The Films Business of ExxonMobil Chemical, Macedon, N.Y., recently completed an expansion of its oriented polypropylene (OPP) film manufacturing plant in Shawnee, Okla. The installation of a specialty 6.6-meter orienter line gives ExxonMobil Chemical an additional 30 million lbs of annual capacity and helps the Films Business meet growing demand for white opaque films in the food packaging, labeling and imaging markets. "This expansion allows us to fulfill our customers' needs for innovative, high-quality, specialty film products," says Andrew Purdue, general manager, Americas Film Business, ExxonMobil Chemical Company. "White opaque films offer many benefits to food and beverage marketers and we look forward to delivering more of this high-value product to our customers around the world."
Tetra Pak, Vernon Hills, Ill., has earned a Gold Award in the food category of the 16th annual DuPont Awards for Innovation in food processing and packaging. The international industry competition, which recognizes food and non-food industry advances in the use of plastics, honors Tetra Pak for its Tetra Plast™ LFA-20 aseptic filling technology at Jasper Products in Joplin, Mo. This technology, the first high-speed FDA-accepted linear aseptic filler for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles, is being used to produce the new Raging Cow dairy-based beverage from Dr. Pepper/7 Up.
Evergreen Packaging Equipment, a business unit of International Paper; and AVE Industries S.p.A. of Spinea (Venice), Italy have developed a long-term strategic agreement that will allow Evergreen to manufacture, sell, and service rotary bottle filling equipment utilizing AVE electronic volumetric filling, bottle handling and capping technologies. This agreement will allow Evergreen to provide the North American dairy, juice, and beverage customers a superior offering for refrigerated products by combining high speed, high performance bottle filling with Evergreen's Extended Shelf Life (ESL) and Extended Long Life (ELL) technologies, market expertise, and proven after sales service. Südmo North America, Rockford, Ill., a leading supplier of sanitary flow, will exhibit at booth #S5632 at this year's Worldwide Food Expo. As a market leader in PMO mix proof technology, Südmo will show its full range of mix proof valves, including the recently launched Cheese Curd Outlet and 6" PMO valves. Südmo will also launch their new single seat program at the show, which has the most comprehensive range of products in the industry. The program has many advantages, such as lower maintenance costs, lower pressure drops, much higher holding pressures and improved product-handling qualities. The valves are available in a wide range of body styles, including tangential and Y-body.
Pechiney Plastic Packaging, Inc. (PPPI), Chicago, a global leader in creating value-added flexible packaging, has been awarded The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) NFPA-SAFE (SupplierAudit for Food Excellence) certification of six of its plants: Menasha, Wis., Joplin, Mo., St. Louis Park, Minn., Minneapolis, Neenah, Wis. and Des Moines, Iowa. Two remaining plants in the food group, Newark, NJ and Batavia, IL have audits scheduled for August, 2003, and Akron, OH will be certified in early 2004. The NFPA, representing Heinz, Kraft, Hormel and Con Agra among others, created the audit program entitled "Supplier Audit for Food Excellence," in April, 2001. The audit process reviews standardized manufacturing systems together with good manufacturing practices, to create a benchmark for food industry suppliers.
Valio Ltd. and Swisslog Oy have signed an agreement on the automation of order picking processes at Valio's production facilities in Jyväskylä and Riihimäki, Finland. Swisslog's automation systems will manage the material flow of milk products for dispatch from the production to the loading dock. The total value of the order is Euro 16 million.Valio has launched a development program for its production facilities. As a consequence there-of the dairy company has decided to concentrate the distribution of fresh milk products in Finland on three locations (Riihimäki, Jyväskylä and Oulu) as well as to automate the order picking of dispatched goods. Valio has now commissioned Swisslog with the delivery and the realization of logistic systems in Riihimäki and Jyväskylä for a total of Euro 16 million.
Metron Instruments/On-Line Instrumentation, Cleveland, has developed and launched a website for its dairy standardization equipment and lab analysis instrumentation. The web address for the new site is www.metroninstruments.com. The site provides product and company information, news releases and a contact page for inquiries. Product application profiles will be available as the site develops. "The site is a primary communication tool for Metron," said David Anderson, president of Metron. "Our customers and potential customers are able to view our complete product line and most recent product enhancements and modifications."
New England Extrusion's Turners Falls, Mass. facility recently underwent a rigorous ISO 9001:2000 audit and was certified as being compliant. NEX is an approved dairy industry supplier of polyethylene films. According to Laurie Ford, NEX director of quality assurance, in addition to being certified as compliant with ISO 9001:2000 standard, NEX also earned two rare commendations from the seasoned auditor, who has only awarded five commendations out of eighty companies audited in the past year. One commendation cited NEX's "company-wide implementation and awareness surrounding the requirements of ISO 9001:2000." NEX operates a production facility and center for R&D in Turners Falls, and a production facility in Milton, Wis. NEX manufactures high quality monolayer and coextruded polyethylene film for food, medical and industrial packaging applications.
Rhodia Inc. has raise prices for a wide range of food grade potassium, calcium, ammonium and sodium phosphates effective Oct. 1, or as contracts allow. The increases range from 5-10% depending on the product. Higher prices are required to offset increased production costs and to support continued investments, process upgrades, and enhanced security measures. These investments are required to meet increasingly stringent customer and GMP requirements, according to Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, president of Rhodia Food enterprise. Rhodia Food continues to improve productivity and reduce the impact of cost increases in its manufacturing processes.
Get Ready to Label Trans-FatsThe Food Consulting Co., Del Mar, Calif., specializes in the preparation of regulation-compliant food label components for the food industry. The company is ready to create Nutrition Facts panels for food labels based on the July 2003 FDA final rule for trans-fat labeling. The immediate availability of this service means that companies can pass products through the hurdles of the rule and be in compliance well before the mandatory compliance date of January 1, 2006.
Determining trans-fat content in foods "is not a piece of cake," says Karen Duester, pres. "FDA has just now defined trans-fatty acids and established the methods for analyzing them. It takes a good understanding of the chemical make-up of fats and knowledge of how the previously reported data was obtained in order to be able to determine the trans-fatty acid composition of a product."
In some cases, labels will have to wait when the data for the trans-fat value is to be derived by database because ingredient suppliers have not been able, until now with the FDA definitions, to have their own "fat" ingredients analyzed.
"The distant compliance date might imply plenty of time, but savvy labelers will want accurate trans-fat values and updated Nutrition Facts panels as soon as possible so that the new panels will be ready to be incorporated into new label plates and print runs when current label inventories expire, or when labels are updated to reflect formulation changes or label design changes-all in order to gain economic savings," says Duester.
For more information call 800/793-2844 or visit www.foodlabels.com.
New No-sugar-added Ice Cream FormulationThe Creamery at Penn State University, the largest on-campus creamery in the nation, has launched a no-sugar-added (NSA) premium ice cream featuring Maltisweet™ IC Maltitol Syrup from SPI Polyols Inc. Response from alumni, students and football fans at the first two Penn State home football games has been overwhelmingly positive. The ice cream contains no high-intensity sweeteners or other ingredients normally added to adjust freezing point. Maltisweet IC is used as a direct replacement for sucrose. Its molecular weight distribution, similar to sucrose, results in an ice cream that processes like a full-sugar ice cream with excellent taste, texture and shelf stability, as well as label simplicity. This new NSA ice cream was developed by SPI Polyols, Tharp's Food Technology and the Penn State Department of Food Science. Samples will be available at Worldwide Food Expo.
For more information call 302/576-8554, or visit www.spipolyols.com.
Study Completed on Prebiotic FiberA recent study conducted the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates that the introduction of short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS™) in the diets of young children suffering from diarrhea may be an easy and cost-effective way to reduce the severity of symptoms caused by diarrhea. The study showed that consuming scFOS, a fermentable fiber with a prebiotic effect similar to that of breast milk oligosaccharides, significantly reduced the symptoms and duration of diarrhea in a relevant animal model. Specifically, scFOS helped to retain stool consistency during infection and significantly increased the short-chain fatty acid production that is essential for maintaining intestinal structure and function.
"The need for prebiotic fiber and attention to digestive problems in children has not played a major role in the food and nutraceutical industry even though more than 30% of pediatric visits result from diarrhea and constipation," says Linda Chamberlain Douglas, mgr. of scientific affairs for GTC Nutrition LLC., Golden, Colo.
NutraFlora® scFOS is the only FDA-reviewed GRAS short-chain prebiotic fiber for children under the age of one and offers formulators of toddler foods and follow-on formulas an easy way to support the healthy digestive systems of young children.
For more information, call 303/216-2489, or visit www.gtcnutrition.com.