Sunday, February 10, 2019

ProPak Philippines Jan 24-26, 2019

Sights and sounds at ProPak Philippines 2019, a video prepared by the staff of FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal.

Read more: ProPak Philippines in Manila

Friday, February 1, 2019

Loving fish and caring for the environment

Growing up, we were told to eat fish instead of what we used to ask for like hotdogs and burgers. Then as we grew older and expanded our knowledge of seafood and the fishing industry, research told us that there might not be enough fish in the ocean to feed the world. 
There are many species that are on the endangered list.  In January this year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature named the sardinella tawilis (or sardinella herring) exclusively found in Philippine waters as among endangered species. Tawilis is the only sardinella genus that exists in fresh water, and specifically in Taal Lake in Batangas. In fact, because tawilis is dwindling, it was discovered that some local fish dealers who say they are selling tawilis are surreptitiously selling frigenscale sardinella (locally known as salinyasiinstead. To the untrained eye, both fish look similar. 
Reports also tell us that in some regions fishermen still resort to illegal practices such as blast fishing; that the fish we might be eating could be ingesting mercury; and that seafood, like honey and olive oil, is easy to fake. 
So, amid all these facts, we paused – and maybe sometimes still do – to rethink the fillet on our plates. Is our salmon really salmon? Is our sardine free of mecury? After all, as seafood consumers, what can we do but be moderate in our cravings and hope for the honesty of seafood producers and retailers? And now in our older years, doctor's orders is to add more fish in our diet, for many good reasons. Fish is low in fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 and other nutrients. So, where do we stand? Of course we stand to be healthy, and we stand for the health of the environment as well - for future generations. 
Recent developments for seafood producers
Thankfully, industry breakthroughs to help ensure sustainable production of seafood are moving us closer to the right direction. Recently, I came across a study from the University of California – Santa Barbara, about fish farming in the Caribbean. It’s not the first study on the Caribbean though. This new research involved offshore mariculture, or operations conducted far from the shore, as opposed to land-based or coastal aquaculture. Researchers raised Cobia fish for their model to find out the Caribbean’s potential for commercial mariculture. Based on their model, researchers said the Caribbean has the potential to yield “40 million metric tonnes of seafood in less than 1.5% of its countries’ exclusive economic zones.” A marine space of 179 square kilometers, for example, could equal the Caribbean’s current seafood production. This is good news for the region which still imports a lot of their seafood.
Seafood sustainability is a global concern, but more so in Southeast Asia, which is the world’s center of seafood production, and where about 200 million rely on the industry for sustenance and income, according to the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans). Unfortunately, it is also the region where wild fish stock is exploited and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing occurs the most.
If you’re in this industry, then you would know about the Our Ocean Conference held in Bali in October 2018, which highlighted Indonesia’s efforts in marine preservation, in protecting its waters from illegal fishing and coral destruction, as well as in looking after the welfare of local fishermen. These are big steps in rehabilitating not only Indonesia’s fishing waters, but for Southeast Asia’s as well.
Safety and traceability are the other big issues being tackled by collaborations between governments, NGOs, and F&B industry. Much has been done and continue to be done to ensure product safety and in tracing seafood in the supply chain, although breaches are not uncommon. So, there’s always room for innovation.
A scientific research shared by the University of Southampton (UK) shows how using maps of chemicals found in jellyfish work as a traceability tool to match a seafood product (sold in groceries and by fishmongers) with its product label. A deterrent for fraud, these maps contain data of chemical variations in jellyfish specifically caught in approximately 1 million km2 of the UK shelf seas. The chemical signals vary according to where the fish has been feeding.  This technology is based on how products such as meat, wine or honey are analysed, but is new to seafood analysis.
A particular concern for seafood producers is the pathogen vibrio which is present in marine waters and salmonella which can contaminate seafood during production or processing. Both these pathogens can survive long-term freezing.
In a news report from Penn State (USA), Catherine Cutter, professor of food science, explains that while the freezing process cannot eliminate pathogens, the ice crystals that form from the water in food can actually pierce bacterial cell walls to their destruction. But adding antimicrobials to seafood before freezing will protect seafood better from pathogens.
However, antimicrobials don’t normally stick well to seafood. Ms Cutter said her team of researchers developed a biodegradable and edible film that can carry the antimicrobials. Seafood can be dipped into the film and effectively be covered with the antimicrobials before freezing. Over the freezing period, the film controls the release of the antimicrobials to ensure freshness.
The film is made with thermoplastic starch, a biodegradable polymer made from cassava – tapioca powder, and a gelatin coating containing antimicrobials known as Nisin Z and lauric arginate (LAE).

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Our January 2019 issue is out!

Trends, trends, trends! They're everywhere, and we've gathered a number of insights from ingredients companies, and sharing these with you in the January 2019 issue of FoodPacific Manufacturing. Journal

We've got a lot of updates from Azelis, AAK, DuPont, Ingredion, Beneo, Scentium, FrieslandCampina, and more. 

Carmen’s Best Ice Cream has grown to be one of the Philippines’ sought-after ice cream brands. Founder Francisco Magsaysay says the brand is ready to make its debut in Japan and Dubai.

Mr Henky Wibawa, Indonesian Packaging consultant and IPF executive director, notes the importance of rethinking packaging design and manufacture in light of the move toward Industry 4.0. 

The brain needs supplements for optimal function and to slow down the inescapable effects of degeneration, according to experts.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Interviews in FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal 2018

In just a few weeks we say goodbye to another year of interesting happenings in the world of food and beverage. I'd like to look back at some of the companies we featured earlier this year in the Boardroom Connection section of FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal (FPMJ)

BusinessBests Innovacon Inc. 
We started the year's first issue with an interview with Dr Elaine Borazon, a food technologist and lecturer from The University of the Philippines in Diliman, and currently also CEO of BusinessBests Innovacon Inc. which partners with local companies to improve their food safety and food processing practices. She says, "BusinessBests Innovacon Inc. was established in December 2016 out of the desire to assist small and medium businesses transform their workplace from a so-called “backyard” operations to a systematic, regulatory conforming organisation."

Dr Borazon has been a resource speaker at the Asia Food and Beverage Summit for several times now on topics related to food safety and innovation. What she likes about participating in these conferences is that despite the event size - often around 200 delegates attend Ringier's conferences in Asia - there is ample time for serious and intimate networking with people who want to know more about her presentations. 

For the March issue of FPMJ, we spoke with Rubiyat CEO Sharan Balani in Indonesia who told us about the growing interest of consumers for healthy food. Hence, Rubiyat makes available a number of imported health food products to Indonesians. We asked Mr Balani how they choose the products, and he said:

"We choose our products based on philosophy, taste and price. In terms of philosophy, we look for brands that present themselves in a way that is in line with our philosophy, that is, healthy and with a big focus on community. Price is straightforward; products need to be affordable for Indonesians. For taste, we generally just work with brands that taste really good. Because we believe that part of eating healthy should also to taste good. You shouldn’t give up taste to eat healthy."

When you talk to F&B manufacturers they all say taste is priority. Simply put, a product does not take off even if it's healthy. Formulating a product to be both good-tasting and healthy is one of challenges for food companies. 

Martabak in different flavours, including yam, coffee and chocolate.

The Martabak Factory
Being creative or re-creating is a talent that foodies and chefs value. After all, food inspires the creation of more food. That brings me to the martabak, a popular street food in Indonesia that has a crepe-like base topped with something sweet or savoury. 

For the May issue, our correspondent in Indonesia helped herself to different martabak. When I was in Jakarta a couple of months ago, I had the chance to taste martabak with a purple yam topping that had the consistency of pie. If it's their comfort food, I can understand why. (See above photo.)

The Martabak Factory in Jakarta aims to elevate the martabak from street food to a more gourmet-like snack, to attract middle and upper class consumers according to owner, Ika Pratiwi.

"Instead of a conventional toppings, we provide unique toppings and modifications such as Nutella, red velvet, tuna mayo, mozzarella, matcha.." The company also accepts made to order shapes like cartoon characters. It has become known for this service as well.

Casa Del Formaggio
From the Philippines, Casa Del Formaggio produces a variety of all-natural cheeses, specifically Italian cheeses, such as mozzarella, burrata, riccota, and many others. The company also makes local kesong puti of course. According to founders, Francesco Patron and wife Isabelle Montelibano-Patron, Casa Del Formaggio was formed after they inherited milking cows from their father. From there the rest is history. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Top 3 trends for 2019

THE FORECASTS and projections are coming in. This November, Mintel came out with its top three trends for the next year and beyond – an assessment of how sustainability, health and wellness, and convenience continue to influence movements in the F&B industry. While you may already have your own expectations and plans, you would still be interested in the most up-to-date consumer surveys and figures, and how the predictions will play out in different geographic regions.

In recent years, large corporations have shared much clearer sustainability programmes with stakeholders. Having had the most impact on environment, they have been stepping up efforts to meet their goals, and leading the way for other companies to do the same. Mintel reiterates that the goals now are to help achieve a circular food and drink economy by “improving access to recycling, creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance to regenerative agriculture practices.” 

The food and beverage industry and the beauty and personal care industry are held together by a common thread – that is to provide overall well-being. It’s no surprise that they have been taking cues from each other. In fact Mintel says that F&B healthy ageing product development in 2019 will be inspired by what goes on in the beauty and personal care segment. 

“More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns, be marketed with positive language that rejects terms like ‘anti-ageing’ for its negative connotations, and appeal across ages,” says Jodie Minotto, Research Manager, Mintel Food and Drink, Asia Pacific.

The third most important trend in 2019 is convenience. While this is truly self-explanatory because as consumers, too, we understand the importance of speed, on-the-go and quick meals, in our busy lives. Jodie Minotto says, “the rising segment of consumers who are on-the-go but want to spend more time a home will increase demand for upscale, ‘speed scratch’ solutions and restaurant-quality, ready-to-consume products. As meal kits and foodservice-inspired beverages lead the way, there will also be more opportunities for brands to develop healthy, flavourful, customisable, and quick premium convenience products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert occasions.”

What hit me in this prediction is the word “healthy” because convenience foods may not always be the go-to foods if you are looking for something nutrient rich. So, that is something we are all looking forward to.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The promising Middle East market

About four years ago, Alpen Capital forecast the GCC to have 57.6 million consumers by 2019. With water scarce and climate and land attributes adverse to agriculture, the region as we know it has been relying mostly on imported products. In recent years however, local manufacturing has been getting a boost from the availability of technologies, innovative and healthier ingredients as well as more efficient production lines. Such is the thinking behind one of the the region’s major trade shows, Gulfood Manufacturing – and that is to provide local manufacturers with what they need in order to create their own F&B products. This year, the event takes place annually in Dubai, and this year is scheduled on November 6-8.

The October issue of Food Manufacturing Journal – Middle East features some of the companies that will be at this event such as Hydrosol, Palsgaard, Epi Ingredients, Ingredion, Ishida, Sidel, Gebo Cermex, Greatview Packaging, and GEA. 

Open to new flavours

The Middle Eastern palate is inclining toward western flavours. Demand for indulgence and high quality is becoming more evident as income shifts allow purchases of a much wider selection of international brands. 
Ready meals, restaurant food, take-outs, and delivery are taking the place of traditional home-cooking as more women join the workforce; non-alcoholic beverages especially coffees and ready to drink teas are getting a boost with the rise in social drinking, according to market research reports.

Meet them in Gulfood Manufacturing 2018

On-the-go snacking continues to drive sales of bakery products, confectionery, and savoury products. The extruded snack food market alone hit USD1,987 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD2,555 million in 2023, growing at a CAGR of more than 4%.

Dairy consumption, especially of labneh and yogurt is growing as a result of the markets’ favourable response to new products and flavours. Dairy value sales in the MENA are expected to reach USD40.2 billion in 2021, while the thriving market for olive oil, sunflower, soy and other edible oils, is forecast to reach value sales of USD13.2 billion for the same period.

Demand for halal meat has also increased, with opportunities of growth mainly coming from the frozen processed meat and poultry segments. From a sales value of USD 5.1 billion in 2016, earnings in meat and poultry is projected to grow to USD6.6 billion in 2021.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Meet the experts at the Plastics Applications for Food and Beverage Industry Summit in Manila

Ringier Events will be in Manila, Philippines to hold the Plastics Applications for Food and Beverage Industry Summit from 5-6 November 2018 at the AG New World Manila Bay Hotel. 
With some of the country's leading names in the fields of food, plastics, and packaging joining the conference as speakers, the Summit is ideal for those seeking solutions and innovations, new technology, processes and automation. It is a venue to discuss how deal with plastic waste, food safety, and other industry issues.

At the conference, Undersecretary Dr Rowena Cristina Guevara of the Department of Science and Technology - Packaging Technology Division will present "DOST's Packaging Research Initiatives And Technological Innovations".

Mr Joseph Ross S. Jocson,  President of the Packaging Institute of Philippines shares his insights on "Philippine Packaging Industry Updates and Sustainable Packaging".

Founding President of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Material Sustainability (PARMS), Mr Crispian Lao will speak on  "Achieving A Circular Economy Through Recycling."

From the Food Industry Asia,  Policy Director Steven Bartholomeusz will deliver his presentation on "A Data-Driven, Country-Specific & Tailored Approach To Effectively Manage Plastic & Packaging Waste".

Growing market for food and packaging

The Philippines is one of Asia's largest producers of food, with the food processing sector exceeding US$29 billion. Packaging units to be consumed would reach approximately 65.8 billion in 2018, according to reports.

The global F&B industry relies quite heavily on plastic packaging, despite the availability or other materials, for many reasons including production cost and consumer convenience. In 2017, the global plastic packaging market was valued at US$321.40 billion and is expected to reach US$452.24 billion in 2024, according to analyses by Zion Market Research. This reflects a CAGR of 5%. In terms of volume, the market stood at roughly 9,621.11 kilotons in 2017, the firm said. 

The global food and beverage segment accounted for 30% share of the total consumption of the global plastic packaging in 2017. While being the largest segment by application, food and beverage is also be the fastest growing segment. Increasing consumption of dairy is noted to be a major driver and will contribute to higher demand for flexible and rigid plastic packaging. 

Registration is still open for Plastics Applications for Food and Beverage Industry Summit. 

Plastics Applications in Food & Beverage Packaging Summit 2018
Date: 5-6 November 2018
Venue: AG New World Manila Bay Hotel, 588 Pedro Gil St, Ermita, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila, Philippines
Organiser: Ringier Events
Contact: Timothy Bryx
Position: Regional Sales & Marketing Manager
T: +886 4 2329 7318 ext.19