Sara Langen

INDUSTRY NEWS
SureBeam to build another facility
SureBeam Corp. recently announced the construction of its third major electronic pasteurizing service center near Los Angeles, Calif.

The facility is scheduled to open by the end of this year and will have a processing capacity in excess of 250 million lb. It will be used to process meat and other fresh and frozen food products and spices.

This is the second recent announcement the company, based in San Diego, Calif., has made about a new service center. It is also building one near Chicago, Ill. These two new centers will triple the company’s national processing capacity, which will give it greater flexibility for serving its customers. The facilities will have the capability of using e-beam and x-ray scanning systems simultaneously, which allows for accommodating differences in product size and shape.

These facilities are part of the company’s plans to build a nationwide servicing network, as well as install its electronic pasteurizing technology in the processing plants of major national food processors.

WW Johnson Meat Co., based in Minneapolis, Minn., has signed on to use the SureBeam technology on its fresh-ground beef products, joining the growing list of food processors who have decided to use the technology. Excel Corp., a beef and pork producer, has also recently agreed to use the electronic pasteurization system in its processing facilities located in Schuyler, Neb., and Plainview, Tex. California-based Square-H Brands, Inc., which manufactures ready-to-eat processed meats and ready-to-cook marinated meats, also signed a multi-year agreement to evaluate the use of the SureBeam technology on its product lines.

SureBeam describes its technology as similar to a microwave oven, in that it uses electricity as its energy source to pasteurize food after it has been processed and packaged. A beam of accelerated electrons is scanned across the food product, eliminating foodborne bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Listeria, Campylobacter, and Salmonella.

New-product facility gets new management, identity
The New Products Showcase & Learning Center, based in Ithaca, N.Y., was recently purchased by the Arbor Strategy Group (ASG), a marketing and management consulting firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich. The center has been relocated to Ann Arbor and renamed the NewProductWorks (NPW).

The center was created in 1968 by marketing journalist Robert McMath. It contains more than 65,000 new and old products. Through his work, McMath received a number of product samples. Not one to throw things away, he decided to put them together in a collection, which today includes food, household, and personal products introduced as recently as last week and as far back as 1965.

ASG decided to buy the center and use it to help clients develop new products. When companies come to ASG for assistance, the firm uses NPW to illustrate concepts, such as which products appeal to women or children, and what products have worked in the past and why, as well as why some products proved to be failures. The collection, housed in a 7,400-sq-ft facility, is considered to be the most comprehensive library of consumer goods in the world, featuring everything from Apple Jacks cereal to Zest soap.

ASG hopes the addition of NPW will provide its clients with a valuable resource. The company specializes in developing customer-driven growth plans and business strategies, including new product development, business positioning, and branding-strategy services, for a number of companies in the food industry.

“Olympic” event focuses on handwashing
Attendees at the Food Safety Summit and Expo in Washington, D.C., in April participated in the Third Annual Handwashing Olympics sponsored by Kimberly–Clark Corp.

The purpose of the contest was to see how well food safety experts washed their hands after touching a solution containing plastic fluorescent particles, which glow under ultraviolet light if not removed by handwashing.

The event highlighted the importance of properly cleaning hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection. The CDC reports that one in four outbreaks of foodborne illnesses can be linked to poor hygiene, generally due to unwashed or poorly washed hands.

COMPANY NEWS
Archer Daniels Midland Co.
recently launched a new corporate logo, tagline, and advertising campaign. The new logo is intended to underscore the company’s interest in nature and global agriculture, as well as its increased emphasis on developing innovative new products based on natural, renewable resources. The blue and green logo retains its outer shape, but incorporates a leaf, with a tagline that reads “ADM: The nature of what’s to come.” In other news, the company recently formed a Technology Council in partnership with P&G Chemicals, a business unit of Procter & Gamble. The council, which is the first joint project between the two groups, will explore opportunities leading to the development of innovative natural-based products. Headquartered in Decatur, Ill., ADM processes agricultural products worldwide. Procter & Gamble, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, markets an estimated 300 brands, including Tide, Crest, and Pringles, to nearly 5 billion consumers in more than 140 countries.

Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Inc. has developed a new, all-natural, semi-soft feta-Cheddar cheese blend. The marbled cheese contains less salt than traditional feta and fewer fat grams per serving than Cheddar. It can be sliced or crumbled. Cabot, based in Montpelier, Vt., produces a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter.

Cerestar USA, Inc. opened a new application laboratory at its headquarters in Hammond, Ind. In addition to a new test kitchen and sensory lab, the new facility has capabilities in both wet and dry preparation pilot plants. A new microscopy lab has also been constructed, along with a new office area to house the company’s growing team of application specialists. The facility also features a new reception and conference area. The new lab will help the company better understand the impact of processing on the functionality of Cerestar ingredients in a variety of confectionery and processed food applications.

Danisco A/S purchased Florida Flavors, Inc. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Danisco is an international food ingredients developer and producer. Florida Flavors, based in Lakeland, Fla., produces and markets natural citrus, apple, and other fruit flavors and components. The acquisition will allow Danisco to broaden its product range and geographical coverage.

Gold’n Plump Poultry announced the market launch of North Country Farms Certified Organic Chicken. The new product line is produced from Midwest-grown, free-range chicken raised without added hormones, growth stimulants, synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or antibiotics. Gold’n Plump, based in St. Cloud, Minn., provides chicken products to the Midwest.

Grain Processing Corp. of Muscatine, Iowa, and SPI Polyols, Inc. of New Castle, Del., announced the formation of a new company, Innova, LLC. The company will produce and market a variety of unique, high-performance specialty carbohydrate products for food, pharmaceutical, personal care, and industrial applications. Grain Processing specializes in spray-dried ingredients from corn and produces ethyl alcohol. SPI manufactures polyols and is part of Associated British Foods.

Midway Farms, Inc. announced the nationwide availability of its patented date butter product made from California dates. Blended to the consistency of soft butter, date butter is a sweet, spreadable blend that enhances the flavor of dairy goods, serves as a replacement for butter in baked creations, and sweetens grain and cereal products. Midway Farms, based in Fresno, Calif., provides processing solutions to the dried fruit industry.

Ottens Flavors is opening a new production facility in São Paulo, Brazil. The new plant will manufacture flavor and food additive products. It will have many of the same features as the company’s facility in Philadelphia, Pa., and will be operated by Ottens Flavors do Brasil, the company’s South American subsidiary. Ottens is based in Philadelphia, Pa.

Quirch Foods opened a new 120,000-sq-ft warehouse in Miami, Fla., where the company is based. Most of the facility, 100,000 sq ft, is used for refrigerated storage. Quirch distributes imported and domestic food such as beef, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and frozen vegetables to southern and central Florida, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

by SARA LANGEN
Assistant Editor