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How Canadian Technology Is Tackling The Food Waste Crisis

From the Huffington Post

Despite rising food insecurity, $31 billion of it is wasted every year in Canada, a number soaring to $1 trillion worldwide as 30 per cent of food goes uneaten. The vast majority of food waste happens at production, processing and retail levels rather than on the consumer side.

To help address this, France famously passed unanimous legislation requiring supermarkets to either give unsold food to charity or send it to farmers for use as feed and fertilizer. Here in Canada, food rescue organizations like Second Harvest help get unspoiled food from retailers, manufacturers, restaurants and caterers to charities, delivering ingredients for over 22,000 meals daily.

But we live in hi-tech times, so technology is also being used as a weapon in the war on food waste. Here’s a look at how homegrown Canadian tech is trying to tackle our food waste crisis.

  • Nanotechnology: Jay Subramanian, a plant agriculture professor at the University of Guelph, and his team of biotech scientists have devised a food spray that the CBC reports “uses a nanotechnology-based application of hexanal, a natural plant extract that prevents fruit spoilage.”
  • App: Flashfood “is essentially the discount food rack on your cellphone and it’s a means for grocery stores, restaurants, food vendors, being able to resell their surplus food before they’re going to throw it out,” founder and CEO Josh Domingues told CityTV.
  • App: Ubifood is a Montreal-based competitor to Flashfood, giving geolocation-based real-time push notifications to inform users of discounted food in their area that might otherwise be thrown out by the end of the day.
  • GMOs: Despite continuing if unfounded public skepticism over GMOs, B.C.-based Okanagan Specialty Fruits has received approval by Canadian and American authorities to sell their signature non-browning Arctic Apple.
Read the full article here.

This groundbreaking technology will soon let us see exactly what’s in our food

From the Washington Post

Imagine a scanner the size of a grain of rice, built into your phone. You go to the grocery store and point it at something you want to buy. If it’s an apple, the scanner will tell you what variety it is, how much vitamin C it has and how long it has been in cold storage. If it’s a fish, you’ll learn whether it’s really orange roughy or just tilapia being passed off as something more expensive. If it’s a muffin, the device will tell you whether there’s gluten in it.

Although you won’t be able to do it tomorrow, this isn’t some kind of distant Jetsonian vision of the future. I’ve held the rice-size scanner in my hand; it was built for only a few dollars. I’ve seen bigger, more robust versions of the scanner do the things that your smartphone will be able to do, probably during the administration of the president we’re deciding on right now.

Every substance reflects (and absorbs) light in a different way, and the graph of that reflected light is a kind of optical fingerprint. Except it’s better. Although the whorls and lines in our fingertips don’t say anything inherent about their owner (See that swirl? Doesn’t mean you’re smart.), the peaks and valleys of the optical fingerprint do. That peak there is vitamin C. That other one is sugar. This pattern means gluten.

Identifying a food and its characteristics based on the scan is a twofold job: First, you simply match the optical reading to a library of known objects; second, you read the topography of the graph to zero in on specific characteristics. The two together can tell you an awful lot about what you’re scanning.

Read the full article here.

Food processors get a kick start with Food Starter

From Food In Canada

With nearly 20,000 new food products introduced to the market each year, consumers have a lot of choice. Each new product represents countless hours of hard work perfecting the product, conducting market research, meeting regulatory requirements and making critical business decisions.

Food Starter is a new venture that provides a launch pad for the discovery, creation and success of new food products and companies in Toronto.

Launched in 2015, Food Starter is a hands-on incubator program for entrepreneurs who want make a breakthrough in the food market. The 20,000 square foot facility provides access to shared production and packaging facilities, business advisory services and a structured training program to help entrepreneurs build and grow their food processing business.

“Food Starter focuses on helping early-stage food processors commercialize and scale the development of their food products so they can become successful in the marketplace and create sustainable jobs,” says Dana McCauley, Food Starter Executive Director. “Our programs bring together all the necessary pieces and people to develop a successful, saleable food.”

McCauley and her team provide clients with customized services including essential business skills, access to commercial and industrial equipment and assistance fielding the regulatory landscape.

Read the full article here.

Report Card on Ontario Food and Beverage Processing Industry Innovation Tells the Story

From Newswire.ca

Food and Beverage Ontario has released two reports on innovation in the Ontario food and beverage processing industry. Reports have indicated that there are several value-creating physical and on-line innovation resources available in Ontario to processor businesses across the province but coordination and communication continue to be key to uptake.

Complementary on-line innovation resources are also available and are largely concerned with information on government programs and funding and advisory services for businesses. Report highlights:

  • Processors cite product innovation as their top innovation priority, however they rank innovation technology and methods as the overall industry priority.
  • The greatest challenge limiting a company’s ability to innovate was identified by over 50 per cent of the respondents as financial resources and time.
  • Companies that seek out external support equally prefer both in-person contact and websites.
  • Processors are asking for innovation resources to be better coordinated, easy to navigate and to access.

“We have been working hard for the last year mapping resources and building a provincial innovation network with key stakeholders,” said Norm Beal, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario. “Now it’s time for FBO to implement a coordinated plan that will make it easy for Ontario’s 3,000 plus processor businesses to locate exactly the innovation support they need to be more competitive.”

Read the full article here.

North America Expected to Have the Highest Food Processing Equipment Market Share by 2020

From Digital Journal

Persistence Market Research Pvt. Ltd is released new forthcoming report on title “Food Processing Equipment Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020”. The report finds that Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing markets for food processing equipment. The market is driven by increasing demand of processed food products in emerging and developing countries including India, China, Indonesia and Thailand. In Asia Pacific region, China accounts for the largest market in food processing equipment. According to Italian Trade Commission, the total market size of the Indian food processing industry is expected to be reaching around USD 330.0 billion by 2014-15.

In North America region, the U.S. accounts for the largest market in food processing equipment. Growing awareness level regarding new food products, rising economy, investment on research and development over food processing equipment are some of key reason, which drive the food processing market in European region. Global food processing equipment market is expected to grow in single digit growth during forecasted period 2014- 2020.

Learn more about Tri-Mach Group’s sanitary Ever-Kleen® line of processing equipment here.

Read the full article here.

Research predicts the food and drink trends of the future

From FoodBev.com

The Innovation Group, the innovation and futurism unit of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, has predicted some of the key trends for the food and beverage industry of the future.

In its latest trends report, which also includes statistical data from Sonar, it made findings such as that more than half of US and UK millennials use technology such as apps and wearables to maintain a healthy diet.

Innovation Group worldwide director Lucie Greene said: “Today’s food and drink consumers are more sophisticated than ever before. Our research shows that both US and UK consumers are placing increasing importance on food and drink as an experiential luxury and reflection of their personal identity. We also found that millennials, despite their well-documented economic challenges, are demanding higher-quality food, visual stimulation, and technologically enhanced experiences.”

Trends for the future of the food and drink industry

  • Food and health coming together
  • Technology changing the way we eat
  • The rise of “post-artisan”
  • Sharing our food with others
  • Cannabis in beverages
Read the full article here.

The Hottest – and Weirdest – Ingredient Trends at IFT

From FoodNavigator USA

Can the world’s smallest vegetable give other sources of plant protein a run for their money? Will consumers accept ‘synbio’ ingredients, and will the rare sugar allulose be a hit? FoodNavigator-USA hit the show floor at IFT to find out what’s hot, what’s not and what’s next in food formulation.

See the full slideshow here.

Pulses popular in pet food

From The Western Producer

Pulse crops are riding the anti-grain wave sweeping the pet world. Many North Americans are now buying expensive, grain-free food for their pets, based on the notion that grain is unhealthy for cats and dogs.

“It’s exactly like gluten-free…. Instead of saying gluten free, they’re saying grain free,” said Greg Aldrich, a pet nutrition and pet food processing expert at Kansas State University. “The grain free movement has become an easy way for pet owners to select a food that they think will not cause food hyper-sensitivity.”

“There’s a belief, by some, that corn, wheat and soy are naturally allergens to the dog or the cat,” he said. “It’s not true, but there’s a belief.”

Today’s consumers want what they think is best for their pets and will pay a lot for natural, organic or grain free pet food.

“It wasn’t many years ago, if you spent more than $50 on a bag of dog food, people thought you were (bonkers),” Aldrich said. “Now, it’s not unusual to buy a bag of dog for $100.”

The website www.petfoodindustry.com reported in 2012 that natural pet food and pet care products would reach nearly $10 billion by 2017, up from $4 billion in 2012.

Read the full article here.

Tri-Mach Group Inc. announces exclusive distribution partnership with A-ONE Manufacturing in Canada

TMG + A-One

Tri-Mach Group Inc. is proud to announce an exclusive distribution partnership with A-ONE Manufacturing, a leading stainless steel fabrication company based in Stafford, Missouri. This strategic relationship establishes Tri-Mach Group Inc. as the exclusive sales, services & parts representatives within Canada.

With nearly 55 years of experience manufacturing stainless steel equipment for the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, A-ONE Manufacturing boasts an impressive array of pre-fabricated and custom-built products.

Product offerings from A-ONE Manufacturing, now available from Tri-Mach Group, include:

  • Dumpers
  • Storage Loaders
  • Screw Conveyors
  • Blenders
  • Pallet Lifts
  • Cookers
  • Tanks
  • V Mags
  • Pallet Exchangers
  • Tumblers
  • Racks & Rack Loaders
  • Vat Inverters

This strategic alignment with A-ONE Manufacturing compliments Tri-Mach Group’s mission to providing best-in-class turn-key solutions to the food processing, liquid processing and pharmaceutical industries.

To learn more about how products from A-ONE Manufacturing can complement your processing line, contact:

Krystal Darling
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Kory Graham
Sales Account Manager

3M Food Safety Launches 24-Hour Aerobic Bacteria Indicator Test

From MarketWatch

3M Food Safety has announced the global launch of the 3M™ Petrifilm™ Rapid Aerobic Count Plate, the next generation of a trusted, accurate and easy test that can detect aerobic bacteria counts in just 24 hours for most food matrices.

The ability to accurately and efficiently enumerate aerobic bacteria is important to food and beverage processors, who need to make time-sensitive decisions critical to ensuring their product quality and the stability of their manufacturing processes. Proven to be as reliable as Standard Methods Agar, the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Aerobic Count Plate offers a faster time-to-result, technology that reduces the impact of spreader colonies, and a simplified inoculation area to drive greater efficiency and reduce costly retesting and delayed results. It also leverages a dual-sensing indicator technology for easy enumeration of colonies in raw material, in-process and finished product food testing as well as environmental air, swab or surface contact testing.

The new 3M Petrifilm Rapid Aerobic Count Plate has received certification (#121403) from the AOAC® INTERNATIONAL Performance Tested Methods℠ (PTM) program inserts. Specific studies performed as part of this certification involved comparison tests to the FDA BAM and USDA reference methods, along with robustness and lot-to-lot/stability testing.

The sample-ready system uses an easy three-step process: Inoculation, Incubation and Enumeration. The system contains nutrients, a coldwater-soluble gelling agent, and a dual-sensing indicator technology that facilitates colony enumeration for most food matrices. Incubation temperatures are 32°C or 35°C.

Read the full press release here.