CEO ZYDA RYLANDS
TALKS THE WALK ...
(You might have to)
CANNABIS-INFUSED FOODS ARE SMOKIN’ HOT
GO SOCIAL: THE POWER OF INTERACTIVE LABELS
THE TRUTH ABOUT ‘PORTION DISTORTION’
GOING TO POT
Cannabis + foodbev
= big bucks 14
SWISS CHEESE & LISTERIA:
HOW TO PREVENT A DISASTER 20
SUNSPRAY’S DAVID WATSON
BIDS INDUSTRY FAREWELL 10
Woolies’ CEO on the
challenges ahead 6
The future is (VERY) social 32
FINDING THE SWEET SPOT
OF NEW PRODUCT DEV 26
YES, IT’S TRUE 34
OUR WORST NIGHTMARE
A WORLD WITHOUT CHOCOLATE
“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
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
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.
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2 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
Selected news items provided by www.foodstuffsa.co.za and www.drinkstuff-sa.co.za
KERRY BUYS SEASON TO SEASON
By BRENDA NEAL
Ireland’s Kerry Group continues to
expand its South African presence
with the purchase of the super-successful
Jo’burg-based flavour company, 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
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
she says, is a
and she credits
as crucial in
values her, too,
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
As Venter comments, the snacks
business is seriously and surprisingly big,
with many big players falling under the
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.”
4 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
RHODES ON A BILLION RAND ROLL
The Rhodes Food
Group is gearing up
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
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
Rhodes Food acquired Durban-based
Pakco in 2016 for R197m after the
acquisition of Ma Baker Pies for R212m.
Bisto and Hinds,
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
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
blood orange hibiscus, roasted walnut pecan and black
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: NOW IT’S SWEDEN
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
THOUGHT FOR FOOD
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
6 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
THOUGHT FOR FOOD
“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.
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
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
I am clear that I cannot achieve
this on my own, and I am privileged
to lead an incredibly passionate and
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
required to deliver our strategy,
but also includes the creation of
development and work experience
opportunities for young, unemployed
It’s really great that what I am
passionate about is aligned to what
has been important to Woolworths for
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
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
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’
To Page 8
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THOUGHT FOR FOOD
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
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
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
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
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
Investment in our digital capabilities
continues to be a core focus for us.
8 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
THOUGHT FOR FOOD
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
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
Mobile and related technologies
are enabling consumers to interact
with each other and with global
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
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
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
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
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
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...
NEW ERA FOR
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",
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.
10 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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
through one’s life
- David Watson
sales of around
R1-million a day!
that translates to
his initial investment
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.
NEW RESEARCH PUTS PRESSURE ON INDUSTRY TO SHRINK PORTION SIZE
By MARISA SPIROS
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
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
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
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
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
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.
12 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
BY MARISA SIPROS
"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
And as more countries come on
board, analysts predict big changes in
the market. Some say cannabis-infused
drinks could one day be “bigger
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
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
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.
POT - AND
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
14 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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
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
Under current legislation, medical
practitioners are still legally denied the
right to prescribe cannabis or any of the
that are approved for the treatment of
cancer-related side effects in the US and
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
No drug is free from harm,” he
says, “but any harm must be seen
www.fbreporter.co.za FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 15
By MARISA SPIROS
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
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
Continued on Next Page
16 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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,
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
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
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
To Page 19
www.fbreporter.co.za FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 17
NESTLE RAISES THE BAR
By MARISA SPIROS
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,
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
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
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
WOOLIES WINS LABEL COMPLAINT
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
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,"
18 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
ON SUGAR REDUCTION
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
The hope is that these hybrids will
be able to withstand rising temperatures
from climate change and still produce
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.
www.fbreporter.co.za 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 www.foodfocus.co.za
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:
A valid certificate
issued by the local
municipality in terms of
Regulation 962 of the
& Disinfectants Act.
Its general hygiene
requirement is as low
as you can go. This
ensure your facility is
and constructed to
handle food. The
waste systems should
conform to municipal
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
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
20 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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
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
Seems we may have to consult the
LAB TEST PROCEDURES?
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
individual parts of
the system and are
in size and position
across the slices.
it is a result of a
gap or failure in a
barrier. A gap or a
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)
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
companies. It’s got
looking for, from
ingredients & flavours
to packaging and
consumables and key
If you missed the
print edition, the
Directory is always
available online (a PDF
file you can quickly
Get it at www.fbreporter.co.za
REMARKABLE YEAR FOR PETCO
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
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
“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
sweet spot in
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
Why is product innovation becoming
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
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
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
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.
To Next Page
www.fbreporter.co.za FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 25
NEW MD FOR TETRA PAK SOUTHERN AFRICA
Stefan Fageräng has taken over as MD
of Tetra Pak Southern Africa, replacing
“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
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
in leadership and management
at IMD in Switzerland.
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
How can brands stand out in a
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
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,
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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26 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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
"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.
www.fbreporter.co.za FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 27
BUCKLE’S 40 YEARS OF BAG
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
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
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.
28 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
NOW LASER SAFE
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
of the bag. A
dust skirt and
conditioning of the
bag on all sides at all
and pressure of
height of the
the number of
are user adjustable.
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
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
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.”
30 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
THE POWER OF
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
32 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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
“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.”
PATHOGEN CONTROL FOR MEAT/POULTRY
EFFECTIVE & VERSATILE
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
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
1. ULTRA PASTEURIZATION is the
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
2. HIGH-PRESSURE PASTEURIZATION
(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.
3. MODIFIED ATMOSPHERIC
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
4. SPRAY APPLICATION OF
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
34 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
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
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
DILUTION, MIXING AND DOSING
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
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
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
• Josh DeVoll is a Director of Market
Solutions at Spraying Systems
Co, headquartered in Chicago. It
is represented in SA by Monitor
CALL US FOR ALL YOUR EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
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: email@example.com
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,
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
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
36 JUNE 2018 | FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER www.fbreporter.co.za
PRODUCT SOLUTIONS & SERVICE SUPPLIER
ABB SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD
ABB Campus, 2 Lake Rd,
Longmeadow Business Estate (North),
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
www.abb.com/food&beverage, or contact your local
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.
PRODUCT SOLUTIONS & SERVICE SUPPLIER
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-
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.
ADVERTISE IN OUR
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 083 653 8116
www.fbreporter.co.za FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JUNE 2018 37