Fresh fruits with hexanal nano-films

The development and large use of nano-films might be a practicable solution to extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables and avoid the huge post-harvest losses in many regions of the world. The department of nanoscience and technology of the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) started a research programme to develop a nano-film able to extend the shelf-life of vegetables by up to 21 days preserving the quality and the nutritional value.

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Food Safety: better is never good enough

Food products were never safer, more varied, or of such high quality than they are today. Nevertheless, there is a discrepancy between food facts and public perception. The food industry therefore has no other choice but to communicate openly, provide objective information, and rely on high-quality, state-of-the-art safety technologies.  
The public is repeatedly shocked by isolated cases of food safety and hygiene violations, and some incidents really are scandalous. Ultimately, there can be no hundred per cent guarantee that companies won’t violate their obligations to consumers, or even deliberately commit criminal acts. However, policies are often formulated on the basis of extreme individual cases in order to demonstrate determination to act. This doesn’t put an end to the scandals; it simply increases the tendency to raise a hue and cry rather than promoting a more open flow of information and the development of knowledge-based solutions. The overwhelming majority of exemplary and compliant food manufacturers are virtually powerless to do anything against this. Their only remaining option is to go on the offensive with objective information, while also keeping in mind that food issues are perceived very emotionally by the public and are also presented in this manner by the media.

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Multivac supports HPP

MULTIVAC has set up at its head-quarters (Wolfertschwenden, Germany) a HPP (High Pressure Processing) test plant for the high pressure treatment of packaged food, and it also supports its customers in conducting shelf life tests. The test plant enables different packaging concepts to be tested in conjunction with HPP and these then to be further developed.

image_thumbHigh pressure treatment (High Pressure Processing, HPP) is used to reduce harmful bacteria in food. This enables the shelf life and safety of food products to be improved, without it being necessary to introduce heat or preservatives. The main areas of application for HPP are ready meals, meat and sausage products, as well as fruit and vegetables. High pressure treatment is also however applied to seafoods and fish, as well as juices and other drinks. 

Jointly with its partner Uhde High Pressure Technologies, MULTIVAC has significantly extended the development of the HPP process and it holds several patents in this area. For the first time the secure treatment of MAP packaged food is also possible thanks to several new innovations.

Early detection of plant disease

image_thumbEach year, plant viruses and fungal attacks lead to crop losses of up to 30 percent. That is why it is important to detect plant disease early on. Yet laboratory tests are expensive and often time-consuming. Researchers are now developing a low-cost quick test for use on site.

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Safety commitment in the European paper industry

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation (EMCEF) confirmed their commitment to health and safety in the European paper industry. “Health and safety are key components of sustainability with their human and competitiveness-related dimensions. Through CEPI the industry already committed in 2003 to strive for a zero-accident target” said Teresa Presas, Chairperson of the Paper Sector Social Dialogue. The declining rate of accidents causing an absence of more than three days has already been reduced to 18.6/1000 in 2009.

GMP for food contact

image_thumb[2]The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) published a 30 page document on "Good Manufacturing Practice for the Manufacture of Paper and Board for Food Contact". The document contains a number of new concepts and methodologies, the detailed operation of which may be unfamiliar to some users. Published as "Issue 1", the document will be reviewed by the end of 2011. CEPI welcomes contributions. A copy is available on DOCS page.

Active packaging with antimicrobial film

image_thumbTo date, supermarkets have only been able to keep products on their meat counters for a few days. But now researchers have developed an antimicrobial active packaging film that destroys the microorganisms on the product surface, thereby increasing the shelf life not only of fresh meat, but also of fish, cheese and other cold cuts.

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