Industry development roundups

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Heat exchanger, Coffee

A global roll out for probiotic straws and tea sticks, active sensors to ensure fluid levels and a new heat exchanger were among this month’s developments.

Packager plans probiotic straw push

A leading packager is spying a global roll-out for a new development in straws that it claims can grant an additional probiotic boost to juices and dairy beverages.

Tetra Pak says that as part of its agreement with the device's manufacturer Unistraw, from the middle of next year, it can provide the patented probiotic delivering straws on the majority of its Tetra Brik Aseptic cartons.

According to the packager, the straws can deliver probiotics in ambient, long shelf life products.

Functional beverages that can offer health and nutrition benefits continue to dominate the non-alcoholic beverage sector, with both companies hoping the agreement will allow them to meet growing demand in the segment.

According to Unistraw, the product is designed to include dry stable 'Unibeads' on filters at both ends of the straws.

These beads are dissolved through liquid passing through the straw, delivering additional probiotics to a consumer along with the beverage inside the pack.

The manufacturer says the system allows drinks makers to package beverages without the need for refrigeration for up to twelve months

Active sensor gauges fill rate

New active sensors can help food processors gauge the amount of fluids in containers and are adaptable to each plant's particular needs, says the developer.

ITW Active Touch, a division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), said that it has developed its new patented ActiveSense liquid sensors for the detection and measurement of fluids in vessels.

ITW representative, Steve Engelking, said that the 'active' sensors can be mounted on the outside of the holding tank or used as a probe inside the liquid to monitor multiple levels or prevent tank overflow in an operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C.

The sensors, can also measure the absence as well as the presence of liquid, claims Engelking.

Ingredient concepts target ‘50plus’

Israeli supplier Frutarom has launched a 'proactive concept' targeting baby boomers that couples condition-specific ingredients with product templates and marketing assistance.

The turnkey programme was launched this month at Frutarom's annual two-day festival at its innovation facility in Wadenswil, Switzerland.

It targets four key health areas:

  • cardiovascular health
  • digestive balance
  • mental agility
  • bone health

Company spokesperson Susanne Fassler said 11 product concepts have been developed that deliver benefits in areas including savoury, beverage, candy, chocolate, cereal bars and dairy products such as yoghurts and one-shot drinks.

Fassler wouldn’t reveal the range of ingredients being used but told ‘50plus’ was developed on the back of Frutarom consumer research that highlighted key concerns and attitudes among the elderly.

Firm expects FDA approval for new heat exchanger

A German manufacturer of heating and cooling technologies says it has replaced the metal in its spiral plate heat exchangers with a high performance polymer in a bid to improve hygiene efficiency as well as reducing weight and costs.

Andreas Schulaks, product manager for Makatec says that it expects to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in three to six months for use of its new film-based heat exchanger in dairy and beverage processing

Makatec says the new spiral exchanger employs a lightweight polymer, supplied by UK firm Victrex, which it claims provides an effective barrier against a range of liquids and gases, with improved durability and high temperature and scratch resistance.

Schulaks said that the new equipment has an advantage over conventional plate heat exchangers in that the smooth surfaces of the film significantly reduce the risk of residue build-up inside the product, thus minimizing the danger of microbial contamination.

Tea stick aims to bag private label drink demand

A supplier of a perforated stick shaped packaging is hoping to shake up the hot beverage market as both a rival to the humble tea bag, and as a means of providing drinks like coffee.

Germany-based Der Bistrozucker München claims that the Tpod packaging, based on its own sugar stick pack design, offers a drip free method for infusion and stirring of premium tea products that cuts down on product waste.

Although the innovation has been on the market for the past year, beverage group Bistro Tea, which supplies a range of infusions in the packaging, claims the Tpod can be supplied to private label manufacturers in attempts to reinvigorate this tea segment.

Der Bistrozucker München said that the Tpod, developed in cooperation with the German arm of material supplier Alcan and packager Bosch, is a perforated foil material for beverage makers that extracts flavour and colour into water while leaving the tea.

It combines a primary Al – laminate film with a secondary flow wrap material to ensure that tea is able to retain taste without becoming tea bitter after prolonged exposure to hot water.

Related topics: R&D

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