has been around and used for centuries, this plant focusses on increasing the sustainability by controlling the anaerobic digesting more efficiently and managing the gas storage and consumption.

The “Green Energy Orb” is just a methane storage tank, but then greenwashing is allowed! 

Spectacular green energy orb to deliver sustainable profits to beef processor FoodProcessing

click the image to view the paper

Free Food Science Journalsn

DIGIVU focusses on curating the mass of online food processing and alternate enegy information for users of the site. There are, however, sources of information that the user should be following themselves rather than waiting for them to appear on the site.

I will be covering these in the next while and hope you will be able to link to them via free subscription or RSS, so that they become part of you reading.

The first is a journal edited by Ruth Oniang’o that focuses on nutrition, food processing and conumers in Africa.

click on the image to visit the website

The next is the review journal of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) published by Wiley Publications.

click on the image to visit the website

This journal is very different from AJFAND focussing on depth reviews of food science and food safety with a global rather than African Focus.

The third journal for this post is the Journal of Food Science and Technology, which is Wileys open acces journal in the food processing industry. Open access journals are free to access for all and normally require the author to cover the costs of publication.

Click on the image to visit the website

 

Both the Wiley journals offer RSS feed or email notifications to alert the reader to neweditions. The AFJAND journal unfortunately has no built in system for alerting readers to new journals. The reader therefore needs to subscribe to a service such as ChangeDetection.com (which is the only one I have tried) to be notified of changes to the website. Two articles shown below review a number of these services.

5 ways to be notified of website changes

10 ways to track website changes

Ice Pigs in Food Processing?

Talking of pigs in a food processing plant brings to mind an abattoir or a plant in a really sad state of cleanliness. However, this pig is actually behind new operations in Food Processing that improve hygine while saving capacity, chemical, product and water. The principle is explained in this video

I remember first hearing of pipeline pigs when the petroleum pipeline from Durban to Johannesburg was installed. This was basically a rigid plug with the diameter of the pipeline that is pumped through the pipeline between two different fluids. The novelty here is a flexible plug which can even separate fluids in a heat exchanger. The second video demonstrates the process although the transition back to process flow is somewhat spoiled by a demo failure.

While both this videos feature the Food Process Engineering company GEA, this is not to imply they are the only or a preferred supplier. The links below are to other online starting points, but it would be wise to approach your suppliers for further information.

http://www.zap-icepigging.com

http://www.purecleanicepig.co.uk/pcip_002.htm

http://www.jhed.mk/filemanager/JHED%20Vol%202/01.%20HED/02.%20Full%20paper%20-%20Ian%20Sterritt.pdf

http://www.ice-pigging.com

 

Savings Through Reducing Pasteurisation Temperature

This is a video published by Tetra Pak, that describes research they undertook to establish whether the standard fruit juice pasteurisation conditions could be reduced to save energy while still guaranteeing shelflife and avoiding product “damage”.

They found that, for orange juice, the second pasteurisation could be reduced from 95C for 15 seconds to 80C. This reduces cost of energy for orange juice filling at 22 000 l/h over 500 shifts a year by 19% and carbon footprint by 20%.

They also found that the across plate temperature difference could be increased from 5 to 20C. This would have significant impact on the heat transfer surface required and hence the capital cost of the pasteuriser.

Some Focussed Food Based Reports – Free online Information

Over the past view weeks I have come across several rather focussed processing reports which I thought it was worhgwhile to share here in a simple form. I believe the image tells you what its about and clicking will open the document. The documents I link will generally be technology heavy although there will be there industry issues covered in detail. 

click an image below to view the relevant paper

IITA report on Cassava enterprises in West Africa

 

Small Scale Palm Oil Processing in Africa

 

Www iita org c document library get file p l id 786671 folderId 1074647 name DLFE 5910 pdf

Low cost sustainable cassava drying technologies pdf

 

 

Factory in A Box

One of the interesting exhibitors at Gulfood Manufacturing  next week, is UFT who are promoting a Factory in a Box. While this seems to be an extension of UFT’s normal turnkey factory offering, it makes me think of a time in the late nineties in South Africa when container based “factories” were very popular.

FiaB at Gulfood Manufacturing

This was driven in South Africa by an excess of used containers, Corporate Responsibility’s responses to the new South Africa and arguments of low cost, simplicity and portability allowing units to be relocated in the event of failure.

In my experience this didn’t work out as the excess of used containers was soon depleted, the costs of installation and modification where higher than predicted and relocation turned out to be expensive because of transport and service connection costs. Containers have fared better as retail or service outlets than as food processing facilities.

Research shows that the principle of an “instant”, prefabricated or modular factory that can be quickly installed on site is attractive. There are still many examples, including those developed by multinationals. This definitely needs to be borne in mind and investigated when new processing is being evaluated.

Click the images below to be directed to sites explaining the different concepts.

Flexible fast and functional Nestlé to adopt modular factories Nestlé Global

Www chocolateworld be pdfs CW concept pdf

Sint TECNOLOGIE Design and Realization Modular Slaughtering Systems

Biscuit Factory In A Box by WFP United Nations

Food Boccard From the modular solution of process to the complete factory www boccard com

Innovation in Food Modular Factories

Researching this has been an eye opener for me and it surely needs some research and evaluation to make sure we are not missing something by “going it alone”.