Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The DNA approach to tracking food

Considering that the consumption of food directly correlates with health and safety issues, there is a growing awareness of the importance of food origins and processing details in this day and age. The ability to track and trace food and all other substances that will eventually be consumed through all stages of their production, processing and distribution is known as food traceability[i], and is being increasingly recognised as a crucial component of the food and beverage industry when it comes to identifying and responding to food-related health risks to protect public health.

The value of food traceability especially lies in the fact that if any sort of contamination or other concern detrimental to human health emerges along the food processing, production and distribution chain, the presence of traceability measures will allow food manufacturers and/or health authorities to determine the source of the issue, identify and isolate it to prevent spread, as well as take other necessary steps like withdrawing any contaminated product that has already made it to the market and issue health warnings and advisories to consumers. This is vital not only to protect the consumers and avert potential major health crises in the community, but also to provide some form of protection for the business operators and ensure accountability for public safety.

Food traceability around the globe
So far, one of the most mature proponents of food traceability worldwide is Europe. In 2002, the European Union (EU) enforced the General Food Law, making traceability a compulsory component of all food and feed businesses, necessitating that all of these businesses have special traceability systems1. This means that the origin, and movement of all European products must be readily accounted for by their manufacturers, processors and distributors, and this information must also be readily available to be reported to the relevant authorities where requested. For example, animals that are slaughtered for human consumption must be tagged with details of their origin, and when sent to the abattoir, also have the details of the abattoir tagged on. Apart from the General Food Law, the EU has also published well-established guidelines on food traceability which are publicly available, meaning that pleading ignorance or unawareness is not possible for businesses.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Register Now: Asia Food and Beverage Summit in Jakarta

Returning to Jakarta on 4-5 September 2018 for the Asia Food and Beverage Summit, Ringier Trade Media Ltd invites members of the industry to two days of exciting presentations and networking at JS Luwansa Hotel and Convention Centre, plus a factory tour to complete the package.

Asia Food and Beverage Summit
Some 200 delegates attend the Asia Food and Beverage Summit which provides an overview of the industry through presentations on food processing, ingredients, packaging, food safety, and market developments.
The Asia Food and Beverage Summit is strongly supported by the ASEAN Food & Beverage Alliance (AFBA), Food Industry Asia (FIA), the Indonesian Food & Beverage Association (GAPMMI), the Indonesian Packaging Federation (IPF), and the Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT), and annually attracts over 200 delegates from Indonesia and other parts of Asia.

To provide you with a better overview of industry developments, the conference will have two tracks, (1) Food and Beverage Processing and Ingredients, and (2) Packaging, plus presentations on blockchain, food safety, and other topics of interest.

The speakers:

Mr. Kenneth Whitaker General Manager
ASEAN Detpak / Detmold Group
Key Trends That Drive the Future of Packaging

Ms. Teresa Lo Yee Yii, Programme Leader at ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA)
Trade Impact of Non-Harmonised Nutrition Labelling on Prepackaged Food in ASEAN

Mr. Tetuko Dito Widarso,  Associate Partner
PT Duta Satya Konsultindo / Gosystem Consulting
Recent Updates of International and Indonesian Food Safety Standards 2017-2018

Dr. Miflora Minoza- Gatchalian, Chief Executive Officer at Quality Partners Company, Ltd. Systematic Innovation: Key to Competitiveness Enhancement

Dr. Jose C. Gatchalian, University of the Philippines, School of Labour and Industrial Relations
Engaging The Workforce Towards Sustaining Food Safety

Ms. Zelda Anthony, Head of Blockchain, ASEAN at IBM Singapore
Blockchain for Food Safety

Mr. Suryo Wiratno, Sr. Consultant at PT Tridaya Prima Artha
Halal Issues and Concerns

Dr. Elaine Borazon, BusinessBests InnovaCon Inc. (BBI)
Innovation to Market- Marketing for Asia’s Functional Food & Beverage Manufacturers

Massimo Reverberi
Founder, Bugsolutely
Sustainable foods: Edible insects in packaged goods

Mr. David Christian, Co-founder at Evoware (Indonesia)

Mr. Adhi Lukman,  Chairman at GAPMMI, Indonesia and Mr. Henky Wibawa,  Executive Director at Indonesian Packaging Federation (IPF) will provide updates for 2019.

The conference ends with a not-to-be-missed visit to PT Indesso's state-of-the-art facilities including the new R&D building. One of Indonesia's leading manufacturers of food, flavour, and fragrance ingredients, PT Indesso is a partner and distributor for companies like Chr. Hansen, Firminech, and PureCircle.  With sweet smells wafting in the Indesso compound, the tour is guaranteed to be a refreshing end to your day with Ringier.

Register online, or contact: 
Ms. Zoey Kuo
T. +886-4 2329-7318

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dealing with plastic waste on our own

On 5 June 2018, countries celebrated World Environment Day, and Secretary-General, António Guterres was quoted as saying, "On World Environment Day, the message is simple: reject single-use plastic. Refuse what you can’t re-use. Together, we can chart a path to a cleaner, greener world."[1]
Who would have thought that these words – and many other similar messages – would be uttered years later, after the creation of polymers? 
The discovery of Bakelite, a synthetic plastic, by Leo Baekeland in 1907 led to rapid developments of new polymers from chemical companies.[2] And with so many uses and applications today and the convenience they offer, plastics continue to be a necessary part of our lives. For many food products and beverages alone, plastic packaging is still the material of choice.
Bioplastics, a type of plastic made from renewable sources instead of petroleum-based products, are said to be the better option because they degrade faster, are less toxic, and do not contain bisphenol A. But guess what, they’re not that great either when you take into account the production. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that making bioplastics “resulted in greater amounts of pollutants, due to the fertilizers and pesticides used in growing the crops and the chemical processing needed to turn organic material into plastic. The bioplastics also contributed more to ozone depletion than the traditional plastics, and required extensive land use.”[3]
But are words like those of Secretary-General António Guterres’ even necessary when we ourselves are confronted by images of floating trash and lifeless animals that have ingested plastics. We are all partly responsible for this. And such vivid images alone should make you stop, think, and take action. There are people who do more than just limit their use of plastics. One we know from Indonesia is David Christian who started his business Evoware, to develop and manufacture edible packaging based on seaweed. If you haven’t heard of him, read this interview with Mr Christian.
Every little action counts in clearing up the world of plastic trash.
On 14 June at ProPak Asia 2018, Food Industry Asia will hold a two-hour session on Sustainable Packaging: Tackling plastic waste in Southeast Asia, with speakers from Tetra Pak, Coca-Cola, the UN Environment and FIA. Looking forward to this session which focuses on Southeast Asia. If you’d like to know more, go to

Friday, March 9, 2018

A tour of Indonesian food and beverage companies

Sneak peek of Fi Asia 2018

FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal is back from visiting a number of food and beverage processing facilities in Indonesia, from February 27 to March 1, as part of UBM Asia’s programme to acquaint media with the current trends in the country’s food and beverage industry.

The press tour organised by UBM’s groups from Indonesia and Thailand was conducted in preparation for Fi Asia’s 23rd edition in Jakarta from 3-5 October 2018. To date, 750 exhibitors from various countries and regions are participating in the event.

Fi Asia 2018 press conference at Harris Suites fx Sudirman, Jakarta 

Industry overview
There are many reasons why Indonesia is an attractive market, the most obvious of course is its sheer size – 261.9 million, or nearly half of the population of the ASEAN region (June 2017 figure from GAPMMI or the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association). By 2020, the consumption class is estimated to reach 140 million. But if you want to enter this market, you have to know what’s available, and you have to be ready to provide what consumers want NOW. One of the key opportunities in Indonesia is in ingredients, most of which are still sourced from abroad.

In a presentation to the media, GAPMMI’s Irwan Wijaja, head of SMES Development Committee, shared that the food and beverage sector accounted for 33% of Indonesia’s GDP in 2016. In Q3 2017, it witnessed a growth to 35%.

Mr Wijaja also pointed out a significant trend in the local industry – the number of medium to large establishments is declining while the number of small and micro companies is rising. To compare, Indonesia had 5,794 mid-to-large food establishments and 1,198,491 small-to-micro companies in 2014. There were 374 mid-to-large beverage establishments and 44,694 small to micro beverage companies in the same year.

In 2015, the number of mid-to-large food establishments dipped to 5,438 while the number of small-to-micro companies grew 1,567,019. The same trend occurred in the beverages sector where only 310 mid-to-large scale companies were left, but small -to-micro companies grew to 1,614,149. Corresponding to this trend, the number of workers in medium to large companies dropped, and that of small to micro-scale establishments increased. In 2014, workers engaged in larger companies numbered 877,771, and this fell to 719,116 in 2015. Smaller companies engaged 2,324,212 workers in 2014, and 3,664,208 in 2015. In the beverage sector, larger companied engaged 52,681 in 2014, and 46,379 the year after. Small to micro beverage companies grew from 81,027 in 2014 to 85,167 the year after.

While it may seem odd that fewer companies are expanding in size, it represents a trend toward the growth of convenience stores and mini marts mushrooming in and further out of the main cities. Mid-size establishments are choosing to go small. Employees from larger companies have chosen to move on and set up their own small companies.

It’s no secret that food preferences are evolving along with changing lifestyles. To drive a point, Mr 
Mr Wijaja said a problem like traffic congestion in Jakarta has led to a rise in consumption of convenience products like biscuits.

Indonesia is a huge market for food and beverage, but the key is knowing the flavours they want. Indonesia-based companies are poised to grab a larger share of the local market.

GAPMMI’s Mr Irwan Wijaja, head of SMES Development Committee briefs the media
on the state of Indonesia's food and beverage industry

 Epitome of Indonesia’s capability

High quality ingredients
A visit to five companies leading in their own sectors epitomized the country’s capabilities in food and beverage sector. We saw the products, services and facilities of ingredients companies, Foodex Inc, BT Cocoa, Indesso, and beverage manufacturer PT Sinar Sosro, as well as food safety inspection experts Sucofindo.

Our first stop was to Foodex Inc., a taste solutions provider that offers savoury seasonings, meat extracts and enhancers, flavours and functional ingredients. The company started out as blending ingredients from other flavour houses in 1995. Ten years later, it developed its own technology which combines two processes –  natural meat extraction and the Maillard Reaction to produce a meat flavour concentrations suitable for various applications including seasonings, sauces, and condiments. 

Foodex uses imported raw materials, but the company’s finished products are competitively priced to meet the needs of customers in Southeast Asia. The products are also ready to use, which means customers don’t have to process their ingredients to extend the shelf life.

During the tour, Foodex served up some interesting meals that showcased their ingredients. We tasted a flavourful lasksa, Mexican chili beans, noodles, honey-soy, sambal, and mildly flavours for sausages.

The company also prides itself for having its own sensory evaluation through panel or surveys for its customers. It has a pilot plant where customers can engage with Foodex experts.

Inside Foodex's warehouse 
A quick photo while the press visits the R&D section of Foodex

At Indesso, the scent of lemongrass, and other sweet flavours in production are wafting from parts of the compound. Our visit was timely as their new R&D centre in Cileungsi was already operational. The company is proud to have a strong research and development background for developing aromatics, extracts and savoury products. Innovation is the focus of its pilot plants.

Indesso has been manufacturing ingredients for the food, flavour and fragrance industries since 1968, and it has been an exclusive distributor of Firmenich for flavours and fragrances, PureCircle for stevia extracts, Nexira for acacia gum colloids, Chr. Hansen for natural colours and colouring foodstuff, and Ballantyne’s cheese powders and dairy powders, in Indonesia.

Members of the media tour Indesso's new R&D centre

At Indesso's state-of-the art kitchen where products
are made according to customers' requirements
Oh, cocoa
We enjoyed the tour of BT Cocoas facilities. While we do know how chocolate is made, it still makes a big difference to be in the location itself, and to listen to the experts talk about the cocoa process. Some of my media colleagues haven’t seen a cocoa tree and fruit before, so it’s twice exciting for them. On the other hand, in my grandfather’s garden, two cocoa trees bear a lot of fruit.
Cocoa is one of the major products from Indonesia, and they do high quality cocoa which goes to both the growing home market and to major chocolatiers in many parts of the world. In 2017, Indonesia recorded a capacity of 465,000 tonnes of cocoa. The local market is significantly growing as the bakery, confectionery, and hospitality sectors expand. In 2018, Indonesia is forecast to consume a whopping 99,000 tonnes of chocolate*.

BT Cocoa, among the most prominent producers in the country, is very confident about the growth of the cocoa industry especially in Asia Pacific. In 2018, this region’s chocolate market will increase by 23% to reach USD16.3 billion, according to Euromonitor.

A Nielsen survey shows the opportunities are in cities like Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya in Malaysia, and cities in Indonesia including Jakarta, Bandung, Karawang, Bekasi, and Surabaya.  The rise in the middle class supports the growth in consumption.

Tasting BT Cocoa's chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder
in different finished products. Absolutely "good from the source"

BT Cocoa accounts for 30% share of the Indonesian cocoa market
 A bottle of tea, please
Touring is a pleasant activity, but the heat and traffic in Indonesia can drain the energy. Fortunately, our next stop was a thirst quencher indeed. PT Sinar Sosro, Indonesia’s #1 tea drink and the country’s first producer of bottled tea, welcomed us with beverages straight from the refrigerator. The brands are Teh Botol Sosro, Fruit Tea Sosro, and S-Tee, and Tebs (my personal favourite, carbonated tea!). The company also produces bottled water, Air Mineral Prim-A.
A visit to one of Sosro’s facilities presented the entire beverage process, from water treatment to packaging. We saw the type of teas that are used, the production of PET bottles (form-fill-seal) and the cleaning and inspection of glass bottles, as well as the water treatment area. The company has a capacity of 3 million cases per month, with each case containing 24 bottles. About 10% is exported.

PT Sinar Sosro was the first to offer Indonesians tea beverages
in PET and glass bottles

Bottle inspection at PT Sinar Sosro
Food safety and hygiene
Food safety is an integral part of the food and beverage process. In recent years its role has been more emphasized in the food and beverage industry as continued incidences of food fraud and contamination at various stages of the production process or supply chain are discovered. While ensuring safety and hygiene in the production floor and everywhere else in the company will reduce incidences of contamination, the attack on product integrity due to counterfeiting remains a challenge for any establishment.  

The media in white gowns get to see the different laboratories
and equipment at Sucofindo

Sucofindo offers all tests and certifications required of
food and beverage manufacturers from farm to table

Companies like Sucofindo, Indonesia’s first inspection firm specializing in laboratory services are well equipped to help food and beverage as well as other industries ensure the safety and quality of their products. The firm is majority owned by the Indonesian government and partly by the SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance Holding SA).

At Sucofindo, food and beverage suppliers and manufacturers can have their products inspected, certified and tested according to industry standards including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), the local standard, SNI (Standar Nasional Indonesia). The latest technology and equipment such as the Digital Droplet Polymerase Chain Reaction, porcine detection kit, and many others to help companies maintain food safety, hygiene and quality standards – from farm to table. Sucofindo also conducts training and consultation.

If there is one takeaway from all these company visits, it is clear to me: premium quality is at the centre of everything they do.

Very special thanks to the members of UBM Asia who personally organised and joined us in this trip and made it as educational and comfortable as possible for the press. 
Ms Rose Chitanuwat, Group Director - ASEAN
Ms Nureen Chantarawirod, Assistant Marketing Manager
Ms Maria Lioe, Event Director
Ms Anna Maria, Sales Manager
Ms Melissa Makmur, Marketing Executive

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Outlook 2018: Food and beverage ingredients

                                                                     (Photo: Dreamstime)

IT MAY be hard to keep up with changing consumer tastes, but trends especially related to health and sustainability are here to stay. FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal (FPMJ) interviewed some of the leading companies of food and beverage ingredients to get the feel of the industry in Southeast Asia as 2018 unfolds. Companies want innovative ingredients and reduce production cost at the same time. But what does the ingredients sector have for them?
In his exclusive piece for FPMJ, Chr. Hansen executive vice president for APAC and LATAM, Sten Estrup conveniently summarises the major trends influencing product development amongst ingredient providers. He also underscores the value of sustainability in research and development.
India-based Arjuna which participated in Fi Asia 2017 for the first time, is looking to expand its market across SEA especially for antioxidants and natural preservatives. Recently it launched  an innovative preservative that slows the degradation of vegetable oil, and thus allows reusing of vegetable oils to an extent.
Natural and artificial preservatives targeting application sectors such as bakery, beverage, confectionery, processed meat, poultry, and seafood, are forecast to reach USD 3.2 billion by 2025 according to Grand View Research. The research firm also said that anti-microbial preservatives are likely to dominate the market in terms of revenue due to an increased demand for anti-microbial agents in the processed meat and beverage industries.

  • Healthful, nutritious products steer Ingredion’s game plan
  • Tate & Lyle finds the balance between nutrition and taste
  • Arjuna enters food industry with natural food protection, colouring solutions
  • Sustainability drives R&D at Chr. Hansen
  • Outlook 2018: Epi Ingredients in Asia

  • In the areas of sweeteners, starches and texturants, Tate & Lyle is offering a diverse range of solutions –  not just products – stresses Harry Boot, senior vice president and general manager for Tate & Lyle’s Speciality Food Ingredients business in Asia Pacific. T&L continually updates its portfolio of offerings  in line with shifting consumer trends. Always poised to meet big trends like sugar replacement and calorie reduction, it partnered with Sweet Green Fields in developing stevia-based solutions. 
    From France, Epi Ingredients entered the Asian market with milk-based ingredients and even fresh dairy products. The company is currently positioning its nutritional products in the beverage and snack segments. With SoFlexi, its latest yogurt-based finished product, the company is telling manufacturers that there are many ways to create new products using this particular ingredient, according to marketing manager Matthieu Lucot.   
    In our conversations with major food ingredient company Ingredion, Rishan Pillay, vice president and general manager for ASEAN and India, and Lilian Tan, marketing manager, Texture and Delivery Systems, Asia Pacific, also stress the company’s focus on sugar reduction with products like Sweetis™, as well as on the company’s industry-leading starch-based texturisers. Ms Tan actually sums it up for all these ingredient companies when she said that keeping in mind how to help food manufacturers create healthier products drives their R&D.
    At a time when consumers are being “mindful” about their food and beverage choices, as Innova Market Insights puts it, manufacturers can’t look away and continue with what used to work. Consumers now want natural, clean, healthy and flavourful products. Even Coca-Cola is reviving Coke with a more flavourful stevia.
    In her top trends for 2018, Innova Market Insights Director for Innovation, Lu Ann Williams also mentions buzzwords like "lightness" to indicate that consumers now want products that have less of the delicious but not-so-good stuff like alcohol, sugar. It also refers to portion sizing. But indulgent taste is not something that can be taken away from food or beverage. There lies the balance manufacturers focus on in product development. 

  • Monday, January 8, 2018

    Outlook on Asia's food and beverage ingredients market

    Hello! I hope your new year is starting out well. We've been working on the first issue of FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal for the year, and it is still in the making. Just like cheese and wine....

    To give you a sneak peak, the February issue has a special Outlook section on food ingredients and additives, where we interview leading companies expanding their markets in South East Asia. To date, Arjuna, Chr. Hansen, Epi Ingredients, Ingredion, and Tate & Lyle are sharing their plans and outlook for 2018 and beyond.

    Last year we talked to executives from PT Doehler, Epi Ingredients, GNT, Ingredion, and AAK on their outlook (see links below). Looking back to the trends in past couple of years, it's no surprise that certain trends are here to stay - for good. But we still look forward to innovations that will help cut production time, and of course, cost.  

  • AAK bolsters lead in value-adding oil and fat solutions
  • Clean label goes mainstream in 2017
  • Epi Ingredients: Expansion in Asia
  • Ready for the growing fruit juice market
  • Natural color expert

  • I'm also excited to interview food technologist from the Philippines, Dr Elaine Borazon who is a professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, and consultant to various food manufacturing companies.  Dr Borazon is also the CEO of Business Bests InnovaCon Inc. 

    Expect to see the entire magazine by the first week of February.

    Monday, December 4, 2017

    Exclusive interviews with companies across the globe

    Another year is coming to an end, but before we start with what’s new in 2018, let’s take a look back at some of the interviews we conducted for FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal and Food Manufacturing Journal-Middle East in 2017.

    Wherever continent you might be – you will know consumers are trying hard to live and eat healthy. In Dubai, the company Fruitful Day is taking it a step further by delivering well-packaged seasonal fresh fruits at your doorstep.

    Tony Billingham of Boncafé

    Lounging in a coffee bar – of course with a specialty brew in hand – is an activity that has boosted the coffee industry in Asia and the GCC in recent years. Taking advantage of this booming market in Dubai, Boncafé Middle East is a one-stop shop with capabilities for shop design, complete beverage supply solutions, preventative maintenance programs, technical assistance and aftersales support. and certified barista training courses.

    Martial Beck, Eau De Coco Inc
    Coconut products are among the leading exports from the Philippines. In fact, this country has the best coconut varieties for virgin coconut oil, coconut water and coconut meat. This is the reason Eau De Coco Inc. set up its facilities in Batangas City, says Martial Beck, Director of Business Development. The company supplies global markets with aseptic coconut water and coconut meat.

    At a trade show in Italy last year, I happened to be seated across Dipl.-Ing Cornelia Beau during a social event. Ms Beau is the managing director HAINICH Konserven GmbH, a producer of pickled fruit and vegetables from Germany. How wonderful to listen to someone who adores the locality– in this case,Thuringia – where HAINICH’s farms and facilities are located. She said the beauty of their environment has a direct impact on the quality of products and the temperament of the workers. That’s not quite hard to imagine!

    Seoung Ho Yoo, Samhae Commercial Co. Ltd
    Samhae Commercial Co. Ltd. is the first company to develop the acclaimed Korean seasoned laver (seaweed), now a favourite and staple in local households. If you are sourcing seaweed, read this interview with Seoung Ho Yoo, Samhae Sales Support Team Leader.

    Access more Boardroom Connection interviews at