Food & Beverage Reporter June 2018


Food & Beverage Reporter, South Africa's leading B2B mag for the foodbev manufacturing sector and allied industries

JUNE 2018

Processing Reporter







Could you

live in

a world



(You might have to)




JUNE 2018



Cannabis + foodbev

= big bucks 14







Woolies’ CEO on the

challenges ahead 6


The future is (VERY) social 32









“Best Before” has gone

way past its sell-by date



Wasted food is just criminal in

a society like ours where so

many people live on the edge of

subsistence, or have fallen right through

the cracks.

Each year, some 1.3 billion tons,

or one-third of all the food produced,

is thrown away, according to the

United Nations’ Food and Agriculture

Organization. Recovering just 25 percent

of that wasted food could feed 850

million hungry people – effectively ending

world hunger.

Slowly but surely, the food waste

wheel is beginning to turn. In 2016, for

example, France became the first country

in the world to pass a law forbidding

supermarkets from throwing away

their expired foods, compelling them to

donate the food to charities.

It’s a powerful intervention that, you’d

think, would be embraced in this country.

But I ain’t heard anything, have you?

A few weeks ago, UK supermarket

giant Tesco pushed the anti-food-waste

trolley a little further when it announced

it was removing "Best Before" labels from

many of its fresh produce lines.

It will affect about 70 pre-packaged

produce lines, including apples, potatoes,

tomatoes, citrus fruits and onions.

Tesco will be asking their

customers to start using their eyes to

evaluate the freshness of their produce.

It’s a welcome return to sanity.

The best before label has always been

a middle-class conceit that supermarkets

have pandered to for far too long, and it’s

time our supermarket groups adopted

the same strategy as Tesco.

Talking about waste, on Page 23 of

this issue we share the good news about

the remarkable recycling achievements


It really is impressive, with over

2 billion PET bottles recycled in 2017,

putting SA among the world leaders with

a 65% PET recycling rate.

Great work!

Bruce Cohen

Publisher & Editor

Bruce Cohen


Wendy Breakey

Tel: (011) 026 7311

Mobile: 083 653 8116


Alice Osburn

Tel: (011) 026 8220

Published by AO Media

2nd Floor Oakfin House

367 Oak Ave



PO Box 2082

Pinegowrie 2123

South Africa

Tel: 011 026 8220


Endorsed by the SA

Assoc. of the Flavour &

Fragrance Industry.

Endorsed by SAAFoST

Make sure you get every issue of Food & Beverage Reporter

delivered directly to you. Visit for subscription info.

Or call Alice on (011) 026 8220 or email


Selected news items provided by and



Ireland’s Kerry Group continues to

expand its South African presence

with the purchase of the super-successful

Jo’burg-based flavour company, Season

to Season.

Kerry says: “The acquisition

will enable Kerry to draw on

Season to Season’s R&D

capabilities and technical

expertise in snack seasonings to

help customers meet the demand

for innovative snacks.

“The unique offering and

technical know-how of Season to

Season also fortifies Kerry’s Taste

portfolio, allowing the company

to deliver authentic, wholesome

and delicious snacking

experiences to consumers in Sub-

Saharan Africa and beyond.”

This statement belies

the fabulous feminocentric

entrepreneurial success story

that is Season to Season, and

the very reason it has surely spent

many undeclared millions in acquiring

the business.

It began in 2003 when founder Ronel

Venter decided to go out on her own

after a successful seven-year stint with

McCormick as its sales director that

developed her flair for sales, business,

the savoury snacks game and the

creation of winning flavours.

Her one-woman enterprise had a

lowly genesis: hiring production time

from a factory at night to blend her

seasonings and then doing sales calls and

stock deliveries by day.

Over time, the business grew and

she secured her own 600 m2 factory. It

did not take long for Season to Season to

outstrip this space and 15 years later it

resides in two ISO 2200 certified-factories

in Northriding, Jo’burg.

Venter was joined in 2006 by

business partner, Anneke Potgieter, a

food tech-nologist and close colleague

from her




she says, is a

gifted flavour

R&D expert,

and she credits

her immense


as crucial in

their growth

and success.

Clearly, Kerry

values her, too,

as Potgieter

is already

ensconced in the new mother ship, based

in Durban with the Kerry R&D team.

Season to Season boasts a headcount

of 74, and it produces several hundred

tons of flavours and seasoning

monthly, serving an impressive clientele

that includes the likes of Nando’s,

Woolworths, Simba and Willards, among

many others.

As Venter comments, the snacks

business is seriously and surprisingly big,

with many big players falling under the

mainstream radar.

Venter credits Season to Season’s

success on getting the basics right; good

Anneke Potgieter & Ronel Venter,

architects of Season to Season.

relationships with clients and delivering

on the necessities of taste, price, quality

and service, and doing that consistently,

irrespective of their growth tangent.

“Apart from our technical strengths,

we have built a strong sensory analysis

team, and this has proved a very valuable

tool in terms of flavour development and

consistency,” she adds.

And all the while, Venter has kept her

focus on keeping her growing contingent

of staff both satisfied and motivated:

“Within the complexities and challenges

of running our company, we strive to

keep things simple. ‘Happy team equals

happy company’,” Venter quips.

An important factor in selling to

Kerry, she hastens to stress, was that the

deal would be “business as usual”, with

no-one in Season to Season losing their

jobs. “So much business success rests on

people – and if people are comfortable,

they feel happy and work hard.”

She and Potgieter are delighted at the

prospect of joining an international stable

of companies within the Kerry Group, and

all the benefits and resources it offers.

She says Kerry is already investing in

upgrades to the Northriding plant.

“Kerry is brilliant, it has wonderful

people, technologies and factories. It’s so

exciting to be part of this international

group, to have the backing to take this

business to new heights,” says Venter

And 15 years later, from bakkie to

big time, from start-up to international

flavour house, how do she and Anneke

feel: “We have built a lovely company and

we hope, in time, to prove to be one of

Kerry’s worthiest acquisitions.”




The Rhodes Food

Group is gearing up

for mega-growth

with a committment

to spending more

than R1-billion over

the next three years to expand production

and improve efficency.

In announcing its half year financials

last month, the company said the

investments include the installation of

a clear-juice-concentrate plant at its

Groot Drakenstein hub, commissioning

a new baked beans production facility in

Gauteng, upgrading production facilities at

Pakco and Ma Baker, as well as a new food

technology laboratory and

product development centre.

CEO Bruce Henderson

said Rhodes Food, which owns

15 production facilities across

South Africa and Swaziland,

wanted to gain more market

share through acquisitions and

organic growth.

The group would also increase brand

shares and extract benefits from recent

acquisitions and major projects. “We will

maintain the momentum in sub-Saharan

Africa and expect to benefit from the

addition of the Pakco brands to our

product offering.”

Rhodes Food acquired Durban-based

Pakco in 2016 for R197m after the

acquisition of Ma Baker Pies for R212m.

Other RFG

brands include

Bull Brand,

Magpie, Squish,

Bisto and Hinds,

which along

with Pakco grew regional sales by 19.5

percent and 7.6 percent, excluding

acquisitions, for the period. The regional

business accounts for 84 percent of

RFG’s revenue.

Henderson said Pakco performed

ahead of expectations in its first full year

in the group.

“Pakco products are gaining good

traction in the market, and the relaunch

of the brand portfolio in March will

add further sales momentum.

“We have introduced

extensive product innovation,

new pack formats and

refreshed packaging designs

across the Bisto , Hinds,

Pakco and Southern

Coating brands,” he said.


If you were at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago last

month, your taste buds would have been dazzled by the

direction the US market is heading. Cauliflower, chickpeas

and lentils were among the ingredients cropping up in

new snack products as veg/vegan lifestyles capture

increasing consumer attention.

But there was also a big focus on intense flavours

such as blackberry habanero and fire-roasted chillies.

New products at the show included coconut

caramels in flavours such as ginger rum, Thai iced tea

and Vietnamese coffee. A line of marshmallows included

flavours like

blood orange hibiscus, roasted walnut pecan and black

salt coconut.

Unique flavours are definitely the name of the game,

with products like ginger lime milk chocolate and a banana

rum snack mixes coming on to the market.


Listeria is a truly global problem. In May, seven people died from an

outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in Sweden. The outbreak has

been linked to ready meals from food company i Lidköping AB.

The pathogen was detected on processing equipment used to

make mashed potato for the ready meals.

Samples of the ready meals showed the same variant of Listeria

serotype: IVb.





Over 20 years ago, Zyda Rylands started a career at Woolworths, steadily climbing the corporate

ladder in finance (she is a chartered accountant), operations, human resources and as head of

foods before taking on the CEO role at Woolworths SA in 2015. Whilst the overall Woolworths

business has been tough going in recent times, food has been a bright light of sustained growth

and innovation under her watch. Marisa Spiros caught up with Rylands recently and asked her

about the challenges she and Woolies face at the very top of the South African food chain.

What's your primary focus as CEO?

It is on creating clarity of direction,

building an enabling environment for

the delivery of our strategy, and

strengthening our leadership capability

through a combination of high

challenge and high support.

Have you had mentors in life?

I have been fortunate to work with

incredible people and some exceptional

leaders, who have mentored, encouraged

and believed in me. Simon

Susman, the current Chairman of

Woolworths Holdings, is one of these.

He was the first CEO I worked for

when I joined the Woolworths Board,

and he has guided me throughout my

career at Woolworths. He has been an

invaluable sounding board and advisor.

I also need to acknowledge my

family. They have anchored me

throughout my life and have supported

me in all of my endeavours.

You were born in Cape Town in 1964

during a volatile chapter in South

Africa’s history. What were your early

thoughts for your future?

I realized early on in life that I had to work

hard and stay focused on what I wanted

to achieve. There are no free lunches.

My motto in life has always been that



“you suffer the pain of

sacrifice or suffer the

pain of regret” and I

did not want to regret

anything in life.

What made you study


Interestingly, my first

job was in retail as a

shop floor assistant,

but I did not know

then that my career

and long-term passion

would be in the retail

sector. I had always

had a good grasp of

numbers, so I decided

to study accountancy.

I received a study

loan from a business

associate of my father

and worked every

weekend and holiday

to repay the loan.

I completed

a B Comm at the

University of Cape

Town and completed

my Honors degree

through the University

of the Western Cape.

I was very proud to

complete my articles

at Kessel Feinstein

and qualified as a

chartered accountant in 1993.

In a nutshell, how do you describe

your job as Woolworths CEO?

In my role as CEO and custodian of

this amazing brand, which covers our

operations in South Africa and the rest

of Africa,

I am accountable for ensuring that

our brand remains relevant for our

customers and our people in a fastchanging

retail world. That’s so that

we can continue to deliver value to all

our stakeholders.

I am clear that I cannot achieve

this on my own, and I am privileged

to lead an incredibly passionate and

talented team.

You were once Woolies Director of

People and Transformation. What a

re your plans to develop your

company's human resources?

My executive team and I are passionate

about people and committed to their

growth and development.

As a private label business, we

have a reliance on specialist skill and

deep appreciation for the strategic

differentiation and value our people

bring, as well as the key role they play

in enabling our customer experience


Furthermore, as a business deeply

rooted in South Africa, we are also

conscious of the role we need to play in

our country’s transformation journey.

Our people development strategy

therefore encompasses “the company

and the country”.

Our focus and investment are

not only in the people development

“It’s really great that

what I am passionate

about is aligned to what

has been important

to Woolworths for

many years.

required to deliver our strategy,

but also includes the creation of

development and work experience

opportunities for young, unemployed

South Africans.

It’s really great that what I am

passionate about is aligned to what

has been important to Woolworths for

many years.

As a business, Woolworths

contributes to South Africa’s socioeconomic

transformation and touches

many lives through all the BB-BEE and

transformation programmes – from

direct shareholding participation,

people empowerment, supporting,

developing and growing SMMEs, and

the difference we make in communities

through education programmes and

addressing food insecurity.

Woolworths has carved a very

profitable niche in the RTE (readyto-eat)

category, with constant

innovation around take-home meals.

That comes at a huge packaging price

in terms of waste. What is Woolies

doing about the avalanche of RTE

plastic it is creating?

Through using recycled material in our

packaging, Woolworths is dedicated

to reducing the consumption of virgin

raw materials in our operations.

Packaging reduction is an important

environmental factor that we are trying

to address, but it needs to be balanced

with the need to ensure that our

products are appropriately protected.

It is essential that our food is kept

safe and hygienic, and that the shelf

life is optimised so that food waste

is not created. To us, this is using

packaging responsibly. We also support

the growth of South Africa’s green

economy through waste recycling

initiatives and making it possible for

customers to recycle more easily.

Woolies still uses non-compostable

plastic bags at check-out. Isn’t it time

to walk your talk about sustainability

and eco-friendliness?

We have recently addressed the issue

of non-recyclability of our Foods plastic

shopping bag and are happy to report

that our new, 100% recyclable bags, are

currently in store.

This is a journey and we have taken

several steps to reduce the impact of

single-use plastic bags throughout our

operations. Customers are encouraged

to buy our cause-related reusable

shopper totes, and we continue to

promote the use of recycled content

within our single-use plastic bags.

By selling reusable bags we support

140 jobs and skills development at

two main reusable bag suppliers –

Isikhwama, based in Cape Town, and

Gusco, based in Uitenhage – both small

black-owned businesses supporting

our Enterprise and Supplier

Development drive.

In 2010, Woolworths introduced

limited edition reusable bags that offer

customers the opportunity to help save

our endangered wildlife and marine life

and support community development

programmes such as Operation Smile

and Qubheka. With our customers’




From Page 7

support, we have raised over R10-

million for these efforts.

How do you strike the balance

between own brand and branded

products? Is there a formula?

We are a proudly private-label retail

business. This means we make

products, not just buy them. Therefore,

the partnerships that we have with

our suppliers are a key element of our

business model.

Woolworths has always enjoyed

significant market share in our fresh

produce and prepared food categories.

In addition, to offer our customers the

convenience of being able to do a wider,

more complete shop with Woolies, we

have steadily extended the breadth and

depth of our range, particularly in longlife

and most-wanted national brands.

This is aligned to our strategy of

becoming a bigger foods business and

making it more convenient to shop at

Woolies. However, the vast majority of

products we sell are private-label.

Similar to the partnerships we have

built over many years with our privatelabel

suppliers, we also have strong

relationships with our branded suppliers.

Ultimately, the objective of our

partnerships is to give our customers

the very best shopping experience at

Woolworths. As such, we work closely

together, sharing insights and data to

better satisfy our customers’ needs.

Woolies has led the way in removing

sweets and other junk from checkout

snake aisles. The rest of your

stores still sell lots of total junk food

– like Nestle Bar One cereal. Even

under your own brand, there are

lots of sugar-drenched beverages

and products. I see sugar in the most

unlikely products, including soup and

sauces. Why the inconsistency? Time

for Woolies to take a stand and clear

ALL your aisles of junk food?

As part of our ongoing nutrition

commitment, we are working to reduce

the sugar and salt content of our

private- label food products. By the

“Our product development

is guided by principles that

address salt reduction;

saturated fat reduction;

reduction in added / free sugar;

assisting our customers in

energy control through portion

control; as well as encouraging

fruit and vegetable intake, and

more whole grains, legumes

and pulses ...

end of June 2017, we had removed

29,3-million teaspoons of sugar and

a further 1.9 tonnes of salt from our

Woolworths Food products.

We promote a holistic approach

by providing delicious, nutritionallybalanced

food solutions to our

customers, while also promoting

sustainable food production systems.

What principles guide your product


Our product development is guided by

principles that address salt reduction;

saturated fat reduction; reduction

in added / free sugar; assisting our

customers in energy control through

portion control; as well as encouraging

fruit and vegetable intake, and more

whole grains, legumes and pulses

Our sugar reduction approach

across all food categories is to “Reduce,

Remove, and Replace”, and forms

an integral part of our long-term

nutrition strategy.

We actively promote healthy and

informed choices through customer

communications, clear nutrition

labelling, practical tools such as

product information lists, healthy

food promotions and partnerships,

such as Discovery Vitality Healthy


What is WW doing to support

smaller suppliers? There is an

argument that your quality standards

are just too high for small suppliers to

comply with?

The Woolworths Supplier and

Enterprise Development (SED)

programme has been designed

primarily to introduce, support and

grow black- and black women-owned

emerging small and medium sized

businesses in the Woolworths

supply chain.

Investing resources in this space has

allowed Woolworths to meaningfully

contribute to building the small- and

medium-sized business sector. Support

is provided to these enterprises for

a period, after which it should be

demonstrated that the enterprise has

reached a certain level of sustainability.

The partnership we have with our

established suppliers is extended to this

programme and augments our efforts

in growing sustainable SMMEs.

We currently have a total of 48

suppliers as part of this programme.

Over the last three years, Woolworths

has had an accumulated procurement

spend of R1-billion with enterprise

development beneficiaries and

disbursed R25.6-million in loans.

Over 381 people jobs have been

created and conservatively, 3 632

people are positively impacted by these

small enterprises. This is testament to

how the programme is contributing

meaningfully to socio-economic

transformation in South Africa.

How important is online shopping in

your retail footprint? Does it really

have legs in the SA market, or is it

just a nice to have for those timechallenged

wealthy few?

Investment in our digital capabilities

continues to be a core focus for us.



The face of global retailing is evolving

quickly. Globally, online shopping is

experiencing growth rates in excess

of in-store shopping. Within online

shopping, mobile is experiencing the

strongest growth.

Online shopping has created

more price-savvy consumers who

expect the in-store experience to add

value, be relevant, personalised, and

entertaining, while experiencing

an efficient and effective online

shopping alternative.

Mobile and related technologies

are enabling consumers to interact

with each other and with global

retailers directly.

A mobile phone is our customer’s

remote control, enabling and

enriching their lives. With these

technologies, our customers have the

opportunity to choose from a huge

selection of retailers, both locally and

internationally. And they can compare

us to the best in the world, so the

expectation is massive. This affects

every part of the customer journey –

from browsing products and prices

before purchase, to post-purchase


However, along with the rise

in online shopping, customers are

also increasingly directing their

spend towards experiences and


I have been a Woolworths customer

for years and have one of those black

loyalty cards. In truth, I hardly get

much value from it considering the

small fortune I empty into your tills

every month. Is loyalty important to

you? What plans, if any, do you have

to take it to the next level?

Yes, loyalty is an important part of our

business. We have built an incredibly

valuable emotional connection with

our customers over the years – they

love our brand – and this needs to

be protected and nurtured. We are

working hard to ensure we continue

to deliver on their expectations in

what we sell and how we sell to them

(their experience).

Developing a richer understanding

of our customers and building stronger

customer relationships is fundamental

to being a customer-centric business.

Our customer insights and data drive

and inform all our business decisions to

ensure that we offer our customers a

compelling proposition and better serve

their needs.

We use loyalty tools to drive more

personalised interactions with our

customers. We also leverage our

WRewards loyalty programme and

undertake marketing initiatives that

convey our price competitiveness and

our difference to customers.

We continue to invest in price,

using data analytics to tailor price and

promotions profitably. We will continue

to enhance our loyalty proposition

and offer our customers a connected

retail experience

You’ve led the way in mainstreaming

organic foods into the retail channel.

Has it been worth it? What are your

plans for organic? Would you agree

that organic is an over-used and

abused word in SA?

We focus on providing options for our

customer to Live and Eat Well. This is

more than a focus on organic foods.

The Good Food Journey is the name

we have given to our on-going pursuit

to offer South Africa food that is better

for our customers, better for the

environment and better for the people

who produce it.

It encompasses everything from

avoiding additives like tartrazine and

all other azo-dyes, MSG, aspartame,

saccharine and cyclamate in our foods,

switching to natural colourants and

flavourants, never using mechanically

deboned meat, labelling ingredients

from potentially GM crop sources and

offering more organic and free-range

choices, to caring for the welfare of

animals and promoting healthy eating

as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Ever read a life-changing book?

I found Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to

Freedom incredibly impactful and his

capacity for forgiveness and his ability

to bring together a nation inspires

me daily

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading Almost is Not

Good Enough: How to Win or Lose in

Retail by Andrew Jennings

What is the best advice anyone ever

gave you?

As a senior leader, always be conscious

of how you make others feel in your



What does it take for a

company to grow from small

beginnings into a thriving

enterprise? Ask outgoing

Sunspray MD, David Watson...



Watson, a chemical engineer by

profession, retired recently

after 39 years in the food

industry, 28 of them at Sunspray. In his

farewell speech at a cocktail function at

the Wanderers Club recently, he gave

an insight into the company's intriguing

provenance and background.

Sunspray started operating as

Nutritional Foods (NF) way back in 1944

in Industria, Johannesburg, initially

producing food products for World War II


The name change only happened in

2006. But in the interim and in effect,

Sunspray Food Ingredients has been

the country’s spray-drying innovator for

more than 50 years. The company is now

also South Africa's largest independent

producer of spray-dried food ingredients

and provides for all spray-drying needs.

At the time of inception, the

company’s flagship product was a

“Protone” soup that Watson described

as "extremely nutritious" but horrible

tasting. Nowadays, he says, customers

are far fussier.

The company erected its first spraydrying

tower on the Industria site in 1958,

and it was initially used to manufacture

Mahewu powder for the mines.

Thereafter, the company did contract

or toll manufacturing of ingredients

for other companies and installed a

second spray dryer in the 1960s. It later

expanded its spray drying portfolio to

include spray-dried fruit and vegetable


In the 1970’s, NF became the first

company in South Africa to produce

coffee creamers on contract for other

companies. It also bought Clifton, makers

of cooldrink powders and other retail

products. By that time, NF was involved

in social catering markets, retail and food


Watson had enjoyed a thriving

corporate career. However, in the 1980s

he decided that he would rather travel

the entrepreneurial road. Together with

business partner Charles Akeroyd, they


bought NF, bankrolled by Merhold (now

known as Sabvest).

Initially, Watson and Akeroyd focused

on creating their own brands to make the

company less reliant on contracts. Among

product ranges developed, manufactured

and successfully marketed were Caramel

Powder 48000, Meaton, tomato powders

and cheese powders - all fully spray dried.

That allowed the food ingredients

division to start thriving. "We grew the

business organically during the first

10 years," Watson said. "This included

the erection of three new spray drying


Farewell to David Watson,

who hands over the Sunspray

leadership to René Cross.

In 1998, Watson and Akeroyd bought

Funa Foods and became the largest

player in the social catering market.

By 2004, they decided to exit the retail

market as "we were too small a player",

he said.

In 2005, they purchased and

assimilated Ovipro, that is now the

company's Bronkhorstspruit division.

Through this acquisition, NF became a

major force in the egg industry.

However, 2006 was "the watershed

year", Watson said. That was when NF

sold its social catering division and with it,

the company name.



Sabvest and Watson bought out his partner and rebranded

the business as Sunspray Food Ingredients. At the same time,

René Cross, his successor as Sunspray MD, joined the company.

It's something of an understatement to say that Sunspray

has done exceptionally well over the past 12 years. In 1989 it

achieved R1-million turnover a month.

Now, despite selling off half

the company in 2006,

Sunspray is achieving

The definition of

success changes

through one’s life

- David Watson

sales of around

R1-million a day!

Watson says

that translates to

his initial investment


1000-fold in

28 years.

The final turn in his

Sunspray journey was the

decision with Sabvest in 2015

to sell just over half the business to a black empowerment

company within RMB Corvest,

with the provision that he stayed on for three years.

There were a few good reasons for that decision, Watson

said: Firstly, it would radically improve BBBEE accreditation.

Secondly, he would have a guaranteed exit strategy. And finally,

selling to a financial institution meant that the company could

achieve "good succession planning without external operational

interferences" and not be in competition with customers.

The three-year period is now over and Watson bid his

farewell at the Wanderers Club function.

Sunspray is clearly a success story and Watson said he was

proud of what was achieved over the 28 years that he was at

the helm (during this period he was also a director

of the Consumer Goods Council of SA and is a past President


However, he said, "success can mean different things

to different people, and the definition of success changes

through one's life".

All businesses have stakeholders and the relationship

between the business and its stakeholders is crucial to its

success, Watson said.

Critical to success are customers, suppliers and other

service providers. Many of those who attended Watson’s

farewell function fell into those categories, and he

thanked them all for the excellent relationships and

friendships nurtured over many years.

Watson ended by saying that the most important

stakeholders are the employees of a company. He

thanked them all for their loyalty and dedication. And in

handing over to Cross, he expressed confidence that Sunspray

would continue on the successful road "for at

least another 28 years".

Cross has had extensive experience in the food and

flavour industry, having worked for Nestlé, Simba and IFF

in various management positions covering QA/QC, production,

operations and marketing.

Sunspray has an impressive list of clients that include DD

Williamson, for toll spray-drying and various other multinational

and global clients for contract manufacturing, packing

and customised spray dried products.

The activities of Sunspray Food Ingredients are split into

three categories: Food Ingredients, Contract Manufacturing and

Toll spray-drying and blending. By far the largest division is that

of Food Ingredients. Sunspray is the appointed agent for DDW

caramel colours and natural colours in South Africa.

The company also serves the retail sector with its own

brands marketed by Stafford Bros. These include spraydried

products Country Pasture Blend, Bravo Gravy

Powder and Housewives Cheese. Sunspray also

manufactures house brands for leading chain stores.

The latest addition to the company’s food ingredient

product portfolio is a 60% creamer to complement

an already comprehensive range of creamers.

Sunspray has an R&D department run by

qualified personnel. The facility is used for the

development of new products, the improvement of

existing products, testing of new and alternative raw

materials and the cost optimisation of products. The pilot plant

tower is utilised by customers for toll spray-drying trials.

At the farewell, Cross paid tribute to Watson, saying that he

left a "remarkable legacy" and put in place the very foundations

that made the business such a success.

"This company, particularly the marketing and R&D

departments, will be somewhat emptier without him," she said.

However, Watson has ensured that he leaves Sunspray with

a new foundation for growth, aptly named Project Sunrise. The

company has bought the property next door for the construction

of a new warehouse, staff training facilities and a clinic.








Food and beverage makers often

stand accused of contributing

to obesity and type 2 diabetes

epidemics worldwide by increasing

portion sizes of their products. It's a

phenomenon that dietitians refer to as

"portion distortion".

Just how real is "portion distortion"?

Will forcing the industry to reduce

portion sizes really contribute to

reducing the skyrocketing prevalence

of both obesity and type 2 diabetes


New research by psychologists at

the University of Liverpool believe so.

They say the food industry can and

should make a contribution by reducing

portion sizes.

The research, published recently in

the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

highlights the benefits of reduced

product portion sizes, claiming it will

make "healthier eating more normal".

The researchers say that historical

increases in the portion sizes of

commercially-available food products

cause "passive" overeating and this has

contributed to the growing worldwide

obesity crisis. This has led public health

bodies to promote the idea that the food

industry needs to reduce portion sizes.

The Liverpool study looked at

whether reducing portion size can

“renormalize” perceptions of what

constitutes a normal amount of that

food to eat. It also investigated whether

this would lead to people selecting and

consuming smaller portions in future.

Says study leader Dr Eric Robinson:

“The present findings indicate that if

portion sizes of commercially-available

foods were reduced, these smaller,

more appropriate portion sizes may

recalibrate perceptions of what

constitutes a 'normal' amount of food to

eat and, in doing so, decrease how much

consumers choose to eat.”

But co-author Dr Inge Kersbergen

added some caveats: “It is unclear from

our research how long the effect would

last. The effects we observed were larger

when we examined food intake the next

day in the laboratory than when we

looked at portion size preference one

week later.”

Based on the idea that the

immediate environment influences

people's perceptions of what a “normal”

portion size is, Kerbergen said that it

was likely that the effect would only

last if consumers encountered smaller

portion sizes more often than supersized


That has led the authors to

recommend that food manufacturers

begin the process by reducing

portion sizes.

It's an interesting conclusion and

recommendation, given Robinson's

earlier thoughts on reduced portion

sizes – and the idea that one way to

achieve this is by telling people to use

smaller plates.

In an article in The Conversation

in March 2017, he speaks of plate size

recommendation as his "pet hate". In it,

he takes exception to a "commonly held

belief that using smaller plates reduces

the amount of food that people eat".

His team reviewed all the available

research addressing this question and

concluded: "The evidence for the magic

of smaller plates was very unconvincing.

There were more studies that had found

no benefit on calorie consumption of

dining with smaller plates than there

were studies that supported the smaller

plates equals eat less hypothesis.

"Also, the studies that did support

the smaller plate idea all came from the

same research group.”

Robinson and his team conducted

their own study examining whether

giving participants smaller bowls to

serve themselves popcorn reduced the

amount they ate.

If anything, he writes, participants

ate even more when using a smaller bowl

compared to a larger bowl.

One reason, he suggested, is that

smaller bowls allowed people to give

themselves more permission to go back

for "seconds". That tended to offset

any benefit from a reduced portion size

flowing from a smaller bowl.





"pot of gold" with a difference

is beckoning the global foodbev

industry: dagga, pot, cannabis,

marijuana, weed, grass …

The fast-growing market for cannabisinfused

foods, snacks and drinks is being

driven by the legalisation of marijuana

around the world, not just for medical

use but also for recreational use. In

these countries, especially the USA,

cannabis edibles and drinks are already

generating millions of dollars in revenue

for entrepreneurs.

And as more countries come on

board, analysts predict big changes in

the market. Some say cannabis-infused

drinks could one day be “bigger

than wine”.

Gone are the days of homemade,

gritty, chocolate brownies

containing powdery cannabis grains

that were popular in the flowerpower,

hippie era of the 1960s.

In its place are high-end products

dreamt up by Michelin-star chefs.

Ranges now include cakes, cupcakes,

biscuits and even pizzas. The "candy"

market is proving to be a particularly

rich source, with cannabis-infused

dark chocolate bars, energy bars,

mints and lollipops.

Beverages include cannabisinfused

sparkling waters, herbal teas

and coffees.

The growth of the market is also

due to the versatility of the cannabis

plant’s active ingredients, known as

cannabinoids. These can be integrated

successfully in just about any food

and drink product. Cannabinoids are

responsible for pot’s myriad effects, both

recreational and medicinal. The most

well-known cannabinoid is THC.

In the USA, 29 states and the

country's capital, Washington, DC, now

allow cannabis for medical purposes,

although their approaches differ

significantly. Some states allow

medical cannabis dispensaries and

home cultivation, while others allow

home cultivation only. Still others

allow dispensaries but proscribe

home cultivation.

Nine states in the USA, including

California and the District of Columbia,

have legalized cannabis for both

medicinal and recreational use, and more

are expected to follow by year end.




This has opened up the floodgates

for entrepreneurs to offer marijuanainfused

foods, snacks and drinks. Forbes

magazine estimates that it is already a

multi-million dollar business set to grow

by up to 25% annually in the USA. It's no

surprise that the American Specialty Food

Association (SFA) has identified cannabisinfused

"edibles" as one of its Top 10

food trends for 2018.

“As more states legalize recreational

marijuana, the varieties of pot-enhanced

food and beverage will increase,” the

SFA’s Trendspotter Panel said late last

year. “Look out for continued interest and

acceptance in a host of snacks, treats and

beverages with a little something extra.”

Another market report says cannabis

is "seducing the specialty food makers

and marketers serving high-end retailers

and well-heeled bellies across the

Internet and America".

One reason for the explosive

growth in the USA, and California

in particular, say analysts, is that as

the cannabis market expands, it is

reaching people who don't want to smoke

the weed, but still want to experience the

“high”. Edibles provide a "discrete, smokefree

experience", Forbes says.

Producing cannabis edibles/

drinkables has its challenges. Food

and beverage makers face a slew of

safety issues, mostly dose-related, and

complications that could occur from

combining THC with other addictive

substances, chiefly caffeine and alcohol.

This also raises the issue of the need for

responsible marketing and, in particular,

transparent labelling of ingredients.

There's a long way to go before a legal

cannabis edibles market could take root

in South Africa. Attempts to have the drug

legalised for medical use, never mind

recreational, have stalled.

In part, that's due to safety concerns,

and the ongoing debate and controversy

about just how addictive dagga can be

and whether it presents a high risk as



a "gateway" drug that

leads to use of harder


Medical doctors and

psychologists involved in

legalising dagga in South

Africa believe that the

benefits far outweigh the

risks. Cape Town GP Dr

Keith Scott says that South

Africa is “lagging far behind

the international trend

towards dagga legalisation

or decriminalisation”.

Dagga has been unfairly

demonised,” he says, "and

is no more a gateway drug

than tobacco and alcohol".

Scott says that dagga is

not even as toxic as either

alcohol or tobacco."It is far,

far safer, and it is definitely

safer than harder drugs, such as heroin

and morphine."

Under current legislation, medical

practitioners are still legally denied the

right to prescribe cannabis or any of the

commercially-produced cannabinoids

that are approved for the treatment of

cancer-related side effects in the US and

other countries.

That hasn’t stopped a burgeoning

underground market emerging in SA,

with a “whisper-economy” of cannabis

oil (for medical use) as well as a variety

of edibles and drinkables on offer.

Globally, the biggest problem

with dagga, and drugs in general,

says Scott, is that they are mired

in politics and outdated international

treaties formed in the wake of drug

criminalization. These treaties are

collectively known as the “War on Drugs”.

Argues Scott: “The war has been

lost, and it has exacerbated drug

problems worldwide because drugs

by themselves generally don’t make

people addicts.

No drug is free from harm,” he

says, “but any harm must be seen

in perspective”. FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 15



Warnings that rising temperatures

are threatening the cacao tree,

which produces the pods and

beans from which chocolate is made, are

raising the spectre of a global chocolate


In part, that's because of the fragility

of the cacao plant that can only survive in

humid, rainforest conditions. One of the

effects of global warming, say scientists, is to

suck moisture from the soil in which the plant

can grow best and finally become a tree.

As a result, scientists now predict that

by 2050 it will be impossible for farmers

to grow cacao trees. They say that is

particularly the case in the Ivory Coast and

Ghana regions, where farmers currently

produce more than 50% of the world's cocoa.

The experts say that rising temperatures

and droughts will force farmers to move

their trees to higher ground. That won't

be an instant solution and is one filled with

challenges, not least because competition

for land will be fierce and many upland

areas are already protected and restricted

to wildlife.

Cacao trees also take up to four years

to grow and harvesting the pods is timeconsuming

and labour intensive.

That's bad news for makers of chocolate

products because they estimate that there

is a likely chocolate deficit of around

100 000 tons a year over the next few years.

That is a worrying scenario, especially

since the demand for chocolate is already

outstripping supply. The high demand for

the sweet treat has increased in Europe

and North America, with millions on the

Asian and African continents following suit

with a recent uptake of demand.

Another reason for intensified demand

is research into the manifold health benefits

of cacao compared with cocoa, and in

particular, dark chocolate. This has given

chocolate pride of place in the panoply of

health foods and has had a welcome

spin-off for producers of a wide variety of

food and beverage chocolate products.

An aggravating factor, say experts, is

that it is smallholder farmers on subsistence

farms with old-style methods who produce

the majority of the world's cocoa. They

can't afford fertilisers and insecticides

needed to increase supply and fill the

yawning demand gaps for cacao any

time soon.

Could you

live in

a world



Continued on Next Page



The bean that’s choc full of health

Here's more good reason

to hope that the predicted

shortage of chocolate by 2050 is

just gloom and doom. Research

into the health benefits of

dark chocolate in particular is

growing and its reputation as

a health food is no overnight


A report from the Harvard

Chan School of Public Health

says that dark chocolate is

a highly-treasured food that

dates back to 2000 BC. At that

time, the Maya from Central

America, the first connoisseurs

of chocolate, drank it as a bitter,

fer-mented beverage mixed with

spices or wine.

Today, the long rows of

chocolate squares sitting neatly

on your store shelves are the

end result of many steps that

begin as a cacao pod, larger than the

size of your hand. Seeds (or beans) are

extracted from the pod and fermented,

dried, and roasted into what we

recognize as cocoa beans.

The shells of the bean are then

separated from the meat, or cocoa nibs.

The nibs are ground into a liquid called

chocolate liquor, and separated from

the fatty portion, or cocoa butter. The

liquor is further refined to produce the

cocoa solids and chocolate that we eat.

After removing the nibs, the cocoa

bean is ground into cocoa powder that

is used in baking or beverages.

The Harvard report goes on to

explain the essential differences

Raw cacao powder, which is in demand for its health

benefits, is made by cold-pressing unroasted beans.

This process keeps the enzymes in the cocoa and

removes the fat. Ordinary cocoa powder looks the

same but has been made from roasting the beans

at high temperature.

between dark and milk chocolate: Dark

chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids,

cocoa butter and sugar; milk chocolate

contains anything from 10-50% cocoa

solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form,

and sugar.

Dark chocolate, by definition, is not

supposed to contain milk. Depending

on the quality, lower-quality chocolate

products may also contain added

butterfat, vegetable oils, artificial

colours and flavours.

It goes without saying that white

chocolate doesn't really deserve to be

called chocolate at all, as it does not

contain any cocoa solids. Its constituents

are just cocoa butter, sugar and milk.

It is in its dark versions that

chocolate comes into its own and

can truly claim to be a health food.

The Harvard report notes that

cocoa is rich in minerals, chiefly

iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc.

It is also rich in plant flavanols

that are shown to be heart

protective. Dark chocolate

contains up to two to three

times more flavanol-rich cocoa

solids than milk chocolate.

Flavanols support the

production of nitric oxide in the

endolethium (the inner cell lining

of blood vessels). That helps

to relax the blood vessels and

improve blood flow, thereby

lowering blood pressure, the

Harvard report says.

Short-term studies have also

shown that flavanols in chocolate

can increase insulin sensitivity. This

has led to dark chocolate's reputation as

an aid to managing diabetes.

And like all the good things in life,

too much can be bad. Dark chocolate

is yet another case where less is more

when it comes to health benefits.

The Harvard report notes that dark

chocolate can be high in calories

(150-170 calories per ounce) and can

contribute to weight gain if eaten in


However, just as with nuts, dark

chocolate can induce satiety and in

that way contribute to weight control.

Overall, eating modest quantities of

dark chocolate may offer "the greatest

health benefits".

From Previous Page

A report in Forbes magazine last year

notes that cultivation of cacao has always

been a risky venture. It cites aging trees

as one limit to productivity. Another is

disease that decimates about 30% of

annual production.

And then there's climate change. The

Forbes report quotes research showing

how rising temperatures will adversely

affect the crop.

But Forbes notes a "looming, more

immediate threat" that is confronting

producers of chocolate products globally.

It is one that is "economic and more

personal": young farmers in West Africa,

who do most of the growing of the world's

cocoa, no longer want to grow the crop

that becomes chocolate, because it

doesn't pay them to do so.

As the Forbes report notes, the price

of commodity cocoa has dropped from

$3 000 to $2 000 per ton in the last year.

A 2014 report by the International Labor

Rights Forum noted that the majority of

cocoa producers earn roughly $2 a day.

Little has changed. There are also serious

concerns about the use of child labour.

In a speech at the World Cocoa

Foundation Partnership in Washington

last year, Ghana Cocoa Board chief

executive, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, noted

that prices "send signals to farmers as

to the amount of time and labour to

invest in cocoa production". Therefore,

low prices continue to constitute a

"major threat to the cocoa industry's

sustainability and do nothing to entice

the youth to become farmers.”

That's all about the problems, but

what of solutions? Experts say that

modernising farming techniques is only





AS the war against sugar gains

increasing momentum, the

world’s confectionery giants are

aggressively seeking out novel solutions

to the challenge of reducing sugar

without compromising taste. Leading the

way is Nestlé.

The world's largest food company

recently re-launched its iconic Milkybar

chocolate with a whole new look,

rebranded as Wowsomes, with 30% less


Nestlé says that Milkybar Wowsomes,

available in the UK and Ireland, are

the first chocolate bars in the world to

use the breakthrough sugar-reduction

technology that it describes as "a

completely new way to use a traditional,

natural ingredient".

The Wowsome bars contain under 37

grams of sugar per 100 grams.

That's 30% less than similar

chocolate products, according to

Nestlé – a significant reduction by

any standards.

It makes good on the promise

by Nestlé chief technology officer

Stefan Catsicas in 2016 that the

technology really is breakthrough

and can change the structure of

sugar to make it more aerated,

so that it safely "dissolves more

quickly on the tongue".

This allows people to

"perceive an almost identical

sweetness" even when much less

sugar is used.

Nestlé isn't resting on any laurels.

It believes the technology can reduce

sugar content by up to 40% in the not too

distant future.

The product launch is a big nod to

the health and wellness trend that is one

of the biggest and growing global trends

in the industry. It's also an answer to

the question on the lips of public health

policy makers worldwide – and one that

Nestlé asks on its own website: What is


The controversial issue of labelling added sugars came into

sharp focus recently when Woolworths “sweet talked” its

way out of a complaint about one of its confectionary lines.

Customer Sally Baikie reported Woolies to the Advertising

Standards Authority (ASA) because she felt that the label on

its Smooth Milk Chocolate Hearts was misleading.

Baikie's complaint was that the front label of the

product stated "NO SUGAR” with the words “ADDED”

in a smaller font, whereas the print on the Nutritional

Information panel indicated sugar content of more than

7%. She further argued that this was not only misleading

but also presented a potential health risk to consumers.

Woolworths is not a member of the ASA. The company

nonetheless responded to the complaint “in the spirit of

responsible advertising”.

Woolworths submitted that its Smooth Milk Chocolate

Hearts did not contain any “added sugar” as defined in

terms of Regulation 146 of the Foodstuffs Cosmetics and

Disinfectants Act 54 of 1972 because the sugar present

in the product was from lactose naturally present in milk

solids. Therefore, sugar had not actually been added during

the processing of the product.

The ASA ruled in favour of Woolworths by finding that

the statement “NO SUGAR ADDED – WITH MALTITOL” was not

misleading in terms of its code. Its reasoning was that the

ingredient list was clear and unambiguous to consumers

with special dietary needs.

While the ASA’s ruling takes into consideration that

consumers with strict dietary requirements are unlikely

to be misled by the “NO SUGAR ADDED – WITH MALTITOL”

claim, attorney Karen Kitchen of Kisch IP says it is still

questionable why Woolworths saw the need to use a

smaller font for the word “added”.

It is not just by chance that the Draft Guidelines to the

Draft Regulations Relating to the Labelling and Advertising

of Foods (R429 of 29 May 2014), provides that “legal font

sizes … shall … be easily legible and sufficiently prominent

to help consumers make their choice in full knowledge of

the facts”, Kitchen says.

The ASA ruling therefore, does not appear to consider

instances where, for example, a non-diabetic person, who

may not be as educated about strict dietary requirements,

can also purchase these products on behalf of a diabetic

person/consumer and is less likely to take the additional

step of inspecting the product and ingredient list more

vigorously prior to purchasing it.

"Nonetheless, the ASA’s ruling should alert those in

the business of food packaging to ensure that food labels

are not only in compliance with the Advertising Codes,

but that they also comply with the Food Labelling Laws

and Regulations, along with Consumer Protection Laws,"

Kitchen says.




your company doing to reduce

sugar in your products?

It's a savvy move, although

it may not be sufficient to

stave off all calls and moves to

regulate products containing

sugar with the same heavy

hand as alcohol and tobacco

products are regulated.

According to Nestlé, the

technique involves spray

drying a mixture of sugar, milk

powder and water to form a

porous, aerated sugar. While

normal sugar comes in crystal

form, this amorphous sugar

dissolves faster in the mouth,

the company says. Sugar structured in

this way is only stable in dry products.

In beverages, the sugar would dissolve

before anyone drinks it. Nestlé UK and

Ireland CEO Stefano Agostini says the

technology is the fruit of "an unrivalled

research and development network, and

the experts at our product technology

center in York".

Nestlé teams in Switzerland, the

United Kingdom and the Czech Republic

took just over a year to turn the

structured sugar innovation into a new

product. Milkybar turned out to be "a

natural fit for the structured sugar", the

company says. Launched in the UK in

1936, Milkybar has retained its status in

the intervening years as one of Nestlé’s

most iconic chocolate brands and a

popular choice with parents for their

children thanks to its mild, creamy taste

and high milk content.

In 2007, the brand moved to allnatural

ingredients. In 2017, milk became

the No. 1 ingredient in the recipe. With

the launch of Milkybar Wowsomes this

year, milk is still the main ingredient,

with a crispy oat cereal that is a source

of fibre. The chocolate also contains

no artificial sweeteners, preservatives,

colours or flavourings.

Nestlé say the Wowsomes launch is

the latest step on a sugar journey that the

company began in 2000. It established a

formal policy on sugars in 2007. Nestlé's

policy goal is to reduce sugars added

in its products by an average of at least

5% over four years (2017–2020). That

includes desserts and ice cream.

However, the policy is not unlimited

and specific areas are excluded.

Nestlé says that it "actively supports

scientific advancements in the area of

sugars and their effects on health".

The company has vowed as part of

its cereal joint venture with General Mills

to reduce sugar in breakfast cereals

marketed to children and teenagers to

9g per serving.

A world without chocolate?

From Page 17

a partial answer to improving yields.

Mapping the genetic code of cacao trees

may be another. Most cacao trees grown

in Ivory Coast and Ghana descend from

the same few plants in the upper

Amazon, say scientists.

To that end, USA chocolate giant

Mars pledged $1-billion late last

year towards sustainability efforts

to save chocolate from future harm.

According to media reports, the

corporation has recruited University

of California researchers to develop

a sturdier cacao plant that won't wilt in

drier climates.

The hope is that these hybrids will

be able to withstand rising temperatures

from climate change and still produce

high-quality cacao.

That prompted one of the world's

largest chocolate manufacturers, USA

giant Hershey's, also to rise to the

occasion. The Hershey Company has

pledged to invest $500 million by 2030

on cocoa-sustainability initiatives in

Ghana and Ivory Coast. In a recent

announcement, the Pennsylvania-based

confectionery and snack company said

that its "Cocoa For Good" programme will

focus on "poverty, poor nutrition, at-risk

youth and vulnerable ecosystems".

“A sustainable cocoa supply depends

on a multi-stakeholder collaborative

approach to find solutions to the social,

environmental and economic challenges

facing cocoa-growing communities,”

Susanna Zhu, Hershey's Chief

Procurement Officer, said in a statement.

“As a critical player in the cocoa value

chain, we are committed to doing our

part,” she said, adding: “The Hershey

Company has been partnering with key

stakeholders in the cocoa sector for more

than 100 years. Under Cocoa For Good,

we continue to work toward a future

where there’s a long-term, sustainable

cocoa supply, the natural environment is

protected, and we are creating better

lives for everyone.”

Within all the hype, there is also

hope and lessons to be learned from

history. Some analysts say that fears

of a world without chocolate need to

be seen in proper perspective. After

all, initial dire predictions envisioned

a chocolate-less world by 2020. That

has been pushed back to 2050.

The reality is that shortages in the

face of massively increased demand don’t

always end up in complete scarcity of a

product. Instead, the scarcity tends to

drive prices up into the stratosphere and

consumption spiralling downwards.

The law of gravity aside, what goes

down, sometimes goes up even higher.

And next to diamonds, chocolates remain

a girl's best friend the world over. FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 19

Food & Beverage Reporter has partnered with Food Focus to bring you enhanced

coverage of food safety/compliance issues. Food Focus addresses the full range

of compliance factors which South African food businesses have to face, including

occupational health and safety hazards, environmental demands and corporate social

responsibility. Find out more at

By Linda Jackson

Having spent the last 20 years of

my life invested in food safety

management systems in the

South African food industry, I have to say

the Listeriosis outbreak has caused some

self-doubt. What have we done wrong?

What have we missed? Seems I am not

the only one.

Although nothing we can do now

will change the tragic outcome of this

outbreak, it is imperative that in the

root cause analysis of the incident,

collectively as an industry we apply the


It is my opinion that multiple failures

have led to this incident. In addition to

the company in question, other authors

have commented on the potential role

of the supply chain, the regulators,

the certification bodies and even the


Given the prominence of the brand,

it is likely that many of us have been

involved in some capacity over the

years. Perhaps we have all contributed

in some way to this incident too. It is

clear from the update below from the

NICD that we still face a number of

challenges. LmST 6 does seem to be the

tip of a very very big iceberg:

“Whole-genome sequencing analysis has

been performed on 521 clinical isolates to

date. Of these, 85% (443/521) were identified

as sequence type (ST) 6. The remaining isolates

(15%, 83/521) represented 19 sequence types

including, ST1, ST54, ST876, ST2, ST5, ST204,

ST219. ST224, ST71, ST101, ST121, ST155, ST3,

ST403, ST515, ST7, ST8 and ST88.

Whole genome sequencing has been

performed on 595 food and environmental

isolates. Of these, 13% (79/595) were identified

as ST6. The remaining isolates (87%, 516/595)

represented 26 sequence types, including ST20,

ST1, ST121, ST5. ST321, ST9, ST155, ST2, ST3,

ST87, ST120, ST378, ST101, ST108, ST2288,

ST31, ST7, ST11, ST122, ST14, ST37, ST4, ST54,

ST76 and ST88.”

What controls should be in place?

Although we cannot generalize in

all sectors of the food industry, as a

manufacturer you should have the

following levels of

protection in place:

1. Minimum


A valid certificate

of acceptability

issued by the local

municipality in terms of

Regulation 962 of the

Foodstuffs, Cosmetics

& Disinfectants Act.

Its general hygiene

requirement is as low

as you can go. This

certificate should

ensure your facility is

adequately designed

and constructed to

handle food. The

waste systems should

conform to municipal

requirements and

the National Building


This regulation does place emphasis

on the training and behavior of food

handlers – often a weak link in any food

safety chain. It also places the full legal

liability on the person in charge.

There are many other regulations

under the FCDA that relate to the

composition of your product.

There is the letter of the law and then

there is the spirit of the law. Although our

approach of our National Department of

Health is reactive, the intention is that

you as a responsible manufacturer

should be proactive.

2. Pre-requisite programmes

Call them PRPs, GMPs or whatever you

like, but make sure you have the basics

in place. The focus of many retail and

hygiene audits are the basic building

blocks of cleaning and sanitation,

preventive maintenance, supplier

controls, storage and preservation of your

product and personnel hygiene practices.

The new draft regulation R364 which

will hopefully soon replace R962, will

include more of these requirements as a

legal foundation.

And with these requirements comes






the need for documentation to defend

your systems and the effective daily

implementation of the right practices.


Once the basics are covered, we should

be engaging in a formal risk assessment

of the product and processes. What is it

about YOUR product and process that

could go wrong and in so doing harm

the consumer? What makes ready-to-eat

products such a high risk in comparison

to handling ingredients like dry rice?

What are YOUR specific hazards in

the process and how can you be sure you

are controlling these? And control means

you can reduce, eliminate or prevent

them – not manage them as best you can!

We have seen this as a voluntary

requirement in most sectors of the food

chain. It’s time to revisit that thinking.

Ensuring you as a manufacturer fully

understand and control hazards to

consumers health is not a nice to have –

it’s your legal and moral obligation.

Along with this goes the processes of

validating and verifying those processes

– can you trust them, and can you prove

they work?


4. Certification

Taking the next step to comply with

customer requirements can be seen

as a grudge purchase. Surviving the

plethora of audits has not been seen to

add value in many companies. Having all

the right certificates does not guarantee

your systems, as we have seen. Ensuring

robust internal audits are in place that

fully interrogate your food safety activities

should be the focus. Competent external

auditors can then verify implementation,

but you should be validating your science.

Relying on external auditors during a brief

announced visit will not be an adequate

assessment of your system’s health.

5. The next step


The Swiss cheese model of accident

causation illustrates that, although many

layers of defense lie between hazards and

accidents, there are flaws in each layer that,

if aligned, can allow the accident to occur.

If you have it all in place, where do you go

to from here? The next step is open and

transparent sharing of information in the

food chain to ensure we do have food

safety from farm-to-fork.

Confidentiality agreements have

hampered the progress in identifying the

source of the outbreak. Is it time to revisit

this thinking? Do we need a forum where

we can share results without fear of

litigation in order to improve our response

times to the next outbreak? We need to

build a bridge with the regulators not

higher walls in order to regain consumer


But we have all that in place? What

went wrong?

Given that we have so many layers

of protection in place, how could an

outbreak of this magnitude occur? Given

what is in place, it would seem that

company, auditors, labs and retailers all

missed something.

Seems we may have to consult the




rocket scientists on this one. The Swiss

cheese model of accident causation is

a model used in risk analysis and risk

management, including aviation safety,

engineering and healthcare. It is often

used as the principle behind layered

security such as cybersecurity systems.

In the Swiss cheese model, an

organisation's defenses against failure

are modeled as a series of barriers,

represented as slices of cheese.

As we have seen in food safety, we

rely on a series of barriers previously

discussed. The holes in the slices


weaknesses in

individual parts of

the system and are

continually varying

in size and position

across the slices.

When an

incident occurs,

it is a result of a

gap or failure in a

barrier. A gap or a

failure produces

a weakness in

our food safety



If we do not

address this gap,

with time it can,

along with other

gaps, cause a

crisis. This would

be when a hole in

each slice (barrier)

momentarily aligns,

permitting (in

Reason's words) "a

trajectory of accident

opportunity", so that

a hazard passes through holes in all of the

slices, leading to a catastrophic failure

Each failure on its own would have

been minor, but the cumulative act effect

can have far reaching consequences.

The model includes both active and

latent failures. Active failures encompass

the unsafe acts that can be directly

linked to an incident. Latent failures

include contributory factors that may lie

dormant for days, weeks, or months until

they contribute to the accident. Latent

failures can be organizational influences,

supervision, preconditions, and specific

acts or omissions.

In the application of HACCP and FSSC

22000, we are required to analyse our

hazards and the consequences. Do we

do this in relation to the series of controls

we apply and the potential simultaneous

failure of one of more of these control

measures? Is it time we also reviewed the

effectiveness of organizational influences

and supervision in the same way as we

calibrate temperature probes?

Do we truly understand our processes

and are we reviewing the hazards and

how they can change and adapt with the

right level of scrutiny?

I would respectfully suggest that we

need to take a good look at our cheese.




Our 2018 Supplier

Directory is packed with

info on South Africa’s

leading foodbev industry


This year’s 40-page

edition has more

categories, more

companies. It’s got

whatever you’re

looking for, from

ingredients & flavours

to packaging and

processing equipment,

consumables and key

industry services.

If you missed the

print edition, the

Directory is always

available online (a PDF

file you can quickly

download) at:

Get it at



Despite tough trading

conditions and a 13% fall

in the total PET market,

the South African plastic industry

recycled a record 2.15 billion PET

plastic bottles in 2017, setting a

post-consumer recycling rate of

65% to put the country on par

with international standards.

The 93 235 tonnes of

collected PET exceeded the

industry target of 58% for the

year 2017 and created 64 000

income-generating opportunities

for waste pickers, collectors and

recyclers, saving 578 000m3 of

landfill space and 139 000 tonnes

of carbon in the process.

This was announced by

national industry body, PETCO,

which is responsible for fulfilling

the sector’s mandate of extended

producer responsibility (EPR).

PETCO said the 3% yearon-year

increase in tonnage

(versus 90 749 tonnes in 2016) was particularly significant against

the backdrop of the political and economic instability, volatile

exchange rates and industrial strike action, which had affected

some of the major industry players in 2017.

According to the organisation, water shortages in the Western

Cape had seen an increased consumer demand for bottled water

during the latter part of the year, which grew the waste volumes

available for recycling in this region.

PETCO chief executive officer Cheri Scholtz said the

organisation was thrilled with the latest figures, which

demonstrated both the industry’s commitment to recycling

and the economic value of post-consumer PET in the

circular economy.

“Through the remarkable network of people, companies and

organisations we work with, 5.9 million PET bottles were collected

for recycling across South Africa every day during the course of

2017, creating thousands of income-generating opportunities for

small and micro-collectors, and changing their lives and those of

their families in immeasurable ways.”

Scholtz said PETCO members paid a voluntary recycling fee on

every tonne of raw material purchased, which funded their efforts

and supported a sustainable recycling industry.

Since the organisation’s incorporation in 2004, a total of R2.3

billion has been paid by contracted recyclers to collectors for

baled bottles, with a total of 609 306 tonnes of PET recycled to

date. This has saved more than 900 000 tonnes of carbon and

almost four million cubic metres of landfill space.

PETCO chairman Casper Durandt, who is also head of

technical for Coca-Cola’s South African franchise, said the

organisation’s accomplishment could not have been achieved

without its dedicated partners.

• SA’s PET industry hits new high with 2.15 billion bottles recycled.

• 65% recycling rate on par with international standards.

• 64 000 income-generating opportunities created.

& Processing Reporter

Finding the

sweet spot in

new product


In developed and maturing markets, food and beverage

manufacturers are struggling with slowing growth and are therefore

seeking new growth opportunities. The challenge is establishing the

right consumer space to identify the right customers and create the

right kind of products. It’s a similar story for emerging markets where

the challenge is to provide relevant consumer products, and service

areas where there’s unlocked potential.

Markus Boehm, Chief Market Officer at SIG, one of the world’s leading

solution providers for the food and beverage industry, discusses

what product innovation and differentiation really mean now and in

the future.

Why is product innovation becoming

so important?

Boehm: The way we live, work and

consume is changing. From digitalisation

and urbanisation to faster on-the go

lifestyles, a whole series of megatrends

are transforming the way people think

of products.

What we’re seeing is that mobile

and connected consumers want more

from their products of choice. They want

high-quality, authentic and convenient

packaging that’s easy to use, enhances

their experience and scores in terms of

sustainability. This means consumers

are willing to pay premium prices for

innovative, sustainable and differentiated

products with real benefits.

What are the challenges of developing

new products?

It’s clear that consumers are no longer

driven purely by price. So, to gain a

competitive edge, producers are battling

it out to offer products that can offer

better health, quality, and experience.

But achieving greater product novelty

requires the right consumer insights

to realise new opportunities. All while

meeting individual consumer needs

and ensuring products stand out at the

point of sale.

What can producers do to overcome

these challenges?

Producers need to develop products for

the next generation that enable them to

meet changing needs and capitalise on

market trends. But to do this, they need

more creative design concepts, more

filling potential for products and more

unique packaging possibilities.




Stefan Fageräng has taken over as MD

of Tetra Pak Southern Africa, replacing

John Strömblad.

“It gives us great pleasure to

welcome Stefan as the head of Tetra

Pak Southern Africa as we celebrate the

company’s 60th anniversary in South

Africa,” says Penny Ntuli, Tetra Pak’s

communications director for SA.

Fageräng is an industry stalwart who

rose through Tetra Pak’s ranks, from

management trainee in Sweden to

senior management, during his 27 years

of tenure.

He has been MD of Tetra Pak North

West Europe, Benelux and Eastern

Mediterranean, to name a few, as well

as VP of Sales and Marketing in the

company’s Processing Division.

Fageräng has served the

company in 12 different

countries in nearly every

department of its global


He graduated from

Uppsala University in

Sweden where he earned

his Bachelor’s degree in

Business Administration

and Economics.

Fageräng also

completed several

executive programmes

in leadership and management

at IMD in Switzerland.

Markus Boehm

From Previous Page

Food and beverage manufacturers

need to find that product “sweet spot”

that enables them to open up new

segments and reach new target groups,

while also growing their existing and wellestablished

core markets.

How can brands stand out in a

crowded market?

Creating more convenient or premium

products is one thing. Making them

authentic and unique is something

else. To truly stand out from the crowd,

producers can be the first in the market

with real product innovation. They can

broaden their portfolio and open up new

consumer segments. And they can move

beyond standard offerings, which in turn

will help them reach attractive margin

levels. Examples of how SIG is enabling

this is with combismile, combidome and

drinksplus. These solutions can help meet

the demand for unique products and

position brands in a competitive market.

What product and packaging

innovations can we expect in

the future?

Well, we can expect product innovations

to come to life faster than ever. But

a growing trend for the future is the

development of more individualised

products with smart packaging – ones

that can be perfectly tailored to fit a

consumer’s personality, lifestyle,

and image.

This move from mass production to

mass personalisation will gather pace

and have a significant impact on

producers, from driving new technology

and business models to unlocking

value-rich data. It will require investment

but the rewards will be great. In fact,

according to Deloitte research, one in five

consumers interested in personalised

products are willing to pay a 20%


How is your company positioning itself

for these new trends?

SIG aims to drive product Innovation

and differentiation in the beverage

and food industry. With consumerfocused

insights and marketing

intelligence, the company delivers

innovative product and packaging

solutions that enable businesses to

satisfy ever-changing needs. SIG is

currently expanding its offering with a

growing team of product and technical

engineers, while developing test facilities

to prototype product ideas.

• SIG is one of the world's leading solution

providers for the food and beverage

industry within the field of carton packs

and filling technology. In 2017, the

company achieved a turnover of 1.66

billion Euro with more than

5 000 employees.



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Spain’s Iberchem snaps

up SA’s Versachem

Spain’s Iberchem Group is acquiring

a majority stake in Versachem, the

Pretoria-based specialist in food

flavours and colours.

Rina Wulfsohn, founder and CEO of

Versachem, will continue to run

the business.

"We are glad to be welcoming

all of Versachem's employees within

the Iberchem Group's family," says

Ramón Fernández, CEO of Iberchem.

"Versachem's portfolio and expertise,

as well as its corporate culture, are

highly complementary to the ones of

the Group. This acquisition will help

us to quickly expand our offer in what

represents a key market for both our

flavour and fragrance divisions. It will

definitely accelerate our commitment to

developing unique products tailored to

local preferences and characteristics.

Our team looks forward to leveraging

on Versachem's expertise.”

Fernández said the deal comes as

a first milestone in Iberchem Group's

2020 strategy of accelerating its

organic growth through mergers and

acquisitions. The Group is also currently

focusing on the expansion of the

footprint and capabilities of its flavour

division, Scentium, within key fastgrowing


"We are delighted to be teaming

with the Iberchem Group," says

Wulfsohn. "This alliance will highly

benefit our trusted customers in

the region, mostly by strengthening

our existing capabilities and abilities in

the development of innovative flavour

solutions. It will allow both companies to

broaden their offering in South Africa and

its neighbouring countries."

With a commercial presence in over

120 countries and counting on 12 R&D/

production facilities strategically located

around the world, Iberchem has become

a leading reference in the flavour and

fragrance industry since its foundation

in Spain in 1985. In 2017, the group

reported sales of €125m. FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 27




When Buckle Packaging

started in 1979, it was

with the aim of supplying

the agricultural sector with quality

end-of-line packaging machinery.

As sole agents for Fischbein-Saxon

from the USA and UK, this familyrun

packaging company was able

to supply a solution to the bag

closing needs of the agricultural


Fast forward to 2018, one year

short of their 40-year anniversary,

and Buckle Packaging can boast

of being one of South Africa’s

leading importers and distributors

of packaging machinery. Still family

run, they continue to follow their

steadfast mission of supplying

only the best quality machinery.

Buckle Packaging’s range of

machinery spans from machines to

close bags for nuts, spices, sugar,

and fertilizer; basically any product

that needs to be sealed or sewn

into an open mouth bag.

Its bagging solutions cover an array

of different industries including grain,

flour and sugar milling, animal feed and

fertilizer to name a few, and is a leading

supplier of packaging machines to the

fruit and vegetable sector.

Within the potato farming fraternity,

one of Buckle Packaging’s most soughtafter

items is the Fischbein range of bag

stitching machines. From portable handheld

units for lower production runs,

through to the heavy-duty, high-speed

in-line stitchers, this equipment is sturdy,

durable and designed for working long


The high-speed stitcher is adaptable

to all makes of carousel units, and

uses a self-lubricating system which

makes it reliable and sturdy for the

tough job of packaging potatoes daily.

The machine comes standard with a

variable-speed pulley which allows for

easy synchronisation to the speed of the

conveyor or carousel. The stitch length is

also adjustable depending on the specific

bags being used.

The Fischbein Auto-Bag

Stitcher, one of Buckle

Packaging’s range of machines.

This packaging system is designed

to work at high speeds, making sure the

volumes of potato pockets are closed

securely and within the fastest time. The

Fischbein stitcher is completely sealed

in oil against dust and dirt allowing for

smooth operation.

This system would be just as efficient

for the bagging of other fruit and

vegetables such as macadamias, maize,

groundnuts, sorghum and popcorn to

name a few. Stitching and heat sealing

does away with wire ties and taping of

bags which is labour-intensive and not

as secure. Stitching and sealing of bags

has also proven to be tamper-proof;

product cannot be removed from the

bag as easily.

If it's nuts that you’re farming, Buckle

Packaging can assist nut farmers and

packers throughout the country with

Fishbein-Saxon bag closing equipment.

The larger 25kg and 50kg woven poly

bags are sewn closed and in many cases

bagged for export.

If nuts are being packaged in smaller

stand-up pouches, polyethylene or foil

packets, Buckle Packaging recommends

heat sealing these bags with the Saxon

SH1000 continuous heat sealer for a

neat closure.

Buckle Packaging's services and

expertise do not stop here. The company

has years of experience in helping and

advising you on the best system to solve

your individual bagging problem.

They have a large range of premium

quality bag sewing thread. This ring-spun

polyester product is available in various

cone sizes for portable bag stitching

machines, as well as industrial sewing

systems with cones up to 10kg. The

standard colour range is white with an

option of six other colours. Inferior quality

thread with knots and flaws leads to

machine downtime and low productivity.

This also poses the danger of product

loss during transportation and handling.

Buckle offers installation of their

systems, machine servicing and repairs,

and provides spare parts needed to

maintain these important machines.






A new BLOCK-BUSTER Bulk Bag Conditioner from Flexicon

Corporation features a laser safety curtain that automatically

stops the system's hydraulic rams, scissor lift and turntable if

the laser beam is obstructed, eliminating the need for safetyhinged

doors and interlock switches for operator safety.

The conditioner loosens densely-packed bulk solid

materials in bulk bags by means of hydraulic rams with

specially contoured end plates that press and release

opposing sides

of the bag. A



scissor lift

with accordionstyle

dust skirt and

turntable allows

conditioning of the

bag on all sides at all


The number

and pressure of

hydraulic ram

actuations, the

height of the

turntable, and

the number of

90-degree rotations

are user adjustable.

The system

controller and

hydraulic pump can

be mounted on the exterior of the frame or remotely.

The new conditioner is intended for bulk bags containing

hygroscopic chemicals, certain types of spice blends, heatsensitive

products, and other materials prone to solidifying

to the point at which pneumatically-actuated flow promotion

accessories integral to bulk bag dischargers are inefficient or

completely ineffective.

Available as a stand-alone unit or integral component of

a bulk bag discharger, the unit measures 2210 mm H X 3378

mm W X 1981 mm D, accommodates bulk bags of all popular

sizes, and requires only an electrical power connection for


The company also manufactures bulk bag dischargers,

bulk bag fillers, flexible screw conveyors, pneumatic

conveying systems, tubular cable conveyors, manual

dumping stations, drum/box/container tippers, weigh

batching systems, and automated plant-wide systems

integrated with new or existing process equipment.




Ishida Europe has introduced an internal moisture sensor

and monitoring system for its latest multihead weighers,

which will enable fresh and frozen food producers to more

easily control and prevent water ingress into their critical

production equipment.

Coupled with Ishida’s advanced Sentinel monitoring and

reporting system, this will ensure an enhanced performance

and longer term reliability.

Water ingress is a common problem in the fresh and

frozen weighing and packing environment. While models

for these applications typically have appropriate IP ratings

and waterproof washdown designs, these cannot prevent

incidents such as doors and drive weigh units being loosely

torqued, or doors being inadvertently left open, even if just

for a short while.

In addition, air purge systems designed to push out moist

air may be poorly maintained and lead to humid air being

used. Excessive water or humidity within a multihead weigher

will cause loss of machine performance and significant

damage that can result in expensive downtime and repairs.

The Ishida solution is three dew and temperature sensors

placed at key points within the weigher, providing a constant

monitoring of humidity levels and sending out a series of

escalating alerts to operators if levels become too high.

There are three stages of alerts. A humidity level of

between 70% and 79% triggers a yellow alert. This humidity

can typically be cleared by use of the air purge system.

Humidity levels between 80% and 89% - which could occur

if the air purge system itself is compromised - create a red

alert that results in the weigher’s power being automatically

switched off. It cannot then be switched back on until

moisture levels have dropped below the 80% threshold.

Anything above the 90% critical level will see a bespoke

input/output module come into operation. This can be

configured to customer requirements such as an audible

alarm or a series of beacon warning lights to indicate that

critical moisture levels have been reached.

“Our multihead weighers are renowned for their reliability

and efficiency, but the downside to this is that the machines

can still continue to operate for a long time even in harsh

environments where their levels of protection have been

compromised,” explains Ian Atkinson, Ishida Europe’s

Business Manager EMEA – Multihead Weighers.

As a result, says Atkinson, “operators may be unaware of

major faults until it is too late to take remedial action, leading

to unwanted downtime and frustration. The availability of

our moisture sensors, together with the real time reporting

capabilities of Sentinel, eliminates this problem.”





How does a young, dynamic brand

like Thirsti increase sales volumes

over their summer campaign by a

massive 45% year-on-year in an intensely

competitive market?

Look to the use of a ground-breaking

interactive label concept that links the

world of print with a mobile digital


The interactive label, the brainchild of

Uniprint, was the face of the 2017/2018

“Thirsti 4 Summer” campaign. This

scannable label, which carried Facebook

Messenger codes, allowed consumers to

connect directly to the Thirsti Facebook

Messenger page via their smartphone,

and to interact with a sophisticated

“chat bot”.

The “bot”, which was driven by

artificial intelligence (AI) software, was

able to offer a personalised, immediate

engagement with consumers using their

Facebook Messenger profile. At the

same time, the “bot” was able to advise

on hydration and sipping frequency

and facilitate entries for a Spin and Win

competition on the uWina platform.

The Thirsti project, the first of its

kind in South Africa - and possibly

worldwide - integrated print, digital

technology and social media to offer

the brand the ability to handshake with

the client without the requirement for

full variable data printing to achieve


The project was designed, developed

and implemented in a mere three

months and has paved the way for

interactive labels to change the face of

marketing forever.

Design Wizardry

The existing Thirsti label features a clean,

contemporary, one-colour design that

reflects the youth and dynamism of the

company. The digital campaign required

that the label carry promotional text, a

scannable code and a unique number

for the competition entry, while still

maintaining the brand’s clean look

and feel.

The design team, in tandem

with the digital team, set to work to

creatively maximise the existing

label space. Blue and white

promotional graphics were inlaid

into the existing design along

with space for the scannable

Facebook Messenger code. The

team recognised that the label

design had to make consumers

feel confident they could easily

navigate through to the Facebook

page as well as handle the

competition entry.

The size and placement of the

scannable code and the sequential

numbering involved late nights,

extensive trials and plenty of

technical knowledge and skill. Placing

a scannable code on a curved bottle

surface that could be read by any

smart phone was by itself a huge ask.

Software Wizardry

Behind the scenes, further work

was going on at UNIPRINT and its

partners. While the “chat bot” was being

developed, so that it could successfully

engage with consumers, the Spin and

Win competition was also evolving.

Crucial to the promotion was a

system that could process the unique

number found on each bottle via the

Facebook Messenger page.

This ensured that consumers could

only enter the competition by purchasing

a bottle but also provided a database for

tracking and delivering prizes as well as

valuable marketing information.

The competition team had to ensure

that the prizes, which varied from

cellular data to shopping vouchers, were

purchased, recorded and delivered

correctly. The campaign attracted over

12 000 entries over a three-month

period, which was unusually high for such

a promotion.


Printing Wizardry

The decision to print the label flexographically required

plenty of technical know-how from Uniprint. The promotional

label design, which anticipated a cmyk print, was reproduced

in three spot colours to ensure tight registration and

therefore, perfect “scannability”. The Facebook Messenger

codes were reproduced using barcode-printing technology

and, critically, any gain in the print process was compensated

for in the repro stages.

It was essential to ensure that the flexo plates were

sufficiently durable to maintain the accuracy over the long

print runs that were required by the customer.

The messenger codes and label design were printed in-line,

in blue, onto the white ink - as opposed to directly onto

the substrate. Ink choice and compatibility were critical.

The white background had to be sufficiently opaque in

order to prevent the Messenger code’s scannability being

compromised by light reflections through the bottle. The fine

type on the clear label is testament to the quality of the

flexo printing.

“Success is no longer about who

has the biggest factory or the

largest range of equipment.”

- Uniprint MDGrant Hubbard

The chosen substrate was an ultra clear polypropylene

so that the self-adhesive label would have a “no-label” look,

critical to the established brand identity of Thirsti.

The unique variable number for the competition was

ink-jet printed during the final rewinding process, as opposed

to on press. This was to ensure that no numbers were lost in

the set-up stages and roll changes through the process.

The “Thirsti for Summer” campaign was so successful that

Uniprint had to produce a second run of labels.

To ensure success of the promotion and drive awareness

of the new engagement technology and competition

possibilities, Uniprint’s partners at Hirt & Carter reproduced

the concept design on in-store, point-of-sale stands,

wobblers, banners and shelf talkers. Ultimately, the campaign

drove a surge in sales for Thirsti.

Uniprint MD Grant Hubbard puts it in a nutshell, “Success is

no longer about who has the biggest factory or the largest

range of equipment. The market is challenging us to combine

technologies in new and innovative ways, so that we can

offer customers new and innovative solutions in order to

differentiate themselves in the market. In the past, media

and print technologies were often seen as rivals but now they

are in partnership. They complement one another. We’ve

taken full advantage of our partners’ capabilities to harness

complementary technologies and create unique solutions.”

Adds Hubbard: “We are continually up-skilling our

workforce and our technology so that what was considered

impossible just yesterday is a reality today. It’s a very exciting

time for everyone.”





In the aftermath of the Listeria disaster, Josh DeVoll looks at the benefits and

challenges of using antimicrobial sprays to keep pathogens at bay.

When it comes to food safety,

there is no room for risk-taking.

The challenge isn’t whether to

protect products against pathogens; it’s

to identify the best approach for your

processing operations. There are many

options available and technology is

changing rapidly.

In this white paper, you’ll learn a

bit about the different approaches

to pathogen control and a lot about

one technology that is highly effective,

versatile and lower cost than other

options: applying antimicrobials to

processed meats/poultry prior to


There are four equipment options for

treating meat and poultry for pathogen

protection and each relies on different


1. Ultra pasteurization

2. High-pressure pasteurization

3. Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)

4. Spray application of antimicrobials


process of thermally treating packaged

meats at elevated temperatures. Exposure

to these temperatures must be at

the surface of the meat for a length of

time such that all potential contamination

is exposed to the treatment. Under the

right conditions, this method can be


This method doesn’t work with

overlapped products because it

requires a prolonged exposure to heat.

Depending on the type of product,

organoleptic properties also become

a concern.


(HPP) utilizes high pressure at between

1 000 to 88 000 psi to kill pathogens.

It is extremely effective and typically

achieves 4-8 log reductions, but can limit

production because it is a batch process.


PACKAGING (MAP) uses specific

packaging in which the internal

atmosphere of the package is flushed

with N2, CO2, CO or a mixture of those

elements. MAP is effective for shelf

life extension and has no effect on

organoleptic properties. However, the

effectiveness of the process is dependent

on the packaging. The use cost of MAP

is generally twice the cost of traditional

vacuum packaging.


ANTIMICROBIALS is the fourth option.

The antimicrobials are often applied in

the package but it can be done prior to

packaging as well. The system enables

easy adjustment of the volume of

antimicrobial being applied

Antimicrobials come in a variety of

forms and options must be carefully

evaluated. Factors such as ingredients,

efficacy and handling, shelf life, clean

labelling requirements, application

requirements and cost can vary widely,

and will drive the ultimate selection. Keep

in mind that the application equipment

can have a significant impact on the

effectiveness of the antimicrobial.

Most antimicrobials are shipped in

a concentrated form and require mixing

on-site with water at a determined

ratio. The storage temperature of the

concentrate and mixed solution may

differ so be sure to understand the

requirements early in the evaluation


Also, keep in mind that most

antimicrobials have a shelf life after being

mixed, usually one to five days.

Some antimicrobials must be listed

on product labels; some do not. It



depends on whether the antimicrobial is

considered a processing aid.


• Applying antimicrobials in the package

is ideal. The package is the last point

of intervention after exposure to other

potential sources of contamination,

such as conveyors, tables and


“Applying antimicrobials

with spray equipment

offers many advantages

over other technologies.”

• If spraying just prior to packaging,

choose a point where contact surfaces

of the product are accessible. If the

product comes into contact with other

surfaces after application, be sure

those surfaces have been sanitized.

• Trim and other products that are going

to be ground should be sprayed with

antimicrobial prior to grinding. Exposed

product surfaces that could have

potential contamination are lowest at

this point. The antimicrobial is typically

sprayed into a blender or mixer.

• Any type of equipment that comes

in contact with the products should be

sprayed periodically with sanitizers to

limit the spread of contaminants.

• Consult with experts. Spraying

antimicrobials requires a high-level of

precision and is not attainable with

workers using spray bottles or holes

drilled in pipes


Nearly every antimicrobial comes in a

concentrated form and requires dilution.

Antimicrobials can be mixed manually.

However, because manual mixing is

operator dependent, it isn’t very precise

or repeatable.

Automated mixing/refill equipment

eliminates the variations found in manual

mixing and reduces the potential for

contamination. When antimicrobials

are exposed to airborne bacteria

and surfaces such as containers, the

opportunity for contamination exists.

Most processors run a variety of

products on a single line. Each product

may require a different volume of

antimicrobial. Spray equipment should be

able to easily and quickly accommodate

different products. In fact, it should

be as easy as a couple of taps on a

touch screen. If physical changes to the

equipment are required, quality control is

typically compromised.

The efficacy of antimicrobials is

based on the concentration and volume

applied. An automated refill system can

help ensure the proper concentration

is achieved. The volume of antimicrobial

applied is just as important.

Over-application of the antimicrobial

can cause a variety of negative effects:

• Customer satisfaction may decrease as

over-application can create unpleasant

smells or liquid in packages

• Regulatory limits can be exceeded and

result in fines or recalls

• Costs can spiral out of control.


Applying antimicrobials with spray

equipment offers many advantages over

other technologies. Cost, ease-of-use

and precision application are attractive

to processors of all sizes. Depending on

which antimicrobials are used, shelflife

extension, cleaner labels, improved

customer satisfaction.

• Josh DeVoll is a Director of Market

Solutions at Spraying Systems

Co, headquartered in Chicago. It

is represented in SA by Monitor



Various machines - ranging from Vacuum Tumblers, Injectors, Sausage Fillers, Vacuum machines,

Clippers and many more....

Pallet washer Brine Injector Vacuum Tumbler Hygiene Station Crate Washer/Sanitiser Bowel Cutter

• Tel: +27 11 664 8212 • Email:


Branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban


Tel: +27 11 462 0020

+27 11 032 8600

Fax: +27 11 462 0032

Suppliers to the hospitality and

food industries of quality portioncontrolled,

chilled, frozen and dried meat products. Service

excellence, innovation and flexibility give Dinnermates the

edge in providing meat and chicken products tailored for

special applications in the food industry.



Tel: +27 861 777 993

PHT, your partner for hygiene and technology, plans and

offers hygiene, food safety and technology solutions for

food and beverage companies of any size; personnel

hygiene equipment, change room equipment, drain

technology, cleaning machines, foam cleaning technology,

consumable goods, ergonomic handling systems, doors

and components, deboning conveyor and racking systems,

stunning and slaughter systems, water treatment systems,

smoking and cooking systems, wood, pan releasing agents,

speciality ingredients.



Tel: +27 16 423 5537

Fax: +27 86 605 5406

• Complete software solution

for the food and meat industry

• Full traceable stock control

• Full MRP and traceability solutions

• Specialists in meat systems (abattoir/debone


• Retail point of sale

• Scales, label printing and probes integration

• Recipes and yield control systems

• Integration with most known financial systems


Tel: + 27 10 010 6147

+ 27 11 452 1760

For the past 30 years, Aromatech has specialised in the

development and manufacture of flavours for snacks.

Today, besides snack seasonings, with the co-operation of

some of the world’s finest French flavour chemists, we now

offer flavours for the whole of the food, dairy, pharmaceutical

and beverage industries.

We are also able to offer single vitamins and vitamin

pre-mixes, of the highest quality.

Aromatech will not compromise on quality, and offer

extremely competitive prices, low minimum order quantities

and outstanding technical and personal service.

We are passionate about what we do. Make us your

next flavour partner.


Unit 2 Galaxy Office Park,

17 Galaxy Avenue, Linbro Business Park, Sandton

Tel +27 11 409 5000

Lake Foods is the exclusive

representative for leading

international manufacturers and suppliers of specialty

ingredients and commodities, offering products and services

into the dairy, beverage, wine, meat, poultry, bakery, health and

nutrition industries.

Offering a full service to their customers, Lake Foods has

a well-equipped pilot facility at Linbro Park, Sandton, which

enables the technical department to assist customers with new

product innovation, development and product improvements.

Products in our portfolio include bacterial cultures, enzymes,

natural colours, test systems, phosphates, stabilisers,

emulsifiers, baking powders, brines, spice blends, marinades

and various other food ingredients.



Cape Town Tel: +27 (0)21 552 9190

Johannesburg Tel: +27 (0)11 450 1075

Double your warehouse and cold store capacity

without adding another square metre.

Storax mobile racking is designed to fit in either new or

existing warehouses and cold stores where space is at a

premium. Mobile racking can double pallet capacity while still

allowing immediate access to every pallet position.

Barpro has offices in both Joburg and Cape Town, can

manufacture locally, has spares and trained technicians

on hand.




ABB Campus, 2 Lake Rd,

Longmeadow Business Estate (North),

Modderfontein, 1609

Tel: +27 10 202 5000

ABB’s food & beverage solutions

Plant-wide solutions to optimize productivity,

efficiency and uptime.

ABB’s broad digital portfolio enables increased control and

visibility for better optimisation and productivity with less

energy and water, realize improved food safety and

traceability, and minimise waste. ABB can help you build

the flexible, cost effective production systems needed to

manage your risks and gain the most from today’s trends.

ABB use the Internet of Things, Services and People to help

you get the most out of your assets and improve uptime.

Find out more about our full range of solutions at, or contact your local

ABB office.


PO Box 686, Cape Town, 8000

Vrystaat Road, Paarden Eiland

Cape Town, South Africa

Tel +27 87 350 7350

As the largest cold store operator in Africa, operating since

1971 and a 100% subsidiary of the Oceana Group, CCS

Logistics owns and operates eleven modern refrigerated

facilities in the major centres and harbours of South Africa,

Namibia and Angola. Collectively, CCS offer 140 000 tons

of multi temperature controlled storage and handling from

ambient to minus 60 degrees.

Dynamic warehouse management systems incorporating

radio frequency technology and integration capabilities

support our range of services that include picking, blast

freezing, bonded facilities, bulk vessel quayside operations

and stevedoring. Customised services range from container

consolidation, cross-docking, palletisation, transport and

facilitation of clearing and forwarding.



PO Box 686, Cape Town, 8000

Vrystaat Road, Paarden Eiland

Cape Town, South Africa

Tel: +27 87 350 7283

Linebooker is not a brokerage. Linebooker is an online

business where customers have easy access to the majority

of transport companies is South Africa. How it works: the

customer would publish a load request on our platform

and multiple pre-approved transport companies would

bid for your load. Our customer can then choose to accept

the lowest bid. We take care of the rest. Transporters on

the other hand have access to more customers, thus more

loads which assists in lane balancing and reduces the need

to subcontract. We pay the transporter within 15 days and

take care of all admin.


Tel: +27 11 974 8161

Fax: +27 11 974 8867

Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies SA is a specialist

provider of complete water and wastewater treatment

solutions and is active throughout southern and sub-

Saharan Africa.

As a subsidiary of the multinational Veolia Water,

the company offers a full range of products and services

to a variety of industries, including food and beverage,

petrochemical, mining, municipalities, and numerous others.

Veolia employs leading technology for disinfection,

filtration and general purification, including environmental


Solutions are completed by in-house capacity to provide

a speciality chemical treatment range - Hydrex - as well as

SABS-approved hygiene products and services.



Email Tel: 083 653 8116 FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 37

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