NEWS OF INDUSTRY
DMI seeks entries for product development contest
Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), Rosemont, Ill., is calling for entries for its annual “Discoveries in Dairy Ingredients” contest. Graduate and undergraduate college students are invited to create food product formulations using any form of dry milk, dry buttermilk, dry whey, or whey derivatives. The deadline for entries is February 1, 2001.
DMI sponsors the contest to introduce food science students to the functional properties of and multiple uses for dry dairy ingredients. Students may create a product for any food category, including soups and sauces, baked goods, beverages, powdered mixes, confections, pastas, desserts, or dairy products. Three winning individuals and/or teams will receive cash awards of $5,000 for Best Overall Product, $3,000 for Product Marketability, and $3,000 for Product Creativity. All entrants will receive a “Do It With Dairy®” T-shirt.
For more information, call 1-800-248-8829 or visit the DMI Web site, www.doitwithdairy.com, and click on the “Competition” button.
ConAgra completes International Home Foods acquisition
ConAgra, Inc., Omaha, Neb., has completed the acquisition of International Home Foods as part of the company’s goal toward further growth.
ConAgra, Inc., a $25-billion-plus food company, has 85,000 employees worldwide and manufactures and markets brands such as Hunt’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, Snack Pack, Van Camp’s, Peter Pan, Manwich, Beanee Weenee, Swiss Miss, and Knott’s Berry Farm. International Home Foods, Inc., is a national manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of such food products as Chef Boyardee pasta products, PAM cooking spray, Bumble Bee seafood, and Gulden’s mustard.
Eurofins Scientific Group acquires Woodson-Tenent Laboratories
With the acquisition in July 2000 of Woodson-Tenent Laboratories of Memphis, Tenn., Eurofins Scientific Group has reinforced its quest to rapidly become a leading provider in analytical services worldwide.
Eurofins Scientific (www.eurofins.com), a large laboratory service provider to the food, beverage, and dietary supplements industries, specializing in nutrition, food authenticity, and food biotechnology, has laboratories in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and the United States. Woodson-Tenent operates six laboratories in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio, and has an additional 16 grain inspection facilities in the Midwest. The merger provides both companies with immediate access to a wide range of complementary analytical processes, key accounts, and well recognized scientific and management teams.
Hain and H.J. Heinz to launch new initiatives
The Hain Celestial Group and H.J. Heinz Company have launched two initiatives to capitalize on developing new marketing opportunities through the combination of the two companies’ resources.
The first venture will be the expansion of The Hain Celestial Group’s family of brands into the club store channel. Heinz Sales Company assumed responsibility for sales and marketing of all Hain brands to the domestic club store class of trade as of September 1, 2000.
The second venture will market co-branded, non-dairy beverage products under the new Health Valley® Great Awakenings™ brand name. Health Valley, owned by The Hain Celestial Group, manufactures large, well-known natural product brands in the U.S.; Great Awakenings is a new Heinz trademark developed especially for this product line and now going through initial test marketing in Minneapolis and Denver.
This is the first new product entry for Heinz in the booming market, currently estimated at $300 million, for soy-based beverages.
Key completes two acquisitions
Key Technology, Inc., Walla Walla, Wash., has finalized its acquisition of Advanced Machine Vision Corporation and Farmco, Inc. Together with Key’s process automation and product handling equipment, these additions allow Key to service and sell a wider range of food processing machinery and machine vision systems for food and industrial markets.
The Advanced Machine Vision Corporation merger brings two new business units to the organization: SRC Vision and Ventek. SRC Vision’s products include the new Prism G5 sorter. The Farmco line of products includes mechanical sizing, sorting, separating, and grading machines for fruit, vegetable, and potato processing industries.
Government Agency News
• Patrick C. McCaskey, D.V.M., was appointed Assistant Deputy Administrator for Operations within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Office of Public Health and Science. In his new capacity, McCaskey will oversee FSIS’ three laboratories in Athens, Ga.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Alameda, Calif., each of which coordinates and conducts laboratory analytical services in support of FSIS’ farm-to-table strategies in the chemistry, microboilogy and pathology for food safety in meat, poultry, and egg products. In this role, he will continue to focus on laboratory quality with the objective of having all FSIS laboratories obtain ISO Standard 17025 accreditation by the end of 2001.
A USDA employee for nearly 24 years, McCaskey most recently served as Director of FSIS’ Eastern Laboratory in Athens, Ga. Prior to that, he was Director of the FSIS Pathology and Serology Division in Beltsville, Md. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 1975, a Masters of Science degree in veterinary pathology from the University of Georgia in 1982, and was certified a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 1985.
• Developers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and their collaborators have developed three of the 100 most significant innovations of 2000, according to R&D Magazine. Resulting technologies are reducing losses on food production lines, helping to ensure the safety of food, and may replace glass with engineered plastics in electronic display panels.
According to R&D’s annual award competition, the winning technologies from Pacific Northwest are: (1) a system that immediately identifies cutting blade failures on food processing lines (thereby reducing or eliminating the loss of time and product caused by the inability of human inspectors to quickly catch knife blade failures); (2) a radiation dose measurement system that is inexpensive, versatile, and precise (using light instead of heat to measure how much radiation food and other products are getting); and (3) a coating that makes possible plastic display panels for electronics (thereby enabling products using these items to be lighter in weight, flexible, and impermeable to damage from air and water vapor).
Pacific Northwest is one of the Department of Energy’s nine multiprogram national laboratories conducting research in the fields of environment, energy, health sciences, and national security. More information about these and previous Pacific Northwest R&D Awards may be obtained from Web site: www.pnl.gov/main/welcome/awards/rd100/.
Company News in Brief
• Alfa Laval, Inc. and ABB Automation, Inc., have formed a new strategic alliance to integrate the strengths of each company in separation and process control and automation. As part of the agreement, ABB will work with Alfa Laval on conceptual engineering and consulting, technology screening, and lifecycle cost analysis for products and processes, and will also provide a wide range of instrumentation and control solutions, working with Alfa Laval through the entire project lifestyle from project conception through after-startup and maintenance.
• New investments in ADM Cocoa’s production facilities in Wormer, Netherlands, and Hull, U.K., have been completed. These include cocoa liquor grinding lines in both plants and an automated distribution center in Wormer. In addition, odor-abatement equipment for the alkalizing and roasting process has been installed.
• Century Foods International, Sparta, Wis., has moved its corporate offices into Century Food’s new 185,000-sq-ft building at 400 Century Court in Sparta, thus completing the uniting of the company’s research and development department with its analytical laboratories and administrative offices into one location.
• Chr. Hansen A/S, a subsidiary of Chr. Hansen, Inc. of Milwaukee, Wis., has acquired Industrias Cuamex, S.A. de C.V. near Mexico City, Mexico. The acquisition includes the facilities in Cuautitlan, Estado de Mexico and all trademarks, including all Cuamex branded coagulants, color, flavor, and other ingredients marketed to the Mexican and Central American markets.
• The Food Consulting Company, Del Mar, Calif., has purchased Pennsylvania-based Nutrition Labeling Services, making the Del Mar company the largest contract provider of food labeling services in the U.S. The company provides a full range of food labeling services including database and laboratory analysis, nutrition facts panel preparation, ingredient statements, package design planning, shelf-life evaluation, and final label review.
• Food Insights, Memphis, Tenn., has moved its corporate offices and research center into expanded facilities at 51 Germantown Court, Suite 201, Cordova, TN 38018 (telephone 901-755-9911; fax 901-755-1006; Web site: www.foodinsights.co). The move enables the company to expand on services offered to the food hospitality industry.
• Impress Metal Packaging Holdings B.V. has finalized its acquisition of the H.J. Heinz Company’s North American can-making assets. Four of the operations are located within Heinz’s food processing plants in Bloomsburg, Pa.; Terminal Island, Calif.; American Samoa; and Puerto Rico. One is a stand-alone end (lid)-making and coated sheet facility in Weirton, W.Va. Together, these five plants employ approximately 920 people.
• PE Biosystems, Foster City, Calif., a business of PE Corporation, has changed its name to Applied Biosystems. The new name replaces all of the company’s past or present business entities, including Molecular Informatics, PE Applied Biosystems, PE Biosystems, PE Informatics, PE Nelson, Perkin-Elmer, PerSeptive Biosystems, and Tropix. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.appliedbiosystems.com, or call Applied Biosystems at 800-874-9869, ext. 5826.
• Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. will relocate its Martin Gillet & Co., Inc. salad dressing and mayonnaise plant from Baltimore, Md., to Dunkirk, N.Y., by January 2001, thereby closing the Baltimore facility. Approximately 195 Baltimore-based employees will be affected by the relocation and subsequent closure.
• Silliker bioMérieux, Inc. has signed agreements to acquire Microtech Laboratories, Pty., Ltd, located in Australia, and Ceinal S.A., a food testing laboratory in Spain. These acquisitions are the most recent additions to Silliker’s global food testing laboratory network.
• Nestle USA Inc. and the J.R. Simplot Company have signed an agreement whereby Simplot will purchase Nestle USA Food Services Division’s processed potato business, including three potato processing facilities located in Nampa, Idaho; Moses Lake, Wash.; and Othello, Wash. Simplot announced that this acquisition will support the growth of their domestic and export potato business.
• Universal Foods Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis., has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire the yeast division of Lesaffre et Compagnie, Paris, France. Under the terms of the agreement, Lesaffre will pay Universal Foods $125 million in cash for Red Star Yeast & Products.
by BETSY BAIRD
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