Latest in an occasional series of articles from Elaine Attwood about food matters of interest to consumers.

Extending the shelf-life of a product and keeping it fresh is a contradiction in consumers’ minds.

 “Active food packaging” offers increased food safety, improved freshness and reduced food waste, but the idea of a product with a long shelf–life still being fresh is a contradiction to some, according to researchers.

A team working on NanoPack, an EU– funded project under its Horizon 2020 Research and innovation program, has published the results of a study designed to find out what consumers and retailers think about active food packaging technologies.

NanoPack food packaging films can extend the shelf–life of foods by inhibiting microbial growth, improving food safety and reducing food waste. The team is working on a pilot line to “manufacture functional polymer nanocomposites from natural halloysite nanotubes (HNTs); demonstrating controlled-release of antimicrobials in food packaging applications”.

Active food packaging, or nanotechnology, includes anything from antimicrobial polymer films, HNTs, retardation in oxidation, hindered respiratory process, prevention of microbial attack, prevention of moisture infusion, use of CO2 scavengers/emitters, ethylene scavengers, aroma emitters, time–temperature sensors, ripeness indicators, biosensors and sustained release of antioxidants during storage. NanoPack organised 10 focus groups and 10 interviews with consumers and retail managers in China, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Ireland to conduct the survey.


Author: Jenny Eagle 27-Feb-2019

Credit:  © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd


FoodTech start-up creates portable scanner that detects chemical contamination in food.

 FoodTech start up Inspecto, has developed a portable scanner that detects chemical contamination in food in real-time. It is expected to be commercially available in 2020.

The device, called Inspectro, can detect contaminants at concentration levels as required by regulators, guaranteeing traceability and complete transparency. The scan can be conducted outdoors or indoors, any time to ensure responsible sourcing.

The firm claims the portable scanner brings lab testing to farmers, food manufacturers, and retailers without time-consuming, high cost lab testing. It will be initially introduced in Italy, Spain and France, followed by the US.

Speaking to Avner Avidan, CEO, Inspectro, he said the scanner has the potential to enable for the very first time mass tests for contaminants, which can have a significant impact on our health. “The World Health Organisation released a report in 2017 stating 1 in 10 people become sick from contaminated food. One of the reasons behind this statistic is the industry’s incapability to perform mass testing. This was our vision and drive for launching Inspectro’, he added. “Another impact mass testing will enable is better management around food waste.

Because supply chains will be better managed, we will see less recalls and destruction of disqualified food.”  Avidan said one of the advantages of Inspectro is the ability to tailor its device to the needs of the customer. “Food manufacturers can use it to cut out expensive lab costs and better control the supply chain in terms of quality assurance and traceability,” he said. “Farmers on the other hand may wish to use Inspectro to check the level of pesticides they used to ensure they meet with the regulator’s maximum residue limit. As for retailers, the objective is mostly from a PR point of view.


Author:  Jenny Eagle

credit:  © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

From aged care to mainstream: Flavour Creations’ no–melt ice cream looks to shake up the market.

 Australian food manufacturer and innovator Flavour Creations is looking to cause a stir in the food industry with its no–melt ice cream, which originally formed part of its medical nutrition line.

 “Our main market at home is (currently) residential aged care and hospitals (with) many of our products being found in pharmacies, but with our ice cream, we are looking to go mainstream,” founder and CEO Bernadette Eriksen told FoodNavigator-Asia.

Trends boosting ice cream’s mainstream market suitability

Eriksen explained that one of the major trends supporting the product’s move into mainstream F&B was that of sustainability. “The cost of running cold chain, the environmental impact, is enormous, so we’ve taken that away (and don’t use)  refrigerated trucks or refrigerated containers. We don’t have any cold chain, so it definitely reduces the impact that frozen products generally have,” she said. Additionally, the convenience factor that it promises is appealing to consumers so that “they can bring the ice cream with them wherever they go without worrying about it melting (unlike conventional ice cream)”.

The technology behind this product also ensures that, there is no form of ice crystallisation that occurs even after freezing, (which tends to happen with regular ice cream). This ensures that it stays smooth and creamy even after it is frozen and taken out, and even if frozen again it will still (be that way).” With a good deal of their existing customers being hospital patients or elderly consumers, Eriksen added that nutrition was also a big consideration for the company. “People love ice cream, even (recuperating) patients with poor appetite – but (regular) ice cream isn’t that nutritious, (With that in mind), our ice cream is really energy–dense, it’s got 2.5 g of protein per serving, and it’s gluten–free and nut–free as are all our products,” she said.


Author: Pearly Neo

Credit:  © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd

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AuthorRay Dennis