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!
click the image to view the paper
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
A new label is set to make a contribution towards reducing the terrifying food loss which is estimated to be one third of what is produced.
The Gelatin Bump Label will give consumers a much more realistic view of the safely of food in the kitchen.
click the image to read the full story
The label works by mimicking the deterioration process with gelatin filled label. The gelatin characteristics and concentration ensure that the gelatin this in parallel with the food leading to the gelatin liquifying at the same time as the food becomes unusable.
Improved measurement of when food is no longer fit for consumption will in turn reduce the amount of usable food that is currently discarded because the consumer is not sure of its state and safety.
This is an ingenious device and along with temperature logging systems that can give a dynamic measure of remaining shelf life during the life cycle of the product and other ingenious measuring and monitoring devices could have a major impact on waste which should in turn reduce costs.
The only losers should be the Freegans whose food supplies will be reduced!
The video features the inventor of the lable explaining the device.
click the image to see the video
This turned out to be an interesting story and was reporting widely. Googling Gelatin Bump Label will introduce you to a range of articles many of which are very good sources.
The last several years have seen a marked change in the understanding of food loss across the complete food value chain which has come as a shock to many.
click the image to view the infographic
Solving the problem is definitely not a simple matter as many factors ranging from improved crops to household meal planning and supermarket shelf management to pest control will impact on the loss.
A recent paper called for a “move toward uniformity in date labeling, thereby decreasing confusion among stakeholders and reducing food waste.”
click the image to view the paper
The report identified Date Labeling Uniformity, Regulatory Enforcement, Consumer Education and Indicator Technologies as important focus areas. The paper presents information from a number of studies, the essence of how well or badly consumers understand date labling of food appears near the end of the infographic at the head of this post.
While the technological reasoning behind some of the Indicator Technologies being developed is sound, the work required to get the consumer to understand and use such technologies will need attention. If a temperature logger system is linked to a microbial growth model and used to predict the time to the end of a safe life understanding becomes even more difficult. Too much reliance on what the technology tells them may lead to consumers ignoring more traditional indicators of deterioration like acidity, smell and consistency.
So its an interesting time ahead. This might not be effecting smaller food businesses in sub Saharan Africa, but is interesting and helps the entrepreneur keep an eye on where it will need to move at some time in the future.
After the previous post which showed an industrial baking operation, here are a few videos that show smaller scale baking. The first is a slightly mechanised bakery that is producing standard non industrial breads.
The next video is of a small artisinal bakery – these are becoming popular where health, environment and simplicity are traits that consumers are willing to pay more for.
The third video, published on YouTube by Vincent Talleu, shows his love for the tactile aspects of baking.
Please let me know if you find these videos useful or merely a waste of bandwidth and I will adjust my posting appropriately.
Here is a business that can be set up with quality equipment at an affordable cost.
This is a manual oil kettle based popping plant which can produce 55 kg/h from the two poppers. More poppers can be combined with a larger sifting and cooling table. Poppers can also be combined in automated units.
please note this is not a recommendation, only a sharing of information
If you need to get to know about Sorghum or Millet or want to get some of developments, this conference publication could be very useful.
Unfortunately this conference is now 10 years old so doesn’t present the very latest state of the industry, but does contain two good reviews which are always relevant and some of the science of the time around food products, nutrition, plant breeding, sorghum based polymers and consumer preferences.
With international researchers like Professors Belton, Rooney and Taylor one can rest assured that the standard and focus of the work was of the highest standard. The web site presents a wide range of papers as well as the questions arising and the way forward through focus group and a prioritised list of research needs.
This conference was the output of a development funded project, so has no direct project follow up. However, there has surely been more work in the technology areas identified and maybe there were activities in ideas/groups born from the conference. I have not been able to find a collection of this type of information and would be interested to hear about your experiences and share further information here.