Food New Zealand, October/November 2021. Journal of NZIFST

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O ctober /N ovember 2021


WE 'FEED' 40 MILLION. CAN WE FEED OURSELVES? FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE: The power and potential of Whole Genome Sequencing Feast – modern facilities for contemporary consumer and sensory science Overview: Latest developments in ingredients Research: Plant protein from pasture




O CT OBE R/ N OVEMB ER 2021 | VOLU ME 2 1 , N O . 5 IS SN 2 7 4 4 - 7 3 0 8 ( ONLINE) ISSN 1175- 4621 ( PR I N T )


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News, views and information from around and about


PERSPECTIVE Can we feed our team of 5 million first? Authors: Nick W. Smith, Sarah L. Golding, Andrew J. Fletcher, Jeremy P. Hill, Warren C. McNab


OVERVIEW Latest in Ingredients – news and research




FOOD SAFETY MPI: New Zealand Food Safety Update


FOOD SAFETY The power and potential of whole genome sequencing Dr Lucia Rivas, Dr Catherine McLeod, and Glenda Lewis




Cloud–based information management


TRAINING Primary ITO – providing quality training for New Zealand’s food processing industry

Contacts Peppermint Press Ltd 5 Rupi Court, Mt Wellington Auckland 1072, New Zealand Phone 64 21 901 884

Food NZ is distributed to all members of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology. An online edition is shared internationally. Visit to subscribe. Copyright © 2021 Peppermint Press No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form by any means (graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping information retrieval systems, or otherwise) without the written permission of Peppermint Press. The views expressed in this journal are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the view of the Publisher, the Scientific Review Board, NZIFST or MIA.


Food New Zealand

Director and Editor Anne Scott, Peppermint Press Limited Director and Writer Dave Pooch, Peppermint Press Limited Advertising Anne Scott, 021 901 884 Design and Layout Johanna Paynter, Pix Design, Regular Contributors Richard Archer, John D Brooks, Laurence Eyres, Dave Pooch, Rosemary Hancock, John Lawson

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Using Intuitive and Interactive Packaging as a marketing tool

Nerida Kelton MAIP, Executive Director – Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)



Process development for the production of starter cultures for use in food fermentation Stephanie Harvey, Rebecca Edgar, Paul Rose



Reducing FODMAPs in bread

Anthony N Mutukumira, Haojing Tian, Kay Rutherfurd- Markwick


SLIDING ON So, is it safer than beef, or chicken?


Professor John D Brooks, FNZIFST




Feast – modern facilities for contemporary consumer and sensory science

Professor Joanne Hort



A Focus on mental health and cognition

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST and Mike Eyres B.Sc.



Leaf protein from pasture

Thomas Sowersby , Richard Edmonds, Lee Huffman, Katrina Fletcher



57 NZIFST NEWS, INCLUDING: New Members Branch Events


STUDENT ESSAY Cheese Mites: Good or Bad?

Alice Mai, Student, Massey Albany

JOIN NZIFST NOW for Executive Manager, Rosemary Hancock PO Box 5574, Terrace End, Palmerston North 4441, New Zealand Phone: 06 356 1686 or 021 217 8298, Email:, Website:

Professional Development Networking – connecting with your peers

On the cover The Riddet Institute has applied their Delta modelling to the interesting question of whether New Zealand has adequate nutrition of its own to feed the population. See page 11.

Regular information about your industry

Next editorial and advertising deadline: November 20, 2021

Recognition through awards, scholarships, travel grants

Features for December 2021/January 2022

IFT Emerging Leaders programme report. Overview: Analytical, Food Safety and Consulting Services, including HACCP, Auditing, food safety planning/review, NPD and trouble shooting.

April/May 2021



EDITORIAL Please do our Reader Survey We want to know more about you, our reader. What industry you work in, what your role is, how you view the NZIFST journal – does it engage you? Which parts are most interesting? The last time FoodNZ readers were surveyed was 2007. I know, 14 years ago! The anonymous survey is here. To thank you for spending 3 minutes completing the survey you can choose to go in the draw for a free registration to the 2022 NZIFST Conference. Two second prizes of $100 vouchers will also be awarded in the draw. Click HERE

So what if we export enough for 40 million? – Can we feed ourselves? Last issue we reported on the Sustainable Nutrition Initiative Forum, held in Wellington in June. (FoodNZ Vol 21,

Anne Scott FNZIFST, Editor

No. 4, page 30) Recognising the power of the Riddet Institute's Delta Model, I asked the group to calculate whether or not we can nourish ourselves adequately in New Zealand from our own land and animals, without importing any food. The results are fascinating, and surprising – see page 11 for the response. I am always pleased to receive articles for Food New Zealand for the education and information of members of NZIFST, and our wider audience. This month's crop is outstanding, and encouraging. Our world may be turned upside down by the global pandemic, but those who carry out this work are showing us that we can keep our feet on the ground and maintain our productivity. And their advances reaffirm Kiwis' belief in ourselves and our capabilities. Some of these articles arose out of NZIFST Conference presentations (see if you can guess which) and others, as noted above came from my request to the authors. Many of us are struggling in some sort of limbo due to Covid 19. But the work of those who protect the safety of our food, discover new sources of protein, research consumer responses to food, study how food affects digestive processes – and much more – continues. So let's congratulate ourselves, and those at all levels and in all sectors of the food industry. We feed Kiwis, export our products to the world, and we continue to learn more and more about foods and the physiology of nutrition and digestion. Oh, and let's not forget that the food industry underpins the economy of New Zealand. We have many reasons to be proud.

Anne Scott, FNZIFST, Editor, FoodNZ


Food New Zealand


Newsbites Newsbites is Food New Zealand’s pick of the news stories about NZIFST members, about companies with relationships with NZIFST plus items that catch our interest.

Helping New Zealand’s food and primary producers thrive – introducing Kim Ballinger, AsureQuality CEO Kim Ballinger has been in the CEO role at AsureQuality since midDecember 2020. She is passionate about New Zealand and is dedicated to helping Kiwi food and primary producers thrive – now and in the future. Prior to joining AsureQuality, Kim spent over 20 years working in the dairy and food production sectors in a variety of quality, innovation, technical and senior management roles at Fonterra before heading up the iconic Tip Top Ice Cream business for five years. AsureQuality is a very broad business which supports our primary industries and food producers. “I love our country and want to work for New Zealand within industries that are important, so AsureQuality ticks all the boxes for me,” says Kim. “We partner with, and support, Kiwi food producers, growers, farmers, and others right throughout the supply chain to help build and protect an enduring trust in the food that people eat. We work hard to uphold what New Zealand fundamentally stands for in food, which is a higher standard of quality and safety.” This past year has presented many challenges, with COVID-19 related issues and a world that continues to change. The response from the food and primary industries, as core essential services, not only kept

food on the shelves for Kiwis, but also helped protect the the New Zealand economy as a whole. “Their dedication and commitment was absolutely remarkable,” says Kim. “People quickly forgot that it meant, overnight, that the workplaces of an entire supply chain had to pivot to be COVID-19 compliant and keep both their people, and the food they produced, safe. They should be incredibly proud of their response and what that meant for our country.” Consumers around the world are also driving Kim Ballinger, CEO change as they want to have confidence when at AsureQuality making food choices: they want to know the story behind their purchases and be confident that it stacks up. “The challenge is to bring it all together, to verify the story from supermarket shelf to farm gate,” says Kim. "I feel that AsureQuality is perfectly positioned to help New Zealand’s food and primary industries take that next step –taking one united, NZ Inc. to the world. We have a lot of opportunities ahead and I’m really excited to be part of this journey.”

October/November 2021







Part 1 - General Survey Data

Part 2 - Individual Position Data

New Zealand Food Industry

NZIFST members can login to view the 2021 Food Industry Salary Survey - General Data

NZIFST Salary Survey Results 2021 The survey's purpose is to provide up to date salary information for employers to use in the development of their remuneration strategies. This will in turn benefit NZIFST and NZFGC members and indeed all employees in the Food Industry. The full results for the second survey, including role specific data, are delivered free to all participating companies. NZIFST members are given access to general results via the members area on the NZIFST Website. The survey report with individual position data is available for purchase from the NZIFST Store. Lawson Williams and NZIFST created this survey in 2019 to deliver robust Food Industry salary information to New Zealand businesses. The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) is the country’s leading professional association representing people working in the food industry, or in related research and teaching,

New Zealand Food Industry

The survey report with individual position data is available for purchase from the NZIFST Store. who apply science, technology and engineering to the processing, manufacture and distribution of foods. We are pleased to welcome as a partner in 2021, The New Zealand Food and Grocery Council, FGC. FGC is an industry association that represents the manufacturers and suppliers behind New Zealand’s food, beverage, and grocery brands. FGC makes representations to the Government, retailers and other relevant organisations on matters that affect the industry and liaises with government departments on food legislation, trade practices, and environmental issues, working where needed with a range of stakeholders. Lawson Williams Specialist Recruitment has been immersed in Food Industry recruitment in New Zealand since 1993. Our association with the NZIFST began in 1988. As professional members of the Institute and as a recruitment organisation we are keen to contribute to the further development of careers in the New Zealand Food Industry.

Net–zero Mass Spectrometer from Thermo Fisher The Thermo Scientific Delta Q Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) is a next generation gas IRMS designed to enable detailed analysis with greater precision and accuracy. In addition to its improved specifications, including an upgrade in software to Qtegra ISDS to dramatically improve ease-of-use and laboratory productivity, the system’s carbon footprint will be neutralised, allowing scientists to carry out their work while minimising their environmental impact. The Delta Q IRMS is the first product to be released as part of the IsoFootprint campaign, an initiative to permanently remove CO2 emissions associated with the manufacture and supply chain of all new inorganic IRMS products. "The Delta Q IRMS, and our IsoFootprint initiative, is a major step forward in our commitment to supporting sustainable science,"


Food New Zealand

said Chris Cascella, general manager, inorganic mass spectrometry, chromatography and mass spectrometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "With the world in climate crisis, we want to be sure we play our part in limiting the damaging environmental impacts of climate change. By 2026, our IOMS instruments will become carbon neutral, removing 4500 tCO2e from the atmosphere each year."


Beef + Lamb NZ Chief Executive, Sam McIvor

Chinese Taipei’s CPTPP membership application welcomed The Meat Industry Association (MIA) and Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) welcome Chinese Taipei’s formal application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb NZ said the CPTPP was founded with a vision for regional agreement that provided for the accession of new members. Chinese Taipei’s application demonstrates the value of the agreement and its relevance to economies in the AsiaPacific region. “Chinese Taipei has been a longstanding and valuable market for New Zealand red meat products. Trade with Chinese Taipei was worth over $314 million in 2020, with trade in beef products worth over $170 million alone. This means that trade has almost doubled since the signing of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) in 2013. “Like all other economies wishing to accede to the CPTPP, Chinese Taipei will need to demonstrate its commitment to the high standards contained in the CPTPP, and with a high-quality deal already in place with New Zealand, Chinese Taipei has demonstrated its commitment to trade liberalisation. Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the MIA said: “The growth of the CPTPP makes its membership even more valuable, and the industry sees its continued expansion as a pathway to further integrate trade within the region. “The CPTPP has come a long way since its beginnings as the P4 agreement, which included Brunei, Chile and Singapore and shows that by starting small, with like–minded partners, New Zealand’s trade policy is working. “The continued growth of the CPTPP demonstrates the commitment to trade that the Asia-Pacific region has and sends an important message to the wider trade community, including the WTO, that trade rules continue to be important and there remains an appetite to expand these and build closer trade relationships.” October/November 2021



Sludge dewatering technology in Hawkes Bay A leading New Zealand food processing company committed to ongoing excellence in sustainability has become an early adopter of a sludge dewatering technology engineered to cost-efficiently reduce the environmental footprint of food, beverage, and wastewater. The international fruit processing facility in Hawkes Bay (which cannot be named for contractual confidentiality reasons) processes tens of thousands of tonnes of fruit for both local and export markets, using a compact and cost-efficient KDS multidisc roller system from CST Wastewater Solutions as part of their process. The low-energy KDS technology from Australian company CST Wastewater Solutions dewaters wet, sloppy screened waste from the processing of fruit such as such as apples and pears, reducing waste volumes by up to 90%. It transforms the waste to a much drier product that is less messy, easier and more hygienic to handle, and cleaner to transport for recycling into stockfeed for the rich agricultural region of Hawkes Bay. In addition to saving fossil fuel and other transport and disposal expenses – which can amount to hundreds of dollars a tonne – the 8

Food New Zealand

drier waste helps protect water tables and conforms with the strong environmental and pure food credentials of the processor. CST Wastewater Solutions managing director, Mike Bambridge, said the durable stainless steel KDS technology was another step forward in the company’s cleaner/greener process enhancements and new stateof-the art facilities, which are designed to benefit the entire region and community of which the company is part. “Reducing waste volume by up to 90% radically reduces transport costs and helps prevent any potential spillages onto public roads during transport. Both issues are very important, with rising specialised waste disposal transport costs and with local communities and councils very mindful of how companies treat waste. The company using the KDS technology is setting an example of good practice in both areas. Other KDS applications include thickening and dewatering of Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) sludge – a very common wastewater application. The technology is also suitable for municipal and remote industrial worksite waste handling where its cost-effectiveness and lowmaintenance operation is a major advantage where engineering support may be far distant.

Newsbites IIoT–connected sorting software from Key Technology Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, introduces Key Discovery™, a suite of software solutions that transforms Key’s digital sorting systems into Industry Internet of Things (IIoT)– The Key Discovery™ suite of connected devices that collect, software solutions transforms analyse, and share data while Key’s digital sorting systems sorting product. By harnessing into IIoT–connected devices that data about the sort process collect, analyse, and share data and about every object while sorting product flowing through the sorter, Key Discovery can reveal patterns and trends that improve sorting and help control upstream and downstream processes. The software provides actionable information that enables processors to optimise product quality, maximise yield, reduce downtime and minimise labour to increase profitability. "Key Discovery represents the next-generation of our information analytics software solutions. With it, food processors can turn their digital sorters into advanced product and process information centres,” said Dave Crewe, Senior Vice President of AIS Engineering at Key Technology. “We’re known for our powerful food sorting systems, which generate a greater volume of more accurate data about the customer’s product than other sorting devices. Key Discovery leverages that data and helps processors identify actionable opportunities to enhance operations.” Food processors can use the collected data for a wide variety of process monitoring and line control purposes, depending on their needs. The software suite audits the sorter’s wellness, validates sort performance and helps better manage output. Key Discovery can also monitor upstream processes to help identify issues and opportunities for improvement, and it can connect the sorter with other equipment and devices upstream and downstream on the line. These capabilities help maximise raw product utilisation, improve line performance and reduce the need for human monitoring of the sort process. Configurable reporting enables processors to understand product batches in terms of their quality profile: measuring defect rates and the presence of foreign material as well as the colour, size, shape, structural properties and/or chemical composition of the product, whether the data is used to make sort decisions or not. These product quality reports can be used to manage payment plans for growers or to better understand how different field practices and raw product sources affect final product quality. Key Discovery can also perform quality control measurements and reporting in-line, eliminating the need for time-consuming tests to be conducted on small samples of the product population off the production line. Key Discovery is available on new Key digital sorting systems and as a field upgrade on installed Key sorters. Every new sorting system comes standard with a set of Discovery features that can be further expanded and tailored to the requirements of individual food processors. For customers whose operation can benefit from advanced process monitoring and control, the software provides a wealth of capabilities to optimise line operation. “We partner with individual processors to understand their product's operational requirements and how Key Discovery can be tapped to add the most value. We then tailor their Key Discovery solution accordingly,” said Crewe. Heat and Control is the exclusive supplier of Key Technology equipment in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and India, with manufacturing in Australia and India. For more information, visit www.heatandcontrol. com or email October/November 2021



Krones and Alpla have developed a returnable PET container that provides an optimal environment for sensitive ESL (Extended Shelf Life) products such as juice and milk in the cold chain

Returnable PET for sensitive beverages Be it due to regulations, voluntary climate targets, or growing environmental awareness among consumers, sustainability issues are becoming an increasingly important factor in packaging choice. “Which type of packaging performs best from an ecological perspective depends on a number of factors and must be evaluated individually for each use case,” explains Martina Birk, who is responsible for the enviro sustainability programme at Krones. But returnable PET containers often don’t even enter into consideration in the first place. The partners dedicated particular attention to the container cleaning process because “PET is less heat-resistant than glass,” explains developer Ines Bradshaw. “So we had to find a way to ensure both a high level of microbiological safety and a high number of use cycles while cleaning at lower temperatures.” A direct comparison of returnable PET and returnable glass brought to

light another interesting discovery: Over the course of several cleaning cycles, the alkaline cleaning medium visibly roughened the surface of the glass bottle, whereas nothing comparable could be observed with the PET containers. “For the filling of sensitive beverages in particular, consistent container quality can be an advantage that should not be underestimated,” notes Ines Bradshaw. Microbiological tests are currently being conducted to definitively establish whether the technology is safe. Initial results confirm the observations made thus far: “Microbiologically, PET bottles that had gone through 25 cycles could not be distinguished from new ones,” says a very pleased Ines Bradshaw. With this proof of concept, the project has reached an important milestone and is now ready for the next major step: Preparations are already well underway for the technical field test.

Validation of milk composition – Fast, easy and affordable Mätt Solutions are proud to introduce the PerkinElmer Indiscope raw milk analyser. Created specifically to verify fat, protein and not-fat solids (SNF) for the independent dairy operator or dairy products producer, the Indiscope delivers the ability to manage and control milk quality within an affordable budget. By addressing the “affordability conundrum”, the Indiscope makes it realistic for the boutique milk depot, ice-cream producer or yoghurt factory to bring testing in-house and thus gather instant feedback on milk composition for better management of quality parameters and closer adherence to regulatory requirements. The Indiscope takes less than 30 seconds to perform an analysis, will give highly accurate results for fat (+/- 0.1%), protein (+/0.08%) and non-fat solids (+/- 0.15%) and alert for the presence of adulterants such as water, urea, sucrose or maltodextrin. The Indiscope was designed to be used at “collection points” with the robustness and ease of use that this suggests. At the same time, the Indiscope boasts a workflow that meets AOAC and ISO guidelines for testing repeatability and a touch–screen interface that requires minimal training and helps to reduce human error. The FT-IR optics used by the Indiscope are hermetically sealed, keeping out dirt, dust and moisture which contributes to a very friendly service interval and very low user-maintenance requirements. As with all instruments we supply, the Mätt Solutions team will be available for in-depth consultation to explore if the Indiscope is going to bring value to your operations, and allow you to improve processes, quality and profitability. Full after sales service, including installation, training and warranty support will be available from our Christchurch office, as will immediate phone support and on-site technical support that can see someone at your facility as quickly as the next business day.


Food New Zealand


Can we feed our team of five million first? Authors: Nick W. Smith1,2, Sarah L. Golding1, Andrew J. Fletcher1,2,3, Jeremy P. Hill1,2,3, Warren C. McNabb1,2 1 2 Riddet Institute, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. Sustainable Nutrition Initiative, Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston 3 North, New Zealand. Fonterra Research and Development Centre, Private Bag 11029, Palmerston, 4442 New Zealand.

Introduction There is growing debate in the New Zealand media and at various meetings, summits and dialogues, as to whether our current local food system dynamics are optimal. The argument being made is that New Zealand produces more food than is required by our population, and yet many people do not have healthy diets, good nutrition or, go hungry. Another claim is that the prices for nutritious foods that we export (e.g. milk and meat) are unaffordable, and driven up by export demand. In a land of plenty, should New Zealanders be accessing food banks? This question raises many issues of a social, economic, educational, environmental and policy nature.

DELTA Model The Riddet Institute developed the DELTA Model to be able to answer

food system questions on a global scale. But we can also analyse the availability of nutrients to the New Zealand population (Smith et al., 2021; Sustainable Nutrition Initiative, 2021). This model analyses food production, export and imports, with consideration of non-food uses of products, waste and inedible portions. The remaining food available for consumption is converted into nutrients available for consumption, and bioavailability adjustments are made for protein and the indispensable amino acids. For this article, the quantities of available nutrients were compared to the nutrient requirements of the New Zealand population, using demographic information on the age and gender structure of the whole population and nutrient intake targets for each group, as these vary across their lifetime. This allowed us to compare nutrient availability with national requirements, extending the work of Rush and Obolonkin (2020) to individual nutrient dynamics. The results are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1 on a per capita per day basis, for ease of interpretation.

Figure 1. The data in Table 1 presented in graphical form. It is clear to see that production and export dominate dynamics for most nutrients in New Zealand October/November 2021


Perspective Table 1. Availability of nutrients in NZ compared to the demographically weighted target intake. Also included are production, export and import of nutrients as a percentage of the demographically weighted target intake. Note that bioavailability considerations are made for protein and the indispensable amino acids. Availability = Production – Export + Import Nutrient (unit)


Target intake

% of target that is available for consumption

% of target that is produced in NZ

% of target that is exported from NZ

% of target that is imported to NZ

Macronutrients Energy (kcal)







Protein (g)







Carbohydrate (g)







Total lipid/fat (g)







Fibre (g)







Calcium (mg)







Copper (mg)







Iron (mg)







Magnesium (mg)







Phosphorus (mg)







Potassium (mg)







Selenium (ug)







Zinc (mg)







Cystine (g)







Histidine (g)







Leucine (g)







Lysine (g)







Methionine (g)







Threonine (g)







Tryptophan (g)







Vitamin A (ug)







Vitamin B1 (mg)







Vitamin B2 (mg)







Vitamin B5 (mg)







Vitamin B6 (mg)







Vitamin B9 (ug)







Vitamin B12 (ug)

Trace elements

Indispensable amino acids








Vitamin C (mg)







Vitamin E (mg)







Surprising results The data may be surprising: how could a country that produces so much meat, dairy and fruit have deficient availability of iron, calcium and vitamin C?

Otago and Ministry of Health, 2011). However, the results are indicative of national nutrient availability.

Firstly, note that the DELTA Model predictions do have limitations. They use balance sheet data, which capture the overall production and trade dynamics of recorded food. This will not perfectly represent the large amount of homegrown, hunted and fished food that we eat in New Zealand. The data is also at a national average level: the amount available and consumed by individuals should be expected to vary

Globally, the DELTA Model finds that calcium and Vitamin E availability do not meet whole-world-population requirements (Smith et al., 2021). This is also the case in New Zealand, and the gaps are around the same size. Dairy is a major source of calcium globally, but our consumption of dairy is less than that of many parts of the world, especially Europe. Vitamin E is sourced predominantly from plants, most densely found in plant oils. The availability of this nutrient in New Zealand is lower than the global average and we produce less of it than we need, making us reliant on food imports for this nutrient.

widely, as shown by our national nutrition survey data (University of

The other nutrients that appear clearly deficient in New Zealand


Food New Zealand


are fibre, potassium and Vitamin B9 (folate). A number of other nutrients are very close to requirement (+/- 10%): carbohydrate, iron, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. We produce and export in excess of our own requirements of all of these except for fibre, carbohydrate and Vitamin E. Our nutrient imports are far smaller than our exports: between 10% and 92% or our requirement, depending on the nutrient. These dynamics are relatively unique: there are few countries in our analysis that produce and export so much nutrition, whilst importing comparatively little. A closer examination of some of the individual nutrients of interest yields interesting results. Our carbohydrate production is about 60% dairy and 40% plant (largely fruit). Thus, this does not match our carbohydrate consumption (largely grains). This explains the relatively high trade rates of carbohydrate seen here. We consume only a third of the meat iron that we produce and our dietary iron intake is dominated by plant sources, most of which we import. The same trend is true for zinc, potassium and vitamin B9 (folate). While we produce high quantities of vitamin C, this is almost entirely in a few foods: kiwifruit, apples, and our other major fruit categories. We import very little of this nutrient, largely consuming our own produce. Our calcium production is almost entirely from dairy, as is most of our consumption. However, as a nation, we are not consuming enough. Finally, we do not produce enough fibre in New Zealand to meet our own targets, and of that which we do produce, we export nearly half (again, largely in fruit).

How can this be? If we produce excesses of many of these nutrients, why do the nutrient gaps exist? The answer is largely that much of the nutrients we produce in New Zealand are in our small number of large export categories: dairy, meat, and fruit. We would not recommend that New Zealand meet its own nutritional needs using exclusively these categories, as this would lead to unbalanced diets. We should not consume all of New Zealand’s iron production, for example, because this would necessitate very high meat consumption. Nor should we consume all our own fruit for vitamin C, as this would come with a high sugar intake. So the answer is not to export less and meet our nutrient requirements with what we currently produce, as this would not make for diverse or healthy diets.

Zealand produces in high quantities (such as milk and fish) feature in the least cost nutrient adequate diet for the United States, showing they are affordable sources of nutrition there (Chungchunlam et al., 2020). Work is underway to determine whether the same is true for New Zealand consumers. However, nutrient adequacy is low on the list of priorities for most consumers when buying food. We currently need to import many plant foods that we do not produce much of here, but that are needed for a healthy diet. Following the dietary guidelines, the average diet should be plant-based, optimised with nutrient dense animal foods. A good question, receiving much airtime currently, is whether we ought to produce a more diverse range of foods locally in the future, particularly plant foods. This may allow us to meet our dietary guidelines using a greater proportion of domestic produce. There is no straightforward answer to this question. How feasible will changes to production be in our local climate and landscape? A sudden shift to more plant food production would certainly reduce our export earnings, which is a major determinant of the country’s wealth. These foods might not be purchased by the typical New Zealand consumer, in favour of less healthy or imported options, and thus go to waste. The environmental impacts of these production systems may not be favourable in certain parts of the country. Policy measures to drive dietary change impacts personal choice for the consumer. However, the right changes could lead to economic benefits to producers and reduce our dependence on overseas markets. They may increase the healthiness of the New Zealand diet, leading to improved wellbeing of our population and by implication, our health system. The negative environmental impacts of food production in New Zealand might be reduced. Deciding on changes to the New Zealand food system requires consideration of nutrition, economics, social and environmental factors. These are not easy factors to weigh up against one another. However, there are questions in this space that need answering, backed by scientific evidence. The Sustainable Nutrition Initiative intends to develop a New Zealand specific version of the DELTA Model that incorporates all these factors, to inform future decision making on the New Zealand food system in the near future.


Local diets should reflect the New Zealand dietary guidelines (Ministry of Health, 2020). At present, this will necessitate importing a large proportion of our food. To what extent this state of affairs should continue in the future is a worthy topic to debate.

Chungchunlam, S.M.S., Moughan, P.J., Garrick, D.P., and Drewnowski, A. (2020). Animal-sourced foods are required for minimum-cost nutritionally adequate food patterns for the United States. Nature Food 1, 376-381. doi: 10.1038/s43016-020-0096-8

There are some New Zealand foods that we should be consuming more of. Our dairy intakes are far lower than those found in Europe, and our domestic calcium consumption and availability is well below where it should be. There are those who argue that retail food prices are too high, and that these prices are driven by our focus on exports. However, if there were more dairy, meat and fruit on the supermarket shelf and at a lower price, would New Zealander’s buy it and eat it? Or would dietary habits trump changes to availability and price in determining what individuals buy and consume? The data presented here do not answer these questions, but they are important questions to address.

Kidd, B., Mackay, S., Vandevijvere, S., and Swinburn, B. (2021). Cost and greenhouse gas emissions of current, healthy, flexitarian and vegan diets in Aotearoa (New Zealand). BMJ Nutrition. Prevention & Health, bmjnph-2021-000262. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000262

There is no straightforward answer The cost and affordability of nutritious and healthy diets also differs from the cost and affordability of the average New Zealand diet. Kidd et al. (2021) recently found a substantial increase in price between current and healthy household diets in this country. Research at the Riddet Institute has found that many of the food categories that New

Ministry of Health (2020). "Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults: Updated 2020". (Wellington: Ministry of Health). Rush, E., and Obolonkin, V. (2020). Food exports and imports of New Zealand in relation to the food-based dietary guidelines. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 74, 307-313. doi: 10.1038/s41430-019-0557-z Smith, N.W., Fletcher, A.J., Dave, L.A., Hill, J.P., and Mcnabb, W.C. (2021). Use of the DELTA Model to Understand the Food System and Global Nutrition. The Journal of Nutrition. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab199 Sustainable Nutrition Initiative (2021). Available: [Accessed 12 May 2021].


University of Otago and Ministry of Health (2011). "A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey". (Wellington: Ministry of Health).

October/November 2021



Latest in Ingredients – news and research Arla Foods Ingredients raises the bar for healthier indulgence The protein bar category is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6% between 2021 and 2025, largely because of demand for tasty snacks that can quell “carb-cravings”. However, there is a growing call on manufacturers to bridge the gap between health and indulgence, with 55% of consumers saying it is hard to find indulgent snacks they believe are healthy. As the bar category becomes more competitive, manufacturers are looking for innovative ways to meet these needs. One increasingly featured ingredient is peanut butter, which is familiar to consumers and offers indulgent taste as well as melt-in-the-mouth texture. However, the use of a soft nut butter base in protein bars can result in issues such as the risk of hardening over time, which can affect mouthfeel and shelf life. Arla Foods Ingredients’ newest concept combines Lacprodan® SoftBar – a dairy and whey protein ingredient which allows bars to reach up to 37% protein content as well as delivering a soft texture – with creamy peanut butter. The resulting bar delivers an indulgent eating experience and offers manufacturers opportunities to make claims such as high protein* and high in fibre*. Lacprodan® SoftBar works well in maltitol-free bars and has performed well in shelf-life stability tests. The new concept can be used by manufacturers as it is, or as a basis for recipes with different flavour combinations or nut butter varieties. It was developed at the Arla Foods Ingredients Application & Technology Science Centre, the facilities of which now include a protein bar pilot production line.

About Arla Foods Ingredients Arla Foods Ingredients is a global leader in value-added whey solutions. We discover and deliver ingredients derived from whey, supporting the food industry with the development and efficient processing of more natural, functional and nutritious foods. We serve global markets within early life nutrition, medical nutrition, sports nutrition, health foods and other foods and beverage products. Arla Foods Ingredients is a 100% owned subsidiary of Arla Foods. Our head office is in Denmark.

New concept to help manufacturers create healthier, indulgent protein bars

Chr. Hansen launches The Probiotics Institute With more than 55 million hits on “probiotics” online, it can be hard to find science-based information from trustworthy sources. As an industry leader, Chr. Hansen is therefore launching The Probiotics Institute – a new platform providing educational and scientific content on probiotics and the human microbiome. As the interest in probiotics and the microbiome continues to grow – not least during the past year where the world has found itself in unprecedented times – so does the number of misconceptions about probiotics and their benefits. The Probiotics Institute by Chr. Hansen™ sets out to demystify and provide information about probiotics to healthcare professionals and B2B customers on a global scale. The Institute aims to provide relevant and engaging content on probiotics and probiotic strains and solutions, scientifically documented. Available first in English and, subsequently, in several other languages, the information is presented in an easily understandable format.


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The Probiotics Institute is designed to give visitors an optimal user experience. The platform provides scientific information about the usage and different benefits of probiotics, ranging from infants to seniors, and includes a guide for choosing the right probiotics. “It is our ambition that The Probiotics Institute will foster the engagement of users and become a natural forum of reference and interaction for healthcare professionals and professional science communities,” elaborates Kevin Mehring, senior vice president for Human Health, Chr. Hansen. “We know that it can be challenging for healthcare professionals and our business partners to distinguish reliable evidence from many conflicting scientific studies of varying quality. We want to help them make informed choices in the probiotic jungle. Visit for more information.


ADM: Protein with performance in mind At ADM we know ingredients inside out. We have an extensive food and beverage ingredient portfolio, which is just one measure of our commitment to provide our customers with the best possible solutions for consumer-winning applications. And we continue to add new, on-trend items to ensure our pantry of solutions is always ready, with tried-andtrue ingredients, translated by our formulation expertise and application know-how, to support our customers' success. Winning the 2021 Best Ingredient Innovation Award at FI Europe with ADM Profam© Pea Protein, is one example of how ADM continues to lead the global plant-based revolution through innovation. The product provides a cleaner, less bitter taste experience than other pea proteins and reduces the need for masking of top notes. Pea protein is the fastest growing plant protein in new, alternative product launches globally in the last five years.* ADM Profam© Pea Protein allows customers to benefit from extensive research and development to ensure outstanding solubility, better water absorption, gel strength and flavour.

Apart from the remarkable clean taste of ADM's pea protein, it delivers high functionality to a range of applications, including those with a requirement for no labelled allergens. The versatility of ADM's pea protein allows customers to create great tasting products, ranging from meat and dairy alternative solutions, to plant-nutrition beverages, better-foryou snacking and beyond. Besides market-leading pea protein, ADM offers an extensive portfolio of soy and wheat proteins, beans and legumes, starches, fibres, sweetening solutions as well as flavours, extracts and distillates. With 75 years of expertise in protein, ADM understands consumer needs and formulation challenges in plant-based protein applications. We unlock the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. *Mintel 2020

October/November 2021



Beneo’s Palatinose smart release carbohydrate is digested gradually for a sustained blood sugar response

Beneo products support nutrition The desire to lead more active, healthier lives has risen to the top of most consumers’ minds, in light of the ongoing pandemic. This trend means that more and more manufacturers have begun redesigning their mainstream food and drinks to help consumers achieve their health goals. These include products such as beverages, cereals, and snacks that provide an added benefit of increasing energy during exercise. However – while convenient – many of these products tend to be abundant in high glycaemic carbohydrates.

Consumers are beginning to recognise that carbohydrates vary greatly in quality. In fact, a recent Beneo survey revealed that 66% of consumers believe that low-glycaemic sugars are better for their health. This demand represents a market of thriving opportunities, and food manufacturers should therefore look at ingredients that can deliver energy in a balanced, sustained manner. When it comes to catering to daily energy needs, carbohydrates come to mind. However, it’s just as important (if not more important) to look at the quality of the carbohydrates we consume.

Global Reach, Local Delivery – Invita Evolving consumer demands challenge the way ingredients are used, marketed and labelled on both a local and global scale. With New Zealand manufacturers incorporating overseas trends in our proud Kiwi brands, staying ahead of these trends is crucial to maintain brand relevance in our fast-paced industry. Ingredient technologies cover the spectrum of consumer demands from health and wellness, everyday essentials, lifestyle choices and indulgence, yet no matter which segment a product is designed for the one common denominator is delivering superior quality. There are multiple benefits to working with a local supplier of quality global ingredients. Invita’s well established and longterm relationships with international suppliers allows us to pass the advantages on to you. Our access to market information and


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technical know-how supports you to gain knowledge from abroad before the latest NPD trends reach our shores. Plus, the question of long lead times is answered with local warehousing and supply, enabling you to be the market–leading brand and first on shelf. Invita works with you developing concepts and fine-tuning ingredients from technical and nutritional perspectives tailoring to Kiwi tastes. Our experienced Auckland-based team provides you with support to navigate the entire NPD process, offering a uniquely holistic service, including local applications’ support and invaluable regulatory expertise. Invita’s knowledge of local and export markets combined with our ingredients’ capabilities gives New Zealand manufacturers an ideal platform to develop successful products.


‘Fast carbohydrates’ – such as maltodextrin and sucrose, commonly used in sports nutrition products – release glucose into the bloodstream quickly when digested. This causes a ‘boost and crash’ effect where there is a rapid increase followed by a sudden decline in glucose levels as our body regulates the sudden rise. Such reactions are not ideal for those looking to achieve sustained, balanced energy levels throughout the day, much less those who are looking for endurance during exercise. On the other hand, smart-release carbohydrates can help to provide a more steady and sustained energy supply, resulting in blood glucose levels that stay balanced, without sudden ups and downs. One example is Beneo’s Palatinose™ (generic name: isomaltulose), a smart carbohydrate derived from sugar beet that is digested gradually so glucose is released into the bloodstream in small quantities at a time. Palatinose™ boasts various technical benefits that allows it to be easily used in a variety of recipes. Its low hygroscopicity makes it perfect for powdered drinks and blends as it does not easily form lumps in powder form. This functional carbohydrate also has good solubility, enabling consumers to dissolve it easily into their beverages. It remains stable at a temperature of 25°C with a relative humidity of up to 85% and this stability ensures that food manufacturers will not have to worry about compromising quality during manufacturing processes where conditions may be prone to drastic changes.

Additionally, a maintained osmolality allows concentrations of drinks to remain unchanged with its addition into the mix and ensures that they retain their isotonic properties to serve their water replenishment purposes and are optimally absorbed by the digestive system of consumers. More importantly, Palatinose™ provides a mild, natural sweetness without any aftertaste, and can easily be combined with other sweeteners to achieve a tailored sweetness profile suited to the individual preference of the consumer. Food manufacturers will thus be able to reformulate their products without difficulty to preserve taste and texture, while offering the benefits of sustained and balanced carbohydrate energy release. As sports nutrition products continue to flourish globally, the food and beverage industry will need to rise to the challenge of helping consumers meet their increasing desire to lead more active lives coupled with better nutrition. But they don’t have to tread into the unknown to make that happen. The good news is that there are already alternative carbohydrates that can help food manufacturers reformulate better, and provide consumers with sustained energy while improving their metabolic profile and increasing fat burning potential — without compromising on taste.

October/November 2021


Overview Cocoa flavour profile measurement Because a plethora of flavour compounds contribute to the distinctive taste of cocoa, its composition is difficult to analyse. Now, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz Institute of Food Systems Biology (LSB) have developed a new methodology that quickly, easily, and precisely quantifies the flavour profile of cocoa samples. The new method is suitable for practical use in companies and can be applied at any point along the value chain from cocoa beans to chocolate. Various flavour substances, including secondary plant compounds, such as health-promoting flavanols, are crucial for the taste of cocoa. The particular class of these substances is what creates the typical astringent feeling in the mouth which strikes us as the pleasantly bitter and slightly sour taste of cocoa or chocolate.

Scientists have developed a new methodology that quickly, easily, and precisely quantifies the flavour profile of cocoa samples

In cocoa-producing countries, quality assessment of cocoa is currently carried out mainly by random visual inspection of the beans (cut test) and sensory-trained personnel. In addition, chocolate manufacturers use time-consuming and personnel-intensive methods to test the quality of cocoa. The new method offers significant advantages over these conventional analytical methods, requiring minimal sample preparation and providing quantitative data on 66 taste-decisive substances using a single mass spectrometric platform. Traditional techniques make it possible to analyse about 10 samples per week, whereas this new method allows an analysis of 200 in that time. Furthermore, the methodology can be easily incorporated into industrial workflows. The team of scientists tested their new methodology on a set of 75 cocoa samples from around the world. They compared unroasted samples with those that the researchers had roasted in the lab using a uniform standard procedure. They found that the roasting of the cocoa influenced the flavour profile more than the respective regional origin of the beans. With the help of the new methodology, it is now possible to investigate the influence of other factors including the genetic predisposition of the plants and the type of fermentation as well. Professor Veronika Somoza, director of the LSB, and Professor Corinna Dawid both agree that a long-term goal of the joint research at TUM and LSB is to supplement the world map of cocoa with all these data on sensory active substances.

Publication: Kauz T., Dunkel A., Hofmann T. (2021) J Agric Food Chem High-throughput quantitation of key cocoa tastants by means of ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and application to a global sample set DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c01987


Food New Zealand

Overview Caldic Caldic is your leading solutions provider for all things natural, sustainable, and healthy – we offer a wide range of products to fit the latest trends. Do you need vegan solutions such as clean tasting proteins, sustainable fibres, protein crisps, natural beef and chicken flavours or natural antimicrobials? Are you looking to get more aeration in your ice cream or protein bar and want to trial our Canola protein or hydrolysed pea, soy and milk proteins? Or perhaps you are after unique and natural ingredients for emulsification and egg replacement like our flaxseed powder, or a carrot fibre that binds 26x its weight in water with no high shear mixing required. Maybe you need our BC30 probiotic, Wellmune or elderberry extract to support immune health, or unique dairy ingredients from lactoferrin through to goat and sheep milk specialties. You could be looking for natural and stable colour solutions for replacing Carmine or artificial colour, or want an alternative to annatto in cheese manufacture that won’t discolour your whey. Are you interested in organic and tummy friendly prebiotics to improve gut health for your next launch? Whatever your innovative concept may be, our food technologists are here to help you achieve your target. We can offer testing and natural solutions for shelf-life improvement, particularly in relation to oxidation, and technical support on a wide range of ingredient and processing challenges. Our Caldic network throughout 19 countries ensures that we can find the most unique and effective ingredients to bring to New Zealand manufacturers.

October/November 2021



Lycoderm™ ingestible skincare extract Developed to promote wellness from within, Lycored’s ingestible skincare extract contains a combination of carotenoids and polyphenols including lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, and carnosic acid. Previous research has shown that Lycoderm™ can benefit overall skin condition as well as visibly boosting radiance and reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Now, a study published in Molecules has provided new insights into its molecular mechanism, further validating the blend’s ability to support skin health at the cellular level. The pre-clinical tests demonstrated that the phytonutrients in Lycoderm™ cooperate to inhibit inflammatory cytokines that lead to the degradation of skin collagen. Its patented combination of carotenoids and polyphenols was found to inhibit the secretion of the cytokines and balance oxidative stress far more effectively than either tomato extract or rosemary leaf extract alone. As such, the study underlines the benefits of supplementation with tomato nutrients on top of a healthy diet, demonstrating relevant mechanisms of action that support health and beauty across all skin types and age groups. Lycoderm™ is a plant-based, clean-label solution that can be used in a wide range of dietary supplements and is GRAS for food and beverage use.

Loryma – clean label binder Ingredients expert Loryma has added two clean label binding systems to its portfolio. With these functional blends, manufacturers can produce meat alternatives that not only convince with a meat-like texture, but also a high protein content and short ingredient list without E-numbers. The binding components enable vegan applications for both hot and cold consumption, for example, vegetable chicken breast strips and meat-free sausages. Starches and other functional components of wheat ensure that plantbased meat alternatives have the anticipated texture and a convincing bite. The Lory® Bind component replaces conventional gelling agents and hydrocolloids, so that the product has a "clean label" with no E-numbers. In addition to the short ingredient list, Lory® Bind results in end products with a nutritional profile far superior to other meat alternatives on the 20

Food New Zealand

The blend of tomato and rosemary extracts in Lycoderm™ has a synergistic effect that may help balance skin cells’ response to environmental challenges

About Lycored Committed to ‘Cultivating Wellness’, Lycored, part of Adama Group, is an international company at the forefront of unearthing and combining nature’s nutrition potential with cutting edge science to develop natural ingredients and products. Established in 1995 in Israel, Lycored is the global leader in natural carotenoids for food, beverage and dietary supplement products. For more information visit

market. The pairing of wheat and fava beans improves the quality of the proteins and their efficacy. The bean contains lysine and the wheat provides methionine which, when combined, result in a more bioavailable amino acid profile. The binding systems have a high protein content of at least 57.3 g per 100 g and, depending on the recipe, a "high protein" claim is possible. Gel formation and texture is irreversible, remaining stable at high temperatures (cooking, pasteurisation, autoclaving) and after cooling. Products can also be frozen and defrosted without any problems. Both wheat and fava beans are considered sustainable, natural raw materials.

About Loryma: Loryma, member of the Crespel & Deiters group, is a producer of globally distributed wheat proteins, wheat starches and functional blends with more than 40 year's experience. For further information, please visit:


Plant based patties enhanced with Oterra colour

Colouring plant-based foods naturally Colour plays a most important role in our selection of different foods because it suggests flavour and galvanises purchase intent. Our perception of aroma and flavour is also affected by both the hue and the intensity of the colour of the food and drinks we consume. The trend towards plant-based food is growing. Concerns about health, environment and animal welfare are driving the trend towards plant-based protein. However, without colour, food made from plant proteins doesn’t look appealing. This poses a challenge for manufacturers, since protein sources used, such as soy, pea and almonds, do not provide the colour associated with recognisable food like red-brown meat. Plant protein sources are mostly an unappealing grey-brown colour. Therefore, the use of colour is essential to meet customer expectations. Base colour matters The protein base used in plant-based meats significantly influences the final colour. For example, using the same natural colour, a pea protein gives a more orange-brownish colour compared to the protein blend of wheat/soy. As a result, a coloured burger patty based on wheat/soy

protein looks more brownish than one coloured with pure pea protein. Besides burger patties, there are also many colouring options for plantbased emulsified sausage products. In order to achieve a typical pink scalded sausage colour, various options based on radish and sweet potato concentrate can be used to achieve the desired shade. The Hansen Sweet Potato™ colour, which is 100% plant-based, provides a clean label solution with no E-numbers and can help brands respond to the consumer trend towards vegetarianism, vegan and natural food choices. Colours made from paprika can also be used to achieve the sort after colour result for plant-based patties and sausages. Oterra™ is the world leader in natural colours. We apply our deep knowledge and insights about pigments, applications, and regulatory requirements around the globe to help our customers – and consumers – bring safe and appetising food to the table. Sourced from nature, our colour portfolio is the largest and most vibrant in the food industry. For all your natural colour requirements please reach out to us at our website or contact your local distributor, Caldic New Zealand Ltd.

October/November 2021


Food Safety

New Zealand Food Safety Update In this edition, we’re focusing on developing and providing guidance for food businesses operating under COVID-19 Alert Levels, and mandatory fortification of flour for bread-making with folic acid.

Fortification of Flour for Bread-making with Folic Acid New Zealand has adopted the requirement to add folic acid to nonorganic wheat flour for making bread as set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. There will be a two-year transition period to allow flour millers time to implement this change. We’ll work with flour millers over the next 12 months to develop guidance to ensure the requirements of the mandatory Standard are met. There will be opportunities for stakeholders to engage directly with New Zealand Food Safety to help develop and test guidance materials. Folic acid is an essential B vitamin that is important for the healthy development of babies early in pregnancy. Mandatory fortification in a prescribed amount is strongly associated with reduced prevalence of neural tube defects in many countries. For more information visit: Folate and the addition of folic acid to food.

Guidance for Food Businesses Operating Under COVID-19 Alert Levels To help your planning and decision-making about operating a Food Act 2014-registered business under COVID-19 Alert Levels 4-2, there is key information you will need to consider. You must continue to meet the rules in your existing Food Control Plan or National Programme, as well as meet the rules in the relevant Safe Practice Guidance:

council). These packs can be added at no registration cost and without requiring verification. Businesses that want to add the pack to prepare chilled and frozen meals will need an off-site Scope Change Check interview (conducted by phone, Skype, Teams, Zoom, or other platform) within five (5) working days of operating – to check they are managing the associated food safety risks. There is no charge to the business for this Check. Registration renewal and verification Registration renewals can be deferred during the COVID-19 response. Owners/managers need to contact their Registration Authority if their registration renewal has been affected (for example, they have not been trading during this latest COVID-19 response). If a Food Act business is trading and due for its food safety verification during COVID-19 Alert Levels 4 to 2, the business’s verifier will arrange a Remote Check or Remote Verification. These are contactless ways to verify, until on-site verifications can resume. This means that scheduled verifications with food businesses can take place off-site, using online technology (such as Skype, Zoom, Teams or another live-streaming app) or via a phone call (which might be supplemented by photos, records and/or videos). For more information Visit COVID-19 information and advice, email foodactinfo@, or phone 0800 00 83 33.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 Safe Practice Guidance for Food Businesses operating under the Food Act 2014 COVID-19 Alert Level 3 Safe Practice Guidance for Food Service, Retail & Manufacturing Businesses COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Safe Practice Guidance for Food Retailers and Food Manufacturers. If a COVID-19 Safe Practice Check is undertaken at your business, owners/managers will be asked to show how they have implemented these procedures. Making changes to a food business To allow food businesses options to re-open in COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 and 3, businesses can temporarily extend their existing scope of operations, by using New Zealand Food Safety’s pre-evaluated Scope Change Packs. There are five (5) packs, including procedures for: • takeaway and pick up; • delivery; • meal kits and repacking bulk food; • preparing chilled and frozen meals; and • making jams, chutneys and sauces. Food businesses wanting to extend their scope must download the appropriate pack(s) from the Alert Level 2 or 3 COVID-19 and food safety web pages, attach it to their Plan or Programme, and then notify their Registration Authority (New Zealand Food Safety or local 22

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Glen Neal, General Manager Risk Management and Intelligence, Food Standards Australia New Zealand Webinar – Risk Management – Beyond the Science This webinar was presented to NZFSSRC by Glen Neal to discuss the thorny issue of why there is a difference between commercially set standards and the standards that Governments set.

Risk Management – Beyond the Science – click here for the webinar on You Tube. End FSANZ

Food Safety

The power and potential of whole genome sequencing This article was written exclusively for Food New Zealand by Dr Lucia Rivas, ESR, Dr Catherine McLeod, Director of the NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre, and science writer, Glenda Lewis Dr Lucia (Lucy) Rivas, ESR, leads the team that is building the Listeria database

Dr Catherine McLeod, Director of the NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre

Introducing Whole Genome Sequencing COVID-19 has been a phenomenal spur for the introduction of whole genome sequencing (WGS). In the early stages of the pandemic, The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) prompted the government to invest in WGS, and quickly outfitted and upskilled three centres to provide a 24-hour turn-around service for urgent testing of COVID samples. WGS is the brains behind our track and trace system and has given confidence to agonising lockdown decisions. The power and potential of WGS is not as well understood in the food industry. New Zealand food-producing companies are at quite different stages in applying WGS, or even thinking about applying it. There are individual champions, like Denver McGregor of NZ King Salmon, who actively sought it out and sold the benefits to his boss. Fonterra has established a completely independent and integrated sequencing and bioinformatics facility. For many other companies, there are still a lot of barriers, perceived or real. Chief among them are lack of understanding of the technology, and cost-benefit information to justify the extra expense.

What's in it for me? Companies who have experienced a disease outbreak or product recall are quick to appreciate the virtues of WGS. In a survey commissioned by the NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre (the Centre), companies who have adopted WGS generally report that the benefits have met or exceeded expectations. It may well be that late adopters will soon be obliged to come on board by increasingly risk-averse food importers and insurers. Meanwhile, the technology is just getting better and faster all the time – undercutting even Moore’s Law. There is a foreseeable future in which food producers will have cheap handheld devices that give immediate readings of samples in processing facilities. But that is still tech talk, not 2021 reality. The Centre is helping New Zealand companies get to grips with WGS technology in the here and now, and how to apply it in their unique production context. In 2020-2021, WGS was used in eight collaborative research projects within industry settings. Distinguished Professor Nigel French, the Centre’s chief scientist, is a world expert in the application of WGS for

food safety. He says it is a no-brainer when it comes to understanding and reducing the risk of pathogen transmission in a long and complex food chain, such as poultry, dairy or meat. The main benefit of WGS is that it provides an unprecedented level of resolution – right down to one DNA or RNA ‘letter’ (nucleotide) difference between isolates. As an example, a company can analyse pathogens collected from different areas of a processing chain and determine whether a particular source, like a piece of equipment or an ingredient, is responsible for contaminating a food product and whether it is a persistent resident strain. Companies can then focus cleaning efforts in these specific areas. The Centre is soon to launch a WGS database resource for members to help manage one of our main food safety risks – Listeria monocytogenes. The isolates are from historical clinical cases and anonymous company environmental and food samples. This is designed to be a confidential reference repository for Centre members. The database is not a public health surveillance tool and in order to protect contributing members’ data no sensitive or identifiable information, such as company names or locations, food products or sectors, are included, and authorised access to the database is required.

The Listeria project ESR is the science partner in much of the Centre’s research, and is one of the principle providers of sequencing services – clinical, forensic and commercial. Dr Lucia (Lucy) Rivas at ESR leads the team that is building the Listeria database, which now has over 1000 isolate sequences uploaded. There is some work still to do before it is available for authorised Centre members to use. A lot of the software up till now has been developed by, and for, academic research so the aim is to make the site as user-friendly as possible, so that companies can view their own data easily, without needing too much bioinformatic training. Centre members will be able to compare and visualise WGS data from their isolates, independently, or with other isolates of interest, to obtain a ‘bigger picture’ as to how common a particular type or strain is in NZ. User feedback will continue to improve the resource, which may eventually include international, publicly available data. The platform could also serve as a start-point for an in-house analysis tool that displays the data onto maps of food production and processing facilities to help clearly identify sources and trends of contamination. The Centre itself wants oversight into how this troublesome bacterium is moving and evolving in New Zealand. There is a lot of potential to analyse the genomic data further to find out what drives Listeria to stubbornly persist in a factory, in some instances, and work out better ways to control or eliminate it. Funds forthcoming, the Centre’s aim is to expand this database to other pathogens of concern for the food industry, such as Cronobacter and Salmonella. October/November 2021


Food Safety Benefits and applications

Challenges and limitations Resolution of results

• Unprecedent resolution for characterising microorganisms.

• Need a selection of isolates (if available) from various sources to compare

• Source tracking and source attribution within a food manufacturing process • Better characterization of probiotics and bioproduction (fermentation)

• WGS data cannot be used alone. Sample information and processing knowledge required for optimum analyses and decision making

• Identify spoilage organisms

• Some phenotypic assays are still required to validate genetic traits

• Data can be use for ongoing comparisons to see if a strain is new or persisting • Identify genetic traits for virulence, antimicrobial resistance and other physicochemical features (e.g., heat resistance) • Broader benefits of identifying how bacteria mutate and circulate the globe Cost and turnaround time • More affordable and faster than older technologies

• May be perceived as expensive compared to other microbiological tests

• Eliminates the need for multiple assays to characterise a bacteria (ie. serotyping)

• Current turnaround time only allows for prospective analysis

• Can define or exonerate areas to focus interventions and therefore saves costs in primary testing

• Turn-around time too long for industry to make real-time decisions More applicable for retrospective assessments

WGS resourcing and expertise • Once the knowledge is learnt, it is easy to apply and the staff member can incorporate this in their systems

• Sequencing platforms are expensive to set up and run and therefore only specialist labs required • Food industry producers require access to this resource via sequencing provider. This adds to turnaround time and costs

Expertise and education on WGS, interpretation of results • Once users are educated, interpretation can be straightforward

• Scientists and bioinformaticians required to process and analyse the data • Unless shared, sample information (i.e. foods or sampling location) needs to be overlaid on the WGS analysis by the food producer • Static reports with lots of WGS data are complex to produce and understand Tools and databases

• Web-based tools that allow no or low-cost storage of data and analyses but most often require that data is shared

• In-house data storage can become expensive

• Commercial products available that can be used in-house

• Web-based platforms and commercial products may not be user-friendly enough or require bioinformatic training

• Development of food industry user-based solutions for easy interpretation is ongoing

• Sharing data concerns for web-based platforms

• Global standardisation of data and interpretation of results is ongoing

Table 1. Whole Genome Sequencing – the whole picture Lucy spends a lot of her time explaining WGS technology and the results of sequencing to commercial food clients. While it’s a nobrainer for big industries and companies, it can be a hard sell to small companies where every dollar counts. Although the cost of sequencing has come down, it’s not cheap either. WGS is expensive compared to other microbiological tests, but then it is very different to most standard tests.

Cost–benefits The Centre has commissioned an independent expert to evaluate the technology’s cost-benefits, with a view to giving members hard data from which to build a business case for their executive and board. The costs of foodborne disease to victims and taxpayers are well known. It is harder to generalise the costs for producers related to outbreaks and recalls, and each scenario varies. Early findings from the Centre’s evaluation demonstrate that there have been situations in which a pathogen has been detected and led to the removal and destruction of 24

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product, at a cost to the companies interviewed of between NZ$0.5M $2.37M. The companies involved in these incidents noted that with WGS findings in hand, they have now implemented a range of strategies to combat these pathogens and minimise further lost batches and costly recalls. These strategies include changing sanitation regimes to help eradicate the pathogen from the processing environment, replacing problematic infrastructure, and the identification of ‘hot spots’ to target for regular testing. The Centre’s report will soon be available to members. Lucy says, “The cost-benefit ratio is particularly worthwhile if a company is facing chronic contamination issues in its processes. The accuracy and confidence of elucidating the source of contamination in a system is greater if a broad range of isolates from different locations are sequenced. This can drive up initial costs for isolation and sequencing but consequently offers a powerful dataset with which to compare new isolates prospectively. Not only can WGS implicate a source of contamination, it can also exonerate a potential source, which can be equally valuable, especially as it can narrow down further sampling.”

Food Safety

Cluster diagram showing the whole genome sequence analysis and genetic diversity of an organism

Debunking the push–back There are reasons other than cost why many companies have not lined up yet to use WGS – most of them understandable. They worry about confidentiality, and being implicated in and held to account by media and regulators for current and historical outbreaks. The time it takes to get results is another block. The Centre has found through its work with individual companies that most concerns, such as confidentiality, are able to be addressed and mitigated. The rapid sequencing of COVID-19 positive samples has raised expectations about the time it should take. “Why can’t I get results overnight?” clients ask Lucy. But sequencing bacteria requires a different approach which is more labour intensive than sequencing a COVID-19 sample. Between 90 and 100 bacterial isolates are run once a week in a single batch. Like a dishwasher, it’s uneconomic to run the machine unless it’s fully loaded. The standard ESR processing time of about two weeks includes expert analysis and reporting, without which the raw data would mean very little to clients. Lucy explains, “Sequencing of COVID-19 samples does not need any prior isolation of the virus, as required for bacteria, which can add days to weeks of waiting time for food companies. This timeline means that WGS is

predominantly used by companies for retrospective investigations and not for product release decisions.” She says they are looking at ways to speed up the process.

What are the future developments for WGS? Sequencing technology will undoubtedly continue to improve and so will the turnaround time as it becomes faster, potentially decreasing the overall cost of sample analysis. Beyond this, the field of metagenomics, where the sequencing is performed on an entire sample to provide a snapshot of a bacterial community, will allow the detection and sequencing typing of many different pathogens in a single assay. Eventually these developments will make the need for isolating pathogens and the use of WGS for individual pathogens obsolete. As food is a global commodity, there are many consortia working towards establishing common technology and standards with respect to WGS. A shared online global repository or database has been proposed1 and may make in-depth bioinformatic training unnecessary, as well as providing an inexpensive way to store sequencing data. But this also highlights the need for well-controlled, secure and standardised database management, and clear and easy processes to October/November 2021


Food Safety

Whole genome sequencing can help with identifying a source of infection. Bacteria of interest can be isolated from various sources throughout the food chain and their whole genome sequences can be compared to establish whether they are genetically related upload data to platforms, without advanced technical infrastructure and programming requirements2. Broader acceptance of shared or ‘open data’ would facilitate collaboration across multiple sectors and countries and thus improve the entire process for all users, including industry, the regulators and research organisations. However, there are many complex issues to resolve with respect to data sharing and ownership. The Centre’s Listeria database which enables industry to compare their genomes on a confidential basis, is a good start on this journey. Director of the NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre, Dr Catherine McLeod, says, “Despite the daunting list of challenges, genomics and 26

Food New Zealand

bioinformatics technologies have unstoppable momentum, and will continue to transform our capacity to track and respond to foodborne disease threats worldwide. The Centre will do all it can to help members embrace this future.” Black, A., MacCannell, D.R., Sibley, T.R., Bedford, T. 2020. Ten recommendations for supporting open pathogen genomic analysis in public health. Nature Medicine. 26: 832-841.


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Applications of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in food safety management 2016: Italy. 1688.



Cloud–based information management Latest technologies support manufacturers in monitoring process, product, plant and systems maintenance. They also help ensure that their consumer interface, whether labels or promotional material is compliant and informative. The sector is ever changing, improving efficiencies and supporting communication, collaboration and traceability.

iMonitor – Smart Food Manufacturing Software New Zealand food manufacturers still rely on time-consuming, failure-prone paperwork or Excel spreadsheets to record production and compliance data. This results in unnecessary food loss, business risks and delayed product release times that can be easily avoided by digitisation. Digitising compliance processes and production management allows food and beverage manufacturers to revolutionise their production floor by improving their operational efficiency, reducing costs and facilitating ongoing compliance.

October/November 2021



iMonitor software offers significant benefits to food manufacturing operations:

Smart, paperless workflows iMonitor’s food manufacturing software streamlines production workflows by digitising all paper-based recording tasks and workflows. By eliminating manual recording tasks, food manufacturers can increase staff productivity, reduce manual errors and redundant documentation.

daily production processes. We offer tailored and holistic weighing and product inspection solutions to improve automation, increase production capacity and ensure the highest food safety and quality standards within the supply chain. Our product and service portfolio includes, (but is not limited to): • Weighbridges for bulk food and high capacity weighing • Industrial Solutions for raw material, food, tank and pallet weighing

Automatic alerts and escalations

• Process analytical technology for in-line measurements

In case of non-compliance issues, automated alerts and notifications provide the right person at the right time with relevant data to enable instant corrective actions.

• Laboratory and analytical solutions for quality control

Traceability made easy

• Calibration, installation and service for technical product and service support

As iMonitor stores all data in the cloud, food manufacturers can trace sensitive ingredients, products, and processes in seconds instead of days. As a result, manufacturers prevent costly product recalls and mitigate risk to brand damage.

Facilitated compliance and 24/7 audit-ready reports iMonitor software impedes data falsification, facilitating compliance and quality management. The platform offers 24/7 audit-ready reports, accelerating internal and external audits.

Real-time insights and analytics By storing all compliance and production data automatically in a cloud, manufacturers get full visibility and increase data accuracy. Management can perform in-depth trend analysis to uncover potential for process improvements.

Easy integration with external software systems iMonitor software integrates easily with existing ERP or inventory management systems to streamline data flow through the whole factory.

• Product inspection equipment for contamination detection processes

Our product ranges have the capability to seamlessly be integrated to smart data, recipe and formulation management solutions. These solutions allow real-time capture and tracking of weighing data to drive full confidence within your food and beverage production processes. These instruments provide accurate and compliant measurements to constantly improve production yield and support your company in creating consistent and safe products for the food and beverage industry. Mettler Toledo – Enhancing business excellence through complete weighing and measuring solutions and services.

Systech from Markem–Imaje at MITech Brand protection solutions that are digitally connected and consumer–engagement-driven.

Seamless integration of results with Mettler Toledo

One year ago Systech, a solutions division of Markem-Imaje, offered by MITech in New Zealand, was chosen as one of four winners in the Kraft Heinz Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) Brand Challenge during the AIPIA Virtual Congress. The Kraft Heinz Brand Challenge invited companies to present game-changing smart packaging solutions that enhance brand equity via next-generation brand and consumer experiences.

Mettler Toledo is a leading global manufacturer of precision instruments and services for the food and beverage industry. Our weighing solutions assist in improving the safety, quality and productivity in

Global brands across industries rely on Systech’s Brand Protection Suite™ to deliver solutions that are digitally connected and consumer– engagement-driven. The Suite allows Systech to enable powerful

For more information contact Shakeel Ahmed at iMonitor.


Food New Zealand


engagement programmes that become a core component of an organisation’s overall brand protection strategy. The latest release of the Suite provides key functionality which includes support for pushing unique responses and content to consumers in real-time based on attributes such as location, time and safety of the product. A brand’s current packaging can become an essential component of a brand protection programme and Systech is the only software solution provider that creates a unique digital identifier (e-Fingerprint®) from the standard barcodes already on your packaging. Systech’s nonadditive and data enriched e-Fingerprint® is used to digitally connect and authenticate every product at the item level. Systech’s clients are using their existing package barcodes to: • Digitally connect products for real-time supply chain insight and traceability • Ensure products are genuine using non-additive digital authentication • Leverage actionable supply chain data to quickly identify and stop diversion

• Enable consumers to interact and engage with their products • Place product authentication capabilities into the hands of their customers More information from Grant Cardno at MITech.

Pervidi Choosing digital solutions to fit your organisational setup can be a tough process. Whether you need database management, food quality assurance control, product flow overviews, or process monitoring; the key is to have a customisable and adaptable system, that is designed to work to your needs and requirements. With international experience in the food manufacture and management industries, Techs4biz helps any organisation to operate digitally with the Pervidi solution. The Pervidi solution consists of an application for your mobile device – tablet or smartphone – that can carry out any inspection, audit or check that is desired. Using unique features to the app, the Pervidi solution can generate various different reports for business, compliance or operational needs. The solution can run off cloud-based servers to

October/November 2021



The Pervidi app, Techs4biz, consists of an application for your mobile device - tablet or smartphone, that can carry out any inspection, audit or check that is desired ensure there is truly a minimal footprint, but a massive improvement on business operations. With access to the Pervidi portal, users can see historical records of inspections, categorised against assets or inspection type. This allows for detailed tracking of performance, which together with integration with Business Intelligence systems, can provide powerful insights into your food manufacture or food management processes. For organisations wishing to undertake safety inspections, to carry out food quality control checks or complete an audit of a facility in line with ISO or industry standards, digital solutions can provide great flexibility and accurate information. Pervidi’s strength is not only in its adaptability to your unique setup, but the flow of information across your organisation. With reports being automatically categorised in the management system, inspections pre-scheduled, compliance and the audit trail greatly simplified, there are truly several benefits to enjoy. To transform your food manufacture management process today, check out Pervidi by Techs4biz.

Zubi Zubi - software that keeps you up-to-date and agile. In the food and beverage industry change can be rapid, and companies not positioned to pivot accordingly get left behind. Whether that change is led by evolving consumer tastes, updates to legislation (e.g. P1044 Plain English Allergen Labelling in Feb 2021) or by an upheaval such as the current global pandemic, organisations need to enact changes efficiently and effectively. 30

Food New Zealand

Does your current system enable rapid, seamless recipe changes and smooth data review? Have you assessed your exposure to unidentified allergens – the number one reason for recalls? Zubi is cloud-based, comprehensive and flexible food labelling software that speeds up NPD and QA, drastically reduces errors and missed allergens and improves team communication for speedier timeto-market and cost savings through accuracy, efficiency and security. All ingredient and product data is in a single unified location for a Single Source of Truth. Team members across multiple facilities – or at home – can develop recipes, conduct data review, generate product reports and more. Zubi tracks allergens for you, dramatically reducing recall risk. Regular updates ensure you are never using software that is no longer compliant. The latest update, the reconstitution calculator, drastically reduces NIP calculation time for food and beverages reconstituted with water before consumption. It’s no wonder our customers say: “Zubi helps to mitigate the risks associated with labelling,” – Mark Brown, Greenmount Foods “Zubi allows our team to stay on top of labelling regulations and allergen cross contacts,” – Greta Pearce, Springbrook Foods “Zubi makes it easier for new NIPs to be calculated when changes in recipes take place,” – Anna Te Puni, Titahi Ensure your organisation stays flexible and adaptable in order to pivot successfully, no matter what the future holds, with Zubi.

October/November 2021



Primary ITO – Providing quality training for New Zealand’s food processing industry

Training Advisor Jared Moffat talking through unit standard assessment at Karikaas with Aimee Thorne

What is Primary ITO?

Dairy Processing

A cheesemaker in Picton, a boner in Waitara, and the team on a fishing trawler have at least one thing in common – they’re earning while they learn.

Employing more than 13,000 people across the sector, Dairy Processing is New Zealand’s largest export earner, exporting 95% of the 21 billion litres of milk produced each year in New Zealand to more than 130 countries. There are also many businesses focused on making high quality dairy products for consumption domestically including cheeses, ice creams and gelatos, yoghurts and butters.

Primary ITO is the industry training organisation responsible for training programmes across food processing in the primary sector, working with the biggest corporates through to niche manufacturers, helping them develop the skills they need to succeed. Food processing industry training makes up nearly half of Primary ITO’s business, and at every level our industries depend on knowledgeable, innovative, skilled people. Industry training is all about meeting the skill needs of our industries. In this sector Primary ITO engages with employers to create training programmes and qualifications that help people develop the right skills and knowledge for their work and ensures industries align with best practice. These programmes are focused on building pathways, growing career opportunities, and increasing the value of on-job education and training to individuals and the broader industry. As we know, New Zealand’s primary industries, which include food processing, farming, fishing, and horticulture, form the backbone of the economy. Our people must reflect the impeccable standards of food safety, sustainability, animal, and fish welfare that New Zealand and the world expect. Across the country, Primary ITO leads the training of more than 19,000 people, in over 140 programmes, across dozens of primary industries. Primary ITO is on the ground working with individuals, businesses, communities and industry, coaching and teaching and sharing knowledge, building confidence, ambition, and capability. 32

Food New Zealand

The sector offers many different career pathways and opportunities, from operations and management, through to environmental, maintenance, technical, research and development. Primary ITO supports this critical sector by offering a range of programmes and qualifications in Dairy Processing, from NZ Certificates at Level 3 through to the Level 6 NZ Diploma in Dairy Technology delivered by Massey University and Wintec. Dairy Processing companies are able to enrol their people into a range of skilled programmes including a specific Milk Collection programme, distribution qualifications, Energy and Chemical Plant Operation programmes and Dairy Processing programmes. Those who enrol can achieve nationally recognised unit standards and qualifications with the skills and knowledge they need to support the processing of milk or its many components into products used to feed people here in New Zealand and around the world. Food safety, quality assurance, environmental sustainability and communication are common themes within the Dairy Processing and Distribution programmes, which also offer unit standards aligned to the specific product or process that individuals are working in. Learning is done in the workplace with no requirement for trainees to attend class days. Support and regular visits for both the trainee and


Career opportunities in the Dairy Processing sector

An entry level meat process worker learning essential knife sharpening skills

employer are provided by regional Primary ITO Training Advisors who have previously worked in the industry. Unit standards are achieved after meeting the requirements of the assessment which is done by answering questions related to their workplace, providing naturally occurring evidence and being verified by someone from the workplace.

Key components of Meat Processing programmes include safe work practices, product safety, core hygiene standards and maximising technology to create uniquely high-quality food products – each operation aims to increase the value of product and to improve production operations.

From the fundamentals of food safety and quality to specialist knowledge, including a specific programme for Halal Assurance Officers to achieve MPI mandated unit standard 29088 – Primary ITO programmes will help improve job performance at every level. The Primary ITO website has more detail on Dairy Processing qualifications.

Meat Processing The meat industry is critical to the prosperity and wealth of the country’s economy and is New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry. Meat processing directly employs some 25,000 people, mainly in regional New Zealand, supporting the livelihoods of families and rural communities. Processing plants process approximately 28 million sheep and cattle each year. 90% of this production is processed into valueadded products. More than one million tonnes, or 85% of the production is exported to 120 overseas destinations. There is a vast array of jobs available, ranging from processing, engineering, trades, sales and marketing or human resources, to distribution, animal welfare and many scientific and environmental roles. The meat industry is one of the biggest trainers in New Zealand and the training system is extremely effective at putting new workers onto career pathways and training them. There is a very strong system in place of 'on-plant training'. This equips employees for the roles they are working in and leads directly to a variety of New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) approved qualifications from level 2 to apprenticeships and diploma level study. The industry offers roles for those without any formal qualifications or experience as well as for those who have undertaken training or tertiary and post-graduate study. Staff can progress over time from entry level to more senior and management roles. Next steps for qualification development in New Zealand’s meat industry include sustainability and quality-assurance focused apprenticeship programmes and enhancement and implementation of the New Zealand Diploma in Meat Production Level 5.

A cornerstone of New Zealand’s meat industry is the specialised Halal Processing operations which began in 1970 and teach application of Shariah Law to the production of food. Halal processing allows processors to market each part of a carcass – increasing access to Muslim countries and consumers in Europe, North America, and China. Approximately 43% of New Zealand Meat exports are halal certified. Operators undertaking halal slaughter (halal slaughtermen) must meet strict competency requirements including NZQA Unit Standards built on Shariah Law, knowledge of animal welfare, stock recovery and knife handling and sharpening skills. The Primary ITO website has more detail on Meat Processing qualifications.

Seafood Processing Our seafood programmes are designed for people employed in the seafood industry who wish to work towards becoming an experienced senior operator involved with fish and fish product processing operation, on land or at sea. Key focus areas across all programmes include implementing and monitoring staff work routines, legislative compliance for seafood processing and meeting quality control standards. With training contexts covering either land or sea-based operations during year one and production and quality control/assurance operations covered in year two, these programmes cater for workplace species and seasonal variation. The Primary ITO website has more detail on Seafood qualifications.

If you are interested in learning more about Primary ITO’s capabilities in any of these food processing sectors, please contact Primary ITO on or talk to the Sector Managers. Dairy Processing: Ross Harnden-Taylor, 07 857 0966. Meat Processing: Mike Rutherford, 03 577 8062. Seafood Processing: Daniel Edmonds, 07 858 4815.

October/November 2021



Using Intuitive and Interactive Packaging as a marketing tool Nerida Kelton MAIP, Executive Director – Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), Vice President Sustainability & Save Food– World Packaging Organisation (WPO) I often find myself pausing when a random pack catches my eye while wandering down a supermarket aisle. Packs that stand out on shelf in a sea of similar shapes and materials tend to be ‘different’ in some way. The pack might be visually a brighter colour, a different shape, an usual size, or calls for consumer engagement. One such pack that caught my eye was the Monday haircare range from New Zealand. What made this pack stand out was the neutral pink tone that they selected and the shape of the bottle. The pack made me feel like it was a premium range at a supermarket price. I must confess that I bought a set; even though I do not use that shampoo brand, all because I loved the packaging. Other packs that have stood out to me lately are those that create consumer engagement and invite you to become a part of their story. Looking at the broad range of finalists in the newly established Marketing Design of the Year category for the 2021 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design (PIDA) Awards there are some innovative examples of how packaging can become one of the strongest and most important tools for marketing a product and the brand. Packaging should be seen as an opportunity to create powerful and evocative connections with your consumers and to establish brand loyalty. This can incorporate the functionality of the pack, the aesthetic design and the outstanding visual appearance that makes the pack stand out on shelf, the premium and gifting style design, and/or unique and interactive communication tools on the pack. Two unique and innovative examples within the Marketing category finalists are Cutri Fruit ‘Galaxy’ peaches and the KitKat ‘Recycle Me, Give the Planet A Break’ wrappers.

Cutri Fruit Galaxy Fruits ‘Saturn Peaches’ bring outer space to the aisles When designing the Galaxy Fruits ‘Saturn Peaches’ packaging for Cutri Fruit, N.A.V.I Co Global ventured into new territory and created an intuitive and interactive consumer-facing brand. For over 40 years, Cutri has supplied only generic, unbranded produce to supermarkets. Now, for the first time, they have decided to formally introduce their own brand to consumers. Cutri wanted the packaging to provide a positive first impression that was unique and engaging for the customers, and also fit-for-purpose. Cutri was looking for an out-of-this-world offering for their uniquely shaped peaches and wanted the packaging to create a point of difference on shelf. The Galaxy Fruits ‘Saturn Peaches’ branding is family-friendly, using bright colours and eye-catching graphics, including interactive elements to build an emotional connection and ultimately pique interest and 34

Food New Zealand

Cutri Fruit Galaxy Fruits ‘Saturn Peaches’ bring outer space to the aisles awareness of this new variety. Centred in the attention-grabbing design is a window to show off the unique flat, Saturn-like peaches. The pack utilises interactive pop-outs to create collectibles and encourage repeat purchase. The window can be used as a projection screen and reused over and over by the children. Cutri wanted the interactive section to create activities for the children such as colouring in, to encourage creativity and mental stimulation. The packaging created its own version of Augmented Reality with the mobile phone projector, bringing outer space into living rooms all over the country, and acting as a conduit for kids to learn about space, creativity and healthy eating. Cutri incorporated a QR code on-pack for consumers to find out more about the Galaxy Fruits ‘Saturn Peaches’ and also used the packaging itself to include a variety of messages around the health benefits and origins.


Packaging Design for Recycling Guide: A global recommendation of circular packaging design Kit Kat ‘Recycle me, Give the Planet A Break’ wrappers shift the recycling message to the front of pack

KITKAT ‘Recycle me, Give the Planet A Break’ wrappers shift the recycling message to the front of pack According to a recent survey undertaken by Nestle Australia, 80% of Australians show a strong desire to recycle correctly, however almost 48% of the nation simply get it wrong and end up disposing of the packaging incorrectly. To encourage and educate Australians to ‘Give the Planet a Break’ by recycling their soft plastics correctly, Kit Kat has made the bold move to temporarily replace its logo on the iconic four-finger milk chocolate bar with a call out to recycle in store. The limited-edition bars feature a Kit Kat-inspired recycling symbol and an explicit call–to–action for everyone to actively drop off wrappers at REDcycle collection bins, located in most major Australian supermarkets. What makes this pack stand out is that the design of the Kit Kat wrapper artwork completely removes the Kit Kat branding on the front of pack and replaces it with a mobius loop, a symbol which consumers associate with recycling. The mobius loop symbol takes up the front of pack, is eye-catching and delivers the message clearly to consumers about the importance of packaging that is recyclable. The mobius loop symbol is accompanied by the tagline ‘Recycle me, give the planet a break’, which is also a play on words on the ‘Have a break, have a Kit Kat’ tagline. This ties the Nestle Kit Kat brand with their sustainability message and has a long-lasting impact on the consumer. The front of pack design also includes an arrow pointing towards a bin which has the message ‘In-store drop off ’ which informs and educates the consumers on the method of recycling soft plastics. The ‘Store drop off ’ statement links to the Australasian Recycling Logo (ARL) instruction of going into REDcycle participating retailers and dropping off soft plastic packaging in the collection bins. On the shelf, the combinations of these front of pack designs can enhance a sustainability message that consumers can quickly associate with, while at the same time giving informative messaging on recycling. In the past, packaging sustainability messaging has typically been placed on the side or back of pack. The previous packaging artwork focused on the product or brand itself, and not on the recyclability of the packaging. This new Kit Kat design enables packaging sustainability to be the primary element of the packaging artwork, without taking away the consumer's ability to recognise the product. The core design elements of the Kit Kat brand – the Kit Kat red colour, the iconic shape, and the white oval background are still maintained. In addition, the mobius loop symbol is made using Kit Kat fingers and further associates the product with the brand.

A global Packaging Design for Recycling Guide has been developed by ECR Community, the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and FH Campus University of Applied Sciences, Austria and is available for download. The Guide is a starting point to understand Best Practice examples using state-of-the-art technology that can then be applied and tailored to suit recovery, recyclability and infrastructure capabilities on a regional and local level. The guide can be applied to products from the food, near-food and nonfood segments and is applicable to all primary, secondary and tertiary packaging; provided that product-specific regulations of the packaging system are observed. Design for recycling is part of circular product design and represents an important basis for holistic sustainability assessment. Accordingly, circularity means that the packaging is designed in such a way that the highest possible recycling of the materials in use can be achieved. Circular packaging should therefore be designed and manufactured in such a way that it can be reused (reusable solution) and/or that the raw materials used can be reused to a large extent as secondary raw materials after the use phase (recycling) and/or consist of renewable raw materials. Packaging must be suitable for state-of-the-art sorting and recycling processes in addition to its basic functions (e.g., storage, transport, product protection, product presentation and convenience). Nerida Kelton, Vice President Sustainability & Save Food, World Packaging Organisation (WPO) added that “Some months ago, when the WPO had the idea to develop an international Circular Packaging Design Guide the project seemed an impossible pipe dream.” “As we proudly release the first component of this guide to the world, the WPO have shown that a dream can become a reality. This resource was simply not possible without our wonderful collaborative partners who worked alongside the WPO at every stage of the project,” she said. “The WPO sees this new resource as the first step to developing a consistent global notion of Circular Design Thinking for materials and packaging. The next step is to encourage all of our 53 Member countries to not only use the tool but also work with the WPO to develop more localised versions that suit their countries and regions. This is the only way to provide better quality of life, through better packaging, for more people globally.” Mrs Kelton said. The guideline will be continuously updated and adapted to changes in collection, sorting and recycling technology, as well as to future material developments. The Packaging Design for Recycling Guide: A Global Recommendation of Circular Packaging Design is now available on the WPO website via the resources/41/ link

Next time you are wandering down the aisles keep an eye out for packs that stand out on shelf and invoke consumer engagement. October/November 2021



Process development for the production of starter cultures for use in food fermentation Authors: Stephanie Harvey, Rebecca Edgar, Paul Rose Callaghan Innovation, Lower Hutt, 5010, New Zealand

Introduction Fermentation has been used for millennia to preserve and unlock the nutritional content of foods and beverages, as well as to contribute desirable attributes in the base ingredients (e.g., flavour, texture, bioactivity). Traditionally, fermented foods were produced through spontaneous fermentation, utilising the indigenous microflora. As product demand increased, necessitating large scale production, commercial manufacturers moved to more controlled fermentation processes to ensure consistent product quality, increased food safety and reduced manufacturing cost (Altermann, Chanyi & Day, 2021; Coolbear, Crow, et al. 2008). There are several key prerequisites to achieve desirable flavour and functionality in fermented products • Selection of high-quality ingredients with the appropriate composition • Appropriate processing conditions • Use of suitable bacterial strains as starter cultures (Fox et al, 2000; Fox & McSweeney, 2004). Starter cultures drive the primary fermentation process, using components within the food substrate such as proteins and sugars for cell growth. Metabolites produced during growth can act to preserve the food (e.g., organic acids, bacteriocins), create adventitious flavours and aromas (e.g., lactic acid, diacetyl, esters) or provide other functionality such as mouthfeel and texture (e.g., exopolysaccharides). In complex fermented products, a secondary microflora may also develop or be added as adjuncts, expanding product complexity, such as flavour (Coolbear, Crow et al. 2008). The complexity and types of starter cultures used in fermentation vary significantly. Highly complex cultures used in kombucha typically comprise intricate undefined symbiotic cultures of yeast and bacteria (SCOBY), including both lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. In comparison, those used for yoghurt or drinking yoghurt applications are frequently well defined and thoroughly characterised strains of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. The requirements of commercial starter cultures are regularly evolving in response to both market drivers (e.g., sensory preferences in emerging global markets or existing consumers seeking new experiences) and manufacturing drivers (e.g., accelerated maturation, process improvements, novel ingredients; Coolbear, Crow, et al. 2008). In recent years, fermented foods and beverages have encountered a resurgence of interest, resulting in a broader diversity of commercial 36

Food New Zealand

products available to mainstream consumers. Examples include kombucha, craft beers with novel ingredients such as kawakawa or horopito, kefirs and drinking yoghurts, as well as dairy-alternative products such as coconut yoghurts or dairy-free cheeses. As a result, there is a need for cost effective strategies to locate or develop new starter cultures that provide solutions to these ever-changing needs.

Accelerated evolution: A step-change in fermented foods The MBIE Endeavour Research Programme ‘Accelerated evolution: A step-change in fermented foods’ has been developing capability within collaborative New Zealand research partner organisations to accelerate the delivery of next generation and novel starter cultures with enhanced attributes, while using food-safe approaches. The ability to rapidly shift bacterial phenotypes provides the opportunity to diversify fermented products (e.g., produce novel flavours or remove flavour defects), enhance process control (e.g., faster acidification), or facilitate cleanlabelling (e.g., bio-preservation). As part of this Programme, a pilot scale process to produce food-grade bacterial starter cultures was developed. This included: (i) formulation of food-grade fermentation media, (ii) development of fermentation processes for culture growth, (iii) downstream processes to achieve higher bacterial cell concentrations and (iv) food safety and quality controls. The production process was underpinned by a bespoke Food Control Plan and HACCP context. Some critical aspects of the fermentation process design are described here, including food-grade media formulation and the optimisation of bacterial harvest time. Media used to produce starter cultures intended for use in food applications need to: (i) use food-grade ingredients, (ii) support high cell numbers and (iii) enable appropriate performance of cultures in downstream fermented products. Performance considerations vary depending on the product application and may include rapid initiation of fermentation; pH at the end of fermentation; flavour and/or other attributes of interest. Selection of a suitable starter culture harvest–point can also play a significant role


in these performance considerations. Cost, availability, and scalability must also be considered when formulating growth media for starter cultures. This study screened a range of accessible food-grade nitrogen sources for their ability to support the growth and downstream performance of a St. thermophilusstarter culture.

Methods M17 media is commonly used to grow Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus cultures (Terzaghi & Sandine, 1975). Several food-grade alternatives have been reported (Sawatari, Hirano, & Yokota, 2006; Somani, Boran & Bekers, 2020; Xiao, Bekers & van der Werf, 2020). A modified version of one described previously (Somani et al, 2020) was used as the base formulation in this study: 18 g/L nitrogen source, 3 g/L sodium acetate, 2 g/L dipotassium hydrogen phosphate, 0.5 g/L ascorbic acid, 0.25 g/L magnesium sulphate and 10 g/L lactose. The pH of the food-grade media was adjusted to pH 6.0 with acetic acid. For the purposes of this work the media was sterilised at 121°C for 20 mins. In this study a range of food-grade hydrolysates, peptones and yeast extracts, plus combinations of these, were screened as nitrogen sources: Kerry Hy-Soy™, Kerry Hy-Soy K™ (kosher), Tatua 2400, Tatua EHCK, Ohly X-Seed® Peptone, Ohly X-Seed® Kat, Ohly X-Seed® Nucleo Max, Ohly X-Seed® Nucleo Advanced, Difco™ yeast extract and Kerry Hy-Yest™ 412. Reconstituted skim milk (1-1.5%; RSM) was added to several formulations. Supplier and industry recommendations were used to guide ingredient selection and addition rates. The above ingredients provided a range of peptides of varying composition and sizes, free amino acids and nucleotides; all being essential components for bacterial growth. A total of 13 media formulations, plus additional minor variations, were assessed across two trials. Media exhibiting the best growth and activity from these two trials were subsequently compared in a third trial (Table 1). Cultures were grown at 37°C. Two laboratory grade media, BD Difco™ M17 (containing lactose; pH

Table 1. Selected nitrogen sources trialled during development of a foodgrade media (18 g/L) Blend 1:

45% X-Seed Kat®; 45% X-Seed peptone®, 10% X-Seed® Nucleo Max

Blend 2:

49% X-Seed peptone®, 49% X-Seed Nucleo Advanced; 1% RSM

Blend 3:

49% X-Seed peptone®, 49% X-Seed Nucleo Advanced; 1.5% RSM

Blend 4:

50% Tatua 2400; 50% Hy-Soy™

Blend 5:

50% Tatua EHCK; 50% Hy-Soy™ plus 2g/L Hy-Yest 412*

*Additional to the 18 g/L nitrogen source; despite this, overall protein content was slightly lower than other formulations

6.8) and BD Difco™ MRS (containing glucose; pH 6.2) were used as commercial benchmarks. Figure 1 provides an overview of the protocols used for screening. Processing conditions were selected based on biomass and performance in a downstream fermentation screen, the milk activity test (Spinuler & Corrieu, 1989). Biomass addition to the milk activity test was standardised using an inoculation rate of 0.05 Absorbance units culture (OD600nm). Inoculation rates were verified by cell count. Although several measures of biomass were monitored, ultimately cell count was used as the primary biomass indicator as it most closely represented actively growing cells, which are required for initiating subsequent fermentation processes. An additional clarification step was incorporated for samples containing skim milk when measuring optical density (Kanasaki, Brechany et al. 1975).

Fig. 1 Protocol for selection of nitrogen sources during the design of food-grade media and optimisation of cell harvest October/November 2021


Research 300

Cell Count (million cfu/mL)

250 200 150 100 50 0




Time (hr)




Fig. 2 Growth of St. thermophilus strain in selected food-grade media formulations. M17; MRS; Blend 1 (Kat, Peptone, Nucleo Max); Blend 2 (Peptone, Nucleo Adv, 1% RSM); Blend 3 (Peptone, Nucleo Adv, 1.5% RSM); Blend 4 (Tatua 2400, Hy-Soy); Blend 5 (Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy, Hy-Yest 412); Pooled controls with & without RSM (no culture). Error bars 95% CI (n=2).

7.00 6.49



6.00 5.70







5.13 4.98








6 Time (hr)




Fig 3. Change in milk pH during the milk activity test for cultures grown in various media formulations and harvested at 6 hr. M17; MRS; Blend 1 (Kat, Peptone, Nucleo Max); Blend 2 (Peptone, Nucleo Adv, 1% RSM); Blend 3 (Peptone, Nucleo Adv, 1.5% RSM); Blend 4 (Tatua 2400, Hy-Soy); Blend 5 (Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy, Hy-Yest 412); Pooled controls with & without RSM (no culture). Error bars 95% CI (n=2).

Screening different hydrolysates, peptones and yeast extract

grade formulations performed better than the second commercial media trialled, MRS. Reduced growth in MRS may be due to preferential utilisation of lactose by St. thermophilus (Thomas, Wrzosek, et al. 2011) or some other factor(s).

Figure 2 shows the growth of the St. thermophilus strain in media prepared with various food-grade nitrogen sources compared with two commercial laboratory media (Difco™ M17 and MRS). Commercial M17 media supported the best overall growth, although there was a sharp decline in recoverable cells after 6hr (i.e., cell count). All food-

Two food-grade media gave a stepwise improvement in biomass compared with the other food-grade formulations trialled, achieving ~45% higher cell counts: (i) Blend 5 (Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy™, Hy-Yest™ 412) and (ii) Blend 2 (X-Seed® Peptone, X-Seed® Nucleo Adv with 1.5% RSM).

Results and Discussion


Food New Zealand

Research (a)

7.00 6.50



5.50 5.00

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6 Time (hr)





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6.00 5.50 5.00 4.50 4.00




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Fig 4. Change in pH during the milk activity test for cultures harvested at different time points when grown in (a) M17, (b) Blend 5, Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy, Hy-Yest 412 media. Cells harvested at 6 hr, 8 hr, 10 hr, 13 hr. Error bars 95% CI (n=2). In addition to biomass production, consideration must also be given to the performance of starter cultures in downstream fermentation processes. This was monitored using the milk activity test. Figure 3 shows the milk acidification curves achieved using cultures prepared in the various media blends. Two food-grade formulations, exhibiting the fastest milk acidification rates and achieving the lowest overall pHs were (i) Blend 3, X-Seed Peptone, X-Seed Nucleo Adv, 1.5% RSM and (ii) Blend 4, Tatua 2400, Hy-Soy. The formulation containing Blend 5, Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy, Hy-Yest 412 showed a similar but slightly slower acidification profile than Blends 3 and 4. Two food grade formulations were identified as suitable for the production process, given the combined results of both biomass and performance in the milk activity test: (i) Blend 3, X-Seed Peptone, X-Seed Nucleo Adv, 1.5% RSM and Blend 5, Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy, HyYest 412.

Effect of Harvest Time The age of the bacterial culture during harvest is also important when producing starter cultures because it can impact both the biomass achieved and their performance in downstream fermentation applications. For example, stationary phase cultures can perform poorly in subsequent fermentations, resulting in long fermentation lag periods or slow acidification rates. Such effects, however, can be strain and/or process dependent. Biomass and performance in the milk activity test was therefore assessed to identify the optimal harvest point for preparing a starter culture of St. thermophilus. Optimal cell counts were achieved after 6hr of growth for all food-grade media formulations and remained relatively constant after this time (Fig 2). This provided a broad window of opportunity for harvesting cells to maximise biomass. October/November 2021



Performance of the cultures in the milk activity test varied depending on the age of the culture at harvest and the growth media used for preparing the culture. Figure 4 compares the acidification profile of cultures harvested at different time points when prepared from two different growth media. When the St. thermophilus strain was grown in M17, culture age at harvest had a marked impact on the activity of the starter in downstream fermentation. Starter cultures harvested after 10 or 13hr incubation in M17 performed poorly in the milk activity test compared with those harvested at 6 or 8hr (Fig 4a). In contrast, harvest time had much less impact when cultures were prepared using the food grade media, as seen in Figure 4b for formulation Blend 5 containing Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy and Hy-Yest 412. The culture grown in Blend 3 (X-Seed® Peptone, X-Seed® Nucleo Adv, 1.5% RSM), and harvested at 6hr performed similarly to the Blend 5 cultures. However, Blend 3 cultures prepared using harvest times later than 6hr showed reduced performance in the milk activity test (data not shown). In summary, the Blend 5 formulation (Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy and HyYest 412), harvested between 6-13hr or the Blend 3 media (X-Seed® Peptone, Nucleo Adv, 1.5% RSM) harvested at 6hr, facilitated optimal biomass and performance in the milk activity test compared with the other food-grade formulations trialled in this study. Although the optimised food-grade formulations gave lower biomass production than the non-food grade M17 benchmark, biomass production was more stable throughout growth and cultures were typically less influenced by harvest point than those prepared using M17. Further optimisation may be feasible for these two food grade formulations, to achieve higher biomass while retaining performance in downstream fermentations. Such optimisation trials could investigate higher carbon-source addition rates, pH control and/or industrial heat treatment processes. Blends 3 and 5 were taken through into subsequent small pilot-scale processing trials. The logistics of preparing successive seed trains during production, plus challenges encountered during downstream processing of the skim milk-containing formulation (Blend 3) meant there were additional benefits to the use of the Tatua EHCK-containing blend (Blend 5). As a result, Blend 5 (Tatua EHCK, Hy-Soy and Hy-Yest 412) was selected as the base formulation for production of food-grade cultures.

Conclusions Although fermentation is an age-old art, now underpinned by extensive scientific understanding, fermentation processes are constantly challenged to deliver more. More consistent product, more flavour and functional diversity, new consumer experiences and increased food safety control: all within the confines of greater regulatory control and processing efficiencies. One approach to resolve these challenges is via optimisation and customisation of starter cultures. The MBIE research programme ‘Accelerated evolution: A step-change in fermented foods’ has developed a range of tools, and capability to facilitate this. The ability to deliver next generation starter cultures, necessitates the need to produce these cultures at scale and in a manner suitable for use in fermented foods or beverages. The research described here outlines some of the work underpinning a process that was developed for manufacturing cultures suitable for use in food applications. 40

Food New Zealand

Acknowledgments This research was supported by the Endeavour Research Programme Grant, ‘Accelerated evolution: A step-change in fermented foods’ from the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation & Employment (Contract C10X1707). We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Li Day, Eric Altermann, Ryan Chanyi, Hanh Nguyen and the extended MBIE Fermented Foods team for their support, constructive technical discussion, and critical review of the work. We would also like to thank Fonterra Co-operative Group, notably Andrew Patrick and James Harnett for their technical advice, support, and provision of cultures; as well as our ingredients suppliers, Kerry, Tatua and Ohly, for their provision of samples and advice.

References Altermann, E., Chanyi, R., & Day, L. (2021). Better microbes for fermented foods: Accelerated Evolution: A step change in food fermentation. Food New Zealand, 21(1): 36-40. Coolbear, T., Crow, V., Harnett, J., Harvey, S., Holland, R., & Martely, F. (2008). Developments in cheese microbiology in New Zealand - Use of starter and non-starter lactic acid bacteria and their enzymes in determining flavour. International Dairy Journal, 18(7): 705-713. Fox, P. F., Guinee, T. P., Cognan, T. M., & McSweeney. P. L. H. (2000). Fundamentals of Cheese Science. Gaithersburg, M.Y., USA: Aspen Publishers Inc. Fox, P. F., & P. L. H. McSweeney (2004). Cheese: An Overview. In P. F. Fox, P. L. H. McSweeney, T. M. Cognan & T. P. Guinee. Cheese: Chemistry, physics and microbiology. Vol 1 General aspects. (3rd Edition, Vol 1; 1-18). London, U.K., Chapman & Hall Ltd. Kanasaki, M., et al. (1975). Effect of temperature on the growth and acid production of lactic acid bacteria. 1. A rapid method for the estimation of bacterial populations in milk. The Australian Journal of Dairy Technology, December: 142-144. Sawatari, Y., Hirano, T., & Yokota, A. (2006). Development of food grade media for the preparation of Lactobacillus plantarum starter culture. Journal of General & Applied Microbiology, 52: 349-356. Somani, A., Boran, B., & Bekers K.M. (2020). Impact of yeast extract and yeast peptone blends on S. thermophilus growth, viability, and performance. White Paper, Ohly GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. Spinuler, H. E. & Corrieu, G. (1989). Automatic method to quantify starter activity based on pH measurement. Journal Dairy Research. 56: 755-764. Terzaghi B.E., & Sandine, W.E. (1975). Improved medium for lactic streptococci and their bacteriophages. Applied Microbiology. 29 (6): 807–813. Thomas, M., Wrzosek, L., Ben-Yahia, L., Noordine, M-L., Gitton, C., Chevret, D., Langella, P., Mayeur, C., Cherbuy, C., & Rul, F. (2011). Carbohydrate metabolism is essential for the colonization of Streptococcus thermophilus in the digestive tract of gnotobiotic rats. PLOS ONE 6(12): e28789-e28789. Xiao, S., Bekers, K.M., & van der Werf, M.J. (2020). Using DoE to optimize yeast extract composition for lactic acid bacteria. White Paper, Ohly GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.


Reducing FODMAPs in bread – the case for sourdough fermentation

Authors: Anthony N Mutukumira1, Haojing Tian1, Kay Rutherfurd-Markwick2 School of Food and Advanced Technology2 School of Health Sciences, Massey University


This paper was presented at the 2021 NZIFST Conference.

Introduction In recent years, an increasing number of people have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal (GI) related disorders. Celiac disease (CD) and non-celiac gluten or wheat sensitivity (NCGS/NCWS) are frequently diagnosed GI immune-mediated systemic disorders triggered by gluten ingestion. Celiac disease affects about 1% of the global population and in New Zealand, 1 in 83 people (1.2%). Non-celiac gluten or wheat sensitivity is more common than celiac disease, affecting 6% of the population. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of functional bowel disorders, causing chronic abdominal complaints associated with altered bowel habits such as impaired gastrointestinal motility, food intolerance, imbalance of gut microbiota, and intestinal inflammation. IBS constitutes the majority of health problems associated with GI symptoms, affecting approximately 11% of the general population, and 21% of NZ’s adult population. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the GI tract and may cause symptoms similar to IBS including diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping.

FODMAPs as potential dietary triggers of GI disorders As well as gluten, another potential dietary trigger of GI symptoms is FODMAPs. The acronym FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are a group of indigestible short-chain carbohydrates naturally present in foods in variable quantities. FODMAPs include excess fructose, lactose, fructans and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and sugar polyols. The presence of FODMAPs causes water to be dragged into the small intestine, and because they are not absorbed, they will travel through the gut to the large intestine, where they are rapidly fermented by the gut bacteria producing gas. Excess gas production and water retention causes the intestines to expand. The distension of the intestinal wall causes the highly connected nerves around the intestines to send signals to the brain. People with GI-related disorders have very sensitive intestines, so these signals contribute to abdominal pain they experience (Figure 1). Researchers from Monash University have been

Figure 1. Mechanisms by which shortchain fermentable carbohydrates might induce symptoms in IBS Staudacher, M., Irving, P. M., Lomerm, M. C. E. and Whelan, K. (2014)

quantifying FODMAPs for over a decade, and they defined the criteria of what constitutes a low FODMAP food, and the cut-off values for each individual group of sugars, consumption above which, patients with GIdisorders, may cause GI symptoms. A low FODMAPdiet (contains less than 0.5 g total FODMAPs per meal) has been effectively used to manage GI symptoms of patients with IBS and Crohn’s disease patients. October/November 2021





Excess Fructose

Fruit: apple, pear, mango, watermelon, banana, tinned fruit in juice. Sweeteners: Fructose, honey, high fructose corn syrup. Large doses of total fructose: fruit juices, dried fruit, fruit juice concentrate


Dairy products: cow, goat or sheep milks, custard, condensed milk, yoghurt, ice cream, buttermilk, kefir, milk from soy beans. Cheeses: soft/unripened cheese, cottage, cream, mascarpone, ricotta

Fructans, FOS

Cereals: wheat, rye, barley, such as in bread, cookies, pasta, crackers, couscous. Fruit: custard apple, watermelon, persimmon, dates, grapefruit. Vegetables: asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, eggplant, garlic, onion, spring onion


Legumes and baked beans: chickpeas, lentils, soy beans, kidney beans, hummus, cashews


Fruit: apple, apricot, blackberry, peach, cherry, lychee, prune, nectarine. Vegetables: cauliflower, green capsicum, mushroom, sweet corn Sweeteners: sorbitol, mannitol, isomaltol, maltitol, xylitol

Excess Fructose = fructose in excess of glucose, fructose - glucose; FOS = fructo-oligosaccharides; GOS = galacto-oligosaccharides

Table 1. Examples of high FODMAP foods

Common sources of FODMAPs FODMAPs are naturally present in foods in variable quantities, and some examples of high FODMAP foods are shown in Table 1. Fructose is a hexose sugar that can be ingested in three different forms: free monosaccharide, disaccharide (sucrose) and polymerised forms (fructans, fructo-oligosaccharides and inulins). Fructose malabsorption can cause intestinal distention and visceral hypersensitivity that can induce and exacerbate GI symptoms. Around 50% of the general population is estimated to be affected by fructose malabsorption, meaning they are unable to absorb more than 25 g of fructose at a time. Absorption of fructose is more rapid when equal or higher levels of glucose are present as they are co-transported via the GLUT-2 glucose transporter. However, if fructose is in excess of glucose, fructose malabsorption will occur due to the low capacity of absorption through the fructose transporter (GLUT-5). Ingestion of the disaccharide lactose (consisting of glucose and galactose) found in milk and other dairy products, can potentially trigger GI symptoms such as diarrhoea which is predominant in IBS (IBS-D). The absorption of lactose first requires enzymatic hydrolysis by lactase. In individuals who lack the enzyme lactase, only partial hydrolysis of lactose occurs causing lactose malabsorption. Bacterial fermentation of the unabsorbed lactose causes gas production in the colon leading to abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea. Fructans are oligo- and polysaccharides consisting of fructose molecules joined by β-(2->1) linkages with a D-glucosyl residue at the end. They are mainly found in grains and cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are short-chain fructans made up of 2-9 fructose molecules, and inulins are longer chain fructans normally containing more than 10 fructose molecules. Two major FOS commonly found in food products are kestose and nystose. Kestose is a trisaccharide, composed of two or more fructose molecules and one glucose molecule. Nystose is a tetrasaccharide consisting of two fructose molecules linked by β-(2->1) bonds to the fructosyl moiety of sucrose. 42

Food New Zealand

Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) usually contain 2-5 galactose molecules and one linked glucose molecule, and are primarily found in legumes, beans and some nuts. Raffinose and stachyose are the most common GOS from dietary sources. Raffinose is made up of one fructose, one glucose and one galactose unit linked together. Stachyose comprises raffinose with an additional galactose unit. The human body does not have digestive enzymes which can digest FOS or GOS, so they are not digested in the small intestine and therefore reach the colon. There, they are fermented by colonic bacteria into gases and shortchain fatty acids (SCFAs), which may induce GI symptoms such as severe pain, diarrhoea and constipation in IBS patients. Polyols including sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol and xylitol are poorly absorbed sugar-alcohols, due to their lack of specific transporter mechanisms. These sugar-alcohols are absorbed very slowly and incompletely through passive diffusion, as they are too large to pass through the pores in the small intestinal epithelial cell wall. Unabsorbed polyols can lead to laxative effects in the colon and may cause bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea.

FODMAPs in bread Bread is a major source of FODMAPs, therefore it is often implicated as a key dietary trigger for GI symptoms in patients with GI disorders. The FODMAP content of bread varies depending on the type of flours or grains used for baking and the food processing conditions used. The few studies which have quantified the FODMAP content in breads indicate that fructose and glucose are present in all types of breads (wheat, rye, spelt, gluten free). Fructans are the major FODMAPs in breads, with others including FOS (nystose and kestose), GOS (raffinose and stachyose), and sugar polyols (sorbitol and mannitol). Common gluten free (GF) breads made from rice, corn, or tapioca tend to be low in FODMAPs, whereas breads made from rye (dark rye, rye sourdough) and wheat (wholegrain, wholemeal) tend to contain high FODMAPs, as gluten and fructans normally coexist in grains and cereals. Other ingredients commonly used in bread-making may also


Figure 2. Use of sourdough starter in breadmaking (Landis et al., 2021) increase the overall FODMAPs in breads, such as sweeteners (sources of fructose and fructans, e.g., coconut sugar, corn syrup, honey), fruit inclusions (high in fructose and fructans, e.g., blueberries, banana, raisin), nuts and seeds (sources of raffinose and stachyose, e.g., almonds, linseeds), and pseudo-cereals and legumes (high in raffinose and stachyose, e.g., quinoa, amaranth, chickpea).

Reducing FODMAPs in bread Re-formulation with low FODMAP ingredients Reduction of FODMAPs in bread can be achieved by re-formulating with low FODMAP-containing ingredients and grains. Selecting low FODMAP ingredients is difficult as common ingredients used for bread-making (wheat flour, honey, high fructose corn syrup) generally contain high FODMAPs. However, GF ingredients such as rice, corn starch, potato starch, oat, quinoa, and buckwheat are generally low in FODMAPs, with low to moderate amounts of GOS (raffinose and stachyose). The total fructans in these GF ingredients are lower than 0.1 g / 100 g. However, wheat starch contains lower levels of total fructans

than potato starch, tapioca starch and maize flour. Addition of seeds and pulses in bread formulations can significantly enhance the nutritional value (protein content, vitamins, and minerals) of bread products. However, seeds and flours from pulses such as lentil, soy, green pea, yellow pea, chickpea flour and fababean flour are generally considered as high FODMAP, particularly those containing relatively higher amounts of GOS. Consumption of seeds and pulses may cause flatulence or other GI symptoms in people with GI diseases, therefore addition of these ingredients is not recommended for a low FODMAP bread formulation.

Application of sourdough fermentation Sourdough fermentation is the oldest leavening technology dating back to ancient Egyptian times. This traditional technology is still widely applied in the modern baking industry due to its effectiveness in improving textural properties, generation of unique aromas and flavours, extension of shelf-life and enhancing the nutritional value of bread. Sourdough culture is a mixture of flour and water (sometimes with added salt) spontaneously fermented by lactic acid bacteria

October/November 2021



(LAB) and yeast which acidify and leaven the dough (Figure 2). The acidification and leavening activities are optimised through consecutive refreshments of the working culture. Another option for reducing FODMAPs in bread is via sourdough fermentation, as yeast invertase can hydrolyse fructans and some strains of lactic acid bacteria can produce enzymes such as β-fructosidase, α-galactosidase and levansucrase that degrade FODMAPs.

During dough-formation, flour α-amylase and glucoamylase activities release maltose and glucose from damaged starch. During sourdough fermentation, sucrose is metabolised rapidly by yeast invertase into glucose and fructose as the acidic conditions of sourdough fermentation provide the optimum pH (4.5 - 5.0) for yeast invertase activity. Sucrose can also be converted to polymeric fructooligosaccharides (kestose, nystose) or glucans by the extracellular enzymes from heterofermentative LAB: fructansucrases and glucansucrases. Heterofermentative LAB utilise glucose released from sucrose as an energy source and convert fructose to polyols (mannitol) by mannitol-dehydrogenase. Kestose and nystose from wheat or rye flour are degraded by invertase from yeast or fructosidases from heterofermentative LAB. Flour raffinose is degraded by yeast invertase and also extracellular levansucrase from LAB into fructose or fructan, and further hydrolysed by intracellular α-galactosidase to sucrose and galactose. The β-(2-1) linkages of fructans can also be hydrolysed by the yeast invertase to glucose and fructose, with about 80 % of the fructans within whole wheat meal bread are degraded during sourdough breadmaking. Prolonged sourdough fermentation can further reduce the FODMAP content of breads. All fermentable carbohydrates can be rapidly depleted in the early stage of fermentation through a series of enzymatic and bacterial metabolism. However, polymeric oligosaccharides such as fructans, with a high degree of polymerisation, are degraded more slowly. Thus, prolonged sourdough fermentation can achieve higher degradation of FODMAPs. Doughs fermented at about 30℃ with extended fermentation times can effectively degrade around 90 % of the FODMAP content of wheat wholegrain bread and 77 % for spelt bread.

separation mechanism of anion-exchange chromatography is based on the weak acidic nature of carbohydrates, which are either partially or completely ionised into anions under high alkaline conditions (pH > 12) depending on their pKa values. HPAEC uses a strong and highly stable anion-exchange stationary phase that possesses positively charged functional groups which interact with the negative charges of the analytes in the mobile phase. The enzymatic assay involves extraction of sugars, enzymatic hydrolysis of sucrose and maltosaccharides with low degree of polymerisation, followed by two parallel assays of the sample, one with no treatment, the other treated with fructanase to completely hydrolyse the fructan to free D-fructose and D-glucose. The D-fructose and D-glucose are then analysed using a colourimetric reaction based on the ability of hexokinase (HK) and phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) to phosphorylate D-fructose and D-glucose to glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P). With the addition of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH) and an NADP+ /ATP mixture, G-6-P is oxidised to gluconate6-phosphate, yielding NADPH and H+ ions. The amount of NADPH produced from the reaction is stoichiometric with the amount of D-fructose and D-glucose present in the solution and can be measured spectrophotometrically at an absorbance of 340 nm.

The Future Currently there is no clear trend in FODMAP profiles of food products in NZ. In view of the relatively high rates of people living with GI symptoms, there is a need to produce low FODMAP food products for susceptible individuals as part of a holistic dietary therapy for the management of GI symptoms. Providing potential consumers with information on the FODMAP content of specific food products will enable them to be make more informed purchasing decisions. The FODMAP profiles of individual grains and ingredients used for bread production should be further investigated to provide comprehensive information to optimise formulations to reduce FODMAP levels in bread products. In addition, sourdough fermentation is a low-cost technology that could be applied to produce safe, high quality and palatable low FODMAP bread products.

Measuring FODMAPs in Foods It is important to determine the FODMAP-profiles of foods and in particular breads, including GF breads, and display these on the products themselves. This can be done with the use of HPAEC-PAD and enzymatic assays. HPAEC-PAD is a powerful technique for analysing mono-, di-, oligo-, and polysaccharides as well as sugar alcohols in foods, which has high resolution and enables direct analysis of samples without prior derivatisation. HPAEC-PAD has been successfully used to quantify the FODMAPs in cereals and cerealbased products, and therefore represents a promising approach for supporting the development of low FODMAP food products. The 44

Food New Zealand

For more information and for the full reference list email: Dr Tony Mutukumira and Associate Professor Kay Rutherfurd-Markwick are working on food fermentations at the Food Fermentations Laboratory, Massey University, Auckland Campus.

Sliding On

Sliding on -

So, is it safer than beef, or chicken?

Professor John D Brooks, FNZIFST John Brooks' view of the food world through the lens of a microbiologist.

This article started out as the straightforward answer to a simple question. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case in the real world. Plant-based foods are the new growth industry and home cooks are emulating this expansion. My wife belongs to a plant-based food interest group, where the members meet in each other’s houses on a regular basis to share their home made foods and recipes. After one such meeting, she asked me “Are plant-based foods safer than meat-based meals?” My immediate thought was “Yes, it’s unlikely that human pathogens would be present in plant-based foods." I decided to do some reading, and the situation rapidly became more complicated. To simplify (just a little) I’ll be focusing mainly on meat analogues. First, there is the divide between home-prepared meals and commercial. In the U.S. alone, the total sales of plant-based foods has now reached $5 billion and plant based meat substitutes are at $939 million. 100,000 fast food outlets including Burger King, and McDonald’s in Canada, now offer plant-based ‘meat’. Apparently, consumers want to increase their protein intake and are concerned about animal welfare and sustainability. They perceive that plant-based foods offer healthier nutrition. It is unlikely that home cooked plant-based meals will be as complex as commercially produced meat substitutes.

as ultra-processed, which in itself may put some consumers off. A wide variety of plant proteins, predominantly soy and pea proteins and wheat gluten are used, though many other plant proteins may be included, with the objective of combining plant proteins that bind together to simulate the interstitial spaces between meat muscle myofilaments (Caldwell, 2021). Blended fats and oils are added to create mouthfeel, and carbohydrate polymers are used to reduce syneresis. A somewhat controversial additive, used to simulate the blood in meat, is leghaemoglobin, derived originally from soybean root nodules, but now produced in genetically engineered yeast cultures. Many other materials, such as antioxidants and vitamins are added for flavour and nutrition.

What of microbial contamination? The meat substitutes described above are often reasonably high pH, making them susceptible to microbial growth, but they are also processed using extrusion at high temperature and pressure, in one study averaging less than 100 CFU/g total microbial count (Wild et al,, 2014). Thus the main danger is in post-processing contamination. Of course, spores of Bacillus and Clostridium might be expected to survive the extrusion process.

…and then there's the salad

If this has put you off consuming meat substitute burgers, In the safe food One thing is clear – plant-based ‘meat’ is not meat and can’t consider the salad vegetables you might eat at the same world, plant be regarded in the same way. When I think of food safety, time and the fruit you might have for desert. A 2009 based 'meat' is my thoughts immediately go to bacterial contamination, publication, Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce, noted that not the same as but it’s wider than that. There is no question that human meat fresh produce had been the source of recent outbreaks of pathogens can be carried by animals and transferred to us – food–borne illness and resulted in hospitalisations, deaths the COVID-19 virus is a case in point, but I’m not going to mention and serious economic impact on growers and processors. Not only are it further here. Chickens can carry Campylobacter and show no ill fresh fruits and vegetables grown in open fields, with attendant risk effects, but if humans become infected from chicken meat, the results of contamination, but they are often eaten raw. Washing the produce can sometimes be severe. Similarly, non-typhoidal Salmonella, Shiga may not remove all hazardous microorganisms, because pathogens toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes may also may become internalised in the plant tissues. There are many potential be found in meats. strategies to mitigate the risk, but there is not space in this article to On this basis, it might appear that plant-based foods are inherently discuss them. It is worth reading the book, which is free to download. safer than animal products. Here we are considering primarily meat It is clear that plant-based foods will become even more important in alternatives targeted towards vegetarians and ‘flexitarians’ who the future, but it is a complex and evolving area. I have restricted this have some reason for wanting to reduce or eliminate their meat discussion to plant-based foods such as meat substitutes, ignoring the consumption, while still having all the characteristics of meat – taste, major challenges of animal, yeast and bacterial cell culture. texture and appearance, etc. (Why?) Declaration: I am not a vegetarian; I like meat and fish, but am prepared to eat a variety of vegetarian foods.

What is in a plant–based–meat substitute?

To make such products, manufacturers formulate their offerings using extracted plant protein concentrates with binders and other additives. Since these products are based on sources that are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) there is the temptation to think that plant-based foods will be safe. However, these proteins may be allergenic, so consumers must be made aware of the risks of consumption. The formulations may be very complex and these products are classed

References Caldwell, J.M. (2021) How safe are plant-based meat alternatives? Food Technology Magazine, IFT, Volume 75, No.1 Wild, F., M. Czerny, A. M. Janssen, et al. 2014. “The Evolution of a PlantBased Alternative to Meat.” Agro Food Ind. Hi-Tech 25: 45–49. Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce, (2009) Fan, X., Niemira, B.A., Doona, C.J. Feeherry, F.E. & Gravani, R.B. Eds. IFT Press, Wiley-Blackwell. October/November 2021



Feast –

modern facilities for contemporary consumer and sensory science Professor Joanne Hort, Fonterra Riddet Chair in Consumer & Sensory Science, Food Experience and Sensory Testing (Feast) Lab, Massey University, Palmerston North

What is Feast? Feast, the Food Experience and Sensory Testing Lab, is based in the School of Food and Advanced Technology at the Palmerston North Campus of Massey University. Its position on Massey campus, adjacent to the Riddet Institute and the FoodPilot, and its close links into FoodHQ, enables Feast to work across academia, research institutes and both small and large agri-food based companies. It was formed in 2018 following the establishment of the Fonterra Riddet Chair in Consumer and Sensory Science at the University in 2017. The Chair, held by Professor Joanne Hort, was founded to enhance sensory and consumer science research, education and training across academia and industry and to grow the talent pool needed to support the New Zealand Agri-food economy. Massey has recently invested $2.25M in a new contemporary consumer and sensory facility for Feast. Since its emergence in the mid-20th Century, Sensory Science has evolved relatively rapidly with many different approaches available in the contemporary sensory (and consumer) science toolbox. Traditional sensory evaluation involved highly trained experts profiling products using techniques such as Quantitative Descriptive Analysis® and Spectrum™1 in specially designed sensory booths. Indeed, Feast’s new facilities incorporate 12 traditional ISO booths (Figure 1) plus 10 more around one of our panel training rooms (Figure 2). However, expert panels can be costly and such profiling is time intensive and not always the best approach for the research objective and time and budget available.

Figure 1. Descriptive panel at work in Feast’s suite of 12 ISO standard sensory booths under natural and (Right) red lighting. Lighting can be adjusted to hide any appearance differences 46

Food New Zealand

Figure 2. Panellists being trained on yogurt aroma attributes in Feast’s purpose-built training room

The Rise of Agile and Dynamic Methodologies This century has seen the development of new, generally more rapid, techniques (Table 1), to meet the needs of faster more agile NPD programmes, and can be carried out in the same type of facilities. They do not give as much detail, but detail is not always needed. Method

Brief description


Panellists sort products into groups based on similarity and identify how the groups differ

Flash Profiling3

Panellists rank products for any discriminating attributes


Panellists select attributes perceived from a predetermined list

Project Mapping5/ Napping6

Panellists position, group and separate products on a 2-dimensional space

Polarised Sensory positioning7

Panellists rate products against known reference products

Pivot Profile©8


Temporal Dominance of Sensations9

Panellists indicate which attribute is dominant at any given moment of evaluation period from a predetermined list

Temporal CheckAll-That-Apply10

Panellists indicate all attributes present at any given moment of the evaluation period from a predetermined list

Table 1. New Sensory Profiling Methods


Figure 3. Feast's flexible laboratory–kitchen

Figure 4. Central location tests hall style (Left) or in booths (Right)

Preparation Space Evaluating samples also requires specialist areas for careful sample preparation and serving and, in addition to Feast’s access to Massey NPD labs and its FoodPilot, Feast has its own spacious and well equipped laboratory kitchen (Figure 3) for serving samples to booths or other rooms, but can also be used to observe consumers or chefs interact with products.

The Evolution of Consumer-Based Sensory Science Without doubt, the biggest shift in sensory science this century has been the development and adoption of consumer-based sensory testing, and the Feast facility is well designed to accommodate this. Running central location tests as hall tests or in booths are both options in the facility (Figure 4), as are specialist rooms with real-time video October/November 2021


Sensory (a)

Figure 7. Biopac® (a) and (b) Using Biopac® sensors to record physiological response to eat chocolate. Electromyography electrodes are placed on muscles used to smile and frown to record facial emotional response


Figure 5. Focus group room with video conferencing capability

Using Consumer panels for Product Characterisation Figure 6. Participants in a lexicon discussion group in Feast’s Focus group facility selecting terms and visual cues of how tasting a product makes them feel conferencing or recording capability (no longer a need for two-way mirrors) to run focus groups (Figure 5). Research in the last decade shows that measuring how the sensory experience makes someone feel: their emotional response, is a better predictor of consumer engagement, as emotions control our decision-making processes11. Measures such as the EsSense profile12 questionnaire, specifically designed to measure emotional response to food, and a shorter version, EsSense25, are available13 to measure explicit emotional response. Consumer-defined lexicons for specific product categories are even more discriminating11 and can be generated through discussion groups (Figure 6) where time and budget allows.

Measuring physiological and behavioural responses However, feelings are only one part of emotional response and developments in understanding decision making processes and the role of fast and slow thinking14, have led researchers to consider additional approaches to measure implicit emotional responses and behaviours, several of which are accessible through the new Feast lab. Physiological measures include brain imaging, facial coding, heart measures, electromyography, skin conductance and behavioural measures, such as response time measures and postural sway. Feast’s wireless Biopac® instrumentation enables Feast to measure many of these now (Figure 7a). In Feast’s body protected research cubicles sensors can be safely attached to participants to measure their physiological response to food stimuli (Figure 7b). 48

Food New Zealand

Locating the new facility near the public carpark was not a coincidence, it was key to ensure consumer panel participants can access us easily. In the last two decades, the belief that consumers should only be used for measuring affective responses such as liking and Just About Right attribute diagnostics has been dispelled15. Research shows that many of the rapid methods employed with experts (Table 1) are user friendly, require minimal training and can be used successfully with consumers15. The new Feast facility has the capability to run these on-site, but of course the option of Home-Use-Tests (HUTs) remains. Locating the new facility near the public carpark was not a coincidence, it was key to ensure participants can access us easily.

Consumer Testing in Context Where products are consumed has a big impact on consumer perception and acceptance. HUTS are widely used to provide more ecological validity to product testing. However, approaches to bring more consumer testing closer to reality, whilst maintaining control over product presentation have emerged. This can be simple use of written or visual scenarios in CLTs16, but Feast also has the ability to set up staged environments17,18, use virtual or mixed reality19 or digital immersive environments20. Figure 8 shows the Feast Immersive room set up under various 360° videos, which can include sound and smells as well as visual clues. Here different contexts can be mimicked or switched between for product evaluation, or even used to improve focus group scenarios.

The Internet of Things This article would not be complete without mentioning the opportunities that the ‘internet of things’ brings to consumer sensory


Figure 8. Evaluating products in Feast’s new immersive environment. (a) in a café, (b) pub, (c) home environment or, alternatively evoke a context in mixed reality in the HoloLens (d) science alongside facilities and technology. Already technology allows Feast to experience faster home–use tests, scraping of social media from hundreds of consumers for product comments, online consumer questionnaires, and forums for co-design of sensory experiences to name but a few. Couple that with advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning and it will be interesting to see what contemporary sensory and consumer science looks like in the mid-21st Century!

11. Ng M, Chaya C, Hort J.Food Quality and Preference 26:121-134, 2013.

If you have a query about this article or working with Feast, please contact

15. Ares G, Varela P. Cambridge, USA, Woodhead Publishing, 2018.

*All photos supplied by Feast.

References 1. Munoz A, Civille GV, in Hootman RC (ed), Vol ASTM Press, 1992. 2. Courcoux P, Quandt SA, Faye P, in Delarue J, Lawlor JB, Rogeaux M (eds), Vol. Cambridge,UK, Woodhead Publishing, 2015, pp 153-186. 3. Dairou V, Sieffermann JM. Journal of Food Science 67:826-834, 2002. 4. Ares G, Barreiro C, deliza R, et al.i Journal of Sensory Studies 25:6786, 2010. 5. Risvik E, McEwan JA, Colwill JS, et al.Food Quality and Preference 5:263-269, 1994. 6. Pages J.Food Quality and Preference 16:642-649, 2005. 7. Teillet E, in Delarue J, Lawlor JB, Rogeaux M (eds), Vol. Cambridge, UK, Woodhead Publishing, 2015, pp 215-226. 8. Thuillier B, Valentin D, Marchal R, et al.Food Quality and Preference 42:66-77, 2015. 9. Labbe D, Schlich P, Pineau N, et al.Food Quality and Preference 20:216-221, 2009. 10. Dooley L, Lee YS, Meullenet JF.Food Quality and Preference 21:394401, 2010.

12. King SC, Meiselman HL, Carr BT.Food Quality and Preference 21:1114-1116, 2010. 13. Nestrud MA, Meiselman HL, King SC, et al.Food Quality and Preference 48:107-117, 2016. 14. Kahneman D. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. 16. Hein KA, Hamid N, Jaeger SR, et al. Food Quality and Preference 21:410-416, 2010. 17. Sester C, Deroy O, Sutan A, et al. Food Quality and Preference 28:23-31, 2013. 18. Holthuysen N, Vrijhof MN, de Wijk R, et al. Journal of Sensory Studies 32:e12254, 2017. 19. Low JYQ, Lin VHF, Yeon LJ, et al. Food Quality and Preference 88, 2021. 20. Bangcuyo RG, Smith KJ, Zumach JL, et al. Food Quality and Preference 41:84-95, 2015.

Professor Hort joined Massey in 2017. She is Fonterra Riddet Chair in Consumer and Sensory Science, a Riddet institute Principal Investigator, and Chair of the Pangborn Executive Committee. She has authored and edited several key texts in Sensory Science and is on the editorial board for Food Quality and Preference.

October/November 2021


L & N News

Dishes such as paella are traditionally made with seafoods and can easily be flavoured with a combination of saffron and turmeric. The addition of lashings of superior quality extra virgin olive oil will improve taste, absorption of the bio actives and will have an added beneficial effect on lipid metabolism

Lipids and Nutraceuticals: A Focus on Mental Health and Cognition

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST and Mike Eyres B.Sc. Introduction

Lipids and the brain

Modern life is becoming increasingly stressful, particularly in these times of COVID. This is resulting in an increase in mental health problems globally. There has been a huge surge in prescriptions for drugs for mental health including antidepressants, anxiolytics and sleep aids. Whilst these prescriptions appear to be a necessary evil there are obvious dangers with these substances and the resulting dependency that can occur. This issue we look at the latest news regarding the role of supplemental lipids and other key nutraceuticals in supporting mental health.

Nutrition plays a significant role in brain function throughout the entire lifespan. Appropriate nutrient intake allows normal brain growth and neurodevelopment in early life and is theorised to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in older age.

Mental health is defined by the World Health Organisation as “a state of well-being enabling individuals to realise their abilities, cope with normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and contribute to their communities.” The links between aging, cognitive decline and poor mental health are well established and it is recognised that treating poor mental health in the elderly is significantly different to treating younger cohorts. As the global population ages, issues around treating mental health in older people are forecast to rise.

A recent study has added evidence to the theory that lipid dysregulation is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and offers an avenue for future research into therapeutics. The mouse study showed that amyloid beta complexed with lipoproteins in the blood were produced in the liver and were able to “leak” into the brain after disrupting the blood brain barrier and cause cognitive impairment via neuroinflammation. This appears to confirm the “blood to brain” hypothesis about the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Natural diets and therapeutics that target the levels of amyloid beta complexed lipoproteins in the blood can now be investigated as tools for delaying cognitive decline and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Natural products and supplements are a commonly used intervention for supporting cognition and mental health. The current data for supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, phospholipids, and herbs like Ginkgo and St John’s Wort and others are promising but still limited, especially regarding geriatrics. 50

Food New Zealand

The human brain is primarily composed of lipids – being half the brain’s weight. Most brain lipids are in the form of phospholipids. If age-related changes in lipid metabolism cause cognitive decline, then nutraceuticals that affect levels of lipids in the brain may ameliorate cognitive impairment.

Link: pbio.3001358

L & N News

There is an interesting article in Inform magazine (AOCS) 2020 vol 31, pp 6-10 entitled “The trouble with studying omega-3’s and the brain.” The article includes comments by Professor Richard Bazinet who is Professor of +Nutritional Science at Toronto University. The article summarises results from randomised clinical trials between 2005 and 2012 with little evidence that taking omega-3 supplements has any major effect on the course of disease including mental decline. However, work in Australia has shown that a significant omega-3 index is associated with a much lower risk of mental health disorders and cognitive decline. Link: 573/1817466 So, a reasonable conclusion is that a healthy diet including fish and the right supplements over an extended period as a preventative strategy may be much better that belated treatment.

Plasmalogens: A New Zealand Bioactive Opportunity A recent new product launch by a leader in natural health supplements prompted us to take a deeper look at plasmalogens as a supplement for cognition and mental health. Plasmalogens are a subclass of phospholipid and the ethanolamine plasmalogens are the predominant phospholipids in the brain. They are found naturally in many foods and can be taken as a dietary supplement. Several key New Zealand food products such as shellfish, venison and lamb have been identified by New Zealand researchers as particularly good sources. A presentation from the 2016 Oils and Fats Specialist Group Conference is well worth a review for those interested and is available on the website. Link: It has been established that plasma levels of plasmalogens are depleted in Alzheimer’s patients and recently this has been also associated with the degree of cognitive impairment. However, whether the decrease of plasmalogens is the cause or consequence of the disease and its symptoms is still being debated. There is preliminary evidence that it may be both. Reduced plasmalogens in AD are thought to be caused by neuroinflammation and increased oxidative stress. Research into plasmalogens as a treatment for cognition is still in its infancy. The results from animal studies and the first RCT human studies are very promising. A recent review from 2019 describes the underlying mechanisms regarding plasmalogen metabolism and the animal studies to date: Link:

Herbal actives for neuroinflammation – synergy with lipid targets? Neuroinflammation is also noted as a hallmark of not only cognitive decline, but also mental health disorders such as depression, and has become a recent therapeutic target using natural bio actives.

In recent years, several herbal medicines have come to the fore for mental health treatment with reductions of neuroinflammation as their mechanism of action. Saffron is one of these that is seeing increasing attention in the form of clinical trials. Saffron is a brightly coloured spice made from the hand harvested stigma of Crocus sativus that’s packed with antioxidant compounds, including the carotenoids crocin and crocetin and is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Saffron has demonstrated efficacy equivalent to first line pharmaceutical drugs in Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD at doses between 30mg and 60mg per day of a novel saffron extract. Regarding cognition, Saffron has demonstrated a neuroprotective effect in pre-clinical studies. A recent review summarises the mechanisms of action and the research to date: Link: Curcumin from Turmeric is a well-recognised herbal antiinflammatory and would appear to have excellent synergy with saffron for reducing neuroinflammation. Several dietary supplements that combine curcumin and saffron are currently on the market. Aside from its anti-inflammatory effect, curcumin offers a chance at synergy with both saffron and bioactive lipids by its lipid modulating effects. Curcumin has proven effects on both modulating blood lipids and mood in multiple RCT’s and these have been recently reviewed. Link:

Conclusion It is worth remembering the proven efficacy of the Mediterranean diet for longevity, cognition and mental wellbeing. All the actives discussed in this newsletter are found in foods and can easily be incorporated into Mediterranean meals. Dishes such as bouillabaisse and paella traditionally are made with seafoods and can easily be flavoured with a combination of saffron and turmeric. The addition of lashings of superior quality extra virgin olive oil will improve taste, absorption of the bio actives and will have an added beneficial effect on lipid metabolism. Buon appetito!

Mike Eyres, BSc. BNatMed Mike Eyres is a technical consultant, researcher and Registered Medical Herbalist and Naturopath (NZAMH) with 18 years professional experience in the food, beverage, and natural health industries. He was a co-author of a peer reviewed, scientific article in the journal “Nutrition Reviews” on coconut oil and cardiovascular risk factors. Consulting projects have covered herbal, food and nutraceutical products in various formats including gel caps, soft gels, sachets, bulk powders, tablets, and topicals.

October/November 2021



Leaf protein from pasture Authors: Thomas Sowersby, Richard Edmonds, Lee Huffman, Katrina Fletcher The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research)

Introduction New Zealand’s ability to produce high quality, animal-derived protein ingredients is globally recognised. However, this capability has yet to be leveraged to the production of high quality plant-derived alternatives. Over the last 3 years The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research) has investigated emerging plant protein opportunities for the New Zealand environment. This is a complex subject and our research has aimed at tackling key fundamental questions: • What crops can be sustainably and competitively produced and processed into protein ingredients? • What are the processing technology challenges and opportunities? • How do concepts stack up economically and how can they work synergistically with existing farm systems? • What are the nutritional and functional qualities of different plantprotein products? • How will a New Zealand-sourced plant protein find a long-term place in the highly competitive and well-established global trade in plant proteins? We recently presented parts of our research at the 2021 NZIFST conference, where we advised that leaf protein from pasture crops, such as ryegrass and alfalfa (lucerne), provides New Zealand with the greatest opportunity to participate in the global plant protein market. This research will be expanded on here.

Crop evaluation Kepner-Tregoe (KT) (Kepner & Tregoe 1981) decision analysis methodology was applied to more than 70 crops and crop by-product streams to systematically evaluate their potential as feedstocks for a New Zealand plant protein ingredient industry. Aspects that drove the KT analysis spanned the full plant protein value chain and included economic, environmental, growing and production, IP opportunity, perception, processing, and regulation and food safety. The decision analysis started with several gate (go/no-go) criteria that needed to be met for the crop to proceed to further evaluation. Foremost amongst these was the question “can enough crop be produced in New Zealand to supply at least 1000 metric tonnes of protein/year now or in the near future?” This supply benchmark was set based on initial estimates for the minimum feedstock needed to support a commercial factory and to ensure there was an adequate supply to support development of an export market. The 47 crops that passed through the gate questions were then evaluated by the multidisciplinary team, across 28 scoring parameters covering the scope of value chain factors outlined above. Figure 1 shows the scores for the alternative crops and by-products arranged in ranked order. Each point is colour coded by type according to the key shown (leaves and stems shown as a green dot •, for example). This is important as some crops feature separately as different parts of the 52

Food New Zealand

plant, for example as the seed and as leaves and stems (pea and oat provide examples). Crops located in the top left of Figure 1 generated the highest KT scores and are predicted to be the most likely to succeed as plant protein ingredient sources under our evaluation conditions framed by the New Zealand context. However, it is important to note that all crops presented have some potential as protein sources and the ranking might change under a different set of priorities. The most promising feed stocks were leaf and stem crops, with vegetative material from alfalfa, ryegrass, wheat, barley and oat scoring highest. The top 14 alternatives were a mix of starchy seed crops and leaves and stems with by-products, oil seeds and bulb, root and tuber alternatives showing less promise. Leaf and stem crops scored well in such factors as economics and value, environment, growing and production, and IP opportunities, with some challenges to overcome in processing and regulatory and food safety. Alfalfa and ryegrass also scored well because of their high annual protein yields per hectare due to repeat harvesting and their strong fit within existing pastoral farming practices. Starch seeds were strong contenders also, but face the challenge of operating at a competitive production scale, commoditisation and the need for a distinctive point of advantage against overseas competition. The notable by-product was brewing spent grain, a waste material from the brewing process. This has the advantage of being a low-cost feedstock but has challenges around stabilisation, transport and logistics to factory, and recovery of the mostly insoluble protein content. Potatoes scored the highest amongst the bulb, root and tuber crops and as one of New Zealand’s largest food crops has well established production systems (Freshfacts 2020). However, like starch seed proteins, established international competition operating at scale would need to be countered by some form of local advantage for New Zealand manufacture to flourish. The best performing oil seed crops for protein recovery were rapeseed and linseed. Being a side stream from oil extraction provides these substrates the advantage of dual income streams provided they operate at a competitive scale. However there are challenges with anti-nutrients in the cake and the residual oil content, which need to be removed in order to recover a protein ingredient.

Recovering protein from pasture Recovering protein from leafy plants is not a new area of research, in fact there are patents stretching back to the 1940s specifically on this topic. Despite this, attempts to commercialise products have had little success due to difficulties with recovering high protein yield, and managing sensory attributes and anti-nutritional factors in an economically viable and food safe way. Alfalfa and ryegrass contain approximately 20 to 30% crude protein, on a dry matter basis, depending on growing conditions and seasonality. Of this crude protein content, just under half is made up of water


Figure 1. Kepner-Tregoe evaluation scores of potential crops for a New Zealand protein industry, ordered by rank (evaluated 2020) soluble proteins and polypeptides, mostly enzymes involved with photosynthesis and respiration activities in the plant. The most prevalent enzyme present is ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase (RuBisCO) which is important for carbon dioxide conversion (Fiorentini & Galoppini 1983). The water soluble protein fraction is coined the “white protein” fraction, as when recovered, these are white or cream in colour. As the easiest to recover, most commercial and research investigation has been on the white protein fraction, meaning that over half of the available protein remains unused in protein extraction. About a third of the protein fraction is located in the plant chloroplast membranes and is more difficult to recover in a usable protein product due to an affinity to lipids and a close association with pigment compounds including chlorophyll. Efficient recovery of this fraction, coined the “green proteins”, would be a major breakthrough for a more efficient process. The remaining quarter of the protein is tied up in the cell walls and fibrous structures making them very difficult to recover economically and likely to be of low value based on protein quality (Teng & Wang 2011).

The typical process for recovering white protein involves pressing the crop to generate a juice, then an acid or heat treatment step to coagulate and sediment the green fraction. The white proteins are separated in the liquid phase then further processed to a dried product (Nynäs 2018). This approach leaves behind not only green proteins but also white proteins in the press cake and coagulated sediment. Plant & Food Research have completed a series of bench and smallscale pilot trials investigating methodologies for maximising the protein recovery of white and green proteins in pressed juice. Three exemplar crops (alfalfa, ryegrass and brassica rape) have been harvested from the Pāmu Cheltenham Downs Farm and processed at Plant & Food Research and Massey University FoodPILOT in Palmerston North. The core steps used in the trial were harvesting, disintegration, conditioning and pressing (Figure 2). One aspect of our research was a trial focusing on the effect of conditioning pH and duration on protein recovery in the juice prepared from three different leafy crops (Figure 3). The best protein recovery was achieved for brassica rape at approximately 77% (g protein recovered per 100 g of protein in the crop). General linear statistical

Figure 2. Trial steps for investigating protein recovery from pasture (from left: harvest, disintegration, conditioning and pressing) October/November 2021



Figure 3. Juice nitrogen (crude protein) recovery yields postharvest, disintegration, conditioning and pressing for alfalfa, brassica rape and rye grass, measured at two different points of conditioning time modelling showed that the crop type was significant with a higher protein yield recovery seen for brassica rape compared to ryegrass or alfalfa. Likely, the composition and structure of the crops plays an important role; brassica rape had a lower fibre and overall dry matter content compared to the other crops. Disintegration was observed to be more thorough, allowing more proteins to be liberated into the juice fraction. Despite this, alfalfa and ryegrass remain more viable options on a farm productivity basis with their higher amounts of protein produced per hectare, more than compensating for the lower proportion of the protein recovered in processing. The pH during conditioning also had a significant effect, with low pH being disadvantageous, likely due to irreversible protein precipitation as isoelectric points were crossed. For brassica rape and alfalfa, the natural pH (5-6) produced the highest protein recoveries. Interestingly, the conditioning duration was not significant; ryegrass showed unusual trends for reduced recovery at natural pH and extended conditioning duration. More recent small-scale pilot trial work focused on alfalfa and improved disintegration has produced increased protein recovery yields. The next tranche of process development research will focus on processing juice through purification and concentration steps. The membrane processing techniques widely used in the New Zealand dairy industry will provide the basis for this work. 54

Food New Zealand


Essential Amino Acid


Brassica Rape


PDCAAS Essential Amino Acids

DIAAS Indispensable Amino Acids

mg amino acid/g crude protein Histidine
























Cysteine + Methionine






Tyrosine + Phenylalanine
























Table 1. Essential amino acids (mg/g crude protein) for alfalfa, brassica rape and ryegrass compared to essential amino acid values required for a child, 6 months to 3 years, as defined by Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score(DIAAS) (FAO 2013) In addition to maximising protein yield, we have evaluated the amino acid composition of the three crops (Table 1). The essential amino acids in the three harvested crops were similar, often exceeding the amino acid score compared to Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) standards. The alfalfa meets all the essential (a.k.a. indispensable) amino acid needs for a child from 6 months to 3 years for 2007 PDCAAS and DIAAS (FAO 2013). The brassica rape and rye grass also meet all the essential amino acid needs for PDCAAS, and excluding histidine for DIAAS. The brassica rape also has slightly less lysine compared to the DIAAS. The protein quality of the starting crops are promising and make for ideal starting points for protein ingredient development. The choice of the next processing steps and conditions to deliver a high protein powdered ingredient will determine the final amino acid compositions. The initial crop amino acid scores also support a strategy to recover as much protein from the crops as possible.

model for measuring economic performance. Within our model, the scale of production was allowed to vary against fixed yields and sales price, to determine the critical scale at which leaf protein ingredient production would be economically favourable. We found that approximately 1000 hectares of pasture crop production was the breakeven point (Figure 4, overleaf), generating roughly 4200 tonnes of protein products. For context, over 2 million hectares of land is used for dairy cattle in New Zealand (Stats NZ 2021). The manufacturing CAPEX requirement would be similar to dairy factory investments at approximately $NZ100 million (2020).

Because commercial protein from pasture processes have been shown to be only marginally viable, there is a need for techno-economic analysis (TEA) in order to closely assess feasibility (Bals & Dale 2011).

Unsurprisingly, the greatest impact on net present value (NPV) was the sales price of the protein product. The target sales price used in this work was estimated using an array of comparable protein concentrate powder products available on the market. These ranged from protein sources at about $NZ6/kg, to about $NZ10/kg (2020) (Voudouris et al. 2017). Annualised crop production protein content and forage dry matter are also important as these directly influence the overall process yield for a given amount of forage feed used. Implicit in this finding is that economics of protein recovery from pasture would be further enhanced by longer term initiatives that improved the in-field protein yields, whether by husbandry or by selective breeding of pasture crop germplasm.

We have taken a membrane-based, total utilisation approach, using juice yield data from our experimental work and previous experience with plant protein manufacture, to build a mass balance to describe a leaf protein from pasture recovery process. To complement the mass balance, a TEA including capital expenditure, operating costs and net present value calculations were integrated to form a holistic

Improvements to the modelling input estimates are underway, with commercial on-farm processes and costings being closely investigated. The use of the fibre-rich cake left over after protein recovery is being evaluated for its potential as stock feed and early estimates of metabolisable energy have been completed. As research progresses, our confidence with the model assumptions will continue to grow.

Techno-economic analysis

October/November 2021



Figure 4. Viability versus scale of production of protein from pasture concentrate powder, NPV (net present value)


Food and nutrition paper; 92. FAO: Rome. 10.1111/nbu.12063

Our work over the past 3 years has identified and prioritised multiple crop types that have potential as feed stocks for a plant protein food ingredient industry under conditions prevailing in New Zealand. Of the crops evaluated, the leafy pasture crops, particularly alfalfa, ryegrass and other cereal crops, are likely to be the most successful given our natural advantages in growing these in New Zealand and the uniqueness of the protein products that would be produced providing a distinctive opportunity for us. Initial trial work has provided confidence that high protein yields could be recovered from a range of pasture crop types, and further work focusing on the later stages of processing will help validate this. Given sufficient scale of production, a leaf protein from pasture process would be economically viable and presents an exciting opportunity for New Zealand to establish itself on the international plant protein food ingredient market once remaining technical, operational and regulatory issues are addressed.

Fiorentini R, Galoppini C 1983. The proteins from leaves. Plant Foods Hum Nutr32(3): 335–350.

Acknowledgements Allan Main, The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research), for providing strategic context for the project.

References Bals B, Dale BE 2011. Economic comparison of multiple techniques for recovering leaf protein in biomass processing. Biotechnol Bioeng 108(3): 530–537. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) 2013. Dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition: report of an FAO Expert Consultation. 56

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Freshfacts 2020. Freshfacts: New Zealand Horticulture 2020. The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd [accessed September 2021]. Kepner CH, Tregoe BB 1981. Decision Analysis. The New Rational Manager. Princeton NJ USA: Princeton Research Press. Nynäs A-L 2018. White proteins from green leaves in food applications. Swedish University of Agricultural Science. (Introductory paper at the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science) [accessed October 2018]. nynas_al_180314.pdf Stats NZ 2021. Agricultural and horticultural land use. Stats NZ [accessed September 2021]. agricultural-and-horticultural-land-use Teng Z, Wang Q 2011. Extraction, identification and characterization of the water-insoluble proteins from tobacco biomass. J Sci Food Agric 92(7): 1368-1374. Voudouris P, Tenorio AT, Lesschen JP, Mulder WJ, Kyriakopoulou K, Sanders JPM, Goot AJvd, Bruins ME 2017. Sustainable protein technology; An evaluation on the STW Protein programme and an outlook for the future. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research [accessed September 2021]. d/6/0/9bf3ef0f-6f8e-4383-8e65-02784dc3dc0e_8412102802_WFBR_ Eiwittechnologie_boek_LR.pdf


News from NZIFST

July 5th to 7th, 2022 Distinction Hotel, Rotorua

Rob Archibald is Chair of the NZIFST 2022 Conference – Collaboration: Building New Zealand Inc.

NZIFST Conference In view of supply and skill shortages many food companies have learned the value of collaboration – hence the theme for our 2022 Conference. The committee had their first meeting early in September. Conference Committee Chair, Rob Archibald, has gathered a group whose expertise covers flavour, sensory, dairy, meat, petfood, beverages, developing people, general consulting, product development, new business and engineering consulting. Together they cover most sectors of our

industry. They also each have a broad network that will be valuable in populating the Conference programme and selecting the most engaging and informative speakers. Experience with the 2021 conference, where, due to the pandemic, no overseas speakers presented, has shown that we have important resources and knowledge within these shores that are worth sharing. Make a note in your diary now - don't miss out!


Rosemary Hancock P O Box 5574, Terrace End, Palmerston North, 4441 Ph (06) 356 1686 Mob 021 217 8298


Grant Boston

As a member of NZIFST you will benefit from Professional development programmes Networking at regular branch meetings, seminars and the Annual Conference

and gain Information through ‘Food New Zealand’, ‘Nibbles’ and our website Recognition through awards, scholarships and travel grants


October/November 2021



New, re-joined and upgraded members NZIFST welcomes the following new members and welcomes and congratulates those who have re-joined or been upgraded to Professional Membership. Welcome also to new student and Graduate members Name Position


Standard Members Katharine Adam



Shakeel Ahmed

Food Scientist


Moira Lomas

Technical and Operations Manager

Fleur Foods

Jolin Morel

Research Scientist

Callaghan Innovation

Valencia Ngadi

Specifications Technologist

Tip Top Ice Cream

Neil Smit

Engineering & Business Development Manager

SEW Eurodrive NZ LTD.

Hayley Van Zijl

QA Technologist

Hawkins Watts

Duc Toan Do

Post Doctoral Fellow

Riddet Institute

Wade Harrison



Aiman Jamsari

Post Doctoral Bioprocess Engineer

Plant & Food Research

Felicity Prendergast



Deyu Xu Process worker

NZ Global Foods

Quan Yuan

Technical Sales Specialist

Graduate Members

PharmaNZ Limited

Student Members Rahul Permal


Kelly-Anne Bentley

Lincoln University

Parvinder Kaur

Lincoln University

Iresha Wickramanayake

Lincoln University

Boning Mao

Massey University

Rebekah Orr

Massey University

Priyanka Sedupathy

Massey University

Cindy Zhu

Massey University

Selina Li

The University of Auckland

Kate Ericksen

University of Otago

Wen Pu Chen

Penn State University

Who’s gone where? NZIFST members who are changing jobs, moving overseas, starting their own businesses... Grace van Tilborg has left McCallum Industries and started working for Hawkins Watts

Esraa El Shall has joined Fonterra Brands New Zealand as Product Development & Technical Manager


Food New Zealand

NZIFST is now on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Have you joined us on Linked in yet? NZIFST has a group page. Have you “friended” us on Facebook yet? Our page address is This moderated group page is available for all members of NZIFST to upload and comment on media misinformation, and for branches to share upcoming events and activities. Come and join in.


Branch News strive to have complete transparency from farm to cup and this is how they market themselves to their customers, all their producers are represented on their website for consumers to read about. Their restaurant is designed around sustainable dining and the head chef, Joe O’Connell is very passionate about all things fermentation.

Michael Stevens of Ozone Coffee, back right, describes the process of coffee cupping

The tour began with an interactive discussion with James Gilling who is the production roaster, in charge of the roastery in Grey Lynn. The setup is simple and small, as large volumes are roasted in New Plymouth location. He showed us the difference between washed fermentation and natural fermentation beans which they roast to give different flavour characteristics. He also talked us through the roasting process and showed us the difference in sensory attributes based on varying levels of roasting time – emphasising the impact one minute can make. The second part of tour was the cupping session in the impressive coffee lab managed by Michael Stevens. Cupping is the term they use for coffee tasting and they do a lot of it, on every single batch, to check the level of roast. Michael took us through a cupping session and taught us how they put the descriptors to the flavours. This was presented as three coffees where we tasted washed beans vs natural beans and from different regions. After this, we enjoyed delicious sourdough pizzas, and some time for networking. The event was enjoyed by all and we extend a big thank you to Steph and Joe from Ozone who helped to put this event together, and to the committee who helped out. Sarah Leakey, Chair, Auckland Branch

Student Careers Evening The student careers evening was a great success! It was held at the Goodman Fielder HQ in the Auckland CBD. We had a fantastic number of students sign up, and hopefully they’ve gone away with a renewed passion for working in the industry!

Members listen attentively to Ozone Coffee's roasting maestro, James Gilling, front, in cap, describing roasting parameters

We started with a presentation from Braden Loveridge from Callaghan Innovation, explaining what they do and how students can get involved. We also had a fabulous presentation from Nurul, Hamish, and Fraser from Goodman Fielder about how to prepare a CV and cover letter, and how to succeed in a job interview. They even did a fantastic roleplay for us – they’re a team of many talents! We then split the students off into 5 groups to talk with 5 different sets of professionals in different parts

Auckland Branch Ozone Coffee On August 4th, Auckland branch was hosted at Ozone Coffee in Grey Lynn for a roastery tour and cupping session. Ozone Coffee was founded over 20 years ago with their aim being to lead enduring change in the way coffee is valued, grown, produced and enjoyed responsibly for the future. Being sustainably focused means that Ozone is committed to becoming a more responsible business. This is reflected by their commitment to becoming one of the very few B Corp certified New Zealand companies. Today they employ over 150 people across 4 sites globally; Auckland’s Grey Lynn, New Plymouth and two eateries in London. They have long term relationships with coffee communities at origin and this means they can support their producers. The coffees sourced by Ozone originate from all over the globe, Guatemala, India, Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil – the list goes on. They

A large group of students listen carefully to the presentation at the Auckland Branch Careers evening October/November 2021



Darren Patterson, Sustainability Manager of Meadow Mushrooms taught Canterbury branch members, and those who Zoomed in, about waste minimisation. Spoiler alert: compostable packaging isn't the answer of the industry. We had an entrepreneur, a brewery technician, product development technologists, quality technologists, and a packaging technologist. The students got to listen to each of their career stories so far, and then ask the speakers any questions they had. To end we had some food and networking time for the students to get to know each other and the industry professionals who had volunteered to help out for the evening. A huge thanks to all involved! Thank you to the subcommittee for organising the event and to all of the speakers for the time you gave to us to speak to the students, we really appreciate your support. Special thanks to the team at Goodman Fielder for hosting the event at your venue, as well as for all the help of your amazing team. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we are so grateful for all of your generosity and for your support of the next generation of people in the food industry! Jessica Chong

A Student’s Perspective From a student's perspective, the careers evening was both insightful and encouraging. It provided us with a good platform to network and build rapport with prospective employers in the food industry. Interacting with industry professionals and asking questions on the spot allowed us to not only explore the different career paths available but also helped build our confidence in public speaking. There were a wide range of speakers there, which gave us great insight into the roles we can look forward to in our careers - and the future sure looks bright! My favourite part of the evening was Goodman Fielder's entertaining and lighthearted skit, which gave us valuable resume writing and interview skills that will most definitely help in our job search. Overall, the evening made me even more excited to start my career journey and be part of a fun and secure industry! Hannah Hady

Canterbury Branch Compostable Packaging An excellent turnout of the Canterbury-Westland branch physically or virtually attended an informative talk by Darren Patterson, Sustainability Manager, Meadow Mushrooms, entitled ‘Compostable Packaging’, but really on the wider topic of waste minimisation. This was an extremely though-provoking talk, as we started by thinking 60

Food New Zealand

that compostable packaging was a great idea and finished up viewing it as a last-gasp alternative! Darren started by highlighting that New Zealand is first in the OECD: first for the proportion of waste that ends up in landfill! This dubious distinction stems from New Zealand still having a largely linear economy – resources in at the beginning, waste out at the end, rather than a more desirable circular economy. Darren presented a waste management hierarchy of Avoid-Reduce-Reuse-Repair-RecycleRecover-Dispose. Composting is a recovery process. Darren outlined the difference between home compostable and commercially compostable materials, further complicated by the small number of commercial composters in New Zealand being unwilling to accepted compostable packaging due to processing and contamination concerns. The current advice from the Food and Grocery Council is not to introduce compostable packaging (for now) and to concentrate efforts higher up the waste minimisation hierarchy. Peter Cressey, FNZIFST

Central Branch Jim Jones, Food Smoking – The science behind the art This was a fascinating talk held on August 5 (pre lockdown) at Massey University where Jim is Professor and Research Director in the School of Food and Advanced Technology. The presentation was virtually linked to our southern cousins in Wellington and also extended to other NZIFST members nationwide via Zoom. We are all familiar with smoked products, but Jim, in introducing the specific work that had been undertaken, walked us through the history of food smoking and its relevance today, which is all about adding value and, as he stated, offering a different sensorial experience for the consumer. Who can say no to cold smoked salmon or even a smoky beer! Early food smoking, as evidenced by charcoal residues in caves, goes back ~32,000 years. Jim walked us through smoking refinements such as the Torry kiln, where smoke generators are separated from the smoke house (where the smoke is introduced to the food). Jim then described the various industrial smoking set-ups and the challenges associated with making “safe” offerings, but at the same time still enabling the consumer to have that positive experience that


Waikato Branch members and guest photographed outside Greenlea Premier Meats. Tony Egan is in the blue shirt at the centre of the group comes with eating smoked foods. This nicely led to the great work that has been undertaken for this now completed FIET project, which funded 3 PhD and 2 Masters students. For those that don’t know, FIET stands for Food Industry Enabling Technologies, an MBIE-funded programme with 6 research provider institutions, which wound up this year (more details at The safety issues associated with smoking food come from the production of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which are deemed carcinogenic. The EU have limits on these. The work therefore has focused on how to balance making “safe” smoked items that keep PAH production below these limits, while ensuring the desired flavour compounds are produced. The R&D gap was identified to be the “need to understand the kinetics of smoke formation and the composition of smoke as a function of the conditions of smoke formation”. The overarching objective was to improve the quality and consistency of smoke which would involve both science (the research) and development (principally an engineering focus) utilising tools such as GC-MS olfactometry to identify aroma compounds. The programme of work has achieved some notable outcomes. It was found that aroma compounds required different smoke generation conditions to achieve maximum concentrations. As a result, the concentration of aroma compounds and PAHs were predicted using response surface modelling. Temperature was the dominant effect determining the abundance of aroma compounds and PAHs. The demonstrated outcome was that the research team could control and manipulate flavour whilst minimising PAH’s. Initially focusing on kanuka wood, the work has also looked at the effect of using other wood types. The team working on this extremely interesting subject area have been; Jim Jones, Graham Eyres, Qun Chen, Pat Silcock, Yuanyang Zhang, Nadeen Caco, Moha Seraj, Rhiannon Wright and Rebecca Yang. Thanks, Jim, for a great talk.

Waikato Branch Seven Waikato branch members visited the Greenlea Meats processing plant in Hamilton. We were hosted by Managing Director Tony Egan and Business Development Manager Julie McDade who gave us an interesting and forward-looking talk on Greenlea, recent product developments, collaboration with other industry players, sustainability, markets and a host of other exciting developments in the Waikato food processing space. Greenlea is at the forefront of NPD into specialist markets, recently presenting Restore Bone Broth to the Pacific Rim. Demand for this product has out-stripped supply almost overnight and further capacity is being installed. This has taken a low-value component of the production waste stream and turned it into a premium, high-value product that reduces environmental impact, creates profits and benefits the user. Greenlea’s strategy has been to add value and only compete in commodity markets where it is unavoidable. It is a successful business and is now branching out into adding value to other components from the meat industry, in collaboration with local processors and suppliers. Greenlea has been an early adopter of software and automation-based systems in their processing operation. Tony explained how this level of control over product movement and inventory has given them an advantage in traceability, economies in the plant and supply chain, and in many aspects of regulatory and customer demands in compliance. Tony and Julie were adamant that New Zealand’s primary industries will have to prove their environmental, animal welfare and social credentials in future, or risk losing premium markets to countries who may do a better job of this aspect of the supply-chain. Greenlea is collaborating with industry bodies and Government to develop and implement these protocols and ensure they are acceptable to their customers. Thanks to Julie and Tony for their time and the presentations. Colin Pitt, FNZIFST

Craig Honoré FNZIFST October/November 2021


Student Essay

Cheese Mites: Good or Bad? Alice Mai, Student, Massey Albany This article was awarded second equal prize in the Food Tech Solutions NZIFST Undergraduate Writing Competition 2021. The annual competition is open to undergraduate food science and food technology students who are invited to write on any technical subject or latest development in the food science and technology field that may be important to the consumer.

Introduction Cheese is alive, thanks to the moulds, yeasts, bacteria, and mites, that make cheese what it is. Mites are commonly seen as something people want to avoid in their foods. However, in some cheeses, they’re encouraged as they contribute to the uniquely loved flavour of these cheeses. If you take a close and long look at the rind of some cheeses with a magnifying glass, you will see tiny specks and pieces of the rind moving constantly. These moving specks are cheese mites. Cheese mites are arachnids from the genera Tyrophagus and Arcarus, with Tyrophagus casei, Tyrophagus putrescentiae and Acarus siro being the species within this genera most commonly referred to as “cheese mites”2. Cheese mites are microscopic, round organisms, measuring no more than a few hundred micrometres long, which live on the surface of aged cheese and in burrows on the cheese rind. Their presence is given away by the appearance of a fine brown dust on the rind, which is actually an accumulation of the mites – both living and dead – and their faeces. Despite the unpleasant connotations, cheese mites are harmless to most individuals, except to those who have severe mite allergies3. While cheese mites are for the most part passive and harmless creatures, they are considered an industry nuisance to be removed from the cheese. However, in cheeses such as Milbenkäse, and Mimolette, they are required to contribute the distinctive flavour and appearance, and their growth is encouraged in a controlled manner4.

How Mites operate Cheese mites love to feed off fungi, mould, protein, and fat, making cheese the perfect food source. While cheese mites exist everywhere, they particularly thrive in the cool, damp atmosphere associated with cheese caves3. They prefer cheeses with cave temperatures of 45-55°F and multiply rapidly in cheeses with rinds which are densely colonised by their favourite food source, mould6. The mites feed on fungal hyphae growing on the rind, and burrow from the crust to the centre, leaving a floral, sweet flavour behind them2,3. They then work to 62

Food New Zealand

produce individual molecules from a pair of glands to confer flavours to the cheeses. Amongst these molecules is neral, a volatile constituent of lemon oil2. Its flavours and aromatics are a very desirable addition in the aging process of many cheese products. Although the mites can contribute their own flavours and aromas to the cheese, their time of occupation allows the mites to increase aeration and create more surface area for the biofilm of bacteria and fungi to work on. This increases their abilities to impart flavours, textures, and other characteristic qualities to the cheese2.

Mite Cheeses Cheese mites are vital in imparting characteristic flavour and textures to many cheeses, with Mimolette and Milbenkäse cheeses being the most well-known for their “miteyness”. Mimolette and Milbenkäse are French and German cheeses that welcome these mites into their aging processes. Mimolette is a hard, orange cheese, with a crust that is holey, uneven, and grey, bearing some resemblance to a cantaloupe melon. This characteristic grey rind is the result of cheese mites, which are intentionally introduced to the surface of the cheese to add texture and flavour. A few months after being made, these cheeses are inoculated with cheese mites, and they quickly begin their work to burrow into the crust and aerate the cheese. This works to speed up ripening and change the inherent aroma of the cheese, and thus the flavour profile of Mimolette changes with different stages of aging3,5. Initially, Mimolette cheese tastes similar to parmesan, but delivers a nuttier taste. As the aging process progresses, the nutty flavours become more intense, and the cheese adopts a strong, tangy citrus flavour, with caramel undertones3. Milbenkäse is a cheese produced by flavouring balls of quark (soft cheese) with salt and caraway, combining them in a wooden box with rye flour and cheese mites, and leaving them for approximately 3 months. Over this time, the mites excrete digestive juices which diffuse into the cheese. These digestive juices contain an enzyme which

Student Essay

Mimolette is a hard, orange cheese, with a crust that is holey, uneven, and grey, due to the action of cheese mites, which are intentionally introduced to the surface of the cheese to add texture and flavour

will not cause many problems, mite populations can quickly get out of control. Too many mites can rapidly burrow their way deep into the interior of the cheese, allowing air, mould, and spores to follow them. This can quickly result in the ruining of a perfectly good cheese, now plagued with both mites AND mould2. To manage mite populations, cheese makers have come up with a variety of approaches. To prevent an infestation, cheese mites must be isolated and removed. Early intervention is the best form of prevention. Common methods include vacuuming, brushing or blowing them off the cheese, waxing, oiling or clear coating the cheese, reducing the temperature of the cheese caves, and sprinkling Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth onto the cheese rind for them to ingest1,5. Despite these efforts, it is almost impossible to completely eliminate all of the mites, due to the prolific number of eggs that a female mite lays in her lifetime. Thus, the main aim of cheese producers is to reduce the overall population size, whilst ensuring minimal damage to the cheese.


causes fermentation and promotes ripening of the cheese. The mites prefer flour over cheese, and thus the addition of the rye flour ensures the mites do not eat the whole cheese, and instead remain on the rind1. The flavour of Milbenkäse is similar to Harzer cheese, but with a bitter note and a distinct lemony aftertaste5.

Mites are among the most ecologically successful organisms on earth and their efforts deserve more recognition. While many consumers view the idea of eating mites as unpalatable, they play a significant role in the strong cheese flavours that are so loved by many. Their contribution to culinary delicacy and impartation of exclusive flavours and properties to foods, should not be ignored.

USA Regulations


Despite cheese being a much-loved food, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been in a back and forth battle with these mites. In 2013, the FDA put imports of the cheese on hold, on the basis that exposure to a large number of mites has the potential to cause allergic reactions1,6. Despite no published evidence that consumer exposure to cheese mites can cause harm, the FDA deemed it a health hazard and a potential allergen, and thus guidelines were imposed allowing for only 6 mites per square inch – an impossible standard to meet for cheeses such as Mimolette and Milbenkäse. However, due to insufficient evidence, the FDA lifted the ban on their importation into the United States in 20141.

1. Case, J. (2019). Why Cheese Mites? Cheesemaking. http://blog.

Managing mites While for cheeses like Mimolette and Milbenkäse, cheese mites are encouraged, most cheese producers want to manage or remove them completely from their products. Although cheese mites may be used for flavour enhancement, and a few mites living on the surface of a cheese

2. Chimileski, S. (2016). The Natural History of Cheese Mites. American Society for Microbiology. 3. Meier, J. (2019). What Are Cheese Mites? The Spruce Eats. https://www. flock%20to%20cooked%2C%20pressed,cheese%20until%20it%20 becomes%20inedible. 4. Prichep, D. (2013). Tiny Mites Spark Big Battle Over Imports Of French Cheese. NPR. thesalt/2013/05/11/180570160/tiny-mites-spark-big-battle-over-importsof-french-cheese 5. The PhCheese. (2017). Behold, the Mighty Mite. https://www. 6. Wolfe, B. (2015). Cheese Mites, gophers of cheese rinds. Microbial Foods.Org October/November 2021


NZIFST CONFERENCE 2022 July 5th to 7th, 2022 Distinction Hotel, Rotorua Your suggestions for topics of interest are welcome Conference Committee Chair is Rob Archibald

An event worth attending, for the science and technology, and for the people For more information contact NZIFST,


Food New Zealand

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